home News Eat clean to stay lean – Mumbai Mirror

Eat clean to stay lean – Mumbai Mirror


Looking to incorporate more whole, minimally processed foods into your diet? These recipes use ingredients that can be sourced from the neighbourhood store.

The concept of clean eating has gained traction in recent years with celebrity endorsement from the likes of Hollywood A-listers such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba. While cynics dub this movement as a ‘fad’, the basic principles behind it are founded on sound nutrition advice.

Rejecting processed foods in favour of wholesome, hearty alternatives has its health benefits and has also seen to aid weight loss. But to see tangible results, one has to make lifestyle changes instead of just sticking to a shortterm diet plan. “The idea is that you eat foods as nature intended them to be eaten — unprocessed, unrefined, whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes which are ideally organic or naturally grown (without pesticides),” says nutrition coach Vinita Contactor. Such foods help in maintaining a balanced level of energy as opposed to experiencing the peaks and troughs you get from having processed, fatty and sugary foods. “Every calorie you gain will be rich in nutritional value without added preservatives, colourings and sugars and no empty calories,” she adds. Here are a few recipes to get you started on eating clean.

GLUTEN-FREE PANCAKES WITH STRAWBERRY COMPOTE

Unlike regular pancakes that call for refined flour, sugar, dairy or eggs, this one has whole grain flours made from millet and buckwheat. Millet contains a host of nutrients and is considered to be one of the most digestible and non-allergenic grains available. “Millets can be used as a replacement in most dishes that call for rice and wheat such as pulao, dosa batter, upma and even cakes,” says Contractor, adding that cashew nuts and coconut milk in the recipe provide additional healthy fats. For those who like their pancakes sweet, powdered jaggery and dry date powder which is more nutritious than regular sugar, can be used. “One can also use home-made date syrup or fresh fruit compote,” she adds.

Ingredients
• Millets ……………………………………….¼ cup
• Buckwheat flour ………………………………..¼ cup
• Water …………………………………………½ cup
• Powdered jaggery ………………. 2 tbsp or as per taste
• Dry date (kharik) powder ……………………… 1 tbsp
• Baking soda (optional) ………………………….¼ tsp
• Vanilla extract ………………………………..½ tsp
• Strawberries …………………………………..1 cup

Method
1 Roast the millet till fragrant. Cool and then grind to a fine powder. Mix buckwheat with water untill it forms a smooth paste.
2 Mix powdered millet, coconut milk, buckwheat flour paste, powdered jaggery, vanilla extract and baking soda (for a soft and airy texture). If the baking soda is not added, let the batter sit for 15-20 minutes.
3 Heat a pan and rub it with a cut onion or potato and spread the batter. Cover and cook untill the steam lifts off the edges of the pancake easily. Flip and cook uncovered.
4 Finely chop strawberries and cook on a low flame untill they become juicy. Add some nut milk or water to make it runny. You can add a dash of lemon juice and dry date powder to reduce the tartness of the strawberries.


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GRILLED COTTAGE CHEESE WITH ORANGES AND GINGER SAUCE
Chef Bikash Dasgupta

Cottage cheese is a good source of protein and is fairly low in fat. It also has a good amount of sodium and is versatile enough to be used in a wide array of recipes. “The combination of orange and ginger works perfectly well because the citrusy sweetness of the orange blends nicely with the spicy heat of the ginger,” says Chef Bikash Dasgupta of Gateway Taproom. For non-vegetarians, the chef recommends seared duck breast instead of chicken as the meat is more tender, juicy, and flavourful and goes perfectly well with this combination. One can also use tofu instead of cottage cheese here.

Ingredients
• Homemade paneer or cottage cheese ……. 200 gm
• Olive oil or cooking spray
• Salt ……………………………. to taste
• Fresh orange juice reduced to half ……..50 ml
• Ginger juice ……………………….1/2 tsp
• A pinch of salt
• Segmented Malta orange
• Grilled vegetables of your liking

Method
1 Cut the paneer or cottage cheese into 100-gram steaks and lightly salt them.
2 On a very hot grill or griddle pan, spray cooking oil or lightly brush with olive oil and put the paneer to grill. Flip them when a nice sear is formed on one side and repeat the same process for the other side.
3 For the sauce, heat up the reduced orange juice on a medium fl ame, add ginger juice and salt. Once the sauce is ready to come up to a boil, keep stirring constantly with a whisk. Once it thickens, take it off the heat.
4 On a plate, arrange the segmented oranges on one side and the grilled paneer on the other. Pour the orange ginger sauce over the paneer. Can also be served with grilled vegetables and rice.

