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YOU can try endless skincare products and treatments but the real way to battle ageing is from the inside – by eating well.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh’s Usher Institute revealed this week that iron-rich food such as red meat can dramatically age you.

Dr Rupy Aujla, author of bestselling book The Doctor’s Kitchen, shares some of his tasty recipes to stop you from ageing
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Dr Rupy Aujla, author of bestselling book The Doctor’s Kitchen, shares some of his tasty recipes to stop you from ageingCredit: Faith Mason

But meals high in antioxidants, collagen, minerals and those that have anti-inflammatory properties can make us look younger and help repair our bodies.

Dr Rupy Aujla author of bestselling book The Doctor’s Kitchen, is one of the UK’s leading voices in nutrition. He says: “Having a large number of fruits and vegetables every day ensures you get multiple plant chemicals that balance excess inflammation, reduce damage and protect cells as they age.

“A relatively low-protein diet reduces excessive growth hormones that could accelerate the ageing process. It all boils down to my principles of healthy eating: Mostly plants, quality fats (nuts and seeds), eating high-fibre and whole fresh foods.”

Yasmin Harisha and Jenny Francis bring you some of the doctor’s tasty recipes

  • Dr Rupy Aujla’s books The Doctor’s Kitchen, £16.99, and Eat To Beat Illness, £16.99, are both available from Waterstones

BREAKFAST

Broccoli, eggs

Serve the chestnuts and broccoli with the fried egg on top and season lightly
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Serve the chestnuts and broccoli with the fried egg on top and season lightly

Cooking time: 5–10mins

Five anti-ageing ingredients: Broccoli, bell pepper, olive oil, garlic, eggs

YOU NEED:

  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 100g broccoli, florets finely sliced and stalk trimmed and cubed
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 4 thyme sprigs
  • 50g peas (fresh or thawed)
  • 50g cooked chestnuts
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Small knob of butter
  • 1 egg
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD: Pre-heat the grill to medium. Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick frying pan. Add the cubed broccoli stalk and garlic and sauté for 3–4 mins until lightly browned. Add the thyme leaves, broccoli florets and peas, crumble in the cooked chestnuts and add the cayenne pepper. Cover and cook for 2 mins.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a separate small frying pan over a medium heat, crack in the egg and fry for 1 min, or until the white is cooked. Transfer the pan to the preheated grill and cook for 2–3 mins, until the egg white is cooked but the yolk is still runny. Serve the chestnuts and broccoli with the fried egg on top and season lightly with salt and pepper.

TIPS:

  • Try making this with different vegetables, such as cauliflower, asparagus or even chicory.
  • Swap the cayenne pepper for a different spice, such as dried chilli flakes or chipotle chilli, if you prefer.

Ginger morning oats

Serve the oats warm with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and flaked almonds
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Serve the oats warm with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon and flaked almonds

Ready in: 5mins

Six anti-ageing ingredients: Ginger, porridge oats, sunflower seeds, almonds, carrots, cinnamon

YOU NEED:

  • 60g porridge oats
  • 15g sunflower seeds
  • 15g flaked almonds plus extra to serve
  • 150ml almond milk (or dairy)
  • 1 pear, grated (about 50g)
  • 1 carrot, grated (about 30g)
  • 1 tsp freshly grated root ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp honey


METHOD: Toast the oats, seeds and almonds in a dry saucepan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned.

Pour the milk into the pan and stir, then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 2–3 mins, stirring, until thickened, adding extra milk to loosen it if needed. Serve the oats warm with an extra sprinkle of cinnamon, flaked almonds and some extra sliced pear if you wish.

LUNCH

Split pea soup with watercress and basil

Serve with a drizzle of extra oil, a grind of pepper and watercress
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Serve with a drizzle of extra oil, a grind of pepper and watercress

Ready in: 20 mins

Four anti-ageing ingredients: Watercress, green peas, olive oil, garlic

YOU NEED:

  • 100g split green peas, soaked and rinsed
  • 400ml boiling water
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced
  • 200g watercress, leaves and stalks roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
  • 25g basil leaves (about a handful),
  • Roughly chopped sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD: Put the split peas in a saucepan with half the water, place over a medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, until mushy. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.

Add the garlic and spring onion, season with salt and pepper and sauté for 2 mins, then add the watercress and basil and sauté briefly, just for a minute or so, until wilted.

Transfer to blender or food processor with the mushy split peas. Add the remaining boiling water to the blender with the watercress and basil and blitz until smooth.

Serve immediately, drizzled with extra oil, a grind of pepper and a garnish of watercress.

Spiced chicken skewers with apple and pea chutney

Serve the chicken skewers with the sautéed spinach and chutney
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Serve the chicken skewers with the sautéed spinach and chutney

Ready in: 30mins

Five anti-ageing ingredients: Apple, pea, ginger, onion, tomato, spinach

YOU NEED:

  • 300g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 4cm cubes
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 5cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 100g spinach, finely chopped
  • 25g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 15g coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • For the marinade:
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 4cm piece of root ginger, peeled
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded
  • 25g Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp each of ground cumin, ground fennel and ground cinnamon
  • For the apple and pea chutney:
  • 1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
  • 15g coriander, leaves and stalks grated
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded
  • 75g peas (fresh or thawed)

METHOD: To make the marinade, blend the garlic, ginger and chilli in a blender or food processor until finely chopped. Transfer to a bowl, add the yoghurt, cumin, fennel and cinnamon, season well and mix. Add the chicken pieces and coat them in the marinade.

