Vegetable Recipes

The Good Old “Salad Days”

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“I am a vegetarian”… is a phrase that makes you go woah. As soon as someone says this, we think to ourselves, “How can this person not like meat?” It’s not like they are friends with all the furries and fuzzies of the world, it’s just a lifestyle choice.
You are probably wondering what I mean by “salad days” right? Well, if you want that youthful glow back, better keep reading to find out “How”.

I am pretty sure that you are aware of the fact that vegetarians are more light weight than meat eaters and most important of all, they live a longer life. As vegetarians, men live 9.5 years longer and women live 6.1 years longer than meat eaters. Moreover, vegetarians are also 30 pounds lighter.

Let’s move on to the most important meal of the day:

Vegetarian Breakfast

vegetarian breakfast

Having a full and healthy breakfast can keep you energized all day long. I remember my mother used to tell me that drinking a glass of milk will increase my productivity in school. After all, it has proteins and all the necessary vitamins.

However, vegetarians live by strict rules. What most people don’t know is that there are three kinds of vegetarians – Lacto, Ovo and Strict.

  • Lacto Vegetarian: Lacto vegetarians follow a vegetable diet but also include dairy products in their meal.
  • Ovo Vegetarian: Ovo vegetarians follow a vegetable diet but also include eggs in their meal.
  • Strict Vegetarian: A Strict vegetarian does not eat any animal products such as milk eggs, honey, gelatin, dairy products, etc.

Average Reference Intake

Men Women
Calories (kcal) 2,500 2000
Protein (g) 55 50
Carbohydrates (g) 300 260
Sugar (g) 120 90-
Fats (g) 95 70
Saturates (g) 30 20
Salt (g) 6 6
Fiber (g) 30 30

Breakfast SuggestionsBread

Here are a few breakfast suggestions that you can try to fulfill your daily quota of nutrients:

A breakfast full of proteins is the healthiest one. It’s a great way to start your day. You can either go for a bowl of cereal topped with some fruits and nuts or you can go for a toast with scrambled eggs. There’s also tofu, which you can marinade in spices and enjoy with rice sheets.

The reason why eggs are considered a healthy breakfast choice is that they can keep you satiated all day long. It has got fats, proteins and Vitamin D, which are necessary for strong teeth and bones. You can also have a go-to Greek yoghurt cup, which is loaded with fruits and drizzled with some honey.

It all depends on what kind of vegetarian you are.

Speaking of nutrients, most vegetarians are concerned with not getting the proper amount of iron. For that, you can mix it up a little with wholemeal bread, muesli and sunflower and pumpkin seeds. Follow this with a glass of juice and you are ready to brave the world.

So, now that you have an idea of what a vegetarian diet is, are you ready to embrace it? If you are trying to live a healthy life, then this is definitely the diet you should adopt. Plus, this just gives you an excuse to enjoy lots and lots of smoothies, which are still better and healthier than meat.

The History of Hummus

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The History of Hummus – A Middle Eastern Cuisine That Started a Food War

The title says it all! Who would have thought that a simple dish such as Hummus could start wars in the Middle Eastern countries? For all those people out their searching when this delicious recipe was created, you may stop your search and put a rest to your curiosity here because the exact origin of Hummus is “unknown”.

History

Also known as “ḥummuṣ bi ṭaḥīna” (حُمُّص بالطحينة), the main ingredient of this dish chickpeas has been around for thousands of years, recorded in the earliest crops of Mesopotamia in the Palestine. There has been a long debate, which is still ongoing in certain countries that Hummus belongs to the Egyptian Arabs. Dating back to the 13th century when Hummus was made for the first time. Funny thing is the Arabs, Greeks and Israelis have fought “food wars” over the ownership of this dip.

Here’s a fun fact:

In 2008, Lebanon attempted to sue Israel, accusing them of “stealing” Hummus. That’s insane! However, the attempt was unsuccessful. Since then, both nations have been in a war over breaking the world record by creating the largest and heaviest plate of Hummus.

As of 2010, Lebanon holds the Guinness World Record for creating “The Largest Dish of Hummus”, which was prepared by 300 cooks and weighed

23,040 lb.

