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Noodle vegetable pizza

Hey!! thanks for stopping by. This is one of those meals you’ll probably be like ” is it healthy??? ”

Ok, Yes! and NO! , This is meant to be a healthy food blog right? Relax, here’s the story, This lovely healthy….ish pizza is made with INSTANT NOODLES ( INDOMIE) Yes!
It is delicious, nutrient packed, easy quick, no fuss no mess kind of meal, every parent’s & students favourite I literally lived off indomie noodles back in university days, and still finding it useful as a mom now… It is a reliable convenience food that has made feeding 3 lovely kids with varying taste buds easier. When i’m not in town, busy and have not stocked up the freezer the husband relies heavily on this Instant noodles to get the kids fed. I’m yet to find one Nigerian home without indomie noodles … Any Yes here?? this guy is a saver!

but here’s the shocking truth about it. It packs in a good amount of calories without the various nutrients that a more balanced meal consisting of a protein, vegetables and complex carbs would contain. FACT!
Recent studies suggests that frequent consumption has been linked to poor diet quality and increased risk of metabolic syndrome.

But here’s the good news; You can give your noodles a healthy upgrade by choosing
Instant noodles that are lower in sodium or made from whole grains. Choose wholemeal varieties or fortified instant noodles.
Some types of instant noodles are however fortified to add extra vitamins and minerals. ( high B vitamins) e.g indomie noodles, whole meal vermicelli, wholemeal ramen are the types I have tried, but my kids like indomie noodles best.

Adding vegetables and a protein source to round it out.
Protein and fiber rich meals keep you feeling full for longer, making it a useful tool in weight management
Soluble fibers provide food for your gut bacteria( prebiotics), which then produce short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). SCFAs are beleived to help lower inflammation and boost immunity
Plant foods like vegetables and fruits are good sources of fiber.
The Indomie instant noodle has only 4 -7grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber per serving, this serving likely won’t make much of a difference in your hunger or fullness levels. So this low levels may not benefit your recommended daily dietay intake.
So, I have bulked this instant noodle recipe with eggs( protein) and vegetables
This not only increased the nutrient quality of the noodles but also, so filling with less tendency to over eat.
You can use other protein source, meat, fish, chicken, tofu or pulses just what ever works for you to round this meal out.

Don’t use the seasonings

make your own!!
And that’s exactly what I did!! experiment with different spices and herbs and you’ll definitely find the notes that hits just well. For this recipe I used onion powder, garlic and black pepper powder , bit of olive oil and scotch bonnet to cook the noodles. Then seasoned the topping with oregano and italian spice for that perfect pizza flavour. This combination was exceptional!!the kids loved it much. I had a slice as well it was good.( tasters club..phew)

WHY YOU SHOULD NOT MAKE INSTANT NOODLES A STAPLE DIET

High in sodium

Instant noodles are high in sodium and MSGs which are linked with high blood pressure in people who are salt-sensitive. I’m sure you already know the correlation between salt and high blood pressure, stroke and heart disease? if you don’t I would recommend some google time.
The food label picture below is an example of what you should be looking out for in the ingredient section of your food pack. This is probably one of the major reasons I spend alot of time at the grocer . ( trust me, I like to know what I’m eating or feeding my family)
Reading food labels will help you make better food choices and in this case for the instant noodles, I ditched the seasoning that came with the pack and made my own from scratch. This added a healthy boost to this instant noodle.

Contains artificial antioxidants

Since Instant noodle packs are made to have a longer shelf life, they are highly processed, with low nutrients, high on fat, and artificial colours, preservatives, additives and flavourings
Unlike whole, fresh foods, packaged foods, don’t have natural antioxidants and phytochemicals that have positive health benefits. if you have a closer look at the pack you’ll see the artificial antioxidants E319 so what’s that? have you ever wondered? E319 antioxidant is another word for Tertiary butylhydroquinone, or TBHQ
an additive used to preserve processed foods. It acts as an antioxidant, but unlike the healthy antioxidants you find in fruits and vegetables, this antioxidant is classed as harmful under hazards (wilkipedia) but safe to be used in food in certain amounts, the question is, how much of this chemical is in this pack?? not stated, this is why you have to apply caution and limit your intake. I also found that this chemical is used to preserve paints and beauty products, so why have it in food too??

