I was surfing the net the other day and I came across a very interesting article.
The Real Weapon of Mass Destruction is the Excess Salt, Sugar and Fat in our Diet.
I chuckled as I read it and could not ignore the strong message that came through.
These three ingredients make any food tasty but sadly, fosters a multitude of health problems too.
A very simple way to make any food tasty is to add either extra oil/butter, extra sugar, extra salt or the right blend of spices. Luckily spices add loads of flavor, benefit your health and have zero calories and zero fat.
Eureka... so the only solution for making food healthy and tasty, is to add the right blend of spices and herbs. A theme for a new blog was born.
Every year since 1963 the American Heart Association designates February as American Heart Month, because heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.
A very simple equation to make any food tasty is to add extra salt or sugar or saturated fat. The three exact ingredients that your cardiologist and dietician will ask you to cut down on, for a healthier heart. Then does it mean that if you cut down on the fat, salt or sugar, your taste buds take a vacation and you land up eating dull bland food?
Fortunately spices and herbs are excellent for taste enhancement and are heart friendly too.
The inspiration for many of my recipes, are from some special foods that I enjoyed when I was traveling abroad. I have given it a healthy twist, with the spice techniques that I learnt when I was growing up in India. After all, the soul of Indian cooking lies within the delicate art of using spices. It is not, which spices you use, but how you use them that makes a huge difference.
Aromatic Bean Stew a la Jamaican style
Last year I visited Jamaica and loved the spicy bold adventurous foods. I asked the chef for the recipe.
The recipe called for one can of coconut milk. Since we all know that the high saturated fat in coconut is unhealthy, I decided to see if I can make this recipe without any coconut milk. Well the taste of this bean stew just turned out to be average. Nothing to be very happy about!
I experimented with the quantity of coconut milk and used the low fat version. The recipe serves 8 and the quantity of coconut milk used is 1/3 can, which literally translates to about 1.5 teaspoons of lite coconut milk in every serving. Bingo! I had great tasting Jamaican stew which was healthy too.
1 teaspoon oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
1 teaspoon coriander seeds (whole)
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 can tomato, diced and peeled (15 oz.)
1 can garbanzo beans, low sodium (15 oz.)
1 can kidney beans, low sodium (15 oz.)
10-12 baby carrots
1/3 can lite coconut milk (15 oz)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 medium sized sweet potatoes or yams
1/2 cup water
Grate ginger and garlic and keep aside. Crush coriander seeds in a mortar pestle. Peel and Chop sweet potato into 2-inch cubes.
Remove garbanzo beans, kidney beans and baby carrots from the cans and rinse in cold water, thrice. (Rinsing the canned beans three times at least removes the excess sodium, that is used in canning process.)
Heat a thick bottom pan. Add oil and throw in the ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute. Add crushed coriander seeds and chili flakes.
Mix well and throw in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer for 40 minutes. Adjust salt and chili flakes as per taste.
Serve piping hot with brown rice or couscous
1. Mix and match different beans for variety.
2. Replace sweet potato with pumpkin or red potato