“Everyone’s going to hate me for saying this, but 10-a-day is more than possible, insists Gizzi Erskine. The chef and her new business partner, nutritionist Rosemary Ferguson, are determined to prove that packing many more portions of fruit and veg into your diet is achievable, and importantly filling and full of flavour, too. This is not rabbit food, says Erskine.
Guidelines regarding what were supposed to eat and avoid can be complex, counter-intuitive and ever-changing. One week fat is our friend; the next, butter is back on the blacklist. When it comes to fruit and vegetables, first it was five a day, then it suddenly shot up to 10, and then we were told three would do, at a pinch. But for anyone even a little concerned about their health (and that of the environment), cutting back on processed food and red meat, and replacing them with fresh fruit and vegetables, makes sense.
And this is what Erskine and Ferguson have made their mission. They have teamed up to create what Ferguson describes as nutritious fast food under the name Pure Filth. Its angelic food that people will want to eat.
The pair met at The Big Feastival last year and got on instantly, says Ferguson. I think we were destined to be mates, adds Erskine. We have a lot of friends in common within minutes we were yapping about food and pals. A plan to work together was swiftly cooked up, making the most of their individual strengths: Ferguson, a model turned nutritionist and naturopath, looks after juices and, of course, nutrition, and Erskine, the author of four cookbooks, handles the recipes.
For Erskine, who lives for her next meal, its all about taste: Aromatics. Ginger. Turmeric. Garlic. Herbs. In abundance. For flavour over health. Health is just an added bonus.
And while they might evangelise about the power of vegetables, they are far from preachy. Alcohol is not the enemy; nor is toast and Marmite or a burger and fries. Saying that, they say their meat-free black-bean burger topped with beer cheese and ghee-fried onions (with its five portions of vegetables) is a mind blower.
I eat meat every now and then, says Ferguson, but I would order this over a beef burger any day even if I had a searing hangover. Both see hearty, flavour-and-veg-packed food like this as the antidote to the occasional evening of over-indulgence. Knowing what to eat to heal your liver and fix your brain has been much discussed, says Erskine.
Image courtesy of telegraph.co.uk