Sad Truths About Juicing

One of the things I first read about in relation to PCOS was making sure I got a good daily intake of super foods – greens and flax seeds (aka linseed)  and that one of the ways I could do this was by drinking juiced veg.

However what I did not know is that, by juicing, which is a form of processing, the fibre is removed from the solid fruits and salads.  And that this in turn makes the insulin spikes from sugars more pronounced.  Having read this apparently well-researched article, I have decided not to juice so often…

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Terriyaki Brocconut Noodles

Yum, yum yum!  This is mighty good.

Serves 1.

 

Ingredients

1 x packet of Brown Rice Soba Noodles

A handful of tenderstem Broccoli, washed

Half a Red Chilli, chopped

1 x Garlic Clove, chopped

2cm piece of fresh Ginger, chopped

2 tablespoons Tamari Soy Sauce

1 teaspoon Agave Nectar

A handful of Cashew Nuts

A knob of butter

Olive Oil

salt

Fresh lemon chunk to serve

 

Drop a dash of olive oil into a frying pan and heat.  Throw in your handful of cashew nuts and toast on a medium heat.  Add your small knob of butter (I use olive butter to minimise dairy intake) and a generous pinch of salt.  When the cashews are golden-brown, remove them to a bowl.  Try not to eat them while finishing the cooking – they are dangerously delicious!

Without adding further oil or butter to the pan, heat up your broccoli, so that it turns a deep bright green.  When it is threatening to brown in places, add the chilli, garlic and ginger.

While those are gently frying, cook your soba noodles as packet states.

While the noodles are cooking, add your 2 tablespoons of tamari to the broccolli, chilli, garlic and ginger.  Also add agave nectar.  Toss so contents of pan are coated.  Switch off the heat.

When your noodles are cooked, transfer them to bowl or plate.  Pile the contents of frying pan on top of the noodles and then scatter your cashews over and squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice on top.

 

I challenge you not to become addicted!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jojoba Oil

Since my diagnosis, I have been careful to read not only the ingredients of the food I buy, but the ingredients within the skincare and bath products I buy.  For instance, I learned about parabens and their link with breast cancer.  I also learned about a few other things when I searched for products I was using in the EWG Cosmetics database

Naturally, I began to look for products that are 100% natural, and harmless and at some point in my searching, I discovered a lot of youtube video appraisals of Jojoba Oil.

Jojoba oil aka Simmondsia chinensis has some remarkable qualities.  It is a liquid wax derived from the seed of the Jojoba plant, which is native to Southern California, Southern Arizona and North West Mexico.  It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.  Perhaps most remarkable of all, is its molecular structure, which is so similar to the structure of our sebum that it tricks our skin into reducing its sebum output.  The result of this is that acne is rapidly quelled.

I use it on my face and rashy areas of my body – just a couple of small drops – and have found that it is far superior to any other skin product I’ve used.  It can also be use as a hot oil treatment for hair, though I would only use it for this purpose occasionally.  Because only a few drops are necessary, it lasts for a very long time.

I just wish I had discovered it sooner!

Hitchcock’s, Hull

If I am often wondering about the lack of vegetarian restaurants in Manchester, perhaps it is less surprising that there are hardly any vegetarian restaurants whatsoever in Hull, East Yorkshire, the dreaded city of my growing pains.  What is very surprising then is the fact that my favourite place to eat is in that very city, and furthermore that it is vegetarian.

Hitchcock’s is found at the top or bottom of Bishop Lane, depending on where you’re coming from, in the characterful heart of the historic old town, situated along the town-side bank of the river Hull.  Ring the bell and you are ushered up the stairs into surroundings which reviewers of lesser imagination might deem ‘quirky’.   

In keeping with its otherworldly, glowing and cosy grotto-like layout, the restaurant operates on a unique basis:  the food served is part of an all-you-can-eat buffet, while the type of cuisine varies from night-to-night, depending on the preferences of whoever books first.

For instance, I have experienced Indian, English and, most recently, Persian/Middle-Eastern themed nights.  All of which have been fantastic.

Almost best of all is that specialist diets are readily catered for provided advance notice is given.  At the Persian night, Bruce made sure I was shown round the buffet so that wheat-filled delicacies could be pointed out and avoided, before presenting me with a huge platter of delicious spinachy stuff spread on gluten-free bread.  

Better than this, however, is the vast cake selection.  It is fantastic… if a little damaging if you have PCOS and must therefore limit your refined sugar intake (note to self:  will in future ask for cakes featuring alternative sweeteners).  People at our table for my friends’ Linda and Espen’s wedding reception hadn’t even started on the main course before making reference to and recommendation of the magnificent pecan pie.  The Tiffin is also remarkable.

