Sunday, May 27, 2012

Root Vegetable Crisps

If you’re looking for a healthy alternative snack, this is the perfect low cost solution.  Eat them as they are or serve alongside a hearty meal to bring a sweet crunch to the dish. This snack is very easy to make.
Nutritional Content: Per serving (35g) there are 56 calories. These crisps are anti-inflammatory with very low in cholesterol and are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin C2 and an excellence source in vitamin A.

2 large organic carrots
2 large organic parsnips
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt

Using a vegetable peeler, peel the carrots from one side in a long sweeping motion. Make sure to put a little extra pressure on when peeling. This should create a long strip, tear this in half and continue peeling the carrot on the same side, as you approach the center, take advantage of creating larger strips. Repeat this with the parsnips. You may have some of the vegetable  leftover because is not easy to peel any longer. Reserve these parts for use in other recipes. Prepare two non-stick baking trays by drizzling a tablespoon each of the olive oil and evenly coating the trays with a pastry brush (or using your hands) divide the vegetable strips in half and carefully mix the oil into the strips on each tray. Sprinkle with a half teaspoon of salt for each tray. When ready, bake the vegetable strips on high heat 450°F for 10 minutes. Check the crisps, then mix and turn them over. Now check every 5 minutes, they will be ready when crisp to touch and turning golden in colour. These crisps will cook at different times so make sure you pick out the ones that are already cooked and crisp. Eat right away. To preserve texture make sure they are sealed in an air tight container or zip-lock bag. If they go a little soft they can be refreshed in a warm oven for 2 minutes.

Eggplant & Banana Coconut Curry

I’ve been a little late on posting.. this is a April 2012 challenge: Make your own recipe. The task was to come up with an interesting and tasty meal which incorporated a selection of fruit, vegetables and condiments.  The ingredients I used in this recipe were Eggplant (aubergine), Banana and Balsamic Vinegar.

This recipe is not the healthiest or best option on those trying to avoid inflammatory foods; however it is very good for a treat. This recipe was created with my limited knowledge of Thai cooking and is a simple yet filling dish. Enjoy.
Nutritional Content: Per serving (395g) there are 447 calories. Although very high in saturated fat, it has low cholesterol.  The curry provides a good source of manganese. The dish also contains a broad spectrum of amino acids, meaning it is well balanced in protein content.

2 Italian eggplants (Italian eggplants typically smaller in size) or 5 cups chopped into 2 inch pieces
1 large white onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, freshly pressed or finely diced
1½ inch piece of fresh ginger
1 stick of lemongrass, finely chopped
1 teaspoon of dried chili or chili powder
2 bay leaves (optional)
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 pinch cinnamon
1 tablespoon safflower oil  (or groundnut oil)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (fresh coriander)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of agave nectar (or honey)
2 ripe bananas, thickly sliced
1 handful of sugar snap peas
1 can coconut milk (14 oz)
1 cup filtered water
Salt and pepper to taste

In a heavy pan,  lightly fry the eggplants in a little oil to brown the skins. Set the fried eggplants aside.  In the same pan, heat the remainder oil and add the onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chili, cumin stir for 2 minutes, add the tablespoon of vinegar as well as the fried eggplant.  Next ass the coconut milk, agave nectar, bay leaves  and snap peas. Cover the pot and set heat to low. After 10 minutes, check consistency and adjust with water and season to taste and add cinnamon. Stir in the banana slices and chopped cilantro until the bananas are heated through. Serve with fresh Thai jasmine or brown rice.