We’re gearing up for the publication of French Countryside Cooking by Daniel Galmiche, coming your way on May 14th (pre-order your copy right here)! To celebrate, we’re sharing an *EXCLUSIVE* recipe with you, get ready to dig into Daniel’s Smoked Chicken, Courgette, Garlic & Rosemary Casserole.

Taken from French Countryside Cooking

 

SERVES 4
PREPARATION TIME 10 minutes, plus making the stock
COOKING TIME 50 minutes

Ingredients
100g/3½oz/½ cup basmati rice
2 tbsp green tea
2 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
4 chicken legs, with thighs and drumsticks separated
20g/¾oz unsalted butter
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp olive oil
400g/14oz courgettes (zucchini), cut in half lengthways, then cut into 2.5cm/1in pieces
12 garlic cloves, unpeeled
4 tbsp sherry vinegar
500ml/17fl oz/2 cups Chicken Stock
1 rosemary sprig
1 tsp chopped rosemary leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method
1 Put a large piece of kitchen foil, shiny-side down, in the bottom of a steamer, then put the rice, tea and sugar on the foil, cover with a steamer insert and lid and put over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the mixture starts smoking. Quickly lift the lid and put all the chicken inside. Put the lid back on, turn the heat down to low and smoke for 5 minutes. Lift out the chicken and put on a plate to rest, wrapping the smoking ingredients in the foil and discarding them as quickly as you can.
2 Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Put a flameproof casserole dish over a medium-high heat. Add the butter and sunflower oil and when the butter is foaming, add the chicken, skin-side down, and cook for 6–8 minutes until golden brown all over, turning occasionally. Remove from the pan and put in a bowl, cover with cling film (plastic wrap) and leave to rest.
3 Discard the oil from the casserole dish and wipe the excess away with paper towel, taking care not to disturb the sediment. Return the dish to a medium-low heat, add the olive oil, courgettes (zucchini) and garlic and cook for 4–5 minutes until coloured and just tender.
4 Move the courgettes (zucchini) to the sides of the pan and put the chicken pieces in the centre to reheat. Turn the heat up to medium and when you can actually hear the food starting to cook, add the sherry vinegar straight away; it should evaporate immediately. Quickly pour the stock over the top and throw in the rosemary sprig. When the stock comes to a simmer, gently wriggle the pan around a little so that nothing is stuck to the bottom, then put the lid on top without closing it completely – you just want a little gap so that condensation doesn’t create too much liquid, but not too large so that the liquid evaporates. Cook for 15 minutes.
5 Remove the lid and discard the rosemary. Turn the heat to high and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring to remove any caramelized bits stuck to the bottom, until the sauce is shiny and just thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Add the chopped rosemary leaves and season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve hot.

Happy cooking! Don’t forget to tag us in any of your creations, @NourishBooks.

 

The #midweekmeal veggie burger recipe you’ve been after! Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes, this plant-based burger takes less than 45 minutes to prep and cook, it’s full of flavour and a firm family favourite. Read on for the full recipe!

Taken from The Part-Time Vegetarian by Nicola Graimes

Serves: 4
Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients
90g/31⁄4oz/generous 1⁄2 cup red quinoa
400g/14oz can borlotti beans, drained
2 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
5 sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1⁄2 red pepper, deseeded and diced
1 tsp hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp dried oregano flour, for dusting
sunflower oil, for frying
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
rocket/arugula, watercress and spinach
salad, to serve

To finish
3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
3 tbsp mayonnaise
4 ciabatta rolls or sesame seed buns,
split in half and lightly toasted
3 tomatoes, sliced into rounds
2 handfuls of salad leaves
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Method
1
Put the quinoa in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes, covered, until very tender (it should be softer in texture than normal), then drain.
2
Meanwhile, mix together the sweet chilli sauce and mayonnaise.
3
Tip the cooked quinoa into a food processor with the borlotti beans and process to a coarse paste, leaving some of the beans almost whole. Spoon the mixture into a bowl and stir in the spring onions/scallions, sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper, smoked paprika, soy sauce and oregano. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4
Quarter the mixture and shape each portion into a large burger with floured hands, then lightly dust each burger in flour. Heat enough oil to coat the base of a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and fry the burgers for 6–8 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp. (Alternatively, brush with oil and cook on a baking sheet in the oven preheated to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 for 25 minutes, turning once, until golden and crisp.)
5
To serve, spread each half of the toasted ciabatta rolls with the sweet chilli mayonnaise. Top one half of each roll with the tomato, salad leaves, burger and avocado and then the ciabatta lid. Serve with salad.

