Juicy lunch salad with tuna or other toppings

Juicy lunch salad with tuna or other toppings

I love to eat a variation of this vitality-boosting salad for lunch most days.  For a packed lunch put all the veggies including the garlic in a large lunchbox, store the dressing in a glass jar separately and put the fish or other topping in a glass or non-toxic  container until ready to eat.  The great thing about this is that because it doesn’t overload you with carbs (bread, grains, potatoes etc) you don’t tend to get that after-lunch sleepiness.   For a change from tuna  try a couple of boiled eggs, a cup of cooked butterbeans or beans (mixed with pesto and garlic) or a serving (80-100g) of smoked salmon or leftover roast chicken.   Keep it interesting by changing around the types of leaves and the topping.

For 1:

80-100g (half a large tin) tuna in spring water (or brine if you can’t get in water)

1/2 a red/yellow pepper, de-seeded and sliced or cut in chunks
1 large vine tomato (cut in wedged)  or 8 cherry tomatoes (halved)
1/4 red onion, sliced thinly
1/4 small cucumber or half a small courgette, sliced
A few black or green olives
2 large handfuls leaves (choose from baby spinach, lettuce, rocket, chicory, endive, watercress, landcress, pursalane, baby chard, flat leaved parsley leaves)
2 dessertspoons of home made extra virgin olive oil based dressing (see recipe on this blog)
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
Optional: half a cup of freshly grated raw beetroot or carrot
Optional: half a ripe avocado, cubed

1. In a large bowl mix all the salad ingredients with the dressing until everything is coated and glossy.
2. Pour out onto a plate, top with the tuna and enjoy.

Why this is great for you:
Did you know that eating lots of different plant foods every day is one of the most important things you can do for yourself.  My guideline to patients is to try for 25 different plant foods (fruit, veg and beans/pulses) in the week.  Each plant colour and type contains a different range of nutrients.  Purple fruit and veg for example, contain proanthocyanadins, while orange and red plant foods contain carotenoids and green ones contain lots of magnesium.  These are just some of the nutrients that help give you flawless (and young-looking) skin and hair, help repair and maintain your digestive system and keep you free of inflammatory conditions like eczema, asthma and digestive disorders like gastritis and colitis.  Different plant foods feed different good bacteria to help you stay at your peak fitness and wellbeing.  So its not just about eating large quantities of veg (half your plate at lunch and dinner) but large variety too.  How many colours of fruit and vegetables can YOU eat today?   

Spiced butter bean & juniper casserole

Spiced butter bean & juniper casserole

Because I am an indolent cook and destalking thyme is a pain I leave the thyme leaves attached to the sprigs.  They usually fall off in the cooking and then you only need to fish out the denuded twigs.  I don’t do this with rosemary – the leathery leaves go everywhere and the texture isn’t good – so I chop the rosemary finely.

1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
1 mugful of bite size chunks of root veg: choose from Swede or white turnip, Jerusalem artichokes or (for people NOT on SC diet) potato or sweet potato.
1 large carrot, sliced
1 large stick celery, sliced
1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
½-1 tsp cayenne pepper
400g can butter beans (drained) or soak (overnight) 200g dried butter beans in water and boil til tender.
250 g tomatoes, chopped (fresh or tinned)
Large handful fresh thyme sprigs
6” sprig fresh rosemary, destalked and finely chopped (or you can leave the whole sprig in and then spend ages picking the annoying leathery leaves out when everything’s cooked)
150ml vegetable stock (For SC diet add 1/2 teaspoon additive free Vegetable bouillon powder such as Dr Coy’s to boiling water).  If you don’t need SC diet-friendly use Vecon vegetable bouillon powder or  Kallo vegetable stock cube.
5 juniper berries, lightly crushed
3 tbs fresh parsley, finely chopped (you can chop and keep in the freezer for easy use)

  1. Add the oil, onion, garlic, potato/Jerusalem artichoke/turnip, carrot, celery and spices to a heavy bottomed saucepan or casserole, give everything a stir to mix with the oil and spices, put on the lid, and sweat for 5-10 mins until the onion is translucent but not brown. You might need to add a splash of water to stop everything browning.
  2. Add the cooked beans, tomatoes, thyme sprigs, rosemary, stock, juniper berries, bring to the boil, cover with a lid and gently simmer till the vegetables are cooked.
  3. Garnish with parsley.

