Books & Literature

Cookbook Review: Bored of Lunch: The Healthy Air Fryer Book, by Nathan Anthony

This second cookbook by social media star Nathan Anthony is full of fast and fabulous air fryer recipes to help you eat happy and healthy.

This second cookbook under the Bored of Lunch brand is a masterclass in fast, simple, flavoursome cooking.

Sequels of any kind don’t have a good reputation, but when they succeed, they seem doubly as enjoyable from the sheer relief of not being let down.

Social media cook Nathan Anthony’s second book in his Bored of Lunch brand arrives only a month after the release of his first one, The Healthy Slow Cooker Book, and he’s cashing in his chips with this equally exciting sage turner!

The layout is the same as the first, using lots of white space and colour for easy reading, and introducing each recipe with a short, personable paragraph. Clare Wilkinson’s photography once again graces the pages of this volume, with food and prop styling by Charlotte O’Connell.

An air-fryer is the modern day go-to kitchen appliance because it’s faster and more economical than a conventional oven, and can save on calories by requiring much less, or no oil when cooking. For those still new to their air fryer, Anthony begins with some general instructions on its use and provides an invaluable two-page cooking guide, outlining the time and temperature for various foods, grouped into the categories Fish, Veg, Meat, and Frozen Foods. He also includes a list of pantry staples for flavour, sauces, and for pairing with your air-fried foods.

The recipes themselves tally up to another 80 dishes under the chapter headings Starters & Snacks, Speedy Lunches, Weekday Dinners, Fakeaways, Sides, and Sweet Treats. Here you’ll find everything from Sausage Rolls (page 31) and Spiced Chickpeas (page 42) to Onion Bhajis (page 122) and Donuts (page 178). More hearty meals include Lamb Chops (page 96), Kung Pao Chicken (page 108), or a healthier Chicken Caesar Salad (page 57).

Each are easy to follow with short, simple directions that rarely reach even half a dozen steps. The only difficulty is the choice-overload when it comes time to select a recipe. Nathan Anthony doesn’t try to add his own flair or show off his culinary expertise like many professional chefs in their cookbooks. He focuses on simplicity and flavour for a health-conscious home cook who still enjoys the occasional devil’s treat. As his brand name suggests, his two cookbooks will go a long way towards ensuring you’re never bored of lunch or any other meal.

Honey and Orange salmon (page 65)

Even kids who don’t like salmon are sure to crave this sweet treat. The glaze is made in just a couple of minutes (or less), the salmon steaks are rolled in it, and then into the air fryer it goes with a slice of orange on top. I can’t help but look at my usual turmeric topping with disdain now that I’ve fallen in love with this simple but memorable orgasm for your mouth. The honey offers some crispiness to the salmon skin and a touch of sweetness that is balanced by the tang of the orange, a splash of soy sauce and other ingredients. Try it once and you’ll never go back.

‘Forget to Prep’ Sunday Roast (page 116)

I pulled out my poison pen for this one, 100% percent sure of the disaster about to unfold: a dry, tasteless lump of wasted meat. I spoke to a few friends who are whizzes in the kitchen, and they all agreed – if I wanted to find fault in Nathan Anthony’s book, this was the recipe to do it with. And fault I found. But it was my lack of faith in The Great Sir Anthony that was at fault. In cutting open the beautifully browned silverside beef after little more than an hour in the air fryer, the juices gushed out, giving plenty to use as a base for my gravy. It was cooked to perfection and despite barely any preparation, it tasted better than any silverside I’ve mastered previously in a slow cooker or pot. Served up with roasted honey carrots and cheesy cauliflower (thanks to Sir Anthony’s suggestion), the meal was an unanimous hit and another to add to my list of favourites. No more cooking for hours on end when such a succulent roast beef can be achieved in barely more time than it takes to boil up some potatoes! I’ll be sure to ‘forget to prep’ more often in future.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

The views expressed in this review belong to the author and not Glam Adelaide, its affiliates, or employees.

Distributed by: Penguin Books Australia
Released: May 2023
RRP: $39.99 hardcover

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