Read your news paper if you like but, DON’T EAT THEM!
I see that a lot of people have a habit of storing their vegetables, especially their greens, in newspaper. This is not a great idea, the ink used in newsprint is highly toxic and once it gets on your greens, it is impossible to wash it off.
The best way to store greens is to wrap them in a kitchen towel or a paper towel and then put them is a box or plastic bag before putting them in the refrigerator. The same thing goes for your herbs like coriander, mint and basil.
I love way one of my suppliers sends me the greens – wrapped in leaves, instead of newspaper!
The secret to a tasty dish
More than culinary techniques or recipe, what really makes or breaks a dish is the freshness of the ingredients. When working with fresh, high-quality ingredients, you need to do very little to make them shine and taste great.
Continue reading Don’t judge those FATS too soon!
Hope all is well and you had a good weekend. Sorry I was not able to send you mail for the last couple of weeks. My mailing list got all scrambled up! Those of you, who are taking my lunch did get the print out of the weekly menu every Monday.
Over the last few decades, there have been a lot of fad diets that have scared people off including all kinds of fats in their diet. Despite their bad reputation, not all fats are bad. There is such a thing called good fat 🙂
The fact is that we need to consume fats in our diet to feel satiated, so we don’t reach for other unhealthier, calorie-rich food to satisfy our cravings. Fats are also important to facilitate the absorption of a variety of other nutrients. Anybody who cooks knows that you need fats to create delicious food. We need to use the right fats in the right way to ensure that we get the taste, satisfaction and health without harming our bodies. It is understandable why many diets advice people to shun fats – they have about 3 times the calories per gram when compared to proteins and carbohydrates. It is easy to assume, therefore, that eating fats will make you fat. But now, we know that fats alone do not cause weight gain; rather it is the imbalance of the wrong kind of carbohydrates and fats in our diet.
Continue reading Salad daze
Monday 2nd September
Pesto salad Pesto Genovese on steamed string beans, young potatoes and carrots. Served with a side of basil and masoor dal salad. This is a version of one of the most famous Italian dishes, pasta al pesto. Here I am using starchy potatoes in place of pasta! Please forget the common myth about potatoes – they are actually a diet food since 1 full potato is only 110 calories yet very filling and can therefore actually lead to weight loss and/or weight maintenance rather than weight gain. It’s so nutritious, one could almost live on potatoes alone as they provide you with almost every nutri¬ent you need. Really! This includes protein, fiber, and most of the major vitamins and minerals. On the other hand, pasta is made of white flour and has very low nutritive value and unnecessary calories.
Tuesday 3rd September
Spinach & Pumpkin salad with mustard microgreens and spicy mustard sauce sauceBaby spinach is carefully selected and tossed with roasted pumpkin. Raw, previously soaked and dried crunchy walnuts are added to make a colorful salad that is rich in nutrients, crunch and flavor. Fresh microgreens of mustard not only will add a bite but boosts the goodness of the salad. Served with a side of yellow peas and a spicy mustard sauce. Continue reading Food for the soul
Monday 17th June
Whole masoor dal and summer vegetables salad
A very satisfying salad with dal that is home cooking to many of us. I will serve this to you in a very refreshing and light manner, perfect for lunch on a hot day. Served with a side of raw food crackers. As always served with a hot sauce. Please use the hot sauce only if you want
that extra punch
Tuesday 18th June
Borsht. A Ukrainian traditional soup made of cabbage, beets, and potatoes served with a side of chickpeas and vegan “sour cream”. Color of the soup is beautiful pink! Don’t be turned off by the color – it is a very delicately flavored soup which you will enjoy for sure. Gently mix in the vegan sour cream, enjoy chickpeas on the side or mix in with the soup. It is also nice also at room temperature and can even be enjoyed chilled. This is one of the dishes that are inspired by my mother-in-law’s cooking!
