Mexican Salad Bowl

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 1
Prep & Cooking Time: 45 minutes + 12 hours to soak the dried beans (if applicable!)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats! 

Here’s a salad we made two months ago! Nothing really says you desire sunnier weather and a warmer climate more than preparing a colourful salad bowl named after a hot country! Luckily at the moment the SE of England has been blessed with plenty of sunshine and blue skies…let’s hope it lasts!

Let’s sum this recipe up in three words: simple, vibrant and delicious! Give our recipe a go or use it as a guide to create your perfect (wish it were summer!) salad! Keep it vegan or add some grated low-fat cheese! 🙂

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++150g   Cooked black turtle beans
+++++++++++++++++++++++++150g   Cooked brown long-grain rice
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g      Frozen sweet corn kernels
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Kale
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Carrot
+++++++++++++++++++++++++30g      Iceberg lettuce
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1/2       Fresh red chilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1           Radish
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g      Cherry tomatoes
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1/4       Avocado
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4           Jalapeno slices (in brine or fresh)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++5           Black olives (in brine)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++6           Almonds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              Wedge of lime

 

Directions:

1. Cook your pre-soaked beans (approx. 75g dried) according to the packet instructions (if applicable). Otherwise open, drain and rinse a tinned variety (heat if desired).

2. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. NB: Approx 75g (dried).

3. Wash the kale. Place the kale and sweetcorn into a steamer pot with some cold water. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Drain.

4. Meanwhile, wash, peel, trim the ends and then grate the carrot.

5. Wash, dry and shred the lettuce.

6. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed (if preferred) and chop the chilli into thin slices.

7. Wash and remove the stem from both the radish and tomatoes; slice the radish.

8. Peel, remove the stone and slice the avocado.

9. Drain the jalapeño’s and olives (rinse if preferred).

10. Assemble the salad in any which way you please…or try our method! Place the lettuce into the centre of a large serving bowl. Layer the avocado over the lettuce. Place the kale, jalapeño’s, beans, carrot, tomatoes, corn, radish, olives, rice and nuts around the lettuce/avocado. Garnish the rice with the chilli. Lightly season the salad (if desired) or just dress it with a squeeze of lime juice!

11. Serve.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Fancy something a little fruitier?! Consider adding some whole fruit or a fruit-based salsa; try mango, papaya, guava, prickly pear, pomegranate, or mamey!
  • Omit the rice and add a few more beans, vegetables and salsa instead! Use your ‘altered salad bowl recipe’ as a sharing platter for flat breads or a few plain tortilla chips (just make sure to eat them mindfully!)…or try stuffing it into some wholemeal tortilla wraps!
  • Swap the avocado for some homemade guacamole.
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Baked Root Vegetable, Bean & Quinoa Burgers

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 75 minutes- 17 hours (* If you are using dried beans!)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, iron, magnesium, potassium and is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats!

These vegan burgers are versatile and easy to prepare; try whipping a batch up on the weekend and freezing them (either cooked or uncooked) for later in the week or other ad hoc meals!

They are packed with plenty of nutrients, spice and are very fibre-licious! Serve them with fresh salad or some steamed green vegetables and you are in for a great meal; we promise that you won’t walk away from the table unsatisfied!  For further ‘burger’/’meat’ ideas, check out our other recipes here! 🙂 

 

Quick facts:

  • These burgers contain approx. 8g of fibre (*per serving/based on 6 servings!). This makes up approximately 44% of your RDA (which is 18g/Day)! Check out more info on fibre here!
  • Quinoa (or ‘keen-wah’) is a trendy ‘pseudo-grain*’ (*a seed that is prepared and eaten similarly to a grain) which is known for being a ‘complete protein‘ as it contains all nine essential amino acids! It can be used as a great gluten-free grain alternative, but can most definitely be enjoyed by all!

Cooked quinoa has adequate levels of fibre, some B-Vitamins, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc and smaller amounts of calcium, Vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids!

    • We served these burgers with some spring greens (also known as collard greens!). Vegan or not, these delicious leaves can be a great source of Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, calcium and iron (among other nutrients!); enjoy them raw (if you prefer) or try lightly steaming them…but just make sure you don’t over cook them!

 

This was our pre-anti tinned bean stage! Check out our recent post on how to cook dried legumes (minus the hassle and the stress!).

 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++300g     Sweet potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++230g     Baking potato
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     Parsnips
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++70g        Dried quinoa (approx. 150g cooked)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++12g         Fresh Parsley
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++16g         Fresh red chilli
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++240g     Cooked butter beans
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++8g          Ground cumin
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++2g          Onion granules (unsalted)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++1g           Brown mustard seeds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt & Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++20g        Plain flour
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++               Low-fat fry spry (low-fat cooking oil)

 

 

Directions:

**If applicable, start this recipe the night before! Soak your dried beans (approx. 120g) in a large bowl of cold water over night (or for approx.12 hrs). Drain, rinse, and cook them in a slow cooker on a high heat setting for 4-5 hours. Check out our recent post on cooking dried legumes for further tips!

