I know I dropped the ball on the whole healthy eating thing for the new year by proposing roast chicken with lots of trimmings for dinner last week but it was snowing. This week I’m making up for it with …….. ginger. Fantastic for digestion (pregnant ladies take note), ginger is also great for colds and flus and is reckoned to have properties which fight headaches and period pains. We often drink ginger tea in our house especially over the winter months and it’s so easy to make. Slice about an inch of ginger and simmer it in boiling water for about 10 minutes. Serve with honey and lemon juice.  It’s also fantastic in juices and carrot and ginger is a classic. Take 3 or 4 carrots and juice with a small piece of ginger – juice and drink immediately. You can throw an apple or orange in there if you’d like some more sweetness.

Ginger is  the basis of a great dipping sauce that is just fab with veggies like broccoli, green beans, courgette, peppers, sweet potato or butternut squash. Add  tahini, a paste made from crushed sesame seeds which you can get in your health food shop or any Middle Eastern shop which gives it a beautiful nutty flavour, with soy sauce and honey. Completely addictive it’ll definitely give you a reason to eat plenty of veggies. I’m not really one for special kitchen gadgets or tools but I can’t recommend getting a proper ginger grater highly enough if you like these kind asian flavours. It’ll separate all the stringiness from the ginger pulp. I got mine in Muji and we use it just about every week.

Ginger and Soy Dipping sauce

2 Tablespoons Light Tahini

2 Tablespoons Soy or Tamari

1 Teaspoon Honey

2 Teaspoons grated Ginger

4 Tablespoons hot water

Fancy something a little special? This week’s sweet potato is great in tempura. I combined it with broccoli and served it with that yummy dipping sauce. The proportions below will make enough for 4 people as a starter or a lunch for 2 very hungry people. The trick with tempura is to get the batter as light as possible. For this I use self-raising flour and sparkling water. Don’t make it too ahead of time as the air leaches out and you lose the lightness.

Tempura of Sweet Potato and Broccoli

The  Batter:

200gr Self-raising Flour

1 1/4 cups sparkling water

A pinch fine salt

The veg:

200gr Sweet Potato

200gr Broccoli


Vegetable oil

First of all prepare the dipping sauce as described above then get on with the veg. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into slices about 1 cm thick. Break the broccoli into bite-size florets and set aside. Whisk the flour, salt and sparkling water together. Heat about 3 cm of vegetable oil in the pan when you can get a drop of the tempura batter to sizzle it’s hot enough and you’re ready to go.

When you’re ready to cook, coat each piece of veg in batter and drop into the oil. This is a messy business and if you’re confident with chopsticks I find a large set is the way to go. If not just rinse you’re hands as needed. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan or things will start to stick together. Last night I filled the pan 3 times to get through all the veg. This of course means that someone has to stand over the pan while other people get to tuck in as tempura is best eaten immediately. You can of course munch while you keep an eye on the pan or use 2 pans if you want to completely relax over your dinner. Generally it’ll take about 2 minutes on each side to get the tempura golden and that’s just the way you want it. Enjoy!!

This weeks’ oranges are the Moro Blood variety which are only for a couple of months each year and are especially popular. If you’d like to get a box to keep in good supply  just let us know and we’ll drop them with your bag next week. Like the other ones they cost 15E per 6.5k.

Have a great weekend,