By: Massimo De Francesca

Chef Massimo's kitchen: food for brain and gut health

Chef Massimo's kitchen: food for brain and gut health

Here's a good New Year's resolution: Increase your online reading.
I am not suggesting, though it might sound misleading, that we increase the time we all spend on our screens looking at entertaining social media platforms. I am talking about increasing “selected” web-based reading such as online courses and social media platforms that offer a wide range of research for building up healthier eating trends and habits.

I am suggesting we filter our online time and focus most of it on investing in our health.

Healthy food trends is one good area on which to focus your increased online reading.

GOOD BRAIN AND GUT FOODS

Two big food trends today involve foods that are good for your brain and foods that are good for your stomach. There is a long list of foods considered "brain foods," including berries, eggs, fatty fish, fruits, leafy greens, nuts and coffee.

Foods considered good gut foods include legumes, green vegetables, fermented foods such as kombucha, kimchi, and yoghurt, and even red wine.

Below are a couple of simple recipes to start your day with foods that are good for your brain and gut.

SPINACH SHAKSHUKA
(Serves 2-4 people)

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small shallot, peeled and chopped
  • 3 ounces frozen green peas
  • 4 ounces baby spinach, chopped
  • 10 stalks of green asparagus, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 10 basil leaves, torn
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Cracked black pepper to taste

Method:

  • In a medium, nonstick pan, add olive oil, chopped garlic, chopped shallots and sauté for 3 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add green peas, chopped spinach and green asparagus and sauté for 5 more minutes.
  • Turn off the heat, and delicately crack and layer the four eggs on top of the mixture.
  • Add basil, dill, salt and pepper and cover with a lid. Return to heat and steam until eggs are desired doneness.
  • Serve with your favourite hot sauce and a side of toasted whole-grain bread.

BERRY BLAST
(Serves 2-4 people)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup assorted berries
  • 1 cup coconut yoghurt
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 6 mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 cup ice

Method:
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.

Massimo De Francesca is the executive chef at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

This article appears in print in the January 2022 edition of Camana Bay Times.

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