Fortified


The Bad Fats

Unfortunately, most processed foods are loaded with not-so-good fats like saturated fatty acids or trans-fats. Monounsaturated fatty acids as well polyunsaturated fatty acids are the good-types of fats. Again if you look at the label you’ll find that edible vegetable oil, sugar, sugar syrup, flavour enhancer and many other agents like these aren’t good for your health at all. Instant noodles contain saturated fats which if consumed excessively or regularly can raise the level of cholesterol in the blood. And you know having high cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes.

Overall, moderate your consumption,
Occasionally enjoying instant noodles is fine as long as you’re maintaining an otherwise healthy and well-rounded diet.

What other noodle alternatives can suit this recipe? ( If you are on a diet)

Great!! there are other waistline friendly alternatives that would work well with this recipe like spiralized fresh vegetables edamame noodles zucchinni( zoodles) , shirataki, seaweed and fiber-rich noodle replacements are some of the most popular options. They not only contain far fewer carbs but also much higher levels of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. I have tried zoodle pizza ( zucchini) it came out well, it was edible but not as firm or closer to what you’ll get with traditional noodle. the closest is the Edamame.

I particulary took out time to research this ALL TIME convenience food as I know there are people you’d literally have to physically kill , if you take this Instant noodles away from their diet.
I have to be honest with you , My family will probably fall in that category, You’d always find a box in my home, true confessions of a real mom. I personally do alternatives, but my kids and the husband don’t like the alternatives… YUCK!! (in their tiny voices) So like I always do and advise people to, when introducing healthy eating to your family , to meet everyone half way to ensure a relaxed no fuss no mess atmosphere at meal times. So this is an example of how I try to make Instant noodles healthier. I have shown a few moms how to make this and they got back to say it was a hit so, I decided to share it. hopefully you find it useful.

We learn to make informed decisions. But this is still a case of “win some loose some” .

Happy reading and cooking!

Edamame vegetable noodle pizza

INGREDIENTS

Difficulty: easy
Prep time: 15mins, Cooking time: 20mins Total time : 20mins

● 4 Packs instant chicken indomie noodles
● 5 Free range eggs
●1.5 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
● 1Teaspoon onion powder

●1/2teaspoon oregano& Italian spice
● 1 Teaspons black pepper garlic powder
●A bit of fresh ginger
●1/2 scotch bonnet ( chopped)
●2 carrots ( sliced)
● 1 Small head of broccoli steamed and chooped into bits
●Mozzarella cheese

Method

1. Open up noodle packs and cook according to pack instruction, without the seasoning, replace with the onion powder, pepper-garlic powder, ginger and 1/2tspn olive oil.

2. Crack and whisk up eggs in a clean bowl and set aside.

Eggs

3. Transfer cooked noodles into the cooked eggs mix to combine nicely, add the scotch bonnet.

Egg and noodle mixture

4. Add the remaining tbspn olive oil in a deep skillet on medium heat. (just enough to grease the entire base)


5. Pour the noodle mixture into the hot skillet and press down well to hold, then lower the heat.
Flip with a pan lid, and cook the other side, pressing down till the mixture set and firm

1tablespoon olive oil

Flip with a pan lid, and cook the other side, pressing down till the mixture set and firm

Flip the base to cook the other side

6. Tansfer to a pizza tray or flat plate, top with the steamed vegetables and pizza shavings, pop in the oven for the cheese to melt or just allow the heat from the base to melt the cheese.

Enjoy.

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Fruity-cinnamon oat flapjacks

Finally got around here again after a long break. When life gets so busy I tend to slow down and catch up with time.. it’s a journey!

