If you’re a fan of Kris Carr, you’re going to love Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson‘s best-selling book: Honestly Healthy: Eat With Your Body In Mind, the Alkaline Way.
Across the pond the Crazy Sexy Cancer books and documentary have already made famous the alkaline diet (eating ‘alkaline’ foods that naturally balance the body’s pH levels) but over here in the UK, it wasn’t so popular yet. Thankfully Natasha and Vicki, the ultimate pair of cook and nutritionist, are here to bring light to the subject for us Brits.
Word of warning: this is not a vegan cookbook. It is vegetarian, so some recipes contain goat’s cheese and/or eggs, but you will find most of the recipes are entirely vegan. Those that aren’t can be adapted to be fully plant-based.
Usually when I get a new cookbook I like to get out my trusty Post-It notes and mark the recipes I want to try. With this one, I ditched the Post-Its because I wanted to make every single recipe in this book. Each one looks more appealing than the previous.
My favourite so far has got to be the Mango-and-Mint-Marinated Courgette Spaghetti. You all know I’ve had my struggles with raw foods in the past — well, no more. I am head over heels in love with this raw ‘spaghetti’ recipe, and you will be too when you try it. Slightly sweet with a wee kick of chilli, this simple meal is ideal for refreshing. It is especially refreshing on a hot day and will leave you feeling light and full of energy.
But what about tried-and-true favourites, I hear you ask? Natasha and Vicki have re-imagined them to present you with fabulous twists on the classics: for example, this sumptuous Pea Carbonara. The original recipe calls for cheese and egg so I have replaced them with soy yogurt and a generous pinch of nutritional yeast. The outcome was simply delightful.
Another raw recipe I have loved is the Raw Pad Thai. I’ve never even had a “normal” Pad Thai before and I don’t think I want to try because the Honestly Health version is phenomenal. I don’t even like carrots but this – this got my taste buds partying all lunch break long.
I just love these colourful ingredients. It makes me happy to just to see them.
These are all great lunch and dinner options, but where’s breakfast? Enter this Quinoa Porridge with Macadamia Nut Milk. This was my first time making macadamia nut milk but it shall most certainly not be the last — I nearly drank all of it straight from the jar before it even made it into the porridge. So. Good. Tip: this is not your typical porridge, so don’t hurry the cooking (as I did!), or your quinoa won’t be quite plump enough.
As you can see from my (not-so-great) photos, these meals are easy to pack into a lunchbox. I made 2 portions from each recipe that I tried so I had one for dinner and one for lunch the next day. Simple, healthy, it fits into anyone’s lifestyle – what’s not to love?
If there is one qualm I have with this book (and this is something that was pointed out to me by someone else), it is that there is no guide to shopping for the ingredients. There are tips throughout the book, yes, but for a complete novice to healthy eating and cooking, ingredients such as yacon syrup and buckwheat flour are utterly obscure. A little guide of shops (or types of shops) that carry such “rare” ingredients might have been helpful.
Beyond all these gorgeous recipes and drool-worthy photographs, Vicki and Natasha offer a wealth of information on nutrition as well as how you can begin to live a more alkaline lifestyle. In the introduction there is a handy table of foods listed with their ‘alkalinity rating’, i.e. where they belong on the pH scale, and which benefits they offer for the body. The book talks you through healthy portion sizes, prevention before cure, detoxing, and more. If you feel a bit daunted by these new meal ideas, there is an example of a week’s worth of meals, from breakfast to dinner with snacks and dessert, to inspire and guide you. You’re being totally cared for with this book.
This is not a diet book: rather it is a guide for you to learn new, healthier eating habits that you can carry with you for the rest of your life. I know I am definitely going to be getting daily inspiration from it.
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Photography by Lisa Linder
Published by Jacqui Small L.L.P.