Tag Archives: almond

But where will I get my protein?

30 Sep

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Don’t be fooled by people who discourage your vegetarian lifestyle claiming you’ll be protein-deficient…

Check out all the sources of protein available from non-animal sources.  Learn them…  for your own benefit and to answer those skeptics you’ll find along the way.

Other sources of protein are:

  • Nuts and Seedsalmonds, peanuts, cashews, hazelnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, quinoa, chia, etc.
  • The milks of such nuts and seeds – like almond milk and sesame seed horchata
  • Other beans besides lentils and black beans - red kidney beans, pinto beans, pink beans, white beans, chickpeas, cannellini beans, fava beans,  green beans, etc.
  • Brown rice – and when combined with beans, it is a complete form of protein.
  • Whole grain pastas – I am guessing the spaghetti in the chart above means whole wheat, but let’s make that note here then.  Regular semolina pasta is not rich in protein, but the whole wheat or whole grain kind is.
  • Spirulina – Spirulina is an algae found in certain lakes.  And in dry form it’s 60% protein…  I have taken it in tablets.

And… excess protein is harmful to our health regardless if it’s animal or vegetable protein.  So be mindful not to exceed the necessary daily requirement.  If we sin, it’s usually because we exceed the necessary protein intake.  By knowing which foods provide which amounts of protein we can plan accordingly and try to avoid the excess.

So, don’t worry about your protein intake…  there’s plenty of protein going around and in the vegetable world there’s way more variety than what people really think.

Indian Edible Sweet Souvenirs

29 Apr

Over the years, I have tried to never accustom anyone in my family to expect a gift whenever I travel. It may sound kinda harsh, but with the amount of travel I do, if I accustom people to expect a gift from me, it would be a burden to my schedule and my budget. I do try to bring things to share with people so they can enjoy a little bit of my travels too… Say for example, it’s kind of awkward to travel in India for 3 weeks and arrive at my sister’s home empty-handed.

As soon as we arrived in India, we were gifted a backpack filled with Indian goodies: a sari for the girls and a dhoti for the guys, a towel that looks like a very nice kitchen towel and these… Gajjak Til Papad. The best way I can describe it is this is the Indian version of a sesame seed brittle. Super duper thin sheet of sugar with sesame seeds, pistachios and flavored with cardamom. We ate one box along the trip… this was our in-room snack, we brought one box for my sister and I have an extra one with me in Puerto Rico. It’s in the fridge for the sugar to be hard and crispy like we ate them in India and not softy and chewy.

Gajjak Til  Papad

For years, my mom and I have enjoyed 2 of India’s most popular desserts – galub jamun and rasgulla. We lovingly call them “the Indian balls”. Galub Jamun is a ball made of wheat flour and Rasgulla is a ball made from an Indian cheese similar to paneer called chhena. Both are served warm in syrup and they’re delicious!!!! For years, we’ve seen these desserts packed for travel in cans and this was the first time we brought some home. You can find them in any sweet shop and especially at gift shops at the airports.

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Rasgulla Collage

In Allahabad we were treated to Dry Petha… which is a dry, sugared pumpkin. I am guessing it’s some sort of zucchini or squash because it’s white in color. I have not been able to identify the “pumpkin” this sweet is made of. They’re a nice ending to a meal… sweet and light and perfect to bring a few to your room for a snack!! ;) You can also find these packed in boxes ready to travel home with you.

Dry Petha Collage

And in Delhi we were taken to a sweet shop called Bikanervala… here we bought our to-go cans of rasgullas and galub jamun. But we also discovered something else that was completely new to me – Mawas. I am not even sure if this is their correct name. I believe it’s a halva made from dried fruits or nuts. Or as we would say in the west, like a turrón or dry nougat. We just saw the little packages in the store, asked to try one and ended up buying 3 kinds – Mango, Badam which is Almond and Pista which is pistachio. Now I know 3 more words in hindi, yay!!!!

Turrones Collage

Over the last few weeks, these sweets have been a terrific way to remember thru our taste buds some of the wonderful experiences we had in India. I can’t wait to make some Indian sweets of my own!!!!

Do you bring back edible souvenirs from your travels?? Tell me all about them…

Mixed Green Salad… great way to return to the land of the eaters

11 Mar

After a week without eating solid foods, you certainly want to maintain your system as clean as possible. We are encouraged to eat only fruits and salads after we finish our spiritual retreats.

This was the salad I made right after we came back to the “land of the eaters”… it was improvised by what was freshest at the market on New Year’s Day, but it turned out to be so delicious, that we prepared it exactly the same for a few days after because I got so enamored of the flavors.

This is my way to get you enamored with salads too… hope it works!!!!

Salad - After Retiro

MIXED GREEN SALAD

2 large handfuls of Baby Arugula
1 large handful of Baby Spinach
1 handful of Alfalfa sprouts
1 Tomato, sliced
¼ cup sliced Almonds
¼ cup dried Cranberries
Lemon Vinaigrette – Lime juice, Extra Virgin Olive oil, Salt and Pepper
  1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a large salad bowl. Squirt the juice of ½ a lemon, drizzle some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss all the ingredients with your hands to combine well.
  2. Eat immediately… as the lettuces will wilt if you let this salad sit for too long.

Apple Onion Relish Panini with Gorgonzola

8 Feb

I was given a challenge… A Sandwich a Day wanted us to showcase our favorite sandwiches.

I’ve told you before how I could live on sandwiches alone possibly and how one of my most addictive sandwiches is my Avocado Tomato Sandwich. Sometimes I fail to come up with new ideas for sandwiches because I am so enthralled with this one still. I even dream about eating it sometimes.

But recently I have come to learn to love another sandwich… maybe not as fresh-tasting as the one above, but certainly very seasonal. Mixing apples, onions, thyme, almonds and blue cheese in between 2 pieces of bread might not seem very appealing, but oh, oh boy, how delicious it is. This has nothing to do with my Latin roots, but everything that I have learned to appreciate from my travels in the Northeastern part of the US.

Inspired by these crostini from Giada Di Laurentiis, this panino hits the spot on a cold winter night. I might even argue it works great for a nice cozy date in front of the fire. I think your date would be greatly impressed.

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APPLE ONION RELISH PANINI WITH GORGONZOLA

2 slices of 100% whole grain bread
Cream Cheese
Gorgonzola Cheese crumbles
Toasted Sliced Almonds
¼ cup of Apple Onion Relish
Butter – for the outside of the bread/sandwich
  1. Pre-heat your Panini maker, or in my case, my George Foreman Grill.
  2. Spread cream cheese on the inside of both bread slices. This will be part of the glue that makes the sandwich stay together.
  3. On one slice, add the apple onion relish. Try to keep it as dry as possible so the moisture won’t seep out of the sandwich. Layer the toasted almonds and finish with the blue cheese crumbles.
  4. Close the sandwich with the other slice of bread, cream cheese on top of the almonds/blue cheese.
  5. Butter the outside of the slices with some softened butter.
  6. Place on the Panini maker and press lightly without forcing it too much. The sandwich will flatten as it toasts in the Panini maker.
  7. After a few minutes, the cheeses will be melted and the bread toasted on the outside. Carefully, remove the sandwich from the panini grill and allow it to cool slightly. This will allow you to cut into the sandwich without the breads sliding all over the place.

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Enjoy with you favorite sparkling cider or tea.

Annie Mariel’s Composed Salad

18 Jan

I firmly believe that God or the Universe, however you prefer to say it, puts the right people in our path for us to learn and grow… And Annie Mariel has been a real blessing in my life. It’s as if God, in his all-knowingness, understands and knows exactly the type of person you need in your life at a certain time in your life.

We got along almost immediately since we met each other about 5 yrs ago in a conversational French class. We have lots of things in common – we’re both consultants, we both enjoy anything French, we both enjoy to travel, we follow yoga and spiritual practices, we are both vegetarians… bueno, almost vegetarians because Annie Mariel still eats seafood and shellfish on occasion. But she gets my idiosyncrasies of being vegetarian. She has passed on to me her love of running and we even applied to run the Amazing Race together… (oh boy!!!)

Annie Mariel is a great supporter and fan of KarmaFree Cooking… and for my last supper of 2012 she wanted to contribute by bringing a salad. She knew I was going to cook pasta. She asked me to make it as light as possible, so I pleased her by making the sauce all tomato, instead of mixing it with some cream or half and half, like I like to do on other recipes. She told me she would surprise me with the salad… and that she did.

cooking 4 - salad

 

This salad had a little bit of everything… and it was delicious! I asked Annie Mariel if I could feature her salad in KarmaFree Cooking and she agreed. I hope I make her proud. Try it for yourself…

annie Mariels Salad 2 finished

ANNIE MARIEL’S COMPOSED SALAD

Baby Spinach
Arugula
Grape Tomatoes
Sliced Red Onions
Avocado
Crumbled Blue Cheese
Toasted Almond Slices
Dried Cranberries
Crispy Fried Onions
Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

 

  1. In a large bowl add all the ingredients. Toss lightly to combine
  2. Dress the salad with vinaigrette.

 

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup extra virgin Olive Oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Sal and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

 

  1. Place all the ingredients in a empty glass or mason jar. Shake well to combine. Let rest for 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to combine well.
  2. Serve on top of your favorite salad.

 

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