Cooking The Books: Dale Pinnock’s ‘The Medicinal Chef’


I’m a sucker for a good healthy cookbook, but the recipes need to be delicious too.  On first impressions the title Medicinal Chef is a bit off-putting – it sounds rather clinical and dull, but in fact it really delivered.  The recipes were not only incredibly fresh and tasty, but they were quick and easy to knock together.

Here are the favourites:

  1. Prawn and salmon skewers and citrus quinoa salad – this was such a hit for us.  I thought it looked a bit plain in the cookery book, but it was far from it.  The quinoa was mixed with parsley and the juice and zest of a lime and really lit up the meal.
  2. No cheese chocolate cheesecake – made with avocados, a nut base and honey instead of sugar.  It was not particularly sweet, but once you got your head around that you could enjoy the subtle earthy flavours of the cake and feel smug for being so healthy.
  3. Immune-boosting king prawn curry – as good as any curry we ate in Goa.
  4. Sweet potato and spinach curry – a really delicate curry – and I loved the toasted almonds on top.
  5. Grilled mackerel with sauted fennel and leek – the photo of this below does not convey how good this dish was.  Fresh, fragrant – you felt virtuous while you were eating it but thoroughly satisfied by the excellent flavours.
Healthy 2
Prawn and salmon skewers with citrus quinoa salad
Healthy 3
No cheese chocolate cheesecake
Healthy 4
Immune-boosting king prawn curry
Healthy 10
Sweet potato and spinach curry
Healthy 5
Grilled mackerel with sauted fennel and leek

And as we liked absolutely everything we cooked, here are the also very goods:

  1. Vegetable crumble with cheesy oat topping – a great way of using up all the leftover veg in our fridge.  I thought the oaty cheese crumble mix on the top was genius.  Especially the oaty twist.
  2. Thai green vegetable curry – our motivation again was to get rid of old veg and what a delicious way to do it.
  3. Mackerel marinated with beetroot and horseradish – I choose not to put a photo up as it looked revolting. It did however taste very nice – the horseradish with the beetroot was a great blend and I love the taste of mackerel.  And did you know mackerel is super cheap?
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Vegetable crumble with cheesy oat topping
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Thai green vegetable curry

Dale Pinnock’s Medicinal Chef may not be as sexy and on trend as Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food, but is the same premise.  Delicious, easy to make healthy food.  I marginally prefer Jamie Oliver’s book – perhaps it is because the photography is so good and the dishes jump out at you from the page.  But Dale’s recipes are quicker to make and require only a few ingredients – so I’d big Dale up for convenience.  I’d thoroughly recommend giving Medicinal Chef a go – I’ve really enjoyed it and it’s helped keep my waistline in check in the lead up to Christmas!

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