There are many different kinds of cabbage. Red cabbage also known as purple cabbage is similar to the green varieties but it is much higher in vitamin C, vitamin A and twice as much iron as green cabbage. It's high in fibre and a good source of potassium, the red colour is a bonus, it can help you with achieving your rainbow of daily vegetables (when cooked it turns more blue, adding a little vinegar will help keep it's deeper red colour).
Red curry paste is ideal for flavouring meat, chicken, fish and vegetables dishes. The paste is usually a mix of, lemon grass, shallots, garlic, ginger, red chilli, salt, coriander, kefir lime, pepper and cumin. Purchase a brand that contains no MSG, artificial colours or flavourings, preservatives or trans oils. My favourite brand is Thai Gourmet Red Curry Paste.
Red onions are sometimes called purple onions and have a mild to sweet flavour. They are normally eaten raw or lightly cooked. Raw they add colour to salads, when lightly cooked some colour is lost. Red onions are packed with quercetin, aside from its antioxidant properties, quercetin has been found to possess cancer fighting, ani-fungal, aniti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Use organic red wine vinegar if possible produced by slow fermentation.
Rocket are green salad leaves that can't be classed as a true herb or vegetable. Rocket has a peppery, nutty flavour and has a texture similar to English Spinach. Also referred to as 'Arugula'. It's one of the nutritious green leafy herb/vegetables from the Mediterranean region, it has many vital phytochemicals antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
The herb rosemary is a woody perennial herb with evergreen, needle-like leaves and has a strong fragrance. Rosemary is often cooked with lamb or in Italian dishes and is added to stews, soups and broth to give extra flavour, also the oil is extracted and used for many purposes including body creams and shampoos. Rosemary leaves are used fresh or dried.
Sage is native to the Mediterranean area. The herb is a member of the mint family and has many healing properties. Use sage leaves to season fish, meat, salads and soups. Sage is a good source of vitamin A, calcium, iron and potassium. Sage has been used to treat a wide range of conditions like cold, sore throat, fever respiratory problems, sinusitis, skin problems, menstrual disorders, digestive ailments and memory loss.
When purchasing seafood opt for wild caught fish, not farmed. Salmon is one of the best choices as it contains good amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. When purchasing canned fish, look for “pole and line caught” on the label.
Sauerkraut is fermented finely cut cabbage that has been fermented by various lactic acid bacteria. It has a long shelf life and a sour flavour, both result from the lactic acid that forms when the bacteria ferment the sugars in the cabbage (a process of pickling). There are many health benefits claimed for sauerkraut. it is a source of vitamins C, B and K, it is also high in calcium, magnesium and fibre. The fermentation process increases the bioavailability of nutrients. The unpasteurized and uncooked, sauerkraut also contains live lactobacilli and beneficial microbes and is rich in enzymes. The probiotics that sauerkraut contains, improves digestion and promotes the growth of healthy gut flora, protecting against many diseases of the digestive tract.
Savoy cabbage has ruffled green outer leaves and is higher in beta carotene than other varieties. Savoy cabbage has less water content than regular green cabbage which makes it a much better choice to use in a coleslaw. Using it will help prevent the watering down of your dressing.
Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.
Sesame seed oil adds extra flavour to Asian cooking. Purchase sesame oil that contains no MSG and no preservatives. Store in the fridge once opened. Sesame seed oil can help heart health and is good for the skin both topically and internally. It contains anti-cancer compounds, including phytic acid, magnesium and phytosterols.
Sesame seeds are found in the pod of the flowering sesame plant. Sesame seeds have a rich, nutty flavour and have one of the highest oil contents of any seed. They provide high amounts of protein and dietary fibre. Sesame seeds are also rich in B vitamins and minerals, manganese, magnesium, calcium, iron and zinc.
Shredded coconut has longer and thicker strands than desiccated coconut and not to be confused with coconut flakes. Use organic coconut, which does not contain preservatives (sulphur).
Paprika is a relative of the chili pepper. Smoked paprika is used to add a sweet mildly spicy flavour to dishes and it adds a warm natural colour. Use organic smoked paprika, my favourite brands are Simply Organic or Frontier (I purchase online at iherb).
I use English spinach leaves in my recipes. This more modern variety of spinach is more tender than older varieties and has small flat leaves. Can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Spinach has a high nutritional value and is a rich source of iron.
Other names for spring onion are scallion or green onion. They have hollow green leaves and a small root bulb and can be eaten raw or cooked. The green tops are also used sliced or chopped as a garnish. The green tops are a good source of vitamin C and beta carotene.
Strawberries are loved for their aroma, bright red colour, juicy texture and sweetness. They are easy to grow in your home garden. Strawberries freeze well, use frozen in smoothies and desserts. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, contain folate and potassium, high in fibre, plus they provide anticancer bioflavonoids. To keep your strawberries fresh for several weeks, wash in a bowl with water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar, don't rinse, lay on paper towel to dry and place in a seal container in the fridge. Organic is best.
The sultana is a pale green oval seedless grape which has been dried. Sultanas are sweet and used in baking and eaten as a snack. Purchase naturally dried, preservative and oil free sultanas, organic is best.
Purchase organic if possible or make your own. Choose a brand that contains only toasted sunflower seeds, with no sugar or vegetable oils added. This is perfect to use in place of nut butters. When baking with sunflowers use baking powder (gluten-free), as baking soda (bicarb) reacts to the sunflowers and turns green (it will taste the same but your baking won't look as pleasant to the eye).