Forbidden rice (Black rice) is an heirloom black rice that dates back to ancient China. The legend behind this flavorful rice is that only Chinese Emperors and the Royal Family were allowed to eat it due to its rarity, high nutritional value, and healing qualities. Anyone else was “forbidden” to eat this rice!Black rice is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants, and contains dietary fiber, anti-inflammatory properties, and can help stop diabetes, ..."Just a spoonful of black rice bran contains more health promoting anthocyanin antioxidants than are found in a spoonful of blueberries, but with less sugar and more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants," Zhimin Xu, PhD, of Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.
As winter is here we naturally lean towards hearty warmer, richer foods and take a little step back from salads.
Samfaina is a popular vegetable sauce, which may be served with chicken or pork, but in Catalunya most commonly accompanies bacallà (cod). As it is made leaving the vegetables quite chunky, similar to French ratatouille, samfaina can also be eaten alone or with cous-cous or crackers for a vegetarian option.
- 100g/4oz smoked bacon or gammon (optional)
- 250g/8oz aubergine, without stalks
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 red peppers, seeded and cut into squares
- 175ml/6 fl oz dry white wine
- 1 bay leaf
- either 750g/1lb 6oz ripe tomatoes, without their skins or seeds or 600g/1 lb 4 oz canned tomatoes with their juice
- 1 large courgette, cubed with the skin left on
- 125ml/4 fl oz olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
Cube the aubergine, sprinkle with salt and leave for about 30 minutes. Start the samfaina by heating two tablespoons of olive oil in a casserole pan. Fry the onion and bacon/gammon (if using) over a medium heat until the onion colours, then add the garlic. Add the tomato, peppers, wine and bay leaf and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the tomato has disintegrated into the sauce.
Rinse the salt off the aubergines and pat dry with kitchen paper. In a different pan, heat some oil and fry the aubergine and courgette cubes gently, turning them occasionally. When they are golden brown add them to the tomato sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes. Check seasoning.
If serving with bacallà then soak 500g/1lb of cod overnight (and longer if possible) in water, changing the water two to three times. The fish should not taste salty afterwards. When ready to use, coat the fish in flour, heat 4-5 tablespoons of oil and fry the fish pieces on both sides until well coloured and golden. Then remove from the pan and add to the samfaina.
Makes 12 muffins
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Add veggies to a large bowl, and mix with oil and other herbs and spices. Saute veggies in a pan for about 6-7 minutes or until cooked. Alternatively you can also place veggies on a roasting tray, and roast for 20 minutes (rotate at 10 minutes).
2. Prep muffin pan with baking cups or liners. In the same bowl that the vegetables were prepped in, crack all the eggs and add the sea salt. Beat until well mixed. Remove veggies from oven and distribute evenly into muffin tray.
3. Pour eggs into cups with roasted veggies. (We pour the beaten eggs into a measuring cup for easy pouring.)
4. Bake muffins for 10 minutes, then rotate tray. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes, until the tops seem mostly set. Let rest, then enjoy. Don't worry — the muffins always deflate a bit when they cool off.
Muffins will store refrigerated for about 5 days.
Apple Walnut Porridge / Fruit Nut Porridge Combinations
The apple and walnut porridge is just an apple and some soaked walnuts (1/4 cup) – blended / chunky consistency. You can add a squeeze of orange / mandarin juice and cinnamon and throw in the prunes (also soaked from night before and pip removed)… get imaginative ! A soaked apricot or two also works well.
Again this recipe is versatile and you can make different variations using different nut and fruits. In winter I love almonds, banana and raw cacao. In summer I love almonds + peaches or nectarines and clove powder. In winter also love a few cashews blended with pear.
These fruit and nut porridges are easy to make and quite filling. You can even turn them into smoothies by adding more liquid like some water or alternative milk. I don’t usually add dried fruit as I feel they are already quite sweet on their own. But that is up to you in the end.
Reduce inflammation and detox with this soup. This is exactly the tune you will be singing when you get a taste of this ultra cleansing, remedying and inflammation-killing soup!
Take a look at these health benefits...
Coconut Milk & Oil
Recipe Compliments: divalicious
This is one of my favourite pre-workout snacks. It has to be eaten at least two hours before your workout !
1 slice of wholemeal sourdough bread or rye crackers
1 heaped teaspoon peanut butter
Top with sliced bananas
1/2 tsp honey
Slightly toast the bread, smear with peanut butter. Then top with sliced banana and drizzle with honey.
You can sprinkle some cinnamon to get in an additional anti-inflammatory in the snack, helping you recover quicker with less muscle soreness ! :))
This snack combines simple and complex carbohydrates which are needed to fuel your run, meaning it will keep you fueled and energised for a longer time.
Peanut butter is an amazing ! It is a great source of energy and proteins for runners. High in arginine, a protein important during exercise. It is a precursor for nitric oxide. This protein helps open blood vessels, allowing for better blood flow and circulation throughout the body and especially to active muscles. Blood carries with them oxygen, giving muscles a breath of fresh air during physical activities. The proteins found in peanuts also helps to repair damaged tissues and cells and muscles making a perfect food for after a run as well. Recent research shows that arginine may also help decrease the size of these white fat cells and increase muscle mass/retention –a definite plus when trying stay fit and lean.
Excellent source of vitamin E a powerful anti-oxidant, B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contribute to brain health and blood flow to brain. Rich in copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium
Cooking the onions in the water until the water evaporates brings out their sweetness without sauteing in fat. Vegetable stock can be used instead of water for a richer flavor.
2 medium onions
1 bunch medium leeks (about 6)
7 cups water or vegetable stock
Himalayan pink salt
1 Garlic clove
6 Slices whole wheat sourdough bread
1 bunch chives, snipped finely
Recipe Compliments: Catherine Pantsios
You can do this to help increase your energy, improve your health, detox or to help you lose weight.
Step 1: Choose your choice of liquid x 2 cups - remember water, and herbal teas are lowest in calories if weight-loss is your main goal.
Water, Almond Milk, Coconut Water, Bone Broth, Rejuvelac, Green Tea, Coconut Milk
Step 2: Add your Greens x 1 cup - choose between 2-4 different types
Spinach, Collards, Chard, Kale, Green Cabbage, Bok Choy, Red Cabbage, Broccoli, Celery, Beet Greens, Lettuces (not Iceberg), Arugula, Edible Weeds (like Purslane, Lambs quarter, Morning Glory), etc.
Step 3: Add your fruit x 1 cup – choose 2 or 3 types
Apple, Citrus, Banana, Melon, Berries, Persimmon, Peach, Apricot, Pineapple, Pear, Kiwi, Mango, etc.
Step 4: Add your Superfoods – choose 1 or 2 types - add between 1 x tsp. to 1 Tbsp. of each. If you are not used to "green earthy flavours - start with 1 x tsp. of the green powders.
Spirulina, Moringa, Chlorella, Wheat grass powder, Barley grass powder, Aloe Vera, Cacao, Bee Pollen, Garlic, Sprouted Flax, Cayenne, Ginger, Goji Berries, etc.
Step 5: Add Healthy Fats
1/2 tsp Fats (Optional) Flax Oil, Coconut Oil, Avocado (1/2 of whole avocado), 1Tbsp. chia seeds or hemp seeds