Tag Archives: CVD

Yigandes Plaki (Bean Stew Greek Style)

Healthy Bean Stew with Vegetables, Greek Style!

My friend threw a pot luck dinner party in Greek theme and I found this recipe which is really healthy, lowGi, vegetarian and delicious – perfect for cold winter evenings as a main dish. I modified this recipe and added olives, eggplant and roasted red peppers to bring the sweet flavours of the Mediterranean area. I also used three kinds of dried beans since I couldn’t find broad beans (works great) – this recipe is great with different textures with the combination of the beans and vegetables. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as everyone in the party did, great for left over as the flavour is actually better the 2nd day.

 Prep time 20 min                              cooking time 2 hrs                           serves 8 (side dish)

Chef’s note: I used 3 kinds of beans in this recipe (kidney beans, pinto beans and navy beans). Soak dry beans with plenty of water over night or at least 8 hours and cook beans for 5 minutes and drain, and recook for no bloating or gas. IMG_5143

Ingredients

3 cups of dry beans soaked overnight or soaked 8 hours (see instruction above)

1 tsp extra light olive oil

2 small yellow onions chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 celery stocks, chopped

4 gloves of garlic, chopped

2 large bay leafs

1 large cinnamon stick

1 cup vegetable stock

1 large Italian eggplant (they are firmer)

1 can of salt reduced tomatoes and its liquid

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup olives (unpitted olives)

2 whole roasted red peppers, chopped

2 tbsp chopped thyme

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp ground black pepper

Salt for taste

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven in medium heat and sauté the onion until translucent and add carrots, celery for few minutes. Add garlic, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and sauté few minutes.
  2. Add beans and mix well and add stock and cover and cook for 45 minutes
  3. Add chopped tomato & its liquid, tomato paste, black pepper and mix well and cook another 30 minutes
  4. Add eggplants, red pepper, olives and mix well and add ½ cup of water if needed. Cover and cook until beans and eggplant are tender over or 30 minutes,
  5. Fold in thyme, sparsely and cook another 5 minutes and adjust taste with salt if required
  6. Serve a main dish with a side salad or as a side dish with warmed pita bread!

Nutritional Analysis: 1 serving (based on 1 cup): Calories 169; Carb 28 g; Fibre 8 g; Fat 3 g; Sugar 7g, Protein 9 g; Sodium 304 mg;  Potassium 717 mg

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Quinoa Porridge with dried Fruits & Pumpkin seeds

Healthy Breakfast Idea!

Quinoa has become one of the fastest health food trends behind eating whole grains – its gluten free, has protein and its delicious hot or cold. I usually make this porridge with steel cut oats but this time decided to make it gluten free, vegan and nut free. You can make the same porridge with steel cut oats, brown rice or barley or combination of all three and serve with desired milk as this breakfast is healthy wholesome delicious and perfect for a cold winter morning to start your day. It’s also suitable for people with CVD, Diabetes diet.

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Prep time 2 min                                Cooking time 20 min                       Serves 6

Chefs Note: 1 cup dry quinoa = 3 cups cooked quinoa

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Ingredients

 1 cup quinoa (soaked and washed)

2 tbsp orange zest

1/3 cup pumpkin seeds

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1 apple, graded with skin on

2 cups water

 Method

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small stock pot and bring it to boil and reduce heat to low and cook for 20 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.
  2. Serve warm porridge with almond milk or desired milk

Nutritional Analysis: 1 serving = ½ cup cooked porridge, 120 ml: Calories 160; Fat 5 g; Carb 24 g; Fibre 3 g; Sugar 7g; Protein 6g; Potassium 209 mg; Calcium 17mg

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Spicy Quinoa Pilaf

Quinoa Pilaf

I love working with Quinoa – it’s a versatile starch, carbohydrate (actually a seed, not a grain) grown in Central and South America and has high protein compound compared to other whole grains. I also say it’s a chameleon where it takes flavours from other ingredients that you incorporate so it tastes great. I say this with whole lot of love especially for South Asian food since it acts just like rice, taking on flavours but it has better nutritional value than rice.

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This is a simple recipe that can be prepared with little preparation – like I said earlier its very healthy and has protein, carbohydrate and good source of fibre. This is a low-GI food where it’s a great alternative to rice, pasta or potatoes and suitable for Celiac, Diabetes, CVD, Vegan and Vegetarian diet and tastes delicious!