The Middle-Eastern Dish That’s Conquering the World

Hummus plate

“Jewish men never tire of arguments about the absolute, the one and only, the most fantastic Hummusia… It is like the English fish-and-chips shop, a savored local treasure.”
– Jerusalem: A Cookbook by Chef Yotam Ottolenghi

As far as we know, the very first time Hummus was introduced in Britain was in the 1980s. As for the US, the first company to introduce Hummus was Sabra Dipping Company. In 2016, Sabra held 62% of the market share of Hummus and today, this market is worth over $1 billion dollars.

The reason why this dip is conquering the world and peoples’ hearts is because it’s a delicious package that comes with a healthy punch. The tangy flavor and the subtle taste when you take the first bite with a black olive makes you keep going back for more. In fact, in Israel, restaurants have come to blows over whose Hummus tastes the best.

Nutritional Facts

Before going into brief detail about the nutritional benefits this dip offers, let’s have a look at its nutrition facts:

Chickpeas have appreciable contents such as protein, manganese, dietary fiber, thiamin, phosphorus, B vitamins and other nutrients. A plate of 100 grams of Hummus has around 170 calories, which fulfils:

  • 10% of you daily nutrition intake value
  • As for the fat content from olive oil and Tahini, the roundup is 14%, with 65% water, 10% sugar and protein, and 17% total carbohydrates

Nutritional Benefits

  • People who eat Hummus as their meals are 53% less likely to be obese
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Improves digestive health
  • Increases heart health
  • Excellent dipping protein for veggies
  • Contains Folate, which may help in fighting colon cancer
  • Tastier in recipes that call for cream cheese and mayonnaise
  • Safe for food allergies

The first taste of Hummus usually makes you go Mhhmmm… and why not? We like to say that this little dip made from just six ingredients is “The Queen of Aphrodisiac”.

The Truth about Avocados

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What’s this Vegetable’s… Err Fruits Deal?

The Truth about Avocados

Let’s get this sorted out once and for all, shall we? Avocado is a FRUIT! Yes, ladies and gentlemen… that green smooth texture that you dip your nachos in, apply on toast in the morning and evening and basically try to cram everywhere you want. Let me remind you of the Tortilla Chip Sombrero that Guru’s daughter wore in Despicable Me 2, which was filled with “guacamole”… because I would love to have one just like that.

It’s very hard to distinguish between fruits and vegetables since there are several other debatable items such as a tomato. Let’s get back to avocado – it may come as a surprise but people all over the world eat avocados in different ways. Avocado’s creamy and soft flesh is what makes it such a popular ingredient for both sweet and savory dishes.

In some countries, it’s a necessary food staple, whereas in other countries, it is only used in exotic dishes. Some common dishes include soups, salads and sandwiches. You might have just tasted guacamole in these three food items but there are several other dishes that you need to try. Here’s a brief overview of how people eat avocados in different countries:

  • Avocados in Ethiopia

    Avocado in ethiopia

    Ethiopian Spri

In Ethiopia, you will find avocado purée layered in a fruity drink called “Spri”. A glass of Spri usually contains layers of mango, papaya and avocado purée. It is easily made at home and is available in different flavors in most of the restaurants.

  • Avocados in Brazil

Brazil uses avocado in both sweet and savory dishes. As a sweet, avocado purée is popular due to a dish called “Creme de Abacate”. It’s a thick desert that has a smooth and rich texture.

Avocado purée

Avocado purée

  • Avocados in Mexico

In Mexico, avocado purée is used as a condiment alongside chilies. It is used to garnish tacos, tortilla soup, panuchos and flautas.

  • Avocados in the Philippines

Sweet, sweet ice cream is what Philippines make of avocado. It is a popular flavor alongside vanilla and chocolate.

  • Avocados in Colombia

    Colombian avocado soup

    Avocado soup

Columbia’s avocado specialties are warm dishes and one of their most popular is “Crema de Aguacate” (avocado soup).

