Eggplant with Fenugreek Spice

Fenugreek and Eggplant

Roasted Eggplant with tomatoes and Fenugreek

Roasted Eggplant with tomatoes and Fenugreek

  • 1 Eggplant peeled
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil1 tsp fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Fenugreek
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt

Directions
Peel eggplant, cut into cubes, lightly salt the cubed eggplant, place into colander and place colander onto a bowl to collect the water from the eggplant for 30 minutes. With a paper towel dab dry the eggplant. In a skillet over medium heat brown eggplant as the water from the vegetable releases its vapor.  Add olive oil and minced garlic and cubed eggplant. Stir the egg plant in the skillet for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Place eggplant into a bowl, add parsley/clinatro fenugreek, red pepper flakes and combine all ingredients with a wooden spoon. May be served at room temperature.
Health Benefits of Fenugreek

1. Fenugreek is known to reduce risk of heart strokes.
2. Oestrogen like properties to help reduce menstrual cramps and discomfort during menopausal symptoms.
3. Reduce labour pain and helps against iron deficiency post pregnancy. Increases milk production in lactating mothers.
4. Galactomannan is a natural soluble fiber that makes fenugreek beneficial for people with diabetes.

Fenugreek is best known for the benefits obtained from its external use. The paste can help get rid or skin irritation, wounds, muscular pains, scars, etc. It is also used as a beauty product in face packs to remove pimples and blackheads. If consumed like green tea with honey and lemon, fenugreek can help reduce fever.

The Ultimate Ingredient

The unteachable ingredient is the most important and it begins with the farmers!

One noticeable golden thread that passes from the weathered hard working hands of labor is that of respect and passion. The farmers, fisherman, and gardeners along the costal countries which border the Mediterranean Sea translate their passion by handling the food with good intentions, admirable aspirations of delivering quality nutrients to the locals, with pride in their produce, a smile on their face, it is all done with utmost respect and affection for neighbors and residents alike.

A stark transcontinental contrast to the American Food Science Industry where the word “chemicals” is substituted by the words “Fruit Snacks” in order to convince a younger generation of what is an actual fruit form.

The Mediterranean Lifestyle has afforded me the possibility of researching, studying, and experiencing the rich culture of nutritious alimentation that reaches our tables. My goal has been to teach methods of optimizing the nutrients that come from the seeds that have grown into vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables that arrive with gusto at each and every meal.

Teachable lessons address the quality of  the produce (I have learned) that may or may not be essential, as it could be limited based on geography. Heating methods change from country to country because of the current distribution within homes. I have seen circuits blow out in an entire home just because the kitchen lights were turned on at the same time the oven was warming to it’s ideal temperature. (A single top heating unit works whether gas or electric.) Utensils for improving food preparation, while in abundance in countries like the United States, are not always readily available globally; a knife and wooden spoon can be more than enough to get one around the kitchen. Cooking often begins with a base of fat, a healthy choice is olive oil over low heat with added herbs, spices, vegetables, meat, poultry, or fish.

Notably, the execution of the technical aspect of cooking can be taught, monitored, encouraged, and at last tasted, but the one thing that I cannot teach is the emotion that must accompany cooking.  Many times I have received a call of desperation, “I did everything that you told me to do! I followed the recipe to the letter. It must be inferior ingredients. WHAT DID I DO WRONG?”

My reply: “Give your food a voice”. Did you listen to it as you prepared it? What did the simmering look like? How did  it smell or taste? Was the meat sticking to the pan when you tried to pry it from it’s cooking process?  Yes, all these techniques are critical to reproducing a healthy recipe….

…however, let’s no overlook a critical key that unlocks a successful meal, What was your physical presence: in a hurry, angry, sad, OR happy, content, positive? A word of caution when preparing food for those who you appreciate, those individuals must be elevated in importance, as you would value their conversation value their palate. Promote a progressive meal that is robust of flavors that comes into a calm, upbeat, and yes, loving atmosphere. The additive of your best self should also be that of the continued golden thread of passion and priority in order to provide a delectable meal.

Learn from the shimmering string of labor that brought the food over the miles to your kitchen, the ultimate and unteachable ingredient to an optimal meal comes from your passion as you stir the food, check the fluid, and taste the seasoning, the ingredient to a successful meal is always love.

Friendly Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

Delicious Chocolate Mousse made in a blender. 5 minutes to make & 1 hour in the refrigerator.

Delicious Chocolate Mousse made in a blender. 5 minutes to make & 1 hour in the refrigerator

  • 1 cup Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup Whipped Cream
  • Whipped Cream, for topping
  • chocolate curls or cocoa, for garnish, optional

Easy Preparation time 5 minutes. Chill time 1 hour.

