I LOVE this and it takes less than 10 minutes to cook. Have it as a side, or sprinkle with my vegan Parmesan (recipe on blog) or grated Parmesan and enjoy as a starter. Asparagus is contains prebiotic fibre, which feeds beneficial bacteria in your gut. You can make this even simpler if you want, by simply steaming the asparagus, then serving sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil etc. You can also steam asparagus, cut it up, cool and pimp up a lunchtime salad with it.
1 large bunch green asparagus
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Freshly ground black pepper
Optional: Parmesan or my vegan Parmesan to sprinkle
1. Rinse asparagus. Then snap off the thick fibrous ends (you can keep to make veg stock if you like).
2. Heat a frying pan on medium heat, add about 2 dsp EVOO (you don’t have to be exact), the same amount of water, asparagus spears and a good grind of pepper.
3. Cover with a lid or plate and cook for around 3-4 minutes until the colour changes to bright green and soft enough for your taste.
4. Divide between 2 plates and if you’re using as a starter, sprinkle with the Parmesan.
If you’re dairy sensitive, one of the things you might miss is a sprinkle of Parmesan here and there. I LOVE this recipe for vegan Parmesan from Angela Elliot’s raw vegan cookbook “Alive in 5”. One of my favourite uses is on top of garlic braised asparagus. I soften 2-3 sliced cloves of garlic on a pan with a tbs extra virgin olive oil and same amount of water until softened. Then I add a bunch of asparagus, cover with a lid/plate, and gently cook for a few minutes until the asparagus has gone bright green. This means it’s done. Dish up and sprinkle with the “Parmesan”. Yum!!!
1 cup raw pine nuts (or half and half pine nuts and hemp hearts, which are more economical than pine nuts and give a creamy texture)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast powder/flakes
1/2 a level teaspoon of Himalayan salt
1 level tsp dried oregano.
Combine the nuts/hemp hearts, yeast, salt and oregano in a mini food processor or electric coffee grinder and pulse until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Keep this in an airtight glass jar in the fridge until you need it.
I love to make this and put half in the freezer for a lovely fast dinner some other time. I like to save half the skin of an organic orange to use in this recipe. I just chop it up small and it “disappears” during cooking, leaving its beautiful flavour (in some traditional French rustic dishes, they use strips of orange peel). Less of a faff than cleaning your grater!!
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1cm dice
200g carrots cut into 1cm dice
300g celeriac cut into 1cm dice
Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g stewing beef or boned haunch of venison cut into 2-3cm dice
20g gluten-free flour e.g. Doves Farm gluten free blends or rice, sorghum, millet or gluten-free oat flour
200ml gluten-free beer or stout (Irish made gluten-free Stag Stout from Supervalu is lovely)
1 tsp ground allspice
Big pinch ground mace
Half teaspoon ground ginger (if you don’t have any, use 1 rounded dsp grated fresh ginger)
1 rounded dsp tomato puree
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped finely (will give about 1 heaped dsp)
4 bay leaves
Grated zest 1 orange (organic if possible)
500ml stock: this can be meat stock or water mixed with 1 level tsp vecon boullion powder/gluten-free miso paste such as genmai (rice) miso or hatcho miso.
1.Heat 1 tbs oil in a large heavy saucepan or casserole with 1 tbs water. Add the onion, carrots, celeriac and sweat, covered, on medium heat 10 mins until onion is softened. Remove from the pan and keep to one side.
2.Add 1 tbs more oil and half the chopped rosemary to pan, turn up heat and when hot add the meat -turning to brown slightly on all sides (you can be fairly slapdash about this).
3.Sprinkle the meat with the flour and stir through. Then add the beer/stout, veg stock, allspice, mace, ginger and tomato puree, then stir to mix. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the garlic, thyme, rest of the rosemary, orange zest and stock with the softened vegetables.
5.Bring back to the boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer 2-3 hours until the meat is tender. Check seasoning before serving.
2 cups steamed greens per person. Choose from: broccoli, tenderstem broccoli,kale, cabbage, spring greens or Brussels sprouts
No need for potatoes – the celeriac and carrots give plenty of starchy carbs (sugars).
Why this is good for you
Beef and venison are high in protein. You need protein to maintain muscle mass especially as you age, and for detoxification. Just 100g (raw weight) can give you over 30g protein.
