Love Your Food But Want To Eat More Healthy? Try Our Favourite New Cookbook

14 April 2014 by

<< Photography courtesy of Laura Edwards >>

After seven books, author Diana Henry has had a Change of Appetite, literally. The award-winning food writer, journalist and broadcaster had started noticing that her friends were asking her for quinoa rather than cake recipes, and that she was getting called on for healthier, more 'clean' recipes using fresh ingredients. So she responded with writing a new cookbook, out now. She says, "I have undergone a change of appetite. I’m eating better, I feel better, I have more energy. My way forward has been to reduce refined carbohydrates and significantly increase the range of veg I eat."

 

Brought up in Northern Ireland, Diana is a voracious traveller, and to create this book she looked to the food of the Middle East and the Far East, as well as cuisines as far flung as Georgia to Scandinavia. In the book there's an array of different dishes to tempt the tastebuds; from a Cambodian salad of Prawns, Toasted Coconut and Mint to North African mackerel with blood orange, all magical dishes in this book are bursting with flavour, goodness and colour.

Diana explains, "There are lots of big front-of-mouth flavours in these dishes, such as chilli, ginger and lime, the kind of thing you want when you aren’t eating starchy or rich food. It’s food that makes you feel revitalised and energetic. This is good food for people who love eating. It’s a happy bonus that it’s good for you as well!”  Arranged by season, complete with A Change of Appetite shopping lists, this book is as much practical as it is pretty.

 

PERSIAN SALAD (Pictured above right)

Diana says: "We don’t think about putting herbs into salads, except as an afterthought. But, in the Middle East, they can be the salad. And this one is beautiful, though it depends on top quality leaves and flowers as well as herbs. I like the flowers to be all blue and white, that way it has the same colour palette, but see what you can get. Obviously, the flowers need to be unsprayed. Even some supermarkets seem to be doing various colours of radish – purple and mauve as well as pink – but, again, see what you can find; just use pink and it will still look gorgeous, as long as everything is absolutely perky and fresh."

Serves 6

For the salad:

  • 12 radishes (different colours if you can get them)
  • 1/2 ridge cucumber (use 1/2 regular cucumber if you can’t find that)
  • 75g (23/4oz) salad leaves (baby spinach, watercress, lamb’s lettuce and any red-veined leaves you can find)
  • 20g (3/4oz) dill fronds
  • 25g (1oz) mint leaves
  • 15g (1/2oz) basil leaves
  • 15g (1/2oz) flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • Edible flowers and petals
  • For the dressing
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • Good squeeze of lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  1. If the radishes have really fresh leaves, remove them, wash and pat dry. They can go into the salad, too. Either quarter or shave the radishes, whichever you think will look best. Peel the cucumber, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into chunks. Mix all the dressing ingredients together and season well. Toss all the elements together and serve.

 

ORANGE AND POMEGRANATE CAKE 

"Incredibly easy. Not sugar-free I know but, as cakes go, not bad. And it is for dessert. Serve thin slices with Greek yogurt. It’s very, very moist (almost pudding-like) so be careful when you’re moving it off the base of the cake tin and on to a plate."

<< Photography courtesy of Laura Edwards >>

For the cake:

  • 50g (13/4oz) wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 100g (31/2oz) ground almonds
  • 175g (6oz) soft light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Finely grated zest of 11/2 oranges
  • 215ml (71/2fl oz) olive oil, plus more for the tin
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • Seeds from 1/2 pomegranate

For the syrup:

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 100ml (31/2fl oz) pomegranate juice (pure juice, not ‘pomegranate juice drink’)
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tbsp runny honey
  1. In a bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, almonds, sugar and baking powder. Add the orange zest, olive oil and eggs and stir well until everything is amalgamated.
  2. Pour the batter into an oiled 20cm (8in) springform cake tin. Put it into a cold oven and set the heat to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
  3. Bake for 45–50 minutes, or until the cake is browned and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  4. Meanwhile, make the syrup by gently heating all the ingredients together. Stir a little until the honey has dissolved, then increase the heat and simmer for five minutes. You should end up with about 100ml (31/2fl oz) of syrup.
  5. When the cake is cooked, pierce holes all over the surface and slowly pour the syrup all over it, allowing it to sink in. Leave the cake to cool completely in the tin. It will sink a little in the middle but don’t worry, this makes a lovely dip for the pomegranate seeds to lie in. Scatter the pomegranate seeds on top just before serving. Serves 8 

SPICED PORK CHOPS WITH GINGER AND MANGO RELISH 

"Don’t keep this relish just for chops, as it’s brilliant with any spicy meat (and grilled salmon and mackerel, too). I’ve called it a relish but it’s chunky, almost like a salad, and people usually end up filling a third of their plate with it (and asking for more). You can treat chicken in the same way as the chops. If you prefer to cut down on fat, then remove it from the chops, or let guests do it for themselves, but not until after cooking (you need it for the flavour)."

<< Photography courtesy of Laura Edwards >>

For the chops:

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • Juice of 3 limes
  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2cm (3/4in) root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 6 pork loin chops 

For the relish:

  • 2 mangoes
  • Finely grated zest and juice of
  • 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, grated
  • 120g (41/4oz) root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • Caster sugar, to taste (about 1 tsp)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and shredded
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and shredded
  • Leaves from a small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  1. Mix everything for the chops (except the meat itself ) together to make a marinade and place in a shallow, non-reactive bowl. Put the chops into this, turn to coat, cover and marinate in the fridge
  2. for a couple of hours. Turn the chops over every so often. Peel the mangoes and cut the cheeks from each side of the stones.
  3. Remove whatever flesh you can slice off into neat strips from the mango stones. Cut the mango cheeks into wedges about the thickness of a pound coin and toss with the lime zest and juice.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the grated garlic and ginger pastes. Cook over a medium-low heat until it smells cooked and no longer raw. Pull off the heat and stir in the mustard, then stir this mixture into the mangoes. Gently stir in the sugar, salt, pepper, chillies and coriander.
  5. Heat a frying pan until it is really hot and take the chops out of the marinade. Scrape the marinade off the chops and back into the bowl in which they were lying. Season the chops. Cook them over a high heat for about three minutes, or until you get a good colour, then turn and do the same on the other side. Now reduce the heat to low and continue to cook until completely cooked through; this takes at least 10 minutes. There should be no pink juices when you pierce them. When you get towards the end of the cooking time, add the marinade and let it glaze the pork chops and bubble away in the pan. Serve the chops with the ginger and mango relish. Serves 6

By Victoria Grier

@VicGrier


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