Thursday, 26 October 2017

Book Review: Feed Your Brain The Cookbook by Delia McCabe 

Delia McCabe has over 20 years of research into brain health and nutrition up her sleeve, and has previously released the highly successful book, Feed Your Brain: 7 Steps To A Lighter, Brighter You!
Now she is back with her latest book, which not only shares Delia's hints and tips about foods that are not only healthy for your body, but for your brain too.

The layout of the book is great. It is simple to follow, and there's a lot of information about adding extra nutrients to our diet, as well as information about the nutritional benefits of certain foods including nuts, legumes, vegetables and fruits. 
I also like that it isn't bulky or heavy like many cookbooks tend to be. 
The book contains over 100 recipes that are plant-based, vegan, and gluten free, including the following two recipes:

Sweet corn, pea and coriander (cilantro) salad 

'We had some fresh sweet corn, lovely ripe avocados, fresh peas and fresh coriander (cilantro), so we decided to toss it all together for this simple salad — the result was quite delicious. The bright yellow and green result also looks amazing. You could easily use fresh basil — it would work just as well — although in that case I would add small, ripe cherry tomatoes. The roasted red capsicum (bell pepper) salad dressing (see recipe on page 71) or the tomato salad cream dressing (see recipe on page 67) both work well here, enhancing the colour and flavour.'

1 cup sweet corn (frozen or fresh and chopped off the cob)
1 cup peas (frozen or fresh)
1 cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 avocado, diced
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 small bunch fresh coriander (cilantro), finely sliced
Lightly steam the corn and peas over boiling water for 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and cool on a large plate.
Over a sieve, drain the liquid off the cucumber sticks.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining salad ingredients. Add the corn and peas and toss together, then toss in the drained cucumber sticks. Serve immediately with the salad dressing on the side.
Replace the coriander with finely sliced fresh basil leaves. 
Flower petals can add colour and interest to salads — just make completely sure they are pesticide free and edible, and don’t add too many, because some petals can be quite spicy. Use the flowers of chives, garlic and leeks, as well as borage, calendula/marigold, carnation and jasmine petals. Chamomile flowers, along with coriander (cilantro) and dill flowers, are pretty and tasty, while citrus blossoms are highly scented and can be overpowering.

Roasted red capsicum (bell pepper) salad dressing 


This is a beautifully bright and wonderfully flavoured dressing. If you’re short of time, simply use a raw red pepper. Salads with asparagus, tomatoes and butter lettuce go well with this dressing, as well as any salad containing quinoa (such as on page 102). 
1 medium roasted red capsicum (bell pepper),skin and seeds removed 
1 cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, roasted
salt and pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons freshly chopped thyme 

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. 
Refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days.
Roasting capsicum (bell pepper) enhances its natural sweetness. Simply put your fresh capsicum on a grill, turning regularly for 10–15 minutes until the skin is blackened. Transfer them to a large glass bowl and cover with a tea towel. When they are cool enough to handle, remove the black skin and seeds and you are left with lovely strips of smoky capsicum.

Tomato salad cream dressing 

'Children of all ages enjoy dipping their crunchy vegetables or oven-baked sweet potato chips into this salad cream — and it is much healthier than store-bought sauces. It is good with all fresh vegetable salads as well as grain salads but looks especially appealing on green salads, because the pink contrasts beautifully with green leaves.'

1 small (10-centimetre/4-inch) piece celery, roughly chopped
1 spring onion (shallot, scallion) , roughly chopped
¼ cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 large garlic clove, peeled
½ teaspoon herb salt
¾ cup coconut milk 
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve as a dipping sauce or with the gorgeous green garden salad on page 96.
Refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 5 days.

Mango ice-cream

Mangoes are a summertime fruit, so it’s the perfect time to make mango ice-cream. This is a very simple recipe to make, because you simply combine all the ingredients, practise patience overnight, and wake up to delicious, golden mango ice-cream. You can use popsicle moulds to freeze in individual portions, but you don’t have to — it’s perfectly fine frozen in a glass container too.
2 cups mango flesh, fresh or frozen
½ cup cashew nuts, soaked in water for 2–3 hours, rinsed and drained well
¼ cup coconut cream
2 tablespoons coconut nectar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence (vanilla extract)

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until they form a smooth and silky cream. Transfer the mixture to either popsicle moulds or a glass container that can hold 6 cups of liquid. Freeze overnight.
If you are using a glass container, remove about 10 minutes before you plan to serve the ice-cream, because it needs to thaw slightly. If you make popsicles, dip the bottom into some plain white chocolate^ and immediately dip into some buckwheat nibbles * or roughly chopped almonds.

As you can see, these recipes are healthy and delicious, and the best thing is that these recipes can be enjoyed by the whole family, including the kids.

For further information on this title, head here

From Feed Your Brain. The Cookbook, by Delia McCabe. Available from and wherever good books are sold. RRP $34.99 Images from Vanessa Russell. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your positive comments about my book - I'm so pleased that you're enjoying the tips and tricks, the extra information and the layout! Please be sure to download the 'Extra Resources' from my website to support even more creativity in 'feeding your brain' with delicious, colorful and nutrient dense foods!


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