Thursday, 15 February 2018

Kicking off the day with kimchi pancake



This week I put two celebratory days together in my kitchen – unlikely as it may seem. First, Shrove Tuesday. Also known as pancake day, it always falls 47 days before Easter. Religious motives aside, it’s a good excuse to play around with a simple recipe. Pancakes are a great starting point to let loose your creativity in the kitchen. You can play with anything you can find in your fridge or cupboard.

Second, comes the Olympics that kicked off in South Korea last weekend. I made the spicy, tangy and satisfying Korean traditional pancake for our breakfast. My daughter loved it. It is a great way to start your day and it is also a good idea for a quick snack. It definitely nourishes your digestive tract (kimchi is a food loved by our gut bugs. More on the healthy note below).

Although I've made kimchi frittata and kimchi omelette, my self-imposed mission to make this traditional pancake didn’t come without swearing, sweat and almost tears. So simple, but I was defeated twice. By the time my pancake batter reached the frying pan it became a gooey blob that stuck to it and never flipped in one piece.  But with my Olympic spirit I vowed to beat it and on my third attempt, I scored beautifully. The result: a crispy, tangy and flavoursome pancake.

As a tip for a successful crispy pancake: use a non-stick frying pan (preferably with a ceramic coating), and spread the batter. I learnt it the hard way :-) 



The ingredients.
Place the ingredients in a bowl...
...and mix them well with a fork.
Spread the batter evenly...
...and cook the pancake until it turns a golden colour.
My kimchi-jeon pancake.
Kimchi-jeon or Korean kimchi pancake (the traditional way)
serves 2-3 people


Ingredients

140g organic white spelt flour or any other all-purpose
250g kimchi*
35ml kimchi juice
90ml water
3 spring onions
½ teaspoon fine sea salt (I use Maldon)
½ teaspoon coconut sugar
Groundnut oil, or any other neutral oil, for frying

Method

In a bowl, place the chopped kimchi, kimchi juice, chopped spring onion, salt, coconut sugar, flour and water. Mix it well.

Heat a little oil in a heavy-based non-stick frying pan (about 28cm diameter). Place the mixture in it and spread it thinly with a spoon. Cook one side for about 1-2 minutes. Flip to the other side and let it cook for another minute. Turn it over once more and cook for 30 seconds before transferring it to a serving board or plate.

Serve it straight away whole or cut it into bite sized pieces. When the pancake gets cold it gets a bit soggy, but still tasty though. We had our pancake with an egg each and greens on the side.

* When I don’t make my own kimchi, I buy it from my local Korean shop SK Mart , Natural Natural, Centre Point Foodstore, Japan Centre or Wholefoods market.

A healthy note: Kimchi, or fermented cabbage with chilli, usually garlic, spring onions and ginger, is a probiotic food traditionally known as a staple food from Korea. Our gut houses about 80-85% of our immune system, this is partly because of the 100 trillion bacteria (both beneficial and pathogenic) that live there. Eating fermented foods that are packed with beneficial gut-boosting lactobacilli bacteria like kimchi is a great way to keep our immune system in check, and our digestive tract happy. Kimchi contains the B vitamins and vitamin C.


Till next week!

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A bit of Summer on my table


Persimmons are everywhere at the moment, they fill the local and ethnic shops with their gorgeous orange/red colour. They are also known as sharon fruit – a trademark name of a non-astringent type that is grown in Israel. It’s been one of my favourite fruits since I was a child. There are two main varieties of persimmon we can get in the UK at this time of the year: the more astringent hachiya, and the non-astringent fuyu. Kaki, which is persimmon in Japanese, is the name we adopted in Brazil but with a slightly different spelling: caqui.

When ripe, the flesh gets really soft and it has a very sweet flavour. But when unripe it will leave your mouth full of tannin. The persimmon variety I find near where I live is the astringent one. I enjoy eating the fruit, use it to make salads, or in desserts.

This week I walked past my local shop, where they supply different seasonal vegetables and fruits. This month they are stocking up on these delicious fruits.

Mixing the persimmon with a beautiful oak leaf lettuce, that came with my vegetable box, plus the palm hearts I had on my store cupboard, I brought a bit of Brazil to my table. The result was a refreshing, crunchy, sweet and sour salad.

I made a quick dressing I learnt from my friend - the salad queen Betina - but instead of using red onion, as she taught me, I used banana shallots. It tasted just as good as hers.


