We all want to eat well, right? The thing is it’s not always as easy as it should be. Short for time and short on inspiration, cooking can turn into a chore, meaning that you can gravitate towards easy old favourites that aren’t always the best (read healthiest) option. But, the good news is that there’s never been a better time to want to eat well. From Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop to Voguette Calgary Avaninso, there are plenty of health gurus out there, but the newest – and certainly among the most relatable – duo are sisters Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley aka Hemsley + Hemsley.
With a great website featuring tons of delicious recipes, a bespoke delivery service and a blog on Vogue.co.uk, they are experts when it comes to Mindful Eating – which basically means being fully aware of what you’re putting into your body. Their new book The Art of Eating Well is choc full of delicious and nutritious recipes which are as good for you as they are to taste. We have 3 for you to try right here…
SESAME CHICKEN SALAD WITH CUCUMBER NOODLES (pictured above)
A refreshing summer salad with cucumber noodles and Asian flavours. This is the perfect way to use up leftover chicken or serve instead with a little fish or sliced seared beef.We love raw chopped pak choi, but you can substitute with Chinese-style cabbage or finely shredded English cabbage. Eat this within a few hours as the cucumber will start to get watery or make everything else up in advance and prepare the cucumber noodles just before serving. If you’re taking this for lunch, pack the chicken first, then arrange all the veg on top so they don’t get squashed, and take your dressing in a separate jar.
FOR THE SALAD
2 tbsp black or white sesame seeds
1 small head of romaine or cos lettuce, shredded into ribbons
1 small head of pak choi or 150 g Chinese cabbage, shredded into ribbons
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
250 g cooked shredded chicken
FOR THE SESAME DRESSING
5 tbsp sesame oil (not toasted) or extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil juice of 1 lime or 3 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp raw runny honey
1 tsp tamari or sea salt
1 finely chopped red chilli, to garnish
Roast 2 large chicken thighs at fan 200°C/Gas mark 7 for 25–30 minutes until cooked, then shred quickly with 2 forks to cool the meat quickly.
1 Gently toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan until fragrant.
2 Use a spiralizer or julienne peeler to make the cucumber noodles. Or use a regular vegetable peeler to slice the cucumbers lengthways into wide pappardelle-style ribbons.You might want to cut the long, spiralized strands in half to make them easier to eat.
3 Prepare the dressing by whisking together all the ingredients in a bowl or shaking them together in a jam jar.
4 Add the lettuce, pak choi, spring onion and coriander to a bowl.
5 Pour over the dressing and mix everything together (hands are best).
6 Plate up with some shredded chicken and top with toasted sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
COURGETTE AND AUBERGINE CURRY (serves 4 as a one-pot meal or 6 if served with a side dish)
A simple one-pot supper that is warming for the soul. Red split lentils provide a quick-and-easy creamy base without the need to soak them. The coconut and ginger have incredible immune-boosting properties and, as usual, we like to sneak nourishing homemade broth into all our cooking. With this fragrant curry, the bone broth is purely for the nutritional value, so you can afford to skip it if you don’t have any to hand (but please don’t be tempted to use stock cubes).
Try this curry with Toasted Coconut Green Beans, Cauliflower Rice or Broccoli Rice (all in The Art of Eating Well), or serve with a pile of watercress on top or add in lots of finely shredded cabbage towards the end of the cooking time.
200 g bar of creamed coconut (use the oil for frying) or 2 tins of full-fat coconut milk plus 2 tbsp coconut oil or ghee, for frying
2 large onions, diced
2 thumb-sized pieces of fresh root ginger (about 80 g) – unpeeled if organic – grated
6 large garlic cloves, diced
200 g red split lentils, rinsed (no need to soak these)
½−1 litre bone broth or water (use a little less if you are using coconut milk and depending on how thick or saucy you want your curry to be)
1 large aubergine, chopped into 1.5 cm pieces
4 large tomatoes, quartered
2 large courgettes, diced
grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lime or lemon (avoid the bitter white pith)
2½–3 tsp tamari or 2 large pinches of sea salt
1 tsp maple syrup
a handful of roughly chopped fresh herbs, such as coriander, mint or basil (Thai basil if you can get it)
1 In a large wide pan, dry fry the peanuts or cashews for a few minutes to toast them, roughly chop and then set aside.
2 In the same pan, heat the coconut oil over a medium heat and fry the onion, ginger and garlic for 10 minutes until soft (don’t let the onion and garlic go brown).