So, i’m back with a lovely healthy treat that is easy to make (free style). These fruity oat flapjacks are made with 100% rolled oats and organic flaxmeal seeds , raisins , dried apricots and green apples with a tablespoon of honey for added sweetness. The choice of oats and flaxmeal makes these healthy bites an excellent sources of fibre, you all know how important fibre is in our diet? I also used dessicated coconut for extra crunch, but you can use any seed of choice alternatively. I have tried it with sunflower seeds and it came out wonderfully well. so either way you are fine. Certainly feel free to adjust ingredients to suit your taste buds or health goals. The choice of extra virgin olive oil and greek yoghurt as a source of healthy fat and protein is second to none if you are trying to keep things less greasy(healthy). Again, you can also use coconut oil or any other fat source you fancy.

Serving suggestions

served with plain greek yoghurt and blackberries … hello crunch!

These flapjacks are fiber loaded so, would be a great nutrient packed pick me up breakfast, or dessert option when served with plain greek yoghurt. or just on it’s own as a snack, lunch box snack idea, pre workout snack for that much needed energy to fuel your workout. I have them with plain greek yoghurt every other morning for breakfast and keeps me full until my next meal.

You can cut them in rectangular forms and have them as oat bars and say good bye to sugar loaded shop bought ones. It is a nice recipe to try with little ones too, it’s easy and doesn’t need accurate measurements like you would for regular bakes.

Prep time: 10mins Cook time: 20mins. Total time 30mins . servings 10-12

Ingredients:

200 g oats

3 Tablespoons milled organic flax seeds

120 g mixed dried fruits

50 g sunflower seeds or desiccated coconut

1 Apple peeled and grated (optional)

4 Tablespoons Greek yoghurt

1-2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon maple syrup or honey

1 Teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Preheat oven to gas mark 6. Grease and line a square tin with baking paper

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until slightly broken down. or simply mix all the ingredients in a clean bowl with a spatula until well combined.

Transfer the mixture into the lined baking pan, flatten down with a spatula and bake for 20mins or until golden

Take out from the oven, cut into slices and leave to cool completely.

Enjoy!!

Here’s a printable version of the recipe, just click on the link https://sites.google.com/site/healthfulnonyecom/fruity-cinnamon-oat-flapjacks

Breakfast omelette

This omelette is a healthy take on a favourite breakfast, it is packed with rich colourful vegetables that screams antioxidants! providing 3 of your “at least 5 servings ” of vegetables a day.

We love eggs in my household and I find that switching it up a bit everytime , will make it more exciting and less boring.

I wont lie , as a mom of 3 growing kids finding a healthy balance for everyone is hard, but what I have done , is adapting their favourite foods to include the essential macro nutrients and micro nutrients that is needed for proper growth and development. we try to come to a healthy compromise by meeting half way i.e they love eggs , sausages and burgers, but we know to reduce the consumption of processed foods to promote better health , as eating too much processed foods has been linked to risk of certain health conditions such as obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease and some kinds of cancer.

Conversely foods rich in fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure  reduce the risk of heart problems and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and keep blood sugar steady, this in turn can help regulate and prevent over eating.

So I speak to them about the consequences of poor food choices , giving them an example of when I was diabetic which is very relatable , my older son used to wonder why I was so massive then and not anything like I used to be now( bless!) and I usually just tell him that then , I made poor food choices , one of which was eating minstrels with my breakfast every morning, I’m not kidding you, that was my biggest craving then. ( pregnancy was a good excuse to eat anything right ? the result was’nt a pleasant one trust me, read my about page for the story)

Sharing my first hand experience with bad food choices has helped my kids see why healthy food choices are important. So we add vegetables to almost everything we cook, but also maintaining a balance by addings bits of their not so healthy favourite things, this keeps everyone happy and meal times most enjoyable . If you’ve got fussy eaters try this method I can assure you it works 90% .

Excite your sensory receptors

The first thing my 8 years old said when he saw this omelette was ” looks delicious” “smells beautiful” can’t wait to try it!

This explains that indeed the eye eats the food first before any other senses. adding colour rich vegetables to your omelette will make it more appealing to the eyes first, once you’ve got that , then make it smell good ……mmmmh what’s that nice aroma? I’m yet to see anyone who does’nt like a nice smell.

when I was pregnant I would perceive burger king double whooper from the bus stop on my way for antenatal sessions trust me , I would not have peace until I tasted it and usually always do( do not under estimate the power of sense of smell).

