Sari’s Vegetable Taco recipe

Serves 6 without meat. Serves 10 with meat.

Ingredients:

1-2tbsp butter

1 large onion, chopped

2 sticks celery, sliced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1-2 cm piece ginger, finely chopped (use dried ground ginger if you need)

6 medium carrots

2 large beetroots

500g beef, chicken and lamb mince (optional)

2 tsp coriander ground

1 tsp ground turmeric

Pinch ground fennel

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

Pinch ground fenugreek

Salt and black pepper to taste

(Instead of all these spices, you can just use a premade spice mix if you prefer)

1 cup boiled water

Taco shells

Method:

  1. Heat pressure cooker on stove top. Add butter and melt.
  2. Add onions and celery. Gently fry til somewhat soft.
  3. Add mince meat if you are using it. Gently brown the meat and break it up.
  4. Use a food processor to ‘whizz’ up the garlic, fresh ginger, carrots and beetroot. Whiz it until they are very small – 5mm pieces or less.
  5. Add all the spices, stir well, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the food processed veggies.
  7. Add the water. Stir. Put on high.
  8. Put the pressure cooker lid on and seal it. Bring it up to pressure.
  9. Once it has reached high pressure, cook for 4 minutes.
  10. Release steam carefully.
  11. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C and cook taco shells for 5 minutes, or as per instructions on the package.
  12. Place the slightly cooled taco mixture into the cooked shells and serve with a little grated cheese on top if desired.

This is a wonderful recipe to transition adults and kids into eating more vegetables! You can cook a big batch like I do, have it for dinner, then have left over taco veggie mix for breaky or lunch the next day. You can just make smaller quantities too. I sometimes cook the vegetarian version if we’ve had enough protein for the day already.

Use whatever vegetables that are in season to your liking, I always use onions, garlic and carrots, then change the others around.  Green leafy’s can be added, or bok choy, corn, green beans, kohlrabi etc.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, just cook the vegetables in the saucepan/ large frying pan. It will just take longer. This is how I used to do it!

Golden eggs- to eat or not to eat? That is the question.

Whether dietary cholesterol or egg consumption is associated with cardiovascular disease and death, remains controversial in academic communities. The impact that egg consumption has on LDLs and HDLs (serum cholesterol concentrations) has been heavily debated for years.

After reading many academic research articles on this very topic, I wish to share my unbiased conclusions.

Mortality rates decrease as egg consumption increases!

The Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Zhuang, Pan; Jiao, Jingjing; Wu, Fei et al (2020) 39(11):3520-3527) published a fifteen year-long research study with 18,914 adults, which found that the intake of cholesterol from eggs, was inversely associated with a total mortality count. As the egg consumption increased, the mortality rates decreased! The people whose diet included non-egg cholesterol sources, was positively related to total mortality. So eating other sources of dietary cholesterol did increase death rates. They concluded that egg consumption is associated with a lower total mortality among the Chinese population.

Another study in the USA found no significant association between egg consumption and mortality in US adults. There were 37,121 people studied for approximately 15 years (Peng-Fei, Xia; Xiong- Fei Pan; Chen Chen; Yi Wang et al  (2020) Journal of American Heart Association 9(10):1-11).

So if you want to live longer- then eat eggs!

Eggs provide many beneficial nutrients and decreases your serum cholesterol concentrations.

Song WO (Journal of American College of Nutrition (2000) 19(5):556S-562S) conducted a cross-sectional, population-based study to assess the nutritional significance of eggs in the American diet and to assess the association between egg consumption and serum cholesterol concentrations. Over 27,000 people were divided into either ‘Egg Consumers’ or ‘Non-Consumers’. The daily intake of all nutrients except for dietary fibre and B6, was significantly higher in the Egg Consumers than in the Non-Consumers. Eggs contributed many valuable nutrients to the diet including folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and B12. The Non-Consumers group had higher rates of inadequate intakes for B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin C. Dietary cholesterol was found to be unrelated to the serum cholesterol levels. The Egg Consumers who ate four or more eggs per week had significantly lower serum cholesterol concentrations that those who ate one or less eggs per week. Higher egg consumption was negatively associated with serum cholesterol concentrations.

So eating more eggs will lower your cholesterol and give you lots of great nutrients!

However, in another study, a meta-analysis was conducted including 17 randomly controlled studies, and it was found that people in the ‘More Egg Consumption’ group had higher LDL/HDL ratio (cholesterol) than the control group. It is important to note that this study was very short covering only two months. They did not state how many eggs were consumed daily in the ‘More Egg Consumption’ group either (Li MY, Chen JH, Chen C, Kang YN Nutrients 2020 12(7).

