There are many truths in the world like the earth is round, the sun rises in the east and there is no such thing as too much garlic. I love garlic and all its health benefits like protecting you against vampires because you never truly know when that will come in handy. So for the off chance I do have a run-in with the local vamp, I always have a daily hearty serving of garlic.
Today I made a warm glow plate to accompany my garlic serving. It should be a bowl but being a sibling of nine million and one children means that the majority of the houses crockery is upstairs in rooms until one the cretins decides its time to bring them down. So, I give you the warm glow plate. It’s glowing because all the ingredients are rich in B vitamins, carotenoids, vitamin C and vitamin E. Instead of telling a story about the vegetables that are a staple in our fridge, I thought I’d give some fun facts about each of the ingredients. So, let’s start.
Did you know that all bell peppers are the same and that their colour just depends on how ripe they are. So in essence, your deepest red, orange, and yellow bell pepper is just a green one that was left on the stem for longer. Red bell peppers to be more specific, are filled to the brim with vitamin C which is a strong antioxidant but also helps your body absorb iron. They also have vitamin B6 and folate which are used by your body to make new healthy cells.
Besides being the basis to the closest thing to heaven, hummus, chickpeas are incredible for your body. Chickpeas are rich in protein and capped with important nutrients like vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folate and vitamin A. They are good for your heart and for your digestion and they are as delicious roasted as they are in hummus.
This was my debut into vegetables that introduced me to the world of greens. I did, unfortunately, kill it in my first two years of university so I don’t eat it nearly as much as I use to. An interesting fact about butternut is that it is a fruit. Butternut is brilliant for eye health, immune support, bone health, and digestion.
Garlic is a rich source of antioxidants, it is antibacterial and antiviral, that has been around since Hippocrates, Greek physician and father of Western medicine was alive. Hippocrates famous quote ‘let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food’ is perhaps why he often prescribed garlic to treat many medical conditions. Black garlic is white garlic that has been fermented in controlled heat and humidity. It has the same health benefits as white garlic except it has a much higher content of amino acids and antioxidants as well as S-Allycysteine which makes it easier for the body to absorb the health benefits of garlic.
Popeye didn’t eat spinach for anything. Spinach is an excellent source of iron, which is used by our red blood cells to transport oxygen around our bodies. Besides its iron content, spinach is also a source of vitamin A, C, K, and folate, all-important for our body functioning at its best ability. In this bowl, I sautéed the spinach but it can be raw, I generally tend to eat baby spinach raw and any other types like young spinach and swiss chard etc. sautéed.
I used a seed mix that had sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, and sesame seeds but it also had some nuts in it. A plain seed mix, nut mix or a single type of seed or nut can be used or you can leave it out completely but it does give a nice crunch. Pumpkin seeds are called Emperor of the sun in China and they are rich in amino acids as well as zinc and omega-3s. Sesame seeds in Hindu mythology were blessed and are symbols of immortality, they are packed with protein, zinc, magnesium, calcium and cholesterol-lowering enzymes. Sunflower seeds were the mystic symbol for many civilisations the biggest being the Incas, who worshipped the sun. Sunflower seeds are rich in B vitamins, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, protein and vitamin E. Finally flaxseeds have thought to be around since the Mesopotamian period. They are a wonderful source of omega-3s, omega-6s, fatty acids, folate, and vitamin B6.
I think that is enough about the food benefits but this is by no means exhaustive each item has pages and pages of benefits. Feel free to use whatever you have on hand, I am sure it will be delicious. I also know that there is a lot of garlic used in this recipe so feel free to decrease it, I personally just love eating a whole clove of roasted garlic.
Let me know what vegetables you swear by or any interesting facts you have about the ingredients or any for that matter.
I hope you enjoy!
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 tin of chickpeas (rinsed, dried and shelled, keep the chickpea skins)
- Butternut cut into chunks
- 3 whole cloves of giant garlic
- 3 whole cloves of normal garlic
- 3 cloves of black garlic chopped (it gives it an umami flavor but you don’t need it)
- 2 small red onions, quartered
- 3 handfuls of young spinach
- 1 lemon
- Seed mix
- Chevin (optional)
- Heat the oven to 180oC
- Place the butternut, onion quarters and normal garlic on a tray and season with salt, pepper, chilli flakes and olive oil and place in the oven until the onions are soft and the butternut is cooked
- On another baking tray, place the shelled chickpeas, black garlic, and giant garlic with salt and pepper and olive oil and place in the oven until the chickpeas and golden but are still soft. Take out the oven and squeeze some lemon juice onto them.
- Place the chickpea shells in a baking dish and season with pepper, olive oil and a tablespoon of soy sauce and make sure all the skins are coated and place in the oven for about 5-8 minutes until they are crispy.
- Brush the bell pepper with olive oil and grill it whole until the skin is soft and blistered. Place the bell pepper into a bowl and cover with cling film and leave to steam for 10 minutes after which, peel off the skin, cut it into strips and dress it with olive oil and some balsamic vinegar
- While at the grill, grill half the lemon until it is slightly charred and sticky
- Heat some olive oil and crushed garlic on a pan and sauté the young spinach with some salt and pepper.
- Finally, toast the seed mix until the seeds are crunchy, you don’t want to burn them.
- To assemble, place the spinach on a plate, and then add the butternut, onions and roasted garlic cloves, bell pepper slices and the chickpeas with the black garlic and giant garlic. Finally scatter the chickpea skins, seed mix, and chevin and dress it with the grilled lemon.