THE POWER OF HERBS

We usually use them to flavor-up our meals, but lets look more for their health benefits.

ROSEMARI

The most interesting health benefits of rosemary include its ability to boost memory, improve mood, lowers the risk of Alzheimer’s and cancer, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and protect the immune system. The herb also helps stimulate circulation, detoxify the body, protect the body from bacterial infections, prevent premature aging, and heal skin conditions.

SAGE

Tradionally prized for its antispasmodic, antimicrobial, anti-anti-inflammatory, antifungal and calming properties as well as its hormone balancing effects, sage is called the queen of herbs studies and medical herbalists swear by it for hot flushes, heat and other menopausal symptoms.

THYME

Time its been used to help infections, coughs, colds and bronchitis also recent research had shown its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

TURMERIC

Best known for giving curries their yellow color, this root is attracting massive scientific attention for the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of its major active ingredient curcumin.



SOME OF MY BASIC PANTRY FAVORITES

I love making my meals from scratch, maintaining a well stocked kitchen is time saver and essential to run an efficient kitchen, with these wholesome nutrient-rich pantry foods that I love for everything I need I can make delicious and last minute meals.

Mostly all this ingredients are soursed from supermartkets and health stores.


CHIA SEEDS

This black and white seeds come from a flowering plant and are full of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and fibre. Available in supermarkets and health food stores, They are great for smoothies, jams, pudding and baking, or sprinkle it over salads.

QUINOA

Also it looks like a grain, Quinoa is actually a seed. Full of protein, it has a nutty flavor and is fluffy when is cooked. You can use it as you do couscous or rice. Find it in supermarkets or green grocers.

QUINOA FLAKES

This is simply quinoa that has been steamrolled into flakes. Use them in muesly, pancakes or baked goods, or use as a gluten free crumb.They are available from health food stores and supermarkets .

QUINOA PUFFS

Quiona puffs are made by very gently heating the quinoa grain until it expands or “pops”. Great for breakfast cereal , porridge , baking .

OATMEAL

Oats are among the healthiest grains on earth. They are a gluten-free, whole grain and great source of important vitamins, mimerals, fiber and antioxidants. Use it t o make oat milk , smoothie booster, granola base , porridge, pie crust , baking.

SESAME SEEDS

These little white or black seeds are a clever way to quickly add flavor and crunch to a dish. Use them to sprinkle through noodles or stir-fries, or add extra flavour to bakes .

LINSEED MEAL

Alaso known as flaxseed meal, this is the ground meal of small brown linseeds, which have a nutty flavor and are soluble source of dietery fiber. It is often used as a binder or egg substitute. Find linseed meal at supermarkets and health food stores.

ALMONDS

This nutritious nut is high in protein and rich in vitamin E. It’s also a sourse of calcium, which makes it a great dairy-free addition to smoothies. Try grinding into a gluten-free flour, blending into a pesto or even just enjoying as an energising snack .

ALMOND MILK

This plant-blased milk is made by soaking raw almonds in water overnight, then blending them and straining the liquid. Find fresh almond milk at helath food stores or make your own.

CASHEW NUTS

This buttery nut is naturally cholesterol-free and high sourse of cooper, Which helps to mantain blood cells in the body. They are perfect for snacking and also make a good addition to desserts and can be blended to a creamy nut butter ( soak and dehydrate before use is highly recomended )

FRESH DATES

One of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world, dates have a rich, toffee-like sweetness which makes them a flavoursome subtitute for refined sugar in baking and desserts. They are also known as being a high source of dietary fiber.

GLUTEN FREE FLOUR

If you are allergic to gluten, this is a handy alternative to regular plain flour and is typically a mix of tapioca starch, rice flour and vegetable gums. It’s great to use for baking or doughs. Find it in the health food aisle of supermarkets .

BUCKWHEAT FLOUR

Despite its name, This flour does not contain any wheat; it’s related to the rhubarb and sorrel family. Rich, nutty, and gluten free, It’s a flavoursome option for pancakes, noodles, biscuits, Find it at helath food stores.

RAW BUCKWHEAT

Derived from the seeds of a flowering plat, This little pyramid-shaped seeds are light brown or green in color and are soaked, rinsed and dried to make cereal. They can also be ground into flour. Find it in helath food stores .

WHOLEMEAL SPELT FLOUR

With a high fiber content, This ancient grain facilitates a healthy digestive system as well as boasting high levels of vitamins and minerals. While it’s not gluten-free, The soluble fibre content can make it easier to digest than regular wheat flour. Its nutty flavor makes it perfect for baking a doughs.

