Cherry Tomato & Caramelised Onion Tart with Pesto

I am always a little dubious of tomatoes in January so I was really pleased to see how vibrant red and delicious Riverford’s cherry tomatoes are at the moment. Obviously the weather in Spain is somewhat warmer than ours.

Cherry Tomatoes Riverford

I am a great fan of ready-made, ready rolled all butter puff pastry. I am a stickler for checking ingredients on any ready-made food and I am always checking labels, Find one which only contains flour and butter and you know that you have saved yourself a whole lot of time, because making puff pastry is no easy feat. I topped mine with some ready-made pesto (once again, check the ingredients or make your own), caramelised onions and the cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of balsamic at the end. I was worried that the tomatoes would make my pasty soggy but blind cooking it first prevents this. I think you could just as easily serve this for a starter at a dinner party as a delicious, quick lunch. Either way, it is a welcome taste of Summer!

Tomato & Onion Tart with Pesto 3

Cherry Tomato & Caramelised Onion Tart with Pesto
Serves 4 as a main with salad or 8 as a starter
Extra virgin olive oil
2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
1 garlic clove, finely sliced
375g (1 sheet) ready rolled all butter puff pastry
2 tbsp. pesto
250g cherry tomatoes, halved
1-2tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6
Heat some oil in a pan and cook the onions with a little salt and pepper until soft and deep gold – about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further few minutes. Check seasoning, Set aside.

Gently unroll the pastry. Place on a baking sheet, still on the grease-proof it comes with. Put in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the pastry over and bake on the other side until also golden brown. If the pastry has puffed up, just gently press it down to flatten it. Remove from the oven and spread a thin layer of pesto, leaving a small rim round the edge. On top of this spread the onion mixture evenly. Then top with the halved tomatoes. Sprinkle over salt and pepper and drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar, then bake in the oven for 10 minutes or so until the tomatoes begin to colour. Serve warm.

Tomtoe tart 2

Sweet Potato & Harissa Soup with Braised Kale and Pinenuts

This week I started with a medium veg box original. There was one main reason for this. This is the box I will be using for my SuperClub menu on Thursday this week and I thought I could use this blog to fine-tune some of the recipes I will be cooking. I have to admit that sometimes even I struggle to constantly think up new recipes with the same veg and they are often just variations on a theme. The combination of Sweet Potato and Kale is a classic. Quite frankly, you could not eat a two ingredients which are better for you, especially during Winter. Kale is one of those veg that actually tastes good for you. It is no surprise that it is one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet.

But sweet potatoes are a different kettle of fish and it always amazes me is how good they are for you. You cannot believe that something that tastes so, well …. sweet, could do you any good, but they too pack a powerful nutritional punch. They have got over 400% of your daily needs for vitamin A in one medium sized sweet potato as well as loads of antioxidants vitamin C and E, beta-carotene, fibre & potassium. They have got more grams of natural sugars than regular potato but more overall nutrients with fewer calories.

The combination of the two together, the slight bitterness of the kale which counteracts the sweetness of the sweet potato is a perfect marriage and I have cooked countless hashes and soups, usually with the addition of some chorizo to add a spicy, smoky depth. But the superClubs are vegetarian so I had to think again. My first notion was a Moroccan influenced soup with smoked paprika and harissa to add a kick. But I could not make up my mind whether it should be chunky or smooth. Obviously I wouldn’t want to puree the kale and but sweet potato is great both ways.

Like the sweet potato itself, I wanted to create a soup, which maybe a little unpromising to look at, but was so delicious that you could not believe how good it was for you. So I opted for a smooth, creamy, thick soup with kale braised in garlic, which you can just stir through at the end. I hope I have succeeded.

Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato & Harissa Soup with Braised Kale and Pinenuts

You can substitute spinach or chard for the kale in this recipe. Harissa varies in heat enormously in different makes so add cautiously. You can always add more. My favourite is Rose Harissa available from Waitrose.