So the combination of sausages, spring onions, carrots and peppers carefully cooked in a table spoon of olive oil in this omelette recipe releases a delicious smokey fragrance that will sure make you drool. the choice of fresh thyme and black pepper for garnishing just takes up the taste a notch, a complete blend of warm flavours that will satisfy the fussiest palate( no jokes!)

feel free to experiment with any fresh herb of choice , I have a kitchen pot of fresh thyme which ends up in most of our meals..story for another post!(😃)

potted fresh thyme

Serving suggestions

Fill with fruit salsa and roll up

This omelette is super filling, meaning that it will make a delicious breakfast, lunch or dinner option. for Adults I would serve this omelette with extra portions of steamed vegetables or fruit salsa for breakfast or dinner and lunch with a whole grain bun. For my kids I served it with bagel and a cup of warm milk for breakfast . kids need a sustainable source of energy to keep them full till the next meal time without craving for mid morning candies. depending on your activity level you can also have this omelette with the bun any time of the day. Everyone I suppose, needs a sustainable energy source to power them throughout the day, this reduces unecessary cravings for un-healthy foods.

For dinner. I would sub the bun for sweet potatoes or white potatoes for a carbohydrate source. you can still keep the bun, just personal preference.

Omelette buns

Now let’s put this omelette together

Ingredients

●4 free-range eggs

●1 tbsp milk

●1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

●1/2 Red bell pepper, (chopped)

●3 Spring onions ( chopped)

●1 large or medium sized carrot

●1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme

● 2 sausages( used frankfuters sliced)

● pinch of black pepper

Method

1• Crack eggs into a clean bowl, add a pinch of pepper to the eggs, stir in the milk then whisk the egg till egg whites and yolks are well combined and fluffed up, set aside.


2• Heat up a frying pan with the oil in it and add the chopped onions and sausages cook till fragrant then add the carrots and peppers , pinch of black peppers cook till vegetables are tender(3mins)

3• then Pour in your egg mixture and cook on a high heat for 2 minutes, make sure that the mixture is spread out evenly. then reduce the heat as the eggs begin to set, tilt the pan so that the runny egg covers the space


4• Once the omelette is firm flip the other side to cook for another minute or 2, then loosen the edges with a spatula. Slide the omelette from the pan onto a plate, tilt the pan so that the omelette folds nicely on the plate. garnish with the remaining thyme and vegetables then serve and enjoy!

Tips

  1. Crack eggs into a bowl first – don’t put them straight into the pan as you need to make sure they are properly mixed first!You want a nice even omelette with no yolk patches sticking out here and there

2. If you don’t have a whisker, simply beat the eggs with a fork, firstly break up the yolk with the fork it makes beating the eggs easier . Then gently tip the bowl and beat the eggs in circular motion until the mixture is even.

3. To flip your omelette , simply put a large lid over the pan and turn over, then put pan back on the hob and carefully slide the omelette back in the pan. this way, you ensure that the omelette is properly cooked

Hope this helps! please don’t forget to tag me on instagram # hardynonye# healthfulnonye if you make it. And most importantly leave me a comment if this was useful to you, I would like to know your thoughts on this.

Thank you!

Sweet potato omelette

One of the things I have learnt on my healthy eating journey is to try and meet everyone half way. Some people can’t eat certain food types either because of health problems or simply personal preferences. My husband and kids fall in the later category… Taste! Who else can relate?

Healthy eating is a lot easier and sustainable when it is one person( you just always work around your routine) but can be a bit overwhelming when you try to drag others along. A timelesss tip to carry everyone along with less fuss is to come to a healthy compromise so everyone is happy. So, I have had to do a lot of adventurous things in the kitchen to keep everyone happy! and one of them is this breakfast skillet. I love onions and would literally throw it in every dish. but, child number 2 and 3 would not eat onions especially if it is visible. how to solve this problem so everyone is happy is, we simply blend everything up.( a win win)

How did we come up with this sweet potato omelette?

