Meat-free magnificence with Lily Simpson of Detox Kitchen
Vegetarian; pescatarian; organic only. There are tons of labels we use to define food choices, largely down to the fact more of us are making the decision to reduce or exclude meat from our diets. Yet many people still fear that embracing a new way of eating means sacrificing enjoyment. This is something Lily Simpson, founder of healthy food delivery service Detox Kitchen, hopes to counter with Detox Kitchen Vegetables.
“Detox Kitchen Bible was a really conscious, detailed look at how certain foods make us feel and how they’re linked to certain ailments,” begins Lily. “My second book is much more about exploring flavours and celebrating vegetables.”
The focus was inspired by Lily’s own change in diet. “I only became vegetarian about 18 months ago,” she says. “But what I’ve always done is celebrate vegetables, making them more of a focus than meat or fish. With more people becoming vegetarian or vegan, I really want people to enjoy it.”
Lily’s ethos is making natural, quality ingredients key to creating dishes that taste wonderful and make you feel great. “I think it’s about cooking from scratch, using really good, consciously-sourced ingredients and having a balanced plate,” she says. “You need good fat, carbs and protein. It’s not clever to leave out things that are meant to be there for your health. ”
The benefits of cooking from scratch formed the basis of Lily’s career, launching Detox Kitchen in 2012 to address the difficulty of eating nutritious, tasty food, even with a busy schedule.
“It came around when people were starting to question what was in their food,” she explains. “I ate terribly at uni, like most students, and never felt great. Then I was working myself into the ground in London.”
Lily found it hard to prioritise her diet. “Growing up, I’d always eaten really well. My mum always cooked from scratch, but I didn’t have time. People need to eat natural, balanced meals, and that’s where Detox Kitchen was born. It’s about going back to basics: wholesome, honest food with no preservatives or additives.”
Detox Kitchen Vegetables takes this a step further, using 33 different veggies and making them the star of each dish in a way people can easily recreate at home.
“There are a few recipes for each vegetable, and I talk about good flavour combinations and how to cook it,” she explains. “Nothing I do is overly complicated. It’s about getting as much flavour as possible into the dish, and making it simple.”