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The Recipe For A Longer Life? The Worlds First 'SirtMeal'

Glen Matten shares with us his latest nutritional discovery…

For me, and most of my friends, the big 4-0 is inexorably closing in. It doesn’t bother me per se, but it is a very obvious landmark in life, and the sort that’s quite hard to ignore. The one effect it has had on me has been to make me think; what could I be doing to promote healthy ageing? And most pertinently, how can I ensure I’m capable of kicking a football around with my grandchildren? I can no longer rely on youth being on my side that’s for sure, so what now?

One option open to me is Caloric Restriction (CR). A reduction of food intake without malnutrition is probably the leading contender for prolonging healthy lifespan. In animals (including primates), CR has consistently been shown to delay disease onset, thereby extending lifespan. The trouble is, you really do have to restrict food quite a lot, and, well, I just like food.

So, CR is a non-starter for me. But, what if eating certain foods could stimulate the same metabolic pathways associated with longevity that are activated by CR? How cool would it be if, instead of a gruelling regime of semi-starvation, I could eat my way to healthy ageing by consuming foods rich in specific polyphenols – dietary components referred to as CR mimetics.

For example, one of the key ways that dietary polyphenols induce CR-like effects is by activating sirtuins, enzymes involved in metabolism and the regulation of lifespan in different organisms. Indeed, polyphenols may also mimic the effects of CR on our metabolism in other ways by modulating gene regulation and crucial transcription factors (such as Nrf2, Fox0, and NFkB). Due to their sirtuin-activating properties, researchers have dubbed these foods, potentially capable of mimicking Caloric Restriction, as “sirtfoods” (1).

Mission one: To identify ‘sirtfoods’
Interestingly, and perhaps not surprisingly, ‘sirtfoods’ are found abundantly in the super-healthy traditional diets of the Mediterranean and Asia.

Mission Two: To turn ‘sirtfoods’ into a stonkingly good ‘sirtmeal’

Who else to call upon than the sensational chef at KX, none other than the legend that is Alessandro Verdenelli. And here is the genius at work, with (to my knowledge anyway), the world’s first ‘sirtmeal’. Live long and prosper!

Cabbage, kale & tofu with miso

Ingredients: for 5 portions

Savoy Cabbage – 10 leaves

Kale – 10 leaves

200g Silken tofu

100g Smoked tofu

200g Demeter Tofu

80g Miso

1litre Vegetables stock

30g Spring onion

2 tsp Sesame oil

10g Black sesame

5-6 Shallots

1 Red onion

350ml Apples juice

75cl White wine

75cl Red wine

100g Chickpeas

350 ml White grape juice

2 tsp Chilli sauce

1 pinch Xanthan gun


1. Poach the Cabbage and kale leafs for about 2 minutes, remove and put them in ice water.

2. Poach the whole shallots for about 20 minutes until soft.

3. In two different pots, reduce the apple and the grape juice until the juices become thicker.

4. Slice the red onion and cook with the apple concentrate and red wine until you get a jam-like consistency.

5. Take the shallots and cook with the grape reduction and white wine until caramelised.

6. Cut the smoked tofu into little cubes.

7. Blend the Demeter tofu with half of the silken tofu, 1 tsp of sesame oil and xanthan gun.

8. Arrange the cabbage leaves one next to the other on a big sheet of cling film and fill with the tofu mix in the middle, roll and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

9. Blend the rest of the Silken Tofu with 1tsp of sesame oil and chilli sauce.

10. Spread this tofu dressing on each of the kale leaves, placing the kale leafs one on top of the other one, then rolling them.

11. Heat the vegetable stock with the miso, add sliced spring onions, and remove from the heat.

12. Slice the rolls in about 3 to 4 centimetre pieces and to the plate add the chickpeas, red onion and shallots and serve with the hot miso dressing.


Pallauf K, Giller K, Huebbe P, Rimbach G (2013) Nutrition and Healthy Ageing: Calorie Restriction or Polyphenol-Rich “MediterrAsian” Diet? Oxid Med Cell Longev 2013:707421.

Read the full article at

Health, Recipe

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