Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Healthy Blends

Assemble the recommended seven serves of fruit and vegies on your kitchen bench, and the prospect of choking them all down in a day can seem impossible. Blend them into an ice-cold smoothie, however, and suddenly a healthy diet becomes very doable.
“Smoothies are a good way to reach your dairy and fruit intakes for the day, if they’re made with skim milk or yoghurt and whole fruits,” says WH nutrition expert Sharon Natoli. These puréed powerhouses can do more than help you hit your nutrition quotas – they’re designed to tackle a variety of health concerns. Finally, a chance to use your blender for something other than margaritas...
INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALL RECIPES: combine ingredients and blend until smooth

The tummy soother

You pilates your way to a lean, mean middle, and then digestive woes like water retention, bloating or constipation sabotage your flat-stomach dreams. This gut-friendly smoothie will help: it contains the enzyme papain as well as potassium, both of which calm an angry digestive system, plus four grams of fibre to tame an upset tummy. Ginger and mint nix nausea, fend off flatulence and freshen your breath. Bonus: probiotics in yoghurt boost friendly bacteria in your digestive tract to lessen bloating.
1 cup peeled, seeded and cubed papaya
1 cup frozen sliced peaches
1 medium pear, cubed, skin optional
1 tbs ground flaxseed
1 tsp sliced ginger
6 mint leaves
½ cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
6 ice cubes
Garnish with mint after blending
Makes 3 serves. Per serve: 456kJ, 2g fat (0.5g sat), 21g carbs, 15mg sodium, 4g fibre, 4g protein

The baby protector

This prenatal superstar packs the nutrients you need when you’re expecting: folate from orange juice reduces the risk of birth defects, iron in prune juice helps blood carry oxygen to the baby, and calcium in milk helps prevent bone loss, says Cheryl Forberg, nutritionist and author of Positively Ageless. Blackberries, apricots and kiwifruit offer healing vitamin C for a postnatal edge.
3 tbs frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup frozen blackberries
2 cup peeled, cubed kiwifruit
2 apricots, skin optional
½ cup skim milk powder
1 cup prune juice, frozen in ice cube trays (or ½ cup prune juice and 1 cup ice cubes)
Makes 3 serves. Per serve: 837kJ, 0.6g fat (0g sat), 45g carbs, 78mg sodium, 6g fibre, 6g protein

The immunity builder

Loaded with boosters such as beta-carotene and vitamin C from mango, rockmelon and pineapple, this smoothie primes your infection-fighting army for action. “Vitamin C increases the production of white blood cells and antibodies,” says Dr Tanya Zuckerbrot, author of The F-Factor Diet . Finally, the duo of almonds and almond milk delivers a healthy dose of defence-fortifying zinc.
1 cup peeled, pitted, cubed mango
1 cup chopped rockmelon
½ cup cubed pineapple, fresh or canned
⅓ cup ground almonds
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup ice cubes
Garnish with sliced almonds after blending
Makes 3 serves. Per serve: 628kJ, 6.8g fat (0.5g sat), 22g carbs, 41mg sodium, 4g fibre, 4g protein

The energy booster

Potassium-rich bananas deliver energising carbohydrates, while protein powder and peanut butter give you the energy you need to get through that three o’clock slump. Pantothenic acid, a B vitamin found in yoghurt and honey, helps convert food into fuel. Iron-rich wheat germ and cinnamon up blood oxygen levels so you won’t get winded during your midday workout.
2 frozen bananas, peeled and chopped
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
2 tbs peanut butter
2 tbs wheat germ
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbs honey
¾ cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
4 tbs skim milk powder
2 cup ice cubes
Makes 3 serves. Per serve: 1042kJ, 7g fat (2g sat), 38g carbs, 102 mg sodium, 4g fibre, 25g protein

The hunger killer

This hearty blend is stocked with filling fibre from fruit and protein from tofu. “Fibre helps you feel full without contributing tons of kilojoules, and protein is the most satiating nutrient,” says Lisa Drayer, author of The Beauty Diet. Get added ammunition from the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil. “Omega-3s help increase your metabolic rate and burn fat,” says dietitian Christine Avanti. “They’ve also been found to reduce the size and number of fat cells, especially in the belly.”
1 cup strawberries, hulled
1 cup cubed mango
1 lime, peeled and seeded
2 tbs flaxseed oil
½ cup silken tofu
1½ cup ice cubes
Makes 3 serves. Per serve: 690kJ, 10g fat (1g sat), 18g carbs, 6mg sodium, 3g fibre, 3g protein

