Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Q&A with the Hemsley sisters

Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, aka Hemsley+Hemsley, are hipster food bloggers-turned authors. Here they talk to HFG about their approach to food and their new partnership with Riverford Farm. We also asked them to tell us what we’ll all be eating in 2015…

Don’t forget to enter our competition to win one of five Riverford and Hemsley recipe boxes (closes 31 January 2015).

Tell us about your cooking ethos
Our approach to healthy eating keeps things as close to nature as possible. This means we eat meat and vegetables that are organic, wild or biodynamic or come from a source that champions natural food. Our food is simple to make, delicious and nutrient rich – and it’s also grain, gluten and refined-sugar free.

How did the partnership with Riverford come about?
Our mum introduced us to Riverford about 10 years ago, even before we started our company Hemsley+Hemsley, and we’ve enjoyed their organic produce ever since. The provenance of the ingredients we use is very important, so working with Riverford’s veg-obsessed founder Guy Watson was a natural match.

What was your inspiration for the recipes?
The H+H Riverford recipe boxes are the perfect option for the health-conscious, food lover, allowing you to cook nourishing, delicious seasonal meals every night of the week, and all in an hour or less! By focusing on fresh, seasonal produce, you’re able to experiment with different ingredients, try new flavours and access nutrients from produce that is in its prime.

What swaps/alternatives/tricks did you use to make these recipes healthy?
A lot of our them are inspired by a family member or a friend, or from a client requesting that we reinvent their favourite dish to make it healthy. The beauty of these dishes is that there is no compromise on flavour, but they are better for you.

Our recipes for the boxes include a sausage ragu with celeriac spaghetti – celeriac is sliced into spaghetti instead of the starchy, refined, wheat-based pastas traditionally associated with a ragu. Our steak and kale salad is accompanied with celeriac chips and our goat’s cheese and beetroot risotto uses quinoa in place of rice. These nutritious ingredients will keep you feeling satisfied for longer while being nourishing.

How have you cut grains, refined sugar and/or gluten from your diet? More easily than you think! As well as replacing pasta with spaghetti spirals made from celeriac or courgettes, we make our own bread (we have two recipes in our book, The Art of Eating Well), have swapped regular noodles for buckwheat (gluten-free) and we also make noodles from carrots and cucumbers! You can also substitute rice with broccoli or cauliflower rice. We use whole natural ingredients like cooked beans in brownies and cakes for a lovely, rich texture.

What food trends are you expecting to see in 2015? We anticipate that 2015 is going to be a big year for the spiralizer! A secret weapon for the health-conscious cook, the Hemsley+Hemsley Spiralizer (launching this month) is useful for packing your meals with nutrient-rich vegetables. It’s also a delicious way to replace refined and glutinous foods such as pasta and noodles.

Use it to prepare some of The Art of Eating Well favourites, such as Courgetti or Celeriac Ragu, Sesame Cucumber noodle salad or Vietnamese Pho Soup.

More than anything, we hope to see people cooking even more because there’s nothing better than home-cooked food made with love.

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