Tag Archives: Cook

Healthy Recipes

recipes banner

For most of us, finding the time and energy to make a home cooked meal each day can be challenging. That is why today we present quick, easy to make, healthy recipes for everyone! These foods are not only easy to make but they are delicious and nutritious! They will easily become part of your weekly meal planning.

Basmati Rice

Basmati rice, available at Indian groceries and most health food stores, is the king of all rices. It’s a high-quality long-grain rice that has a unique aroma when cooked. Prepare your rice so that it is cooked but still firm and the grains don’t stick together.  Here’s one way to prepare Basmati rice:

Directions:

1.   Wash the rice in several changes of cold water.
2.   Put the rice in a saucepan and add 1 ½ times as much water as you have rice.
3.   Let the rice soak for 30 minutes.
4.   Bring to a boil, then stir, cover the pan, and reduce to a simmer.
5.   Simmer gently for 10 minutes.
6.   Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.
7.   Fluff the rice with a fork and serve.

Beans

Here’s some advice on cooking with beans:

  • Sort through them a bit before you cook them. You’ll probably find an occasional small stone to remove.
  • Rinse them several times before you cook them.
  • For some beans, you should soak them for a while first to soften them up before cooking.
  • Cook them well. When they’re well cooked, the digestion can get right down to its task of transforming them into beneficial chemicals.
  • Contrary to popular practice in the West, don’t add salt before the beans are cooked. Acidic ingredients like tomatoes or lemon juice shouldn’t go in either until you’ve cooked the beans. Then add these things and cook a few more minutes.
  • What you can add are spices like cumin, black pepper, and ginger (which have a lot of health-promoting effects).
  • To store your dry beans and dals, keep them in dry, airtight containers at normal room temperature.
  • Beans keep, but try to use them within six months or so. As they get older, they lose moisture and take longer to soak and cook.

Here’s a nice, basic recipe:

Split Moong Dal
(2 servings)

Ingredients:

½ cup split moong dal
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
¼ carrot, cut into thin slices
½ teaspoon fresh ginger root, grated
1 teaspoon Immunity Mix (see below)
1 tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)
1 teaspoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Immunity Mix:

6 parts turmeric
3 parts ground cumin
3 parts ground coriander
6 parts ground fennel
1 part powdered dry ginger
1 part ground black pepper
¼ part ground cinnamon

Mix the spices together well. (Store them in an airtight container in a cool place away from direct sunlight.)

Directions:

1.   Sort through the dal and remove any small stones, then rinse the dal in cool water several times.
2.   Put the water, carrots, and dal in a medium-sized saucepan, and bring it to a boil. (If foam forms on the top of the boiling water, skim it off and throw it away.)
3.   Lower the heat, and continue to simmer the dal for 20 minutes until it is tender. (If you like a thicker dal, continue the boiling for another 5 minutes.)
4.   Add the salt.
5.   Melt the ghee in a separate saucepan. Add the ginger root, and sauté for several minutes. Add the Immunity Mix and sauté briefly, about 30 seconds, with the ginger root. (Be sure that you don’t burn the spices.)
6.   Add the spice mixture to the dal and stir. (Be careful. The dal may splash a little when you put in the hot oil.)
7.   Add the lemon juice and fresh cilantro. Stir and serve.

Prana Dal
(
Recipe for 3)

Ingredients:

1 cup moong dal
1 lb. fresh organic spinach
½ teaspoon turmeric
Pinch of ground coriander
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of ground ginger
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
A few pinches of black salt (actually looks pink, available at an Indian grocery store)

Directions:

1.   Sort through the dal and remove any small stones, then rinse the dal in cool water several times.
2.   Cook the dal with the turmeric, coriander, cumin, and ginger. You should have approx. 2 ½ cups of thin cooked dal when done.
3.   Add salt to taste and cook a few more minutes.
4.   Wash the spinach thoroughly, then lightly steam it for 2-3 minutes.
5.   Put the dal and spinach in a blender, and blend for only 2-3 seconds, just enough to distribute the spinach throughout the dal without turning it into liquid.
6.   Pour into serving bowls. Sprinkle with fresh lemon juice and a pinch of black salt. Serve it with rice or a chapati (a type of flat bread).

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Ingredients:

1 lb. Swiss chard, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ghee
1 teaspoon Immunity Mix (see below)
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon lemon juice

Immunity Mix:

6 parts turmeric
3 parts ground cumin
3 parts ground coriander
6 parts ground fennel
1 part powdered dry ginger
1 part ground black pepper
¼ part ground cinnamon

Mix the spices together well. (Store them in an airtight container in a cool place away from direct sunlight.)

Directions:

1.   Heat the ghee in a frying pan.
2.   Sauté the Immunity Mix in the ghee very briefly, about 40 seconds, on low heat.
3.   Add the Swiss chard and stir it into the spices.
4.   Add about 2 tablespoons of water and cover the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the Swiss chard is tender.
5.   Add salt and lemon juice. Cook for a few more minutes, then serve.

