It’s no secret that we love a good book – a novel, a cook book, a biography – Kale & Cocoa loves a great read, and not just because reading is a fantastic way of keeping the brain ticking over as we get older.
So I’m incredibly proud of my co-blogee, Annabel, on the publication of her first novel. It’s called The Joyce Girl and it’s on Amazon here. It’s a fictionalised biography of Lucia Joyce – the staggeringly talented dancer daughter of James Joyce who came of age in Paris in the 1920s. Quite apart from the fact that it’s a brilliant read (and don’t just take my word for it – check out Annabel’s website www.annabelabbs.com for all the fantastic reviews) it’s incontrovertible evidence that our creatives lives don’t end when we hit middle age, and it is possible to reinvent ourselves at 50, 60, 70….
Annabel will be talking about her novel, and the journey from inspiration to publication, at the Books Unbound Festival in Hammersmith on Sunday at 10am. Do come along and have a listen if you can – tickets for sale here: www.booksunboundfestival.com
I’ll be at Books Unbound too – interviewing one of our Kale & Cocoa heroines, Calgary Avansino, about her wellness bible Keep It Real. It’s a terrific read – packed with practical advice healthy eating, feeding fussy children, cutting down on sugar and boosting vegetable intake. The recipes are great too – check out our @kaleandcocoa social media feeds for my #cookingwithCalgary week. Do join us at 2pm on Sunday.
This week’s recipe for asparagus with a yoghurt dip (no picture, sorry – Annabel’s got enough on her plate, as it were) is inspired both by one of the delicious canapes at the book launch and another of my favourite reads at the moment – the Duck Soup Cookbook by Clare Lattin and Tom Hill. The Duck Soup team use lots of Greek yoghurt in their recipes – it can carry strong flavours and has a high protein content. Asparagus is a fantastic, seasonal ‘eat well, age well’ food, packed with folate which works with Vitamin B12 to help prevent cognitive impairment. A study by Tufts University in the USA found that older people with a good level of folate and B12 performed better in a test of response speed and mental flexibility. Our ability to absorb B12 decreases as we age so tuck into the asparagus while it’s still in season.
ASPARAGUS SPEARS WITH LEMON AND HERB YOGHURT DIP
- Bunch of asparagus, tough ends removed
- 200g Greek yoghurt
- 1 tbs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 tbs fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tbs lemon juice
- ½ tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
Lightly steam the asparagus – you really don’t want to overcook it – and refresh under a cold tap. Mix all the other ingredients together in a small bowl and serve as a dip along side the asparagus. I had some of the yoghurt dip left over so I smeared it on chicken breasts before roasting them in the oven – delicious and the children loved it.