Guest Blogger: Hoang Nguyen
Check out our latest from guest blogger Hoang Nguyen, Hoang is an International student and Uni SA Marketing graduate. In January 2017 Hoang decided to pursue his passion for cooking by starting further study in Commercial Cookery at TafeSA and leaving other work commitments aside.
Healthy eating is probably one of the biggest food trends to come about in recent years. With the rise of vegetarian and veganism, we see more food-trend restaurants, and recipes moving towards meat/dairy-free and gluten-free dining. People are more health conscious than ever before, being more acutely aware and discerning about what they eat, and where their food comes from because at the end of the day, we are what we eat.
It has been proven scientifically that your choice of food has a strong influence on your health, not just physically, but mentally as well. If you asked me three months ago about veganism, I would probably think it is too extreme to go down this path to pursue a healthier lifestyle. I have always thought that veganism lacked essential minerals and protein.
However, I am now 100% sold on veganism being a way of life for those who choose that path. A friend of mine recently decided to become a vegan as a way of life and to have a healthier diet. After a few months of eating as a vegan, her doctor was super impressed with her blood test results, with all of her health indexes above ideal, and way above the average.
Once my friend explained to her doctor that she had been eating lots of organic and whole-grain products, her doctor was impressed and believed that her immune system had improved significantly, leading to an increase in blood circulation, muscle strength, and weight-loss which can be directly attributed to her recent change in diet.
My friend’s story really inspired me, and makes me really appreciate healthy foods as fuel to heal our bodies. From an aspiring chef’s perspective, to be able to create something delicious and exciting without using dairy products or meat is also a creative way to cook.
We are what we eat, so why not try to eat healthier where possible. There are many recipes that I have been trialling since hearing of my friend’s good health.
Here are a few rustic and delicious vegan recipes to try.
Cut all vegetables into even bite-size pieces. Remove tomato seeds.
Sauté vegetables in olive oil and garlic in the following sequence: heat up the oil, add garlic, then eggplant, capsicum and zucchini.
Add tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Then add tomato. Season with salt, pepper, and olive oil if necessary.
Cover with lid and cook with low heat until vegetables are soft
(approx. 7 minutes)
Voila, a delicious vegan Rataouille.
Pre-heat oven to 200C
Grab any root vegetable that you like. Think colourful, and get lots of different types.
Wash, peel, cut into the same size or cook as whole. Don’t peel the skin and you’ll thank me later.
Wrap all the vegetables in aluminium foil neatly with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper. Put them onto a baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes. To check, simply using a small knife to cut through. If it goes in easily, it means they’re cooked. Otherwise, give it another 10-15 minutes.
‘Green is good’ salad
Making the lemon vinaigrette. In a bowl, start whisking the lemon juice using a big whisk. Slowly add the olive oil to avoid split – tiny bit at a time until fully combined.
Put all salad greens and any other veggies you care to add in a bowl, dress it with the vinaigrette, and bon appetite!
Even replacing one meal a week with a healthy vegan recipe can invigorate and change our health. Give it a go and enjoy the results.
Kate Bickford MD & Owner - BK AGENCY: