Review: Good Clean Food by Lily Kunin

Good Clean Food front cover for review

I’m not a huge fan of the concept of ‘clean food’. I’m not gluten-free or dairy-free, and I am sceptical about claims made for the latest trendy ingredients and new diets. I eat meat, fish AND (horrors) sugar, and I am very partial to a piece of home-baked cake (as you know, from all my cake recipes!). So maybe I’m not the best person in the world to be reviewing this book, by Lily Kunin, blogger at Clean Food Dirty City.

On the other hand, I am a big fan of real food (by which I mean unprocessed food without loads of added extras), interesting tasty ingredients, well-written recipes, and meal ideas that put the focus fully on delicious veg, fruit, nuts and seeds, which I am very happy to eat a lot more of. It’s for that reason that I’m really glad that Good Clean Food (published by Abrams) has come into my life, because it ticks all those boxes.

The photography, by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls, makes everything look incredibly appetizing, as does the styling by Carol Cotner Thompson, as you can see:

Good Clean Food review dip

All the recipes I have made and eaten from the book so far have been delicious and have worked really well, something that I appreciate very much – so many recipe books I have used in recent years seem really under-tested.

Good Clean Food review Med feast

It’s thanks to Kunin that I have finally conquered the holy grail of falafel that don’t disintegrate or taste like chick-pea mush. I’ve made her recipe twice now, and been delighted with the results. The measurements in the all instructions, where applicable, are given in grams and cups, so it’s really hard to mess up the quantities. There’s great ideas for combining different elements to create feasts like the Mediterranean Mezze above. I made falafel with salads this weekend for friends and they were highly enthusiastic.

The concept of ‘Bowls’ seems to be super-trendy just now, so we, contrary as ever, served Kunin’s ‘Power Bowl’ recipe on plates earlier in the week. I haven’t done a taste-test of salad in bowl versus salad on plate, but I imagine it tastes as good either way.

Good Clean Food review Power Bowl

In her intro to the recipe Kunin talks about wanting to create a bowl that’s bursting with flavour, and this yummy combination of veg, beans and grains with a delicious cashew-nut dressing really does just that. It’s very filling, and because crunching through the veg takes a bit of time, if you are trying to lose weight, it’s a very satisfying eating experience too.

Good Clean Food review Winter Bowl
We haven’t tried this one yet, but looking forward to giving it a go – the balance of flavours and textures is just the kind of thing I like.

Good Clean Food review chilli

The chilli recipe looks fabulous, as you can see, but the recipe I really wanted to try, as soon as I saw it, was Lentil Tacos with Simple Slaw and Corn Avocado Salsa. It sounded perfect for a fun, tasty meal, to enjoy with friends, using the kind of healthy, spicy food I love to eat. It really didn’t disappoint… I could eat the Salsa on it’s own, it’s so delicious – here’s my version.

Good Clean Food recipe sweetcorn and avocado salsa

It’s so quick to make – just combining some fresh sweetcorn, chopped avocado, red onion, coriander (cilantro) and lime juice. Mmmmm. The whole combination of lentils, salsa and slaw is a crunchy, tasty feast. My friends loved that too!

I confess, although I am glad to know about the nutritional value of the ingredients used, I haven’t read much of the theory behind why some recipes/ingredients fit, for example, into the ‘detox’ category and others in the ‘nourish’ category. I’m only really interested in the quality of the recipes, and, slightly in spite of myself, I am really impressed. So, I’d say, if you are interested in new, very tasty, ways of getting more fruit and veg into your diet, or if you are a vegan or veggie, I’d recommend this book with enthusiasm.

 

5 thoughts on “Review: Good Clean Food by Lily Kunin

  1. I was smiling the whole time that I was reading this blog because it feels like I was reading my thought balloon, and I love your humor. 🙂 (Although, I did go easy on sugars starting Feb 1 as my vision got blurry.) Like you, I’m a fan of real food – – so much so that I planted my own organic garden. Hence, I’m now in the stage where I keep on looking for easy-to-make recipes using food from my garden and trying them out. Also, I totally love how pretty the bowls are! Because I live in a tropical country, the available produce are relatively different, of course, but I do like the inspiration of the book.

    1. Thank you so much – how wonderful to hear about your organic garden. I’ve just been reading your blog about vermiculture. I have a worm bin here too, but it’s a bit different to yours! Thanks for coming by, and for your kind comment. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the review. It was informative and quite useful. The hubs and I have slowly been “cleaning up” our diets. We switched to organic where we could and eliminated most processed foods. In December, the hubs agreed to a more rigorous diet that eliminated breads, pastas, potatoes and rice. He was determined to trim up so he looked good in his tux as he walked his daughter down the aisle in March, lol! I’m proud to say that he looked quite trim and handsome next to our radiantly beautiful daughter. Both of us are edging up on sixty and cleaner eating has both of us feeling more energetic and has brought us to, what the hubs calls, our “fighting weight”. Sigh. Men and sports references. Anywho, being a child of the Deep South, I’ve been struggling somewhat with ideas for “clean” meals that are flavorful and interesting. This book sounds like just what I need! Thanks again for the review!

  3. Hi Ali this looks like a very interesting book which we should all read. Your dishes look delicious 🙋🏻

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