Thursday, 2 March 2017

March 2010: cholesterol


No one wants to be fat, but eating fat is essential for our wellbeing. Let's take cholesterol, one of the most demonized foodstuffs in our worried age.
We've been told eggs increase cholesterol, and thus our risk for heart disease. However, they have now found that dietary, animal based, cholesterol doesn't raise blood cholesterol at all. The cholesterol in our bloodstream is made in the liver, and pumped into the blood when you need it: eating high cholesterol foods has very little impact on our blood cholesterol levels. When you throw out an egg yolk, all the fat soluble vitamins are lost. These would have boosted your immune system, reduced your cancer risk, kept bones, teeth and skin healthy, supported the thyroid gland, reduced damaging effects of diabetes, promoted healthy growth in children, etcetera etcetera.
Proper butter, too, is important. And so is whole milk. Skimmed milk contains calcium, but the fat in whole milk and butter contains the nutrients which put that calcium where it needs to go.
So - join us in enjoying butter, eggs and good whole milk! And while you're at it, make it organic, even nicer (and healthier) ...... [1]
For more about this subject, see also June '10. 

Meat: don't stick to bacon, steak or chop: "If those animals are slaughtered for us, we need to do a better job of making sure no part of the animal is simply wasted or thrown away." [2] Beef heart tastes amazing. However, if you're going to eat offal, find out where it comes from - ask a decent butcher.
Fish: there is a list of when to buy which fish at In March, try dab, black bream, red gurnard, red mullet, dover or lemon sole, and mussels.

In the garden it is time to pull our socks up. Even while it's still cold, we must weed NOW. And when the grass is growing, unless you have a heavy clay soil, it's time to sow. Don't start too early: later sowings will often come up much better. Ask other gardeners for details, or go to the library. 

SOW OUTDOORSbroad beans, early carrots, parsnips, maincrop peas, radish, spinach beet (better value than proper spinach, and as nice), turnip.

RECIPEShaving sown all that you're bound to be hungry. We're still on winter food, though with plenty of purple-sprouting broccoli, brussels, and cabbage, around, there's no real cause for complaint. Did you know you can make a lovely salad if you combine grated raw beet with cooking apple?

BROCCOLI and PEANUT BUTTER SOUP - sounds strange, is surprisingly nice. 
400g fresh broccoli or sprouting broccoli 
1 large onion, 1 pint milk or milk/water 
2 tblsp olive oil 
1 vegetable stock cube 
2 tblsp peanut butter 
salt, pepper.
Peel onion and chop it roughly. Sauté for 5 minutes, until starting to soften. Chop broccoli into even-sized chunks. Add this to pan with milk and stock cube. Simmer gently for 15 minutes, until broccoli soft: make sure the milk doesn't boil over. Put in liquidiser with the peanut butter, blend till smooth, season.

large colander full of broccoli/curly kale stripped off main leaf stems, 
slices of bacon, 
butter or oil
Fry bacon and chopped onion till well cooked. Meanwhile, steam greens or cook in boiling water until just done but still crisp and green. Add drained broccoli to bacon/onions in pan and cook, covered, for a few minutes, turning a few times to stop burning. Add butter, season.

1 bunch watercress of 150g
150g mixed winter leaves (spinach, young kale, baby chard, beet leaves) 
150g goats' cheese per person
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vinegar 
10 black peppercorns, crushed 
2 crushed cloves garlic 
salt, (walnuts)
Pre-heat grill on medium. Line grill pan with foil, grease with olive oil. Tear leaves into fork-sized pieces, pat/spin dry. Mix dressing ingredients; combine with the salad, arrange on plates. Put cheeses on foil and grill (medium) for 3 mins, one side only. Arrange cheese on top of each salad pile, serve immediately. You may sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.

Always open for ideas: Annemieke Wigmore,