 

 Place a large, non-stick saucepan full of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil.

 

 

Using a separate saucepan, cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. (NB: Ours only took 15 minutes to prepare!)

 

 

In the meantime, wash, peel and cube the sweet potato and baking potato. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then quarter the parsnip.

 

 

Add the sweet potato, baking potato and parsnip to the saucpean. Bring back to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. Allow to cool.

We allowed ours to cool for approx. 8-10 minutes.

 

 

 

Wash, dry and roughly chop the parsley. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed (if preferred) and dice the chilli. NB: If you are using tinned beans, drain and wash them at this point.

 

 

Place the beans into a food processor.

 

 

Pulse until a rough ‘paste/mixture’ is achieved.

 

 

 Transfer the beans into a large mixing bowl.

 

 

Once the vegetables have cooled, add them to the food processor.

 

 

Pulse until it resembles a ‘smooth mash’.

 

 

Transfer the mixture into the mixing bowl.

Mash any remaining chunks with a fork.

 

 

Add the quinoa, parsley, chilli, ground cumin, onion granules and the seeds. Season the mixture with some salt and black pepper to taste.

 

 

Using a spatula or large spoon, mix thoroughly to combine all of the ingredients. Add the flour.

 

 

Mix until combined. The mixture should be a bit tacky but not completely dry (a lot like this burger mixture we made last year!).

 

 

Heat the oven to 190°C/375°F. Line a baking sheet with some parchment paper and lightly spray it with some low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Divide the mixture in to approx. twelve portions. Using lightly floured or dampened hands, roll each portion into small ‘balls’. Place them onto the baking sheet.

 

 

Gently flatten them with the back of a large spoon or silicone spatula.

 

 

Place the baking sheet into the oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes (or until lightly browned and slightly firm), turning once. Remove and place the sheet onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly.

NB: We found they keep ‘setting’ as they cool; ones that sat around for 20+ minutes had a firmer texture.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare all of your lovely salad vegetables to accompany these delicious burgers!

We steamed some tasty spring greens and made a mixed garden salad with some more (leftover) beans!

 

 

We also heated some mini wholemeal pitta breads.

 

 

This is what we did with our spring greens…

NB: Just make sure you ‘pat dry’ your leaves before you use them!

 

 

You could also also have an ‘open-style’ wrap!

 

 

Serve with a vibrant and nutritious salad!

Delicious!

There’s our Broad Bean And Spinach Dip making an appearance again! Yum!

 

Enjoy!

One Lovely Blog Award

Awards

We have been nominated for the ‘One Lovely Blog Award’ by Bekah at: A Vegan With A Plan.

This award is another friendly way of getting to know your fellow bloggers whilst helping to give your blog supportive and mainstream exposure, and of course some recognition for all of your hard work! So we’d like to give a very big thanks to A Vegan With A Plan; we are honoured to have received this lovely nomination!

Bekah is a fellow science head with a love of great food, cooking, and recipe experimentation (especially when it comes to vegan foods!). She’s helping the plant-based/vegan community break out of the box with innovative and updated healthy and tasty meals!  Fellow vegan/plant-based eater or not, we’d recommend checking out her blog. 🙂

 

 

Below are the guidelines/rules for The One Lovely Blog Award.

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you (mention your nominator in your own award post with a link back to their original award post, which would be this one).

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on their blogs (usually on their about page or contact directly if necessary) to let them know.

 

 

Here are 7 quick facts about us…

Lynn Alex
1. I used to be a qualified dental nurse before I went on to do a degree in human nutrition. I think that people (over the pond!) would be happy to know that the average British person has better dentition than what ‘Family Guy’ likes to portray! 😀 1. Lynn and I started our plant-based/vegan lifestyle 11 months ago! We are still finding our way but it has been a really tasty and rewarding journey!
2. I love art and food preparation has provided me another artistic outlet. Cooking or baking though? It has to be the former (at least in this part of my life)! Baking might be therapeutic… but it’s not great if there are only two of you to eat the baked goods…and I also feel that eating it on a regular basis is not considered ‘Eating2Health’ (a biscuit is still a biscuit)! 2. Thinks: I know we should be grateful for have a democratic right to vote, but on the eve of an election you wonder what’s the point when after the last one we got a mish-mash government that no one voted for, nobody wanted, that did nothing they promised they would, and many things they said they wouldn’t!
3. We started our blogging journey seven months ago and are really appreciative of all the support and encouragement we have received along the way. 3. I did lots of adrenaline sports (surfing, snowboarding, mountain boarding, power kiting and mountain biking) when I was younger and now sadly I do none.
4. I live in limbo; I still have a hybrid accent after living in England for nearly 16 years! 4. Dietitians (no c!) do more than dispense meal plans and supplements. I work as a mental health Dietitian, but am a therapist as much as I am the diet police!
5. I/we hate social media (especially twitter!); it’s destroying our ability to spell, use punctuation and construct sentences…like…innit…jelly… Lolz…Sorzz Bruv! 5.  I’ve lived in five different locations in the UK!
6. I once met Gordan Ramsey, Lloyd Grossman and Jodie Kidd (but not all at the same time!). 6. I hate reality TV shows (see Lynn’s number 5!).
7. I have 20/20 vision and I’m quietly confident that I won’t need glasses ever (well, fingers crossed!). 7. I have 20/20 vision and I’m quietly confident that I won’t need glasses ever (well, fingers crossed!).

