3 Healthy Weeknight Meals From Dr Rupy
I want food to be flavourful, every single day. It’s that intersection of flavour and functional benefits that I want to infuse into any recipe I create. When I speak to patients, I work hard to get them excited about food, and I apply that to the recipes you find in this book; I want that marriage of flavour and functionality. If food doesn’t taste good and it’s not easy to prepare, no matter how strong your willpower, you won’t keep eating it. And the aim of the game is to get people eating well every day, for life.
A number of years ago I fell ill. I was suffering from atrial fibrillation (an irregular and often abnormally fast heartbeat) and after many tests, I was told to have an ablation procedure. This is what sparked a change in my own lifestyle. The power of food and healthy living isn’t taught in medical school, and it took my own experience to realise just how much of an impact nutrition can have. The driving force behind The Doctor’s Kitchen was the idea of creating motivating, exciting and accessible recipes that encourage people to recognise food as an important health intervention. Now I’m trying to understand how we can equip the modern doctor to feel confident having conversations about food in a clinical environment.
I started The Doctor’s Kitchen to inspire my patients about the beauty of food and the medicinal effects of eating well. Creating delicious recipes and bringing attention to the clinical research behind the ingredients I used has been a great way of motivating not only my patients but also my colleagues in medicine. Rather than scaring people into a restrictive way of eating, my philosophy is to use flavour and celebrate our cultural diversity to make healthy lifestyles enjoyable and accessible to everyone.
Want to be healthier at home? Drop the high-protein ‘muscle building’ diets and focus on wholefoods, mostly plants and tons of colours. Think about experimenting with seasonal vegetables and swapping the meat for beans, pulses and legumes. A colourful plant-focused diet will help you feel lighter, stronger, fitter, more focused and energetic – and will drastically reduce your risk of disease.
Work-life balance, alcohol and the inability to cook are the main barriers men can face when it comes to eating healthier. I tend to suggest batch cooking and bringing your own lunch rather than relying on grab-and-go options that are often highly processed and nutrient poor. Choose one recipe and absolutely master cooking it, so you can swap in a different selection of spices or ingredients the more confident you get. Have back-up meal options that you can make from scratch when you’re super hungry and itching for a takeout. Have regular alcohol-free weeks where you choose not to drink in social settings. It will get you into the habit of abstaining from alcohol and more confident at navigating any peer pressure as a result.
I prefer not to single out ingredients and instead talk about categories of food. In each category there are cheap, accessible, nutritionally dense ingredients, loaded with antioxidants, inflammation-reducing compounds, fibre to feed your gut microbiome and tons of flavour. These are:
Spices: Turmeric, Ginger, Garlic, Cinnamon
Brassicas: Cauliflower, Broccoli, Sprouts
Greens: Cabbage, Kale, Chard, Savoy Cabbage
Root Veg: Carrots, Sweet Potato, Beetroot
Herbs: Parsley, Coriander, Basil, Oregano, Sage, Rosemary
I love cooking dishes like a white bean stew with cavolo nero. It's lemony, salty and delicious. I also love a chilli corn chowder – it has peppers in it, and you essentially blend that down into a soup with white beans. I dress it with a little bit of extra sweet corn and chilli oil on the top. This lifts the whole flavour, it's got a wonderful taste to it and looks visually appealing too. Both these dishes are so simple – they're one pot dishes, you make them in literally 20 minutes. Even my wife was surprised at how quickly I did the white bean stew yesterday.
Dr Rupy Cooks is all about healthy, easy, flavourful meals. They will save you time in the kitchen and help you effortlessly achieve and maintain a way of eating that supports your health and wellbeing. They’ve been rigorously tested by over 1,000 people in kitchens from across the globe and I personally reviewed every tester's feedback to make sure all the recipes were spot on before we finalised and shot them. I don’t think there’s another cookbook that’s ever done such intensive testing! All the recipes – including midweek meals, traybakes, stews, curries – are designed to support your gut, brain, heart and mental health. That’s why they all contain at least three portions of plants per serving, a rich diversity of ingredients and lots of fibre.
Inspired? Here Are Three Great Recipes To Try
Ayurvedic Jewish Penicillin
This nourishing and spicy broth is my favourite meal to prepare for the family when they need a boost. It has a great collection of polyphenol-rich spices, anti-viral allium vegetables and plenty of warming flavours. I prefer to keep the spices like cloves and peppercorns whole, but feel free to remove them before serving.
Inauthentic Singaporean Chicken Rice
This is my take on Hainanese chicken, with wonderful aromatic flavours, delicious spices and plenty of colourful greens to serve with a gorgeously flavoured rice. Cooking a chicken in this way is super economical and low waste, as well as bringing out the best from the produce.
White Bean Prawn Saganaki
This dish will blow you away. The sauce is simple to make, but the flavours are intense, sweet and spicy. The caraway and nigella seeds lend an undertone of earthy flavours with the hum of garlic and kick of red chilli to counter. The greens and beans pack this with more vegetables, but the sauce is full of the good stuff too. You can easily make this vegetarian by simply substituting the prawns with more beans that have plenty of protein.
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at [email protected].