Grains and legumes to suit all blood types and are free of gluten
The best rice for your health as well as for value is brown rice. If you use my easy method of preparation you will always have rice ready to warm up for a meal within 3-5 minutes. All you need is a thermos flask! 3-4 hours before the meal, tip one cup of brown rice into the flask with a good pinch of salt. Then pour in 3 cups of boiling water and close the lid. This will yield 4 cups of rice that is 90% cooked. It keeps for at least a week in the refrigerator. For meals, mix in an equal quantity of lentil sprouts and warm up in a steamer or microwave oven.
To make the Egyptian street meal called Khoshari, add a spicy tomato and chilli sauce, rich in lemon juice and olive oil. I keep a can of All Gold Indian style tomato handy for instant flavour enhancement. If you can’t eat too many tomatoes, try different sauces and gravies using canned tuna, fried onions, beans, curried vegetables, etc. Also have this rice with the cooked black-eyed beans.
Pilaau made from Basmati rice is also a tasty dish and it is lower on the glycaemic index than other types of rice. The most popular spices to add are: cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star aniseed and turmeric or saffron for a yellow colouring. The nutritional value is negligible, so as a denatured white starch, it should only be eaten in very small quantities. Try to pad out your rice with grated carrot or chopped lettuce. When cooking, substitute some of the rice with millet granules to improve the nutritional value. Sesame or sunflower seeds can also be added. Add chunks of butternut to the pot as well, to save on time and add to the dish.
Millet is available as nutty wholesome flour or as dehusked grains. Millet is high in protein and alkaline minerals as well as trace elements. It is low on the glycaemic index, making it slower to digest and hence easier for diabetics to consume without making heavy demands on their insulin requirements. The granules can be cooked with Basmati rice. Substitute half or one-third of the rice with millet granules. For baking, millet adds a crunchy, nutty texture to biscuits but it is not a sticky, binding flour so include pea flour, oat, rye flour or eggs to make the biscuit less crumbly. A serving of millet a day certainly keeps the laxatives away, and it is highly alkalising to the digestive system. No more constipation, especially if you keep taking blackstrap molasses and eat loads of vegetables and plenty of fresh fruit.
Yellow split peas must be the cheapest and most delicious addition to my grocery cupboard! The yellow pea flour is a popular baking ingredient and as far as I know, it agrees with all the blood types. When you have time, cook the whole bag of peas till soft, but do not add any salt to the pot. Keep sealed bowls of this basic dhal in the fridge or freezer. It can be flavoured up with a stock cube and a little curry powder. Add a splash of olive oil to make some delicious dhal. It can be enjoyed hot or cold. For a quick hot soup, I add some boiling water. You can add a few spoons of cooked yellow peas to just about any soup or stew to thicken it and improve the flavour as well as the protein content.
Black eyed beans (swartbekkiebone)
These attractive little beans can replace baked beans in all of your favourite dishes. As one of the few legumes that suit all blood types, the good news is that when they are correctly prepared, they do not cause gas, cramping, indigestion and discomfort. Soak them in boiling water overnight. Then rinse very well in a sieve under the tap to remove the toxic exudates that cause all that gas. Boil for about an hour in plenty of water and do not add any salt, or they will not soften during cooking. You will now have a pot of brown, cooked beans that are ready to eat.
My favourite bean dish is the Brazilian “Feswallez”. It is a rich brown beany stew, but I leave out the scraps of pork. It is best to fry up chopped onion, celery and leeks in a little oil. Add a generous sprinkling of: ground-up kaloontjie seeds, coriander, cumin and mustard seeds. Now stir in some of the cooked beans and their liquid with a stock cube or two. Turn on low and mix in well. You should not have to add anymore salt, but a dash of soy sauce makes it really delicious. It can be enjoyed as a single dish with brown rice or as a side dish. Serve it cold as a snack with toast or warm it up whenever you are hungry. Use it to add to chilli and beans, mince dishes and rich, thick soups like minestrone.
Lentils do not suit all blood types. Rather sprout them and try to add to as many dishes as you can, either raw in salads, dips and smoothies or warmed up in curries, meat, bean and rice dishes. To make sprouts: soak lentils in water overnight. Then leave in a sieve covered by a plate for 3-4 days till the sprouts appear. Keep in the fridge and away from sunlight as the tips that turn green can cause gas and bloating.
Making the most out of dried peas and beans
Modified humus / dhal starter for all blood types
Best all rounder: cooked yellow split peas make a nutty creamy dhal or humus. Sometimes try dried green peas.
Other legume bases that suit all: black eyed beans, speckled sugar beans, canellini (haricot)beans or white broad beans. Be wary of eating a lot of beans not suited to your blood type – they can make you bloat and gain weight!
Specific choices: mung bean dhal (mung bean not for blood type B)
Chick pea only for O secretors
Kidney beans only for B’s and A non-secretors
Lentils for A, AB and O non-secretor
Fava beans not for AB or O secretors
Cooked pulses are wonderful to make into a puree. Either take time to soak and boil them (without salt) or open a can. Rinse off the water in a sieve. Add oil, a little lemon juice, salt and spices like cumin and pepper substitute. Optional extras: crushed garlic, chopped onion, chillies, curry powder. Mash by hand with a fork or use a stick blender to make a creamy paste. Adding a little boiling water makes it lighter and fluffy.
Dried green peas can also be prepared in this way, but are nicer as a soup, mixed with hot chicken or veggie stock.
A warm starter or main dish made from pulses:
Refried beans. Heat up oil in a pan. Add chopped onion with celery and garlic (optional). When sizzling, stir in cooked pulses of your choice. Season the beans well with salt and spices. Add about a 1 cm layer of water. Turn off heat and keep stirring till hot and succulent. Serve before it all sticks to the pan. This can be enjoyed hot on toast or rice. Add a salad or vegetable dish for a more leisurely meal.
For leftovers , add a cup of hot chicken or vegetable stock to a few tablespoons of refried beans for a tasty soup. Add other scraps from the fridge as well and top with parmesan cheese. For a swanky fish pate, mash smoked mussels or oysters into a bean dhal with a little lemon juice. This is also nice heated up as a soup.
Special note to lazy bachelors: You will soon get the hang of knocking together a quick and nutritious meal yourself, with very little effort. The secret is in keeping a good larder of cans to open and add to the basic foods you prepare and keep in the fridge or freezer when you have the time. Always keep fresh onions, lemons, tomatoes, carrots, radishes, parsley, lettuce, avocados and other salad ingredients around and eat them before they rot! Top up on fresh supplies at least once or twice a week. (For those who groan, remember this is the time and money you usually spent or wasted on takeaways.)
National pulse favourites:
1 Brazilian “fedjwales” is made out of kidney beans and has a thinner consistency. They eat it with rice in copious amounts, almost in preference to most other foods.
2 Egyptian Fouls Medamis is made out of fava beans and is also thinner. It is eaten with pita bread as part of a special breakfast or brunch with olives, white cheese, yoghurt, thin slices of onion, cold meats and hard-boiled eggs with lemon and tomato wedges. This is one of my favourites for daytime entertaining.
3 Mexican refried beans. Add tomato paste and loads of chilli to the bean mix. Best served on tortillas with salad and guacamole (mashed avocado) For the hard pressed bachelor, just fry up some onion and chilli. Toss in a can of baked beans and serve on leftover rice or toast. Top with a fried egg or omelette and you won’t have to buy takeaways!