pear

CELERIAC AND PEAR SALAD WITH CASHEW LIME CREAM

CELERIAC AND PEAR SALAD WITH CASHEW LIME CREAM

This study weekend we more or less scratched the surface of our body’s biochemistry. Everybody’s head was spinning. Complicated it is indeed but also unbelievably fascinating. As I comfortably sit here writing this blog thousands of biochemical reactions are happening in my body. DNA is zipped and unzipped, transcribed and copied, proteins are formed, enzymes are working hard at speeding up chemical processes, energy is being produced and stored... We are quietly unaware of the amazing work happening beneath the surface.

To do all this efficiently your body needs the right type of fuel. Just like a car. Luckily the damage may not happen as quickly as when you put unleaded into your diesel car. It is never too late or too early to make improvements to our eating habits. Healthy balanced diet will make for a healthy efficient body. That’s what I keep telling my kids (and they occasionally make that pretend yawn when I do! GRRR!).

Getting kids eat a balanced diet can be a challenge at times. My son did mention one of his friends survived school camp eating plain pasta and chips (oh and one chicken leg). As I have mentioned in my previous blogs my daughter is not great with her vegetables. Therefore I jump for joy whenever she takes liking to something she previously didn’t like or refused to try. She helped me make todays recipe. During the preparation I encouraged her to try the pear (she always “hated” pears) and the celeriac (she has never even attempted to try it). To my surprise she exclaimed she loved the pears! And indeed she ate a whole one the very next day. The celeriac was not such a raving success but when dipped into the cashew cream it went down rather well. I am happy to say she ate a portion of the salad with her dinner. Another step forward:)

celeriacpearsalad

CELERIAC AND PEAR SALAD WITH CASHEW LIME CREAM

The recipe for lime coriander cashew cream will yield more than you need (it is difficult to process smaller amounts), it will keep in the fridge for couple of days, great as a topping for a soup.

Serves 4-6 as a side salad

ingredients

250ml (1 cup) cashews soaked in water for at least 30min.
125ml - 160ml (1/2-2/3 cup) water
juice of 1 and 1/2 limes
handful of fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
1 small celeriac (celery root) - or as in my case half of a very big one, peeled
2 asian pears (or any other pears that are not too soft), peeled
salt and pepper

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method
  1. First make your dressing. Drain the cashews from their soaking liquid. Put cashews and 125mo (1/2 of water) into the blender. Blend till smooth. If the mixture is too thick add more water.
  2. Transfer the cashew cream to a bowl and add the lime juice and coriander. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Prepare your vegetables. You can just grate the vegetables in a food processor or using a box grater. I used my mandolin to slice the celeriac into super thin slices and julienned these with a knife. The pear I sliced with a knife and julienned. :)
  4. Mix with some of the dressing. I used about 2/3 of the quantity.
  5. Chill until ready to serve. The salad taste even better the next day.

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SPICY BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PEAR SOUP

SPICY BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PEAR SOUP

Suddenly I realized that it was getting dark much earlier than just a few weeks ago. There is a chill in the air when I let the dogs out in the evenings. I am not quite ready to let the summer go, especially since we had a very poor one here in the UK. I long for a few more evening meals in the garden but the nature of things cannot be changed.

Instead I am getting excited about the autumnal bounty of fruits, veggies and nuts. I am looking forward to warming and comforting meals, movie nights whilst cuddled up on the sofa and cups of tea warming my hands after a dog walk.

A delicious soup is the ultimate comfort food, and the abundant autumnal produce is full of gorgeous deep flavors to warm up person’s belly and soul. This week I found myself with a butternut squash, some overripe pears and punchy chilli peppers. Perfect for a hug in bowl, err I mean soup.

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SPICY BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND PEAR SOUP

Serves 4

ingredients
1 large onion
2 ribs of celery
2 stalks of lemon grass
1/2 inch piece of ginger
1 chilli pepper
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 butternut squash
4 small pears (2 large ones)
1litre (4 cups) of vegetable stock


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method
  1. First chop the onion and celery. Make sure you peel the celery to remove the tough strings.
  2. In a large soup pot heat 1/4 cup of water, add the onion and celery and cook till softened.
  3. Next finely chop the lemon grass, chilli pepper (deseeded if you wish) and garlic. Cook for another 2 minutes or till softened.
  4. Peel your butternut squash and chop into bite size chunks. Core and peal the pears and cut into quarters.
  5. Add pears and butternut squash to the soup pot.
  6. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the hear and simmer for 30min or till the squash is tender.
  7. Blend in a food processor till smooth.

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PEAR AND LETTUCE SMOOTHIE

PEAR AND LETTUCE SMOOTHIE

There has never been a better time to eat a plant based diet. According to latest research, correlated by the fabulous Dr. Greger, it can help prevent, treat or even reverse the leading causes of death. It will not prevent you from a freak accident but all the other causes may just be in your plant strong hands. Check the bellow talk by Dr. Greger and all of his other brilliant videos on his website.

