Cauliflower crust pizza

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Some think at university eating healthy is hard, and at times it does get very hard to maintain healthy eating especially during exam time, but I keep telling myself that got to stay healthy in order to do the best in my exams. I’ve been always wanting to make the cauliflower crust pizza, but a lot of the recipes i found used a lot of cheese not only in the topping but in the base as well and I did not want that much in my recipe. So i played around, trying to keep it as fresh, healthy, and simple as possible. It makes one large pizza (just for yourself as a meal or two small portions). Once you have the crust done the topping is completely up to your desire. If you fancy keeping it vegetarian can load it up with loads of your favourite vegetables or if you want to make it a nice protein dense meal add some cooked shredded chicken. I always like to pack down my iron and add spinach to it. But truly this is to whatever long time craving you’ve been having for pizza make it with pepperoni, pineapple and ham, bbq style,… the list is endless. Just play around with it. And What is great about this recipe is that for me it was better than a greasy takeout pizza, but one thing if you’re not a fan of cauliflower I do not recommend this recipes. I really haven’t found anything easier than combining these four ingredients. Yes I said it only four ingredients, I think it works out cheaper than takeout so come on try it.

Ingredients (For the Crust)

  • 250 g Cauliflower
  • 1 Egg
  • 100 g low fat plain yogurt
  • Mixed Herbs

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 C and line a baking tray with parchment paper
  2. Cut up the cauliflower and then the goal is to turn it into snow like appearance, this can be done with a blender, food processor, can use cheese grater (so university students there has to be something in your kitchen that will be able to accomplish this)
  3. Then a quick option (so we have no excuse to not eat healthy) is put in microwave for roughly 3 minutes until cooked. If you are like a lot of people I know who do not have a microwave or want to avoid the use of microwave as much as possible, then can always just cook it on the stove for a few minutes with a little boiling water.
  4. Let it cool down a bit before we start to handle it.
  5. In a thin lining cloth or loads of paper towel we want to ring out as much of the excess water in the cauliflower. The more water we don’t press out the watery the crust.
  6. Once that is done mix together the remaining ingredient;  combing the egg and yogurt ( you can use flaxseed if you do not wish to use egg, also this is the point can use cheese to make it all glue together, can add little flour to make it taste more like a crust, can truly play around at this point just got to make it stick together like dough).
  7. Add some italian herbs to give it that pizza taste.
  8. Voila put it on baking sheet to the desire size (one large, few small ones so people can personalise theirs, etc.,)
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the wanted texture ( I know some prefer a softer crust)
  10. Put whatever toppings you fancy then bake for the remaining time depending on what you added to the top to warm it all up and enjoy

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“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed, it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart.” —Margo Anand

 

Benefits

Cauliflower is known for cancer-preventing potential and antioxidant properties. Cauliflower contains many nutrients, making it an excellent addition to any diet. It has very good source of vitamin C and manganese, high amounts of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation.

Here is a list to sum up the wonders of this vegetable:

~1. Rich in Vitamin C
~2.  Improves heart health.
~3.  Reduces risk of stroke.
~4.  Prevents cancer.
~5.  Anti Inflammatory properties
~6.  Strengthens the immune system.
~7.  Rich in fiber.
~8.  Natural detoxified.
~9.  Fat free.
~10.Low calorie

Some of my creations:

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Slow Cooker Mung Bean and Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Mung Bean and Quinoa Soup

Slow Cooker Mung Bean Soup

Ingredients:

100g Mung Beans
30g uncooked Quinoa
100g Green Beans
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp. turmeric powder
3-4 cups water

Directions:

Simple way is to add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on the high setting for 4 hours.
But If you want (it can add more flavour to your dish) can sauté in the onions and garlic, then brown the spices with the onions and garlic then insert them into the washed mung beans and quinoa.

It is a great warm meal that will be ready for you after a long days work.

Benefits of Mung Beans

Mung beans are low in cholesterol and high in soluble dietary fibers.
Beans such as the mung bean variety contain isoflavone nutrients. Isoflavones help regulate hormonal activity.
Mung beans are a low glycemic index food.
Mung beans and vegetable based foods have far less saturated fat and cholesterol than certain meats.

Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all nine essential amino acids.
The high fiber content of quinoa may help reduce cholesterol
Quinoa has the highest potassium levels of all grains, a mineral essential for balancing sodium blood levels and maintaining lower blood pressure.

So this dish will provide you with lots of health benefits and will not require much effort on your part. So being healthy is simple, affordable, and effortless… try it for yourself.

Polenta

So this weekly grocery shopping for University I went to a Super Tesco and as I was strolling down the aisles I came across Italfresco Ready Made Polenta and I’ve heard of it before, but have never been able to find it in supermarkets. It was only £0.79, that is nothing compare to rice, potatoes, meat, etc and can be used to be one of the main ingredients in your meal. Since polenta is gluten free it can easily replace wheat based meals. I took at the back of the package to make sure it is not loaded with preservatives and unnecessarily ingredients, and this is what popped out:

– Low fat

– Suitable for vegetarians

– Gluten Free

Ingredients

Water,Maize Flour (17%) ,Salt ,Acidity Regulator (Tartaric Acid)

Nutrition
Typical Values Typical values per 100 grams
Energy 304.8kJ / 71.9kcal
Carbohydrates 15.7g
Protein (N x 6.25) 1.6g
Total Fat 0.3g

If can’t find ready made polenta it is simple to prepare by boiling water and stirring in cornmeal (sold at most supermarkets) until it thicken or one of the easiest ways t is to add the cornmeal to cold salted water, bring to a boil shut off, and let it stay in a covered pot until it becomes thick. Then it can be served hot or refrigerated until it can be sliced.

For those who have watching their carbohydrates and fats, and for those who cannot eat wheat and have said good-bye to pasta and potatoes… well polenta may be just the thing to satisfy those cravings. It is  one of the best foods to supply long-lasting energy to keep you going through the day.

Have you even heard of  polenta before?  Polenta is an Italian dish and is an elegant mush made by cooking cornmeal in salted water. It is so versatile can serve it up as a savory side dish, incorporated into main courses or even for breakfasts – there’s no limitation on how  to use Polenta. It’s a do-it all ingredient!

Polenta is a low carbohydrate food rich in vitamin A and C, and is a complex-carbohydrate which are high in dietary fiber and are digested more slowly in the body. Polenta contains loads of nutrients and is an excellent source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin B6. Low calorie food so  a good idea to add polenta with other vegetables or cook with some olive oil. It can be baked, fried in some olive oil, or if do not have the ready to serve polenta is can be made into porridge or a creamy mush (a mock version of mash potatoes).

Tonight I cut slivers from the Ready Made Polenta so the resemble french fries sprayed some pam extra virgin olive oil onto it and sprinkled some mixed herbs. I placed in a pre-heated oven of 200 C  and let them bake for about 20-30 mins. Then ready to serve, I topped mine with some organic chopped tomatoes with a pinch of cheese, but can honestly be paired with anything. If you are eating meat serve with a beef patty, some chicken, etc. No it is not french fries but they are very good and have much more nutrients in them

The main points are that:

– cheap

– easy to cook

– versatile

-healthy

polenta

Tofu Chilli with white beans

Wanted to try a vegetarian chilli that uses firm tofu and replace the usual kidney beans with white beans instead. It was something I experimented with and turned out to be really easy to do. It provides three good servings and is a nice warm healthy meal.

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

Despite their small size, beans pack a surprisingly rich and varied array of substances that are vital for good health. White beans have a number of detoxifying enzymes, including aldehyde oxidase and sulfite oxidase. White beans are considered a low GI food. White beans and other foods with a low glycemic score also offer extraordinary weight loss benefits.White beans deliver a hefty supply of antioxidants, substances that fight off disease and help maintain optimum health.In addition to fighting wrinkles by providing skin-protecting antioxidants, white beans provide zinc, copper, and protein which can also help fight premature wrinkling of the skin.

All soya products, such as tofu and soy milk, are complete proteins. They contain all the essential amino acids plus several other nutrients. So combining tofu with the beans in the chilli complete a well balance meal.

