Chef Tom is a true friend to our FoodSavvy campaign, an award-winning chef, food writer, author and a food waste activist. His holistic approach to food, called ‘Root to Fruit Eating’ educates and enables everyone from home cooks to industry chefs to tackle food waste and climate change through the food they cook and eat. 

Bowl food

A nourishing bowl of food is a simple and meditative way to eat. A little constant contemplation will create a beautiful nutritionally balanced and colourful dish. Prepare your ingredients very simply and invent combinations using what you have available or what is best. 

1. Wholegrains and legumes

Fill the bottom of the bowl with a nourishing protein. 

We all need to eat a sufficient amount each day but not all proteins are equal, only some complete proteins include all nine amino acids which the body can’t produce itself. With a diverse plant rich diet it’s easy to consume all nine amino acids throughout the day however some ingredients will provide them to you in one meal. 

Buckwheat (wholegrain or noodles), quinoa pumpkin, seeds and soy beans are all complete proteins. 

Otherwise combining any grain with a legume creates a complete amino acid profile e.g. short grain brown rice with lentils, spelt berries with peas, barley with chickpeas etc. 

2. Seasonal vegetables and fruit

A beautiful plate of food is a feast for the eyes. Think about the colour and presentation and aim to fill half the plate with a wide assortment of prepared fruit and vegetables. Make it look appetising by cutting the produce into a variety of textures, from fine small cubes to big rustic pieces. Serve a mixture of raw and cooked foods and try to keep the ingredients mostly separate on the plate to allow the colours pop. 

Here are four examples that I might put together for each season:

Spring: steamed asparagus, blood orange slices, radish leaves, wilted spinach and wild garlic. 

Summer: Torn apricots, grilled aubergines, raw broad beans, cucumber and sorrel. 

Autumn: grated beetroot and carrot, roasted chestnuts, caramelised fennel and pickled squash. 

Winter: shredded Brussel sprouts, cauliflower rice, chicory leaves, caramelised shallots and turnips with their leaves. 

3. Nuts and seeds

Add a few toasted or soaked nuts and seeds on top for a little texture and crunch I like to fry them gently with a little maple syrup and some spices or tamari to make a flavourful topping.

Fair trade almonds, Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds etc.

4 Herbs and spices 

Top with some finely chopped herb stalks and some leaves and/or a dusting of spices for extra depth of flavour and colour.

Marjoram, parsley, thyme etc. Aleppo pepper, cumin seeds, sumac etc.

5. Dressing

Finish your bowl with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice or a little apple cider vinegar for acidity.

6. Other

Keep going! if you have any leftovers or larger condiments you think will work well add them. Pickles and ferments like sauerkraut and kimchi are perfect, add seaweed for an extra nutritional kick. Dried fruits for sweetness or hummus, vegetable purees and yoghurt for something creamy. Nutritional yeast fortified with vitamin B12 makes a nice umami topping. 

Recipe by Tom Hunt, taken from his book Eating for Pleasure, People, and Planet. You can find more of his recipes here…. 

Hard core want more

Try our traditional Korean kimchi

Love fish? Prepare grilled mackerel and warm new potato salad with spring onions and spinach