For the month of January, The Sunday Times has been offering up a ten-point plan to a better you in the style section. A plan that encourages you to ‘Learn to relax’, ‘Find your purpose’, ‘Revel in strong moments’ and ‘Boost your chi factor’.
When reading it, I kind of zoned out and couldn’t help feel that it was aimed at a bunch of navel gazers with too much time on their hands. ‘Revel in strong moments’ – I mean come on. Could you imagine saying to your mate: “Give me a second – I’m reveling in a strong moment”.
What did catch my attention and what I will swallow is some really creative recipes that look totally delicious. Dishes like ‘Vegetables and Edmame in Chilli and Coconut Broth’, ‘Leek and Goat Feta Tart on Rye Pastry’, ‘Warm Sweet Potato, Rocket and Goat’s Cheese Salad’ and ‘Chicken with Baked Rhubarb and Cucumber-radish Salad’.
What does make sense is that food is a source of health, vitality, happiness and well-being and these recipes contain key super-foods to help you achieve these goals and with the final installment in next weekends edition; I know I will be picking up a copy.
If you missed out, here are a couple of the recipes:
Vegetables and Edmame in Chilli and Coconut Broth
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 10 black peppercorns
- 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
- 1 red chilli, stalks off
- 15g peeled fresh ginger
- 3 fat cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1 lemon-grass stalk, halved and bruised with a rolling pin or a little zest of lemon
- I small carrot, peeled and sliced thinly on the diagonal
- 100g small broccoli florets
- 1 head of pak choi, quartered
- 90 ml coconut milk
- 100g edamame (soya bean) or broad beans, cooked
- 1-1½ tsp lemon or lime juice
- Fresh coriander to garnish
- Heat the vegetable oil in a nonstick saucepan, add the peppercorns and onion and saute until soft and lightly golden.
- Meanwhile, blend together three-quarters of the chilli with the ginger and garlic and a splash of water to make a smooth paste. Add this to the cooked onions with the lemon-grass.
- Reduce over a moderate heat until you have a paste again, then cook over a low heat for 2-3 minutes until little oil droplets appear around the pan.
- Slice and add the remaining chilli, then add 250ml water and season.
- Add the carrots, cook for 5 minutes, then add the broccoli and pak choi, cover and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until they are just cooked. There should be enough water to do this but if the pan starts to dry up, add a splash of water from the kettle.
- Add the coconut milk, edamame beans and lemon juice, and bring back to the boil. Serve garnished with coriander.
Warm Sweet Potato, Rocket and Goat’s Cheese Salad
- 1 medium, orange-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into thin wedges
- 2 tsp vegetable oil
- ½ tsp Bengali five-seed mix or cumin seeds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 40g small watercress leaves
- 15g whole almonds, blanched, lightly roasted and split down the middle
- 50g soft goat’s cheese
For the dressing
- 1½ tsp lemon juice
- 4 tsp vegetable oil
- tsp garlic paste
- Heat oven to 190C/Gas mark 5. Place the potato and onion on a small baking tray.
- Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the seeds. Sizzle for 10 seconds over a low heat, then pour over the vegetables, season and mix well. Place the vegetables in the oven and roast for 45-50 minutes.
- Whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing and season. When you’re ready pour the dressing straight over the vegetables on the baking tray and toss well to coat, then add the leaves and almonds. Plate up and serve warm with the goat’s cheese crumbled on top.