Serve with:
Steamed broccoli or a green salad dressed with a little olive oil and lemon juice

Optional extras (for people NOT on SC Diet) choose one:

Quinoa grains – 11% protein so great with a beany dinner.  Its protein keeps added to the bean protein keeps you fuller for longer. Cook in twice its volume of boiling water in a covered saucepan – around 8-10 mins until it looks bobbley.

Brown rice (add a little turmeric to the water before cooking for a lovely golden colour)

Why this is good for you:
Beans are a rich source of magnesium which you need for calm, sleep, clear skin, proper muscle and liver function and much much more. Stress, refined foods (sugar/white grains), alcohol, stimulants and smoking rob magnesium from your body.  Millet is also rich in magnesium. 

Fresh thyme, rosemary and spices are rich sources of phytochemicals (also called polyphenols or bioflavonoids).  These are natural antioxidants many times more powerful than vitamins and minerals.  Phytochemicals help reduce inflammation.  This helps prevent or relieve conditions like heart disease and any condition with an -itis – arthritis, dermatitis, bursitis etc.  It doesn’t help with work-itis, which I used to have in my old job!

Luxury muesli & Birchner muesli

Luxury muesli & Birchner muesli

I like to soak my muesli the night before because it makes grains, nuts and seeds super digestible and more filling.  Unsoaked grains contain phytates which impede your mineral absorption. Making your own muesli is great because you can use the nuts and seeds you prefer.  Commercial muesli is often high in dried fruit, which just gives you too much carbohydrate (sugars) at one sitting.  It can also load up on cheaper ingredients like wheat flakes, instead of better-for-you oats.  I love to add a heaped teaspoon of ground ginger and 2 of Ceylon cinnamon when making the muesli because I love the antioxidant  punch of spices which keep you healthier and younger looking for longer.

When I have early clinic I often make Birchner muesli. I put half a mug of muesli in a wide glass screw top jar, grate an organic apple in, add lots of kefir/yoghurt and mix it up, sometimes with a few drops of stevia if I am feeling like something sweeter or am using sour berries.   Instant brekkie the following morning.  Yum…

Luxury Muesli
3 cups gluten-free (or normal, if you tolerate gluten-contamination) jumbo oatflakes or porridge oatflakes
½ cup walnuts, broken into quarters, halves or roughly chopped
½ almonds, coarsely chopped
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup hazelnuts or Brazil nuts, coarsely chopped
½ cup organic whole chia seeds or linseeds (also known as flaxseeds)
½ cup chopped unsulphured apricots
½ cup dessicated coconut or large coconut flakes

Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight jar.
Serve ½ mug of this muesli with natural yoghurt, milk of your choice and a cupful of chopped fruit – apple, pear or berries.

If you need more sweetness, use a few stevia drops from health stores.  Its a plant extract that’s much sweeter than sugar but without calories and negative health effects.

Birchner Muesli
Soak ½ a mug of this muesli in a bit more than double its volume of home made kefir or yoghurt overnight (for dairy free use almond or coconut based yoghurt – if it’s very thick you might need to add some non-dairy milk).
Serve with a grated organic apple/pear or 1 cup mixed fresh or frozen berries

As a yoghurt/kefir substitute you could use half water half cloudy apple juice to soak.  This isn’t as good because it contains no protein and raises the (natural) sugars in the meal.  But if you cant bear milk, yoghurt or kefir of any type with muesli (like my husband) what the hell…

A note about dairy sensitivities:
If you are mildly dairy-sensitive (you get symptoms but don’t have any major autoimmune health condition) you might like to try home made kefir.  Kefir is a fermented milk product where the bacterial cultures have digested both the lactose (milk sugar) and casein (milk protein).  I find that with any other dairy product, I immediately get a stuffed nose and throat, but not with home made kefir.  You might be the same.  Yay!! fully fermented home made kefir has over 20 varieties of beneficial bacteria to help your health.  Even when good bacteria are killed by your strong stomach acid they still have a huge metabolic effect on you.  How amazing is that…

Mustard-baked mackerel

Mustard-baked mackerel

Mustard-baked mackerel


This is is a super simple recipe I concocted today, inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe.  Its ideal for a one-person dinner, or for a family.  The mustard and lime lift the richness of the oily fish and are amazing for you too.




