Why buy it?
As we awaken to the effects of modern diets and factory farming on our bodies, it’s a comfort to know we needn’t cower in the corner nibbling on activated nuts and fearing all food. While many of us are alarmed about ingesting chemicals and other nasties from big business food production, there is a sense that undertaking a wholefoods diet presents a serious risk to our enjoyment of food. But fear not the strange-sounding pulses and let Janella’s Wholefood Kitchen open you to the reality of flavourful and plentiful vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan and raw diets. As a naturopath and nutritionist, Purcell’s third book colours alternative diets with deep flavour and lovely, nurturing ingredients. But before you tune out to visions of tofu dressed up as turkey and mung beans lurking below lettuce leaves, be prepared to be surprised. Purcell’s recipe list does a dizzying circuit of culinary styles from Italian to French and Japanese, taking on the fullness of flavour from each, albeit with a few subtle substitutions. There’s a silken and creamy seafood lasagne that’s both dairy- and gluten-free; millet burgers with miso and pumpkin sauce that wouldn’t be out-of-place on a gastro pub menu; and chocolate cakes oozing a luscious chocolate filling for dairy-free and vegan sweet tooths. Purcell’s philosophy that the first step to leading a healthier, more fulfilled life begins in the kitchen is simple and obvious. Whether you’re refining your diet or embarking on a new way to eat, Janella’s Wholefood Kitchen makes eating well a real option for every day.
Congee with shiitake and gomashio. It takes a little time for the rice to soak, but this is an umami-laden delight.
Most surprising dish
Chocolate pie. The unlikely companions of cacao and avocado unite to make a silky, decadent pie.
It’s a truism that most of us could eat more efficient foods, but it’s all too easy to succumb to the seductive flavours of our bad habits. This book is a reminder that flavour and health aren’t mortal enemies.
Those new to wholefood eating. Most of the recipes have familiar ingredients and flavours that won’t scare off those worried they may be leaving behind everything they love about food.
Janella's Wholefood Kitcchen, Janella Purcell (Allen & Unwin, $39.99, pbk).