 

Now that you’ve heard these random facts about us, we’d like to nominate 15 other blogs for this fun award. It was hard for us to choose as we have come across so many lovely blogs in the last seven months… but we’d encourage everyone to check these guys out!

  1. The County Fare
  2. Veganquake
  3. Bubbles And Booyah 
  4. Italian Vegan Way of Life
  5. The Green Bowl
  6. The Yoga Journey
  7. Fat Girl to Ironman
  8. Kicking It Whole School
  9. The Circus Gardener’s Kitchen
  10. A Normal Woman’s Guide to (Mostly) Healthy Living
  11. Sweet on Greens
  12. The chaotic life of the Toad
  13. Bright Young food
  14. Active Beans
  15. Cooking With Toddlers

 

 **If any of these blogs are too busy to participate (or simply do not want to!), we fully understand…but we’d like to wish you all the best and happy blogging- keep up the great work everyone!

 

 

Oriental Salad Bowl

Exercise, Healthy Recipes

Serves: 1
Prep & Cooking Time: 40-60 minutes

Notes:This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorus and is low in sugar and sat-fats!

This time of year can bring a constant change of weather, mood and life… so let’s help ourselves by keeping our meals reliable, simple and packed full of fresh flavours and healthy ingredients! This vegan salad is delicious, versatile and can be enjoyed at either lunch or dinner. Use any of your favourite cooked and/or raw vegetables. 🙂

 

Ingredients:

 

Directions:

1. Prepare your baked tofu (*use a firm variety); check out this recipe as a guide!. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Alternatively, drain and press the tofu and gently stir-fry it for  6-7 minutes instead!

2. Wash the kale, broccoli, mushrooms and tomatoes. Lightly pat the mushrooms dry with some kitchen paper.

3. Prepare the dressing. Place the soya sauce, mirin, rice vinegar and agave syrup into a measuring jug. Add some dried chilli flakes to taste. Mix to combine.

4. Cook the rice according to the the packet instructions. Drain.

5. Meanwhile, place a small saucepan of cold water over a medium heat. Bring to the boil. Add the broad beans. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for approx. 5 minutes or until tender. Drain.

6. Place a steamer pot with some cold water over a medium-low heat. Add the kale and broccoli. Bring to the boil. reduce the heat. Steam for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Drain.

7. In the meantime, heat a small frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray with some low-fat cooking oil. Add the mushrooms. Lightly fry for approximately 3 minutes or until tender.

8. Meanwhile, drain the cabbage.

9. Assemble your salad. Place the rice, tofu, kale, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans, pumpkin seeds and cabbage into a large serving bowl. Gently pour the dressing over the salad. Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the rice.

10. Serve.

 

 

 Enjoy!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Use wholemeal rice, pearl barley, quinoa, millet, or a baked sweet potato instead of the brown long-grain rice!
  • Instead of firm tofu, use another variety of beans, tempeh, or seasoned brown lentils instead.
  • Create your own bespoke dressing; go zesty, tangy, fruity or spicy!

Vegan Jambalaya

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 50-60 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, has no added sugar and is low in salt and saturated fats!

 

We’d like to start off by saying that this was a great dish to make! It contains so many great flavours that are easily created in your own kitchen (essentially by using whatever ingredients you have on hand!) …and in virtually no time at all. We did a little bit of reading around this dish, and this is what we found…

The origin of jambalaya is not completely clear, but it seems to have originated in Louisiana. It’s a simple, inexpensive and versatile rice dish that was created out of necessity, one that is prepared differently depending upon the region. It is believed to have been inspired by both French and Spanish culture, which is why it’s quite similar to Spanish paella (a multi-faceted mixture that was also designed to feed many people inexpensively)! Unlike paella it does not use saffron; smoky and/or hot spices accompanying delicious herbs make this a very distinguishable dish.

