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A Review of “The Secret Kitchen Book”

A Review of “The Secret Kitchen Book”

My name is: Jana Brunclikova.

My book is called: The Secret Kitchen Book: Intuitive Eating.

My background before becoming an author was:

My fascination with natural health began long before I spent many years studying it. As a child, growing up in vibrant fields of the mountains of Czech Republic, which were abundant with herbs and wildflowers, folk remedies and nature, I discovered the power of plant medicine and its healing properties. It has never left me since. Also, my love for the kitchen and creating healing food not only for people, but also for the planet, is rooted in my childhood. I will always remember being in the kitchen with my mom, helping her with her weekend bakes. Oh, that memory of smells from fresh baked goods from our own produce!

Fast forward to today: I have spent many years teaching people how to regain and reignite their health through my naturopathy clinic, where I practice with Bioresonace—natural body life synergy. Currently, I have a clinic at Herbal Wisdom Bangalow and look after the Mullum dispensary in Santos, supporting its community with over-the-counter advice.

I was inspired to write it when: The book is an art passion project representing the senses: touch, smell, sight and so on. It’s inspired by nature, sustainability, community and food as a medicine. The photos in the book are a collection of memories and self-taken film photographs from many years of travels around the globe, across Europe, India, New Zealand and Australia. The recipes are inspired by the people and jobs I have had on my journey as a plant-based chef. It’s self-published, as I didn’t want to compromise on the sustainably of the final product, which uses recycled paper and is locally manufactured to support the value of quality over quantity.

The book features many simple tips for healing herbs and plants that you can use from season-to-season.

It's about: Changes in eating and cooking using ingredients inspired by nature, herbs or edible weeds and following the laws of nature. As a health practitioner, I have come across many people who suffer from eating disorders. They somehow lost the ability to be in tune with their instinctive knowledge and became blinded by trends, fads, weight loss diets and more. I thought this book would be the best way to show people how to tap back into what they already know, but may have somehow forgotten, using folklore, local plants, naturopathic tips and cooking with the weather and moon cycles.

The most unexpected takeaway is: The healing benefits of a bottle of organic local red wine and watching a sunset—though that’s not unexpected for people who know me.

Here’s a little taste of what it has to offer:

ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES WITH CHESTNUTS AND LEMON MYRTLE TAHINI DRESSING – a recipe for autumn or rainy season

 

Serves 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

 

Ingredients:

 

1 medium butternut squash or sweet potato

2 parsnips

3 - 4 purple beets

2 potatoes or kumera potatoes

1 c chestnuts (in shells)

2 T olive oil

Sprinkle of cumin seeds

2 t lemon juice

½ c fresh loose herbs (rosemary, oregano, sage, thyme, parsley)

Salt and pepper to taste

Bunch fresh rocket (or other fresh greens)

 

Lemon Myrtle Tahini Dressing ingredients:

 

½ c tahini

1/3 c water

Juice of ½ lemon

¼ t lemon myrtle (ground)

1 garlic clove

Salt to taste

 

Instructions:

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C or 375F.
  2. Wash and peel your veggies, then slice into very thin rounds using a mandolin slicer or a sharp knife. Try to get your slices as uniform as possible, trimming as needed, so all of the vegetables are about the same size in diameter.
  3. Place each group of vegetables in its own separate bowl to season. Toss with olive oil, cumin seeds and lemon juice, then sprinkle generously with the fresh herbs and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Arrange the veggies in a baking dish, lining up each slice. Use your fingers to stuff any leftover herbs in between the slices and drizzle the whole thing with honey.
  5. Roast in the oven for roughly 45 minutes.
  6. In the meantime, make the tahini dressing by blending all the ingredients in a blender until smooth and creamy. When the veggies are finished, lay them over a bed of rocket and drizzle with the tahini sauce.
  7. Pinch the chestnuts with a knife to create a hole in each shell. Roast on a baking tray for a few minutes or until you hear them pop. Carefully remove the shells and mix into your roasted veggie dish.

 

*According to Ayurveda, root vegetables are a grounding, nurturing support for our base chakra energy. They help us feel deeply energized, centered and at ease with our feet firmly planted on the ground.

Lemon myrtle is a natural Australian bush plant. If you can’t find it, simply use regular lemon as a substitute.

TIP: Decorate this dish with pickled karma vegetable or homemade sauerkrauts!

My hope is that readers will: The book is an inspiration to shift us from rule-based eating to intuitive eating, and then more authentic living. I hope the reader will find the book to be a nice, easy read, as well as a resource for daily guidance in the kitchen. It helps us understand how to use natural ingredients and not harm our planet, since it’s really up to us as individuals to make the effort. I hope the reader will feel the passion and hard work behind this project, the drive to create something meaningful rather than profitable.

This book can help you connect to the powerful cycles of the moon by: Changes in the weather ask us to shift and adjust. This book helps you to connect to the cycles of nature and the moon by listening to the changes in your environment. Our bodies, the microcosm, are moving within a greater macrocosm: the environment. Often, when there is a sudden shift in weather, like an unexpected snowstorm in late spring, the body will manifest signs of adjusting to this change. You may notice sudden congestion, fatigue, headaches or flu-like symptoms. Your body is responding to the shift in balance. No need to panic. Think back to how you've been eating and living, look at the changes and adjust yourself accordingly. I made the book to help people understand how the body’s clock works with moon cycles and nature’s cycles.

My next book might be: How to create an Earth cake, which is actually good for you and, of course, our Mother Earth! Many people have been asking me about this. Motherhood is taking over at the moment, but never say never!

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