Dare To Be Healthy

Posts Tagged ‘Olive oil

Serves 2 – 3IMG_1175

2 spring onions, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

Rocket leaves

6 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1/2 tsp. crushed chilli (use more if preferred)

Pinch of sea salt

2 packs (250g) of chestnut mushrooms (any type of mushroom would work)

1 tbsp. sesame oil

  1. Wash the rocket leaves, drain and set aside
  2. Wash and roughly chop the mushrooms to small sizes
  3. Heat the oil in a wok, add the spring onions, garlic, stir-fry for about 30 seconds
  4. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 3 – 5 mins
  5. Add the sea salt and chilli and stir for another minute
  6. Put a handful of rocket leaves on plate, add the cherry tomatoes and top with mushrooms
  7. Drizzle a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil on the salad and serve. Enjoy!

This is such a simple and yummy recipe that can be used at any time of the day. I’ve had it for breakfast, brunch/lunch and can also be used as a starter.

1 avocado

1 tomato

¼ cucumber

¼ tsp. oregano

Juice of ½ lime

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt and black pepper

Handful fresh coriander

Pack of Whole meal wraps

  1. Deseed and chop the avocado, cucumber and tomatoes into small cubes
  2. Wash and chop the coriander leaves
  3. Place all ingredients in a bowl
  4. Add the lime juice, oil, salt oregano and pepper and mix thoroughly until everything is properly coated
  5. Warm the wraps in a toaster or oven just before you’re ready to serve
  6. Place a couple of scoops of the salad on the wrap, roll up and enjoy!

Serves 4

You know when you get one of those days you can’t really face shopping and you haven’t really got much in your kitchen? This was the day for me, and I really wanted something sweet and spicy – decided to come up with whatever I could with whatever was in my kitchen. To my surprise (or not, he he!!), it actually turned out great. It was easy, quick and had it with baked sweet potatoes – yum, yum!

200g bag spring greens, sliced

1 red bell pepper

8 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

1 large onion, sliced

½ inch ginger, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tsp. curry powder

½ tsp. crushed chillies

Pinch natural sea salt

2 tbsp. olive oil

½ tsp. coarse black pepper

2 cups boiling water

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the garlic, ginger and black pepper. Sauté for 2 mins.

2. Add the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes curry powder, crushed chillies, salt, allow to cook for about 3-4 minutes

3. Blanch the greens in hot water for a few seconds and drain thoroughly.

4. Add to the rest of the cooking vegetables, mix well so all vegetables are coated properly – this should take about a minute.

5. Serve and enjoy!

I blanch the greens because I like them slightly crunchy and don’t want to cook them for too long – the idea is to try not to overcook the veggies so you don’t lose too much of the nutrients. Try the recipe with other greens like spinach or kale.

This can be served with other foods like rice, fish or chicken, but it was really good with sweet potatoes!

(Serves 2)

2 chicken breasts

Salad bag (get already prepared salad or get spinach, watercress and chopped beetroot)

Handful of fresh coriander (chopped)

1 spring onion (chopped)

5 cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)

1 avocado (cut into cubes)

1 tsp. olive oil

Pinch of salt and black pepper

1 tsp. chicken seasoning


1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

½ lime juice

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ tsp. oregano

Pinch of coarse black pepper

½ tsp. agave nectar or manuka honey

  1. Mix the salt, pepper, olive oil and chicken seasoning in a small bowl, and baste the chicken with it. Set aside in the fridge for about an hour so the chicken absorbs the seasoning.
  2. Bake the chicken in the oven for about 30-45 mins or until cooked
  3. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or jar with a cover, shake well and set aside
  4. Place the salad, spring onions, cherry tomatoes and coriander in salad bowl, add the dressing and toss together until salad is properly coated with dressing.
  5. Dish the salad onto plates, add the chicken and top with avocado.

Huge salad and very filling. Enjoy!

I would usually add some spices and chilli to the salsa but as its part of the detox plan, only using herbs and honey that have a detox benefit.


2 chicken breast, sliced

Handful of parsley, chopped

Handful of coriander, chopped

3 tomatoes, finely diced

½ red onion, diced

2 tbsp. olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

1 red pepper, finely diced

1 green pepper, finely diced

½ tsp. manuka honey

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Put all the ingredients except the chicken and half the coriander and oil, in a bowl. Add the honey and lime juice. Toss all together and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Marinate the chicken in the remaining oil and chopped coriander, and grill (you can bake in the oven if preferred). Serve the chicken when ready with the tomato salsa.

Simple salad and dressing which you can make yourself, or get a bag of your favourite salad from the stores.

