This year, rather than make any new year resolutions, I actually decided rather to make a list of the top five things I’m grateful for and focus on nourishing those instead. One thing in my life that I am super grateful for is something very precious to us all -health. What’s more important than that!
This got me to thinking, what easy steps can we take everyday to help our families detox and stay healthy…here’s what I came up with and, surprise, it all starts in the kitchen!
1. ADOPT MEATLESS MONDAY
Adopting a plant-based plate just one day a week – Monday – can make a big difference to your health and the health of the planet. The idea is not about converting people to vegetarianism, nor does it require a drastic or overnight lifestyle change, but simply by eating plant-based meals one day a week, the idea helps to promote and encourage a green and healthier lifestyle. Stuck for ideas, why not try my Cauliflower-based pizza and check out my website for more yummy plant-based recipes. www.graciouslygreen.com.
2. PAY THE ORGANIC FARMER AND NOT THE DOCTOR
Food glorious organic food – such a hot topic in Dubai recently, with the #UAEHEALTHMOVEMENT and so many great healthy options becoming available to us. It’s great to see and I would honestly say that I am happy to spend my hard earner dirhams on good quality food. That for me does not always need to be #organic but it does always need to be #realfood and not processed junky junk. If you can, of course, organic is a preference to limit the number of chemicals entering our bodies, and you’d be surprised at the value for money by buying #local organic produce at places like Ripe Me or Greenheart Organic Farm , who also deliver to your door! My top tip for buying organic would be to try to buy at least ll leafy greens, apples, berries potatoes and corn organic as these are either loved by animals and so need to be sprayed heavily with chemicals when they’re growing, or they are often Genetically Modified (GMO) crops such as corn.
3. PLASTIC IS NOT FANTASTIC
A super easy way to start to rid chemicals from your kitchen is by swapping plastic containers for glass ones, especially if you’re using them to store and re-heat food as the chemicals in plastic can leach into the food at a high temperatures. Most of us know by now that a chemical called “BPA” in plastic is pretty harmful to our health – BPA has been linked to cancer and is known to mimic estrogen in the body. However, what most people don’t realise is that the chemicals that replace BPA could be just as harmful. BPA-free is not always ideal when it comes to choosing food storage containers. Silicone containers have become quite popular and for me I would use these over plastic for cold food items, however, I prefer to not use them when heating food at high temperatures. Instead, opt for glass containers that are oven safe to keep harmful chemicals leaching into your leftover food.
and finally…a healthy recipe for the whole fam:
Vegan Cauliflower-based Gourmet Pizza
For the crust:
- 1 medium head of cauliflower – lightly steamed in florets
- vegan eggs – soak 4 TBS of flax seed meal in 8 TBS water to replace the eggs
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/4 teaspoon high mineral salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or a few sprigs of fresh herb, finely shredded
- 2 basil leaves, finely shredded
- ½ tsp nutritional yeast (optional)
For the toppings:
– anything you like but this is my gourmet idea –
- see www.graciouslyreen.com for my pesto recipe or you can use your choice of pasata base
- 3-4 small deli artichokes
- 3-4 large green olives, finely sliced
- 3 vine tomatoes, finely sliced
- ¼ cup fresh arugula
- cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- line a baking tray with baking paper
- Place the lightly steamed cauliflower florets in a large food processor and pulse until a rice-like texture is created
- Place the cauliflower in a nut mylk bag or a strainer and drain out any access water – place in the freezer in a freezer bag for 10 minutes, remove and then repeat to strain off the access water. Place into a large mixing bowl.
- Mix together the 4 TBS ground flax meal with 8 TBS of water, to create a vegan “egg.” Set aside and allow the mixture to thicken.
- Add in the other ingredients with the cauliflower and mix with hands until well combined
- Mix with hands into a “dough” ball
- Press the mixture (which should be gooey and stuck together but still a bit watery at this stage) onto the baking sheet in a round circle or pizza shape of choice!
- Press the crust together, making sure that there are no thin areas or cracks
- Bake at 400F for 35 minutes on a baking tray, until the top is lightly golden and dry
- You could use this pizza crust as is, but it won’t be firm enough to lift and slice
- At this stage, I remove the crust from the baking tray and allow the “crust” to cook for another 15 minutes with just the baking paper placed over the wire-rack.
- Once the crust is firm and dry, add the pesto / tomato layer, then the other ingredients as you wish.
- You can use this crust recipe for many variations of pizza or pies generally – without the carbs, sugar and gluten normally in pie or pizza :0)
Featured image via Pinterest