Saturday, 27 September 2014

Vegivore? Flexivore? Flexitarian? And Tahini Dressing

The launch for my new (sixth!!) cookbook, VITAL is set for 10 October, and it will be available from book stores and on- line retailers in the next couple of weeks (official release date 13th October, but often they appear in the shops a little earlier). 
 ‘Vital’ has a vegetarian focus, as always, but is more flexible; an ‘almost vegetarian’ cookbook. The emphasis is on main dishes, about 50% of which include the option of modest amounts of meat (mostly fish and seafood), although of course there are starters and snacks, soups, desserts and baking as well. My recipes always draw from a wide range of cuisines, although I love to showcase local produce and products when possible. Our green-lip mussels, for example, are fantastically versatile and such good value nutritionally and economically, containing more iron than lean red meat! (See the Best Mussel Pie Ever!).

I’ve preferred to eat this way for more than thirty years, but there is now huge interest in this semi-vegetarian approach, reflecting a sea-change in the eating habits of much of the western world. Labelled variously as Flexitarian, Flexivore and Vegivore, it emphasizes reducing red meat consumption, eating as few processed foods as possible and very few junk or fast foods. Coupled with eating less sugar and fat, and eating as much seasonal, organic and local produce as possible makes such good sense; we all want to eat great-tasting food but also need the vitality and energy to cope with the demands, pressures and pace of our lives.

Eat smart: Live long – and bon appetit!

Just a few weeks ago my publishers wrote to say they're also re-releasing 'The Vegetarian Adventure", my first book written 26 years ago with Sue Carruthers-Brown in Rarotonga, and reprinted at least 10 times. This book just refuses to lie down. . I've been asked for it so many times, and I'm guessing the publishers have too - very happy it's going to be available again, and it'll be released at the same time as 'Vital".
The tahini dressing below is one I'm using a lot these days, so I recommend giving it a try. . . 

                                     Tahini Dressing  (from "Vital")
A good dressing makes all the difference in elevating an ‘okay’ salad to something much more. This dressing is one of these, and partners not only with green salads, tomato and cucumber but with boiled veg such as potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and many more. In other words, it’s wonderful ‘frig’ accessory.
Makes 1 ¼ cups.

¼ cup tahini
½ cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Juice 1 ½ lemons
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 ½ -2 Tbsp liquid honey
½ tsp salt or to taste
¼ cup olive oil

Whisk all the ingredients together vigorously, until well combined. Transfer to a jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator – this dressing improves on standing but is also very good as soon as it is made.

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