Whilst this study had significant limitations, I do not think eating bucket loads of eggs is good for you. Moderation is the key.

What about your blood pressure and your risk of having a stroke when you eat eggs?

Well, a study by Abdollahi and Virtanen et al (2019) in Finland with 1,950 men aged between 42 and 60 years old found that the diastolic blood pressure was lower in the group with the highest egg consumptions (The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 110(1):169-176). Dietary intakes, blood pressures and stoke events were recorded. Neither egg nor cholesterol intakes were associated with stroke risk in this group.

So it looks like you are at no risk of having a stroke by eating eggs either.

In conclusion, eating eggs as part of a healthy diet will provide you with many beneficial nutrients, lower your cholesterol, lower your chances of death, lower your diastolic blood pressure and not increase your chances of having a stroke. My family and I love eating fresh, farm eggs straight from the chooks’ nests.

Eating organic, truly free- range eggs is a wonderful addition to your diet.

 Try my Eggs in a Nest recipe here. Enjoy!

Eggs in a Nest recipe

This dish is a wonderful way to eat veggies with your breakfast! The dark leafy greens provide lots of nutrients including folate. This is especially good if you have MTHFR gene mutations. Couple that with a one or two Vitamin/ Mineral Pills (AKA eggs) and you have yourself a very nutritious breaky. ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

Sari’s Eggs in a Nest

Go here for the printable Eggs in a Nest Recipe. 

Ingredients

  • Organic butter, nob to melt
  • Bunch of spinach, silver-beat or kale (any dark leafy greens work well), chopped finely
  • Organic, free range eggs
  • Garlic cloves to taste (1-2)
  • Sea salt

Method

Melt the butter in a pan.

Add garlic and stir and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the finely chopped dark leafy greens and stir and cook until they are wilted to your liking.

Poach a couple of eggs so they are still runny.

Pop the greens on your plate, and add the poached eggs to the top- Eggs in a nest!!

Optional extra: lightly saute finely chopped onion in the butter with the garlic,  before cooking the dark leafy greens.

Borscht recipe

With so much cabbage growing in the garden, and lots of beetroots around, I recommend you give the following Borscht recipe a go- it’s delicious!

 

Borscht

(From ‘Herbs and Spices’ – Judith Fergusson p10)

 

Ingredients:

4 cups/1150ml beef stock

1 onion, finely chopped

1⁄4 head/1 cup red cabbage, shredded

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper

2 potatoes or sweet potatoes peeled and thinly sliced

2 large beetroot or 3 small, peeled and grated

4 tbsps lemon juice

1 bunch chives, snipped

sour cream

 

Step 1 Combine stock, potatoes, onion, cabbage, bay leaf, salt and pepper in a large, deep saucepan.

Bring to the boil and simmer until potatoes and cabbage are soft, about 20-25 minutes.

Step 2 Add beetroot and cook a further 15-20 minutes or until all vegetables are very soft.

Step 3 Allow to cool slightly, remove bay leaf and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Step 4 Add lemon juice to taste and a pinch of sugar if desired. Before serving sprinkle the soup generously with chives. May be accompanied by sour cream.

 

GARLIC: The Stinking Rose of Mirth

With winter just around the corner, now is the time to start dosing yourselves and your loved ones up with GARLIC!  Garlic is one of my favourite medicinal foods. Not only does it taste great, it is incredibly good for you too. This short article will introduce you to some of the wonderful health benefits of adding garlic to your diet, as well as how to best eat and grow garlic!

Common cold/ immune enhancer

There are a plethora of studies demonstrating the immune- enhancing effects of garlic. One randomised study separated 146 participants into either the placebo group or the treatment group for 12 weeks over winter (Josling 2001). The treatment group were given allicin containing garlic supplements. The allicin group had significantly less colds than the placebo group. The placebo group also had significantly more days with viral symptoms, and significantly longer duration of symptoms. Garlic (particularly allicin) significantly lessens ones chance of getting colds in the first place, and then increases recovery time (Josling 2001). Now’s the time to start eating it as a healthy daily habit!

Cardiovascular and metabolic benefits

Not only an immune enhancer, but garlic is also widely recognised to have significant cardioprotective benefits. Numerous scientific, clinical studies have shown that it is a wonderful preventative and treatment for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. These include hyperlipidaemia, atherosclerosis, thrombosis, hypertension and diabetes (Banerjee  & Maulik 2002; numerous research articles cited in Bayan et al 2014). In other words, garlic has been shown to lower blood pressure, prevent atherosclerosis, reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides, prevent blood clotting, and help break down blood clots (Chan et al  2013).  These are big killers in western nations, and to think that our common garlic can help significantly! To prevent such illness, all you have to do is eat it! For high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes etc garlic supplementation is required via tablets.

