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Recipe of the Day – Cranberry & pumpkin-seed crispbreads

Cranberry & pumpkin-seed crispbreads

Made with spelt flour & buttermilk

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“A little sweet, a little savoury, these crispbreads are just the thing for your cheeseboard, pairing well with everything from a creamy Brie to a punchy Cheddar.

Ingredients

  • unsalted butter , for greasing
  • 200 g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 150 g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 100 g dried cranberries
  • 100 g pumpkin seeds
  • 75 g walnuts
  • 275 ml buttermilk
  • 1 large free-range gg
  • 3 tablespoons barley malt extract
  • fruit olive oil
 Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Grease two 900g loaf tins and line the base and ends with baking paper, then set aside.
  2. Sift the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, a good pinch of sea salt and a grinding of black pepper into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Roughly chop the walnuts, tip them in and mix to combine.
  4. In a jug, mix together the buttermilk, egg, malt extract and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and add to the dry ingredients. Mix well until combined and almost smooth.
  5. Divide the dough evenly between the prepared tins. Fill it right into the corners, smooth the tops and bake on the middle shelf for about 25 minutes, until risen, firm and golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tins for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Reduce to the oven to 160°C/300°F/gas 3.
  8. Using a long, serrated bread knife, cut the cooled loaves into 2mm slices and arrange on baking sheets lined with baking paper.
  9. Place on the middle shelf of the oven to bake for about 20 minutes – you may need to do this in batches – until the slices are crisp and very lightly toasted.
  10. Leave the crispbreads to cool on a wire rack – they will keep in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

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Recipe of the Day – Chicken fajitas

Chicken fajitas

Smoky dressed aubergines & peppers

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“Sticking to super-lean chicken breasts is the key to making super-food fajitas, and also provides us with a great source of protein, ensuring our muscles stay strong and healthy. ”
Serves 4
Cooks In40 minutes plus marinating
Difficulty: Not too tricky

Ingredients

  • olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle Tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 x 200 g skinless free-range chicken breasts
  • 3 mixed-color peppers
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander , (30g)
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 4 large seeded wholemeal tortillas
  • 50 g feta cheese

Method

Put 1 tablespoon of oil into a bowl with the vinegar, chilli sauce, oregano, paprika and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Crush in the unpeeled garlic through a garlic crusher and mix together. Peel and halve the onion, slice into 1cm-thick wedges, then slice the chicken lengthways 1cm thick and toss both in the marinade. Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour, or preferably overnight.

Blacken the whole peppers and aubergine over a direct flame on the hob, or in a griddle pan on a high heat, until charred and blistered all over. Pop the peppers into a bowl and cover with clingfilm for 10 minutes, then scrape off most of the black skin, discarding the stalks and seeds. Pinch the skin off the aubergine and trim off the ends. Nicely slice it all 2cm thick, dress on a platter with the juice of 1 lime and a few picked coriander leaves, then taste and season to perfection.

Cook the chicken and onions in all that lovely marinade in a large non-stick frying pan on a medium-high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, or until cooked through, turning halfway. Peel, destone and finely slice the avocado, and squeeze over the juice of half a lime. Warm the tortillas in a dry frying pan for 30 seconds, then keep warm in a clean tea towel. Take it all to the table, with the feta and the remaining coriander leaves, and let everyone build their own.



Recipe of the Day – Classic minestrone

Classic minestrone

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“We’ve used courgette and chard here, but you can use any vegetables
that are in season. ”
 

Serves 8
Cooks In  hour
Difficulty: Not too tricky

Ingredients

  • 4 rashers higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • 125 ml red wine
  • 2 courgettes
  • 300 g savoy cabbage or chard
  • 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400 g tin of cannellini beans
  • 800 ml organic chicken or vegetable stock
  • 75 g dried pasta (shells or odd ends)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
Method

  1. Start by making a sofrito – frying off the aromatic ingredients to make the base of your soup. Slice the bacon, peel and finely chop the onions and garlic, then chop the carrots, celery and fennel. Pick the basil leaves and set aside, then finely chop the stalks.
  2. Add a lug of olive oil to a pan and place over a medium heat. Stir in the chopped ingredients and sauté gently (lower the heat if needs be) for 15 to 20 minutes, or until everything is soft but not coloured.
  3. Halve the courgettes length ways and slice. Core the cabbage or remove the tough stalky bits from the chard, wash the leaves and slice.
  4. Add the wine to the softened veggies and bring to the boil. Tip in the tomatoes and courgettes. Bring back to the boil, and simmer on a low heat for around 15 minutes.
  5. Mix in the cabbage or chard, the beans and their juice and the stock. Bring to the boil, then add the pasta.
  6. Simmer over a medium heat according to the packet instructions, or until the pasta is cooked. If the soup is too thick, add a little stock or water.
  7. Season to taste, then rip in the basil leaves (saving a few to serve) and dress with a few lugs of extra virgin olive oil. Stir, and serve with the saved basil and a grating of Parmesan.

