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The No Recipe Cookbook

Saving Calories, Saving Money, Saving Time

Even when I’m stressed, exhausted and time-poor, I’ve had to find a way to get dinner on the table. Through efficient organisation and meal planning, and a repertoire of simple meals that don’t require careful measuring of ingredients or complicated methods, I’ve developed a way of cooking that allows me to prepare a quick meal whenever I want it. At the end of the day, I have decision-fatigue. Trying to choose from a takeaway menu or waiting for a meal delivery when I’m 'hangry', is more stressful than preparing a simple meal. Planning ahead and shopping once every two weeks saves time and a home-prepared meal is only a fraction of the cost of eating out.

Teaching another surgeon to operate requires breaking down a complicated and stressful task into simple components. By applying these skills to cooking, I have developed a method of cooking and meal planning to entice the reluctant cook into the kitchen.

There are no glossy pictures of beautifully presented meals in this book to intimidate you. Meals are flexible to allow substitutions and variations in ingredients and amounts. Experimenting and making mistakes is okay.

  • Educate a woman to cook and you feed a family.
  • Give a man a meal and he’s happy. Teach a man to cook and the whole family’s happy.
  • Children shouldn’t leave home without knowing how to cook. Or worse, they won’t leave home if they can’t cook.

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Dr James Muecke AM

Australian of the Year 2020, Ophthalmologist, Chairman Sight For All

"A healthy diet is something that’s very important to me. In my 30-year career as an ophthalmologist, I’ve seen firsthand the damage wrought by type 2 diabetes. The disease is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adult Australians. Diabetic retinopathy, a diabetes complication that affects the eyes, has no symptoms in the early stages and, if it’s not treated in time, can cause complete and irreversible blindness.

Type 2 diabetes is almost entirely preventable and yet the disease now affects close to one in ten Australians. Obesity is a major risk factor for the disease and one of the main ways it can be prevented, and even reversed, is through diet. As a nation, our consumption of sugar, refined carbs and junk food is way too high. We need to cut down on sweet ultra-processed foods and get back to buying fresh, unprocessed ingredients and cooking our own food. Any initiatives that encourage the eating of real food, such as this book, should be promoted and celebrated.

As Dr Samantha Pillay points out, cooking your own food means you know exactly what’s gone into it – there are no hidden sugars or other nasty surprises. You have total control.

In my medical career, I’ve seen so many people who simply lack the tools they need to lead a healthy lifestyle. This book will give you some of these tools.

If you don’t know how to cook or just want to limit the amount of unhealthy takeaway food you eat, The No Recipe Cookbook could be the help you need to change your life. Dr Pillay’s simple, straightforward method is easy to follow and will have you eager to get into the kitchen and start experimenting. Most of her meal ideas really are faster than ordering a takeaway and they’re definitely healthier.

If this book can help even a handful of people to start cooking for themselves, it will be a step in the right direction. Let’s all get into the kitchen and start taking back control over what we eat.

Your health is in your hands."