Posts Tagged With: GMO

Parsnip and Millet Soup with Mustard Seed Oil

Parsnip and Millet Soup

Parsnip and Millet Soup

A simple and hearty soup to get this year of the B.H.K kicked off in substantial style. Sweet, nutty, with a good mustard poke in the oil.  Jane is inexplicably, sunning herself on the beaches of Spain (she’s back now actually) and has left me her to hold the windswept fort. Granted, in her last email she did seem apologetic. I realise I live the life of riley, but Jane is at least matching me with her Spanish countryside retreats. My Dad has popped over from Durham to make sure that I am behaving myself and filling me in on all the woes of Sunderland AFC this season (this is a pathetic football team that is constantly flirting with relegation and spends vast sums of money on very pants players) and the combined and glaring failures of England Rugby and Cricket. Sport is so dramatic! At least it is in our family.

Wales has welcomed me back into its arms with plenty of rugged weather, but it’s been lovely to have walks again though in the hills and catch up with some of our wonderful friends. North Wales in an amazing place to be, but it seems that winter is still very much here and making its icy presence felt. Snow is predicted over Easter (!?) It was 5oC this morning in the garden, with a cross wind biting my bones. I am now unable to cope with this kind of glacial behaviour. I have just landed from the downtown 35occ heat of Delhi. It’s quite a shock to the system. Still the fire is blazing away and there’s soup on the hob to thaw me out. Life is grand. Summer is coming…………..(or just a sight of the sun would be more enough!)

Some proper British veg

Some proper British veg.  We’ve missed a bit of parsnip

Anyway, enough of the engrossing weather update, let’s move onto the more weighty issue of thick soups that warm things up from the inside out. Soup that coats the ribs and tickles the taste buds. This is a bowl of hearty sup which only has a few ingredients and an interesting combo of flavours going on. With the millet and parsnips, there is plenty of carbs there to get things motoring. Dad and I had this for dinner with some toasted flat breads and it was nicely filling. We eat like horses, so there will be plenty for leaftovers.

Black Mustard Seeds - small, but packed with flavour

Black Mustard Seeds – they may look small, but packed with flavour

WE (heart) MILLET (muchly)
When are they going to start making keyboards with the heart symbol on them? Wouldn’t that be a beautiful thing, a huge, evolutionary leap forward. The ability to spread loving symbols at the push of a button.

They love millet in India, it used to be more popular than rice and has been eaten in many tribal areas for millennia. There are so many types over there; red, blue, white, big, small and slightly green-ish, they seem to change constantly from region to region (I show a keen interest in subtleties of millet variation when on holiday such is my dedication to the BHK cause!!!!!) Millet is superbly nutritious and naturally gluten-free. It also grows well in most places in the world and is cheap as chips to buy. We like to use it as a replacement for things like cous cous or bulghur wheat. More and more people are realising their intolerance to gluten and millet is a great replacement for other gluten-y grains. Millet is now getting wide spread support in India and is being planted instead of rice in many areas, which is good news, as rice is very thirsty and uses loads of water, plus the tastiest rotis (flatbreads) on the subcontinent are made with majority millet flour. I’ve tried black roti’s (see below) and recently had a deeply ochre puri (fried flatbread) that blew my marbles. Very different flavour and texture.  Like a dark and delicious frisbee.

Delhi 30-odd degrees, whizzing around in a Rickshaw with Dad and Jane, April '15 (A long way from he Beach House!)

Delhi 30-odd degrees, whizzing around in a Rickshaw with Dad and Jane, April ’15 (A long way from he Beach House!)

There is a fine lady name Vendana Shiva who we became aware of this trip in India, a fabulous environmental activist who travels the world and pioneers many new and visionary approaches to saving our poor Mother Earth. Vendana set up Navdanya an environmental education centre and farm which promotes the movement for biodiversity and organic farming methods. This is only one of the projects that the incredibly industrious Vendana has started, she is a real force of nature! We visited her restaurant in Dilli Hart, a market in South Delhi. The food is all organic and it acts as a huge store for organic seeds, pulses and spices. We brought a load of spices back to play with, many of them seeds so they last alot longer in the cupboard. Vendana is also very active in global seed harvesting which is becoming hugely important in many parts of the world in order to protect the diversity of crops and guard against the spread of GMO’s.  Read more about it here. This will increasingly become a major issue as indigenous species of plants all over the world are wiped out by unnatural GMO varieties, sold by multi national corporations, that are actually barren and wholly alien to nature. These GMO seeds work in tandem with poisonous pesticides and fertiliser tailored to enhance the growth of these specific seeds only and do not enhance the soil or local ecosystem in anyway. This is a hugely narrow minded approach to farming and nature in general. Nature is a vastly complex system of tiny systems working together in harmonious fashion, or it should be without our interference. GMO’s are a huge threat to the future of food and nature in general.  See Vendana Shiva talk more about this topic below and Navdanya’s hopes for 2015:

