Link

http://foodbabe.com/2013/07/17/the-shocking-ingredients-in-beer/

For all you avid beer drinkers- I present to you this disturbing article from Foodbabe’s blog that will make you reconsider beer as a cool drink on a hot summer day .

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Desi (Indian) Flavour Peanut salad with Chick Peas and Raw Mango. An unusual combination of flavours in an exceptional salad

I have fond memories of eating salted boiled  peanuts on the beach in Mumbai . Off course I will not do that now for fear of contaminated water the peanuts are boiled in . I remember seeing them in one of our trips in the U.S. many years back and  me and  my husband loved them. Apparently  they are popular as Southern speciality in US. Then my friend made a salad of boiled peanuts with raw green mango for us. I had never had peanuts in that form before. It was extremely delicious and flavourful and I was intrigued by the unusual combination. Yesterday I had a dinner party at home and I made this salad with peanuts ,mango, chickpeas, cilantro and mint and it was a hit, everybody loved the melange of unusual flavours. This salad would be perfect as high fiber, high protein and a high antioxidant dish .

While researching  the nutritional profile of boiled peanuts I was quite surprised to find that not only are the the boiled peanuts lower in calories than the roasted ones but also the amount of antioxidants (isoflavones) are 4 times more than roasted or raw peanuts . One serving (28 gms or 32 peanuts ) has 89 calories , 4 gms. of protein,fiber,good fats and a high mineral content (calcium,magnesium,phosphorus,potassium and sodium).

But guess what the boiled peanuts contain more RESERVATOL than roasted peanuts  or peanut butter ,a type of polyphenol found generally in grapes and  wine !!!! Now that is impressive as it is an antioxidant best known for its anti inflammatory properties,lowering blood sugar and preventing cancer and heart disease . Voila!!! one more reason for  non drinkers like me and my husband to have boiled peanuts and enjoy the benefits of drinking wine and off course without adding too much salt .

Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw peanuts
  • 1 cups boiled chickpeas
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1 raw mango finely chopped (available in an Indian or an asian grocery store)
  • 1 tsp.olive oil or ghee ( clarified butter )
  • 1 tsp. Mustard seeds
  • salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
  • 3- 4 tbsp. finely chopped mint
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sprig of curry leaves ( optional available in an Indian grocery store )
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenner pepper

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Method  

  1. In a pressure cooker boil 2 cups of peanuts 1/2 to 3/4 cup of water with very little salt till soft but not mushy. Since I was cooking them for the first time , it took me some time to figure out the right texture not too mushy and not ( al dante) like pasta  but somewhere in between. I wish I could show you the right texture. Or you could boil it in a pot like you would any beans ,this off course takes lot longer but believe me it is worth all the extra effort.
  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and put mustard seeds and cover the pot ( otherwise the seeds will fly all over ) and wait for them to change colour and pop.
  3. Add curry leaves once the mustard seeds stop popping.
  4. Sauté the curry leaves for a minute or two and turn off the sttove.
  5. Mix with the remaining ingredients and serve. You may refrigerate it before serving.

Enjoy!!!

       

Curried Tofu with Beet greens and Dandelion leaves

A flavourful healthy protein rich dish using delicious nutritious beet leafy greens( normally thrown away) and dandelion greens great for detoxification of liver .

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped beet greens with stems
  • 1/2 finely chopped dandelion leaves with stems
  • 1 cup sorrel finely chopped ( no stems) optional
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 lb. organic firm tofu cut into 1” cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 small red onions sliced
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1/2 tsp. nigella seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder or curry powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper ground or chilli powder (optional)

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Method

  1. Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan and saute’ garlic, nigella seeds and onion for a minute.
  2. Now add beet greens and dandelion leaves and let cook and sizzle for 4-6 minutes
  3. Move the greens to one side and add tomatoes so that tomatoes line the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add sorrel leaves salt ,black pepper, cayenne and turmeric powder.
  5. After 5- 7 minutes add tofu and simmer for 10 – 12 minutes till heated through and tofu soaks up all the flavours .
  6. Enjoy this fragrant delicious curry  with rice or bread or chapati.

Finding a balance and choosing wisely when eating out , important tips !!! PART 1

I have always maintained most problems happen because of what we put IN our mouth ( eating ) and what we put OUT (speak ) of our mouths .Wars have been fought for the latter and different wars (Obesity, hunger etc.) are  waged for the former.

Anyway this is a food and nutrition blog, I will not bring politics in it .Most of us have struggled with portion control,calorie control quality of food and ultimately weight control when eating out ,socializing and celebrating.