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Recipe of the Day – Pork and Black Beans

Pork & black beans

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Serves 4
Cooks In25 minutes
Difficulty: Not too tricky
 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
  • 400 g higher-welfare pork fillet
  • ½ a bunch of spring onions
  • 2 green peppers
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 long fresh red chilli
  • 5cm piece of ginger
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon Asian chilli oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon soft brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fermented black beans (see tip)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method

  1. In a bowl, combine the rice wine, sesame oil, cornflour and 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce.
  2. Slice the pork into discs, about 1cm thick, then toss through the marinade. Set aside.
  3. Slice the white part of the spring onions on the diagonal, then slice the green part into ribbons. Place in a bowl of ice-cold water.
  4. Deseed the peppers, then cut each half into 8 wedges. Peel and very thinly slice the garlic, then slice the chilli on the diagonal. Peel and chop the ginger into matchsticks.
  5. Heat a large wok or large frying pan until smoking hot, add the peppers and fry for 4 minutes, or until slightly charred.
  6. Add 1 tablespoon of the groundnut oil to the wok and stir to coat the peppers. Leave for 1 minute, then transfer the peppers to a plate.
  7. Lift the pork out of the marinade with a large slotted spoon and carefully add to the wok. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden, moving it every 20 seconds or so. Transfer the pork to a plate and set aside.
  8. Add the rest of the groundnut oil and the chilli oil to the wok. Quickly add the garlic, chilli, dried chilli (if using), ginger and white part of the spring onion, then stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  9. Stir in the sugar, 3 tablespoons of water and the remaining soy sauce. Bring the mixture to the boil, then return the pork and peppers to the wok. Add the black beans, then stir-fry for 3 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds in a dry frying pan.
  11. Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with toasted sesame seeds and the green part of the spring onion.

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Recipe of the day – Roasted veg vindaloo with golden gnarly chicken skewers

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The perfect dinner party recipe

“This is a standout vegetable curry with a cheeky meat kicker for any non- veggies at the table – everyone’s happy. ”
  • Calories      544    27%
  • Fat               11.6g  17%
  • Saturates    2.3g   12%
  • Protein     37.7g  84%
  • Carbs         66.8g   26%
  • Sugars       12.6g    14%

    Ingredients

    • For the paste:
    • 1 whole bulb of garlic , cloves separated and peeled
    • 1 heaped tablespoon turmeric
    • 1 heaped tablespoon garam masala
    • 2 heaped tablespoons raisins
    • 1 level teaspoon of sea salt
    • 1 level teaspoon of ground cumin
    • 1 heaped teaspoon fennel seeds
    • 2 dried red chillies
    • a bunch of fresh coriander , leaves picked and stalks chopped
    • 1 red onion , peeled and roughly chopped
    • 200 ml white wine vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
    • For the chicken skewers:
    • 4 x 150 g skinless free-range chicken breast
    • rapeseed or olive oil
    • 1 lemon
    • For the curry:
    • 1 kg large ripe tomatoes
    • sea salt
    • freshly ground pepper
    • 1 cauliflower , broken into florets, stalk sliced, leaves removed
    • 3 red onions , peeled and roughly sliced
    • 1x 400 g tin of chickpeas
    • 500 ml organic chicken or vegetable stock
    • 500 g mixed peas, broad beans and sweetcorn
    • 1 x 200 g bag of baby spinach
    • Optional:
    • natural yoghurt , to serve
    • 1 fresh red chilli , deseeded and finely chopped

    Method

    1. I was cooking with some of the Goan community in Leeds and was interested to learn that vindaloo, a curry famous all over the UK, is actually from Goa but has European roots. That part of India was, for many hundreds of years, actually under Portuguese control. It was the Portuguese who introduced vinegar to Goa and put the ‘vin’ (vinegar) in vindaloo (‘loo’ was the garlic). With this recipe, you’re creating a wonderful standout vegetable curry but then adding a meat kicker for any non- veggies at the table. It’s a great one for a mixed dinner party – everyone’s happy.
    2. Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Put all the paste ingredients except the coriander leaves into a liquidizer and whiz until smooth, then scrape the paste out into a bowl. Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the liquidizer, season well, then blitz until smooth and put aside for later. In a large casserole-type pan, toss the cauliflower florets and red onions with half the curry paste. Add 600ml of water, and roast in the hot oven for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into finger-sized strips, toss them in the bowl with the remaining curry paste, cover and pop into the fridge.
    3. After 40 minutes, carefully move the hot pan from the oven to the hob. Drain and add the chickpeas,along with the stock and blitzed tomatoes and simmer on a medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the consistency you like. Meanwhile, preheat a large griddle pan over a high heat. Thread the chicken pieces on to 6 or 8 metal or wooden skewers. Drizzle with a little oil, season from a height, and cook on the screaming hot griddle for around 10 to 12 minutes, turning each one every now and again, until gnarly, sizzly and cooked through. Squeeze over some lemon juice and give the pan a good shake, scraping the bottom of the pan for around 30 seconds to get all the intense flavor. Transfer everything to a plate and set aside.
    4. Go back to your curry and mash a few times to thicken up the sauce. Add the delicate veggies (peas, beans, corn and spinach) for the last 3 minutes of cooking, then have a taste and correct the seasoning.Marble through a few dollops of yoghurt, scatter over the reserved coriander leaves and chopped fresh chilli (leave the seeds in for extra heat), then take straight to the table. Serve with fluffy rice, the chicken skewers and anything else you fancy.