Happy cooking! Don’t forget to tag @NourishBooks when you post your creations online.

Have a hankering for sushi but looking to keep it vegan for #Veganuary? We’ve got the recipe for you! This Easy Vegan Sushi with Avocado recipe from Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegan – quick and delicious, ideal midweek meal inspiration.

Taken from Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegan

 

Makes 16–20 pieces

Ingredients

225g (8oz/scant 1¼ cups) sushi rice or pudding rice
300ml (10½ fl oz/1¼ cups) water
2 tsp rice vinegar or wine vinegar
2 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
4–5 sheets of nori seaweed
1 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and cut into long strips
4–5 asparagus spears, cooked and drained
flesh of 1 avocado, cut into long strips
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
TO SERVE:
toasted sesame seeds, to garnish (optional)
soy sauce, for dipping
pickled ginger, to taste
wasabi paste, to taste

Method

Place the rice in a saucepan with the water and bring to the boil, uncovered. Cover, reduce the heat and cook for about 12 minutes, or until the water is absorbed and the rice cooked. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then stir in the rice vinegar and sugar. You can use the rice to make the sushi as soon as it’s cool enough to handle.

To make the sushi rolls, place a piece of nori, shiny-side down, on a board and lightly cover it with the rice, leaving a 1-cm (½-in) gap at the end farthest from you. Place a row of red (bell) pepper strips on top of the rice, at the end closest to you, about 2.5cm (1in) from the edge. Lay some asparagus spears next to the red pepper and a line of avocado strips next to that. Fold over the edge of the nori closest to you, quite firmly, then continue to roll the nori up, like a Swiss roll. Continue to make sushi rolls in this way until all the ingredients have been used up, then refrigerate until required.

To serve, trim the two ends of each roll (these tend to be a little untidy), then cut the rolls into 4 or 5 pieces. Place them, filling-side up, on a serving plate and sprinkle with a few toasted sesame seeds, if you like. Serve with the soy sauce for dipping – it’s nice to give each person their own tiny bowl of sauce – and some wasabi paste and pickled ginger.

Remember to tag us @NourishBooks on Instagram and Twitter if you use our recipes!

The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes is available to buy NOW!

How things have moved on since my original The Part-Time Vegetarian was published five or so years ago. The culinary climate has definitely changed for the better, with more of us choosing to eat plant-based meals on a regular basis. And to prove the point, research figures show that, impressively, one in three in the UK have cut down on the amount of meat they eat, with 60 per cent of vegans and 40 per cent of vegetarians having adopted their dietary preference over the last 5 years.

While the health benefits of a plant-based diet – the reduced risk of major chronic diseases, obesity and diabetes – are well documented, it has been the growing concerns over the environmental impact of intensive animal farming that has spurred much of the move towards flexitarianism, vegetarianism and veganism over the past few years. Recent research has revealed the hefty footprint of intensively reared meat, with the conclusion that the single most effective way to reduce our environmental impact is a global shift towards a flexitarian diet that contains only small amounts of ethically reared, good-quality meat and dairy, eaten once or twice a week with a plant-based diet being predominant.

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the shift towards flexitarianism is how inspiring and creative plant-based cooking has become. Nowadays, no chef worth their salt would forget to include a vegetarian or vegan dish on their restaurant menu. What’s more, many openly relish the exciting culinary possibilities of plant-based cooking.