Better blending

Add power, protein and personality to your own smoothies, with these tips from juice bar owner
Dr Catherine Wilbert
Use Almond milk, skim milk, soy milk, rice milk, kefir, tofu, coconut milk or soy yoghurt
Skip Ice cream
Tip Go low-fat (once blended, you can’t tell the difference) and use frozen fruit to add texture
Use Protein powder, tofu, low-fat yoghurt, cottage cheese, peanut butter or almond powder
Skip Raw eggs – it’s not worth the salmonella risk
Tip Look for protein powder with more protein than sugar
Use Kale, spinach, romaine, silverbeet, rocket, celery and/or fresh herbs
Skip Broccoli – it’s healthy, but not good juiced
Tip Vegies can be bitter – try 70-30 fruit-to-greens
Use Wheatgerm, ground flaxseed, high-fibre fruits (raspberries, blackberries, avocado)
Skip Dried fruit
Tip For extra fibre, leave skin on thin-skinned fruits like pears and peaches
Use Honey, stevia, ripe bananas, juice concentrate
Skip Artificial sweetener
Tip Stick to a tablespoon of sweetening stuff

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tomato Saar

One of my favorite curry.  Tomato Saar - Tomato curry / soup
6 med. size tomatoes - whole boiled in water for 7-8 min.
100 ml coconut milk (depends on taste )
1tsp chili powder
1tsp (cumin + coriander powder)
1tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp turmeric powder
1tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
pinch of asofoetida
6-7 curry leaves
fresh coriander for garnishing
1tbsp oil
pinch of sugar
salt to taste
1) Grind the tomatoes.
2) In the pot add oil ginger garlic paste, cumin- coriander powder, turmeric, chili powder, asofoetida and fry for few seconds.
3) Add the tomato puree with salt and sugar. Boil for 2min.
4) In another small pot heat oil add cumin seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves and few chopped garlic cloves and asofoetida. Fry for few seconds and add to the boiling tomato curry.
5) Serve with rice or can have in Winter as soup.

Green vegei - Stir fry

This is an Konkani (Coastal recipe from Konkan) stir fry. Learned from my mother.
1 bunch of Leafy vegei - cleaned and chopped.
1 med. size onion - chopped
1 green chili- chopped
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut / frozen
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1) Heat oil in a pan and add onion, chili and cumin. Fry for 2-3 min.
2) Add chopped leafy vegetable. Fry for 2-3 min on high flame.
3) Add salt and grated coconut. and Serve with Chapati or with 'peaj'(Konkani Style rice soup)

Black Gram Curry - Ghuta - Satari style

This was taught to me by my Father. One interesting thing is , for this curry you have to give tarka in a stone bowl called thikri.  
1/2 cup whole black urad- roasted and roughly grinded
2 tbsp chana dal
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
6-7 garlic cloves
1 tbsp cumin seeds
2 green chili's
pinch of asofoetida
salt to taste
1) Cook grinded Urad and Chana dal , turmeric, salt, chili together for 2 whistles in pressure cooker.
2) After cooking put it in a pot and let it boil, can put water to bring the desired consistency.
3) heat thikri / small pan on high flame, and then turn off the flame. add oil, crushed garlic, cumin and pinch of asofoetida. Fry.Than add to boiling cooked dal and cover with lid. Let it boil for 2-3 min.
Serve with rice.
(if using thikri, you have to put tarka to dal with thikri in dal as well. And then close lid and turnoff the gas, let the dal boil in the heat of thikri. Remove thikri before serving the dal)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Yesterday I learned this recipe from a Punjabi lady. The rajma she cooked was mind blowing. Going to learn few more recipes from Punjab. Will update you all with it.
1 Cup Rajma (Soak in warm water overnight or 8-9 hours)
5 medium sized onion chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes chopped
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste (5-6 petals)
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp chili powder
salt to taste
Fresh coriander to garnish
( Grind onion tomatoes to puree ,separately)

1) Pressure cook soaked rajma for 15 min or upto 3 whistles. (add pinch of salt while cooking)
2) Heat oil in cooker, add cumin, onion paste, fry for a 1 min then add pureed tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder, ginger garlic paste, garam masala, salt. FRY for 15-20 min stirring every after few minutes until It will release  oil to side.
3) Then add the cooked rajma, stir and again pressure cook for 2-3 whistle.
4) Serve hot with rice or Chapati, roti. Garnish with Cut ginger or tomato or Coriander.
(Note: Mash 2 tbsp of rajma before adding to the masala to make the thick consistency)