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House Curious

Lifestyle and interior shop. Social workshops for the creatively curious.

Filtering by Tag: healthy living

Cavolo Nero, Roasted Courgette & Chili Linguine

Sommer Pyne

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Looking for some dinner inspiration? Who doesn’t love a big bowl of steaming hot pasta with a tonne of freshly grated parmesan chucked on top. Pasta for us is the ultimate comfort food so we just had to share this delicious Cavolo Nero, Roasted Courgette & Chill Linguine recipe from Erica @naturallynourishedlondon Erica is a London based Nutritional Therapist and on her blog you will find lot’s of hearty recipes, science-based health articles plus beauty & wellness tips. Take a look here Erica’s blog. Over to you Erica….

The cavolo nero, otherwise known as Tuscan kale lends itself well to this dish and provides you with all the nutritional benefits that come with cruciferous veg (see below!). The toasted pine nuts and a creamy nutty texture and the hit of spice from the chili rounds the dish off beautifully. We hope you enjoy, like, comment below and let us know if you try it. x

Prep time: 15 minutes   cook time: 25 minutes   serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g/2 cups cavolo nero ~ finely chopped with stalks removed

  • 1 yellow courgette ~ sliced on the diagonal then halved again

  • 1 green courgette ~ sliced as above

  • 1 red onion ~ cut in to 6

  • 2 red jalapeño chili ~ finely chopped

  • 6 cloves of garlic ~ finely chopped

  • 400g linguine

  • 50g/1/3 cup of pine nuts

  • 30g of parmesan ~ finely grated

  • Olive oil

  • Himalayan salt and pepper

METHOD

1.    Preheat oven to 200°C/180°Fan/Gas 6

2.    Place the courgette and onion into an oven-proof dish or baking tray. Evenly coat the veg with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place into the oven for around 20 minutes making sure to turn them halfway.

3.    Whilst the veg are in the oven start with toasting the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat for a few minutes until they start to brown slightly. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4.    Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the red chili and cook for a 2-3 minutes until it softens. Add the garlic and cook for a minute until it starts to turn translucent. You don’t want it to brown!

5.    To the same pan, add a little more olive oil if needed and add the cavolo nero. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently until it starts to wilt down then add a splash of water to the pan and continue cooking for another few minutes. Turn the heat off and leave to one side.

6.    Next cook the pasta. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add a good pinch of salt and then add the linguine. Cook for roughly 8-10 minutes. You want to keep it slightly al dente. Add a small amount of the pasta water to the same pan with the kale, garlic and chili and turn to low heat. Drain the pasta and add straight to the pan. Toss it around, mixing all bits together, add a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper to season. To the same pan, add the roasted veg and toss together.

7.    Serve into pasta bowls and top with the toasted pine nuts and a generous helping of grated parmesan. Sit back and enjoy! 

Tip: To remove the stalks from the cavolo nero, run a sharp knife down the entire length of the stalk on both sides. Don’t remove stalks once it’s chopped or you’ll be there all day!

 NUTRITIONAL BROWNIE POINTS

  • Cavolo nero is a good source of magnesium, which is an essential mineral for energy production within the body and low levels have been linked to fatigue. It is also essential for the regulation of muscular contraction, blood pressure and nerve transmission.

  • It is also a fantastic source of beta-carotene. Part of the carotenoid family, it’s a potent antioxidant and precurser to vitamin A. Beta-carotene has been widely studied for it’s skin protective properties such as:

~ It has photo-protective properties and has been shown to protect against sunburn development by inhibiting free radials and suppressing our cellular and tissue response to inflammation.

~ It also prevents premature aging of the skin. Studies have shown it to prevent wrinkle formation by decreasing the activity of the enzymes (MMP) responsible for collagen degradation.

~ In the epidermis (outer layer of skin), b-carotene is deposited and works to fight free radical damage caused by UV exposure. It is also protective against the development of skin cancer.

  • Cavolo nero also belongs to the cruciferous family along with veg like cauliflower, broccoli, sprouts to name a few. Sulforaphane is a compound found in all cruciferous veg and has been extensively studied due to it’s anticancer properties.

  • Studies have also shown sulforaphane to be protective against neurodegerative diseases. It is able to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) – a highly selective semi permeable membrane that separates the brain and the blood. Once it crosses the BBB it accumulates in the central nervous system and exerts neuroprotective effects.

  • Lutein, like beta-carotene is a carotenoid present in green leafy veg such as cavolo nero. It can decrease the intensity of erythema (red skin) induced by UV-light and also has the ability to filter blue light (computer screens, phones and the sun!), which causes lasting damage to the skin. It may be worth increasing your intake prior to going on holiday to allow for more UV protection!

Cavolo nero sure packs a nutritional punch!

Recipe and words by Erica Rodriguez - Naturally Nourished

Summer Skin Food Salad with a Zesty Tahini Dressing

Sommer Pyne

The lovely and multi talented Erica from Naturally Nourished London joined me to create an everyday recipe tailored to promote healthy glowing skin for the summer months ahead. We came up with this very aptly named beauty and really hope you enjoy making it as much as we did creating it! You can follow along on IGTV and all the details are below.

This salad is absolutely loaded with nutrients that are especially beneficial to health of your skin. The broccoli, spinach & strawberries all provide you with plenty of vitamin c, which is essential for collagen production, keeping those wrinkles at bay! The butternut squash gives you a little hit of beta-carotene, which contains UV protective properties and prevents free radical damage caused by pollution and sun exposure.

