dieta

Dieta: Sweets and snacks PLUS where to eat in London

I am a big occasional snacker.
I go through phases of not wanting to eat much at all and feeling as if I can hop on a juice fast any minute, but then there are the phases where I eat CON-STAN-TLY.
I really try to embrace whatever my body is going through and respect its wishes, although it can be hard to distinguish between real hunger and just emotional hunger, i.e. "I am bored" or "I have had a hard day" kind of snacking (quick tip: have a large glass of water or a cup of tea. If you are still hungry 5 minutes after finishing it, you're actually hungry).

If I find that I really AM hungry, it is important to keep some healthy snacks on hand so I don't go off the rails and eat something ridiculous. 
This, of course, is especially important when following a dieta so that you may snack away and not stray from the path.

Therefore I would like to share with you some vegan, salt/sugar/gluten free and DELICIOUS sweet and savoury treats that you can have in between breakfast and lunch, or lunch and dinner...
Or maybe, as is the case for me sometimes, between breakfast and second breakfast.


Mineral milkshake

I love sesame seed milk as sesame seeds (unhulled as they contain 90% more minerals than hulled seeds) are particularly rich in  calcium as well as other minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc and phosphorus.
It has a rather "sesamy" flavour, one you may come to appreciate over time on it's own but which is very easy to disguise with other flavours.
Sesame seed milk is especially good for maintaining bone health as it offers a calcium rich alternative to acidic and mineral-depleting dairy milk.

To make sesame milk, simply soak 120 grams of unhulled sesame seeds in water overnight.
In the morning drain and rinse the seeds and blend with 1 litre of fresh water in a blender for minimum 30 seconds.
Strain the seeds through a musing cloth or nut milk bag (I've had this bag for almost 2 years now, use it several times a week and it still holds!) and bottle. 
Keeps for 36-48 hours in the fridge.

To make the milkshake (for 2):

  • 1 large or 2 small bananas
  • 500 ml sesame milk
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp maca powder (optional: this will add a mineral boost as well as a lovely malty flavour)
  • Sweeteners of your choice: a couple of dried figs or dates, 2 drops of stevia, 1 tsp honey (optional)

Blend everything together in a blender and serve!


Chia puddings

Chia puddings are super healthy, can come in any flavour and texture, can be adapted to the seasons and are very quick and easy to make – the perfect little dessert pot for an impromptu dinner, for example.
Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. They provide sustained energy as well as maintaining water balance: a great food if you are working on limiting your overall food intake to lose weight.
I am however mostly interested in them as they are rich in essential fatty acids such as omega 3s. Oh, and they are delicious. They fluff up to a "pudding" overnight in liquid and can be used as a base to make many different chia concoctions. 
 

Measure out 15 grams of chia seeds per 115 grams of liquid to make one small, portion-sized pudding. 
You may add 2 tbsp berries (I especially love goji berries for a deliciously chewy antioxidant boost), finely chopped fruit or other seeds to the overnight soak, or perhaps serve with sprinkles of finely chopped nuts or dessicated coconut. 
Here are some recipe suggestions (per person):

  • Chia seeds, freshly squeezed blood orange juice, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tbsp passion fruit seeds
  • Chia seeds, tiger nut milk, 2 tbsp finely chopped banana, pinch cinnamon
  • Chia seeds, 50-50 pineapple juice and coconut milk, 1 tbsp flax seeds, pinch nutmeg, serve with desiccated coconut
  • Chia seeds, coconut milk, 2 tbsp goji berries, serve with a teaspoon raw honey and hazelnuts
  • Chia seeds, almond milk, 2 tbsp blackcurrants, serve with chopped almonds

Whisk all the ingredients together in individual pots and leave in the fridge overnight
Add the "served with"-ingredients on top before eating.

 Blood orange juice, goji berries and blackcurrants for a refreshing "second breakfast"-pudding

Blood orange juice, goji berries and blackcurrants for a refreshing "second breakfast"-pudding


Naturally sweet Banana granola

Banana granola!
A new discovery of mine: a way to make granola without using any sweeteners – not even "alternative" ones!
This recipe can be made in the oven or, if you are lucky enough to have one, in the dehydrator. 

  • 500 ml oats
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 100 ml pumpkin seeds, soaked overnight
  • 50 ml flax seeds, soaked overnight
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp gently melted coconut oil at room temperature (if using a dehydrator)

For oven:
Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsiusand prepare a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Spread out evenly on baking tray.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until a light golden brown colour., stirring the oats every 5 minutes or so.
Let cool completely before storing.