Place chocolate chips egg and flavoring in blender and chop. Heat cream until very hot and small bubbles appear at edge. Do not boil. With blender running, pour in hot cream. Blend until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Add sugar and Whipped Cream, blend for another minute.
In dessert dishes, place 1 Tablespoon of Whipped Cream and 5 Raspberries. Pour into dessert dishes, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm. Top off with whipped cream, 5 raspberries and shaved chocolate garnish, if desired, or sprinkle the whipped cream with a little cocoa.
Serves 4.

Sausage and Mushroom Risotto

Risotto is Italian comfort food which can be served simply by itself, or add in a choice of vegetables, sausage and mushroom risottoseafood, or meat.

Ingredients

Italian Sausage 4 ounces
Mushrooms sliced. (choose from portabella, porcini, crimini)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 Small onion or shallots
Arborio Rice 1 cup
1/2 cup wine
2 cups broth (water and 2 buollion cube)

Directions

In a skillet over medium heat add sausage and break it into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Once brown it is down. Place a colander into the sink and place cooked sausage into colander, allowing to drain for 10 minutes.

Heat 2 T of olive oil or butter in a well-seasoned, cast iron skillet (or the heaviest, non-stick skillet you have.) Add 1 pat of butter and chopped shallots or onions to the oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
Add your Arborio rice. For this example, we’ll use 1 cup. This is enough to feed four to six as either a first course (the Italian tradition), or as a main course. Stir the rice well with the onions, butter and oil, because the purpose is to thoroughly “coat” the rice. This helps regulate absorption of the liquid. Add 1/2 cup of dry flavorful white wine.  When the wine is about 3/4′s absorbed, reduce the heat to the lowest setting if you are cooking in an iron skillet, (low medium if in anything else), and ladle in enough stock to cover the smoothed out risotto. When the added liquid level drops about 1/3, re-cover the risotto with more stock. (Continue this process for about 20 minutes.) At about 10 minutes of stirring rice add your mushrooms and sausage.

The end of the cooking is critical for the final texture of the dish, so when the rice is mostly tender, but with just a hint of texture to it, and the liquid you have added to this point is mostly absorbed, add the Parmesean and 2 T of butter. At this point, stir the risotto to blend in the cheese and remove your finished risotto from the heat.

Seafood Risotto

Risotto is Italian comfort food which can be served simply by itself, or add in a choice of 1012686_10203306633251620_1396685508_nvegetables, seafood, or meat.

Ingredients

1/2 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/3 cup of white wine
Select seafood of choice: mussels, shrimp, clams, calamari, or octopus.
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 Small onion or shallots
Arborio Rice 1 cup
1/2 cup wine
2 cups broth (water and 2 buollion cube)

Directions

Place seafood into a bowl with garlic clove,  salt,  red pepper flakes, white wine. Set aside.

Heat 2 T of olive oil and butter in a well-seasoned, cast iron skillet (or the heaviest, non-stick skillet you have.) Add 1 pat of butter and chopped shallots or onions to the oil and sauté for 2-3 minutes over medium heat.
Add your Arborio rice. For this example, we’ll use 1 cup. This is enough to feed four to six as either a first course (the Italian tradition), or as a main course. Stir the rice well with the onions, butter and oil, because the purpose is to thoroughly “coat” the rice. This helps regulate absorption of the liquid. Add 1/2 cup of dry flavorful white wine.  When the wine is about 3/4′s absorbed, reduce the heat to the lowest setting if you are cooking in an iron skillet, (low medium if in anything else), and ladle in enough stock to cover the smoothed out risotto. When the added liquid level drops about 1/3, re-cover the risotto with more stock. (Continue this process for about 20 minutes.) At about 15 minutes of stirring rice add your add all ingredients from seafood bowl into risotto.

The end of the cooking is critical for the final texture of the dish, so when the rice is mostly tender, but with just a hint of texture to it, and the liquid you have added to this point is mostly absorbed, add the Parmesan.  At this point, stir the risotto to blend in the cheese and remove your finished risotto from the heat.

Mediterranean Diet vs. Cancer Clinical Trials

Lower incidents of cancer and “arrest progression” of  Breast, Colon, and Prostate, as well as a slowed “Aging” process across all micro organisms, are being attributed to nutrients consumed from the Mediterranean Diet.  Organs effected by Alzheimer, Cardiovascular, Diabetes, Hypertension, and Parkinson Disease once thought to be pre-dispositioned diseases, are now completely avoided due to the higher intake of a plant based-fish/poultry diet that includes a lifestyle change with exercise. In order to understand nutrition related disease we first have to address nutritional intake for the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) and understand what nutrients are common within the Mediterranean Diet that promote well-being.

