Ratatouille with Red kidney beans

Ratatouille is a traditional french dish, but I think with little variations, it exists in many countries under different names.Ratatouille is a fantastic way to cook seasonal vegetable and to help everyone to reach their five a day target. Ratatouille usually served as side dish, but you can be served as main dish along with rice or crusted bread.

Ingredients
  • 2 courgettes/zucchini
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 Red/ yellow capsicum
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 2 medium sized onion
  • 1 tomato can
  • 3-4 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 1 tsp mixed italian herbs
  • 4 spring thyme fresh
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions for making

  • First diced the egg plant, zucchni with intact skin and bell peppers into 1 inch cubes. Peel the onions and finely chopped them.
  • Take a large heavy casserol pan, add olive oil, finely chopped onions and saute for 5-10 minutes. Now add garlic, bell peppers, zucchini, aubergine. Cook for about 3-5 minutes and then add tomatoes and all spices, bay leaf, thyme and red kidney beans.
  • Bring to boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover with a lid and cook on low flame for about 25-30 minutes.
  • Serve with crusted bread or rice.

BEANS CHILLI WITH SMOKEY SWEET POTATOES

Vegan, gluten-free, super easy to make and full of flavour and warmth. For adding more flavour, I roasted sweet potatoes first and then add to the pot.

What you need for this amazing recipe:

  • 2 medium-sized Sweet potatoes peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1×400 g can of Black beans
  • 1 ×400g can of Red kidney beans
  • 1 medium-sized onion,
  • finely chopped 3- 4 garlic cloves minced or grated
  • 2×400g tomatoes can
  • 1 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander powder
  • 1 tsp Chilli flakes
  • 2 scallions
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oil/coconut butter
  • For serving; spring onions, fresh coriander, sour cream, avocado etc

How to make

Put the diced sweet potatoes chunks in a single layer on a baking tray with a splash of olive oil. Roast at 190 c for around 30 minutes or until soft. I prefer bit crispy around the edges, but the choice is yours.

Meanwhile, add olive oil or coconut butter whatever you like, in a saucepan and add finely chopped onions. Cook over medium heat for a few minutes and then add garlic and cook few more minutes.

Now add beans, tomatoes and all spices and bring to simmer.Cook for 10-15 minutes, untill the tomatoes become soft and mixture hase thickened consistancy, at this momment add roasted sweet potatoes and mix well. Cook for few mor minutes and check seasoning. Serve with freshly chopped coriander, scallion/ spring onions.

Spinach and chickpeas curry

Another delicious and healthy recipe consists of my favourite ingredients; chickpeas and spinach. Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fibre, and other important micronutrients. Spinach is a rich source of iron, vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folate, and a good source of manganese, magnesium.

Tinned cans are a good option as they reduce cooking time and get this yummy recipe in 15 minutes, but you can use dried chickpeas. for dried chickpeas, soak them for 5-6 hours or overnight for better results.

ingredients

  • 2 tin chickpeas
  • 3 handful of spinach
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped ginger
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • half teaspoon salt
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoon Coconut butter /oil

Method

  • Put coconut butter in the pan, add onion and cook until light golden brown, and then add ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Now add tomatoes and all spices and give a good mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add chickpeas mix well, add coconut milk and cook for 10 minutes and then add spinach.
  • Now give a good stir and cook on low flame for about 5 minutes. Garnish with onion and fresh coriander
  • Serve with either naan or rice.

Roasted Nourish Bowl

Keep warm and nourished with nutrient dense Roasted vegetables nourish bowl featuring sweet potatoes, courgettes, cherry tomatoes, lettuce and pan fried fish.

Nourish bowl or power bowl is a balanced, healthy meal containing a variety of nutrient dense ingredients. The best part of nourish bowl is customization means you have end less options and perfect for meal prep. The five basic ingredients for setting a nourish bowl are

  • Protein; Fish, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, animal protein
  • Non starchy carbohydrates; Spinach, reddish, courgettes, bell peppers, arugula.
  • Starchy carbohydrates; sweet potatoes, corn, peas, mango, grapes, apple
  • Healthy fats; Olive oil, Avocado, nuts, seeds
  • Additional flavours; hummus, fresh lemon juice, homemade salad dressing

