Tumeric and Little Friends Called M.

A beautiful food blog post came along a couple of months ago and discussed one of my favourite spices – tumeric – and mentioned this NY Times article called “Some of my Best Friends are Germs” by Michael Pollen.  Who are these little friends?  These are called microbes, and we have 100 trillion of them inside our body (mainly in the gut), more than the number of cells in our bodies. Many thinks the study of microbiome is going to be the major focus of medicine in the coming years.  These little beings help to develop our immune system, assist with motility, maintain healthy intestinal lining, help with digestion and even produce nutrients such as vitamins B and K, and control fat absorption.  They even affect your mood and emotions (source: Dr. Jill’s blog). They are no wonder our best friends, and we need to keep them happy, not grouchy.  Trust and check your gut feelings.

How to keep them happy?  Experts say we should load up on pre-biotics, which are veggies/fibre, and then consume good probiotics and fermented food, and definitely avoid processed food and reduce sugar.

This brings to my real subject today which is cooking with the microbiota-happy tumeric!  Tumeric have many benefits (a good description can be found here.)

  1.  Tumeric cashew recipe by Heidi Swanson – this is so simple to make yet so delicious.  A must-try.
turmeric-cashews_Heidi
Courtesy of 101 Cookbooks

2.  Healing egg avocado salad spiced up with tumeric by Dr. Mark Hyman – this is so creamy, delicious and filling.  It is beneficial to you and very easy to make.

Courtesy of Dr. Hyman's Mark's Kitchen blog
Courtesy of Dr. Hyman’s Mark’s Kitchen blog

Part of a Historic (Food) Movement

Got your attention, right?  I was heading to the Farmer’s Market this morning but was mesmerized by a Filipino Food Movement with food booths and entertainment on the way.   In San Francisco today, the Filipino Food Movement launched the first food event in the whole of the U.S. to bring the Filipino food to the main stream.  We eat Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and of course Indian and Chinese food, but it is true that we rarely talk about or eat Filipino food.  So I was part of this historic movement today.  The Filipino culture is  family-oriented, warm and fun, great at singing, and extremely food-loving (especially rice and meat).  I have many Filipino friends, and I believe you have quite a few as well; but this food movement really gets me interested to learn more about their food and culture.  Here are a little something of what I have found:

Adobo Chicken or Pork – one of their most well-known national dishes.

– meat marinated/cooked with the Adobo sauce: vinegar, salt, peppercorn, salt, soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, and oil; also popular in Spain and Latin America.

adobo - chicken

Courtesy of http://salu-salo.com/chicken-adobo/

Lumpia

– better than Chinese Spring Rolls

Lumpia - shrimp

Courtesy of http://www.potatochipsarenotdinner.com/blog/2013/2/13/shrimp-lumpia, and they look even better than the Chinese Spring Roll; also try this recipe from Steamy Kitchen.

Sizzling Pork Sisig

– cooked with pork parts (head, cheek, liver, belly, etc etc ) that’s been braised in vinegar before being grilled, diced and served on a sizzling hot plate; served with chilli, calamansi and an egg in the middle.

sisig

Courtesy of the Hungry Excavator

Kare Kare – their famous oxtail stew – an appetizing recipe here.

– their famous oxtail stew, often served with tripe and pig or cow feet – an appetizing recipe here.

Kare Kare 2

 

Courtesy of The Domestic Man

Delightful Ube Ice-cream (purple-yam ice-cream, also used in their famous Halo Halo dessert.)

– everyone I saw had a cup in her hand, and so here is a nice recipe.

Ube icecream

Beautiful picture courtesy of Ang Sarap

July – National Watermelon Month

An article from health.com caught my attention because it is about my and many others’ favourite fruit in the summer – watermelon.

In the “5 things you didn’t know about watermelon”:

At 46 calories per cup, watermelon offers 20% of your daily intake of vitamin C and 17% vitamin A, according to the USDA.

It has more lycopene than raw tomatoes. That can stop free radicals from damaging your cells and immune system. But store it in room temperature to maximize its antioxidants before slicing, according to the nutritionist.

The juice can relieve muscle soreness because of the citrulline it contains, especially in the rind.

It’s a fruit AND a vegetable and can be traced back to the squash, pumpkin and cucumber family.

It is 91.5% water, said the USDA.

I should add that although watermelon is a sweet fruit and has a high glycemic Index of 72 (GI measures how fast the carbohydrate turns into sugar; over 70 is high), it has a glycemic load of only 4 (GL also takes into account how much of that carbohydrate is in a serving; below 10 is low.)

It is a superfood for everyone that is cool and tasty, too!

20140705-171309-61989970.jpg (photo courtesy of bingwallpaper.anerg.com)

Made my First Chocolate

I made myself a super healthy vegetable soup tonight with olive oil, celery, carrots, garlic, ginger, onions, mushroom, and tofu, sprinkled with lots of pepper (white or black) and a bit of sea salt, and some watermelon radish on top, all in 20 minutes (courtesy of 101cookbook’s fantastic recipe).  To round off my meal tonight, I made my first chocolate!  I have been fascinated by the author of theearthdiet.org, Liana Werner-Gray, who gives a challenge to herself to eat everything that is directly produced from the earth – i.e. nothing processed – for one year, and she continues with this healthy diet.  She showed how we can make chocolate from raw.  So being a dark chocolate liker, I immediate jump to make some chocolate balls myself.  I can’t believe how easy it was – all in 10 minutes.  I had 4 tonight!

Ingredients:

Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (8 tablespoonfuls) – I got the colombian dark chocolate powder from Trader Joe’s

Almond Meal (equal amount as the Cocoa Powder) – also from Trader Joe’s

Sprinkles of honey or agave nectar

Sprinkles of water

(Add a little bit of coconut oil if you like)

Flaxseed meal or coconut flakes

To 8-9 balls of chocolate:

1.  Mix the cocoa powder and the almond meal in a bowl.

2.  Sprinkle some honey and a bit of water (and coconut oil if you like)

3.  Mix with a spoon

4.  Then roll with your hands into balls.

5.  Roll the balls into flaxseed meal or coconut flakes to add extra nutrition and taste.

Freeze or refrigerate for 15 minutes (my own version). This can be stored in the fridge for a week.

Enjoy this delicious, healthy, raw chocolate, with hardly any sugar and saturated fat and absolutely no dairy!

chocolate ball