Welcome to 2016 everyone! The start of a new year, where for whatever reason, human beings feel the anticipation of a fresh beginning, a kind of hope for a better future. I like this, and considering my profession, I am always keen to encourage this notion by offering ideas for enhanced nutrition to support a more energised you. This year I will be taking a few workshops around London. Starting with a nutrition workshop at Sweaty Betty in Islington. If you are interested in finding out more, please click here.
You may have noticed that I had a wee break from producing recipes over the New Year. I find that this time allows for increased creativity in the kitchen; something that I relish! I baked a cake consisting of pineapple and coconut (recipe out soon) and slow cooked a shoulder of pork in paprika and vegetable bouillon. It was exquisite and you can find the recipe below.
A note on saturated animal fat...
Quality animal saturated fat is tremendously beneficial to the body. I understand that many people choose to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet for ethical or religious reasons, or even because they don't like meat, and if you find yourself in this boat, then I completely support your decision. However, if you do enjoy meat or are not too concerned about it, I implore you to enjoy quality meat on a regular basis. Why is this? Firstly, animal meat contains one of the highest concentrations of saturated fat. Although saturated fat has been bashed about in the media for years, reasons for this have now been exonerated - you can read more about that here. Around half of our cell membranes are made up of saturated fat, which function to ensure communication within the body, anchor proteins to their correct receptor sites, and transport nutrients to the right places. These are important jobs that must happen to keep us healthy, energised, and functioning well. Furthermore, saturated fats make up the building blocks of our sex hormones. Often women who don't get a monthly period find that when they incorporate increased animal fat into their diet their periods come back. Quality saturated fat is important for a healthy body; I can't stress this enough.
To increase our consumption of quality animal saturated fat I have been visiting our local butcher in Stoke Newington on a weekly basis to purchase a shoulder of pork or beef brisket (recipe to come out soon). I slow cook the meat over 4 - 5 hours during the afternoon and then we enjoy it for lunch throughout the week. Slow cooking is a great way to ensure meat doesn't burn or caramelize, which can lead to increased free radical damage. Slow cooking is also an easy process that doesn't take up too much time if you happen to be a busy person.
We served this pulled pork with stewed cabbage and fresh spinach one evening for dinner. We ate the left overs for lunch the following two days with steamed kale, sour cream, and salsa, and then on top of a bed of quinoa the following day. Enjoy!
1 kg pork shoulder
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1/2 Tbsp ground coriander
2 tsp salt
1 vegetable bouillon
2/3 cup warm filtered water
1 Tbsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
- Mix together 1/2 Tbsp paprika, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper together in a cup.
- Sprinkle the mixture over the pork shoulder and massage it into the meat using your hands.
- In a baking tray or dish just big enough to fit the pork shoulder, mix together the water, remaining paprika, olive oil, and vegetable bouillon.
- Place the shoulder into the dish and roll it around making sure the liquid touches every side of the pork. With the fatty side of the pork at the top, cover the dish with foil. The top of the pork will probably not rest under the water - this is a good thing.
- Place in the oven for 4 hours.
- Take pork out of the oven to check if it is cooked through. You will know it is ready when the meat pulls easily apart with two forks. Place back in the oven if it requires a little extra cooking time.
- Once it is ready, remove the fatty layer and make it into crackling by grilling it under the oven grill for 7 minutes.
- Serve with stewed cabbage, in lettuce wraps, or on top of a bed of quinoa and salsa.
Feed, nourish, value yourself.