Thursday, 28 November 2013

Of Antioxidants and Collagen: Cabbage & Beefball in Phoenix Claw Broth

Question: Women, what do they want?

Hint: Two things - one, antioxidant as that's synonymous to anti-aging (yes, yes - everyone wants to always look beautiful and young). Plus there are also claims that antioxidants help with conceiving - so mothers-wanna-be, do take note of what you are eating. And two, collagen to keep the skin glowing and supple.

So what can we eat to achieve that look of youth?

Here's a simple receipe that can help you achieve these goals. A bowl of hot soup with cabbage and beef ball made from phoenix claw (what's that, you ask? we'll keep the suspense for now...) broth.

Cabbage & Beef Ball in Phoenix Claw Broth
It's easy to make and with all things in life, consistency is the key. So drinking this once isn't going to work as this is no miracle broth. But drink it often and you will be able to see the beneficial effects on your skin.

These are the key ingredients that make this soup healthy and nourishing. Cabbage (Brassica oleracea or variants) – a leafy green biennial plant, grown as an annual vegetable crop for its dense-leaved heads. 

Cabbage

It’s “cousins” are the broccoli, cauliflower and brussel sprouts.  The late Middle English word “cabbage” derives from the word caboche (head) from a dialect of Old French.  Cabbage is rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, fiber, indole-3-carbinol (don’t worry about remembering this, so long you understand that it is a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells, and therefore block growth of cancer cells).  How do the above benefit the body?  The key value is the ability to reduce the risk of some cancers, especially those in the colorectal group.  

Fiber helps with bowel movements, so, the trip to the toilet will be less, err, straining.  Other benefits include helping in the production of blood clotting proteins, regulate blood pressure, and promote a steady heartbeat.

Note: those with thyroid problem should avoid eating copious amounts of cabbage as it interferes with the absorption of iodine, which is required by the thyroid gland.

Cabbage trivia: there is a legend told to children that babies come from cabbage patches.  And we thought it was solely the stork who brought the babies!   

Phoenix Claw – having “undress” the name, phoenix claw is a glam name for the humble chicken feet.  

Phoenix Claw (aka Chicken Feet)

The faint-hearted may actually faint at the sight of chicken feet (with cropped toes) swimming in the soup, but chicken feet is packed with collagen.  So what is collagen?  Collagen, in simple terms, is protein that acts as a glue that holds our body together.  The benefit of collagen is not simply for a good lookin’ skin (no saggy bits), but it’s also for the heart. 

A list of the goodness of collagen:
a.       Healthier and younger-looking skin (think smooth ‘n’ glow)
b.      Strengthens the blood vessels
c.      Supplies protein and calcium, but without the bane of carbohydrate
d.      Helps with weight loss, as it assists the body to metabolize fats

Chicken feet trivia: China is the major destination of chicken feet from around the world, and after China joined WTO, the Chinese can enjoy direct import of American chicken feet into the country.  Chicken feet can be a source of economic discussion at ministerial level.

Ingredients:
- Cabbage
- Beefball (You don’t have to start from ground up and slaughter a cow - grind the meat - make into balls. Just get a pack from the market.)
- Spring onion & Chinese coriander

Soup stock:
Chicken bones – trim off whatever hanging fats
Chicken feet – give the feet a pedicure, chop off the nails. 

Method:
a.      Wash the cabbage, peel the leaves, and cut them into bite pieces.  Leave aside.
b.      Boil a pot of water, and when the water is boiling, put in the cleaned chicken bones and feet
c.       Put in the cut cabbage leaves
d.      Boil for about an hour, so that the soup is sweet from the natural ingredients
e.      Put in the beef balls, and boil for another 15 mins.
f.       Chop the Chinese coriander and spring onions for soup garnish. 
g.      Voila!  Soup is ready to be served.

Try it out and leave comments to let us know how it goes! Have fun.

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