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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Vegetables: Is Cooking Them the Answer?

Vegetables. Now though there are exceptions it seems the older we get the more we want to eat them. So how do we prepare them? What is the best way to season them and cook them so we can enjoy them and still receive the benefits from them.
Let's pick a vegetable and we'll discuss a different way to prepare a delectable dish for it.
Asparagus is going to be the subject in this topic. It's delicious and can be eaten with almost any food in the world. Chicken, fish, rice, seafood, potatoes, etc. Anything. According to pkdiet.com answering the question, What are the nutritional benefits of asparagus? They wrote:
A 5.3 ounce serving (approximately 5 spears) has only 20 calories, 0 fat or cholesterol, 5 milligrams of sodium, 400 milligrams of potassium, 3 grams of fiber, 60% of the USRDA of folacin, and are excellent sources of thiamin and vitamin B6. Also, nutrition-and-you.com writes that its shoots are also good source of vitamin K. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet help limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
So how do we cook it. Some people cook the mush out of it until it holds no density and with that thought here comes another one. How much nutritional value are we losing when we cook our vegetables or over cook them. Well, according to livestrong.com we lose minerals and vitamins when cooking our vegetables however we increase the antioxidants when steaming or boiling them. They also noted that if you boil your vegetables and want to maintain that mineral or vitamin value then you can save the water after boiling your vegetables and make a soup. The minerals and vitamins in your vegetables boil out into the water so be creative while staying healthy.

So below is a gourmet recipe to cook your asparagus. The referenced website is listed next to the ingredients you will need for the recipe. Please enjoy this recipe from

Manjula's Kitchen:
ifood.tv - Asparagus w/ Ginger

1 lb. Asparagus
2 tbsp. of Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of Cumin Seed
1 tbsp. of minced Ginger
2 teaspoon of Lemon Juice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup (4tbs) parmesan cheese


The first thing you are going to do is prepare the asparagus. Holding the stalk at both ends, bend the asparagus gently until the stalk break's on its own. When finished throw away the base of the broken stalks. Now take a knife and
slice the remaining asparagus spears diagonally into 2 inch pieces.

After you've cut the stalks, using a large frying pan bring your olive oil to medium heat.
Put the cumin seeds to the frying pan and wait till they crack; then add your sliced asparagus, ginger, lemon juice, salt and black pepper.

Now, stir-fry it for about 4 to 5 minutes or until the asparagus are tender but still crunchy. You don't want to over cook the asparagus. You want to make sure you keep it crisp.
When finished cooking:
Now you just sprinkle some shredded Parmesan cheese on your dish, just prior to serving.

TIPS from Manjula's Kitchen:

Add 1 tablespoon sliced almonds halfway through cooking the asparagus. This will make a beautiful presentation and taste great.
I want to thank Manjula's Kitchen, ifood.tv, pkdiet.com and wikipedia for their help and if you are interested in more motivational ways to live a healthy lifestyle then keep glancing around the site there is tons of information that is fun to learn and great to enjoy!

SeeFood with Shrimp

How do you see your food? Do you see it as just something to eat, something to enjoy, savor and remember or do you see your food as something that will help you physically and mentally propel into the future. Why not see what you eat as all of the above.
Today we look at some great ideas to help us enjoy what we eat and hopefully think of new ways to improve it.

What kind of food do you like? What do you prefer to cook, eat and serve to your family?  I personally love everything about food. There are so many different kinds of ways to cook everything.  We have ethnic foods, local foods, home cooked meals, fast food, restaurant foods, etc. When we go shopping what do we think about?  Do we think about how to improve what we eat and the flavors that we choose? Most of us go shopping and just shop to eat and feed our families however if we look around at what is available to us we have a palette of potential.
Let's take a simple herb if you will, "Cilantro". Also known as "Chinese Parsley", "Dhania", "Coriander".  This well-known herb has so many possibilities for flavoring our foods however do we recognize this.  Cilantro is used all across the world. In small amounts it enhances whatever dish you might cook and in large amounts Cilantro creates a strong, pungent flavor.  In restaurants cilantro is well-known and is used quite often but how many people actually shop for Cilantro when they go to the store?

Now let's look at another ingredient that gets overlooked.  It adds flavor and taste to the most delicate foods and enhances the taste buds to just keep us eating. Coconut Water.
Coconut Water is high in potassium and contains a molecule in it that helps fight cancer.  It is called "Antioxidants".  Now getting back to the ingredient itself and potential it has to wake our food up and slow our day down, coconut water can smooth out a soup or add a tropical feel to a fish and rice dish.  How many times have you gone shopping though and have walked right by this sweet flavored ingredient? Have you ever even tried cooking with it before?  Why not?

Small things that we pass by everyday get overlooked because we are comfortable with just feeding ourselves and our families after a hard days work.  We are so busy trying to change our lives through work that when it's time to rest we consider rest at its most simplest forms. However if we were to make small changes in how we choose to see rest and relaxation we would consider what we eat more.  Our food is what enhances our feelings and our attitude.

Let's take on another thought before I go.  There are two foods that you can eat and enjoy with just about anything. They are both local and ethnic in understanding and in flavor.  I mentioned them previously already. "Fish & Rice".  These two basic yet extremely delicate foods can inspire your taste buds when prepared right and served with the right dishes.  Seasoned fish with the right yield and grain of rice served with greens sitting in a bed of seasoned clam sauce with shrimp.  Enjoy.

Now for a recipe that will curl your taste buds like sex curls your toes.  It's called Prat Prit King with Shrimps.  Yum!

Prat Prik King with Shrimp:


7 oz. / Shrimp
1.5 oz. / Thai Red Curry Paste
2 oz. / Thai or Chinese Coconut Milk (optional for a richer flavor)
6 oz. / Green Beans or Chinese Long Beans (Break them to about 3 or 4 inches long)
2 oz. / Serrano Peppers
2-3 / Julian Kaffir Lime Leaves
1 oz. / Thai Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp. / Granulated Sugar or Palm Sugar
2 Tbsp. / Vegetable oil

Some research through Wikipedia and some from my family. Care to look at more changes you can make in your life then click on through some of the archives and leave me a message. I appreciate hearing what you think and your stories. Thanks.

Spice & Som Tum

Sawasdee Khrap! Hello, me again.
Today I want to introduce you to a different and delicious kind of salad. Talking about it at 3:06 in the morning is difficult because I just want to eat it right now. First put your hands together and bow your head. I told you it's 3 in the morning and I'm bowing my head to my computer right now for this dish. There's excitement all around when the thought of this salad arises. Trust me. The ladies dig it.
This is a Thai salad that is sweet, tangy and spicy all at the same time. It will invigorate your taste buds and set the room on fire. To prepare you will need a jug of water and paper towels to wipe your foreheads for each person sharing this dish.

Natty Netsuwan's Thai salad: (Love it!)
(A dish for two)
5 Cherry Tomatoes, 2 chili peppers, 1 tablespoon dried shrimp, 1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1 clove garlic, 6 green beans, 2 cups shredded green papaya, 3/4 lime, 1 1/2 tablespoons Palm Sugar, 2 tablespoons toasted peanuts optional.
    Materials Needed===============================================
1.) clay mortar
2.) wooden pestle
3.) spatula
    Cooking Instructions=============================================
So let's begin. First you want to smash a clove of garlic and then add green beans and halved cherry tomatoes. Pound the mixture a few times just so to bruise the beans and get the juice out of the tomatoes. Then add in the chili peppers and crush them just enough to release the flavors of the spice. Depending on your taste buds and your preference of spice you can add in more or less of the chili peppers (This is where the jug of water comes into play later). Next you want to add in the green papaya, dried shrimp, toasted peanuts, fish sauce, lime juice and palm sugar. Use the pestle to push the mixture up in the mortar and the spatula to push it down so that the mixture is mixed well.

However, if you do not have a big enough mortar you can crush garlic, tomatoes, green beans. Set them aside in a large bowl. Add dried shrimp, lime juice, fish sauce and palm sugar to the bowl. Add green papaya and mix well.

Serve with sticky rice and a sliver of cabbage, green beans and Thai basil. The cabbage and the green beans along with the sticky rice work alongside the jug of water. All you need now is the right person to eat it with. Enjoy everyone and thank you Natty!

Here is a video from Rin Silpachai over at Rins Cook Book  Enjoy!

I'd like to give my thanks to Natty Netsuwan for her amazing Thai Salad (som tum) recipe as well as Rin Silpachai for her amazing video recipe. Thank you both!  If you enjoyed this post, enjoyed these recipes and are still interested in learning new and exciting ways to live life in the healthiest way possible then visit Natty at http://www.thaitable.com/thai/recipe/green-papaya-salad and Rin over at http://rinscookbook.blogspot.com/