For 2:

2 fresh mackerel fillets
1 dsp coarse grain mustard
1 dsp fresh lemon or lime juice
Generous pinch black pepper
Pinch Himalayan salt/sea salt
1/2 tsp dried tarragon if you have it
A little olive oil to grease your roasting tin
To serve:
2 cupfuls sliced carrots
4 cupfuls broccoli florets

1. Heat your oven to 200C and while it is heating steam your vegetables and keep warm.
2. In a little bowl mix the mustard, pepper, salt, citrus juice and (if using) tarragon.
3. Oil your roasting tin, lay the fish skin side down, slather with the mustard mix and bake for 12-15 minutes.  When the fish is done, it will no longer be translucent and the point of a knife or skewer will go through it easily.
4. Enjoy.

Why this is good for you:
We all know that omega 3 oils from wild mackerel are great for our brains and hearts.  But did you know that having enough omega 3 affects every cell in your body – from helping you avoid diabetes (or get rid of it if you have it), to helping your body react efficiently to all your horrnones.  Eating more oily fish is a no-brainer.  Mackerel is one of the best oily fish as its always wild so its leaner and cleaner.  Mustard is a spice and is powerfully antioxidant.  It even helps prevent eczema breakouts.  If you want a healthy brain and body for many many years to come, get the spices in to your everyday eating.  Spices AND herbs (like tarragon) pack a powerful antioxidant punch to lower inflammation and help you age agelessly.  And they liven up your plate.  What’s not to like! 

Christmas gravdlax or gravadlax (dill cured salmon)

Christmas gravdlax or gravadlax (dill cured salmon)

This is a recipe I love. We eat it Christmas day with a simple salad of watercress and lambs lettuce.   Instead of doing what the recipe says (wrapping everything in foil while it cures) I use a glass box with plastic lid to keep everything compressed during 5-8 days or curing.  Much less fiddly.  Lime zest/beetroot are optional but give an amazing taste and a lovely deep pink colour.  Before you start, freeze the salmon for at least 24 hours to help kill any parasites.  The salt, pepper and dill in the cure and the mustard  in the sauce also help kill any unwanted visitors to your tummy!

For the cure:
1 large side of salmon, organic if possible, cut into 2 roughly equal shape pieces
Zest of 1-2 organic limes
1 large bunch fresh dill
115g sea salt/Himalayan salt – flakes or fine it doesn’t matter
50g coconut sugar (use brown sugar if you don’t have coconut)
75g xylitol or erythritol (from health shops)
15g freshly ground black pepper (coarse is OK)
Optional beetroot – 1 raw, grated (cooked might work too)

For the sauce (to serve with the fish on the day):
1 tbs chopped fresh dill
1 tbs English mustard powder (if you don’t need gluten-free you can use ready-made English mustard from a jar)
1 tsp coconut sugar, erythritol, xylitol or brown sugar
1 tbs virgin (cold pressed unrefined) sunflower/peanut/rape/sesame oil
2 tbs kefir*, creme fraiche (for dairy-free use unsweetened additive-free soya yoghurt)
1 tbs white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar

*home made fully-fermented kefir is usually  tolerated by people with dairy sensitivity

1. For the cure (5-8 days before you want to eat the fish)
Roughly chop the dill and mix thoroughly in a bowl with the zest, salt, sugar, xylitol/sugar, lime zest, optional beetroot and pepper. Lay out a sheet of foil about four times the width of a salmon fillet. Spread a quarter of the pickling mix over a fillet-size area on one side of the foil with a good 15cm/6in margin for folding over.

2. Place one piece of fish, skin side down, on top of the pickle mixture and cover with slightly more than half of what is left. Place the second fillet on top, skin side up, to make a sandwich. Scatter the remaining pickle mixture over the skin.   Wrap up the parcel tightly, tucking the ends and edges in underneath the fish.

