Marinated Zucchini Salad

Courgette (Zucchini) is a simple and affordable fruit that is harvested immature. Some information about zucchini was collected in the other post for Zucchini Patties recipe. Young zucchini have a subtle taste and they are perfect for being used raw in salads. If you like cucumbers try to substitute them with young zucchini and you will increase your vitamin intake. Below recipe uses uncooked zucchini but not completely raw!

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Marinated Zucchini Salad

Ingredients:

 5 small zucchini
100 g soft goat cheese
Marinade:
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 small gloves of garlic (finely minced)
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Optional:
150 g cherry tomatoes

Method:

1. Thinly slice zucchini using a vegetable peeler, or a knife if preferred.
2. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a large jar and shake. Add zucchini and shake gently to mix the marinade through the zucchini. Leave the jar in the fridge for an hour.
3. Lay out marinated zucchini from the jar on a shallow serving plate and crumble the goat’s cheese coarsely over the salad. Optionally, decorate the salad with halved mini tomatoes.
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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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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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Trout and Beetroot Salad Recipe

Enjoy this divine salad. It’s a perfect entrée for any occasion and season. Dairy free and gluten free, but it had to have leek, my apologies to those with fructose intolerance.

Trout and Beetroot Salad

Ingredients:

1 tainbow trout
Cooking salt
15 cm white leek
500g white sweet potato, purple skin
800g beetroot
1/2 cup mayonnaise
*1-2 days required to cure the
fish.
* Springform (~20cm)

Cooking:

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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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