This salmon cooked in sauce is DELICIOUS. If you want make the cook-in sauce in advance to save faff if you’re having people around. The original recipe by Madhur Jaffrey involves marinating the salmon but I skip that and it still turns out fab. I love this served with a generous amount of broccoli/tenderstem. If you dont want to lose weight add some more carbs by measuring ¼ cup brown basmati rice per person and cooking that with a generous pinch of turmeric (added health benefits plus lovely colour!).
Tip: Buy your individual spices in Asian shops. If you have a coffee grinder try grinding some of your own spices – you’ll really notice the flavour explosion. Always keep ground spices airtight in a dark place to preserve aroma.
For 2 300g skinless salmon fillets/2 x 150g skinless darnes
For the sauce: 1 tsp whole mustard seeds 1 level tsp mustard powder 1 dsp ground coriander ½ tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp tsp curry powder ½ tsp cayenne pepper 150g tomatoes, coarsely grated or chopped small, with their juice 1 tbs extra virgin olive or coconut oil ½ tsp whole fennel seeds 10 fresh curry leaves or 6 bay leaves or fresh coriander To serve: 2 cups broccoli florets/tenderstem broccoli per person Low carb: cauliflower rice Medium carb: brown basmati rice (measure 1/4 cup per person before cooking)
If you’re using brown rice with this, first of all: Put on the kettle, rinse rice in a sieve under cold running water (to remove toxic arsenic which accumulates on the surface of the grains). Cook rice in twice its volume of boiling water e.g. For 2 people ½ cup rice 1 cup boiling water. Add generous pinch turmeric, cover with a lid, simmer till done.
1. Cut salmon into matchbox-sized pieces or (if you don’t mind waiting longer for it to cook) leave 2 darnes whole. 2. Now make the sauce. Put the ground mustard, ground coriander, cumin, turmeric, curry powder, cayenne, tomatoes, curry leaves or bay leaves, generous pinch salt and 100ml water in a bowl and mix well. 3. Heat oil in a wide, shallow pan (a deep frying pan is ideal) over a medium-high heat. 4. Add mustard seeds. As soon as they begin to pop add fennel seeds. 5. Pour in the spice-tomato mixture and 80-100ml more water, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 10 minutes. At this point sauce can be cooled and refrigerated until you are ready to cook the fish. It will keep a couple of days. 6. To cook the fish, reheat sauce in wide shallow pan and lay the fish in it spooning some of the sauce over the fish to coat it all over. 7. Cover pan with a lid or plate and cook for 5-10 minutes until the salmon is cooked through. Around 5 mins for matchbox sized pieces, around 10 for whole darnes.
Why this is good for you: Cooking with herbs and spices liberates a powerhouse of antioxidant anti-inflammatory processes in your body. Herbs are antioxidant. They also make your body produce more of its own antioxidants. They also (provided they’re properly kept airtight in a dark place) make your gut a VERY unfriendly place for bad bugs. This allows friendly bacteria more space to grow, promoting more vigorous physical and mental function. Whats not to like. And of course we all know by now that omega 3 fats from oily fish are anti-inflammatory, promote good mental and heart health and even make the cancer cells we all produce more easily destroyed by your immune system.
Just invented this last week from what we had in the fridge. It’s LOVELY with its blend of salty, smokey and fresh flavours. Lovely with a fresh mixed salad. Make sure to buy actual feta which is made from ewe (sheep) or goat milk. Do try to avoid the nasty pitted olives in black water available in supermarkets – they have almost no flavour and are only black because of black food dye. If you want to save, get your black olives in middle Eastern shops where they’re great value.
I don’t add the mint until just before serving as it goes limp quickly.
1 packet (around 200g) feta, cut in bite sized cubes as small as you like
1 large aubergine
Heaped teaspoon (or more) ground coriander
3 dsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 dsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Handful un-pitted olives (ideally wrinkly dry black ones or kalamata)
Generous handful washed mint leaves
Turn on grill to high.
Slice an aubergine in 1cm (or a bit thinner) slices (disks or lengthways, whatever you prefer).
Put aubergine slices on grill, brush with extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) and sprinkle with a little ground coriander. Grill till golden while you assemble the other ingredients. Then turn and repeat the process. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Cut into bite size pieces or strips (I use a scissors to do this quickly).
Into a large serving bowl put aubergine, olives, feta, EVOO, lemon juice/vinegar and a few generous grinds of black pepper and gently mix everything.
Just before serving chop the mint. Sprinkle it over the top or mix it in.