For dehydrator:
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.
Spread out on one or two dehydrator trays lined with sheets and dehydrate for 3-4 hours on 42 degrees celsius. 
Flip the granola upside down onto a dehydrator tray and dehydrate for a further 4-6 hours.
Let cool completely before storing.


Irresistible nutty kale chips 

These kale chips are certainly not only for dieta! I make them all the time and they are great travel companions.
Apparently leafy greens such as kale has the ability to protect us against radiation from the galaxy when we fly. According to a study on pilots funded by the National Cancer Institute, pilots who consumed the most dietary antioxidants suffered the least amount of damage to their DNA and leafy greens seemed to have the upper hand when it came to radiation protection.
This, in combination with their deliciousness and light weight, makes kale chips the perfect plane snack!

This is a recipe that works for dehydrators or for an oven set on the lowest setting in order to keep the nutrients of the kale intact and make the crisps as crunchy as possible without burning them.

  • Large bunch of kale (about 2 L firmly packed kale)
  • 200 ml cashews soaked overnight, drained
  • 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Tear the kale off its stems (the stems can be juiced or add to a smoothie later), wash it and rip it into little pieces. 
Mix all the other ingredients together with a splash of water in a food processor or with a hand mixer. Add more water if necessary to achieve a creamy consistency.
Add the cashew cream to the kale by the handful and massage it into the kale.
For oven: Prepare a baking tray with baking sheets and spread the kale every out. Bake for 10-12 hours on the lowest setting possible, turning occasionally, until crisp.
For dehydrator: Spread the kale evenly on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate on 42 degrees for about 10 hours, turning halfway, until crisp. 

 Kale chips: the best plane snack!

Kale chips: the best plane snack!


Salt free hummus

Crunchy vegetables dipped in creamy hummus... Surely there is no easier and tastier snack than this? And let's not forget healthier!
Chic peas pack a punch when it comes to both fibre and protein and they are full of essential minerals as well. Sadly, store bought hummus is often saturated with polyunsaturated low quality oils and far too much refined salt. Better to make your own! 

Hummus can easily be made flavourful without salt and it can be knocked up in less than 10 minutes if you have a can of chic peas on hand and impromptu guests arriving.
It can also be frozen in portions and thawed overnight.

  • 1 can chic peas or 375 ml cooked chic peas, drained
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2-1 lemon (I like my hummus very lemony!)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • Optional: a handful sun dried tomatoes (the oil and salt free kind), herbs such as coriander, basil and mint, a handful of peas, 1/2 baked sweet potato, 1 roasted red pepper

Mix all the ingredients together with a hand mixer or in a food processor, adding a few splashes of water as you go until you reach the desired consistency.


Eating out in london on the dieta

I love going out to eat and if I am following a dieta for several weeks it is hard for me to avoid the temptation. Luckily there are many wonderful places in London that are more than happily catering to all sorts of dietary restrictions:

Nurture, the company I work for, obviously has a great selection of vegan food and smoothies! 

Raw press on Dover st. does delicious juice and salads

Rawligion has an inventive raw food menu and fascinating superfood shots

Roots juicery do fantastic nut milks and juices

Nama does wonderful vegan raw food

Redemption has an all vegan menu and an eclectic mocktail list

Vitao is a vegan oasis slap dash in the middle of the city

Campbells Canal Café is my go-to vegan in north London

 Vegan and sugar free treat from Redemption

Vegan and sugar free treat from Redemption

 

... did I forget any? Let me know in the comments below!

 

I hope you have enjoyed the dieta series and that it has inspired you to cook with less salt, sugar, gluten and dairy regardless of whether or not you are cleansing.

My initial post regarding the dieta as well as recipes for hot meals can be found here
The second one on gluten free bread alternatives can be found here
The third on lunch can be found here

Dieta: What's for lunch?

A dieta offers quite a few restrictions and making a tasty lunch, especially if one needs it to be quick and easy, can feel almost impossible.
I have one friend who basically ate rice and fruit for a week in order to stick to the requirements and could not handle the thought of another dieta because of the limits it imposed.
But fear not! There are many tricks up my sleeve and I will share each and every one of them.

