This week is about trying either new recipes or new ingredients. Before I start with the recipes, I’m going to introduce my weekly menu and some of the benefits found in the different food items. Let’s take a trip around the globe
Also known as “Mung Bean” or “glass” noodles. These go from white to transparent when cooked, and are gluten-free. These are gluten-free, and so are a good option for people with gluten allergy or Celiac disease. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley (or any foods made with these items). People with Celiac disease cannot digest gluten and hence cannot consume these food products. A good pasta substitute could be these noodles. They cook quickly and easily, and can soak up any flavor as they are relatively nuetral in taste. However, these are quite calorific with 390 calories per 100g of noodles. It’s an interesting new ingredient, but not one I would use regularly. However, I did try it for this Shrimp Cashew sweet and sour recipe.
“Koushari” is an interesting delicious dish, very popular in Egypt. It consists of lentils, rice, small curly pasta, fried onions, and a side sauce made from tomatoes and chili. My mother makes it with yoghurt on the side as well. I decided to finally try the recipe minus the pasta, and with as little frying as possible. Why?
Well, this meal is a powerhouse of ingredients.
- Tomatoes: found to protect against cancer, especially lung, stomach and prostate cancers. They also help prevent heart disease, and are an excellent source of antioxidants.
- Lentils: one of the world’s healthiest foods. These help lower body cholesterol (being an excellent source of fiber), and improve our digestive system. It is also a good source of protein for vegetarians in particular.
- Yoghurt: Helps in preventing osteoporosis (weakening of bones), and improving our digestive system, particularly the colon. Also, studies have shown that it may help in weight loss and in preventing hypertension.
I’ve often heard of “chilli” in American Tv series, especially during football season. Since the temperature is starting to cool down here in Beirut, and I already LOVE spices – it was only a matter of time before I gave this meal a chance. Altered, of course, I substituted meat in the popular recipe to plenty of veggies instead but kept the many delicious spices. So, what are some of the benefits of spices, and chilli in particular?
- Chilli: Has more Vitamin C than oranges, and is also a good source of Vitamin A and E (all potent antioxidants). It can help reduce symptoms of sinus congestion, and is found to reduce migraines and muscle pain. Some studies say that it can help improve metabolism and aid weight loss even!
- Cumin: Surprising source of Iron, and some studies have linked cumin to improved brainpower and memory. Also, it’s antiseptic properties have been shown to improve immunity.
This was my menu this week – new flavors, new recipes, with one constant – reduced saturated fat, and delicious flavors!
Eat well, eat healthy – one meal at a time!
P.s: Recipes will be posted this week, one by one – so keep checking back for detailed steps and ingredients!