Shrewd Food by Elizabeth Carty

Shrewd Food by Elizabeth Carty There are times when a book arrives at exactly the right time. Elizabeth Carty’s Shrewd Food, with its focus on – as the subtitle says – a new way of shopping, cooking and eating, is that book. As Carthy points out in her introduction, food does not have to be expensive to be good and recipes in the following pages prove this.

She may not be reinventing the wheel but many of the commonsense tips that are scattered throughout the book have been forgotten in recent years. With grab-it-and-go in the supermarket having been replaced by careful shopping around, advice like making a list (and sticking to it!), checking product price per kilo and menu planning is always worth repeating. Carty encourages readers to use their freezers to maximise the value of supermarket special offers, to buy food that is in season for better value and to buy local produce which will be fresher. She also emphasises the importance of enjoying cooking as well as eating and there is no recipe included that won’t be enjoyed by all the family.

Before moving back to Ireland in 2000, Carty lived in London, Cyprus and Dubai and her experiences abroad have informed the recipes that she includes. Middle Eastern Salad, Greek Roast Lamb and Kibbe sit alongside more familiar Irish-style recipes like Mushroom and Leek Soup, Apple Crumble and Cauliflower Cheese. Each recipe include a shopping lists, along with information on adapting the dish to appeal to children, or to make it low fat or gluten-free.

With a wealth of interesting recipes, Shewd Food is a book that shows how eating on a budget can be much more of a pleasure than a hair shirt penance.

Must Try: Courgette Pasta (to use up the current garden glut), Gigot à la Cuillère, Clementine Clafoutis

Shrewd Food by Elizabeth Carty (£12.99) is published by Hachette Ireland. Thanks to the publishers for the review copy. Elizabeth Carty’s website is and she is also on Facebook and Twitter.



Food writer. Broadcaster. Blogger. Author. Married to Eight Degrees Brewing. Member of the Irish Food Writers' Guild, founder of Irish Food Bloggers Association and co-author of Sláinte: The Complete Guide to Irish Craft Beer & Cider (New Island)

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1 Response

  1. margo says:

    Definitely something fresh and new about the concepts of cooking. More and more cook books are out in the market today and they are more directive than being helpful. Its true that most of it requires us to use and only use the ingredients as they have indicated it. But in fact, there could always be a substitute for it. This books is very helpful for moms who are really considering their budget but at the same time would like to always have a special menu on their table.


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