Monthly Archives: March 2014

Lucha Libre vs. Obesity & Diabetes

Fighting Obesity and Diabetes in the Latin Community!  

I am excited to share the good news that I will working with a small non profit group who are part of alternative media channel for the Latin Community (Las Perlas TV) who are heading a new campaign called Lucha Libre vs. Obesity & Diabetes in Toronto – where 7 Canadian-Latin American community leaders disguised as “Mexican Luchadores” (wrestlers who hide their identity behind flashy and elaborate costumes and masks) will participate in a “weight loss” competition to lose 15 pounds in 10 weeks through awareness of nutritional eating habits and improvements in their lifestyle.

LuchalibreVSobesity&diabetes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a link to their promo YouTube video to their kick off campaign where it’s fun and catchy and a great way to approach the topic with a culturally sensitive, positive manner.

I will be creating menus that consists of healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas for the whole family. I will be posting videos, recipes and pictures of the process so you can follow our exciting campaign and spread the word to anyone who is interested in eating delicious healthy food that uses Latin ingredients and also exploring world cuisine!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Roasting Vegetables with Zaatar (Middel Eastern) Spices!

Roasting vegetables in the oven adds taste, saves time and you can make large quantity.  I love roasting Brussels sprouts in the oven as it has so much flavour than boiling them and you can add so much flavour by adding herbs, spices and favourite toppings like bacon and roasted nuts. The trick is once you serve roasted vegetables, your family members may never go back to boiled vegetables again. Here is a simple recipe for roasting even for picky eaters!

 Prep time 10 min                              cooking time 40 min                        serves 6

IMG_4771

 

Chef’s notes: I’ve added zaartar spice to Brussels sprouts; you can get it from any spice store or Middle Eastern store. It’s a combination of sumac, oregano/thyme and sesame seeds and it smells & taste so good and add it to any meats or vegetables. If you don’t have it, you can substitute dried oregano or Italian seasonings.

 Ingredients

 3 cups Brussels sprouts cleaned, washed and cut in half

3 tbsp canola or grape seed oil

1 tbsp zaartar spice or any dried herbs

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground pepper

 Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well with both hands
  3. In a large cookie sheet spread the sprouts mixer evenly and bake for 30 to 40 minutes
  4. Check on them often and move them around to get them roasted evenly
  5. When done, it should be crispy around the edges and moist in the middle
  6. Serve hot as a side dish

Nutritional Analysis: 1 serving (based on 1/2 cup): Calories 79; Carb 4 g; Fibre 2 g; Fat 7 g; Sodium 206 mg;  Potassium 171 mg

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Yigandes Plaki (Bean Stew Greek Style)

Healthy Bean Stew with Vegetables, Greek Style!

My friend threw a pot luck dinner party in Greek theme and I found this recipe which is really healthy, lowGi, vegetarian and delicious – perfect for cold winter evenings as a main dish. I modified this recipe and added olives, eggplant and roasted red peppers to bring the sweet flavours of the Mediterranean area. I also used three kinds of dried beans since I couldn’t find broad beans (works great) – this recipe is great with different textures with the combination of the beans and vegetables. I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as everyone in the party did, great for left over as the flavour is actually better the 2nd day.

 Prep time 20 min                              cooking time 2 hrs                           serves 8 (side dish)

Chef’s note: I used 3 kinds of beans in this recipe (kidney beans, pinto beans and navy beans). Soak dry beans with plenty of water over night or at least 8 hours and cook beans for 5 minutes and drain, and recook for no bloating or gas. IMG_5143

Ingredients

3 cups of dry beans soaked overnight or soaked 8 hours (see instruction above)

1 tsp extra light olive oil

2 small yellow onions chopped

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 celery stocks, chopped

4 gloves of garlic, chopped

2 large bay leafs

1 large cinnamon stick

1 cup vegetable stock

1 large Italian eggplant (they are firmer)

1 can of salt reduced tomatoes and its liquid

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 cup olives (unpitted olives)

2 whole roasted red peppers, chopped

2 tbsp chopped thyme

2 tbsp chopped parsley

1 tsp ground black pepper

Salt for taste

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven in medium heat and sauté the onion until translucent and add carrots, celery for few minutes. Add garlic, bay leaf and cinnamon stick and sauté few minutes.
  2. Add beans and mix well and add stock and cover and cook for 45 minutes
  3. Add chopped tomato & its liquid, tomato paste, black pepper and mix well and cook another 30 minutes
  4. Add eggplants, red pepper, olives and mix well and add ½ cup of water if needed. Cover and cook until beans and eggplant are tender over or 30 minutes,
  5. Fold in thyme, sparsely and cook another 5 minutes and adjust taste with salt if required
  6. Serve a main dish with a side salad or as a side dish with warmed pita bread!

Nutritional Analysis: 1 serving (based on 1 cup): Calories 169; Carb 28 g; Fibre 8 g; Fat 3 g; Sugar 7g, Protein 9 g; Sodium 304 mg;  Potassium 717 mg

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