Providing food and away giving recipes is my way to show love and caring. I discovered this recipe whilst researching healthy and strengthening soups to restore energies in convalescents or after an operation. I love it because it is a highly alkaline soup and full of plant power. That does not mean that it does not also tastes delicious and will probably be the last cold soup I will want this year!
I dedicate this to Jim, from New Zeland, who enjoyed it with us in Jersey.
Seasonal display in Borough Market
- Avocados, 2
- Fresh lemon juice, 15 ml
- Garlic cloves, 2
- Tomato, peeled, 1
- Big handful of spinach or kale
- Green or yellow pepper, 1
- Cucumber, 1
- Red onion, 1
Blend in all in a food processor until smooth, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve fresh with big slabs of wholemeal bread. It is a kind of green Gaspacho and it tastes as fresh and healthy as it looks! Go and visit your greengrocer this week end and put together your own version! Let me know and I ll publish it if you wish…
Pure green fuel
Kale seems to be plentiful in the spring and even in winter my local supermarket shelves are awash with their green leaves so I am always trying to find new ways to accommodate this super food.
I cooked this creamy risotto with my daughter recently and we decided that was one of our best Family recipes! Because it ticks all three criteria: it is quick, contains no more than 4/5 main ingredients and is a very balanced and healthy food.
- Drop of olive oil
- Shallots, 2
- Ebly (or barley grains) 200g
- Water 400ml
- White miso, 50g or two tablespoons
- Blanched kale, two big handful- hard stalks removed
- Fresh sorrel, 1 small bunch
- Soya cream and olive oil to finish off
- Black pepper and salt to season after cooking
Ebly is a wheat grain and makes a lovely change from rice. I find mine at Tesco. It keeps a crunch when cooked and has a nutty taste.
Fry the sliced shallots in a little bit of oil, then add the grain and water.
Leave to simmer while you do what follows:
Steam or quickly blanch the chopped kale (discarding the tough stems) and add those in with the freshly washed sorrel – or dandelion or rocket if you prefer: any peppery and flavoured greens will do! Not much is needed. Sorrel gives a nice citrussy taste.
Cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until most of the water has been soaked up, not unlike a risotto. Add the miso paste towards the end
Season with salt (if you have used miso you won’t need it) and pepper ; then serve with a dash of soya cream or olive oil.
Nutrition notes: Ebly is a complex carb and rich in fibre; Kale is rich in antioxidants and vitamins (K, A and C). Together they make a super energising and cleansing food, ideal for a macrobiotic or vegetarian option. The white miso paste is a staple of the macrobiotic diet and allows good bacteria to grow in your guts and to provide good digestion.
This lovely way with kale is so childishly simple that I am reluctantly sharing it – it is hardly a recipe and I feel like a bit of a cheat but I have to include it in this blog for the simple reason that it is one of the vegetable dishes I cook most often and eat with most pleasure!
Ingredients and method : One shredded cabbage or kale or any dark green leafy cabbagey thing! Spread into a roasting dish, add a sprinkle of sea salt, a line of olive oil and roast under the grill for 10 min or until the tips turn brown. Shake it and then grill some more, making sure not to burn it! It’s quick! Enjoy as a side dish with any roasted meat.