Leeks contain a number of nutrients that are beneficial to our health. They provide excellent levels of vitamin K and vitamin A. They are also a great source of vitamin B6, copper, iron, folate (B9) and vitamin C, iron, magnesium, manganese, vitamin E, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids.
On top of all that, they also contain high amount of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols (protective against heart disease and cancer). And like the rest of the members of its family, the sulphur found in leeks aids detoxification.
Best stored in the fridge. Leeks generally keep for around 4-5 days, after that they start to lose their crunchiness.
Quick ways to cook
Prepare the leaks by removing the outer leaves and slice off roots and about two thirds of the green end. Rinse well. Thinly slice into rounds. Leeks taste great sautéed and added to stews and soups, stir-fries and omelettes.
Recipe: Chilli prawn sauce
This is a quick, easy and versatile sauce. You can substitute the prawns for chicken breasts or even use chickpeas or butter beans for a vegan option.
250g king prawns (uncooked gives the best flavour)
1 lemon or lime
1 medium leek
1 clove of garlic
1 red chilli (or a dash of chilli powder)
1 400g can of chopped tomatoes or a 500g of tomato passata
A handful of fresh parsley
1 yellow bell pepper (red, green or orange work fine too!)
250g box of chestnut mushrooms
A handful of frozen petit pois
1tbsp olive oil
- Squeeze lime juice over prawns and set aside
- Chop leek and chilli, crush garlic and gently sauté in a medium saucepan for 1-2 mins (be sure to pop the lid on as the vapour from chillies can cause coughing)
- Chop rest of vegetables; add to the pan and sauté for a further 2-3 mins
- Add chopped tomatoes and bring to the boil
- Add uncooked prawns to the sauce along the with lime / lemon juice
- Simmer on med-low heat for 15-20 mins. Stir occasionally to ensure the prawns are covered
- Add frozen peas and chopped parsley
- Bring back to boil and simmer for around 5-7 mins (until vegetables are cooked)
- Serve with side dish of your choice – linguine, rice, couscous, green vegetables, quiona, boiled new potatoes…Delish!
- Contributed by Kaysha Thomas (Nutritional Therapist at Lucerne Clinic)