Simply Nigella - NZ DadsWhen I think of Nigella I always think of decadent chocolate desserts and midnight snacks straight from the refrigerator. Not too mention those silky black robes she would somehow manage to keep clean as she cooked… Early last year however, the media had a field day with tearing her apart, so it’s great to see something positive coming out again. With the release of her new book titled SIMPLY NIGELLA: FEEL GOOD FOOD Nigella is proving herself to be an extremely talented and attainable cook. Best of all, it’s out on shelves just in time for Christmas.

Feel good food is just that loaded with recipes to make you feel good, but in two ways. Feel good comfort and indulgent recipes, as well as some really healthy feel good food.

This fusion of rich meaty stews, fresh vibrant salads, comforting pasta rice and noodle dishes, breakfast beginnings, if finished with only a small, but delightful, section of sweet treats.

One of the things I love the most about this book is, as per the title, is the simplicity of most of the recipes. Using simple ingredients, plus a few spices and sauces which can easily be found at the local asian supermarket or international section at the supermarket. Though there is no real theme to the recipes, dabbling with Moroccan, Thai, Indian, Greek, Italian, even her take on the kiwi ANZAC, the book flows with her own themes of seven unique chapters.

Chapters include:

QUICK & CALM – easy light meals & salads, featuring an abundance of seafood

BOWLFOOD – perfect for weeknight comfort food couch meals: pasta, noodles, rice

DINE – simple yet elegant large dishes to share with friends, & meat, lots of meat

BREATHE – all about the slow-cooking, slow, tender, feel good food

SIDES – some creative takes on getting in your 5+ a day, including sauces & pickles

SWEET – baking, bundt cakes, tarts, cookies, no-churn ice creams and more

BEGINNINGS – start your day & fuel your snacks with compotes, loaves, bars, muffins, muesli, french toast, and pancakes Nigella style.

Though most of these sound like classic recipes, she includes a lot of really elegant twists along the way, but if the recipes alone weren’t enough to tempt you, just reading her introduction to each recipe is enough. You can hear her posh sultry accent oozing out of the pages as she describes the origin and the making of each dish, so you really do feel as though Nigella is in your kitchen with you. This book would make a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves cooking, and loves being creative in the kitchen, but is a little like me, and is a bit of a lazy cook.

I’ve got a few meat dishes already flagged, ready to cook sometime soon: Oven-cooked chicken shawarma, Thai turkey meatballs, Indian spiced cod, Asian-flavoured short ribs & Beef chilli with bourbon, beer and black beans. Not to mention the veggies: Roast radishes, Sweet and sour slaw, Criss-cross potatoes & Quick-pickled beetroot with nigella seeds.

Old Rag Pie - NZ DadsThis week however, I made her Old Rag Pie, a Greek dish traditionally known as Patsavouropita, she describes it as a greek cheesecake, merging sweet and salty, for what was called in my house, “bloody delicious”. Basically crumple filo, drizzle butter, crumble feta cheese, thyme leaves, repeat, pour egg and milk mixture, bake, drizzle with honey and devour. If your a fan of cheeseboards, or sweet fruit pastes with cheese, then this is sure to impress. See the picture for the finished product.

Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food , By Nigella Lawson, Published by Random House Publishers, RRP: $65.00

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