Food for Mood – Recipe 1

Towards the end of last year we ran a series of online cookery workshops for students in residences to attend in partnership with NCIM. We will be running more of these sessions online and in person over the rest of the academic year. Keep an eye on our weekly newsletter to find out when!

Missing meals, long nights, relentless studying, and too much time online can make us feel lethargic, anxious, and make us more susceptible to illness  Chronic stress, uncontrolled blood sugars and hormone imbalance creates lots of inflammation in the body. In the first session we learnt how to control many of these issues by cooking with fibrous, colourful vegetables and good sources of protein that control glucose spikes! Give this recipe a try and find out for yourself! 

Shakshuka (click to download the recipe card)

  • Small jar of Harissa
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Small tin of tomato paste
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 1 fennel
  • ½ cup of frozen peas
  • 1 large bunch of spinach or kale
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • Ground cumin
  • 800g of fresh tomato or 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 4 small eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil and then add the harissa, tomato paste, red peppers, garlic, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes, until the peppers soften.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and frozen peas, bring to a gentle simmer, and cook for another 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
  • Now add in the spinach to let it wilt in the sauce for a further 3 – 4 mins.
  • Make 4 little dips in the sauce. Gently break the eggs and carefully pour each into its own dip. Use a fork to swirl the egg whites a little bit with the sauce, taking care not to break the yolks.
  • Simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still running.
  • Remove from the heat, leave for a couple of minutes to settle, then spoon into individual plates and serve with the raita and flatbreads.

Raita (click to download the recipe card)

  • 250g Greek yoghurt or natural yoghurt
  • Small bunch of fresh coriander or mint (you can also use dried)
  • 1 small lime
  • 1 cucumber
  • Garam masala
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Mix all the ingredients and season.
  • Serve sprinkled with extra garam masala.

Flat breads (click to download the recipe card)

  • 300 g Self-raising flour
  • A small sachet of baking powder
  • 150g natural yoghurt
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin seeds, chopped garlic cloves, chopped coriander, or chopped chillies (optional)
  • Combine the flour, baking powder, yoghurt, and oil with 1 tsp salt and 2 tbsp water and bring together into a rough dough.
  • Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes until slightly smooth, then divide into four to eight pieces, depending on the size of flatbread you want.

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