Why this is good for you (provided you’re not dairy-sensitive!): Goats and sheep’s cheese are high in protein and FAR more easy for humans to digest than cow. Modern (Jersey) cow’s milk contains A1 beta casein which is hard to digest. Goat and sheep milk contains 80% less of this problematic casein. Olives are a fermented food and contain beneficial bacteria to help your gut. Mint, like most herbs/spices, helps make your gut a hostile place for disease-causing bacteria and is also rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are natural plant compounds shown to be anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and hugely supportive of your health – gut, brain, skin and more. What’s not to like?
This is gorgeous Middle Eastern style dressing – creamy, tangy and moreish. Drizzle it over a salad or grilled/roast fish or chicken. If you want you can use a little less water or kefir to make this thicker and use as a dip.
1 rounded tbs light tahini (raw brand if possible, e.g. Carly’s)
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbs lemon juice + 125ml cold water OR (instead of lemon + water) 150ml home made kefir
5 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Generous pinch Himalayan/sea salt
Flavour + health boosters: 1/2 tsp ground spice: sweet paprika, cumin or coriander.
In a mini food processor blend all the ingredients till blended. If you are doing this by hand get a decent size bowl, add the garlic and tahini and mix in just 1/4 of the liquid at a time. You are aiming for a consistency about the texture of double cream. You may need to add more water as you go to achieve this. The tahini will clump initially. Just keep mixing, and adding more liquid if needed.
Why this is good for you: Garlic and lemon are fantastic supporters of detoxification, a critical function for all aspects of your health. Extra virgin olive oil keeps you fuller longer and aids weight loss (yes that IS correct) and is also rich in gut-helping immune-regulating vitamin E and polyphenols. Kefir is tolerated by most dairy-sensitive people because its a pre-digested food. The friendly bugs that manufacture kefir from milk break down the dairy sugar (lactose) and dairy protein (casein) that are the main trigger for dairy sensitivity reactions. Tahini, if its raw, is a good source of healthy omega 6 oils. Omega 6 is found in all raw nuts/seeds.
I love this and I’ve made it so many times now I don’t need a recipe. Make it as cauliflower “steaks” or florets (a bit faster).
If you prefer an Indian vibe use a spice blend of 1 level tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric alongside the pepper and salt.
1 whole cauliflower, green leaves removed
1 heaped tsp ground sumac or sweet paprika
Freshly ground black pepper
Pink (Himalayan) salt
Extra virgin olive oil (about 2-3 tbs)
Roast cauliflower “steaks”
Preheat oven to 215c/200C fan
With the cauliflower standing on its stalk, slice it downwards into 1.5-2cm slices. You’ll get 4-5 good “steaks” and some shards.
Brush the roasting tin with extra virgin olive oil lay the cauliflower slices on top rubbing them around a bit to coat with the oil without breaking them up.
Brush the tops with olive oil, sprinkle with the sumac/paprika, lots of freshly ground black pepper and a generous pinch of salt.
Roast 15-20 mins at 200C. It’s done when the edges are starting to char.
Roast cauliflower florets
Take out central thick stalk from the cauliflower and break into small florets.
Put in the roasting dish, drizzle on extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle on your spices, pepper and salt and toss to coat.
Roast 10-15 mins at 220c/fan 200c.
Its done when the edges are starting to char.
If you feel like a fancier recipe with a delicious middle eastern dressing go to my blog post https://www.annacollins.ie/oven-roasted-cauliflower-green-bean-salad/
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….
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 first tasted almond milk in its traditional Italian form 20 years ago in Puglia. It was a beating hot day in the city of Lecce and we were given large glasses of iced sweet almond milk. It tasted amazing. I prefer something that’s a little more vitality-enhancing (i.e. not full of pro-inflammatory, immune sabotaging added sugar) so here’s my take.
Use this drink in place of animal milk OR for a summer cooler add liquid stevia to sweeten, a bit more water, lots of ice and maybe a couple of drops of natural almond extract.
100g almonds, soaked overnight in filtered water (you don’t need blanched almonds)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (if you are glulten-free make sure to avoid vanilla “essence”)
1.25 litres filtered water
Drain the soaked nuts, blend with the filtered water.
Strain through a nut milk bag or muslin cloth, milking it to squeeze out all the liquid.
Add the vanilla extract, mix and serve.
If you want to get more “value” from your almonds, blitz the soaked nuts with just 3/4 l of water. Strain through the nut milk bag. Put the ground nuts into the blender again with the remaining 3/4L water. That way you will find you get more almond milk out of the nuts.