This delicious recipe comes from nutrition student Louise North. It’s a simple, 5-ingredient soup, packed with Good Stuff including:
Broccoli and leek provide plenty of soluble fibre. Gut bacteria ferment this fibre and produce short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are vital fuel for cells lining the gut. Clever, eh!
Broccoli (and other dark green veggies) contain quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoid. Research shows quercetin to be useful in managing inflammation, particularly when associated with obesity, and allergic reactions.
Broccoli comes up trumps again with its high levels of glucosinolates – sulphur containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables. Glucosinolates are activated by an enzyme called myrosinase which converts them into isothiocyanates and indoles. Both these compounds support hormone biotransformation pathways in the liver and can be helpful for managing oestrogen levels.
The enzyme myrosinase is activated when cruciferous veggies like broccoli are chopped and diced. Let the diced broccoli sit for 10-15mins before adding it to the soup to give the enzyme time to work more effectively.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings)
2 large leeks
1 large head of broccoli
1 large onion
25g butter OR 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 litre veg stock
Wash and chop the leeks and onion. Chop the broccoli, including the stalk – no stalk wasting here! In a large pan gently heat the butter/oil and sweat the leeks and onion until soft. Add the stock and allow to simmer for ten minutes. Add the chopped broccoli and simmer until it’s al dente: cooked but not mushy. Allow the soup to cool slightly then blend until smooth – or leave a few bits in, the choice is yours!
gluten-free, dairy-free option, vegan option, vegetarian
Perfect for fending off colds as the weather turns damp and cold. Makes enough for 4-5 servings.
500g carrots, peeled and diced
500g butternut squash, peeled and diced
Generous size piece of root ginger (about the size of the end of your thumb) peeled and grated
1 large onion peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Ground black pepper – to taste
1-2 teaspoons ghee / coconut oil
1.5-2l vegetable stock
Optional: soya or cashew cream to drizzle
Melt the ghee or coconut oil in a large pan. Once warmed, add the onion and cook gently for 5 minutes. Add the spices and ginger and stir well.
Add all the vegetables and passatta, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil, then simmer until vegetables are soft.
Allow to cool, then blend till smooth.
Serve with an extra dash of black pepper and drizzle of soya or cashew cream.
vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free
This recipe comes from Elena Holmes, a fellow nutrition consultant and superb vegan cook! Based on a traditional dish from northern Italy, Elena has added more vegetables and spices to increase the taste, colour and nutritional quality.
200g Gram flour (also sold as chickpea flour)
approximately 400ml water
1 medium leek
1 red onion
1 red pepper
1 large courgette
4-5 medium tomatoes
1 bunch fresh (or dried) sage
Optional spices: crushed chillies, turmeric, curry, smoked paprika – select according to taste
Olive oil to grease the tray and drizzle over the farinata
Pinch of salt
Carefully mix the flour, water and salt until it has the consistency of cream or gravy – use a whisk to avoid lumps. Leave this mixture to rest for 40-60mins.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Dice the vegetables and sage. Oil a standard sized baking tray and scatter the veg and sage evenly over it. Add your chosen spices. Pour the flour mixture over the vegetables, drizzle sparingly with olive oil and bake for 25-30mins until the vegetables are cooked andthe farinata has the consistency of soft flat bread. Allow to cool for a few minutes then cut into pieces and serve. Leftovers can be eaten cold the next day.
Leaving the snug confines of the duvet is a little bit easier if you have a delicious breakfast to look forward to. And at this time of year we need something warming to pull us out of that blanket nest.
Porridge is the obvious hot breakfast and this doesn’t have to be made with oats: quinoa flakes, buckwheat flakes, millet and polenta all make tasty porridge-like dishes.
But what if you can’t stand the texture of porridge?
Try these tempting alternatives instead and enjoy a warming, porridge-free start to your day!
For the pancake mixture blend buckwheat flour with whichever milk you enjoy and either a mashed banana or an egg. Serve with blueberries and yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).
2. Poached eggs with spinach, grilled mushrooms & grilled tomatoes
Protein, greens and antioxidant nutrients are all packed together in this simple breakfast.
3. Warm Smoothies
Many people abandon smoothies once the weather turns cold but you can switch them round to suit the winter months. Simply warm the milk and add 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon and turmeric before blending in your fruit and greens.
4. Stewed Fruit Crumble
Apple, pears and plums are perfect stewing fruit and plentiful at this time of year. Top with homemade sugar-free granola, flaked almonds and seeds and a dollop of yoghurt (natural, soya or coconut).
5. Pumpkin & quinoa bowl
Mix pre-roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash) with cooked quinoa, chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon – add yoghurt too if you like!
