Lighten Up

Fresh, clean and modern, Lighten Up is a vibrant testimony to energy providing sunshine food. Designed for the contemporary and somewhat busy lifestyles we all lead, Jill Dupleix’s no-nonsense, down-to-earth philosophy of food, cooking and eating offers refreshing vitality and energy which leaps from every mouthwatering page. Though written in England, the stunning food photography was carried out in Jill’s sunny, native Australia, which photographer Petrina Tinslay has encapsulated to perfection.

This is not a diet book or a nutrition-based regime – it is much more than that. This is a book of recipes for people like me who love their food but want to be healthy. It’s a way of moving your kitchen, your cooking and your eating to a lighter place,” explains Jill.

With a string of books to her name, plus regular columns for several magazines and newspapers, and married to restaurant critic Terry Durack, Jill is no stranger to good food but, her epiphany for Lighten Up was two-fold: Terry and his burgeoning waistline (hazard of the job) and her regular column readers who craved lighter food, “I’ve lost interest in celebrity chefs with loads of saturated fats in their recipes”, wrote one. “It’s easy to make food taste good with cream. It is also socially irresponsible. It’s time well regarded chefs moved on and started cooking in a more responsible way.

Lighten Up brims to capacity with a forceful potency of seasonal colours and flavour. Nothing is off limits. It is Jill’s approach to cooking techniques, her choice and use of key ingredients and their final presentation which is quite remarkably reflected in its natural chapter divisions. These include Morning Food, Salad Food, Soupy Food, Spicy Food, Veggo Food, Fast Food, Slow Food, Easy Food, Steamy, Special and Fruity foods, all accompanied by a comprehensive glossary for anything out of the ordinary. And extraordinary this book is.

Feast on dishes like Chicken Tortilla Soup with Avocado, prepared with chicken, a rainbow of vegetables and yes, a small quantity of tortilla chips; and similarly for chip addicts, discover crisp oven roasted potato morsels which are sprinkled with a spicy blend including togarashi, a Japanese seasoning, which coaxes a healthy option to sublimity; or try Pollo Arrosta con Patate – roast chicken and chips, Venice airport style where the entire dish is simply baked in one large tray .... a little Italian magic necessary, of course; or the most sticky, oven-fried, chicken wings with a finale of desserts such as raspberry eclairs or creamy fruity ice-cream made without eggs, sugar or cream but includes masses of vivacious fruit.

Lighten Up is about living life to the full - enjoying quality, healthy food then feeling and seeing its positive effects on our life and soul. No complicated processes or procedures, this is a book to be used for everyday inspiration and a worthy addition to any modern kitchen

Join with me to sample Thai Mussels with Sweet Potato and Greek Meatballs with Tomato Sauce, reproduced courtesy of Quadrille publishing.

Published by Quadrille price GBP 12.99 (paperback).

food photography by Petrina Tinslay, prortrait courtesy of Jill Dupleix