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 🙂
Beetroots are so good that the greens do get ignored very often. If you buy new season beetroots with greens, don’t throw the leaves away, they have a higher nutritional value than the beetroot itself. You can use them as you would use spinach.
Beet greens supply good amounts of protein, phosphorus, zinc, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, vitamins A, C and K, calcium, and even have a higher iron content than spinach. These leaves are also a great source of fiber and are packed with antioxidants.
During the last few decades no fat was welcomed in our kitchens. Now we are coming back to a good fat. And chefs say the duck fat is one of the must-have ingredients.
The duck fat is considered to be a good fat. The content of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat is high and the content of saturated fat is very low. According to Google, the duck fat has only 10% of saturated fat. Compare that to the natural butter, which has 51% of saturated fat.
This is very fortunate because duck fat tastes great too. The traditional duck confit is not a French duck confit without a duck fat.
Cooking the whole duck is easy but the eating is simply unattractive. I had been buying only legs or fillets until one chef shared a secret for the consumption of the whole duck. I used his idea in my recipe below. Enjoy, this is a very special risotto that has an unforgettable taste.
If you like grains you will love pearl barley. This grain takes a well deserved place in the same rank with quinoa and buckwheat. Barley contains a good amount of protein that is comparable to the protein amount in quinoa and all legumes. Barley also has a very special soluble fibre. There was a study early this year to investigate the effect of barley on cholesterol metabolism. One group of hamsters was fed barley bran and another was fed oats bran. Both lowered the concentration of plasma LDL-cholesterol significantly in comparison to the control group, although barley outperformed Oats in some other parameters. In conclusion, the article states ‘These results indicate that dietary …(barley bran).. reduces the concentration of plasma LDL cholesterol by promoting the excretion of fecal lipids, and regulating the activities’ …of the special enzymes that catalyse a reduction reaction. (Food Chemistry, Volume 169, 15 February 2015, Pages 344-349)
Often when I have passed flat bread and wraps on the supermarket shelf I have had to make an effort not to stop. Now I make my own healthy wraps! And I am loving it. The recipe has so much potential, you can use it in many different ways with different fillings. It can be also used for pies, especially if you are a fan of pot pies. Just imagine a chicken and mushroom pot pie topped with a parsnip top! Continue reading
In Italian Arancini mean “Little Oranges”. Although, in some regions of Italy Arancini have conical shape, and in others – they are called just “Rice Balls”. I love Arancini, and the results of experimenting with Quinoa are below.
Quinoa is another miraculous product. The year 2013 was officially declared as “The International Year of the Quinoa” by Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations.
First, it is famous for having a high-protein content, which makes it a great cholesterol-free and low-fat source of protein. It can be said that Quinoa is a complete protein source if we look at its amino acid profile. However, the protein content in cooked Quinoa is less than 5%.
Secondly, Quinoa is being researched for its anti-diabetic qualities. Quinoa contains high levels of biologically active phytochemicals, which have been implicated in plant defence from insects. They have also shown a range of beneficial pharmacological effects in mammals. There was research conducted to find the best leaching process in order to effectively release concentrated bioactive phytochemicals from quinoa seeds. This was done to provide an efficient method to produce a food-grade mixture that may be useful for anti-diabetic applications.
Let’s hope the Quinoa we buy in the shops is not leached! Cooking in water is the most healthy way to prepare Quinoa. According to Dr.Fuhrman.com it prevents the formation of acrylamide, a potentially toxic compound formed with dry cooking.
Quinoa Pilaf is an ideal lunch meal, especially for those who take their own lunch to work. If Quinoa pilaf is transferred into sterilised dry containers immediately after cooking completes, they can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.