At the end of April, I taught my third course at Bodnant Cookery School in the Conwy Valley and here are the six lovely people who signed up for the day designed to "Lighten Up for Summer." In the morning, we made some fabulous Mediterranean inspired dishes including Roasted Ratatouille with an Olive Polenta topping and a colourful Couscous Salad packed with fresh tomatoes, peppers, olives, artichokes and herbs.
Just before lunch, I demonstrated a Fennel and Carrot Ribbon Salad with rocket and orange vinaigrette. In the afternoon, we made a summer fruit kantan (pictured) and scrumptious raw cacao chocolates!
I thoroughly enjoyed the day and from the lovely emails I received afterwards, I think everyone else did too! It's wonderful to have the opportunity to pass on some of my favourite recipes and spend the day cooking together in the fabulous facilities at Bodnant. It feels good just being there!
I can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in eating for health. To me, whatever we consume each day has everything to do with the way we look and feel. With this in mind, I'm delighted to tell you my next course in July is called "Health on a Plate."
When I cut out meat and dairy in 1980, there were very few good cookbooks around to help me so I got used to adapting recipes and experimenting on my own. Nowadays, with access to the internet and an abundance of resources online, there's never been a better time to make eating well a priority.
Whilst preparing a healthy plateful of food has become second nature to me, it isn't necessarily welcome news if you've just been diagnosed with high cholesterol, diabetes or a heart condition and been told by your doctor to drastically alter your diet. Or if you've discovered you have a dairy intolerance and had to rethink everything you eat and drink.
Adapting to these changes not only depends on your willingness to put your health needs first but also on your ability to be adaptable in the kitchen. Whilst food manufacturers have jumped on the bandwagon offering free from and low fat products to tempt health conscious customers, the reality is many of them contain high levels of sugar and very little in the way of natural goodness.
The solution is to buy "real" ingredients - unprocessed, fresh food as close as possible to it's natural state - and create your own meals from scratch. However, learning to prepare food in a completely different way can be daunting, especially if you are the only one in your family/household making the changes.
Whilst my main aim on the cookery days is to demonstrate how to cook delicious, health promoting food, it is also hopefully to inspire everyone to have fun, be adventurous and enjoy a new way of eating. So my next course is just as much about the enjoyment of preparing and eating healthy food as creating wonderfully appetising platefuls!
HEALTH ON A PLATE: Recipes for Healthy Living
Saturday 12th July 2014
11 am - 4 pm
£95 inc lunch and all ingredients
- Hands-on practical experience preparing, cooking and tasting health-promoting food
- Simple guidelines and personal support to make lasting dietary changes
- Easy to follow recipes that are full of flavour and natural goodness