Sesame Tuna

This is a very simple and easy way to enjoy a fresh, high quality piece of tuna. I find, it is a perfect entrée meal to share or a snack for two on the weekend.

I was served a similar dish in one of the Melbourne’s restaurants years ago and since, I have been using this idea to experiment with different coatings and sauces. This method is so versatile. So, next time you see a beautiful piece of tuna in the shop, get it and have a try.

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Sesame Tuna

Ingredients:

Fresh tuna, a piece about 250g
Sesame seeds
Black pepper (optional)
Oil
Cucumber

Sauce:
Soya sauce
Fresh wasabi
Ginger (optional)

Method:

1. Thoroughly wash tuna and paper dry. Mix sesame seeds with a bit of cracked black pepper and roll tuna in it. Press harder, so more seeds stuck to the fish to fully cover the whole surface.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan on medium and fry tuna on all sides. When first frying, notice how much time it takes to change the colour for 2mm in thickness. Then apply the same time on each side. This should take a few minutes in total.
3. Cut the fish into slices and serve immediately with some shaved cucumber and a traditional soya-wasabi sauce. Alternatively use Wasabi Mayonnaise from this earlier post.

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Hawthorn Tea Recipe

Hawthorn (Greek Crataegus) is a beautiful plant that grows in all continents now. The leaves, flowers and berries have health benefits and they are used to produce medicine for heart diseases.

The British Homeopathic Review revealed of Dr. Green (Ireland):
“… For many years had a reputation for the cure of heart disease that caused patients to flock to him from all parts of the United Kingdom. He cured the most of them and amassed considerable wealth by means of his secret. 

For, contrary to the code, he, though a physician in good standing, refused to reveal the remedy to his professional brethren. After his death … (in 1894), his daughter, a Mrs. Graham, revealed the name of the remedy her father had used so successfully. It is Crataegus oxycanthus …”

The health qualities of Hawthorn are still being researched:
‘This study was to investigate the anticancer effects of the peel polyphenolic extract (HPP) and flesh polyphenolic extract (HFP) from hawthorn fruit in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. It was found that the polyphenol and flavonoid contents of HPP were significant higher than that of HFP. Both HPP and HFP inhibited cell growth in a dose-dependent manner with …, suggesting that HPP was more effective against MCF-7 cells than HFP. … All these findings indicate that hawthorn fruit, especially its peel, is an excellent source of natural chemopreventive agents in the treatment of breast cancer.” (Food Chemistry, Volume 141, Issue 2, 15 November 2013, Pages 1008-1018)

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Hawthorn tree, Daylesford

In autumn (April for Australia) the berries can be picked and dried. Alternatively, the flesh of berries can be preserved with the inner pips removed. The berries are best brewed in a teapot fresh or dried.

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Hawthorn Berries

To make hawthorn berry tea take one tablespoon of fresh berries for one cup of tea, crush them between two spoons and cover with boiling water in a pot. Fresh berries will brew in 10 minutes. Dried berries need to be boiled first and simmered for about 20 minutes.

This tea is only for leisure, if you need to use Hawthorn as medicine please talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Pumpkin Bread Recipe

In addition to being healthy, pumpkin also contains another healthy ingredient, that is pepitas, or pumpkin seeds. Pepitas are very rich in minerals such as zinc, magnesium and iron. They are also high in protein content, about 20%. Unfortunately, like many other nuts and seeds, pepitas contain anti-nutrients like phytic acid, or phytate, that can make all the previously discussed important nutrients less bioavailable when you consume them. These anti-nutrients bind to minerals, especially zinc and iron, and the minerals cannot be absorbed.

I found a study that was specifically designed to research this factor in pumpkin seeds. It concluded, ‘The subsequent digestion under intestinal conditions showed that Zn becomes less accessible, indicating that antinutrients like naturally present phytate may be responsible for complex formation in the small intestines, thus reducing the potential for Zn bioavailability.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 128, Issue 4, 15 October 2011, Pages 839-846)

So, if you plan on consuming seeds or nuts on a regular basis, it would be wise to soak or sprout them, that is what doctors advise. Unfortunately, ‘the soaking of whole seeds for 24 h can lead to leaching of iron and, to a lesser extent, of zinc ions into the soaking medium.’ The same applies to all legumes and grains. The good news, it was also proved that fermentation can completely hydrolyze the phytic acid. (Food Chemistry, Volume 138, Issue 1, 1 May 2013, Pages 430-436) And by the way, the heating also causes phytic acid reduction.