LENTILS

Lentils are a nutritional powerhouse, They are packed with protein, iron and fiber and lost of vitamins and minerals. They’re available dried or canned and are great for a bulk to salads, veggy burgers and delicious stews.

CHICKPEAS

Keep a can of these fibre and protein-rich legume, also Knows as garbanzo beans, in the pantry, Ready for when you need to add extra bulk to a salad, curry or blend into a creamy hummus- Its most popular role!

MISO

A tradional Japanese ingredient produced by fermentimg soy beans or barley, with salt and fungus to form a thick paste. Available from most supermarkets in Asia and asian food stores .

TAHINI

Tahini is a paste made from roasted and ground sesame seeds - you can buy in jars in the health food section of supermarkets. It’s a key ingredient when making hummus, you can also use leftover tahini in lots of other ways, like adding it to dressings, soups for extra flavor or into bisquits or cakes.

NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER

A favorite addition to salty-sweets desserts; It’s best to buy the natural variety, Regular store-bought peanut butters can contain extra sodium, make sure you buy a good one or make your own.

LIGHT AGAVE SYRUP

This the nectar from the agave succulent and is a light-colored natural syrup that has a mild, neutral sweetnes. Drizzle it over pancakes, desserts or mueslies.

COCONUT MILK

A can of this rich milk made from the flesh of the coconut; is a great way to add lactose-free richness to desserts without the use of cream or consensed milk, Good for yogurts, curries and exotic sauces.

COCONUT OIL

Extracted from the meat of mature coconuts, coconut oil has unprocessed saturated fats and are an important part of a healthy diet, The oil can be used to fry at high temperatures, But I prefer as a dairy-free alternative and adds extra flavor to bakes and slices. It’s easily find at supermarkets and health food stores.

COCONUT SUGAR

Also Known as coconut palm sugar, this is similar to coconut nectar but in granule form. Its caramel flavor gives a lovely note to baked goods. Find it in specialty food stores, Asian grosers, health food stores and some supermarkets.

COCONUT WATER

A good source of potassium and known for its hydrating qualities, This slightly sweet water from the coconut is great for adding extra tropical flavor to drinks, smoothies, desserts, and even popsicles

 
The five basic taste

The five basic taste


It has been over a century since umami was discovered in Japan, but umami is just now. atracting global attention, primarily from chefs and others with a strong interest in food.

Umami is the fifth taste, joining sweet, sour, salty and bitter. These are unique tastes that cannot be created by mixing other tastes, and are known as the basic, or primary tastes. Umami is a general term used mainly for substances combining the amino acid glutamate, and/or the nucleotides inosinate and guanylate, with minerals such as sodium and potassium.*

How humans experience their food

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*In scientific terms, umami is defined as the taste of salts combining glutamate, inosinate or guanylate with the likes of sodium ions, such as monosodium glutamate, or potassium ions, but for the purposes of this pamphlet, except for sections requiring scientific precision, we describe umami as the taste of glutamate, inosinate and guanylate. Salts of the amino acid aspartate and the nucleotide adenylate are also types of umami substance, weaker than glutamate. Succinic acid, which gives shellfish their distinctive taste, has also been identified as another possible umami substance.

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Since the word “umami” is originally Japanese and the Japanese expressions “to have umami” and “umai” can mean “tastiness” or “deliciousness,” “umami” is often confused with “deliciousness.” Whether something tastes good or not is a comprehensive yet subjective evaluation determined by elements such as taste, aroma, texture and temperature, besides other factors such as appearance, color and shape, as well as one’s physical condition, surrounding environment, cultural background, and previous experiences. Of these various elements, umami in balance with the other basic tastes (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter) plays an important role in determining the deliciousness of a dish.


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Adelicate taste. A mild, subtle taste. A taste that spreads across the tongue, coating it completely. A persistent, lingering taste. A mouthwatering sensation. This is how chefs who have experienced and recognized umami describe its characteristics.

Let us take a look at three properties of umami.

Spreading across the tongue

Umami is frequently described as a taste that “spreads across the tongue, coating it.” Experiments on the tongue’s areas of taste receptivity have shown that sweet and salty tastes are sensed more intensely on the tip of the tongue, while umami is sensed all across it.

Persistence

One study had participants separately take solutions of the umami substances glutamate and inosinate, table salt, and tartaric acid (the acid component of wine) into their mouths, then spit the solutions out and compare the intensity of taste left in their mouth. While the salty and sour tastes of table salt and tartaric acid soon faded, umami was found to linger for several minutes. This suggests that even among the basic tastes, umami has a major impact on the aftertaste of foods.