Serves: 6
2 onions
4 cloves garlic, 2 grated and 2 very thinly sliced
2 sweet potatoes
Couple of large handfuls of kale
Extra Virgin olive oil olive oil
1-2 tsp ground cumin
1-2 tsp smoked paprika
1-2 tsp. Harissa
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A handful of pinenuts lightly toasted in the oven

Peel the sweet potatoes, then slice them into ¼-inch thick rounds. Wash the spinach and thinly slice the leaves; reserve.
Peel and thinly slice the onions and in a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until soft. Add the grated garlic, some cumin and smoked paprika and cook a minute, stirring constantly. Add the sweet potatoes and cover with water. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper and simmer over medium-low heat for 20 to 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are completely soft. Top up with water if necessary.

Meanwhile strip the kale from its stems and put a pan of salted water on to boil. When the water is boiling, add the kale and cook for 2 minutes or so before removing the leaves with a slotted spoon. Lay out the leaves to cool on a clean, dry tea towel. When cool, use the tea towel to squeeze out any excess water and roughly chop the kale. Heat some olive oil ain a saucepan and fry the garlic slithers until light golden brown. Add the kale and a little salt. Stir well and remove from the heat. Check for seasoning.

Add a teaspoon of harissa to the soup and puree with a hand-blender. Taste and add more salt, pepper, cumin, smoked paprika or harissa to taste. Serve in bowls with a handful of kale in each bowl and the pinenuts sprinkled on top and a drizzle of olive oil.

sweet potatoes 2

Batata vada pav (Indian potato burger)

Finally, for this week, a bit of a strange one. Batata Vada Pav is very popular street food in Mumbai, India and I have always wanted to have a go at recreating it at home. A sort of deep-fried, vegetarian potato burger in a bun, which is eaten with the accompaniment of a couple of chutneys.

I tried out a recommended dry chutney, which is rather like a very spicy version of the Egyption Dukkah. I love the idea of Dukkah but I have never quite worked out what to do with it. When I went to Indian restaurants with my parents as a kid, I always remember that when they brought the chutneys with the poppadums, my absolute favourite was this coconut and almond paste, which was bright red and slightly spicy. I loved it. You never see it anymore, probably because it is more expensive that the more ubiquitous mango chutney and lime pickles.

The other chutney I made was a super spicy, fresh coriander and coconut dip, which was really good. As for the burger, well it is interesting and worth a try. Certainly a great way of using up left over mashed potato.

Potato Burger 3

Batata vada pav (Indian potato burger)
I deep-fried a few onion rings in the left over batter.
Serves 2
1 tbsp. butter
1 tsp mustard seeds
Large knob of fresh ginger, grated
1 onion, chopped
1 tsp chopped green chilli
120g potatoes, cooked then roughly mashed
Salt
½ tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala

Coconut oil, for frying

For the batter
30g chickpea (gram) flour
500mls water
Salt to taste

2 burger buns
1 tbsp butter
Green Chutney, Dry Chutney, Tamarind Sauce

Heat half the butter in a pan, add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. Add the ginger and green chillies, and fry until fragrant. Add the mashed potato and the rest of the burger ingredients and mix well. Shape the mix into two dumplings and set them aside.

For the batter, add all the ingredients and enough water to reach a pouring consistency.

Dip the dumplings in the batter and deep fry until golden brown. Cut the burger buns through the middle, heat the rest of the butter in a pan and toast the buns. Put the dumplings in the buns and serve hot with the chutneys.

Coriander and Coconut Chutney (Green Chutney)
1 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tbsp. almonds, cashews or
1 tbsp. sesame seeds
2 tbsp. shredded fresh coconut
2 garlic cloves
1 green chilli, chopped
Large knob ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
Juice ½ a lemon
salt
2 tablespoons water

Whiz up all the ingredients with a hand blender. Check seasoning.

Dry Coconut and Chilli Chutney
You might be able to buy ready roasted coconut, sesame seeds and nuts in which case there is no need to roast them again.
4 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup grated Dry Coconut
1 tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1 tablespoon Roasted Peanuts, roasted cashews or toasted almonds
½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
Salt

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in skillet or pan and roast the garlic over low flame for 1 minute until just light, golden brown. Remove to kitchen paper. Wipe out the pan and lightly toast the grated coconut in same skillet over low flame until light brown. Be careful not to burn. Remove. Dry roast the sesame seeds over low flame until seeds start to pop (approx. 30 seconds) and remove. Let roasted garlic, roasted coconut and sesame seeds cool for 5 minutes. Add roasted peanuts, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt in coffee grinder or food processor jar. Grind them until medium coarse powder. Taste for salt and add more if required.