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Pumpkin Bread

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Avocado Breakfast Recipe

Avocados

Avocado is an amazing fruit. It’s been very popular amongst healthy eaters for years now. No wonder why we have this sudden wave of avocado popularity. Any cafe you come in for a breakfast will have an avocado dish, I could say it is basic now.

Avocados are very healthy. Mostly for two important things: antioxidants and phytosterols. Phytosterols are plant cholesterols, they compete with cholesterol and get absorbed in our body. So, eating more avocados will protect your heart and brain.

If you wonder why the avocados are sometimes stone-hard on the shelfs of the retail shops, the following could be an answer for you. There is an effect of harvest date on the nutritional compounds and antioxidant activity in avocado. You can ripen avocados at +25C for the best effect of the fruit’s health benefits. Antioxidant activity in avocados harvested earlier then stored at cold temperatures was much higher than in the later harvested fruit according to this research. It was concluded, ‘Therefore, avocado can be harvested earlier for economic benefits according to the market and can keep high nutritional value for human health benefits.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 135, Issue 2, 15 November 2012, Pages 694-698)

According to another scientific research, avocado oil is richer than olive oil in total phytosterols, although olive oil has higher in vitamin E and retains it for longer during the heating (180 °C). (Food Chemistry, Volume 132, Issue 1, 1 May 2012, Pages 439-446)

Another interesting fact, ‘For all varieties, seeds contained the highest antioxidant capacities, phenolic content, and procyanidins, whereas the pulp had the lowest.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 122, Issue 4, 15 October 2010, Pages 1193-1198)

I am very curious now, about the avocado seeds 🙂

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Avocado Breakfast

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Celeriac Croquettes Recipe

Croquettes

My recent holidays in Spain inspired me for croquettes. The tapas variations in Spain are endless, and the croquette is the most common one. Traditionally croquettes are made with potatoes. There are regions in Spain that use paella for croquettes.

My new croquette recipe uses celeriac that is sometimes called “root of celery”. This vegetable is rich with vitamins and minerals, and it is twice less calories than potato.

Another ingredient that is a vital part of the traditional croquette recipe is the bread crumbs to keep the shape and make a crust. I am replacing bread crumbs with fine oatmeal. Also, I am using an ingredient that will help me to make a perfect croquette shape, see below 🙂

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Celeriac Croquettes

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Brown Lentil Hummus Recipe

I had a few posts on legumes previously, please search ‘legumes’ to access them. Lentils are a high protein, high fibre member of the legume family.

Traditional hummus is made of chickpeas, and chickpea hummus is a very smart food.

Here is a comparison of the brown lentil and the chickpea for your review:

One cup of cooked  brown lentils contains: Sugar 4g, Fiber 16g, Protein 18g, and Iron 37%. Total 230 Calories.

One cup of cooked chickpeas contains: Sugar 8g, Fiber 12g, Protein 15g, and Iron 26%. Total 269 Calories.

(http://nutritiondata.self.com)

So, I’ve just experimented with hummus made of brown lentils, and I love it!

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Brown Lentil Hummus

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Seaweed Wagyu Beef Recipe

Wagyu Beef

Wagyu beef is fatty, but there is something special about this meat. The ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fat is much higher in Wagyu than any other beef. Monounsaturated fat could have positive effects on heart health. The serving sizes of the Wagyu dishes are very small, so if you like a big steak it is probably better to go with lean eye fillet and not Wagyu.

An interesting study on the impact of the beef steak thermal processing on degradation of good fats and levels of inflammation after the consumption of the cooked beef. Pan-fried (PF) and sous-vide (SV) thermally processed beef were compared by measuring fifteen oxidised lipids in post-meal plasma. ‘Postprandial plasma inflammatory markers tended to remain lower following the SV meal than the PF meal.’ (Food Chemistry, Volume 184, 1 October 2015, Pages 57-64)

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Seaweed Wagyu Beef

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