Monthly Archives: June 2013

Mixed Vegetable Stew

photo 57-moroccan stewMixed Vegetable Stew
This is a very easy recipe which I make very often and is always a hit. It’s one of those that can’t go wrong. The combination of vegetables and spices give this stew a subtle Moroccan flavor.
It will taste delicious even the next day as the vegetables get soaked with all the delectable flavors.
Preparation time- 15 minutes
Cooking time- 30 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients-
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and diced into 1’inch pieces
½ green or red bell pepper, seeded and diced into 1 inch pieces
2 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 bunch of spinach, chopped
1 cup chick peas, cooked (or 1 15 oz can of Garbanzo beans which are precooked)
1 stalk of celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 inch piece of ginger grated or 1 teaspoon ginger paste
4-5 cloves
8-10 peppercorns
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon chili powder
3 cups of vegetable stock or water
10-12 fresh mint leaves
Salt/Pepper to taste

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The Magic of Fiber

High Fiber foods
High Fiber foods

The Magic of Fiber
When we think of fiber we think of bran or Metamucil, something that prevents constipation.
We have to change that thinking.
Fiber is actually a vital nutrient which is present in natural plant foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Its deficiency can lead to major health problems like hemorrhoids, varicose veins, diabetes and cancer.
Fiber fills you up mechanically so you feel full when you consume it. It is very low in calories so it is an ideal nutrient- dense food.

To know more about the benefits of a fiber rich diet, see the following link:

http://www.vegsource.com/joel-fuhrman-md/eat-fiber-rich-foods-now-not-later.html

Mango Salsa

Photo 41- Mango cutPhoto 40- mango salsaMango Salsa
Summer in India signals the start of the mango season. We would   wait with bated breath to get a mouthful of that sweet luscious Alfonso mango. I remember as a kid, we used to get so excited and how we had to change into an old tee shirt in order to devour that king of all fruits.
When I saw fresh ripe mangoes yesterday when I went shopping, I just had to buy them.
Here’s a delicious sweet and sour recipe I would like to share with you. I’ve added some kick with jalapenos and bell peppers. And it’s full of antioxidants and vitamins.
Preparation time 15 minutes
No cooking time
Serves 4
Ingredients
•    1 large ripe firm mango
•    ½  green or red bell pepper, diced into small pieces
•    1 tablespoon Jalapenos pickled, cut into bits
•    ¼ cup green onions or scallions, diced finely,
•    ½ teaspoon cumin powder
•    1 -2 tablespoons  lemon/lime juice
•    salt to taste
•    little sugar to sprinkle if your mangoes are not sweet enough
•    2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
•    few mint leaves (optional)
Method
1) Dice the mangoes
2) Mix all the other ingredients in a  bowl with the mango.
3) Toss well and cover it with a plastic wrap. Set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This helps the flavor to mingle well.
4) Garnish with torn mint leaves or with just cilantro leaves.

Variation
You can add pineapple pieces to the mango for an interesting twist.
The salsa can be served as an appetizer with pita bread or as a side dish.

Water Sauteing

Photo 52- Mushroom dry sauteingWater or Dry Sauteing Photo 51-Water sauteing
Cooking without using any oil is a challenge only because it has become a habit. Since I started to cook without a drop of any form of oil, I started to dry sauté the onions, garlic and vegetables.
It’s good to use a non-stick pan or skillet, heat it to a medium heat, add the chopped onion or add the dry spice, say cumin seeds. Onions can be dry sautéed for 5 minutes adding enough water to prevent them from sticking to the pan and stirring them. If you are not using onion, add the cumin or mustard seeds to the heated pan. In a minute they will start to splutter. Add the vegetables and enough water to prevent any sticking to the pan.
Non-stick pans are more conducive to dry or water sautéing, but they are not required.
When any recipe calls for sautéing ingredients, use this technique.

Oil, Fat and Cholesterol

Today we are bombarded by a variety of ‘low fat’ food products and we easily fall prey to it. In spite of knowing that fat is bad for health we do not try hard to avoid it. Too much fat makes the body produce more cholesterol. This extra cholesterol leads to plaque

English: Olives in olive oil.
Olives in olive oil.

formation and blockage of arteries. This is a slow process which takes place over decades. Continue reading Oil, Fat and Cholesterol