Compare and Contrast the Standard American Diet (SAD) to the Mediterranean Diet on the following pie charts:

Standard American Diet: 2,594 cals/day

Caloric Sweeteners, Flour, and Cereal Products make up 41% of the S.A. D., Fruits and Vegetables are only 7% of the S.A.D.

Standard American Diet
Fruit/Vegetable 205 .08%
Fats 340 13%
Dairy 256 10%
Sweeteners 440 0.17%
Pork/Meat/Chxn 298 0.11%
Nuts 175 .07%
Pasta/Bread 619 23%
 Calories/day 2,594

Two critical points that Doctors raise as red flags. 1. Higher amounts of calories are  in the Standard American Diet. 2 Empty calories that promote aging is due to how the body is required to process calories that the body cannot use and have small to no amount of  vitamins, minerals, or antioxidants available.

Chemical Sweeteners and Refined Flour

  1. In contrasting the diets, note that 41% of the Standard American Diet is dedicated to the consumption of chemical sweeteners, refined flour, and cereal products.
  2. The Mediterranean Diet has no chemical sweeteners and only 17% of the dietary intake is in pasta and breads.
Calories Mediterranean Diet
Fruit/Vegetable 400 22%
Olive Oil 360 20%
Dairy 257 15%
Wine/Liquor 150 0.09%
Pork/Fish/Chxn 105 0.06%
Nuts 175 1%
Pasta/Bread 300 17%
 Calories/day 1747

Fats, Oil and Dairy products are almost an even draw in calories.

S.A.D 596 calories or 23% of dietary intake  vs Mediterranean Diet 617 or  35% of dietary intake.

  1. S.A.D. utilizes fats such as Margarine, Canola Oil, Butter, and processed cheese.
  2. Mediterranean Diet utilizes Olive Oil (3 Tbsp/day), daily fresh made or aged cheese.

So far the Standard American Diet in just two arguments has shown that 1,655 calories, or 64% of an average American’s diet is composed of sweeteners, refined flour, and processed saturated animal fat. The Mediterranean Diet demonstrates that 917 calories, or  52% of it’s nutritional intake comes from grains, refined flour, plant based oil, and freshly made or aged saturated animal fat.

S.A.D. Protein intake is 473 calories or 18% vs. Mediterranean Diet 235 calories or 13% of total intake.

  1. S.A.D. is heavily loaded with red meat some chicken / pork and low amounts of fish. It is important to note that red meat has 92 calories per ounce.
  2. Mediterranean Diet loads up on fish, poultry and some pork with red meat entering their dietary intake only once every 7-10 days. White meats and fish range from 32-37 calories per ounce are easy to digest and the amount of available oils high in omega 3 promotes healthy organs.

Protein intake is a critical part of everyone’s diet. Vitamins B12 & B16 are most prominent in meats and provide nutrition for the central nervous system.  However, balance is most important when consuming protein. Omega 3 and Protein are in all the meats, fish, and poultry, however the omega-3 is in higher amounts within certain fish (Anchovies, Sardines, Herring, Mackerel, Salmon) also easier to digest. Red meat can take 48-72 hours to digest, therefore a contributor to the aging process of the body as organs endure a work out to utilize and expel what is not needed. In many cases saturated fat is then deposited into the arteries and begin to engulf the organs.

Benefits of Fruits, Vegetables, Herbs, Spices, and Resveratrol

  1. S.A.D. shows that Americans consume only 205 calories or .08% of fruits and vegetables through out the day. (Eat the skin if not hard or bitter.)
  2. Those who follow the Mediterranean Diet are more likely to consume 400 calories or 22% of fruits and vegetables through out the day. Consuming wholesome nutrients found within natural wrappers provides the human body systems with vitamins and minerals that it needs to function daily.

    Free Radicals expedite the aging process by harming the cell membrane. Anti-oxidants neutralize the free radicals, and therefore protect all cell membranes. Eat a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices to keep your body loaded up on anti-oxidants.

