Flexitarian feasts - Sydney Morning Herald

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My Vegetable Curry by Teresa Cutter.

Vegetable curry. Photo: Paul Cutter

I'm a part-time vegetarian - what you could call a ''flexitarian''. I focus on eating plenty of fruit, vegies and plant-based protein. It's a great way to introduce a healthy diet into your lifestyle while still enjoying the occasional lean piece of meat.

Research from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests a well-planned vegetarian diet helps control weight, lower blood pressure and protect against diabetes and various cancers.

Following a plant-based diet tends to lower the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Former US president Bill Clinton became a vegetarian to try to slow the progression of heart disease after he underwent two heart operations. But is a vegetarian diet always the healthiest way to eat? Yes and no. You still need a balanced meal. ''There is no point in following a vegetarian diet if it's filled with refined white flour, white bread, pasta, fried potato and lots of cheese; you're missing the point completely,'' nutritionist Susie Burrell says.

Roasted baby vegetables with hummus and roasted almonds.

Roasted baby vegetables with hummus and roasted almonds. Photo: Paul Cutter

A potential problem with vegetarian diets is not getting enough protein, iron, calcium and vitamin B12.


My vegetable curry

1 onion, chopped

1 tbsp grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, smashed

2 celery stalks, diced

1 medium carrot, grated

¼ tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup yellow split peas, soaked overnight and drained

Four cups water

250g unpeeled sweet potato, chopped

350g pumpkin, chopped

1 heaped tbsp miso

2 tbsp mirin

1 squeeze lime to taste

1 handful coriander or flat-leaf parsley, chopped

350g organic tempeh or firm tofu

Olive oil

Saute onion, ginger, garlic, celery and carrot in a large pot for three minutes. Add turmeric and cinnamon, cook for another minute. Add drained split peas and four cups of water. Cook for 30 minutes over low heat. Add sweet potato and pumpkin and cook for another 20-30 minutes until tender, adding a little water if necessary. Dissolve miso in two tablespoons of warm water and add to curry with mirin, lime juice and herbs. Taste and adjust seasoning. Saute chopped tempeh separately in a little olive oil until golden; add to vegetable curry before serving.

Serves 4

Protein, 17.8 grams; fat, 7.2 grams; carbs, 25 grams; kilojoules, 991; fibre, 7.7 grams; gluten-free; low GI; high protein.

Roasted baby vegetables with hummus and roasted almonds

Olive oil

250g baby carrot, washed, trimmed

250g baby beetroot, washed, trimmed

200g hummus

50g spinach leaves

1 lemon

Handful of parsley

20g roasted almonds, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C. Toss vegetables with a little olive oil. Roast for 30 minutes until cooked through then set aside. Dollop hummus on to the base of serving plates. Toss vegetables with spinach then pile on to the plate. Drizzle with lemon and garnish with parsley and almonds.

Serves 2

Protein, 15.7 grams; fat, 16 grams; carbs, 33 grams; kilojoules, 1490; calories, 355; fibre, 16.2g; gluten free; low GI; high protein.

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12 Sep, 2011

Source: http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNHzfKVGEckHPMR0Fim4lrkdPmYJKA&url=http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/flexitarian-feasts-20110912-1k4xj.html
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