3. Put the package on the tray and place a similar size tray, or a plank of wood on the top. Weight it down, with a brick or two or anything else handy (the contents of the fridge?). Turn the package daily for at least five days, and no more than eight. Do not discard the pickling liquid that oozes from the package unless it threatens to spill over the side of the tray.

4. At least one hour before you wish to serve the fish, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a jar and shake well together. Leave to stand and shake again to emulsify before serving.

5. To serve, unwrap the gravalax and wipe off any excess pickling liquid. I like to scrape off the bits of dill and beetroot and give everything a quick wipe but you don’t have to.   Slice fairly (but not too) thinly then serve with the sauce and a green side salad (I love watercress and lamb’s lettuce with this).  Unused gravalax can be re-wrapped in clean  foil or airtight glass box and kept in the fridge for up to five days.

Apple immune-balancing dessert (aka stewed apple!)

Apple immune-balancing dessert (aka stewed apple!)

This dessert is a delicious but fantastic way to help regulate your immune system by feeding your good gut bacteria.  Sweeten it if you like with some stevia drops.  The reason for the skin is it provides more polyphenols (immune-supporting plant compounds that lower inflammation in your gut).  If your apples are not organic give the skins a good scrub.  In the Autumn, I like to make up a ton of this and bottle it in sterile jars to keep in the larder.  A dollop on your morning porridge (grain-free if you’re on the SC diet), or eat with some natural coconut or dairy yoghurt.  You decide.  I also use it for apple sauce for duck or pork.  If you’re wanting some every day divide into remekins and store in the fridge for up to a week.  Ceylon cinnamon preserves it.

For 6 servings:
A tray of Bramley (cooking) apples (about 600g), organic if possible
Tbs organic raisins/organic sultanas
A little water
Ceylon/Sri Lanka cinnamon (plain “cinnamon” is cassia, which doesn’t have the health benefits of Ceylon cinnamon).

1. Wash the apples and grate off some of the skin.  Put skin in a saucepan with a little water.
2. Peel and slice the rest and add to saucepan. Add a splash of water, cover and stew gently until the apples soften and fall apart into a puree.  This usually takes around 15 minutes.  This part is important because it releases the pectin, an important prebiotic fibre which feeds your healthy gut bacteria.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in 2 heaped tsp Ceylon cinnamon.

Why this is good for you
Would you like your immune system to be in perfect balance? Protecting against infections and also avoiding/getting into remission from autoimmune conditions? These days, lots of us have health conditions where our immune system is out of control.  Allergies, asthma, eczema, colitis and Crohn’s, autoimmune hypothyroidism are just some examples.  Stewed apple may be one of the most perfect foods for helping your good gut bacteria grow in order to dampen down an out-of-control immune system. In treating inflammatory bowel disease a daily serving of stewed apple is as powerful as prednisone, a steroid medication.  Naturally we need LOTS of different plant foods in our week to foster a wide variety of good bacteria.  But stewed apple is a great start, especially if you are someone who can’t tolerate raw fruit at the moment.

When you stew COOKING apples you liberate pectin. Apple pectin encourages growth of the friendly bacteria akkermansia mucinophilia. The clue is in the name. These critters nibble the mucus (yes, I know, yuck!) in your bowel, keeping it trimmed so there’s the right amount. This is important in helping get rid of GI infections and helping nutrient absorption.

Apples naturally contain sugar so it’s better not to have huge amounts of this – just the equivalent of one medium apple is the amount you want as a dessert, otherwise you are overloading with sugars.  Too many sugars, even natural ones, slow down your liver function and immune system and feed health-sabotaging bacteria in your gut.   

Buckwheat apple cinnamon muffins

Buckwheat apple cinnamon muffins

Buckwheat apple cinnamon muffins

These are light, fluffy and a real celebration of Autumn. Unlike totally grain-based gluten free cakes, these keep fresh and moist for days (just keep them somewhere cool). I like to use reusable silicon muffin cases for this – muffins come off really cleanly and you are reducing waste as well. I adapted the recipe from one I found on supermummy.com.  with a bowl of natural coconut or dairy yoghurt and some berries these would make a good breakfast too. Yummy!

