Penny Brohn UK

Help change life with cancer. For good

Love your onions

Inspired by our friends over at The Doctor’s Kitchen who are singing the praises of onions this week, we’re jumping on the bandwagon with our own ode to onions.

Kicking off a recipe by gently frying an onion or two is the base of pretty much every cuisine around the world. Whether slow cooked to caramelised perfection, pickled and sprinkled over salads or starting off a delicious soup, you’d be hard pressed to find a recipe that doesn’t contain onions.

The good news is that onions, along with other members of the allium family like garlic, are nutrition powerhouses, with prebiotic fibres to support our gut microbes, powerful anti-inflammatory flavonoids like quercetin, and sulphur-containing compounds which aid the production of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant, in our cells. In fact America’s National Cancer Institute has identified 35 plant based foods that possess cancer preventive properties, and onions and garlic are high on the list. While all onions are good, red onions may have a nutritious edge over their white and yellow cousins.

Here are two recipes for you to test out from our 7-day recipe planner:

Love your onionsBeetroot and Coconut soup – a regular feature in our Dining Room this soup is a favourite amongst visitors to the Centre, staff and volunteers.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ground cumin
Few sprigs of fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme
2 medium cooked beetroots, chopped
1 carrot, grated
600ml vegetable or chicken stock
400ml tin of coconut milk
Salt and black pepper to season
Dash of balsamic vinegar or lemon juice

Gently soften the onions in oil. Add garlic, cumin and herbs and cook, stirring for a further five minutes. Add the vegetables to the pan and raise the heat, stirring well. Add the stock, coconut milk and simmer until the vegetables are soft, about 15-20 minutes. Once everything is cooked blend until smooth, season and finally add either a dash of vinegar or lemon juice.

Tip: Blend in a can of drained and rinsed white beans for added protein.

Love your onionsThai Green Curry – you can prepare this with tofu or chicken

3 onions, peeled and cut into thick wedges
2 green chillies, deseeded
3cm piece of fresh ginger, chopped
5 cloves of garlic
Juice and zest of one lime
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp each cumin, turmeric, paprika and black pepper
4 tbsp olive, 2 tbsp water
1 large aubergine, cubed
300g firm tofu, cubed (or use four skinless, boneless chicken thighs, about 400g, cut into small pieces)
1 red pepper, sliced
400ml tin of coconut milk
1 stem lemongrass, sliced lengthways, leaving root intact
2 tbsp tamari or soya sauce
40g fresh coriander, chopped

To make the curry paste, blend one onion , chillies, ginger, garlic, lime zest and all the spices with 1 tbsp of olive oil and the water in a food processor. Heat the remainder of the oil in a heavy bottomed pan, toss in the rest of the onions and stir well. Add the aubergines, tofu or chicken and curry paste. Cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the red pepper and stir again. Cook for 5 more minutes. Add the coconut milk, tamari and lemongrass and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the lemongrass and add the lime juice and fresh coriander. Serve with brown basmati rice.

Tip: The tofu can be marinated in lime juice and spices in advance to enhance the flavour, or buy ready marinated tofu chunks.

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