In my ebook, Infla-Menses, which is to be re-published as a full-length paperback and ebook later this year, I recommend a plant-based diet as a way to reduce inflammation. This can be vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian (mostly vegetarian with occasional meat) or pescatarian (moderate seafood, but no other meat). To help readers get started, I have collected a range of anti-inflammatory recipes, mostly vegetarian with a few featuring fish. The two below will be added into the full version of my book; the first edition only has eight recipes, but I will increase it to 20-30.
This recipe is somewhat based on that in The Higher Taste, where it is called “Israeli Chickpea Croquettes (Falafel)”, but I added pepitas and buckwheat flour for extra nutrients. Pepitas, or shelled pumpkin seeds, are rich in zinc, a mineral commonly low in vegan and vegetarian diets; buckwheat is high in protein and contains magnesium, iron and zinc. You need:
- 1 ¼ cups of raw chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained; or 1 400g can of chickpeas, drained.
- 2 ½ tablespoons of green pepitas
- 1 heaped tablespoon of buckwheat flour
- ½-1 teaspoon of garlic granules
- ¾ cup finely chopped parsley, or a liberal amount of dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander or cardamom. The original recipe calls for coriander, but I didn’t have any the first time I made this, so I used cardamom.
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Sesame seeds
Mince the chickpeas and pepitas in a food processor. Scrape into a bowl, and add the buckwheat flour, spices, herbs, salt and baking powder. Mix these together and let it stand for 30 minutes. Form the mixture into 12 falafel balls, or up to 16 if you prefer them smaller. Coat them in sesame seeds. Finally, either heat olive oil in a pan and lightly fry them, or bake in an oven at 200 degrees C for 15-20 minutes. Serve with hummus and salad, rice with vegetables or as a gluten-free salad sandwich or wrap.
This simple recipe, from Carine of Sweet as Honey, is gluten-free, keto-friendly and vegan, and so it is suitable for a wide range of dietary requirements. For each base, you need:
- ¾ cup coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons ground psyllium husk
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt, to taste.
First, preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Mix all ingredients together and then knead them with your hand for one minute. When it starts to dry out, roll all the dough into a ball and set it aside for ten minutes so the flours can continue to absorb the water.
The dough should be elastic enough now to be rolled. To prevent it from sticking to the rolling pin, place it between two oiled sheets of baking paper. Roll the dough until it reaches the thickness you want – a thin crust is a crispy crust, just like wheat bases! Take the top layer of baking paper off, and bake the base for 12-15 minutes as is, or use a cutter to make two or three mini bases. All random shapes are welcome here!
Finally, use whatever toppings you like, as long as they’re compatible with your dietary needs. The original recipe suggests a tomato sauce made for pizzas, baby spinach, olives and mozzarella.
As for a vegan cheese, one recipe from Minimalist Baker combines ¾ cups of cashews with three tablespoons of nutritional yeast. You can add garlic and salt like this recipe, or mustard like some others use.
If you need or want to go vegan or vegetarian, there is professional support out there! To book a consultation with me, click here.