Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Liver loving Thanksgiving sides.


I was having a conversation with my lovely friend Victoria (not her real name, just to protect her identity) about traditional accompaniments for the Thanksgiving Turkey. We both are traditionalists, in the sense that we like Sage and Onion stuffing, as opposed to the Yam, Focaccia, Bacon, Cinnamon, Marshmallow and Maple Syrup monstrosities that are prevalent over here.
It is always an overload in the US and a possible ride to the A&E can not be over ruled.
My challenge was to come up with something simple, tasty, liver friendly and marshmallow free.

I know I have used golden beets before, but they are one of the best and healthiest veggies around. combined with the humble Brussels Sprout, and a handful of Walnuts, you have a side dish worthy of moist Turkey, Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.

Choose medium sized firm sprouts and cut them in half. Steam them and cool in cold water to keep them green, yet still firm.
Set to one side.


Boil the beets, skin on.They are done when you can push a sharp knife into the middle with a little force. Once cool, the skins can be removed easily with your fingers. Cut them into wedges like this.

 
Prior to serving, toss the beets, walnuts and sprouts together in a saute pan with Olive Oil, some fresh Thyme and then season to your taste.

 
 


Easy peasy and not a marshmallow in sight.............




Saturday, September 6, 2014

50 ways to love your liver. Beets 2 ways

Beets are pretty cheap in the market this week, so I thought I would show you two liver healthy meals. This only works if you buy Beets with the leaves still attached though :)

 
I chose both red and gold beets as it adds a nice color contrast,
Trim off the leaves and set to one side. Pop the beets into a pan and bring to the boil until partially cooked through. Drain and cool down before handling. At this stage, the skin should just slough off when pressed with your fingers.

Peel, then cut in half, and then each half in thirds, until you get wedges as shown below. Place in a pan with olive oil, some rough cut onion, a few cherry tomatoes and spices. Cook the beets for 10 minutes before adding the tomatoes as they will get a bit soggy if you put them in at the same time.
I used my own Garam Masala for this dish but it tastes just as good with crushed black pepper and salt.



Pop in the oven at 350 degrees to roast, turning occasionally to caramelize the sugars.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and add a handful of Arugula so it just wilts and serve immediately.

Now for the greens.
 
Wash the greens and cut into chiffonade so they cook really fast. Add a little veggie stock to a large fry pan and add the beet greens and cover.
As soon as it comes to the boil, add a teaspoon each of crushed Ginger, Garlic and Turmeric. Stir quickly and then add a tablespoon of whisked plain Yoghurt.
 
I topped this with quickly fried red chillies and onion, seasoned with Nigela and Poppy seeds. I use this often for Dahl dishes to add interest and a bit of zing to otherwise bland lentils.
 
 
Thes make  great side dishes for a curry evening.
 
I served both with a Chicken and Apricot Curry and Basmati rice, but they do work well individually


 
 
Your liver will love you for this one.