Not only does this salad give our skin a little extra love, it’s also bursting with flavour and texture. The salty grilled halloumi works especially well with the creamy avocado and sweet tangy strawberries. You can do most of the prep work the day before and throw it all together in minutes.

Brimming with vibrant colours, this salad makes the perfect addition to your summer picnic. You and your skin are going to love this one! Enjoy!

Prep time: 30 minutes    make time: 10 minutes    serves: 4 

INGREDIENTS

1 x 225g block of halloumi ~ sliced

120g baby spinach

140g/1 cup strawberries ~ sliced

200g/1 cup butternut squash ~ cubed and roasted

175g/1 cup broccoli ~ lightly steamed

140g/1 cup beluga lentils ~ pre cooked

1 avocado ~ sliced

½ cup walnuts ~ roughly chopped

Few sprigs of coriander ~ roughly chopped

1 Tbsp avocado oil (can also use olive oil)

 

For the tahini dressing

Juice of 1 lemon

2 Tbsp tahini

4 Tbsp filtered water

1 clove of garlic

½ Tsp Himalayan salt

Pinch of black pepper

 

METHOD

1.    Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.

2.    Toss the butternut squash in the avocado oil in a bowl and season with salt and black pepper. Arrange the squash on a baking tray and roast in a preheated oven for 25 minutes, until lightly brown and tender.

3.    Lightly steam the broccoli florets for a few minutes until they start to turn bright green, remove from steamer and set to one side to cool slightly.

4.    To make the dressing, place all the ingredients into a blender and pulse a few times until it reaches a smooth consistency. You can add more water here to loosen it up.

NOTE: steps 1-3 can all be done the day before for some pre prepping!

5.    In a pan on medium heat, add a small amount of avocado (or olive oil), allow it to heat up a little and add the sliced halloumi. Fry on each side for a couple of minutes until they turn a golden brown colour. Remove and set aside.

6.    Next you can start to layer up the salad. Take a large serving dish and add the spinach, lentils, broccoli, butternut squash, sliced strawberries, sliced avocado, halloumi. Drizzle over the tahini dressing and then add the walnuts and coriander. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve up and enjoy!

 

SKIN HEALTH BENEFITS

Broccoli, spinach and strawberries are all rich in vitamin c and in addition to it’s antioxidant properties, vitamin c is essential for collagen production in the body. Collagen is needed to keep our skin firm and well supported and overtime it can will breakdown and degrade so it’s important ensure we have optimal levels of vitamin c to provide extra support to synthesise more collagen.

Vitamin C also protects our skin cells from UV radiation and supports skin barrier function

Broccoli is also part of the cruciferous family and can aid in liver detoxification, helping to remove toxins more efficiently from the body. Our skin is also a route of elimination therefore if our liver is a little sluggish and we’re not providing it with the correct nutrients, our skin can pick up the slack!

 

Butternut squash, spinach and broccoli are rich in beta-carotene, a potent antioxidant and precurser to vitamin A. Beta-carotene has been widely studied for it’s skin protective properties such as:

~ It has photo-protective properties and has been shown to protect against sunburn development by inhibiting free radials and suppressing our cellular and tissue response to inflammation.

~ It also prevents premature aging of the skin. Studies have shown it to prevent wrinkle formation by decreasing the activity of the enzymes (MMP) responsible for collagen degradation.

~ In the epidermis (outer layer of skin), b-carotene is deposited and works to fight free radical damage caused by UV exposure. It is also protective against the development of skin cancer.

Walnuts are a great source of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These essential fatty acids are incorporated in to the epidermal layer (skins outer layer) and help to lock in moisture and hydration. Omega 3 is also anti-inflammatory and can help with inflammatory skin conditions such as acne and eczema.

Omega 3 also has the ability to inhibit UV-induced skin inflammation and hyperpigmentation. It is protective against photosensitivity disorders and conditions in which abnormal reactions to UV exposure occur.

It can greatly improve skin barrier function and a deficiency in omega 3 can cause increased water loss through the skin causing it to become very dry so if you’re skin is feeling a little on the dry side, omega 3 can certainly help.

Avocado is also rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant and free radical scavenger, working to slow down aging of the skin.

So if all of the above does not provide you with a good enough reason to make this salad then I rest my case!

Erica x

Naturallynourished.co.uk

@naturallynourished

References:

Crisan, D. Roman, I. Badea, R. (2015). ‘The role of vitamin C in pushing back the boundaries of skin aging: an ultrasonographic approach’, Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, (8), pp.463-470. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4562654/

Evans, J.A. Johnson, E.J. (2010). ‘The Role of Phytonutrients in Skin Health’, Nutrients, (8), pp.903-928. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257702/.

Khnykin, D. Miner, JH. Jahnsen, F. (2011). ‘Role of fatty acid transporters in epidermis’, Dermato-endocrinology, 3 (2), pp.53-61. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3117002/

Pilkington, SM. Watson, REB. Nicolaou, A. et al. (2011). ‘Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids: photoprotective macronutrients’, Experimental Dermatology, (7), pp.537-543. [Online]. Available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1600-0625.2011.01294.x

Pullar, JM. Carr, AC. Vissers, MCM. (2017). ‘The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health’, Nutrients, (8), pp.866. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579659/

Souyoul, S.A. Saussy, K.P. Lupo, M.P. (2018). ‘Nutraceuticles: A Review’, Dermatology and Therapy, (1), pp.5-16. [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5825326/.