Potato Burger

Quick and Easy Baked Vegetable Samosas

Next up this week, a really quick and easy version of Vegetable Samosas. The idea is to be able to knock these up for a quick lunch or for the kids lunch-boxes, so I am not expecting you to make your own samosa pastry. Samosa pastry is readily available in oriental supermarkets in the freezer section but I wanted to try them out with Filo.

I have been giving a lot of thought to good fats recently and I am always questioning what is the best fat to use when cooking? It is a bit of a minefield out there of information at the moment. When I was growing up they told us butter was bad and margarine was best. Now there has been a complete reversal of opinion apart from, rather worryingly, the NHS.

This time it was a tossup between butter and coconut oil. Olive oil, my usual oil of choice, was not appropriate for samosas and I am very anti-vegetable oil. Health wise, butter and coconut oil are both in a similar boat. Once considered bad boys for their high content of saturated fat, (coconut oil has a much higher ration of saturated fat to butter) opinion seems to have changed. It is now considered that it is more important that they are low in omega 6, compared to vegetable oils which are very high. Our bodies need Omega 6 and Omega 3 but in equal ratios. Unfortunately, we are consuming far too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3 and vegetable oil is the main culprit. I now try and use primarily olive oil (high in omega 3), then butter (grass fed cows are also a good source of Omega 3) and finally coconut oil which contains no Omega 3, but neither does it contain Omega 6 and it can withstand high heats and adds a great flavour. Just use them in small amounts!

Taking all this into consideration, I decided to use Coconut oil for flavour BUT to bake my samosas instead of frying, to dramatically reduce the amount of oil I was using.

Finally, a note on frozen peas. I know I shouldn’t be telling all you seasonal veg enthusiasts, striving to eat fresh and local produce but to me, a samosa needs peas, even in the winter. But you can add any vegetables you like.

Samosas

Vegetable Samosas
If cooking for the kids, omit the chilli. To avoid any bad fats, you might want to make your own pastry.
Coconut oil
400 g Maris Piper (or similar floury) potatoes
250 g cauliflower
125 g frozen peas
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
Large knob of fresh ginger
1 fresh green chilli
2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground cardamom seeds
½ a lemon, juice from
Bunch of fresh coriander
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Peel and chop the potatoes into rough 1cm chunks. Break the cauliflower into similar sized florets as the potato. Add the potatoes to a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. When nearly cooked, about 8 minutes, add the, adding the cauliflower and after a further 3 minutes add the peas. Bring back to the boil and cook for a final minute, then drain.

Meanwhile, peel and finely chop the onion. Peel the garlic and grate finely. Scrape the skin off the the ginger and finely grate. Deseed and finely chop the chilli. Heat some coconut oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, and add the onion. Cook for 5 minutes or so until translucent and pale. Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and the spices and a teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Cook for a minute or two more and add the drained vegetables. Squeeze in the lemon juice and season to taste. Stir in the chopped coriander. Taste again. Add more spices or chilli to taste.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Lightly grease a large baking tray with oil.

Lay out the filo pastry and cut it in half lengthways. Take your first sheet and brush with some melted coconut oil. Spoon in the filling right down one end and fold over in triangular turns until you reach the other end. (Please see youtube link.) Finally brush with a little more coconut oil and place on a lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for around 25-30 minutes, or until golden and piping hot through. Serve straightaway if possible.

Making Samosas 4

Making Samosas 3

Making Samosas

Making Samosas 2

Saag Aloo

I seem to quite unintentionally have two themes this week. First of all, all three recipes contain potatoes and secondly, they are all Indian. I am going to start with the really, quick and easy recipe of Saag Aloo which translates, somewhat unexcitingly as “Spinach Potato”. Things often sound more exotic in another language!

You will need to use waxy potatoes for this dish so that they do not turn to mush. It is hard to tell from the outside of the potato how it is going to cook but as a general rule, if it is yellow when peeled it is usual waxy and the whiter it is inside the more floury it will be.

As for the spinach. True spinach can be wilted straight in the saucepan as in the recipe, but if using perpetual spinach (larger slightly tougher leaves) you will have to briefly blanch the leaves first in a pan of boiling salted water. Cook for 2-3 minutes and layout to cool. Squeeze out any excess water before adding.