6. Veggie omelette
Gently fry chopped peppers, mushrooms, spinach and a handful of cherry tomatoes in coconut / olive / avocado oil then add beaten egg to make a speedy, healthful breakfast omelette.
Or try Rainbow Egg Cups; these can be batch cooked and stored in the fridge or freezer to last all week.
7. Toasted rye bread with sliced avocado, pistachio nuts and chopped fresh figs
Use gluten-free bread or oatcakes for a G/F alternative to rye bread, and drizzle a little raw honey over the figs.
8. Tofu Scramble
Tofu is a great alternative to scrambled eggs and a rich source of calcium, magnesium and protein. For full recipe details click through to www.thekitchn.com
Which foods tempt you from under the covers at this time of year?
Tell us more over in the Facebook group!
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan (Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash)
This beautiful golden spice is gaining widespread popularity for its amazing health benefits that include powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant actions.
As well as being a staple ingredient in so many curry dishes it can be added to warm milk for a ‘turmeric latte’, mixed with hot water, ginger, raw honey and lemon for a soothing cold-fighting brew or simply blended in with other herbs and spices in casseroles and soups.
Shakela Shan from www.nutrishan.com is a Nutritional Therapist with a special interest in weight management. Her passion for creating new recipes really shines through and she has kindly shared this one for you!
1 cup quinoa
1.5 cup water
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
Chopped fresh coriander
1. In a pan add quinoa, water, salt, turmeric and black pepper and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on the pan. Turn the heat off and allow to stand for a further 10-15 minutes.
2. Finally add the cranberries, coriander, flaked almonds and a drizzle of olive oil. Stir in all the ingredients with a fork.
Serve with chicken / fish / lentils, and a colourful salad for a nutrient-packed meal!
Here’s our next recipe from expert cook and food writer Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Wordsmith.
To discover more about Claire, her workshops, and her food and copy writing services hop on over to www.greedywordsmith.com
Almonds are a common ingredient in medieval cookery. With three days a week
classed as fast days, cooks needed a regular replacement for milk and cream. This
is one recipe where I am thankful for the use of a blender; the traditional process
was of course a longer and more physically demanding task.
All of the spices in this recipe were available to cooks in the medieval era. Within medicinal recipes we can find reference to ginger as an anti-emetic, useful for stomach and gout pains.
Of course many spices were only accessible to the very rich so they were also an excellent way of showing off ones wealth.
Cocoa didn’t arrive in England until the late 1600’s but the addition of raw cacao nibs offers a subtle, malty flavour and a beneficial hit of useful antioxidants. Please note – pure cacao is quite high in caffeine so feel free to leave them out if you are a
sensitive to the effects.
150g whole almonds
50g raw cacao nibs
400 ml of filtered water
1 tbsp of ground ginger
½ tsp of ground cinnamon
A pinch of ground mace
A pinch of ground clove (optional)
A pinch of salt
Cold pressed honey or agave syrup to taste
Place the almonds in a bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least six
hours. When you are ready to go, strain the almonds and rinse well.
Place the soaked almonds in your blender along with the cacao nibs and filtered
water. You may need to do this in two batches depending on the size of your
Line your sieve with a piece of muslin. Sit this over a saucepan before straining the
almond milk through the muslin. Press the nut pulp to remove as much of the liquid
as possible before setting it to one side.
Bring the almond milk to the boil before reducing to a gentle simmer. At this point
add the spices, salt, 2 tbsps of your chosen sweetener and a tablespoonful of the
leftover almond pulp. Simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly.
Strain one last time and check for sweetness before serving. Keep any remaining
almond milk in the fridge for a day or two.
egg & dairy free
This is a time-honoured recipe I learned from working at Tullivers in York. The ingredients of the menopause cake provide slow-releasing sugars, energy boosting B-vitamins and minerals, and natural phytoestrogens – plant compounds that have a balancing effect on female hormones. Enjoy a slice a day!
Ingredients (makes 2 loaves)
200g wholemeal flour (gluten-free plain flour or buckwheat flour could be substituted for a gluten-free alternative)
100g porridge oats
100g golden flaxseeds
50g sunflower seeds
50g sesame seeds
50g flaked almonds
2 pieces chopped stem ginger
750ml organic soya milk or almond milk
1 tbspn malt extract
1/2 teaspoon each of nutmeng, cinnamon and ground ginger.
Stir together all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the milk and malt extract and leave to soak for 30mins. If the mixture is very stiff, add more soya or almond milk. Spoon the mixture into 2 lightly oiled and lined loaf tins and bake at 190*C/375F/gas mark 5 for about 75mins or until cooked through. Turn out and leave to cool.