It’s now a popular dish enjoyed in particularity in the Southeastern regions of the United States. There are two types, ‘Creole’ and ‘Cajun’ style, both of which have slightly different cooking methods and ingredients that were indicative of the local resources available at the time and were also shaped through cultural influences; original European settlers (particularly French and Spanish) versus the ‘Acadians’.

Classic versions of this recipe contain not only vegetables but generally some type of seafood, meat, poultry or sausage…but not in the Eat2Health kitchen. We used hearty kidney beans, robust garden peas, various other vegetables and of course a tasty seasoning!

Our recipe seems to be an amalgamation of the two types. Cajun recipes do not tend to include tomatoes, and use more spices and less herbs (like ours), whilst Creole recipes can use an abundance of vegetables (similar to the ones we have included; which includes tomatoes!), as well as less spice, and all of the ingredients are cooked together; Cajun recipes brown and caramelise their meat first, giving the dish a brown colouring. This is why the two types are also known as Cajun ‘brown’ jambalaya, and Creole-style ‘red’ jambalaya.

Although our recipe may not be authentic (we are aware that lemons are not the norm!), it’s still a cheap, versatile, healthy, one-pot dish, that is great for the whole family and (maybe most importantly) delicious and bound to put a smile on your face! …Thank you Cajun spice mix!

 

Feel free to use your own spice mix!

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Directions:

Place the frozen bell peppers and peas into a microwavable dish; defrost in the microwave. Drain.

 

In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and garlic. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the chilli (leave the seeds intact if you prefer your dish extra spicy!). Wash, trim the ends and finely slice the celery. Wash, trim the ends, peel and quarter the carrot. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper into cubes. Drain and rinse the beans. Prepare the Cajun seasoning mix (if applicable); place all of the spices and herbs into a small dish and mix together.

 

 

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat.

 

 

Add the onion, garlic and chilli. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the defrosted peppers, celery, carrot and bell pepper. Gently fry for 3-4 minutes or until slightly softened.

 

 

In the meantime, boil some water in a kettle. Prepare the stock.

 

 

Add the Cajun seasoning. Stir to coat.

 

 

Add the rice and tomatoes. Stir and mix together.

Gently break apart any big pieces of tomato with the edge of your frying spatula.

 

 

Pour in the (boiling hot!) stock and water. Add the defrosted peas, beans and bay leaves. Stir to combine.

 

 

Cover with a lid or a sheet of kitchen foil. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the rice is cooked.

 

NB: Check your mixture about half way through the cooking time; we had to quickly stir the mixture and add a few extra tablespoons of water.

 

 

In the meantime, wash and place the kale into a steamer pot with some water. Bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer. Steam for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Drain.

 

 

Meanwhile, wash, dry and chop the coriander; we ripped off and discarded most of the large stems…but the choice is yours. 🙂

 

 

Wash and quarter (or slice) your lemon.

 

 

Remove the pan from the heat. Remove and discard the foil (if applicable). Give the jambalaya a thorough stir before serving.

NB: Also make sure to remove and discard the bay leaves before serving!

 

 

Garnish with the coriander and the lemon (or whatever else you desire). Bring the frying pan to the dinner table for the whole family to dig in and enjoy!

NB: Make sure to place it over a heat-proof mat or chopping board! We decided to add some fresh thyme and pitted black olives! 🙂

 

 

Serve immediately. Place the kale into the bottom of a large serving bowl. Spoon over the jambalaya.

We served ours with kale (not only because we love the taste!) but we felt felt that this dish needed a further ‘green’ element to it!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively freeze in one or more resealable containers; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

NB: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

 

 

If preferred…

  • Feel free to use your own Creole or Cajun seasoning mix! Experiment with the levels of spice and herbs to create your perfect combination!
  • Adapt the vegetables as you see fit!
  • Use a low-fat frying spray instead of rapeseed (canola) oil to further reduce the fat content.
  • Use your favourite type of rice; we recommend brown basmati or brown long grain rice.
  • Try using a different type of bean (a dry or tinned variety), lentils, or maybe some tofu or tempeh instead!

 

Jambalaya Origin Sources:
About Food
Kitchn Project
New World Encyclopedia
Cooking Light

Vegan ‘Korma-Style’ Curry

Healthy Recipes

Serves:6
Prep & Cooking time: 65-70 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-vitamins, Vitamins C & K, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, no added sugar and is low in saturated fats! 

This is a delicious, creamy and mildly spiced (South Indian-type) curry that is really easy to prepare! It’s great for those that do not enjoy curries with with a spice factor over 1 or 2; very low on the Scoville scale, but were not sure of the exact number! Typically this type of curry is high in fat from the use of: coconut milk, double cream or even crème fraiche; along with the addition of either poultry, beef, lamb or game. It’s not great news if you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle or a WFPB diet!

Our curry recipe only contains (approximately) 4 grams of fat and 117% of your RDA for 
Vitamin C/serving- so dig in everyone! 

