Five Easy and Healthy Recipes From the Japanese Cuisine

Japanese cuisine is vastly different in Japan from what you may see in America. In the U.S. it has been westernized and that can be fattening for you. Getting back to the basics of proper cuisine for the culture, here are five recipes that will introduce you to Japanese cooking in a healthy way.

The main staples of a Japanese diet are rice, fish, vegetables, soy, fruit, noodles and the famous green tea. That gives you a lot to choose from when it comes to preparing your meals. Most recipes can be adapted to different tastes. For example, if you don’t like radishes, substitute shiitake mushrooms or bamboo shoots.

Recipe 1 – Miso soup

This soup is a basic staple of the diet. It is made with soy paste that has been fermented. The soy paste is mixed in a broth called dashi. It can be made from various fish or seaweed. You could probably buy dashi stock along with the miso at any Asian market. Create it at home and add other vegetables that you like to adjust the taste. Soups are eaten at all three meals. The soy provides protein with very little fat.

Recipe 2 – Beef and broccoli

This is not the type that you are used to seeing in America. The beef is lean and cut into thin strips. Using a sharp knife and a frozen piece of meat allows you to cut as thin as you need and remove all excess fat. The meat is cooked with very little oil. The broccoli is steamed. The beef is laid over the rice so that it can soak up the juices.

Recipe 3 – Vegetable saut� (kinpira)

Any vegetables can be added to this dish. The main two are burdock and carrots. Burdock is a root vegetable much like carrots. They can be purchased as an Asian market. Both are cut into matchstick slices for ease and thorough cooking. The addition of soy sauce, sesame seeds and sake help to give the vegetables a rich flavor. Serve with rice.

Recipe 4 – Stir fry

This recipe requires very little oil in the wok. You can use a variety of vegetables: mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, broccoli, carrots and more traditional Japanese vegetables. One of the sauces they love to add is soy sauce. It infuses the food so no additional condiments are needed. Eat with rice only or add seafood like shrimp.

Recipe 5 – Poached fruit

Dessert is usually a simple dish of sliced fruit. You can take an Asian pear and poach it in green tea infused with ginger and almond. The pears are poached in boiling tea with the added spices and sugar. You can serve this alone or with some green tea ice cream or sorbet.

It doesn’t have to be difficult to add the Japanese staples to your lifestyle. Adopting some simpler ways of eating can help keep you healthy and excite your taste buds.

Brief Information About Vegetable Soup Recipes

A great vegetarian soup recipe not only helps you to feel good but also increases your appetite for the main meal.

It’s not really tough to make vegetarian soups, you just need to follow some basic steps to make them. To start with you just have to use garlic, onions, other vegetables such as spinach, beans, green peas, cabbage. Now add vegetable broth or soup stock and other spices which can help you add your desired flavors. If you want to prepare a cold soup then add fruits such as watermelon or tomatoes to it.

Sometimes, if green onions, celery are also added along with onions it’s going to make much of the difference in taste. If little more herbs and spices like peppers, with mixes of oregano and rosemary are added it makes such a great savory taste that everyone at your home will enjoy. It is recommended to add an appropriate amount of spices as too much of them is not good for health.

The secret behind making a savory vegetarian soup recipe includes the one with good texture. Texture of a soup can however be improved just by thickening the soup. Oriental cooks generally use one secret item in their soup recipes which is flour or cornstarch which thickens the recipe without using milk.

Addition of cornstarch adds more texture or thickness to your soup. You just need to simply mix cornstarch with some warm water and then pour mixture while constant stirring into the soup this process helps to thicken it.

The best thing about soups is that it can be very well prepared ahead of time and kept in the freezer and served the other day. One thing to be kept in mind is that soup should be properly allowed to cool first and then only kept in the freezer. Also it should be chilled so that the excess oil from the soup is properly removed before freezing it. Keep in mind the container in which you will be storing the soup has enough space so that the liquid inside the soup can easily expand.