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Prep time: 25 min            Cooking time: 25 min                      Serves 5 people (as a side dish)

Ingredients:

1 tsp canola oil

1 bay leaf

1 small cinnamon stick

3 gloves

1 green cardamom, pounded

1 small onion chopped

1 tsp curry powder (mixture of coriander, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, and chili powder)

1 cup mixed vegetables

1 cup quinoa (soaked, washed and drained)

2 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp freshly chopped coriander

2 tbsp toasted almonds

Method:

1. Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add bay leaf and cinnamon stick and fry 30 seconds. Add onion and fry until the onions are soft and add cloves & cardamom

2. Add curry powder mixture and fry for 2 minutes (it will burn so move it around quickly). Add mixed vegetables and mix well

3. Add quinoa and coat it well with onions and vegetables. Add 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Adjust the taste with salt and add coriander and lower the temperature to simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the all the water has been absorbed. Tuff off the stove and let it stand for another 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and sprinkle almonds and chopped coriander and serve warm.

Nutrients per serving (1/2 cup): Calories: 121; Carbohydrates: 17g; Protein: 6g; Fibre: 3g;  Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 0mg;  Sodium: 350 mg

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Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

When you start to see leaves turn golden colour you know we are in fall the season and you’ll see plenty of different varieties of squash and pumpkins showing up in markets. It’s time to stock your cellar with them as they will get you through the fall and winter season. Cooking with them is easy as they are high in potassium, fibre and it will fill you up with good calories and suitable for people with Diabetes, CVD, Celiac and Vegan diet. Here is a staple recipe as your family will enjoy the soup through the cold months.

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Cooking time 40 min       Prep time 15 min              Serves 12

Chef’s Notes: This soup freezes well, make large quantities and store in the freezer for future use!

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 lbs Squash (medium sized) peeled, seeded and cubed

4 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)

1 large onion, chopped

2 celery stocks, chopped

2 large carrots, chopped

1 cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper for taste

Method

  1. In a large stock pot heat the oil and add onion, celery and carrots and sauté well
  2. Add cinnamon and bay leaves, and sauté for another minute
  3. Add squash and sauté another minute
  4. Add stock and bring it to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes or until squash is tender
  5. Season the soup with salt and pepper
  6. Cool the soup, take out cinnamon stick and bay leaves
  7. In batches puree the soup in a blender and incorporate all the soup and add additional stock/water to desired consistency
  8. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seed or pumpkin oil and serve warm

Nutritional Analysis per 1 serving (8 oz/1 cup): Calories 83; Fat 2g; Fibre 2g; Carb 14g; Sodium 103 mg; Protein 3g

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Flavours of Tuscany

Tuscan Kale Lentil Soup

When I was in Tuscany, Italy in the fall of 2007 kale was sold in many colours (black or purple) in the markets. Many restaurants served kale soup with lentils which was hardy and delicious with unsalted Tuscan bread. Many households make variations of this recipe with cooked ham or pancetta or low salt bacon as you want more flavour and less salt. I was able to acquire this recipe from a local restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

This is a delicious soup that you can enjoy in the cold months of fall and winter and it’s healthy. It makes use of kale which is high in vitamin A and C and also makes good use of lentils which has a good balance of low GI carbohydrate, vegetable protein and fibre and its gluten free. This soup is suitable for people with diabetes, celiac and CVD (cardiovascular disease). It’s a perfect meal in a bowl since it has all the food groups and great for cold days.*For Vegetarian or vegan diet you can skip the pancetta

Tuscan Kale Lentil Soup

Tuscan Kale Lentil Soup

Tuscan Kale Lentil Soup

Prep time 10 min                       cooking time 50 min                       Serves 8 people (1 cup)

Ingredients

1 tbsp (15 ml) canola oil

4 slices (100 g) pancetta (or low salt bacon or cooked ham)

1 cup (250 ml) chopped onion

1 cup (250 ml) chopped celery

1 cup (250 ml) chopped carrots

1 cup (250 ml) chopped fennel (optional)*

1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped garlic

2 large bay leafs

1 large cinnamon stick

1 cup (250 ml) dry lentils, washed and soaked over night

4 cups (1 L) low salt vegetable stock

2 large bunch kale, washed and chopped into ribbons

1 can of salt reduced canned tomatoes chopped with its liquid

2 tbsp (30 ml) tomato paste (low salt)