As a family, we have become more mindful of what and how we eat over the years. Like many families, our eating preferences vary and I’m constantly on the look-out for meals that both meet our differing tastes and that can be adapted if need be. Whether we eat meat just once a week; just at weekends; as part of an extended family get together; for a dinner party; or not at all, I’ve found that flexitarianism is a way of eating that can be moulded to suit our individual needs.

I’m hoping that this sense of versatility, adaptability and variety shines brightly in the recipes in this book. Importantly, vegetables always take centre stage with a focus on what’s in season. Where meat (or seafood) are included they are in cost-, eco- and health-conscious small amounts and treated as a garnish, side, topping or second to the plant-based components of the meals. At the heart of this book is the growing relevance of a mindful connection with what and how we eat.

Welcome to #SourdoughSeptember! We’re so excited to join the 2020 #LockdownLoafers in baking and creating artisanal sourdough this month. Of all the things the pandemic brought forth, bread is a strong favourite here at Nourish HQ.

To get the celebrations started, we’re sharing this Fig and Fennel Sourdough recipe from Slow Dough: Real Bread by Chris Young – to join in and make some Real Bread, you can get your copy of the book here!

 

Fig and Fennel Sourdough, taken from Slow Dough: Real Bread

 

Makes: 1 large loaf
From mixing to oven: overnight plus 5 hours
Baking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

For the pre-ferment:
100g / 3 and a 1⁄2oz / scant 1⁄2 cup white sourdough starter
75g / 2 and a 1⁄2oz / 1⁄2 cup plus 1⁄2 tbsp white bread flour
75g / 2 and a 1⁄2oz / scant 1⁄3 cup water
For the dough:
350g / 12oz / 2 and a 1⁄2 cups white bread flour
150g / 5 and a 1⁄2oz / 1 cup wholemeal / wholewheat bread flour
300g / 10 and a 1⁄2oz / 1 and a 1⁄4 cups water
10g / 1 heaping tbsp green fennel seeds
10g / 2 tsp fine / table salt
175g / 6 and a 1⁄4oz / scant 1 and a 1⁄4 cups quartered dried figs

Method

1. Mix the pre-ferment ingredients together thoroughly, cover and leave at room temperature for 12–14 hours (typically overnight).
2. To make the dough, add both flours with the water and fennel seeds to the pre-ferment, and mix thoroughly. Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 20–30 minutes.
3. Mix in the salt and knead for a few minutes. Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for another 30 minutes.
4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin to roll it out into a rectangle. Distribute the figs evenly over half the dough, then fold the other half over them, pressing the edges together to seal. Roll the dough out again, fold in half and roll out once more. If the figs are not evenly distributed, repeat the process but be careful not to mush them up completely.
5. Shape the dough into a ball, cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 1 hour.
6. Give the dough a single fold, cover and leave to prove for another 2 hours, or until almost doubled in size.
7. Dust a proving basket well with flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape to fit the basket. Place the dough seam-side up in the basket, cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 1 hour.
8. Heat the oven to 230°C/210°C fan/450°F/gas 8, with a baking stone or baking sheet in place. Turn the dough out onto a peel and slide it onto the baking stone. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas 6 and bake for a further 20 minutes, checking halfway through that it is not browning too quickly.

Happy Baking! Why not upload a #SourdoughSelfie tag @RealBreadCampaign and @NourishBooks on Instagram!

Whether you’re taking part in Veganuary and looking for inspiration, or have been eating plant-based for ages and just want to freshen up your weekday menu, we’ve got some great books for you to check out.

 

Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegan 

Rose Elliot has been at the forefront of vegan and vegetarian food writing for over 35 years. In this book,
Rose gives readers a masterclass on vegan cookery, with over 150 recipes from basics including vegan milks, butters, cheeses and creams to breakfasts, labor-light midweek mains, spectacular dishes for entertaining and delicious desserts and baked goods.

The recipes range from the comforting and familiar like Vegan Macaroni Cheese to more exotic fare, such as a fragrant Aubergine Pilaf Cake. Following a vegan diet doesn’t mean missing out on your favourite foods!

 

Virtually Vegan

This modern collection unlocks a whole host of inspirational vegan dishes – with delicious suggestions of meat and dairy variations to add in the later stages for those who want it.