However non-vegetarian soups are made with difference, here meat is added to make it tastier. Apart from using spices, pepper and onions soya sauce is also added to give some extra flavor to it.

The much needed protein content in vegetarian soups are beans, chick peas, green peas which help to add flavor to your vegetarian soup recipe and also is a good substitute of meat.

Potato and Egg Salad

My grandmother is the queen of potato salad. I have yet to find anyone who can out do her in the making of potato salad. Not everyone can make it where it tastes good. Most recipes I’ve tasted are really bland. She is the go to person for this side dish, and there have actually been arguments over who was going to eat the last serving of it. I have tried to mimic her potato salad, but I guess its care and preparation that makes hers stand out. I can come close to it because I have watched her make it many times and know the ingredients she uses. She hasn’t made it in years due to her old age and can’t remember exactly how she makes it sometimes, but I can come pretty close to her version with her advising me how to make it. Here, I am going to share with you our potato salad recipe.

Ingredients

5 to 6 potatoes (preferably Idaho potatoes)

2 stalks celery

1 small onion

� green pepper

� cup sweet relish

� cup miracle whip

� cup mayonnaise

Half dozen hard-boiled eggs

2 Tbsp pimento

1 Tbsp mustard

Paprika

Salt and pepper

My grandmother doesn’t make her potato salad with anything other than Idaho potatoes; maybe that is why hers taste so much better than mine since I use whatever potatoes I have. Peel the potatoes, dice them, and put into boiling salted water. In another pot put eggs in the pot and cover with water. I add salt to the water because it’s supposed to help peel the eggs better. Cook potatoes until you can insert a fork but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes and put in a bowl and set in the refrigerator to cool. Meanwhile chop your onion, celery and green pepper. After your potatoes have cooled add the chopped vegetables to the bowl. Run cold water over the hard-boiled eggs to cool them off and remove the shells. Chop half of the eggs and add to bowl. Salt and pepper the mixture. Then add the mayo, miracle whip and mustard along with the sweet relish. Mix all the ingredients together. If it needs more salad dressing, add more to it as needed. Slice the rest of the hard-boiled eggs and layer them on top of the salad. Sprinkle the salad with paprika cover and refrigerate. The longer it sits the better it taste the next day.

Foods Necessary to Keep the Lungs Healthy

Indoor and outdoor air pollution affects our lungs on a daily basis. It is especially important for people who suffer from lung illnesses such as asthma or emphysema to take care of their lungs. Fortunately, there are several foods that are scientifically proven to keep your lungs in good shape.

Water- Nothing can live without water in some form or another. Water can help in a variety of ways. Drinking water helps soothe throat irritation and makes it more comfortable to talk, sing, or shout. These activities are vital because they exercise our lungs by pushing air in and out of our bodies at different rates, expanding and retracting our lung muscles and working the diaphragm. When a chest cold comes on, inhaling steam from a hot shower can help break up congestion in the sinuses and lungs, making it easier to breathe. Just drinking more water helps the body recover from illnesses that affect the lungs such as influenza and stops it from becoming pneumonia.

Carrots, Apricots, and Oranges- These orange colored snacks contain cancer fighting vitamin A which is important for repairing the lining of the lungs and the windpipe preventing lung infections which can be deadly for children with asthma. They also contain a good amount of vitamin C, an anti-oxidant which also has been linked to better lung function. It helps rid the body of toxins including what the lungs have inhaled throughout the day. Oranges contain iron which transfers oxygen to the bloodstream faster. Red and orange fruits and vegetables also contain carotenoids which have been known to assist in the prevention of lung cancer. All of these fruits and vegetables can be tossed into a salad for an easy lunch.

Onions- One of the cheapest and most variable vegetables is also one of the healthiest. Some experts consider onions a super food. It contains vitamins C, an antioxidant, B, which fights cancer, and queretin which helps prevent lung disease. Almost anything cooked on a stove requires onions for flavoring. They are excellent in stir fry, on top of meat, or deep fried in batter as onion rings.

