As you know from last week’s post I take part in the Zoe Covid Study. Well, what’s interesting is that this company is first and foremost a nutrition and gut research body and they are currently in partnership with someone called Dr William Li (who is based in the States and the author of Eat to Beat Disease) who is hosting free webinars called Eat to Beat Disease, The Gut Check Series with Dr William Li and Zoe.
I shall be watching the fourth one of those today, which is with Professor Tim Spector, the founder of Zoe, and is all about the importance of the gut microbiome. Tbh, the first one, with Dr Li and another nutritionist was a bit of a mutual admiration show with both of them congratulating each other on their respective books. The only thing I got out of it was eat plants and eat a diversity of plants. However, the second and third webinars were excellent, with the second looking at the current Zoe research on the complexity of food, and its journey through our system, the multiplicity of reactions to food and its consequences for our health and by that I mean all health not just your gut health. That’s a summary of quite a complex exposition and yet it was very easy to listen to, so don’t be put off by that.
The thing to note that this research is using huge numbers of people and looking at the participants’ reactions to food in real time entirely online, all of which is revolutionising health research and moving it on from the tightly controlled double blind research that pharmaceutical companies usually do to something Zoe calls ‘citizen science’. Fascinating stuff. What they’re working towards is that health advice that is usually based on averages should eventually be indivualised advice. Even more fascinating.
This post is a bit previous as I have only just received a copy of Dr Li’s book but not read it yet. But I thought I’d share with you something that I picked up from this series, that we should eat a huge diversity of vegetables weekly. So it’s not just eat your 5 a day, it’s do you eat 30 different vegetables weekly? I thought, well no I’m sure I don’t but I decided to write a list of all the veg I have around the kitchen and the list is as follows:
Regularly in our fridge
On dish on windowsill
Every other week – rotating
Brussel sprouts – winter
Swede – winter
Turnips – winter
And that, people, is 31! However, not all are used/eaten every week. Anyway, help me out, is there a vegetable missing that you’d say, you must try this?
The third webinar was a session with the chef Dan Churchill who is based in New York but is as Australian as they come. I loved the way he called Dr Li, mate! Here’s a recipe for two he was cooking throughout the webinar. I cooked it last night and very good it was too.
3 cloves of garlic
1 knob of ginger
1/2 cup fresh mint
2 tsp of maple syrup
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 tsp chili flakes
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
Flour of choice
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion
1 green pepper
Juice 1 lemon
1/4 cup fresh basil
- In mortar and pestle combine ginger, garlic, mint, maple syrup, tomato paste, chili flakes, salt and pepper, and olive oil
- Slice aubergine and halve slices, coat in flour of choice
- Gently fry in some of the olive oil 3 to 4 mins each side or until golden. Take out and set aside
- Saute onions and green pepper with the rest of the olive oil
- Add the pestle and mortar paste mix to onion and peppers when onions softened and caramelised
- Finish with juice of 1 lemon plus some zest
- And 1/4 cup fresh basil
- Place *cooked rice on plate
- Add mixture
- Top with fried eggplant
Either *2 cups of cooked rice or 1 pouch of microwavable rice for two
A couple of things. Dan Churchill was nonchalantly cooking this throughout the webinar but I found it quite fiddly and was bit stressed, but take no notice as I’m always like that when I cook something new. It was absolutely delicious with an explosion of taste. Next time though I shall increase the mint as I’m never sure what a cup means (we do grammes in the UK) and I’ll slightly decrease the garlic as I’m sure, because the garlic is practically raw in this dish, that I have garlic breath this morning. I was also a bit hesitant about putting in 1 tsp of chilli flakes and only put in half, I won’t be so hesitant next time. What you get is a sensation of sweetness from the maple syrup, heat from the ginger and chilli flakes and then basil and garlic – amazing. I served it with a pouch of brown and wild basmati rice plus a bowl of cavolo nero alongside. I shall definitely cook this again.
I’ve really enjoyed this series of YouTube sessions mainly because i) I trust Professor Tim Spector because of his work with Covid and ii)if you listen to his session (No4), and also session No2, you will realise everything said about the gut in these sessions is based on deep research.
With love, Penny, the Frugalfashionshopper
P.S. I’ll show you a couple of charity shop buys very soon 😀