Cooking with Superfoods

Hello folks! I am back and I bring to you receipes with SUPERFOODS. These are the receipes that my friend Louise (of Thirteen Moons fame) and I did at her retreat (she was kind enough to have me as a guest chef…thank you Louise!!!).

Super foods are foods vital to your well being. They are concentrated sources of phytonutrients, fiber, good fats, antioxidants and have the potential to prevent inflammation and disease. Examples of such foods include berries, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, avocado, daikon, shitake mushrooms, quinoa, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, pomogranate, acai berry and many more. But remember moderation is the key and variety is the spice of life so make these foods part of your regular diet rather than solely relying on these.
I will be bringing you recipes with these superfoods on a regular basis so that these can be part of your regular diet.

Today I bring to you Herbilicious Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate.
Quinoa, an ancient grain, is a staple in countries like Peru and Bolivia. It has gained popularity as a wonder grain and a superfood with an impressive amino acid profile, a nutty taste, ease of cooking and is gluten free. I have combined it with many different herbs like dill, tarragon, mint, parsley all powerful herbs and another superfood: Pomegranate.

Herbilicious Quinoa Salad with Pomegranate

An easy to make delicious nutritious beautiful colourful salad with a variety of herbs (which may be adjusted according to personal preference)

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Ingredients

2 cups cooked quinoa (according to package directions)
2/3 cup washed finely chopped mint
1/3 cup washed finely chopped dill
1/3 cup washed finely chopped tarragon
1/2 cup washed finely chopped parsley
4 green onions washed and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped cucumber
1 medium sized tomato finely chopped
1/4 cup pomegranate or dried cranberries
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt to taste
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (optional)
black pepper to taste

Method

Toss everything together and serve.
Enjoy!!!!

P.S Do not let the variety and the quantity of herbs overwhelm you. The final product will surprise you with the freshness and explosion of flavours.
Quinoa is cooked like rice except the proportion of water is 1 cup Quinoa to 3/4 cup of water. After cooking keep it covered, let it cool down and then fluff it up with a fork.

DAIKON SALAD (my mom style )

Raw daikon root is a white fleshed radish that has a very mild taste and is very low in calories, coming in at around 6 calories per ounce. Because of the multitude of benefits it gives, daikon is considered a superfood. It contains large amounts of enzymes that aid in fat and starch digestion as well as high levels of vitamin C, phosphorus and potassium. It also contains other phyto-nutrients that fight cancer. The extract from the seed is also a powerful immune booster and cancer fighter.Widely used in Asian cooking ,marinated ,pickled ,eaten raw as a salad. Part of the brassicae family with other vegetables like Kale (another superfood) and Rapini .Eaten mainly in winter as it is considered a heating Food (according to Ayurvedic philosophy). Also has a  pungent odour .

A simple salad using dakon radish which my mom made for us in winter months .It is a very crisp refreshing bright colourful salad.can be used for wraps or pita pockets.

Ingredients:

1 daikon radish, peeled and shredded

1 tomato, diced

2-3 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

juice of half lemon

black pepper

salt to taste

Directions:

Toss all ingredients together and serve.

P.S.You can eat mint or fennel seeds  after eating this salad or add fennel seeds to the salad itself if the odour is too strong

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Pumpkin Soup With Lima Beans

I bring to you today a soup and a story (or should I say soup with a story). It was in fall of 1991 I moved to Canada and it being fall season we were literally surrounded with pumpkins and other squashes in all shapes and sizes. I liked pumpkin (well I like most vegetables). It was my new dear hubby who did not care much for pumpkins and many other vegetables. Well I took it as a challenge and came up with this recipe using pumpkin and lima beans (which I thought were Canadian). To balance out the sweetness of the pumpkin I added hot Thai chillies. And to add a little extra flavor to it I have added celery leaves instead of the usual herbs. What can I say this is my husband and rest of the family’s favorite now! Hope you will enjoy making it as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

A beautiful high fiber carotenoid and antioxidant rich delicious soup
Serves – 4-6

Preparation Time- 25 min.                        Cooking Time –  45-50 min.

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Ingredients
3 cups peeled and cubed ( 1″pieces) pumpkin
2 medium sized carrots peeled and cubed same as pumpkin
2 medium sized tomatoes washed and chopped
2 hot green chillies or jalepenos
2 cups boiled Lima beans
1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
1 tbsp. Ghee or extra virgin olive oil
2-3 cups of water
Salt to taste

Method
1. Heat ghee in a heavy pot on medium heat and fry the slit green chillies.
2. Add the celery leaves and asafoetida and sauté for a few minutes.
3. Add the sliced carrots and let it cook for a few minutes.
4. Now add the chopped pumpkin and cook on low heat.
5. After few minutes add quarter cup of water to the mix and cook .You may also remove the slit chillies at this otherwise the soup will become very spicy.
6. Now you will start to see pumpkin pieces starting to disintegrate and forming a puree (carrots will continue to hold their shape even though cooked).
7. Keep adding the water till most of  pumpkin pieces have dissolved and formed a puree.
8. Now add tomatoes to the bottom of the pan(” by  moving the puree to the side and adding tomatoes  so that they can cook  faster )
9. After  few minutes add the boiled Lima beans and the remaining water.
10. Add salt and bring the soup to a boil .
11. Serve hot.

Enjoy!!!!

PUMPKIN TRIVIA

Pumpkins were once recommended for removing freckles and curing snake bites!

Pumpkin takes its name from the medieval French word ‘pompom’, meaning ‘cooked by the sun.’ (Ultimately, probably from the Greek ‘pepon.’)

99% of all pumpkins are sold for decorations.

Pumpkins are about 90% water.

See More

Avocado Salad

Avocados are great health food as they contain-
Protein- provides all 18 essential amino acid profile necessary for the body to form a complete protein,unlike the protein from steak protein,avocado protein is more readily absorbed .

Fats-It is high in monounsaturated fats which lower the bad cholesterol(LDL)and boost good cholesterol(HDl)thereby negating the effect of free radicals.

Carotenoids-Avocado is an excellent source of carotenoids along with other red and orange colored produce.These carotenoids protect your eyes and also boost the immune system and promote healthy functioning of the reproductive system.

The combined effect of vitamin C and E,carotenoids,Selenium,Zinc,Omega 3 fatty acids nutrients in avocados offers powerful anti-inflammatory effect.

Preparation Time    15 min                                                                Serves. 4

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Ingredients

2 Avocados peeled and cut into small cubes
1/ 2 yellow pepper or red pepper chopped into small pieces
1 cup mixed salad greens finely chopped
1 plum tomato finely chopped
1 mango semi ripe  firm mango peeled and cubed into small pieces
juice of 1/2  lime
tops of 4 green onions finely chopped
Top part of jalepeno finely chopped ( adjust according to taste)
Salt ( optional)

Method

Mix all ingredients and serve
Enjoy!!!!