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.

Nutrition for the Colon

An abundance of flavonoids from fruits and vegetables are the best way to nourish the colon. Specifically, tomatoes, sauces, and salsa are cleansing and important for colon health.

Each organ must be properly nourished and cared for through daily meals, snacks and beverages. Likewise, each organ has a list of foods to avoid that have demonstrated the ability to inflict harm,  lead to malabsorption, food intolerance, disease, or cancer. It is important to note that there are variables to colon health, in addition to nutrition, which should all be discussed with your doctor.  (Genetics, Habits, Lifestyle, Vices)

The colon (large intestine) functions as an internal sewage system, has 4 sections and connects to the anus for excretion of feces.

The Large Intestine, or Colon, has four sections: the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon and the sigmoid colon. It is about 6 ft in length and due to its diameter in width, it is called the large intestine ending at the anus where the feces is excreted. The small intestine is 26 ft in length and much smaller in diameter and therefore, bears the name of small intestine.

The purpose of the large intestine is to carry the sewage (digested or undigested foods) from our bodies.  As modern society has “developed”, the food consumption has changed from: fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish, and oils, to food that has been engineered such as: cookies, chips, candy, and soda.

Toxins and Mucus.  The human body was not designed to digest toxin filled foods. When consuming harmful foods, a signal is sent from the stomach, to the intestine, to alert the colon as to what is coming down the line.  The colon produces a mucus to protect itself from the harmful foods and toxins.  Overtime an accumulated thick layer of hardened mucus has lined the colon that can weigh between 5-11 pounds! The mucus production should disintegrate on its own through occasional use, over use leads to toxemia and disease.

Weight Loss.  Choosing to “diet” can further a problem by introducing fruits and vegetables  to an already blocked system.  Before changing eating habits, a doctor may advice the patient to fast and then to flush their bodies of the toxins by taking a laxative (colenema). This is a safe cleansing that can be done in the privacy of one’s bathroom.  For a natural cleansing: Cut a lemon in half, squeeze the juice of both lemon halves into a glass of water.  Drink twice a day; once in the morning and after dinner. (Just as a car engine would not have new oil added to the old filthy built up oil, a clean engine is often the best way to begin a new dietary lifestyle.)

American Cancer Society Identifies Risk Factors

Type 2 Diabetes.   According to the American Cancer Society, “People with type 2 (usually non-insulin dependent) diabetes have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Both type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer share some of the same risk factors (such as excess weight). But even after taking these factors into account, people with type 2 diabetes still have an increased risk. They also tend to have a less favorable prognosis (outlook) after diagnosis. Nourish the Colon with optimal choices.”

Genetics: Increased risk factor is tied to familial Colon cancer “with a history of colorectal cancer in one or more first-degree relatives (parents, siblings, or children) are at increased risk. The risk is about doubled in those with a single affected first-degree relative. It is even higher if the first-degree relative was diagnosed when they were younger than 45, or if more than one first-degree relative is affected.

People with a family history of adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer should talk with their doctor about screening before age 50. If you have had adenomatous polyps or colorectal cancer, it’s important to tell your close relatives so that they can pass along that information to their doctors and start screening at the right age.”

Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP): “FAP is caused by changes (mutations) in the APC gene that a person inherits from his or her parents. About 1% of all colorectal cancers are due to FAP.

People with this disease typically develop hundreds or thousands of polyps in their colon and rectum, usually in their teens or early adulthood. Cancer usually develops in 1 or more of these polyps as early as age 20. By age 40, almost all people with this disorder will have developed colon cancer if the colon isn’t removed first to prevent it.

Gardner syndrome is a type of FAP that also involves benign (non-cancerous) tumors of the skin, soft connective tissue, and bones.”

Hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer (HNPCC): “HNPCC, also known as Lynch syndrome, accounts for about 2% to 4% of all colorectal cancers.  The cancers in this syndrome also develop when people are relatively young. People with HNPCC can have polyps, but they only have a few, not hundreds as in FAP. The lifetime risk of colorectal cancer in people with this condition may be as high as 80%.

