Friday, 24 October 2014

Cookbooks for Healthy Tables

My former cooking self loved to cook with double cream. At the time I was a fresh cook; new to the oven, so to speak. So I was more into the fact that I could cook something beyond beans on toast rather than focusing on cooking healthily. But after my healthy living revelation I did some research into what cook books would help me in stepping away from the cream and step towards the coconut oil.
I stopped eating meat about two years ago. My reasons were focused more on what felt right to me at the time. I realized that I didn’t crave meat so much as I was used to eating it. All my life, it was meat as the main event of the dish. I didn’t know any differently or that my plate could be any different. Meat was easy to say goodbye to, but fish was a different story. So my diet went from eating anything to pescetarian. 
My All-Star Cookbooks
On top of this, after reading up on what our modern diet does to our bodies (More recs that I will get to in the future), I decided to ditch a lot of dairy and processed sugar. Note my careful wording of ‘ditch a lot’. I haven’t managed to eradicate sugar and dairy from my diet completely, but Rome wasn’t built in a day like my newly planted bulbs won’t show me any signs of life until next spring. It’s a goal I’m looking forward to achieving it in the future. 

So, my mind was made up, I just needed a plan. And since I have no creative flair in the kitchen, I needed a guide. A Bible of sorts to steer my eating habits into a new direction. Walk into your local bookshop and there will be a hell of a lot of cookbooks filled with some annoyingly familiar faces to brand new ones. Every diet has its own shelf in the book world- you eat it, they will write it and it’s difficult to just pick and go. I felt overwhelmed by the choice but I was lucky in finding my first and favourite cook book of all time:

River Cottage Veg Everyday- This is my ‘go to’ book because it was the first one that I bought that showed me that I could have tasty, fulfilling and interesting food that was plant based. My big concern when giving up meat was: what the hell am I supposed to eat instead? Steamed broccoli and a salad for all eternity? No sir, Hugh Fernley-Whittingstallposh has got the recipes for you to make sure you’re eating food that’s good for you and way beyond beans on toast. Yes, he doesn’t mention coconut oil once, but like all recipes, you have to tweak them here and there to suit your own cooking ethos. Favourite recipes from the book include the Oven Roasted Ratatouille: so simple, so easy, so tasty. Anything that involved me bunging veg in the oven when I get home and leaving it for a few hours is a winner for me. His Pinto Bean Chilli is one that I’ll pull out when I’ve got visitors because it’s easy but also assaults the tastebuds in a very good way. Overall, I love it because it’s a vegetarian cookbook without a mention of tofu or quorn. Thank you, Mr Fearnley-Whittingstall, you rock. 

Gluten Free, Grain Free: Tania Hubbard- I love to flirt with the idea of eating gluten free and this book gives me a free pass. I found it tucked away in my families cookbook collection and after a brief flick through, it went straight on my Christmas list.
And I’m glad it did, because aside from it being an interesting read as she goes into why she eats grain free as well as her views on sugar, it introduced me to THE BREAD. Chia Seed and Almond Meal bread, to be specific. It doesn't involve kneading, fancy machines or a lot of effort but it does involve tasty, healthy bread.  Now this little gem, originally published in a Aussie town called Nambour, is hard to find in the UK. However, some of the recipes from the book are available on Hubbards website so I thoroughly recommend checking it out. Other recipes that I adore from the book include her Lemon biscuits- I challenge you not to eat more than your fair share. This book is well used and one that I will always refer back to. 
Honourable mention has to go to the internet: it really has everything. After biting off more than I could chew (ahem) with online recipes, I turned to Pinterest to get smart about keeping them in one place. It’s my own little online recipe folder, which I can use and add to any time anywhere. Spending some time there can introduce you to some absolute winners. God bless the internet indeed.
I adore cooking; it’s part of my evening routine and it keeps me happy because there’s nothing quite like dancing around your kitchen like an idiot while stirring a pot full of fresh ingredients. I challenge myself to make something new at least once a fortnight so my recipe collection is slowly building. It’s important to me to enjoy what I eat, and like Alicia Silverstone mentions in her book, The Kind Diet (Another honorable mention), every meal has the potential to be the best one ever. Something that I hold to in my continuous quest in finding amazing, healthy recipes. 

x KB


Post a Comment


Blog Template by