 

 

Ingredients:

 

 

Nutritional info (*curry only):

NB: Reduce the salt by using more water and less stock!  Also, use slightly less chickpeas and milk to reduce the fat contain.

 

 

Directions:

Place the spinach, peas and cauliflower into a microwavable dish; defrost in the microwave. Drain off any excess water.

 

 

In the meantime, peel and dice the onion and the garlic. Wash, peel and chop(or grate) the ginger. Wash, remove the stem, de-seed and chop the bell pepper. Wash the chilli (remove the stem and finely chop if desired).

 

 

Wash, peel and chop the potato into small cubes. Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into quarters.

 

 

Remove the cardamom seeds from their pods and crush (if applicable).

 

 

Open, drain and rinse the chickpeas.

 

 

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with low-fat cooking oil.

 

 

Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

 

 

Add the bell pepper. Fry for a further 2-3 minutes, or until softened.

 

 

Add the chilli, cardamom and cumin seeds (if using) and 1/2 the quantity of the curry powder. Stir together. Gently fry for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

 

 

Add the stock, water and bay leaf. Bring to the boil.

 

 

Add the potatoes and carrots. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 10-15 minutes or until tender.

 

 

Add the spinach, peas, cauliflower and chickpeas approximately 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Stir through. Cover with a lid. Cook for a further 7-8 minutes, or until tender.

 

 

In the meantime, prepare your slurry. Add the flour into a small dish. Add equal parts water. Stir until dissolved.

 

 

Pour the milk into a measuring jug. Whilst stirring, pour the slurry into the milk until combined.

 

 

When the vegetables have finished cooking, stir and pour the milk into the curry. Continue stirring until slightly thickened; approximately 2-5 minutes.

We removed ours of the heat momentarily as there was too much stream once the lid was removed!

 

 

Add the remaining curry powder. Stir through.

…Opps! Also add the turmeric (and stir through)!

 

 

Once the curry has thickened, remove it from the heat. Add the yoghurt. Stir through.

 

 

Taste and season it with some salt and pepper if necessary.

 

 

Don’t forget to remove the bay leaf before serving (and if preferred…maybe the chilli )!

 

 

Serve with rice, millet, quinoa, flat bread or maybe even home-made sweet potato wedges! Garnish with chopped tomatoes, fresh coriander, chopped nuts or whatever else you desire.

We garnished our curry with some chopped tomato, a few cashews and fresh coriander. 🙂

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. NB: When reheating, make it hot but do not allow it to boil. Alternatively freeze it; defrost and consume within 1-2 months.

 

 

If preferred…

  • Change the medley of vegetables; make it seasonal, keep it fresh or use frozen varieties!
  • Adapt the spices to your own personal preferences.
  • For non-vegans use a low-fat (plain) cow’s yoghurt and/or milk.

Curried Parsnip Soup (V, GF, SF, Low-Fat!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 50 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, potassium, calcium, iron, no added sugars and is low in fats!

This soup has a lovely creamy texture and has a naturally sweet and very satisfying taste. The parsnips work great as a ‘blank canvas’- absorbing all the fantastic spices! 

 

Ingredients:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++1L          Vegetable stock (Low-sodium, DF, GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1L          Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1kg       Parsnips
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g          Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Ground Cumin
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Ground Coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g          Curry Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++150ml   Soya milk (fortified/unsweetened)

 

 

Nutritional info:

NB: You can reduce the salt content further by: swapping some of the stock with extra water and/or DF milk and by not adding any additional salt (add more spices instead!)to the soup; make sure your spices do not contain any ‘added salt’. 

 

 

Directions:

Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the stock and water. Stir together. Bring to the boil.

NB: Our vegetable stock contained turmeric.

 

 

In the meantime, wash, peel, trim the ends and then chop the parsnip into slices. Peel and chop the onion and the garlic.

 

 

 

Add the parsnip, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and curry powder to the saucepan. Season it to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat.

 

 

Allow the soup to cool slightly.

 

 

Transfer the soup into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

NB: You might have to complete this step in batches.

 

 

Transfer the soup back to the saucepan or a large plastic container.

NB: Ours went into this plastic container; lunch prep for the next 3 days! 🙂

 

 

Pour in the DF milk.

 

 

Stir together.

 

 

Place the saucepan over a medium-low heat (if applicable). Heat to warm.

 

 

Serve warm. Ladle into a serving bowl. Garnish with some: herbs, nuts, seeds, croutons or soya yoghurt (if desired).

Ours was garnished with black pepper, dried chives and soya yoghurt.

 

 

Serve with some GF bread or a roll (if desired). 🙂

NB: This represents one portion of  the parsnip soup. We served ours with some low-fat houmous and homemade GF bread!

