Title: Happy & Whole.
Author: Magdalena Roze. Television presenter, journalist. meteorologist, SMH Good Food Guide presenter and “Delicious Online” contributor.
Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia.
Magdalena’s debut cookbook is about enjoying food, the natural way. The food in “Happy & Whole” is simple, nutritious and delicious, and a lot of her recipes are based on traditional whole foods, that not only taste great, but also have great health benefits. The recipes are divided into chapters based on the weather and the kind of food we crave in those environments.
Happy & Whole is a beautiful cookbook full of beautiful images of Magdalena and her life in Byron Bay. I was initially a little sceptical about how practical these recipes were going to be for my own life, where I am normally busy working and looking after three kids in bustling Melbourne but once I started testing and trailing the recipes I was won over with the beautiful, wholesome ingredients lists and the delicious end products of the recipes.
I have cooked and enjoyed the chicken and ginger congee, Summery panzanella salad, almond milk panna cotta with fresh fruits and chai honey syrup, Byron bibimbap and the popsicles three ways.
“Happy & Whole” has a focus on using honey and natural sugars in place of refined sugar which I am really enjoying. The recipes also use whole grains, good fats and tend to favour the “slow food” approach to cooking, where ingredients are either sources fresh or made from scratch. This is my preferred way of cooking too, but it probably represents my “weekend/holiday” style, more than my every day life. Charmingly Magdalena asserts that she does not have a particular food philosophy and that no one food is either “good” or bad,” rather she just tries to get things back to basics.
Magdalena also shares some recipes for drinks including tea, broth and kombucha and also some more general lifestyle advice. There are a few pages on “food for babies.”
I made and particularly loved the fragrant “Mullum Curry” recipe which I have permission to share with you here. It is a beautiful vegetarian dish using cauliflower, chickpeas, pumpkin and green beans. It received 5/5 ticks of approval from my family.
200 g (1 cup) dried chickpeas (see note)
2 tablespoons yoghurt, whey or lemon juice
2 tablespoons coconut oil
12 curry leaves
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 large onion, sliced
3 cm piece of ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon ground turmeric pinch of ground cinnamon
2 long green chillies, sliced
2 tomatoes, finely chopped
50 g (½ bunch) coriander, roots and stems finely chopped, leaves reserved to serve 1 x
400 ml can coconut cream
400 g butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2 cm pieces
500 g cauliflower florets
200 g green beans, trimmed and halved
120 g baby spinach leaves
cooked brown rice, to serve
Minty cucumber yoghurt, to serve (see page 192)
Place the chickpeas in a bowl with plenty of water and 2 teaspoons of yoghurt, whey or lemon juice. Cover with a tea towel and leave to soak overnight. They will double in size, so you’ll end up with about 2 cups of chickpeas.
The next day, drain and rinse the chickpeas and place in a saucepan. Add enough water to cover the chickpeas by about 3cm. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, for 1–1½ hours or until tender.
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat.
Add the curry leaves and cook for 30 seconds until bright green and crisp. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the curry leaves to a plate. Set aside.
Add the mustard and cumin seeds to the pan and cook, stirring, for 1 minute until the seeds pop and become fragrant.
Add the onion, ginger, garlic, coriander, garam marsala, turmeric, cinnamon and chilli and cook, stirring, for 3–4 minutes until the onion softens.
Add the tomato, coriander roots and stems, coconut cream, pumpkin and cauliflower, and cook for a further 3–4 minutes until the vegetables soften. Stir in the beans, chickpeas and spinach, season and cook for a further 2minutes or until the spinach has wilted and the vegetables are tender.
Spoon into serving bowls, top with the coriander and curry leaves and serve with brown rice.
A dollop of minty cucumber yoghurt is a delicious offset to the heat and spice.
NOTE If you can get your hands on a 2 cm piece of kombu or wakame (types of seaweed that you can find in most health-food stores), pop it into the liquid when you’re soaking and
A visually lovely book full of wholesome and tasty, slow recipes, using whole foods.
Many thanks to Pan Macmillan for providing this book.
Photographer credit: Rob Palmer
Recipe Credit: This recipe has been extracted from Happy & Whole by Magdalena Roze, published by Plum, RRP$39.99, available in all good bookstores now.
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Happy and Whole is out now.