Wondergut Week Commencing Saturday 2 December 2017

I can’t say for sure whether it is down to the state of my microbes, but despite feeling constantly as though I have only one nostril above the water line, despite the imminence of Christmas & the usual juggling act of managing the needs of the kids, animals, husband, wider family & Wondergut, I feel good. I feel happy. Dare I say it, sometimes, I feel JOYFUL. Why has it taken me 45 years to realise that health has to be our top priority?  Whatever situation we find ourselves in and accepting the relativity of that term depending on our circumstances, it should be top of our list. Instead of bottom. And everything else will follow from that. When I am Prime Minister, I am going to change our entire societal structure to reflect the importance of health – physical, mental & emotional & the importance of practicing gratitude & mindfulness in pursuit of joy. Just so long as I don’t have to deal with all the Brexit S**t!

If you would like to print off this Wondergut Week – here is the link.

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Day

Diary

Dish

Food Critics’ Verdict, if worth listening to

Saturday  Jo & Keith out for a Curry with School Reprobates – unlikely to be a gut-friendly experience…. Home-Made Pizza for the FCs Always a popular choice – we used whole wheat spelt flour to make the base (I didn’t get time to do it with sourdough). We have phased out putting processed meats such as ham & salami on them now – mostly they are vegetarian pizzas these days.

The curry was great fun & I now tend towards making vegetarian choices in those situations too – you can’t beat a bit of lady’s finger!

Sunday  Sam’s turn to choose/cook Family Tea

Pops & Jules to join us

Baked Lamb with Coriander accompanied by roast potatoes, roast beetroot, broccoli, cabbage & peas.

Dessert: Lemon Curd Butterfly Cakes

(p157 & p543/544 Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course – here is the link to the meat recipe & here is the link to the dessert recipe).

Here’s the thing – we have had lamb a lot. But this is what happens when I surrender control to the FCs. I think they do it to spite me. The basic rule is they have to choose new recipes if possible but beyond that, it is up to them. We had a great meal & it was lovely to see Pops & Jules.

Sam loves lemon cakes so he substituted the orange curd for lemon curd instead.

Monday  Spelt with Parsley-Almond Pesto, Tomatoes & Parmesan accompanied by Brussel tops & raw carrot sticks. (P178 26 Grains  – here is the link to the recipe). Wondergut Winner: This was absolutely BLINDING. Georgia cooked for me as my day had rather gone to rat poo. She used pine nuts instead of flaked almonds in the pesto & cooked the tomatoes with the onions & garlic for longer than the recipe suggested (because she prefers cooked tomatoes). Whenever we make our own pesto, it reminds me just how much nicer it is than shop bought – it tastes so unbelievably fresh & is very quick to make.
Tuesday  Oeufs En Cocotte with Sorrel & Garlic accompanied by spinach & leeks (P.48 Take One Pot by Georgina Fuggle – here is the link to a similar recipe ). The chickens have gone on strike – colder weather & two of them are moulting (which means every time I go down to them, I think the dog has finally given in to her urges and eaten one – feathers everywhere). Luckily though, the dog seems more obsessed with chasing squirrels. Anyway, I had to actually buy eggs for this recipe. Then I went to get the sorrel from the garden & it was basically one big snail/slug trail & I realised we had accidentally eaten the spinach. SO, with Toby kicking off about how he hates eggs, I substituted sorrel & spinach for a pot of sprouted peas and radishes I had bought from a nice chap in the Market this week. The recipe was a doddle and having thought I was going to have mutiny, all the FCs ate it without a moan. Toby just left his yolk.
Wednesday  Fish Day

Sam in a match – watch if possible

Warm Tuna Nicoise Stack accompanied by cauliflower & brussel sprout tops. Here is the link to the recipe. This recipe is a bit of work but it is just delicious & packs a lot of different vegetables into one meal. I managed to slightly over-cook the tuna which was irritating – I need to remember it continues to cook after I have taken it off the stove & to allow for that!
Thursday  Cannellini, Borlotti or White Butter Bean Soup accompanied by salad leaves, dandelion leaves & grated beetroot (P 305 Sarah Raven’s Garden Cook Book – here is a link to the recipe).  This was hideous. Even I didn’t finish the bowl. It was tasteless & stodgy so we basically had sourdough bread & butter & salad for dinner. The dandelion leaves were great though. As a society, we are losing our taste for bitter foods so this is one way of keeping them on the radar.
Friday Coriander Meatballs with by Lemon-Spiked Yoghurt accompanied by parsnip mash, broccoli & carrots (P78 Food For A Happy Gut by Naomi Devlin – I couldn’t find a link to this recipe – they are pork meatballs – with spring onion (or onion) & fresh coriander). I remembered to buy the pork mince this week. I had forgotten just how quick & easy it is to throw meatballs together & when I make them myself, there are no preservatives in them & I can incorporate onion, garlic & herbs of my choice, which all help to support our gut microbes. I love making mash that is not potato. And if you use live yoghurt as an accompaniment (Total Greek Yoghurt has 4 or 5 different strains of bacteria in it) you are eating probiotics with your meatballs & if you add some lemon juice, maybe some chives or some more coriander to the yoghurt, you are adding to the range of foods (& therefore nutrients) you are eating in one sitting. I didn’t make the preserved lemon or ribbon pickle.

© Jo Webster December 2017

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