Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Pomegranate and Couscous Salad - Lunch on "P" Day


It's lunch time on "P" day and I'm using POMEGRANATES

I made Pomegranate and Couscous Salad. This is a delicious and nutritious alternative to rice or salad, making an exceptional side dish for any main dish. Couscous is a soft grain that puffs up like the texture of tiny rice. The sweet tang of the pomegranates balance nicely with the subtle bite of mint and onion. The lemon brings it all together. Yummy!




Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 large pomegranate, seeded
1 cup (just shy of a cup) couscous
250 ml (or 10 oz can) boiling chicken stock or water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons, juice only (I only used 1/2 of 1, as that's all I had on hand, sadly)
3 to 4 Tbsp olive oil
3 to 4 Tbsp chopped, fresh mint
3 to 4 Tbsp chopped leeks
**Start slow and adjust to your own liking



Directions

1. Place the couscous in a bowl (or large pot). Pour the boiling stock or water onto the couscous and mix in the olive oil and lemon juice. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

2. Cover tightly with cling film and allow the couscous to sit in a warm place for around 10 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the cling film and fluff the grains with a fork. Allow the couscous to cool completely.

3. Stir the chopped herbs and pomegranate seeds into the couscous. Add more olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs to taste. 




Enjoy!



POMEGRANATE

This fruit is packed with nutritionally rich, sweet, plumpy seeds. Punicalagin, an antioxidant, is found abundantly in pomegranate juice and it is effective in reducing heart-disease risk factors, improving circulation, and reducing inflammation. 

Pomegranates have more antioxidants than other super foods like acai berry juice or green tea.

Among being rich in Vitamin C, they are also full of soluble and in-soluble dietary fiber. Regular consumption of pomegranates has been found to be effective against prostate cancer, diabetes and lymphoma. 

It has a good supply of B-complex Vitamins, folates, Vitamin K and minerals. 


Pomegranate, fresh
(100 g - nearly 1 cup)

Protein  1.67 g
Fiber  4 g
Folates  9.5 %
Pantothenic Acid  3 %
Pyridoxine  6 %
Riboflavin  4 %
Thiamin  5.5 %
Vitamin C  17 %
Vitamin E 4 %
Vitamin K  14 %
Potassium  5 %
Iron  4 %
Magnesium  3 %
Manganese  5 %
Phosphorus  5 %
Zinc  3 %


Have you amped up healthy eating with Pomegranate seeds?


Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Polenta with mixed Berry Compote - Breakfast on "P" Day



It's breakfast time on "P" day and I'm using POLENTA

I made Polenta with mixed Berry Compote. This is a delicious alternative to oatmeal or cereal. With the consistency of porridge along with the sweetness from the warm berry compote, it becomes a comforting healthy breakfast treat. Yummy!



Servings: 4


Ingredients

Compote
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
dash of ground cinnamon
12 oz frozen assorted berries

Polenta
3 cups milk
1/2 cup quick-cooking polenta
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt


Directions

1. For the compote, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add honey, juice, cinnamon and berries; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes; or until thoroughly heated. Keep warm.

2. For the polenta, bring milk to a boil in a medium saucepan. Slowly add polenta, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in sugar and salt, and cook 5 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Serve with compote over top. 

Enjoy!


POLENTA

Polenta, (also known as corn grits), used to be known as poor people's staple food since it was made from grains and legumes. Today this dish is popular not only in Italy but also in many European countries. This is such a versatile grain that can be used for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is a great alternative to rice, potatoes or pasta.

Because it is made from corn, polenta is also gluten-free. 

Polenta contains traces of the minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium and zinc. There are also small amounts of Vitamins B, A and E.

Amp up the nutritional value of polenta by adding eggs, fruits, vegetables and other super foods!


Polenta, cooked
(1/4 cup)

Fiber  2 g
Protein  3 g
Iron  8 %
Carbohydrates 27 g

Have you indulged in some traditional polenta lately?



Monday, 9 March 2015

Onion (French) Soup - Dinner on "O" Day


It's dinner time on "O" day and I'm using ONIONS

I made French Onion Soup. This is surely comforting and warm on any cool night. The sweetness of the caramelized onions gives this soup an all around savoury goodness, without being too rich. This soup does not taste like onions at all. Yummy! 



Servings: 4 

Ingredients

4 large yellow sweet onions, peeled and sliced into half moon slices
2 Tbsp of olive oil
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp fresh Thyme, chopped
1/2 cup Sherry (Dry, with alcohol - it cooks away so no worries)
4 cups no or low sodium Beef stock
1 cup grated sharp cheddar or Swiss cheese
4 Slices of crusty bread, cut into bite size chunks and toasted in oven
Salt and Pepper to taste (about 1/2 Tbsp of salt or so)


Directions

1. Preheat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter, let the butter melt and add in the onions, sugar and salt and pepper. Cook for about 25 to 30 minutes stirring frequently or until the onions develop a beautiful deep caramelized brown colour.

2. Add the sherry and thyme and cook for about 1 minute, turn the heat to medium high, add the beef broth and season with salt and pepper again. Let it come to a boil then reduce the heat to medium and let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Preheat your broiler to high.

4. Ladle the soup in some oven safe bowls and top them with the bread and cheese, pop them under the broiler for just a couple minutes or until the cheese melts and its all bubbly and golden brown. 


Enjoy!



ONIONS

With their unique combination of flavonoids and sulfar-containing nutrients, the onion, belongs in your diet on a daily basis. The high content of flavonoids in onions tend to be more concentrated in the outer layers of the flesh. You should always peel off as little as the outer layer as possible to maximize your health benefits. 

The nutrients in onions can lower blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, and improve cell membrane function in red blood cells. Eating onions along with vegetables will aid in the prevention of heart attacks. 

Onions can also help increase bone density and lower risk of hip fractures in post menopausal women, when eaten on a regular basis.

The flavonoid, quercetin, contained in onions, helps prevent bacterial infection. Especially in regards to tooth cavities and gum disease bacteria. But is mostly beneficial when eaten in freshly cut raw form, on a regular basis. 

By using a low-heat method for preparing onion soup, you can preserve the health benefits that are associated with this flavonoid.

Onions were highly regarded by the Egyptians. They used them as currency to pay the workers who built the pyramids and they also placed them in the tombs of kings, such as Tutankhamen, as a gift. 

Onions, chopped, cooked
(1 cup)

Biotin  27 %
Manganese 16 %
Copper  16 %
Vitamin B6  16 %
Vitamin C  15 %
Fiber  12 %
Phosphorus  11 %
Potassium  10 %
Vitamin B1 8 %
Folate 8 %


Are you indulging, daily, in the goodness of Onions?