Healing Foods

As a doctor, I am a firm believer in supporting the body to heal itself rather than a reliance on antibiotics and medicines. It has taken me a long while to arrive to this way of thinking: at the beginning, I was besotted with the miracle drugs that can ‘cure’ illnesses like magic, not being wise enough then to realise that an absence of symptoms does not equate to cure. But after half a lifetime’s journey, both as a doctor and a mother, I am now a strong believer in the philosophy that healing foods, a supportive lifestyle and love can cure most of the ills we encounter in today’s topsy-turvy world. Here are some of the core recipes:

 

MY GREEN SMOOTHIES
IMG_0044
There are three parts to my green smoothies:
1. Base
Made from fruits such as bananas, avocados, dragon fruits, papaya, honey dew melons, mangoes.

2. The green layer
Organic greens. Anything will do, the dark leafy ones are more nutritious, but mix with lighter ones for a milder taste. But whatever, make sure this layer is purely organic.

3. The topping
Chia seeds, flax seeds, goji berries.

Add some water and blitz. Remember to keep blitzing until you get an almost homogenous drink.

 

MY GLUTEN-FREE BREAKFAST CEREAL
Oh, it is so difficult (and expensive) to find gluten-free cereals! Here’s my creation:
cereals

(1) Boil some quinoa according to packet instructions. You can do this the night before (quinoa keeps in the fridge for a couple of days).

(2) Break a slice of corn-thins and add to the quinoa.

(3) Top with fruits, nuts, goji berries and chia seeds as shown.

(4) Serve with cold milk.

(NOTE TO THOMAS: Corn thins on the breakfast bar)

 

BONE BROTH
broth

Boil the following over low heat for several hours:
1. Organic, hormone-free and antibiotic-free chicken or beef bones
2. 2 tablespoons of vinegar
3. Carrots
4. Broccoli
5. Potatoes
6. Bay leaves

For a more filling meal, boil some small pasta (e.g. macaroni) separately and add to the broth just before serving.

Do not discard the leftovers (bones and veggies) – reboil it to make a weak soup and use it for the following:

 

BROWN RICE-MILLET BROTH
rice millet

1. Add washed rice and millet into the soup and cook until tender.
2. Just before serving, break an egg into the pot and cook until the egg white is solidified and the yolk still soft (use safe eggs)
3. To serve, add garnishes: coriander leaves, spring onions, salt and pepper (the leftover bits of carrots and veggies make it all the yummier).

(NOTE TO THOMAS: No brown rice or millet at home, just use ordinary rice this week)

 

QUINOA & GREENS SALAD
quinoa

1. Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions.
2. Prepare the base with mixed green salad leaves.
3. Add the heavier elements, such as avocados or roasted beetroot.
4. Spoon the quinoa onto the nest.
5. Top with nuts and seeds.
6. For dressing, drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

 

GRILLED FISH AND GREENS
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1. Marinate the fish with salt and pepper. Make incisions in the flesh and put ginger slices in the incisions. Leave for a while.
2. Drizzle with olive oil.
3. Grill on a low setting until the fish is cooked (NOTE: Thomas, the grill is the fire on top)
4. In the meantime, heat up some olive oil in the pan. Add in garlic slices, stir until brown, and then add in greens. Season lightly with salt.
5. Serve with rice.

 

 

More on the medical basis of the diet I propose by the University of Massachusetts Medical School: http://www.umassmed.edu/news/news-archives/2014/04/UMMS-first-to-develop-evidence-based-diet-for-inflammatory-bowel-disease/

Three Super-Fast, Super-Nutritious Food (in less than 10 minutes)

Contrary to popular belief, I do not spend that much time in the kitchen. What I do is I have sessions where I put my favourite music on loud and spend a couple of hours every few days stocking up my kitchen with the lovely basics that I can easily use to whip up super-fast, super-nutritious food on my lazy days (more time for the beach).

From my post a couple of days ago, Offerings From My Kitchen Today, I made the following ‘instant’ meals:

Instant noodles without the additives and preservatives

noodles

Apart from being nutritionally bankrupt, the much-loved instant noodles are actually very bad for you. Aside from its high sodium content, a typical packet is also full of acid regulators, flavour enhancers, thickeners, humectants, colours, stabilizers, anti-oxidants, emulsifiers, flour treatment agents, preservatives and anti-caking agents. Sure, they are convenient and tasty (addictive because of the flavourings), but do you really want to put all these chemicals into your body?

The soup of this version is made from the rich vegetable broth. If you are a non-vegetarian, bone broth would be an excellent base too. I made the broth a couple of days ago and stored it in the refrigerator until this afternoon.

To put this instant noodle dish together, I simply boiled spaghetti according to packet instruction. I used spaghetti instead of instant noodles, because instant noodles are coated with wax to prevent the noodles from sticking together. This can be seen when hot water is added to the noodles. After some time the wax can be seen floating in the water. It is just not worth it.

To serve, garnish the cooked spaghetti with tomatoes, lightly blanched veggies and sprouts (I used sprouted sunflower seeds and alfafa), and ladle the broth over. Shredded cooked chicken or slices of beef if you prefer not to go 100% vegetarian are good additions. Drizzle with sesame oil and Braggs for a more Asian taste. You get a lot of goodness from the broth, the veggies and the sprouted seeds, and it is as quick to prepare and tastes even better the unhealthy version.

 

Rainbow curry

curry and rice

From my tray of rainbow veggies, I made a Thai yellow curry using (OK, I cheated) curry paste. If you are buying curry paste, check the label and opt for the ones with the least evils. I bought mine from the market.

I served the curry with wild rice and topped it with chia seeds, flax seeds and toasted cashews. Wild rice is nutritionally superior to processed and polished white rice. It has up to 30 times more antioxidants than white rice, has a high fibre content and is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Topped with nuts and seeds, it is power-packed food!

 

Pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and roasted vegetables

pasta

I made the tomatoes in my dehydrator a couple of days ago. If you do not have a dehydrator, you could use a fan oven at its lowest setting. I then left the tomatoes on my balcony for the sun to dry them for a few hours – as I live near the sea in an unpolluted part of the island, these last few hours of au naturel drying gives the tomatoes a lovely, lightly salted taste. They can be stored in a sterile jar, covered in olive oil, in the refrigerator for weeks.

I made the red pesto sauce to mix this pasta in by blitzing together the following ingredients:

1 garlic clove

Pinch of sea salt

25g pine nuts

250g semi-dried tomatoes

1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped

Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley

125ml extra-virgin olive oil

25g Parmesan, finely grated

I added lots of roasted veggies (courgette, aubergine, onion, capsicum) and fresh basil leaves to the pasta and stirred the pesto in. The key thing is to ensure that proportionally, there is less pasta than veggies.

The beauty of this dish is, it can either be served cold as a salad or baked with grated cheese as a hot dinner.

 

Trail Mix

trail mix

I bagged up the dried apple and pineapple slices that I put in the dehydrator and mixed those with a couple of handfuls of mixed nuts. This baggie delivers a punch of energy during break, and it is also my excuse to tell her that I love her, big smile.