When doing all or any of the above more is always better .We live in a society which has abundance of everything, and generousity and hospitality are equated with having more to serve ,eat and drink . As a result we as a society tend to carry more weight on our bodies (me included) whereas a large proportion of the world population is malnourished.

P.S. Please ignore the tips if you have fabulous metabolism, clean as a whistle arteries and great genetic makeup !!!!

It is always a challenge to make healthier and wiser choices when eating out so few vital things to keep in mind –

1.Never EVER leave home hungry, whether eating in a restaurant or somebody’s home

When eating in a restaurant it takes time to order and if you are in a restaurant where they serve complementary bread or chips you tend to to eat those indiscriminately with all the caution thrown out the window in terms of calories or portion control.

I was at an engagement ceremony last year and I was on a gluten free diet and perpetually starving and  I remember eating the filling from 6 -8 spring rolls throwing out the shell .Needless to say I got strange looks from people around me !!!

SOLUTION – If you know which restaurant you are going to, check out their menu online so you do not waste time reading the menu and deciding when you get there .

2. Do not order appetizers which are deep fried ( Tempura, Pakoras, Mozzarella sticks,Jalepeno poppers, Samosa  etc.)

3  .If you do want to order appetizers order salads with dressing on the side just so that you do not get 300 calories in the dressing alone !!! Off course order olive oil and vinegar based dressing versus a creamy one. Salads fill you up as they have lot of fiber so will provide the fullness without the calories. And yes this will not work if you are in an Indian restaurant as there are hardly any salads on the menu but fried snacks galore !!! Good Luck!!

4. .For appetizers you may order soups if they are creamy but but do not have cream in them .Cream makes food taste decadent but is  high in saturated fat  so a high calorie food .

5. THINK before you order any drinks , this is where the restaurants make most money and this is what your body stores as fat (the sugar in the drinks is converted to fat once the body’s glucose needs are met ).These are liquid calories which do not take away the need for food but contribute to your overall caloric intake . In nutshell easier to take in and most difficult to take off .

Enjoy!!!  EAT ,COOK ,LOVE !!!!

Easy Breezy ‘Gluten Free’ Shiitake Mushroomilicious Chilli Cheese Toast

More flavorful than white mushrooms ,shiitake mushrooms are meaty and woodsy in flavour and have been attributed to have  many medicinal properties.With impressive nutritional profile high protein content, good source of calcium, potassium and B vitamins and many immune boosting properties they have been said to improve cholesterol levels and improve overall cardiovascular health

An immunostimulant Lentinan derived from these mushrooms has been successfully used to treat many degenerative diseases like Cancer, AIDS etc.

Shiitake Mushroom Log

Ingredients

  • 2 cups shitake mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp. teff flour
  • 1/2 cup milk or any other alternative milk ( free of carageenan )
  • 2-3 tbsp. butter or ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup beet greens washed and finely chopped ( stems included )
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
  • 3-4 tbsp. finely chopped basil or dry  italion seasonings or 2 tbsp. pesto
  • 1 jalepeno pepper finely chopped (optional)
  • salt, black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed chilli pepper flakes
  • 8-10 slices of gluten free bread
  • grated cheese ( could  be vegan ) optional

Method

  1. Clean and wash the mushrooms  well making sure all the dirt is removed.Not many chefs approve of this practice as they feel mushrooms soak up lot up of moisture and become soggy therefore just brush the dirt off. After having a “gritty” wild mushroom soup in a fancy restaurant in Sedona (Arizona) I would definitely recommend washing.There are ways to cook so that mushrooms are not soggy. You may even pat them dry on paper towels to soak up the extra moisture.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp. of ghee in a cast iron skillet and saute’ the mushrooms and garlic till they are sizzling ,aromatic and golden ( 5- 7 minutes ). I find in a cast iron skillet mushrooms are not soggy and hold their shape.IMG_0544
  3. Prepare the sauce follwing the recipe in the previous post (Brownish Red white sauce).
  4. In a separate pan or same skillet saute the beet greens for 5- 7 minutes till cooked tender crisp,add green onions towards the end.IMG_0546
  5. Once the sauce is ready add the mushroom mixture and beet greens and jalepeno , salt and black pepper.IMG_0548
  6. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees fahrenheit and spread 1 tbsp. of the mushroom mixture and grated cheese on each slice of bread and bake in the preheated oven for few minutes till crisp and golden.

Serve with a green salad and ENJOY!!!!!

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