Egyptian stuffed vine leaves
This easy, exotic Mediterranean treat makes a fine appetizer or side dish with lunch or dinner. The Greeks call them dolmades and the Egyptians call them wara' enab (which translates literally to vine leaves).
Get all family entertained (including kids) by teaching them how to stuff leaves and roll them up! You can do it in batches and freeze it.
I learned how to make it with my partner’s mum, in Cairo during my holidays. I liked it so much that I had to writte the recipe down.
Eating vine leaves is not part of my culture and when I told my parents in Portugal to save the vine leaves from their farm so we can make this recipe they found it very odd and didn’t understand that we were really going to eat the vine leaves! They thought, we would just cook the rice in the leaf, then unfolded and eat the rice, like the iacas from Venezuela that are cooked using banana tree leaves, but the leaf is not eaten.
Grape leaves are extremely healthy!
They are both low in calories and high in fiber. They also have high amounts of vitamin A, important for a health vision and skin and vitamin K, important for bone and heart health.
Additionally, they have a very high antioxidant content. In fact, research suggests that grape leaves have ten times the antioxidant activity of grape juice or pulp.
Grape leaves in the UK are not readily available fresh, so you will have to buy them bottled or canned (usually from Middle East supermarkets). They are packed in brine, a salty solution that you’ll want to rinse off before using. Gently lift the leaves out of the jar, lay them in a bowl, and run them under a soft stream of water, letting the water completely drench the leaves. To dry, lay the leaves in a colander and let them drain, or lay them on a flat surface and pat dry with a clean cloth.
If you are lucky to have a vineyard nearby and get fresh leaves that’s even better! In Egypt they actually sell fresh leaves in the market. The best time of the year to pick them up are in the spring season, you can pick extra leaves and freeze them in batches. In autumn season the leaves became bitter and too hard.
Since I came across Egyptian cuisine, I became fan of aubergine and tahini sauce!
I would like to share with you this delicious and simple vegan recipe made with roasted aubergine, butter beans and homemade tahini sauce on top!
You can serve it with rice or quinoa for healthy and complete meal.
Diet advice on vegan/vegetarian diets
Sometimes, finding the balance on a vegan and vegetarian diets might be complicated. Don't forget to have in your plate mixture of different beans and/or cereals to grantee that you get all the essential amino acids.
Vegan diets can be low in calories. Adding essential healthy fats from seeds, nuts, olive oil and avocado is important.
This recipe contains fat from tahini sauce made with sesame seeds and olive oil; quinoa and beans for a complete protein. This makes it a balanced and very nutritious meal.
Vegan diets can be low in calories. Adding essential healthy fats from seeds, nuts, olive oil and avocado is important.
Ingredients (for 2):
To make your own tahini paste: heat the oven to 180C and toast 700g of sesame seeds for 5-10 minutes. Toss frequently and do not allow them to brown, as this will result in a bitter taste. Leave to cool, then place in a food processor with 1 1/2 cups (375ml) olive or vegetable oil and blend for 2 minutes. Add more oil and blend for 2 minutes. Add more oil and blend to reach a thick texture. This should yield about 560g.
For more vegan and vegetarian recipes click here.
Please leave a comment below if you enjoy this recipe.
This question was asked by one of my frequent blogger readers and after doing some research on this topic, I will give you a brief and scientific diet advice for the management of this condition.
Crohn’s disease is one type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It’s a lifelong condition in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed.
The main symptoms are:
A poor diet can be a risk factor of IBD
A diet with increased intake of sugar, lack of fruit and vegetables, a low intake of dietary fibre, use of red meat and alcohol and inadequate ratio intake of omega-3/omega-6 fatty acids can increase the risk factor for IBD.
Reintroduction of foods
You will need support from a dietitian during the stage of reintroduction of foods. Dietitians might advise you which diet to follow in specific. For people with Crohn’s disease, LOFFLEX DIET has proven to improve symptoms. This diet is usually used after a liquid diet, during the reintroduction stage. This method can help reducing the symptoms by excluding high fat and high fibre foods as well as other foods which may affect the symptom that can trigger the symptoms. On this diet a list of 25 specific foods is given and each food is tested for 4 days. The patients are advised to keep a food diary where they write which foods and drinks they consumed and describe how they are feeling. This will help to identify if there are any foods that trigger your symptoms.
Which foods to avoid?
High fibre foods: wholegrains, skins and pips in fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds and foods that are difficult to breakdown mechanically e.g. gristle, skin on meat or fish.
High fat foods: fried food (fried fish, chips, crisps), larder, butter, oils, cheese.
What's recommended and what to consider?
Individuals suffering from Crohn’s disease might suffer from malnutrition due to frequent diarrhoeas, blood loses in the faeces, stomach cramps and rejection of food. To complement the diet, supplements are often recommended, especially vitamins B6, B12. If diarrhoea is present, zinc, potassium and selenium might be needed.
