You may have noticed that there are two women that I refer to a lot. They first popped up on Saturday morning cooking programmes and captured my heart by turning a courgette into a swirly bowl of wonder. Then I started reading about them here, there and everywhere. Then I read their book, The Art of Eating Well and they totally won me round. Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley are two sisters who believe in eating natural, unprocessed foods which have a nutritional benefit. Not in a pretentious, over complicated way, but in a simple, ‘stop eating food that has been messed with so much it no longer serves a purpose’ kind of way.
This is by far, my favourite cook book. You might not be able to tell from the photo but my copy is a little battered, tomato spattered, red wine dappled from the amount of kitchen time it gets. First up, I’m hoping that by eating more of the food they suggest, my hair will somehow transform into something glossy and voluminous like theirs (any day now!). Secondly, their recipes are genuinely delicious. Some healthy recipes need a decent amount of tweaking until they are something I am excited to eat. I don’t eat that much high salt and sugar food, so don’t think my tastebuds are particularly numbed to more subtle food, I just think it can be a tricky thing to do. Not their beef ragu. Their beef ragu is freakin’ delicious and never makes me long for a ‘proper’ lasagne.
This is probably to do with their overall food philosophy which is that eating natural, unprocessed food means eating lots of nutrient dense veg, meat, seeds, nuts, fish and fat. Fat is delicious. Sooooo delicious. Since adopting more of the H&H recipes I’ve switched to butter instead of margerine, never fear a full fat greek yoghurt and use coconut oil like a coconut apocolypse is on the way. This helps me to eat loads more vegetables too, especially as many meals are based on veg. 6 months ago, if you handed me a cauliflower and asked me what to do with it…
Now I’m all cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza, cauliflower taboulleh – all of which are better than they sound. Want some cougetti? Why, let me just grab my handy spiralzer.
Their recipes do take some time to prepare so they recommend a Sunday cook off, where you prep a lot of your food for the week and prepare even more to freeze for when you need it. Apart from that, many meals are things you would recognise like shepherds pie, fish and chips or sticky toffee pudding, just made with ingredients that are good for you.
So overall, I’m obviously pretty pleased with the recipes from Hemsley and Hemsley. It’s a tough job, but I’ve narrowed down five of my favourites.
1. Beef ragu with courgetti
2. Tahini bliss balls
3. Chocolate molten pots
4. Flower power pizza
5. Lamb meatballs with cauliflower taboulleh
Oh, and as a final note, if you are new to spiralizing I feel the need to tell you that there is a sad reality to it which no-one ever actually warns you about…