BLACK EYED BEANS PLANTAIN PIZZA

Black eyed beans is a nutritious plant based whole food with a good proportion of dietary fiber 4g, total carbohydrate 16g, protein 9g and calories 128kcal per 100g serving.(according to nutritionaldata.com and fitnesspal).

I grew up eating beans pottage served with plantain, yam or rice as it was thought that black eyed beans is a complete protein so needed to be balanced with carbohydrate and most of us still believe that beans is a complete protein and still eat this way. from the nutritional composition we can see that it is more carb than protein. knowing the nutritional composition of an ingredient helps with choosing the right ingredient that will pair well with it so as to not only maximize the nutritional benefit but also reduce the impact on the waistline.
Black eyed beans is quite versatile, it can also be eaten as a pudding ” Moin-Moin” the skin of the beans is peeled, blended with onions, peppers, oil, salt and steamed in plantain or banana leaves. A delicacy traditionally eaten in the western part of Africa(recipe coming soon)

So I have paired black eyed beans with half ripe plantain which is also a nutritional bomb to create a delicious , fluffy, chewy crust different from other healthy pizza alternatives out there (bready in texture).
Good news is, this pizza is a combination of complex carbohydrate with a low glycaemic load, so takes time to break down when eaten, this means no blood sugar effect, you’ll be feeling full for a long time, less appetite and consequently no extra flabs!!

If you are from west Africa precisely Nigeria, you know how precious moin-moin is ? talk about something quick and healthy moin- moin tops the list.
So I made black eyed pudding for the week and by day 3 my kids were bored already, so I thought to try something close to what they enjoy eating without a fuss PIZZA!. with the left over ingredients (about 100g peeled black eyed beans and half ripe plantain) pinch of salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, oregano and a table spoon of extra virgin olive oil I was able to put together this delicious healthy pizza crust..
It is gluten free, flourless, no raising agent, just as natural as can be. easily adaptable to vegan, simply swap toppings and you are good to go.
It is super filling and can be served with or without salad and oven baked wedges and spicy chicken wings for a complete pizza night experience.

let’s get cooking!

INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST
– 100g black eyed beans
-1 half ripe plantain
– 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
-I Tsp garlic powder
– I Tbsp Italian seasoning/oregano
– Pepper and pinch of salt to taste.

INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE
-Half canned tomatoes or fresh tomatoes
-peppers,
-1onion
-2 garlic cloves
-1/2 tsp salt,
-basil leaves
-1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Blend all ingredients and cook in extra virgin olive oil over low medium heat till fragrant and cooked.(8mins or less) take off the hob and set aside

METHOD FOR CRUST
1. Blitz all ingredients in a blender

2. Grease lined pizza tray, pour your batter and cook in pre-heated oven for 20-25mins (flip other side to cook half way cooking time) turn off heat. 20180728_174428
Allow to cool, then spread the marinara sauce over it
20180728_174725
layer with toppings of choice.
20180728_180125

Enjoy!!

please leave a comment if you make it and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram #hardynoye#healthfulnonye
. thank you.

ONE POT GREEK ORZO VEGETABLE PILAF

20180722_104207


If you are wondering what ORZO is, just like I did the first time I heard that word.. orzo!
It is a small shape pasta that looks like rice. used mainly in greek cuisines, pilafs or salads.
I had the pleasure of enjoying this meal while on vacation in greece. like always, I have recreated a healthier version of the original recipe.
I believe healthy eating is fun and sustainable when you can still eat and enjoy your favourite or comfort meals by using alternatives with health bursting benefits, and closer to what you are used.
So I have used a fiber rich orzo made from 100% whole durum wheat instead of the traditional white flour wheat.
According to research whole wheat grains are healthier because they still have 3 parts of the grain intact, They are rich in nutrient and full of fiber which makes them one of the best carbohydrates for weightloss or weight management.

Orzo has a low GI and the combination of veggies makes this recipe a nutritional winner. here’s a good read about health gains of mixing pasta with veggies at pastafits.org/note-dietitian-glycemic-index-pasta/

This pot is easily adaptable to your goals, vegan( add grilled tofu for protein), meat lover just depending on what you throw in.

I have cooked my orzo in a rich spicy tomato sauce with disease fighting polyphenols and immunity boosting vitamin C, bulked it up with savoy cabbage, broccoli, eggplant powerful antioxidants and spices that help boost metabolism like scotch bonnet chilli, garlic and paprika… S .P.ICY!! a shaving of parmigiano-reggiano cheese to satisfy your italian taste bud😃

So not only is this meal a nutritional winner, but it is also a fusion dish hello Africa, hello greece and hello Italy! showing a happy fusion of cultures( Ahh..mazingly delicious and beautiful)
Great for week night dinner or lunch .It allows your 5 a day serving of veggies, very simple to make, with less cleaning ( gr…eat!) also a perfect cook one eat 4x or more ( 😃 handy!)

