Camilla Fayed’s “Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook” is based on her ethos of nature, simplicity and balance. Fayed, a proponent of conscious eating, writes that choosing fresh, local and whole foods – rather than processed foods made with chemicals and from ingredients treated with pesticides – will benefit both human health and the environment.

Photo Courtesy of Octopus Books

The title of the book drew me in, and the interesting quotes Fayed uses in the introduction kept me engaged. Right at the start, for instance, she quotes Albert Einstein: “Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.”

From there, the book lays out the benefits of conscious eating “(When we eat with awareness, the food tastes better somehow, we feel we are nourished in a deeper way”) and how such choices affect both our bodies and our minds. The Farmacy approach to food is built on four pillars: ancient wisdom, balance, conscious positive intention, and living without harming animals.

The cookbook is named for Fayed’s vegan London restaurant, which opened in 2016. And Fayed, for those interested in British royal gossip, is the half sister of Dodi Fayed, who died in a car crash with Princess Diana in 1997.

The 78 organic plant-based recipes included in the cookbook run the gamut: breakfasts (such as Sprouted Quinoa Granola), dips and appetizers, soups (Celestial Purple Soup, with cabbage, cauliflower and almonds) and salads (Sea Vegetable Salad), main dishes (Foragers Pie) and desserts. A Home & Beauty chapter offers eight additional recipes for items such as toothpaste and body wash.

The vibrant photos that accompany the recipes make every dishes look appealing, but since we hadn’t made a new dessert in a while and my son Henry had recently tried a dragon fruit shake, we decided to test the Pitaya Tart. “Pitaya” is Spanish for dragon fruit. Though the recipe called for frozen pitaya, Henry happened to spot a fresh dragon fruit from Vietnam at the grocery store – dragon fruit is about the size of an orange and has thick, hot pink skin and greenish scales. We decided to give it a try.

In addition to the pitaya, the recipe calls for a few other ingredients you might not have around, such as coconut flour and vanilla powder, so plan, or at least shop, ahead. Interestingly, neither the filling nor the crust are cooked for this tart. We found that pitaya has a mild flavor, like a kiwi or jicama root. When blended with the other ingredients, it made for a light and tasty tart.

The recipes in the”Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook” look simple and most are combinations of vegetables, herbs and nuts. The cookbook achieved its objective to get me to think about the ingredients in the food I eat. Another quote from the introduction, this one of Greek philosopher Heraclitus, sums it up nicely: “Day by day, what you choose, what you think, and what you do is who you become.”

Pitaya Tart

Recipe from “Farmacy Kitchen Cookbook” by Camilla Fayed. Pitaya is the Spanish word for dragon fruit.

Serves 12

FOR THE CRUST:

1 cup almonds

6 dates

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon vanilla powder

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING:

2 cups cashews

7 oz. frozen pitaya

1 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Blackberries and blueberries on top to serve

To make the crust, blend the almonds and the dates in a food processor until broken and combined. Add the rest of the crust ingredients and process until well combined.

Line an 8-inch round tart or flat pan with parchment paper and fill it with the crust mixture, pressing it down to form an even layer on the bottom and sides. Put in the freezer while preparing the filling.

For the filling, rinse the cashews and drain them well. Put in a blender with all the other ingredients except the oil. Blend until smooth, then pour in the coconut oil and blend again. Take the tart pan out of the freezer and pour the filling evenly over the crust. Return to the freezer for about 3 hours, until set.

Take the tart out of the freezer and defrost for 20 minutes at room temperature (or for 1 hour in the refrigerator) before serving with berries.

The tart will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month.

 

 


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