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

If preferred…

  • Try a different combination of spices and flavours. Make it Moroccan, Thai-flavoured etc!
  • Swap approximately 200g of the parsnips for peeled baking potatoes.
  • Increase the volume of the fortified DF milk for some extra nutrients!

Iron: Understanding & Supporting Healthy Intakes

Diet & Weight Loss

Most of us have been told that iron, especially in the form of spinach (think Popeye!) ‘gives us muscles and makes us strong’! Although I’m sure vegetables were the last thing I was thinking about when I was five!  However, when it comes to understanding the importance of iron’s role and making sure we have a healthy intake of it- how does your knowledge and diet weigh up?!

 

 

Photo by: Kalli McCleary Flickr

Photo by: Kalli McCleary Flickr

The human body contains 2-4mg of iron (men usually and naturally have higher levels); approximately two-thirds is found in Haemoglobin (Hb).

Haemoglobin is a protein found in our red blood cells that: carry oxygen around our body, mygoglobin in our muscles and it also gives it its red colour; myogloblin accepts, stores, transports and releases oxygen.

The body uses iron to make Hb. A protein called transferrin binds to iron and transports it around the body. Without enough iron, our organs and tissues become starved for oxygen.

 

Iron-Deficiency Anemia By: Ed Uthman Flickr

Ferritin is another protein that helps store iron by binding to it; approximately 25% of our iron is stored as ferritin.

It’s found in our liver, spleen, skeletal muscles and bone marrow. Only a small amount is found in the blood, but this is an indicator of how much is stored in our bodies; low ferritin levels are indicative of iron deficiency which causes anaemia.

 

Functions Of Iron

Photo by: Barack Shacked  Flickr

Photo by: Barack Shacked Flickr

Energy Production

If iron stores are low, Hb production slows down, therefore the transport of oxygen is diminished resulting in fatigue, dizziness and lowered immunity.

 

 

Photo by: The American Yoga Academy FlickrImmunitymmunity

Immunity

Our immune system depends on it for efficient functioning; the production of new enzymes is dependent on iron, which is important when we are recovering from illness or strenuous exercise.

 

 

 

 

 

DNA. Photo by: AJC1 FlickrRequired For DNA Synthesis

Iron is required for the function of many proteins involved in cell cycle and DNA synthesis, e.g. Ribonucleotide Reductase.

Production of red blood cells; they help carry oxygen around the body.

 

 

 

Consequences of Low Iron

  • Iron deprivation can result in harmful effects, in particular to our: cardiovascular, respiratory, brain and muscle function.
  • Iron depletion occurs when iron stores are low or exhausted and further decreases can produce iron deficiency anaemia. Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common consequence of a lack of dietary iron.
  • Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the world. Mclean et al 2008, showed that it affects nearly 2 billion people globally; a significant problem in the developed world affecting approximately 50% of the global population and 74% of non-pregnant women.

 

 

Why Women Are At An Increased Risk?

Photo by: Mini-DV Flickr

  • Menstruation with long and/or heavy periods.
  • Eating disorders and/or various ‘restrictive dieting regimes’.
  • Following a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle with improper instruction.
  • Consecutive pregnancies/ bleeding during deliveries.

 

 

 

All women should be given dietary information to maximise iron intake and absorption regardless of whether they are vegan/vegetarian or following a ‘typical’ balanced diet.

 

 

Groups At Risk Of Iron Inadequacy

Photo by: Howard Dickins Flickr

Photo by: Howard Dickins Flickr

  • Pregnant women
  • Infants and young children (needed for physical and mental growth)
  • Frequent blood donors
  • People with colon cancer or heart failure
  • People with G.I disorders or that have had G.I surgery
  • Vegetarians/vegans/fussy eaters

 

 

Signs And symptoms of Iron Deficiency

Photo by: Rajesh Jhawar Flickr

  •  Pica
    • Apathy
      • Dizziness
        • Depression
          • A sore tongue
            • Breathlessness
              • Exhaustion/weakness
                • Reduced endurance
                  • Unusually pale skin
                    • Frequent infections
                      • Restless leg syndrome
                        • Memory problems/difficulty focusing
                          • Brittle nails/ concave or spoon-shaped depression in the nails

 

 

Iron DRV’s (UK)

Average adult woman:

(19-50yrs) = 14.8mg/Day (inclusive of pregnant women).

*Breasting feeding could require up to an extra mg per day.

Average adult man:

(19+) = 8.7mg/day

NB: Please refer to your own country’s nutrient guidelines; quantities may vary.

