Mental Health Awareness Week

 

As it’s mental health week, I wanted to touch a subject that’s close to my heart… something I don’t reveal too much about. Why do I keep quiet about this subject? Is this because of my culture? Pride? Family? Or am I just simply embarrassed and worried about how people will look at me and define me? However, I’m going to be BRAVE and tell you that ‘I AM’ a silent sufferer of mental health issues. It started when I was pregnant, seeming to change something in me for good. It’s been years now since my first episode of mental illness, and I still occasionally have panic attacks and anxiety and an overwhelming feeling of not being in control. It seems to happen when I least it, especially when I’m on my own.

But I’ve been trying to take back my life and am currently receiving some wonderful support and help. I’ve found my passion again and I have started this amazing business journey. My advice to everyone is, be kind, be generous, be supportive, to friends and family even a complete stranger! That person might be going through a tough time. Give hugs, they are so important and listen. Listening to people, even if you don’t have anything to say can be so helpful and comforting to people in need. But most importantly, feed your mind with good fuel. Not just this week or when you’re struggling, but everyday. I have my beautiful aromatic Indian spices to help me, especially to boost my brain with goodness!

3 COGNITIVE SPICES that contain powerful brain-boosting benefits are:

Turmeric 


  • Curcumin has been found to support working memory, calmness, and satisfaction in coping with mental strain. It also promotes cardiovascular health and lessens physical fatigue.
  • It’s attributed to increasing the brain hormone BDNF, which improves the function of neurons, encourages their growth, and strengthens and protects them.
  • One of the key features of a brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease is the build-up of clumps of a protein called amyloid-beta. The latest studies on turmeric show that curcumin can cross the blood-brain barrier and has the potential to help clear these plaques.

Cinnamon (powder or sticks)

  • It affects several physiological functions of the body. Cinnamon kills bacteria and yeasts that cause stomach ulcers and urinary-tract infections and helps the body regulate blood sugar.
  • But my favourite benefit is increased brainpower. A few years ago, it was discovered that just the smell of cinnamon could improve cognitive function. In that study, either tasting (technically it was chewing) or smelling cinnamon worked to improve brainpower.

Ginger

  • Another of my favourite spices that should be on everyone’s mind is Ginger. It was reported several years ago that ginger might indirectly lower the risk of Alzheimer’s through its anti-inflammatory properties.
  • As it turns out, ginger decreases prostaglandins. These are chemicals that lead to inflammation and perhaps other chronic diseases. So ginger may ease minor aches and pains in much the same way as aspirin without the side effects such as upset stomach while simultaneously helping maintain brainpower.

 

LOVE what you cook & Cook what you LOVE!

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This weeks advice to you would be; to LOVE!
Love what you cook, and cook what you love! 
If this is not applied in the kitchen, then it will show in your food. The flavours will not bond and turn into beautiful harmony. 

The way I get into the spirit of cooking is;
1- Find a recipe I  would like to cook.
2- Go shopping and find all the ingredients.
3- Play some music you love listening to help get you in the mood. 
4- Set up the kitchen so everything is at hand.
5- Make sure you have plenty of space to cook.
6- Give yourself TIME, so you’re not rushed.
7- Listen to your instincts.
8- LOVE the recipe your cooking, LOVE the ingredients, LOVE who you’re cooking for, and have fun.

 

Fruit & Veg of the Month – February

 

 Heath Benefits of White Cabbage

  1. Cabbage is a low-calorie vegetable that is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  2. Cabbage contains powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation.
  3. Your body needs vitamin C for many important functions, and it is a potent anti-oxidant. Red cabbage is particularly high in this nutrient, providing about 85% of the RDI per cup (89 grams).
  4. Cabbage contains insoluble fibre, which keeps the digestive system healthy by providing fuel for friendly bacteria and promoting regular bowel movements.
  5. Cabbage contains powerful pigments called anthocyanins, which have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.
  6. Potassium helps keep blood pressure within a healthy range. Increasing your intake of potassium-rich foods like cabbage may help lower high blood pressure levels.
  7. Cabbage is a good source of soluble fibre and plant sterols. These substances have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol.
  8. Vitamin K is critical for blood clotting. Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin K1, with 85% of the RDI in 1 cup (89 grams).
  9. Cabbage is a versatile veggie that’s easy to incorporate into your diet. You can use it to make many different dishes, including salads, stews, soups, slaws and sauerkraut.
  10. Cabbage contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which all are necessary for bone health.