3 Add the lentils, the roughly chopped coconut solids or coconut milk, and then most of the bone broth or water (a bit less if you’re using the coconut milk) and stir well.This should be enough liquid for the coconut solids to dissolve, but keep an eye on the liquid levels so that the lentils don’t stick and burn at the bottom.
4 After 6 minutes of cooking over a medium-high heat, add the aubergine and stir.
5 After a further 10 minutes, add the tomato, courgette, lime or lemon zest and the tamari or salt. Add more bone broth or water if you think your curry needs it.
6 After 6 minutes, turn off the heat and add the lime or lemon juice, the maple syrup and fresh herbs, then stir and taste.You might need a little more tamari or salt or lime or lemon juice to add sourness.
7 Top with the nuts and serve with watercress or your chosen side dish. If we’re having guests round,we like to serve our curry with some little bowls of extras (nuts, herbs, lemon or lime wedges and a bowl of tamari or sea salt) so everyone can help themselves to extra toppings.
PEA and MINT LOLLIES with CHOCOLATE
A refreshing treat for the summer that’s very easy to make. Instead of sugar and pasteurised milk, this ice cream uses coconut milk, probiotic yoghurt and plenty of sweet little peas. The frozen peas blend with the rest of the ingredients to make a smooth ice cream base in minutes. If you have a high-powered blender, then you can throw some fresh mint in there too − although you’ll always need to add a dash of mint extract as well, to get that super refreshing taste.
We pour the mix into our ice cream maker and, an hour later, the ice cream is ready to go. For those without an ice cream maker, try our trick using an ice cube mould or half the recipe to make these cute lollies.
Makes 900ml ice cream
FOR THE PEA AND MINT ICE CREAM BASE
350 g frozen petits pois
1 tin of full-fat coconut milk
150 g full-fat probiotic natural yoghurt
4 tbsp raw runny honey
1 tsp peppermint extract or 50 g fresh mint leaves and a little peppermint extract too
a pinch of sea salt
a handful of cacao nibs, optional
FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE
50 g cacao powder
1 To make the pea and mint ice cream base, blend all the ingredients except for the cacao nibs together until very smooth.
2 To make the chocolate sauce, measure out all the ingredients into a jug or small bowl and stir together, along with 9 tbsp hot water.
3 To make ice cream, place the pea and mint base into an ice cream maker and, following the manufacturer’s instructions, churn until you have ice cream.When it is ready, scoop the ice cream into bowls and sprinkle with cacao nibs and drizzle with chocolate sauce to serve. If you don’t have an ice cream maker, pour the pea and mint mixture into ice cube moulds and freeze. Pulse the frozen cubes in a food processor for a soft serve ice cream.
4 To make 12 lollies, make up half the quantity of pea and mint base and add about 4 teaspoons into the bottom of tall shot glasses or lolly moulds and pop into the freezer. After 20 minutes or more, insert a lolly stick into the pea mixture and pour some of the chocolate sauce around it. Repeat with the pea and mint base and finish with the chocolate sauce, freezing for 10 minutes between layers. Freeze the finished lollies for a further 2 hours, then enjoy.
5 Alternatively, mix the half-quantity of pea and mint base for the lollies with the chocolate sauce and pour into shot glasses. Insert the lolly sticks and freeze for at least 2 hours before serving.
From: The Art of Eating Well by Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley (Ebury Press, £25) Photography by Nick Hopper.