parsley

ROASTED ROOT SALAD WITH MUSTARD DRESSING

ROASTED ROOT SALAD WITH MUSTARD DRESSING



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What happens when three nutritional therapists and their families get together for dinner? No, we don’t snack on carrot and celery sticks and drink kale juice. We eat, and we eat a lot. But we do eat very nutritions and delicious foods. Usually we struggle to put all the various dishes on the table. The quantity reminds me of the French film Blow Out.

Last Saturday we had one of our foodie get togethers. Our table was overflowing with black bean chilli, patatas bravas, Mexican rice, guacamole, hummus, rocket and vegetable salad with cashew dressing and roasted vegetable salad with mustard dressing. Everything was delicious, full of nutrients and made with love :)

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One of my contributions was the roasted root salad with mustard dressing. Full of flavour, zingy, delicious and very colourful (if I may say so myself). It is so easy to make! I used carrots, butternut squash and beetroot. Of course other veggies would work here well too, sweet potato, parsnip, pumpkin, swede. The sweetness of root veggies can take a very punchy dressing flavoured with plenty of whole grain mustard.

This salad is fabulous when made ahead, great for take to work for lunch. Or as the weather gets better it is definitely one for a picnic basket. Bit of crusty sourdough would be amazing to soak up the dressing that has turned beautifully pink. I know I will be making this again and again.



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ROASTED ROOT SALAD WITH MUSTARD DRESSING

ingredients

1Tbs coconut oil
5 medium to large red beetroot
5 large carrots
1 small to medium butternut squash
3 medium red onions
Dressing
2 Tbs whole grain mustard
3 Tbs sherry vinegar
4 Tbs olive oil
2 tsp tamari or nama shoyu
1 Tbs maple syrup

5 tbs chopped parsley
1/2 cup walnuts

  • Cut the root vegetables into 1/2 inch (1.5cm) dice.
  • Melt the coconut oil.
  • Place the vegetables on a baking tray and roast, drizzle with coconut oil and roast for 15 minutes.
  • Slice the red onions and add to the vegetables, roast for another 30-35min or until the roots are cooked all the way through and starting to caramelise around the edges.
  • While the veggies are roasting prepare the dressing by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl large enough to hold all the ingredients.
  • Tip the roasted veggies into the dressing, mix to coat. Hot vegetables will soak up the dressing making this extra delicious.
  • When the dressed veggies are cooled down add the parsley and walnuts.
  • Serve with a crusty chunk of sourdough.


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BEETROOT SALAD WITH PARSLEY GARLIC DRESSING, WALNUTS AND RADISH SPROUTS

BEETROOT SALAD WITH PARSLEY GARLIC DRESSING, WALNUTS AND RADISH SPROUTS

Sometimes it seems to me that it is very difficult to sell the idea of healthy food to some people. Somehow healthy food has a reputation of being bland and boring. Can food be pleasurable, tasty and healthy at the same time?

Christ Wark (chrisbeatcancer.com), in one of his podcasts, said that when he was going through his most intense healing period he began to see food as fuel rather than pleasure. He was focused on flooding his body with nutrition, eating for the sole purpose of healing his body. And he ultimately succeeded. Yes, eating the same salad or glass after glass of vegetable juice day in day out may become repetitive and boring but also in a way comforting.

When you switch from processed, over-salted, over-enhanced foods to healthy as nature intended nutrition you will, over time (this may take just a few weeks), learn to appreciate the true flavour of food. I like to tell my clients to imagine what the healthy food is doing in their body. Or in fact any food. We all know that eating a donut won’t bring any benefit to your health, there is no nutrition in a donut (unless you count artificial vitamins and minerals added to the flour). Eating a plateful of vegetables, on the other side, will flood your body with minerals, vitamins, enzymes and phytonutrients. If you can imprint this into your mind your choices may just become easier.


