Tag Archives: onion

The Shape of Foods Help our Organs?? – ONIONS

27 Jun

This is part of a series on how our food can help certain organs that resemble their same shape. I already shared with you how the following foods benefit these organs:

Carrots – Eyes

Tomatoes – Heart

Grapes – Heart

Walnuts – Brain

Celery, Rhubarn, Bok Choy – Bones

Beans – Kidneys

Sweet Potatoes – Pancreas

Eggplant, Pear and Avocados – women organs and issues

Figs – Male sperm production

Olives – Ovaries

What would life be like without onions? I use onions in almost any dish in my cooking. It’s the base for my sofrito… but onions are a staple of any world cuisine. World onion production is steadily increasing so that onion is now the second most important horticultural crop after tomatoes. I thought it was potatoes on top… but apparently it’s onions and tomatoes.

According to our little theory here, onions are also beneficial for our cell health in general. My conclusion after reading lots of internet research, it’s that onions are great strengthening cells and making them less vulnerable to cancer growth.

  • Onion extracts, rich in a variety of sulfides, provide some protection against tumor growth. In central Georgia where Vidalia onions are grown, mortality rates from stomach cancer are about one-half the average level for the United States. These sulfides can reduce the risk of tumors developing in the colon and also may lower blood lipids and blood pressure. In India, communities that never consumed onions or garlic had blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels substantially higher than the communities that ate liberal amounts of garlic and onions.
  •  Onions are also effective against many bacteria… Early American settlers used wild onions to treat colds, coughs, and asthma, and to repel insects. In Chinese medicine, onions have been used to treat angina, coughs, bacterial infections, and breathing problems. Even the World health Organization recognized onions for providing relief in the treatment of coughs and colds, asthma and bronchitis.

Here are some delicious ways to benefit your cell’s health with onions:

Onions and Peppers

Roasted Tomatoes and Onions

Yuca with Cuban Mojo

Stewed Chayote

French Onion Soup

French Onion Dip

French Quesadilla

Cashew and Veggies Stri-Fry

Leek Rings

Leek and Potato Soup

Pickled Red Onions

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Brown Rice with Corn – Quickie Version

1 Jun

Arroz con Maíz, or Rice with Corn, is a very typical Puerto Rican dish. My granddad loved it very much… it was something my grandma would fix for the family quite often.

The traditional way to make it is to cook the rice with tomato sauce, sofrito and the corn, all together. It’s traditionally made in a “caldero” or large pot, but as you know me, I can make it in a rice cooker. My grad school roommate, Michelle, was a big fan of my Arroz con Maíz. I used to make it for her and leave it in the rice cooker for her to eat when she was back from classes in the afternoon.

And even though making rice in a rice cooker is fairly simple… sometimes I don’t plan too much ahead to make food. I tend to go with what I am craving at the moment. For that same reason, I have developed a method to get almost the same flavors of the traditional Arroz con Maíz but in a quick easy way using left-over rice.

Brown Rice, as easy as it is to make in a rice cooker, it just takes time. It’s not something that you just pull together as easy as boiling some pasta or making a sandwich. To me, it’s very easy to just make a cup or two of plain brown rice in the morning, right after I am done with breakfast, and then by lunch time figure out what I can have with it. Sometimes I have made a quick stir-fry, sometimes I stuff some peppers… sometimes I make this quick Brown Rice with Corn recipe.

BROWN RICE with CORN – QUICKIE VERSION

2 cups of cooked brown rice
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1 tsp sofrito
1 cup frozen corn kernels
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Garlic Salt – optional
  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, drizzle a small amount of olive oil and add the sofrito and diced onions. Cook the onions for a few minutes until they begin to soften.
  2. Add the frozen corn kernels… no need to thaw then first. Just add them straight from the bag. Mix well with the onions so the corn cooks and the flavors mix. Season with salt and pepper, or the garlic salt if using. If you have a lid, cover the skillet and let the corn cook for a few minutes.

3.  Add the cooked rice to the skillet. Mix well and cover again. The steam in the skillet will soften the rice again if it’s hardened from being in the fridge. Allow cooking for a couple of minutes and turn the stove off and leave it there for the residual heat to finish heating the rice, making it fluffy again.

