Something else in our yoga blog this time. A little inspiration for some healthy cooking by our guest blogger, Charlotte Scott, Registered Dietician and Yoga practicioner. Charlotte lives in Gozo and has an inspiring website and she helps people with their diet through online consultations, yogi’s or non-yogi’s. Keeping a healthy body is important for everyone, but yoga practitioners will find it essential. Getting the right minerals and vitamins from real food, not always easy, but it can be done.
We are very happy that Charlotte will share some recipes and information about nutrition with us every once in a while! So let’s get into the yoga kitchen!
“Lets talk about …. Spinach”
Spinach is great versatile vegetable for the whole family.
It’s dark green colour indicates that they (like other green leafy vegetables) are packed with health boosting carotenoids: beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. There is scientific evidence that these phytochemicals improve the immune system, eye health and skin. Green leafy vegetables are also a good source of iron and folate which play an essential role at maintaining a healthy immune system and are particularly important at making a protein called haemoglobin which transports oxygen around the body via red blood cells. You can see how much iron is recommended per day for each age group in table 1 below.
Vegetarians and vegans, and those with higher iron requirements are encouraged to include a variety green leafy vegetables regularly as part of a balanced diet.
Good plant based sources of iron include spinach, cabbage, broccoli, as well as beans, pulses and legumes. Table 2 has a list of plant based sources of iron.
Iron absorption is enhanced and improved when combined with vitamin C. Here are some ideas on how you can combine an iron rich meal with vitamin C:
- drink with a glass of pure unsweetened orange juice with the meal
- include a salad containing good sources of vitamin C, such as tomatoes and peppers
- have fresh fruit as a dessert. Good sources of vitamin C include oranges, lemons, strawberries, blackcurrants, blueberries
Spinach Ricotta and Pine Nut Lasagne Recipe (Vegetarian)
Preparation Time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
For The Sauce:
- 850ml full fat cows milk or milk free alternative
- 50g butter or milk free spread
- 50g plain flour
- 60g vegetarian hard cheese such as cheddar, grated
- 600g baby spinach leaves, stalks removed
- 225g ricotta
- 12 lasagne sheets
- 50g pine nuts
- knob of butter
- 100g feta cheese
- 200g mozzarella, roughly chopped
1. Place milk, butter and flour in a saucepan and whisk continuously over a medium heat until it has reached simmering point and has thickened
2. Remove from heat and stir in half the hard cheese (30g)
3. Melt butter in a large saucepan and add spinach leaves, cook for about 3 minutes until the leaves are tender. Allow to cool and chop finely.
4. Mix spinach, ricotta and about 10 tbsp of the sauce in a bowl and add the crumbled feta cheese
5. Dry fry the pine nuts in a frying pan over a medium heat and toss until they are golden in colour then remove from the pan
6. Using a casserole dish; spread one quarter of the sauce on the bottom, then a third of the spinach ricotta mix and half of the pine nuts, add a layer of lasagne sheets, repeat the process two more times finishing with a layer of pasta, the rest of the sauce and the remaining hard cheese, mozzarella and remaining pine nuts
7. To cook the lasagne: preheat the oven to 200 degrees C and bake for 50 – 60 minutes until the top is golden in colour and bubbling
8. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving
Important: do not practice yoga with a full stomach. Wait two to three hours with your yoga after you have enjoyed your meal!