nourishment

Spiced Wholewheat Couscous with Sweet Potato and Pistachios

The nutty, nutritious, wholewheat couscous complements the fragrant sweet potato beautifully in this North African-inspired dish from Stella McCartney.

Ingredients

For the couscous

  • 3 small sweet potatoes

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

  • 150 g giant wholewheat couscous

  • 500 ml light vegetable stock or water

  • handful of raisins, preferably organic

  • 1 rounded teaspoon za’tar

  • 50 g unshelled, unsalted pistachios, chopped

To serve

  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped mint
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.

Scrub the sweet potatoes under cold water and cut each into 6 wedges. Tip into a roasting tin, drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and roast in the oven for about 20–25 minutes or until the sweet potato is tender and starting to caramelise at the edges. Add the pumpkin seeds to the pan for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.

While the sweet potato is cooking prepare the couscous. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan, add the couscous and cook gently for 2–3 minutes until starting to brown. Add half of the stock or water to the pan and continue to cook for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently until the couscous is tender and has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining stock or water to the pan as and when needed. Add the raisins, za’tar and chopped pistachios to the pan, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cool slightly.

Mix together the juice from half the lemon and the extra virgin olive oil and pour over the warm sweet potato when it comes out of the oven. Gently stir the freshly chopped herbs and roasted sweet potato wedges into the couscous and serve with extra lemon wedges for squeezing over.

The best hot chocolate ... with melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows

There is no other better classical way to fix a freezing cold Monday... oh yeahhhhh....

By Jamie Oliver

Ingredients

  • 565 ml full cream or semi-skimmed milk

  • 2 tablespoons good-quality drinking chocolate

  • 1 handful marshmallows (non-meat gelling agents)

  • sugar, optional, to taste

Method

This takes around 3 or 4 minutes to make. First put the milk into a pan. Bring to a simmer – not a boil – and while it's heating, put a tablespoon of choccie powder and sugar, if using, into each mug. Add a little warmish milk from the pan to each mug – you just need enough to dissolve the chocolate powder. At this point, plonk a few marshmallows into each mug. When the milk is at a simmer, carefully pour it into a plastic jug or flask. I normally do this over a sink as I always end up spilling a bit (the trick is to have a big enough jug or flask so the milk only half fills it – you need the extra space for shaking and frothing).

Screw the lid on tightly, place a cloth over the lid for safety, and shake hard for a minute. Remove the lid, minding the steam, and pour the milk into your mugs. A little stir, and you can slurp your way to heaven!

A sick generation ?

Author: Gustavo Cardoso

I have watched with some awe a multitude of my friend's parents getting sick. All falling victims to the same disease: cancer.It seems that by the time people reach their 60's they are doomed to get this dreaded disease. What I find strange is that we do not pay enough attention to the importance of our daily habits, and the effects they will have on our future. In my view there is something very wrong with our habits, specifically when it comes to our diets and lifestyles.

It is very important for us to re-think these aspects of our life, because at the end of the day we are what we eat and we live how we work (today well over one third of our lives are spent immersed working). You will probably agree with me that today we see an alarming amount of obese people in the street and every day we hear about friends or family getting various types of

cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and muscoloskeletal disorders.

This is not a coincidence, and this is what I wish to draw your attention to. This is a results of the way we live our lives. I do not have anything against the occasional culinary orgy, but no digestive system can withstand this on a daily basis. Our society has never before eaten so many chemicals, preservatives, colourants, accelerators of growth hormones and antibiotics by indirect means as we do today. Humans have never drank so many fizzy drinks and eaten as many animal products as today.

I recommend you visit the WHO website, Not Milk, and watch Earthlings. I must warn that this movie is very strong and you will have to have a strong stomach to watch it. I have no doubt that the formula leading many of the common diseases we see today is very much like this: Too much food + sugar + salt + stress + lack of physical activity and the leader of the villains, meat and alcohol If you think you do not consume more salt and sugar that that which is recommended please take a look at what the

World Health Organizations

recommends in terms of consumption of salt and sugar, and then look for packages of bread, cereal, yoghurt, among others amount of these you've been eating lately. Alcohol and meat however have not gotten as much media as salt and sugar lately, although they are two villains which are far more harmful to our health.

Today I would like to encourage you to reflect on your own diet and lifestyle and on where these may be taking you in the near future.