Today I am starting on a food journey of 100 days. I invite you to join me. Each day I will post unique recipes that I have created just for you. There will be some storytelling along the way. Food memories past and present are what has inspired me to take this journey. I feel very strongly that whole foods act as Medicine and heal and protect our bodies and boost our immune system. When we fuel our bodies with processed foods, chemicals, preservatives and additives our immune system is lowered. In the current climate it is now imperative that we start to look at what we are putting into our bodies, what we are feeding our loved ones, start reading the back of food labels and find out exactly where our food is coming from. It is time we reclaimed control over what we eat and not believe food marketing gurus when they tell us ‘Big Fat Porkies’ about what is in their food.
Today is all about broccoli.
I was never a great fan of this vegetable until a friend of mine got cancer and I started to research what foods the Big C did not like. Lo and behold up came the humble broccoli. So today I have created 4 dishes for you to try and enjoy. Heavy content today, I don’t know if this will happen every day, I guess not. All I can promise is that I will post my musings and stories every day for the next 100 days.
Broccoli Soup with olive oil croutons and toasted almond. Serves 4.
1/2 head of broccoli.
1 clove of garlic.
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger.
1/2 red onion, peeled.
1 large potato, peeled and roughly chopped.
2 tea.sp. of bouillon ( if I don’t have fresh stock in the fridge this is my preferred choice).
1 litre of water.
End wedge of Parmesan ( safe the bits that you I can’t grate, throw them into the freezer and then pop them into soups to give them extra ‘body’)
1 tablespoon Irish rapeseed oil (olive oil is not suitable for cooking as it has a low smoke point).
2 table.sp. of cream.
Salt and pepper.
A handful of toasted almonds.
4 pieces of sourdough,toasted and sprinkle with olive oil.
1.Put the oil in a pan. Toss in the broccoli, garlic, ginger, onion and potato and ‘sweat’
off the vegetables for 5 minutes ( SWEATING OFF IS A CULINARY TERM MEANING TO COOK WITHOUT COLOUR).
2. Add in the bouillon, salt & pepper, Parmesan and 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes .
3. Blitz with a stick blender and add cream. ( check seasoning, but if it anything like our house I have one individual who automatically salts without even tasting first)
4. Ladle into bowls, float the croutons with the hazelnuts on top.
3-4 florets of broccoli.
2 cloves of garlic.
12 basil leaves.
12 spinach leaves.
1/4 finger of Parmesan.
6 tablespoons of olive oil ( a little more if you like your pesto looser)
Salt & pepper.
1.Toss all the ingredients into a bowl and blend until smooth with a stick blender.( you can also use a food processor to do this)
2. Pour into a jar with a lid and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Has a myriad of uses, more of that in a later post.
Broccoli & Courgette Pasta Bake.
6 florets of broccoli.
1 sliced courgette.
120 grams dried penne pasta.
1 table.sp. of rapeseed oil.
1/2 litre of vegetable stock.
1 dessert.sp. of cornflour mixed with a little water.
2 table.sp. Cream.
3 slices of sourdough.
2 cloves of finely chopped garlic.
Grated rind of 1/2 lemon.
3 tea.sp. Chopped hazelnuts.
Garlic Crumbs: a store cupboard staple. Will last in the fridge for 2 weeks, super on loads of dishes. Adds an extra dimension in terms of texture to dishes.
Preheat the oven to 190 cen . Make breadcrumbs from the sourdough and put on a baking sheet. Drizzle with a good glug of rapeseed oil and then scatter over garlic, lemon rind and the hazelnuts. Pop in the oven for 10 mins, remove, cool and store in an airtight container.
1. Cook off pasta as per pkt. instructions, drain & set aside.
2. Fry off the sliced courgettes in the oil for 5 mins.
3. Plunge broccoli in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, drain and toss in with the mushrooms.
4. Bring the stock to the boil and thicken with the diluted cornflour. Turn down the heat and cook out for a few minutes. Add cream & season.
5. Into a big bowl toss in vegetables, sauce and pasta and give it a good mix. Transfer to individual bowls.
6. Top with the garlic hazelnut crumbs and place in a preheated oven for 15- 20 minutes.
Broccoli Slaw - ‘getting to the root of it’
1 broccoli root.
1 peeled carrot.
Handful of dried cranberries.
Handful of almonds or any nuts you prefer.
1 eating apple.
2 tablespoons creme fraiche.
1 tablespoon mayonnaise.
1 tea.sp. Horseradish.
Salt & pepper.
1. Take the central root of the broccoli (normally resides in the food waste bin) and grate it with 1 carrot on a box grater. Toss into a bowl.
2. Dice the apple (no need to peel), along with the cranberries and nuts and add to the bowl.
3. Add the creme fraiche, mayo, horseradish and seasoning. Give everything a good stir.