Adding herbs or spices to meat before browning it reduces the amount of inflammatory toxins generated. There have been some great (human) studies showing massive differences in blood markers of inflammation within hours from eating grilled meat burgers (meat mixed with spices and herbs) vs plain grilled meat burgers (without spice and herbs). Herbs and spices are a powerhouse of health – they stimulate your body’s antioxidant defences as well as having direct anti-inflammatory action. Herbs and spices also preferentially favour growth of good bugs in your gut (and your lungs) which are essential for bullet-proof immunity. 70% of your immune cells are in your gut. And herbs/spices make your gut a hostile environment for bad bugs (disease causing viruses, fungi and bacteria). They also lower inflammation in your brain. If you are anxious, low, have ADHD or brain fog your brain is inflamed.
Celeriac and carrots are MUCH lower in carbs (sugars) than potatoes. Keeping starchy carbs to max 1/4 of your lunch and evening meal is a good idea if you want a healthy immune system and the waistline you like.
This was a lovely curry my mother used to make from time to time. If you are making this a vegan dinner, its a great idea to bump up protein by serving with cooked quinoa and maybe adding some tinned chickpeas along with the courgettes. Otherwise you are very low on protein. I might also sometimes have this as a side with something fish/meat based and some cauliflower rice.
1 medium onion, chopped
300g frozen or fresh shelled peas
1 large (around 350-400g) courgette, sliced
1 medium carrot, sliced thinly
1 dsp extra virgin coconut oil
1 dsp grated or finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ level tsp chilli powder or cayenne (omit if you don’t like heat!)
1 dsp garam masala
Himalayan salt to taste
1 dsp lemon juice
1.Heat oil in saucepan on a medium heat, add a splash of water (about a tablespoon).
2.Add carrots, onion, ginger, turmeric, chilli powder if using and cover with a lid or a plate. Steam fry like this until carrots are softened and onions translucent. If everything starts to dry out and stick, add a splash more water.
3.Add peas and courgettes, cover and cook till soft, around 5 minutes usually. Tip: If you using frozen peas, rinsing them in hot water to thaw before adding to the pot will speed up the cooking.
Serve with one of these:
Grilled fish or chicken
A meat or fish curry
Cooked quinoa (not suitable for SC Diet): 1 cup quinoa, 2 cups boiling water, simmer covered till done – serves 2
Why this is good for you: If you’ve been following me you’ll know by now that regularly eating a wide range of herbs, spices and different vegetables is important for your immune system, your mental health and for warding off tendencies to any sort of inflammatory condition. Turmeric and ginger in particular have thousands of peer reviewed research papers devoted to their various therapeutic actions. Part of their therapeutic action comes from their effects on your gut micro-organisms. They selectively discourage pathogenic bugs and encourage the good guys!!! Herbs and spices also stimulate your body to upregulate its OWN antioxidant defences. The antioxidant activity of these precious flavour bombs also helps reduce brain inflammation. If you are anxious, low or have any mental health issue your brain is inflamed. That’s why eating a (home made, with good quality oil like coconut) curry a couple of times a week and incorporating herbs and spices into every single day could really change your life. Happy eating….
This is a FANTASTIC cranberry sauce and I normally don’t like cranberry sauce. The original is FULL of sugar, which you’ll know from my many social media posts and newsletters, lowers your immunity and makes you inflamed. So here I swap it for xylitol or erhtyritol. This will keep in the fridge for a week or the freezer for a month. If you want to make this more than a week in advance without freezing, sterilize your jars and lids by boiling for a few minutes. Lift out carefully and place on a (not cold!) surface. Pour the cranberry sauce in while hot and put on the lids.
1 cup (230ml) port
6 cups cranberries
1/2-1 1/2 cups erythritol (such as Dr Coys stevia erylite) or xylitol from health shops – add 1/2 cup initially and if you want more sweetness once the cranberries have popped, add more.
2 tablespoons finely chopped or finely grated orange zest (approx 2 medium oranges, organic if possible)
Splash of cointreau (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whole Spices Try 6 star anise, mace, 8 cloves, 1 blade of mace (or 1/2 teaspoon ground), 1 cinnamon stick
A pinch of ground nutmeg
If there is any one of the spices you don’t like leave out, but the mace and star anise are non negotiable
1.Large pot, add port and (if using) cointreau and bring to the boil.
2.Add cranberries and let cook, stir till they begin to pop, add 1/2 cup erythritol/xylitol, salt, preferred spices and orange zest.
3.Stir till erythritol/xylitol dissolves, cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. More cooking releases more pectin which helps set the sauce.
4.Give it a big stir and leave to cool then into jamjars and away you go.
