Spin the Brazuca and get your vuvuzelas ready! The rooftops of Bangladesh are fluttering with flags and World Cup fever is in the air! With an eye on Ramadan just around the corner and the need to stay cleansed and ready for those days of abstinence, we compiled a bunch of our favorite things to eat to keep you healthy and full of energy to cheer for your team – but also made sure they were yummy enough to share!
As we try to translate our love of the glorious game on our plate, we decided to keep our dishes closely resembling a football so here is our ode to the football world cup.
Baked veggie chips
Potatoes, sweet potatoes and pumpkin (you decide on the combination and the quantity)
Salt and pepper
Thinly slice the vegetables. Sprinkle some salt on the sliced veggies, then lay them on a baking tray, ensuring that as many as possible are touching the base of the tray. Brush them all with olive oil and stick them into the oven, preheated at 350˚C (for 10 minutes) and bake them at 180˚C for about 10 minutes or until they are crispy.
Depending on how many you want, you might need to do a few trays.
Take them out, sprinkle some pepper or rock salt on them and stash them up to be consumed with one of the delicious dips below or simply crunched on au naturel!
Health spotlight: Pumpkin
Their huge amounts of Vitamin A are great for your eyesight, the fact that they are full of fibre helps you to feel full so you eat less and their delicious orange colour comes from them being full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that may help to prevent cancer.
Homemade tomato salsa
½ kg tomatoes
Salt and pepper
Raw onions and spring onions
Spices to your taste – dried basil (Italian) or dried or fresh coriander and cumin powder (Deshi)
Vinegar or lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Take ½ kg tomatoes and boil them, then take off the peel (or you can blanche them, then take peel off and use them raw). Crush them with chopped mint leaves, salt and pepper, chopped raw onions and chopped spring onions.
Add flavour -- some dried or fresh basil for an Italian flavour or some coriander and cumin for a more 'deshi' one. Add a dash of vinegar or squeeze a lemon to add some extra tanginess. Add a dollop of extra virgin olive oil and mix well to add some body.
Health spotlight: Tomato
The lycopene in tomatoes is a great antioxidant, helping to keep your immune system healthy and prevent ostereoporosis, among other benefits. They are also great for your heart, and reduce cholesterol.
Amazing raw beetroot dip
1-cup raw beetroot, roughly chopped
¼ cup red onion, roughly chopped
Bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tahini (preferably raw, optional ingredient)
1 clove garlic
¼ cup sunflower seeds (again, optional)
¼ cup olive oil
Juice of ½ lemon
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp mustard
½ tsp salt and black pepper to taste
1 tsp cumin powder
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until you achieve a smooth, creamy consistency.
Adjust flavours to taste -- add more pepper or chilli if you like a spicier dip, or a bit of honey if you like a sweeter dip.
Health spotlight: Beetroot is a wonder food – it is rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. They are also great for pregnant women, being an excellent source of folic acid and a very good source of fibre, manganese and potassium.
Veg Tops – a special edition of hors d'oeuvres
1 cup black eyed beans (soaked overnight)
Vegetables to be cut into round discs: cucumber; beetroot; gourd; radish; carrots, etc.
1 cup red kidney beans (soaked overnight)
½ kg tomatoes blanched and peeled
Half cup chicken cubes
Celery, mint, sprinkle of basil, rosemary and oregano. Salt and pepper
Tempura flour for coating and 1 beaten egg
Olive oil and vinegar
In a pressure cooker mix the beans, the chicken, celery, the spices and add a dash of olive oil and vinegar, then add water to boil for about 10-15 minutes. Add enough water so after all ingredients are boiled through the mixture is still dry.
Cut thick discs of vegetables and smear them in a bed of flour, then dip them in the beaten egg and place on a tray brushed with oil.
Take chunks of the bean mixture and balance them on the discs laid out on the tray. Stick them into oven pre-heated at 250˚C and baked at 180˚C until the veg base looks cooked.
Sprinkle mint leaves and grated cottage cheese on top before serving and pop them into your mouth!
Health spotlight: Black Eyed Peas
Like all beans, the black eyed peas are leguminous plants containing essential proteins but a must have for weight watchers as they contain a soluble fibre that eliminates cholesterol and are low on calories where a half-cup has only 80 calories. A number of vitamins and minerals make this the ideal health food to watch your weight and add versatility to the plate!
Chocolate and almond energy bars
1½ cups cooked chickpeas
½ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup molasses or honey
¼ cup mashed banana or chopped dates
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
Sprinkle of salt with your hands in a bowl until smoothish
1½ cups oats
½ cup chickpea flour
½ cup cocoa
½ cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened depending on your taste)
½ cup chopped almonds
Mash together chickpeas, peanut butter, molasses/honey, banana/dates, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt with your hands in a bowl until smoothish. Add in oats, chickpea/gram flour and cocoa. Mix again, then add coconut and nuts and mix one more time. Taste it - you might want to add some more molasses/honey.
Flatten out the mix onto a greased tray and bake in a preheated oven for about 15 minutes, or until you can put a knife in and it comes out clean, and they are crispy on top.
If you have cooked them and are still finding them not sweet enough, you can drizzle honey or molasses on them before serving, as well as some shredded coconut.
Health spotlight: Almonds
Almonds are full of good fat, so they are great for your heart. They are also full of magnesium, Vitamin A and potassium, which help to maintain normal blood pressure and increase the flow of nutrients around your body.