Ingredients required for this recipe

  • 2-3 fish fillet
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 courgette
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • Dressing/homemade or tahini based dressing from the store

directions

  • For roasting vegetables, cut all the vegetables and put in a roasting tray. Add salt peppers, olive oil and a pinch of paprika powder. Roast for about 30 -40 minutes, stirring halfway.
  • Season the fish fillets with lemon juice, salt and peppers, Italian herbs and splash of oilve oil let sit while you prepare dressing
  • For dressing; 1/3 cup tahini, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 clove garlic grated or minced, 1 teaspoon honey and 3 tablespoons water.
  • in a medium mixing bowl add all ingredients and whisk to combine. Then add slowly water to make creamy and pourable
  • In a large skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter and add marinated fish. cook for 2-4 minutes on each side, remove the fish from the skillet to a plate.

now setup your plate

  • First setup a green base; you can put fresh spinach, lettice, kale, arugula,or mixed greens.
  • Top with roasted vegetables and pan fried fish.
  • Finish with dressing, this time i use lemon tahini based dressing
  • Garnish with pompograne seeds or you can use chopped nuts and seeds.

Chocolate Bark

chocolate bark is an easy and delicious treat for you and your family. Only a few ingredients are required for this recipe;

This chocolate bark is made up of dark chocolate but you can use good quality chocolate chips and topped with dried fruits and nuts.

Tips for chocolate bark
  • Use microwave for quick and easy chocolate melting; use a microwave safe bowl and warm the chocolate in 30 seconds intervals , stirring after each and make sure donot overcook.
  • Add colours like some green( Pistachio, pumpkin seeds), red ( dried cranberries. Other options include dried mangos or chopped dried ginger, which will add some golden spark.
  • For quick results put bark in the refrigator and you will get for tonight party.

Topping variations;

  • Nuts; almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, Pistachios
  • seeds; Pumpkin seeds,
  • Dried fruits; Cranberries, Apricots, mango
  • coconut flakes
  • white chocolate

ingradients

  • 12 ounce chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
  • 3/4 cup dried fruits (cranberries,or other dried fruits like cherries, apricot, mangos)
  • 3/4 cup seeds pumpkin seeds almonds, pistachios
  • pinch of salt (optional)

Directions

  • First, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl of simmering water or in the microwave.
  • Now spread the melted chocolate evenly on the parchment-lined tray. Topping is totally customized, you can use any kind of dried fruits or nuts.
  • if you are in hurry, refrigerate the bark for about 15 minutes, if you have time let it cool at room temperature for about 3-4 hours.]

The dark chocolate (contain cocoa) is good for your heart health, one study found that daily consumption of cocoa, compared to the placebo group, significantly lower participants blood pressure -a risk factor for heart diseases.

Creamy green lentil curry

Lentils are a good source of plant-based protein, contain complex carbohydrates and are low in fat. Fibre is one of their best features as they offer both soluble and insoluble fibre. Unprocessed lentils are an excellent source of vitamin B and minerals like iron, potassium, folate, magnesium and phytonutrients.

Lentils are perfect for making curries, soups, salads or even patties. Green lentil is perfect for those who like hearty and filling meals. In my opinion lentil curries are ideal when you are looking for healthy vegan meal prep ideas. I already put an awesome red lentil curry recipe on this blog Curried red lentil soup

some tips about this recipe, first rinse lentil well until the water runs clear. secondly, if you have time you can soaked them for 30 minutes before cooking.

𝐂𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐦𝐲 𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐢𝐥 𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐫𝐲

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry green lentils soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 tin coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt 2 cups Vegetable broth/water
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil

HOW TO MAKE THIS RECIPE

  • Heat the coconut oil in a large pot or skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and toast until they start to brown, about 45 seconds.
  • Now add the finely chopped onions in the pot and let it brown, afterwards add grated garlic and let it brown for 2 minutes.
  • Add all spices and chopped tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes. Now add lentils and 2 cups of water or vegetable broth whatever you like and let it cook for 20 minutes on the low flame.
  • Once the lentils are soft and the curry is thick, add the coconut milk and cook for few more minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with Naan or flatbread or you can eat as a warm soup in this weather.

