Takeaway food that’s healthy? Surely you jest! Australia’s favourite home cook Julie Goodwin talks to Booktopia TV about her new book, Homemade Takeaway

Forgoing fast and junk food because we’re of the mind that a moment on the lips is a lifetime on the hips is just hard work! Sometimes we really need to indulge in a little comfort food like that delicious pad thai from our trusty Thai shop around the corner or a mouthwatering cheese burger from that fast food chain which shall not be named. So when that urge once again persists – turn to Julie Goodwin, not your local fast food store!

Julie’s new book Homemade Takeaway will teach you how to make your favourite takeaway dishes and desserts from the comfort of your home, all using fresh, healthy ingredients. And you know what that means? More money in your pocket … and a healthier you.



Homemade Takeaway

Julie Goodwin

Let Julie Goodwin, Australia’s favourite family cook, show you how to make your favourite takeaway dishes – at home, from scratch!

Cheaper, healthier, and even faster than waiting for your order! Feel good about enjoying take away and save money at the same time. Julie Goodwin is back with Homemade Takeaway. In this beautiful new fully illustrated cookbook, Julie will teach you how to make all your best-loved take away meals. Whether it’s the local bakery or the corner store, chicken shop or your favourite Thai or Indian … Read more.

Grab your signed copy of Homemade Takeaway here!

Simon Bryant, author of Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff answers Ten Terrifying Questions

Simon Bryant

The Booktopia Book Guru

Simon Bryant

author of Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff

Ten Terrifying Questions


1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Planted in Exeter UK; seedling in Torquay, Devon, Cornwall; grafted to Adelaide SA; ripened in Melbourne Vic; now and established plant in Adelaide again.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

12: Taller and allowed to stay out after dark.
18: A mechanic (I was one from ages 16 to 20).
30: I had quit cooking briefly and was a push bike courier when that was a thing.

I have always believed it doesn’t matter what you do; do it well and it is precisely what you are meant to be doing at that time. Hence I never really pined for a life I wasn’t living – except when I was short and 12.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That compromise destroyed your soul. Now I believe in various shades of grey, negotiation and win win compromises. There is no point shouting for change if you have no positive alternatives to put in place. Inevitably the void will be filled with something else, possibly worse than before …

Simon Bryant 3

4. What were three big events – in the family circle/on the world stage/ in your reading life, for example – you can now say, had a great effect on you and influenced you in your career path?

Visiting dog farms & abattoirs / Moon Bear bile farms / tiger bone farms/ performance animal operations in China as a guest of Animals Asia about 10 years ago. There is absolutely no justification for a lack of empathy/ exploitation/cruelty for human profit or amusement in food medicine or any arena for that matter.

Reading Jean Baudrillard’s Simulations (fighting and struggling with it for months around 20 years ago and ever since actually). The concept of what is “needed” versus what is a manufactured need – to this day – still resonates with me. My aversion to media food trends, the social and economic constructs and language around food elitism, the disconnect between the world of plants and animals and how they end up on our plates, the marginalisation of agricultural processes, the alienation around losing something as simple as sharing food, all fascinate me. It’s hard to keep it real in your cooking when the lines of our reality have become so blurred.

Being lucky enough to have parents that put a meal – albeit simple but real and fresh – on the table every night despite how busy and tired they may have been. It has sown a seed that I am grateful for, that the table is far greater than the sum of its parts, that food is something to be grateful for and that basic social rituals really do matter.

Simon Bryant

5. Considering the innumerable electronic media avenues open to you – blogs, online newspapers, TV, radio, etc – why have you chosen to write a book? Aren’t they obsolete?

Absolutely not – in big SHOUTY LETTERS. I may have never written this book if it weren’t for all the “noise” out there around food.

I love the idea of the lack of elitism that electronic media has created. However, I feel that this inherently means there may also be poorly edited recipes that may not work. And my personal pet dislike: an endless procession of manufactured food trends some of which come with fantastical health claims that are simply not founded.

Part of the reason I embarked on the latest book is because there seemed to be so much momentum around anti grain/pulse et al. diets. I personally don’t agree with the logic that the Paleo diet is founded on, but I do agree excess processing of food is a major issue in our diets.

I just feel that by eliminating grains and pulses we are ignoring the wisdom of culture. There is nothing wrong with these foods themselves: there is however something wrong with an excess consumption of a non-diverse and highly refined diet of them.

Simon Bryant 9

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

It’s simply what I eat, at home and what I have served my restaurant customers and friends for years. They are tried and tested recipes. Yes they are “sans meat (fish, poultry)” but I am not keen to label it as a vegetarian book. I am not anti meat (although I am anti intensively farmed animal protein and all the associated ethical, environmental and health issues surrounding it ).