Saag Aloo makes a lovely side dish, but I recon this could make a meal on its own, maybe with a naan bread on the side. Noting beats, a freshly made naan baked in a tandoor. I call up my local Indian restaurant, place an order and pick them up on my way home!

Sagg Allo

Saag Aloo
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 small onions, or 1 very large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic clove, grated
Large knob of ginger, scrape off the outside with a teaspoon and grate
500g potato, peeled and cut into 1 cms chunks
1 large red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely sliced
½ tsp each black mustard
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp ground cardamom seeds (grind in a coffee grinder)
2 big handfuls spinach
Large handful of coriander, freshly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and add the onion and a ½ tsp salt and a large pinch of pepper. Sweat for about 5-10 minutes until translucent but without colour. Add the garlic and ginger, chilli and spices and fry for 1-2 mins. Stir in the potatoes, and continue cooking and stirring for 5 mins more. Add a splash of water, cover, and cook for 8-10 mins. Keep checking. The potatoes are ready when you can easily spear them with the point of a knife. If necessary, add more water and stir time to time replacing lid each time. When you are sure the potatoes are cooked. Check seasoning and add the spinach. Replace lid and allow 1-2 minutes to wilt. Stir in spinach and a large handful of freshly chopped coriander. Serve straight away.

Saag Aloo 2

Banana & Pecan Bread

I always have bananas in the fruit bowl. They are the most perfectly packaged high nutritious snack. Yes, they may be high in sugar but at least it is unrefined sugar and it is so much better than reaching for a chocolate bar.

Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of Tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin — the happy-mood brain neurotransmitter. They sustain your blood sugar level, are high in fibre, magnesium, B-vitamin, iron and potassium with can help lower your blood pressure.

The only trouble with bananas is, one minute they are sitting there, just a little bit green to eat and the next minute you turn round and the whole lot have gone black and the kids won’t touch them with a barge-pole.

I hate throwing food away! So here is a great use- up recipe. The blacker the bananas the better. Banana and Pecan bread! Never throw another banana away.

Banaana Bread

Banana and Pecan Bread
1 cup / 220g golden caster sugar
½ cup / 110g butter
2 eggs
2 cups / 300g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt
1 cup / 100g pecans
1 cup / 2 or 3 / 200g black bananas, mashed

Cream the butter and sugar, add the eggs one at a time and amalgamate. Add the banana and mix well. (I used a food processor for the whole thing.) Mix the flour with the salt, baking powder, baking soda and salt and add in batches into the mixture, beating each time but don’t over mix. Stir in the chopped pecans. Pre-heat your oven to 160⁰C. Grease a loaf tin. (I used silicone which was brilliant.) Poor in the mix ¾ to the top. (If you have a little mix left, put into cupcake wrappers and bake at the same time.) Cook for about 40 to 50 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

Banana Bread 3

Roasted Cabbage with Black Bean Sauce

I am a great fan of roasting veg. I think it intensifies the flavour and brings out the natural sweetness in veg but for some reason I never thought of roasting cabbage. Sometimes it makes veg taste too vegetal as, I think, is the case with broccoli, so I assumed cabbage would be the same. I reluctantly gave it a go and was really pleasantly surprised. It came out sweet and crunchy with crispy edges. A real treat. You can cut the cabbage into more attractive “wedges” if you like or even just in halves, but I think it makes it more difficult to eat and although it is not as picturesque, cutting it smaller makes it cook much quicker too.

 
I decided to combine this new discovery with my home-made Black Bean Sauce. This is one of my favourite, quick and easy sauces which can transform stir-fries in minutes. But is also great with pork, chicken or fish, especially scallops. It is so superior to any ready-made black beans sauce that you have ever bought, that you will not believe how easy it is.

Black Bean Sauce

Do not get your beans confused. You need to find salted, fermented black beans, known as Douchi, in a Chinese supermarket. These will keep forever in a sealed Kilner jar, so by a big bag and you will always have them to hand. The sauce, once made, will also keep for at least a week or two in the fridge, so you can make up a large batch and use it for other dishes.

