I adapted this from a recipe by Raymond Blanc to include more greens and a little less stodge. It makes a lovely, gently flavoured dinner. Even my husband, who says he doesn’t really like meals that involve broth, likes this one.
In my newsletter last month (to people who subscribe for FREE via my website www.annacollins.ie), I talked about why chicken broth can help prevent wrinkles. To make this even more nutritious you could make the following meal using home-made chicken stock (made by boiling organic chicken bones in water and a dash of apple cider vinegar) instead of the water in the recipe. Or use chicken pieces on the bone instead of fillets. I like to make a four-person amount and reheat thoroughly for another dinner later in the week
For 4 people
3 large carrots, peeled and sliced into bite-sized chunks (about 2cm thick)
1 small (Swede) turnip, peeled, cut into bite-sized cubes
4 small organic chicken legs, 2 breasts on the bone cut in two, or failing that, 4 fillets (but chicken with bones is better)*
6-8cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 large heads broccoli, cut into florets
Optional: 100g 100% buckwheat noodles/rice noodles, blanched in boiling water for 5 mins, then drained and refreshed in cold water.
Tamari sauce (this is a gluten-free soya sauce)
1. In a large saucepan cover the turnips and carrots with boiling water and boil for 10 mins.
2. Add the whole chicken fillets, garlic, ginger, making sure all just covered with water and cook (simmer) for 15 minutes.
3. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Check that the chicken is cooked. When it is done
5. Divide the cold cooked noodles between 4 large bowls. Cut up the chicken fillets into bite-sized slices if you can be bothered.
6. Ladle in the rest of the ingredients on top of the noodles and chicken
7. Add ½ – 1 teaspoon of tamari sauce per bowl to taste.
To make a mostly vegetarian version of this, add 2 blocks of organic plain or smoked tofu or tempeh, cut into bite-sized cubes at the same time as the broccoli, and use chicken stock or a chicken stock cube (provided you are not a purist vegetarian!)
Why this is good for you
Swede turnips, carrots and all orange fruits and vegetables are a rich source of carotenoids such as beta carotene. Eating a diet rich in beta carotene and other carotenoids found in green, red and purple vegetables will give your skin an attractive golden glow, according to a study of university student who increased their fruit and veg intake for a few weeks. Beta carotene is also important for clear skin, excellent eyesight and helping prevent wrinkles and digestive problems. The list of its activities is endless so I won’t bamboozle you with more details! Broccoli is a great source of folic acid, which helps daily repair and maintenance of your stomach and intestines. It’s also rich in indole-3-carbinol, which helps your liver get rid of the hormone-disrupting chemicals that can cause low thyroid, hair loss and dry skin.
Did you know that organic/free range chicken bones, boiled, yield a powerhouse of immune supporting nutrients like proline and collagen, which help heal your gut? Naturally reared chicken (organic) is better because intensively farmed chickens have high levels of toxins (heavy metals) inside their bones. These toxins are released when you boil the bones for a long time to make soup. Gut healing is important on a day to day basis because every 72 hours you shed your single-cell thick gut lining. Without lots of repair going on constantly, your ability to keep that gut lining working properly declines. Result: poor nutrient absorption, increased tendency to food sensitivities and autoimmune symptoms(e.g. hypothyroidism). You also increase your risk of sepsis (a life threatening condition that can occur with viral and other infections). So really, keeping your gut in tip top shape is one of the most important keys to great health.