LOW CARB? LOW CALORIE? PASTA? IDEAL FOR WEIGHTLOSS? HEALTHY?

My idea of a healthy life style from my little knowledge in basic nutrition science is not deprivation or dieting but being active and eating from all food types in moderation. however allergies, food intolerances, religious, health or ethical reasons are exceptions. I have tried various diets for weightloss ( story for another day) and back to enjoying all food types in moderation( still keeping my carb low -moderate to avoid blood sugar spike) , being portion aware is key. So I have been practicing weighing out my meal bases and bulking up with vegetables and lean protein and it I’m beyond happy with the results. no food type is magic on it’s own, It’s all about balance, variety ensures that you are getting a wider selection of micro and macro nutrients that are needed for physical and mental health.

So many studies have shown that a combination of all food types in a meal increases the rate at which the meal is broken down. According to research when pasta is cooled the temperature drop changes the chemical content to RESISTANT STARCH which has been shown to promote breakdown of fat and weightloss.So let’s get cooking!!

aviary-image-1532261154376
20180722_110659

INGREDIENTS
-200G Whole wheat orzo
-100g cherry fresh tomatoes and half canned chopped tomatoes( mix to make up 100g)
-1 savoy cabbage chopped( leave some leaves for wrapping) />


-1 eggplant chopped
-1 broccoli(steamed to be served with cooked orzo)
-2 Onions
-1Tbsp smoked paprika (or more for colour)
-1Tsp oregano
-1/2Tsp thyme
Salt to taste, a handful of parsly to pretty it up and shavings of parmigiano-reggiano cheese (optional)
METHOD
1- Blend onions, garlic,canned tomatoes, peppers and set aside.
2- In a large skillet, Add 2tbs of olive oil and pour in the pepper and tomtoe paste allow to cook for 3mins add about a cup of water or chicken broth then to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, add orzo and cook for 9-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, add more broth or water while cooking if still strong .

aviary-image-15322609142841

3-Once orzo is fully cooked to al dente, reduce heat to low, add fresh cherry tomatoes and chopped vegetables.cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened. Remove from heat and add parsley.

Serve and enjoy with cheese shavings! (optional)

aviary-image-1532260251654
aviary-image-1532261067360
aviary-image-1532261599147
<a href="http:////pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: "ca-pub-4083265031148074", enable_page_level_ads: true }); “>http://<script async src=”//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js”></script> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: “ca-pub-4083265031148074”, enable_page_level_ads: true }); </script>
aviary-image-1532260830271
aviary-image-15322603529491
<a href="http:////pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: "ca-pub-4083265031148074", enable_page_level_ads: true }); “>http://<script async src=”//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js”></script> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({ google_ad_client: “ca-pub-4083265031148074”, enable_page_level_ads: true }); </script>

I served mine on a lightly steamed savoy cabbage leaf with grilled chicken breast pomegranate seeds and cheese shavings… yum…my
and remaining 5 portions with steamed broccoli dinner or lunch for the week sorted!!

A quick breakdown of this delicious one pot orzo based on calories per 2cups(200-260g) cooked portion. data from fat nutrition.com and fitness pal
NUTRITIONAL CONTENT PER 200g COOKED ORZO
Calories-628cal
carb-130g
Protein-20g
Fat-2.8g
fiber-10.8g
Iron-35%
-calories per gram(carb=4cal, protein=4cal, fat=9cal)
CALORIES 1 COOKED EGG PLANT=72 cal
fat-3.8g, carb-8.39, protein-0.8g
-CALORIES PER CUP OF COOKED BROCCOLI-31 cal
total carb 6g-3g fiber=3g
protein 3g
sugar 2g
CALORIES IN 100G COOKED TOMATOES-20cal
carb-3.91g, protein-0.8g, Fat-0.13g

-CALORIES PER CUP OF COOKED SAVOY CABBAGE-19Cal

CAlORIES IN 2 TABLESPOONS OLIVE OIL-252cal
total fat-28g
saturated fat-4g
polyunsaturated fat 4g
monounsaturated 20g

TOTAL CALORIES IN THIS ONE POT RECIPE =(628+252+72+31+20.13+19)=1,021.9Calories
So this pot makes 6 servings if you divide total calories by no of portions -1021.9÷6= 170 cal per serving so roughly 250 cal to account for other ingredients like garlic, pepper and herbs, still under 500 cal per meal( now that’s good news to your waist line plus all the nutritional gains.

DISCLAIMER: I’m not liable to any damage that may arise from the use of the information provided, people are different and metabolize differently so some of the information may not apply to everyone if you are concerned about your eating habits or diet and wish to change them ,then you should consult a dietician first.