At home I choose to eat tons of fruit and veg, grains, pulses (grasses etc) a little dairy and eggs. I’m not saying it’s the right way for everyone everyday but I simply can’t afford to eat bad food. It is the fuel that you need to get you through the day and you learn pretty young as a line chef that if you are not fuelling up as well as you can, you simply can’t get through the long hours and physical and mental stress of a high-end kitchen. It’s gruelling.

These are dishes that I enjoy eating, that you may find interesting if you don’t know where to start with grains, vegies and other good stuff or think that they are boring.

Simon Bryant 8

7. If your work could change one thing in this world – what would it be?

I really think we eat way too much meat in the developed west, with portions that are too large or the wrong type (cuts and farming methods). I would love to think that people could cook just one “minus meat” recipe a week (as a start) and still feel satisfied. I believe that there is a whole world of flavour in properly grown vegies, grains and other good stuff.

I reckon once people eat (for example) well grown local, new season, single origin lentils and cook a recipe that brings out the best in this ingredient, they will be amazed. It all starts with good produce, so I’d say Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff is both sensible, informative and hopefully a little inspiring to people who thought they couldn’t make it a day without the usual dose of animal : )


Simon Bryant 13

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

I’ll throw this answer a little left field here and say dogs! They don’t have a filter: if they like you they lick, if they don’t they growl. I just find their honesty refreshing. They wear their heart on their sleeves – when they’re upset they break your heart and they don’t hold grudges. They are loyal beyond any reasonable obligation.

They eat with the gratitude and relish of tired soldiers, they run like maniacs because they can, they wag their tails over the simplest joys and they sleep like logs because their conscious is clear.

It’s a great template for how to conduct your life as a human. I will point out: licking strangers you simply like the look of will possibly end badly!

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I have a real desire to be able to never turn away if I see or hear something that I find distressing, unjust or wrong. I believe in the notion of bearing witness even if your hands are tied and you can’t intervene.

It’s not an easy goal as we find it easier to filter out the distasteful/ disgraceful and despicable or simply turn a blind eye if we feel powerless. I feel “seeing” fuels conviction and will eventually lead to positive and productive action and perhaps some injustices readdressed in the long term. I’m not there yet but I’m definitely getting better.

Simon Bryant 4

10. What advice do you give aspiring writers?

Get a real job ……jees, your grandma would simply not accept that you can make a crust scribbling words down unless you are landed gentry. And if you must write be nice to your editor, they make writers look way better than they really are, god bless these little unsung background geniuses.

Simon, thank you for playing.

Grab your copy of Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff here!

Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff

by Simon Bryant

Simon BryantThe good stuff has moved into the spotlight – vegies, grains and pulses are now the stars of the plate – and there’s no better guide to this veg-led revolution than chef Simon Bryant.

Simon’s recipes are delicious proof that vegies (and co) are never boring. Here, he shares his original takes on everyday dishes – Smoky kale carbonara and Pumpkin, chickpea and tahini soup – as well as recipes for when you’re inspired to take things up a notch: Baked cauliflower fregola with hazelnuts and preserved lemon: Squash, taleggio and quinoa balls: and Salt-baked celeriac with apple remoulade …Read more.


Grab your copy of Vegetables, Grains & Other Good Stuff here!

How many different ways can you say yum? Adam Liaw talks to Booktopia TV about his new book Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School

For those who’d love to cook Asian dishes but don’t know how – no fear, Adam Liaw is here!

Being a former Masterchef winner and now UNICEF Australia’s National Ambassador for Nutrition, he’s the perfect person to guide wok-newbies around Asian cuisine. Recipes are created with clear directions and practical tips; the photography is luscious.

But enough from us, let Adam tell you about his new book, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School

Grab your copy of Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School and for a limited time receive a signed copy!

Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School

Adam Liaw's Asian Cookery SchoolEven if you’ve never picked up a wok before, Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School is your simple guide to learning Asian cuisine.

More than just a recipe book, it will teach you about the ingredients and techniques of the Asian kitchen for a complete understanding of how you can create authentic Asian flavours.

Each chapter in this beautifully designed and exquisitely photographed cookbook is a lesson that will improve your cooking, with practical recipes designed to try out … Read more.


Grab your copy of Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School and for a limited time receive a signed copy!

Grab your copy of Adam Liaw’s Asian Cookery School and for a limited time receive a signed copy!