To make this into a breakfast enjoy each muffin with a generus dollop of unsweetened coconut/almond or dairy yoghurt.  This gives more protein to keep you fuller longer….



To make 12 x 7cm muffins

1 rounded tbs honey
100g coconut oil (or butter, if you want dairy), melted with the maple syrup/coconut sugar and cooled
3 tbs unsweetened almond milk (or other unsweetened milk).
Level tsp of vanilla powder or extract (not essence, if you want to be gluten-free)
1 heaped tbs coconut sugar (or use 2 scant tbs pure maple syrup)
2 large eggs*
75g buckwheat flour
75g ground almonds
1 level tsp baking soda (also called bread soda)
Generous pinch Himalayan salt
For the apple pieces:
2 cooking apples
1 tbs buckwheat flour
½ level tsp Ceylon cinnamon

*If you have any leftover egg whites in your fridge, this is a good place to use them up. Instead of using 2 large eggs, I used two small/medium ones then at the end, with the apple pieces I folded in 2 very stiffly beaten medium egg whites*. The result was fab.

1. Peel core and dice the apples. Toss in a bowl with 1 tbs buckwheat flour and the Ceylon cinnamon until fully coated. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven (fan 180C standard 195)
3. Beat butter/coconut oil, milk, coconut sugar or maple syrup, vanilla and eggs in a bowl until frothy.
4. In a separate bowl whisk buckwheat flour, ground almonds, baking soda and salt together. Add to the liquid mixture and beat until fully amalgamated.
5. Fold the coated apple pieces into the mixture (along with the optional 1-2 stiffly beaten egg whites if you have some hanging around the fridge).
6. Spoon the mixture into 12 x 7cm muffin cases, supported by a muffin tin if you have one (this gives a nice shape to the finished product). If you don’t have a muffin tin, use a baking tray for the muffin cases.
7. Heat your oven to 180C while the muffins rest for a few minutes.
8. Bake 20-25 minutes (mine took 20) until golden on top. They are done when a skewer or toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Why these are better for you:
Buckwheat is eally a seed rather than a grain.  It is packed with a polyphenol (natural plant chemical) called rutin.  Rutin is a powerhouse for aiding collagen production.  Collagen is needed for healthy bones, tendons, ligaments, gut, connective tissue, and for keeping you younger a lot longer.  Rutin has recently been on my mind as I implement a programme to heal tendonitis.  I had a few minor shoulder injuries a few years back that prevented me moving properly (for 4 years), the tendon got pinched an inflamed.  Ouch!!!   Nothing like a (lot of) discomfort to refocus the mind on a few forgotten foods. 

Sweetened with coconut sugar or maple syrup and containing apple to help feed these good bacteria these are SO much better for you than standard muffins loaded with refned sugar and toxic oils.


Buckwheat is naturally gluten-free.  In EVERYBODY (whether gluten-sensitive or “normal”) gluten tears the lining of your small intestine.  The damage lasts a minimum of 3 hours in ALL people (recent research has filmed this!). This damage allows bacterial fragments, gut bacteria and undigested food to spill into your bloodstream- putting your immune system into “attack” mode.  This is a factor in inflammatory, autoimmune and mental health conditions.  Using coconut oil  or butter instead of omega 6 oils (like rape, sunflower, for example) means you avoid toxic trans fats produced by heating or refining nut/seed oils like  sunflower, vegetable, rapeseed, sesame or peanut.  Butter is healthier than damaged polyunsaturated oils.

Gretta’s lime coconut energy balls

Gretta’s lime coconut energy balls

My friend Gretta shared the recipe for these delicious no-cook treats (from paleogrubs.com) with me.    So easy and a real crowd-pleaser.  Lovely as a decadent treat with a cup of green tea.  Do use soft moist dates, otherwise the mix doesn’t stick together. I’ve left the measurements in cups because it’s quicker to make that way.  If you are feeling fancy, use miniature  cake/petits fours cases to serve.

As cashews are high in lectins (natural proteins that inhibit digestion) if you have a sensitive gut limit these to one or two and not every day.

