Like many I was introduced to Hemsely & Hemsley through the curiosity of seeing colleagues opening up Tupperware lunchboxes in the office, packed with beautifully spiralised courgette, and sipping on thermoses of bone broth.
Intrigued, I snapped up tickets to their Summer Supper Club, where I met the very talented Jasmine and Melissa. The menu featured a delicious four course meal, sampling some of the big hit favourites from their debut book, The Art of Eating Well. The food was fantastic, exciting, unpretentious, and most importantly attainable. The sisters were charming, down to earth, warm and passionate about their quest to deliver a way of eating well, for others. I was hooked.
Fast forward two years and the duo have just launched their second book, Good + Simple. When the team at Yogamatters invited me to join them for the opening evening of the book tour with a talk at Waterstones, I was thrilled.
Once again the sisters have delivered on their aim ‘to get nourishing, tasty food on the table every day’. In Good + Simple, the recipes are exactly that: the no-fuss approach to selection, preparation and cooking, embodies their ethos in good eating and likewise is a reflection of themselves. Put simply, it’s about eating good food that will result in good health.
With backgrounds in modelling and brand marketing, the Hemsleys are in tune with the busy lifestyles we lead, and what they’ve managed to achieve and explore further in Good + Simple is that eating healthily needn’t be complicated, boring or difficult. With a bit of forward planning, some staple ingredients in your cupboard and fresh groceries from your local store, the recipes featured in their latest book are the kind that you can easily replicate at home.
As with their first book, Jasmine and Melissa take their readers through the principles of eating well; explaining the importance of listening to your body, trusting gut instinct (literally), being mindful of what you’re eating and understanding that the journey of eating begins well before putting a forkful in your mouth, with sight and smell. The enjoyment of food and the practice of eating well are absolutely dependent on how you eat.
A topic much explored and debated by the Hemsley’s is that of fat. In Good + Simple, they explain the different types of fat, and that in their natural, unrefined forms, both saturated and unsaturated fats are your friends. Excellent sustainable sources of energy; ghee, butter, egg yolk, olive oil, coconut cream and avocado are not only tasty, they help stabilise blood sugar, optimise digestion and enable us to absorb vitamins.
Inspired by those around them, with a keen interest in recreating the flavours they come across while on their travels, and while dining in local restaurants, the Hemsleys admitted that when developing recipes, often trial and error leads to the creation of others. Jasmine shared that she had left a buckwheat pastry cannellini bean custard tart cooling at home to taste test later on, although we’ll have to wait for book three to see if that trial was a success.
Like the first book, Good + Simple introduces its readers to exciting combinations of flavours. Spiralised veggies still feature heavily – the ‘Spiralised beetroot feta cake’ look irresistible. Cauliflower rice has been given a new lease of life, paired with vegetable goodness and mouthwatering ingredients in the ‘Cauliflower rice three ways’ recipe. And there are a number of dips, dressings, sauces and spreads to combine with other recipes in the book. I can’t wait to get in the kitchen and try them out.
The self-taught sisters have such a passion for what they do, spurred on by a childhood of cooking together with their well-travelled parents, they saw how food brought people together. Their down-to-earth attitude is what makes them so likeable and their approach to cooking achievable and replicable in so many kitchens.