Hachiya persimmons.
Tinned palm hearts.
My persimmon, palm hearts, lettuce salad with shallot dressing.
How I made it:

For the dressing, I chopped half of one banana shallot, grated about 1 cm of fresh ginger, squeezed the juice of half lemon, added a full teaspoon of maple syrup, followed by a little bit of cold water (Bettina’s tip). Mixed everything and reserved.

For the salad, I peeled two persimmons, sliced them and placed them around the rim of a plate. I washed a handful of lettuce, sliced 3 palm hearts * and assembled them in the centre of the plate. I poured the dressing over them, drizzled some extra-virgin olive oil. I scattered some pink peppercorns and mint leaves. Seasoned to taste.

*I buy the tinned palm hearts in specialists shops like Panzer’s, major supermarkets or Brazilian/Portuguese delis.

A healthy note: Persimmons (Diospyros) are high in vitamin C. They are a good source of fibre and contain good amounts of potassium, magnesium and iron. Research has shown that persimmons have the ability to lower blood fats.
With great amounts of carotenoids, persimmons are a potent antioxidant, which protect against free radicals.

Till next week!

Thursday, 1 February 2018

Have you heard of kalettes?


No, kalettes is not a name of a new girl-band. Kalettes, are in fact a 4 years-old crossbreeding of kale and Brussel sprouts and not a genetically modified creation where scientists interfere with the DNA of the plants. They come from the brassica family. The first time I heard of them I thought they sounded like a “Frankenfood” but fortunately they are not. They look like little flowers. Really pretty. Taste a bit nutty and are less bitter than Brussel sprouts.

Last week I couldn’t resist and bought a pack of kalettes from a local shop, but I had a busy weekend and they ended up forgotten in the fridge. Two days ago, I decided to raid the fridge and use everything available in the vegetable drawer, plus the mixed rice I had made the day before. I ended up with a beautiful, colourful winter Buddha bowl for lunch.

The dish was an exercise in improvisation. As a result, this week I won’t write a formal recipe. Below, I explain how I put the ingredients together.


I soaked them first.
After seasoned, they were ready to go to the oven.
Roasted Kalettes.
My improvised mixed rice with nuts and kalettes, roasted vegetables & halloumi.
Improvised kalettes Buddha bowl

I washed the kalettes by soaking them in water and vinegar. After 15 minutes, I rinsed and dried them in a spinner.
I placed them in a bowl, then drizzled them with some extra-virgin olive oil, garlic granules, chilli flakes and sea-salt. Roasted them for about 10-15 minutes at a 180C. When they were cooked, I squeezed some lemon juice over them and added them to the cooked mixed rice (brown, red Camargue and wild rice). Followed by some roasted cashew and pine-nuts, sour cherries and parsley. Drizzled some olive oil and seasoned to taste.

I added to the bowl some roasted sweet-potatoes with roasted black sesame seed, roasted small peppers and fried halloumi cheese.

As well as roasting the kalettes, you can also sautée, stir-fry, steam or just add raw leaves to salads.
 

A healthy note: Kalettes are rich sources of vitamins C and K. Vitamin K helps to prevent heart disease and is important for the health of the bones. It also prevents blood-clotting. Both Brussel sprouts and kale are loaded with compounds that are believed to been linked to cancer prevention.  

Till next week!

Thursday, 25 January 2018

A green dish for a grey day



I must admit that January weather in London is a drag. It slows me down big time. Apart from the odd beautiful, but gelid, sunny day, most of the time the lack of light and the frequent rain make me want to hibernate. Not a chance. During the week, at 6:30am, the alarm clock reminds me that I have a daughter to prepare a lunch box for and that the day ahead of me is going to be a busy one.

On the other hand, not everything is grey. On Tuesdays, my veggie/fruit box from Riverford organic farmers is delivered, and I love to check what is arriving. The colourful produce pulls me out of my lethargy and I get excited about what to cook with the week’s vegetables.

The whole roasted cauliflower or cauliflower steaks, brought to London by middle-eastern restaurants like The Palomar and Nopi, have taken the capital by storm. I absolutely adore them and they’re dishes that currently feature in our meals.

