Leon: Family & Friends is the fourth publication from Leon, the UK's "naturally fast food" chain, but this isn't your typical fast food, or your typical restaurant cookbook. Like the eatery, the book's design and recipes are unpretentious, fresh, and fun, with something for everyone.
• Who wrote it: Kay Plunkett-Hogge and John Vincent
• Who published it: Conran Octopus
• Number of recipes: over 200
• Recipes for right now: Jonny Jeffery's Fluffy Eggs; Ot's Chicken Ton-Katsu; Gill's Spinach, Chorizo & Halloumi Salad; Sweet Soy Salmon with Mushrooms & Pea Shoots; Alice's Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie; Lychees with Fresh Ginger & Sherry; Anna Hansen's Pumpkin & Miso Cheesecake
• Other highlights: The "family and friends" in Leon's latest book refers to the sources of many of these fast-yet-nutritious recipes as well as the people you'll want to share them with. Food is fun in the Leon world, and the authors encourage everyone to get involved, from party guests to kids to young adults (there's even a "10 things you should know how to cook before you leave home" section).
In addition to the classic British influences, recipes draw upon Kay Plunkett-Hogge's upbringing in Thailand, as well as flavors from Indian, Japan, and Malaysia. The book is divided into three sections: Today, which focuses on nutritious breakfasts, weekday lunches and suppers, after-school snacks, and simple sweets; Tomorrow, which includes recipes for weekend meals, birthdays, and other special occasions; and Yesterday, which highlights recipes and memories from Leon's founders and extended family. The index includes a helpful listing of low glycemic load, low saturated fat, wheat free, gluten free, dairy free, and vegetarian recipes.
• Who would enjoy this book? families, parents, young adults, new cooks, Leon restaurant fans
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: Leon: Family & Friends by Kay Plunkett-Hogge and John Vincent
• Visit the author's website: Kay Plunkett-Hogge
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(Images: Emily Han)