In this section weíre providing a few nutritious recipes that can be thrown together quickly, using easily found products and prepared foods.  Most of the items used can be purchased in the local Tesco, the rest can be found in local shops like Full of Beans or Spice World. 

These are just a few ideas, hopefully you will be stimulated to experiment with nutritious foods to find recipes and combinations that work well for you.  The internet is a tremendous resource for finding ideas that suite your taste and move you in a healthier direction.

 

Oat-Walnut Burgers

2 1/2 cups water
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic
1 chopped onion
1 cup walnuts
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning (oregano, bezel, garlic powder, parsley)
1 teaspoon sage
3 tablespoons Engevita yeast flakes (Kilos, Full of Beans, etc.)
3 cups porridge oats, or rolled oats

Bring seasonings to a boil in the water,  sprinkling oats into water.  Set aside to cool.  Add chopped nuts.  Drop by spoonful onto oiled cookie sheet. cook at 175 c for 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.  Can also be fried on the stovetop.

 

Quick Chili

In a large pot combine:
2 cans (400 g ea) of Kidney beans w/liquid
1 can (400 g) tomatoes w/liquid
1 jar (750 g) pasta sauce (I like the Tesco Mushroom sauce)
250 ml (+/-) water
1 green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
80 to 100 grams soy mince
20 g cumin powder
8-10 g garlic powder
8 g dried parsley
ľ to 2 chopped jalapeno peppers (can get in jar if not fresh), depending on how spicy you like it.

Simmer all ingredients together for about twenty minutes, giving the soy mince time to completely soak up and cook.  More water can be added if a thinner mixture is desired.

Since there is salt in the pasta sauce, I donít add any extra.  With the added herbs there should be plenty of flavour.  The jalapeno peppers we get in a jar at Tesco are hot, so if you donít like spicy foods, a little bit goes a long way.  Just a piece or two, chopped fine, will give a hint of the good chili taste.  The cumin is also one of the keys to the taste, and more or less can be added depending on you personal taste.  I think it is best using Pinto Beans, but this requires soaking and cooking the beans, which is a lengthier process.

 

Spanish Rice

I have never measured this recipe exactly, but I donít think it requires rocket science to get it to come out.  Itís a quick meal with a rice base that can be thrown together in a few minutes.  The quantities of ingredients will depend on the size of the pan you start with, and how much you want to end up with.

 Sautť in large frying pan with a little olive oil:

Chopped onion, chopped green pepper and a few chopped mushrooms.  Again, the amount will depend on how much you want to end up with.

 Add a can or two of tomatoes, with liquid, season to taste with garlic, cumin, a little salt (remember, weíre trying to use as little as we can get away with to keep our blood pressure down), fresh coriander (cilantro), parsley.  If there are other herbs that you like to blend, such as oregano or thyme, add a little in to taste.  You might like to add a little finely chopped jalapeno pepper as well, and perhaps some chopped olives (or put some pitted olives on top as a tasty garnish). Simmer ingredients together for a few minutes.  You may have to add a little water to get the sauce to the right consistency.

Mix in one to four cups (again, depending on the size of finished product) of cooked brown rice. This can be put in a casserole dish and baked for about 20 minutes, or it can be cooked for a few minutes in the frying pan if youíre in a hurry. 

This basic concept has a number of variations depending on what is in the kitchen at the time.  It also works to use the Tesco Pasta sauce, but for the sake of the nutritive value itís good to toss in as many fresh vegetables as possible.  Brown rice is higher in the important B vitamins, so itís best to use when ever possible.

 

Vegetable Soup

This, again, depends on what you have in the kitchen at the time.  Depending on the season of the year, and what you can get at the green grocer, there are many variations.  Iím just giving a basic idea of the concept here.  Again, weíre trying to use more herbs and seasonings instead of lots of salt, for the sake of both nutritive value and blood pressure.

Whatever size pot you start with, usually start with filling it about 1/3 to 1/2 with water.  As it is coming to a boil, add in chopped potatoes, onions, carrots and celery.  If you have it, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, kale, or any other vegetables will go well.  Here in Ireland, potatoes, carrots and onions seem to be a good base to work from.  Add as many as is reasonable with the pot size you are dealing with.

At Full of Beans there are a number of different types of stock cubes, and any of them will do.  Depending on how big your pot it, add one or two.  As these have salt in them there is no need to add extra salt.  Season with garlic (I use about one tablespoon of garlic powder in a 4 litre pot), thyme (a teaspoon at least), dried parsley flakes, dill seed and maybe a little coriander powder.  Again, adjust quantities according to the size of your pot.  The goal is to produce a savoury flavour without lots of salt. 

When the vegetables have all cooked soft, blend with a soup blender.  As soup is cooking, add water to the consistency desired.  Can also be served without blending as a stew.

 

Whole Grain Pancakes

Place 130 grams of porridge oats in blender and blend into flour.  Add 1 litre soy milk (we like the Tesco Sweetened, as itís sweetened with apple juice), 160 grams whole meal wheat flour, 170 grams yellow corn meal, pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon).  Optional, 100 grams shredded coconut.  A little baking powder can be added if desired, but I donít think it adds much to the finished product.

Blend all ingredients together. Itís best to start with putting about 7/8 of the soy milk into the mix, and then add the rest as needed to get the right consistency.  After the mix sets about five minutes, it will thicken.  If the batter is too thick, the pancakes will not cook properly.  It should flow when poured into the pan to cook.

