Friday, 9 July 2010

An extremely quick recovery!

Well, if some of you are wondering why I haven't been on my travels, or up-dated my blog recently, it's because I had a few days away in sunny.............Hammersmith Hospital!  A little lump that I had known about for a few years, suddenly started to grow a little bigger than I liked, so it had to go.  Unfortunately it was in my neck, so I am now sporting a rather dashing 8cm scar across my throat - very attractive.
But what was so interesting is how quickly I have recovered - everybody is amazed (me included) and obviously I put it all down to a healthy diet and lifestyle.  Don't get me wrong, I am not a saint living on broth and water, never leaving the safety of my home.....far from it (ask anybody that knows me!).  BUT, I do believe in feeding my body everything it needs to support the lifestyle that I do want to live and, as I am constantly telling the athletes that I advise - you can't expect your body to perform if you don't give it what it needs!
So, now it's summer at last and I am feeding myself with lots of healthy herbs - the garden is full of them (if you don't have a garden they will grow perfectly well in a window box!).  Not only do herbs add great flavours to dishes, they also have health giving qualities, so incorporating them into your daily diet is a great idea.
The recipe I have cooked up today includes parsley (diuretic), oregano (anti-microbial), mint (soothing for the digestion), garlic (anti-microbial) and lemon balm (calming) - all of that in one dish!
Quinoa and Feta Salad
Serves 4-6

450g sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
120g brown basmati rice
150g quinoa
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 tbsp chopped oregano
1/2 tbsp chopped lemon balm
175g feta cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp flaked almonds

1.  Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ Gas mark 6.
2.  Place the sweet potato into a roasting tin and season well before sprinkling with 1 tbsp of the olive oil.  Roast for 15-18 minutes, until tender.
3.  Cook the Basmati rice and quinoa according to the pack instructions then drain and place in a large bowl.
4.  Heat the remaining olive oil and over a gently heat cook the garlic and cumin seeds, just enough to give a good aroma.  Take off the heat and squeeze in the lime juice and stir in the herbs.
5.  Spoon the herb mixture into the bowl with the rice and quinoa, then add the sweet potato with any oil from the roasting pan.
6.  Finally, add the crumbled feta and flaked almonds and gently stir to mix well together.
7.  This salad is great served warm or cold.

Happy Eating!  Jx

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