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I Tried Recipes From Jesinta Campbell's Book And It Wasn't A Total Disaster

Me, the world's worst cook.

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This week, Australian model and presenter Jesinta Campbell released her first book, Live a Beautiful Life. It's filled with healthy recipes, beauty tips, motivational life hacks, and a four-week exercise plan.

Patricia Niven, Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

Naturally, as soon as I got a copy, I wanted to try everything immediately. Because I'm more of an eater than a runner, I decided to start by testing some recipes from the book.

I chose five recipes to try: a smoothie, a snack, a breakfast dish, a lunch meal, and a dinner recipe. I picked the recipes that looked the tastiest, while also keeping my very poor cooking abilities in mind.

True story: Until this year, I didn't even know how to cook pasta.

1. The Green Goddess Smoothie

Patricia Niven


½ mango, skin removed

½ lemon, skin removed

Handful baby spinach leaves

1 medjool date, pit removed

1 teaspoon chia seeds

½ cup cold water


Chop the mango and lemon into juicing-sized pieces. Put all the ingredients through a juicer or blender, adding cold water as needed.

What I liked most about this recipe was the fact it didn't contain any of the hard-to-find ingredients that some "celebrity smoothies" do.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

No bee pollen. No hulled hemp seeds. Hell, there wasn't even any kale. It was perfect. The smoothie was smooth, refreshing, and thanks to the lemon, came with a delightful zing. I will definitely be making this one again.

2. Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Patricia Niven


1 cup raw almonds

200g pitted medjool dates

2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

2 tablespoons raw cacao


Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor or blender and blend until the mix is well combined and there are no large chunks of nuts or dates. Scoop the mix out into a large bowl. Using your hands (you might like to wear gloves for this part), roll the mix into balls roughly 2–3cm in size and place them in a container lined with baking paper. These will keep in your fridge in an airtight container for a week or so.

I'm not the biggest fan of peanut butter, so I was a little reluctant about this recipe. However, I was pleasantly surprised!

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

Once the dates, nuts, and cacao were added into the equation, the peanut butter taste wasn't too strong. I've tried a fair few bliss ball recipes in my time and this has to be one of the simplest. In future I might even add some coconut oil and chia seeds for a ~little something~ extra. Out of everything I tried from the book, these were the most popular in the office.

3. Breakfast Frittatas

Patricia Niven


6 medium eggs

Dash of milk

Salt and pepper

120g goat’s feta

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

Handful baby spinach leaves

1 zucchini, grated

Handful fresh basil leaves

Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together until combined. Season with salt and pepper, then add the remaining ingredients.

Stir to mix. Pour the mixture into greased muffin trays and cook for 15 minutes, or until frittatas are cooked through.

This frittata recipe is literally so simple. I honestly think I'm the only person in the world that could have messed it up.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

Everything started off fine. I mixed all the ingredients together and marveled at how bright and healthy everything looked in the bowl.

Everything kind of turned to shit once my small egg babies went into the oven. As you can see, I over-filled the muffin tray... just a little.

4. Chilli Oil Tuna Salad

Patricia Niven


95g tin of tuna in springwater

½ medium avocado

1 Lebanese cucumber

1 small red onion (optional)

1 cup baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons chilli oil

Salt and pepper


Drain the tuna and place in a serving bowl. Roughly chop the avocado and cucumber into chunky cubes. Peel and finely chop the red onion if using. Add to the bowl with the tuna and baby spinach leaves. Dress the salad with the vinegar and chilli oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

This lunch salad looked so easy, I wanted to see if it actually tasted any good. Also, I've been telling myself to start using apple cider vinegar forever, so this was a great excuse.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

In the book, Jesinta wrote that she'll often add brown rice to this, also listing red onion as an optional extra. I added the onion but skipped the brown rice. This salad was so good I actually got comments about it in the work kitchen, which is saying something because at the end of the day, it's still a salad.

5. Roasted Tofu

Patricia Niven


500g firm tofu

2 tablespoons tamari

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 long red chilli, including seeds, finely sliced

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or finely diced


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Chop the tofu into cubes and set aside. Place the tamari, maple syrup, chilli, sesame seeds and garlic in a bowl. Whisk until combined. Place the tofu in the tamari mix and toss to coat all over. You can either roast the tofu straightaway or leave it to marinate for between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Spread the tofu cubes on a roasting tray. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool.

I eat fish a few times a week but the rest of my diet is vegetarian. The fact that I am completely incapable of cooking tofu is something I constantly struggle with.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

As in, the last time I tried cooking hard tofu I actually cried as I scooped it into the bin.

I let my tofu marinate for just over half an hour, then whispered prayers as I placed it into the oven. Someone must have heard those prayers because it WASN'T A TOTAL DISASTER.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

It didn't burn. Or turn to mush. Or taste like garbage. It was a real-life miracle.

In the end, besides some minor hiccups, I can definitely say that I will use all of these recipes again.

Gyan Yankovich / BuzzFeed

And that really is saying something, coming from me, queen of kitchen disasters.

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