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uprooting-the-leading-causes-of-death/

Wouldn’t it be great if we could slash our chances of getting heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s or kidney failure? Especially in the light of today’s articles about chemotherapy, we need more prevention rather than treatment. According to new research chemotherapy seems to undermine itself making tumour cells treatment resistant. The BBC article noted that: “ around 90% of patients with solid cancers, such as breast, prostate, lung and colon, that spread - metastatic disease - develop resistance to chemotherapy”. Wouldn’t it be better to slash our chances of ever being in need of such treatment?

The report on chemo maybe some scary stuff but not a huge surprise, the 2004 Australian study showed : “The overall contribution of curative and adjuvant cytotoxic chemotherapy to 5-year survival in adults was estimated to be 2.3% in Australia and 2.1% in the USA.” See link below.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15630849

Nobody can guarantee plant based diet will definitely work in preventing cancer and other diseases but as far as research goes it is the best tool we have. And the only side effects are that you may just feel a whole lot better. Why not start with this great smoothie?

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PEAR AND LETTUCE SMOOTHIE

Makes 2 refreshing tall glasses

2 pears
half a cucumber
1 baby gem lettuce
100ml unsweetened almond milk
thick slice of lemon
slice of ginger
I Tbs ground flax seeds
cup of ice

  1. Put all your ingredients into your food processor. I don't bother with removing the core or stalks from my pears.
  2. Blend till smooth.
  3. Enjoy!
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FRUITY SAVOY SLAW

FRUITY SAVOY SLAW

The other day I found myself pressed for time and not in the mood for any major cooking efforts after a day at the seaside. For occasions like that I have some Dr. Prager’s veggie burgers in my freezer. They may be not as good as homemade ones but they are loaded with veggies and perfectly convenient.

While the burgers were happily baking in the oven I decided to whip up a quick slaw, as the burgers needed something fresh and crunchy accompaniment. The only cabbage in my fridge was of the Savoy variety, not usually associated with coleslaw, but it was a very young one I thought it might work perfectly. You could use other cabbage such as white or pointed hispi cabbage.

I attacked the cabbage with my Pampered Chef mandolin, it was quickly turned into cute curly strips. My carrots kept falling out of the dratted guard which left me thinking I should have invested in a proper finger slicing Japanese mandolin. Frustrated I opted for the trusty box grater. The apple and pear were julienned using a sharp knife. Begin by slicing them into thin discs and than cut into thin matchsticks.

Lack of cashews forced me to use vegan mayo in my dressing, but cashew cream would have been my preferred option. Cashew cream is naturally sweet so you need to increase the amount of cider vinegar. To make the thick cashew cream use 1/2-1 cup raw cashews and enough water to just cover the nuts, this makes more than you need so reserve the rest for later use (cream sauce, cream soup or even a larger batch of the dressing). There are many types of vegan mayo, the one I used (Mayola) is more of a cream dressing in consistency and is tarter than the usual mayo. Just employ your taste buds when making this dressing.

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FRUITY SAVOY SLAW

ingredients
1/2 young Savoy cabbage, outer leaves removed, thinly shredded (about 3 cups)
3 carrots, grated
1 pear, julienned
1 apple, julienned

dressing with mayo:
3 Tbs vegan mayo
1 Tbs whole grain mustard
1 Tbs cider vinegar
1 Tbs agave syrup

dressing with cashews:
3 Tbs thick cashew cream
2 Tbs cider vinegar
1 Tbs whole grain mustard
1 Tbs agave syrup

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method
  1. In a large bowl combine the cabbage, carrot, pear and apple. Toss well.
  2. In a small bowl combine the ingredients for the dressing of your choice. Pour over the slaw and mix well.
  3. It taste best if you can let the salad rest in the fridge for half an our. Keeps well in the fridge for two days.

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KALE AND GINGER SMOOTHIE

KALE AND GINGER SMOOTHIE

Do you drink green smoothies? If the answer is no than start now. They are nutritious, delicious, quick to prepare, satisfying and the easiest ways to pack some healthy vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients into your body.

When I had my first home made green smoothie, I wasn’t quite sure about the quantities and ended up with a litre of thick yummy goodness. And yes I drank it all. When smoothies are left (even in the fridge) they oxidise and become rather unappealing. I didn’t want to waste it that way. So yes I drank it all, the whole 1 litre. To my surprise I experienced kind of a “smoothie high”, a very strange dizzy floating kind of feeling. I didn’t know this was possible. Than I saw a video of a young cancer patient who had the same experience when he had his first green smoothie. Due to raw food diet his cancer is gone, and like me, he has got used to having green drinks without the feeling of a “high”.

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Kale and ginger smoothie
You will need a good quality blender to deal with the kale efficiently. My blender can take the apples and pears with pips, stalks and all. Depending on your blender you may have to core them. Instead of making a smoothie you can juice the ingredients to make a green juice (omit the water and ice).

Makes 2 large wine glasses

ingredients
1/3 of a cucumber
couple handfuls of kale
1 pear, quartered
1 apple, quartered
slice of ginger
squeeze of lime juice
handful of ice
100ml water

method
1. Put all ingredients into your blender and blend till smooth. If too thick add more water. Serve.


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