Quick Facts:

  • These DRV’s take in to account that with normal iron metabolism only approximately 5-10% of dietary iron is absorbed through diet and supplements.
  • Children and adolsences having growth spurts may find their intake of iron isn’t adequate.
  • The iron in breast milk has a high bioavailability. Unfortunately not in amounts that are sufficient to meet the needs of infants older than 4 to 6 months. This is why children older than 6 months should not be exclusively breast fed.
  • On average, 1mg of iron/day is lost through faeces, sweat, urine and the exfoliation of old skin cells.
  • Women of child bearing age lose on average 20mg/month through menstruation- but this can vary.
  • Blood donors can lose approximately 200-250mg of iron with each donation.

 

 

Types Of Iron In Our diet

Photo by: Michael T nicknamemiket/ Flickr

Photo by: Michael T nicknamemiket/ Flickr

Haem:

Is iron found in ‘meat’. Its bio-availability is greater and is generally unaffected by other food components.

The bioavailability is approximately 14-18%* from mixed diets that include vitamin c and substantial amounts of meat and seafoods.

 

 

 

 

Photo by: Ric W Flickr

Photo by: Ric W Flickr

Non-Haem:

Is iron found in foods of vegetable origin or fortified foods and is the main form of dietary iron.

The bio-availability is lower and is therefore harder for your body to absorb. The bioavailability is approximately 5-12% (1).

 

 

 

 

 

Some Common Foods That Contain Iron

*Sources: 2,3,4

 Have a look and see if you can roughly calculate what your current iron intake is!

 

Factors That Can Increase & Affect Overall Iron Absorption

Photo by: Flickr

Photo by:V/ Axiomista  Flickr

  • The absorption of iron is affected by the presence of other foods in our guts, e.g.

 calcium, tannins, phenols, protein (inclusive of eggs & milk) and phytates (phytic acid) which all hinder iron absorption.

We should all avoid drinking caffeinated teas, coffee and milk around meal times, especially if we’re taking iron supplements.

 

 

 

Photo by: Julia Khusainova Flickr

  • Vitamin and iron are best friends! Vitamin C helps to increase of the absorption is iron, particularly non-haem, e.g. drink a glass of orange juice with your morning porridge!

 

 

 Our Diets & ‘Supplementation’ For Health And Well-Being

  • Purchasing cookbooks can help inspire new ideas to make sure you keep your meals nutritious, varied and ‘iron rich’. 🙂
  • Some studies have shown, including this article (found in the Journal of Food Science), that cooking in cast iron pots/pans can possibly increase the amount of iron in your food, especially when cooking high-acids foods, e.g. applesauce or tomato-based recipes. Apparently the greater the acidity of the food and the longer you cook it= the more iron that is transferred into the food; it’s a nice thought, but this would be hard for us to measure!
  • If you are embarking on a vegetarian or vegan diet, it’s a good idea to talk to your GP, a dietitian or a recognised nutritionist to make sure you have all the facts & avoid ill health. If you do suffer from, e.g. ‘heavy’ periods, an underlying G.I problem, or have a limited budget, it might also be a good idea to speak to a health professional about possible supplementation to lower your risk of iron deficiency anaemia.
  • If you are diagnosed with iron deficiency anaemia, your GP might prescribe iron supplementation or iron therapy; even an oral contraceptive pill to decrease menstrual blood loss during periods.

We should consult with our health care provider before taking loads of extra supplementation, especially if you are taking prescribed medications, regardless of whether it’s iron or, e.g. vitamin A, zinc or calcium. Firstly, to make sure we are going to do ourselves any harm, e.g. unsupervised use of iron supplements can reduce the absorption of other essential nutrients (such as zinc and calcium) and secondly they can recommend the ones with the most bio-availability and that may cause the least amount of gastrointestinal effects etc.

Unfortunately, taking mineral supplements, especially iron can cause undesirable side effects…

 

Possible Side effects of iron supplementation:
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • sickness
  • diarrhoea
  • heartburn
  • tummy ache

These types of side effects can make compliance poor and will have knock-on effects on your well-being.

 

So having read my article, hopefully you are just a few informed choices away from improving your health….

…As everyone has a responsibility to themselves to source and eat a healthy diet, regardless of their food likes and dislikes…

…Because it’s all too easy to just assume that we are getting enough iron, but the reality is that it’s all too easy to not get enough!

 

Article written by: Lynn Risby BSc Nutritionist
Feature image by: Miserablespice Flickr

 

Sources:
1. Am J Clin Nutr May 2010 vol. 91 no. 5 1461S-1467S
2. USDA Database
3.Foods Standards Agency (2002) McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Sixth summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemisty
4.Foods Standards Agency (2002) Food Portion Sizes, 3rd Revised edition edition. London:TSO

Veganism: What’s All The Hype?

Diet & Weight Loss

I’m sure we might all know a friend of a friend or are currently trying a ‘vegan diet/lifestyle’ ourselves. Let’s face it, there’s been a lot of media attention over the last few years. Oprah Winfrey encouraged us to try ‘The Vegan Challenge’, facilitating everyone to consciously think about what they’re eating and the bigger picture; the Meatless Monday  trend introduced in the U.S during 2003 shared the same principles. PETA and The Vegan Society (U.K) also highlight celebrities that are inspiring this trend.

