It is common sense that to have a healthy lifestyle we have to include fruits and vegetables in our daily diet. Since we are little kids, we hear from our family/relatives: you better eat your veggies if you want to grow stronger!
Well, this is true. And not a coincidence that governmental campaigns like the “5-a-day” were created in many countries as a strategy to encourage people to increase their plants intake. In addition, many scientific communities have been finding positive health outcomes in diets based on plants. It does not mean stop eating meat. Although, it points out to a trend of eating foods which the primary source are plants and eating less animal sourced foods, such as dairy, animal fat, meat, etc.
Fruits and vegetables, as you may already know, are a source of vitamins and minerals which are important ingredients to make our metabolism to work right. However, in my clinical practice and personal life I still meet people who are not very fond of this kind of food, for different reasons: cultural background, socio-economical contexts, etc. Consequently, they end up basing their diets on meat, dairy and highly processed food, which are usually rich in sugar, salt and fat.
So, to encourage including more colourful foods in your daily life, have a look at these 3 nice recipes:
Based on Paola Carosella’s Recipe
- 1 banana
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 100g natural plain yogurt or the vegan version (optional)
- Mixed seeds (optional)
- Peel off the fruits and cut them in small pieces.
- Add the cocoa powder and blend all of the ingredients with a processor/blender/handmixer.
- Add the mixed seeds topping (optional).
Extra tip: to make a sorbet-like dessert/snack, freeze it.
Savory green cake
- 3 eggs
- 1 teacup vegetable oil
- 2 teacup milk
- 2 teacup flour (OR 1 of the teacups with wholemeal flour)
- A handful spinach leaves
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- Cheese, tomato, onion & oregano
- Pulled chicken
- Pulled pork
- Mixed chopped vegetables.
- Mix all the dough ingredients in a blender/handmixer.
- In another bowl, prepare the filling.
- In a baking tray, put one layer of the dough, a layer with the filling of your choice and cover with the dough.
- Bake 20-30min, 180ºC
(For pasta or parmigiana)
- 1 tin can (400g) chopped tomatoes (or plain tomato passata)
- ½ chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 chopped basil leaves or 1 teaspoon of the dried ones (or oregano).
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- In a pot, braise/sauté the onion in the olive oil.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, salt and baking soda.
- Reduce the sauce to a low heat for around 20-30 min.
- Add the pepper and the herbs.
- Approx. 400g tomato sauce (see previous recipe)
- 1 sliced aubergine (OR 250g aubergine and 250g courgette, approx.)
- 125g sliced fresh mozzarella
- 30g grated parmesan
- Vegetable oil
- Prepare the tomato sauce (as shown above).
- In a frying pan with a bit of vegetable oil, grill the aubergine (and courgette) slices (an electric grill can also be used).
- In a baking tray, start the layers: aubergine, mozzarella, tomato sauce, parmesan. Keep going until the ingredients are finished or there is no more space in your tray.
- Finish it with a parmesan topping.
- Cover it with foil and bake for approx. 20 minutes.
- Then, another 20 min without the foil followed by under the grill for 2 minutes.