This week’s box brought a beautiful Romanesco broccoli - or Romanesco cauliflower - that I prepared for lunch. The crispy charred bits covered in butter transform this beauty into a gorgeous mouthful. You can have that as a main dish, or as side with a sauce or dip. 


Fruit and veggie box of the week.
Romanesco ready to go to oven.
My roasted Romanesco served with tahini sauce.
Whole roasted Romanesco broccoli

Ingredients 


1 Romanesco broccoli 

50g unsalted butter, softened

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt


Method


Pre-heat the oven to
170°C

Lightly trim the leaves at the top of the Romanesco. 


In a big pan, large enough to fit the whole Romanesco, add water and salt. Bring to a boil and lower in the vegetable (top facing down). Bring back to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Transfer the Romanesco to a colander. Set aside until a bit cooler.


Melt the butter with the extra-virgin olive oil. Put the Romanesco facing up in a medium baking tray. Spread the mixture of butter and olive oil all over. Season with sea salt. 


While roasting, baste the Romanesco with the butter mixture approximately 4 times. Roast for about 1 hour – 1 ½ hour. 

The cauliflower is done when it reaches a dark golden-brown colour and you can insert a knife easily. 


Remove from the oven and serve with the tahini sauce (recipe here), yoghurt sauce (recipe here) or citrus miso sauce (see below).


Ingredients for the citrus miso sauce.
Citrus miso sauce

Ingredients


1 cup freshly-squeezed orange (I used bloody orange which was sweet so I added some lime juice too)
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive-oil 
1 Tablespoon lime or lemon juice
 (optional if your orange juice is very sweet)
1/2 cup sweet white miso  
Sea salt (with moderation as miso is already salty)

Method

Whisk the miso, extra-virgin olive oil, orange juice, lime or lemon and pinch of sea salt together. Whisk until you reach a smooth consistency, adding more orange juice or lime or lemon juice as needed.

Healthy notes: Romanesco broccoli/ Romanesco cauliflower/ Broccoflower (Brassica oleracea) is part of the cruciferous family. It is packed with vitamin C, folate, vitamin B5 and Vitamin K. Romanesco is a great source of carbohydrate, and high in fibre that helps with digestion and prevents constipation. It contains the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene that provides our bodies with antioxidants. Romanesco contains a group of substances known as glucosinolates, which are sulfur-containing compounds that helps cleansing the kidneys. It also has a compound called indoles that studies have shown to have anti-cancer properties.

Till next week!

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Back to basics to start the new year


Hello everyone!

Hope you all had a great break. Let’s hope for a happy and healthy New Year!

With the festivities over it's time to resume the routine. After the break, it’s good to be back and share my cooking with you. The family who came over for Xmas has returned to Brazil. Since they left I have been craving for one of our biggest staple foods: black beans. It’s not that I don’t cook it here but, when I was growing up, we had black beans served at every lunch and dinner. Somehow, saying goodbye to the family, and remembering my parents who are not amongst us anymore, touched something in me that made me crave for a childhood comfort food.

This dish is a source of iron, fibre, protein, and other vitamins and minerals. To me it is also a source of memories and stories we shared during the meals. Apart from the sentimental side of it, this wholesome dish is soooo good.

Like my friend chef Teresa Corção says: “Food is culture, affection and memory”. Black beans have become trendy in the UK in the past couple of years, especially with vegans. Even fast food chains like Leon now serve “Brazilian” black beans. Nice as they might be, these are not the black beans as Brazilians know it.

I am not a purist, I like to play with flavours and different ingredients. But this post is about going back to basics.



Main ingredients.
Place beans, water and bay leaves in the pressure cooker and cook until soft.
My Brazilian black beans served with black rice, okra, roasted carrots and poached egg.

Classic Brazilian black beans

Ingredients

500g black beans *
2 litres cold water
2 bay leaves
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Method

Rinse the beans under a cold tap, make sure there aren't any stones or other impurities.

Place them in a bowl, add the cold water and soak for 12 hours or overnight. If any beans float, throw them away.  Change the water 2-3 times, preferably.

Once soaked, place water, black beans and bay leaves in a pressure cooker. Close it and bring it to high pressure. When the steam starts to escape, bring the heat down to medium and cook for 10 minutes. If not using a pressure cooker, cook the beans in a normal pan for approximately 40 minutes.

Remove pressure cooker from heat and allow it to release pressure naturally. The beans will be cooked when they are slightly firm outside and soft inside.

