Tag Archives: nutritious

A Superlative Menu

Salads are not all that you need to eat when following healthy dietary habits. I am all for eating healthy food, yet, food packed with nutrients and flavours. Yes, taste is key. Insipid and bland food does not meet approval with my palate.

Thus, the new Super Foods Menu introduced by TGI Fridays, the global casual dining leader,  caught my attention and immediately I set out to explore this at the Palladium, Lower Parel, Mumbai outpost.

The menu, for 3 months, though limited offers enough variety. I noticed, that the offerings had super foods like beans, broccoli, blueberries, salmon, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts and yogurt in abundance. Being natural ingredients, these are loaded with excellent nutritional benefits.

Wasabi Miso Glazed Chicken, Salmon with Cucumber Yogurt Sauce, Cranberry & blueberry couscous and Kale were some of the unique dishes. What was interesting was that, appetizers, entrees, sides and desserts, had all incorporated super foods in some form or the other, thus making the entire menu healthy.

The Fruits & Nuts Super Salad made with crisp lettuce, spinach, broccoli topped with walnuts, apples, dried apricots, cranberries, and blueberries, was a delightful medley of flavours that wowed my palate. No where was there any monotony at all.

Wasabi Miso Glazed Chicken

Next, I tried the Wasabi Miso Glazed Chicken. Bursting with simple and subtle flavours, this, lemon and olive oil-marinated grilled chicken breasts were drizzled with a spicy wasabi miso sauce. Served with toasted almond, cranberry and blueberry couscous and ginger garlic kale, this was a power-packed meal in terms of taste and nutrients. I only felt that the portion of the kale was a bit too much for the meal. One can only enjoy a certain amount of kale.

Pomegranate Honey Mustard Salmon cam next. A hearty portion, I thought to myself. Again, a lemon and olive oil basted grilled salmon filet topped pomegranate honey mustard vinaigrette. The tangy flavour were unmistakable, yet, teased my palate sufficiently.  The salmon was of exceptional quality and grilled to perfection. Unfortunately, the novelty factor of the toasted almond, cranberry & blueberry couscous and ginger garlic kale had worn off by now. Yet, I savoured the couscous.

Pomegranate Honey Mustard Salmon

Vegetarians need not despair. They can relish the Vegetarian Tex Mex Chili made with chipotle peppers, sun-ripened tomatoes, red onions and beans topped with yogurt, fresh pico de galloand jalapeno served up hot and spicy on a brown rice pilaf.

The quality of the ingredients, struck me as the best and the presentation was enough to make a person satiated already, feel hungry again. The food may seem a tad overpriced, but given the quality and portion sizes, one cannot complain.

Although we decided to skip dessert, as the meal had been too filling, the Fruit Crumble seemed inviting.  Jam-packed with strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and juicy peaches, served piping hot and topped with an ice-cold scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt,  haunted me and I  have resolved to go back another day to indulge my sweet cravings.

Rating : 4.5/5

 

 

Wonder food soya!

I am a great fan of soyabean. Not only because of its nutritional value, but really enjoy it in various forms. The high quality protein with minimum saturated fat in soya bean is undisputed. It tastes good too. It is the safest bet for vegetarians for their protein quota.

Soybean and soy protein is beneficial in managing diet related degenerative diseases such heart diseases, cancer, diabetes etc.  Studies conducted at leading health institutes in India have shown that soybean and soy protein consumption can significantly reduce cholesterol levels and improve the heart health, as well as manage blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. Plenty of reasons to befriend soya actually.

Soya bean nuggets are great along with peas. Soya bean keema if made well with garam masala et al can be a good substitute for chicken or mutton keema. I make an interesting pulao using this soya keema too. Soy protein being a vegetarian protein has quality equal to milk and eggs. Soy products such as soybeans, soya bari, soymilk, soy flour, etc have a tremendous role to play in improving the nutritional and health scenario of Indian society.

Chefs are taking this ingredient seriously as are home makers in their kitchens. A lot can be done with soy. Oriental cuisine of course uses it more liberally. Soy paneer, soy ice-cream, soy yogurt (Dahi) are an economic and healthy alternate to milk.

A friend of mine even uses soya bean flour to make ladoos. Be innovative and include soya in your diet. Soya tikkis, chillas, pulao, koftas….the list is endless.

 

Here’s my fav  soyabean rice recipe:

 

  • 1 cup soya chunks
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons soybean oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 large onions chopped fine
  • A pinch of haldi
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • A few cloves, cinnamon stick and elaichi
  • 1 cup basmati rice washed
  • salt to tatste

Method :

 

  • Soak soya chunks in warm water for a few mins till soft and spongy.
  • Pour oil in a pan and sauté onions till brown. Add, ginger-garlic paste, cloves, cinnamon stick, cardamom and garam masala powder.  Add rice. Fry for a few mins. Add hot water and salt, cook on slow fire with a lid on the pan. Later, add soya chunks and mix.

 

 

Amazing Almonds !

Almonds are my favourite among all dry fruits. I love them as a roasted, salted, snack. I usually soak a few overnight and peel the skin in the morning and have them before my breakfast.

 In the Victorian era, nuts were considered a delicacy, which is why they were eaten at Christmas. The best thing about alonds is that due to their unique health benefits, almonds are guilt-free. 28 grams, 160-calorie handful of almonds is high in vitamin E, magnesium calcium and potassium. Almonds are also a natural source of protein, naturally high in fibre. Recent research shows they also contain flavonoid antioxidants in levels comparable to broccoli and tea. Research shows that eating about a handful of almonds a day may actually help lower LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels.

Nutritional benefits apart, almonds taste so good. I love to use them in my cooking too. as a garnish on phirni, in gajar halwa, in pulaos. I also prepare a nice chicken curry with ground almonds in my masala paste along with other ingredients. Lends a unique thickness and flavour to the dish. Kashmiris use a lot of almonds in their daily cooking too.

And of course in macroons and marzipans during Christmas. Delectable.  

Enjoy them, but don’t go overboard too. Especially the salted ones should be consumed sparingly.