your book questions answered: Fast & Filling

First things first (I only put that in because Paul hates the phrase), an announcement!

Forgive the big advert, but we’ve been asked a lot if there’s gonna be a bundle – this isn’t a bundle so much as it is both books dropping in price to an elegant £18 for the two! Go for it. Click the link to open in a new window!

It’s certainly been a busy few days since book launch! A huge thank you to everyone for buying our book and making it a Sunday Times Best-Seller! That’s the second time we’ve done this and it’s mind-blowing. Remember, it’s just me and Paul here. Bloody love you guys! Anyway, the book launch means we find ourselves answering the same questions a lot from people who are on the fence about the book – so this blog is all about answering those questions! Hope this helps! And if you have already bought the book, please consider leaving us a review on Amazon – it really helps us.

Where can we pick up the book?

An easy one to start! Fast & Filling is available on Amazon via the link above, and is currently priced at a very attractive £10. If you aren’t a fan of Amazon, you can also pick it up online via WH Smith, Waterstones, The Works or many other independent bookstores. If you are abroad it is a little trickier, but we recommend The Book Depository if you are having trouble getting it shipped. Of course, all of the books are also available on Kindle, if you want to go electronic. If you’re old school, you’ll find it in WH Smith and Waterstones on the high street, plus we’re in all major supermarkets. There has been an absolute rush on, which may mean stock issues offline for a couple of weeks, but our publishers are working on that!

What sort of recipes are in the book?

Exactly the same type of recipes as the blog: easy to cook breakfasts, lunches and dinners that taste good, don’t cost a bomb to make and will fill you up. We don’t do diet food, never have, we do proper food with a few healthy swaps. Listen, we’re two chunky lads who can put away a good meal – we know you’re going to be miserable if you’re given rabbit portions because we would be. Unless it’s one of those rabbits that come in plain packaging from lovehoney, and hey, if it is, think of the weight loss from a bit of self-love. These are recipes that you will cook for the family and everyone will eat: not cooking something for yourself and then cooking something delicious for those not on a diet. Put simply: this is good food, done right. You deserve it!

Where can I find the syns for the recipes?

Unfortunately, at the time of writing, we cannot provide the syn values for the recipes ourselves. Syns is a term that belongs to Slimming World and, understandably, they would not like us to use it in our cookbooks. Slimming World have been amazing with us throughout our blog and we absolutely don’t begrudge them this. They allow us to use syns on the blog and social media, and we are very grateful for that! I’ll say this though: all of our recipes are simple enough with no wacky ingredients and as a consequence, they’re easy to work out for yourselves using SW’s online tools. They’re all under 500 calories too.

Have you included cooking times / dietary restrictions / portion sizes?

Yep. After forgetting some of that information in the last book (it was our first time, be kind!), we have made sure it’s in here. All recipes are below 500 calories (that’s per portion) and most, unless clearly indicated, serve four. Where possible, we have made sure to show where recipes are suitable for gluten free too!

Why don’t you use sweetener / Quark / Frylight in your recipes?

Same reason we don’t on the blog. We believe in the philosophy of using good ingredients to make your food the best it can be. That’s not knocking Quark, mind, it has its place, but sweetener is a big bugbear of ours. Yeah, you might save a syn or two replacing say, brown sugar with sweetener, but why? It makes it taste so sweet and artificial! We don’t believe in having to be ‘syn-free’, and it works, because the feedback we get from our recipes is how tasty they are. So if our recipes use a bit of butter, or some honey, or a drop of maple syrup, get it in there. You’ll thank us afterwards! That said, if you’re absolutely set on using Frylight or Quark, shoot for the moon. Do what works for you!

Are there many recipes suitable for vegetarians?

Yes! And I know this because I’ve been asking! It’s no secret we like meat here at Chubby Towers – I’m never happier than when I’m packed with sausage – but at the same time, we’ve made a special effort with this book to up our vegetarian recipes. Not just ‘swap the chicken for Quorn’, either, but using Quorn or tofu or the vegetables themselves as the main ingredient and making them sing. From memory, there’s over 60+ veggie friendly recipes in there. We always welcome feedback too, so if you think we can do better, let us know.

Are the recipes easy to follow?

