New Zealand MasterChef winner Chelsea Winter says sharing a meal is about connecting with family and friends as much as it is about eating. Her style of food is relaxed and she chooses the freshest produce.
Being healthy, she says, is about much more than losing weight. And let's face it, keeping trim and fit is so much easier if you're functioning well and feeling good about what you eat.
For many people, eating has become a routine and, while that may imply a certain resistance to change, in the interim it can be helpful. By gradually breaking less-than-healthy eating habits, the "new you" can set up a new routine that is much better for you.
Here are Chelsea's top five tips to set you on the path to health, happiness and maybe even a trimmer torso.
Ensure you have a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and veges, meat, eggs and dairy - yum. What's to fear about this? Look at all the good foods we are so lucky to enjoy in New Zealand - and you should eat them to stay healthy. In moderation, of course.
Eat "real" food, as opposed to packaged processed food. A no-brainer, you might say. But temptation lurks in the urgency of modern life - a few minutes preparing your own fresh food is an investment in your future.
Eat everything in moderation, but don't take food too seriously. Food should be enjoyable, so don't deny yourself a treat every once in a while. My guilty pleasure is wine, which leads me to my next point.
Wine is my occasional treat and guilty pleasure; however it can be loaded with sugar. Increasingly, I have been going for a light wine option this summer, in particular, Kim Crawford First Pick Sauvignon Blanc. We're the sauv blanc capital of the world. Enjoy it because you can enjoy it light.
Get plenty of fresh air and exercise. Again, this is a tough one, with the pace of 21st-century living, but there are some fun ways - get a dog, run on the beach, play golf ... use your imagination. Exercise doesn't need to be a chore.
CHELSEA WINTER'S PAN-SEARED SALMON WITH BEETROOT & PISTACHIO SALAD
Ingredients for salad dressing: 1/2 cup plain unsweetened yoghurt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill, 1 tbsp lemon juice.
Ingredients for salad: 2 medium-sized beetroot, 1 bulb garlic, 3 sticks chopped celery, 1/2 a large red onion, finely sliced, 1/2 cup pistachio nuts, 4 salmon fillets or halve two large fillets, bones removed, 1/2 cup crumbled feta; lemon wedges and microgreens to serve.
To make salad dressing: Mix the yoghurt, cumin, dill and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make salad: Preheat oven to 180C. Cut tops and tails off beetroot, wrap individually in foil. Bake in oven with unpeeled garlic bulb for 45 mins. Remove beetroot and cool. Scrape off skin and chop into chunks.
Place in a bowl with celery, onion and pistachios, add roasted garlic (skin removed) and mix.
Remove any bones from the salmon with tweezers. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Rub the skin side of the salmon with salt and place in pan, skin side down. Cook for 4 minutes, turn over, then cook for another couple of minutes (depending on fillet thickness). Salmon is ready when it easily flakes when pierced with a fork.
Spoon beetroot salad on to plates and sprinkle with feta. Top with salmon and garnish with microgreens. Serve with yoghurt dressing on the side.
Suggested wine match: Serve with Kim Crawford First Pick Lighter Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is full of flavour, yet lighter in calories and alcohol. Crisp and refreshing, the wine delights the palate with tropical and citrus flavours.
CHELSEA WINTER'S CRISPY HALOUMI & PUMPKIN SALAD WITH LEMON CORIANDER DRESSING
Ingredients for salad dressing: 1 clove garlic, minced, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp sugar, 1 pinch chilli flakes (optional), 2 tbsp coriander leaves and stalks, very finely chopped.
Ingredients for salad: 500g pumpkin, skin removed and cut into large chunks, 1 tsp ground cumin, salt and pepper to season, 1/3 cup pine nuts, 3 cups baby spinach leaves, 1 cucumber, shaved into ribbons, 1/2 cup red onion sliced thinly, 6-7 fresh basil leaves, 3/4 cup grapes, halved, 1 x 180g block haloumi cut into 5mm slices, olive oil for cooking.
To make salad dressing: Whisk garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, sugar, chilli and coriander until well combined.
Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
To make salad: Preheat the oven to 180C. Coat the pumpkin pieces in olive oil, sprinkle with cumin, season with salt and pepper, and roast for 30 minutes or until cooked.
Cool, cut into chunks.
Dry roast the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat until golden. Toss the baby spinach and cucumber with some dressing, and place on a platter. Add the pumpkin, onion, basil and grapes.
Heat a splash of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the haloumi for a few minutes each side until golden brown. Add to the salad and sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts. Drizzle with the remaining dressing.
Suggested wine match: Kim Crawford First Pick Pinot Gris. This superb wine is full of flavour, yet lighter in calories and alcohol compared to the standard First Pick range. Aromatic and delicious, this pinot gris delights the palate with crisp lemon-lime flavours and a delicate finish.