The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


Showing posts with label carrots. Show all posts
Showing posts with label carrots. Show all posts

November 10, 2020

Tip Five - Boost Nutrition with Food Pairings: Carrots or Sweet Potatoes with Plant fats

Carrots are orange because they are rich in beta-carotene which gives them their trademark orange color. But I was surprised to learn that sweet potatoes are also rich in Carotene. Both of these vegetables contain many healthy nutrients in addition to fiber. 

Let us consider their health benefits:

Carrots are crunchy, tasty and in addition to beta-carotene, they are a good source of fiber, vitamin K, potassium, and antioxidants. In addition to these nutrients, carrots are weight-loss friendly due to low calories, reduce risk of cancer, and improve eye health with Vitamin A formed from beta carotene in our body. Carrots also contain a 241% DV, a daily value of Vitamin A.

Carrots contain pectin which is a soluble fiber that can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down our digestion of sugar and starch. It can also feed the friendly bacteria in our gut leading to improved health. It can also impair the absorption of cholesterol from the digestive tract, lowering blood cholesterol. The insoluble fibers in carrots are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin which reduces the risk of constipation and promotes regular bowel movement.

Sweet Potato:

Orange-fleshed sweet potatoes may be one of nature's unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene which raises the blood levels of vitamin A particularly true in children. Betacarotene is an antioxidant that protects our body from free radicals (which damage DNA and trigger inflammation) that are linked to causing cancer, heart disease, and aging. Therefore eating antioxidant-rich foods is good for your health. A 100g serving of sweet potato consists of 769% DV, a daily value of Vitamin A.

Like carrots, sweet potatoes also contain a soluble fiber called viscous fiber that absorbs water in our gut and softens the stool. The insoluble fibers add bulk and also get fermented by the bacteria in the colon release short-chain fatty acids that feed the cells of the intestinal lining and keep them strong and healthy.

As we have seen here both carrots and sweet potatoes are rich in betacarotene that forms into Vitamin A to boost our eye health. But beta-carotene absorption is boosted in our body when these vegetables were eaten along with some plant fat as it is a fat-soluble nutrient.

We propose to pair carrots with hummus (or some type of fat like peanut butter) as an excellent snack, the oil content in hummus from the sesame paste will help absorb more beta-carotene.

For sweet potatoes, it is a better option to saute or steam them and cut into pieces and pair them with nuts like sunflower or pumpkin seeds to enhance the carotene absorption. Cooking reduces the beta-carotene but it can retain 70% of this nutrient and still considered an excellent source.

So next time you are at a supermarket, remember to grab a few carrots or sweet potatoes or both to help boost your health in many good ways.

July 27, 2011

"Corny" Rainbow Salad

Click image to enlarge

One of the best ways to lose weight and boost your health is to add more color to your diet. So we played with that idea and created the Rainbow Salad. It's so easy that even my sister who always claims she's too busy, took the time to make it and loved it. Now that's saying something!!

- 16 oz frozen bag of Yellow Sweet Corn
- 16 oz frozen bag of White Sweet Corn
- 1 Red Bell pepper, cut into 1cm cubes
- 1 English Cucumber, cut into 1cm cubes
- ½ cup of Coriander, chopped
-  2-3 of Carrots, peeled & grated
- 2 tbsp of Lemon juice

1) Microwave both yellow & white corn for 4 min each and allow them to cool.
2) Then microwave bell pepper for 3 min and cool.
3) Mix corn, pepper, carrots, cucumber and coriander in a large bowl along with lemon juice. Serve cold.

We make it for all our backyard parties and whenever we need a side dish for lunch or dinner. It requires minimal assembly and spices. And these types of salads are very popular in South India, specifically in the Karnataka region.

- If coriander/cilantro is not available, parsley can be added.
- English cucumber can be replaced with regular cucumber (peel and seed to avoid watery consistency) or green squash.
- Moong Dal sprouts can be used instead of corn. 
- Use chat masala instead of lemon juice for a zesty flavor.

June 18, 2011

"Carrots" - A Girl's Best Friend

My sister and I like to cook but with her busy schedule, it's not as easy. Additionally, she says in the city she can't readily find all the ingredients.

What is a girl to do, she says.

Whenever we both have some free time, we chit chat about our lives and so on...

Today, I told her about our new snack, veggie boats. When she saw the posting, she got very excited and I knew why.

A few of the pita pockets were filled with her favorite vegetable dish, carrots and moong dal.

My dear sister, this recipes is just for you. ENJOY!!

2 lbs Carrots, peeled and grated
- 1/3 cup Moong dal
- ½ cup Frozen peas             
- 1/3 cup Coconut powder (dry), optional
- 3-4 medium sized Green chilies, chopped finely
- 1" piece Ginger, grated
- 1/3 cup Fresh Coriander, chopped*
- 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 2 tsp Whole Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Salt or according to taste

1) Add ½ cup of water to moong dal and microwave it for 2 minutes, allowing it to soak for 15-20 minutes.

2) Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin and mustard seeds. When they splatter, add chilies and ginger and stir for a minute. (Hint: In this step, we are sauteing spices to make seasoning for the dish).  Then add grated carrot and soaked moong dal along with water.

3) Add salt, mix and cook under closed lid for 10-15 minutes (on low heat) stirring in between until the dal is cooked and soft but not mushy.

4) Turn off stove and remove the lid and stir in frozen peas and coconut powder. Allow it to sit for a few minutes and serve hot garnished with the chopped coriander.

My sister loves eating this simple dish with rotis or chappatis. You can eat it with soft tortillas or pitas as well.

***Quick Tip: Coriander/cilantro is most often used as a garnish to again heighten the flavor and give color to the dish. Parsley or basil can be substituted if it is not readily available.

April 7, 2011

Halwa In A Hurry

You've planned this lavish dinner for your guests and every thing's ready and then it hits you. You totally forgot about dessert. Instead of rushing to the super market for a cake or pie, try something new. I know what you're thinking. I can read minds, you know! How will you manage to make something in such a short time. Well, don't you fret...we have the perfect dessert for you.
Mouth-watering Carrot Halwa
I know you're dying to learn how to make it. It's so easy and I bet, you already have the ingredients at home:
1 lb Grated Carrots
½ cup of Condensed Milk
5-6 Sliced Cashews or Almonds
5-6 Raisins
1-2 Cardamom/Elaichi seeds (powdered)
3 tbsp Butter

The best part about making this dessert is that it can be done all in the MICROWAVE. How awesome is that? Now that we have your attention, here are the directions:
1) Melt butter in a large microwaveable container/bowl (for 30-40 seconds).
2) Add grated carrots, mix well and microwave for 8-10 minutes mixing after 5 minutes of cooking. (Hint: Use a lid to cover the container.)
3) Add condensed milk and cook for another 5-8 minutes until the mixture is cooked well and it all comes together. Add the powdered cardamom and mix well. Then transfer into a serving dish.
4) In a small pan, heat ½ tsp of butter and toast the nuts. Then add the raisins and remove from stove. Garnish the halwa with the toasted nuts and raisins.

***Quick Tip: Our procedure was done with an 1100 watt powered microwave. (Please adjust the timing per your microwave wattage)