Osteoporosis; the silent disease

20th October is the world osteoporosis, around 3 million people in the UK are affected by osteoporosis and 500,000 people receive hospital treatment for fragility fracture every year. In Europe, the disability due to osteoporosis is greater than that caused by cancer (except lung cancer). BUT what is osteoporosis

Osteoporosis means Porous bone. Bone is a living tissue that is constantly being broken down and replaced, we all have some degree of bone loss as we get older but osteoporosis occurs when this balance is disturbed and either body loses too much bone or makes too little new bones. Bones lost their density and become porous and fragile. Osteoporosis develops slowly over several years

osteoporosis affects women and men of all races but white and Asian women, especially older women who are past menopausal are at high risk.

Symptoms

osteoporosis is silent diseases as symptoms appear very late, often only diagnosed when a fall or sudden impact causes a bone to break.

  • Chronic back pain
  • Loss of height over time
  • Stooped or hunched posture
  • Limited mobility

what are risks

  • GENDER
  • ETHNICITY
  • FAMILY HISTORY
  • AGE
  • MENOPAUSE
  • LOW BODY WEIGHT
  • PREVIOUS FRACTURES
  • MEDICAL CONDITION; Early menopause, thyroid disorders
  • MEDICATIONS; Glucocorticoids, Antacids

HOW TO PREVENT OSTEOPOROSIS

Osteoporosis is preventable by adopting healthy lifestyle guidelines. Nutrition, physical activity, weight, smoking cessation, avoiding heavy alcohol drinking can improve bone health.

Eat well for bone health

  • Well balanced diet consist of all food groups play a critical role in building and maintaining good bone health at every stage of life. There are certain vitamins like vitamin D and K play an important role in preventing osteoporosis. similarly, minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and copper are important for bone health.
  • Building strong bones begin in childhood and are essential to the prevention of osteoporosis. Good nutrition with plenty of calcium rich food like milk and dairy products or other calcium rich sources helps children to achieve their highest possible peak bone mass.

Recent research has found that olive oil, soybeans, blueberries, and food rich in omega 3 fatty acids are like fish oil, and flax seeds may have bone boosting benefits.

EXERCISE

Regular physical activity like aerobic exercises aimed at 30-45 minutes per day or 150 minutes every week helps in preventing osteoporosis.

Studies show that weight bearing exercises such as weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs and playing tennis over a period of time can improve bone density even build a new bone.

WHAT TO AVOID FOR GOOD BONE HEALTH

There are certain foods that should be consumed in moderation like soda, caffeine, saturated fats, salt and alcohol. They have no direct effect on bone health but they impair calcium absorption and reduce bone density.

smoking and bone health;

several studies found smoking as risk factor for osteoporosis and bone fracture.How smoking affects bone health, still unclear that decrease in bone density is due to smokng itself or to other risk factors common among smokers. For example women who smoke also tend to have early menopause than nono smokers and in many cases people who smoke are less physical active, drink more alcohol and poor diet as compared to non smoker.

Osteoporosis is not an invietable part of ageing; it is preventable.So it is vital that all of us, of all ages, start taking care of our bones now , before it is too late. love your bones protect your fracture

Vege loaded, a totaly customized for your family. Any vegetable can be added.This recipe is ideal for your brunch or can be served as dinner.

Ingradients

  • 3 Large egges
  • 1 canned chopped tomatoes or you can add fresh tomotes
  • 1red peppers chopped
  • 1 courgette chopped
  • 1 red onoion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced grated
  • oil 2 table spoon
  • spring onion forgarnish

How to cook

  • Heat some oil in a pan and add finely chopped onion and garlic saute until soft and turn light golden.
  • now add courgette and red peppers and cook for few more minutes then add all spices and tomatoes, simmer for5-7 minutes
  • now make a well for your egg and crack egg in each well. cover the pan with lid till the egg white are nicely done and egg yolks are runny or if you need full done
  • sprinkle with fresh chopped spring onion and feta if you like.

you can served with bread but this time i served it with traditional wholewheat parathas.

Curried red lentil soup

This red lentil recipe is vegan, gluten free healthy and easy to make.This yummy recipe is ready in 30 minutes and a perfect option for weeknight dinner and meal prep.

Dhal or lentils are good source of fibre and important staple food in south asian countries. Red lentils are spilt lentils that cook fast and does not need any soaking.

you can add vegies like i used carrots and celery but you can add spinach, zucchni or tomatoes.

