Inspiring, Motivating, Rewarding

A shoot out for the SpringWolf runners …

In 2016 entered a pack of wolves in all 4 Wolf Run events and for 2017 the Wolf Run has made their official charity. Next weekend is the Spring Wolf Run, the first of the year and the wolves will be there on Sunday creating awareness for the charity. This week’s nutrition blog is to support those taking part in the Wolf Run as part of the team. Next week we will feature a tasty recovery meal to come home to. Continue reading

A very tasty spinach recipe

Like many allotment owners is currently planning what crops to sow following the big community garden clear up on Saturday 1st April. Very likely to feature is spinach. Spinach can be planted in autumn for eating over winter and early spring or planted now ready to eat in summer. With such a long harvesting period a good spinach recipe is always useful. The spinach recipe in this week’s blog comes from an old recipe book published by a vegetarian cafe that used to be situated in the thousand year old crypt of St Mary-le -Bow Church in the City of London. The church houses the famous Bow Bells; those born within the sound of the bells are said to be true cockneys.

Spinach, Mung Bean and Lime Casserole tastes as wholesome as it sounds. The lime at the end really makes a difference and brings this dish alive.

225g dried mung bean

350g onions (chopped)

1 chili (chopped)

3 garlic gloves (crushed)

2 tbsp olive oil

400g tinned tomatoes

450g spinach

zest and juice of 2 limes

salt and pepper
Boil the mung beans in plenty of water for 45 minutes, drain

Sweat the onions, garlic and chili in oil until soft

Add the tomatoes, spinach and mung bean. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes

Add the lime juice and zest. 

Check seasoning and serve with quinoa or whole grain rice.

serves 4
Why eat spinach? Spinach is high in antioxidants, iron, vitamin A and C.

Carotenoids and Parkinson’s

Carotenoids are found in plant based foods, most of which are orange and red in colour such as carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, peppers, tomatoes, apricots, mango as well as green leafy vegetables. Carotenoid is a phytonutrient (antioxidant) and can be converted by the body into vitamin A. Carotenoids are divided into two groups – carotenes and xanthophylls, these are then sub categorised further into 9 groups including alpha and beta carotene, lycopene, beta cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin. Lycopene is the carotenoid in tomatoes that gives them their cancer fighting reputation. Continue reading

Happy reading …

As anyone with young children or grand children will know, last Thursday was World Book Day. This is a day that children who enjoy dressing up look forward to all year round and less creative parents dread. The excitement charged atmosphere in school as children arrive dressed as their favourite character from a book is tangible. I get a similar rush of excitement when I find a cookery book that I like. Characters are replaced by ingredients and the plot by flavours but my measure of a truly good recipe book is how well these have been merged to create a nutritious and balanced meal. Continue reading

Pancakes – Shrove Tuesday

This coming Tuesday is pancake day! So get out your frying pan and give these dairy free pancakes a try.

For the Pancakes you will need …

125g plain flour (use half white and half wholemeal for more fibre)
1 egg

300ml coconut milk (or similar)

A little oil for frying

Place the flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Crack the egg in the middle, pour in a quarter of the milk and whisk. Once the mixture is a smooth paste beat in the remaining milk. Leave to rest for 20 minutes. Stir again before using.
Heat a non-stick frying pan with a little oil. Pour a little of the pancake mix into the pan and swirl around to coat the base. Cook for a few minutes until golden brown, then if you are feeling brave flip the pancake in the air and cook the other side until golden. Or use a spatula to turn the pancake.
I like to have my children sitting next to me when I make pancakes so that they can eat them immediately and it adds to the fun. Alternatively place the cooked pancake on a plate and keep warm in the oven until all the pancakes are cooked. Add your favourite filling and enjoy.
Here are a few filling ideas from us but we would love to hear yours.

Berries piled high

Banana and nut butter

Steamed apple and cinnamon

Steamed pear and cacao nibs

Mixed fruit salad and a dash of Cointreau 

The Traditional – lemon with a light sprinkle of sugar

Cheese (can use dairy alternative), spinach and mushroom

Bean chilli

Happy St Valentine’s Day

The origins of St Valentine’s day can be traced back to ancient Roman times however it was Chaucer who linked it with romance in a poem he wrote in 1381 for the engagement of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. The tradition of giving chocolate on Valentine’s day is thought to have been started by the Victorians when Richard Cadbury made the first box of chocolates. Fast forward 150 years and you can’t walk in a shop at this time of year without fearing that a huge tower of red chocolate boxes might fall on top of you. Continue reading

Family fajitas …

There have been many studies looking at the benefits of family meals including Project Eat, a 10 year cohort study. This particular study found that families who eat together have better dietary intake, better physiological well-being and also have greater family cohesion and problem -focused coping (Neumark-Sztainer.D. et al, Family meals and adolescents: what have we learned from Project EAT).

Continue reading

Parkinson’s: The Bigger Picture

“Sara! Come sit down with me and listen to this song.” YouTube is calling again and with a sigh, I try to find an excuse to get to the kitchen and help my mom with the dishes or take the dog out for yet another potty break. You see, my dad sits comfortably in his La-Z-Boy recliner for the majority of the day (which is hours on end), watching the endless classic rock videos taking him back to the normal life he once experienced and enjoyed…the life before Parkinson’s set it. Continue reading