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CHEF'S TIPS

Nutrition, energy & wellbeing

CHEF'S SECRETS February in focus

 

As we start to come out of winter we still need to brace ourselves for cold snaps and to continue to set the tone for a healthy 2021 as our NY resolutions may be starting to wane! Now is the time to focus on foods with high energy output and clean, natural ingredients that benefit a healthy gut, great brain functioning and overall general wellbeing.

Our currently restricted lifestyle demands more than ever before, that we keep ourselves in top physical and mental shape. A great starting point will always be food! Whilst local greens are not around, the supermarkets still offer a plethora or imported varieties that can be added.

Heart monitor illustrated

super nutrients

for February


Three ways to live the good life...

Illustrated cooking pot

1. BOILING UP A Broth


Broth is a thin, flavourful warm liquid, similar to stock but typically thinner. Made my simmering meat, vegetables or bones, regular - or even daily - consumption of a broth has gut-soothing properties. This chicken-based broth is high in collagen from the meat, gristle, skin and bones. All contribute to maintaining the single layer of our gut protection cells, keeping them in top condition.

Ingredients (chicken)


1 x medium organic chicken or 1.5 kg of chicken parts

1 x onion – chopped

3 x carrots – chopped

2 x celery sticks  - chopped

3 x garlic cloves

2 x live (raw) apple cider vinegar

2  x tbsp coconut oil

1 x thumb size piece of ginger  - chopped

1 x tsp ground turmeric

1 x tsp of black peppercorns

 

Method


Very straightforward! Place all ingredients in a pot, with just enough water to cover, bring to a simmer and leave for up to 6 hours, but no less than 3 hours, then remove the meat from the bones and save for some other flavourful feast - a chicken, avocado & chilli salad, for example - or place back in the broth.

 

Here's is a recipe for a great vegetarian option, if you prefer...


Ingredients (vegetarian)

1 x tbsp. coconut oil

1 x red onion - quartered

1 x garlic bulb

1 x chilli pepper

1 x thumb size ginger

1 x handful of spinach or kale – blanched

4 x handfuls of mixed vegetable peelings such as carrot, swede, parsnip,

1 x small handful of dried mushrooms – preferably shiitake, for their deep umami flavour

1 x tbsp. peppercorns

1 x tbsp. ground turmeric

1 x small bunch of fresh coriander

1 tbsp nutritional yeast
(a deactivated form of yeast, very high in fibre and complete proteins normally found in animal products, as well as good nutty, cheesy flavour and  low in calories - like any good thing in life, to be enjoyed with moderation!)

 

Method

            Bring everything to the boil with some filtered water to cover, then simmer for 1.5 – 2 hours, strain and enjoy hot/warm. This is especially nice after a nice long walk or exercise in the cold. Because the recipe has a fair amount of ingredients, it is wise to scale the above recipe a few times and freeze small quantities for future use.

Illustrated wine glass2. TAKE A TIPPLE


A brilliant overall warmer and a feel good ingredient to an excellent day is a “drop” of alcohol, served piping hot after some time out in the cold. Alcohol, in small amounts, contributes to dilating blood vessels, thus placing our body in a state of happy relaxation.

A couple of suggestions:


1 x small glass of red wine
2 x pieces of orange peel
1 x piece of lemon peel
1 x teaspoon of brown sugar

Simply bring to boil, immediately remove from the heat and sip as hot as you can handle!

or

50 ml x vodka or rum
1 x teaspoon of brown sugar (preferably unrefined)
1 x teaspoon of black peppercorns

Bring to boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat. Make a cup with your hand above the cup of hot alcohol, so you can inhale as much as you can handle, then drink the alcohol as hot as possible.

Illustrated beetroot bulb with leaves

3. naturally fermented foods


Daily consumption of naturally fermented foods can feed the gut, promote a healthy brain activity, improve energy... to name just a few of many benefits. It could be anything from sauerkraut, to kefir, to sourdough bread and sourdough’s many other applications. It could be fermented fruit on top of warm oats, could be pickled vegetables or fruit, the world of fermented, brilliant foods, never ends!

Our super simple suggestion for you is: Purple sauerkraut. This recipe won't be ready for you to enjoy in February as the fermentation process can take a number of weeks. But fermentation isn't a fast process - that's kind of the point. Get started  in February and you'll be enjoying your naturally fermented nutrition soon...

Ingredients


200g raw beetroot
(grated)

300g red cabbage
(grated)

½ small apple
(peeled cored and finely diced or grated)

½ tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp coriander seeds

10g sea salt

Method


Place all the ingredients in a bowl, rub them together so the salt starts to penetrate the cabbage and beetroot, thus releasing the juices. Pack everything in a 500ml jar, pushing the ingredients so they get submerged in their own juices (weigh down with a washed suitable size pebble or a small double bag with water).

Leave on the counter at room temperature for up to three weeks, but at least 5 days. Check regularly that the contents are submerged and release the lid to allow the CO2 to escape. Taste regularly and stop when the acidity is right for you, then refrigerate for up to 3 months.Don’t stress if you find yeasts developed on the top, just discard them and the rest will still be perfectly fine. If the liquid drops through natural evaporation, make a brine with 100ml filtered/bottled water and 2 grams of salt, and top up until fully submerged.

Enjoy either with a drizzle of your favourite oil or cook either by a brief sauté with some smoked bacon or stew with a duck leg for a more substantial meal, the choice is yours!


If all the above can be complemented by a tablespoon of great quality extra virgin olive oil on empty stomach every day, doing 50 pushups and drinking 2 litres of water, you may just run the risk of living forever!

In the meantime, we are looking forward to warmly welcoming you again soon.

With great love and respect,

Eddie Grecu

Head Chef