Trish Van Der Nest is a mother of four, lawyer and homeopath. She recently added cookbook author to her accomplishments with the publication of her first cookbook, Home Food. It’s a collection of 55 carb-conscious recipes for comfort eating she collected and updated from family, friends, chefs and foodies. Her recipe are uncomplicated to make with easy to source ingredients. They show that good tasting food can be healthy and need not be hard to make, like this delicious gluten, wheat and sugar free carrot cake.
Recently I asked Trish to share some of her favourite dishes, food memories, ingredients, appliances and the inspiration behind Home Food.
What was the inspiration behind and your reason for publishing Home Food?
The book has been swimming around in my head for so many years. It was meant as a tribute to my family members who taught me to cook and who developed a love of cooking in me and it was an endeavour to capture memories and consolidate the recipes into something that we could keep. My brother who lives in Taiwan has just received his copy and his words to me were: “How wonderful, all those recipes and memories I thought lost forever….” It is also the desire to share easy recipes that I cook over and over that I know others can easily cook and enjoy.
What was the most surprising thing about publishing a cookbook?
The most surprising thing was having to sit back and allow the creatives to do their thing with the book. It was quite hard to let go of it but once I did, it was all for the better, everyone doing what they are good at!
What is you first food memory?
My first food memory is of enjoying a special birthday celebration meal at the Three Ships restaurant at the Old Carlton Hotel. I had never seen anything quite so fancy and it filled me with awe and wonder. My parents always made a point of celebrating birthdays at a fancy restaurant and we learnt how to behave properly in a smart restaurant and to eat and appreciate incredible food at a very young age.
What role does food play in your life?
Food plays a very central role in my life. All the important things in life for me have happened around food and the table. I cook for so many reasons but mostly, cooking is my love language and it is always my way of showing my love for the people I am cooking for.
What is your favorite recipe in Home Food?
A favourite recipe is for me like choosing a favourite child- just impossible because they are all such favourites but I think I probably make the fish cakes the most- they are so easy to make, are really healthy and just so delicious! And of course they remind me of my mum.
What items do you always keep in your fridge?
In my fridge you will always find butter, cream, cream cheese and pesto. There is so much you can do with all of these.
What is your go-to easy, fast and healthy meal?
I love the burgers because they are easy and quick to make and really healthy with only good things inside with no additives. I serve them with a lettuce leaf as opposed to a bun and some delicious sweet potato crisps on the side.
What is your favorite kitchen appliance?
My husband gave me a Thermomix a few years ago for Christmas and it really is a game changer. There is nothing you can’t do with it and it can be a serious time saver.
What have you been cooking most during lockdown?
Lockdown really was a time of cooking on a grand scale for everyone, it seems. In the beginning of lockdown there was quite a lot of baking happening- real comfort style food and so I was baking my healthy beetroot brownies- the recipe will be in my next book! But then as lockdown dragged on and we realised this was going to last for a lot longer, so we became more conscious of eating healthy and so I was making a lot more delicious salads- the cabbage salad and the broccoli salad were firm favourites.
Home Food is Trish Van der Nest’s first cookbook. It is published by LAPA Publishers, a division of Penguin Random House South Africa and is available here.