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A cheaper way to up the amount of veggies in your diet

Cucumbers are especially rich in phytonutrients called lignans which may help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and some cancers, says Catherine Burns

Last week we talked about cramming more veggies into your diet.

I’ve been making a huge effort this week to replace most of my grains with vegetables (or fruit) and I have to say it’s been working a charm.

I’m feeling more energised and excited about all the antioxidants I am getting in! Instead of crackers and hummus, I’ve done yellow peppers and hummus (my favourite combo); instead of a bar for a snack I’ve had a quick and easy halo orange with some nuts; instead of rice for carbs I’ve had roasted butternut squash (so good)!

The problem is that as some of you have rightly pointed out, fresh vegetables can be expensive – especially if you are using them to replace something very cheap such as rice.

This has led me down the path of trying to put together budget-friendly options that are still quick and easy to rustle up at dinner time.

This cucumber salad has quickly become a hit in my house. It’s fast to prepare, you can make extra dressing for the next time (making things even more convenient) and it used a lot of things I already had in my store cupboard.

I only had to buy the cucumbers and a lime – everything else was already there, probably because we make quite a lot of Asian food.

A quick word on the peanuts! I usually recommend that my clients replace peanuts – which are fairly inflammatory – with a “better” nut such as almond, cashews or particularly, walnuts (I love walnuts for their Omega 3 content).

However, I have to admit the peanuts are pretty amazing in this dish and if you only have them occasionally (especially if paired with something so healthy as cucumber) then I’m totally OK with that.

You could switch them for cashews however if you wish.

Don’t be tempted to peel the cucumbers, the antioxidants are sitting right there in their dark green skins!

Cucumbers are especially rich in phytonutrients called lignans which may help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease and some cancers (when consumed in conjunction with a healthy diet).

If you are a cilantro hater, simply switch for fresh basil instead. This is an endlessly flexible recipe. Serve it with grilled chicken, salmon, grass-fed beef, roasted fish or some Hilary’s Eat Well veggie burgers. Enjoy!

Cool & Crisp Asian Cucumber Salad (serves 4 as a side)

Ingredients:

• 2 long cucumbers

Toppings:

• 1 teaspoon tossed sesame seeds

• 2 tablespoons roasted salted peanuts, crushed

• 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Dressing:

• 2 tablespoons lime juice

• 1 teaspoon sesame oil

• 2 tablespoon soy sauce

• 2 garlic cloves minced

• 1 teaspoon agave, honey or maple

• ⅓ teaspoon red chilli flakes or to taste

• ¼ teaspoon sea salt or to taste

Method:

1. Slice the cucumbers about 4mm thick (I like them chunky! You can go thinner if you like).

2. Prep your toppings

3. Whisk the dressing ingredients together.

4. Dress the cucumbers right before eating. If you do it too far in advance then they may go soggy.

5. Top with your toppings. Makes a very pretty dish!

Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details: www.natural.bm, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram

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Published March 25, 2022 at 7:46 am (Updated March 25, 2022 at 7:46 am)

A cheaper way to up the amount of veggies in your diet

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