The Good Carbs Cook Book

Written by Dr Alan Barclay and Philippa Sandall, The Good Carbs Cook Book helps you choose the best fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, lentils, seeds, nuts and grains and explains how to use them in 100 refreshingly nourishing recipes to enjoy every day, for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert.

There is so much talk of needing to eat ‘less of this’ or ‘more of that’. As a dietician, what do you consider a ‘healthy diet’ to consist of?
AB: There are many ways of eating well – one size doesn’t fit all. Communities renowned for longevity and low risk of chronic disease like Cretans (Mediterranean diet) and Okinawans (Japanese diet) are quite different nutritionally (the Mediterranean diet is higher in fat and lower in carbohydrate, whereas the Japanese diet is low in fat and high in carbohydrate), but have several things in common including consumption of plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, legumes and seafood, and little red meat. There is no need to go to extremes – avoiding whole ingredients, nutrients or food groups is not only unscientific and unnecessary, it is also socially disruptive. Food is not medicine, it is much more important than that.

What is your go-to lazy dinner?
AB: Pasta – spaghetti or penne, with a bolognese or vegetarian sauce. Its quick, nutritious and the kids love it.

What healthy choices do you recommend people make when dining out?
AB: Plenty of vegetables and seafood for entrees. Vegetables, seafood, poultry or lean meat with a quality carb (e.g., sweet potato, pasta or long grain rice) for a main. And fruit or dairy based dessert.

How do you think the Good Carbs Cook Book caters for special dietary requirements?
AB: We used the best quality ingredients throughout the book and portion sizes are realistic. There are vegetarian options and gluten free options. Finally, there’s detailed nutritional information at the back of the book so people with special dietary requirements can decide if each recipe is suitable for their individual requirements.

What are three cooking ingredients you could not live without?
PS: It has to be onions, carrots, tomatoes.

What is your favourite meal of the day and what do you normally eat for this meal?
PS: I work from home and try not to have snacks, so lunch is important. I want something quick and easy that will keep me going until dinner (and give me energy to take a good walk on the beach and around the cliffs in the afternoon). A poached free-range egg on toast (Sonoma sourdough baguette) with a salad on the side (with mixed leaves, tiny tomatoes and cucumber slices) is perfect.

When planning a three-course lunch, what three recipes would you choose from the Good Carbs Cook Book?
PS: For spring, heading into summer, I would be keeping it light: Salad of red leaves with fennel and Jerusalem artichokes, charred spiced fish with chopped papaya salsa, and carpaccio of pineapple with chilli syrup.

If you had to eat the same breakfast every day for the rest of your life, what would you choose to eat?
PS: Fresh fruit salad (apple, banana, orange/mandarin, blueberries, strawberries, grapes) with a nutty, oaty, seedy muesli and vanilla yoghurt.

The Good Carbs Cook Book (Murdoch Books) RRP $39.99

Watch this space!

We'll be revealing the details of our next competition soon