- 200g dried or 440g cooked chickpeas (or tin drained) (alt, name:garbanzo beans)
- 100g Quinoa (rinsed)
- 1 leek - caramelised
- 200g calamari heads (fresh or frozen) and/or goats feta for a vegetarian Sardinian Blue Zone style
- 20 - 50g Phukka (according to taste - but don't hesitate on being generous with lashings)
- Rocket and baby spinach leaves
- Salt pepper and lemon juice
- Soak chickpeas overnight an abundant water and cook the following day until tender, drain. It is easy and fast to use 1 tin of pre-cooked chickpeas if needed.
- Quinoa has saponins on the outer shell which need to be rinsed off for a gut friendly format
- Boil Quinoa in 2dl of water until tender and dry boiled
- Slice open fresh or defrosted calamari heads, lay flat with the inside up, and scour in a criss-cross fashion. Then lice into 1cm strips and cut to 5cm lengths.
- Slice leek and heat up canola oil in a frying pan. Sauté the leek slowly until soft.
- Heat up some canola oil in a frying pan once hot rapidly fry the calamari until just firm. This only takes a couple of minutes and be careful not to allow t to get too firm by overcooking. Then add the Phukka, or your chosen dukkah blend, generously over the hot calamari and toss until covered and set aside from heat.
- Toss all of the ingredients together in a large bowl including rocket, baby spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Add more Phukka (dukkha) to taste; you can be as generous as your tastebuds like.
- Finish off or serve on plates with sliced lemon to squeeze.
Why is this recipe suitable to a clever gut?
This salad hits a good mix of ingredients with diverse dietary fibres, from the sea and land, as well as a range of other important metabolites linked to gut health:
Even IBS sufferers are known to tolerate chickpea fibres well, and the high insoluble fibres are known to be important for moderation of your glucose metabolism, regularity, and satiety.
Soluble fibres such as amylase resistant starches are also found in chickpeas known to produce important short chain fatty acids in the colon which is important for colon health.
Quinoa has a lot of vitamins and micronutrients that are important to gut health; for example thiamin helps create the digestive acids in your stomach, riboflavin is important for cell health of the gut wall. However as one of the most bioavailable, protein-rich and plant sources it is high in important amino acids. One of these is also glutamine which is a primary source of energy for gut cell walls so that they can manufacture adequate amounts of protective mucous. Normally we can make enough glutamine ourselves but during strenuous exercise and stressful or traumatic conditions (e.g. post surgery, radiation, burns), glutamine becomes essential. Quinoa also has insoluble and soluble dietary fibres. There has been concern about the saponins, that naturally coat and protect the quinoa seed, having a negative effect on the gut. But just washing this layer off before using will eliminate that issue.
Most of the onion family is known to important important gut nutritional factors called oligosaccharides, one of the best known being inulin. Inulin is regarded as a pre-biotic and has been linked to improving levels of Bifidobacteria and beneficial short chain fatty acids in the colon. So be generous with the onion family in food unless you have a specific sensitivity and follow a low FODMAPS diet.
The dukkah blend used here is made with 10% of a specific seaweed that is being used in clinical studies to improve specific bacteria in the gut that protect the mucous lining and reduce inflammation, as well as reverse emerging metabolic syndrome due to poor diet. Seaweeds have uniquely high levels of soluble dietary fibres at over 25% of the dry weight, so these are the kings of unexplored gut health. So try using a seaweed blend Dukkah generously, and the additional herbs and spices, for example cummin, will also have beneficial effects on the digestive system.
In addition it harnesses the anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids from marine species of prawns , calamari and seaweed (buy sustainably farmed or wild caught) if you use a dukkah blend that includes seaweed