Roasted Vegetables with Quinoa and Cashew Hummus
THEME:#184 PEGAN DIET
Nope, its not a spelling mistake the word is definitely PEGAN. When Veena who blogs at Veena’s Veg nation suggested the theme, I too thought that she made a spelling mistake as the nearest I could think of was vegan. She quickly clarified that it was Pegan and sent a link for us to read.
Last Monday was the day when we all, except Veena of course discovered a new diet Pegan. I think after the theme was announced most of us spent the evening reading about it and discovering what its all about. Also what followed was endless discussions and I think all of us were trying to figure out what the others are going to make, but all guarded the secret well;)
So what is the hype about this new kid on the block amongst so many other diets? Simply put it is the child born from a paleo + vegan diet = PEGAN. The person behind this new diet is Dr. Mark Hyman.
“A few years ago I was on a panel with two other doctors; one was a Paleo advocate and the other a strict vegan cardiologist. I was sitting in the middle, and to lighten things up I joked, “Well, if you’re Paleo and you’re vegan, then I must be a Pegan,” quoted Dr. Mark Hyman.
Basically, both diets advocate wholesome and real food, no processed food. Both diets focus on foods that do not raise blood sugar which is believed to be a deterrent in any weight loss program.
Paleo diet focuses on eating foods that cavemen would have consumed, food that was hunted or gathered and not preserved or grown. In this diet one can eat fish, meat, vegetables, fruits, eggs.
Vegan focuses on a vegetarian diet where grains, lentils, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds are allowed. Produces from animals is completely forbidden.
The Pegan diet is the best of both. Here is a guideline to what can be consumed when one is on a Pegan Diet. Actually this diet like the vegan one becomes a lifestyle for followers and is not a diet that you do for a month and then give up:
- Eat plenty of vegetables like leafy greens, colored ones, watery ones but eat in moderation starchy ones like sweet potatoes, beetroot, squashes which can be limited to ½ cup a day.
- Eat fruits in moderation. Avoid the ones high in glycemic index like bananas, mangoes, grapes, melons, etc. One can eat in moderation berries, watermelons, kiwis, guavas etc.
- Eat fats that contains omega-3 fatty acids like virgin olive oil, avocados, seeds, nuts.
- Stay away from vegetables and seed oils like canola, sunflower, maize etc. Instead use coconut oil, avocado oil, olive oil, in small amounts. Ghee made from milk from grass fed cows is good.But remember all in small quantities.
- Dairy products are avoided or allowed in a restricted quantity. Products like yogurt, butter, ghee, cheese that are made from grass fed cows milk is allowed in small quantities. Better to have goat or sheep cheese (like feta, goats cheese), and kefir but all in limited quantities.
- Eating meat, chicken, turkey, fish is again limited. Usually instead of eating that as the main dish serve it as a condiment or side dish. Again only grass fed animals and mercury free fish is allowed. Eggs too should be free range or organic.
- Coming to grains, all grains with gluten are not allowed. So no wheat. Gluten free grains are allowed in limitation usually about ½ cup cooked per meal is allowed. This may include healthier rice like brown or black, teff, amaranth, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, etc.
- Legumes, beans are allowed but again in limitation, usually 1 cup per day. Its best to keep away from starchy beans like peas, kidney beans, pinto beans,black eyed beans etc. Puy lentils are not too starchy.
- Eating sugar and sugary products is totally restricted. If you feel like having something sweet, consume dried fruit like candy, totally in small quantities. Occasional consumption of honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar are allowed. Read the word occasional.
- Foods that contain pesticides, preservatives, chemicals, dyes,MSG, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics, hormones, GMO are a big no no. Not allowed to consume them at all.
Bearing all these points in mind I was thinking of making a breakfast dish but landed up making roasted vegetables with quinoa. I served it with cashew nut hummus. What I like about this recipe is that the roasted veggies even when cold taste good with quinoa as a salad. Hubby and I enjoyed hot roasted veggies out of the oven with quinoa for dinner. He reckoned that the sauce or dip was necessary otherwise one can add extra condiments like chillis, lemon juice, extra pepper to the roasted vegetables. Did you know that roasting vegetables is really good for healthy? Most vegetables retain the valuable nutrients when roasted as opposed to boiling where nutrients are lost. With certain vegetables, the nutrient value increases e.g. the lycopene in tomatoes, carotids in carrots. They are definitely low in calorie as opposed to fried ones as very little oil is used to coat the vegetables. Roasted vegetables tend to taste sweeter than ones that are boiled, steamed or fried.
So here’s an absolutely healthy dish, whether its to follow a Pegan diet, a Vegan diet or you just want to eat healthy.
The goodness of fresh vegetables
ROASTED VEGETABLES WITH QUINOA AND CASHEW HUMMUS
For the vegetables:
1 medium size zucchini, cut into thick slices
½ sweet pepper, cut into big cubes
100-150g cauliflower (about 8-10 medium florets), cut florets into half lengthwise
100g broccoli (about 6-8 medium florets), cut florets into half lengthwise
10-12 button mushrooms
1 medium carrot
1 small onion, cut into thick slices
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 medium eggplant, cut into thick slices
1 medium tomato, cut into quarters
½ cup of fresh mint leaves
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
½ tsp pepper powder
½ – ¾ tsp sea salt or rock salt
2-3 tbsp chopped fresh spring onion
1 cup cooked quinoa
For the cashew nut hummus:
½ cup plain cashew nuts, soak the nuts in some warm water for 30 minutes
1tsp virgin olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
½ cup fresh mint leaves
2-3 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper powder
¼ tsp cayenne powder (or red chili powder)
Preparation of the roasted vegetables:
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
- Lightly grease the baking tray with little olive oil.
- Mix cauliflower, broccoli, carrot, eggplant, zucchini and onion in a big bowl. Add about 1 tbsp olive oil and mix.
- Make a single layer of the vegetables. Sprinkle some of the measured salt and pepper. Leave some for the other vegetables.
- Scatter mint leaves over the veggies.
- Roast them for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime mix the garlic, mushrooms and zucchini slices. Add oil and mix to coat.
- After 15 minutes, turn the veggies over.
- Add the garlic,mushroom and zucchini. Make sure the veggies are in a single layer.
- Roast for another 10-15 minutes.
- In the meantime you can prepare the hummus and the quinoa.
Preparation of the cashew nut hummus:
- Drain out the water from the nuts. Leave it on the side.
- Add nuts, mint, garlic, salt, pepper powder, lemon juice and ¼ cup of the saved water into a blender.
- Blend the mixture till it becomes smooth. If required add more water.
- Remove the hummus from the blender into a serving bowl.
- Add olive oil on top and sprinkle some cayenne powder.
Preparation of quinoa:
Check here how to make fluffy quinoa(omit adding oil) or just follow the instructions on the packet.
- As soon as the vegetables are ready, serve them with quinoa and the hummus. Bear in mind that for each person only ½ cup of cooked quinoa is allowed.
- To serve as a bowl, fill the bowl with ½ cup quinoa on one side and then add the vegetables. Top it with hummus.
- To enjoy as a salad, let the roasted vegetables cool down a bit. Mix in the quinoa and serve with the hummus.
- Use vegetables of your choice, but make sure they are not high in starch. If you add fresh sweet corn then don’t serve it with quinoa.
- Add nuts and seeds of your choice to the roasted vegetables. I didn’t add any as I was serving it with a nut hummus.
- If you don’t want to serve it cashew nut hummus then sprinkle the roasted vegetables with herbs and spices of your choice and some lemon juice.
- Replace the quinoa with black or red rice, some meat, fish or eggs.
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