Claire Tansey is a chef, teacher and former food director at Chatelaine. She now focuses on inspiring home cooks with easy, fun and delicious recipes; plus clever tips and tricks at Claire Tansey’s Kitchen and as a regular contributor to Best Health. Editor Beth Thompson recently chatted with Tansey for a behind-the-scenes scoop on creating her new book, Uncomplicated.
Why did you decide to write this book?
I love cooking, and I want everyone else to love it, too! After so many years of creating recipes for magazine readers, talking to friends and neighbours, and living life as a working mom, I know that getting a tasty home-cooked meal on the table every night can be daunting and draining. But it can also be the highlight of your day — it usually is in mine. I want to empower people to cook at home. You can do it, and it doesn’t have to be complicated! (Here are 7 weeknight cooking tips healthy home-cooks swear by.)
What was the most surprising part of the process?
When I put out a call for volunteer recipe testers, I hoped to get 20, but I got over 100 home cooks — friends, family, strangers — who offered to cook the recipes in their own kitchens. Their feedback was invaluable, but their enthusiasm was so humbling. It was such a gift.
I know picking a fave recipe is like picking a fave child, but…?
Have mercy! Fully half of the recipes in the book are written on my heart, so it’s nearly impossible to choose a favourite. But the one recipe that really captures the soul of Uncomplicated is Garlic Spaghetti. Although it’s just pasta, oil and garlic, the whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. It takes less than 20 minutes from start to finish, uses ingredients you always have around, costs almost nothing and is delicious and deeply satisfying. Learn the surprising health benefits of garlic.
I love the name of the book. Why is it important to keep things simple at the stove?
Cooking doesn’t have to be difficult to be delicious. When we cook at home the benefits are surprisingly far-reaching — it contributes to the health and happiness of your body, your mind, your family and community life, your finances and our planet. That’s a heck of an impact from a bowl of pasta!
Editor’s Note: Claire was kind enough to share a few recipes with Best Health readers. Try her Coconut Chicken Curry.