Lunch

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Lunch

Lunch today consisted of a Yoga class followed by some organic rotisserie chicken and Bok Choy Stalks Braised with Cherry Tomatoes, Chilli and Basil.

They say a good cook never wastes anything but, what do you do with silverbeet and bok choy stems when you don’t really like them in the first place? Well, this recipe by Justin North is a really good option. It was easy to make, tasty and helped ease my conscience as I didn’t toss the bok choy stems left over from last night’s stir-fry.

Click here if you’d like to try this clever dish. http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/cook/recipe/silverbeet-stalks-braised-with-cherry-tomatoes-and-chilli-and-basil-20130418-2i1zs.html

Juicy Stuff

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Juicy Stuff

For the last month various 6 packs of PHD Green juice have been arriving, freshly extracted on my doorstep. And I’m loving it. They’ve helped to keep my mid-afternoon snacking at bay and also supply an extra dose of green leafy vegetables. In fact, I’m enjoying them so much I’ve started investigating juicers and extractors with a view to buying one. However, while drinking the juice might be pleasant, researching juicers is headache inducing.

To save you some pain here’s what I’ve discovered so far.

I haven’t found any scientific evidence to prove that juicing your vegetables is any healthier than eating them. But, if you’re not getting enough in your regular diet, drinking some vegetables isn’t going to hurt.

Every self-appointed internet juice guru seems to extoll the benefits of raw, cold pressing rather than the faster centrifugal machines, as the produce is not “cooked” by heated-up rotary blades. However, Marcus Antehi, founder of “Juice Press” in the States, has tested this theory and concluded that the blades can heat up during the initial pulverizing phase of cold-pressing too. Not great when you consider that cooking can destroy vitamin C in many vegetables. However, there seems to be another significant factor to consider when deciding what type of extractor to buy. Oxygen.

Below is a comparison between centrifugal and twin gear juicers from takepart.com that I found really helpful.

“High-speed juicers (aka fast or centrifugal juicers)
These juicers shred produce with a sharp blade, then separate the pulp through high-speed spinning to yield thin, pulpless juice. They tend to handle carrots, beets, and apples better than leafy greens or wheatgrass… The blades and spinning mean the foods you’re juicing come in contact with more air during the process; that oxidization causes nutrients to break down quickly, so you should drink a serving as soon as you make it. The machines also generate about two degrees Fahrenheit of heat—a tiny amount, but many juice proponents believe that also destroys nutrients.

Triturating juicers (aka twin-gear juicers)
These top-of-the-line juicers are for the seriously dedicated enthusiast. They turn at a slower speed than a masticating juicer, and by pressing foods between two interlocking gears, they extract a larger volume of nutrient-rich juice from leafy greens and other vegetables, fruits, herbs, wheatgrass, and novel ingredients (to most of us, anyway) like pine needles… The major drawback here is price.”

From my investigations it seems twin gear juicers are about twice the price of centrifugal ones. But, as it’s the green leafy juices I’m after, these are the ones I should probably go for. Now I’m getting a headache from the price tag. I might keep drinking my PHD Green juice and hope that Santa wins the lottery this year.

Here are links to some of the articles I’ve been reading if you’d like them.
http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/04/24/jane-says-all-juicers-arent-created-equal
http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/juicing/
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/dining/the-rush-toward-cold-pressed-juices.html
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=raw-veggies-are-healthier
http://www.fi.edu/learn/brain/micro.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/08/juicer-types-cold-press_n_2618000.html

Dinner

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Dinner

Stavroula’s Stuffed Red Capsicums from Kylie Kwong’s book “It Tastes Better”. These tasted great, the filling was super yummy and tasted fab on its own. The tops get a little charred during the roasting process but the capsicums are juicy and really sweet. I used 1/2 cup brown rice instead of what she recommended to lessen the carbs and I don’t think the dish really needed all the rice she used anyway. As usual, a spray of olive oil was all I used on the peppers and filling to hold back on the fat.

I paired the capsicums with a rocket, mint, parsley, spring onion, cucumber, cherry tomato and feta (30g) salad with a few marjoram sprigs and a grind of pepper. It went really well.

Lunch

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Lunch

Late lunch today but it was really tasty. I made Karen Martini’s Spring Minestrone with Rocket and Basil Pesto. I had to modify the pesto quite a bit to reduce the fat. I used 50g basil, 50g rocket, 30g parsley, 30g pine nuts, 10g parmesan, 1 clove garlic, salt flakes, pepper and 2tbsp olive oil and then just a brief spray of olive oil in the pot before adding the veges. My trainer would kill me if I didn’t do this as I’m trying to lose a few kgs before summer. Click the photo for Karen’s recipe.

Lunch

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Lunch

A 15 minute run plus a Pump Class followed by Neil Perry’s Seared Salmon with Cucumber and Mint Salsa. I only used a couple of tbsp of olive oil for the salsa instead of the 100ml he suggested. I know it’s a good fat but there’s no need to go crazy. Click on the photo if you’d like the recipe.