MCT oil (for example coconut oil) may be useful to add calories and fat soluble-nutrients.
Nutrition formulas with omega-3 fatty acids, glutamine, antioxidants and prebiotics or probiotics are therapeutic strategies.
Probiotics help to modify the microbial flora and can decrease inflammatory response. There are many probiotics in the market, it’s important to ask for advice in which and how much to take from a health professional.
Food intolerance are common in patients with IBD, but the foods are variable among individuals. It’s advised to eliminate the foods that each individual suspect are responsible for the intolerance.
Protein requirements might be increased. Include high protein content foods in the diet, like plain chicken, salmon, eggs might be beneficial.
Lactose intolerance can occur and lactose intake may need to be limited but rarely needs to be excluded altogether. Consider calcium intake if dairy foods are limited.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a general list of foods that I can prescribe on this blog, because each individual might experience different symptoms and food intolerance.
Nutritional treatment and diet advice for patients with Crohn’s disease is very specific and depends of each individual. It’s extremely advised that you consult a dietitian for get the right information and adequate treatment.
Author: Joana Jardim, Registered Dietitian, MSc, Founder of Your Diet Advice
If you’re a chocolate fan, you'll love this dessert! It is very simple to make, has no addition of simple sugars or fat. It can also be adapted for vegan, gluten free and milk free diets! You just have to read the ingredient to choose the right products. I argue that a healthy and balanced diet can include a treat once in a while. As long as it is consumed in small portions. Sweets should be kept for special occasions. It tastes much better when we share it, and you don't have to feel guilty for eating it.
I made this dessert at home and shared it with friends, everyone loved it!
Ingredients (15 servings, 60g per portion)
This recipe is very easy to make, healthy and delicious! All family will love! It’s a great way to get the little ones and adults to increase their oily fish intake.
This recipe can be done as well with fresh salmon. However if you are in a budget, tinned pink salmon also counts for your oily fish intake and is also delicious! Plus, you can store in your cupboard a few tines of salmon and make this recipe anytime! You don’t need to add carbs as an accompaniment for this one, because it contains mashed potato already. Choose instead a fresh salad or crunchy sautéed asparagus!
Healthy food can be cheap, delicious and easy to prepare!
Ingredients (makes 6 fishcakes)
Quarter of 2 limes
Accompaniment: mixed salad leaves with cucumber and cherry tomatoes or sautéed purple asparagus with garlic and olive oil
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The diet challenge of this month is to have meat free Mondays and Wednesdays! Plant based recipes are so delicious, healthy and sustainable!
Meat and dairy have the major impact on the environment. Consuming beef 1-2x/ week over an entire year is contributing to 600kg to your annual greenhouse gas emissions which is the same as driving a regular petrol car 1,500 miles!
I'm not a vegetarian but I'm trying to reduce my intake of red meat and include more plant based recipes in my diet. I would like to invite you to do the same and share with me pictures of your meals on instagram @your_diet_advice and also let me know how do you feel having a plant based diet.
Today, it's #RecipeFriYAY the day I share with you one of my favourite recipes! This recipe is vegetarian, and can be adapted for vegan, replacing the cream cheese by vegan cheese.
Ingredients (for 3 portions)
1. Wash 2 handfuls of spinach and in a container of a smoothie maker, blend the spinach with tahini, garlic, cream cheese and soya milk, until you get a very smooth texture;
2. Cook gnocchi for 2 minutes in boiling water and drain;
3. Peel and slice a red onion and sauteed in a pan with 1 tbsp olive oil;
4. Wash and chop red peppers and to the pan;
5. Mix gnocchi with spinach creamy sauce, add a handful spinach leaves and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Please leave your comments below if you tried and liked this recipe.
It’s RECIPE FRYAY with another vegan recipe!
I’ve been trying to cut down my meat intake and include more vegetarian / vegan meals. I don’t intend to become a vegetarian, however I find this is a good way of increasing my vegetable consumption; it’s cheaper; quick and easy to prepare and delicious!
The main difference between this recipe and any other mushroom pasta's recipe is the addition the cavolo negro kale! It adds a lot to the flavor of the dish and it's definitely different from any other Kale. I totally recommend to try it.
Today on Recipe FriYay, I am sharing with you one of the quickest recipes. It only takes 10 min! It's perfect for those days when you have to put a quick meal at the table. This recipe is vegan, all the protein content is coming from beans and peas. The sweet potato gives a sweet flavour and the onion the crunchiness needed. The olive oil adds the Mediterranean touch!
You can use it as a main meal, eating a bigger portion or as a side dish as a nutritional upgrade of your standard potato salad.
You can add chopped boiled to enrich the flavour and the nutrition.
