Her debut cookbook promotes being fit and strong not skinny, happy not guilty. We find out all there is to know about the inspirational ballerina, food blogger and author Saskia Gregson-Williams.
Can you tell us a bit more about your book Naturally Sassy?
My cookbook, Naturally Sassy, is all about eating for the healthiest, happiest you – all the recipes are meat free, dairy free, wheat free, refined sugar free and gluten free. In a nutshell, the philosophy behind the book is to be able to make deliciously healthy meals with very little effort and minimal ingredients. It’s simplistic, maintainable and accessible for the busiest of us.
From the book
Naturally Sassy: My recipes for an energised, healthy and happy you
100 delicious and easy-to-make recipes
A simple and fun approach to plant-based cooking
Classic dishes with a nourishing vegan twist
If you had to pick one recipe to show off what the book is all about, which one would it be?
A very hard question, I have so many favourites. The banoffee pie from the book is one of my all time favourite recipes. I think this one really does show you how delicious healthy eating can be. There’s no refined sugar, yet it tastes completely naughty and is absolutely perfect for dinner parties.
Your cookbook focuses on ‘balanced bowls’ as one of its themes, could you tell us more about this?
In the book there are lots of ‘how to’ pages, including the balance bowl. These pages allow you to have a bit of creative licence and choose out of 5 categories the ingredients you like best/have in your fridge at the time! Like many, I often cook on the fly, without much planning, so following this 5-step recipe ensures that I can make the healthiest, most balanced meal with an array of different ingredients.
What advice would you give to someone looking to cook vegan food for the first time?
Be open minded! I grew up in a ‘meat, and two veg’ family, so eating vegetarian and vegan food did seem somewhat bizarre at first. I expected to feel hungry, weak and never eat a delicious meal again. How wrong I was! To get you going I’d suggest getting creative and making classic meals with a healthy twist, such as the Butternut Squash Risotto, Sweet Potato Burgers and Lentil Cottage Pie from my cookbook.
Here at The Happy Foodie, we’re somewhat obsessed with cookbooks. Can you tell us a bit about your favourites?
I love Everyday Veg by Hugh Fernley Whittingstall and Plenty More by Yotam Ottelenghi. Both books have some really wonderful, creative and inspiring ideas. I particularly love Plenty More for its abundance of aubergine recipes!
Is there an ingredient you are really enjoying cooking with at the moment?
Yes, black beans. I can’t stop going on about the double chocolate cake from my blog, It’s made with black beans and is hands-down the most delicious cake I’ve ever made, a complete revelation for me!
Do you come from a long line of great cooks or are you the first passionate foodie in your family?
I’ve heard through the grape vine that my grandmother was a fantastic cook in her day, though I imagine she wouldn’t have gone near a Raw Banoffee Pie! Everyone in my family can cook well, but I definitely win the crown for ‘most likely to be in the kitchen’!
What excites you about the British food world at the moment?
People are embracing healthy food, and it’s such an exciting progression to see. I grew up in LA, where the healthy eating scene has been booming for years, and seeing that take effect here has been wonderful.