Latest Entries »

Health Benefits of Garlic

The Pungent Bulb Proves Its Potency

Regular consumption of garlic can reduce the risk of stroke and thrombosis by lowering blood pressure and decreasing platelet aggregation

For nearly four decades, garlic has been touted by the scientific community as a natural remedy for elevated LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Yet the results of the most rigorous garlic study ever — funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted at Stanford University — reveal that previous studies were likely wrong. Whether consumed fresh or in powdered pill form, garlic did not lower cholesterol in the study’s participants, adults (average age 50) with moderately elevated LDL. The experiment’s findings, published in the February 2007 Archives of Internal Medicine, are thought to supersede those of previous studies, which typically tested only one garlic type and did not maintain potency consistency. Stanford researchers looked at two top-selling garlic supplements as well as fresh garlic; they also monitored the exact chemical composition of the preparations for the duration of the study.

Garlic contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce the symptoms associated with a host of inflammatory conditions

Now that the verdict is in on garlic’s ineffectiveness for cholesterol, should we throw out the cloves with their paper-thin casings? Hardly. The Stanford study didn’t rule out garlic’s other potential benefits for cardiovascular health. Various studies have shown that regular consumption of garlic can lower blood pressure, inhibit coronary artery calcification and decrease platelet aggregation, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and thrombosis. Though garlic may not lower cholesterol, it can prevent the oxidation of cholesterol in the blood stream and inhibit the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, which lead to heart disease.

Garlic owes its reputation as a folk remedy — and as a breath killer — to its variety of organosulfur compounds.  Allicin and dialyl disulphide are thought to relax and enlarge blood vessels, promoting better blood flow.  Allicin is also a powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal capable of killing harmful microbes — even those that have become resistant to pharmaceuticals — making garlic a natural antidote to colds, flu and infections. Ajoene has been shown to shrink the tumors of skin cancer patients. Garlic’s stink may even make you smarter: researchers in China demonstrated that the sulfur compound sallylcystein prevents degeneration of the brain’s frontal lobes.

In addition to these odiferous compounds, garlic is chock full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C teams up with allicin to protect against cholesterol oxidation, bad bacteria, and colon cancer. In fact, research has shown that eating as few as two servings of garlic a week reduces the risk of colon cancer significantly. Garlic is also a good source of selenium, which guards against heavy metal toxicity, and manganese, an antioxidant defense enzyme.

Health Benefits:

– can lower blood pressure
– can reduce risk of stroke and thrombosis
– may reduce risk of colon cancer
– antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal
– contains Vitamin C, allicin, selenium and manganese
– anti-inflammatory

It is believed that the Egyptians gave garlic to the slaves who built the pyramids to fortify their strength and endurance. Greek and Roman athletes ate garlic before competitions, while soldiers consumed it before battle. No wonder:  garlic contains anti-inflammatory enzymes that reduce the symptoms associated with a host of inflammatory conditions, from arthritis to asthma — not to mention the pain and swelling that might result from hurling a javelin or carrying blocks of limestone up the face of a pyramid.

From the reign of the Pharaohs to the present, cooks have savored garlic as a marinade for meat. Beyond the sweet-hot flavor it imparts, garlic may also make grilled meats healthier by reducing the carcinogens produced as a result of exposing meat to high temperatures. Perhaps this is part of why regular garlic consumption is correlated with a reduced risk of a range of cancers, including oral, ovarian, breast, prostate and renal. Garlic also promotes healthy digestion by warding off intestinal worms and parasites and stopping the H. pylori bacterium, which causes ulcers, from doing excessive damage. Though garlic did not prevail in cholesterol cross-examination, the mighty cloves have certainly won their case.

Advertisements

Idle Not Ground Beef and Vegetable Casserole

 

Ingredients

  • 3 cups new potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 or 2 cloves of grated garlic
  • 1/4 cup low fat sour cream
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups fresh shelled green peas
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  1. Peel and cube potatoes and place in a large pot of water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, drain water and add fresh room temperature water. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Drain.
  2. Chop onion. Simmer ground beef, onion and 1/2 cup of water in a 3-quart pan until meat is crumbled and brown.
  3. Add potatoes, green peas, fresh grated garlic and remaining 2 cups of water to ground beef mixture. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes, until peas are tender.
  4. Mix 1/4 cup of beef broth with cornstarch and stir until cornstarch is dissolved.
  5. Add cornstarch mixture to pan along with remaining broth, and simmer until casserole is thick.
  6.  Add sour cream, stir and serve.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy!

