Tag Archives: rice

Is my food safe from arsenic?

ArsenicIMG

Consumer Reports (CR) wants FDA to limit arsenic in food. Especially rice, apple products and beer have been tested for contamination in the last two years. Inorganic arsenic, the predominant form of arsenic in food, is ranked as Group 1 carcinogen. While there is no FDA standard for arsenic levels in our food, there are regulations on arsenic in water, max 10ppb per liter (NJ standard 5ppb). High levels of arsenic in public water are known to be linked to genetic damage, bladder, lung, and skin cancer in humans, among other suspected diseases, as seen in Chile and Argentina. Continue reading

Mexican milk alternative

HorchaDSC_5835

Mexican restaurants and food trucks sell horchata; Asking about this variety of ‘agua fresca’, we learned about the variety of ‘rice milk.’
Horchata originated in Spanish speaking countries, and Latin America has several different traditions for horchata.
The refreshing milky drink is usually ice cooled, tastes of cinnamon and has a tan color unless you use white rice and white sugar. The satisfying milk alternative can easily replace a meal. If you do it yourself, you can influence details such as what sweetener is used, use brown rice and raw nuts. Use more almonds than rice, to achieve a richer, less chalky taste.
While the original recipe includes soaking the ingredients overnight, you can also make a quick horchata in an instant, blended and strained in modern kitchen equipment. Horchata recipe and horchata chia pudding

Malaga-torn-knee

MullagaDSC_5686.1The ‘Last Soup of the Year,’ Miss Sophie’s favorite Mulligatawny soup in ‘Dinner for One’, is known in Germany at least since the annual airing of the British play at New Year’s Night. The Anglicized Tamil-Indian soup’s name, that is spoken with a stiff lip, simply means ‘pepper water’.
There are many ways to make this soup, which always has a curry taste and a yellowy turmeric tint. Following is my vegan interpretation. Despite the Indian leaning, the soup is perfect for our Northern cold season. See recipe.

Tasty Bites

DalDSC_3203.1Madras Lentils and other Indian Dishes are available as ready-to-eat pouches even at Costco. The popular Punjabi recipe is the Indian answer to Chili, a sure bet in the U.S.; The Indian original, called Dal Markhani, means ‘lentil rich sauce’, it can be prepared with little effort and money at home, with much healthier ingredients and dairy free. See recipe

Orange vegetables

Cauliflower comes in many colors. I am a bit weary when I see bright purple varieties on our farmer’s market. However colors are common and the orange variety is supposed to be canadian form with increased levels of vitamin A. The list of cauliflower benefits includes cell repair and cancer protection and is more potent, when the vegetable is stir fried instead of boiled. I love sauces, so Aloo Gobi, the Indian curry with lots of spices and one of the red hot chilli pepper is just right when it is getting nippy outside. Use white or orange cauliflower, as the colors won’t fight the red sauce. I tried a recipe from a German book, but had to adjust it to what I had available here and I always slip some chickpeas in the recipe… See recipe

Sell your birthright

Mujaddara or Mejadra, is an ancient Arab dish, known throughout the middle East, and most likely what Jacob served to Esau. Rather for the second look, this humble dish is the one that truly nourishes you and comforts you. Humble indeed, as the name Mujaddara means “Smallpox”.
It serves the poor and the rich as well, depending on how you dress it. While the simple form is proper for lent, you can also add yogurt and vegetables; the fanciest version (with meat) is served at celebrations. Continue reading

Yellow Food


Ethnic food is abundant in plant based recipes. Especially Indian cuisine with traditional tried and true recipes is worth adapting. Hot spices warm us in winter and the curry contents have the immunity boosting benefits we need. Garam Masala is a ‘hot’ curry blend, that has a variety across India. Turmeric, among other benefits is believed to reduce the risk of cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Chili pepper boosts healing properties; other ingredients, among them cinnamon and cardamom will ease digestion, burn fat and improve skin and nails. See recipe

Getting the B’s and D’s

Mushrooms are a natural source of Vitamin D! I love to eat mushrooms, but was surprised to read how nutritionally beneficial they are. In winter, when building vitamin D is harder with limited daylight, adding mushrooms to your plate is a good idea to fight the winter blues. Mushrooms are also high in B vitamins, and minerals, low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients. Most mushrooms have a high protein content, usually around 20-30% by dry weight. Continue reading

Wild Rice and Squash Salad

Thanksgiving is around the corner, I have been testing alternative recipes for a stuffing as I don’t like traditional stuffings with stale bread. This rice salad can be done in different ways. It gets more exotic with black rice. Wild red rice may cook faster. For the nutty ingredient, I used some beech nuts, which we had found during another Sunday morning run, however roasted pumpkin seeds fit the theme. Peeled beech nuts conserve surprisingly well, dry and cold in the refrigerator. Roasted carefully, they will shed their brown skin and become more digestible. Get the recipe

 

Wild Things

Beech trees start blossoming after 30-50 years of age. A hot and humid summer can produce an abundance of prickly capsules holding the handsome triangular beech nuts. However not every year. As harvest is never reliable and work intense, beech nuts were never used commercially. Readily eaten by man and beast likewise during lean war times, they were roasted to reduce toxic tannins and processed to cooking oil and lamp oil. Continue reading