    Maunika’s beautiful butter chicken recipe Maunika’s beautiful butter chicken recipe


Vegan Chinese noodles

A super-easy supper

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“You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to appreciate these simple, quick and super-moreish noodles ”

Serves 4
Cooks In 25 minutes
Difficulty :Super easy

Nutrition per serving:

  • Calories     268  13%
  • Fat              4.5g    6%
  • Saturates 0.8g    4%
  • Protein     6.4g  14%
  • Carbs      49.2g  19%
  • Sugars      7.0g    8%
  • Salt            0.7g  12%
  • Fiber          2.1g-

Of an adult’s reference intake


Ingredients

  • 200 g thin rice noodles
  • 300 g mixed oriental mushrooms , such as oyster, shitake and enoki, cleaned
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 200 g courgettes
  • ½ bunch of fresh coriander
  • 6 spring onions
  • groundnut oil , or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon agave syrup
  • 1 teaspoon seasame oil
  • ½ tablespoon rice wine , or dry sherry
  • 100 g baby spinach
  • 2 limes , to serve
  • sambal , or hot chilli sauce, to serve

Method

Cook the noodles according to packet instructions, drain well, rinse under cold running water, then set aside. Finely slice or tear the mushrooms, leaving any smaller ones whole. Peel the garlic and deseed the chilli, then finely slice. Peel the ginger and trim the courgettes, then slice both into matchsticks. Pick the coriander leaves and set aside, then finely slice the stalks. Trim and finely slice the spring onions, reserving the green part for later.

  1. Heat a good lug of oil in a large wok over a high heat, then add the mushrooms and fry for 3 to 4 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the chopped garlic, chilli, ginger, courgette, coriander stalks and the white part of the spring onions. Fry for a further 3 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the cornflour and 2 tablespoons of water, then mix in the soy, agave syrup, sesame oil and rice wine or sherry. Stir the mixture into the pan and cook for a further 3 minutes, or until thickened.
  3. Roughly chop and add the spinach along with the noodles. Toss well to warm through, then tear in most of the coriander leaves. Serve with lime wedges, sambal or chilli sauce and the reserved coriander and spring onions scattered on top.


Vegetarian – spinach and ricotta cannelloni

Awesome spinach and ricotta cannelloni

With an easy béchamel-style sauce

vegetarian cannelloni

Ingredients

  • 2 knobs butter
  • olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic , peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 large handful fresh marjoram or oregano , roughly chopped
  • ¼ nutmeg , grated
  • 8 large handfuls spinach , thoroughly washed
  • 1 handful fresh basil , stalks chopped, leaves ripped
  • 2 x 400 g good-quality tinned plum tomatoes , chopped
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 400 g crumbly ricotta cheese
  • 2 handfuls Parmesan cheese , freshly grated
  • 16 cannelloni tubes
  • 200 g mozzarella , broken up
  • for the white sauce
  • 500 ml crème fraîche
  • 3 anchovies , finely chopped
  • 2 handfuls Parmesan cheese , freshly grated

