Are you getting enough?

It’s been a busy week in our household – in fact, a busy couple of months with 8 birthdays, Christmas and New Year since the beginning of November!  It’s been great to get out of dusting, though, as all you do is exchange the different cards and cover it all up! It was my birthday on Friday and the Husband and I had a lovely couple of days in London visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum and taking the Clipper boat up the Thames to Greenwich to the Cutty Sark and Maritime Museum. For once, we had a beautiful day and the sun shone – and John decided London wasn’t so bad after all (as long as it is Greenwich!)

It’s very easy when you are busy like this to not be taking too much care of yourself and think the reason you are a bit on the tired side is because you haven’t been taking it easy – but it could be you are not getting enough of essential vitamins and B12 is one of the ones the body can’t produce by itself.  Its vital for creating red blood cells and to release energy from food – and without it may leave you feeling tired and weak. Happily, we don’t have to find too much of it to get a daily dose and can be found in eggs, fish, cheese, milk products – and Marmite! And the following 2 recipes, of course!

Baked Haddock Risotto (we’ve made risotto before but this is a baked one so constant stirring isn’t required, leaving you free to do the dusting – or read a book!)

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced (you can swap for a leek if you prefer)
  • 1 – 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 140g arborio rice
  • 100ml white wine (and a glass for the cook!)
  • 1/2 litre vegetable stock (a cube will do)
  • 150g thick cut cavolo nero, (an Italian dark green cabbage), thick stems discarded
  • 120g haddock (I prefer smoked, but it’s up to you – both work well)
  • 1/2 lemon, zested and cut into wedges
  • 50g parmesan cheese, finely grated

Put the oven on at 180oC.  Using an openproof pan, fry the onion (or leek) and garlic in the oil for 3 – 4 minutes, until starting to soften.  Add the rice and cook for another 2 – 3 minutes.  Pour in the wine and simmer until mostly evaporated and add the stock . Bring to simmer, cover and put in the oven for about 30 minutes. Stir in the cavolo and nestle the fish on top. Cover and return to the oven for another 15 minutes until the haddock is cooked. Break up the fish with a fork and stir through the rice.  Season and stir in the lemon zest and the cheese, serving with lemon wedges.  For an additional hit of B12, you can also add a poached egg on top.

Image result for baked smoked haddock risotto

As it’s obviously not easy to just buy a little of Cavolo Nero, I thought you might also like this additional recipe of a very easy soup.

  • 1 tablespoon oilive oil
  • 1 small onion (or leek)
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  •  a bay leaf
  • 1 -2 potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1/2 litre of stock, chicken or vegetable (a cube will do)
  • cavolo nero, torn and tough stalks discarded

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion or leek, garlic, chilli and bay leaf and sweat over a low heat for 15 = 20 minutes.  Add the potatoes and stock.  Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.  Stir in the cabbage and simmer until just cooked.  Serve in a bowl with a drizzle of olive oil, extra chilli flakes if liked and a shaving of parmesan.

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