Why this is better for you: Cutting the sugar helps your body take a break from its inflammatory and immunity-upsetting effects. Sugar causes your lymphocytes (infection-fighting white blood cells) to become lethargic for several hours. that means your immune defences are down. Did you know that cranberries feed a friendly bacteria in your gut called akkermansia mucinophilia. This clever little creature trims and helps maintain the healthy mucus layer inside you, helping bowel health. And bowel health is essential for EVERYTHING – from getting into remission from autoimmune conditions, to getting improved digestive health, skin, immunity and even mental health. Spices are a powerhouse of antioxidant power – they help reduce inflamation AND lower disease-causing microorganisms inside your gut and systemically.
This is one of the ONLY ways I enjoy eating liver and it IS delicious provided you don’t let it overcook and go tough. If you have someone in your house who struggles with acne this could be a game changer for them. Liver is high in preformed vitamin A (retinol), which can have miraculous effects on reducing those micro-skin infections known as acne. Read more about health benefits at the end of this post. P.S. Don’t be tempted to use dried sage – it just won’t be nice. Nigel Slater says dried sage belongs in the bin, and I agree.
300g lambs liver
20g rice flour/gluten-free oat flour
Freshly ground black pepper
1 heaped tbs (2 heaped dsp) chopped fresh sage
2 tbs chopped parsley to garnish
200g onions, sliced or roughly chopped
2 oranges, organic if possible
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 cups of broccoli florets, peas, green beans or runner beans
Optional: some diced steamed Swede turnip of some (low carb) konjac/shiritake noodles (these are available in Asian shops and are also sold as “zero noodles” in some health store chains). Alternatively use rice noodles or 100% buckwheat noodles.
Mix 1 tbs chopped sage, the flour, a generous pinch of salt and about 1/4 level tsp black pepper together in a largish bowl.
Cut liver into thin strips about 5cm long and toss in the flour
Roughly chop the onions.
Using a serrated knife, peel, halve and slice one orange.
Zest the other orange and squeeze the juice.
Heat the oil in frying pan, add onions and cook, stirring for 4-5 mins until softened. Remove the onions from pan and reserve.
Add the liver to the pan. Toss over a high heat for a further 3-4 mins until slightly browned and still very pink in the middle (it will keep cooking as you add in the rest of the ingredients).
Reduce the heat, stir in the rind and juice of the remaining 1 orange and the onions and allow to heat thoroughly for 1 min.
Serve immediately garnished with the prepared orange slices and chopped sage/parsley.
Why this is good for you: or your skin health and immune system.
Vitamin A (liver is the richest natural source) helps vitamin D work in your body to enhance your immunity to infections. Whether its flu, covid, the common cold or acne – they are all infections. Liver, or other rich sources of vitamin A can be a game changer for you if you have acne. A note of caution: don’t take supplements of retinol (animal source vitamin A) if you are likely to become pregnant or are already pregnant. It’s perfectly safe for baby if you eat liver once a week though.
Did you know that people with hypothyroidism have altered vitamin A metabolism. These folk may need to eat liver or a supplement of retinol (active vitamin A) to have skin that heals normally and isn’t dry and flaky. Liver is a rich in choline, an essential nutrient that has largely fallen out of our eating patterns since we moved away from organ meats. Choline deficiency causes non alcoholic fatty liver disease and muscle damage too. Organic eggs contain a little choline and raw nuts/seeds contain some but organ meats like liver and kidneys are by far the richest source. Liver is rich in iron too and the vitamin A helps your body use the iron properly – how clever is that!!
My mother sent me the recipe cut out of the newspaper and I love it. Just the thing for a cold, dark Autumn night as we all stay in our houses. Many of my patients find that a paleo-style diet (vegetable-rich, virtually grain-free, dairy-free with meat, fish, eggs and good fats) makes them feel SO much better than a so-called “healthy diet” that is overloaded with grains and potatoes. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. This pot roast comes with its own gorgeous rich brown sauce. I love this pot roast because its delicious on the day and I can use leftovers sliced and either reheated in the sauce. Leftovers are your friend if you love eating well but don’t want to spend hours every night in the kitchen. We often eat this with cauliflower mash and a steamed green vegetable like cabbage, broccoli or green beans. Yum…
If you want to feed resolute carnivores and those who want to eat less red meat at the same meal simply add cooked butterbeans about 20 minutes before the end of cooking. They take up the fabulous flavour and are rich in protein.
1kg pot-roasting beef (housekeepers’s cut or topside). This will come tied up with string which stays on till you serve it.
Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs tamari sauce (avoid if on SC diet)
6 tbs dry white wine
2 star anise (this makes the sauce extra flavoursome)
1 large/2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 rounded teaspoon raw cane molasses
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 onions, each peeled and cut in 8 wedges
2 large carrots, diced roughly
1 heaped tsp arrowroot powder (from health shops) to thicken
1. Preheat a heavy casserole, then add a knob of extra virgin olive oil and sear the beef for a minute each side until very lightly browned (browning isn’t essential, you can go straight to step 2 if you want).
