Let’s talk about ‘clean eating’. What does it mean? Well, I take it to imply eating a diet of exclusively unprocessed, ideally organic, plant-based, vegan food. Sounds good? Yep. It does. I love that type of food. In fact, this recipe would slot into the #cleaneating bracket quite nicely thank you very much. And damn tasty it is too…
I’m more than happy to eat all these trendy foodstuffs. But do you know what? I also like the odd McDonald’s visit with the kids too. And I can’t drink a cuppa without something sweet alongside, sometimes it might be a ‘healthy flapjack’, filled with grated carrot, coconut oil, maple syrup and chia seeds… But, yeah, sometimes it’s a Kit-Kat.
Do I feel bad? No I bloody well don’t.
See, I’m with Nigella. Whilst I really love the type of food clean eating peeps devour, I also think this movement may have a somewhat insidious backlash. There is even a new disorder where the sufferer is obsessed with eating purely, to the effect that they become mentally unwell. You can’t tell me that the clean eating craze hasn’t contributed to this.
This is what ‘Queen Nige’ says (more eloquently than I ever could) in her new book, which contains as many clean eating recipes as it does what I would call, well, ‘normal’ recipes:
“The Clean-Eating brigade seems an embodiment of all my fears. Food is not dirty, the pleasures of the flesh are essential to life and, however we eat, we are not guaranteed immortality or immunity from loss. We cannot control life by controlling what we eat.”
I don’t think it’s good to imply any food is bad. And by calling some food clean, we are saying, are we not, that other foods are dirty. Listen, if you want a little bit of ‘dirty’ every now and then, go for it. Listen to what your body is saying and indulge it occasionally.
Today I am eating really ‘clean’ (which means tomorrow I might just start the day with a bacon sarnie). This soup is silken, sweet – perfect for kids – but when served over raw spinach, topped with fresh chopped coriander, a squeeze of lime and plenty Sriracha, it’s a really fulfilling lunch for grown ups.
Please feel free to reward yourself with a wedge of cake afterwards.
Makes: about 6-8 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
2 tablespoons of coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 red onion
1 thumb of ginger, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 heaped teaspoon turmeric
1 squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into small cubes
3 sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped into same size cubes
1 litre approx. of chicken stock (I used homemade but commercial is fine)
Salt and pepper
- Sweat the onion, garlic and ginger in oil till soft.
- Add sweet pots and squash. Tip in turmeric.
- Add stock to more than cover veggies. Bring to boil and simmer for 20 mins (or until soft).
- Serve over spinach, with fresh coriander and lime juice. Sriracha sauce is so good too.