Mattar Paneer (peas and paneer with a tomato base)

Mattar Paneer (peas and paneer with a tomato base)

 – Vimala Kumar

Growing up my mother used to make this a lot, so I feel very nostalgic about this Mattar Paneer recipe.  My mother was into healthy cooking even before it was a trend and used to favour brown rice over white, whole grains over processed flour, and while our fridge was overflowing with fruits, bitter gourd and okra – chips, ice cream, cake and chocolate were never to be found.  So it doesn’t surprise me that she found a “healthy” substitute for paneer which is a very rich dense cheese made in India.  

For this recipe you can either use paneer, (found in any Indian store) or fresh low fat ricotta which you can find in any deli. While this dish is on the rich side it is healthier than what you could expect to find at an Indian restaurant due to the lack of cream.  Since this version is fairly spicy, you may want to reduce the quantities of clove, cardamom, chilli powder, and garam masala for a milder flavour.  

Shabash!

Banana and Cinnamon Ice Cream

Banana and Cinnamon Ice Cream

 – Nadia Gazzi

This delicious Banana and Cinnamon Ice Cream treat is vegan, as well as being gluten and dairy free. It’s a healthy, guilt-free treat for those times when you just want something cold, sweet and delicious.

As well as being full of flavour and natural sweetness, bananas are loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. They are a natural muscle relaxant. They also help increase serotonin levels (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin (to regulate sleep). Cinnamon is one of the richest sources of antioxidants as well as helping to lower blood sugar, boost immunity, and reduce inflammation. As little as ½ tsp provides these benefits.

Roast Vegetables

Roast Vegetables

 – Alice Louey

I love this Roast Vegetables recipe; it is so easy to prepare and makes a great side dish, or the base of a number of different meals. It’s my current favourite take to work lunch, mixed with other leftovers. Each of these vegetables contains a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and trace elements which are essential for health and vitality, as well as being rich in fibre which helps you feel sated for longer. Match with green vegetables and/or chickpeas, plus hummus for a balanced vegan option, or add as a side dish to a meat-based casserole or a slow cooked meat dish.

Cauliflower Fritters & ‘Nori Chips’

Cauliflower Fritters & ‘Nori Chips’

Cauliflower Fritters & ‘Nori Chips’

An article on Preventing Chronic Disease by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention places cauliflower 24th on the list of  “powerhouse fruits and vegetables”. It is a rich source of nutrients and trace minerals, especially calcium, magnesium, selenium, Vitamin K and many more. Cruciferous vegetables in general, and cauliflower in particular provide important fibre and other benefits that may promote heart health, lower cholesterol, and have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Waste not, want not! These yummy fritters can be eaten warm or cold, and the leaves can be dried in the oven and made into delicious chips so you don’t need to throw out any of your cauliflower foliage. While the recipe is supposed to serve 4, these delicious fritters are hard to resist, so make sure that you get your share quickly because they won’t last long.

Quick Vegan Cabbage Fry

Quick Vegan Cabbage Fry

 – Vimala Kumar

Cabbage is a wonderful cruciferous vegetable with anti-carcinogenic properties, as well as the ability to enhance and boost the immune system. Many people who are attempting to lose weight through a healthy diet incorporate cabbage into their menu as it is low in calories and has a delicious natural sweetness.

The addition of onion and ginger paste to this quick vegan cabbage fry makes cabbage easier to digest.  Coconut flakes add a nice texture, along with added flavour and sweetness to this dish.

This quick vegan cabbage fry recipe is good to prepare when one is feeling a bit sick or under the weather.  During these times, the digestive system tends to be weak because the body’s natural defences are hampered.  Additionally many people take medications like antibiotics which tends to disrupt the delicate gut flora.  Therefore eating food that is simple, bland and easy to digest is a good strategy to adopt.