Salads are a wonderful addition to any diet and when we are cleansing it is important to eat as much raw, fresh and untreated food as possible.
My regular salads usually incorporate fermented things such as fermented vegetables and vinegar, two things that are banned when following a dieta. I am also a big fan of mustard and maple syrup in dressings as well as vegetables baked with oil – things that have to go when I am cleansing. 
This is why I have created a few lifelines that will make virtually any leafy creation burst with flavour.


DIETA STYLE MAYO

As one is allowed (and benefit from!) good quality, cold pressed organic vegetable oils on the dieta we can make creamy mayonnaise to go with a kale salad or to make a healthy Waldorf.
The presence of fat is also vital for the uptake of the fat soluble vitamins  A, D, E and K and so a must in order for us to receive all the benefits of a brightly coloured salad!

My recommended oils are extra virgin olive oil in a combination with (untoasted!) sesame oil, macadamia nut oil, hazelnut oil or avocado oil.
EVOO on its own is a very powerful taste so I recommend mixing it 40/60 or 50/50 with another oil based on your taste preference.

PLEASE MAKE SURE that all oils are cold pressed, unrefined/unpasteurised and organic!
This means the oils will be more expensive, but ill health is more expensive than anything and these oils will also last for a long time when stored in a dark and cool environment. 

The recipe:

  • 1 egg yolk, preferably room temperature
  • As much oil as you want mayo: 100-200 ml
  • Big pinch finely chopped parsley/coriander/basil
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice

In a food processor or in a bowl using a hand mixer, whisk the egg yolk until it begins to firm up.
As it thickens, SLOWLY add the oil while the machine runs. Start with droplets and as the mixture continues to firm add oil in a steady thin stream. 
If the mixture begins to separate, stop adding oil and whisk until the mixture firms up.
When all the oil is added, whisk inn the herbs and the lemon juice.

 Dieta friendly waldorf with  lentil sprouts, cavolo nero, red cabbage, apple and currants

Dieta friendly waldorf with  lentil sprouts, cavolo nero, red cabbage, apple and currants


Dieta style pesto

"Pesto" is the generic name given to all herby dressings and no combination is wrong. Here are some of my favourite combinations, but feel free to go off piste with this one.

  • EVOO + basil + pine nuts + lemon juice + nutritional yeast (in place of cheese) is the classic
  • Avocado oil + coriander + walnuts + lemon juice is another delicious option
  • EVOO + almonds + parsley + lemon juice with or without the nutritional yeast is equally delightful
 Buckwheat, spinach, sweet potato, sprouts, dehydrated carrots and lots of other goodies topped with coriander pesto

Buckwheat, spinach, sweet potato, sprouts, dehydrated carrots and lots of other goodies topped with coriander pesto


citrus

This is not a recipe, just a reminder: citrus. It's delicious and will add a spark to any salad.

In addition to this, citrus fruit is calcium rich, antioxidant heavy, alkalising and helps promote both blood circulation and the uptake of iron so there are plenty of reasons to include more of these in your diet.

Blood oranges are in season now and are great in salads or juiced mixed with EVOO for a refreshing dressing. A squeeze of lime will brighten up any dish.

 Raw broccoli and sprout salad with smashed avocado and lime, carrot cracker with parsley pesto on the side

Raw broccoli and sprout salad with smashed avocado and lime, carrot cracker with parsley pesto on the side


Guacamole

Guac is also something that is super easy to "dietafy" as all classic guac ingredients are healthy and dieta friendly. Simply omit the spice.

  • 1 Avocado, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, a handful of chives or 2 spring onions, finely chopped 
  • A splash of EVOO or avocado oil
  • A good squeeze of lime
  • Coriander or parsley, finely chopped (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together and mash with a fork.

 Taco salad with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, red pepper, spring onions and guacamole

Taco salad with roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, red pepper, spring onions and guacamole


hummus

That's right, it's perfectly possible to have hummus on a dieta to eat with crudités or raw crackers for a healthy snack or even packed lunch, as it travels well.
The shop-bought kind is often full of far too much low quality vegetable oil, salt and preservatives so it is best to make it at home in any case and it's very easy too. 

  • 400 ml cooked chic peas (canned is fine but home prepared is definitely better!)
  • 70 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 glove garlic 
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp warm water

Blend all the ingredients with a hand blender.

Feel free to add any of the following: 1/2 small roasted sweet potato; 1 roasted red pepper; 2 roasted medium carrots; 120 ml cooked peas; oil-free sun dried tomatoes; 1/2 avocado; a handful of basil, parsley or coriander.