 

Nutrients per serving

Calories 268

Protein 21 g

Carbohydrates 28 g

Fat 8 g

Cholesterol 50 mg

Sodium 154 mg

Potassium 632 mg

Phosphorus 270 mg

Calcium 44 mg

Fiber 5.2 g

Bruschetta Stuffed Zucchini Boatsfrom American Diabetes food hub

  • large zucchini
    2
  • olive oil
    2 tsp
  • black pepper
    1/8 tsp
  • jarred bruschetta
    1/2 cup
  • Parmesan cheese(grated)
    4 tsp
  1. Using a spoon, scoop out the middle of the zucchini and leave a thin base at the bottom so the “boat” can be stuffed. Place the scooped-out centers into a small bowl; set aside.
  2. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the zucchini boats just until they begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Immediately place the zucchini boats in a bowl of iced water. Drain the zucchini and place it on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle the reserved zucchini mixture with black pepper; add to the pan, and sauté about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the bruschetta; lower the heat and simmer for 3 minutes.
  4. Spoon the bruschetta mixture evenly into the four zucchini boats. Sprinkle each zucchini boat with 1 Tsp. parmesan cheese.
  5. Heat the broiler. Broil the stuffed zucchini boats until slightly golden, about 2-3 minutes; watch closely to avoid burning.

Nutrition Facts

4 Servings

  • Serving Size
    1/2 zucchini
  • Amount per servingCalories75
  • Total Fat 4.5g
    • Saturated Fat 1g
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 220mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 9g
    • Dietary Fiber 2g
    • Total Sugars 5g
  • Protein 3g
  • Potassium 530mg

Choices/Exchanges: 2 Nonstarchy vegetable, 1/2 Fat

Chopped Mexican Salad with Lime

Courtesy of American Diabetes Food Hub

Ingredients

USMetric
  • lime juice
    1/2 cup
  • olive oil
    1/4 cup
  • crushed red pepper flakes
    1 tsp
  • garlic(minced)
    3 clove
  • honey
    1 1/2 tbsp
  • romaine lettuce(chopped)
    6 cup
  • black beans(rinsed and drained)
    15 oz
  • jicama(peeled and chopped)
    1 cup
  • corn(drained)
    15 oz
  • red bell pepper(cored, seeded, and diced)
    1
  • ripe avocados(peeled and diced)
    2
  • reduced fat monterey jack cheese
    1/2 cup

Directions

  1. To make the dressing, in a small bowl whisk together lime juice, olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, and honey. Dressing is best served at room temperature.
  2. Spread lettuce evenly across a large serving platter. Arrange beans, jicama, corn, bell pepper, and avocados side by side on top of lettuce. Garnish with cheese. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, for at least 1 hour. Drizzle with dressing before serving.

Nutrition Facts

8 Servings

  • Serving Size
    1 1/2 cups
  • Amount per serving Calories240
  • Total Fat 15g
    • Saturated Fat 3g
    • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol less than 5mg
  • Sodium 180mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 24g
    • Dietary Fiber 8g
    • Total Sugars 7g
  • Protein 7g
  • Potassium 510mg
  • Phosphorus 130mg

Choices/Exchanges: 1 Starch, 1/2 Carbohydrate, 1 Nonstarchy vegetable, 3 Fat

 

Image may contain: food

 

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini

3 large mushrooms ( I use white button mushrooms)

4 Thai peppers

1 leaf of dinosaur kale (chopped in thin strips)

1/2 medium onion

1 small green bell pepper

2 cloves of fresh grated garlic

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup (leftover spaghetti sauce)

Parmesan  Cheese (fine grated)

 

Directions:

Spray skillet with Pam (I use steel skillet)

Add  all peppers, onions, and fresh grated garlic and one tablespoon olive oil, cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat.

Add thick chunks or slices of zucchini, other tablespoon of olive oil, stir and let sit with lid on for about 3 minutes at most (I like mine a wee bit crunchy)

Add sliced mushrooms, stir for one to two minutes, then add strips of  kale and then add the leftover spaghetti sauce, stir till all is mixed,  cover for about 1 minute, then top with Parmesan cheese right before you serve

 

(I freeze leftover spaghetti sauces to use for multiple dishes, no waste and quick to thaw and use)

 

 

 

Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake

Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake | Get the recipe for Gingersnap-Pear Cheesecake.

Courtesy of Real Simple

Total Time
30 Mins  Other Time 6 Hours
Yield Serves 8-12

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnaps (about 40 cookies)
  • 2 small ripe pears (any kind), peeled, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
Step 1

Heat oven to 350° F.

Step 2

In a medium bowl, combine the butter and crushed gingersnaps. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan, working the crumbs over the bottom and then up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes.

Step 3

In a small bowl, toss the pears and ginger. Line the cooled crust with the pears, overlapping the slices slightly. In a large bowl, with an electric mixer on medium, beat the cream cheese for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix until combined. Stir in 2 teaspoons of the vanilla. Pour the mixture over the pears. Bake until the top is barely set but still slightly wobbly, about 50 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack but leave oven on.

Step 4

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the remaining sugar and vanilla. Pour over the cheesecake and bake for 8 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving

Nutritional Information

DolmasGreek Grape Leaves Stuffed with Rice and Herbs

Courtesy of Saveur

Dolmakadia, the Greek word for stuffed grape leaves, is one of the most iconic recipes of Greek cuisine and, although there are many varieties, the meatless version is the most common. In the warmer months, try to find and use fresh grape leaves; they are more tender and flavorful than the jarred types. Out of season, jarred leaves are a fine substitute (we prefer the Orlando brand).

