It’s not often I get a cookery book and am immediately compelled to cook most things in it. It happened every time with Jamie Oliver, occasionally with Nigella but nothing has inspired me so much since. Vut recently I got sent Fearne Cotton’s latest book Cook Eat Love and the simple, healthy and nourishing recipes in the book immediately made me want to start cooking and eating in a healthier way.
It’s a change I’ve been trying (and failing) to make for a while. All my life I’ve been a carb and sugar queen and whilst I’ve always made fresh, home-cooked family favourites, my go-to recipes tend to be hearty, carb and meat-laden meals: lasagnes, casseroles, curries and tagines. I’m also partial to whipping up baked delights with lashings of buttercream.
But sometimes the doubts about the healthiness of these meals – and the boredom – creep in. I’ve made a few successful switches over the years when this has happened: white to wholeweat pasta, occasionally spiralising veg, swapping in veg replacements for the carbs (I now make a mean butternut squash lasagne) swapping beef mince for quorn, but still, somehow it felt like he same rotation of heavy dishes, the same ingredients, the same flavours. Whilst our kids may not be crying out for anything different – I am.
And that’s where Cook Eat Love comes in. Packed full of inventive combinations and flavours, Fearne’s food philosophy is to make simple but delicious, energy and mood-boosting food that makes you feel good. Ok, so it does involve stocking up your store cupboard with some new ingredients before you begin, but in the week I’ve been cooking from this book, I’ve already gone through a tub of coconut oil and half a bag of coconut palm sugar. And almond milk is now a regular fixture in my fridge. Fearne, you’ve made this bored, uninspired family cook very happy indeed! Later this week I’ll share the 3 recipes that have already transformed my daytime eating.
3 sets of healthy ingredients from Fearne’s book to add to your store cupboard now
1. for breakfast
Almond or rice milk
2. for baking
Coconut palm sugar
raw cacao powder
3. for family meals
rice vermicelli noodles