Clinical trials are executing nutrition in plant extract form as a way of combatting disease and researching compounds that come from Mediterranean herbs and spices:

  • Basil / Bay Leaves:  Antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant properties. New evidence suggests basil can decrease carcinogenesis, and help protect against the proliferation of cervical cancer (HeLa cells).
  • Cardamom: Is loaded with anti oxidants that purge the body from free radicals that help prevent multiple forms of cancer. Found to be anti-proliferatvie, anti-invasive, anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic. Colon Cancer
  • Oregano: Has flavonoids and phenolic acids (antimicrobial properties) found to prevent colon cancer and restrict growth of malignant cancer cells
  • Rosemary: Aids in preventing oxidative stress which causes prostate and ovarian cancer

Studies have shown utilizing plant extracts from Mediterranean Spices that are linked to reduced incidents of cancer or arrested progression of cancer are:

  • Cinnamon / Cloves: Increased levels of iron and calcium are components that may be attributes of the anti carcinogenic, pro-apoptotic, anti-proliferative properties. Cervical Cancer, Colon Cancer.
  • Ginger: Has shown that it inhibits cancer cell growth in prostate cancer patients.
  • Sumac: Has both anti-oxidants and anti-microbial properties, preventing the on set of cancer.
  • Turmeric:  Contains anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic activities and thus has a potential against various malignant diseases, diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer and other chronic illnesses.  Plant based resveratrol is known to slow the aging process and is tested to see which cancers that it can prevent, arrest, and cure.  “Resveratrol (1 mg/kg orally) reduced the number and size of the esophageal tumors in rats treated with a carcinogen; and in several studies, small doses (0.02–8 mg/kg) of resveratrol, given prophylactically, reduced or prevented the development of intestinal and colon tumors in rats given different carcinogens. Similarly, topical application of resveratrol in mice, both before and after the UVB exposure, inhibited the skin damage and decreased skin cancer incidence.”

Add resveratrol to your meals, finding it within a variety of sources: purple grapes, cranberries, blueberries, peanuts, pomegranate and Italian Red Wine.

Making small dietary changes will promote overall health and reduce incidence of nutrition related disease and cancers, therefore leading to days of improved strength, stamina, and endurance.

By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio

References

Reduce 500 Calories a day, Lose 1 pound per Week

Condiment & Fats can be Substituted to achieve Weight Loss 

Add fruit to smaller size sliced cake and reduced fat whip cream in order to save on calorie intake. The body burns more calories when digesting fruit.

A deficit of 690 calories a day is an investment in losing 1 pound (.454 g) a week. Simply by cutting 500 meal calories throughout the day will reset your week to weight loss success! Add in quick pace walk (4.0 mph) for 30 minutes/day, to benefit from another 190 lost calories. Combining a decrease in dietary intake and an increase in exercise in order to help gain control of realizing your dream to a healthier and more fit You! At only takes moderation and modification to lose a total of 3,500 calories a week=1 pound weight loss.

Tweek a recipe by substituting ingredients or changing the cooking technique. The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans emphasizes we need to reduce the amount of fat, sodium (salt) and added sugar we consume and increase our consumption of fiber. The fact sheet below provides suggestions to decrease the amount of fat, sugar, and salt (sodium) in your recipes, optimizing a nutritious meal without the extra calories.

In order to achieve a higher fiber intake, add fruit, nuts or rolled oats to cakes or cookies, thereby, increasing total fiber intake. Remember you can experiment with recipes and change ingredients. You may also be able to find other recipes that are similar to yours that have less fat, sugar, salt, and have more additions of nutritious ingredients.

Tips to decrease total fat
Most recipes can substitute a healthy plant oil for animal fat. Use 25% less liquid oil or solid fat called for in the recipe. If recipe calls for 1 cup use ¾ cup. Use equal amounts of oil for melted shortening, margarine or butter. HEALTHY OILS: Olive Oil, Canola Oil

Shortening and butter in baking, exchanged for:
25% reduction of fat in recipe. May also use applesauce, prune puree, or yogurt to replace butter, shortening, or olive oil in cakes. May need to shorten baking time by 10 minutes to avoid a dry cake. It’s always better to add polyunsaturated fats (plant based fat) to food instead of saturated fat (animal based dairy), by doing so total cholesterol is in line with body’s needs.

Whole milk, half and half or evaporated milk
Can be replaced
with skim milk, 1% milk, evaporated skim milk, fat-free half and half , or plain soymilk with calcium.

Butter, margarine exchanged for reduced amounts of olive oil to prevent sticking. Fat to sauté or stir-fry.
When sauteing foods reduce calorie intake by: olive oil, canola oil, or using cooking spray. (broth for vegetables). Use only 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil or Canola Oil at a medium temperature to fry foods.

Full-fat cream cheese
Should be substituted with: low-fat or nonfat cream cheese; or for recipes substitue low-fat cottage cheese pureed until smooth.

Full-fat sour cream
Full-fat cottage cheese or use 2% or fat-free cottage cheese
Full-fat Ricotta cheese or use se part-skim ricotta.
Use nonfat or reduced fat sour cream
Fat-free plain yogurt.

