Mussel soup for the winter

I just made this and I thought hey let me share it. This recipe is everywhere. It’s so simple and so quick. I got fresh mussels yesterday and straight away I placed them in a bowl of cold cold water. This way they can filter themselves and be super clean when I cook them the next day. I change the water every 6 hours I would say. When you do this, you will see the dirt when changing the waters.

What you will need; 1 onions, 5 cloves of garlic (both finely chopped) I used my mini food blender. Sauté in butter till brownish. Then add 1 tsp of chilli flakes (optional), 1 tbsp of tarragon, a handful of chopped parsley, 1 tbsp of black pepper and salt to taste around 1tsp is good. Let this process to happen for about 5 minutes. Add your crême fraiche packet in and juice of 1 whole lemon. Add around 2 cups of water. Simmer for about 15 minutes then add your mussels, cover for 10 minutes. The mussels should all be open 🦪, serve in a bowl because that soup is so so good and a slice of lemon to garnish. You can add pasta but currently I’m avoiding carbs.

Enjoy🤤 this is the only picture I took that I posted on my ig!

Yemeni Kabsa

Another great recipe coming your way. I’d like to point out that I am not from Yemen and never made this before but my husband is originally from Yemen and he said that it was the best Kabsa he has ever had. And trust me when I say this; my husband doesn’t hold back to tell me if the food i’ve cooked that day taste shit or good lol.

Your choice of meat is up to you, I would recommend to use oxtail or lamb because I love that juicy fat on the bone that that particular meat comes with. But you can have chicken, beef, lamb whichever. This meal can feed 4-6 people.

Ingredients I used:
– Oxtail
– 1 onion
– 2 Tomatoes
– 2 cups of rice
– Coriander
– Spring or red onion
– Pine nuts and cashews

Spice mix I used:
1/2 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1 1/2 tbsp black pepper, 1 tbsp salt (add more depending on taste), 4 bay leaves, 1/2 tbsp of black cloves, 1 tbsp of cumin, 4/5 cardamon, 2 black limes, 5 cloves of garlic or 1 tsp of garlic powder and 1 tbsp of cinnamon.
I put all these mixes in a pestle and mortar, beat them until powder form.

Method:
If you have a pressure cooker this shouldn’t take long, but I slow cooked the meat to get out all the goodness from the gelatine and fat on the bone. As oxtail is highly recommended to use as a bone broth. Chicken and other type of meat shouldn’t take as long as it took me with the oxtail.


I boiled the meat for 15 mins to get all that goo out and then drain the water and wash the meat from that froth. I then added rapeseed oil to the pot of meat and allowed the meat to glaze and go golden brown flipping them over equally. I add fresh water again and let it boil. The water should cover the meat completely. You can eyeball it with water. I didn’t use specific measurements. Add the spice mix from above and let it boil for a couple of minutes before letting it simmer for a couple of hours. Again you can speed up this process with a pressure cooker, or if you have chicken it won’t need couple of hours.
Add one whole peeled onion and 2 chopped tomatoes or 1 can of chopped tomatoes. You can wait and give the meat time to infuse with the spices by checking in on it, taste it, does it need more time? more salt? Check the meat if its soft and ready.

Rice time: Wash 2 cups of rice until the water runs clean and strain the water out. Then from the water that the meat has been cooking in, you will take that spiced up water full of beautiful flavour and natural fat from the meat to cook the rice in. 2 cups of rice can take 4 1/2 (or 5) cups of the water from the meat pot.

Once the rice is ready, I lay the rice out on a pyrex tray and put it in the oven for 10 minutes. Then I bring that back out and lay the meat on top of the rice pouring over more broth juice from the meat over the whole pyrex and back in the oven for 5 minutes. In the meantime, chop up some coriander and red onion/spring onions to garnish the dish with. Fry the pine nuts and cashews in butter until golden. Take the pyrex out and decorate with the nuts, coriander and onions.

There you have it! It is also good to have a salad on the side and yoghurt. Traditionally, there is also a homemade chilli sauce to go with this, but I didn’t make it this time round. But chilli sauce does make the dish even more amazing! Give it a go :).

The perfect Avocado Pesto Pasta for Spring (Nut free)

This dish is so fresh and yummy. It has such spring vibes. It’s super easy; quick; and minimum dirty dishes.

Serves 2-4 people. Cooking Time 15 mins. Pasta of your choice; I used spaghetti and fuisilli because during this time we can’t find pasta anywhere and this is all I had in the cupboard. If you want to make it vegan use zucchini spaghetti, spinach pasta, or whatever alternative out there for you lovely vegans.

I boil the pasta whilst I’m prepping the sauce. So go ahead and do that.