In another saucepan, add the olive oil, fry the onions and garlic until they reach a golden colour. Add a couple of ladlefuls of the cooked beans. Mix well then transfer this mixture into the pressure cooker. Season to taste and let it cook on a low heat for another 5 minutes.



If you are not going to season the whole cooked beans now, you can freeze them.

*In Brazil, depending on the region, people eat different types of beans. You can find some of them in the UK, like the most common black and pinto beans, in Brazilian delis around London.

A healthy note: Black beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are one of the best sources of fibre. Research has shown that the high content of fibre can help
lower cholesterol and prevent the quick rise of blood sugar levels after a meal. It makes them especially good for people diagnosed with diabetes, hypoglycaemia or who are insulin resistant. Black beans are also a good source of folic acid, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc. They also contain antioxidants that have anticancer properties. Studies have shown that folic acid and B6 help lower elevated levels of homocysteine, preventing heart attack.
Black beans also contain protein. The combination of black beans and rice on your plate makes it a perfect complete protein meal.


Bay leaves (Laurus nobilis) play a very important role in the gastrointestinal tract. The leaves act as a diuretic, decreasing toxicity in the body. Bay leaves have a compound that aids upset stomachs and helps to soothe Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The unique enzymes found in bay leaves ease digestion and nutrient intake.

Till next week!

Thursday, 14 December 2017

A nikkei Xmas dessert


For me, the nikkei cuisine is one of the favourites, a perfect combination of food from countries I love. For those who don’t know, nikkei was a term coined to refer to emigrants of Japanese origin and their descendants. In South America, Peru was the first country to receive a great flux of Japanese workers at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century, followed by Brazil. In the 80’s the name nikkei became a reference to Japanese cuisine cooked outside Japan using indigenous products. Today, this marriage of Peruvian, Brazilian and Japanese food is commonly known as nikkei cuisine. 

Last year, to try and learn more about it, I purchased a nikkei cookbook written by a Brazilian Londoner, who I had heard of because of his popular blog The London Foodie. Luiz Hara is a descendant of Japanese immigrants who arrived in the state of São Paulo in the early 1900’s. 


Many months later, our paths crossed during an opening evening at SOAS university for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition course. When we were divided into small groups I noticed that one of the faces looked familiar. When this gentle and soft-spoken guy started talking about his work, I realised he was Luiz Hara, the Nikkei cookbook author & The London Foodie. Luiz has been running his regular Japanese and Nikkei supperclubs in his home since 2012, and often welcomes other chefs.


I am one who believes in those ‘sliding doors’ moments we have in life. There we were: two Brazilians who had never met before but who have very similar interests. We found out later that we arrived in this country in exactly the same year.
Having discovered that I also have an enthusiasm for food, Luiz kindly asked me if I would like to volunteer in one of his supperclubs. I accepted it straight away. One day I received the message from him, and there I went with my apron in hand.

As I was helping chopping, slicing, cooking and prepping in general, Luiz and I didn't stop talking. We got on so well that the day passed very quickly. Frustratingly for me, I couldn't stay to try his food as I had another commitment that evening.

Finally, last Friday I had the pleasure to go back, this time to try Luiz’s nikkei cuisine. Both myself and my husband - and everyone else around us - were in awe of the food he served us.

The evening started with the guests being welcomed with a glass of G&T and shichimi (Japanese spice) flavoured popcorn, and leek and tofu gyoza for canapés. For me, the first impression counts. The nibbles were yummy, a taste for what was to come… very promising.

After mingling with the other guests, we were ushered to the basement where the dining tables were set next to Luiz’s impressive kitchen.
Luiz then introduced his menu to us: 5 starters, a very substantial main course with accompaniments, and a dessert.

The first starter: Salmon Sashimi South American way (a nikkei style ceviche) was refreshing, flavoursome with a mild kick of chilli. 


The second, and one of my favourites: Mentaiko Spaghetti (spaghetti in marinated spicy cod roe and black caviar sauce). Beautifully presented, looking like a creamy small bird’s nest ready to be explored. At the first mouthful, all my flavour senses were awoken. The small explosion of the cod roe and caviar with the creamy texture brought noises of pleasure to the table.

One of my other favourite dishes was the Shiitake Zosui with a
64ºC sous vide egg. The perfume of shiitake mushrooms was the first thing that hit my nose. The miso-mascarpone added a special umami taste.

