Food is medicine. Probably the best and most powerful ally you have. You eat a few times a day, every day of your life. So the quality of that food and the energy it comes with will dictate the quality of your health. Organic is really important, not only for flavour but also, for the lack of harmful pesticides and chemicals that non-organic food is grown with. Organic fruits, vegetables, and grains have several measurable nutritional benefits over conventional crops, according to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition (BJN)
Analyzing 343 peer-reviewed publications, researchers from the United Kingdom with the help of American Charles Benbrook of Washington State University found that organics contain 18 to 69% higher concentrations of antioxidants. Translation: the organic eater consumes the antioxidant equivalent of approximately two extra produce portions every day, without altering food intake.
Organic farming prohibits chemical pesticides that are widely used in conventional farming. Without pesticides to guard against harm, an organically farmed plant will produce more of its own compounds, called antioxidants, to fight damage. And these antioxidants prevent us from harm. Just like the vegetables, so our immune systems and health benefit from less interference and the less we dose it with harmful chemicals, pharmaceuticals and chemically grown food, the stronger and better our own innate immune system becomes and the better our health is. (There’s not a lot of profit in that for companies)
With everyone so focussed on flu, colds, infections and viruses, Winter season coming and all it brings, we have decided to run a series of recipes for you that are super easy to prepare and cook, pack a nutritional punch and are natural remedies for and defence against lowered immunity. All of them rely on real, fresh food and all the ingredients are available, every Saturday at the market direct from the farmers and producers. It’s a real treat to eat the seasonal, flavour bombs, that are Irish, organically grown tomatoes and our farmers’ wonderful onions, garlic, ginger, farm chillies and potatoes they grow and sell too. There is no restaurant that is going to give you food as fine as this! Our fishmonger sells very inexpensive and freshly caught Wild Atlantic fish that comes down to Pearse St every Saturday from Killybegs, Donegal
These recipes will make your TCells get up and dance! Clear out sinuses, and see off a host of other problems before they get started.
This lovely fish curry is super easy to prep and cook, and will delight you and anyone you cook it for. Once you have your ingredients lined up, it takes minutes and is incredibly flavoursome, satisfying, low GI, high in lean protein and full of immune and digestive boosting properties.
Feel free to use the fish amount specified, or more, or a mix, as you wish. It is very versatile in this respect. I made one using wild prawns, haddock and hake but you could just as easily add some squid, smoked fish, or meatier monkfish; whatever you fancy. The cloves, peppercorns, cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, with the fresh chillies, garlic and ginger (phew) work like an industrial-strength, antibacterial, antiviral, digestive, respiratory and vascular pipe cleaner. The tomatoes bring sweetness and colour to the dish but also lycopene, beta carotene and Vit C and the onions (& again garlic) are alliums full of sulphur and have a long history as infection fighters and all-round, foodie guardian angels.
- juice 1 lemon
- pinch of Maldon sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 750g boneless, skinless firm white fish, cut into pieces or chunks
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- 1 cinnamon stick or 1tsp of ground cinnamon powder
- 2 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 4 whole cloves
- 4 green cardamom pods worth of seeds
- ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
- 10 fresh curry leaves (optional)
- 2 onions, chopped
- 3 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
- a handful of chopped fresh tomatoes, or quite a lot of cherry tomatoes or 400g passata
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp ground coriander
Chop your fish with a sharp knife into pieces. Squeeze the lemon juice over them and a pinch of salt and set aside. Chop your onions into rings. Chop into pieces your fresh tomatoes if using. Chop your chillies, peel and grate your fresh ginger and crush open with the side of your good kitchen knife, the garlic and chop. Set them aside in a bowl. Mix the other dry spice powders together in another cup. Heat the avocado oil in a large pan or pot (or macadamia or deodorised sunflower oil. Do not use olive or other vegetable oils as they do not take a high heat cooking point and are carcinogens when heated!) Add the whole spices (and curry leaves) cook for 3 mins, then add the onions. Fry until the onions are soft, then add the chillies, ginger and garlic. Tip in the tomatoes and the remaining dry spices and cook, uncovered, on a low heat for about 5-8 mins. Stir frequently to prevent the spices sticking and burning. Pour 150ml water into the pan or a bit more depending, bring to a simmer, then add the fish. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 mins more or so. Serve with rice or some roast potatoes and a good organic mixed salad.