Continue reading The world in a plate
Hope it got cooler in Hyderabad and mango season is in full swing. Even though berries and apricots that I love are in season here in Europe, I realize that nothing compensates for the lack of mangoes. Perhaps a durian fruit would have done it for me but for that Europe is not the place to be. Last week, in a Florence market, I bought some imported mangoes that smelled great but their goodness went only as far as the smell.
I apologize for the big mishap with the avocados a couple of weeks ago. It was quite embarrassing that I write all excitedly about how crazy I am about avocados and how I am going to generously share with you! 🙂 What can I say? Such is nature. Also, that is one thing which disappoints me in India – the farmers these days are often ignorant about what they are growing in their own farms and thus also ignorant about how and when to harvest their produce, especially when it is something that they are growing as a cash crop. Perhaps it is just part of their learning curve. It is very sad to see precious food go to waste as the avocados were not left on the tree long enough to properly mature! In fact, it is heart breaking…I have seen vanilla beans being grown in family farms where they bought synthetic vanilla essence for their own baking needs at home!
I was not able to send a weekly menu for a couple of weeks as the organic produce was extremely limited in both quantity and variety. That is one of the reasons for giving my lunch staff a week off. Figured I will make the best use of the situation and take a week off for the lunch deliveries. Hope it did not cause much inconvenience to you. Now that it has cooled down and summer is coming to an end, we expect excitement again in our kitchen!
Continue reading The summer of mangoes
The “everyday food” which most people consume on a daily basis is sapping their energy levels, making them sick, overweight and literally “attracts” all sorts of diseases, many times chronic or deadly ones. The food choices we face daily are frequently:
- High in unhealthy saturated fats which can lead to heart disease, diabetes and weight gain.
- High in calories (empty calories with little or no nutrition).
- Frequently fried and containing the dreaded trans fats. Formed when vegetable oils are fried with. Here’s more facts about trans fats: Continue reading A slice of summer
Think about what prepared food frequently looks like. Does it look like real food or not? What does it contain? Most people who take the time to think about these will be amazed at how far from “real food” today’s society has strayed.
On the other hand, when food is prepared with the freshest ingredients, food which is naturally loaded with nutrients, food whose goodness you can see, smell and taste – then here’s what you can expect:
- Gives you the nutrients you need to prevent and even reverse many diseases, including chronic ones
- Live a longer and much healthier life. So not just adding “years to your life” but adding many more happy, productive and disease-free years! Continue reading Mango mania and more
Hope you had a good weekend. I am sorry for disappointing you last week by not sending my little weekly bits…I know some of you said you look forward to them. Thank you :). I was traveling too much to put my thoughts together to send out a decent email, but I made plenty of notes on the go, and took lots of pictures. I’m hoping to be able to easily share with you with my upcoming blog and website. It should probably be ready in two weeks. I am back at ‘home’ in Florence and happy to be in the kitchen trying out new recipes.
I was in Athens, Greece when I partially wrote this. I thought the smells in the city of Athens were truly intoxicating from a flowering tree all over the city called Paskhalia. Apparently it blooms around Easter (Paskha in Greek) for a short time, I just got lucky to be there at this time. Come to think of it, the tree, flowers and the little fruity seeds that form after the flowers are all very similar to our neem tree except the flowers here are like lilacs. There are a lot of varieties of jasmines too, so felt right at home! Also, the city is lined with a type of orange trees that are quite sour and a little bitter. I know it from casually picking them from a tree and trying them. No wonder people didn’t seem to have any interest in picking them to eat. We had two people at different times warning us that they are “not edible”, so obviously I was curious to smell and taste them! First I asked some people if they are toxic, and realizing that they’re not harmful but merely considered, as unpleasant-tasting by the Greeks, I was free to taste, smell, etc. They are called Naranja. Once again similar to our naarinja. The peel had fabulous aroma; no wonder it’s used in making sweets, jams and even essential oils. Continue reading My introduction to mango panna and your daily dose of healthy food