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Thursday 18 January 2024

Eat to Your Heart's Content by Sat Bains


Dear friends. Today I'm bringing you a review and spotlight on a book from renowned chef Sat Bains.  During lock down, aged 50,  he nearly died after a massive heart attack during a workout, leading to a triple heart bypass.

Sat, a Michelin starred chef, told The Times:  “I had a really good life balance with work, training, diet and sleep. And then all of a sudden, two weeks after my 50th birthday, a massive heart attack. I didn’t think it could or would happen to me.”

Two days after the operation he contacted Dr Neil Williams, senior lecturer in exercise physiology and nutrition at Nottingham Trent University, and they began to work on a diet and exercise programme which included this book. 


Book Description

Having two Michelin Stars and a three-decade long obsession with flavour, Sat was not willing to sacrifice great food just because his diet now had to be heart healthy. This collection of recipes is made up of those he devised following surgery and focuses on lean protein, a mix of legumes, good fats - such as avocado, nuts and olive oil - and vegetables and fruits.

These delicious, simple dishes are designed for every day, they use supermarket-friendly ingredients and are accompanied by nutritional advice highlighting the ingredients rich in heart-healthy vitamins and minerals.

My Thoughts

This is an excellent commonsense book on nutrition and healthy eating. It avoids a couple of the pitfalls of recipe books by famous chefs. The first is that their books are full of difficult to find ingredients, and the second is that they involve long preparation and difficult techniques, which are incompatible with the way most of us live. 

Not so with Eat to Your Heart's Content.

The fact that Sat Bains went from healthy to seriously ill in a matter of minutes has focused his attention on creating a diet for the rest of his life that would be healthy but not compromise on flavour.  His diet takes us back 40 to 60 years, to the type of diet based on wholefoods - the least handled, manipulated or ultra-processed.

It's similar to a Mediterranean diet, and utilises a rainbow of fruit and veg, extra virgin olive oil, oats and barley, nuts and seeds, oily fish and shellfish, lean meat, soya beans and spices and herbs.

The "science," or information about healthy eating, is succinct and down-to-earth.  

I liked the fact that some of  recipes from Momma Bains are included. When we were in lockdown, Sat and his mum opened a new business, Momma Bains.  She cooked all her curries and then they re-made them, step-by-step. These recipes include Momma Bains' chickpea curry and aubergine and potato sabji, a delicious sounding vegetable side dish.

Recipes I'm particularly looking forward to trying are Four Bean Beef Chilli (below), sirloin steak with anchovy dressing (yes. steak can be enjoyed as a treat), and spatchcock chicken with roasted roots and herbs. 

The pictures, as you can see, show delicious food that isn't strewn with flowers or chefly swooshes.

Devising some sweet treats was a particular challenge but Sat, whose dad owned a sweet shop, was determined to create some dishes that would hit the spot. He says: "How do you get your sweet tooth fix when you can't eat the rubbish emulsified milk chocolate you are used to?" 

The result is healthy sweet treats that include chocolate protein cookies, chocolate mousse (pictured), meringues with raspberries, blueberries and crème fraîche, and a protein bar for food-on-the-go. 

About Sat Bains

Sat Bains is best known for being chef proprietor of the two-Michelin starred Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms in Nottingham, England. It also holds one Green Michelin Star. He won the Roux Scholarship in 1999 and worked in France before returning to the UK and opening his own restaurant. Sat won Great British Menu in 2007 and has continued making regular appearances on television.

Thanks to Anne Cater, the author and the publisher for the advance copy. 

These great sites are where I link.


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