Tag Archives: health

Yoghurt and Mint Salad Dressing

Yoghurt and Mint Dressing (enough for a salad dressing for 6-8 people)

Ingredients

1 shallot finely diced

Juice of 1 small lemon (about 2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons of chopped mint

2 tablespoons of chopped parsely

2chopped spring onions

1 cup full-fat plain yoghurt

2 crushed garlic cloves

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

Method

This is super easy to make, mix everything together and it’s done! Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week and use as needed

This dressing is delicious over a green salad, with endives, sliced radishes and fresh fennel.

Jubus Crackers

These delicious crackers will sustain you for hours. They are tasty packed with seedy goodness. This quantity makes around 12 crackers.

Ingredients

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup of sesame

1/3 cup of sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons of poppy seeds

3 tablespoons of chia seeds

3 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon of salt

4 tablespoons of olive oil

3/4 cup of water (at room temperature)

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 375F

Mix the seeds, flour and salt together in a bowl. Add the oil and the water.  Mix together and leave for 10 minutes.

Press into the cookie cutter
Press into the cookie cutter

Line 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper or a silicon mat.

Using a cookie cutter and spatula, press enough mixture to make ¼ inch thick flattened cracker.

Repeat until all the mixture is used.

Repeat the process
Repeat the process

Cook for 15-20 minutes then carefully turn over the cracker to cook the other side for another 15- 20 minutes.

Once cool these sustaining crackers are good with butter and cheese, or just by themselves. Enjoy!

Salmon with Cilantro and Pesto (for 2)

This is another delicious and easy recipe from my dear friend Tom.

Ingredients

2 wild salmon fillets

1/3 cup raw cashew nuts

juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

a large handful of cilantro

2 tablespoons of olive oil

chili flakes

salt and pepper

Method

Organize the oven so that the cooking shelf is at the lowest level. Put a baking tray in the oven and pre-heat to 500F.

If the salmon has skin, score it lightly with a sharp knife. Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper.

For the pesto, put all the other ingredients in a pestle and mortar and bash them together. Add chili and salt to your taste.

When the oven reaches 500F, remove the baking tray and put the salmon skin side down onto the hot tray. Put the salmon into the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 275F. Cook for 10-12 minutes depending on the size of the fillet.

Serve with pesto ontop of the fillet.

This dish goes well with green beans, and mashed turnips.

Enjoy!

Ginger and date steamed pudding

This is a traditional dessert from the cold north aka the United Kingdom. It’s easy and absolutely delicious. This recipe has no added sugar and uses dates to create a delicious winter-time pudding. You will need a 2 pint bowl to cook the pudding in.

Ingredients

75g of spelt flour
25g of coconut flour
100g of chopped dates
2 eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
4 tablespoons of milk
1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
100g of softened butter (and extra to grease the bowl)

First of all grease the bowl (known as a pudding basin in the UK) with butter.

In a separate mixing bowl add all the other ingredients and beat together for a minute or two.

Spoon the mixture into the cooking bowl and cover with a piece of greaseproof paper then with foil. Tie around the foil with string to secure.

Stand the basin in a saucepan of water to come about half way up the bowl. Bring to a simmer then simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Top up the water if necessary. Alternately, if you have a slow cooker you can use it to cook the pudding just put the basin in the slow cooker half filled and cook on high for 2 hours (1/2hour to allow the water to increase).

Tip out the pudding when ready and serve with whipped cream or custard.

Protein Supplements

Personal trainers in gyms often recommend extra protein in the form of powders and bars to boost muscle mass and improve performance. Does the average person need this extra protein, does it work as promised, and are there any downsides to consuming all that extra protein?

Two main sources for the protein in manufactured supplements are milk and soy.

1.       Whey protein is derived from milk.

2.       Soy protein from soy beans.

Do they improve muscle mass and performance? The research has shown mixed results and the evidence is not strong enough to be certain that this kind of protein makes any difference.

The average person in the USA is not suffering from a lack of protein. It is easy to get adequate protein from readily available actual food without the need to resort to supplements. Plus, real foods come with vitamins, antioxidants and more.

What might be the risk from taking extra protein?

1.       The Food and Drug Administration does not check the safety of supplements with the same scrutiny as medications, so you must fully trust the manufacturer that their products are safe and accurately labelled. You can check for supplements that are known to be tainted at FDA.

2.       There are many possible side effects. See the Mayo Clinic’s list here and for soy here.

3.    Supplements may contain other ingredients that are supposed to increase muscle mass such as creatinine or androstenedione. A recent study looking at these kinds of muscle building supplements found an increased risk of testicular cancer among men.

4.       Commercial body-building supplements can be expensive, may even cost hundreds of dollars each month.

5.       You might end up gaining fat from the extra calories in protein shakes and bars, especially if sugar has been added to boost their palatability.

6.       This is not just about you, as there is also a potential risk to the environment. Is it even possible to know the chain of industrial processes that go in to producing protein supplements? What is the carbon footprint of the manufacture of these products and are they derived from organic milk and soy beans?

Why trust industrial profit-driven companies to provide your body with nutrition? Why not eat and drink fresh food, preferably from local farms? It may mean a little more work to chop and cook, but the food will be nutritious and there definitely is evidence that fresh foods are beneficial to health. If you feel the need for extra protein, why not just simply eat more protein rich foods such as eggs, beans, milk, yoghurt, cheese, tofu, or meat.

DSC_6013.JPG

Creamy balsamic salad dressing

This delicious salad dressing is completely sugar-free, supremely tasty, and easy to make.

For a salad big enough for 4 people

  • 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard (whole grain dijon is also great if you have it)
  • 4 tablespoons of full-fat plain greek yoghurt (or more to your taste)
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Mix everything together, add salad (lettuce, tomato, radish, cucumber, etc.). Enjoy!

DSC_5591

Air Quality

If you want to know if the air in your city is clean to breathe check out this great resource from our government called the Air Quality Index (AQI).

The index is updated every day, and it measures five major air pollutants:

  • Ground-level ozone
  • Particle pollution (particulate matter)
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Sulfur dioxide
  • Nitrogen dioxide

Read more about air pollution here.

DSC_2700