Sauce ingredients in a blender/chopper: 1 ripe avocado, a bunch of basil, a few sprigs of coriander, 1 lemon juice, a sprinkle of dried tarragon, 5 cloves of garlic, 5 large mushrooms and virgin olive oil (I eye measured this but I would 7 tbsp). BLEND!

1) Strain the pasta but keep some of the boiled water in the pan; add your delicious sauce to the pasta and mix. ADD salt, black pepper and a handful of Parmesan. By now you should switch off the heat and give it a good mix.

You may now serve. The mushrooms is used instead of nuts as it maintains that rich flavour and texture nuts can give & is very ideal alternative for pasta sauce. Please note if you like less garlic then add less and vice versa. If you want lemony go ahead add more or less. This is how I made it for my husband and I and we ate 3 full plates!!!

Hope you like this one, let me know what you think. I hope your staying safe and healthy during this COVID-19 pandemic.

A delicious bone broth recipe and some beneficial facts.

At our house, we eat at least once a week a home cooked lamb/beef bone broth. This nutritional dense dish is so amazing for your body. I know there isn’t much research to prove that this dish helps collagen production or any scientific facts that reveals facts about this dish however, it is an ancient recipe used back when every part of the animal was used.

I remember my mother would make us a chicken broth whenever we were sick with a cold or the flu to open our airways and reduce inflammation. As well as being packed with immune boosting amino acids such as arginine, glutamine, and cysteine.

Nowadays, the majority eat the muscle of the animal neglecting the other parts that usually goes to waste which contain a high amount of vitamins and minerals.

Picking the right piece of bone that is full of collagen is best alongside vegetables that will give you maximum nutrition. For example; feet (contains a LOT of gelatine), oxtail, marrow bones, joints, knuckles (preferably from a trustworthy butcher and grass fed meat).

The Health Benefits

– improve joint health
– boost your immune system
– great for treating a leaky gut (collagen/gelatin and the amino acids proline, glutamine and arginine help seal openings in the gut lining where there are gaps that allows undigested food particles to seep through)
– great for the digestive system (helps the growth of probiotics)
– supports skin, nails and hair
– decreases cellulite (due to the lack of connective tissue which causes skin to lose its firmness, bone broth will help in this area too)
– anti-inflammatory

There are 19 essential amino acids and non-essential amino acids in bone broth that our bodies can absorb and use to restore our protein blocks that start to break down as we age as well as supporting our digestive system, immune system, bone health, and joint health. Also, gelatin is very important for us because as we age our bones and joints deteriorate and are more prone to not having that glide effect in-between our bones. You will see when your broth sets in the fridge, the broth turns into a gel which is just rich in gelatin. This protects the bones and seals mucosal lining of the GI tract.

Eating a bone broth is the best way to obtain natural collagen. As the bone simmers on the stove, collagen is extracted and along with other ingredients that will help restore / support collagen peptide formation in our bodies. You’re going to get incredible healing properties from arginine, glutamine, proline and glycine.

You will get glycosaminoglycans (GAG) from a bone broth, this includes, hyaluronic acid, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate. GAG role is to maintain and support collagen and elastin formation in between bones and various muscle fibres.
Glucosamine: you need this to support joint health.
Hyaluronic acid: you need this to support skin, promotes healthy ageing and skin firmness.
Chondroitin sulfate: fights inflammation and supports cardiovascular health.

My Recipe!

  1. I wash my meat with water, I always use oxtail, its meaty and has plenty of collagen.
  2. I blanch the meat for 20 minutes before to remove any nasty bits to achieve a clear broth later.
  3. Add meat to a deep pot, then pour hot water with 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. This is on high heat.
  4. Then add spices; 1 tbsp of cinnamon, 2 tbsp of ground mix spices (lebanese 7 spices), 4/5 cardamon, 2 black limes, 1 tbsp of himalayan salt, 3 bay leaves, a whole (uncut) peeled onion poked with black cloves all round.
  5. I reduce the heat to low and let it cook for 10-12 hours. If you have a slow cooker pot, you can use that too.
  6. I then prepare the veg I want to add for later on.
  7. Veg I add one hour before end cooking time are; carrots, mushrooms, pepper, leeks (all roughly chopped). You can also add whatever veg you have in the kitchen if you want.
  8. I also like to add egg noodles or rice noodles.
  9. I like to squeeze 1 lemon and add the juice before I pour the broth to eat.
  10. Et Voila!! Sprinkle some spring onions and herbs if you have some like coriander/parsley…Enjoy. There will definitely be leftovers, so you can strain the broth and store stock in the fridge (if you are going to use it within a week otherwise freeze it) for you to use in the future for when you make soup, rice etc.
  11. Don’t throw away the veg and meat leftover, you can use that for tomorrow’s dinner with rice and yoghurt.

Is being a Flexitarian the New Trend?

I know the topic of eating less meat or converting to a vegan/plant based/vegetarian diet has become somewhat “trendy”. We speak about this topic to almost everyone from our family members, friends and strangers during social interactions. 