The main courses were brought to the table to be shared between us. The Argentinian Picanha was perfectly salty and tender with a pleasant taste of garlic and citrus. Luiz brought us second, third and fourth servings of the meat and the Japanese three-mushroom rice. We behaved like famine vultures reaching for the plates and defending some of the pieces for ourselves. 


The dessert was a Panettone bread and butter pudding with Genmaicha custard. I loved it. The mild roasted brown rice and green tea flavour of the genmaicha custard toned down the richness of the bread and butter pudding. It was an unforgettable dinner. So much so that the flavours have stayed with me.


In this last post of the year, I sign off with a dessert inspired by Luiz's supperclub. It’s a winter recipe I normally make for Christmas but this time instead of adding citrus or spices I am flavouring it with genmaicha tea. I wish you a very happy and wholesome Christmas!


The welcome drinks and nibbles.
Salmon sashimi South American way.
Mentaiko Spaghetti.
Yasai no Agebitashi - deep fried and marinated vegetables in dashi, soy, sake and mirin.
Shiitake Zosui with a 64ºC sous vide egg.
Selection of tempura.
Deliciously tender Argentinian picanha with celeriac wasabi remoulade.
Three-mushroom rice.
Luiz demonstrating to the table how to put the dessert together.
Bread and butter pudding with genmaicha tea custard.
Nikkei inspired rice pudding

If you prefer a vegan rice pudding option, use cashew, coconut or almond milk instead of cow’s milk and replace the butter with coconut oil instead. I opted for the full-on dairy recipe as it gives a creamy texture and adds a lovely caramel flavour. And also, because it’s Christmas and this dessert reminds me of my childhood ;-).

The main ingredients.
Milk infused with genmaicha tea.
Melted butter and sugar mix...
...then add the re-hydrated goji berries.
My genmaicha flavoured rice pudding
Ingredients

1 litre organic whole full-fat milk (I used organic raw milk from Hook and Son)

4 teaspoons of organic genmaicha tea or 4 tea bags
30g organic butter
100g pudding rice 

70g organic raw sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

40g of goji berries (I re-hydrated them in lukewarm water for 5 minutes)
a pinch of sea-salt 


Method

 
Preheat the oven to 130ºC.


In a medium size pan, pour in the milk and bring it to a simmer. Turn off the heat, add the tea and let it brew for 3 minutes. If you are using loose tea, sieve and reserve; if using tea bags, take them out and reserve.  


In another pan, melt the butter over a medium heat. Add the rice and stir to coat. Add the sugar and stir for 2 minutes or until the rice becomes sticky. Add the goji berries, stir.
Now, add the genmaicha-infused milk stirring well. Add the cream and vanilla and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once this is reached, give it a stir.


Transfer to an oven-proof dish and bake for about 1-1½ to 2 hour. If the mixture starts to turn  brown too quickly on the top, cover with a foil.


Serve warm or at room temperature.


A healthy note: genmaicha tea contains green tea leaves which studies have shown to help regulate blood pressure and fight hypertension. It also has brown rice, which contains selenium, a mineral that helps regulate thyroid hormones. It has antioxidant properties and has a compound, theanine, that has been shown to help with relaxation.
Raw cow’s milk, from a nutritional perspective, is superior to pasteurized milk in terms of its beneficial enzymes, but you need to check the source and make sure it is certified free of harmful microorganisms. Raw cow's milk contains fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamin A and D, calcium and other minerals. 

Goji Berry or Wolfberry (Lycium barbarum). Contains antioxidants and vitamin C. It boosts blood circulation, lowers elevated  blood sugar, increases HDL cholesterol levels (the good one) and reduces fatigue. 

Till next year!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

A fab restaurant and a protein soup


As many of you may know, I enjoy cooking easy and simple foods. Those ones that don't take ages to prep and make, but at the same time are wholesome and hearty.

This week I am celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary. My husband booked a table at my current favourite restaurant in London: Lyle’s. The first time I went there I was so impressed with the dishes that I kept going on about it with Dean. So he (rightly) thought it would be a good idea for us to go back.

