Meet Lily Simpson, the founder of The Detox Kitchen
Lily Simpson started her business with the simple and humble idea of making healthy food “really delicious”. Now the owner of three London delis, a food delivery plan loved by Gwyneth Paltrow amongst others and the author of two cookbooks, it’s safe to say she more than made a success of it. To celebrate the launch of her new book ‘Detox Kitchen: Vegetables’ we caught up with her to try her delicious recipes and talk all things balance.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Creative. Resilient. Driven.
What inspired you to start The Detox Kitchen?
I wanted to create food that made people feel good. I had spent too much of my early twenties running myself into the ground and not really understanding the impact that diet had on the way I looked and felt. There is not enough real food being created for consumers and I wanted to create food that people would trust and absolutely love eating.
Why a vegetarian cookbook?
Because vegetables need to be celebrated more. A butternut squash or aubergine can be as much of a star of the show as a piece of meat or fish, we just need to treat them in the same way. Add lots of delicious herbs and spices and bring out their brilliance. I became a vegetarian about 18 months ago, mainly for ethical reasons, and I can honestly say I don't miss meat or fish and it’s because I make sure everything I eat is super tasty and enjoyable.
What’s your favourite recipe from the book?
The cauliflower steak with salsa verde is great, and really simple, it’s a perfect summer dish and is even more delicious if you cook it on a bbq! The Pak choi and tofu is really flavourful and moorish. The rhubarb granita and banana ice cream is fun to make and super tasty.
Can you describe your normal day on a plate?
Breakfast is usually toast with marmite, a boiled egg or avocado. Lunch is always a big plate of Detox Kitchen salads and dinner tends to be loads of veg with some grains or pulses, I’m obsessed with black rice at the moment. I tend to always make a really chunky dressing if I’m having a salad with loads of toasted nuts and seeds and fresh herbs, it makes anything taste delicious!
5 staple ingredients in your pantry?
Oat milk, eggs, avocados, sunflower seeds and a jar of artichokes.
How do you unwind after a long day at work?
Once my children are asleep I have a bath every night which is my 30 minutes of peace! I also read a lot. Most nights I’ll either read of novel or newspaper.
What’s your favourite way to stay active?
I walk everywhere. I sometimes walk from Maida Vale to Battersea, where our kitchens are. I’m trying to get back into doing yoga regularly, but since having kids it’s hard to find the time!
How do you find a work/life balance?
Not sure there is a thing. I basically have a few 'non- negotiables' which help to keep the really important things happening in my life. I am always at home in the morning and we all have breakfast together and I get home for dinner at 5.30 with the kids. Weekends are sacred - I tend to switch off my phone entirely and always leave it at home if I am seeing friends or family.
Any guilty pleasures?
Of course. I’m partial to a white wine spritzer and I love a Kit Kat now and again!
Your one tip for someone to live a healthier lifestyle?
Do things that actually make you feel good. Eat food that makes you feel great and spend time with people that make you happy.
Treat yourself to DETOX KITCHEN VEGETABLES by Lily Simpson (Bloomsbury, £26) here.Photography © Issy Croker.