olive oil


I stumbled upon The World’s Healthiest Foods (TWHF) website, while doing research for my entries. It became a useful resource for me because the author, George Mateljan, and his team have done extensive scientific research on different types of food and are able to articulate why these are good for our health.

The website has a list of 130 foods and some recipes that go with these. Here is a summary of their criteria for choosing the 130:

1. Their nutrient dense, which means that the level of nutrients is high in relationship to the number of calories the food contains.

2. Their whole foods. They are not over-processed and they don’t contain synthetic and artificial ingredients.

3. You’ll be able to find these foods in most grocery stores in the US. I’ll need to modify my list of the world’s healthiest foods for my local setting, which is India. I prefer local ingredients that don’t go through long journeys to get to my grocery shelf.

4. These foods are affordable.

5. They taste good, otherwise it would be challenging to eat them!

I adopted the following recipe from their website and it was deee-li-cious! This recipe serves two!

Ingredients:

1 cup chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 medium tomato, diced
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 TBS parsley, chopped
4-5 squeezes of fresh lemon juice
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Optional:
1/4 cup feta cheese
6 sliced olives
1 tsp rosemary

To cook the chickpeas:

Soak them overnight and boil for 30 minutes until soft.

For the salad:
Plate the lettuce. Put the chickpeas, garlic, tomato and onions on top. Sprinkle the olive oil and drizzle with fresh lemon. Add salt and pepper as you wish. Sprinkle the feta cheese, olives and rosemary on top. Bon appetit!

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I was determined to finish Louie’s garden veggies before B and I left for our fourth of July Croghan trip. So I popped my head into the fridge and voila! Broccoli!

This is another healthy eat for those who are always on the run, and again, this was one of my non-thinking Manila recipes. The slight acerbic taste and the broccoli’s vivid green refreshes and awakens one’s senses after a stressful day of toiling.

This recipe serves one.

Ingredients:
1 cup of broccoli
5 cloves of chopped garlic
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of shredded low fat cheese

Pour the olive oil into a pan. Add the garlic and saute until it’s light brown. Toss in the broccoli and watch it turn a vivid green! Saute for two to three minutes, then transfer the dish to a bowl. Sprinkle the cheese on top and there you have it. A low calorie meal which you can eat guilt-free as you plop down in front of the TV.

Healthy Eats Facts:
Broccoli – associated with cancer prevention
Garlic – contributes to cardiovascular health
Olive oil – contributes to cardiovascular health and cancer prevention
Low fat cheese – prevents colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS

Source:
The World’s Healthiest Foods

Yesterday was grocery day. B peeked into the fridge and said that we needed to finish what was in there. We bought cherry tomatoes from Wegman’s three weeks ago and they weren’t overripe, but the slight mushiness in the texture told me that they sure were getting there. Slightly overripe tomatoes are perfect for this classic soup that brings out the taste of pasta and/or whole wheat bread which you can dip into an olive oil and balsamic vinegar mix.

Again I wasn’t planning to post this recipe today, but a friend wanted to try it out. So Gracie A., this one is for you!

This recipe serves 2-3.

Ingredients:

2 cups of cherry tomatoes (or any tomatoes that you have)
1/2 red onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 cups of tomato sauce
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 cup of grated cheese
salt and pepper
Italian seasoning
basil leaves to garnish

Pour the olive oil into a medium sized pot and heat for a minute or two. Add the garlic and onions and saute until they are brown.

Pour the water, tomato sauce and tomatoes into the pot. Sprinkle salt and pepper according to taste.

Bring the soup to a boil, then let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cool the soup for around two minutes and transfer to a blender. Liquefy the soup.

Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top of the soup. Add Italian seasoning according to taste and garnish with basil leaves.

Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:

Tomatoes – has lycopene which contains anti-oxidants and cancer preventing properties
Garlic and onions – has anti-bacterial and anti-virus benefits
Olive oil – I’ve been using extra virgin olive oil for the past few years in almost all my recipes because it’s good for the heart and bones. Research has also shown that it can improve one’s cognitive functions.
Cheese – rich in calcium
Basil leaves – rich in vitamin K and has anti-bacterial properties

Sources:
The World’s Healthiest Foods