Archive for October, 2012

Spinach, penne and cheese spoufflé

Another one of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s  (and who says you can’t be famous with a complicated name!) recipes (slightly adapted) from River Cottage Veg Everyday cookbook. Made this for dinner the other day and absolutely loved it – it’s pasta with a twist.

Serves 4

300ml whole milk

1 bay leaf

1/2 onion finely cut

100g penne or similar shaped pasta

A little rapeseed or olive oi

250g spinach

50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

50g plain flour

75g mature Cheddar, finely grated

A little freshly grated nutmeg

3 large eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg white

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 190 Celsius / Gas Mark 5 and put a baking sheet in to heat up. Liberally butter a 1.5 litre soufflé dish or fairly deep ovenproof dish of similar capacity.

Bring a pan of well-salted water to boil. Add the penne to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain and then add a bit of oil to stop sticking together.

Fry the onion until soft and then add the spinach cooking it with just the water clinging to it after washing, in a large covered pan over a medium heat until wilted – just a few minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out the liquid with your hands, then roughly chop the spinach.

Heat the butter in a a pan over a medium heat, stir in the flour to form a paste and cook for a few minutes. Add the bay leaf and milk slowly to the flour mix and keep stirring until you have a thick bechamel sauce. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese, nutmeg, chopped spinach, and some salt and pepper. Beat in the egg yolks, then mix with the cooked penne.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites to firm peakes. Fold it in with the pasta and bechamel. Tip into the buttered dish and place on the hot baking sheet in the over. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until well risen and golden. Serve straightaway.

VARIATION

Courgette penne spouffle

Instead of the spinach use 500g finely sliced courgettes. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, add the courgettes with a finely sliced garlic clove and a pinch of salt and fry gently for at least 15 minutes, tossing regularly  without browning. As they soften, break them up a bit with your spatula to form a very rough, creamy puree. Fold into the bechamel along with the cooked penne and continue as above.

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Food Hospital – if only there was one!

An apple a day…

Yesterday I saw a programme called Food Hospital on Channel 4’s catch up service. You can watch it only if you are in the UK.

It confirmed what I already believe that eating the right diet can cure many of our conditions and diseases.

Tackling Alopecia

In this programme they cured a girl’s Alopecia which is a condition where all your hair falls out. They put her on special immunity, which is basically a healthy balanced diet that everyone should eat all the time. The magic combination of foods that you should eat everyday is below. Following the diet caused the girl’s hair to start growing again.

Daily intake for balanced diet:

1/3 carbohydrates  (wholegrain pasta, rice, potatoes, bread)

1/3 fruit and vegetables

10 – 15% protein (meat, fish, nuts pulses)

10 -15% dairy

Only 5 – 7% high fats and sugary foods

So this is the ideal ratio you should eat to be healthy. I would also add that everything should be as natural/organic/free range as possible especially the meat and dairy.

Treating ADHD

There was also a teenage boy who suffered from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and they made him cut out E numbers in sugary snacks, increased his omega 3 levels and reduced fat levels –  and as a result saw 60 percent improvement!

Fibre challenge – a nice way to say how good is your poo

If you want to test that your poo is healthy you can take the ‘Fibre challenge’ as featured on Channel4.com/foodhospital.

Free radicals from over-exercising

Random fact –  too much strenuous exercise (as well as smoking and drinking) increases free radicals in the body. So you should eat a big portion of watercress about 2hrs before your workout as this reduces free radicals. Also eat broccoli and cabbage in your diet to generally decrease free radicals.

Extreme eating – fruitarianism

There was also a guy who only ate fruit – a ‘Fruitarian’ and ate some seeds and lettuce for dinner – apparently according to the experts that’s not healthy, as too much sugar from the fruit could develop diabetes and his bones were that of a 50 year old, even though he was only 30.

Anyway, I hope that inspired you to eat well, I’ve certainly been trying to figure out how much of what I’ve been eating and if it’s the right percentage, although it looks like I’ve still got some work to do especially on eating brown carbs instead of white.

Happy eating!