I am breaking away from the daily dose of fashion and beauty to tell you about my current favourite cookbook. I am faintly obsessed with Mexican food – not quite as much as I am with good, homemade Indian dishes, but almost. I’m a bit of a spice fiend and there’s nothing I like more than the kick of chilli when it’s combined with the freshest ingredients; zingy lime, creamy avocado, ripe tomatoes, fragrant coriander. I eat Mexican food at least once a week and Thomasina Mier’s cookbook is my bible!
People often have weird pre-conceptions about certain cuisines – that they’re bad for you, fattening, greasy – but that’s usually because they have only ever eaten them in the form of a bad takeaway. Many people have only ever experienced ‘Mexican food’ when they have ordered nachos at the pub or in the cinema, or eaten some bastardised version of a chilli con carne. The truth of the matter is that if you use fresh ingredients and good herbs and spices, no cuisine need be particularly fattening – except French, obviously, which makes you fat just by reading the menu, unless you’re actually French, in which case, for some reason, you’re immune.
Fresh salsas made with ingredients such as tomatoes and onions and chilli cannot be bad for you – they’re virtually fat free (if I use oil, it’s a miniscule amount) and full of vitamins. A fiery salsa thrown over a simple piece of grilled fish or chicken is, in my opinion, an absolute delight. Thomasina’s book has loads of salsas, salads, soups and light dishes that are easy to make, super-healthy and absolutely delicious, and I thoroughly recommend it! It doesn’t claim, at any point, to be a ‘healthy’ cookbook – there are recipes (such as the churros!) that would be, if I ate them, career suicide. Yet there are just so many beautifully simple, light and colourful dishes that are a joy to prepare and eat.
I don’t want to harp on too much about weight-loss and healthy eating, but they do play a major part in my life. I have to eat well – I avoid processed food and junk like the plague and eat fresh ingredients wherever possible – otherwise I would simply look ‘out of shape’ and unhealthy. I cook dinner from fresh almost every single day, I rarely have a takeaway and I almost never eat ready meals.
I’ll be going into much more detail about my eating habits in the Health and Fitness section, but I wanted to tell you about this book to give you a head start – if you like spice then you’ll love this book.
Mexican Food Made Simple (RRP £20) is approximately £10.50 on Amazon.