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SORGHUM FETTUCCINE
Chef Glyston Gracias

Sorghum or jowar, is gluten-free with a mild flavour and slightly chewy texture. It is a great source of fibre, antioxidants and provides slow-releasing energy thereby stabilising the blood sugar in the body. “This recipe has more fibre and protein than the refined flour version,” says Chef Glyston Gracias of Impresario Handmade Restaurants. He adds that Feta cheese can be used for those who like some cheese in their pasta. “Feta is a staple in the Mediterranean diet and can reduce the risk of heart disease. It is also lower in fat compared to other cheeses, and its tangy flavour complements the dish,” he adds.

Ingredients
• Gluten-free flour ………………………..290 gm
• Jowar flour…………………………….. 100 gm
• Eggs …………………………………… 9 nos
• Chickpea flour ……………………………20 gm
• Ragi flour ……………………………….50 gm
• Red capsicum ……………………………..40 gm
• Yellow capsicum …………………………..40 gm
• Green zucchini ……………………………40 gm
• Yellow zucchini …………………………..40 gm
• Eggplant …………………………………80 gm
• Leeks ……………………………………20 gm
• Celery …………………………………..30 gm
• Plum tomato sauce ………………………..170 gm
• Onion ……………………………………50 gm
• Garlic …………………………………..15 gm
• Basil Fresh ………………………………10 gm
• Olive Oil ………………………………. 20 ml
• Salt ……………………………………. 8 gm
• Black Pepper, crushed …………………….. 5 gm
• Parsley ………………………………….15 gm
• Melon Seeds ………………………………20 gm

Method
1 Make a pasta dough with glutenfree flour, jowar flour, ragi flour, chickpea flour and egg. Leave the dough to rest for about one hour and pass it through a pasta machine or hand cut it.
2 Cook the fettuccini in salted boiling water until about 80 per cent done and keep aside.
3 For the ratatouille, heat a pan and add olive oil, garlic, onion, leeks, celery and cook for about two minutes. Add the diced zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant and sauté it for about five minutes.
4 Finally, add plum tomato sauce and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add basil and adjust seasoning and keep aside.
5 Refresh the jowar fettuccini in salted boiling water. In a pan, sauté the jowar fettuccini with olive oil, garlic and parsley and top it with ratatouille vegetables. Sprinkle melon seeds and basil to garnish.

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VEGETABLE TAGINE
Chef Sahil Narvekar

A tagine refers to an earthen pot that allows the ingredients to cook slowly in the steam that builds up inside the lid, keeping them tender and moist. If you don’t have one, you can use a heavy-bottomed pan with a lid. “This roasted vegetable tagine is packed with colourful veggies and is rich in fibre and protein. The slow cooking process brings out the sweetness of the root vegetables and also accentuates the natural sweetness of apricots combining it with the nuttiness of chickpeas,” says Chef Sahil Narvekar of AKA Bistro who recommends serving the dish with couscous. “Couscous is a wholegrain food and a good source of vitamin B,” he adds.

Ingredients
• Chickpeas ………………………..5 gms
• Sliced onion ………………….120 gms
• Garlic, chopped ……………….8 gms
• Green zucchini, diced ….120 gms
• Yellow zucchini, diced ….120 gms
• Pumpkin, cubed ……………..10 gms
• Onion powder ………………….5 gms
• Coriander leaves …………..10 gms
• Cumin powder …………………5 gms
• Coriander powder …………..5 gms
• Cauliflower florets ………120 gms
• Vegetable stock ……………..200 ml
• Apricot …………………………….4 gms
• Carrot…………………………..120 gms
• Aubergine …………………….120 gms
• Garlic powder ………………….5 gms
• Couscous …………………….300 gms
• Tomato, peeled, and roughly chopped ……….. 250 gms
• Red chilli paste …………….. 50 gms
• Cinnamon stick ……………….2 gms
• Pomegranate …………………10 gms

Method
1 Heat a saucepan, add oil and chopped garlic and sauté until the garlic is cooked. Add cinnamon stick and sauté it for 30 seconds.
2 Add sliced onions, sauté until its colour turns brown. Spoon the red chili paste, cook for a few minutes. Add tomato and sauté well.
3 Add onion powder, garlic powder, cumin powder, coriander powder and cook for five minutes.
4 Add all the vegetables, stir well and simmer until it’s al dente. Once all ingredients are cooked, add apricot and mix well. Season with salt, sugar and black pepper.
5 Add couscous to boiling water, cover with a tight cling wrap and set aside for 10 minutes. Once it is cooked, place couscous on one side of the plate and the vegetable tagine on the other. Garnish with pomegranate seeds.



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