Women with this condition also have a very high risk of developing cancer of the endometrium (lining of the uterus). Other cancers linked with HNPCC include cancer of the ovary, stomach, small bowel, pancreas, kidney, brain, ureters (tubes that carry urine from the kidneys to the bladder), and bile duct.”

Recommended Dietary Intake

  • Water, or water with juice of fresh lemon twice a day
  • 2-3 cups Green Tea (decaffeinated) a day
  • Daily Aspirin
  • Raw Plant Foods (fruits and vegetables)
  • Aloe Vera (beverage) http://aloe-verajuice.com/
  • Broccoli & Kale. Butyrate is formed in the colon through bacteria fermentation, in the presence of carbohydrates rich in fiber.  Known to have a number of anti cancer effects, certain foods  are recommended for preventative colon care.
  • Sweet Potatoes (Vitamin A, C, E, Pantothenic Acid, Manganese, Phytosterols) increased motility of bowels so toxins move quickly through, protection against cellular mutation.
  • Mushrooms, Onion, Garlic allows for the immune system to work more aggressively.
  • Yogurt:  Returns balance of healthy bacteria and resident flora, which promotes bowel movements and waste elimination.  Yogurt is rich in Vitamin D and Calcium, both are imperative to organ health.
  • Tuna (Omega 3 for cellular reparation)
  • Turmeric (gives color to Curry. Can be placed into a spice shaker and used on vegetables, soups, salads, poultry, fish, pasta, rice) anti-carcinogenic
  • Cinnamon: anti carcinogenic
  • Dried Fruit, Beans, Brown Rice all have fiber that remove toxins from the intestine.
  • Flavonoids are antioxidants and should be consumed daily; found in all fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices
  • Foods that produce Butyrate to remove toxins are: green vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, sweet potatoes, whole grains.

What has shown to Harm the Colon should be Avoided or limited.

  • Red Meat (1’c a month: Men 3 ounces and Women 2 ounces)
  • Lamb (1’c a month reduced amounts)
  • Pork (1’c a month reduced amounts)
  • Processed Meats
  • Excessive Processed, Snacks, & Fried Foods
  • Alcohol (1 glass of wine or 1 beer once a week)
  • Smoking (Avoid!)

What has been linked to Polyps

  • Over cooked foods
  • Dairy, Cheese (no more than 1 ounce 3 times a week)
  • Red Meats
  • Fried Foods
  • Processed Foods (chips, crackers, candy, cookies, fried foods)

Foods to Avoid if a colostomy has been performed

  • Asparagus
  • Beans
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Popcorn
  • Raw onions or raw garlic

Nutrient balance is critical to colon health. The daily recommended intake (DRI) of 4 servings of fruits and 5 servings of vegetables, Vitamin D and calcium all promote healthy organs.

Families who have a history of colorectal or colon cancer should discuss genetic testing and review a dietary and exercise plan with their doctor.

Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio BASC DTR

References

Stuffed Calamari Salad

Stuffed Calamari Salad

Stuffed Calamari is ideal for summer time eating! A delectable dish layered with potatoes, olives, onions and tomatoes. It is easily prepared in 10 minutes, cooked/ baked in 20 minutes and can be reheated. Serves 4-6.

Or serve Grilled Calamari .

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Egg
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 cups diced Bread (ciabatta/tuscan)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves  peeled and minced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 2 large Potato peeled and sliced in thin rounds, toss with 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 medium size Onion peeled and sliced in rounds
  • 1 Tomato sliced in large chunks
  • 2 Tomatoes sliced in rounds
  • 6-12 olives
  • 1 Tablespoon capers (optional)
  • 1 pound Calamari Squid
  • 1/8 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Mix Green Salad of choice
  • Olive Oil and Lemon to drizzle on salad

PREPARATION

Fill each Calamari with prepared stuffing.

Pre-heat oven at 375 F
Rinse calamari and set aside in a colander. In a large mixing bowl crack 1 egg and discard the shell; with a fork beat the egg for 30 seconds. Add milk to the egg, combine with fork. Place into egg/milk mixture the bread, garlic, parsley salt;  using a spoon, incorporate all ingredients. Set the stuffing aside.

