Detox Kitchen Vegetables Full Feature in the Sunday Times
Detox Kitchen Vegetables Full Feature in the Sunday Times
8th May, 2018

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"In her university days, Lily Simpson was a typical student: “Out till 3am, vodka and a greasy treat,” she says now with a wince. She knows better these days; since 2012 she has been the woman behind the multimillion-pound healthy-eating business Detox Kitchen, which delivers nutritious dishes to eager customers across London.

So, what changed? Not as much as you might think. “Last weekend, I went out for dinner. I had a gin and tonic, then shared a bottle of wine with my husband,” Simpson, 33, smiles. “I even had a dessert.”

There may still be room for indulgence, but, she says, her attitude towards food has changed hugely since launching Detox Kitchen. If she consumed food in the same way, she wouldn’t be as happy as she is now. It’s about being focused and energised.

Of all the clear-skinned young women who emerged during the clean-eating revolution, Simpson seems to have weathered the ensuing backlash best. “Luckily, we weren’t caught up in that. I think that’s because I never made myself the face of the brand.”

Simpson’s new cookbook, Detox Kitchen Vegetables, promises to remove the fear that cooking with “greens” won’t be as exciting as with meat and fish. It was inspired by Simpson’s journey into vegetarianism. “People assume I’m not into food because I’m a vegetarian. But I never see food as fuel; I eat to feel good.”

The book champions 33 vegetables, each with its own chapter. “It’s about using vegetables in new ways and perhaps treating them as you would a piece of meat — making a marinade, for example. ” Although the book is veggie and gluten-free, the dishes would work brilliantly with a protein — such as meat, fish, pulses, cheese — for an all-important balanced diet.Simpson’s favourite comes as no surprise: “Cauliflower! You can do anything with it — cook it as a steak, turn it into rice, use it as a pizza base … I know, if I’ve got one, I can make a great meal.”What’s the future of the healthy-eating movement?

“Understanding where our food comes from,” she says. “I want to know what goes into it and what’s behind it. The phrase ‘clean eating’ will disappear, but the ethos will live on.”

Interview by Sophie Haydock

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