Antibacterial

Most people today attempt to stay healthy by preoccupying themselves with staying clean from germs. However, you are fighting a losing battle, as germs are EVERYWHERE- around, on and IN you! It is better to keep your body strong and healthy so the ‘bad’ germs don’t take hold! Eating garlic, the natural antibiotic, is one of the best ways to do this.

Many studies have proven that garlic is effective against numerous gram-positive, gram-negative and acid-fast bacteria. These include Salmonella, E. Coli, Pseudomonas, Proteus, Staphlococcus aureus, Klebsiella, bacillus subtulis, clostridium and helicobacter to name a few (numerous research articles cited in Bayan et al 2014). So not only can you prevent getting sick from bacteria in the first place but you can treat it with garlic also. Yes, even the antibiotic resistant bacteria such as gram-negative types. Impressive.

 

Cancer prevention

Moreover, there are numerous epidemiological research studies demonstrating the link between a decreased risk of cancer (especially stomach and colon cancer) and garlic consumption (Fleischauer & Arab 2001; Bayan et al 2014). With cancer as one of the top causes for death in Australia, simply adding it to your daily diet is worth it!

Other impressive benefits

If cardioprotective, immune-enhancing and cancer preventative properties aren’t enough to convince you to eat it regularly, there are many other benefits too. It has also been shown to be antifungal, antiviral, antiprotozoal, anti-tumour, and help treat diabetes, cardiovascular and liver toxicity (cited in Bayan et al 2014). The selenium contributes to heavy metal and chemical detoxification by the liver. Wow! I often use it in clinic to treat ear infections, respiratory infections, hypertension, candida, parasites and many other acute infections.  Book in to heal your body naturally this winter.

Best way to eat garlic

The best way to eat garlic is to crush it, let it sit, and eat it! The organosulfur compounds in crushed garlic are attributed with the beneficial health effects (Schafer  & Kaschula 2014). Eating it both cooked and raw offers the numerous benefits. But however you eat it, make sure you crush it first to activate the allinase enzymes. Then let it sit for up to 10 minutes to allow the enzymes to convert the allin into allicin to get the most medicinal benefits. Allicin will then form the benefical organosulfur compounds.

Eat one crushed garlic clove a day (2-5g) for wonderful, preventative health benefits.  Add crushed garlic to oil dressings raw, crush it into your soups, stews, casseroles, or roasts either before serving, or during cooking.  Eat it raw sometimes, and other times eat it cooked so as you maximise the health benefits of your health-promoting, garlic consumption.

What does garlic contain?

One close of garlic contains: 7 calories, 0.31g protein, 0.01g fat, 1.5g carbohydrate, 1.4mg calcium, 10mg phosphorus, 0.07mg iron, 0.9mg sodium, 26mg potassium, 0.01mg BI, 0.004mg B2, 0.02mg niacin, 0.75mg C and trace amounts of selenium. It also contains the much sort after alliin and allicin, the sulphur compounds that are incredibly health promoting. Much more than a spice, this medicinal food is powerful!

Grow your own garlic

Growing a garlic crop each year is one of my favourite veggie patch activities. Much of the Australian garlic is imported and has been treated with chemicals. You can void this by growing your own or buying organic.

Garlic needs to be planted in autumn so it has the cold winter months to form the heads. We planted ours last week. Simply break apart the heads into single cloves. With the pointy end upwards, push each single clove into the soil about 4-7cm deep. Water and weed as needed. Apply comfrey tea or other organic liquid fertiliser during spring to ensure a huge healthy crop of garlic.

Garlic varieties store from between 5 and 12 months. We enjoy our home grown, organic garlic all year round, until we harvest our next crop at the end of the year.

Take home message

Eat a clove of fresh, organic, raw or cooked garlic every day to help prevent cardiovascular disease cancer, bacterial infections, viral infections, and overall enhance your immune system. Eat lots of garlic if you have a cold or flu for a speedy recovery this winter. Eating garlic as part of a well balanced, fresh healthy diet will go a long way to helping you live a healthy and happy life.

Book in to see Sari when your next acute illness strikes. You may be prescribed garlic!

I love to receive comments, so please do so below.

To the ‘stinking rose of mirth’!

 

Happy healing,

Sari.

 

For references go here