Meat, Fish, and Eggs- Protein is an essential nutrient to every part of the body as it helps rebuild tissue and keep the respiratory muscles going even under distress. Fish contains fatty acids that reduce inflammation and healthy fats to maintain good muscle health. Most of these contain B vitamins which research suggests reduces the risk of lung cancer. For vegetarians and vegans, beans and fortified cereals are an important part of a healthy lung diet.

Dark Leafy Vegetables- Cruciferous vegetables like kale and broccoli have shown that they can reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as half. They contain B vitamins like meat and eggs but are also rich in antioxidants which dispel pollution from the body. Out of all the dark green vegetables, broccoli is known to be the most beneficial when it comes to lung function.

Chicken-Mushroom Dinner Soup Is Filling, Nourishing, and Soothing

After I’ve been on a plane for hours, racing through airports, changing planes, and finally reaching my destination, I’m tired and hungry. I feel the same way after a long car trip. When I check into my hotel there are only three things I want to eat — soup, a roll, and a glass of wine.

Sometimes I have dessert, but this is rare for me. Before I order, I ask about the soup of the day. I also ask if the soup contains any soy protein because I’m allergic to it. Over the years, I’ve slurped some mighty tasty soup, and chicken is one of my favorites, including Goulash soup in Yugoslavia and mushroom soup in Poland.

Now that I’m my husband’s caregiver I have less time to make meals from scratch. Still, I want to prepare tempting and nutritious meals for my husband, who is paralyzed. Both of us like soup and the other day, when dark clouds were rolling in, and a storm was about to strike, I felt like soup. Dinner time was an hour away and I wondered what kind of soup I could make.

Fortunately, I had a rotisserie chicken in the refrigerator and two cans of mushroom soup in the pantry. A half hour later, fragrant mushroom soup with lots of chicken was simmering on the stove. My husband and I are salt sensitive, so I buy reduced sodium canned soup and salt-free broth. Mushroom soup can have a grayish color and, to give it more color, I added some carrots and tiny peas.

Personally, I like shredded chicken better than chunks. After I shredded half of the rotisserie chicken breast I had about two cups of meat. You may want to add more shredded chicken. Adding the sherry removes the canned taste of the soup. If you like mushrooms, you will enjoy this quick soup recipe, an ideal dinner after a busy day.

INGREDIENTS

8-ounce box button mushrooms, brushed clean with a paper towel
4 tablespoons butter
26-ounce carton no-salt chicken broth
2 10 3/4-ounce cans reduced sodium mushroom soup
1/4 petite carrots, sliced into tiny coins
1 cup tiny frozen peas
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 cups shredded chicken (1/2 rotisserie chicken breast)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
3 tablespoons extra dry sherry (optional)

METHOD

Cut the mushrooms into thin slices. Melt butter in large pan and cook mushrooms over medium heat until they start to brown. Add the chicken broth, the undiluted canned soup, carrots, peas, shredded chicken, and Italian seasoning. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cover the pan and simmer the soup for 15 minutes to cook vegetables. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the dry sherry. Serve immediately with crackers or crusty bread and a glass of wine if you wish.

How To Make The Ultimate Iced Frappe

Thanks for reading our article. You must have noticed the huge increase in the number of outlets offering frappes and frappuccinos, particularly during the spring and summer months. If companies like McDonald’s and Costa Coffee are selling them, then you can be sure that everyone else will follow.

Whether you want to know how to make a frappe so you can serve them to your customers or just to enjoy one at home on a hot summer day, this article is designed to make life as easy as possible and have you making the ultimate iced drinks in no time!

Before we start, I should probably clear up something which we’re asked by our customers quite regularly. What is the difference (if any) between a frappe and a frappuccino? You’ll see frappes sold in McDonald’s and frappuccinos sold in Starbucks. Put simply, a frappuccino is a fancy frappe loaded with whipped cream, syrup and sometimes chocolate sauce. Frappuccino is actually a registered trademark of Starbucks, so think of it as the difference between a burger and Big Mac, whereas the frappe was an accidental invention originating in Greece, and outside of the USA, is usually served as a flavoured, iced, milk-based drink without all the toppings.

Frappe

So let’s drop the Frappuccino as it’s simply a trademark name, and concentrate on how to make an amazing, grown-up and delicious frappe…

1. Take a 12oz tumbler and fill it near to the top with ice cubes
2. Pour milk over the top of the ice and up to the top of the glass
3. Empty the contents of the glass into your blender
4. Add a scoop of frappe mix to your blender. There are a wide number of flavours to choose from, so pick your favourite.
5. If you want to add a further shot of flavouring syrup, then do it at this point, but don’t add any cream or extra sugar.
6. Blend until smooth and pour back into a glass.
7. You can add any additional touches at this point, and there are no rules – try chocolate shavings, a little whipped cream or a drizzle of sauce.

When topping your frappe, remember that sometimes less is more. A frappe served to you in America will be loaded with whipped cream and look more like a Knickerbocker Glory than an iced drink and will be impossible to consume without a spoon. European tastes are a little different, and a lot of customers seem to prefer skipping the toppings altogether, despite what you might find served in a McDonald’s or Starbucks (and no prizes for knowing the nationality of both these companies!)

There are a lot of great flavoured frappe powders available to buy that take all the effort out of making these drinks, from standard vanilla and chocolate to sticky toffee (one of our favourites). Alternatively, if you don’t have a blender, don’t worry – there are now some liquid frappes available in cartons, pre-mixed so all you need is a cup of ice cubes and just pour the frappe over them and serve.

Don’t be afraid to experiment a little too – unlike coffee, there is so much interpretation around of what a frappe should actually be that you can pretty much come up with anything based on the above recipe, and so long as you (or your customers) like it, then who is to say it’s wrong?

We hope you’ll soon be serving the best iced drinks in town, and if you happen to end up inventing something totally amazing, don’t keep it to yourself! Let us know and we’ll share it with everyone.

Eat Like an Indian!

As a town forever rushing on adrenaline, Gurgaon keeps going on fantastic food options, all through the day and night. For the satisfaction of its huge-spending family-oriented clientele, and corporate honchos from business houses and organizations, the town has awesome lip smacking food on offer, thanks to the thousands of restaurants. While food from all over the world is easily available at the numerous eateries, Indian cuisine takes the cake, when it comes to the first choice for food lovers of Gurgaon.

While there are many takers for food with flavours from the world over, ranging from Italian to Mexican, Greek to Spanish, the heart of Gurgaon beats for the enormous variety of Indian cuisines that are on offer, ranging from North Indian to South Indian, Bengali to Guajarati, Kashmiri to Konkani. Truly, Gurgaon has it all, when it comes to pampering your taste buds with Indian flavours.

While Gurgaon’s Mediterranean eateries are famous for their awesome varieties of falafels, shawarmas, pitas and tahini sauces for you to choose from, its Chinese joints rustle up all kinds of dishes, ranging from the Hunan variety to the traditional varieties, such as Manchurian and Schezuan chicken, chopsueys and chilly chicken. While Gurgaon’s exclusively European-style restaurants are known for their tasty soups, fish and chips, and soups, along with pizzas roasted in ovens, and yummy sandwiches, the city’s Japanese restaurants will offer you amazing grub from the land of the rising sun, in the form of a lavish selection of noodles, such as the authentic Japanese udon, or other kinds of dishes like thesoba, various kinds of sushis, for example, the nigiri, maki, and chirashi varieties, along with various other delicious items to pick your choice from.

The Indian cuisine restaurants in Gurgaon serve up all kinds of regional specialties, ranging from the Kashmiri Goshtaba (velvet textured meatballs in rich yogurt gravy), mutton yakhni (yogurt and Kashmiri spice infused mutton), methi maaz (mutton steeped in fenugreek broth) and the special Kashmiri Rogan josh (meat cooked in special spices and Kashmiri chillies) to Gujarati cuisine specialties such as khakras and thheplas and farsan, from Andhra cuisine specialties of idlis, dosas, and rasams to Bengali specialties like lau chingri, ilish maachh bhaapey, mutton kosha, deemer devil, rosogolla and other finger-licking sweetmeats that Bengal is famous for.

Most of these restaurants in Gurgaon offer amazing offers for its clientele as well. Be it special lunch and buffet offers, or happy hour drinks deals, or a variety of coupons for special occasions and days, restaurant deals in Gurgaon are found aplenty.

Chocolate, The Misunderstood Superfood

We’ve been hearing for years that chocolate is actually good for our health, yet this kind of statement is very misleading. There is a specific type of chocolate that is beneficial. And for those of us with a super-sweet tooth, it’s not the especially appealing kind.

Dark Chocolate. That’s right. And it has to be at least 70% cacao to be any good to you inside and especially out.

We really don’t have to get into it’s origins. It’s pretty commonly known that chocolate comes from the cacao beans in the tropical regions of the world, like Africa, Madagascar, and South America. Just like coffee, it’s much more familiar to us consumers once it’s been roasted and processed much further from its natural state. But we need to understand that the less processed our chocolate, the more beneficial it is.

Right out of the cacao bean, the pulp and seeds are referred to as cacao. It doesn’t become cocoa until it’s been roasted and ground up good. So when you are in the store and you see “70% cacao” or “88% cacao”, you usually know you’re getting the real unadulterated stuff. Dark chocolate contains more cacao and therefore retains it’s naturally-occurring compounds that the media sing praises about. Trouble is, that good-for-you components, also known as flavonoids or flavonols, are naturally bitter. When you’re eating semi-sweetened or milk chocolate, the manufacturers have replaced those compounds with milk and sugar so they would taste better. Frankly, your health isn’t the first thing on their minds… your taste buds are.

This is why the term “chocolate” as a superfood is a misrepresentation. My idea of chocolate isn’t the same as someone else’s. Hell, my idea of chocolate isn’t even what is was 5 years ago! The superficial Chocolate is the dark variety. And not just any dark chocolate. In fact, even if you find the chocolate bars that say “70% cacao” right on the front of the label, you need to check the ingredients. The first ingredient listed is usually the main ingredient. If it says anything besides “bittersweet chocolate” (I’ve seen “milk” in some), it’s not going to be the real thing.

By the way, in case you are concerned about the “chocolate liquor” you often see on labels, don’t worry! It’s not referring to anything alcoholic. After the cacao nibs are roasted and hulled out of their shells, then ground into a gritty paste, this is what it’s called. The word “liquor” simply refers to its liquid state. I can’t tell you how many times I had to clear this up for people who avoid alcohol for religious and health purposes.

Personally, when I am choosing dark chocolate, I have an additional criteria. I happen to favor products in general that are good for the environment. Chocolate is certainly no exception, especially when it has the “Rainforest Alliance Certified” seal of approval on the label. This means that the cacao used to make the chocolate was bought from small and often family-owned proprietors that work sustainably. This, in turn, protects the habitats and communities directly affected by these proprietors. And because the environment and its inhabitants are their first priority, I’m moved to buy my chocolate from them exclusively. I like people who care about something larger than themselves

Spring Asparagus Soup With Parmesan and Romano Cheeses

After a long, and often brutal winter, Minnesotans are eager for spring. We watch for buds on trees and bulbs peeking through snow. The arrival of fresh asparagus in grocery stores is another sign of spring. If the asparagus is available, warmer days must be coming.

I wheeled by cart past the asparagus display — tall spears set in crushed ice — and then doubled back. Since I was cooking for one I didn’t need a large bunch of this spring vegetable. Still, I could buy some and use it in several ways. To stay fresh asparagus must be stored properly. I treat it like flowers. I cut off some of the woody stem part, plunk it in a glass of water, cover it with a plastic bag, and put it in the fridge.

This flavorful spring vegetable has many health benefits. “Asparagus Nutrition Facts,” an article on the Nutrition and You website, the vegetable is in calories, contains fiber, contains anti-oxidants, is rich in folates, contains vitamins E and K, plus copper and iron. According to the article, the spears were revered by Greeks and Romans.

I revere it, too, and that’s why I decided to use half of the bunch in stir-fry, and the other half in soup. An experienced cook, I decided to create my own recipe. On his way through the kitchen my grandson asked, “What are you making?” He seemed a bit surprised when I told him I was making soup. Later, when he had some for lunch he was more surprised.

“It’s good!” he exclaimed. I hope you think my recipe is good and will use this spring vegetable in many ways. Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth if you are a vegetarian. For heartier soup add some cooked, shredded chicken. Here’s the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
26-ounce carton chicken broth (salted or unsalted)
1/2 bunch fresh asparagus
1 rib celery, finely diced
2 tablespoons red pepper, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
Salt to taste (may be omitted)
1/2 cup grated and mixed Parmesan-Romano cheese

METHOD

Rinse asparagus and cut into 1/2-inch pieces. Transfer pieces to a microwave dish, add a little water, cover, and cook three minutes on high. Melt butter in soup kettle. Add in flour and cook for one minute, whisking constantly. Gradually add chicken broth, still whisking constantly. Continue whisking until any lumps are gone. Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to soup kettle. Add all remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer on lowest setting for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Pass extra cheese if desired. Makes 6 servings.

Frozen Fruit Smoothies For Your Health

One of the biggest challenges of healthy eating is saying no to all of the quick and easy high carbohydrate and high calorie meals that just don’t offer many good nutrients. Fruit is one of the best things for us because they are packed with vitamins that are natural and easy for our body to process. But as great as fruit is, it can be hard to get our daily servings that our body needs. Luckily there is an alternative and that is to drink frozen fruit smoothies.

Vitamins

Fruits are some of the highest concentrations of vitamins out of all of the foods we have available to us. Many fruits are naturally high in vitamin C and potassium, both of which are vital to the health of our bodies. Many fruits also contain high levels of various cancer-fighting antioxidants that are great to have in abundance in our systems. Having enough of the vitamins that come from eating plenty of fruit has a lot of great health benefits including high energy levels, healthy skin, hair and fingernails, improvements to eyesight, and overall better body function. Fruit also contains high levels of fiber which is very important for overall body health as well.

Vegetables Too

As difficult as it can be to get our daily servings of fruit, it is even harder to eat the amount of vegetables that our bodies need to be optimally healthy. A frozen fruit smoothie is a great way to get your daily vegetable allowance as well, because you can use the stronger sweet taste of the fruit to hide the taste of the veggies. This is also a really great way to trick your kids into eating their vegetables because kids absolutely love frozen fruit smoothies.

Fast

A frozen fruit smoothie is a fast option for a quick breakfast or snack that you can take with you on the go. It is just about as easy to make a frozen fruit smoothie as it is to make a cup of coffee and you can take it with you and drink it on the drive to work. It will give you energy that will last longer than the caffeine rush and empty calories you get from a cup of coffee, and you’ll get additional benefits as well from all of those wonderful vitamins.

For Weight Loss

Frozen fruit smoothies can work for weight loss when used properly. Although smoothies are an appropriate meal replacement, you do need to be aware that some combinations can become high in sugar, and therefore high calorie. Although they are “good calories” because they are high in nutrients, you definitely need to avoid adding any sugar to your frozen fruit smoothie. Be sure to use low-fat milk and yogurt, and avoid using yogurt that has any sugar added to flavor it.