Skip to main content

Ed Anderson /Ryland Peters & Small/Handout

Caroline Artiss knew food would be an important part of her life from the age of 15. She also knew that when she published her first cookbook it had to reflect a food philosophy passed down to her from her beautician mom: Good, healthy food goes a long way to keeping you looking great (and feeling better, too).

The Santa Monica-based chef’s cookbook, Beauty Foods, begins with a list of foods (and superfoods) that benefit everything from bones, teeth, digestion, hair, skin, eyes and muscles. From there she colour codes each of her recipes so readers will know which body part(s) particular dishes benefit most.


For instance, Artiss’s Gorgeous Green Soup is full of parsley, which she says helps detoxify the body and flush out your liver. Her Roasted Beet, Red Quinoa, Strawberry and Basil salad is recommended for your skin (the vitamin C in beets may help prevent premature aging); and the Chia Chimichurri Steak is good for your hair (the protein in meat and the seeds are wonderful for tresses and the copper in chia can even help keep grey at bay).

“In Beauty Foods I wanted to have something for everyone,” says Artiss, a Britain native who moved with her daughter to the United States in 2013. “It’s not one specific diet. I put some grains in my book, vegan dishes, gluten-free and meat dishes. I believe if you eat in moderation – and it is all good quality ingredients, fresh and not processed – then you will be alright.

“Some people get freaked out over the word fat and they cut all of it from their diet. The right fats are actually good for your skin,” says Artiss, who owns a popular vegan, gluten-free French fry truck at the Santa Monica pier. “I believe having an all-round diet is good for you, and I wanted my cookbook to be an all-rounder, too."

Chia Chimichurri Steak

Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 1½ lbs. rump or sirloin beef steak
  • 1¼ cups fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1¼ cups fresh coriander/cilantro
  • A small handful of fresh basil
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 small shallots, peeled
  • 2 fresh serrano peppers or jalapenos
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Simply add all of the dressing ingredients to a food processor and whizz to a fairly fine consistency – it doesn’t have to be completely finely ground, I like mine to keep a little texture.

To marinate the steak, smear a couple of tablespoons of the dressing over the steak and rub all over. Leave for at least 30 minutes but ideally a couple of hours. If leaving for longer, refrigerate and then remove from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.

Cook the steak to your liking, either on a barbecue grill or a griddle pan over medium–high heat. Leave the steak to rest once cooked, then slice to serve.

Mix a couple of tablespoons of the remaining dressing with an extra 1 tablespoon of olive oil to make it runnier and drizzle over the top of the steak, or serve the extra dressing on the side.

Any leftover dressing can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Excerpted from Beauty Foods by Caroline Artiss, published by Ryland Peters & Small. Photography by Ed Anderson © Ryland Peters & Small. Used with permission from the publisher.

Plan your weekend with our Good Taste newsletter, offering wine advice and reviews, recipes, restaurant news and more. Sign up today.