Healthy Resolutions

Cooking, Recipes

Ahoy there team!
How are the New Year’s Resolutions going? I can’t even remember what mine were and it’s only just the end of February! If you’re still on a health kick, nice work! Whether you’re doing it to shed a few seasonal pounds, avoid foods which aggravate your system or alleviate an underlying health issue it’s always difficult to break old habits and stick to new ones.

In this blog post I wanted to write a recipe for some of my favourite people who are on a strict plant-based and whole-food diet. The recipe I’ve chosen is for bulgur wheat and salsa wraps which really super easy are great for sharing. They’re based on fajitas but instead of sour cream I’ve used tahini sauce and instead of cheese there are tasty toasted pumpkin seeds. Use shop bought whole wheat tortillas or make them yourself from whole grain spelt flour.

Spelt Flour Wraps

Bulgur Wheat and Fruit Salsa Wraps

The process of piling in as much of each of the fillings as you like is fun and I hope feels more like a treat and less like a diet food.

WrapsSalsa

Salsa
1 red chili
1 apple
2 tangerines or other small oranges
Small bunch of coriander
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper

1) Finely chop the chili, apple, tangerines and coriander and put everything into a large bowl or serving dish.
2) Pour over the lemon juice and season well with salt and pepper.
3) Stir well and put into the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Bulghur Wheat

Bulgur Wheat
4) Put 1 cup of bulgur in a heatproof bowl.
5) Add 1.5 cups of boiling water, cover and leave for 15-20mins or until all the water has been absorbed

Tahini Sauce

Tahini Sauce
3 teaspoons light tahini paste
6 teaspoons of water
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

6) Mix the tahini and water together until the mixture is the consistency of thick cream. Add the cumin and stir well, add a splash more water if needed.

Lettuce, Pumpkin Seeds, Lemon and Avocado

To serve
1 little gem lettuce (shredded)
1-2 Ripe Avocados (sliced)
Lemon wedges
Pumpkin seeds (toasted)

7) Load up your own wraps and dig in!     Help Yourselves!

DinnerAdding Lettuce Ready to roll Finished Wraps More SalsaDesserts are often off the menu when you’re trying to stick to a healthy plan, but I’d find them super hard to give up entirely.
My favourite discovery is this banana ice cream, it’s made with blended, frozen bananas and that’s it! Genius! It really does end up like a premium ice cream but with the calorie count of, well…a banana!
And it doesn’t end there. Missing pastry? Try using ripe avocado instead of butter in your shortcrust recipes. Ok, so it doesn’t come out as crisp and rich but it’s not half bad. I made a sweet potato pie with avocado pastry recently and served it with banana ice cream and a cheeky drizzle of maple syrup! Yummers!

Sweet Potato Pie

I would absolutely love to hear from you about healthy eating and special diets. What foods are you currently avoiding? Send me a message in the comments box or via the contact page and I may be able to write a brand new recipe for you too.

Have a super weekend x

Sugar-Free

Cooking

I’ve been having some pretty loopy mood swings lately. This might all be fun on a good day but heaven help anyone who speaks to me on a bad one. Turns out, my whole body is in a spot of bother and it appears that if I don’t do something about it now my health could really suffer.

Sugar has been deemed the biggest villain here and has been banished from my usual diet until further notice. White flour, white pasta and rice have been shown the door. In their place come whole-meal and whole-wheat counterparts. This isn’t a diet. I have never properly been on a diet. (Although I did once spend a week eating special K for breakfast and lunch. This sounds like I was successful until you factor in that I was meant to do it for a fortnight! Oh, and another time I tried to cut out carbohydrates and fruit but that lasted as long as it took me to realise I’d just made a batch of soda bread).

This no-sugar-more-wholemeal-plan is a change in eating habits that I need to make permanent. I eat quite healthily most of the time but I am prone to having huge sugar cravings. I can easily bake a batch of fairy cakes and eat the lot. This doesn’t sound catastrophic but these sugar hankerings have been getting progressively worse.

If the only result of my heavy sugar intake was a little weight gain and furry teeth then I could live with that but in my case even a small increase around my waist throws my hormones into a right muddle. In a funny sort of way I hope I stay scared about this for a long time, or at least until I have settled in to an almost sugar free world and begin to feel a few benefits.

After glancing over a few books, doing an online search and chatting over coffee with sympathetic friends I gleaned a lot more information on this subject than I thought. It sounds naïve but I was genuinely surprised at the amount of differences even small changes in eating habits can make with so many health problems.

So far, so good, although let’s be realistic, I’m only 3 days in!

In order for this to be sustainable I have decided to face it with the following two-pronged attack:

1) Focus on the worse case scenario

If I don’t change then there are serious health problems ahead.

2) Be positive about what I can eat

I started listing the things I cannot regularly eat anymore (such as white flour, sugar, cakes, biscuits) and started to think of delicious alternatives or “swapsies”. This new healthy lifestyle actually encourages the consumption of some of my favourite things – a little red wine, dark chocolate, poached eggs and avocados; if I start to think of these things as medicinal then, well; happy days!

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When Richard offered to make me porridge this morning I felt a little sad. I’m one of those people who take their porridge with a metric tonne of golden syrup but I know that’s definitely off the menu. Instead I went for chopped dates and a dash of cinnamon and (thankfully) it was surprisingly delicious. Yesterday I made risotto with bulgur wheat instead of white rice and this evening my spaghetti carbonara became spelt spaghetti with avocado and goats cheese.

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Bulghur Wheat Risotto

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Spelt Spaghetti with Avocado, Lemon, Goats Cheese and Spring Onion

With all this extra veg, fruit smoothies, dates and a dash of spirulina I might be farting for England for the next few days but at least I’m on the right track!

I shall open a window and look forward to loosing a few pounds and my sweet tooth!