Try a classic breakfast of Vegeree (eggs optional), master the ultimate lentil and ale pie, or enjoy the flavours of a niÇoise salad (with or without fish). And with a dedicated, dairy-free baking section, learn how to make sweet treats that everyone can enjoy.

With over 120 delicious, flexible recipes, from Sort of Sushi to Almost Paella, rice pudding to pavlova, discover how easy it is to eat vegan (or not!) whenever you want.

 

The Best Gluten Free & Dairy Free Baking Recipes 

 

Grace Cheetham reveals how to perfect the art of baking without gluten and dairy. Try your hand at Thyme Biscuits or Olive & Rosemary Foccacia for a delicious snack, make a quick Fig, Rosemary & Olive Pizza for friends and family, or go for full-on indulgence and bake Chocolate & Beet Cake, Fondant Fancies or Passion Fruit & Coconut Cheesecake (or all three!)

 

You’ll find straightforward instructions carefully worked out to keep cakes moist, pastries and pies in once piece, and cookies with just the right amount of crunch. Grace offers up a whole host of delicious treats so that you don’t have to give up on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Matcha is the fine green tea powder, packed with antioxidants, that’s taking the world by storm! It’s combination of endless health benefits, and delicious subtle flavours is quickly making this miracle ingredient a staple for foodies around the world. From smoothies to salads, main meals to munchies, there’s more to matcha than just another cup of tea. So to help you discover how you can pack your diet with the power of green tea, we’ve selected three of our favourite recipes from Joanna Farrow’s Meet Your Matcha.

Kedgeree with Matcha Butter
This is a recipe for matcha lovers everywhere! Serve the matcha butter atop the hot veggie rice so it melts in deliciously.

Serves: 4, prep: 10 minutes, cook: 25 minutes

Ingredients:
250g/9oz/1 1/4 cups brown
or white basmati rice
4 medium eggs
10 cardamom pods
65g/2 1/2oz/1/4 cup softened
slightly salted butter
1 tsp matcha
1 bunch of spring onions/
scallions, thinly sliced
100g/3 1/2oz/3/4 cup petits
pois or baby broad beans,
thawed if frozen
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp ground tumeric
sea salt and freshly ground black
pepper
lime wedges, to serve

 

Method:

  1. Cook rice in plenty of boiling, lightly salted water for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Lower the eggs into a separate pan of gently simmering water and cook for 7 minutes. Drain the rice and eggs. Peel away the shells from the eggs. Crush the cardamom pods using a pestle and mortar. Pick out and discard the empty pods and lightly crush the seeds.
  2. Beat 40g (1 1/2oz) of the butter in a small bowl with the matcha. Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan and gently fry the spring onions/scallions for 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, peas or beans, cardamom, parsley, turmeric and a little salt and pepper, and mix well over a gentle heat for 3 minutes.
  3. Quarter the eggs, add to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes to heat through. Transfer to warmed serving plates and spoon the matcha butter on top. Serve with lime wedges.

TIP! Nothing brings out the rich matcha flavour quite like butter. Any leftover matcha butter is lovely spread on toast, used for topping baked potatoes or stirred into rice. It’s definitely worth making double the quantity.

 

Rack of Lamb with Matcha and Pistachio Crust
Pretty pistachios and matcha make a crispy crust for simple roast lamb. Serve with traditional roast potatoes or buttered, steamed baby potatoes and a side of seasonal greens.

