Healthy comfort food

July 19, 2005

Healthy comfort food

Entr?e: Babaganouj (Greek Eggplant Pate)
2 eggplants
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup sesame butter
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon olive oil (optional)
? Preheat oven to 205C
? Prick eggplants with a fork
? Roast until slightly charred and popped (45 minutes). Cool
? Scoop the insides out and mash well or puree
? Combine with all ingredients except olive oil
? Drizzle oil over top before serving
? Serve with vegetables or pita bread

This combination has the benefits of antioxidants, in particular Anthocyanins. Anthocyanin is a pigment that reflects the red to blue range of the visible spectrum. It is often observed in the plant kingdom, where it serves to colour anything from fruits to the autumn leaves. The pigment acts as a powerful antioxidant helping to protect the plant from UV damage. It can be used as a pH indicator because it changes from red in acids to blue in bases.

Eggplant ? may help counteract some of the effects of fatty foods. Eggplant also has antibacterial and diuretic properties.
Lemon ? It is a good general blood and body purifier and a mild diuretic.
Sesame seeds ? not only are sesame seeds a very good source of manganese and copper, they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin B1, zinc and dietary fibre.
Parsley ? the flavonoids in parsley, especially luteolin, have been shown to function as antioxidants. Parsley is an excellent source of three vital nutrients that are also important for the prevention of many diseases: vitamin C, beta-carotene, and folic acid.
Olive oil ? may help to lower cholesterol and has potent antioxidant activity.

Soup: Gypsy Soup
1 leek, diced (optional)
2 carrots, sliced
1 cup cabbage, chopped
2 cups winter squash or pumpkin, diced
2 quarts hot water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon oil
? Saut? leeks, carrots, cabbage and squash for 10 minutes
? Add water and salt
? Reduce heat. Simmer 35 minutes
? Serves 8

Leek ? since leek is related to garlic and onions, it contains many of the same beneficial compounds found in these well-researched, health-promoting vegetables.
Carrot ? a source of beta carotene. Beta carotene is being research for its antioxidant and immune properties.
Cabbage ? contains numerous antioxidant compounds. Much research has focused on the beneficial phytochemicals in cabbage, particularly its indole-3-carbinole (I3C) content. This compound helps activate and stabilise the body’s antioxidant and detoxification mechanisms.
Winter squash ? is an excellent source of beta carotene, a very good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibre and manganese. In addition, winter squash emerged as a good source of folate, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B1, B3, B5, B6 and copper.
Pumpkin ? contains beta carotene. Pumpkin seeds contain good levels of zinc.

Delicious main and dessert

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