salad


In the non-veg section of Hypercity, I was about to buy my usual handful of prawns when I saw fresh sardines. As far as I can remember, it was my first time to see fresh sardines. I’m used to eating the 555 ones in a can, drenched in tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Cans dug out of the cupboards on a rainy Manila day, poured on top of fried eggs and fried garlic rice.

But that’s not what this post is about :). Here’s a recipe for one that takes around 30 minutes to prepare.

Ingredients:
2 medium sized sardines
olive oil
salt and pepper
6 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup of lettuce (chopped)
1 medium sized tomato (chopped)
1 teaspoon of anchovy
1 teaspoon of crumbled feta cheese
balsamic vinegar

Rub salt and pepper onto the sardines. Pan fry the garlic and sardines for ten to fifteen minutes.

On a salad bowl, lay a bed of lettuce. Place bits of the sardines on top of the lettuce. Add the garlic, tomatoes, capers, anchovy and feta cheese. Sprinkle balsamic to taste.

Bon appetit!

It’s been quite some time since I featured a healthy eat.

This is grilled garlic chicken in balsamic with Alfez Tahini dressing on top of lettuce. I sprinkled some green olives after taking the photo. Oooohlala! It was delicious!

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!

I first heard about quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) from my colleague, J, while discussing the range of cleansing diets we would venture into in the future. I then happened upon a pack in Nature’s Basket (Hiranandani Garden branch) but decided to delay the purchase until the basmati rice in my fridge showed signs of dwindling down. So it wasn’t until B decided to grab one from the Tops supermarket in Cortland that I tried this high protein grain, which was originally grown by the Incan mountain tribes of South America.

Frankly, it is the best staple food I’ve eaten. (Couscous comes a second close.) The tiny grains pop in your mouth, and there’s a mild nutty-sweet taste that brings out the flavors of fish and fresh vegetables. My only regret is not having the foresight to buy the organic Bob’s Red Mill brand that we consumed. I’ve emailed them and although I won’t be able to order via internet, they’ve asked me to call. But alas, B said that he would grab a pack for me and mail them over. (I hope he remembers.)

I found this recipe on the Bob’s Red Mill container and tweaked it according to our preferred taste. This recipe serves 2 to 3.

Ingredients:

To cook the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
1 cup water

To make the tabouleh, an Arabic word for a specific type of salad:
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1/3 cup leeks, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
5-6 mint leaves, finely chopped
2-3 squeezes from a fresh lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (optional)

Pour the water and quinoa into a pot and let them boil together. I tried boiling the water first before adding the quinoa, but the grain expands more when you do the former. Boil for around ten minutes or until the grains absorb the water. Let it cool for five minutes.

Add the tabouleh ingredients and mix. Refrigerate for at least an hour so the flavors blend and settle.

Quinoa tabouleh with baked zucchinis, goat cheese and balsamic vinegar

Healthy Eats Facts:

Quinoa is a complete protein which contains all nine amino acids. It also contains a good amount of magnesium, a mineral that helps migraine relief and cardiovascular health.

Source:
The World’s Healthiest Foods

I know that I got carried away with my story in my last entry. My purpose in doing this blog is to eat healthy, and practice photography and writing. Sometimes I find myself stumbling upon personal stories about traveling, people, art and life. I don’t want to restrain this organic progression, thus the off-the-beaten-track posts. Bear with me! 😀

During the fourth of July weekend, Linda whipped up a taco salad for me and B, which coincidentally, is also a popular salad in Manila. Here’s a healthy recipe that serves two!

Ingredients:

For cooking the beef:
1 cup lean ground beef
1 cup bottled salsa (Linda’s personal touch)
1/2 medium sized red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste

For making the salad:
1 cup shredded lettuce
2 tomatoes, diced
1 white onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives
1/2 cup low fat cheese, shredded
1 cup corn chips (optional)

Heat a pan and pour the olive oil. Add the garlic and onions. Saute for 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and salsa and cook for around 30 minutes. Add the paprika, salt and pepper.

Place the ingredients for making a salad on separate bowls or a platter with dividers. Assemble your own taco salad by filling your plate with lettuce, beef, tomatoes, olives and onions. Add the corn chips if you like. Sprinkle the low fat cheese on top. Bon appetit!

Healthy Eats Facts:
Lean ground beef — good source of protein
Lettuce – besides having vitamins A, C and K, lettuce has manganese and chromium. It also has a lot of fiber.
Tomatoes – has lycopene which contains anti-oxidants and cancer preventing properties
Olives – have monounsaturated fats and vitamin E
Garlic and onions – has anti-bacterial and anti-viral benefits
Low fat cheese – has calcium which can contribute to preventing colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraines and PMS

Source:
The World’s Healthiest Foods

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