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Wednesday 22 May 2019
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The healthy, plant-based diet

THE Lenten season has officially begun, if you fall into the category of those who abstain from meat for the season or part of it, mealtimes may be a bit challenging for you at this time. Luckily as more people are trying to embrace a partial vegetarian diet today, more options have become available. Food sustainability and the desire for better health has led many people towards practising a plant-based diet.

A plant-based diet is one that is rich in vegetables, grains and legumes; it is naturally low in saturated fat, high in fibre, and lower in added sugar than the ones that include meats and processed foods. It can help with weight loss, improve blood sugar, and lower blood pressure.

The hallmarks of a plant-based diet are as follows: priority is on whole or minimally processed foods, more seasonal veggies and fruits.

A plant-based diet is rich in vegetables, grains and legumes.

Vegetables, grains and legumes and dried peas occupy the centre of the plate. Egg and dairy are consumed occasionally and meat is treated more as a condiment if consumed at all.

Here are some balanced plant-based recipes that you can enjoy, all you need is a hefty serving of steamed fresh veggies or lots of fresh greens dressed up with a delicious dressing to complete. Enjoy!

Feel good black eye pea and quinoa salad

Black eye peas and quinoa salad

1 cup quinoa

1 cup black eyed peas, cooked and drained

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped, or less if you prefer

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp roasted geera

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup chopped fresh parsley

Wash the quinoa well in a sieve, place into a medium-sized saucepan.

Add one cup water and bring to a boil, simmer for 5 minutes, cool.

Combine quinoa with peas, red pepper, onion, coriander, and geera.

Stir well, now add salt, vinegar and olive oil.

Toss to combine, sprinkle on parsley and toss.

Taste and adjust seasoning.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 4

Grilled cassava with lime garlic sauce, spicy black beans

2 lbs cassava, boiled and drained

1 tbs chopped garlic

1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil

2 tbs lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

2 tbs chopped chadon beni

Remove inner vein from cassava cut into 2-inch lengths and place in a shallow baking dish.

Heat oil in a small sauce pan, add garlic and lime, add salt and pepper. Sauté for a few

minutes more, do not brown garlic.

Add chadon beni, stir and pour mixture onto cassava, covering all the cassava with the


Preheat broiler and place cassava under broiler.

Broil until hot and edges are browned.

Serves 4 to 6

Spicy black beans

1 cup black beans soaked overnight

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped

½ cup chopped chives

1 tbs ground, roasted geera

2 tbs good quality chilli powder

1 tsp. salt or to taste

1/4 cup chopped chadon beni or cilantro

1 tsp red wine vinegar

Boil the beans in plenty of water, with a pinch of geera and a clove of garlic, until tender, about one hour.

Drain beans. In a medium-sized sauce pan heat oil, add onion and garlic, saute for a few minutes.

Add tomatoes and beans, cook for a few minutes more, add chives, geera, chili powder and salt, stir well.

Add about one cup water and simmer beans until super soft and thick.

Finish with chadon beni.

Serve with grilled cassava .

Spiced brown rice pilaf with chick peas and almonds

Spiced brown rice pilaf with chick peas and almonds.

3 tbs olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp paprika

2 cups boiled chickpeas, drained

1 ½ cups brown rice, rinsed

2 3/4 cups water

salt and pepper

½ cup currants or raisins

1/3 cup toasted chopped almonds

1 tbs butter

½ cup chopped parsley

Heat oil in a sauce pan, add onions, and garlic, sauté until tender, about 4 minutes.

Add cinnamon, turmeric and paprika, stir, now add the chickpeas.

Add rice and sauté with spices so that all the rice grains are coated.

Add water, stir well.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add raisins or currants, bring to a boil and cover and simmer until rice grains are tender, about 40 minutes.

Add almonds, stir in butter and add parsley.

Serves 4 to 6

Wendy’s Cooking classes:

Perfect Pastry: March 16, 9 am-12pm

Call: 357-0927 to register.

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