I’d say we’re obsessed with food here at The Lifestyle Edit, but we’re of the mindset that when it comes to fueling our bodies (with the good stuff at least) there’s no such thing as excess. Nutritional-health-coach-come-blogger-come-yoga-teacher, Madeleine Shaw wouldn’t necessarily disagree with us, but she’d definitely compromise—and when the negotiation package consists of sweet potato waffles, rice pudding, and charred lamb chops, believe us, we’re all in.
Before reading Madeleine’s third book, A Year of Beautiful Eating, we thought there were just two seasons for healthy eating—salad and soup. Again, she proves us wrong. If you’re looking for a more sustainable version of Jamie-sized portions and Nigella-amounts-of-butter, then this season-focused book might just be your proverbial jam.Underlining the importance of eating in tune with nature, and supercharging your diet with what your body needs based on the time of year, this is smart, wholesome eating rather than the non-descript sentiment of eating healthy—because what does that even mean anyway?
Moving into summer, the toughest part of domesticating is finding the time and energy to cook and entertain. Doesn’t barbecuing and al fresco dinners sound so much more appealing than slaving over a warm kitchen stove sans air conditioning? This is why seasonal eating works. Madeleine’s recipes aren’t fussy or complicated, they’re minimal effort for maximum effect, which means not only do they work when you’re hosting, they also work when you’re squeezing in dinner between work and bed. The best part though is how she uses her scientific know-how to fight the case for good foods with bad rep—potatoes for example. “Sure, they are a bit carby,” Madeleine writes, “but cold potatoes are rather spectacular. You see, [they] contain a lot of starch which is amazing for your gut.” Sold. You can purchase A Year of Beautiful Eating here.
This was the first recipe I tested from this book. It was a lovely spring day, Kieran and I had just gone to the gym and we wanted dinner pronto. The asparagus soaks up all the beautiful flavours of this dish, teamed perfectly with the melt-in-your-mouth cod. This tray-bake dinner is super healthy and it will be on the table in no time.
1½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, crushed
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 x 150g cod fillets
200ml fish or chicken stock
200g pitted green olives
2 tbsp capers
bunch of asparagus, trimmed
3 tbsp avocado oil or melted butter
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Mix the smoked paprika, garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper together and rub the mixture into the cod.
Then pour the stock into a large roasting tray and scatter in the olives, capers and asparagus.
Nestle the cod fillets amongst the veggies and pour the avocado oil over the fish.
Thinly slice the lemon into 1cm slivers and place around the cod fillets.
Sprinkle salt over the entire dish and bake for 15–20 minutes, until the asparagus and cod are cooked through.
Potatoes have had a bad rep over the years. Sure, they are a bit carby, but cold potatoes are rather spectacular. You see, cold potatoes contain lots of starch, which is amazing for your gut. And a healthy gut means clear skin, so let’s get munching on those spuds – yum!
2 leeks, trimmed
1 tbsp avocado oil or butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
400g Jersey Royals
50ml veggie or chicken stock, just boiled
sprig of fresh oregano, leaves picked and chopped
1 fennel bulb
2 spring onions
30g walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
Finely chop the leeks into thin slivers.
Heat the oil in a large pan and sauté the leeks with a pinch of salt and pepper for 20 minutes, until golden and caramelised.
While the leeks are cooking, boil the potatoes in a pot of simmering salted water for 20–25 minutes until tender.
Drain them and slice in half, then put back into the same pot you cooked them in.
Pour over the hot stock and add the oregano and a pinch of salt.
Leave while you prep the rest of the salad.
Place the rocket in a bowl.
Thinly slice the fennel with a mandolin into fine ribbons and add to the rocket, then tip in the cooked leeks and potatoes.
Finely chop the spring onions and throw them over the salad, along with the nuts, parsley, a big pinch of salt and the olive oil.
Toss and serve.
I first tried rice pudding on a yoga retreat. It’s the most comforting dish; I love it made with Indian spices like cardamom and cinnamon. Rice pudding goes perfectly with stewed rhubarb – and any leftover rhubarb compote is great on top of porridge or on toast at a later date. Pudding rice can be hard to find (trust me, it took some time!) but no worries if you can’t find it. Just use short-grain or basmati rice, although check the cooking time for basmati as it cooks a little quicker.
500ml rice milk or other milk
200g coconut cream
1 vanilla pod
1 cinnamon stick
1 cardamom pod
1 tbsp maple syrup
120g pudding rice or short-grain rice
2 tbsp flaked almonds, to serve
extra maple syrup, to serve (optional)
For the rhubarb compote
2 rhubarb stalks
2 tbsp maple syrup
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
First make the rhubarb compote. Finely chop the rhubarb into 1cm pieces.
Place in a saucepan with the maple syrup and orange zest and juice.
Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and allow to simmer for 15–20 minutes until cooked through. Keep warm to serve with the rice pudding.
Meanwhile, put the milk, coconut cream, vanilla pod, cinnamon stick, cardamom pod and maple syrup in another pot, over a medium–low heat.
Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes. Then bring to the boil and add the rice.
Cook for 20 minutes, stirring well, until the rice is cooked through.
Take out the cinnamon stick, vanilla pod and cardamom pod.
Serve the rice pudding with a dollop of the rhubarb compote and sprinkled with flaked almonds on top, plus a drizzle of maple syrup if needed.