Recipes from "A Change of Appetite"

Written by Diana Henry. Posted in Recipes.

A Change of AppetiteA Change of Appetite
Where healthy meets delicious
By Diana Henry
Photography Laura Edwards

The cookbook chronicles Diana Henry on her year-long culinary journey towards lighter and healthier but no less delicious food.

What happened when one of today’s best-loved food writers had a change of appetite? Here are the dishes that Diana Henry created when she started to crave a different kind of diet—less meat and heavy food, more vegetable, fish, and grain-based dishes—often inspired by the food of the Middle East and Far East, and also drawing on cuisines from Georgia to Scandinavia.  These are dishes packed full of unusual flavors that are that just happen to be healthy.

In her year of good eating, Diana lost weight, but this was about much more than weight loss. Led by taste, it was about discovering a healthier, fresher way of eating.

Beet Root
Beetroot And Carrot Fritters With Dill And Yogurt Sauce 

The beetroots make these an amazing colour but, if you prefer something mellower in tone, use parsnips or butternut squash instead. You can make different versions too: add 200g (7oz) crumbled feta to make Greek-style fritters; or add a chopped, deseeded chilli, 2 tsp ground cumin, 2 tsp ground ginger and 1 tsp ground coriander to the onions and fry for a couple of minutes to make Indian-spiced fritters. (Use coriander leaves in the yogurt if you make the latter.)

serves 4 (makes 8 fritters)

For the fritters
2½ tbsp groundnut oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
150g (5½oz) potatoes
200g (7oz) carrots
200g (7oz) beetroots
2 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper

For the sauce
200g (7oz) Greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped dill fronds, plus more to serve

Heat ½ tbsp of the groundnut oil in a large non-stick frying pan and gently sauté the onion until it is soft but not coloured. Add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Put into a bowl.

Coarsely grate all the other vegetables, keeping them separate. After you finish grating each variety, put them into a tea towel and squeeze out excess moisture. (Better use a clean J-cloth for the beetroots as they will really stain your tea towel.) Add the vegetables to the onion with the eggs, season well and mix together. Make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together.

Heat another 1 tbsp of groundnut oil in the frying pan. Spoon enough mixture into the pan to make a batch of fritters each about 8.5cm (3½in) in diameter. Cook over a medium heat until a crust is formed on one side, then carefully turn each over and cook on the other side again until a crust is formed. Don’t over-brown them or they will burn on the outside before they are cooked. After the crust is formed, reduce the heat right down and cook for four to five minutes on each side, or until the vegetables are cooked through. (You’ll know from the taste whether they are cooked right through. The potato becomes sweet.) You can keep the cooked fritters in a low oven while you finish the others, adding more oil to the pan to fry them if necessary.

Serve the fritters with the yogurt sauce, sprinkled with more dill.

Citrus-Marinated Salmon With Fennel And Apple Salad

 This is the kind of dish I could eat at every meal: clean tasting, with bright flavours. If you want bread with this, rye is the obvious choice. Or try the Rye crackers recipe on (page 53) in the book. Serves 6

For the salad
4 tbsp caster sugar
6 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 fennel bulb
juice of ½ lemon
½ red onion, very finely sliced
1 large, tart green apple (such as Granny Smith)
1 small beetroot, cooked, skin slipped off (see page 36)
2 tbsp very roughly chopped
dill fronds 

For the salmon
500g (1lb 2oz) very fresh salmon fillet (tail end is good for this)
4 tbsp light, fruity extra virgin
olive oil
sea salt flakes
freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon

Make the dressing for the salad by mixing the sugar with the vinegar and stirring until dissolved. Whisk in the mustard until well combined.

Don’t make the salad too far in advance as it becomes flaccid if it sits around. Try to do it no more than 30 minutes before serving.

Quarter the fennel, trim the tops and remove any coarse outer leaves. Core each quarter. Using a very sharp knife or a mandoline, cut the fennel into wafer-thin slices. Put the fennel into a bowl and toss with the lemon juice. Add the onion. Halve and core the apple and cut the flesh into matchsticks. Add the apple to the fennel and lemon with the dressing. Toss. Cut the beetroot into matchsticks or very thin slices. (Hold on to the beetroot; it needs to be added at the last minute or will stain everything.)

Using a very sharp knife, slice the salmon finely, as if you were slicing smoked salmon (leave the skin behind). Arrange the slices on individual plates (or a platter), not overlapping. Brush the slices with the extra virgin oil, then sprinkle on salt and pepper. Squeeze lemon juice over and leave for two or three minutes before serving. Add the beetroot and dill to the salad and serve with the salmon.

another rare bite… japanese seared tuna and radish salad Sprinkle freshly ground black pepper all over 400g (14oz) tuna loin. Heat 1 tbsp groundnut oil in a frying pan until hot. Add the tuna and cook very briefly on all sides, just until the tuna turns white. Set aside and pour 1 tbsp rice vinegar over it. Make a dressing by whisking together ½ tbsp wholegrain mustard, 2 tsp juices from a jar of pickled ginger, 2 tsp grated root ginger, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice vinegar, salt, pepper, 2 tbsp groundnut oil and
2 tbsp light, fruity extra virgin olive oil. Cut the tuna into very thin slices (about the thickness of smoked salmon slices) and divide between four plates. Arrange 60g (2oz) mizuna, 12 radishes, cut into matchsticks, and ¼ finely sliced small red onion alongside. Spoon the dressing over both salad and fish and serve. Serves 4.

Diana-henryDiana Henry was crowned “Best Cookery Writer” in the Fortnum & Mason Food Awards 2013, “Cookery Writer of the Year” by The Guild of Food Writers in 2009 and in 2007 for her column in the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine in the UK. She is a contributor to many British magazines including Red, House and Garden, Country Living and Waitrose Food Illustrated. She is the author of a number of bestselling cookbooks, including: Roast Figs Sugar Snow; The Gastropub Cookbook; Cook Simple; Salt Sugar Smoke and Plenty. Diana lives in London with her partner and children.

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