 Carrot and flax seed crackers, sun dried tomato hummus and radish sprouts

Carrot and flax seed crackers, sun dried tomato hummus and radish sprouts


I hope you have enjoyed these ideas and that they may have inspired you to venture out of plain jane salads, dieta or no dieta!

In my next and final dieta post I will look at snacks and desserts PLUS recommend some places in London that are helpful and accommodating to a restricted diet. In the meantime, happy cooking!

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My post on the dieta and recipes for hot dishes can be found here.
My post on gluten-free and dieta friendly vegetable bread alternatives can be found here.

Dieta: Doing away with bread

These days a lot of us are avoiding gluten, whether on a dieta or not.
This is no surprise as gluten is difficult to digest for most people. In addition to this wheat flour, which is the primary source of gluten protein in our diet, is a “dead food” which has been harvested, milled, bleached, refined and left to sit in a warehouse and finally on a shop shelf for what may be years; it doesn’t have much nutritional chutzpah going for it anymore.

Many people are eating this grain at every meal without being particularly aware of it. Too much of anything – even a good thing! – isn’t ideal and it is really worthwhile to cut down on products, often processed, containing wheat flour and look around for nutritious substitutes.

Growing up in Norway, the Land of Open Faced Sandwiches, I know how deeply engrained bread is in our European food culture.
In Norway it is not unusual to have open faced sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, snack and supper and removing this staple of the diet can feel impossible.

Sandwiches travel well, are filling and can be endlessly redecorated to suit one’s palette. However, I have come up with some well tasting and deeply nourishing alternatives that will make your lunch box get all excited.

If you are following the dieta, simply omit all salt/pepper and other spices listed in the ingredients. The result will not be much different from the original and still taste yummy!


Cauliflower buns


This recipe is borrowed from Sarah Britton over at My New Roots and I cannot recommend it highly enough. It is simply delicious and the buns can be topped with both sweet and savoury toppings. 

  • 1 large cauliflower (1200g)
  • ¼ cup / 20g almond meal
  • ¼ cup / 20g nutritional yeast
  • 1 ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder (a crushed clove of fresh garlic is dieta approved!)
  • 2 large organic eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. dried onions or sesame seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. psyllium husk (optional, will make the buns drier)

Chop cauliflower into chunks, place in a food processor and blend until as fine as possible. If you don’t have a food processor, grate the cauliflower with a box grater.
Mix with the almond meal, nutritional yeast, salt, garlic and psyllium husk, if using, and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.
Whisk eggs together in a separate bowl. Add the eggs to the cauliflower mixture and stir until the dough is moist and will hold together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Taking baseball-sized amounts of dough, squeeze them into a rough ball shape, then drop them from about 1 foot (30cm) onto the baking sheet (this helps to compact them). If you want to make bagels, simply use your finger to poke a hole in the center and shape the rest with your hands. Sprinkle the tops with the dried onion or sesame seeds and place in the oven.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the buns are golden brown around the edges.
Store leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 Image courtesy of MyNewRoots.org

Image courtesy of MyNewRoots.org


Beetroot flatbread

This recipe was inspired by the vegetable flatbreads of Green Kitchen Stories and a mountain of juice pulp. 
As juice pulp is drier than grated beetroot, there will be two recipes for this bread, depending on how you choose to accumulate lots of grated beetroot. 

  • 500 ml grated beetroot OR 750 ml carrot pulp
  • 250-300 ml oat flour (self milled in a blender or using a hand mixer – more nutritious and makes for fluffier baking!)
  • 3 eggs OR 2 eggs plus 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seeds + 3 tbsp water left to soak for 15 minutes)
  • Salt/pepper if using

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients except the eggs together. Whisk the eggs and add them to the mixture, forming a sticky paste.
Flatten the paste into a rectangular shape with your hands onto the baking tray.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, carefully flip upside down on a cooling rack and peel off the baking paper.
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 Beetroot flatbread with home made mayo and lentil sprouts

Beetroot flatbread with home made mayo and lentil sprouts


Carrot flatbread

Carrot juice. What can I say, it's my thing. The perfect vehicle for a turmeric and ginger juice, great for making curries and stews (check out the carrot coconut stew in my previous post) and most recently great for making bread. Here's how (without/with juice pulp):

  • 500 ml grated carrots OR 750 ml carrot pulp
  • 200-250 ml oat flour (self milled in a blender or using a hand mixer – more nutritious and makes for fluffier baking!)
  • 3 eggs OR 2 eggs plus 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seeds + 3 tbsp water left to soak for 15 minutes)
  • Salt/pepper if using

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients except the eggs together. Whisk the eggs and add them to the mixture, forming a sticky paste.
Flatten the paste into a rectangular shape with your hands onto the baking tray.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, carefully flip upside down on a cooling rack and peel off the baking paper.
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 Probably the last styled picture I could have put up here, but it proves an important point: This bread travels well. Here is a carrot bread sandwich on a flight to Hamburg.

