The lovely Nina Parker, culinary writer and author of Nina St Tropez & Nina Capri (and this week’s guest editor!) shares with us, her typical day on a plate! If you could ever be jealous of a day on a plate, it would be this one!
Brekkie for me totally depends on the day of the week. If I have deliveries then it is usually a banana and spelt toast or if I have a free morning at my computer then I have a delicious homemade breakfast smoothie. Smoothies are often made with a combination of almond milk, oats, almond butter, bananas, frozen raspberries, pinch of ground cinnamon or vanilla extract. I want one just thinking about it! Weekends I tend to go the whole hog and enjoy ricotta pancakes or poached eggs, smoked salmon and toasted sourdough. I am particularly fond of the ricotta hotcakes at Granger and Co.
I spend most of my time in the kitchen so it is pretty easy for me to be healthy for lunch during the week as I can just rustle something up in seconds. I love to make fresh green salads with pulses, roast vegetables, avocado, poached eggs, seeds and nuts. I have just come up with a killer sweet corn fritter with crushed avocado, coriander, paprika, turmeric and lime that I have been making for lunch once a week. It’s delicious! I am also always shooting dishes for magazines and my instagram so I often will eat whatever recipe I was shooting after. I would say that I am mostly a vegetarian during the week and then at the weekend I am more relaxed and will have roast chicken, fish or meat. I am a firm believer that a good balance is key to being healthy.
This is quite an important pause in my day as it means making something yummy and having a quick break from work. I have really begun to love Matcha and I like it in tea with fresh mint leaves or mixed into a cinnamon latte with almond milk. I feel like it’s comforting but also gives you a boost of energy which is better for you than coffee. I do a lot of gluten-free baking so I may be lucky and scramble for some leftovers otherwise I will probably have some fruit and nuts at this point in the day. I work quite late these days so this snack time is essential to keep me going.
When I am cooking for myself and feeling a little lazy I tend to go for broccoli, green beans, kale with salmon fillet or tofu and a punchy tahini dressing. I live round the corner from Itsu and those takeaway boxes practically jump into my bag for my midweek dinner on my way home. I host quite a few dinner parties at my flat and I have been making my roast squash gnocchi for guests recently which is a nice, easy recipe from my new cookbook NINA Capri. They are light, fluffy and delicate and are made with a little rice flour making them gluten-free. Post dinner I may need a small piece of dark chocolate but only 70% cocoa or over will do otherwise I find it too sweet. All of the chocolate that I use in baking is from Ecuadorian coco beans and is made organically in a small factory in Leicester and the depth in flavour is incredible. I think my cakes sell due to the quality of this amazing chocolate. If you are going to have a treat, then treat yourself to the best!