Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

Healthy Recipes to Boost Your Immunity

The Double Six Stew

Now is the lowest ebb for most peoples’ immunity. Stress and overindulgence of Christmas has taken its toll, weather is the wettest winter since records began and for anyone commuting to work, trains and buses are crowded, overheated and poorly ventilated. Someone sneezes on the back seat and their germs can fly 40 feet in front of them. This is the recipe you need.

The enormous immune-boosting properties come from the mixture of six herbs and six vegetables, which make this recipe a genuine double whammy. Anti-oxidants, cancer protective plant chemicals, heart protective and antibacterial herbs combine in this super protective recipe. Sage also protects against winter bugs, bay helps fat digestion and marjoram is antiviral.

This is a genuine one-pot meal as everything you need cooks together in a fragrant and delicious blend of smells and flavours. Suitable for cheaper cuts of meat as it cooks longer. This is the perfect dish to cook in large quantities when you have spare time as it freezes brilliantly and if done in portions they can be microwaved in minutes. It’s also an excellent dish for a slow cooker. Prepared in the morning, your mouth will be watering the minute you open the front door.

Ingredients: For 4 people

Lean stewing steak – 500 g cubed
Seasoned plain flour - 4 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil - 3 tbsp
Onion, celery, carrots, turnip, swede, parsnip – 500 g combined weight, chopped and peeled as necessary.
Guinness – 300 ml
Bouquet garni - 1. Tie together a bay leaf with a sprig each of marjoram, parsley and thyme.
Sage leaves 1 tbsp, chopped

Toss meat in flour and brown in large casserole with oil and garlic.

Add vegetables and stir briskly for 2 mins.

Add Guinness, bouquet garni, sage, and water, if necessary, to cover.

Bring to the boil, cover and simmer on the stove for 2 and a half to 3 hours, adding more water if necessary.

Now, a super veggie dish that will boost your resistance, protect against colon cancer and tastes just great!

Filo Cauliflower Tart With Red Onion And Maple Syrup

It may sound just a little bizarre to add maple syrup to cauliflower, onion and goats’ cheese, then bake them all together in a filo pastry tart, well I suppose it is.

But this recipe from one of my elderly neighbours, here in deepest rural France actually came from her daughter. She lives in Canada now and enjoys the fusion of traditional French cooking with the flavours of her New World.

This is simple, very tasty and takes no more than 40 minutes from start to eating.

Use a deep flan tin or dish, 24 cms, 9.5 inches diameter

Preheat the oven to 220°C, 425°F, gas mark 7

400 g 14 oz trimmed cauliflower
4 sheets of ready made filo pastry
4 flat, round goat’s cheeses
2 red onions
60ml/4 tbs maple syrup
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

• Oil the sheets of filo one at a time
• Place in a deep baking dish on top of each other, leaving the corners standing up.
• Cut the cauliflower into small floret’s and cook in salted, boiling water for ten minutes, drain and cool a little.
• Cut the cheeses into thin, round slices and cover the pastry with them
• Sprinkle with half the finely sliced onions
• Cover with the cauliflower, add the rest of the onions and season
• Drizzle the maple syrup over the top
• Put in hot oven for 15 minutes or till the tart starts to brown

Although cauliflower doesn’t contain chlorophyll, unless you eat some of the tender protective green leaves, it’s an exceptionally healthy vegetable. It’s rich in cancer protective glucosinolates, anti-bacterial sulphur compounds and sulforaphane, a chemical released when the plant is chopped or chewed. This stimulates the liver to produce enzymes which kill of colon cancer cells and may even help prevent the spread of breast cancer cells.

An average portion provides a day’s dose of vitamin C and substantial amounts of folic acid, fibre and vitamin B6, as well as a good supply of other vitamins and minerals.


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