Leave for at least 20 minutes (ideally overnight), covered, in the fridge.
Preheat the grill to medium. Push the marinated chicken pieces on to skewers and line them on a rack under the grill. Cook for 22–25 mins, until lightly charred, turning them halfway through to ensure they cook evenly.

While the chicken skewers are cooking, melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion, ginger and cardamom pods and sauté for 1–2 mins until soft. Fold in the spinach, tomatoes and coriander, cover with a lid then remove from the heat.

To make the chutney, blitz the apple, coriander, lime zest and juice, red chilli and peas in a blender or food processor until roughly blended. Add a splash of water to loosen if needed. Serve the chicken skewers with the sautéed spinach and chutney.

DINNER

Meatless meatballs

Serve the baked meatless meatballs with the Marinara Sauce
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Serve the baked meatless meatballs with the Marinara Sauce

Ready in: 30mins

Four anti-ageing Ingredients: Garlic, mushrooms, chilli, sun-dried tomatoes in oil

YOU NEED:

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 200g fresh porcini mushrooms (or wild or chestnut),
  • finely chopped
  • Leaves from 2 rosemary sprigs, finely chopped
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 500g cooked puy lentils
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 300g wholegrain or black-bean fettucine
  • 2 carrots, peeled lengthways into thin strips
  • 500ml Jasmin’s Marinara Sauce

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the garlic, mushrooms, rosemary, sun-dried tomatoes and chilli flakes and sauté for 2–3 mins, until the mushrooms have softened.

Stir in the lentils, then transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor with the flaxseed and blitz for just long enough to combine everything and until all the ingredients have a uniform texture.

Form the mixture into 16 balls. Put the balls on the lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until crisp on the outside and hot through. Meanwhile, cook the fettucine in a pan of boiling water for 6 minutes (or according to the packet instructions), throwing in the carrot strips for the last minute of cooking time to soften them.

Drain the fettucine and carrots and serve with the baked meatless meatballs and Marinara Sauce.

Sweet cajun salmon

Place the salmon on top of the quinoa and watercress
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Place the salmon on top of the quinoa and watercress

Ready in: 30mins

Five anti-ageing ingredients: Asparagus, salmon, garlic, capers, avocado oil

YOU NEED:

  • 2 x 200g salmon fillets
  • 200g quinoa
  • 500ml water
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 150g sweetcorn
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 150g watercress
  • For the cajun marinade:
  • 2 tbsp milled flaxseed
  • 2tsp Cajun spice blend Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp brown sugar or Coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

METHOD: Mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the salmon fillets and leave to marinate for 20 minutes. While the salmon is marinating, soak the quinoa in a bowl of water for the same amount of time.

Add the quinoa to a dry saucepan over a medium heat and toast the grains for a few minutes. Boil the 500ml water then add it to the pan of quinoa along with the paprika, sweetcorn and some salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 mins then plate up with the watercress.

Heat a frying pan over a medium-low heat and place the marinated fillets in the pan skin-side down, pressing them gently for the first 30 seconds. Cook for about 6 mins until the top side begins to turn opaque, then flip the fillets over and cook on the other side for a further 3–4 mins until cooked through.

Place the salmon on top of the quinoa and watercress and enjoy.

DESSERT

Orange-zested chocolate bark with berries

Scatter all the ingredients apart from the fresh fruit over the melted chocolate before freezing for 20–25 mins
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Scatter all the ingredients apart from the fresh fruit over the melted chocolate before freezing for 20–25 mins

Ready In: 20-40mins

Five anti-ageing ingredients: Dark chocolate, blackberries, cinnamon, walnuts, pistachios

YOU NEED:

  • 200g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into small pieces
  • 15g unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 15g walnuts, roughly chopped
  • Grated zest of ½ small orange
  • Small pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 150g blackberries or a selection of seasonal fruits such as nectarines, pears, apples or raspberries

METHOD: Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the bowl does not touch the water.

Place the chocolate into the bowl and let it melt, stirring it occasionally.
Meanwhile, line a small baking tray or chopping board with baking parchment.

Spread the melted chocolate over the tray to a thickness of about 3mm. Scatter all the remaining ingredients (apart from the fresh fruit) evenly over the melted chocolate and place in the freezer for 20–25 mins to harden.

Snap and enjoy with seasonal fruits.

Cinnamon hemp cakes

Stack the warm pancakes on a plate and drizzle with the maple syrup and crushed pistachios
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Stack the warm pancakes on a plate and drizzle with the maple syrup and crushed pistachios

Ready in: 15 mins

Four anti-ageing ingredients: Bananas, hemp seeds, eggs, coconut

YOU NEED:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp shelled hemp seeds (or ground flaxseed), plus extra to serve
  • 2 bananas, 1 mashed, 1 sliced
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut flour (or almond flour/another nut flour)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour (or buckwheat, if gluten free)
  • 30-40ml almond milk (or dairy/coconut milk)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 15g Shelled, unsalted pistachios, toasted and lightly crushed

METHOD: Combine the egg, hemp seeds, mashed banana, cinnamon, both flours, milk and baking powder in a bowl. For American-style pancakes you want to achieve a “dropping” consistency – add a further 20–30ml milk if you like thinner pancakes.

Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat then pour 2 tablespoons of batter into the pan (use another 2 tablespoons of batter if it will accommodate it – you should have enough batter for 4 pancakes).
Fry the pancakes, in batches if necessary, for 1-2 mins on each side, until lightly browned.

Stack the warm pancakes on a plate and drizzle with the maple syrup, scatter over the crushed pistachios and some extra hemp seeds, and top with the sliced banana.