Tuesday, November 1, 2011


"Eating a 'varied diet' means you should eat lots of different kinds of things. Often families get stuck in a rut and eat the same things over and over again. However, a varied diet of healthy foods ensures that you get the vitamins and minerals you need. Whole foods are the best for your body. ...... It's often easier and more convenient to take vitamin and mineral supplements instead of eating a healthy diet. But many scientists believe that the vitamins found in foods are more effectively used by your body than the vitamins you may take in pills. ....... Many families encourage their children to take vitamin and mineral supplements as an 'insurance policy' to make sure they are getting enough of what they need. However, remember that taking supplements ...... won't 'fix' the problems that come with an unhealthy diet."
"Young Explorers series: Exploring Creation with Human Anatomy and Physiology" by Jeannie Fulbright and Brooke Ryan M.D.

With this in mind the 'subjects' for the two October recipes are the vegetables Asparagus and Leeks. Asparagus like leeks are members of the lily family. If you have never eaten either I highly recommend you read on and have your first taste-experience this week.


This authentic Spanish tapas recipe is fantastically crisp, zingy and luminous green in colour. It's a compulsory dish on our Christmas dinner table.
Being very low in salt and calories, fat and cholesterol-free, means it is a great vegetable for people with heart difficulties. Asparagus is rich in vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, fibre, thiamine and an excellent source of follic acid. This is good for pregnant mums as well as those trying to conceive. Asparagus is one of the richest sources of the antioxidant rutin, which strengthens capillary walls. 

It is best to buy asparagus with tips that are compact or closed and stalks which are fresh in appearance.

1 generous bunch of asparagus
juice of 2 lemons
1 dessert spoon rock salt
olive oil
Wash asparagus and snap off the grey section at the base of each stalk. I cut the stalks in half - to fit into the pot. Put a generous splash of olive oil into a heavy pot, heat on high till the surface of the oil seems to shimmer or slightly move. Throw in the asparagus, put on the lid and shake around roughly for a few seconds, then return to the heat with the lid off for a couple more minutes so the stalks get seared. Again put on lid and give another rough shake, return to heat again, with lid off. Cook in this way no more than 5 minutes. Add rock salt and lemon juice, put lid on and shake, return to heat for no more than 2 minutes. Serve and eat alone (as in it's so delicious you could find you eat the lot yourself, but what I really meant was you can eat it as a tapa or appetiser on its own, or with a meal.)  We cook a number of bunches and my family stand around in the kitchen eating pieces straight from the pot - they say I never cook enough.


Thank Sophie Grey for this recipe "Destitute Gourmet, Everyday Smart Food for the Family".
Leeks are a great source of fibre, vitamin A, B, C, iron, potassium and calcium. They are cholesterol free and low in fat, salt and calories.

The ancient Romans believed leek was beneficial for the vocal chords. But the leek is associated today with the Welsh. Leeks are said to help sufferers with bronchitis, influenza, insomnia and even low blood pressure.
Only buy leeks that have generous white stalks with smooth skin and fresh looking green tops.

3 leeks
1 - 2 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2  cups chicken stock
several knobs of butter 
Peel off the outer skin layer of each leek and trim ragged ends. Wash leeks thoroughly, cut into approximately 10cm pieces. Bring a pot of water to the boil and put in the leeks for 10 minutes. Drain and place in one layer into an ovenproof dish with knobs of butter and and sprinkled brown sugar on top. Pour chicken stock over the top to the level that the leeks are nearly covered. Bake at 180*C for about 40 minutes or till the stock level is reduced by half.

It seems crazy with the incredible health goodness along with the great tastes of these two dishes, that asparagus and leeks have remained unpopular vegetable choices!
THIS WEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ get your kids helping in preparing these two recipes.

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