Absolutely. These recipes are meant to save one thing – time now or time later. So this means the recipes are either easy to cook, quick to put together, easy to scale up or suitable for batch-cooking and freezing. There’s no fancy cooking techniques – I mean, look, it’s us – and if you’re not a confident cook then you will be right at home. We aren’t chefs ourselves you know, and we know there’s nothing more daunting than a huge list of ingredients or steps for cooking. You’ll find neither in here. Also, if you get really stuck, send us a message on Instagram (see below) and we will try and help. One thing we keep seeing over and over in our comments and reviews is that the meals are perfect for family cooking, or those just starting out.

Let me finish this question with a plea: if you struggle to cook, please, just start! The best thing you can do is to start cooking – it’s rare the meal will go absolutely wrong and you can always salvage it. But cooking is all about confidence and that only builds with exposure! So go for it!

How easy is it to make substitutes for difficult ingredients?

We genuinely don’t think there’s any especially difficult ingredients in there – we shop at Aldi and Tesco, and if you can’t get it there, it’s not in our book! One thing we’ve always disliked about other books is where you buy an ingredient, use it once and never again. None of that with us. Perhaps the two unusual ingredients to feature are (and lord, imagine my sigh here) panko and mirin. Panko is easy to find in most major supermarkets – it’s a dried breadcrumb and is usually in the world foods bit. It’s cheap as chips. Mirin might be a little bit trickier – they sell it all over up here, it’s a sweet rice wine, and you’ll find it where you find the panko. You can swap it for a white cooking wine if you like. A plea if you’re just starting out, too – get to know your local speciality supermarkets – so much cheaper than buying in the major supermarkets.

Are the recipes suitable for those on a lower budget?

Yes! We rarely use ‘expensive’ cuts of meat, for example, and look – we aren’t big spenders here. It goes back to the ingredients thing – we use proper stuff you’re likely to have in the cupboard anyway, and if not, we take the cheap ingredients and make them so much more because we cook them properly.

Will the release of the book change anything for the blog?

Nope. This is an important one for us! Our blog was set up in 2014 (crikey!) as an antithesis to the awful diet food that was being circulated at the time. Now, almost seven years later, we’ve got over 700 recipes and, this bit I love, a record of our lives! Our followers all came from this blog and we have zero intention of stopping now. I’m committing to a new recipe every week where I can. We will never charge you to access recipes or try and monetise the fuck out of the blog. There’s a few adverts, yeah, but aside from that, it’s all free all the time. When you stop reading, I’ll stop writing!

How do we follow you on social media?

Ah we’re everywhere!

A note on our Facebook group. One of my favourite acts that I’ve seen blossom is the ‘pay it forward’ scheme operating, where those who are struggling to buy the book are being gifted it by those in a position to help. It was completely unexpected, but speaks so much to the good in our group. There’s a reason you don’t see much negativity in our group: because it’s full of terrific people. I confess myself ridiculously proud of it. A reminder though: if you’re struggling for money, please, don’t be buying our cookbook – save that for when you have some cash! There’s over 700 recipes now in our index and although they don’t look quite so professional in the photos, the food recipes themselves are exactly the same calibre as you get in the book – and for free.

I think that is everything! If you have any questions or you want to show off your food, come show us in the group or on Instagram. If you tag us in, we will do our best to spot you!

Ah actually one final thing.

Thanks guys. I know I’ve said it so many times over the years, but it bears repeating. We would be nothing without you lot buying our books, sharing our recipes and telling everyone about those two fat blokes on the Internet who cook good food. Reading everyone’s nice comments, seeing people actually happy with the food, seeing old cooks and new cooks and everyone in between having a go. Well. You’ll never truly know what that means to us, because, despite being a gobshite who can waffle for days about absolutely nothing, I’ve never quite found the words. Thank you.

Happy cooking!

J&P

Comments

comments

One thought on “your book questions answered: Fast & Filling

  1. about the sweeteners… when I was diagnosed with diabetes, my GP sent me to the Diabetes dietitian. When I asked about what to replace sugar with, she explained that sweeteners actually have the same effect of sugar, so, she said “I rather you have a bit of sugar, try cutting down amounts, ” So , I am delighted that your recipes give us food that taste like proper food 🙂 And you so effing funny, this is the only blog I don’t scroll straight down to the recipe!!!!!!!

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