Read, watch, listen: Jan-Feb 2024

Read, watch, listen: Jan-Feb 2024

Home – 16.01.24

Everything you need to read, watch and listen to this month

Stephen Phelan
Stephen Phelan



For the experimenter

Veg-Table by Nick Sharma

Anyone who plans to eat more vegetables in 2024 should probably start the year with a copy of this new book by Nick Sharma. His reliable, personable prose guides you gently through 100-plus recipes based on common or garden ingredients like cabbage, and less familiar edible plants such as cactus, providing cultural and scientific context for each one. Lovely illustrations by artist Matteo Riva also work alongside Sharma’s own renowned food photography to make each page look like a frame from an especially beautiful movie.

For the history buff

No Meat Required by Alissa Kennedy

This is not a cookbook, but a deep dive into the cultural history of plant-based eating. A New Yorker based in Puerto Rico, Kennedy had the advantage of access to tropical ingredients and island farming communities while writing, and vivid descriptions of banana flowers and passionfruit trees help illustrate her thoughtful survey of vegetarianism as a practice. Her stance on the subject is more practical than ideological, and she makes a very solid case against the common arguments that plant-based eating is faddish, elitist, or too hard to make tasty.

For the no-fuss cook

Veg Forward by Susan Spungen

Having racked up decades of experience as a cook and caterer, food stylist and founding editor of Martha Stewart Living magazine, Susan Spungen is spectacularly overqualified to advise you on making the best of a few plant-based ingredients for a light summer lunch, or a hearty winter feast. However creatively conceived and artfully presented, the 102 recipes in this good-looking book also tend to be surprisingly easy to make, from asparagus pizza to chocolate zucchini bread and strawberry tartlets with goat cheese filling.



Grow, Eat, Cook

Since it premiered in 2019, this popular Irish series has become an essential visual aid to many viewers new to the challenges and pleasures of growing their own fruits and vegetables in suburban gardens or on small apartment balconies. Each episode takes a single crop – potatoes, carrots, beetroot, strawberries etc – and tracks the whole growing process from seed to plate. Hosts Michael Kelly and Karen O’Donohoe add a lot of value with their easy charm and low-key know-how as they show you how it’s done at their ‘Grow HQ’ garden.

Amazon Prime, YouTube


The Doctor's Kitchen.jpeg

The Doctor's Kitchen Podcast

London-based medical doctor Rupy Aujla, founder of Culinary Medicine UK, has built a dedicated worldwide following by taking listeners clearly, simply and authoritatively through every conceivable aspect of healthy eating. From one episode to the next his subject might be the scientific benefits of organic food, or certain myths surrounding cranberries and feminine health, or the validity of common fears about using aluminium foil. You can also buy a supplementary Doctor’s Kitchen handbook, featuring maximally nutritious recipes.