Preheat non stick frying pan to a medium-high heat, and use a ladle to pour batter into pan.  I generally watch for the bubbles that form on the top of the batter to pop, then check to see if they need to be turned.  If the pan is at the right temperature, it should only take two or three minutes on each side.

These are great with maple syrup or all fruit spread.  Spice World stocks a grape syrup that is also a 100% natural product, with no added sugar.  Try some sesame tahini or peanut butter (Spice World, Full of Beans) with the syrup.

 

French Toast

450 ML water
8 to 10 pitted dates
Pinch of salt (maybe 1/8 teaspoon)
ĺ cup cashews
8 to 10 slices of whole meal bread

Put cashews and dates in water and bring to boil, simmer for about five minutes (can be done in a microwave; just donít boil all the water away).  Pour into blender, add salt (a dash of vanilla extract is good too).  Blend into creamy batter.  Pour into pan that you can dip the slices of bread into, then batter the bread and broil about 5 to 8 minutes on each side, depending on oven.  Watch until you know how your oven will cook, as there is a small margin between cooked and scorched!  The can also be cooked in a frying pan on the stove top.

Serve with syrup or all fruit spread.

 

Baked Oatmeal

The quantities depend on the amount you want to end up with.

In a covered baking dish add porridge oats, a pinch of salt, some resins or sultanas, a few chopped dates, some chopped walnuts, chopped almonds, any seeds like sunflower, sesame, etc.  Some people like grated coconut added as well.  You may want to add a little honey or molasses, depending on how sweet you like it.  Some vanilla extract is always good.  There is nothing hard and fast about what you put into this, it depends on what you have in the kitchen and how you want it to taste.  Generally, with a few more ingredients it makes a more nutritious one dish meal.  The nuts and seeds are full of the good oils and vitamins, the oats are great energy food.

Mix all dry ingredients together. Use the amount of water that is needed to cook the amount of oats you are using, the oat package will give you an idea of proportions for that.  Boil the water and pour onto the mix, add any wet ingredients like the honey, molasses and vanilla.  Cover and bake in medium to hot oven for about twenty minutes.  The water content can be adjusted to make the finished product either dryer or wetter, as your taste desires.  This can be eaten like cake, or with soy milk like porridge.  

 

Broiled, Shredded Potatoes

Instead of using the cooker to deep fry your chips, try shredding potatoes with a food processor or food chopper and broiling in the oven.  This has been a favourite around our house for about thirty years, the children preferred it to the chips.  To add a little more flavour, shred some onions with the potatoes as well.  Season with some garlic salt.

Another way to fix the frozen chips that is much more healthful than deep frying is to oven bake them.  Our oven has a setting that turns on both the top and bottom elements at the same time.  We spread the chips out on cookie sheets, put one on top and one on the bottom.  After about ten minutes, we switch the sheets to cook on the other side.  If you cook them until t hey are golden brown, they are delicious.  Donít get too close to the element, as they will scorch and still be raw in the centre.  This method does take a little more time, but it is much healthier.  Type 2 diabetes is becoming epidemic in Ireland, and one of the big factors is the amount of fat in the diet

Another variation on this theme is to take boiled potatoes, or potatoes cooked until soft in the microwave and slice them in rounds.  Place the rounds on a baking sheet and place under the broiler until the begin to brown.  When you take them out of the oven brush on a little olive oil and season with garlic salt.

 

Quick Spaghetti

In a large frying pan, cook together an onion, green pepper, and a hand full of sliced mushrooms and a little olive oil.  Add a jar of Tesco pasta sauce (we like the mushroom sauce, but the original is good too).  Add some garlic powder, or fresh crushed garlic (a garlic press is a handy item to add to the kitchen), maybe some oregano and basel, a can or two of (chopped) tomatoes (400 g) and a handful of soy mince.  You might like a dash of soy sauce in the mix as well.  Simmer for about fifteen minutes.

Serve with cooked spaghetti pasta.  Tesco stocks whole grain spaghetti pasta, which is much more flavourful and nutritious than the white

There are a number of ways this theme can be used.  If you want to take a little more time and experiment with flaviours, instead of using the prepared sauce for a base, start with your own tomato sauce made out of tomato puree, water, olive oil, salt (not too much) and Italian seasonings like oregano, sweet basal and parsley Tomato juice works well as a base to start with too.  For us garlic and onion are a must in Italian type foods.  We find the flaviour is best released from the garlic by crushing it in a garlic press.  Try experimenting with adding a variety of vegetables like courgettes, chopped cabbage or ??  The more vegetables the more nutrition.  At Spice World you can get dried Soy Chunks that you can toss in that make wonderful and nutritious 'meat balls'. 

Cabbage Salad  

Head of cabbage
1 or two cans of pineapple, in it's own juice
1/2-1 cup raisins, depending on your taste
1/2 +/- teaspoon salt, depending on your taste

Shred the cabbage into a bowl using a food processer or grater.  The cabbage can be chopped finely with a knife as well.  The pineapple can be blended with the juice in the can, or chopped up and added with the juice.  Add raisins and salt, mix and serve chilled.  The ingredients can be adjusted to suite the size of the head of cabbage, desired taste, etc.  Some people like to add in various other items as well to suite taste.

 

 

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