Comfort food brings to mind carbs, ice cream, and deep-fried everything in a bun. But a new range of cookbooks show that eating well is good for more than just the waistline. Mindful Chef, the health-food box delivery service set up by Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries, are at the crest of this wave and have their first cookbook (also called Mindful Chef) out on March 23 that’s packed full of “good, wholesome food that benefits you and your body”.
The book’s ethos is structured around “appreciating the provenance and nutritional value of the food that you put into your body and the effect this will have on your health — particularly sleep, stress, energy, productivity, exercise and gut health”. They’re not the only ones aiming to spoon a smile onto your face, as a new surge of guru-chefs go ballistic for the holistic.
The Yoga Kitchen by Kimberly Parsons aims to bring “healthful recipes and yogic principles” to your kitchen, and dishes are divided into chakra-based chapters: Ground, Flow, Vitalize, Nurture, Strengthen, Calm and Pure (yes, there’s plenty of avocado).
Hygge books are evidently all the rage. Signe Johansen’s Hygge: The Secrets of Nordic Living — endorsed by Nigel Slater, no less — is full of heart-warming, life-enriching hygge food, from cardamon twists to midsummer-almond torte with a lemon and elderflower glaze.
Tom Kerridge, the Michelin-star and sometime TV chef, introduced the world to his “dopamine diet” book in January, which helped him drop 11 stone in three years — but is all about increasing levels of the “happy hormone” dopamine in the brain at the same time as shedding pounds. Recipes are high on protein, because protein foods are made from the building blocks of amino acids, which are essential to the production of dopamine. These are recipes to soothe your soul and lessen your stress.
Hopper and Humphries’ advice is, uniformly, to slow things down where you can. “Londoners are super-busy nowadays, far more so than even 15-20 years ago, and the working world has changed with the introduction of technology to become all-encompassing.
“This book provides short sharp 20/30-minute meals that are genuinely achievable after a hard day’s work and that will have a long-lasting benefit on your health and wellness, as well as tasting delicious.”