ELLA WALKER talks to the author of the new cookbook Eat Happy

MELISSA Hemsley is probably the reason your kitchen contains a spiralizer.

She and her elder sister Jasmine, food caterers-turned-Vogue bloggers and cookbook writers Hemsley + Hemsley (The Art Of Eating Well, Good + Simple), pioneered the thing.

Now, London-based Hemsley is branching out alone, with her debut solo recipe collection, Eat Happy. “Every time I say it I have to do jazz hands,” says the 32-year-old with a laugh.

The crux of the book is to make cooking as simple and stress-free as possible.

“What are people’s main objections to cooking?” she considers. “It takes too long: OK, I can make it take 30 minutes - and with a lot of the recipes, you can do the work then go hang up the laundry or have a shower, then sit on the sofa and eat it when you’re relaxed.”

She’s also tackling mountains of washing up (“There’s only one pan!”), soggy leftovers for packed lunches, having to shop around (“I use store cupboard ingredients you can get in a corner shop”) and getting more veg in “without putting on another pan to boil a bit of broccoli”.

Sound good? Here are a couple of her recipes to try...

  • Eat Happy: 30-minute Feelgood Food by Melissa Hemsley, photography by Issy Croker, is published by Ebury Press, priced £20.

Spanish stew (serves 4)

“Using store cupboard staples and spinach from the freezer, this Seville-inspired stew comes together in under 20 minutes and is a hit with everyone,” promises Melissa. “You could swap the spinach for other greens, such as chopped chard, or add extra bits and bobs, such as a few tablespoons of capers, olives or chopped sun-dried tomatoes. I love this as a stew-like soup in a bowl, but you could make it thicker and serve with a side of quinoa.”

3tbsp chopped or flaked almonds 1 1/2tbsp butter or ghee 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 large red or orange pepper, deseeded and chopped 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2tsp ground cumin 2tsp smoked paprika 1/4tsp cayenne pepper 1 large handful of fresh parsley, stalks finely chopped and leaves roughly chopped 1tbsp tomato puree 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes 2 x 400g tins of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 100ml stock or water (optional) 250g spinach 1tbsp lemon juice Sea salt and black pepper Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve In a large, deep frying pan, toast the almonds over a medium heat for just under a minute until golden, then set aside. Melt the butter in the hot pan, add the onion and pepper and fry for six minutes until starting to soften.

Add the garlic, spices and parsley stalks and fry for one minute, stirring constantly to prevent them from burning, then add the tomato puree and cook for another 30 seconds.

Tip the tinned tomatoes into the pan, turn up the heat to a medium simmer and cook for 15 minutes, uncovered, to thicken and reduce. Add the chickpeas and cook for another three minutes with a lid on. If you want the stew to be more soup-like, add the stock.

Turn up the heat, drop in the spinach and cook for one minute, covered with the lid, then add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Serve each bowl with a good drizzle of olive oil and with the parsley leaves and toasted almonds scattered over.

Grilled mackerel with greens (serves 4)

1tsp coconut oil or ghee 8 mackerel fillets (total 700g) Sea salt and black pepper For the Filipino-style tamarind sauce: 3tbsp tamarind paste 1tsp chilli flakes (or to taste) 1tbsp maple syrup 2tbsp tamari (or soy sauce will do) Juice of 1 lime For the greens: 1 1/2tbsp coconut oil or ghee 4 spring onions, sliced (green parts saved to garnish) 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 3cm piece of ginger, finely chopped 1 head of broccoli (about 300g), cut into small florets 250g green beans, trimmed 250g sugar snap peas or mangetout, chopped To serve: 1 large handful of mixed fresh herbs (such as coriander, basil or mint), finely chopped 1 large handful of cashews, toasted and roughly chopped Preheat the grill to high. Add the oil to a baking tray and pop under the grill for a few minutes to melt.

Whisk the sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. Toast the nuts in a dry saucepan and then set aside.

For the greens, melt the one-and-a-half tablespoons of oil in the saucepan, add the white parts of the spring onions, garlic and ginger and fry over a medium heat for 30 seconds.

Tip in all the green vegetables and stir-fry for five minutes until just tender. Add a splash of water if the greens are getting too dry and sticking to the pan.

Meanwhile, place the mackerel fillets on the greased baking tray, skin side up, season with salt and pepper then grill for four to five minutes until just cooked through.

When the greens are just tender, pour in the tamarind sauce and stir in. Increase the heat and simmer for about 30 seconds to heat through. Taste for seasoning, adding a little more tamari if you’d like it to be saltier.

Serve the greens with the fish, scattered with the green parts of the spring onions and the fresh herbs and toasted nuts.