As a mom of three with fairly good appetite I have learnt to improvise with what I have at hand, rather than always pop down to the grocer when what they want is not available.( because it never ends! trust me )

This has helped in saving us money and has cut down on the amount of what gets trashed. So this is another helpful tip. just before you think of heading out to the grocer, check that you’ve exhausted all your options, to be honest it will surprise you what you will find or are able to put together .( just like this breakfast skillet)

So this morning it was bread and eggs, unfortunately ran out of bread, but found 3 not so happy sweet potatoes left.. boom came the Idea. So I cut up the sweet potatoes, steamed it,(5mins) blended along side other vegetables with a bit of ground garlic and white pepper for a spicy kick.

Sweet potatoes in a steamer

I chose to cook it in our favourite pancake skillet to simulate pancakes! or pizza! something they can relate with. when you are introducing something for the first time whether for adults or kids , you want to not only keep it simple but also bring it closer to what they are used to either taste wise or just the sight.( this works trust me)

I also cooked some in a muffin tray to simulate ” healthy muffins”( as they call it)

Child number 1 suggested we decorate our new creation with some of their favourite things avocado, bacon bits, cherry tomatoes and I added chives and parsley for added flavour. The outcome was incredibly delicious and satisfying. I got 3 thumbs up meaning this recipe is a keeper( on a repeat list)

Choice of cooking method

Always opt for cooking methods that will preserve the nutritional content of the food. and steaming is one of them, this will depend largely on the type of food. for example sweet potato is high in beta carotene which can easily be lost if cooked under high temperature,( according to studies) So steaming on medium to low heat is recommended to ensure all yhe nutrients are intact.

Why is this skillet a healthy breakfast or supper option?

This omelette contains the recommended portion of “at least” 5 a day servings of vegetables. So having it for breakfast means the box is ticked for the day by the time you get to the end of the day you probably would have hit your recomnended daily portions of fruits or even extra vegetables( the more the better). Again as a dinner option it will serve the same purpose plus an added advantage of having a light dinner( if you are anything like me)

Again, eggs are excellent source of protein and protein is not easily digested, So your body is not flooded with more glucose than you can cope with and this means your blood sugar is steady and you are feeling full for longer, no mid morning energy crash. The addition of sweet potatoes turns out to be a great choice too because they are a rich source of fibre which also helps steady blood sugar, cholesterol levels and promotes digestive health. they also contain loads of vitamins and minerals like Iron, calcium, selenium, B and C vitamins

Sweet potatoes are high in antioxidants mainly beta carotene which is converted to vitamin A once eaten. It is also quick to make ,the ladt thing you’d want to do is spending alot of time in the kitchen in the morning or after a long day. So, a combination of all these factors and more makes this skillet a must try.

happy reading, now let’s get to make it!

Ingredients

. Medium sized free range eggs(5)

. Medium sized red onions ,chopped

. Sweet potatoes , peeled, diced and steamed (5mins)

. Red bell pepper ( halved)

. 1/4 tsp white pepper

.1/4 tsp black pepper

. 1/4 ground garlic

. 1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

. cherry tomatoes, bacon bits, avocado, chives amd parsley for garnishing.

Method

  1. In a food processor or blender throw in all the vegetables( sweet potatoes, pepper, onions), spices and eggs( crack one at a time) as shown below

2 . blitz all the ingredients to a smooth paste/ batter and set aside.

3 . place a skillet on the hob, and heat up the olive oil. Then add a cooking spoon of the batter into the skillet and cook as you would a pancake ( flip and cook the other side too) this should take about 3-4mins

I used the lid of a large pan to gently flip the batter over to cook the other side.

Scoop some in a greased muffin tray ,bake at 170 for 10mins ( optional step)

4. Once cooked take off the hob and garnish with your favourite toppings, drizzle extra olive oil and enjoy!

Trio-bean salad with garlic-dijon mustard vinaigrette and salmon fillet

I find vegetables and beans to be a pantry essential, because they are so versatile. I always have a good stock of these items either in a frozen, canned or fresh version. They are great for days you are not kitchen ready but want something nutritious, satisfying and quick.