One thing that defines chef James Lowe’s food to me is flavour. He is former head-chef of St John Bread and Wine and part of the defunct Young Turks Collective. Oh my god, the man knows how to mix and match, creating surprising and intriguing meals - sweet, bitter, umami… - you count it. The restaurant has an à la carte menu during lunch time and a small 5 dish tasting menu for dinner (but with the little extras, you end up eating more than that).

I am not crazy about some game meat but I am always open to try whatever the chef proposes. Thank goodness that night wasn’t pheasant. I mentioned my dislike of the strong gamey taste to the ever so lovely waitress and she hesitated to bring me the first nibble. It was a small shortbread biscuit made with treacle and duck fat, filled with goose and mallard liver paté and damson jelly. It was rich (but not sickening), smooth and delicate. I was so glad she brought it for me to try.
 

The second nibble was a 24-hour fermented sourdough flatbread with roasted Cornish mussels, neal’s yard cheese and chervil. Really good!  

Other excellent dishes we ate: pollack and turnip tops, quail, grumolo (a mini variety of radicchio) and pickled quince. Dessert was a delicious coffee and caramel (coffee and raw goat’s milk ice-cream).

To drink, we ordered a robust and full-bodied red with a refreshing taste of black berry fruits: Cuvée Des Drilles 2016.

But the highlight to me was the first dish: pumpkin and whey broth. On my first mouthful, angels descended from heaven.

The next day, I had to try and recreate it at home in the form of a soup. I conveniently had a Crown Prince pumpkin that came with my farmer’s veggie box this week, and I also had some whey liquid leftover from the labneh (see a recipe here and another here) I made two days before. I had no idea how it would turn out or if the amounts of ingredients were right, but I gave it a go. *

To wrap up the evening at Lyle’s we ordered a fresh peppermint tea which came accompanied by the most delicious mince pies - no exaggeration here.

If you haven’t visited Lyle’s yet and do appreciate good food, make your reservation now.

* James Lowe generously shared his method with me this morning, but my dish was already done at that stage and I didn’t have the time or the ingredients to cook another batch. His ratio of pumpkin to whey is nothing like the one I used in my soup. He also used delicate pumpkin which is slightly milder and lighter in colour than the Crown Prince. But I was happy with the result. The flavour was all about the pumpkin.


Dinner menu
The rich but light shortbread with mallard and grouse liver pate.
Roasted Cornish mussels on sourdough bread.
The delectable pumpkin and whey broth.
Coffee and caramel. Yum!
My husband's dessert: Pear, oats and Innes Bur cheese.
To wrap up, the best mince pies ever!

Roast pumpkin and whey soup

The whey liquid lends a protein boost to this hearty soup. It’s now on my regular winter menu.


The stars of the soup
The pumpkin wedges smeared with butter, seasoned with sea-salt and "bathed" in whey.


Roasting the pumpkin wedges and seeds.
Roasting is ready.
My pumpkin and whey soup with roasted pumpkin seeds and pumpkin oil.

Ingredients

For the roast
1 Crown Prince pumpkin – 1.3kg
1 cup of organic whey liquid
15g organic butter, room temperature

for the soup
1 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
30g organic butter
850ml vegetable stock
sea-salt, pepper and nutmeg to season

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C. Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds (you can roast the seeds too, if you like). Cut into wedges, rub some of the butter on the flesh, season and run the whey liquid over them. Roast for 45-50 minutes or longer, until the pumpkin is easily pierced through with a fork. Set it aside.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and let it cook for about 5 minutes, add the garlic and cook a bit more, stirring occasionally, until translucent.

Turn the heat down, add the stock to the onion and garlic mixture, and let it simmer. Now add the flesh of pumpkin (no skin), season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 more minutes. Blend it, add more water if you wish. I like mine a bit creamier.

A healthy note: Pumpkin (Curcubita pepo): is a great source of carotene, vitamin C, vitamins B1, B5, B3, B6, folic acid, potassium, and dietary fibre.

Greek doctors considered Whey as “healing water.” It contains probiotic organisms that help maintain a good balance of the digestive system, encouraging repair of digestive problems. Whey contains potassium and other minerals and vitamins. It allows protein to become more available for muscle repair and muscle building, that’s why is a great choice for athletes, especially after workouts.

You can drink it straight or mix it in your juices, teas, soups or smoothies; freeze it into ice cubes then add it to your smoothies. You can also add some whey liquid to the water you are soaking legumes (beans, lentils etc) or cooking grains in to improve digestibility.

Till next week!