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Japan restores power to nuclear reactors

Two units at Japan's stricken nuclear plant safely cooled down today, though pressure unexpectedly rose in a third unit's reactor as scientists continued to wage a battle to get a handle on the crisis.

Japan halts sale of food from near Fukushima

Japan has halted sales of food products from near a crippled nuclear plant because of contamination by a radioactive element which can pose a short-term health risk, the UN atomic agency said on Saturday.

The new fish supper: Kippers are popping up on all the best menus

Kippers have captured our hearts again and the smoky treats are far too good to eat only for breakfast, says Anthea Gerrie

Stay the night: Marari Beach Resort, Kerala

Laze in the sun all day, then learn how to make a cracking curry. That's what Sarah Barrell did

Popeye had it right: spinach really does make you stronger

Popeye's taste for a can of spinach before a fight has a genuine scientific basis, researchers have found: the leafy green vegetable really can boost your muscle power.

Leading article: Green giant

Don't tell Bluto. Younger readers may need to be told that this oafish sailor, with his huge torso and beefy arms, was the arch-enemy of the cartoon character Popeye the Sailor Man. For 30 years, before and after the Second World War, weekly battles between the duo dominated the world of animated films. Despite his smaller physique, Popeye always triumphed over his nemesis with the aid of a can of the super-food spinach. For decades, this was suspected by the children as an adult ploy to persuade them to eat a vegetable which rarely appeals to children's palates. But now we know there was a scientific truth behind the parental instruction. Swedish scientists have discovered that spinach, or rather the nitrous oxide it produces when it comes in contact with human saliva, can lower blood pressure.

Fancy that: Skye Gyngell serves up her three-course fantasy

Sometimes you just have to serve exactly what your tastebuds are calling out for...

Rabbit stew with potatoes and spinach

Serves 4

Brown rice with carrots and spinach

Serves 6

Barbecoa, 20 New Change Passage, London, EC4M 9AG

Before the TV shows, the bestselling books, the school-food campaigns and the browbeating of obese Americans, Jamie Oliver's approach to cooking was that of an experienced brickie – grab this brick, mix this cement, trowel the cement on here, plonk the mixture down there and bish, bosh, zing, zing, hey presto it's done. He convinced the nation that simplicity, rather than complexity, could deliver big flavours. Through the unveiling of his 15 restaurant, and his immensely popular Jamie's Italian chain, he has kept faith with the basic, the tasty, the honest-to-God. Devotees will be relieved to hear that his newest incarnation mostly maintains the tradition, at least when it comes to food. If only everything else about it were so simple.

Is that an oeuf?: Skye Gyngell's favourite, protein-rich winter meals

I think of this comforting little egg dish as something to be eaten for a light, late-night supper. Its simplicity is appealing: if the spinach is prepared beforehand there is very little to do except crack the eggs.

Oeufs en cocotte with spinach and Parma ham

Serves 4

Quail with girolle mushrooms and spinach

Serves 4
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