 
And since it is still January and we are all focusing on health eating and ways to improve our health, don’t forget that it is important to include some fermented foods into your diet because they are super good for you. They act to aid digestion, support immune function, and benefit overall nutritional status by increasing B vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

 
Finally, another great plus for fermented beans, is you get all the benefits of the nutrients of beans but without their notorious, disagreeable side effect. I can’t promise the same for the cabbage though!

Cabbage with Black Beans Sauce 2

Roasted Cabbage with Black Bean Sauce
1 head cabbage, can be pretty much any sort, cored and cut into 1-inch squares
A little sunflower oil
50g salted black beans
Generous knob of ginger
2 cloves garlic
1 large fresh red chilli
1 tbsp. Shao Hsing rice wine, or dry sherry
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. soy sauce
½ lime (optional)
Fresh coriander (optional)

Preheat oven to 200°C. Toss cabbage in a little sunflower oil, tip on to a large roasting tray and spread out in an even layer. Roast until beginning to wilt and brown, about 15 minutes.

 
Meanwhile make your sauce. Peel the garlic and grate on a course microplaner or a fine box grater. With a spoon scrape the outer skin from the ginger. Grate on the course microplaner or finely chop. Cut the chilli in half and remove the seeds, and finely chop. Then chop all three together with the black beans until you have a brown mush. Put into a bowl and stir in the wine, the sesame oil and the soy. Add a little water to get a nice consistency. You can add a squeeze of lime if you like. Adjust to taste.

Remove the cabbage from the oven and mix through the sauce. Return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes. Add fresh chopped coriander if you like. Serve hot.

Roast Cabbage

Roast Blood Orange, Avocado and Toasted Almond Salad

Along with plenty of vegetables, it is good to get some fruit in our diets as well. With this in mind I ordered a small fruit and veg box. I was most excited about the blood oranges, as I love them. They are such a beautiful colour and less acidic than their more common cousins. They are particularly high in antioxidants and of course vitamin C too, which is always important in the winter. In my box I also had red onions and avocados and I set about inventing a salad which could combine the three. Avocados are delicious on their own but a little acidity really make them sing. Usually we opt for tomatoes but I thought blood oranges would make a seasonal change. The onion marinated in the orange juice adds a hint of sweet and sour and the almonds add texture and fragrance.  All in all, I was pretty pleased with my winter salad.

Roast Blood Orange, Avocado and Toasted Almond Salad 3

Roast Blood Orange, Avocado and Toasted Almond Salad
Baking citrus at a high heat caramelizes the sugars and adds depth and interest.
Serves 2
1 blood or Valencia orange, sliced as thin as you can, leaving an inch at each end, seeds removed
Extra Virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ small red onion, thinly sliced
Salad leaves mixed with watercress and rocket
A few leaves of fresh herbs – mint, coriander or basil
1 avocado, cut into slices
A handful of un-blanched almonds

Preheat oven to 425°. Toss the orange slices with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper and lay out the orange slices. Roast in the oven until just starting to caramelize, 10–15 minutes. Keep an eye on them as the sugar content means they can easily burn. Toss the almonds with a little oil and roast them in the oven as well for about 8 minutes until light brown and beginning to make a popping noise. Remove and toss with a little salt. Leave to cool.
Meanwhile, squeeze the juice from the two ends of the orange and combine with the onion in a bowl; season with salt and pepper and let sit 5 minutes (onion will soften a bit and get slightly sweeter and less harsh). Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste.
Add the blood orange slices to the bowl with the onion along with the salad leaves and herbs. Arrange on plates and top with avocado slices and toasted almonds.

Roast Blood Orange, Avocado and Toasted Almond Salad

Grilled Chicken with Almond Dressing, Avocado and Vegetable Salad

It is not only Omega 3 which provides good fats. Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats are also good. A moderation of saturated fats is also acceptable from whole milk, coconut oil and grass-fed meat but tran-fats should be avoided at all costs in commercially baked goods, packaged snack foods, margarine and commercially prepared fried foods.
To make sure you are getting enough good fats (Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated) stock up on avocados, olives, nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews and walnuts), seeds (sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds), flaxseed and fatty fish.
Luckily I had a couple of Avocados in my box this week so I set about making up a new salad. I am particularly pleased with the salad dressing which turned out really creamy and fresh, I just used tarragon, which always goes well with chicken and some basil for added zing. I also like chicken cooked in this butterflied method as it cooks in minutes as it is so thin, and stays really juicy and tender. Finally, of course you can add any other vegetables you have to hand and your salad leaves are up to you too. I used a mixture of rocket, watercress and a few sprigs of mint mixed through the green Batavia lettuce in my box this week.

