This is Chapter 2 in our blog series 'Books for Cooks', and if you read through the first one, we looked at fine-dining favourites from some of the best chefs in the world. Unless you are a die-hard foodie or aspiring chef, you probably would leave those books on the coffee table; recipes often needing more time, skill and ingredients than the average person has. Happily for all of you looking for some inspiration this Summer, Chapter 2 will be focused on 'Healthy Home Cookery'.
With summer in full swing now (highs of 24 degrees this week in Brixton-lona!), there is a high chance that your cookery will consist of cheap sausages that have been poorly-barbecued and a token salad poured out of a supermarket bag that no-one really touches. And while there is nothing wrong with that every so often, the adventurous of you out there will want something with a bit more “pizzazz”. I come then to my book selection this time round, three books that although are billed as being health books - they have a great selection of recipes for the home cook - while having the added bonus that the food is also wholesome, healthy and tasty.
1) The Nourished Kitchen by Jennifer McGruther - This is my top pick of books - Jennifer McGruther is a mother, author, cook, blogger and general slow food goddess based in the US. I first stumbled across her great blog when researching sourdough starter methods (hopefully a future blog post). Her book is packed to the brim with traditional food techniques and recipes such as cheese and yoghurt making, sourdough bread recipes and a ton of fermented food ideas like kvass and kombucha. Although those are my reasons for absolutely loving this book there are still great sounding recipes perfect for summer in here - 'pea and radish salad with yoghurt chive dressing' and 'grilled sardines with preserved lemon gremolata' to name a few.
2) The Art of Eating Well by the Hemsley sisters - HEMSLEY + HEMSLEY is a family-run food business started by sisters Jasmine and Melissa who also blog with Vogue and who now have a book packed with 150 recipes based on whole, unprocessed and usually organic ingredients. This book is a vibrant addition to your cookbook collection, and contains many tips to a healthier lifestyle, not to mention delicious sounding recipes such as 'papaya, halloumi and watercress salad' and 'baked broccoli fritters and spicy avocado dip'. Not strictly a summer recipe but looks bloody delicious is their recipe for Bounty bar-esque 'paradise bars' - these girls cook truly delicious sounding healthy food.
3) Deliciously Ella by Ella Woodward - My final pick for a Healthy Home Cookery book and somewhat of an outlier. Ella Woodward began her road to a Gluten-Free Vegan diet after becoming seriously ill, so she shared her road to a better diet on her online blog. Her book is a welcome addition to the healthy eating range and although her style of eating has developed out of necessity, there are great and interesting recipes for those looking to make small changes for the better in you eating routines. Recipes such as a dairy and gluten free 'key lime pie' made with avocado and coconut milk and a 'lentil, courgette and mint salad' really stand out for me as tasty, great and interesting dishes.