Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Purple Barley and Salmon Salad


Purple Barley 
Went shopping a few months ago and picked up Purple Barley. It's been sitting in my pantry ever since; I've only just thought to try it. I must say it is quite a grain, a wee chewy but sure packed with nutrients. It took an hour and a half to cook - so I'm not sure I'll be repeating in a hurry - perhaps overnight soaking would help - but let's say JoJo will need to devise quicker cooking methods. 

Quick Nutrition facts
  • Low in saturated fat and cholesterol
  • Rich in Fiber
  • High in protein
  • Rich in Iron
  • reduces the risk of heart disease
  • reduces risk of type 2 diabetes and colon cancer

1 cup Barley 
1-2 med sized Salmon fillet
2 - 3 Spring onions stalk
Bell peppers
Cranberry raisins (optional)
Sea salt

Dressing  -may use dressing of choice or create own using below
Dijon Mustard
Olive oil

*Note - Soaking barley overnight will shorten the cooking time to about an hour 

 1)Bring 4cups of water to boil , add barley (1 cup) and stir. Cover pot , reduce heat to low. Cook for 60-90mins

2) Poach salmon in water, vinegar  & seasoning (optional). You may chose to bake or grill your salmon. Once cooked, de-skin and place in the fridge(7-10mins) to cool . Once cool - shred with a fork or knife

3) Chop  chosen veggies - mine is as mentioned above

4) In a large bowl, combine cooked barley, veggies , salmon and raisins - mix well 

5) add dressing of choice. I used plain vinegar - you may opt for the dressing mix above.

Serve as a side or main meal

Please feel free to leave me a comment - I would love to hear from you 



Monday, September 3, 2012

Wild rice with Sauteed Vegetables

I first had wild rice about 6months ago at my local thai restuarant. I remember ordering a curry wth brown rice and when the waiter appeared with the meal it was a 'funny' coloured rice - well not like the brown rice I'm used to - so I asked and was told it's wildrice.

Per wiki - 'Wild rice is four species of grasses forming the genus Zizania, and the grain which can be harvested from them. The grain was historically gathered and eaten in both North America and China'

Wildrice is actually not rice but grass - oh i do like the sound of wildgrass :) . Long story short I decided to try this very special grass rice. I got the blend of wildrice and brown rice just to be safe

Quick nutrition facts

  • high in protein & amino acid lysin*
  • high in fiber
  • low in fat
  • great for wealthloss - (although high in carbs, it contains only 83 cals for 1/2 cup v 108 for brown )

*per wiki - L-Lysine plays a major role in calcium absorption, building muscle protein; recovering from surgery or sports injuries; and the body's production of hormones, enzymes and antibodies



Wild rice - 1 cup
Oil - 1-2tbs (i used a blend of virgin coconut and olive oil)
Spring onions - 1 stalk
Onions - 1/2 bulb
Carrot - 1 med-lrg carrot
Celery - I stalk
Pepper(optional) - any hot chilli will do - I used 2 scotch bonnets ; be careful this is very hot; you may opt for bell peppers
Seasoning to taste ( I used thyme, curry, sea salt, knorr cubes)
Vinegar - about 1tb (optional) ( i used rice wine vinegar)
Freshly pressed apple juice - say 1tb (optional - may opt for lemon/orange/water or cook without )

Cook rice according to packaging instructions
Heat pan and add 1-2tbs of oil - the less oil the more water or juices you'll need - ( I'm trying to reduce my oil intake - and cook with more juices,stock, water, vinegar and soy sauce)
Add onions and spring onions
Saute for 2mins
Add veggies
Add vinegar and chosen juice (you can also add the juice at the end as well - to truly bring out the flavour)
Cook for another 2-3mins
Add rice - stir/mix well into the veg/sauce - let cook for  3-5mins - and VOILA you're done

Serve as a side or main dish

Please feel free to leave me a comment - I would love to hear from you 



Kale smoothie

I can never get bored with kale. Kale is on the menu almost 5times a week - It's my favourite leafy green.
Today It was my workout recovery drink:

Quick nutrition facts:
- high in protein, thiamin, beta -carotene,folate, iron, vitamin k, a  c to list a few
- contains antioxidant, anti inflammatory and anti cancer nutrients

Kale - handful
Banana - 1
Apples - 1
Whey protein - 1 scoop
Cinnamon - a dash or 2 or say 1/2 tsp

Sauteed Chickpeas

Per wiki : Chickpea is a legume of the family Fabaceae, subfamily Faboideae. Its seeds are high in protein. It is one of the earliest cultivated legume - origin is Middle east. It is also know as garbanzo bean.