You’re done… now this is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite main course. I personally like to have it AS THE main course with a drizzle of ketchup on top and a salad on the side. Some sweet plantains or even some tostones – plantain or breadfruit – would work well with this too.

Dominican Mangú

4 May

As part of our “Puerto Rican” dinner in Paraguay we made mangú. Mangú is a Dominican Republic staple, actually eaten very typically for breakfast. It’s so hearty and filling that in my book is more aptly eaten as a main dish.

Mangú is made with green plantains… but if the plantains are starting to ripen and turning a bit sweet, it’s fine too. Maybe this is not the traditional Dominican way, but this is a “Puerto Rican” mangú and I say it tastes very delicious too. Usually you also create a topping/mix-in mixture to soften the green plantains with. We created a vegetable mixture made from onions, tomatoes, garlic, peppers and spinach. Onions are what’s most traditional but you can get creative and add what you have around in your fridge.

What’s best about mangús is the fried cheese. We didn’t have any, so we decided to make a vegan mangú. But if you’re not keeping a dairy-free or vegan diet, I highly recommend covering the top of the mangú with slices of fried cheese in addition to the vegetables. You will thank me after trying it.

My friend Tania is an expert on mangú and she can make it in one of a thousand varieties. So in honor of all the Dominicans in our yoga group, we give you Mangú.

DOMINICAN MANGÚ

4-5 green plantains, peeled and cut into 2” pieces
3 large yellow onions, 1 of them chopped and 2 sliced thinly
1 large green bell pepper, sliced thinly
1 large red bell pepper, sliced thinly
6 garlic cloves, 2 left whole and 4 chopped finely
3 large tomatoes, chopped
4 cups of fresh spinach leaves
Olive Oil
¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
Garlic and Herbs Seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. First we boil the plantains… so add the cut plantains to a pot of water. Do not add too much water because we’ll use this water to mash the plantains afterwards so try to add just enough water to barely cover the plantains. Add only 1 onion that you’ve chopped and 2 garlic cloves. Add some salt to the water, cover the pot and bring to a boil. After reaching a good rolling boil, reduce the heat and cook the plantains until they’re fork-tender. That’ll take about 20-30 minutes. To prevent the plantains in the bottom from getting scorched, stir the pot a few times during the boiling process.
  2. When the plantains are cooked well, just turn off the heat and leave them there covered until you’re ready to mash them.
  3. While the plantains are boiling away, you can make the vegetable mix-in/topping…
  4. In a large deep skillet, we will cook all the vegetables for the mangú. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan over medium-high heat and add the onions slices from the 2 onions left, the strips of green and red bell pepper and the chopped garlic. Season the veggies with some salt and pepper and sauté until the onions and peppers start to soften.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and the fresh spinach. Mix in well to help the spinach wilt. The moisture in the tomatoes and spinach will start to create juices in the bottom of the pan. Those will be a tasty addition to our mangú later on. Season again with some additional salt, pepper and the garlic and herbs seasoning. Mix well and keep on cooking until the tomatoes and spinach have wilted enough and looked thoroughly cooked.

6.  To finish off, add the vinegar and mix well. This will add a nice tangy taste. Let the mixture sit until the plantains are fully cooked.

7.  Transfer the cooked plantains to a large roasting pan or baking dish… this is where you will serve it in. Transfer as much of the cooked onions and garlic as you can and most of the boiling water, but there shouldn’t be that much water anyways. Mash well with a potato masher. Make sure you have mashed every piece of plantain there is. If the mixture is dry, add as much of the boiling water as you want but you want to avoid it getting too soupy. It should have soft consistency.

8.  Add half of the vegetable mixture into the mashed plantains. Mix well using the potato masher or a large spoon. Feel free to add as much of the vegetable liquid as you want. After it’s all mixed well, add the remaining vegetable mixture over the mangú.

9.  Serve immediately. But if you can’t serve immediately, the mangú will keep warm for a while… Just cover the dish with a plastic wrap or aluminum foil and keep warm on the side until you’re ready to serve. Mangú makes a great potluck dish too.