Serves: 2-3, prep: 10 minutes, cook: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
25g/1oz/2 tbsp butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh
rosemary
25g/1oz/1/4 cup pistachio
nuts, skinned if liked (see tip)
25g/1oz white bread, torn
into pieces
1 tsp matcha
sea salt and freshly ground
black pepper
1 French-trimmed rack of
lamb, 6-7 ribs
150ml/5fl oz/2/3 cup of
lamb stock
100ml/3fl oz/scant 1/2 cup
red wine
1 tbsp light muscovado/
brown sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat the over to 220C/425F/gas 7. Melt the butter in a small saucepan and gently fry the shallots, garlic and  rosemary for 2 minutes.
  2. Blend the pistachio nuts and bread in a food processor until finely ground. Add the matcha, the shallot mixture and a little salt and pepper, and blend to combine.
  3. Place the lamb in a small roasting pan, skinned side up, and pack the matcha mixture on top. Roast for 25 minutes if you prefer your lamb still pink in the middle, or an extra 10 minutes for well done. Transfer to a board and keep warm while you make the gravy.
  4. Add the stock, wine and sugar to the roasting pan,and bring to the boil, stirring. Boil for a few minutes until slightly reduced. Carve the lamb between the ribs and serve with the gravy.

TIP! Skinning pistachio nuts isn’t essential, but it does bring out their emerald greeness! Place the nuts in a bowl, cover with boiling water and let stand for 30 seconds. Rinse and drain. Rub between paper towels to loosen the skins, peeling away any that remain with your fingers.

 

Dairy-Free Green Tea Popsicles
For vegans as well as those avoiding dairy products, these popsicles have a great milky consistency and plenty of flavour. They are the perfect green tea treat for lazing on a summer’s afternoon – or as a good-for-you dessert. 

Makes: 8-10 popsicles, prep: 5 minutes, plus freezing

Ingredients:
1 ripe banana
1 1/2tsp matcha
350g/12oz/1 1/3 cups
dairy free coconut yoghurt
100g/3 1/2oz/scant 1/2 cup
agave nectar or coconut
blossom nectar
100ml/3 1/2fl oz/scant
1/2 cup oat or rice milk
1 tbsp lemon juice

 

 

 

 

 

 

Method:

  1. Break the banana into pieces and add to a food processor. Add the matcha and blend to form a smooth puree.
  2. Add the yogurt, agave nectar or coconut blossom nectar, milk and lemon juice, and blend again until completely smooth, scraping down any mixture that clings to the side of the bowl.
  3. Transfer to a jug and pour into ice-cream moulds. You’ll probably have enough mixture to fill 8-10 moulds. Push a wooden lolly/ice cream stick down into the middle of each and freeze for several hours until firm.
  4. To serve, run the moulds under hot water until you’re able to pull the lollies out of the mould

Enjoy your matcha inspired dishes and take comfort in the knowledge that not only are you eating delicious food, but you’re also loading your body with anti-oxidising goodness!

 

Joanna Farrow is a food writer and stylist with a flair for food that does you good. She has worked as a freelance writer for several food magazines including BBC Good Food. Her previous books include Great British Bake Off: Bake It Better, 30-minute Vegetarian, Good Fast Family Food and Ready Steady Cook for Kids. Joanna’s new book Meet Your Matcha is available now. For further information visit her website.

packingbloglunchboxjumble

Here we review 3 of our favourite hot food containers*

 

  1. Polar Gear 500ml Lunch Pod

This lightweight, great value lunch pod comes in a range of colours. It is primarily designed to carry food to be reheated. Double-wall insulation means it can keep food warm for up to 3 hours depending on the weather outside so works well for breakfast or an early lunch. We think it is perfect for porridge if you like to breakfast at your desk.  It comes with a built in “spork” and a removable bowl divider.
Cost: £8.99
Find out more

  1. Thermos Stainless King Food 470ml Flask

We love the neat and stylish design of this wide mouthed food flask. The lid is quite small but it’s easy enough to eat straight from the flask. Food stays nicely hot for 7 hours which should see you through until lunchtime. It comes with a full-size, foldable, stainless steel spoon and is available in 4 smart colours: Midnight Blue, Matt Black, Raspberry and Cranberry Red.
Cost £18.99
Find out more

  1. Stanley Classic Vacuum 500ml Food Jar

Sturdy and with a classic design, this flask is just as much at home in a building site as an office. With a wider mouth than the Thermos flask it is easier to fill, eat from and thoroughly clean. The lid is also a decent size if you want to pour out your food.  It doesn’t come with a spoon so you need to pack that separately. Food stays properly hot for 12 hours which could be handy if you work long hours and justifies the higher price. It is available in two sensible shades of green and blue.
Cost: £24.99
Find out more

Don’t forget!

