Hi, it’s Venu here from La Crisalida kitchen.
Nowadays when we hear the word “healthy” what might come to our mind is thoughts like inconvenience, no dressings or flavour, boring food, expense and lots of time in the kitchen. In this article we will show you how eating a clean diet can be very fun and tasty!
In order to be fit, healthy and have a lot of energy and vitality, it is essential that we take into consideration our daily food. Here at La Crisalida we base our diet on whole grains, beans, vegetables, seeds, fruits, herbs and spices. Following this diet will help you to detoxify your body in such a way that you will feel like a new person. And, by eating this way on a regular basis, you won’t stress your organs out and you will feel in general more rested with more energy!
Some tips to keep going with your healthy habits:
Add some flavour
We know that a dish of blanched chard might not be appealing for most people. What about using the herbs and spices that nature provides to enhance our vegetable dishes with them? Use cumin powder, garlic, fresh ginger juice, oregano, basil, coriander, soya sauce…together with your vegetables and you will find a whole new world of delicious vegetable dishes!
One tip that I generally give in my cooking classes is: “cook once, eat twice!” Whole grains are an important part in our diet. They generally take more time to cook as the outside layers that contain all the nutrients and fibre has not been removed. Make sure you have your grains or beans cooked by the time you get home ready to prepare dinner or lunch. Take advantage of night time and cook your grains and pulses while taking a shower, putting your children to sleep or reading a book! Just set a timer and make sure to switch off the pot when they are ready. In general, plain cooked grains and pulses will keep well in the fridge for up to three days.
Save time and cook 2 or 3 cups of brown rice instead of one cup. Keep your cooked brown rice in a sealed container in the fridge and use it up the next day to make a quick risotto, Chinese stir fry rice, rice salad, rice patties, morning breakfast porridge or rice burgers! Remember you can freeze rice burgers for another evening meal.
Substitutes to get a healthier pantry:
Sugar: Sugar is a difficult one but never impossible! It’s an ingredient that we find nowadays in EVERYTHING. Read first the labels of the food you buy and make sure that it does not contain sugar. To stop with the habit of adding refined white sugar to our drinks, desserts or savoury dishes, I suggest using more natural sweeteners. Have you tried rice syrup? Rice syrup comes from whole brown rice. I find it the perfect sweetener for your drinks and desserts! Sugar is very addictive so when you stop eating it you might get a bit nervous and anxious. Fill your pantry with “natural candies” such as dates, prunes, raisins, dried apples and fresh fruit and snack on them when you feel the urgent to grab a chocolate bar or a cake. We use rice syrup to make our breakfast granola.
Oil: when cooking you don’t need to cover your pan with half cup of oil to get a dish full of taste. I generally use just one tablespoon of oil or even less to cover the pan and I keep on adding a splash of water every time the veggies get stuck to the pan. To reduce the amount of oil you use you might want to get a brush or a spray. This way you will make sure you go easy with it!
Dressings: This summer, avoid buying already prepared dressings from the supermarkets and make your own instead. This saves you money and you know it is fresh with no preservatives. Again, make a large amount that will keep for few days in the fridge. Find a glass jar (like a jam jar) with a lid for mixing the ingredients together; a screw top lid and a shake will combine all of the ingredients nicely and allow you to remix before use. To get the perfect dressing we suggest you find a combination from each of the rows:
Fat: Oil (like olive, flaxseed, coconut, sesame), nuts (eg almond butter), seeds (tahini), avocado
Acid taste: Lemon juice, apple cider vinegar
Spicy taste: black pepper, paprika, mustard, ginger juice, cayenne, curry, wasabi, raw garlic, raw onion
Sweet: rice syrup, orange juice, pineapple juice
Salty: tamari, miso
We are always on the look-out for new dressings, so let us know your favourite! Happy cooking!