Cook Healthy…Eat Healthy!

More often than not, when we see a delicious food picture, we want to jump right into our screens and savor every bit of it. Being the social media freaks that we are, our timelines are always flooded with those tempting videos/pictures that leave us drooling for hours. Most of us either land up at those restaurants to satisfy our cravings or simply make those dishes at home without paying attention to the health aspect of it. We seldom realize that what looks good may not always be healthy. But healthy food can surely taste and look good.

Fresh ingredients and the use of a good oil are the most important aspects involved in cooking. Problems like high cholesterol, heart risks are on a rise due to a wrong choice of oil. However, in a city like Mumbai where people are exposed to global cuisine and basic health orientation, consumers are getting more conscious about the oil they use for their day-to-day consumption. Keeping in mind the number of brands advertising on TV and on the internet, making the right choice can surely be a task! But after having tried various brands of olive oil, I recommend using Leonardo Olive Oil by Cargill Foods India – available in three variants – Pomace (used for frying), Extra Light (used for stir frying, sauteing and shallow frying) and Extra Virgin (used for salads, pastas and dips). Now I’m sure you’re wondering what is so special about this oil? So here’s why I recommend it:

  1. It’s lighter than most other oils available in the market
  2. Your food will surely be tastier than ever before
  3. It is 100% natural and very high in antioxidants
  4. It has innumerable health benefits, some of which are listed below:
    – Lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure and hypertension
    – Maintains cholesterol and sugar levels
    – Reduces the risk of breast cancer
    – Protects the skin from premature aging
    – Helps in controlling weight
    – Improves metabolic rate
    – Fights stomach ulcers and chronicle gastritis
  5. Repairs damaged skin by making it softer, smoother and healthier. Not just that, it also exfoliates chapped lips and is a great moisturizer that can be used all over the body too
  6. Adds lustre, body, softness and bounciness to the hair and also prevents dandruff
  7. Pocket-friendly and easily available at all modern retail stores and hyper markets.

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It’s been a week since I’ve been using Leonardo Extra Virgin Olive Oil and it’s made cooking easier, faster and so much fun. In the past seven days, I’ve made spaghetti Aglio-olio, zucchini and cream cheese bruschetta, hummus and spaghetti in pesto sauce!

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Spaghetti Aglio-olio

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Zucchini & Cream Cheese Bruschetta

If you also want to relish good food without compromising on health, start with these two quick and easy recipes. Incase you land up making them, please do share the same with me 🙂

Hummus:
For those of you who have never tried hummus – it’s a thick spread/food dip, beige-ish in color, originally from the Middle East but now popular all over the world. Traditionally enjoyed with warm pita bread, it can also be used in salads, sandwiches and wraps.

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Hummus

Ingredients:
– 2 cans of chickpeas (preferably soaked overnight/for a couple of hours in water)
– 4 tbsp Tahini paste
– 2 garlic cloves, crushed
– 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
– 2 tbsp lemon juice
– Salt (to taste)
– Paprika (optional)
– Olives (optional)
– Parsley (optional)

Preparation time:
5 mins

Method:
– Add chickpeas, tahini paste, crushed garlic, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, salt and some water from the chickpeas into the food processor.
– Turn on the food processor and slowly pour oil into it.
– Check the consistency – it should be properly combined, thick and smooth. The color will also change. Incase it does not, add more tahini paste and oil.
– Once done, remove in a serving dish and generously drizzle with some more extra virgin olive oil. Decorate with black/green sliced olives or finely chopped parsley. Sprinkle paprika over it and cover.
– Place it in the refrigerator and remove 20 minutes before serving.

*This is a basic recipe of hummus. You can keep experimenting with the flavorings.

Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce:
Pesto is a green colored, flavorful sauce originally from Italy. It goes perfectly well with different kinds of pastas and can also be used in wraps and sandwiches instead of butter and mayonnaise.

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Spaghetti in Pesto Sauce

Ingredients:
– 1 packet spaghetti, boiled in a pinch of salt and extra virgin olive oil, until al dente
– 2 cups basil
– 1/2 cup pine nuts, shelled
– 1/2 cup Parmesan
– 4 cloves garlic
– 4 tbsp olive oil
– Salt (as per taste)
– Cherry tomatoes (optional)
– Olives (optional)

Preparation time:
10 mins

Method:
– Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a food processor. Add more olive oil and Parmesan, if required.
– Once perfectly combined and smooth, remove in a pan.
– Add boiled spaghetti and mix well with the sauce. Cook for about 1 minute.
– Garnish with Parmesan. Can also use cherry tomatoes and olives .

By switching to Leonardo Olive Oil, #IChooseHealthy ….. What about you?

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