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tbsp (15 ml) dried rosemary)

½ tsp (2.5 ml) chilli flakes (desired amount, optional)*

½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground black pepper

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh thyme (or 1 tbsp (15 ml) dried thyme)

1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp (30 ml) chopped fresh Italian parsley

Salt to taste (may not need it since we have tomato paste and vegetable stock)

Low fat parmesan – for sprinkling on top

Method

1. Heat oil in a large stock pot and add pancetta (bacon or ham) and sweat them; add onions and sauté then add carrots, celery and fennel,  garlic and sauté then add bay leafs and cinnamon

2. Add washed lentils, kale and add stock and bring to a boil

3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, thyme, chilli flakes, ground pepper and cook in low heat for 45 minutes or until the lentils are cooked (don’t overcook the lentils)

4. Add vinegar, parsley and cook for another 10 min and adjust taste.

5. Serve soup in bowls and sprinkle with parmesan

Nutritional Value for 1 cup (250 ml): Calories 147g; Carbohydrates 21g; Fibre 6g; Sugar 4g; Protein 9g; Fat 4g; Cholesterol 4g; Sodium 320mg; Vitamin A 80%, Vitamin C 130%; Calcium 15%; Iron 15%

 

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South Indian Spicy Legume Snack

“Everday can be Navarathri”

When I was a young girl growing up in South India, Sundal (various kinds of boiled legumes with spice) would be given as a healthy snack after school. During the month of October a big festival called Navarathri would be celebrated for 9 days. All 9 days, 9 different kinds of legumes will be made into Sundal with various spices and finishes. Kids sing songs and visit neighbours and collect Sundal for snack.

Typical South Indian Temple

Navarathri in Tamil Nadu

Diabetes meal at Dr. Mohan's clinic

Diabetes meal at Dr. Mohan’s clinic in Chennai

 

 

 

 

 

 

 “My childhood favourite healthy snack”

I’ve made this Sundal recipe with canned chickpea since it’s quick and easy to prepare. You can also make it with any kind of legumes by soaking the dry beans and boiling it. It’s healthy and suitable for people with diabetes, celiac and CVD (cardiovascular disease). It’s a nutritious snack packed with vegetable protein, high fibre and low GI carbohydrates, keeps in the refrigerator up to 5 days. If you don’t have all the ingredients you can still make it with minimum key ingredients. Perfect for take away snack and picnics!

Sundal - Spicy chickpea snack

Sundal – Spicy chickpea snack

Sundal – South Indian Spicy Legume Snack

Prep time: 3 min        Cook time:  5 min            Serves:  4

Chefs Notes: I am using canned chickpeas since I want to exhibit how quick and easy it is to prepare. If you are going to use canned beans, wash it under cold water 2 to 3 times to remove as much as salt as possible.

Ingredients

1 tsp (15 ml) canola oil

½ tsp (2.5 ml) mustard seeds (optional)*

½ tsp (2.5 ml) split mung bean (aka green gram, urad dhal) (optional)*

1 dried red chili (broken into few pieces)

1/8 tsp (.63 ml) asafetida (optional)*

1 can of chickpea – 540 ml (washed couple of times and drained)

¼ tsp (1.25 ml) salt

2 tbsp. (30 ml)  lemon juice or juice of 1 lemon

1 tbsp. (15 ml) chopped fresh coriander or curry leaves*

1 tbsp. (15 ml) grated coconut (optional)

*You can get these ingredients in South Asian grocery stores

Method

1. Heat the oil in a frying pan; temper the mustard seeds and wait for it to pop (put a cover so the seeds don’t escape) then add urad dhal and sauté few seconds

2. Add red chili and sauté well and add asafetida and mix well

3. Add the chickpea and sauté well

5. Add salt and lemon juice and mix well until all the ingredients are mixed

6. Adjust taste and add grated coconuts & fresh coriander (or curry leaves) and toss well

7. Serve warm or cold

Nutritional Information per serving: 1 serving = ½ cup (125ml): Calories 170; Carbohydrate 29g; Fibre 8g; Protein 10g; Fat 2.7g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 455 mg

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