This is a very quick and easy uncooked vegetable dish which I really like. With some protein like fish, meat, a frittata/omelette or a bean salad it provides a balanced meal. Unless you have tons of energy to pound away for ages with your hands, make this recipe using smallish sprigs of young kale (April-June) – it’s much easier to work. As you might have noticed I’ve got a bit of a green theme going on this month. The power of vegetables to lift your wellbeing is big in food research right now (see my May 2014 newsletter). In my opinion, eating lots of green stuff is one of the most useful things you can do to help your body and your mind.
For 2-3 people:
1 bag tender young organic kale
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½-1 ripe avocado
Cayenne pepper to taste
1 1/2 tbs sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds, chopped Brazil nuts or hazelnuts)
Lemon or lime juice to taste
1/2 tsp paprika, or to taste
1 tbs finely sliced or chopped spring onions or red onion (if you can eat cooked onions but not raw ones, try soaking the sliced/chopped onion in the lemon or lime juice for 15 minutes – it totally takes the heat out!)
Remove any stalks from the washed kale and place in a large bowl.
Kneed, pound and squish the kale with your hands for around 5 minutes until it is wilted (you might like to use rubber gloves for this as the juice can stain your nails).
Add the avocado and mix it into the mixture, mashing as you do so.
Add all the other ingredients and serve.
Baked or grilled, roast or poached fish or chicken, a frittata or omelette or a beany salad
Why this is good for you: Kale is high in folic acid which helps your body carry out the daily repair and maintenance on your stomach and intestines. Kale, like all dark green veg, is rich in magnesium which is needed to relax your mind and get a good nights sleep. Magnesium also helps keep your skin in good condition by supporting your liver to clear toxins out of the body. Things like psoriasis or acne are usually a sign of poor liver function. Avocados and raw olive oil are rich in vitamin E which moisturises your skin (and everything else) from within. the reason I suggest using organic kale is that like baby spinach, “conventional” kale is in the top 3 most agri-chemical contaminated fresh produce.
This is a lovely, very white-looking bread that’s still made with wholegrain rice and quinoa flour. I adapted this from a Dove’s Farm recipe and was hard pressed to stop eating it last night with my buttery spread for bread (see blog). It’s 100% gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free. Using quinoa flour in this recipe (instead of just rice flour) helps keep you fuller longer. This is because quinoa (pronounced “keen-wa”) is really a seed and not a grain. Quinoa is rich in protein (a whopping 14g per 100g!). If you are catering for fussy tastes which have not tried quinoa before, try omitting the quinoa and substituting with brown rice flour. The next time you make it, add a little quinoa flour, and keep going until you are up to 50% quinoa. The bread will be very sweet made with rice flour only, as rice is naturally very high in sugars.
Makes 1 large (1kg) loaf
1kg loaf tin (a standard loaf tin), oiled and (if you have some greaseproof or silicon paper) bottom-lined
550ml warm water
2 level tsp honey (this is essential, otherwise the yeast won’t come alive)
2 rounded tsp quick yeast
250g quinoa flour, organic if possible
250g brown rice flour, organic if possible
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 scant level tsp Himalayan or Atlantic sea salt (or omit completely)
3 tbsp oil: virgin macadamia oil or (if you cant get this) olive oil
In a jug or bowl mix the warm water, honey and quick yeast
Into a separate, large bowl sieve the rice flour, quinoa flour, xanthan gum and salt, if using.
Beat in the yeast liquid and the oil and beat until well mixed.
Pour into tin, smooth the top and leave to rise in a warm place for 90 minutes. I put a small chopping board on top of a warm radiator for this and balance the tin on top of this, which seems to rise the dough really well.
Cover the tin with oiled tinfoil. After around 75 minutes, turn your oven on to 220C/200 C fan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until a needle inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean.
Why this is better for you Brown rice and quinoa are whole foods (they have not been refined). So they’re higher in minerals and vitamins than their white counterparts. That said, all grains (especially rice) are still naturally high in sugars. That means if you want your meals to be vitality-boosting, it’s a good idea to keep bread (or other starchy foods, like potatoes) to no more than 1/4 of the meal!! Research shows that eating only small amounts of carbohydrates (eg. grains, root veg) with lots of veggies and moderate protein helps your body function better than if you live off mostly starchy foods. Because quinoa is high in protein and protein slows digestion, this bread will keep you fuller, longer, reducing the likelihood of energy dips, weight fain and stress due to fluctuating blood sugar.