Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Yellow Daal and Naan - My 1st Attempt at Indian Food

     I tried Indian Food today for the first time tonight.  I made Yellow Daal over rice and some Naan (Indian flatbread) to go with it.  Yellow daal (also spelled dhal) is a thick lentil stew made with yellow split peas.  It was hard to find a recipe with ingredients that I'd heard of, but this one was simple and familiar. I also steamed some veggies just because I knew someone would refuse to eat it and I wanted to have something on the table that everyone would eat.
     I found a Naan recipe online, but it was cooked on a grill.  I didn't want to fire up the grill in the backyard, so I went with the griddle.  They look like pancakes in this picture, but they were actually super good.  Everyone liked the bread.  I really liked the daal and so did my husband and 3 of the kids.  The 2 others we had to promise that if they took one bite, they'd never have to taste Yellow Daal again.  One ended up liking it, the other is too stubborn to admit it even if he did.
Next time I want to try making the naan with whole wheat flour and I'd probably not cook the daal as long or maybe add less water.  It ended up the consistency of mashed potatoes, but the flavor was good.  Not bad for a first try!  The leftovers will make a great lunch tomorrow.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Benefits of Eating Raw

    
      Raw foods come to us with the living enzymes necessary to facilitate the digestion and assimilation of the nutrients in foods. Cooking kills all enzymes, as well as most vitamins, and alters the minerals and proteins in such a way that they are less usable to the body. Because the cooked food is not accompanied by the enzymes necessary for digestion, it places more of a strain on our digestive system and many of the nutrients that are left after cooking are lost in this process (besides those lost through any refining or processing).

       Raw foods are also the most nutritionally dense, because all of the original vitamins, minerals, proteins, fats and fiber are in their unaltered forms and completely available to our bodies. A raw food offers up to three times the nutrition of the same cooked. Since true nutrition is concerned with feeding our cells, it is important to provide them with the living nutrients of raw foods. Life can be sustained on cooked foods, but cells are not replenished and replaced in an optimal way. On raw foods you will find that you eat less, yet your body will operate more efficiently with what you provide.


       Also because raw foods are easily digested, less energy will be expended on the process of digestion and be available to you. Most people who add more raw foods to their diet are surprised by the increase in energy they experience.  (The above article is from Simplynaturalhealth.com)


A couple ways to add raw foods to your diet:
Smoothies-  Green smoothies are best.  Start small by adding just a handful of spinach to your favorite fruit smoothie.  It won't change the color or taste if you use just a handful.
Try putting baby carrots or some other sliced vegetable on the table while the rest of the meal is still cooking.  I've noticed that we will eat more vegetables if there isn't anything else available right then.
Salads or coleslaw are always easy.  I always have the ingredients on hand for a fruit or green salad so I can have a salad for lunch or with dinner most days.

Anyone else out there trying to get more raw foods in?  How do you do it?

Friday, January 13, 2012

Black Beans & Rice w/ Chicken and Apple Salsa

I made this for dinner last night.  I grilled the chicken on my George Foreman for the rest of the family, but I skipped the chicken and put the apple salsa right on top of the beans and rice.  They wouldn't try the apple salsa, so there was plenty left over for my lunch today.  Yummy!
Here's the link to the recipe over at ourbestbites.com.