This book has a lot of information on why we need to eat a balanced diet and what this means. It explains what needs to be eaten for hormone & neurotransmitter production, what is important for our gut health & the gut microbiome. From an information perspective it is quite a heavy read, but definitely interesting if you like this kind of thing.

Recipes – Some willing readers and myself have tried out a few of the recipes and included 3 below.
The positives – the three below are pretty tasty, and something different to make at this time when we’re all running out of ideas (I ran out a while ago). Once you have the ingredients they are easy to make.

The negatives – some of the ingredients particularly in the faux rye bread (psyllium husks for example) are not available at local supermarkets and need to be tracked down online or at your local health food shop.  And advice from the nutritionist in the local health food shop was to use psyllium husks sparingly as it’s often used for people with “sluggish bowels”. I therefore used a quarter of the suggested amount in the rye bread.

Carrot Soup with Ginger – Serves 4
500g of carrots
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1tbsp olive oil
800ml water
2tbsp grated fresh ginger
1tbsp liquid honey
1 tbsp organic stock cube/powder
1tsp dried garden herb blend
½ tsp turmeric
Pinch of chili flakes
Salt and black pepper

Topping – dried or fresh herbs e.g. oregano or rosemary

Peel and thinly slice the carrots. Chop the onion and garlic. Heat some oil in a large saucepan and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cook for about 10 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth in a food processor or a blender and pour back into the saucepan. Bring it back to a simmer and dilute it with more water, if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with chosen toppings.

Reviews – “Really tasty and would make again. It was also super fast to make”  Sally

Faux Rye with Flax and Sunflower Seeds – one loaf
600ml of cultured milk or buttermilk
100ml of dark syrup (I used Lyles black treacle)
375ml buckwheat flour
50ml rose hip husk flour
100ml flaxseed
200ml sunflower seeds
4tbsp psyllium husks (I used one)
1 tsp baking soda
For the baking pan – 1sp butter for greasing, 1sp buckwheat flour
Method – Preheat the oven to 175deg C. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Let the mixture rest and rise for a few minutes. Grease and flour your tin. Transfer the dough evenly to the pan and sprinkle some buckwheat flour over the surface. Bake on the lower rack of the oven for about 50 minutes. Let it cool.

Review – “It’s tasty – the treacle makes it taste almost fruity. Nice with butter. But eat it quickly” Anna 

Sirloin Steak with Romesco Sauce and Lentil Salad  – Serves 2
100ml of puy or beluga lentils
10 cherry tomatoes
½ rd onion
Salt and black pepper
1tbsp chopped fresh parsley or basil
1tbsp olive oil
125g mini mozzarella balls
2 slices of sirloin
1tbsp butter
25 g arugula
A few sprigs of parsley for garnish

Romesco Salsa
100g blanched almonds
250 g roasted bell peppers from a jar
1tbsp red wine vinegar
2 garlic cloves
1tsp chilli flakes
1tsp salt
200ml olive oil – see review
100ml rapeseed oil – see review
Start by making the romesco sauce: place all the ingredients (except the oils) in a food processor or blender. Puree everything to a somewhat fine chop and add the oils in a thin stream whilst still blending. Store the sauce in the fridge until it’s time to serve.

Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the packaging. Drain off the water and place the lentils in a bowl. Slice the tomatoes and finely chop the onion. Mix everything together with salt, pepper, fresh herbs, oil and mozzarella.
Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the butter in a skillet and saute the steads on both sides for a few minutes as desired.
Place the steaks on plates together with the lentil salad, Romesco sauce, and arugula. Garnish with a sprig of parsley and serve.

Review – “Very nice but would significantly reduce the oil to about 30ml. Could use leftover sauce with pasta” Gen