SERVES 6-8 PEOPLE

Ingredients

60-70 fresh grape leaves or one 16-oz jar, drained grape leaves, stems removed
34 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 large white onion, diced (2 cups)
4 large spring onions or 8 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced (1 ½ cups)
13 cups finely shopped fresh dill (3 oz.)
23 cups finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (3 oz.)
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint (2 oz.)
34 cups (12 ¼ oz.) short grain rice, soaked in cool water for 10 minutes, then drained)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, plus a few lemon wedges for serving
Plain Greek yogurt, for serving (optional)

Instructions

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Fill a large bowl 23 of the way with ice water.
Add the grape leaves to the boiling water and cook until tenderized, 2 minutes. Remove the leaves using a slotted spoon or small strainer and transfer to the ice water. Once cooled, strain the leaves, and pat dry using a clean towel. Set aside.
Set a large skillet over medium heat and add ¼ cup of the oil. Once hot, add the white onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, 5 minutes. Add the spring onions, dill, parsley, and mint and continue cooking until the onion is completely soft and somewhat translucent, 3-4 minutes more. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until fully cooled.
Line the bottom of a large pot or Dutch oven with 3 layers of grape leaves (these will prevent the dolmakadia from scorching later).
Working one at a time, place the remaining leaves, bottom-sides up with the points facing you. Place a generous tablespoon of filling in the center of each leaf, then fold the left and right sides over the filling. Fold the tip of the leaf over the filling, then roll tightly to make a roughly 2-inch by 12–inch cigar shape. Place the roll, seam side down, in the lined pot. Continue with the remaining leaves and filling, placing them tightly together in the pot and continuing onto a second layer as necessary.
Place the pot on the stove and add 1 13 cups boiling water, the lemon juice, and the remaining ½ cup of oil. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pan; cook until the rice is tender and the leaves are very tender, about 45 minutes.
Remove the pot and let cool. Serve the dolmakadia at room temperature or chilled, drizzled with olive oil and alongside lemon wedges for squeezing and Greek yogurt for dipping or topping.

 

Spicy Roasted Cauliflower with Tahini

Recipe courtsey of Sauver  Featured in: Eating Israel with Michael Solomonov

SERVES 4-6

 

Ingredients

1 head cauliflower (about 2 14 lbs.), leaves intact
12 cup olive oil
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. sweet paprika
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 jalapeño, stemmed, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced crosswise
1 lemon, halved
12 cup tahini
Cilantro leaves, to garnish

Instructions

Heat the oven to 400°. On a cutting board, quarter the cauliflower, leaving the core and leaves intact. Transfer the quarters to a large bowl and rub with the olive oil, salt, turmeric, paprika, garlic, and jalapeño. Arrange the cauliflower on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until tender at the core and lightly browned on the outside, about 45 minutes. Heat the broiler and broil the cauliflower until lightly charred on the top, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove the cauliflower from the broiler and transfer to a serving dish. Squeeze the lemon halves over the cauliflower, covering them in the juice, and drizzle with the tahini. Garnish the cauliflower with cilantro and serve while hot.

 

Honey-Dijon Chicken Paillards with Zucchini Slaw  Courtesy of My Recipes website

“Paillard” is a French term for any cut of meat that’s been sliced or pounded thin, a brilliant shortcutting technique for plump chicken breasts.

 Ingredients
         2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large red sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly slice
  • 1 large yellow sweet pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons butter
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme, finely snipped

  • Preparation  5 m

  • Ready In   20 m

  1. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sweet peppers; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in zucchini and asparagus. Cook and stir for 6 to 7 minutes or just until asparagus is tender.
  2. Stir in garlic, salt and black pepper; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add butter and thyme, stirring just until combined. Serve immediately.

Courtesy of Eating Well

 

Nutrition:

Serving size: ¾ cup

  • Per serving: 75 calories; 4 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 9 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 59 mcg folate; 4mg cholesterol; 4 g sugars; 1,695 IU vitamin A; 172 mg vitamin C; 25 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 90mg sodium; 366 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (287% daily value), Vitamin A (34% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1½ vegetable, 1 fat

Bake time:  01:00    Prep time:  00:10  Total time:  01:10
Difficulty:     easy
Courtsey of Clabber Girl.

Ingredients

3 eggs
1 C. vegetable oil
2 C. granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
2 C. cantaloupe, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 tsp. salt
3 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Soda
1 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
Glaze:
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
1 2/3 C. packed brown sugar
1/2 C. pecan pieces

Directions

Preheat oven to 325° F. Prepare two 9×5-inch loaf pans by greasing and flouring them, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla. Puree cantaloupe in blender and add to mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine salt, flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Add to liquid ingredients, stirring just until combined.

Divide batter into prepared loaf pans and bake at 325° F. for about 1 hour, or until tests done. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes while you make the glaze.

Glaze: melt butter and brown sugar in the microwave for 3 minutes, stirring once every minute. Add pecans. Pour glaze over warm loaves.

%d bloggers like this: