July 2010

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Is Fish Oil Necessary & Italian Spaghetti with Zucchini

Is Fish Oil Necessary?

Editors Note: Guest Author Louise Infante writes for sample vegetarian menu blog, her personal hobby blog related to vegetarian food preparation tips to help people live better.

Give me 5 mins and I’ll provide you 1 great reason to become vegetarian.

While fish may serve as the most important dietary source of the long-chain omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, which have been shown to be important in supporting brain health, low intake of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in vegetarians doesn't adversely affect mood, according to a new research (Nutr J. 2010;9:26. DOI:10.1186/1475-2891-9-26).

A research team from Arizona State University conducted a cross-sectional study to match the mood of vegetarians who never eat fish with the mood of healthy omnivorous adults.

An overall total of 138 healthy Seventh Day Adventist adults living in Arizona and California (64 vegetarians and 79 non-vegetarians) were enrolled in the study and completed a health history questionnaire, food frequency questionnaire and two psychometric tests, the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale and also the Profile of Mood States..

Vegetarians had significantly lower mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and also the omega-6 arachidonic acid; they had higher intakes of the omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid and the omega-6 linoleic acid.

"Seed oils are the richest sources of α-linolenic acid, notably those of rapeseed (canola), soybeans, walnuts, flaxseed (Linseed oil), clary sage seeds, perilla, chia, and hemp."

However, the vegetarians also reported significantly less negative emotion than omnivores in psychometric tests. Mean total psychometric scores were positively associated with the mean intakes of eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid , and inversely linked to alpha-linolenic acid and linolenic acid intake.

The study team noted there is also the chance that vegetarians may make smarter dietary choices and may generally be healthier and happier.

If you want to give it a try, this is a good example of vegetarian recipe according to Italian cuisine.

Italian Spaghetti with Zucchini


17    oz. Spaghetti
24    oz. Thin Sliced Zucchini
1/2 Cup Walnut Oil
Few Basil Leaves
2    TBsp Yeast Flakes
Salt & Pepper

How To Prepare:
  1. In a skillet or frying pan heat the oil and when hot, add garlic and zucchini. 
  2. Raise heat and stir often to finish their cooking. 
  3. They should be golden and crispy outside and tender inside. 
  4. Cook the pasta, drain and sauté in pan with zucchini, basil and yeast. 
  5. Serve immediately.

Zucchini contain fewer calories and also have no fat. However they are an excellent source of potassium, e vitamin, ascorbic acid, folate, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Most of these nutrients are extremely sensitive to heat and to enjoy their full benefits you need to look for a quick method to cook or even eat raw in salads.

From the therapeutic point of view, zucchini have a laxative, they are refreshing, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and have detoxifying action.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Sev Batata Puri

Recently, I read an article in the New York Times about one of my favorite foods. I am always very interested articles about food.  I may even be one of those "foodie-frenzy" people.  

I read a very interesting article about Vik's Chaat Corner, 2390 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA.  I am very happy that the trend is picking up here.  Kudos to Vik for his creativity and passion to serve fresh food.  I do know that it is very time consuming and requires great effort and confidence. If I ever visit Berkeley, I will be sure to visit his place.  

Many great chefs of five star restaurants have no idea about chaat recipes, but I am a big fan of chaat.  I always enjoy making, serving and eating the many different types. I know it is not very prestigious, but I've always enjoyed chaat from a pushcart chaatwalla. The word "chaat" is a Hindi word for "a delicacy which is tantalizing to the taste buds."  It is a well-blended medley of sweet and spicy flavors.

My few friends and I will always hang out by famous chaatwallas. Yes, a few are very famous for their specialty.  Here is one of their recipes foir Sev Batata Puri.   Enjoy!

Sev Batata Puri
1-2 Cups Fine Thin Sev (crunchy noodles available at Indian grocery stores)
10-20 Flat Round Thin Puris (also available at Indian stores)
2-3 Small Potatoes boiled and cut into round pieces
1 Small Red Onion peeled and cut into very small pieces
Small Raw Green Mangoes finely chopped (optional)
Small Garden Cucumber finely chopped
Fresh Bunch Cilantro washed and finely chopped
Sweet Tamarind Chutney and Spicy Green Chutney
      (recipe in my blog)
Salt and Red Chilli to taste
Small Cut Lemon

How to Prepare:
  1. Lay out flat puris in a plate. Add on top of it potatoes.
  2. Add onions and mangoes and cucumber (if you have them).
  3. Then add chutney and top it off with Sev.
  4. Top with cilantro to garnish.  
Voila !!!!   MY favorite Chaat.