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It IS easy being green!

February 23, 2015

 

If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram, you'll know that I made last week a GREEN one!  Green veg, and especially leafy greens are known as "powerhouse" veg, and they are bursting with anti oxidants & anti inflammatory compounds. Munching on these green delights can help protect your body from heart disease, high cholesterol, osteoporosis, certain types of cancer, regulate blood sugar levels and keep wrinkles at bay. So why is it then that we mostly see sad and uninspiring little boiled or steamed green veg as a side dish when we treat ourselves to a meal out? I'm on a mission to revamp the image of green veg to turn them into not only something we should or have to eat, but we WANT to eat. Here is some inspiration for healthy, low fat, quick, affordable and easy to make dishes - no mean feat, and it goes without saying that they're pretty tasty too!

 

Green peas are great for energy, protein and high on fibres which is good for keeping you feeling full longer, and fibres also help to lower cholesterol and the first green inspiration last week was a little snack made from this green little gem - Pea, lemon & mint pesto.

 

1 cup of green peas

1 freshly squeezed lemon

1 garlic clove (or if like me you LOVE garlic, at least 2!)

a handful of mint

a handful of grated parmesan

a tablespoon of olive oil (use lemon infused for stronger citrus flavor)

 

Mix it all in a food processor and you get an amazing zesty pesto in no time. It'll keep for about 3 days in the fridge

 

 

Then it was time for some warming soup, perfect for cold winter evenings and one of my favourite soup veg is broccoli. Broccoli very rich in vitamin C, A, B and K and it contains an enzyme which could reduce the risk in developing some types of cancer, but remember to only steam broccoli gently, to keep all the nutrients nice and crisp. For this Broccoli, artichoke and almond soup, you need

.

1 medium sized broccoli head

4 precooked artichoke hearts

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

1 tablespoon of almond butter

vegetable stock (as much or little as you like to get the thickness you prefer)

a handful of flaked almonds

white pepper

 

Oven roast all vegetables for 20 mins at 180, put them in a blender, add the almond butter and stock, blend it together. Add some flaked almonds to give it some crunch and if you want to be really decadent, how about a tiny little drixxle of truffle oil too!

 

 

We all want healthy bones and connective tissue and green beans are one of nature's most silicon rich products. Despite their glorious green color, green beans actually also contain a lot of beta-carotene (which we usually associate with carrots). Beta-carotene turns into vitamine A essential for the immune system, eye health and good skin. So if you're fed up with drinking carrot juice, why not try some of these Green beans with miso & walnut sauce instead. 

 

as many green beans as you want

a tablespoon of miso paste

an inch of fresh ginger

a handful of walnuts

a drizzle of soya sauce

a drizzle of oil (I used hazelnut oil to enhance the nutty flavor, but you can use whichever you prefer)

 

Blend the miso, ginger and walnut into a paste, add some oil and a bit of soya to get the right creamy consistency. Be careful with the soya though since the miso paste already is quite salty. Steam the green beans and mix with the paste for a delicious side dish or on its own, perhaps with a few more different vegetables or chickpeas.

 

 

The last dish with green inspiration also contained a bean and not just any bean - it's in fact my absolute favourite: edamame, also called soya bean. Edamame is one of the few non meat products that are a source of complete protein - no wonder so many meat substitutes are made from edamame! It also contains an ingredient which is similar to estrogen which can help to increase the level of estrogen and can reduce symptoms of the meno-pause. I often make something with edamames and last week I made Chilli edamame and mushroom stir fry.

 

as many edamames as you want

2 chestnut mushrooms

1 inch of fresh ginger

a pinch of chilli flakes

a pinch of salt

a drizzle of oil (I used sesame oil to stick with the asian flavors, but you can of course use whichever oil you want)

 

Steam the edamames and stir fry the mushrooms in the oil, with chilli and a pinch of salt. Add the steamed edamames to the stir fry and grate some fresh ginger over it just before serving.

 

There you go - easy PEAsy quick green food! If you try the recipes or have other favorites to share, let me know in the comments below.

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