Your water bottle and some cutlery if you’re eating on the go.

*these 3 products were provided to us free-of-charge by the manufacturers to review them independently.

Becky Alexander is a food writer (The Guild of Food Writers) and food book editor for companies such as Dorling Kindersley, Penguin and Bloombsury. She writes a fortnightly food column for The Herts Advertiser newspaper focussing on seasonal, local food. Becky recently appeared on a BBC Radio programme giving commuters easy ideas for their lunches. Michelle Lake DipION CNHC mBANT is a registered Nutritional Therapist and has been running her own busy practice, Mission Nutrition in St Albans for over 10 years. She trained for four years at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition on its internationally acclaimed nutritional therapy course. She is a member of BANT (British Association for Applied Nutrition and Nutritional Therapy) and The Complementary and National Healthcare Council (CNHC).

packed

Becky Alexander, Michelle Lake
Packed
£12.99, pre-order from Amazon

 

 

 

Barbecue2

If you’re planning on firing up the barbecue, this is a good time to turn to the Barbecue chapter of my new book The Right Bite. On the face of it, a barbecue ticks a lot of health boxes, after all, grilled meats and salad seem to be a relatively healthy option, but there are some major pitfalls to watch out for. Here are four top tips to help you enjoy your next barbecue and maximise the potential health benefits.

  1. Select a Superior Sausage
    If you’re partial to a sausage, then take a close look at the actual meat content on the label, as this can vary dramatically. Some sausages contain less than 40% meat, which can include fat and connective tissue too, and which leaves a lot of room for fillers, such as rusk and water. The more your sausage leaks water or white liquid into the pan, the more it is likely to be largely made up of fillers. A premium sausage will contain 85-90% meat which makes it of far superior quality and ensures fewer additives and fillers. If you’re wondering which sausage to choose, spare a thought for a venison sausage – they’re a better source of protein than beef or pork sausages, as well as containing higher levels of energy-boosting iron.
  1. Tone Down the Toxins
    It’s a smart move to use lean cuts of meat, such as chicken, and to cut the fat off any red meat, as this will help to reduce the amount of fat that drips from the meat onto the barbecue which causes flames. Cooking meat over an open flame can lead to the creation of powerful toxins, known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) which have been associated with an increased risk of cancer. You could also partially cook the meat in advance, so that barbecue cooking time is reduced. Using smaller cuts of meat and cutting off any charred bits could also help to reduce your potential exposure to PAHs.
  1. Shun the Sauces
    It’s easy to undo all your good work and careful choices by getting carried away with sugary sauces and glazes. A modest 37ml serving of sweet chilli or honey-based barbecue sauce contains around 4 teaspoons of sugar, so it’s important not to pour it on with a liberal hand. If sauce is a must, then opt for an unsweetened chilli sauce, a hot pepper sauce or even mustard, as these contain very little sugar.
  1. Keep the Coleslaw
    If it’s a toss up between coleslaw and potato salad, then you should choose coleslaw every time. Largely made up of antioxidant-rich cabbage and carrot, it contains about half the carb content of potato salad and twice as much fibre, which is good news for your waistline and your digestion. It’s also a smart move to opt for full-fat rather than low-fat coleslaw, as manufacturers often add extra sugar to low fat products to enhance the flavour, and coleslaw is no exception.

If you’d like more handy barbecue tips or would like to find out about the best choices for picnics, takeaway food and other tricky eating situations, then The Right Bite is definitely the book for you!

Jackie Lynch is a Registered Nutritional Therapist and runs the WellWellWell clinics in West London. Passionate about the importance of good nutrition for optimum health, she creates practical nutrition programmes suitable for a busy 21st century lifestyle. Jackie also provides advice and support for a range of blue chip companies, in the form of individual consultations for staff, nutrition workshops and menu analysis and has acted as a food consultant for brands such as Tetley. She is the ‘go-to’ person for the Mail on Sunday for sensible nutrition advice and has a regular column in Reveal Magazine. Jackie is also Chair of Trustees for the Institute for Optimum Nutrition.