2. Add the tamari sauce, wine, star anise, garlic, close tightly and simmer gently o the top of the stove or in a low oven or slow cooker for an hour.
3. Meanwhile dice the carrots roughly, peel and cut each onion into 8 wedges.
4. Add the molasses, some freshly ground black pepper, carrots, onion, and continue to cook very gently for a further 1½ hours. When cooked, remove the beef and keep warm.
5. If you want to increase the amount of sauce, add a little water (or some leftover vegetable-steaming water).
6. Blend a teaspoonful of arrowroot with a little water, add in a little of the hot liquid, then add to the juices in the casserole and bring up to the boil, stirring, until the sauce thickens and clears.
LOTS of steamed green veg and some mashed Swede turnip or cauliflower mash.
Why this is good for you: Long slow cooking is much preferable to cooking at high temperatures because fewer toxic byproducts are created to would cause more inflammation in your body. For this reason, browning a single large piece of meat is better than browning small pieces. When I’m feeling really healthy I don’t brown this pot roast at all and it still tastes delicious – the sauce is so rich. Red meat contains acetyl-carnitine. For people with serious energy problems (eg M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome/long covid) eating foods that contain acetyl-carnitine every day can bring about great improvements in energy.
This is super-easy and works with turkey or beef mince. It tastes even better the next day and freezes brilliantly too. That’s why I always make enough for 4 and freeze half for one of those “don’t feel much like cooking” nights.
2 x 400g tins borlotti or red kidney beans, drained and rinsed (or soak 1 cup raw beans overnight, change water, then boil hard till ender)
2 medium onions (about 350g) chopped
500g lean turkey or beef mince
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
1 heaped tsp ground cumin (or more to taste)
1 heaped tsp plain cocoa powder (optional)
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano (herb)
¼ – ½ tsp ground chilli or cayenne (optional)
1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes with their juice/400g sieved tomatoes (passata)
1 heaped tbs tomato puree
Good splash (about 60ml) red wine if you have it
1 tsp miso paste OR a beef stock cube, dissolved in 50ml boiling water
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
Generous pinch Himalayan/sea salt
Cauliflower “rice” (see recipe on blog) or if you don’t want weight loss you could use rice or millet (instructions on blog)
Steamed broccoli, green beans, peas or a green salad
Plus if you’re feeling fancy some roughly chopped coriander and some lime wedges
1. Heat a large, heavy bottomed saucepan (with lid) on a medium heat.
2. Add the onions, olive oil, small splash (about 1 tbs) water, cover with a lid and “sweat” (cook gently) until the onions are softened, about 10 mins.
3. Add the mince and stir around for a minute to break it up a bit. There is no need to brown it. Then add the garlic, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, oregano chilli/cayenne, tomatoes with their juice and the miso/beef stock.
4. Cover and cook at a simmer for around 20 mins stirring occasionally, till the meat is cooked. If the sauce begins to dry out you can add a little water or vegetable stock. If theres more liquid then you like, simmer uncovered until until it reduces.
5. Add borlotti/kidney beans and tomato puree and cook for a further 10 mins.
6. Season with freshly ground black pepper and salt.
Why this is good for you: Turkey and beef are rich in amino acid tryptophan which is a building block of feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is one of the brain chemicals that makes you feel calm, happy and is essential for sleep (it gets converted to sleep-hormone melatonin). If you have a good balance of healthy gut bacteria AND good levels of certain vitamins and minerals your body will convert tryptophan to serotonin easily. Did you know that low serotonin in your gut can be a trigger for IBS? Not a lot of people know that.
Did you know that ALL herbs and spices have many effects – from helping you see off infections to helping you maintain a healthy weight and age agelessly? These magical taste-bombs also have anti-inflammatory effects, even in your brain (did you know that depression involves brain inflammation?). Herbs and spices selectively encourage growth of good bugs in your gut. AND they make your gut a hostile environment for disease-causing organisms.
When you cook meat WITH spices or herbs, you protect the meat (and whoever eats it) from much of the damage produced by heat. A study of diabetic people monitored blood samples for inflammatory markers before and after eating 2 different types of grilled beef patty. One cooked just with salt and pepper, the other mixed with at least 6 different herbs/spices before cooking. After eating the patties, guess which group had less inflammation in their blood – you guessed it, the herb and spice group. The WAY you cook your food has a massive effects on it’s power to help or derail your health.