Panir

Ingredients:

1 quart of milk (not homogenized is better)
Juice of 1 squeezed lemon

Directions:

1.   Bring the milk to a boil.
2.   Add the lemon juice. (The milk will start to curdle, but in this case that’s what you want.)
3.   Turn off the heat and let the substance sit for a few moments, then bring it back to boiling.
4.   Remove it from the heat. When it is half-cool, strain the curds from the whey through any fine cloth. (Muslin is good, or several layers of cheesecloth.)
5.   When most of the moisture has drained, gather the top of the cloth, tie it together, and hang it somewhere to drip. Let all the water drip through (which usually takes about an hour).

Yield: One cup of panir. You can cook it in with your veggies for a delicious and nutritious dish.

Nutty Delight

Ingredients:

2 parts sesame seeds, hulled
1 part white poppy seeds
1 part dried coconut (fresh, if you can get it)

Directions:

1.   Soak everything together for about an hour, until it’s soft.
2.   Blend the mixture into a smooth paste.
3.   Add this nutty paste to your vegetables or other foods as you cook them. Allow a tablespoon of paste per serving.

This mixture will help you sleep, and you’ll wake up ready to attack the day with vigor.

Lassi

For your noon meal, lassi can be a great aid to digestion. (It’s better not to have it in the evening, though.) Drink the lassi after you finish eating. Lassi is made by mixing fresh yogurt with water, and adding a few other tasty ingredients. Yogurt in its native form tends to clog digestion a bit. But when you blend it with water and make it into lassi, it aids digestion. The reason for this is that blending thins the yogurt and changes its molecular structure. There are many recipes for lassi. Here are three for you to choose from:

Sweet Lassi

Ingredients:

1 part cold yogurt
3 parts water
Pinch of ground cardamon
Pinch of sugar
Splash of rosewater

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together. Include cardamon, sugar, and rosewater, to taste. Drink after lunch.

Digestive Lassi

Ingredients:

1 part cold yogurt
3 parts water
Pinch of ground ginger
Pinch of ground cumin
Pinch of salt
Pinch of black pepper

Directions:

Blend all ingredients together. Include ginger, cumin, salt, and pepper, to taste. Drink after lunch.

Lassi to prevent gas, bloating

Ingredients:

1 cup room-temperature water
¼ cup fresh homemade yogurt
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cumin
1 pinch ground coriander
1 pinch salt

Directions:

Blend everything together for one minute. Drink after lunch to ward off gas and bloating.

This modified chapter was taken with permission from: The Answer to Cancer, by Sharma and Mishra, with Meade, SelectBooks, New York, 2002.

Advertisements

Turmeric-The Golden Spice

turmeric

Excerpt from Turmeric – The Golden Spice

Ayurveda’s top candidate as the world’s best anti-cancer spice would be nothing other than the commonplace turmeric. Yes, that turmeric, the one that for years seemed like just a little food coloring. In the recent past, if you had it at all, it sat on the shelf in the same bottle for month after month and year after year until you moved away, cleaned house, and threw it out. Little, orange, tasteless, neglected turmeric. It’s a serious cancer fighter.

Neglected in the West, turmeric has been a pillar of the diet in India for thousands of years. There in the East the bottle does not sit neglected, and turmeric is hardly just food coloring. For at least 5,000 years—every day in every Indian kitchen, while cooking their lentils and vegetables with turmeric—Indians have been using this anticancer wonder spice.

Ayurvedic tradition knows both the spice itself and, just as important, how to use it to coax the maximum benefit from the seemingly shy spice. Need a little convincing on the possible benefits of this ‘sleeper’—a relative of the much more zesty ginger plant and, like ginger, derived from the rhizome of the plant? You can get it now from Western medicine, which recently has devoted a great deal of research to the subject of this now-remembered spice. Here from Western science are some of the documented benefits of turmeric, including its anticancer properties:

• Anticancer properties: Protects against DNA damage, stimulates detoxifying enzymes, anti-mutagenic effect, anti-tumor
• Anti-inflammatory: Inhibits lipoxygenase, thromboxane, cyclooxygenase-2, leukotrienes, interleukin-12, hyaluronidase
• Antioxidant
• Hepatoprotective (protects the liver)
• Antibacterial, antifungal
• Promotes wound healing
• Decreases low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and triglycerides (TG)
• Anti-thrombotic (helps prevent blood clots)
• Prevents lipid peroxidation and aortic streak formation
• Protects cells from beta-amyloid injury – may protect against Alzheimer’s disease; improves Alzheimer’s disease in animal models
• Enhances metabolism (i.e., good for digestion)
• Protects against heart disease
Turmeric is good for your digestion, which means that it will help to dissolve those undesirable fats in your body instead of allowing them to accumulate. It gobbles up free radicals, which protects your blood vessels. It’s antibacterial, and it’s always good for the heart to cut down on the infection-causing bacteria in the system. And it is a supremo antioxidant. Would you have thought that it’s good for your heart, to eat turmeric regularly as a cancer-preventative? Well, it is.