Method

  1. This is a super-tasty cannelloni, and I’ve avoided making the frustrating, painstaking béchamel sauce and given you a much tastier and simpler version. All you need to make sure of is that you fill the cannelloni well with the ricotta and spinach mix, so it’s not all full of air. And the lovely thing about it is that it goes crispy and golden on top, but remains soft and moist at the bottom. This is a bit of naughty one but you’ll love it!
  2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Then find a metal baking tray or ovenproof dish that will fit the cannelloni in one layer so it’s nice and snug. This way you’ll get the right cover of sauce and the right amount of crispiness on top. When I cook this at home I just use one pan to cut down on lots of washing up! Take your metal tray or a saucepan, put it on a high heat and add your butter, a drizzle of olive oil, one of the sliced garlic cloves, a handful of marjoram or oregano and the grated nutmeg. By the time the pan is hot the garlic should be soft. Put as much spinach as will fit into the pan. Keep turning it over; it will wilt quickly so you will be able to keep adding more spinach until it’s all in. Moisture will cook out of the spinach, which is fine. By cooking it this way you don’t lose any of the nutrients that you would if boiling it in water.
  3. After 5 minutes, put the spinach into a large bowl and leave to cool. Place the pan back on the heat, add a little olive oil, the other clove of sliced garlic, your basil stalks and the tomatoes, then fill one of the empty tomato tins with cold water and add this too. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down, add a pinch of salt and pepper and the sugar, and simmer for about 10 minutes, until you get a loose tomato sauce consistency. Then take the pan off the heat and add the basil leaves.
  4. By now the spinach will have cooled down, so squeeze any excess liquid out of it and pour this back into the bowl. Finely chop the spinach and put it back into the bowl. Mix it with the liquid, add the ricotta and a handful of the Parmesan, and then use a piping bag to squeeze the mixture into the cannelloni. You can make your own piping bag by getting a sandwich bag and putting the spinach mix into the corner of it. Then twist the bag up and cut the corner off. Carefully squeeze the filling into the cannelloni tubes so each one is filled right up – really easy.
  5. Lay the cannelloni over the tomato sauce in the pan. Or you can pour the tomato sauce into your ovenproof dish and lay the cannelloni on top. To make the white sauce, mix together the crème fraîche, anchovies and the 2 handfuls of Parmesan with a little salt and pepper, then loosen with a little water until you can spoon it over the cannelloni. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and the mozzarella pieces, and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until golden and bubbling.

Recipe of the day – Broccoli Salad

Broccoli salad

With smoky bacon, tomatoes and chives

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“I tested this delicious broccoli salad on some big ranching blokes
and they loved it – enough said ”
Serves 6
Cooks In 25 minutes
Difficulty: Super easy

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories    308         15%
  • Fat                27.1g     39%
  • Saturates      5.4g     27%
  • Protein          8.6g      19%
  • Carbs             4.7g         2%
  • Sugar              4.1g         5%

Of an adult’s reference intake

Ingredients

  • 2 large heads of broccoli
  • 6 rashers higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon , finely sliced
  • olive oil
  • 3 firm red tomatoes , halved, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 1 small bunch of fresh chives (with flowers if you can get them) , finely chopped, flowers reserved
  • For the dressing
  • ½ clove of garlic , peeled and finely grated
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Tap for method

Share this Recipe

Method
One of the cowgirls I met said she struggled for ideas at mealtimes because the men weren’t overly keen on eating veg. However, she did say one of the things they would eat was broccoli salad. Every diner and restaurant in Cody seemed to have one on the menu, so I created this version, which is absolutely delicious and hits all the right spots. When I cooked it for a group of ranchers there was none left by the end of the night. Success!

Use a small knife to remove the broccoli florets and cut them up into smaller ones. Basically, this is your opportunity to make the broccoli really delicate and more salady-looking, so spend a bit of time doing this. You’ll be left with the stalk, so discard the thick dry base, then cut the remaining stalk in half lengthways and finely slice.

Blanch your broccoli florets and sliced stalks really quickly in boiling salted water for 60 seconds, just long enough to soften the broccoli but still leave it with a bit of a bite. Drain it in a colander, then spread it around a clean tea towel to steam dry (this is important because it will help the dressing cling to the broccoli). Once completely dry, transfer to a serving dish.

Fry the bacon on a medium heat with a small splash of olive oil until crisp and golden, then spoon most of the bacon bits over your broccoli. Any leftover fat in the pan can be used in your salad dressing. Pour it into a mixing bowl with all the other dressing ingredients and whisk.

Add the sliced tomatoes and chopped chives to your broccoli and bacon bits. Dress it all really well, and check the seasoning. If it needs pimping up, add a splash more vinegar. If you’ve got any chive flowers, sprinkle those over the top and serve straight away. It’s beautiful on its own or served next to any grilled or roasted meat or fish.

PS: I also like to toss things like diced feta cheese or chopped fresh chilli through this salad. Different-coloured cherry tomatoes are really nice too.



Recipe of the Day – Asparagus & halloumi salad

 

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Ingredients

450 g asparagus
250 g halloumi
1 bulb of fennel
1 red onion
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ an orange

Method
In a large pan of boiling salted water, boil the asparagus until tender, then refresh in cold water.

Preheat a griddle pan over a high heat. Slice and add the halloumi, then cook until charred, turning occasionally.

Trim and finely slice the fennel, then peel and finely slice the onion.

Place into a bowl with the asparagus and halloumi.

Combine the oil with the orange zest and juice, then season well with sea salt and black pepper.

Pour the dressing over the other ingredients, toss well and serve on a platter while the halloumi is still warm.