Back to soup-ville……I don’t feel the need for stock in this soup, cauliflower, millet and especially parsnip are packed with sweet flavours. The stock they make is seriously nutty and flavoursome, a little seasoning goes a long way.  Parsnips can be a little tricky to store, they have a habit of going slimy. I’d recommend sticking them in the fridge in a plastic bag.

Potatoes would be nice in this soup, but cauliflower is much lighter

Potatoes would be nice in this soup, but cauliflower is much lighter

Buster Watch – no sign of the little guy yet, a friend was feeding him in our shed a.k.a ‘The Buster Suite’. He has obviously found a better deal, but when he smells the kitchen kicking out curried aromas and clouds of fresh bread wafts, he’ll know we’re back. (PS – If you are new to the B.H.K, Buster is a semi-wild, punk of a cat that occasionally lives with us and brings us too many joyous cat based shenanigans). We hope he says ‘hello’ very soon. Little grey furball that he is.

I don’t know when we stopped putting music on the B.H.K, but we’d like to start again. Below is a tune that sums up the feeling up in our little windswept village, Carmel, at the moment. ‘Ghost Town’. One of Dad’s favourites by ‘The Specials’.

So we are back (well one of us is anyway) and the Beach House Kitchen in back in the flow and ready to bash some pots and pans together, make up some interesting food shapes with strange, fresh and appetising angles. I hope you all had a magical winter, I’ll be posting some pictures of our trip around Turkey, Spain and India soon. I’m off for a cup of Brickie’s tea with soya milk in it, a supreme luxury that I have deeply missed.

I think this summer is going to be rosy!

The Bits – For 4-6 Bowls

3 tbs cooking oil

100g millet

2 small onions (finely sliced)

2 medium sized parsnips (finely chopped)

½ medium sized cauliflower – roughly 250 grams (finely chopped)

2 teas Dijon mustard

2 teas black mustard seeds

1.5 ltr veg stock/ water

Sea salt and pepper (to taste)

Do It
In a large frying pan, a 1 tbs of your oil and when warm, add the onions. Fry for 5-7 minutes on a medium heat until they begin to caramelise, then add the parsnips and fry for another 5 minutes. Now for the cauliflower, add to the pan, stir and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the millet, Dijon mustard and stock/ water. Stir, pop a lid on and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the millet is cooked.

In a small frying pan, warm 2 tbs of cooking oil (rapeseed oil is nice) and add the mustard seeds, toss the seeds in the oil and fry gently for a minute, until they are popping. Set the oil aside.

Blend the soup in a food processor or use a trusty stick blender. Blend until smooth.

Parsnip and Millet Soup

Parsnip and Millet Soup with Mustard Oil- sorry about the naff photos, they will hopefully improve 

Serve piping hot, spoon over the mustard oil and serve with lashings of smiles.

Foodie Fact

Parsnips are actually indigenous to the Mediterranean and are normally harvested after the first frost.  It is a funny time of year in Britain, there is not much available from the land, so I have no idea how these parsnips came to be.  Soon the local organic farms will be back in bloom and fruit and we will be rich in delightful veggies.  For now, we scrape by.

Parnsips are high in sugar, up there with bananas and grapes.  They do however have great levels of dietary fibre, which lowers GI and are packed with anti-oxidants (poly-acetylene).   Parsnips are also rich in vitamin B’s, K and E, as well as minerals like iron, copper and potassium.

Categories: gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Recipes, Soups | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

We are what we eat – G.M. Foods, Millions Against Monsanto, G.M.O’s and Codex Alimentarius

‘YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT’.  So what are we eating?


I don’t mean our farmer Pete down the road, who is growing organically with an ethical approach and love for nature.  I mean generally.  On a global scale.  Our modern, industrialised approach to nature and food.

