Want to get happy? Bettina Campolucci Bordi's new book aims to please with its fresh, whole foods that everyone can eat. All of the recipes inside are vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free, and it keeps things pretty inclusive, where the recipes aren't super challenging, and can feed anywhere from 1 person to a crowd.
The recipes are very whole-foods oriented, as the author found her approach to food while dealing with endometriosis and PCOS. The meals are just complex enough that they're not what you'd already know how to make, but simple enough that they can be done on a weeknight without too much trouble.
Since the author is somewhat of a global citizen, that reflects in the wide variety of the recipes in this book - from Tanzania, to Sweden, Italy, Spain, and Bulgaria, it feels like the balance of recipes would be off, but that's not the case. She references all of the culinary knowledge she's picked up from each of these places and comes up with something new and modern, for both grandmothers and social-media-obsessed college students alike.
The design is colorful and fresh, just like the food and the concept of the book. The photos are bountiful with produce, and elaborately styled in the way of most Instagram accounts of her caliber.
One of my favorite sections was the "favourite basics" - it's a great resource for meal prepping and cooking more from scratch. Spend a weekend afternoon making the almond butter, gluten-free flour mix, and big-batch dressing, and you've got the start of some good meals for the rest of the week. (Or, just blend up some dead-simple hemp milk before you head out to work in the morning. That works too!)
- happy start (breakfasts)
- home alone
- quick & simple
- feasts & sharing
- dips & sides
- favourite basics
- sweet treats
recipes we tried
Marinated Maple & Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower with Yoghurt Sauce
We swapped out a few things, but the overall meal was incredible - the cauliflower is a must-try, with crispy, sweet & salty roasted edges.
Bright Healing Turmeric Porridge & Warm Berries
This is easy to make in bulk and is super satisfying whether a weekday or weekened morning. The addition of yogurt brings this breakfast to the next level.
Sticky Toffee Pudding with Sticky Toffee Sauce
I was amazed (with myself and the book) that I could make something this delicious. It's pillowy, creamy, and full of flavor, and it would go so well with a little ice cream. (Though it totally doesn't need it.)
recipes we still want to try
- juicy tomato spaghetti & non-meatballz
- polenta with oven-roasted tomatoes & sweet, sticky garlic
- rosemary & garlic focaccia
who this book is for
gluten-free vegans who are looking for color and life in their meals
the best part
Even though the recipes looked complex, and we've tried many similar books, they were way easier to make than we thought they'd be. It looks like a "project" cookbook, but it's more of a weeknight cookbook in practice.
where to get it
Happy Food: Fast, Fresh, Simple Vegan
by Bettina Campolucci Bordi
Hardie Grant Books / ISBN 9781784881573
BRIGHT HEALING TURMERIC PORRIDGE & WARM BERRIES
Recipe excerpted with permission from Happy Food by Bettina Campolucci Bordi published by Hardie Grant Books July 2018, RRP $29.99 hardcover.
This recipe is a great way of including turmeric in your diet. This funky combination incorporates centuries-old Ayurvedic healing knowledge combined with a new twist on an old classic. Give it a try – if, like me, you love the taste of the Orient, this will be right up your street.
110 g (4 oz / ½ cup) millet
250 ml (8 fl oz / 1 cup) water
160 ml (5 fl oz / ⅔ cup) Almond Milk or any plant milk, shop-bought or home-made
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
pinch of black pepper
1 teaspoon coconut oil, melted
For the warm berries
100 g (3 ½ oz) each raspberries and blueberries
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ vanilla pod (bean), scraped, or ½ teaspoon ground vanilla pod
a dollop of Coconut Yoghurt, shop-bought or home-made
chopped nuts (hazelnuts or pistachios)
micro herbs and edible flowers (optional)
Place the millet and the water in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Let it simmer for 5 minutes until the millet thickens and there is almost no water left.
Add the milk, turmeric, pepper and melted coconut oil and bring to the boil. As soon as the mixture starts to boil, leave the porridge to bubble away until you get a beautiful, creamy, golden porridge.
While the porridge is simmering, put the berries, maple syrup and pinch of vanilla seeds or powder into a small saucepan and gently heat. Cook until the berries begin to soften, then mash some of the berries until you get a lovely sauce, leaving a few berries whole.
Ladle the porridge into the bowls, add a helping of warm berries, a dollop of coconut yoghurt and sprinkle with chopped nuts – my favourite for this porridge is pistachios but any will do – and some micro herbs and edible flowers, if using.
Tip: This recipe can easily be made in a larger quantity and reheated with a splash of plant milk