Mortar and pestle pesto pasta, courgette tagliatelle and baby spinach

(Another recipe from The Guardian,Eat Well For Less: click here for the full article)

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Ready in 20 minutes. The simple, fresh flavours and textures complement each other perfectly: hot peppery notes (raw garlic and olive oil), mellow comforting richness (pasta, parmesan and pine nuts) and clean perfumed bite (basil, spinach and courgette). A mixture of pasta and courgette “tagliatelle” keeps the comfort and satisfaction of pasta but packs in more veg alongside other protective ingredients such as garlic, nuts, extra-virgin olive oil and dark green leafy spinach. With the fat from the cheese giving additional satiety, you won’t miss that extra pasta, especially if you pair with a simple sliced tomato and onion salad dressed with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Serves 2
courgettes 2, medium
linguine pasta 100g (50g per person)
baby spinach 2 large handfuls
garlic 1 large clove
basil leaves a big bunch
pine nuts 2 small handfuls (dry toasted)
fresh parmesan a handful, grated
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and black pepper

Make the courgette tagliatelle by taking long length slices of the courgette with a mandoline (largest tooth setting) or a potato peeler until you get to the soft water centre. Keep the soft cores, you can finely chop and add them as they are with the tagliatelle.

Boil the pasta in plenty of salted water. Wash the spinach, drain and place in a large bowl.

Make the pesto while the pasta is cooking. We like to make the pesto in a mortar and pestle for that chunky, fresh-made texture but you can add all the ingredients straight into a blender or food processor.

Bash a whole peeled garlic clove with a pinch of salt for extra abrasion until a paste. Add the basil leaves and do the same. Add the toasted pine nuts and parmesan. Drizzle in olive oil to loosen the mixture. Bash and stir away until you have a chunky mixture that’s loose enough to stir into your pasta.

The pasta should nearly be ready. Throw in the courgette tagliatelle for the final 2 minutes or just enough to soften but retain a slight bite.

Drain and immediately add the hot pasta into the bowl with the spinach and stir. The heat of the pasta will wilt and soften the spinach. Now add your pesto and mix thoroughly. Season with black pepper and a final fresh sprinkle of parmesan. You don’t need to add any additional salt as the cheese and other elements have enough.

Stuffed coqu

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Be young at heart

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Friday Fun Fact

The “Benson Bubblers” you see around Portland were donated to the city as a means of giving early settlers an alternative to drinking at the pubs.Benson_Bubbler_kids_at.jpg

Recipe of the Month

Fish Tacos with Fresh Mango Salsa Recipe

Mango Salsa

Ingredients
2 diced mangos
1 chopped red bell pepper
1 minced jalapeno pepper
⅓ cup finely chopped red onion
¼ cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup fresh lime juice
¼ teaspoon cumin
salt, to taste.

Mahi-Mahi Tacos

Ingredients
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
1 pound Mahi Mahi filets, cut lengthwise into smaller pieces if needed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 tortillas (corn or flour)
1 cup green cabbage, sliced thin
Cilantro, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients for the mango salsa together. Season to taste, if needed, with salt. Set aside.
  2. Combine paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cumin and chili pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over both sides of the fish filets.
  3. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mahi-mahi to pan; cook 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  4. Divide fish evenly among tortillas. Serve with mango salsa, cabbage, and cilantro.

Fish Tacos with Fresh Mango Salsa

 

Thank you Fruits and Veggies, more Matters!, Click here

A Short Summary of Everything Science Knows On How To Slow Ageing

Ageing is related to metabolism

The authors of this study have identified 9 key aspects of ageing on your metabolism. Metabolism isn’t some organ or group of organs but it is a complete system created by the working of billions of cells inside our body. This system is responsible for converting the fuel or food we take into to energy so that our body can function.

With age, the metabolic process slows down. DNA gets damaged and this introduces errors and inefficiency is the entire workings of the cells. The process of destroying old and worn out cells (autophagy) also slows down and this failure has detrimental effect on our whole body. Our body experiences so much stress during the course of its life that it becomes difficult for it to perform well with age.

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Ageing cannot be stopped but it can be slowed down

If ageing is all about metabolism, then it wouldn’t be surprising for you that the food we eat has a lot of affect on the ageing process. It is suggested that a Mediterranean diet can help extend your life. So what exactly is a Mediterranean diet? It is a diet high in healthy fats like olive oil, vegetables, whole grains, fish etc. However, it involves very little amount of red meat and sugar. Apparently replacing proteins with complex carbohydrates is healthier for us and aids in a longer life.

It doesn’t end here. Calorie restriction is also necessary. Overeating is not to be done and studies also suggest that introducing periods of fasting in your diet is also beneficial for some people. And the last one should not be a surprise to us; regular exercise. This helps all nine aspects that were identified in the paper that cause ageing.

Our unhealthy Lifestyles are slowly killing us

Improvements in health facilities, sanitation etc may have aided in increasing the life span but there are still problems that exist. Diets that are high in sugar, unhealthy fats and red meat create a lot of stress for metabolism and makes it inefficient. This increases the chances of obesity.

As most of us know, America is a place that has been struck with the problem of obesity. Americans have failed to consume healthy diets and spend far too many hours in activities that do not allow a lot of movement. The problem is serious and the authors have tried to call the people to immediate action if they wish to live a healthier and a longer life.

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I liked this study as it brings together dozens of studies on ageing and combines them together to create a more knowledgeable source for us. Most of the researches that have been done in the past are mostly done on lab animals, whereas, only a fraction of these studies are based on human trials. This study combines various studies and tries to bring out a broader aspect to the previous unclear studies and now it can only be hoped that people recognize the importance of a healthy lifestyle after reading this paper.

Science Alert.  Full article here.

A chapter a day: Association of book reading with longevity.

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Although books can expose people to new people and places, whether books also have health benefits beyond other types of reading materials is not known. This study examined whether those who read books have a survival advantage over those who do not read books and over those who read other types of materials, and if so, whether cognition mediates this book reading effect. The cohort consisted of 3635 participants in the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study who provided information about their reading patterns at baseline. Cox proportional hazards models were based on survival information up to 12 years after baseline. A dose-response survival advantage was found for book reading after adjusting for relevant differences including age, sex, race, education, comorbidities, self-rated health, wealth, marital status, and depression. Book reading contributed to a survival advantage that was significantly greater than that observed for reading newspapers or magazines. Compared to non-book readers, book readers had a 23-month survival advantage at the point of 80% survival in the unadjusted model. A survival advantage persisted after adjustment for all above stated differences, indicating book readers experienced a 20% reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow up compared to non-book readers.

These findings suggest that the benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.

 

See abstract here.

Soc Sci Med. 2016 Sep;164:44-8. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.07.014. Epub 2016 Jul 18.

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Wash Up!

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