Probably the last styled picture I could have put up here, but it proves an important point: This bread travels well. Here is a carrot bread sandwich on a flight to Hamburg.


Broccoli flatbread

Bbroccoli is one of my favourite things to juice and I often have loads of pulp. This makes a delicious and green flatbread and is also a great way to use old broccoli stems.

  • 500 ml grated broccoli OR 750 ml carrot pulp
  • 200-250 ml oat flour (self milled in a blender or using a hand mixer – more nutritious and makes for fluffier baking!)
  • 3 eggs OR 2 eggs plus 1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax seeds + 3 tbsp water left to soak for 15 minutes)
  • Salt/pepper if using

Heat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Mix all the ingredients except the eggs together. Whisk the eggs and add them to the mixture, forming a sticky paste.
Flatten the paste into a rectangular shape with your hands onto the baking tray.
Bake in the middle of the oven for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, carefully flip upside down on a cooling rack and peel off the baking paper.
Store in the fridge for 3-4 days.

 Broccoli bread with home made hummus and cucumber

Broccoli bread with home made hummus and cucumber


Carrot pulp crackers

As you see, I juice a lot. And I love carrots. So what to do with the surplus of carrot pulp when you can’t face another carrot bread? (just kidding, I can eat carrot bread until the cows come home.) Make crackers, of course! This things have actually become so popular at home they are their own reason to make carrot juice. Yes. Really.  
These crackers can be dehydrated in a dehydrator on 45 degrees or in an oven on the lowest setting for 8-12 hours to stay raw, or they can be baked in the oven on 180 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

  • 1/2 cup flax seeds soaked in 1 cup water overnight (2 hours works in a pinch) 
  • 1,5 litres carrot pulp
  • 100 ml water (more if needed)
  • 60 ml sesame seeds (soaked overnight then drained)
  • 60 ml chia seeds
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 5 small tomatoes (canned is okay in the winter), roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 pinch unrefined salt (if using)
  • 1 pinch cayenne (if using)

If using the oven, heat it to 180 degrees celsius. 
Mix all the ingredients together. 
Prepare sheets on your dehydrator trays or baking sheets on your oven trays and spread the mixture out (not too thin!). 
Dehydrate or bake as directed above.

 Carrot pulp crackers hanging out with other dehydrated goodies: raw apple granola, kale crisps and berry  bars

Carrot pulp crackers hanging out with other dehydrated goodies: raw apple granola, kale crisps and berry  bars


Granola bars

If you have a dehydrator, you are probably already well versed in granola bars. I have made a ton of these things since I got my dehydrator for Christmas a mere month ago and they keep evolving. 

As I make these as I go with whatever I have on hand, I have no exact recipes for you. However, here are some combinations I have tried and found delicious! 

  • Roasted buckwheat - chestnut honey - dried figs - cinnamon - almond butter (dieta friendly)
  • Roasted buckwheat - acacia honey - goji berries - cashews - ground ginger
  • Oats - hazelnuts - prunes - nutmeg - chestnut honey - pepitas
  • Oats - almonds - almond butter - cinnamon - rapeseed honey - flaked coconut  
    (dieta friendly)
  • Roasted buckwheat - hazelnuts - cinnamon - acacia honey - dates - raw cocoa nibs 

I hope this has given you some inspiration to cut gluten both for your dieta and overall. There are spots many healthier and more fun options out there and these recipes really don't take much time at all. 

Next week I will continue the dieta series and look at dieta friendly lunch and snack alternatives!
Until next time.

Dieta

Whether it is for spiritual purposes, for cleansing, for treating illness or simply to explore a more sattvic diet, a dieta is beneficial for both body and mind. 