1/2 cup (raw) almonds (1 cup is 230ml or a standard mug)
1/2 cup cashews
1½ cup Medjool or other soft moist dates, pitted
Zest and juice of 2 limes (organic if possible)
1/2 cup pure desiccated coconut

1. In a food processor blitz the nuts into small pieces not paste.
2. Add the dates, lime juice, zest. Pulse until the dates are finely chopped and the mix starts to clump.
3. Shape the mixture into 2-3cm  balls. Roll in coconut. Store in fridge where they will keep for 4-5 days (if they last that long!)

Why these are better for you
These contain protein and unrefined oils.  This prevents sugars in the dates from upsetting blood sugar levels (and potentially mood, energy, and concentration).  Because they are made of unrefined ingredients they won’t rob valuable nutrients from your body.  BUT think of these as treats, not staples, because dried fruit particularly, and even nuts, are best eaten sparingly.  Too much dried fruit upsets the balance of bacteria in your gut and too many nuts give you too much omega 6 oil, and our bodies work best on just a little (about 1 tablespoon of raw nuts/seeds a day gives you plenty of omega 6).  Cashews are not the best source of omega 6.  They have to be steamed to make them edible so you can never buy raw cashew nuts. Raw nut oils are best.  Great for a treat though.

Autumn porridge with seeds & apple

Autumn porridge with seeds & apple

I love this autumnal porridge with apples from the garden (we have a glut right now).  Add Ceylon cinnamon, a grated apple and a dessertspoon or two of protein powder and you have a slow-burn meal that takes you through to lunch no problem.  I love spices and what they do for your body so if I have time I also put in a pinch of ground cloves – a reminder of my childhood and my mother, who made the best apple tarts, always with a few cloves.  Instead of the apple stirred into the porridge you can also top the finished product with a cupful of thawed or fresh mixed berries.






For 1 big eater (if portion size seems too big, reduce oats by 1/3 and protein powder to 1 rounded dsp)

Just under 1/2 mug (about 40g) gluten-free porridge oats or (if you are not gluten-sensitive, normal porridge/jumbo oats/oatmeal)
1 tsp Ceylon (Sri Lankan) cinnamon
1-2 dsp additive-free protein powder (I like a mix of sprouted rice protein and pea protein or Nu Zest brand but for dairy-eaters grass-fed whey protein concentrate like Solgar Vanilla Whey-To-Go is also good and some people prefer it)
1 apple – organic if possible
1 heaped tbs (2 heaped dsp) mixed raw milled seeds (get a blend that includes flax/chia)
Optional: pure stevia drops to sweeten (if you are only just weaning off sugar) or use a little xylitol or erythritol/stevia blend (from health shops)

1.If you think of it the night before, soak your oats in boiling water – cover the oats so you have at least 1.5cm of water on top, they will drink it all up.  This reduces the cooking time A LOT and makes them easier to digest.  If you forget to soak the oats overnight, just pour on boiling water when you get up.
2.Bring the oats to the boil then simmer until a lot of the grains have broken down.
3. Grate your apple (unless its organic, peel it first) into the porridge, add the cinnamon, protein powder and (if using) your stevia drops/xylitol etc.  Give it a good stir.  At this point it will probably be too thick so add some boiling water, give it all a good stir and pour into your bowl.
4.Top with the seeds and get stuck in.

Why this is good for you:
Oats and apples are a rich source of prebiotic fibre that feeds your good gut bacteria.  These bugs are vital for digestive, skin, hormonal and mental health (in fact every aspect of your health). If the apples are not organic they are usually contaminated with agri-chemicals toxic to humans.  You can read about contaminants in apples here: https://www.ewg.org/release/apples-top-ewgs-dirty-dozen .  Oats are naturally low in gluten (their only gluten being contamination by wheat or barley).   Low/no gluten foods are easier to digest.  In all grains, beans,and pulses there are problematic proteins called lectins that are reduced  by soaking/sprouting.  This is why some people tolerate sourdough wheat bread but not other forms of wheat bread.  The sourdough fermentation process reduces or lectins, including gluten, by over 99%.  Many plants contain lectins – they are the plants defence against being eaten and digested!!