GM foods (or GMO’s are affecting us all.  Unless we are very well-informed and stringent with our food supply a GMO is present on every plate of food we consume.

This is a major issue for the future of the human race. 

This is in no way and exaggeration of the problem we face.  Monsanto is a good example of the people who are treating and managing our food.  It is a vile multi-national corporation who are involved in many terrible projects and have a deadly track record.

To name one of their crimes against humanity.  Monsanto are knowingly selling infertile seeds to farmers (‘infertile’ meaning that farmers need to buy new seeds each season from Monsanto at inflated prices).  These seeds then produce hybrid seeds after mixing with the local, indigenous plants.  This process carries on, naturally, bees, birds and the wind spread these tainted seeds throughout the land, leaving us with a truly horrifying situation.  Sterile nature!  Can you dare to imagine!

If unchecked, this will be (is!) a huge concern to us all.  Monsanto is but an example of the type of people, all to common in the madness of the worlds multi-nationals, who place money (or coloured paper) before the lives of other humans, nature and bizarrely enough themselves (after all, they eat this food and have their own families).  This suggests a level of insanity that if allowed to spread any further, may infect us all and will certainly ruin the planet for future generations.  God knows how these cretins will be viewed by our children and our children’s children.  Will we be the generation that sat and watched the world being ruined by a bunch of greedy bankers and fat cats?  I sincerely hope not.

This is a huge problem and when faced an issue of such magnitude, it’s easy to feel helpless and lost.  Below are some sites and information that have inspired me to educate myself about this crisis and get involved, tell my friends etc.  You will rarely (if ever) see in mass media.  Not because it isn’t true.  Surely this is front page news!?

There is much info on this brilliant U.S. site if you’re interested in an organic way of life and a reversal in the nightmarish trend towards G.M.O. foods (I was told that Spain is now 100% GMO which is very, very scary.  You can’t reverse 100%).  The facts are laid out here for us all to see Monsanto are up to.

Next we have Codex who are an organisation we should all know more about.  They set the food safety guidelines for the World Health Organisations (backed by the U.N. and most ‘developed’ countries).  Codex seems to be a company ran by people who are utterly detached from the natural world and the seemingly logical manner in which people should healthily eat, live and prosper.  See the video clip below.  It is quite startling.  In fact, Codex’s agenda seems at odds with their stated purpose of existence, namely to ‘protect the health of the consumer’.  These are the same people who claimed nutrients to be ‘TOXINS’.  This is alarming, baffling and quite true.

Below is an impassioned clip of CODEX being explained (part 1 of 4) in full by an experienced doctor.  This is a MUST WATCH if you are concerned about the future of the world’s food.

Also an article in the Guardian (U.K.) about Codex putting forward plans to eradicate health supplements and a list of nutrients from out diets.

Much of our food is being irradiated, supported by our food guardians at Codex.  Fruit and Veg blasted with radiation!  You know that pear, pineapple etc…. that hasn’t ripened in a month!?  Read more below (PS – I use Wikipedia articles because they are reasonably balanced and credible to most people.  There is a lot more and possibly better info if you have a quick search yourself.)

Hopefully these get your juices going (you can probably tell, its gets me pumped up!).  Unfortunately this is merely the tip of the iceberg.

As far as we can tell, nature is our only real example of perfection.  Who are we to tamper with something so pure.   Something that actually works!  I think even the most devout supporter of a GM future would verify to the erratic, imperfect history of human behavior.  We most definitely do not know everything and should in no way be responsible for our future as a species of funny looking primates.

I could rant here all day, this is a diverse and very deep subject that all governments, The World Health Organisation, The United Nations etcetcetc are all involved in.  These people are not our friends.

It’s big fight, but one that is surely worth getting involved with, at least educating ourselves about.  What we are putting into our bodies and the bodies of our kids?  For those who say, ‘I cant do anything’ (email me, we can start something), or ‘its not important’ (I’ve met a few), I would ask you to read a little into it and imagine a world were in this generation your local bank also doubles as a seed bank, where you can buy one type of apple at Tesco stores across Europe and where the beauty of spring blooming will only occur at a monetary cost.

And by way of a finale……..


These are not the people I want to control the future of food?  How about you?


Categories: G.M. Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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