Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Bitter foods may not be pleasing to your palate.But the impressive health profile of some kinds of bitter foods might just want you to give them a try.Strangely,bitter foods were considered poisonous and not consumable for long.Until recently medical studies have shown some can offer amazing health boosts ,including prevention and fighting diseases.Read more about the studies here and here.
Fortunately for me,bitter wasn't an alienated taste,some like bitter gourd and fenugreek were pleasantly familiar in mom's cooking.
Tips on making the bitter more palatable :
* Make the start with more commonly available ,like black coffee,cocoa and extra dark chocolate.
* Balance the taste ,pair them with other mildly flavored fruits,nuts and vegetables to balance the unpleasant taste.For instance cooking bitter gourd\melon with onions can help even the bitterness.And Spinach with mustard greens worked perfectly in the ever so popular North India's favorite green side dish.
* Use the right cooking method,overcooking might add to the bitterness of the food like coffee and mustard greens.
I'd love to learn more about them from the enthusiastic foodies out there.Join me in the bitter better journey and help learn more ways to implement these good foods in everyday cooking.For the Health Nut Challenge 4 : Bitter Better Health
1.Cook with any of the following bitter foods list(or others you know of).Mention briefly about the health benefits.Can use cocoa or coffee to make lightly sweet desserts or snacks.Remember excess sweetness can mar the health benefits of bitter foods.
Bitter Better Foods
* Bitter Gourd\melon(Karela)
* Fenugreek(Methi) Sprouts
* Bitter greens and herbs like Mustard greens,Turnip greens, Fenugreek(Methi),Dandelion greens,Watercress,Swiss Chard
* Chicory family vegetables and greens - Radicchio,Endives,Escarole, Frisee ,Arugula
* Unsweetened cocoa
* Extra Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa
* Green Olives
* Black Coffee
* Flax seeds or meal
2.Please don't send the entries through e-mail.Just leave a link of your blog post(old or latest) under the comments section of this post by March 10th 2010.I'll be glad to include it in the round up.And lastly link back your post to this page.
Methi(Fenugreek leaves) Soy Vegetable Cutlets
Methi(fenugreek leaves) are fairly common herbs in Indian Cuisine.Lightly bitter,its best in flat bread(parathas) , lentils(dals), Meat(Chicken or lamb) or any stir fried vegetables.
Soy nuggets or granules are perfect vegan source of high protein.Nutrela soy nuggets or granules are commonly available in most Indian stores.Although one can also find other brands in health food stores.This recipe is recreation of the one on the Nutrela box.The bitterness of Methi in the cutlets is well balanced by the mild flavored soy,potatoes and lightly sweet carrots and peas.Cooked chicken breast or turkey can also be used instead of soy granules.
1 cup Soy Granules
1/4 cup Methi(Fenugreek) leaves,finely chopped
1 medium potato ,boiled , peeled and mashed
1 cup vegetables,boiled and mashed(I used peas and carrots)
2 small green chillies,finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon hot chili powder or cayenne
pinch of Turmeric
1 teaspoon spice mix of choice(I use garam masala + amchur powder)
1 tablespoon Canola oil
Cook the soy granules
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil,add the soy granules,let cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat.Let cool for 10 minutes.Strain the water in a fine colander and rinse under cold water.Then squeeze all of the water from the granules and transfer in to large mixing bowl.
Mix and Shape
Add rest of the vegetables,spices and Methi in ,mix well well to make a even mixture.Take about 2 tablespoon of mixture and shape them round or diamond.Lay on plate.Can be frozen in freezable containers for future use.
Heat about a teaspoon of oil at medium heat and lightly roast the 3-4 cutlets at a time ,about 3 minutes each side.Add a teaspoon of oil for each batch of cutlets.Serve warm as snack or appetizer.