Aubergine and Cauliflower Curry

It isn’t difficult to find a recipe for the perfect curry but it is difficult to find a recipe that is as healthy as it is delicious! With this recipe I am confident that I have reached the best amounts of both! The combination of cauliflower and aubergine provide fantastic nutritional benefits, and that is not to mention the health kick provided by the added ginger and brown rice too.

As you will all know, I am a big lover of whole grain foods and serving this curry with brown rice will not only make it taste better but will also ensure you are nourishing your body at the same time! Whole grains contain a massive range of vitamins and minerals, many of which are lost when a grain is processed into a different product! So opting for the whole grain variety of any food will ensure that you are getting the best amount of health boosting properties in your meal as possible!

The following ingredients will serve two – three people:

1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 cup of uncooked brown rice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh ginger
1 aubergine, chopped into 2cm chunks
1 small cauliflower, in small florets
1 yellow pepper, chopped into 2cm chunks
1 Tbsp. Curry Powder
4 Tbsp. tomato puree
A handful of coriander, chopped

aubergine_curry_cauliflowerSo to get started, the first thing you will need to do is cook the rice in a large pot of water over a high heat for 25 minutes until it is soft.  Then, remove it from heat and drain. Next, in a large frying pan, fry the onion, the ginger and the garlic for between three and five minutes.  Next, add the aubergine, cauliflower and yellow pepper with two tablespoons of olive oil.

The next step is to heat this pan over a high heat for between ten and twelve minutes. After this time these ingredients should all be cooked through.  You can then mix in the curry spice and tomato puree. Spend the next two minutes stirring the pan before you serve with the rice and then top with coriander.  Season with salt and pepper to taste if required.

Do You Know Why Plant-Based Foods Are Health Essentials?

As we know, there are vast differences between foods made from animal products and plant-based foods. Beyond the obvious difference of where these two food groups come from, there are also nutritional differences that it are great to be aware of.

You might not have heard the reasons why it is essential to not negate plant-based foods as a prominent part of your diet. In this post I am going to discuss certain nutrients that you simply can’t get in adequate amounts from meat products.

Vitamin C

First of all, and perhaps most importantly, vitamin C is not present in beneficial amounts in any cooked animal products. On the flip side, vitamin C is found in abundance in many vegetables and fruits. This is an essential vitamin that maintains connective tissue, as well as preventing a wide range of health problems that are caused by vitamin C deficiency. It can also help to regulate blood pressure and promotes the optimum function of your blood vessels.

Flavonoids

One of the most important groups of antioxidants to consume for good health is flavonoids. They are present in practically every plant-based food you can get your hands on, making it easy to get an adequate amount with a varied plant-based diet. Flavonoids have many uses in the body, not least aiding your brain function, protecting the cardiovascular system, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, as well as helping to protect against cancer.

Lignans

You may not have heard of lignans before, but they have several incredibly important roles to play in the body. Not only do they help to regulate our hormone levels and support the immune system, but they are also thought to aid in the relief of menopausal symptoms. This is due to the way they interact with estrogen. However, they also interact with testosterone in such a way that they can improve prostate health! Lignans are phytonutrients that are high in antioxidants, which of course also means they are perfect for fighting free radicals in the body. The foods which are richest in lignans are whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds! So, as you can see, a varied plant-based diet will allow you to benefit from the fantastic benefit of lignans!

There are of course many more amazing nutritional benefits to be gained from eating a range of plant-based foods every day but hopefully these top three will motivate you to get started!

Want to learn more about nutrition? Head over to The Flexi Foodie Academy!

Courgette Pasta with a Mexican Bean Sauce

If you haven’t experienced the culinary delights of a spiralizer yet then this is the recipe to bring you on board! It is such a great way to bring a bit of variety to meal times and you can easily head over to my website and get one for yourself today! I love to spiralizer courgettes, not just because of the great texture and shape that it produces but also, of course, for the fantastic nutritional value of these vegetables. Courgettes are incredibly low value at just 17 calories per 100g and contains absolutely no saturated fat or cholesterol. Eating courgettes without peeling them is always the best option as there is a great amount of dietary fibre to be found close to the peel. Additionally, they are abundant in potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C, not to mention moderate amounts of folate, zinc, manganese, iron and thiamine!

To make this dish for two to three people, you will need the following ingredients:

2 courgettes – in long thin strips (best to use a spiralizer or a mandolin)
2 spring onions
1 red pepper
100g of baby spinach
1 tin of black beans, drained and rinsed
A handful of coriander – chopped
1 corn on the cob
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 lime

Courgette NoodlesThe first and most enjoyable part of cooking this meal is to spiralize the courgette and put to one side in a large bowl. Next, finely slice the spring onions and cut the core from the red pepper and dice into 1 cm cubes. You must also shred the spinach with your hands and roughly chop the coriander.  Place the corn vertically on your chopping board and run your knife downwards to remove the corn pieces.

Next, over a medium to high heat, add the beans to a large skillet with the smoked paprika and a dash of olive oil. Mix well for two minutes. Then, in the same pan, add the corn and cook for five minutes before you then add the chopped spring onions and red pepper. Again, cook for a further five minutes and then add the spinach and coriander. Stir the contents of the skillet well until the spinach begins to wilt. You can then remove from heat and add to the courgette noodles.  Mix well and dress with the juice of your lime and finally, enjoy!

You can discover more fun meals like this one in my cookbook – SUPERFOODS – The Flexible Approach to Eating More Superfoods – Now available in the US too!