Sunday, September 27, 2009

Herby Post

Besides cilantro and scallion, basil would be my next favorite herb. I like greens, so why not 'grassy' greens? Herbs have ben lauded for adding flavors without the calories, though let's not forget the health benefits as well.
I like cilantro because it pairs really well with other vegetable dishes and also a clear broth soup. It has anti-inflammatory benefits, lowers blood sugar, and helps with digestion. Cilantro is commonly used in Mexico and Asian dishes.
As for basil, the first cuisine you'd think of is of course - Italian. Even the color green is part of the country's flag. But basil is actually a native of India, which has a different name - tulsi. Basil also has its anti-inflammatory benefits, plus a cure for motion-sickness and treatment of respiratory system disorder. I like to throw in some basil right before I serve a dish of pasta or vegetable dish or shred some over a mixed green salad.
Of course, there are other herbs out there - fennel, thyme, sage...but when it comes to versatility, I put my vote for cliantro and basil.

Monday, September 21, 2009

When you're under the weather...

Chicken soup...congee...honey tea...

What do you crave when you're under the weather? Although I try to maintain a vegetarian diet, my body instantly craves salmon whenever I'm sick or feeling lethargic. Perhaps it's the protein my body is hoping to replenish? Salmon is a 'mood food' because the rich omega-3 fatty acids may protect against depression (although I am sad that I'm killing the fish...) Besides salmon, I also like to hydrate myself with lots of green tea. Rest is probably next on the list because I'm the kind of person who just cannot sit still, though there's no doubt that rest is of utmost important in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Different culture utilizes different foods to boost energy or to cure illnesses. What do you eat or do when you're under the weather or just not too well?

Monday, September 14, 2009


It's so difficult to choose a 'favorite' fruit, especially the taste of this nature's candy really depends on the seasons. Spring brings you apricots and strawberries; summer presents us juicy watermelon and peaches to quench our thirst; fall's crisp breezes indulge us with grapes (wining al fresco perhaps?), figs, and pears; and finally, winter's citrus fruits, such as lemons, grapefruits, and oranges provide vitamin C to prevent colds and other wintry sicknesses. See? Mother nature knows us best.

But if I had to choose my top, TOP 3 favorite fruits, one of them would be pears. I'm so happy that pear is one of the most common fruits that is sold almost year round, thus I can satisfy my 'peary' needs just by visiting my local supermarket. There are many types of pears, but because I prefer fruits with a crunch, I play a favoritism towards peckham and bosc pears. I know anjou pears are moist and juicy as well as the red pears, but I like the 'biting' factor and the work I put on my mouth.

If you pay attention, everyone eats their fruit differently as one. Some may just wipe it down on the sleeve and bite away, whereas other would peel the skin with a knife and only see the flesh. I do both. I peel the skin, slice up the flesh and enjoy every single sections, and then consume the skin because that's where all the fiber resides.

Would you like to share your favorite fruits? :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

And finally - MY Turkish Meal

Equipped with the knowledge that Turkish dishes are mostly meat-centric, I already mentally prepared myself that I'd be living off bread and cold salads a lot. Sounds boring, right? Well, surprisingly, I enjoyed my meals. First of all, the bread (as I've mentioned in the previous post) was amazing. I loved the outer crust (not a Wonder Bread gal) and despite the fact that I try to steer away from white flour, multi grain is difficult to come by since white flour is the main staple grain for bread making over there. Then again, there are some types of bread that are destined to be 'white'. Helloooo crusty baguette!
When the temperature is over 90 degrees, a cold, crisp bowl of salad fills your tummy without weighing you down. But I'm not talking about a small plate, but a BIG portion of salad. I received one for just $3.50 US! Just look at this beauty! Everything is meticulously assembled and not just clumsily tossed. The salad included lettuce, julienned carrots, pickled red cabbage (my fav!), canned corn, sauteed mushrooms, olives, pickles, and fresh sectioned tomatoes. What a deal! Although this meal lacked protein, I remedied it by throwing in some of my own almond slivers. With a light splash of pomegranate juice (their version of balsamic vinegar) and luscious olive oil, it's good to go. I did miss my Asian vegetables while travelling in Turkey, but now that I'm back, I miss my Turkish red cabbage and the cheap salad prices.