Lentil and carrot soup with cavolo negro
Welcome to Your Recipe FriYay! Every Friday, I will be posting a new recipe.
Because it’s Veganuary this month I will post vegan recipes. I’m not advocating veganism but instead the consumption of more fruit and vegetables.
On cold winter days, a soup can be so comforting, delicious and nutritious. The good thing about soups is also that you can cook a big batch, put in the fridge or freezer and then becomes your "fast food" for those days when you arrive late home and there isn't match time for cooking. This way you can guarantee that you will have a healthy, nutritious and comforting meal.
6 Top tips to lose weight in 2019
Is being healthy or losing weight one of your resolutions for the new year? Then this article is for you!
The following 6 tips are intended to help your weight loss journey in 2019.
1 – Set a realistic goal
To set up a goal, it’s important to know what your desired weight is. This weight should be a weight that you had previously which made you feel good. It doesn’t necessarily mean that your desired weight must be within the range of a BMI for healthy weight (which is between 18.5 and 24.9 Kg/m2) if you never had a weight in that range before. The most important thing is that your desired weight it’s a weight that makes you feel at your best.
Don’t aim for a rapid weight loss. Usually the quicker you lose weight most likely it is to put on weight again. A healthy weight loss rate varies between 0.5Kg to 1Kg per week. If you lose 0.5kg to 1Kg per week means that in one month you will lose 2kg to 4kg. Aiming to lose more than that could compromise your health and it’s also more difficult to achieve which might cause frustration.
2 – Make a plan and stick to it
The secret is to plan! Planning your meals and your days in advance are key for success. It will avoid last minute meals and eating whichever food is in front of you. At the end of each week plan the following week by writing your diet plan and times of the meals for each day of the week (you can get a personalised diet plan written by a Dietitian), then get all your shopping done according to your diet plan (don’t buy any other food that isn't a part of this plan!). If your week will be very busy with not much time left for cooking, you can do batch cooking at the weekend and freeze your meals in little containers. If you are spending most of the day outside home, take healthy snacks and water with you, this will help you be in control of what you eat and stick to your diet plan.
If you are meeting a friend for dinner at a restaurant, you can take the lead in choosing a restaurant with more healthy and delicious options, if not at least try to look for the menu online and choose a healthier option. Some restaurants highlight the healthier options to help customers.
3 – Get support
Losing weight is a journey and for any journey in our life you need people beside you. Specially for those times where you might feel demotivated and want to give up. Or for those times when perhaps you feel lost and don’t know which path to go. You can get support from your family or friends, budding up with someone who also wants to lose weight for example, it’s important to share experience and motivate each other. Get support from your family at home and create a healthy environment. You shouldn’t feel any different from anyone else just because you are on a journey to lose weight. Creating a healthy environment by eating healthy meals together and getting rid off fast food will just help everyone become healthier and happier.
It’s also extremely important that you seek support from a registered Dietitian. They are the experts in diet and nutrition and will help you by assessing your nutritional needs and designing a personalised meal plan with practical meal ideas taking into account your goal and lifestyle.
4 – Stay focused
Focus on your goal every day. Don’t forget the main reason that made you start your weight loss journey. Whatever reason is, for better health, to be fit, to improve your physical condition, or to just improve your self- esteem, never forget that reason. It helps keeping focus on your goal by having a picture of you from when you had your desired weight so you can start visualising your body at its best. This will help you staying motivated and continue working every day for your goal.
If for some reason you had a festive occasion which you ate a little bit more or ate a piece of cake, don’t blame yourself, don’t loose your focus! You will be successful in your weight loss if you continue focused on your goal and follow a healthy lifestyle most of the days.
5 - Be active
Any physical activity counts. If you are not a big fan of gyms, don’t worry. Try to find something that you like to do, it could be walking the dog in the park, gardening, dancing around the kitchen, having a chat with your friends while walking or choosing the stairs instead of the escalators or lifts. If you feel more adventurous why not trying jogging or trying a yoga class for example? Physical activity will make you feel energised, with a better humour and less stressed! Not just that will also help you to burn calories and get fit.
If you are looking for motivation to exercise, read my article here.
6 - Celebrate your achievement
Any small steps towards your goal counts. Don’t underestimate your efforts. Each week celebrate your success by praising yourself for your dedication during the week. Even if on that week perhaps you didn’t achieve the desired weight loss but you felt improvements on your physical condition, be grateful for your dedication and health. Feel proud of your achievements, this will keep you motivated to continue on your weight loss journey - a journey for a healthier and happier life!
Leave your comments below in how this information was useful and if you would like to know more about weight lost.
Are you looking for practical diet advice in how to eat healthier? Read my article here.
Do you have other tips to lose weight?
Your Diet Advice by Joana Jardim RD MSc
Hi, I'm Joana, registered dietitian passionate about nutrition and healthy cooking.