Monday, October 31, 2011

Recipe of the week - Goan Tofu Vegetables

Goan Tofu Vegetables for recipe of the week. A good match would be a bowl of brown rice or chappathis.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Labels on frozen foods

Don't you get scared reading the paragraph of ingredients on a frozen food package? I do. Most of the time there are unheard names on that list or terms that are ambiguous. So, we all go by FDA approved stamps. That's the confidence we have on the FDA.

One basic rule of thumb that I have learned is, if a package contains a list longer than 5, do not buy it. Corn syrup, high carbs,high sodium, and transfats are the basic no-nos. Next come the list of artificial ingredients, coloring and other chemical additives. Most of the time I've realized, the product goes back to the shelf although I feel guilty about the next person picking it up and feeding their family.

Why can't we just boycott these foods? Who will start?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Healthy Tortilla Soup

If you are looking for a zesty, tasty, spicy soup on a cold Saturday or Sunday, prepare this soup. It's better than a Mexican meal. For one, it's home made and, also extremely healthy. I have found saltless Tortilla are the best especially if you are watching your salt intake.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pesto in dishes

The right amount of pesto in broiled, baked or roasted dishes generally add zest to the food. However, I don't believe adding pesto to dishes any which way would work at all. Some of the dishes I'd recommend adding pesto to are roasted potatoes, pizzas, pesto in oil as a dressing, and as a rub on toasted breads. Or,even in pastas. A touch in soups and vegetables give them just the right flavor.

The main ingredients for making a pesto are basil, pine-nuts, olive oil, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, salt and pepper. Blend them together and there you have your pesto. Keep garlic to a minimum to not make it overpowering.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Turns out too much of a good thing is not really good

Several people swallow pills, meaning vitamin pills, regularly. The collection is usually a combination of A, B, C, D, E, plus calcium, B Complex, B12, you name it.

Haven't heard much about all vitamins, but vitamin E supposedly causes more harm than good. Other vitamins also fail in producing any benefits to our health.

Here's what I read about effect of vitamins in general. 'A January 2009 editorial in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute noted that most studies of vitamins had shown no cancer benefits, but some had shown unexpected harms. Two studies of beta carotene found higher lung cancer rates, and another study suggested a higher risk of precancerous polyps among users of folic acid compared with those in a placebo group.

In 2007, The Journal of the American Medical Association reviewed mortality rates in randomized trials of antioxidant supplements. In 47 trials involving 181,000 participants, the rate of dying was 5 percent higher among the antioxidant users. The main culprits were vitamin A, beta carotene and vitamin E; vitamin C and selenium seemed to have no meaningful effect.'

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Curry Leaves Chutney

Recipe of the week. Curry leaves chutney for nutrition and taste.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Black Chick Peas Sundal

Another south indian Navrathri favorite usually made on the 8th day of the festival called Saraswathi Puja. This recipe is from Rhama, a classmate of mine in college.

Black Chick Peas Sundal

Soak 2 cups Peas for 4 to 5 hrs
Pressure cook or steam cook
Take 2 tsp. oil
Roast 3 red chillies
1 Tbsp. coriander seeds
2 tsps. chana dal
Powder the roasted mix. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a wok. Spurt 1 tsp. mustard seeds, 2 red chillies, 1 Tbsp. curry leaves. Add the cooked Peas and salt to taste. Sprinkle 1 tsp.powdered Asafoetida to this. Mix well and leave on stove for 5 to 7 mins. Finally, garnish with 2 Tbsp. shredded fresh coconut.

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Monday, October 3, 2011

Black-eyed Peas Sundal makes it to the top!

The criteria of course is the combination of appeal, taste and nutrition. The magic of black-eyed peas lies not only in its nutrients such as potassium, protein, carbs, iron, zinc and fiber, but also in its natural blood cholesterol lowering properties. Here's adding taste to nutrition and making consumption a pleasure.

Black-eyed peas Sundal - Pressure or steam cook 2 cups beans until soft to touch. Dip in cold water and drain water completely.

Grind together: 1/2 cup grated coconut, 5 green chillies, 3 Tbsps. coriander leaves and 1 inch long diced fresh ginger.

Take a wok, add 1 Tbsp. olive or canola oil. Spurt 1 tsp mustard seeds after oil gets hot. Add the ground mixture and let it cook for about 6 mins. Add the cooked legume. Mix well on medium low heat for about 8 mins. Add salt to taste.

The photo and recipe are contributions from my friend Sudha from India. Another foodie who is as picky in taste as I am. Stay tuned for more authentic tastes from India.

Visit for a variety of vegetarian recipes.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Spicy, aromatic Chick Peas Sundal

Navrathri, the festival of Goddess Durga is celebrated and worshipped by Hindus for ten days and nine nights. In southern India, on each of the nine days a spicy preparation called Sundal is prepared and distributed to women and young girls along with a goodie bag of other gifts and treats.

Here is one typical preparation made with Chick peas.