𝐈𝐧𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐝𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐬

  • 1 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves grated
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnish /
  • 2 tablespoons butter/ coconut oil

𝐌𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐨𝐝

Take a large pan and put oil and onion, saute onion and garlic for 5-7 minutes. Now add carrots and celery and cook until they become soft Now add tomatoes and all spices and mix well,cook for 10 minutes. Add lentils and cook for 2-3 minutes and now add vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the lentils are fully cooked and the soup has thickened. Add more salt and cumin if needed. Garnish with fresh coriander or dill

served warm

FODMAPs and their link with IBS

FODMAP is not a single entity, but a group of an acronym that stands for fermented, oligo, di, monosaccharides and polyols. FODMAPs are found in a variety of fruits, vegetables, milk and wheat.

HOW FODMAP WORKS;

FODMAP may exacerbate IBS symptoms through a various mechanism such as ;

OSMOTIC OVERLOAD; Poor absorption of FODMAP causes osmotic overload and distention of small intestine and abdominal symptoms.

BACTERIAL FERMENTATION; FODMAPs are rapidly absorbed by colonic bacteria and produce colonic distention due to gas production associated with abdominal pain and bloating.

FODMAPs are not bad for everyone, in normal healthy individuals they have important physiological effects like; they increase stool bulk, enhance calcium absorption and modulate immune function. They selectively stimulate the growth of Bifidobacterium a species of good bacteria.

FODMAPs and the irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

IBS is a chronic functional disorder of the intestine, the most common symptoms are abdominal pain, bloating and altered bowel movements.The global prevalence of IBS is around 12% and is more common in women.

Treatment of IBS consist of pharmacological and non pharmacological measures. Among the non pharmacological options; stress reduction, dietary modifications ( restriction of certain food (FODMAP) and cognitive behaviour therapy are the most important.

LOW FODMAP DIET

In recent years, there is a growing body of research which support low FODMAP diet for the management of IBS, studies have shown that it can help up to 70-85% of patients with IBS achieve relief of their symptoms. it is now included in NICE guidelines as a second line intervention for IBS.

Following a low fodmap diet may helpful in alleviating symptoms of IBS like

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloating
  • Altered bowel movement
  • Gas

There is no evidence that low FODMAP diet works for non digestive symptoms that are associated with IBS, such as headache and skin or joint problems.

Phases of low FODMAP diet

It is three phased elimination diet, first phase is the restriction phase in which high FODMAP food should be completely avoided. This phase lasts for 2-6 weeks. Second phase is reintroduction in which food with high FODMAP reintroduced but one at a time. This will enable you to identify which FODMAP you are sensitive too. This stage can take several months to complete and ideally should be completed under the guidance of a dietitian. Personalized stage the third phase is a combination of phase 1 and phase 2 and involves the long term, modified FODMAP diet. For more information regarding a high FODMAP food list https://www.monashfodmap.com/about-fodmap-and-ibs/high-and-low-fodmap-foods/

WHAT IS DOWNSIDES OF LOW FODMAP.

There is short term risk associated with insufficient protein, dietary fibre, B group vitamins and calcium intake.

Low levels of prebiotics;

Prebiotics are indigestible carbohydrates that are resistant to gastric acid and fermented by bacteria present in the large intestine. Prebiotics predominately found in food containing Fructans and Galacto-oligosaccharides.The low FODMAP diet restricts the intake of many high prebiotic (high FODMAP) foods and prolong restriction of high FODMAP can alter gut microbiome diversity. Studies have shown low levels of total bacterial abundance and reduced level of bifidobacterium following a low FODMAP diet. This is why re-introduction phase is very important as it allows you to have more variety in your diet but also maintain a healthy gut.

Calcium in low FODMAP diet;

The restriction of lactose containing dairy products may enhance the tendency to poor calcium availability since these items are primary source of calcium and promoting effect of lactose on calcium absorption is lost.

Lactose or dairy free calcium sources are; Kale, lactose free plant based milk fortified with calcium, hard cheese, firm tofu.

TAKE HOME MESSAGE

Low fodmap diet is considered as a second line treatment option for patients with IBS as recommended by NICE guidelines. This diet should not be used without specialized dietary advice from a registered professional. Vegan or vegetarian are at increased risk of protein deficiency due to limited plant protein sources however well constructed meal plans by registered dietitians may reduce possible nutritional deficiencies.