STUFFED EGGPLANT BOATS

A simple delicious combination of carbohydrate(low), protein(high) healthy fats and vegetable with loads of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients(antioxidants)that are brain and heart healthy.

Egg plant or Aubergine stuffed with spicy ground beef and chick pea sauce, the egg plant balances the flavours from the fiery ingredients in the sauce, giving this meal a subtler taste, simply divine.
Great for a week day dinner, easy and simple to make. This meal was inspired by “Moussaka” a Greek cuisine made with eggplant or potatoes, flour, milk and seasonings. I fell in love with this dish while on vacation in Greece mainly due to it’s simplicity. And the chef at the hotel was kind enough to write me the recipe( I had to ask for the recipe to satisfy my adventurous palate 😃).
As always I had to recreate the recipe to make it healthier and that’s how I ended up with these lovely boats!20180626_190339.jpg
Before we go to how to make, let’s get a sneak peek into our base AUBERGINE which is the main ingredient for this dish. If you’ ve read my About page, you’ll know why I pay close attention to my ingredients I like to know what I’m eating and how it benefits my body. So, I don’t mean to bore you with long reads…Ha-ha

sure, you’ll find it useful!

Aubergine is a great low calorie addition to any meal. it is high in dietary fibre both soluble and insoluble fibre (about 3g fibre per cup) and adds a lot of bulk to your meal which helps reduce your appetite because it absorbs water in the digestive tract making you feel fuller for longer. Fibre regulates rate at which food is digested and contributes to satiety which keeps us feeling fuller for longer.

Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel that moves through the intestine and slows digestion preventing cholesterol and high blood sugar.(so great for maintaining a stable blood sugar)
while insoluble fibre– does not dissolve in water, helps to bulk up stool and so that it can be passed easily. prevents constipation, eliminates toxic wastes through the colon and balances the PH level in the intestine stopping your gut bacteria from producing substances that can cause colon cancer both types of fibre are needed for weightloss or weight management and for a better digestive health.

I try to add more fibre to my meals and tend to go for ingredients that contain a fair dose of both soluble and insoluble fibre and egg plant is one of them.

Also why getting enough fibre in is good it also important to maintain a balance because if fibre is taken in excess it can make food move too quickly reducing the amount of minerals absorbed from food and can lead to digestive problems like
Gastritis, bloating, diarrhoea and cramps.

the recommended daily reference intake for adults is about 30g according to the British nutrition foundation
AGE 2-5(15g), 5-11 years (20g), 17 and over (30g).

So it is important to keep your meals as balanced as possible because no single ingredient is magic on it’s own.
TYPE OF AUBERGINE TO USEaviary-image-1530220687445.jpeg

choose ones that are firm, smooth shiny with a vibrant colour. I have also learnt to check that my egg plant is not bruised before buying as this means that the flesh inside is decayed.
the stem and cap should still be green as pictured above.
Always test for ripeness by gently pressing the skin with your thumb, if it bounces back the egg plant is ripe, but if the mark remains then it is not.

INGREDIENTS
– 1 Large Aubergine(egg plant)
– 1/2 pack ground beef
– 1/2 can chick peas ( I used freshly cooked, i always batch cook my chickpeas store in tubs and freeze makes it handy for speedy meal preps)
– 1/2 canned tomatoes(low sugar option)I used 3 fresh red tomatoes
– 1 scotch bonnet or 1tsp chilli powder(depends largely on how spicy you can go, adjust accordingly)
– 1/2 Tsp dried oregano
– 1 onion (chopped)
– 1 Tsp coriander or cumin
– 2 cloves of garlic and oregano
– 1Tbsp olive oil and pinch of salt to taste
– handful of grated mozzarella for topping
– Parsley or herb of choice and a slice of lemon for garnishing

METHOD

1- wash and half your egg plant, use a spoon to scoop out the inside leaving about an inch, careful not to pierce the skin. Gently rub with pinch of salt oregano and olive oil(feel free to use any other herb)
Place in a greased oven tray and pop into pre heated oven and bake for 10mins. Then chop the meaty part scooped and set aside.

2- While the eggplant is baking, sauté your garlic and onions in a skillet, then add ground beef crumbling with a wooden spoon till meat is brown and no longer red. then add tomatoes, chopped meaty flesh of the egg plant, season with the rest of the ingredients and cook for about 8mins and remove skillet from hob.

3- divide sauce between the halved eggplant, sprinkle with cheese
20180626_185136.jpgand pop back into the oven just for the cheese to melt. take out and garnish with lemon and parsley.

VEGAN/VEGETARIAN
just use chickpeas with other veggies of choice.

Serves 1