 

If you’re adding the fried cheese slices… place them on top of the mangú after you’ve mixed in half of the veggies. Place them right over the mashed plantains and pour the remaining veggies over of the cheese slices. Delicious!!!!!

Roasted Onions and Tomatoes

27 Apr

I love to visit markets whenever I travel to new places. Hey, let’s get real… I like to visit markets EVERY TIME I travel, regardless if it’s my first time or I’ve been there many times over.

I was fascinated with the Coronel Oviedo market in Paraguay. It’s not that large in size, but they had a lot of things I’ve never seen before. My mom had been there twice before so she was showing me around, almost like a local. I was first fascinated by the amounts of plum tomatoes and mini onions. I can’t believe that I was so enthralled with them and I managed not to take a single picture of them… HOW COULD THAT BEEN!?!?!?!?

One Thursday we decided to cook for the whole yoga group. Thursdays is the day when all the initiated yoguis get together to listen to our Guru speak… so we decided it was the best day to thank them for all their hospitality by cooking them a “Puerto Rican” feast. Puerto Rican is in quotes because we threw in some Dominican and other non-denominational goodies in there for good measure.

I did not know what to cook and my mind gravitated towards those delicious-looking tomatoes and onions I had been seeing the whole week. The dish started somewhere else and finished here… hope you like it as much as our friends in Paraguay did.

ROASTED ONIONS AND TOMATOES

10 little onions, cut in half – or you could use 5 medium ones and quarter them
10 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 large green bell peppers, cut into large squares
1 large red bell peppers, cut into large squares
4 Garlic Cloves, smashed
2 tbs Garlic and herb Seasonings
2 tbs Salt
½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
½ bunch fresh oregano, chopped
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil to coat everything
Drizzle of Balsamic Vinegar
  1. In a baking dish or roasting pan, place all the ingredients as you’re cutting them up. Drizzle the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and using your hands make sure all the ingredients are well coated with the oil and seasonings.

2.  Roast in a 450F oven for about 30 minutes. Check the oven through the window. I turn them a bit if I feel some parts are getting too crisp or burned.

3. The smell will let you know when it’s done. There is supposed to be some charred pieces of onion and tomato. It’s part of the character of the dish.

 

We served this as a side dish. And it was delicious as such. But in my opinion, after tasting this improvised dish originally… I would have served this over pasta with some crumbles of goat cheese and a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese. To me that would have made this vegetable combo into a real winner.

Try it your favorite way and tell me all about it!!!!

Mojito Criollo

19 Apr

When I’m on a hurry to eat but without any time to actually cook anything… I boil potatoes. I boil them by themselves or with any other root vegetable I have in my fridge – yautías, malangas, batatas (sweet potatoes), etc.

But potatoes by themselves are kinda boring, no?? But with a Mojito Criollo… not so much.

I like to eat my yuccas with a Cuban-style mojito. But in Puerto Rico, people prefer their mojitos with some tomato in it. And we’re not talking the alcoholic drink mojito… we’re talking something you use to “mojar” or dip your potatoes in. It’s a super versatile sauce. This is how I make it…

 

MOJITO CRIOLLO

2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 yellow onion, sliced into strips
1 red onion, sliced into strips
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed
Olive oil – about 2 tbs
Salt to taste
Garlic & Herbs Seasoning
The juice of 2 limes
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-hi heat, pour the oil and add the onions, peppers and garlic cloves. Sautee for a few minutes until everything starts wilting a bit. Season with some salt to help that wilting process.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes. Season with additional salt and the garlic & herb seasoning. Mix well to combine. The moisture in the tomatoes will start to create the sauce. Cover the sauce pan and lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the mixture to cook and the flavors to meld together for about 10 minutes.
  3. When you feel the onions, pepper and tomatoes look cooked and “saucy”. Turn the heat off. Add the juice of the lime juice and mix well together. Let it rest for a few minutes before you serve over your favorite “vianda”.

This is the best way to eat potatoes or other boiled root vegetables when preparing for a fast or when coming out of one.

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