My Signature Dish
by Bear Grylls
The Bear facts of good nutrition
You might expect the signature dish of one of the world's most intrepid explorers to include a bizarre array of insects, roadkill and foraged items - all washed down with a slug of his own urine. But, in fact, Bear Grylls' favourite meal is surprisingly normal but, unsurprisingly, very healthy.
However, our muscle-bound hero hasn't always followed such healthy eating habits.
"Smart, life-enhancing nutrition was never on the agenda when I was growing up," he explains. "I think the reasons were probably both cultural and generational. I was certainly never taught how to eat healthily when I was at school, nor at home when I was a young boy."
"Then I left school, hit life and joined the army, where nutrition was more about eating as much as you could, as fast as you could, rather than about what you were eating. Before I knew it, habits were formed and that was that!"
The offer of a deodorant commercial - which involved appearing shirtless - was the wake-up call Bear needed to reform.
"I soon realised that nutrition had to be key to change," he continues. "In the old days, people used to think that our health was 80% training, 20% nutrition. Now it's widely acknowledged to be the other way round."
"But there was still a problem. The food I really enjoyed was the unhealthy stuff so the next challenge was to make the healthy stuff taste incredibly delicious."
Bear's latest book "Fuel for Life" introduces his revolutionary approach to nutrition and shows how cheesecake, pizza and burgers can be made ultrahealthy and ultra-delicious. It also includes his favourite recipe for Thai curry...
Bear's favourite Thai Curry
Recipe taken from FUEL FOR LIFE by Bear Grylls, published by Bantam Press, priced £14.99
Photography by Emma Myrtle and Christian Barnett
For the curry paste:
- 3 red or green chillies (less if you don't like things too hot)
- 6 garlic cloves, skinned
- 2 stalks fresh or dried lemongrass or the equivalent in lemongrass paste
- 4cm piece of ginger, peeled (use galangal instead of ginger if you can get it)
- 2 shallots, finely sliced
- Juice of 1 lime
- 2 tsp crushed kaffir lime leaves, or the grated rind of a lime
- 2 tsp fish sauce or 1 tbsp tamari sauce if you're vegetarian
- 1 small red onion, skinned & finely diced
- 6 coriander stalks, finely chopped (don't throw away the leaves!)
- A pinch of cumin powder
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil for frying
- Pepper to taste
For the vegetables:
- 200g broccoli florets
- 200g sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 200g aubergine, cubed
- 4-6 mushrooms, sliced
- Stock cube
- 400ml tin coconut milk
- 200g mangetout, green
- Beans or sugar snap peas
- 1 tsp coconut palm sugar
- Small bunch of coriander leaves, freshly chopped
- Put all the paste ingredients except the coconut oil in a blender or food processor and blend to a paste.
- Melt the coconut oil in a pan on medium heat and sauté the paste for a minute or two to extract the flavours from the spices. (Don't let it burn.)
- Add the vegetables (apart from the chopped coriander) and the coconut milk. Fill the empty coconut milk tin with water and add some of this - how much depends on how thick you want your curry to be. Let this simmer for several minutes.
- Add the stock powder and palm sugar and continue simmering until the vegetables are tender.
- Serve in a bowl with some brown rice and sprinkle some fresh coriander on top.