HOW TO EAT
TO SAVE
THE PLANET

If you're looking to make meaningful changes this year, your health and the environment are a great place to start. Annie Bell – chef, nutritionist and cookery writer for Vogue and The Mail on Sunday's YOU magazine – shares how to do both through her new cookbook Eat to Save the Planet and tells us where her love of cooking began.

If you're looking to make meaningful changes this year, your health and the environment are a great place to start. Annie Bell – chef, nutritionist and cookery writer for Vogue and The Mail on Sunday's YOU magazine – shares how to do both through her new cookbook Eat to Save the Planet and tells us where her love of cooking began.

WHAT PROMPTED YOU TO WRITE EAT TO SAVE THE PLANET?

It was inspired by the Planetary Health Diet, which combines personal health with the health of the planet. Through this way of eating we are not only nurturing ourselves, but the world around us too, preserving the planet for future generations.

TELL US THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE ROAST CHICKEN AND ROOTS WITH PERSILLADE RECIPE?

One of the hardest things to relinquish when cutting down on eating meat, has to be the comfort of a full-on roast chicken lunch. So this recipe typifies my approach, where a small amount of roast chicken is bolstered with lentils and a generous pile of caramelised root veggies.

Front cover of Annie Bell's cookbook, Eat to Save the Planet.

WHAT ROLE HAS COOKING PLAYED IN YOUR LIFE – ARE THERE ANY MEMORIES THAT STAND OUT?

I have always cooked to destress and relax; I find the process mesmerizing and get lost in it. I especially love cooking at our farmhouse in Normandy, where nearly all the ingredients come from within a 20 mile radius, so they are shaped by the seasons and local traditions, and the quality is fab.

YOU'RE A REGISTERED NUTRITIONIST – WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT TO EAT HEALTHIER?

Nutrition is constantly evolving, so I suggest keeping up with the latest recommendations but any advice has to be moulded to your preferences and lifestyle. The bedrock of my own diet lies with lots of veg (and fruit), and light animal and plant proteins to stave off hunger. That works for me.

WHAT DO YOU WEAR WHILE YOU'RE COOKING – DO YOU HAVE A UNIFORM?

I love clothes but I spend so much time cooking, if I were to save all my favourites for other occasions I would never wear them! It's not unusual to find me cooking in something unsuitable for the kitchen. I draw the line at making beetroot soup in a white jumper, and shoes need to be practical – anything flat that supports my back, like trainers, is good.

Casserole dish containing soup on a kitchen sideboard.

WHAT IS ALWAYS STOCKED IN YOUR KITCHEN CUPBOARD?

Healthy pastas and whole grains like spelt, buckwheat, quinoa, freekeh and black rice. A good range of nuts, I love dried seaweeds, and I'm never without Maldon sea salt and Piment D’Espelette, Dijon mustard, tamari sauce, balsamic vinegar, date syrup, vanilla bean paste and lemon verbena tea bags.

WHAT OTHER CHANGES HAVE YOU MADE IN YOUR LIFE TO BE KINDER TO THE PLANET?

I will be signing up again to the Flight Free pledge, as there is no escaping the role that transport has played in the pandemic. I really think about driving in relation to shopping since lockdown – I mainly shop locally on foot now with the occasional online order. And I am more conscious of waste and recycling, in every area of my life.

Tables set for dinner at Quo Vadis restaurant in London.

WHICH RESTAURANT ARE YOU LOOKING
FORWARD TO VISITING IN 2021?

Quo Vadis. Jeremy Lee is up there on a pedestal for me, his cooking is exquisite, he always knows what goes with what and how to bring out the best in ingredients. And the dining room is divine.

LASTLY, DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS?

I am excited to be turning 60 in January, and my resolution is to take advantage of any opportunities that come my way, and to expand my horizons. I feel very positively about this next decade.

ANNIE BELL'S EDIT

ROAST CHICKEN AND ROOTS WITH PERSILLADE

Cutting down eating meat doesn't have to mean compromising on home comforts. In this recipe from Annie Bell's cookbook, a roast chicken lunch can be healthy and good for the planet.

READ THE RECIPE

ROAST CHICKEN AND ROOTS WITH PERSILLADE

Cutting down eating meat doesn't have to mean compromising on home comforts. In this recipe from Annie Bell's cookbook, a roast chicken lunch can be healthy and good for the planet.

READ THE RECIPE
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