“Wow,” you might think, “this flat-tasting, slightly bitter, yellow-orange powder can do all that? Who would have guessed it? I’ll take a spoonful with every meal.” The stuff is cheap and available. You might be tempted to load it into a water bottle and glug it all day long. And, as a natural food, it seems perfectly harmless. Why not just eat as much as you want? Well, these initial reactions deserve a bit more attention, along with one other common perception of such a potent spice.—“If this stuff does all this, why don’t I just extract the potent part, and have a genuine drug for myself?” First, let’s start with the right way to use turmeric. Then we’ll lay to rest some of the popular misconceptions surrounding it.

Cook with It

First of all, there are right ways and wrong ways to ingest your turmeric. The right way (you won’t find this advice hard to swallow) is to cook with it. According to the ancient Ayurvedic tradition, the best way to use this potent spice is also the way that it tastes best and is easiest to digest. Eating deliciously cooked turmeric doesn’t just get your own gastric juices flowing (which helps you assimilate the spice and get the most benefit from it). The cooking itself also brings out the best in the substance. When you cook turmeric with food, the turmeric doesn’t lose any of its innate, plant intelligence. Instead, the intelligence of the turmeric enhances the intelligence of the food, and vice versa. Food and turmeric play a very pleasant duet together, to the lasting benefit of your body.

Turmeric goes with every kind of taste identified by Ayurveda. This substance is versatile. You can put it in a salty dish, which you may not find surprising, but you can also put it in a sweet dish.

Create a Turmeric Sauce for Everyday Use

To create a versatile sauce with turmeric, sauté the turmeric in olive oil or ghee (clarified butter), then put it on your food. You can add turmeric to any of your foods. The serving size is ¼ tsp. per meal.

Note that some of turmeric’s beneficial nutrients are water-soluble and some are fat-soluble. By sautéing with ghee or olive oil, you release the fat-soluble chemicals. By mixing with food and cooking, you release the water-soluble chemicals. It’s best to do both.
Cook it with Your Main Meal. Cook lentils, vegetables, fish, poultry, etc., with turmeric. Most popular curries from India include turmeric, and curries are indeed a great way to get your medicinal benefits while indulging in a delectable meal. Here’s a tasty curry recipe:

Curry

Ingredients:
6 parts turmeric
10 parts ground cumin
1 part ground ajwain
6 parts ground fennel
1 part ground black pepper
(Ajwain, if it’s new to you, is an excellent anticancer spice, good for cleaning out the channels in the body. You can get it at an Indian grocery store.)

Directions:
1. Mix the spices together well.
2. Use this mixture when cooking your lentils, vegetables, etc. A recommended serving size is ½ to 1 tsp. per person. Enjoy this curry with lunch and dinner.
3. Store the spice mixture in an airtight container in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

Here’s a good way to cook vegetables with this spice mixture:
1. Heat up a little oil or ghee on medium to medium-high heat.
2. Add the spice mixture and sauté briefly.
3. Add the vegetables and stir them into the spice mixture.
4. Add water if necessary, add salt, and continue cooking until done.
This method maximizes the healthful effects of the spices and also makes the veggies taste so good you’ll actually want to eat them!

Enjoy Delicious Turmeric Milk

Here’s a way to enjoy turmeric in liquid form. Besides preventing cancer, this tasty delight helps prevent colds:
Add ¼ tsp. turmeric to one cup of milk and boil it. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over. Let it cool a bit, then sip it slowly.
Make Your Own Immunity Booster
You can mix together several spices, including turmeric, to strengthen your immunity to colds, flu, and all kinds of other imbalances. Here’s how to make your own Immunity Mix:

Immunity Mix

Ingredients:

6 parts turmeric
3 parts ground cumin
3 parts ground coriander
6 parts ground fennel
1 part powdered dry ginger
1 part ground black pepper
¼ part ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. Mix the spices together well. (Store them in an airtight container in a cool place away from direct sunlight.)
2. Heat one teaspoon of the spice mixture in one tablespoon of ghee, using medium to medium-high heat, until the mixture releases an aroma. Remove from the heat immediately, so it won’t burn.
3. Put this spiced ghee on cooked rice, vegetables, or your other foods. (Or you can cook your vegetables with this spice mixture the same way as mentioned above.)
If you take this combination of spices regularly with each main meal of the day, you’ll boost your immune system and enhance your digestion.

This modified chapter was taken with permission from: The Answer to Cancer, by Sharma and Mishra, with Meade, SelectBooks, New York, 2002.