Nourish & Care
Life is getting busy again, and it is hard to hit the ground running. Keeping healthy is more challenging since we went back to a face-to-face reality. We have less time to spend looking after ourselves, yet it is so important to do just that. Good nutrition is key to this, and now is the time to set systems in place that will help keep us strong. Spending ten minutes once a week planning your meals benefits you in so many ways. It helps you write a shopping list and then stick to a budget. It can motivate you to cook fridge staples that will help you quickly prepare a meal. Most importantly, it helps us avoid that “let’s order in” moments of weakness.
Here, chef and nutrition expert Aisling O’Meara sets your challenge for today and gives you two healthy, time-saving recipes to try out at home and in the salon.
In terms of keeping your brain alert and your body full of energy, a great option is to eat a diet that is low in processed carbohydrates. One packed with fruits and vegetables, carbohydrates from wholegrain and vegetable sources, protein and lots of water is an achievable goal.
Your challenge: Plan your meals for a week, and shop from the plan.
In the meantime, here are two recipes to get you started. One for a quick but delicious salad that is great as an evening meal served with some protein and is equally good transported into the salon for lunch the following day.
Secondly, a recipe for a vegetable-packed tomato sauce that will keep in the fridge for five days, and can be used as a pasta sauce, an accompaniment to fish or chicken, or turned into a great soup.
Middle Eastern Roasted Cauliflower Salad With Pomegranate
This is enough for two for dinner plus two smaller portions for lunch.
- 1 large cauliflower
- 2 tablespoons za’atar seasoning – available in big supermarkets
- 3 tablespoons Extra virgin Olive Oil plus a little extra to drizzle
- Bag of baby spinach leaves
- Juice of ½ lemon
- Seeds from ½ pomegranate
- A small handful of flaked almonds or pine nuts
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 Celsius degrees/350 Fahrenheit/gas mark 4.
- Line an oven tray with baking parchment
- Break the cauliflower into florets, place them on the parchment-lined baking tray and drizzle over the olive oil, the za’atar and the salt and pepper.
- Rub it all in with your hands.
- Pop into the oven and cook for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy in places.
- Toast the nuts in the oven on a separate tray for 6-8 minutes.
- Take the cauliflower out of the oven, allow it to cool to room temperature. Add the spinach leaves to the tray when it has cooled and toss with your hands. Add the lemon juice and a tiny drizzle of olive oil. Move to a serving platter and pile up. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and nuts and serve.
Approximately 6 to 8 portions. Great with (brown) pasta, on its own, or with meatballs (or a vegetable equivalent) simmered in it, as an accompaniment to a protein, or blitzed with 600ml or 1 pint of vegetable or chicken stock to make a great soup. It can be frozen or kept in the fridge for five days.
- 1 Spanish onion finely chopped
- 2 fat cloves garlic crushed
- 1 red/yellow pepper roughly chopped
- 2 celery sticks roughly chopped – even if you hate celery, it will disappear into the sauce
- 1 head fennel roughly chopped
- 2 fat carrots – peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt, pepper and a squeeze of honey
- 2 x 400 g tins of good tomatoes – San Marzano if possible
- Heat the olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan.
- Add the chopped onions and sweat in the oil for 5-6 minutes over low to medium heat.
- Add the garlic, peppers, celery, fennel and carrots and stir over medium heat for 2-3 minutes to allow them to start cooking gently in the oil.
- Add the salt, pepper and squeeze of honey, and finally the two tins of tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Cook with a lid on for approximately 40 minutes until all the vegetables are fully softened.
- Blitz in a food processor or with a hand blender, and when cooled, divide up into separate portions and freeze or refrigerate.
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