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Navigating the world of dieting can be a challenge, writes new Fresh columnist Jamalia Edwards.
The term itself carries such negative connotations: restriction, rules, counting calories or points, hunger, willpower, weight loss, good food, bad food. There is so much contradictory information out there people do not know what they should be eating!
Welcome to the anti-diet. Jerf, standing for Just Eat Real Food, is a movement that has, in recent years, been gaining momentum in the wellness world and with good reason. Stemming from the whole-foods movement, Jerf calls for people to move away from packaged and processed foods and nourish their bodies with whole, unrefined, fresh, local food. Instead of needing to understand or explain the ins and outs and rules of a fad/trend diet, you need simply say, "I just eat real food''.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meats and seafood, whole grains, quality dairy products, legumes, nuts and seeds, quality fats, unrefined oils, free-range eggs and ferments are on the menu. Refined sugars, refined oils, letters and numbers as ingredients, so basically the majority of packaged foods, are off the menu.
The great thing about eating this way is that it can be tailored to meet the needs of the individual. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, carnivore, cool. You can all eat a Jerf or whole food diet. Keto, high-fat low-carb, paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, raw, vegetarian, intermittent fasting, pescatarian, you are all welcome here. Jerf finds common ground across many dietary approaches, allowing you to hold on to a label if you so desire, or let go of it all together.
An important component of Jerf is eating fresh, local produce. The produce and meat products used in these recipes are all sourced form the Otago Farmers Market.
Buying direct from growers and makers is such a privilege and allows a connection to what you're eating, bettered only by growing your own!
Pork hock soup with silverbeet
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic crushed
1 litre of chicken stock
1 litre of water
1 pork hock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt and cracked pepper
1 bunch silverbeet
½ cup dried red lentils
2 tsp chilli flakes
flat leaf parsley
1. Remove the skin from the pork hock by running a sharp knife under the skin, pulling it back as you go.
2. Place the hock in a pot with the garlic, stock, water, bay leaf, and salt and pepper, and simmer for 2 hours.
3. Remove the pork and add in the silverbeet, red lentils, and chilli flakes. Continue to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
4. While that simmers, remove the pork from the bones with a fork. Keeping it in its natural formed chunks. Add back into the soup.
5. Taste and season the soup.
6. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some fresh flat leaf parsley.
Whole baked broccoflower
1 head broccoflower (alternatively, cauliflower)
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
zest of ½ a lemon
juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or grated
½ tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp paprika
1 sprig of fresh thyme
½ cup tahini
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 190degC.
2. Combine olive oil, zest and juice of lemon, garlic, chilli, paprika, thyme, tahini, salt, and pepper and whisk until well combined.
3. Dip the head of broccoflower in the glaze and place in a lined baking dish with a lid
4. Tip the remaining glaze over the top of the broccoflower
5. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes then remove the lid, lower the temperature to 160degC and bake for a further 25 minutes.
6. Check every 5 minutes or so during the last 20 minutes of cooking to be sure the glaze isn't burning. Remove when golden.