Handful of spinach

Handful watercress

½ red pepper, chopped

5 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

1/4 beetroot, chopped or shredded

4 radishes, grated

2 fillets of fish (ideally salmon or tuna but any fish of your choice would work)

1 tsp. olive oil

Coarse ground black pepper

1 lime

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Baste the fish with the olive and season with the black pepper, bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked (or you could steam if you prefer). Place the salad ingredients on a plate or salad bowl. Add the extra virgin olive oil and lime juice, and toss. Add the fish when cooked, enjoy. Remember this is part of the detox programme; we wouldn’t want to add a lot of seasoning to the dressing, just keep it simple and natural to get the full benefits of the detox.

I got asked a few days ago which was the best oil to use for cooking between sunflower and olive oil. There are a lot of healthy oils out there on the market like grapeseed oil, avocado oil, flaxseed oil (which I talk about in my book Healing Foods Helthy Foods) as well as sunflower and olive oils. I think between these two oils both have abundant health benefits, as the others do, it’s just down to personal choice, taste and use. Sunflower oil is classed as a vegetable oil while olive oil is classed as fruit oil. Having said that, let’s look at the health benefits of both and see if one outweighs the other, think that might be a good way to make a choice or not – could use both if you feel like it.

Sunflower oil is extracted from the seeds which are enjoyed as a snack. The seeds are obtained from the brown hub in the centre of the flower which has yellow petals surrounding it.

Sunflowers in Fargo, North Dakota.

The oil provides a perfect balance of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, making it the perfect oil to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol. As such, whenever there is reference to heart disease, sunflower oil is always recommended by health experts.

The benefits of sunflower oil are multiple and are especially obtained through its nutritional contents. So apart from reducing the level of cholesterol in the body, sunflower oil has other benefits some of which are listed below:

  • Sunflower oil acts as an antioxidant since it is rich in Vitamin E. This property of sunflower oil helps in neutralizing cancer-causing free radicals. Vitamin E in sunflower oil also prevents rheumatoid arthritis, asthma and colon cancer.
  • Sunflower oil also helps the skin to retain its moisture. It helps in providing a protective barrier, resisting any kind of infection in pre-term infants. Studies have shown that infants receiving daily skin care using sunflower oil are less likely to develop any skin related infections.
  • Sunflower oil is rich in certain phytochemicals such as choline and phenolic acid, which are beneficial heart. There are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats present in sunflower oil, along with vitamins, which makes it one of the healthiest oil to consume.
  • Sunflower oil also helps in keeping the food fresh and healthy for a longer period of time. The oil has a high smoke point, which means it can be used at very high temperature. Sunflower oil is being used by the food manufacturers for reducing the level of trans-fat in bulk production of food.

Olive oil is obtained from the olive tree Olea Europa which is cultivated in the Mediterranean region.  It contains a high amount of monounsaturated fat, a healthier type of fat that can

Taken by Nick Fraser in 2005. The fruit of an ...

lower your risk of heart disease by reducing the total and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol levels in the blood, making it a healthier choice.

There are three types of olive oil available: extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil and plain olive oil. The acidity of the oil has to be no greater than 1% to be classified as extra virgin.

All types of oils contain monounsaturated fat, but extra virgin or virgin olive oils are the least processed forms, so they are the heart healthy options. This benefit is similar to that of sunflower oil but there are also some other benefits of olive oil which are listed below:

  • Olive oil is rich in antioxidants like chlorophyll, carotenoids and vitamin E. scientists have found a compound in olive oil called oleuropein, which prevents the LDL cholesterol from oxidizing. It is this oxidized cholesterol that sticks to the walls of the arteries and forms plaque. Olive oil can significantly lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack.
  • Oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid found in olive oil, has been identified to have the ability to reduce the effect of an oncogene (a gene that will turn a host cell into a cancer cell). Olive oil helps protect colon cells from carcinogens. A study published by the Food Chemistry Toxicology suggests that the antioxidants in olive oil reduce the amount of carcinogens formed when meat is cooked.
  • Studies have shown that diabetics can also obtain benefits from olive oil when combined with a low-fat, high carbohydrate diet. By adding olive oil to this type of diet, diabetics can control their blood sugar levels and lower the triglyceride level which puts them at risk of heart disease.
  • The body uses the healthy fats in olive oil to produce natural anti-inflammatory agents which can help reduce the severity of both arthritis and asthma.
  • Olive oil has a higher smoke point (can be used at high temperature) than virgin and extra virgin olive oils. Though virgin olive oil can be used in cooking, extra virgin olive oil is best used for salads, dressings and dips where it does not have to be heated.

While sunflower oil boasts high vitamin E content, Olive Oil on the other hand is rich in chlorophyll, carotenoids and vitamin E contents. Both sunflower and olive oils have similar health benefits, but like I said earlier on, it just depends on which you prefer and what their uses are. Remember to store your oils especially extra virgin olive oils in a cool dark place, like your kitchen cupboards, away from light and heat. Oxygen promotes rancidity and, when exposed to light, air or high temperatures, oils go rancid. So keep your oil off of the window sills.

Peace and Fabulous Health!

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