I've never been a big fan of chick-peas - this is one meal I'd gladly walk past at a gathering. To be honest my only experience has been the Indian curry version . When my friend J came to visit last month she re-introduced me to it - she cooked it with potatoes and tomatoes and it was so yummy.
I've been reading up a lot on the nutritional value of chick peas and I must say it is definitely going to be in our weekly diets - I'll for sure be incorporating in my salads and stews.

My favourite form of cooking is saute so whenever I try something new I also opt for saute. This time I choose Extra Virgin Coconut oil instead of Olive oil and I used Apple Cider Vinegar and a bit of fresh apple juice to enhance the flavor.  I must say I've always been wary of cooking with coconut oil as it is high in saturated facts - but in turn it is excellent for digestion and helps support  healthy wealth loss ,according the the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Should you wish to try it be sure to get the Extra Virgin kind as this is free of trans fat. Use sparingly -say 1-2 tablespoons.

Quick Nutrition facts 

Chick peas are

  • High in protein
  • great source  of zinc and folate
  • high in fiber thus improves digestion
  • contains the good fats - i.e. unsaturated

Extra Virgin Coconut oil
Chick peas - (i used the Turkish organic kind)
Spring onions
Vegetables ( I used celery and carrots)
Apple cider vinegar (optional)
Fresh apple juice (optional)
Thyme -  say 1 tsp
Curry  -  say 1tsp
Sea salt  - (to taste)
Stock cubes (optional)

Soak chickpeas overnight to shorten cooking time. I didn't so I boiled it for maybe 45mins-1hr  :(
Cut/Slice up your chosen veggies
Heat cooking pan and add up to 1tb spoon of virgin coconut oil
Add sliced onions and spring onions
Saute for a few mins then add remaining veggies
Add 2-3 capfuls of Apple cider vinegar (or to taste)
Add 1-2 tablespoons of fresh apple juice
Add your chosen seasonings, stir and let cook for 1-2mins
Add chick peas - stick and cook for another say 5mins

Serve as a side or main dish

For more info on Chick peas  -

Please feel free to leave me a comment - I would love to hear from you 



Sunday, September 2, 2012

Plantain and Kale salad

I absolutely love plantains - these days I eat it grilled or boiled and usually with a side of greens, chicken, fish etc . Today I thought ; hmm how about I boil it , dice it up and spread it on my favourite leafy green veg - KALE.....HA! I must say it was indeed gorgeous to look at - I almost did not want to eat it :) . After my 1hr working the morning I knew just the salad won't do me - so I ate it with a side of beans. DELISH! I love beans.

Salad Ingredients
Grape tomatoes

Dressing - I didn't use any but you can opt for an extra virgin oil , apple cider vinegar and maybe some salt, ground pepper

Brown beans  (1.5 cup)- (may opt for any beans really- red, black eye, pinto etc)
Tomatoes (1-2 med size plum tomatoes)
Scotch bonnet  (1) ( habaneros, chills etc will do)
Onions (half a medium sized bulb)
Extra virgin olive oil ( 1-2 tablespoons)- may use grapeseed oil
Seasoning ( I kept it simple and used knorr cubes) and a bit of sea salt

There's hardly any salad prep to document, for the beans ;

1) Boil beans till tender - usually about an hour - you can use a slow cooker or soak the beans overnight
2)Blend tomatoes, onions, pepper
2) Slice half a bulb of medium size onions
3) Heat up your preferred oil ( if you do use Extra virgin oil, you want to make sure you saute at med heat)
4) Add onions and saute for few mins
5) Add the tomato blend
6) Cook for 10mins -15mins
7) Add boiled beans and steamcook for another 5-7mins

*note the recipe uses rough measurements - so please do adjust as required

Please feel free to leave a comment - I would love to hear from you 


The 'what's in your fridge salad'?

I can't really come up with a name for this dish - so I'll call it the 'what's in your fridge salad' - this was what literally left over in my fridge on the last day of my business trip. I absolutely hate throwing food out - right from childhood my mother instill in us the importance of food - from the picking, cooking, eating and the no wasting and of course the world hunger issues.

So here is basically what was left over - all raw but the broccoli which I steamed a bit ; I must say the juices from the tomatoes and kiwi fruit made the broccoli quite palatable - I usually prefer sauteed broccoli than steamed - It was all yummy all the same

Grape tomatoes
Kiwi fruit(golden)
Shredded coconut

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