Welcome to the second in the series of monthly articles on seasonal foods in the UK. November is the month when the days are getting noticeably shorter, the temperature begins to drop and the shops are full of reminders that the holiday season is not too far away. The list of foods that are in season in November are as follows;
Apples, Brussels sprouts, Chestnut, Clams, Cranberry, Cabbage, Horse Radish, Jerusalem Artichoke, Mussels, Parsnips, Pomegranate, Quince, Pumpkin, Pheasant, Scallop, Sea Bass
Continuing the theme from last month, I will present three recipes; A meat/poultry/fish dish, a vegetable based dish and a fruit dessert. All recipes will be low in calories but high in taste and full of fantastic ingredients which are great for your health.
Brussels Sprouts are the first ingredient I am going to highlight. This vegetable is full of goodness and share many of the same benefits as cabbages and other cruciferous vegetables. They are high in fibre which is great for digestion, however the main health benefits come from its high content of Vitamin C and cancer protecting bioflavanoids. In fact it has been reported that men who eat 3 portions of cruciferous vegetables per week (Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli) are 41% less likely to develop prostrate cancer than men who eat 1 portion per week.
Brussels Bubble & Squeak with Poached Egg (serves 4) This tasty recipe is a great way of using up left overs from a roast dinner.
400g Potatoes, cooked and crushed
200g Brussels Sprouts, cooked and roughly chopped
2 small onions, halved and sliced
4 free range eggs
Cook the onions in a small amount of butter until soft. Mix with the potatoes and sprouts, season with sea salt and pepper and form into 4 rough flat cakes. Fry the cakes in a small amount of butter or olive oil in a separate pan until golden crusted on both sides. Keep warm in a low heat oven.
Bring a wide, shallow pan of water (with a small amount of vinegar) to a simmer. Crack in the eggs then turn down the heat and leave for 6-8 mins until cooked. Drain well, then top each cake with a poached egg and serve.
Sea Bass with sizzled ginger and spring onions (serves 6) An easy but impressive looking meal adding a host of flavours to a protein packed piece of fish.
6 Sea Bass fillets, about 140g each. Skin on.
3 tbsp sunflower oil
Large knob of ginger, peeled and shredded into matchsticks
3 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 fat, fresh, red chillies de-seeded and thinly shredded
Bunch Spring Onions, shredded long ways
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
Season the fish with sea salt and pepper, then slash the skin 3 times. Heat a heavy based frying pan and add 1 tbsp oil. Once hot, fry the fish, skin side down, for 5 minutes or until the skin is very crisp and golden. The fish will be almost cooked through. Turn over, cook for another 30 secs-1min, then transfer to a serving plate and keep warm.
Heat the remaining oil, then fry the ginger, garlic and chillies for about 2 minutes until golden. Take off the heat and toss in the spring onions. Splash the fish with a little soy sauce and spoon the over the contents of the pan.
Pomegranate is well known in the media for it's "Super Food" status, but this is because they are extremely beneficial for your health. Pomegranates are high in fibre, Vitamin C, potassium and niacin all which are associated with greater energy levels. They are also packed full of anti-oxidants which are vital for a healthy immune system to help fight off disease. Pomegranates are often consumed as a juice, but I am going to provide you with a fantastic smoothie that also is packed full of other seasonal berries;
Pomegranate Fruit Smoothie An anti-oxidant packed healthy smoothie.
1.5 cups of pomegranate juice (non concentrate)
0.5 cup blueberries
0.5 cup of blackberries
1 peeled banana
3 large spoonfuls of a good quality live yoghurt
Blend to desired consistency and serve
Recipes taken from "The Healing Power of Nature Foods" and www.bbcgoodfood.com.