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Let’s practise with my beetroot salad:
Beetroot:
rich in folate and manganese, supports liver detoxification, anti-inflammatory
Parsley:
rich in vitamins and minerals, diuretic (supports kidney detoxification), anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory
Garlic:
vasodilator (beneficial for cardiovascular health), anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiviral, anti-cancer, source of selenium
Walnuts:
rich in vitamin E, omega 3 fats, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant, rich in magnesium, cooper, manganese, biotin and molybdenum, lower LDL cholesterol
Olive oil:
anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, protection from cancers of the digestive tract, can slow down growth of harmful bacteria (i.e. Helicobacter)
Radish sprouts:
anti-cancer, rich in minerals, vitamins and enzymes, aid liver detoxification, source of phytoestrogens
Cider vinegar:
helps regulate blood sugar balance, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, helps break up mucus, aids digestion

If you are a beetroot lover like me you will adore this recipe. And as you see it will love you back. I already made it twice this week…


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BEETROOT SALAD WITH PARSLEY GARLIC DRESSING, WALNUTS AND RADISH SPROUTS
Serves 2-4 (4 as a side salad)

10 baby beetroot or 5 medium size (any colour)
1 large clove garlic
handful of parsley (about 2-3 tbs chopped)
4 tbs cider vinegar (I use non pasteurised)
3 Tbs cold press extra virgin olive oil
few walnut pieces (about 1 tbs)
handful of radish (or broccoli sprouts)

  • Clean the beetroot, cut of the stalks but be careful not to expose the flesh as this will cause the beetroot to bleed out into the cooking water. I leave the roots intact.
  • Boil in water for about 30min (this will depend on size) till beetroot is tender.
  • Drain the beetroot, let cool. When cool enough to handle slip the skins off. Cut into bite size wedges.
  • Arrange the beetroot wedges in a single layer in a shallow bowl.
  • Next make the dressing: crush or finely chop the garlic clove and chop the parsley. In a small bowl whisk together the olive oil and vinegar with a pinch salt. Stir in the garlic and parsley.
  • Pour the dressing over, scatter with walnuts and place a mound of sprouts in the middle.


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BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND ORANGE SOUP

BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND ORANGE SOUP

The house move is getting closer and closer, 7 days to go! Yesterday our lovely friends came to help us with the disaster zone that was our attic. Thank you!!! The day before (after watching The Croods with kids in the cinema) I sorted boxes of old cooking magazines. With all my books in boxes I resorted to couple of old Good Food magazines to read in my bath. There I came across a Valentines ( February 2008 issue) menu from the celebrity chef James Martin. The geek in me had to add up the calories, fat and protein of the romantic menu. Rather than romance you may expect a coronary...

Here are the results, per serving:
kcal - 2500
fat - 194g, sat fat - 70g
protein - 90g

Based on the British Nutrition Foundation RNI’s this meal contains over 500kcal, 124g of fat (50g sat) and about 50g more protein than an average women needs in a day (of course needs vary according to body shape, but trust me nobody needs 194g of fat!!!).

People tend to idolise TV chefs, they nearly posses superstar status. This gives them a lot of influence and they should be using it in a positive way. You may say the above meal is a celebration meal, only for special occasions. I agree, we do not make a three course meal every day. Still I think this is irresponsible. UK like the USA is experiencing obesity crisis, the health service is finding it hard to cope. We now have thirteen year old children having bariatric surgeries and their health suffers as a result of such intervention. This generation of children may die before their parents unless things change.

I would like to challenge TV chefs to create some healthy tasty meals, but from what you can read below, this may be near to impossible. When challenged, John Burton Race had a bit of a tantrum. By the way what does he call moderation???:

"It's a very good idea to watch your saturated fats," said John Burton Race, a Michelin-starred British chef whose recipes were evaluated by The Fat Panel. "But I would rather eat one spoon of full-fat cream ice cream than sit there with a gallon of unsweetened yogurt. I would rather eat these foods which are naughty but nice in moderation than try to look around for substitutes. It's just a pointless exercise."

And on he goes:

"It's ridiculous," said Race, pointing out that the panel harped on 100 grams of butter in his baked apple recipe, which also included dried fruits, nuts and the whole fresh apple."If you want something really indulgent, one of the lovely, rich things in life, have it in balance and moderation," Race said. "I'm sure that it won't kill you."

I will repeat Dr Esselstyn’s words again: “Moderation kills!” Chefs only get the message when faced with their own mortality. Maybe its time to start making changes sooner.

Read more at:
http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=7071103&page=1#.UZDnjo6TQ0s


butternut-orange-soup


BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND ORANGE SOUP
Yummy, spicy soup. No added oils just good fat from the walnuts.

Serves 4

1 onion, chopped
3 sticks of celery, chopped
1 red chilli pepper, finely chopped (deseeded for milder soup)
120ml (1/2 cup) freshly squeezed orange juice
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch dice
750ml light vegetable stock
For the topping:
large handful of parsley
handful of walnuts

  1. In a medium sauce pan heat about 60ml (1/4cup water) and saute the onions, celery and chilli till soft. Add more water if the vegetables start to stick.
  2. Add the orange juice, butternut squash and vegetable stock.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for half an hour.
  4. While the soup is cooking chop together the parsley and walnuts.
  5. Serve the soup garnished with the parsley and walnut mix.

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100% RAW/MARINATED MUSHROOMS STUFFED WITH WALNUT AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO PATE

100% RAW/MARINATED MUSHROOMS STUFFED WITH WALNUT AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO PATE

One of my college assignments is to go on a diet for a week and do a presentation to the rest of the class. This is going to be quite an exciting experiment I can’t wait to see how we all get on. We have several liver detoxes, juicing and alkalising and ayervedic diet, and many more. My choice was quite easy. No, it is not Atkin’s because I do value my life :) I am going 100% raw for a week. I love raw food but have never done 100%, maybe for a day, but not for a week.

The purpose of the exercise is to pick a plan and follow it. I was originally going to follow Matt Amsden’s Rawvolution but the breakfast required 2 young Thai Coconuts per day which is not something I have readily on hand. Quite frankly I could not see myself wrestling 2 coconuts every morning. Not on a school day! Kids breakfast, lunch, coconuts... too much to handle.

I am starting the 100% plan tomorrow and will report everyday (or that’s the plan). I am using The Raw Food Diet by Christine Bailey, this means her recipes not mine. Not something I am used to doing, not three times a day. There is lots of planning and preparation, I have shopped, soaked, chopped, processed, dehydrated and I am ready.

Before I start my exciting endeavor here is my own raw recipe for marinated mushrooms stuffed with walnut and sun dried tomato pate. Enjoy.

yum yum
veggies

MARINATED MUSHROOMS STUFFED WITH WALNUT AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO PATE
Serve these with a green salad for a light dinner. They are also fab as canapes.

Serves 4 as a main dish with a salad, or 8 as canapes

ingredients
300g (10oz) small portobello mushrooms
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs Braggs Liquid Aminos (or Tamari or Shoy)
100g walnut
handful of parsley
30g (1oz) sun-dried tomatoes not packed in oil
2 spring onions (scallions)
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
pinch of salt

stuffed-raw-mushrooms

method
  1. First prepare the mushrooms. I like to peel the outer skin, it allows the marinade to penetrate easier.
  2. Put the mushrooms into a glass bowl, add the balsamic vinegar and Braggs Liquid Aminos.
  3. Cover with lid or cling film and leave to marinate for 24 hrs in the fridge. Make sure you gently shake the mushrooms now and than.
  4. Make the pate. I used my own “sun-dried” tomatoes made in the dehydrator. If using regular sun-dried tomatoes, soak them for half an hour.
  5. Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process till ti comes together to a coarse pate. You may have to add 1 or 2 Tbs of water. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.
  6. Remove the mushrooms from the marinade. Discard the marinade. Divide the pate among the mushrooms and serve.
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NOT SO TRADITIONAL BABA GHANOUJ

NOT SO TRADITIONAL BABA GHANOUJ

When I was little, probably the age my daughter is now, my grandmother brought home a couple of aubergines (aka eggplants). This was the first time we met, me and aubergine of course. My grandmother did what all Czech people do to vegetables, she breaded it and fried it, schnitzel style. I remember not really enjoying the aubergine.

That night, I had a dream, you might call it a nightmare (it was for a seven year old girl). In this dream I was chased by a gigantic aubergine. Yes you can laugh but this traumatic experience caused me not to eat aubergines for many years (or maybe it was the fact that I didn’t enjoy it?).