This recipe also has onions, which contain the fibre inulin. Inulin feeds beneficial bacteria in your gut. Healthy gut, happy mind, happy life.
Had this last night with some herb roast chicken and roasted cauliflower sprinkled with sumac. Fab. the recipe is courtesy of Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly’s Ketogenic Kitchen. If you are doing ketogenic diet and want to track carbs, protein etc, get the fatsecret app – even the free version is great.
4 large ripe beef tomatoes (1200g) 0r equivalent weight of vine tomatoes
Natural Himalayan/sea salt
1 medium red onion, finely diced
Small bunch of mint, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
80ml extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon or a splash of sherry vinegar
Macronutrients per serving: Net carbs 12.2g, protein 2.8g, fat 25.9g, fibre 4.1g
Slice tomatoes into rounds, lay the slices out on a platter and sprinkle with salt.
Leave for 20 minutes or more. This makes the tomatoes release their juices.
Drain off juices and whisk together with the other ingredients.
Add freshly ground black pepper to taste, and pour the dressing over the tomatoes. Serve.
Why this is good for you
Did you know that every vegetable, herb, spice and fruit contains a range of polyphenols (sorry, potatoes and bananas don’t contain many!). Polyphenols defend plants against threats e.g. viruses, fungi, bacteria, predators and UV rays. When you eat polyphenols they help strengthen all your body tissues and protect you against all chronic health conditions . Organic plants have more polyphenols because they are exposed to attack. They are not cocooned by pesticides and herbicides (herbicides kill soil bacteria). Attack stimulates plants to upregulate their defences – polyphenols. It’s a bit like when you train at the gym – you tear muscle fibres and the damage stimulates muscle to grow back bigger and stronger.
We absolutely need to be eating a wide range of plants including herbs and spices, over the course of every week. Tomatoes, mint, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, garlic all contain a big range of polyphenols. Tomatoes alone contain hydroxycinnamic acids, flavanones, flavonols, and anthocyanins, rutin and kaempferol-3-rutinoside and a lot of naringenin chalcone.
Raw extra virgin olive oil is a fantastic source of vitamin E. Vitamin E is anti-viral because it helps vitamin C work longer in your body. It also moisturises all your surfaces, outside and in. It is essential for the health of your heart, your skin, your brain, everything. Only VERY expensive vitamin E supplements contain the full range of vitamin E compounds. But if you eat many plants, a variety of raw nuts and seeds, lots of extra virgin olive oil and your digestive system is working perfectly you will be getting more vitamin E than most.
I thought up this one day while casting around for a healthy mixer or stand-alone summer drink. It is YUM and seems to go down well with folks not into “healthy stuff”. A good substitute for normal high sugar or toxic zero calorie mixe, I must admit it also nice with a shot of vodka or gin. Ginger helps detoxification and is highly anti-inflammatory for your whole body (especially your digestive system).
For a super quick version, drop the xylitol/erythritol syrup and just use stevia drops but I think the flavour is better, more rounded when the syrup is in there.
If you are on a keto diet you can still enjoy this – just use stevia/erythritol instead of xylitol.
For 4 servings:
1 big thumb of ginger, juiced (if you don’t own a juicer make fresh ginger tea with 1 mug boiling water, 2 thumbs of ginger, finely grated, cover and leave until cool, strain and use as per ginger juice)
Juice of 2 large lemons, strained
3 heaped tablespoons of xylitol or Dr Coys Stevia Erylite sweetener (a blend of stevia and erythritol)
100ml filtered water to make the syrup
Stevia drops to taste (products should contain stevi/steviol glycosides and NO toxic additives e.g. sucralose, aspartame, saccharin)
1 litre of filtered or sparkling water
Optional: a few sprigs of mint to garnish
1. In a small saucepan combine the xylitol/erythritol/Stevia Erylite with 100ml filtered water and boil till dissolved. Allow to cool.
2. In a big jug, combine the syrup with the lemon juice, ginger juice or cooled ginger tea.
3. Dilute with your water of choice and if you have them, add a few sprigs of mint.
Why this is good for you: Although this is a lovely summer refresher, its also a therapeutic drink because both lemon and ginger are powerful supports for your immune system and your liver detox systems. There are hundreds of high quality peer reviewed studies on ginger in relation to alleviating various health conditionSome of the research focusses on gingers ability to reduce inflammation in your joints and digestive system as well as helping reduce nausea in pregnant women. Reductions in nausea, inflammation (in the brain and stomach), supporter of detoxification (i.e. headache reduction) – I wonder could this be the next “hangover cure”…..Ginger, like many spices,is anti-viral and helps modulate gut bacteria in favour of the “good guys”.