RightBite_cover

Jackie Lynch
The Right Bite
Available from Nourish Books
 

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Are you lacking a bit of spice in your life? Add an abundance of flavour by integrating these well-known spices into your diet and reap the benefit of their glorious healing properties.

Spices are much more than wonderful taste supplements. They also provide concentrated, powerful medicines that can enhance health and vitality, treasures that ancient cultures knew well and that modern society is now rediscovering through science and research.

GARLIC

Garlic has a proven reputation as an antibiotic active against bacteria, fungi and other infectious micro-organisms including staphylococci, streptococci, E. coli, trichomonas, candida and amoebic dysentery. It is a traditional remedy
for treating colds, flu, bronchitis and asthma.

A growing body of scientific research confirms garlic’s reputation forgarlic benefiting the cardiovascular system by lowering cholesterol, reducing blood clots (by preventing platelet aggregation), reducing atherosclerosis and lowering blood pressure. Recently, it has been shown that garlic can help to lower blood glucose and thus reduce the risk of diabetes, and there is some evidence that eating garlic regularly may help prevent the development of an enlarged prostate in older men.

Did you know…?

Eating fresh parsley with garlic helps to avoid bad garlic breath.

GINGER

gingerFor centuries, ginger has been taken to ease rheumatic complaints, and modern evidence confirms that it has an
anti-inflammatory effect and may also lower blood pressure. It can aid slimming if taken as a hot drink with food because, as well as giving a sense of fullness, it enhances the thermic effect of food, reducing feelings of hunger. Widely used as a digestive aid, ginger can also be effective for motion sickness and nausea. It makes a warming drink and is thought to improve circulation.

Did you know…?

Ginger is highly effective in treating morning sickness, but high doses should be avoided.

NUTMEG

In the Middle Ages, nutmeg was highly prized and believed to have magical powers. People even carried nutmeg
around with them in a small locket on a chain. It was said to comfort the head and the nerves, and was known to calm the digestion while stimulating the circulation.

Modern research has shown nutmeg to be among the strongesnutmegt antioxidants and an effective antibacterial and anti-inflammatory plant medicine able to increase calmness while reducing feelings of anger and embarrassment. It has also been found to inhibit blood clotting and to decrease prostaglandin levels in the colon, making it useful in the management of Crohn’s disease. Extracts of nutmeg inhibit leukaemia cell development, and compounds within it have been found to inhibit the breakdown of elastin in the skin and thus keep the skin more supple. Nutmeg also seems to help protect the skin from overexposure to harmful UV sun-rays.

However, nutmeg does have a reputation as an intoxicant that can cause hallucinations and euphoria, together with palpitations, nausea, headache, dizziness, dry mouth and delirium, but the psychoactive effect is only seen in large doses and varies markedly from person to person.

Did you know…?

To relieve joint pain, try an ointment made by mixing freshly grated nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves and citronella oil with ground, uncooked rice. Apply to the affected joint and leave to soak into the skin.

STAR ANISE

The shikimic acid contained in star anise seeds is a strong antiviral agent and a primary ingredient in the synthesis of antiviral drugs such as Tamiflu. Recent bird flu and swine flu epidemics caused the price of star anise to soar as drug companies bought up vast quantities in order to meet the surge in worldwide demand for antiviral drugs.

star-aniseStar anise is a warming, stimulating herb used in traditional Chinese medicine to relieve cold stagnation, to balance the flow of Qi and to relieve pain. It is a traditional remedy for arthritis and digestive complaints, and has potent antimicrobial properties due, in part, to the presence of anethole, which is effective against bacteria, fungus and some yeasts. Its immune-stimulating, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, together with a gentle painkilling and sedative effect, make star anise a perfect remedy to give young children to relieve colic, and also to treat respiratory problems such as bronchitis, cough and asthma. It is also a useful insect repellent.

Did you know…?