Many years later, in my 20’s, I had an aubergine again and I have never looked back. It is definitely the vegetable I would take with me onto a dessert island. It is incredibly versatile, an amazing base for many veggie meals, it feels and taste substantial. If cooked properly it is beautifully silky and takes on all the flavors it has been cooked with.

It is very easy to cook aubergines wrong, I have been served undercooked inedible aubergines in restaurants (and I always let them know!). Don’t serve an aubergine unless it is squashed easily under very little pressure with a wooden spoon or a fork. It needs to be melt in your mouth, soft and silky.

Here is one of my favorite aubergine recipes, baba ghanouj (or baba ghanoush). It is popular in many Middle Eastern countries, you can find it in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and via Turkey even in Bulgaria. Traditionally this recipe is made with lashings of olive oil, but I love my oil free version. If you really wish you can always drizzle a bit of good quality extra virgin olive oil over the top to make it more authentic.

Baba ghanouj is perfect for a mezze meal, light lunch or just as a dip with some pitta chips and a nice glass of wine. I believe this is a recipe to serve to an aubergine hater, just don’t divulge the main ingredient.

babaghanouj


NOT SO TRADITIONAL BABA GHANOUJ

ingredients
2 aubergines (medium to large)
1 Tbs tahini
juice of 1 lemon (or to taste)
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt
handful of parsley, finely chopped

method
  1. First prepare the aubergine. Leave the aubergines whole just prick several times with a point of a sharp knife (this will prevent any possible explosions). If you are using a grill (broiler) preheat it to its highest setting, place aubergine onto a aluminium foil lined baking tray and place the aubergine about 1 inch away from the grill. You can also use your gas hob, place the aubergine straight over the flames. I do prefer the grill method, you get a more evenly cooked aubergine.
  2. Turn the aubergines often and cooked until the aubergine collapses. Feel the aubergine using tongs, it should feel very soft when squeezed gently. The skin should be charred. Under the grill it should take about 20-30min.
  3. Let the aubergine cool.
  4. When the aubergine has cooled down, slit the skin down lengthways and scoop the soft flesh out, discard the skin. Place the flesh into a food processor.
  5. Add the tahini and garlic and process until you get a puree with still few chunks left in it (no baby food).
  6. Add the lemon and salt to taste and chopped parsley. Place in a serving bowl.
  7. If you really have to you can drizzle some olive oil, but other great toppings are cumin, pomegranate seeds, pine nuts or paprika.
  8. Enjoy!

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ROASTED AUBERGINE AND PEPPER DIP/SAUCE

ROASTED AUBERGINE AND PEPPER DIP/SAUCE

Last night we were watching the Red Nose Day on TV, amazing amount of money was raised for some very worthy causes. All of the stories of the people in need, whether in Africa or the UK, are truly heartbreaking. An African woman died from AIDS leaving behind her HIV positive daughter. The medicine she was supposed to take to keep her alive cannot be taken on empty stomach as it can be too toxic. She gave up her share of food so her daughter had enough to take her medicine thus condemning herself to a premature death.

Today walking through the town we came across a Mexican restaurant serving a 3 pound burrito. It may not be as big as those on Man V Food but still nobody needs to eat this much in one sitting (not even for a lousy T-shirt). See the disparity? Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

The sad thing is that the type and amounts of food people in the Western world eat today can result (and it sure does) in chronic diseases and an early death. Not to mention the destruction of the environment. I couldn’t believe that I read in the today’s Daily Mail article about king prawn production in Thailand. To keep up with the demand from the Western world, man groves in Thailand have been destroyed to be converted into prawn pools. Fishing for the prawn feed destroys the marine life. The workmen, trafficked from poorer countries, work in terrible inhumane conditions. This makes me very angry. I could say my conscience is clear, I don’t eat prawns, thus don’t participate in this appalling industry. However this is about all of us. I do appreciate not everyone will stop eating prawns but everyone should be aware of where their food comes from and be shown how to make better, more ethical choices. This is the only planet we have and we are collectively responsible for its future.

