The Michelin-star chef is back with a brand new cookbook packed with tasty, healthy recipes. Here are some of his feel-good secrets…
1 – Use Herbs and spices
I use a lot of fresh herbs, spices, garlic and chilli as they provide huge ﬂavour for hardly any calories. I also sometimes include a small amount of high-ﬂavour, high calorie ingredients in my cooking, such as smoked salmon or cheese. You don’t need much of these to make an impact.
2 – Add some crunch
Texture is also important. Chefs use fats to add both ﬂavour and texture to their cooking, but if you’re cutting out fats you need to ﬁnd other ways of getting ﬂavour and texture onto your plate. Try to balance crunchy ingredients like fresh veg with something creamy. Pair spicy heat with salty or cooling ﬂavours, and acidity with sweetness. If you can get the right balance, it doesn’t matter how few calories the dish contains as it will still taste great.
3 – Plan ahead
Often, convenience foods aren’t healthy. Keeping in control of what you are eating when you’re out of the house can be a problem, but planning ahead and being prepared is key.
4 – Watch the snacks
Most of the time we’re not even hungry when we reach for a snack, it’s just a habit we’ve got into, so learn to recognise if you are actually hungry or if you’ve just got used to that chocolate biscuit with your afternoon cup of tea. I heard about something called ‘the broccoli test’ recently: if you had to replace your snack of choice with a piece of broccoli, would you still eat it? If not, then you don’t need it! And if you do need a snack to keep you going, get used to eating fruit. My go-to snack is cold grapes straight from the fridge.
5 – Control the portions
Something as simple as using a smaller plate can help trick your mind into thinking you’ve eaten more – the plates we use nowadays are huge compared to those our grandparents ate from. It’s no wonder our portion sizes have got a bit out of control!
6 – Stick to three meals a day
Try to stick to three meals a day. Snacking is where it often goes wrong. That’s why it’s important to keep portion sizes reasonably big, without going overboard.
7 – Shop savvy
If you don’t ﬁll your house with crisps, chocolate bars and ice cream, you’ll be less likely to eat them. It can really be as simple as that!