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 package of firm tofu
  • 1 cartoon of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 can of butter beans
  • 1 can of haricot (navy) beans

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Direction

  1. Remove tofu from packaging drain and press out all excess water
  2. Crumble/chop tofu into bits
  3. Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat.
  4. Add onion and garlic,cook until transparent.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients (including the crumbled tofu) and stir well.
  6. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened and flavors have melded, about 30 minutes
  7. Ladle chili into bowls and serve
  8. Can garnish with creme fraiche, sour cream, cheese, or pair with some rice, potatoes, quinoa, vegetables, etc,

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celeriac soup

celeriac soup

These vegetable soups are great to do at university as it is quick, easy and cheap to make. It too has no preservatives and packed with essential nutrients. It serves two generous portions and probably cost less that £1.50 to make.

Ingredients:
500g celeriac
2 Garlic bulbs
Alpro – Almond Milk – Unsweetened, 300 ml
Marigold – Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder,
2 Celery stalks
1Onion diced

Directions
Place everything in a pot and cover with enough water so everything is emerged under. Bring to a boil then let simmer until the celeriac is completely tender. Then place everything in blender (can omit some of the liquids if you do not want it water and prefer it creamier). Once to desire consistency it is ready to eat.

Benefits
Low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
High in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Phosphorus, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Manganese
The root is a very good source of some of the essential minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper, and manganese. Phosphorus is required for cell metabolism, buffer system, bone and teeth. Copper helps restore immunity, prevents anemia, and required for bone metabolism.

Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

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Twin at university is feeling sick and when your feeling sick you definitely do not want the hassle of cooking, cleaning, chores, etc hence as she has me right up the road who is better to take care of you then family. I made her a nice warm dinner so she has no hassle when she comes back from uni. All her days work can be put aside and when she came back dinner was ready and waiting.

Ingredients

  • chopped onions
  • garlic
  • ghee/butter/olive oil (to taste)
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • salt
  • turmeric
  • mixed herbs
  • vegetables (here i used broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, Shiitake mushrooms)
  • 1 box kidney beans
  • 1 box chopped tomatoes

This recipe one can literally through whatever that needs to be used in. It too can easily be adjusted to taste, if you want it spicier think of adding some chillies.

Directions:

  1. Heat up ghee in a deep dish pot.
  2. Saute the onions, garlic and spices until onions are tender.
  3. Add the quinoa and toast for a minute
  4. Add the water and then let it simmer until water has been absorbed by the quinoa
  5. Add the kidney beans and chopped tomatoes, let simmer until thickens and everything is well combined.
  6. Ready to serve and all done in one pot! Mess free… hassle free!

Can be paired with loads of things, or even left on its on. Serve with rice, top it off with cheese, Crème fraîche, sour cream, etc.

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Parsnip Curried Soup

Parsnip Curried Soup

Another cold fall day, so what better way to end a long day with a warm parsnip soup. Only 6 ingredients and takes less then half an hour. So no excuses to not make it yourself. It is so fresh and you have full control over the consistency and taste. If you want it thicker have less liquid, if you want it creamier could add milk, cream, or other alternatives.

Ingredient:
parsnip
chopped onions
minced garlic
marigold vegetable bouillon powder
turmeric
curry powder

Directions
In a heavy saucepan combine all ingredients to taste and bring to boil, then simmer until the parsnips are completely tender. That will take about 20 minutes. Once very soft place everything in blender and puree all ingredients. Then voila it is finish. See dinner doesn’t have to be a hassle and can require very minimal equipment. It is a very satisfying warm fall recipe

Health Benefits:
Parsnips contain a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including dietary fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. Parsnips can be beneficial for your health because they are rich in fiber. Fiber is beneficial for a number of reasons, as it promotes healthy digestion, helps regulate blood sugar levels, provides feelings of fullness and may help reduce your cholesterol levels. Folic acid also plays a role in reducing heart disease and may help prevent dementia and osteoporosis bone fractures. And potassium, an aid to blood pressure, is present in ample quantities.