I want to focus on the term flexitarian and why the majority might like to adapt this kind of diet. I am not isolating the vegans and veggies or whatever other category is out there BUT, for some of us we want to incorporate some sort of meat intake in our diet on a balanced scale. 

Flexitarian is someone who eats meat occasionally. It’s for someone who doesn’t want to completely cut out meat from their diet but adding more plant food instead. For example, you can be veggie all week and when the weekend comes you allow to have fish, meat or chicken (which is what my husband and I have done). However, you can choose to have meat once a month, once every two weeks. It depends on what you are really trying to achieve. 

Before I get into the health benefits of eating meat occasionally, your diet should not be one where you continue to eat processed food with lots of added sugar and salt. The benefits wont be so great and if you are planning to lose weight being a flexi that won’t be beneficial either for you. 

We have all heard of the research that showed people who ate red meat are more likely to die from a heart attack, stroke or diabetes. Why? Red meats (pork, lamb and beef) are high in saturated fat. Trans fats and saturated fats can increase your cholesterol and make heart disease worse. 

Having a diet where you eat meat (pork, beef, lamb) everyday that is processed, full of fat, with lots of carbs, high fat dairy food (cream, cheese, butter, margarine, lard), palm oil, processed snack foods (crackers, biscuits), fried food. Basically, everything that tastes good lol.

You are supposed to replace saturated fats with mono/poly unsaturated fats which is found in oily fish like salmon, sardines, herring, trout and nuts (nut butter). Meatless meals consist of legumes, vegetables, wholegrains, and fruits, nuts. 

Mini Chemistry lesson (back2school): Looking at the chemical structure of saturated fat, it is fully hydrogenated. On every carbon atom there is a hydrogen atom. The molecule is very stable and hard to break up. In our bodies it is more likely to stick to cholesterol as it is difficult to break down because of its long chemical chain of single binding carbon (-C-C-C-C). Enzymes in our body are able to break down these chains in our bodies however, because of the chemical structure of saturated fats binding differently with our body they are harder to break down. 

The difference of unsaturated fatty acid is that there is one double bond (=) between two carbons (C=C) this reduces the amount of hydrogen atom bound to a carbon atom. So it is not as filled with hydrogen atoms as a saturated chain. They have kinks in the chain because of the double bond making it easier to break the molecules up for our bodies to digest. 

So over time, saturated fats clog our arteries which leads to a poor oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. If you think about it like this, there is limited room for oxygen to flow through our arteries hence the sleepy/lazy/can’t move-won’t move of the sofa/I need a fizzy drink type of feeling to burp this meal off. Eventually, this will lead to a stroke or heart attack. 

Back to being flexi: When you reduce your red meat intake to a few times a month, you are helping your body maintain weight, cholesterol levels and blood pressure to name a few. 

Positive fact #1: Meatless meals are less expensive, offer a vast variety of health benefits.  

Buying leaner cuts of meat or eating more of oily fish will let your body flow with unsaturated fats which is easier to break down in your body. 

You are also helping the environment. YES, it’s true. The level of deforestation happening right now in the world to be replaced by farms. Not only that, but the amount of water used to water the crops for animals to eat is unbelievably high. I don’t know if you know this, but the earth is running out of water. FACT: 1,799 gallons of water for one cow, OnE cOw! The carbon footprint of the meat industry is the highest. So, reducing your meat intake will help save the world. LITERALLY! 

When it comes to choosing your meat; make sure it’s non-processed, organic from a local farm in your area (they raise animals more humanely, don’t use antibiotics or hormones). As long as its lean cut of meat there will be less saturated fat on the piece of meat. Also, you can give organ meats a try. I will be posting delicious recipes on liver, hooves, testicles, brain….the nutrient content is so high you won’t believe it! AND avoid high heat cooking. 

The benefits of eating meat are; 

  • Great intake of collagen (via bone broth)
  • Improve bone density and strength of our bones
  • Better iron absorption (meat contains heme-iron (20-30%) which our body absorbs better than non-heme iron from plants (5-15%))
  • Naturally rich in proteins, and essential vitamins and minerals (Vitamin B12, B6, Potassium, Zinc, Selenium, Phosphorus Magnesium and more)

What I want to achieve for my family and hopefully for you is a balanced way of living. That we can get the benefits from consuming the right meat every once in a while, and to have a diet that is rich in fibre, omega-3, unsaturated fats etc. The balance is key. For the environment, for our health, our way of living needs a few adjustments to align it back to the way our ancestors lived. Their meat consumption in back in the day was not this high. And they lived a healthy lifestyle with a low rate of people being diagnosed with cancer, heart diseases and diabetes. They consumed a lot of legumes and vegetables. When they ate meat it was for a special occasion only.

Let’s be balanced :).