Does anyone else feel like autumn has sneakily taken over from summer when you weren’t looking? Not ten days ago I was on holiday and suddenly it is decidedly back to school (and back to work) time, the holiday all but forgotten. One thing that is very much present is how unfit I feel again. The holiday was one big fat (Greek) overidulgence from daily souvlaki to gallons of beer. It is time for some healthy eating and exercising. Just as well that Jo Pratt’s new book, aptly titled In the Mood for Healthy Food*, landed in my review pile.
I have been a huge fan of Jo’s for a number of years. Her two previous books In the Mood for Food* and In the Mood for Entertaining* are two of the most used in my vast cookbook collection. Her new book is, at first glance, a lot more subdued. Gone is the bright and colourful photography I loved in the previous books, replaced by toned down, moodier shots. But Jo’s knack for combining ingredients and creating easy recipes that are a joy to prepare and eat again and again is very much here to stay.
The book contains all the ingredients one would expect in a healthy tome: quinoa, kale, nut milks, spelt and buckwheat all feature prominently. But thankfully the book doesn’t require you to purchase an entire health shop for every single recipe. I particularly love all the Asian inspired recipes like the chicken noodle and mango salad, the Vietnamese beef skewers with pickled carrots or this Japanese Miso, Kale and Tofu broth which has become my new go-to work lunch. It is seriously healthy, incredibly tasty and it is ready in 10 minutes. Win, win, win!
I can honestly say that this book is destined to become a firm favourite of mine. I can’t wait to cook more of the recipes – have earmarked at least 10 already. Highly recommended – and do yourselves a favour and buy Jo’s previous books as well. For a chance to win one of three copies of this fabulous book, scroll down to the bottom of the post and follow the instructions in the Gleam giveaway box.
I had added some buckwheat noodles to turn this Japanese Miso, Kale and Tofu Broth into a more substantial soup. If you are planning on bringing this to work for lunch it would be best to keep the noodles separate and add them after you reheat the soup. The world won’t end if you don’t however! Replace the kale with cavolo nero or chard if you prefer. Add a dash of Japanese Seven Spice seasoning* (that stuff is also great on kale chips). Clearspring do a lovely white miso paste (in the UK) that is well worth seeking out.
Japanese Miso, Kale and Tofu Soup
1.5l | 52fl oz | 6 1/4 cups vegetable stock
6 tbsp white miso paste
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2.5cm | 1in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and very finely chopped
1 red chilli, seeded and very finely chopped
4 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
100g | 3.5oz kale, trimmed and sliced
175g | 6oz firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
200g | 7oz soba noodles (100% buckwheat for gluten-free soup)
Japanese Seven Spice seasoning (optional)
- Prepare the noodles according to pack instructions, drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
- Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add the miso paste, garlic, ginger and chilli. Stir to dissolve the miso, lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the spring onions, kale, tofu and rice vinegar. Cook until the kale is just tender.
- Stir in the noodles and serve, sprinkled with some seven spice seasoning.
Notes: If you are preparing to bring to work, let the soup cool before storing in the fridge. Toss the noodles in a little vegetable oil and store in a separate container.
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