  • Avocados in Indonesia

In Indonesia, avocado is used as a sweet for smoothies. They call it “Jus Alpukat”, which is a creamy shake topped with chocolate sauce. 

  • Avocados in Peru

    Tequeños

    Tequeños

The Peruvians use avocado as mayonnaise. Avocado is mashed and served with “Tequeños”, which are fired cheese sticks.

  • Avocados in Haiti

Haitians eat avocado at breakfast. They make a thick sauce, which they spread on “Cassava Bread”.

  • Avocados in Australia and New Zealand

In both these countries, avocado is used in sweet and savory dishes such as salads, ice cream, sandwiches, etc.

Super food insight ; Flax seeds

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Flax seed should be considered as a Superfood for health and nutrition.

Flax seeds are a healthy substitute for eggs in any recipe and can also replace all of the fat called for in a recipe due to its high oil content. The substitution for fat is that each 1/3 cup (75 mL) of oil or butter is replaced by 1 cup (250 mL) of ground flax seed. The basic substitution is a 3:1 ratio.

When using ground flax seed in place of other fats, baked goods are usually denser and brown quicker. Similarly, a flax seed mixture can also be used as an egg substitute for baking and in pancakes.

Every egg called for can be replaced with 1 teaspoon of milled flaxseed and 3 tablespoon of water.
The milled flaxseed and water must be mixed in a small bowl and allowed to sit for 1 to 2 minutes before adding to the recipe.

Using Flax seeds as a substitute will, most likely, yield a slightly gummier and chewier baked good. It may also show a slight decrease in volume. While whole and ground flaxseed have the same nutritional content our bodies receive more benefits from the ground flaxseed. The reason for that is that flaxseed is wrapped up in a hard, shiny seed coat that is difficult to break, even with careful chewing. Grinding or roasting the flaxseeds will break the hard shell, which makes all the nutrients much easier to digest.

Flax seeds can be easily ground at home in a coffee grinder, food processor or blender.  It is best to store them in the freezer, if possible, or an airtight container, as the oils and nutrients are highly perishable if not stored correctly. They are a great way to boost the nutritional content of any food. Flax seeds are considered one of the top sources for Omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to heart and cardiovascular health. They also provide antioxidants, vitamin B1, manganese, dietary fiber, and a host of other nutrients.

Ground or roasted Flax seeds can also be sprinkled on cereal, or salads for extra nutritional benefits and to add a slightly nutty taste. They are well worth the effort if you are trying to include a rich source of vitamins and minerals, and increase the health benefits of any recipe.

The Benefits of Using Avocado Oil in Cooking

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This edible oil makes an excellent cooking oil because of its high smoke point (up to 520 degrees F, 270 C, in fact). Avocado oil is pressed from the fleshy pulp around the avocado pit.

It is high in vitamin E and monounsaturated fat, and most of the fatty acids in this oil are monounsaturated oleic acid, the same omega-9 essential fatty acid found in olive oil which is believed to speed wound healing and cell regeneration, lower the risk of certain types of cancer, help with autoimmune diseases, and reduce inflammation in the body.

The vitamins, minerals and monounsaturated fatty acids in avocado oil help the digestive tract to process food efficiently, which is why some people like to cook with it to help prevent gas, bloating or heartburn. Oleic acid is resistant to oxidation so this type of oil can be stored for long periods of time without turning rancid.

Both unrefined and refined avocado oil can be used in baking, deep-frying, stir-frying, barbecuing, roasting, sautéing, searing, and almost any cooking method you can think of. It doesn’t break down when you are cooking at high temperatures, so it won’t lose its health benefits when heated, like some other oils do.

While olive oil offers a pungent, slightly bitter flavor that puts some people off, switching to avocado oil means you can enjoy a mild aroma, rich flavor and creamy texture. Avocado oil can be described as slightly nutty and buttery. It doesn’t taste like avocados but offers a light, smooth flavor.

It is perfect for pairing with mixed grilled vegetables. You can also use it in cooking marinades because it is fine when heated. Avocado oil is the healthiest oil you can choose for high heat cooking, and this versatile oil is also perfect for drizzling over salads.