Protein: Adding protein from (seeds, additive-free protein powder) slows your digestion.  This gives you a steady feed of energy  rather than a quick  burst, followed by feeling exhausted, down or hungry.  Buy a raw milled seed mix or grind your own blend (flax, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame) using an electric coffee/spice grinder.  Keep in an airtight glass jar in the fridge.

Spices: Ceylon/Sri Lanka Cinnamon (but not products labelled simply “cinnamon”) helps balance your blood sugar and is a powerful antioxidant.  So if you want to lower inflammation, be a healthy weight, slow the ageing process, balance hormones and maintain a good, stable mood this sort of breakfast is a winner.

There are of course, some people who do much better on a grain-free diet altogether, but this is a more personalised area of nutrition aimed at resolving specific health issues.





Persian Herb Frittata Kuku Sabzi

Persian Herb Frittata Kuku Sabzi

I made this for a birthday gathering last week and people LOVED it.  It is a baked version of the more oily deep green frittata popular among Persians.  There they serve little squares of it with drinks. This quantity makes enough to serve 4 people as part of a mezze meal.  Give yourself plenty of time to make it though, it takes a while to process or chop all the herbs.  The recipe is from Sabrina Ghayour’s Persiana.

200g flat leaf parsley
200g fresh coriander
40g fresh dill
40g fresh chives
2 bunches spring onions, thinly sliced
3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp turmeric powder
8 medium organic eggs
2 tbsp gluten-free flour of your choice (I mix millet, gluten-free oat flour and sorghum or brown rice flour.  Or use gluten-free oats blitzed to a flour in your food processor)
2 rounded tbs thick kefir or Greek yoghurt (to thicken your kefir, line a sieve with muslin or a single layer of kitchen paper, strain the kefir, letting the thin whey drain off).  If you are very dairy-sensitive you can use natural soya yoghurt instead of Greek yoghurt/kefir (though many dairy-sensitive people can cope with fully fermented home-made kefir because the casein and lactose has been digested by friendly bugs)
3 tsp gluten-free baking powder
½ level tsp Himalayan salt or Atlantic sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
3-4 heaped tbs dried barberries, optional (I buy mine in the Asia Market, Dublin 2)
100g walnut pieces, chopped
Pyrex/ovenproof dish (22x30cm is ideal)
Non-stick baking paper (silicon paper)

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C.  On a medium heat warm a large cooking pot.
2. Finely chop all the herbs (if using a food processor, do this in 2 batches).  Pour the olive oil into the warm pan and sweat the spring onions and herbs for a few minutes, then add the turmeric and stir to mix.  Cook for a further 5 mins, then place the herbs on a flat plate and allow to cool.
3. Grease your ovenproof/pyrex dish and line with non-stick baking paper. This makes it easier to remove after everything is cooked.
4. Beat the eggs with the kefir/yoghurt, baking powder, salt, gluten-free flour and about half a level teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper (or to taste).
5. Once the herb mix has cooled so its no longer piping hot, slowly add a couple of spoonfuls at a time to the egg mixture and stir well until all the herb mix is combined.  Add in the barberries and walnut and mix well once again.
6. Pour in the egg and herb mixture and bake for 35-40 mins.  To check if the frittata is cooked, insert a knife into the centre.  If it comes out clear of raw egg, the dish is done.  If not, return to the oven for a few minutes.  Once cooked, allow to cool, then cut into squares to serve.  Enjoy…

Why this is good for you:
All herbs and many spices (especially turmeric) have antioxidant properties, helping reduce inflammation and keep you looking and feeling younger longer.  Most herbs and spices have a selective action on your gut bacteria – fostering the helpful bacteria and helping reduce numbers of pathogens (disease-causing ones).  Coriander also helps chelate (bind) the toxic metal mercury.  If you have mercury dental fillings you are ingesting a significant dose every single time you eat.  when coriander is in your gut at the same time it latches on to the mercury and escorts it safely out via your bowel.  Onion family veggies also feed good bacteria which are needed for ALL aspects of your health.  Green plant foods are rich in magnesium needed for detoxification of the many toxins our body needs to process every day.  Magnesium is essential for keeping us calm and happy.