THE quest for healthier living begins with your food choices. We hear it every day, we are a nation of too many non-communicable diseases, fuelled by diets overloaded with refined flour, sugar and meat, we consume too many processed foods.
The road to better health is right before you, and begins with proper discipline with respect to what we prepare in our home kitchens. We are blessed with a bounty of local vegetables, greens and low glycemic carbs for us to create delicious meals from.
We hear the term complex carbs or low glycemic index foods, these are foods that are absorbed into our system at a slower rate and does not cause our blood sugar levels to spike. They can be found in our ground provisions like sweet potato, cassava, yams, and eddoes. And also in brown rice and whole grain flour like Spelt, which is highly recommended for low glycemic index diets.
Don’t wait until healthy eating becomes a prescription from your medical professional. Get on the bandwagon now, believe me it is very delicious.
Spiced rice with lentils and caramelised onions
4 cups sliced onions
2 tbs coconut oil
2 whole all spice berries
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
6 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tsp tomato paste
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup dried lentils, cooked to tender and drained
2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 cup mixed chopped fresh herbs
Heat a large frying pan and add onions, cook on a medium low heat until caramelised or dark brown in colour and tender stirring, about 15 to 20 minutes, remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium-sized sauce pan, heat one tbs oil and add spices, and garlic, stir and fry for a couple of minutes add tomato paste and rice and stir to coat, add lentils, stir and add water, bring to a boil, season with salt.
Cover and steam until rice is tender, about 40 minutes, remove spices and set aside.
Spoon onions on top sprinkle with herbs and gently stir.
Serves 4 to 6
Sweet potato and pumpkin loaf with rosemary
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sweet potato flour
1 tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk combined with 1/2 tsp white vinegar (let sit for 10 mins)
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 cup pureed pumpkin, uncooked
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease and flour 9 X 5 inch tin
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sweet potato flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, rosemary and black pepper.
Beat together eggs, add oil and milk.
Stir in pureed pumpkin.
Add this mixture to the flour mixture and stir in cheese.
Stir just until combined
Turn mixture into prepared tin.
Bake for 40 minutes until a wooden pick comes out clean.
Remove and cool.
Makes 1 loaf
Feel good chick pea and quinoa salad
1 cup quinoa
1 cup cooked chick 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
1/2 tsp roasted geera
1 tsp sea salt
2 tbs salad 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 chick peas, red pepper, onion, coriander, and geera.
Stir well, now add salt, vinegar and oil.
Toss to combine, sprinkle on parsley and toss.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Banana whole grain muffins with chocolate chips and cocoa nibs
1 cup wholegrain spelt flour
1 cup oat flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
3/4 cup milk with 1 tbs vinegar
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 chocolate chips
2 tbs cocoa nibs
Pre-heat oven to 375F degrees (200 degrees C)
Grease 12 large muffin cups or line with paper baking cases.
Combine all the dry ingredients,
Beat bananas and eggs with sugar and honey.
Add milk, oil and vanilla, stir well.
Gently stir in dry ingredients, add chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into muffin cups generously filling each to the top.
Sprinkle with nibs
Bake for about 20 -25 minutes until done and tops are firm to the touch.
Cool and store in an airtight container.
Wendy’s Cooking classes
April 6, call 357-0927 to register.