 

Let’s just get something straight, veganism shouldn’t be looked as the newest ‘diet trend’, although it has been seen to produce weight loss results; as reported in a two year randomized weight loss trial shown in the Obesity Journal.

Veganism is a lifestyle, many starting it with different motives; for me it was partly to do with finances and ethics, but the majority was health related. Surveys  during 2012 showed that approximately 1% of the British population are vegans; the current population is about 64 million, which means just over 600 million people have committed to veganism. The Vegan Society reported a 40% increase in the interest of vegan lifestyles last year.  I suppose it’s not surprising, as we can be unaware of what’s in our food; does the ‘Horse meat scandal’ ring any bells? But why have so many people had this change of heart?  Surely, it can’t just be because of their desire to eat tofu and celery?!

 

Let’s look at some genuine reasons why people might have decided to switch…

 

Ethical Views

  • Pro-Animals rights. Media has pointed out that if we are going to consume animal products, we must inform ourselves on how it gets to our plate; if it disturbs us, than that just speaks volumes, doesn’t it.

Photo by_hello kelly Flickr_c60

To truly be a vegan, we must embrace and adapt the lifestyle; avoiding all animal products, not just the ones we eat, but within make-up /beauty products, clothing and even our mattress!

Environmental Factors

  • Sustainability. An AMJCN publication looked at land and water resources, food production costs and how many people primarily consume a meat or a plant-based diet. Overall, with current population trends, plant-based diets looked more sustainable.
  • Reducing our carbon footprint. A study assessing some U.K diets showed: on average, meat-eaters contributed 46-51% more food-related greenhouse gas emissions than fish eaters, 50-54% more than vegetarians and an incredible 99-102% more than vegans.

 

Women’s Health & Wellness

Views…
The Arguments…

High Vitamin C= Stabilised Blood Sugar Levels? = 🙂

Photo by: Lan Li Flickr

Photo by: Lan Li Flickr

A study that included 500 people with type 2 diabetes, gave a random dose of 500mg or 1000mg/D of vitamin C for six weeks.Results: a (1000mg/D) supplementary vitamin C intake may be beneficial in decreasing blood sugar levels in these patients and lowering the damaging effects of sugar.

Money Saving

Photo by: Ken Teegardin Flickr

Photo by: Ken Teegardin Flickr

Legumes and pulses are significantly cheaper than meat, particularly in their ‘dry forms’ and can be just as tasty and nutritious.

Enhances Natural Beauty

lips_Photo by_E J Grubbs Flickr

Studies, (one study based in Australia) could influence dietary choices when it comes to our beauty regime. Regular acne sufferers might be pleased with this update!

Reducing PMS

woman with cake and grapes_Photo by_Go Laura Flickr

PMS is affecting a possible 3 out of 4 women of child bearing age.The PCRM noted research linking low-fat, plant-based diets and the effect on PMS; by avoiding animal fats and keeping vegetable oils to a minimum, can help reduce physical symptoms.These outcomes have been reported from 1-2 months after changing lifestyles.Theories included these thoughts about oestrogen:
-Reducing dietary fats reduces the amount of it in our blood.
-Plant fibres help remove it from our body.
-Soya products contain phytoestrogens, these reduce the chances of natural oestrogen’s attaching to our cells; equals less oestrogen stimulation of cells (aka PMS).

Healthier Lifestyle

  • Prevention. A low-fat vegan lifestyle may be the easiest way to improve our overall quality of life, reducing weight gain, chronic diseases & illness; similar views were highlighted in a 2010 article by the Physicians committee.
  • Global recognition. Dietitians recognised that a well-planned, vegan diet can be appropriate. Check them out: BDA, ADA, CDA and DAA .

Need some incentives? An HSE report showed more than 6 out of 10 men (66.5%) and 5 out of 10 women (57.8%) in the U.K were overweight or obese; the WHO highlighted “65% of the world’s population live in countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.”

Maybe we should consider this lifestyle? We can always talk to a medical professional to make sure we avoid any nutritional pitfalls.

After all, what value do you place on your health?

 

Article written by: Lynn Risby BSc Nutritionist
Feature image by: Michiko Yoshifuji Flickr
Sources:
Meatless Monday
Peta UK
Vegan Society
Wiley Online Library
Vegetarian Society.org
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Springer International Publishing
Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR)
Pub Med
Patient Info
Patients Committee for Responsible Medicine(PCRM)
British Dietetic Association (BDA)
American Dietetic Association (ADA)
Dietitians of Canada (CDA)
Journal of The American Dietetic Association
Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA)
Public Health England
World Health Organization (WHO)