You can cut up a bunch of raw or cooked vegetables , season it with oil and herbs to create a nutritious meal accompaniment or serve along side fish, eggs, cheese( mozzarella) or meat as a main course.

Trio beans

Beans on the other hand , is a nutritional power house . A good source of complex carbohydrate, protein, B vitamins, iron, potassium and fiber. Beans can be adapted in various ways, cooked in a tomato sauce, they make a good pizza base alternative check linkhttps://healthfulnonye.com/2018/08/06/black-eyed-beans-plantain-pizza/

Can be cooked as a pudding ( Moi-Moi) A west African dish made with black eyed beans and seasoned to perfection( future post) And can also be cooked plain and paired with bunch of vegetables to create a nutritious and satisfying meal, another way of switching up a boring salad.

Here in this recipe, I have combined 3 types of beans, the cannellini beans, the red and black beans with purple cabbage, cucumber, mixed peppers, red onions, and carpers with spiced extra virgin olive oil, added fruit for a touch of sweet and savoury and a dash of lemon juice to bring all the ingredients together. beautifully garnished with fresh herbs ( mint, parsley and basil) Incredibly refreshing!

I cooked up a pack of whole trio bean then halved it. feel free to use the canned version ( it’s easier)

purple cabbage

This purple vegetable contains chlorogenic acid, a powerful antioxidant that destroys disease causing free radicals and also packed full of fiber. Any other cabbage or cruciferous vegetable will work well , I love a pop of colour on my plate . So, have used the purple cabbage. If you are anything like me you would be going for the pur.. ply( if there’s any word like that). The choice of sweetness can also be adapted to your preference, I used ripe kiwi, I would imagine raisins can be used instead.

Capers ( from tesco)

The addition of capers to this salad is a no brainer and would strongly recommend , don’t miss it! You know that hit of lemon juice and salt and a vegetal touch? the things you’d want to add to any meal. You’ll get that and more by adding capers to this salad. There’s also no need for salt in this recipe, Carpers done the job! (Ace)

what if I don’t have capers?

That’s Ok! a pinch of sea salt , black pepper and lemon will be fine.

So, in a nutshell, this colourful bowl makes a nutritious main meal served with grilled salmon for a hit of omega 3 and additional protein source.

Salmon good source of protein and omega 3

The salad has a burst of meditterenean flavours ( so refreshing) , rich in soluble fiber, which helps control blood cholesterol level. Research suggests that LDL ( bad cholesterol ) is reduced by 10% and this is obtained by consuming 10g of soluble fiber ( 1/2 -1.5 cup of beans) nearly equivalent to the mix of vegetables and beans in this recipe . great!

Trio bean salad with salmon fillet

Finally, the balance of complex carbohydrate and protein in this recipe means steady source of energy supply( no spike in blood glucose) instead of the sudden energy surge that happens when you eat simple carbohydrate. So, will help you stay full for longer. My first hand experience with diabetes has shaped my food theory and I tend to make food choices based on how a particular food type whether in combination or on it’s own will impact my blood sugar and over all energy level. So half of the time I spend time studying about a particular food type before introducing it to my adventurous palate , hope you find this useful too.

happy reading! let’s put it together now!


INGREDIENTS
-1 salmon fillet ( pan seared or grilled)
-1/2 Pack mixed beans ( boiled and drained) or a can of trio bean
-1 green pepper chopped

– 1 red bell pepper chopped.
-1/4 purple cabbage chopped
-1/2 cucumber diced
-1 red onions diced
-2 tbsp capers

-1tbsp each of chopped fresh parsley , mint & basil leaves.

Method
Mix all ingredients and set aside then make the dressing🔽


-2 garlic cloves, minced
-1/2 tbsp Dijon mustard
squeeze of fresh lemon juice,

Mix all ingredients together and set aside

-1 ripe kiwi or fruit of choice( raisins) – -1tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and white or black pepper.
– Add dressing to the salad mixture, cover and fridge for a couple of mins to let all the ingredients come together.
-Then serve with salmon for extra punch of protein and omega 3 or on it’s own.

Enjoy!