Save on time and waste with Nadiya
Most people probably hadn’t cried at a cooking programme until Nadiya Hussain made that emotional victory speech on the Great British Bake Off four years ago.
“I’m never gonna say, ‘I don’t think I can’. I can and I will,” she said tearfully.
That relatable self-doubt blossoming into confidence pretty much catapulted Nadiya into national treasure status. And it’s there that she’s stayed – on TV, releasing cookbooks, children’s books and a novel, proving that yes, she really can.
It’s doubly impressive because she has three young children and recently spoke publicly about struggling with anxiety and panic disorder. What’s more, in the crowded space of celebrity chefs, women of colour aren’t exactly plentiful.
“Growing up, I couldn’t pick up a novel or a cookbook or watch television and see somebody who I related to,” she said, being Luton-born to Bangladeshi parents and Muslim.
“So I think it’s really important that people can say, ‘Actually, she cooks just like us, she eats just like us, she represents us’. It’s saying, ‘I’m here and I can do this and anyone else can’.”
Nadiya’s belief that ‘if she can, anyone can’ is really the premise behind her new cookbook too, Time To Eat.
Her fourth since winning Bake Off, this no-nonsense, family-orientated collection of recipes shares the approach to cooking that she lives and breathes at home: time-efficient, money-saving, and with nothing wasted.
The 34-year-old says her time-efficient methods in the kitchen are the only reason she can juggle such a full-on career and manage life with three children.
“You can cook and you can save time and you can eat really well. I think you can manage all of those, and manage a career,” she said. “I’ve done it for the last four years.”
You don’t generally imagine most celebrity chefs budgeting or stretching ingredients for family meals , which makes Nadiya refreshingly normal.
“Because I was a very young mum, and we were a really young family, we had to be really time-savvy and learn how to save money properly and eat well at the same time.”
She added: “I’m one of six kids and my parents, even to this day, will not waste anything – if they can cook it and eat it, dry it or preserve it, they will. They do not throw anything away.
“Of all the things my parents have taught me, that has to be one of the best things. If we can save an ingredient that would otherwise have gone in the bin, we should find joy out of that.”
From waste and time-saving recipes, Nadiya’s new book may be practical but her food is her own unique version of fusion.
“My mum hates it,” she added with a laugh, “that I toss around with her Bandladesh recipes.”