A sample of the kind of foods you can expect at a Middle-Eastern night – kind of tapas style:

Beautiful vine leaves stuffed with rice, veg and mint,

Baked peppers,

Baba Ganoush,

Home-made hummous,

A giant rice cake made of the rice you get at the bottom of a pan,

Aubergine stew,

Peppery red lentils,

Omelette

In view of recent times, the price has gone up to £18 per head, with a midweek concession of £15, the place remains a gem nonetheless

For Bookings:  (01482) 320233

http://www.hitchcocksrestaurant.co.uk/

A gem among the cobbled streets

Roasted Aubergines with Feta and Walnut Salsa

I have pinched this recipe from BBC Good Food, but that’s because it really is good food.  I used toasted sesame oil for the aubergines instead of olive oil, and olive oil instead of ‘walnut pickling liquid’ and walnut oil.  I also used a real chilli instead of flakes, and dried cranberries instead of pomegranate seeds.

Anyway, I often have a craving for aubergines (which are full of B vitamins, manganese, copper, potassium, iron, as well as cancer-preventative flavonoids) and this combines their lovely subtle flavour with a yummy, exotic mix of fruit and spices.  The recipe was written by brilliant Israeli cook Yotam Ottolenghi.

 

Ingredients

For the salsa

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8. Cut both the aubergines in half lengthways and score the flesh in a criss-cross pattern. Brush the flesh liberally with the oil then sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Place on a baking tray, flesh-side up, and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until the flesh is cooked through and turns a dark golden-brown.
  2. Meanwhile, make the salsa. Mix together the walnuts, walnut pickling liquid, vinegar, garlic, chilli, walnut oil, parsley and half the coriander with one teaspoon of salt.
  3. Spoon the salsa over the aubergines as soon as they come out of the oven and leave to cool completely. Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining coriander on top along with the goats’ cheese and pomegranate seeds.

Earth Cafe, Manchester, UK

open             mon-fri  11am-4pm – sat 10am-5pm – sun CLOSED

address        16-20 turner street, manchester m4 1dz   

Perhaps my favourite cafe in Manchester.  Although in a cellar next door to the Buddhist centre, it has not been a part of the centre for 5 years now.   It still maintains the original Buddhist theme, with brass figurines of the Buddha and information about meditation to hand etc.

There is a mix of large and small wooden tables to sit at, as well as more intimate booths, perfect for a romantic occasion.

Always popular is the £6 food platter, which gets you 4 portions of food – up to 2 can be main courses, and the rest can be sides.  There are always gluten free choices available.  I tend to get the dahl, brown rice, carrot and apple salad, and roast potatoes.  The one criticism I have is that the variety of the food served rarely changes:  in other words, there is little variety.

Also available is an excellent smoothie and juice bar:  I often go for the Green Queen so I don’t miss out on my dose of green fruit and veg.

I can’t remember ever having any of the cakes, though they look good.  I rarely have enough room inside!

The atmosphere is that of a chilled canteen and the staff are friendly.

Lentils, Rice and Caramelised onions

A delicious, simple and cheap way of ensuring you get a good protein intake:

 

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled, sliced thinly,

1-2 tbs olive oil,

2 pints of water,

225g green or brown lentils,

50g brown basmati or long grain rice,

salt and pepper.

 

  • Fry onion in oil over a low heat for 20-30 mins, without burning.
  • While that’s cooking, boil the water in pan and add lentils.  Cook 20 mins/until tender with bite.
  • Add rice.  Cook 25-30 mins.  Drain.
  • Stir in half the onions and all the lentils.  Pile rest of the onions on top.

 

 

 

Happy Kitchen Brownies

I will start this off by recommending what is perhaps my favourite food-alternative, although really it is a food in its own right:  the Happy Kitchen Brownie.

 Happy Kitchen have sadly announced the closure of the canteen in their East London bakery (the bakery is still open).  Luckily they continue to make the best, richest brownies I have ever tasted –  so good even my dad likes them.

There are four lovely flavours:

chocolate on its own,

chocolate raspberry,

chocolate orange,

and, my favourite, the Pecan Brownie.

All are vegan and completely free of gluten.

I buy mine from 8th Day in Manchester.  They are thankfully available online from several website, including Goodness Direct


Chilli Lime Halloumi Salad

Ingredients

1 x 250 gram pack of Halloumi cheese,

Greens:  Spinach, Rocket, Lettuce,

1 Lime,

1 Red Chilli, chopped.

Dressing:

1 tsp Mustard,

1 tsp fruit sugar,

1 garlic clove,

1-2 tbsps wine vinegar,

6 tbsps olive oil,

seaoning

Make the dressing in a bowl.  Add the salad and toss.

Cut the cheese into thick slices.  Fry 1-2 minutes per side until browned.

Drizzle the halloumi with chilli and lime.  Place on the salad. YUM YUM