Chicken Salad with Almond Dressing 2

Grilled Chicken with Almond Dressing, Avocado and Vegetable Salad
Dressing
50g almonds, soaked
A few sprigs of what herbs you fancy – coriander, basil, parsley or tarragon, leaves picked
100ml extra virgin olive oil

2 x 150g chicken breasts
Zest of a lemon
Dried oregano
Extra virgin olive oil
Mixed salad leaves and maybe a few sprigs of herbs
1 bulb fennel
1 carrot
1 small courgette
1 ripe avocado
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges, to serve

For the dressing drain the almonds, add the olive oil, the herbs, a good pinch of salt and pepper and some water and puree with a hand blender until smooth and creamy. Add more water to get a good consistency and check for seasoning.

Take each chicken breast and cut it through the from one side to the other, stopping just short of the edge. This is difficult to explain so please follow link. Unfold the chicken breast and lay flat. Season with salt and pepper, dried oregano and lemon zest on both sides. Drizzle with olive oil.
Shave the fennel, courgette and carrot with a mandolin. Peel and thinly slice the avocado. Dress the salad and shaved vegetables with a little olive oil and a small pinch of salt. Arrange on plates. Heat a griddle pan of just a large frying pan. Arrange the avocado on the plates with the salad. Grill the chicken on both sides until just cooked. Place on top of the salad. Drizzle with almond dressing and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Chicken Salad with Almond Dressing

Soba Buckwheat Noodle Miso Soup with Squash, Cauliflower & Mixed Seeds

My personal diet message to myself as I get older is all about re-hydration. There is no doubt as we age everything: our hair and nails and skin gets drier and moisturising from the inside as well as the outside can really help.  We are used to rubbing fatty moisturisers into our skin, but this is constantly at attack from the environment, so it would seem that it might be more effective to put the fats inside you so that your body can do the job of lubricating you itself. Of course I mean good fats rather than bad fats, namely Omega 3 fats, essential fatty acids. I think we all panic at this word, imagining that we have to consume bucket loads of sardines and mackerel to achieve our daily quota, but whilst fatty fish is clearly good for you all sorts of vegetables, seeds and nuts are also excellent sources.

Here are a few to try and include in your diet
Flaxseeds
Walnuts
Beef
Brussel Sprouts
Cauliflower
Winter Squash
Broccoli
Kale
Spinach
Green Beans
Parsley

I really like this miso broth. It is clean and restorative. You can add all sorts of vegetables that you want, preferably from the list above and then you know it is going to be super good for you!

Soba Noodle Soup 2

Soba Buckwheat Noodle Miso Soup with Squash, Cauliflower & Mixed Seeds
100g per person Soba Buckwheat Noodles(Try Clearspring or Yataka )
½ a Squash or a piece of pumpkin (Sweet Mama, Butternut, Acorn)
½ Cauliflower
Sunflower Oil
Seeds (Pumpkin, Sunflower, Sesame, Black Sesame etc)
Organic Barley or Brown Rice Miso (Try Clearspring or Yutaka)
Sesame Oil
Large knob of Ginger, grated preferably on a Microplaner
1 clove garlic, grated preferably on a Microplaner
Fresh Red Chilli, Very finely chopped
Fresh Lime Juice or Pon Zu

Put a pan of salted water on to boil. Peel and cut your pumpkin or squash into 1cms chunks. Cut the cauliflower into bite-size florets. Add the noodles, cauliflower and squash to the boiling water and cook until the noodles are completely cooked. They should no longer taste floury. Drain well in a colander and then toss in some sesame oil.  In the same saucepan fry the garlic, ginger and chilli in a little sunflower oil for a few a few minutes. Add a litre of water and a couple of tablespoons of miso to taste. When you have got a really delicious tasting broth add the noodles and vegetables back in with a good squeeze of lime to taste, Do not boil as this will kill the active enzymes in the miso. Scatter with seeds and serve.

Soba Noodle Soup 3