Go Green | Recipes | Chef Sanjeev Kapoor

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The go green evolution, has taken its time, effort and circumstance to shape-up, so that we would stay in shape. Now, all you ardent non-veg eaters before you jump the gun and turn hostile, I am just putting an option out there and I have nothing against people who eat non-veg. This is certainly not about being right or wrong.

An indispensable truly-green option these days is so attractive perhaps due to the simplicity of green veggie diet and strenuous demands of the modern day lifestyle. More and more people are making it their New Year resolution of going green as far as diet is concerned because of various reasons. Some might do it out of genuine concern about animal welfare or for moral reasons because they can’t bear the thought of an animal dying. It can be religion or virtuous reasons. It can be health issues or outright case of inflation or home economics balancing act. However, I think it might be a mix of more than one of reasons that people are turning to the greens. It is a lifestyle choice that is very personal.

Vegetarian diets are wholesome and a complete meal. A typical vegetarian diet matches expert dietary recommendations, being low in saturated fat, high in fiber content, rich in complex carbohydrates, fresh vegetables and fruits. It is a very healthy option and well balanced diet. Many individuals believe that it is impossible to consume all necessary nutrients without consuming meat in your diet. Well let me start by the one important fact well-balanced veggie diets have been recommended & approved for various stages of life, including pregnancy stage, lactating mothers, infants, children and the elderly population.

Let’s have a closer look at the veggie vantage that has healthful benefits to offer. A vegetarian diet is lower in total fats, and vegetarians eat more polyunsaturated fats (healthy fats required by the body) compared with non-vegetarians who tend to consume more saturated fats via animal products and meats. Veggie diet are packed with green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits that are rich in cellulose and bioactive compounds and these two vital facts brings in a lot of assurance to use the green vegetables daily to rake in maximum health benefits. Also, these green leafy vegetables contain vital minerals and enzymes that help to regulate our important body systems and boost our immunity.

Majority of people are under the assumption that vegetarian diets consumption on a daily basis can lead to protein or fats or vitamin malnutrition. Let us better understand and clear popular myths that surround the vegetarian diet.

Most vegetarians do not get enough of proteins, fats and vitamins.

Let me assure you that curries and dals (made of legumes) fulfill daily requirement of proteins for the vegetarians. Also, digestion of legumes is easy.

Next, Vitamin B12 is not sufficient.-Wheat gluten, soya milk, curd and milk is how vegetarian compensate for vitamin B12 requirement.

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are something our own bodies cannot manufacture on their own. Veggie diet has answer to that via foods such as flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, walnuts, tofu, peanut oil, sunflower oil and canola oil.

The health benefit of a vegetarian diet is the number-one reason why more and more people are heading in the direction of going green. The veggie vantage offers a good option of low intakes of saturated fat as well as cholesterol, higher intakes of complex-carbohydrates and dietary fiber, ample of minerals and vitamins. Numerous research over the year have successfully shown that people who follow a vegetarian diet are at a lower risk for cardiac diseases, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, diverticulosis and breast cancer.

Vegetarian diets are nutritionally balanced, I think all it requires is some pre-planning and care should be taken, so as to mix up the diet with variety of fruits and vegetables to keep it interesting. Going green seems to be the call of the hour and need too! Considering, they give us the advantage of multiple nutritional value as well as protect us against some of the deadly diseases it’s no wonder that trend is changing in the green health direction. 

Go Green Vegetables

Fenugreek or methi:

Fenugreek has been used in west for medicinal use as well as cattle fodder. In India it is known as methi and is cooked in many regions as an everyday vegetable. The fenugreek seeds can be used fresh as well as sprouted. Dried seeds can be used whole as well as crushed. Fresh leaves have culinary uses as vegetable but sprouted seeds may be tossed into salads. Dried leaves are used as a spice in India and Middle East. Known also as kasoori methi. The green leaves have minerals and vitamins: calcium, phosphorous, iron, carotene, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C whereas the seeds contain calcium, phosphorous, carotene, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. Fenugreek seeds are mainly used in curry powders especially in India and Sri Lanka. It is also used for tempering in some parts of India. It is also used in pickles. Fenugreek leaves are beneficial in treatment of indigestion and sluggish lever. The seeds are also useful in the treatment of colic, dysentery and diarrhea. The leaves help in blood formation, the cooked leaves help prevent anaemia. Fenugreek seeds can also be taken by diabetics

Lettuce or salad patti:

Lettuces have been cultivated for thousands of years. They were popular among the Romans who supposedly introduced them to Britain. The availability of salad leaves has grown enormously in recent years. Some are lettuce while others belong to vegetable family. Their common feature is that they can be eaten raw although some can also be eaten cooked. Lettuce contains vitamins A, C and E and the minerals potassium, iron and calcium. It is bulky, low in calorie but high in health value. They are many different types of lettuce. To name some: Butterheads, Crispheads, Cos / Romaine, Lamb’s lettuce, Rocket / Arugula, Belgian Endive/ Chicory, Radicchio, Watercress, Mustard cress, Lolo Rosso and Frisse.

Amaranth or chauli ka saag:

Amaranth has erect, and often thick and fleshy stems and green leaves. Regular use prevents the deficiency of vitamins A B B2 and C, calcium, iron and potassium. Drinking fresh juice along with honey is a home remedy for bronchitis.

Mint or pudina:

Mint is one of the most popular green leaves in the Indian kitchen. This simple, delicate and dark green leaves make excellent chutney on their own or with green coriander. Mint is a flavour popular in toothpastes, chewing gum, confectionary and pharmaceutical preparations. It relieves gastric discomfort and improves appetite. Fresh mint leaves, chewed daily, is an effective antiseptic mouth cleanser and breath freshener. 

Spinach or palak:

Spinach with its broad green leaves ranks high among all green vegetables. Spinach is rich in essential amino acids, iron, vitamin A and folic acid. It is considered to be one of the cheapest vegetables that can supply a fair amount of protein. Spinach helps to alleviate conditions of constipation, anaemia, acidity. Used in soups and with other vegetables it is a popular ingredient in many recipes. Young tender leaves can be had raw in salads.

Dill or suva:

Dill is more famous for its light brown aromatic seeds. The fresh leaves are aromatic, very delicate and have a warm taste. Extract of dill is a popular carminative for infants. 

Coriander or dhania:

Coriander is so very fragrant with its distinctive taste. Makes chutneys what they are! Used in garnishes in Indian food. Seeds are brown and aromatic with a mild warm taste. Once powdered they give body to many an Indian dish. Essential ingredient in curry powders and garam masala. 

Mustard leaves or sarsan ka saag:

Popular winter green from North of India it is staple combination with makki roti. Mustard greens with their unique earthy flavour have cholesterol lowering properties.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.