COMING SOON: Donna Hay, author of upcoming Life in Balance answers Ten Terrifying Questions

Donna Hay

The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Donna Hay

author of Life in Balance

Ten Terrifying Questions

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you raised?

I grew up on Sydney’s southern beaches.

2. What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

Ever since I started baking with my grandmother when I was about eight years old, I’ve always had a love for cooking and magazines. After college I was lucky enough to get a job in the Women’s Weekly test kitchen and that was really where things really started. I launched my magazine when I was in my early thirties, so I guess I’ve always been lucky enough to do what I love.

3. What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

My Mum always told me, “where there is a will, there is a way!” – I like to think I still believe that, although some things are definitely more difficult than others!

Donna Hay breakfast

4. What big events in your life or the world around you most influenced your philosophies on food?

Becoming a mum and cooking for my two young boys has influenced how I eat at home, plus as I’m so busy all the time I have to I plan ahead! I always try to ensure they have healthy, balanced options for their lunchboxes and plenty of wholesome snacks in the freezer that we can defrost. I often bake a batch of healthy muffins or make up some bliss balls on the weekend, so they can have then during the week. We still always have room for treats, though. The boys love to cook with me, too – food is so much about sharing and eating together.

5. What is a dish you wouldn’t eat as a child that you love now?

I think the eight-year-old me would definitely not be pleased with the green smoothie I have every day! Every morning I make up a smoothie with kale, watercress, coconut water and spinach that I drink throughout the day in the office – I think you’d be hard-pressed to convince any child to drink that!

Donna Hay 3a

6. Please tell us about your latest book…

Life In Balance is all about helping people embrace a fresher approach to eating. From power snacks to leaner dinners and meals packed with good grains and proteins, it’s full of inspiring ideas to help you enjoy a wider variety of delicious, nutritious foods and embrace a more balanced lifestyle. I’m really excited about this book, as it’s really how I love to eat and cook.

7. If you had to highlight one recipe from the book, what would it be?

There’s an amazing raw chocolate peanut butter slice that I can’t stop making! It’s made with dates, almond and cacao and has no refined sugar so it’s a better option when you’re looking for a sweet fix.

Donna Hay 5

8. Whom do you most admire and why?

Anyone who dares to be different, creative, or make the world a better place.

9. Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

I’m not really much of a goal setter! I’ve been very busy this year as I’ve been working hard on building my brand and there are some exciting projects in the works. I’m always looking towards the next thing. Personally I’m trying to work through a bit of a bucket list – I’d love to do the Sydney to Hobart yacht race one day!

10. What advice do you give aspiring home cooks?

If you need to build your confidence in the kitchen, start simple, pick a classic recipe and go from there. Then, don’t be afraid to try new recipes or experiment with new ingredients. Cooking meals that taste delicious and look great doesn’t have to be tricky!

Donna, thank you for playing.

Donna Hay 4

Grab your copy of Life in Balance here!

Life in Balance

by Donna Hay

Australia’ most trusted home cook is celebrating a fresher approach to eating.

These days we’re bombarded with so many messages about what to eat more of and what to eat less of and what to give up altogether, it can all get a little confusing and, let’s face it, overwhelming. When there are so many passing fads and extreme diets out there, it’s a relief to turn to a voice of reason, Australia’s bestselling … Read more.

Donna Hay

Grab your copy of Life in Balance here!

Martyna Angell, author of The Wholesome Cook answers Ten Terrifying Questions

 The Booktopia Book Guru asks

Martyna Angell

author of The Wholesome Cook

Ten Terrifying Questions

1. To begin with why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself – where were you born? Raised? Schooled?

Martyna Angell Cover

I was born and raised in Poland and real food was always part of my upbringing. I grew up in and around Warsaw, the capital, and the city’s food scene was an interesting mixture of the old and the new. So you would have daily fresh produce markets, neighbourhood grocers selling veggies (I loved buying fermented pickles as snacks after school) as well as the modern fast food chains opening outlets in the city for the first time and big supermarkets setting up shop. It was a very interesting time in terms of exposure to the new but culturally we were still respecting traditions and cooking from scratch. Indeed, it was in one of my fifth-grade home economics classes that I learnt to make sauerkraut (recipe page 69).

I completed my high school studies here in Sydney, then dabbled in law and business administration studies before realising I needed a more creative outlet, so I completed a communications degree. Food, however, has always remained my true passion  and styling and photography followed suit naturally and are a big part of what I do now.

2.What did you want to be when you were twelve, eighteen and thirty? And why?

I was around twelve years old when I first discovered my passion for cooking and the joy it could bring to others as well as me. On weekends, I’d rummage through the fridge, pantry and freezer then write up a dinner menu for my parents to order from. Then I’d get cooking.

Most of my fondest childhood memories revolve around food, family celebrations and meals enjoyed together. When I turned eighteen cooking was not really considered a career choice so I went off to do a whole range of things but none of them made me truly happy. It wasn’t until I got closer to thirty that I realised where my heart lay, and food became the main focus for me again. This time, having recovered from a junk food past that put me on the edge of obesity, I wanted to share my story and make sure that my cooking, the recipes I shared with my friends, family and readers were all about real food, (and an occasional indulgence).

3.What strongly held belief did you have at eighteen that you do not have now?

That life begins at 18. Martyna Angell 1Now I think it really begins at 30, but if you ask me the same question in ten years’ time I have a feeling I know what the answer might be…40?

4.What were three big events in your life or the world around you that had a great effect on you and influenced your cooking?

Moving to Australia definitely opened my taste buds to a whole new world of food — fresh seafood and South East Asian flavour influences and ingredient availability — which I absolutely adored. However, it also introduced me to a whole new range of processed and fast foods. Despite a short-term infatuation with junk food in my early twenties, real food has been one of the most grounding forces in my cooking. I’ve realised it is the easiest single choice we can make for our health and well-being. Cooking from scratch and eating real food that’s best for our bodies with an occasional indulgence is a philosophy I’ve adopted after completing studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition — another game changer for me. It’s also a philosophy I now live with my family and share in The Wholesome Cook.

5.What are some dishes you wouldn’t eat as a child that you love now?

I was never a fussy eater: I thoroughly enjoyed tripe and liver and had fermented pickles as a snack almost every day. However, and I think many might agree with me here, Brussels sprouts were not really my thing. Our school diner used to serve soup filled with overcooked mushy Brussels sprouts that sent the pungent aroma permeating through the entire school. It was nauseating. No one was a big fan. I’ve since learnt to prepare them in a more palatable way. They are fantastic shredded into a raw slaw or gently charred, roasted or stir-fried (see page 111 for recipe). They are sweet, slightly nutty and delicious that way.

6.Please tell us about your latest book…

The Wholesome Cook is not a diet book or an eat-that-but-not-this book. It’s all about making a lifestyle change for the long term that suits you; it focuses on eating clean, real food that’s best for you, most of the time. It contains over 170 refined sugar-free recipes for how we eat now — theMartyna Angell 3 bioindividual way. What it means is that every recipe has a gluten-free option and many come with options for other dietary needs such as diary-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan. Many are also egg- and nut-free. They are all delicious.

As mentioned earlier, I was brought up with wholesome food — packets and processed food weren’t allowed in our house — but when I hit my twenties, I fell in love with junk food. The result? Within a year I had piled on 20 kilograms and when I stopped fitting into my favourite work suits that ran out at size 14, I knew I had to make a change. It wasn’t the size or particular numbers on the scales that scared me, although they helped make it real, it was the threat of being technically and truly obese that made me decide enough was enough. I needed to take back control of my cravings, my weight and my life.  But I wanted this change to be permanent. And so, I went back to basics: the basics of eating real food.

7.If you had to create one dish to show off your repertoire, what would it be?

It would most likely be Pulled Lamb Nachos (page 240) because they are a simple slow cooker number that uses deboned shoulder — a secondary meat cut from pasture-raised animals. Both have become fashionable terms, but having grown up with a grandfather who was a butcher and uncle who had a cattle farm, this kind of sustainable nose-to-tail eating was commonplace in our family. It is something that had, perhaps, waned in popularity but is now starting to see a comeback.

The dish is a favourite with the kids and most of our guests who have tried it are really pleasantly surprised with the use of lamb and a few additional tricks I’ve learned over the years to make the junk food to wholefood makeover easier. It’s served with a good choice of fresh salads, good fats from the avocado and probiotic-rich yoghurt instead of sour cream. Even the corn chips are plain — Martyna Angell 5a little indulgence without the junk.

8.Whom do you most admire and why?

I always find stories of those who have made a sea change inspiring, especially those who have done so to grow real food. I admire the courage it takes to drop everything for a simpler (if not necessarily easier) and happier life.

9.Many people set themselves very ambitious goals. What are yours?

My goal is to create a ripple effect by highlighting the merits of eating real, wholefood while at the same time acknowledging that we are all a little different and no single diet fits everyone the same, no matter how fashionable it may be. My goal is also to teach our kids that being able to cook real food from scratch and listening to their body is not hard, nor does it have to be super expensive or time consuming. I believe it’s a skill that will set them up for life of real nourishment. While I will continue to share recipes on the blog, I would love to write another cookbook/wellness guide focused on the benefits of eating well seasonally.

