Fresh citrus and herbs run through the recipes in Fresh Happy Tasty by Jane Coxwell. Raised in South Africa, Coxwell is a chef who divides her time between New York and cooking on board Diane Von Furstenberg’s yacht, Eos.
After graduating from culinary school, Coxwell read a book on how to work as a cook on a private yacht. Her love of travel prompted her to move to the south of France in search of employment. Fulfilling her wish, she found work with clients on their private yachts and was able to see the world. After landing the job on Eos, Diane Von Furstenberg encouraged her to write her cookbook.
Beautiful photography of her colorful dishes, some step-by-step images, and a few shots of exotic locations give the reader a peek into her adventures.
Besides lemons and herbs, Coxwell favors agave nectar, raw garlic, red onions, nuts and Maldon salt. She writes about each and how to make the most of their flavors.
Many of the international ingredients she discovered and made a study of in the shipboard galleys find their way into the recipes. Vegetables play a large role in her recipes along with seafood and meat prepared in healthy ways.
Middle Eastern Watermelon Salad is sprinkled with black sesame seeds, mint and cilantro leaves, and crumbled feta. Drizzled with orange juice and olive oil, the salad is “exciting eating.” Every salad fan will enjoy her chapter with original dishes such as Asian Slaw with Wasabi; Brie, Grape and Arugula; Celeriac, Green Apple and Fennel; and Green Bean, Tomato, and Potato Salad with Kewpie mayonnaise dressing. The Japanese mayo is her favorite for its creamy smoothness.
She mixes cornmeal and chickpea for falafels, seasoning them with cumin and allspice. A Cape Malay Lamb Curry can be served with Cardamom Rice and Chile Relish, topped with finely diced banana.
The closest thing to dessert she represents is honey poached pineapple scented with vanilla.
No nutritional data is given but the lack of butter, cream and white flour in her recipes plus the emphasis on fruits, vegetables, beans and lentils make the book a winner in guilt-free, delicious eating.