If along with vitamin and mineral content, phytochemical content is also taken into consideration, food can be ranked, and the food that contains the most nutrients per calorie are ranked the highest. Phytochemicals are plant substances that have beneficial health effects. Cauliflower would be in the top 20 foods in regards to this score. This concept was created by Dr.Fuhrman.
Cauliflower contains natural sulforaphane that has been of increasing interest for nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries due to its anti-cancer effect. The highest amount of sulforaphane is found in cauliflower seedlings. (Food Chemistry, Volume 104, Issue 4, 2007, Pages 1761-1764, ‘HPLC Screening of anti-cancer sulforaphane from important European Brassica species.’)
The cauliflower is used raw in the below recipe, as it is more beneficial for health when it is fresh. But you can easily increase the heating time in step 5 to make the ‘rice’ softer.
Calamari Cauliflower Risotto
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)
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.