10.What advice do you give aspiring chefs?

Never stop exploring and learning. Practical experience is invaluable, whether it’s through travel, eating out, working in a restaurant kitchen or a farmer’s market or by helping out with animal-rearing. And always keep an open mind to fuel your creativity.

Thank you for playing, Martyna.

Grab your copy of The Wholesome Cook here

The Wholesome Cook

Martyna Angell

Martyna Angell profileThese days we all want to eat the kind of food that doesn’t compromise on flavour or health: clean wholefoods, fresh fruit and vegetables, pasture-raised meat. But it’s also true that what works in your diet for you, may not work for someone else. In The Wholesome Cook, talented cook and award-winning blogger Martyna Angell offers 170 nutritious and delicious recipes that are endlessly adaptable, cater to dietary restrictions and inspire lifestyle changes.

Every recipe is gluten – and processed sugar – free with an emphasis on wholefoods, and many also accommodate dairy-free, nut-free, paleo, vegan and vegetarian diets. These recipes are all about options …  Read more


Grab your copy of The Wholesome Cook here



EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Jane Kennedy, author of One Dish: Two Ways, Meets The Incompetent Cook

Jane Kennedy made her name in comedy, so when she arrived at Booktopia to sign copies of her wonderful new cookbook One Dish: Two Ways, we were always going to try to impress her.

Did we? Probably not, but we had some fun trying. Take a look at possibly our most ridiculous video yet, as she meets Andrew Cattanach, The Incompetent Cook.

Grab a copy of One Dish: Two Ways here

One Dish: Two Ways

by Jane Kennedy

The perfect collection of recipes that can be served simply for kids, then jazzed up for the adults with just a few additional ingredients – the first cookbook guaranteed to please the whole family.

Feeding a family. Every night. Is hard. Jane Kennedy knows because she cooks for seven people, seven days a week.

It’s not the cooking that’s hard, it’s thinking of a new dinner ideas EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Grownups are easy. They love spices and chilli and garlic and onions and herbs and zest and can dress up a boring piece of chicken, fish or steak in a flash.

Kids…well. Most kids don’t like spices and chilli and herbs and zest. Green bits. Orange bits. And especially not hot bits.

So Jane set herself a challenge to find a way to keep everyone happy. A way that wouldn’t involve her having to eat ‘plain’ food just to keep the kids happy and didn’t require the kids to miraculously start loving spicy food. A way where one base meal could be jazzed up, or down, to suit all taste buds. One dish; two ways.

About the Author

Jane Kennedy began her career in the late 1980s alongside comedy team The D-Generation on a number one breakfast FM show and on television with The Late Show. She co-wrote, produced, directed and starred as the ruthless reporter Brooke Vandenberg in Frontline, a satire about the current affairs industry. Jane was also a co-producer of movies The Dish and the film recently voted Australia’s favourite of all time, The Castle. She continues to work behind the scenes at Working Dog as Casting Director on shows such as The Hollowmen and Thank God You’re Here. Jane lives in Melbourne, and clearly taking her commitment to comedy too far, she and partner Rob Sitch have five children.

Grab a copy of One Dish: Two Ways here

Living Clean has never been easier!

imageLast week I was lucky enough to catch up with the Clean Living Boys, Luke and Scott, for a cooking demonstration. Already famous from their MKR adventures, the passionate paleos served up a gorgeous menu while talking about their philosophies for a healthy lifestyle and still eating delicious food.

Their Clean Living Cookbook is a great read, the perfect book for the food lover who also wants to eat healthy with variety.

We started on Sweet Potato Fritters with Smoked Salmon and Avocado, I cooked them the next day they were so good. As the night wore on Scott seasoned some trimmed Pork Fillets and made a beautiful salsa (with a hint of spice) to roll into gluten-free tortillas and create their signature Pork Tortillas.

imageLuke (a big dessert lover) talked us through his coconut choc-fudge recipe. No baking, no fuss, and a sensational way to end the night, washing it down with a kale smoothie that, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, was absolutely lovely.

There’s a reason why Luke and Scott are fast on their way to becoming Australia’s Health Food Stars. Their passion for food is only matched by their love to educate everyone they meet on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle through a healthy diet. Their message is simple, eating good food will change your life.

Whether you want to lose a couple of kilos or just learn some great new dishes, the Clean Living Cookbook is a beauty.

Grab a copy of the Clean Living Cookbook here

Grab a copy of the Clean Living Cookbook here


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