Cream (Whipping cream)
Try utilizing evaporated skim milk
Use nonfat whipped topping or cream (This is only nonfat if one serving size is used.)

Eggs
Use egg whites (usually 2 egg whites for every egg) or ¼ cup egg substitute.
Whole fat cheese
Use reduced fat cheese, but add it at the end of the baking time or use part skim mozzarella.

Frying in fat
Exchange for:
bake, boil, broil, grill, poach, roast, stir-fry, or microwave.

Regular mayonnaise or salad dressing
Low fat, Reduced or Nonfat mayonnaise
Reduced fat salad dressing.
Top off salads: Whisk lemon juice, oil, oregano and pepper together.

Canned fish
Buy water-packed canned products.

Fat cuts of meat w skin on
Leaner cuts of meat or ground meat, remove skin before cooking.

Tips to reduce sodium:
Table Salt
Omit salt or reduce salt by ½ in most recipes (except in products with yeast). Cook foods without adding salt.
Don’t put the salt shaker on the table: try pepper, or Mrs Dash salt substitute

Frozen or canned vegetables
Choose frozen vegetables without sauces or use no-salt-added canned goods. Rinsing canned vegetables will help reduce sodium.

Seasoning Salt or spice mixes with salt
Use salt-free seasonings and spice mixes, herbs, spices, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, garlic or Chile peppers to flavor food instead of salt.

Seasonings high in sodium include: catsup, chili sauce, chili powder, bouillon cubes, barbecue sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and meat tenderizers.

More on Salt Substitutes………..Herbs and Spices
Basil Marjoram Oregano Parsley Rosemary Sage Thyme Garlic Onion
• Use each alone or mix them together. • BASIL, OREGANO, PARSLEY taste great in tomato sauces (use low sodium tomatoes or tomato sauce). Serve the sauce with pasta or rice.

With a 2 tbsp olive oil combine equal parts of ROSEMARY, SAGE, THYME, to a GARLIC clove, half ONION for your favorite beans. • Try any of these herbs in your steamed vegetables or in soups. • Try fresh garlic and onion sauté in a tbsp oil.

Chives Dill Parsley Tarragon
• Steam any one of these with your vegetables or with fish. • Tarragon is great in soup. • Dill is great in rice with vegetables and kidney beans, or in dips with yogurt and low fat sour cream. • Chives and parsley are great on top of salad, soup or baked potato. They are also good in dips with yogurt and sour cream.

Allspice Garlic Marjoram Parsley Thyme
• Mix these herbs and spices together for a terrific meat loaf, pot roast or other red meat dish.
Marjoram Rosemary Tarragon

• Mix these together, rub on your chicken or turkey (with the skin removed) and steam it.
Curry powder Turmeric Garlic and Onion

• Mix these together with tomatoes (tomato sauce), rice, black beans and corn for a delicious Spanish flavor. • If you don’t like curry, try the same recipe without the curry powder.

Tips to reduce sugar
Reducing sugar by ¼ to 1/3 in baked goods and desserts. If recipe calls for 1 cup, use 2/3 cup. Flavor Enhancers ARE: Cinnamon, vanilla, almond and various extracts. (Do not remove all sugar in yeast breads as sugar provides food for the yeast.)

Yogurt, all varieties
Plain or “lite” yogurt with fresh fruit slices.

Syrup
Pureed fruit, such as no sugar added applesauce, or sugar-free syrup.

Sugar in canned or frozen fruits
Decrease or eliminate sugar when canning or freezing fruits or buy unsweetened frozen fruit or fruit canned in its own juice, water, or light syrup.

Ways to Increase Fiber; CRITICAL to Weight Loss
Choose fruits and vegetables with skins that can be eaten, making your digestive system work for you, burning more calories as your body tries to rid itself of indigestable cellulose within the skin. White rice prepared until al dente, 1-2 minutes short cooked to done, leaves the rice more rigid. Prepare enriched grains such as: whole grain, brown rice, wild rice, whole cornmeal (not degermed), whole barley, bulgur, kasha, quinoa, or whole wheat couscous.

All purpose flour
Substitute whole wheat flour for up to ½ of the flour. For example, if a recipe calls for 2 cups flour: Alternate with 1 cup all purpose flour and 1 cup (minus 1 tablespoon) Whole Wheat Flour. Use “white whole-wheat flour” or “whole wheat pastry flour” for total amount of all-purpose flour.

Pasta, cereals crackers, cookies
Now the choice can be whole grain pastas, crackers and cereals, reduced –fat cookies.

White bread

100% whole wheat bread and 100% whole grain bread.
Aunt Millies bread often will have 2.5-3 grams of fiber per serving.

By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio