Q&A: Amy Chaplin
Upon the UK release of her game-changing new book, At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen: Celebrating the Art of Eating Well, I spoke to New York-based chef and food writer Amy Chaplin about fail-safe smoothies, food trends, her favourite places to eat (and shop) in the city, and more...
WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOUR LOVE OF WHOLE FOOD?
My love of whole food started with my mother cooking daily meals from our garden when I was a child. It continues to grow with every season as I am constantly inspired by nature and the endless possibilities for creating delicious, beautiful and nutritious meals from plants.
HOW HAS WORKING IN RESTAURANT KITCHENS INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU COOK AT HOME?
Probably the speed with which I can create meals. In restaurant kitchens you learn to make every move count!
TEN MUST-HAVE LARDER ITEMS:
Raw almonds for fresh milk
Chia seeds for breakfast
Flax seeds for breakfast
Flax oil for drizzling on everything else
Oats for breakfast all year round
Naturally fermented vegetables/sauerkraut
Tamari for seasoning grains and beans
Brown and sweet rice for the best pot of brown rice you can make
Chickpeas, my favourite bean for marinating and mashing
Hemp seeds for sprinkling over meals
Goji berries...if I may have another! Love them on breakfast.
THREE ESSENTIAL PIECES OF KITCHEN EQUIPMENT:
A good vegetable knife
A pressure cooker for cooking beans
A high-powered blender for making fresh nut milk, soups and dressings.
YOUR GO-TO FAIL-SAFE JUICE OR SMOOTHIE:
I make this when I'm in the mood for a liquid breakfast. I don't like drinking sweet smoothies unless they are a dessert and find this tastes sweet enough with just the berries. I use soaked flax to thicken rather than banana or ice and save my greens for eating!
1–2 tablespoons of flax seeds, soaked overnight in about 1/3 cup of water
1 cup of homemade almond milk
1 cup of berries
1 tablespoon of goji berries
1 tablespoon of hemp seeds
1 teaspoon of maca powder
Dash of vanilla and cinnamon
A little coconut butter if I feel like something richer
Bee pollen to top or blend in
Blend until smooth. If it's not thick enough I'll pulse in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and let it sit for a bit.
THE BEST MEAL YOU EVER HAD:
My favourite meals are often the simplest. A bowl of brown rice and chickpeas with avocado, lots of chopped chives, parsley, flax oil. Yum! I did have some stuffed zucchini blossoms in Nice many years ago that I will never forget.
MOST OVER-RATED FOOD TREND:
MOST UNDER-RATED FOOD TREND:
FAVOURITE PLACES TO EAT IN NEW YORK:
ABC Kitchen and the Vedura Bar in Eatily
FAVOURITE PLACE TO SHOP FOR FOOD IN NEW YORK:
The Union Square farmers market, especially on a Wednesday
HOW DO YOU MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
Lots of walking, yoga, qi gong, herbs and acupuncture.