I have posted the article on my facebook, but if you haven’t read it here is the link. Truly shocking:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2294246/Love-eating-prawns-Youll-right-tell-THEY-fed-on.html

Ponder over the article with a bowl of this on hand :)

aubergine-pepper-dip

ROASTED AUBERGINE AND PEPPER DIP/SAUCE
This is such a versatile recipe. Great as a stir in sauce for gnocchi or pasta (pesto style), fabulous on bruschetta or rye bread, yummy as a dip, homemade baked pitta or tortilla chips... Just make sure you crush the garlic clove before putting it into the food processor, nobody likes to crunch on a piece of garlic...

ingredients
1 medium aubergine (eggplant)
1 red pepper
1 clove of garlic, crushed
5 sun dried tomatoes
1 cup of parsley
1/2 cup walnuts

Great as a stir-in sauce for gnocchi or pasta.
gnocchi-roasted-aubergine

  1. Heat grill (broiler) on high. Line a baking sheet with some aluminium foil. Pierce the aubergine and pepper with a skewer or the tip of a sharp knife.
  2. Place the aubergine and pepper on the baking sheet and put them under the grill.
  3. Grill until the pepper skin is blackened and the aubergine very soft. This will take 10-15 minutes. You may have to take the pepper out before the aubergine is done.
  4. Put the pepper into a bowl and cover the bowl with cling film, this will make it easier to take the skin off. When cooled, peel the pepper. Remove the stem and seed but reserve the juices that collect inside the pepper.
  5. Make a slit lengthways into the aubergine and scrape out the flesh.
  6. Put the pepper with juices, aubergine, sun dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley and walnuts into your blender or good processor.
  7. Process until all ingredients are well chopped and mixed together.
  8. Use this as a quick stir in sauce for pasta or gnocchi, spread for bruschetta or a dip for pitta chips.
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RED PEPPER AND WALNUT SPREAD

RED PEPPER AND WALNUT SPREAD

Not surprisingly, yet another research has shown the link between red meat consumptions and the increased risk of heart disease, bowel cancer and Type-2 diabetes. This recent Cambridge University study also looked into meat production and our carbon footprint. Studies after studies are coming up with the same results yet only a handful of us are taking notice. It is important to keep this news in the public view.

This particular study has shown 3-12% reduction in colorectal cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes risk. The scientist are only talking about a reduction of red meat intake from 91g to 53g per day. I would like to see the numbers for people who cut their red meat consumption down even further or indeed cut it out completely.
http://www.medicaldaily.com/articles/12032/20120911/goodbye-red-meat-cutting-reduce-carbon-footprint.htm

Another study that caught my eyes is the link between mother's (and even grandmother's) diet and their daughters (granddaughters) increased risk of breast cancer. High fat diets in pregnancy can increase your daughter’s, granddaughter’s or even great granddaughter’s breast cancers risk by 55-60%. These are some scary numbers. And yet we get “nutritionists” promoting high animal fat low carb Atkins style diets.

This study proves that not only we are what we eat but our children are what we eat too!

http://www.sciencecodex.com/pregnancy_exposures_determine_risk_of_breast_cancer_in_multiple_generations_of_offspring-98216

The last study? Omega 3 supplements don’t cut risk of heart attacks. If your overall diet isn’t great Omega 3 supplement will not make much of a difference. Eating healthy plant based diet is the answer. You could include fish in your diet if you wish (I don’t) or choose from some of the many sources of non animal Omega 3 fatty acids. Chia seeds, linseeds, walnuts and kale are some of my favourites.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1357266
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/09/11/us-heart-omega-idUKBRE88A1C020120911


redpepperwalnutspread


Now one super speedy natural Omega 3, antioxidant rich, planet hugging recipe:

RED PEPPER AND WALNUT SPREAD
This spread is fab on some crusty whole grain bread but can be used as a pasta sauce pesto style.

I used peppers from a jar, but it is easy to roast your own. Just place on a foil or baking paper lined baking tray and bake (200C) or broil until peppers start blistering all over. Put into a bowl cover with plastic wrap to let peppers to steam, this makes them easy to peel. Peel and de-seed. Catch any juices from inside of the peppers.

ingredients
1 cup walnuts
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 roasted red peppers, from a jar works great
1 raw red pepper
small bunch of parsley, leaves only, chopped

method
  1. Put walnuts, garlic and peppers into your food processor/blender.
  2. Whizz up into a course pate consistency.
  3. Add in the parsley and whizz shortly till well incorporated throughout the spread.


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