What inspired you to write your book?
I find that lots of people eat convenience (junk) food nowadays, and, when I ask them why, they say that they do not have the time to cook or that they do not know how to cook. Some actually think that it is cheaper to eat ready-made meals than it is to cook from scratch.
Furthermore, due to the economic crisis, people are really struggling to get by. Since food is an essential daily item for everyone, I thought that I should write a cookery book containing recipes for healthy, tasty meals which everybody (even complete beginners) would be able to make, and afford to make.
I am not a professional chef, but I have worked as a sous-chef (and have even replaced the chef at times) in restaurants and pubs in Italy, the UK and Belgium. So, I thought that I had the culinary expertise to write a book like this. In addition to this, my boyfriend (whom I live with) is still a student, and I am training to be a lawyer, so I try to spend as little as possible on our weekly shop – between 15 and 20 euros each per week. Therefore, I know how to make healthy meals on a budget.
I am hoping that this book will prove to people that anyone can cook, that home-made meals are cheaper and healthier than convenience meals, and that it is easier to stay fit if you eat home-made food (junk food is so fattening!).
About your Book:
This book is addressed to anyone who is attempting to cook delicious, nutritious and healthy meals on a budget. It costs an average of 1.22 Euros Per Person (excluding dessert) to make these meals, and an average of 1.72 Euros Per Person (including dessert) to make them. Whether you have never cooked anything in your life, or whether you are an experienced chef, it is certain that this book will provide you with cheap, extremely tasty recipes which you will be able to make on a regular basis and enjoy. Each recipe comes with clear step-by-step instructions, which are accompanied by photographs of how the food should look as you prepare it, so anybody can understand how to make it.
No fancy cooking utensils or expensive ingredients are required to make any of these recipes: all of the necessary cooking utensils can be found in even the most basic of kitchens, and the only ingredients which are required to make these recipes are staples (e.g. flour, sugar, canned tuna) and fresh produce (e.g. fresh fruit and vegetables).
As a young professional who is endeavouring to spend as little as possible on healthy, tasty, complete and well-balanced home-made meals, and as an individual who has previously cooked in the kitchens of restaurants and pubs, I felt that I possessed the knowledge which was necessary to write a book about how to make decent meals on a limited budget. Cooking one’s own meals provides one with numerous, considerable advantages. For instance, one can dictate exactly how much or how little of a particular ingredient to put in their favourite meal (this is particularly useful for those who suffer from food allergies). One can also save huge amounts of money by cooking one’s own meals (see the “Real Italian Pizza” recipe for an excellent example of this).
I hope that those who are in similar or in identical circumstances to mine find this book useful, enjoy it, and are able to keep fit and save money by cooking the recipes which are contained within this book. It is this hope that incited me to write my own cook book, which consists in recipes that I make on a regular basis, and which are loved by all of those who have tasted them.
Cuisine Style or Food Genre
Cooking Healthy Food On A Budget
Sample Recipe or Food Advice
Tuna Fish Cakes With Divine Sauce
Total Cost: 2.94 Euros;
Cost Per Person: 0.73 Euros.
For the fish cakes:
225 Grams/8 oz or ½ lb of potatoes;
1 teaspoon of salt;
1 teaspoon of thyme leaves;
400 g/14 ounces of canned tuna in brine;
The rind of ½ lemon;
1 teaspoon of salt;
1 tbsp of chives;
1 beaten egg;
115 g/4 oz of breadcrumbs;
Vegetable Oil for frying;
For the “Divine Sauce”:
2 tbsp of olive oil;
1 small onion;
400 g/ 1 and ¾ cups of plain tomato sauce;
The rind of ½ lemon;
1 tbsp of basil;
½ teaspoon of salt.
First of all, boil a large saucepan of salted water. Peel and finely slice your potatoes so that they cook more quickly when boiled. Boil the potatoes for about 12 minutes, until they are completely cooked. Mash the potatoes until they are completely free of lumps. Set the mashed potatoes aside so that they can cool down. Pour the onions, tuna, chives, lemon rind and salt into the mashed potatoes. Mix all of the ingredients together until you have formed a consistent mixture as so:
Form the mixture into 16 cakes. Dip into the beaten egg, then into the breadcrumbs. Make sure that the cakes are absolutely covered in both ingredients, as so:
Put the cakes in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. While the fish cakes are in the refrigerator, make your “Divine Sauce”. Put the olive oil, tomato sauce, onion, lemon rind and basil in a saucepan. Bring to the boil.
When the sauce is boiling, cover the pan with a lid and simmer gently (on low heat) for 15 minutes.
Remove the lid and continue simmering the sauce for ten minutes. The sauce should be thick and look like this by the time you have finished simmering it.
Heat enough vegetable oil in a frying pan to generously cover the bottom of the pan. Remove the fish cakes from the refrigerator and fry them for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, until each side of the fish cakes is golden and crisp.
Serve the fish cakes hot with divine sauce on the side and enjoy with a fragrant, medium-dry white wine such as Viognier.
What formats are your books in
Both eBook and Print
How do you see writing a food/cookbook as different from writing other genres of books?
Cook books are more “practical”, in the sense that they are used in order to help people do something which they need to do (cook) on a daily basis in order to survive.
Other book genres are not so useful on a day-to-day basis.
Advice to someone that is thinking about or currently working on a food book or cookbook
Take note of what potential customers what a cook book to be like and try to include those properties in your book. There are loads of cook books out there and you have to find a way to make yours stick out.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
My book is published through Amazon Kindle and Amazon Createspace.
This is because, since it is free to publish on Kindle, I thought that I would see if my book sold any copies – and it has sold well. There was no financial risk in publishing through Kindle, and there isn’t through Createspace either, so the worst that could happen is that I would not make any profit from my book.
Kat Miller was born in Italy in 1987, to a British father and an Italian mother. She subsequently lived in the UK and in Belgium. Kat tries her best to cultivate her various interests (which include sports, music and art) and has just published her first ever book, “Delicious Meals For 1.22 Euros”, which is intended to be the first of a series of cookery books. The reason why Kat’s culinary knowledge is so vast is that she has always enjoyed cooking and has worked in the kitchens of various restaurants and pubs .