Posts Tagged ‘healthy cooking’

We Are What We Eat: Potassium, the Real Special K

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Today, in the second in a series  of posts examining the building blocks of our bodies, we are getting know Potassium, one of the vital elements that we need on a daily basis for metabolic function, for basic health and well-being. When it comes to potassium, most budding chemist know that its atomic number is 19 and its symbol is K, and athletes know that this important element somehow keeps them from cramping during extended periods of exercise; jocks know that bananas are a good source of it, and Gatorade and other sports drink makers add it to their sugary concoctions to give them that extra edge. When we perspire, and when athletes sweat heavily, we lose mostly water-which is why it is important to keep hydrated-and sodium and chloride. (By the way, if your sweat is really salty, if you get caked in white powder once it dries, you are ingesting too much sodium; not a good thing).

We also lose other electrolytes like potassium, magnesium and calcium, needed to maintain fluid balance, regulate the pH in our blood and assist in normal muscular function. Continue »



Finally! A Vegetable Stock That Tastes Great

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Making your own homemade stock is just about the easiest thing you can do in the kitchen, and it is so good, once you get into the habit of making your own it is doubtful you will purchase a pre-made, name brand variety. Prepared vegetarian stocks are also often very high in sodium, to make up for a lack of true flavor. Making your own, flavourful broth will greatly cut down on the amount of salt needed.

We love soup, and whenever we make up a batch we use our own stock; chicken for chicken soup, of course, and beef stock for Scotch broth and French onion soup, and whenever possible we like to use a fragrant, hearty vegetable stock. It is incredibly healthy, economical, it allows us to satisfy our vegetarian and vegan friends, and reduces our dependence on the animal kingdom for at least a meal or two. Furthermore veggie stock is chock full of  water soluble vitamins like vitamin C and thiamine, and is devoid of animal fats that are typically high in calories.

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On Special: Sprouts

Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli Sprouts

 

Is there anything more indicative of spring than seeing a tender little shoot push its way out of the earth? For us, right now, this is still a few months off, so if you want a taste of spring, add some sprouts to your diet and put a little spring in your step.

Sprouts are hot. A generation ago, the only sprouts you were likely to find were bean sprouts, the tender shoots of the mung bean, used almost exclusively for dishes like chop suey. Then along came alfalfa sprouts which quickly became the darling of delicatessens everywhere, with folks throwing a handful of sprouts in lieu of lettuce on their hummus & avocado sandwiches. Continue »



Wonton DIY

Shanghainese-style wonton

 

A wonton is a meat filled dumpling that is usually served in broth. It’s soothing comfort food that can be customized to your taste. Fill the dumpling with ground chicken or turkey, or make a vegetarian dumpling and load the broth up with bok choy and napa cabbage. Make a spicy pork broth brimming with fat noodles or a mild fish broth garnished with lots of lime and cilantro. The wontons themselves are so simple to prepare and when you make them from scratch you can be sure that only the best ingredients are used and that no MSG is added.  There are many versions of the wonton, each with slight variations depending on place of origin. Continue »



Meatless Monday: Veggie Burgers

 

Celebrate Meatless Monday with a delicious homemade veggie burger

No doubt about about it, this spring is a long time coming. For many of us, one of the rituals associated with spring is firing up the grill for the first charcoal grilled burger of the season. But for those of us that can’t wait, a homemade burger cooked indoors is the next best thing, and if you are cooking indoors, a veggie burger is a nice change of pace; even if you are not vegetarian or vegan, going meatless for a dinner now and then is a delicious and healthy option, and a fabulous meatless burger cooked to perfection indoors, and served on a toasted bun with all your favourite fixin’s will make you forget all about this wet blanket of a season. Continue »