TheVegFusion.com

TheVegFusion.com: May 2011

Friday, May 27, 2011

Seven Steps To Slim

SSSSSSSlim

There are seven "S's" we can use to work toward becoming Simply Slim.

Salt:  Sodium is used heavily in ready-made foods. Soups, canned beans and meat have a high salt content.  If we can avoid salt in excess amounts, it will ease water retention from the body and therefore reduce body weight. Consumption of salt also increases calcium excretion which can cause osteoporosis.  Salt cannot be digested or used in the body.  It has no vitamins and no nutritional value.  Salt actually interferes with digestion because the enzyme "pepsin" is needed to digest proteins and salt causes only 50% of the amount of pepsin needed to be secreted. 

Sugar:  With sugar, less is more. Like salt, sugar is hidden in almost every food.  The more we consume sugar, the more we feel like we want to eat. It also contributes to hyper-activity. We should avoid those foods that list sugar as one of the first three ingredients on their label. High Fructose Corn Syrup should be a no-no at all times. Sugar increases glucose levels which can cause mood changes, tiredness and headaches. It also increases the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.  Sugar can even cause immune  system disorders, chromium deficiency, premature skin aging and dental decay and disease which can lead to heart disease.  There has even been research that sugar activates stress hormones which can cause anxiety and irritation.  

Starch:  We find starch in all of our foods. Starch turns into sugar and any unused calories are stored in the body as fat.  Some starches are digested very quickly, which causes a fast and large rise in blood sugar levels.  Other starches are digested more slowly, which also causes blood sugar levels to rise more slowly, as well. There are also "resistant" starches that are not digested in the small intestine so they cause little to no rise in blood sugar levels.  The best starches to eat are whole beans and lentils.  

Sitting:  If you sit for a prolonged period of time it can be harmful to your health.  It increases a person's tendencies to be overweight, having a heart attack, and even dying. Whenever you can get up, you should take a random stroll to get your body moving. In the midst of watching television or working on a project on the computer, doing couple of sit-ups is helpful.  However, sitting meditatively for 10-15 minutes of quiet time and just watching your thoughts and emotions pass-by is a good thing.  In Yoga it is said that meditation increases metabolism and makes us feel refreshed.

Second Helpings:  Always avoid second helpings. "What does not go to waste, goes to waist."  The hormone leptin is what is released when we eat to inhibit our appetite as we grow full as we eat.  Obesity can sometimes be attributed to low leptin levels.  General leptin levels tell the brain how much energy the body has stored so that it can regulate metabolism and appetite.  The fewer helpings you have, the lower the leptin levels. 

Snacks: Always avoid snacks as much as possible. Beware of those snacks which have "o's" in their names like "Cheetos" and "Tostitos." Though they are my favorites, they are very unhealthy.  However, if you graze on the right types of snacks throughout the day, you can actually increase your metabolism levels and even lose weight.   Most "bad" snacks are full of sugar and/or salt that can cause all of the health problems listed under those two headings.  But if you eat healthy snacks like fruits and nuts, you can encourage positive effects in your body.

Slippery Food:  Foods like butter, oil, and lard are not only unhealthy, but can create more problems, as well.  Butter contains two ingredients that can raise cholesterol: saturated fat and cholesterol itself. Vegetable oils are processed to the point that they contain mostly saturated fat which increases cholesterol levels, also.  Lard is actually slightly better, as it contains 30% less saturated fat than butter, more polyunsaturated fats than olive oil, more monounsaturated fats than sunflower and corn oil, and no trans fats at all.  But you should be wary of all of them as they all can increase cholesterol.



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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wild Rice & Tofu Stir Fry



By Guest Blogger: Rishi Shah

My mom told me that my go-to Stir Fry & Tofu dinner was worthy of her Veg Fusion blog. I was pretty thrilled and honored when I heard this. If you are looking for something quick, easy, and somewhat healthy that produces a lot of left-overs (for lunch and dinner the next day), then read on!

Here is my recipe.

Cooking Difficulty Level: Medium
Cooking Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
Serves: 4-6 (or serves you 4 to 6 times!)

Ingredients: 

2    Packages Baked Tofu (already seasoned)
2-3 Packages Frozen Veggies 
1/4 Bottle Trader Joe's Soyaki Sauce
Some Olive Oil
4    Cups Brown Rice

How to Prepare: 

  1. Make the brown rice on its own (I hope you know how to make rice).
  2. Cut the baked tofu in small slices (or however you like them) - I like the Wild Wood brand.
  3. Add a little Olive Oil in a wok put on medium to high heat. 
  4. After about 20 seconds throw in your frozen veggies. 
  5. Stir until the veggies look amazing to eat. (I usually eat while I cook) Usually 5-7 minutes.
  6. Add the tofu into the veggies. Keep stirring for 30 seconds.
  7. Add in some Soyaki sauce. I like a good amount so throw in 1/4 the bottle. Mix it all in for about 30 seconds.
  8. You're done! To serve, put some brown rice and veggie stir fry on everyone's plate. I usually don't like to mix the brown rice and veggie stir fry because it stays better for leftovers when you eat it the next day for lunch ;)

Bonus:  Add Sriracha sauce on top for a tasty fire in your mouth.

Please let me know what you thought about this recipe in the comments. I will be monitoring them and will reply back to each one.

This is a guest blog post by Rishi Shah. He is my son and is Getting More Awesome at business. If you want to learn how to get more paying customers sign up for his newsletter here.







For 4 Servings, multiply Nutrition Data by 5 for Single Serving. 
For 6 Servings, multiply Nutrition Data by 3 for Single Serving.



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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Broccoli & Potato Soup


If you are looking for a hearty healthy soup, this one's for you.  Make a batch on Sunday night and pack in single serving size storage containers to have ready to take to work for lunch or ready for an afternoon snack.

Cooking Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Cooking Difficulty Level: Medium
Serves: Five 2 Cup Servings

Ingredients:

1    Package/Bunch Frozen or Fresh Broccoli, chopped
1 1/2 TBsp Olive Oil
1    Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
2    Cloves Garlic
2    Medium Russet Potatoes, peeled & cubed
2    Cups Water
2    Cups Vegetable Stock
2    Cups Low Fat Milk
1/8 Tsp Black Pepper


How To Prepare:
  1. Heat oil in saucepan over low heat.  
  2. Add onion and garlic, stirring and cooking for 5 to 10 minutes.  
  3. Add chopped broccoli, chopped potatoes, vegetable stock and water to saucepan.  
  4. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.  
  5. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes.
  6. Strain the soup, keeping the liquid.  
  7. In a blender or food processor, mix broccoli mixture until smooth.  
  8. Return mixture and liquid to pan.  
  9. Stir in milk and pepper.  
  10. Bring to boil over medium heat.  
  11. Serve!
Nutrition Data for 1/2 Cup Serving.  
Multiply for Personal Serving Size. 

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Easy Sugar-Top Muffins

Photo courtesy of Tasty Kitchen


These muffins are quick and easy to make for breakfast or a snack. Everyone will love them!

Cooking Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Baking Time: 18-20 Minutes
Cooking Difficulty Level: Easy
Serves: 12

Ingredients: 

1    Cup Flour
1    Cup Quick-Cooking Rolled Oat
 3/4 Cup Packed Brown Sugar
 3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
 3/4 Tsp Baking Soda
1    EnerG Egg Replacer
(1 egg = 1 1/2 Tsp dry Egg Replacer
plus 2 TBsp Water)
 3/4 Cup Milk
 1/3 Cup Oil
 1/2 Cup Walnuts
Cinnamon Sugar/Sugar







How to Prepare: 
  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and backing soda.
  2. Make a well in the center of dry mixture and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, mix the egg replacer (1 egg = 1 1/2 Tsp dry Egg Replacer plus 2 TBsp Water), milk and oil. 
  4. Pour wet mixture into well of dry mixture and stir until just moistened.
  5. Stir in the walnuts.
  6. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with baking cups.
  7. Fill each 2/3 full with batter.
  8. Sprinkle tops with cinnamon sugar.  
  9. Bake in 375ยบ oven for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  
  10. Remove from pan and serve warm.

Serving Size is 1 & 1/2 Muffins.
One Muffin is 242 Calories and 10.6g Fat.

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pani Puri - Gol Gappa

Pani Puri with Potatoes, Mung Beans, Chickpeas and Date Sauce
I grew up in India. The thing I miss most are the tasty bites of food from the street vendors which are famously called "chaat."  Here, I've had the chance to eat seven course meals many times. I've been to fancy Italian Restaurants and have savored the food of many different ethnicities.  But still today my taste for chaat remains the same. I have inherited this from my mother and I think I will pass it on to my daughter, too.

At the top of the list is Pani Puri or famously known as Gol Goppa.  It is medley of sweet tastes with little sour touch with spices which tantalize the taste buds.  Chaat is pushcart food which is very likely originated in Northern India.

Cooking Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
Cooking Level: Easy   
Recipe Type: Vegan
Serves: 6            

Ingredients:


2    MediumPotatoes, boiled and smashed
Red Chickpeas, soaked and boiled with salt
1    CupSprouted Mung Beans
2    TspFresh Ginger Paste
2    TspFresh Green Chili Paste
2    CupsFresh Mint Leaves, washed and plucked
Fresh Cilantro
Salt to Taste
Pepper to Taste
1    TspBlack Salt or Kala Namak
2    TBsp Sugar
2    TBspFresh Lemon Juice
Tamarind & Date Sauce (Recipe on Blog)
Roast & Grind in Coffee Mill:
2    TspCumin Seeds
2    Cloves
2    Cinnamon Sticks
2    Tsp Fennel Seeds, roasted




How to Prepare:
  1. Boil two potatoes and mash them.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, red chili and cilantro. Set aside.
  3. One cup of mung bean sprouts that has been boiled with salt.
  4. One cup red chickpeas boiled with salt. (optional)
  5. Pani means "water with spices" which is the main taste. To make pani for pani puri: blend fresh mint with green chili, ginger paste, sugar, lemon juice, black salt, 2 tsp of grounded powder of cumin seeds and regular table salt.  Set aside. Refrigerate for couple of hours.
  6. Microwave puris for 30-40 seconds.
  7. Crack open puris and fill with mung beans, potatoes and red chickpeas.
  8. Dip stuffed puris into water and eat it right away otherwise it will get soggy.
  9. Yum! Delicious!

Pani Puri or Gol Gappa
Chaat is a Hindi word for delicacy or possibly pakrit for devouring with relish whatever it is it is always fun to eat with friends.




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