Some years ago, at one of Gillian’s seminars, I asked her how I could wean myself from a strong attachment to making traditional British meals for me and my partner – big roast dinners, mashed potatoes with lots of butter, sausages, egg and chips, lasagne etc, and the inevitable British puddings! I didn’t know how to cook in any other way, and I didn’t really want to learn.
Gillian suggested that I consider’starting a new tradition’ of preparing healthier meals. I puzzled over what that might be, and tried all sorts of different diets, including vegetarian, vegan and Atkins. Not surprisingly, none of these lasted, but I also avoided making the traditional meals I had made before, which led to us eating more processed food.
Well, in the past year on Gillian’s course, I think I finally understand how to ‘start a new tradition’. The suggested materials on nutrition and all the recent ideas about carbs, fat, protein etc have given me a new enthusiasm for cooking. I’m discovering alternatives to traditional ingredients, such as making savoury pancakes with chickpea flour, and using things like quinoa, chia seeds, coconut oil and avocado in cooking. I have found the British chef Anna Jones particularly inspiring. Her recipes are really different and exciting, often presented as ‘Buddha bowls’ of grains, vegetables, herbs and spices. It’s healthy without being a ‘diet’ or overly restrictive, and most of the recipes take between 10 and 20 minutes to prepare.
I’d love to hear what changes everyone has made to what they eat – what’s your new tradition?