I can't say I eat healthy 100% of the time, but when I cook at home I do try to be as healthy as possible. And by healthy I mean less red meat and more vegetables and raw food. Because that is where all the good comes from that we need to live a happy and long life! In your head you're probably thinking, 'Ah another organic trendsetter.. blahblahblah'... actually it's proven by Harvard and it is very important to eat more of those 'boring' things called vegetables and fruit:
'A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check.'
and 'Processed meats, such as bacon, have the strongest link to heart disease and mortality.' Do I need to say more?
Anyway, here are my simple delicious dishes making it easier to get your 5 a day to your tummy today!
1. Fresh Chickpea Salad
I found this amazing and SO simple salad from an Estonian blog and I'm addicted to it ever since! It's a great meal for lunch and I enjoy a take away of this miracle salad to work. Thank you Paljas Pogand - Naked Carrot!
½ small zucchini
½ big carrot
1 cup boiled chickpeas
1-2 tbs Balsamico
1 tbs soy sauce
spicy herb mix
olive oil for the chickpeas
THE MAKING OF
Wash the vegetables and grate them.
Heat up the olive oil and add the chickpeas.
Season them with however you like them (I added some spicy herbs) and stir them until their crispy and a bit brown.
Add the chickpeas to your 'noodles', pour over some balsamico and/or soy sauce and add some black pepper on top.
Serve and smile!
2. Fresh Spring Rolls
Those babies make me so full and so happy! Even though it's not the quickest meal, it's worth the time and effort you put into it. And did I say they're yummy?
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1 big carrot
½ red pepper,
1 long English cucumber
2-3 pickles (optional)
half a zucchini
small handful of spinach
mint and/or coriander or parsley (whatever you prefer)
5-10 rice papers (I used 22 cm papers)
quinoa or rice noodles (optional)
THE MAKING OF
Wash the vegetables and cut them into thin strips.
Get the mint/coriander/spinach ready next to your vegetables.
Add some warm water in the bowl for your rice paper
Dip the Rice Paper in warm water. Rice paper is delicate and only needs a quick dip in warm water to soften. Do not soak the rise paper for too long because it will break down very fast.
Lay down slightly firm rice paper on your rolling board and start assembling ingredients. During the time that you’ve assembled ingredients, the rice paper will become soft and gelatinous. Ready to roll!
OPTIONAL - I also add some Chili Mayo to my spring rolls, therefore I don't need a dip for them after!
Roll about one rotation, then fold in the sides for closed end spring rolls. Continue to roll till rice paper ends, but remember to tuck the ingredients together with your fingers at the same time.
Sometimes I add chicken or rice noodles or quinoa, whatever leftovers I have.. but trust me these babies will not disappoint!
3. Zucchini-Quinoa or Zucchini-Turkey Lasagna
Last but not least my favourite of them all - lasagne! This recipe has two options: if you want a meatless filling, use high-protein quinoa, but if you can't leave without a bit of meat in your lasagna, try it with minced turkey!
2 large zucchini, cut lengthwise into thin slices
1 tsp. salt
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
½ cup tomato sauce
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. dried oregano
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
2 Tbs. nondairy cream cheese, such as Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, optional
1 800gr jar of tomato/marinara sauce
½ cup shredded cheese
1. Preheat oven to 200 celsius. Place zucchini slices on bed of paper towels. Sprinkle with salt, cover with paper towels, and let them stand for a while to release all the moisture while preparing quinoa.
2. Bring broth, quinoa, tomato sauce, onion, and oregano to a boil in saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 25 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, and stir in basil, parsley, and cream cheese, if using.
3. Spoon 1/3 cup marinara sauce over bottom of 8-inch square baking dish. Blot remaining moisture and salt from zucchini slices, and lay 4 zucchini slices over marinara sauce in pan. Spoon half of quinoa over zucchini, and cover with 1/3 cup marinara. Repeat with 4 more zucchini slices, remaining quinoa, and 1/3 cup marinara. Top with remaining 4 zucchini slices, remaining marinara, and shredded cheese, if using. Bake lasagna 30 minutes, or until zucchini is tender and top is bubbly.