Align Calamari onto potato lined baking pan.

Layer bottom of the pan with potato slices.

Begin filling each calamari by opening the white cylinder meat and fill each calamari 3/4 full with the stuffing. After filling the calamari insert a tomato chunk to close off calamari and    set each one on top of the potato slices, side by side. Distribute any remaining stuffing around the line calamari.

Layered Stuffed Calamari

Add olives and capers around the calamari. Layer onion rings and tomato slices on top of calamari. Drizzle olive oil over entire dish. Distribute water evenly over the food. Cover dish with tinfoil and place pan into the center of the oven, allow to bake for 15 minutes. Uncover dish and turn temperature to broil and broil for 5 minutes. When the potatoes are fork tender the Stuffed Calamari is ready to serve and eat.

Place a Green Salad onto plates, drizzle olive oil and spray half a lemon on salad. Lastly, serve the Stuffed Calamari onto the salad. BUON APPETITO!

By: Kimberly Crocker-Scardicchio

Chard & Beans served with Sausage

Grilling tonight?  Try this Swiss Chard and Bean dish by itself , or served with grilled bread or sausage!

Sausage with Beans and Chard

SWISS CHARD is a power packed vegetable loaded with vitamins & minerals.  Looking for a great way to increase your calcium intake without drinking milk?   Try including Swiss Chard in your weekly diet!  Milk is a common way to ensure adequate calcium. However, swiss chard is a good substitute. One cup of chard has about 35% of the calcium (and only 35 calories) as one cup of 2% milk. Other nutrients include Vitamin K and A, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc.
Chard is a relative of beets and spinach. It has a slightly bitter and salty flavor that becomes stronger as the leaves mature. Avoid brown or wilted leaves or leaves with small holes. To preserve freshness, store unused chard in a plastic bag in the refrigerator.

Grilled Sausage with Beans and Chard

  Serves 4-6.  Cooking time 25 min.’s

Ingredients
1 pound Chard each leaf cut into 4 pieces.
1/3 c. Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves peeled
1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
4-6 cups Boiled Cannellini Beans
Salt
1/4 tsp Nutmeg

Sliced toasted or grilled Ciabatta Bread or sliced baguette .

Directions:  To remove bitterness from leaves, fill a pan with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add 1 Tbsp salt and cut chard leaves. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and empty contents of pan into a colander. Allow water to drain from chard for 1 minute. In a frying pan on medium heat add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes, allow to saute` for 3 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and Add  the Chard and with 2 forks work Chard into the oil for 1 minute. Return pan to  heat and allow to cook for 3 minutes.
Add beans to  chard in frying pan.  Add 1 tsp salt and nutmeg, allow to continue to cook together for 3 minutes.

Best when served on a grilled piece of bread and topped off with extra virgin olive oil.  Absolutely delicious when served with sausage on the side.

Pomegranate Health Benefits

Pomegranate Seeds NutritionThe pomegranate fruit is obtained from a tree  that is originally native to the Southwest Asia and is cultivated since centuries together. Pomegranate is widely cultivated throughout the Afghanistan, Iran, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, East Indies, Malaysia, tropical Africa and southeast Asia. Later on, it was also introduced to the US and Latin America. The fruit is typically available from November to February (in the northern hemisphere), while in southern hemisphere, it seasons from March to May. There are more than 750 species that are observed and cultivated all over the world for various purposes from eating to forming pomegranate juice.  The name pomegranate literally means “the apple with many seeds”. The number of seeds in a single fruit varies from 300-1000.

Pomegranate tree can live up to many years, which is an advantage for the pomegranate growers. This way, it enhances the outdoor decoration of the house with additional fruits provided. The fruit of pomegranate is ruby colored with many seeds that are both juicy and citrus in flavor. Pomegranate seeds nutrition facts are just numerous and therefore, pomegranate seeds are used for many purposes from ancient times.

Health Benefits of Pomegranate Seeds
Often called as super fruit, the invaluable pomegranate seeds are loaded with numerous antioxidant properties that are said to be three times higher than the green tea. As we know, antioxidants are very important to control the free radicals from the body that can cause several troubles to the body. Antioxidants also maintain and repair the damaged body cells.  Pomegranate is high in vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin E , fiber, potassium, iron and calcium.

