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This week's seasonal recommendation

 

What to cook this week?

Sun, 5 March, 2017

Oh no. We've only just started to manage making the 5-a-day (carrot cake counts? it must do) commandment, and now they've gone and decided it's 10-a-day. TEN A DAY! Ten portions of blooming fruit and veg, day in, day out! They must be joking, right? Now I'll have to get mushy peas every time I go to a chippy!

Researchers from Imperial College (otherwise a lovely academic institution) have announced that while five a day is good, ten a day is better. Right. It reminds me of the gem of wisdom my dad used to spin: 'it's better to be rich and healthy than poor and ill'. Or even 'four legs good, two legs bad'. Or whatever. How about twenty? We'll just do nothing but sit around all day nibbling carrots and cucumbers.

However much I support healthy lifestyle, I'm very loath to place my trust in those research supported recommendations for how much of what we should eat and drink. But what the hell - for those who will try to hit the target of the 10(th) commandment, here go some tips.

Shred a couple of cabbage heads pronto for homemade sauerkraut. For those who like it - stick it in the sandwiches, have it as a snack and eat a bowlful with dinner as a side. For those who are suspicious: get over it. It's healthy. It's fermented. It's gut health. And its the taste that can certainly be acquired. Sniffing at homey sauerkraut? Fancy a more exotic and hipster stuff? Here's kimchi: sauerkraut, only with gochugaru.

Smuggle veg into dishes you wouldn't normally add them to: salmon? How about wrapping it in lettuce leaves? And it's a tasty dish too. Egg fried rice? Make it vegetable fried rice. Parmigiana? Hold the chicken - clear all the veg from your fridge and make a mixed veg parmigiana, that will count for at least three...

Make an industrial quantity of ratatouille, it won't take you long with my recipe. It goes well with almost everything and is nice as a standalone dish as well, maybe with a bowl of rice (and it can be plain rice in this instance, phew...) Cook up a tonne and freeze it in one-portion tubs. Tomatoes are rubbish at this time of year but confit tomatoes are gorgeous; and the only effort involves slicing them in halves.

And after all that hard work I'm sure you'll be able to include that slice of carrot cake in your daily target. Happy munching!

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