Fresh as fresh! Not your average tomato basil pasta

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The pasta supper is clearly the most common ‘go to’ dish in most households. Its easy; boil some pasta, dump a jar of the store bought pasta sauce and add in some protein! Voila! You have food on the table!

There are a few problems with that:

1. White refined pasta: Choose whole wheat pasta over refined white pasta because it has fewer calories, carbohydrates, fats and higher fibers.

2. Store bought pasta sauce: Its full of preservatives and sugar! In a minute you’ll see that pasta sauce from ‘real’ tomatoes is not that bright red color!!!

3. Adding a protein into a carbohydrate intensive meal: Its a big no no in the food plan I follow, my next post will explain in details why there is no mixing!

So I present to you a fresh-fresh, healthy and yummy pasta dish that you can can serve guilt-free to your guests, kids or loved ones ūüôā


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What do you need?

250 gm (raw weight) whole wheat pasta – cooked

5 large tomatoes

1.5 cups sliced mushrooms

2 large garlic cloves, one chopped and one whole

Fresh basil leaves

4 sprays of oil of choice

1 teaspoon of EVOO

salt to taste

This will make 4 servings!


Cook the whole wheat pasta and set aside

Steam the tomatoes until completely softened

Spray the oil onto the pan on high heat, sauté the garlic and mushrooms. Add salt to taste.

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Take the softened tomatoes and peel the skin off. It will come right off!

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In a blender, add the tomatoes, teaspoon of EVOO, clove of garlic, basil and salt. Blitz together until well mixed and looks like a sauce. See I told you there’s no bright red color!

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Transfer this sauce onto the pan containing the sautéed mushrooms and simmer in low heat for 5 minutes.

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Add in the pasta bit by bit into the sauce until well incorporated.

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Enjoy while warm!

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You can add in chili for an extra kick!

You can also make the sauce ahead of time and mix together right before serving! Garnish with a fresh basil leaf!

 

 

Stoup (stew + soup) : Red lentils with squash and spinach

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We often overlook the simpler ingredients when devising a healthier food plan, we think we need the fancier stuff and equipped with the usual excuse of, ‘its so expensive to eat healthy!.’ Its not.¬†

Lentils are one of the best food source of slow-digesting carbohydrates! Perfect for lunch!¬†It is an excellent source of fiber, folate, manganese and iron. It’s especially great because it is not like the usual carbohydrates like white rice or bread where your sugar levels spike immediately after consumption instead it takes its times to convert to glucose. Along with these, it has been proven that it aids colon health, diabetics and absorption of essential minerals like calcium.¬†

Available everywhere and you can make it so delicious by simply boiling it and adding your favorite vegetables, even if you cant boil an egg you can boil lentils! 

So this is what I made for lunch today, again it is extremely versatile to carry out and you can make it for 2/3 days at a time. 


What do you need?

1 cup of red lentils

2 cups of butternut squash

2 cups of spinach

1/2 cup of cilantro

3 tsp of turmeric powder 

1 cup of cooked brown rice

Sea salt to taste 

This should yield 4 to 5 servings ( each serving is 1.5 cups)


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Clean the red lentils under water until it runs clear

Cover the lentils with water making sure it is completely submerged. Add the turmeric powder and salt.

On medium heat, boil the lentils for about 10 minutes 

Add in the butternut squash and cover the pot and let it simmer until the squash and lentils have completely softened. 

Using a masher, mash the squash and lentils as it simmers 

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Add in the spinach 

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Mix together until the spinach wilts and take a taste. Beware it’s super hot! I say this from experience! Ouch!

Add in the cilantro 

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Allow it to simmer for an additional 5 minutes under very low heat. It’s ready!¬†

Spoon the stoup (stew + soup) into a bowl and add a tablespoon of brown rice. The combination is perfect! 

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Enjoy! No fats, good carbs and lots of vegetables!

You can add any vegetables you want, pumpkin, beans, jalape√Īos, tomatoes, the list goes on and on! You can even skip on the rice but the texture really adds a little something.¬†

It was a perfect meal on this cold London afternoon especially on a day I was feeling extremely homesick . 

Lunch: Vegetable fried rice

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Lunch is one of those meals that really helps you get through the day! There are such high expectations from lunch, it needs to fuel you and must be versatile enough to take to work/school/etc. Here’s a recipe that fits the bill, it’s packed with nutrients, you can make it once for 2/3 days and it’s holds well to carry out.

Remembering the 70:30 ratio of vegetables:carbohydrates I will give you only an approximation of how much vegetable you should add. Please feel free to add more!

Every household usually has their own fried rice recipe, stir fried vegetables, eggs, protein, rice together….but remember no mixing carbs and proteins! Here’s the trick to avoid stir frying those beautiful vegetables in oil and stripping it off it’s nutrients.

Steam them first! The steamer is my new best friend!


What will you need?

1 cup cooked and cooled brown rice
1 cup broccoli
1 cup carrots
1 cup mushrooms
1 cup green/red peppers
2/3 cloves of chopped garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 cup spring onions
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Sea salt to taste

Cook and cool the brown rice

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Steam the broccoli, carrots, peppers and mushroom till just tender. Make sure they don’t get soggy.

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In a hot wok, add 3 sprays of your oil of choice and toast the garlic. Add in steamed vegetables and stir.

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Add in the brown rice and stir together. Add salt to taste and soy sauce.

Mix well and add in chopped cilantro and spring onion. Mix together and serve!

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You can add a medley of vegetables to your liking. Corn and peas are a great addition! Store extra fried rice in air tight container and it will stay well for 4/5 days in the fridge. This should make you at least 4 servings!

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Enjoy!

Food Plan : Not a diet plan

food, Lifestyle

So I used to be obsessed with counting calories, I had every app ever to count my daily intake! I didn’t realize while I was focused on the overall calorie count I was avoiding the ‘real’ information i needed to monitor. Sugars sugars sugars!!!!

A low fat yoghurt that I was happily eating on my ‘diet’ contained about 45g of sugar/ 8 fl oz while a full fat whole milk yoghurt contained 12g of sugar/ 8 fl oz!!!!!!!! Mind blown! Read your labels! Most countries (if any) DO NOT regulate the addition of sugars so while there maybe no fat, it is getting compensated with a huge chunk of sugar!

Basically our bodies respond to sugar like any other euphoria enhancing drug, I’m sure we are all guilty of that great feeling while eating our favorite bar of chocolate but ever notice the absolute hell-ish feeling afterwards? That’s the crash! Now you need more chocolate to make yourself feel better. Thus begins the vicious cycle!

Here’s a way to curb/cut off your cravings for refined sugars:

Eat fruits till lunch, fruits contain fructose which does not abruptly cause sugar fluctuations in your body and takes it’s time to digest unlike sucrose in refined sugar. So your body gets that dose of sugar you are unintentionally craving and slowly you will lose your dependency on sucrose and turn to fructose! It took me a whole month! (morning smoothie recipe to follow)

So once that’s covered, here’s the simple plan:

Do not mix carbohydrates and proteins!

Eat the carbohydrates for lunch like brown rice, whole wheat pasta, grains, quinoa, etc mixed with vegetables.

Eat lean proteins like chicken, turkey, fillet, etc mixed with vegetables for dinner.

Take minimal oil by using the spray.

Snack on seeds, nut butters and never ever let yourself feel hungry! That’s the sign of your metabolism going down a notch!

Lastly, water water water is your best friend! (Flavored waters post to follow)

Give it a shot! It is super easy especially when eating out! Just think before you eat!

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