She's a TV star, author of several (healthy!) recipe books filled with mouth-watering meals, PLUS this girl's got style! All in all she's one of Grazia's favourite people. We caught up with her to get some top foodie tips on everything from how to make our favourite curries healthier, to what to cook on a date (if you've got yourself into a bit of a panic) to how to get your chocolate fix without falling off the health-kick bandwagon.
1. Curries Don’t Have To Be Unhealthy
"We always assume that eating curry is about carbohydrates and actually it doesn’t have to be like that. One of the rices I do in Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts is a steamed rice. You can flavour it with saffron and lemon, and that saves on the fried carbohydrates - which most pilau rice consists of.
Otherwise curries are quite healthy, especially if you’re making them yourself because you get to regulate how much oil you put in. They’ve got a reputation that they’re really bad for you but even with a really rich coconut one – coconuts are superfoods, so despite having a lot of fat in them it doesn’t mean that they're fattening.
It’s also all about portion control; make sure you eat more protein and vegetables than you do carbohydrates. The maximum about of carbohydrates you should eat is 60g."
2. You Don’t Have To Deprive Yourself Of Chocolate If You're Trying To Be Healthy
"I am a chocolate fanatic. Take 30g – the size of a normal chocolate bar- of dark chocolate and melt it in the microwave then just dip in fresh strawberries! Pear is amazing too actually, as are marshmallows because they’re really low in fat.
It just means that when you’re in those times when you’re desperate and you’re about to explode if you don’t have some chocolate, which I have regularly, you can get away with it"
3. Sriracha Is A Godsend Of An Ingredient (Especially When Your Friends Aren’t Into Their Spice)
"I’m obsessed with a Thai hot sauce called sriracha. It’s really spicy and I absolutely love it. I use it easily every day and I put it on everything - even eggs. I’ve become fully addicted to it; I can’t actually eat anything without it on now. I made a Thai curry the other day and I was really curious about the taste of the curry but I ended up just squirting loads of sriracha on it, so it’s becoming obsessive. It’s the perfect chilli sauce, it’s really fiery, it’s got a little bit of sweet in it, got a little bit of acidity and it can add to so many dishes.
It’s meant to be a side sauce, it’s like Thai ketchup - put it that way. It’s meant to be served on the side so if you want to cook things to a certain heat that’s great, then you can boost the heat when you’re at the table - so you can keep your spice even if your friends don’t like it."
4. If You’re Cooking For A New Boy, Meat Is The Way Forward
"I really feel that boys just love, and I’m hugely generalising here, but boys love meat. I would make a really beautiful steak that you focus all your attention on. You could serve it with some really nice homemade chips and a watercress and fennel salad or something like that.
As for the accompaniment, you could go to town and make a hollandaise sauce or you could roast some bone marrow to go with it or you could do a really nice, simple garlic butter to melt all over the top.
I’m really righteous when it comes to ingredients. With vegetables, I’m really happy getting stuff like that from the supermarket but when it comes to meat and fish it’s really important to get really good quality stuff. So get the best you can get at your supermarket or preferably go to a butchers."
5. Markets Are Great For Getting Inspiration
"Markets are a really nice place to showcase what’s trendy in food before it hits supermarkets, so it’s always good to go and see what people are doing that’s interesting. What you’ll tend to find is artisanal products that you can include into your cooking repertoire or are great just as snacks! It’s just about going out there, getting inspired and actually making the effort to go. Don’t presume it’s really expensive because there’s so many popping up all over the pace that they're really competitive price wise."
Gizzi Erskine is launching the first Saturday Food Market at One New Change on 1 June, giving two talks on the London foodie boom at 11.00am and at 2.00pm. She has also created two bespoke recipe cards using produce available from the market.
The Saturday Food Markets at One New Change will run weekly every Saturday from 10.00am-4.00pm. Visit their website for more information.