I do this diet regularly for both spiritual purposes and cleansing and I find the restrictive nature of the diet only adds to my creativity. Giving up salt is the hardest one for me, but I know that my body is able to cleanse much better without it due to it's water retaining properties so it is very important to try to stick with it. 

Giving up coffee for me is hard initially, but over time I am satisfied with matcha lattes and herbal teas. For others it may be the sugar that is hard to give up or perhaps cheese. Giving up foods for a certain amount of time is a wonderful opportunity for us to learn about our food addictions and emotional attachments to what we eat.

The diet is restricted as follows:

  • No red meat
  • No dairy
  • No alcohol
  • No non-prescription or prescription drugs
  • No caffeine (coffee, black tea and kombucha included)
  • No cacao
  • No fermented foods (including no vinegar)
  • No wheat or gluten
  • No sugar
  • No spices (except for a little bit of cinnamon)
  • No salt
  • No oil for cooking
  • No fried food
  • No processed or ready made foods

Wait, what can we eat? Let's look at the YES-list instead!
Yes to... 

  • Herbs
  • Ginger, turmeric, garlic and onions
  • All vegetables and fruits
  • Whole grains such as oats, buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa
  • Split yellow and green lentils; red, black, brown and puy lentils
  • Chic peas
  • Black beans, pinto beans, adzuki beans, mung beans
  • Brown, wild, basmati or black rice
  • Unroasted and unsalted nuts and seeds
  • Sprouts
  • Dehydrated foods
  • Unheated, cold pressed organic vegetable oils 
  • Fish, eggs, turkey and chicken if you wish

One can of course live on simple salads and steamed vegetables throughout the diet, but as I am as addicted to cooking as I am to salt I want to be a little more creative with my meal choices over the course of a dieta.  

Over the course of the next few weeks I will share a few meal ideas for a dieta in order to inspire and to help. From breakfast to late night snack, from sweet to savoury, we will take a look at what we can make on a dieta.
Let's begin with the main course...
 

Vegetable stock and soups

Most vegetable soups can be adapted to fit the dieta, but the simpler the better. Of course you must omit sautéing onions in oil, eliminate spices and salty dried vegetable stock. The best way to achieve a flavourful soup without these things is by making your own vegetable stock (makes about 1,5 litres):

  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 3-4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Bay leaves and/or thyme sprigs 
  • A few cloves of garlic, crushed with the back of a knife
  • Some parsley stalks (optional)

Put all the ingredients in a pot and add 1,75 litres of boiling water. Let cook for 1-2 hours and strain.
You can keep this stock in the fridge for 4-5 days or freeze it in batches.

I use all sorts of vegetable trimmings from farmer's market vegetables in my vegetable stock and the tops of leeks, the leaves of cauliflowers, fennel tops, celeriac and other flavourful vegetables and their trimmings can go in the stock pot in addition to, or as a replacement of, the ingredients listed above.


In order to make an easy and dieta friendly vegetable soup, simply chop whatever vegetables you would like in the soup, add them to hot stock and boil them until tender before mixing it all with a hand mixer or in a blender.
Feel free to top the soups with pepitas, sesame seeds, flaked almonds, sunflower seeds or other crunchy options.
Here are some suggestions for the winter season. All recipes serves 2 generously.
 

Parsnip soup with ginger

700 ml stock, 3-4 parsnips (depending on size), half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, 5 cm ginger. Option to replace some of the stock with nut milk for a creamier soup


Sweet potato and tomato soup

300 ml stock, 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, 2 large or 4 small sweet potatoes, half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, basil to garnish
 

Butternut squash soup

600 ml stock, 1 medium butternut squash (skin and seeds removed), half an onion, 2 cloves garlic, thyme and/or rosemary
 

Simple noodle soup

Lastly, something a little different: a simple noodle soup with a little more complex recipe.

  • 1 litre vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 5 cm ginger, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 carrots, chopped to bite-size
  • Shiitake mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 1/2 broccoli flower, bite sized pieces
  • Optional: other exotic mushrooms of your choice
  • Spring onions, finely chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 packet of soba noodles (enough for 2 persons)

Bring the stock to a simmer and add the cinnamon, ginger and garlic and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add the carrots to the stock, seven minutes later add the broccoli and boil until the carrots are just tender.
Meanwhile, boil the soba noodles following packet instructions and toast the sesame seeds in a clean pan – careful so they don't burn!
Once the carrots are tender, add the mushrooms to the soup. 
To serve, place noodles in bowls and pout hot soup over, followed by raw spring onions and toasted sesame seeds.