This ‘magic fruit’ is a bliss for the heart health, as regular intake of pomegranate seeds or pomegranate juice promotes:
Cardio health and reduces risk of strokes and heart attacks.
Contributes to proper thinning of the blood, reduce blood pressure levels, increase blood flow towards heart.                 Maintains good cholesterol levels (so that HDL cholesterol is elevated) and reduces arterial plaques.
Reduces symptoms of:
Anemia (add 1 tsp of cinnamon & honey to 1 cup of 100 % Pomegranate Juice)
Arthritis
Osteoporosis
Skin allergies
Skin disorders
Urinary tract infections
Wheezing linked to asthma
Sore throats
Tapeworms
Digestive disorders
Blood impurities
Anemia
Diabetes
Read on for health benefits of pomegranate juice.

Researchers are carefully observing the effects of pomegranate juice and prostate cancer as well as skin cancer. There are numerous products that are used by the pomegranate seeds including: pomegranate seed oil , pomegranate dietary supplements, pomegranate extracts and pomegranate concentrated juice.

Due to the polyphenols (anti oxidant) within this wonderful fruit it’s nutrition promotes anti inflammatory effects which strengthens the immune system, wound repair and reduces skin wrinkling making it’s derivites the most sought after when addressing skin remedies.

Eat, Drink and Enjoy!

RECIPE

Pomegranate Apple Salad

Red seeds from a Pomegranate
1 Apple diced (remove core)
1/4 c. Feta Cheese crumbled (optional)
Lettuce Leaves: Endive, Rucula  (Arugula), Spinach, Green Leaf Lettuce. Tear into bite size.
Dressing
1/3 c Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese grated

Wash Pomegranate, Apple and Lettuce leaves. Over a salad bowl cut Pomegranate into quarter pieces, invert each piece so that the skin is push inward and the seeds com outward. Seeds will easily come out. Make sure to remove white pith that the seeds are attached to, discard pith. Cut apple in half, remove and discard seeds. Cut apple into chunks place into bowl. Add feta cheese and lettuce into salad to salad bowl.
Toss well so that all ingredients are incorporated.

Place all Dressing ingredients into a bottle or bowl, cover tightly, shake ingredients so that they are well combined. Pour dressing onto salad 5-10 minutes before serving.

Calorie Reduction, Keeping it Tastey

Yes, recipes can be altered in order to reduce calories without sacrificing taste.

Incorporate these cooking tricks  to enhance meals and desserts.  Use equal amounts of oil for melted shortening, margarine or butter. HEALTHY OILS: Olive Oil, Canola Oil

Shortening, butter, or oil in baking
Use applesauce, prune puree or low fat yogurt to replace butter, shortening or oil in the exact amount. May need to reduce baking time by 25% to avoid a dry cake.

Butter is still the best when it comes to making pie crusts. Reduce the serving size that you put on your plate and top off with fresh cut fruit!

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

Butter, shortening, margarine, or oil to prevent sticking. Fat to sauté or stir-fry.
When sauteing foods, use cooking spray, water, broth or nonstick pans. Use ¼ c. Canola Oil at medium temp to fry foods.

Full-fat cream cheese
Substitute with low-fat or nonfat cream cheese, Neufchatel or low-fat cottage cheese puree until smooth. Use low-fat yogurt to replace higher fat dairies in recipes. In some cases fruit flavored low-fat yogurt is also a good substitute.

Full-fat sour cream
Full-fat cottage cheese
Full-fat Ricotta cheese
Use nonfat or reduced fat sour cream or fat-free plain yogurt. (Yogurt is not heat stable.) Use 2% or fat-free cottage cheese. Use part-skim ricotta.

Cream
Whipping cream
Try utilizing evaporated skim milk
Use non fat whipped topping or cream (This is only non fat 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
Try other effective cooking methods such as: bake, boil, broil, grill, poach, roast, stir-fry, or microwave.

Regular mayonnaise or salad dressing
Low fat, reduced or non fat mayonnaise or 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.

By: Kimberly Crocker