Living a Life of Fitness, Health and Fun

Polenta, Corn and Broccoli Bake

I first saw this dish on a Facebook page  'Food that No One Died For' Just love the idea behind this site and it is full of yummy recipes.   Based on a recipe from the book "Feel Good Food" by Tony Chiodo.  As always I like to put my own twist on recipes so they are less refined and more rustic.  I used all fresh ingredients for our local Farmers Markets.

Whole Food-Plant Based

Ingredients

2 corn cob, kernels removed
1 onion, diced
sea salt
1 cup polenta
2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
250 g broccoli florets, blanched and sliced in half

PUMPKIN TOPPING
500 g butternut pumpkin,  cut into large chunks, leave on the skin and leave in the seeds.
1 onion, cut into wedges
sea salt
2 tablespoons hulled tahini
1 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest
Juice of 1 orange

Method

Bring 3 cups water to the boil in a saucepan over high heat and add the corn kernels, onion and a teaspoon of sea salt. 

Stir in the polenta, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer for 30-40 minutes, (or according to directions on packet.  I used a fast cooking polenta and it was ready in 5 mins)  stirring occasionally, or until the polenta comes off the sides easily. If the polenta thickens early, stir in some more water. 

Stir in the basil and pour the mixture into a lightly oiled 16 x 21 cm baking dish.

Arrange the broccoli florets over the top of the polenta. 

For the topping, roast the pumpkin and onion with a pinch of sea salt until soft. 

Transfer to a food processor and purée until smooth. Add the tahini, ginger juice and orange zest and jjuice to the processor and purée until smooth and creamy.  (add extra water or juice if necessary)

Pour the mixture over the broccoli and polenta and allow it to set in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.   

Top with some toasted pumpkin seeds and serve on spinach leaves with a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

You can serve this dish at room temperature as a slice, or bake it at 170°C for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned, for a more wintry meal.

The link to the original recipe is HERE

Health Benefits of Buckwheat

Buckwheat – a nutrient-packed, gluten-free seed abundantly consumed in Asian countries for centuries – is now becoming increasingly popular in the U.S., Canada and Europe due to its many health benefits.

While most people think of buckwheat as a whole grain, it’s actually a seed that is high in both protein and fiber. It supports heart and heart health and can help prevent diabetes and digestive disorders. In fact, buckwheat seeds, also called “groats,” are so packed with nutrients and antioxidants − like rutin, tannins and catechin −that they are often called “superfoods.”

Despite its recent rise to nutrition fame, buckwheat is actually an ancient grain with a long history. Today, buckwheat is a favorite amongst plant-based and gluten-free eaters alike since it provides a high source of amino acids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – all with relatively few calories and practically no fat.  

Despite its name, buckwheat actually doesn’t contain any wheat or the protein gluten..

As a vegn, buckwheat is a great food to regularly include in our diet because it provides two types of essential amino acids — types we cannot make on our own and must get from the foods we eat. Buckwheat nutrition contains essential amino acids called lysine and arginine. What’s important about this? These specific amino acids aren’t found in many other common cereal or whole grains, so getting them from buckwheat ensures you cover the full range of essential proteins your body needs.

Buckwheat Salad

Buckwheat Salad

NGREDIENTS:

  • 1 small zucchin, cut into ½-inch dice (substitute or add other vegies)
  • 1 cup  buckwheat

FOR THE DRESSING:

  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ onion, cut into ½-inch dice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 1 cup baby rocket
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup fresh orange juice

Instructions:

1. Place the buckwheat and 1¾ cups hot water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the grains are soft but chewy. Drain any excess water. Fluff the grains with a fork and set aside to cool.
2. To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, vinegar, and garlic in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3.. In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, buckwheat, onions, tomatoes, and coriander . Add the dressing and mix well.
4.. In another bowl, toss the rocket and baby spinach in the orange juice. Place the greens on individual salad bowls, and top with the grain mixture. Serve garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds.

Serve either chilled or at room temperature.

Buckwheat Benefits

1. Improves Heart Health By Lowering Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Levels

2. Contains Disease-Fighting Antioxidants

3. Provides Highly Digestible Protein

4. High Fiber Content Helps Improve Digestion

5. Can Help Prevent Diabetes

6. Doesn’t Contain Gluten and Is Non-Allergenic

7. Supplies Important Vitamins and Minerals

 

It's a soup day

We are really feeling the cold.  It hasn't been a super hot summer anyway, but what used to feel warm, feels cold now.  The last of the fresh Asparagus was at the markets today, so we decided a soup lunch to warm us up.

Creamy Garlic and Asparagus Soup

Creamy Garlic and Asparagus Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds green asparagus
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked in warm water for 1 hour 
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut asparagus into ½-inch pieces.
  2. In a large pot, heat margarine over medium-low heat, and cook the onion and garlic for a few minutes, until softened.
  3. Add asparagus pieces and salt and pepper to taste, then cook, stirring, 5 minutes. Add broth and simmer, covered, until asparagus is very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Add cashews and purée soup using an immersion blender (or in batches in a blender) until smooth.
  5. Season with lemon juice, and salt and pepper.

HINT:  We always have a supply of soaked cashews in the freezer.

Nutritional Value Of Asparagus

Asparagus is a nutrient-packed source of vitaminsminerals and essential proteins. Asparagus is rich in vitamin Avitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, folate, vitamin Cvitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), and vitamin K (phylloquinone).

The mineral treasures that are stored in asparagus include ironcalcium, phosphorous, magnesiummanganesezincselenium, and potassium.

Asparagus contains a very low amount of calories with no cholesterol and is low in sodium as well. Along with this, it is also a rich source of dietary fiber, which is essential for the body.