This is one of those dishes where you get a bit of what you fancy with a lot of goodness as well. Pork is a good source of vitamins B6 and B12 which can help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system. I know pork belly is high in fat and you could swap it for a grilled lean pork chop. My husband and I just happen to love pork belly and whilst it is an element of this dish it is a small one when compared to the mound of good grains and veggies you will be eating with it. Though, to be fair, the veggies, grains and soy sauce taste so good with a fabulous nutty taste and I could happily eat them without the meat.
The quinoa, bulghar wheat and brown rice are all complex carbs. This is a macronutrient that our body needs in high doses on a daily basis.
Kale is higher in vitamin C than an orange. Kale is very high in brain protecting antioxidants including flavonoids, beta-carotene and polyphenols. It is also a great source of the brain boosting B vitamins, and vitamin K which is essential for verbal memory – important to me as one of my most frustrating symproms of my depression is problems with cognitive functioning, especially remembering words.
Mushrooms are a great source of tryptophan, which is essential for the production of seratonin and healthy sleep. They are also a furthersource of B vitamins, including B1, riboflavin and B9, folates.
Leeks, like garlic, are a source of vitamin K, vitamin B6 and vitamin A which can boost learning skills and help the brain maintain its plasticity.
Roast Belly Pork with Kale and Mushroom Grains (Serves 2)
6 small slices of belly pork
1 packet pre-cooked bulghur wheat, wholegrain brown rice and quinoa mix or other grains (I use the packs from Aldi)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
8 mushrooms, sliced
1 leek, sliced
2 handfuls kale, destemmed and sliced into thin strips
good slug of soy sauce – try and use a good brand with no added sugar – check the label!
2 teaspoon olive oil – halved
Sprinkling of salt and ground pepper.
Firstly, preheat your oven to 275 degrees Farenheit or 140 degrees celcius. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the baking tin. Stand the belly pork slices in the roasting tin, rind up and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Put in the preheated oven and for 45 minutes. Check after 45 minutes that the juices run clear from the meat when pricked and the slices are brown and crispy. If not cook for a further 15 minutes and check again.
Whilst the pork is cooking prepare your veggies. Then heat the remaining olive oil in a wok or large frying pan. When the oil is hot fry the garlic and the leeks until the leeks are going softer. Add the mushrooms and stir fry until the leeks and mushrooms are tender. Then add the kale and stir fry until it is cooked through. Then add the packet of pre-cooked grains to the wok or pan and stir fry with the veggies until cooked through. Add a splash of soy sauce to taste and continue to stir. Ensure everything is cooked through and keep warm until the pork is ready. Dish up the grain and veggie mix onto two plates and serve the pork slices on top.
Image by Scott Webb via Unsplash.
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