Sprinkling ground star anise on root vegetables before baking, or adding a whole star anise to sweet potato, pumpkin or leek dishes enhances their flavour.

 

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Exacts taken from Healing Spices by Kirsten Hartvig

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Chestnuts

Chestnuts are traditionally given a special place at the Christmas table. These shiny brown nuts are delicious boiled or roasted – always split the hard skin first to stop them exploding while cooking – and eaten on their own. They are also good puréed and served as a side dish or mixed into stuffings. Tossed with freshly cooked Brussels sprouts, a knob of butter and freshly ground black pepper, they make one of the best vegetable dishes on the winter menu.
In southern Europe, they have a long culinary history, being used in breads, cakes and sweetmeats and to make a type of flour. Chestnuts have a natural affinity with chocolate and you will find many recipes for rich chocolate desserts, ice creams and cakes that include them.
Most recipes for chestnuts require them to be cooked and peeled, and although this is simple to do, you can buy ready-prepared chestnuts in cans or vacuum packs. These also have the advantage of being available at any time of the year.

Chestnut and hazelnut roast

Serves: 6-8
Ingredients:
100g/31⁄2oz hazelnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
225g/8oz mushrooms, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g/8oz chestnuts, cooked, peeled and finely chopped
85g/3oz white breadcrumbs
pinch of dried thyme
4 tbsp vegetable stock
juice of 1⁄2 lemon

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Grease a 900g/2lb loaf tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.
  • Put the hazelnuts in a food processor and process briefly to chop finely, but avoid grinding to a smooth powder. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and gently fry for about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with a little salt and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. They should be moist, but not wet.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the hazelnuts, chestnuts, breadcrumbs, thyme, stock and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
  • Press the mixture into the loaf tin and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes, until golden.
  • Leave the roast to stand for about 5 minutes, then very carefully invert on to a board or serving platter, cut into slices and serve.

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Susannah Blake
Seasonal Food
Available from Nourish Books

 

 

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Arriving in autumn (but known as ‘winter’ squashes), cold-weather squashes are set apart from their summer cousins by their thick skins, orange or yellow flesh and large, tough seeds. In her book Seasonal Food Susannah Blake invites you to try autumn squashes suggesting delicious recipes. Read on her vegetarian suggestion, a delicious Barley risotto with butternut squash.

There are many different types. The pumpkin, with its dazzling orange skin, is widely available, as is the creamy, smooth-skinned butternut squash and the smaller acorn squash, with its fluted dark-green or bright-orange skin. Less common are the hubbard, the onion and the Asian kabocha squash.

With their sweet flavour and smooth texture, all squashes are delicious sautéed, roasted, baked or steamed in their own juices and can be added to stews, pies and soups, used to stuff pasta or tossed into salads. Their natural sweetness also makes them ideal for using in cakes
and pies, pumpkin pie being the classic dessert served at a US Thanksgiving dinner.

Buy only unblemished squashes that feel heavy for their size. Avoid really large ones, as they often lack flavour. To prepare, halve or cut into segments, then scoop out the seeds, which may be roasted, cracked open and eaten as a snack. If sautéeing or adding to a soup or stew, cut off the skin; if baking or roasting, remove the skin before or after cooking.

Barley risotto with butternut squashrisotto recipe

Serves: 4
Ingredients:
2 butternut squashes, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g/9oz pearl barley
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
80ml/21⁄2fl oz/1⁄3 cup white wine
125ml/4fl oz/1⁄2 cup vegetable stock
3 tbsp crème fraîche
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
25g/1oz Parmesan cheese, grated

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Put the squashes in a roasting tin, drizzle over about half the oil, tossing to coat, and
    season well with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking, until tender.
  • Meanwhile, cook the barley in boiling water for about 25 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining oil in a large pan, add the onion and garlic and fry gently for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in the drained barley, pour over the wine and stock, and leave to bubble gently for about 5–10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Stir in the crème fraîche, sage and Parmesan cheese, then fold in the squashes. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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Susannah Blake
Seasonal Food
Available from Nourish Books

 

 

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