The Bottom Line:

Cabbage is an exceptionally healthy food. It has an outstanding nutrient profile and is especially high in vitamins C and K. In addition, eating cabbage may even help lower the risk of certain diseases, improve digestion and combat inflammation. Plus, cabbage makes a tasty and inexpensive addition to a number of recipes. With so many potential health benefits, it is easy to see why cabbage deserves some time in the spotlight and some room on your plate.

Vegan-Friendly Coriander Chutney Recipe

This dip is bursting with fresh, vibrant flavours guaranteed to satisfy all your dinner guests. With a list of ingredients that conforms to the strictest vegan diet, this coriander dip (or chutney) does not suffer at all from being dairy-free. In fact, this is one of my favourite dips or sauces, and I love to serve it up with anything from onion bahjis to daals and dosa. The delightfully deep green colour is a treat for the eyes as much as the stomach and is a low-fat alternative to other high calorie dips containing yoghurt or loads of sugar.

Ingredients:

Fresh coriander – lots and lots of it! (If you by coriander from Asian shops then use 1 bunch or if you buy from a supermarket use 10 packets)
1 heaped tsp chopped garlic
1 heaped tsp green birds eye chilli
The juice of one whole lemon
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 squeeze of tomato ketchup
½ tsp jeera powder (or ground cumin)

Method:
Roughly chop the coriander and pop it in the blender/food processor and blitz
Add in all the other ingredients and give it another blitz
Taste it now and adjust it to your liking, whether you’d like it saltier, more tart or sweeter.

Serve it up with your favourite Indian snack or meal!

January Pop-Up Menu Revealed

 

The eight course menu for my January pop-up is inspired by looking deep into my heritage and picking out what reminds me of my childhood. The food I grew up on was mainly vegetarian and vegan, but some of theses dishes are not so well known in British culture and I didn’t want to frighten anyone away by preparing a feast of dishes that are completely new and unfamiliar.

The first dish on the menu is called ‘Khandvi. Khandvi is the Hindi name of the dish, but in Gujarat the dish is called ‘Patuli’ – which is guaranteed to tantalise your taste buds and leave you wanting more. It’s a traditional Gujarati snack prepared with gram flour and yogurt, seasoned with sautéed sesame seeds and spices including cumin, mustard, curry leaves, coriander and coconut. It comes served with my favourite dipping sauce – coriander chutney.

Within the menu, I will include some of my classic and most beloved takeaway dishes, but elevated with refined touches to exceed all expectations; such as chicken tikka, and lamb biryani & aubergine & pea curry and to bring a touch of elegance and luxury to the event, I will also present my king prawn dish and spiced scallops. The meal will end with the British classic Eaton mess with an Indian twist – of course!

The menu has a British slant to all the flavours and will be plated beautifully to ensure that all guests experience nothing short of pure culinary delight. The night will end on a high, talking with all my guests and making sure they are happy and full with a lovely class of Malbec in my hand!

 

Lighting Up Pinkey’s Arm Pub

I will be lighting up the Pinkney’s Arms on Wednesday 7th November for a sold-out pop-up meal that coincides with Diwali. A bit like the Indian equivalent to Christmas, Diwali honours Rama – the seventh avatar (incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravan.

Known as the festival of lights, the Hindu celebration occurs each autumn and is one of the most popular events of the Hindu calendar and probably the most well known in Britain. Diwali symbolises a spiritual victory of light and goodness over darkness and evil. To represent illumination over ignorance people celebrating Diwali light up their temples, homes, shops and office buildings with candles. The preparations, and rituals, for the festival typically last five days, with the biggest day of celebration occurring on the third day which coincides with the darkest night of the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika. In the Gregorian calendar, the festival generally falls between mid-October and mid-November.

In the lead-up to Diwali, homes and workplaces are cleaned, renovated, and decorated and on the third day, revellers adorn themselves in their finest clothes. Oil lamps and candles are lit, offerings are made to Lakshmi – the goddess of prosperity and wealth. Fireworks are set-off and families feast together in celebration.