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Nourish and Flourish - medicinal mushrooms
by Sarah Horsfall, student nutritionist

Medicinal mushrooms such as Shitake, Reishi, and Maitake contain amazing health giving properties which make them a useful ingredient to have in the kitchen all year round. These mushrooms produce organic compounds that can boost your immune system, lower blood pressure and even fight cancer. You can buy a packet of Shitake or mixed, dried mushrooms in your local health food store or supermarket and use them in risottos, stews or casseroles. Another great way to enjoy Shitake Mushrooms is in this nourishing soup, packed full of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Shitake and Cabbage Soup
1 packet of dried Shitake (or mixed) Mushrooms rinsed and soaked for 20 minutes.
½ cup of green or puy lentils
1 pint of Bouillon stock or miso
1 inch stick of Kombu seaweed (optional)
1 onion chopped
3 or 4 garlic cloves crushed
A small cube of ginger, grated or finely minced
¾ lb hard vegetables chopped up small (e.g. celery, carrots, sweet potato, turmeric, leeks)
2 handfuls of any green leafy vegetable (e.g. cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach, pak choi) shredded or sliced

  • Wash the lentils then boil and simmer them in the stock for 20 minutes with a stick of Kombu to make them easier to digest.
  • Chop up the onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, celery, sweet potato etc. into small pieces and simmer gently for 5-10 minutes.
  • When the vegetables are just beginning to soften add the greens and leave to simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Whilst the greens are cooking, chop up the mushrooms with scissors, or leave them whole, and add them with their soak water to the soup. Stir lovingly.
  • Finally, ladle up a big bowl full, sprinkle parsley or coriander on top, slurp up the goodness and give thanks to Mother Nature for all her abundance.

  • Sarah can be contacted on tel 020 8613 0595

    Seed milk smoothies
    by Theresa Webb, 20 years experienced as a vegan raw foodist and chocalatier

    Make seed milk smoothies for breakfasts with either fruit or a combination of fruit and vegetables. They are especially rich in calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C.

    1 handful sunflower seeds (soak them overnight in water, ideally)
    1/2 pt fresh water (strain the soaked water from the seeds)

  • Blend the seeds and fresh water together (ideally use a filter or VitaMix).
  • Use to mix with a museli combination of oats, seeds, slices of fruit, dried fruits or chopped nuts.
  • Green Smoothie
    1 portion of milk
    1 banana
    1 apple
    Handful of berries
    2 sticks of celery
    1/4 chunk of cucumber 2" or more
    1 handful of spinach leaves (add more, or less, as preferred)

  • Blend together all the ingredients
  • Theresa can be contacted at Kitchen Buddy and emailed here. Tel 020 8697 2755.

    Easy Elderflower champagne
    by Merlyn Peter

    Easy Elderflower champagne
    1 bowl of flowers picked on a dry day just as they have opened
    2 spoons of cider vinegar
    2 lemons squeezed with skins
    2lb white sugar
    2-3 gallons of warm water

  • For a cordial sprinkle sugar over the flower heads and leave in a bowl overnight with cloth over the top. This produces a strong scented syrup which can subsequently be used in cordials without needing to boil stems. Just add more water and sugar and reduce again.
  • For champagne place all ingredients in a large container and let stew for 2-4 days.
  • Strain through a muslin bag into demijohns with corks. When they start popping their gas levels can be gauged.
  • Decant into plastic bottles with lids and watch over 10 days for expansion.
  • Refrigerating early on will slow down the fermentation process.
  • Using small recycled bottles allows for test tasting.
  • Serve cool.
  • Natural toothpaste
    by Irma & Josep Lyn, volunteers at Solteriologic Garden, Catalonia.

    White clay (available in health-food shops)
    Tincture of propolis

  • Make a concentrated (a little water with lots of plants) infusion.
  • Leave the infusion to cool with the plants included.
  • Filter out the plants.
  • Mix in an earthenware or glass container the white clay and the concentrate of herbs until you obtain the required texture.
  • Add 2 drops of tincture of propolis.
  • Keep in small containers with lids.
  • Use freely (no need to rinse—just swallow).
  • Alternatively, use as face paint (Watch this space for almond oil recipes).

    Wild Herb Pesto
    by Theresa Webb
    2 Garlic Mustard Leaves (Jack-by-the-hedge) or Wild Garlic
    1 handful fresh coriander or basil
    6 stems Chives
    4 dsp Olive Oil
    10g approx. 1 handful cashew nuts \ macadamia nuts
    10g Pine Nuts

  • Finely chop the herbs and nuts
  • Mix together with the oil
  • Serve on a bed of courgette spirals or spaghetti
    Alternative options:

  • Add Garlic, Lemon or Lime juice
  • Substitute with Basil only for a standard Pesto.

    Courgetti Spaghetti and Vegetable spirals
    Equipment required:
    A Spiralizer. A potato peeler or grater are options for this though they yield different results and textures.
    These ribbons or noodles are ultra-quick to prepare, in under 5 mins, using a hand-held Saladacco machine. They have a similar texture and flavour to spaghetti; slightly slippery (juicy) and sweet, not at all bitter when ripe. They also offer an amazing yield per piece; serves 2-3 people. Ingredients:
    1 Courgette – as straight as possible
    A Sweet Potato
    A section of Butternut Squash
    A solid, wide Carrot

  • 1. Cut vegetable pieces into 2 inch lengths, with a parallel top and bottom.
  • Select a blade; either for strands or ribbons.
  • Place one end of vegetable onto the top plate, the other onto the small central spike and turn the lid clockwise to close. Press handle down and turn firmly.
    Serve with a ‘bolognaise’-style tomato sauce or pesto dressing.

    BBQ Roast Snapper Fish Jamaican-styli
    Ingredients for stuffing:
    Red peppers

  • Descaled... gutted... stuffed with above freshly-obtained ingredients ‘rustically’ chopped
  • Add scotch bonnet pepper finely chopped to stuffing
  • Dress or marinade with lime or lemon, rubbed over fish inside and out
  • Push into belly void
  • Add a knob of butter or dairy-free on the outside
  • Place 6 Jamaican water crackers on the fish to absorb juices
  • Bake on grill 15mins each side
  • Add salt to taste
  • Richard Simpson can be contacted at Cummin Up and bloggedhere. Tel 020 8690 9167

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