Hot dishes

It is possible to make many "normal" hot dished on the dieta if you just modify the recipes a little bit! 
Here are a few recipes to get you inspired...
 

Carrot and coconut stew

  • 1 tin coconut milk, refrigerated for 15 minutes
  • 500 ml carrot juice
  • 7 kaffir lime leaves
  • 5 cm ginger, grated 
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, gently bashed and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 courgettes, chopped 
  • 2 handfuls sugar snap peas, finely chopped
  • Spring onions, finely chopped
  • Coriander
  • Toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 lime
  • Optional: flaked coconut

Using a spoon, remove the coconut cream from the coconut milk tin and heat it slowly in a pan. Add the lime leaves, ginger, and garlic and let simmer for 8 minutes.
Add the lemongrass, coconut water and carrot juice and simmer for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds. 
Add the carrots and red pepper. When the carrots are almost tender, add the courgette and when the courgette is tender add the sugar snap peas and cook for another 2 minutes before turning the heat off. 
Serve with rice, sprinkle with spring onions, coriander, toasted sesame seeds , flaked coconut and a squeeze of lime.


Black rice congee with salmon

One of the very few meat recipes you will ever find here on the blog. Make sure to buy wild caught salmon.

It is also important to soak the black rice in lukewarm water with an acidic medium such as lemon juice or vinegar overnight as this will help break down the complex and hard to digest starches of the rice and make its nutrients more available. 
Serves 2-3.

  • 200 g black rice
  • 1.7 litres vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • 5 cm ginger, grated,
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • Spring onions,  finely chopped
  • Half a broccoli floret, chopped
  • Toasted sesame seeds and coriander (optional).

Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Boil the rice until tender, about 20-30 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the salmon fillets in aluminium foil and rub them with the crushed garlic and ginger.
Add a few tablespoons of stock to the aluminium parcel, close the parcel and place it on a baking tray in the middle of the oven for 20 minutes.
Steam broccoli in a steamer or over a pot of boiling water until tender.
Once the rice and fish is done (the rice and stock should have a soupy consistency), place the rice in  bowls, place the fish fillets on top and garnish with spring onions, sesame seeds and coriander.
 

Spaghetti bolognaise 

  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 ladle(s) vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • Half an onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 250 g button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • A few thyme sprigs 
  • Optional: basil to garnish
  • Gluten free spaghetti such as Dove's Farm gluten free spaghetti

Serves 2.
Bring the tomatoes and the broth to a boil and add the vegetables and the thyme sprigs, the reduce to a low simmer for 20-30 minutes or longer – the longer the better!
Let the sauce rest while you boil the spaghetti according to package instructions.
Serve with basil to garnish.
 

Stuffed winter squashes with buckwheat

"This tastes like stuffing" was the reaction from my man. It sure does! I served this with some left over lunch salad on the side. Serves 2.

  • 100 grams roasted buckwheat, soaked overnight
  • 2 medium sized red squashes such as hokkaido, turban squash or sugar pumpkin
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, finely chopped
  • A handful of kale or cavolo nero, stalks removed and finely chopped

Soak the buckwheat overnight with an acidic medium such as apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
Heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.
Open the top of the squashes and remove the seeds.
Roast cut sides down for 30-40 minutes until tender, then remove from the oven and let cool.
Scoop out the flesh from the squashes and add to a bowl with the drained buckwheat and the other ingredients, then stuff it all back into the squash.
Roast for 10-15 minutes then serve.
 

Savoury porridge

A savoury breakfast dish that works just as well as lunch or even a last minute dinner. You be the judge of ratios here depending on how many you are feeding and how hungry you are.

  • Porridge oats
  • Vegetable stock or chicken bone broth
  • Carrots, grated
  • Garlic clove(s), crushed
  • Kale, spinach or cavolo nero, finely chopped
  • Optional: poached egg(s)

Cook the oats in the stock together with the carrot, greens and garlic until the oats have reached the desired consistency. Top with a poached egg if you wish.

 Dieta makes me feel like ...

Dieta makes me feel like ...

I hope this has provided some inspiration on how to go about a dieta.

I will continue to post dieta friendly recipes over the next couple of weeks and cover topics such as breakfasts, snacks, salads, bread alternatives and treats as well as recommend some spots for eating out in London on the dieta.
Stay tuned!