Eat well, stay well this Winter
Winter is back and with it a more urgent need to stay healthy.
Yet some of us – perhaps more sinners than saints – miss a trick by not eating well, to stay well.
One catalyst to my knowledge has been our Nourish Your Body series on Conscious Working’s Tribe platform and its star guest Louisa Chapman-Andrews, cook, teacher, food writer and founder of Cook Folk.
It was founded in 2018 after Louisa worked for 7 years with modern British grocer, Melrose and Morgan, where she wrote ‘Good Food for Your Table’ in 2014.
Her item follows neatly on from Susie Rucker’s nutritional narration – a one stop shop on what to eat to supercharge your immunity.
Louisa links all that intel with how to eat and a culinary tour that will inspire the cook in all of us – all geared around healthy choices and creations to boost your immunity.
She maps out Breakfast meal plans of overnight French toast with vanilla nut and seed crumb, and spicy harissa and spinach scrambled egg with leftover greens.
Then lunch ideas and dinners are woven together with a single, poached chicken from which she carves off countless meals and concoctions – from the chicken itself to soup, broth, and lunch leftovers, loaded with goodness for body and soul.
Adding in a host of immunity heroes like ginger, turmeric, garlic, greens, mixed mushrooms, beans, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes to noodles, grains, and other healthy habit formers – which all mean mega nutrition and minimal fuss.
Bone broth and other freezer facts finish the piece, allowing “the lazy in us all to be more lavish” but still stay healthy and happy.
You can watch this and the entire Nourish Your Body series by joining Tribe membership.
SIMPLE SOOTHING CHICKEN BROTH
This is real comfort food – for a reason. Dubbed ‘Jewish penicillin’ this is a proper healer for body and soul.
● Simply place a whole raw chicken in your largest lidded pan (make sure the lid fits properly on top when the chicken is inside!).
● Cover the chicken with cold water and place in a few aromatics; bay leaf, thyme sprigs, roughly chopped carrot and celery, whale black peppercorns, fresh ginger and turmeric, garlic, whole chilli (don’t worry these will give a lovely gentle background note to the broth rather than having any pronounced flavour).
● Bring to the boil then turn to the merest bubble and cover with a lid and allow to cook for at least an hour and up to 75 or 90 minutes depending on the size of your bird.
● Check your bird regularly but don’t be tempted to prod or move things about (this alongside the gentle poaching will help ensure a nice clear broth).
● When you think your cooking time is up, gently wiggle the leg – if it feels loose in the socket then it’s cooked (you can also check that the juices run clear when you pierce the thickest part of the thigh).
● Remove the chicken from the broth and cover with a few layers of foil and tea towels to keep warm – a whole bird will stay happily warm like this while you cook everything else.
● Strain the broth through a fine sieve into another deep saucepan – don’t be tempted to press down on the aromatics – no harm will come from it but you risk losing the beautiful clarity of the both that you have worked so hard to create.
● If you haven’t already, now is a good time to season your broth, then throw in any vegetables that you like to have with your chicken for supper – I like leeks, potatoes, sweet potatoes and some dark greens thrown in at the end.
● If you prefer you can also use the broth to cook some grains or rice – I like pearl barley or short grain brown rice.
● To up the protein and get another plant based source of magnesium and zinc you could also throw in a can of cannellini or butter beans.
● Check the seasoning and make sure it’s just right and serve the broth and vegetables over the sliced chicken (favouring the breast meat as I find the leg and thigh meat work better for leftovers).
● If you like you can grate some lemon zest over the top and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.