Tuesday, 27 August 2013

It's All Good and a Bit of Food Philosophy

My lovely sister bought me Gwyneth Paltrow's fab recipe book It's All Good. Sadly, the book had sat on my shelf for a couple of months. Of course I've read it and mmmm'd at all of the delicious recipes but as magazines were being posted through the door or given to me by friends also calling me to cook their recipes, one can reach saturation point with recipe overload. As hard as it is, I've made a promise to myself no more recipe books for a while as I want to try out the recipes I already have.

Given my current lack of physical pazazz, I really craved something with decent nutrition but something that was bursting with flavour. I really wanted to boost my energy levels and this book appealed to me as Gwynnie had a similar experience to myself in terms of inconsistent eating approaches; one minute super healthy and the next glass of wine and takeaway. Poor Gwyneth actually ended up pretty poorly and thought she was having a stroke one day while suffering from a really severe migraine and panic attack brought on with stress and exhaustion. It turns out her body's biochemistry was out of whack showing up in blood tests with anaemia, a vitamin D deficiency, and high levels of stress hormones ravaging her system. After following a strict and clean diet Gwyneth relaxed it a little once she was restored to full health and It's All Good brings us some of those cleansing yet gorgeous recipes which aren't boring and meagre like some of these "cleansing" recipes ie beansprouts and air. Ugh.

So Sunday I was home alone and thought I would give myself the gift of a nourishing meal. I chose the greens and pea risotto which was SO easy to make, try it here. I love risottos but I find while eating out they can be overloaded with cream and a little sickly. When I make them at home however  I have to ditch the cream. This recipe is also made without cream and has onion, leek, spinach, peas and lemon which is so fragrant and light. I did worry that just rice and veg wouldn't satisfy me alone so I bought a lovely piece of hake which I roasted in the oven with some fennel.

My tasty risotto sans fish so you can see it

It was absolutely gorgeous and I really recommend it. It would be lovely on it's own but equally would work with fish, seafood and chicken. I'm definitely making it again.
And with the fish and fennel - utterly delighful!

If you haven't got the book there are a few of the recipes online if you want to try before you buy but I love the philosophy of the book. Dr Habib Sadeghi's piece is my favourite. He points out that instead of using our passion to enjoy food we over complicate it, over think, analyse and intellectualise it. One of my favourite parts is when he says about food:

"It thrills us, lights us up, and reminds us what it feels like to enjoy something from the soul level.....we feed our bodies through food, but we feed our souls through what makes us happy, through pleasure. Because food brings us so much pleasure, it's not just essential for a healthy body, but for a healthy spirit too."

How beautiful is that?  I'd share my risotto with Dr H any day! If you try it let me know how you get on. What meal nourishes your body and soul?