Promotes salivation

Sour or acid taste is widely known to promote salivation, but in fact it has been revealed that umami triggers the sustained secretion of saliva for a longer period. 
Furthermore, the saliva produced with sour tastes has a lighter quality, whereas the saliva produced with umami is more viscous, and this seems to moisten more the inside of the mouth. 
Without saliva we are unable to sense taste or swallow food smoothly. Umami holds the key to these functions.


Tomatoes

one of the many plant foods that provide umami in western tradition,its attractive, full, rounded “meaty” flavor comes from its heavy load of glutamates.


 

GETTING TO KNOW A BIT MORE ABOUT MUSHROOMS

 

A mushroom is the fleshy body of a fungus growing above ground. Mushrooms usually have a stem, a cap and gills on the underside of the cap. Mushroom caps are actually the fruit of the plant. All mushrooms grow from microscopic spores, rather than seeds. Because mushrooms have no chlorophyll, they must get all their nutrients from the organic matter in their growing medium.

The best known variety is the white button mushroom. Shitake, portobella and oyster mushrooms are widely available. Your grocery store may also carry other varieties like the crimini, porcini, maitake and enoki. Most mushrooms in supermarkets have been grown commercially on mushroom farms in controlled, sterilized environments. Gourmet shops may also carry mushrooms that grow in the wild in forests, like the thin-stemmed enoki, the very black black trumper, the wrinkly meaty maitake and the aromatic porcini.


SOME OF THE MOST COMMON VARIETIES

*Large Portabello mushrooms are mature criminis that are allowed to grow for up to a week longer. Their deep, meaty texture and flavor makes them ideal to grill, broil or roast. They make a delicious burger.

*Maitake are rippling and fan-shaped, without caps. They bring a distinctive aroma and a rich, woodsy taste to your cooking. They are also called "Hen of the Woods."

*Shiitakes are tan to dark brown and have broad, umbrella-shaped caps, wide open veils, tan gills. They are best when cooked and added to stir-fry, pasta, and soups.

*Enoki mushrooms have tiny, button-shaped caps and long, spindly stems. They are often used in Asian cooking. Enoki have a mild taste that can be enjoyed raw in salads and sandwiches. Enoki mushrooms are often added to an Asian soup stock made with soy sauce and tofu.

* Oyster mushroom can be gray, pale yellow or even blue. It has a delicate flavor and a velvety texture. 




Wild Mushrooms

Some mushroom lovers enjoy searching the woods for prized wild varieties of mushrooms, such as morels, truffles and chanterelles. However, there are thousands of varieties of inedible and poisonous mushrooms. It is important to seek the guidance of a trained mycologist, or mushroom expert, before you eat any wild mushrooms. Poisonous mushrooms often resemble edible mushrooms, so for safety’s sake, purchase commercially grown mushrooms. If you want to try wild varieties, buy them from a retail store or restaurant.




Cooking with Mushrooms




Mushroom Veggie Pasta Recipe

Mushrooms, the fabulous fungus, make a delicious addition to many dishes. The flavors of mushrooms range from delicate to robust. Vegetarians enjoy mushrooms as a substitute for meat. Because of their chewy texture and intense flavor, they are called “fake steak.”

For mushrooms, the simplest recipe is probably the best. Sauté any variety of sliced mushrooms with a little oil and shallot. over medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes, turning once when they become a rich red-brown color.

Cooks suggest that mushrooms be cleaned by gently rubbing the caps with a damp cloth or soft brush. If you rinse mushrooms in water, they can become soft and mushy. You can’t freeze raw mushrooms because they wilt, but cooked mushrooms freeze well.

Dried mushrooms have a more intense and meatier flavor than fresh. Dried porcini and dried morels are often available. Soak them in water for 20 minutes, and then add them to a sauce or include them along with fresh mushrooms.

For a delicious pasta dish idea, try this mushroom bourguignon in red wine from Jamie Oilivier.

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 shallots 

  • 25 g dried porcini mushrooms 

  • 4 portobello mushrooms 

  • 120 g shiitake mushrooms 

  • 200 g chestnut mushrooms 

  • 25 g unsalted butter 

  • olive oil 

  • 2 large carrots 

  • 2 cloves of garlic 

  • 6 sprigs of fresh thyme 

  • 2 fresh bay leaves 

  • 500 ml red wine 

  • 1 tablespoon tomato purée


    METHOD

  • Put the shallots in a bowl and cover with hot water (this makes them easy to peel). Place the dried porcini in another bowl and cover with 150ml of boiling water, then set aside. 

    1. Roughly chop the portobello mushrooms and halve any larger shiitake and chestnut mushrooms, leaving the small ones whole. Heat half 
      of the butter with 1 tablespoon oil in a casserole pan over a medium heat. Fry the mushrooms in batches, until coloured but still firm, adding another tablespoon of oil between each batch. Tip the mushrooms into a bowl and set aside.

    2. Heat the remaining butter in the pan, peel the shallots, halving any larger ones, peel and cut the carrots into 2cm slices and fry for 8 minutes, or until the veg gets some colour, stirring occasionally. Peel and chop the garlic and add for the final 2 minutes.

    3. Add the thyme, bay and wine. Strain in the porcini liquid into the pan, roughly chop the porcini and add to the pan along with the tomato purée, then simmer for 25 minutes, or until the wine has reduced slightly and the veg are cooked through. Season to taste and fish out the thyme stalks and bay leaves. 

    4. Stir the cooked mushrooms into the sauce along with any juices, heating through for a couple of minutes. Season and serve. Nice with some creamy mash on the side.

Mushroom bourguignon  WITH PORCINI MUSHROOMS & RED WINE & Truffle fettuccine

Mushroom bourguignon

WITH PORCINI MUSHROOMS & RED WINE & Truffle fettuccine


Mushrooms for Health and Nutrition

Maitake Mushroom

Mushrooms are a wonder food. They are nutritional treasures, low in fat, low in calories, but rich in vitamin B complex and antioxidants. Mushrooms are one of the few natural sources of vitamin D, which is essential for healthy bones and teeth. Mushrooms are also a good source of the B vitamins riboflavin (B2) for healthy red blood cells, niacin (B3) for healthy skin, digestion and nervous system, and pantothenic acid (B5) for hormone production and a healthy nervous system. . These vitamins help break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates so they can be used for energy. Mushrooms can be an important source of B-vitamins for people who don’t eat meat. Mushrooms are one of the best plant-based sources of niacin available.

In addition, mushrooms are a natural antibiotic, antiviral and anti-inflammatory. Both cooked and raw, mushrooms provide ergothineine, a powerful antioxidant that helps the body’s cells combat free-radical damage. Pound for pound, white button mushrooms have 12 times as much of this antioxidant as wheat germ.

New research also found out that mushrooms play a role in fighting cancer, autoimmune diseases and obesity. A number of mushroom varieties are being studied for their anti-cancer, anti-viral and immunity-enhancing properties. The turkey tail mushroom is likely to suppress tumor growth in breast cancer patients. The oyster mushroom may reduce the levels of LDL, or bad cholesterol in AIDS patients. Research also shows that maitake mushrooms may boost the immune function, lower blood pressure and improve glucose metabolism in diabetics.

Magic Mushrooms


Varieties of mushrooms with a substance called psilocybin possess natural psychedelic, or mind-altering, properties. They bring on hallucinogenic visions and mystical experiences. These so called “magic mushrooms” were used in native medicine in various cultures, but they are outlawed in some countries.

 
Tomato ! The fruit of love !

The French called the tomato the pomme d'amour, or The Love Apple, for their belief that the exotic tomato had aphrodisiac powers. Tomatoes might not be responsible for romance in people, but eating tomatoes does seem to spark a lust for more tomatoes. 

Source

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Sweet , tangy , juicy and versatile , what else can I ask for ? 

Tomatoes have been  a staple in my everyday cooking , I really love them in all shapes and sizes .

Whether it's red , orange , yellow , sweet or acidic , big or small , they are a great ingredient  for many diffrent dishes .

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Are Broccoli stems Edible?

Yes! and delicious too !(Recipe For Brócoli and quinoa bites  HERE ) 

Very often recipe’s  calls for using the florets of the broccoli and even discarding the stems, or stalks. Maybe broccoli florets Might be more appealing to the eyes but the stalk shouldn’t be garbage as is just as nutritious as the broccoli crown, and is simple to prepare and cook. 

Just requires peeling  off the rough, leafy outer layer and cut the stems into sticks or rounds.

I like using them in my pasta dishes or simply in vegetable sautés.

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Summer in France
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There are special places in the world where our souls sparkles and definitely the south of France is  one of them! .

 

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No doubt that There’s an absolutely undeniable charm to the South of France! Well I had only visited Cannes and saint tropez where We have been spending our summers for the past 10 years , and I can’t get enough of it ,  I am  just  in love! 

We can’t wait for one more year of cold Mediterranean water ,lavender smell ,wild strawberries, lots of Rosé and fun .

 

 

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