Lebanese Lentil Soup

Serves 3-4
(No gluten, dairy; with options for vegans and no nightshades)

It doesn’t get much easier than this: basically, throw everything into a pot and simmer. The final addition of lemon and parsley beautifully refreshes, lifts the colour and provides punch. This has a richer flavour with chicken stock, but can be done vegan with top quality vegetable stock (try a little non-traditional flaky yeast or dark miso* for the umami flavour or savouriness that meat provides). The soup is heartier with soaked green lentils, but you could use red lentils which require no soaking. Adding salt after legumes are cooked helps them cook faster. A stick/immersion blender is easiest to use right in the saucepan.

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Fast Fab Ways with Fish and Seafood

(No gluten, dairy and with options for most diets)

Squillions of possibilities follow from a few core concepts. There is a specific recipe (one of my favourites) and then a range of easy ideas.

Fish is an excellent source of Protein, Zinc, iodine, selenium, Magnesium, Calcium (see related articles under website TIPS), many B vitamins and a good source of iron. Iodine and selenium are low in New Zealand soils so fish and seaweed are critical sources. The darker, oilier types of fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines are high in the anti-inflammatory brain food Omega 3 fatty acids (TIPS: The Fats of Life). These are also critical to heart and arterial health. See the HEALTH STORE page for my report: The Heart of the Matter for how to treat and prevent cardiovascular problems.

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Satay Soup/Stew

Serves 3-4
(No gluten or dairy; with options for nightshades, legumes, cane sugar and protein sources)

A budgeter’s salvation; an easy to digest, historically validated, therapeutic meal choice; and a creative cook’s plaything: soup caters to many needs. This one is so thick the stock can be lessened to turn it into a one-pot stew with the addition of noodles, or served alongside rice. Note the other variations as below. Also to its credit is the use of several spices now linked with improved immunity and cardiovascular health (see HEALTH STORE for my report: The Heart of the Matter: Significant Strategies for Preventing – and Repairing – Heart, Arterial, Stroke and Other Cardiovascular Damage). The spices and every other ingredient are available at the supermarket.

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Asian Cashew Combo

Hot Veg Combo, Salad or Main - serves 4
(No gluten, dairy or cane sugar; with options for soy and potato)

This is a substantial side dish with mild but evocative Asian flavours. It can readily achieve status as a main. Four tasty versions follow. The colourful Sauce/Dressing can also bring instant pizzazz when tossed with or draped over Asian noodles or steamed fish.

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Latin Black Bean Soup

Serves 4

(No gluten, dairy, cane sugar; with options for soy, nightshades, and plant/animal protein).

Pureeing half of the soup gives it a thick, creamy texture along with the visual benefits of the remaining diverse and chunky pieces. The lime juice added at the end provides an important percussive tang. Both legumes such as beans, and tart citrus juices significantly slow the breakdown of the meal’s entire carbohydrate content into glucose. This means that blood sugar and vitality levels are gradually raised and sustained. This prevents post-meal fatigue and makes inappropriate weight gain less likely. Legumes are high in sustaining plant protein and the bowel’s favourite fare: soluble fibre.

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