Books & Literature

Cookbook Review: Crush Calories in 20 Minutes, by Richard Kerrigan

Transform your body in 20 minutes with simple calorie counted recipes, workout & mindset hacks from chef and fitness trainer Richard Kerrigan.

A handy and easy-to-follow reference for a healthier lifestyle.

Chef and personal trainer Richard Kerrigan takes fitness and weight loss back to the bare basics in this easy-to-follow lifestyle review. Focussing on exercise, diet, and mindset, he forgoes all the hype and creative marketing ploys to focus on the only fact that counts–calories in vs calories out is what will make the difference.

The exercise component focuses on 20-minute bursts of activity, while the diet and mindset chapters provide a good range of recipes and attempt to help you to build a better relationship with food.

The recipes are divided into Juices & Smoothies, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sides, and Desserts. Within these chapters is a fantastic range of simple recipes, most of which take less than half an hour to make. The selection includes toast toppers right through to soups, rice dishes, and a Bangkok Crying Tiger steak dish. The instructions are clear and easy to follow, with each recipe highlighting the calories per serve, and often providing a “top tip” and/or a “good to know” titbit of information about the recipe or an ingredient. There’s plenty of choice for those living meat-free too.

Additional chapters discuss calories, nutrition, and food hacks, all complemented by large, colourful photos by Remy Brand that both tempt and motivate. These bonus chapters lead into the mind and exercise section of the book which looks at motivation and mindfulness before providing functional training routines for beginner, intermediate, and advance levels of fitness. As with the recipes, the exercises are laid out clearly with photos to demonstrate each part of the movement.

The separate recipe and exercise indexes are useful, particularly the latter, which breaks the list of routines into practical groups of strength and cardio exercises for each level of fitness.

At just over 220 pages, Crush Calories in 20 Minutes is not a big book, but it packs a lot into it, providing quite a good resource for improving health and fitness.

Cauliflower and Chive Soup with a Crusty Slice (page 105)

Although this recipe for four people claims to be “soup in 20 minutes”, that doesn’t take into account the half hour or so of extra prep time needed before you start the clock. Even so, the recipe is made in less than an hour and is simplicity itself. Cauliflower and potatoes are never going to provide a taste sensation but with a bit of extra pepper or a sprinkle of your favourite herbs, this thick, filling soup is sure to satisfy any hunger pangs. It’s plain but delicious as is, tasting even better the next day once the minimal flavours are more settled. My preference would be to spice it up a little more than the recipe dictates, so feel free to experiment. The base recipe is a good start.

Asian Greens with Ginger, Honey and Soy (page 139)

Here’s a pro tip–bok choy and Chinese cabbage only need a few minutes to cook, so don’t get distracted by social media. I well and truly overcooked my greens thanks to a few fun cat vids on TikTok. That left my attempt looking rather soggy, but thankfully it didn’t kill the flavour. It’s a yummy side dish for two and, as promised, it’s fairly fuss-free. How much you cook the vegetables should depend on your own preference for crunchiness. It’s hard to go wrong with this new staple in my diet.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Distributed by: New Holland Publishers
Released: February 2021
RRP: $40

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