healthy food

Blackbeans Jumble Recipe

Blackbeans Jumble, our Monday night one-pot dinner creation influenced by Creole Jambalaya. The origin of Jambalaya apparently derives from the Provencal which is spoken in the South of France, the word “jambalaia” refers to a mishmash or mix-up. Talking about fusion, diversity and cooking, you definitely will find it in Creole cooking, this cuisine is a living proof of all the descendants of early settlers.

Louisiana Creole cuisine is recognized as a unique style of cooking, which makes use of the “Holy Trinity” (in this case, chopped celery, bell peppers, and onions), but has a great variety of European, French, Caribbean, African, and American influences.

La Chinata smoked paprika powder and gumbo mix spice powder

La Chinata smoked paprika powder and gumbo mix spice powder

Pulses and legumes

I love one-pot dishes, mixing ingredients and blending of spices they are ideal to finish up whatever vegetable is leftover on my kitchen counter. Adding pulses and legumes to your diet is very healthy since beans are considered protein-rich super food. Beans are low-glycemic, high-fiber, high-protein and packed with important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Not to mention very convenient to cook and to add to your weekly meal plan. Beans help you feel fuller for a longer period of time and as a bonus helps to lower your weight.

Double value for health and grocery shopping budget to buy dried beans instead of cans or jars, a bag of beans is very economic, because it triples in quantity. One dried cup yields 2½­- 3½­ cups soaked beans, enough to feed a family of 4-6 persons. Just soak a cup overnight (1-2 days max, refreshing water in between) to let them well double in size, transfer to a pressure cooker and depending the bean and quantity you only have to cook 7-10 min tops and the beans are ready to be used in dishes or as ingredient of a recipe. For an overview of beans with image and description click here.

Black eyed beans

Black eyed beans

Digestion aid

Not everyone has the same experience but it is a well known side effect of eating beans resulting in flatulence, because beans contain raffinose which is a starch that is poorly digested due to a lack of the enzyme galactosidase. In aid to reduce increased intestinal gas production, there are several ways to avoid bean flatulence;

  1. Pre-soak overnight up to 24 hour, rinse in between (48 hours max otherwise it will ferment instead!) is a must and cook them well, the beans must be entirely soft without any hard bits.
  2. Add a knife tip – pinch of baking soda to the soak water of dried beans before cooking, this will significantly decreases the content of the raffinose family of sugars.
  3. From our time in India, were lentils are staple food we learned from Indian cooking to add asfoetida aka ‘hing’ as a digestive aid, this little tub is on our spice rack among Indian spices. In many Indian recipes it includes turmeric and ginger both are digestives spices as well.
  4. Other spices are cloves, cinnamon, and garlic are potent in reducing gas.
  5. According to a Huffington Post article, adding a piece of seaweed (Kombu or Wakame) will make the beans more digestible. Seaweed is another well known power food and it adds an extra depth as part of flavoring the beans as well aid for digestion 

Chili con Carne is a well known recipe with kidney or brown beans, Blackbeans Jumble is made with blackeyed beans and this recipe has creole influences but was mainly inspired by leftover greens, the use of spices like smoked paprika powder and cumin makes it interesting. You can add peppers if you like the heat or leave them out, by omitting the meat it will become a full vegan dish.

Blackbeans as comfort food

Blackbeans as comfort food

Avocado Chia seeds healthy breakfast

Avocado

Due to its shape and leathery skin, did you know that another name for Avocado is Alligator’s pear? What’s in a name right? 🙂

A biologist calls it persea americana, but avocado derives from the Nahuatl word ahuacatl, which also refers to a certain part of the male anatomy that the fruit somewhat resembles. In English, the word has almost the same pronunciation as the Spanish abogado, “lawyer.” In Mexico it is called the aguacate. Use your imagination to understand why the Aztecs called it the fertility fruit. Legend has it that an early English description of “avocado” called it the “avogado pear,” leading to the misunderstanding of “alligator pear.”  The fact that the shell of the fruit looks vaguely crocodilian doesn’t hurt. (source: dictonary.com)

Avocado, healthy low in cholesterol and sodium

Avocado, healthy low in cholesterol and sodium

A fruit native to Mexico and Central America, much eaten as a vegetable and the main ingredient to make famous guacamole dip with tortilla chips. With great benefits to this mighty fruit, a serving size of 150 gram has 240 calories, very low in cholesterol and sodium. Rich source of Dietary Fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Folate. Supports cardiovascular health, promotes blood sugar regulation and has anti-cancer benefits. It is no wonder why Avocado is considered among the World’s healthiest foods.

Chia Seeds

Another health food native to the same region is Chia Seeds (the seeds come from a flowering plaint in the mint family) an important crop and super food for the Aztec’s it was largely unknown in North America until researcher Wayne Coates began studying Chia 29-years ago. Chia is the highest currently known plant source of omega-3 ALA, which is able to convert into both EPA and DHA. Rich in anti-inflammatory activity, has a huge nutritional profile. It contains calcium, manganese, and phosphorus as an added benefit, chia seeds can be eaten whole or milled. Or making a gel by adding liquid for instant pudding or as an egg or butter substitute. 

Avocado Chia seeds mash healthy breakfast

Avocados are regular ingredients in our fruit basket, last week there was a health products promotion at the discount chain store Action for Chia seeds and I bought two packages to add them to our diet. Half way through a hectic week, I needed a healthy boost so I came up with this preparation an Avocado and Chia seeds mash. A healthy breakfast alternative recipe, spiced up with a bit of SiChuan pepper powder and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes on toasted Corn bread. Perhaps you could use a #transformationthursday superbooster too with all these ingredients loading up energy, watch out Friday!

Avocado Chia Seeds Healthy breakfast

Avocado Chia Seeds Healthy breakfast