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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Diabetic-Friendly & Gluten Free Arn il Ghazelle (Traditional Moroccan Cookies)

November is almost over! In fact the whole year is almost over! Can't believe how fast this year went! Well, time does fly, but while its running, it's ours to decide what to do with. 

Since it is almost the end of the year, and most are working out their resolutions, and since, lately, I have been talking lots about health and food related health issues; I am hoping that incorporating home cooked food and hence a healthy eating lifestyle, a little more active life and regular check ups are going to make it to your New Year's Resolutions.

This November I set out to raise Diabetes awareness. I wanted you to learn more about it, how to prevent it and even how to cook for it. This month, I have dedicated all my cooking classes, demonstrations, school presentations, and even this blog to the healthy eating discussion, to include food related health issues and focus on Diabetes. I hope that the objective from this initiative has been achieved. And that you guys are inspired to get back on track with leading a healthy lifestyle. All anyone can do for you is to bring all of this to your attention, but then it is yours to work with.
Read on for the recipe...

Thursday, 22 November 2012

5 Turkey Sides with Pumpkin/Squash & Happy Thanksgiving :)

It is Thanksgiving, so let me start by saying Happy Thanksgiving to you all :) Are you all ready and turkeys ready for the oven? Well then, you can always add a delicious side to turkey and how about the orange pumpkins and squash for the side? Pumpkins and the varieties of Winter Squash are all in season right now, so why not make the best of these fabulous tasting vegetables?

Here are 5 very simple and easy ways that work very well with pumpkin and squash:

1. Gruyere & Pumpkin bake  Peel and deseed the pumpkin, cut it into wedges and place in baking dish. Pour over enough cooking cream to bearly cover the wedges. Season well with salt, black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Cover with foil and cook in 450F oven until a knife can easily go through the pumpkin wedges, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, remove the foil and top with with a generous layer of grated Gruyere cheese and bake in preheated oven until golden and bubbly.

2. Butternut Squash Risotto Roast cubes of butternut, sprinkled with olive oil, seasoned with salt and black pepper until softened. While the cubes are roasting, make a simple risotto. When the rice is just cooked, stir in the roasted squash cubes and sprinkle with chopped sage and grated Parmesan Cheese. Serve hot.

3. Roasted Wedges  Cut peeled squash into wedges, place on a lined baking sheet. Mix a little bit of cinnamon powder and cumin with some sea salt and rub into the squash wedges. Drizzle with olive oil and roast in a hot oven, until tender and slightly charred.

4. Mash  Steam equal quantities of potato and pumpkin or any type squash until tender. Mash well, mix with equal quantities milk and cream, and season with salt, black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg. Fold in some halved toasted hazelnuts. Serve warm.

5. Make a curried soup  Fry a chopped onion in vegetable oil or butter until softened. Add curry paste and cubed, peeled squash and mix to coat. Pour in coconut milk and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is tender. Season to taste and blend into a smooth soup.

Relative Links:
- While you are it, why not serve a pumpkin pie for dessert too? here is a link for the recipe.
- If you are looking for succulent Turkey recipes, then look no more here are the best 2 recipes ever! Brined Turkey, Roasted Turkey :))

Enjoy your time and count your blessings. 
It is a fabulous feeling to always be thankful for all the blessings we have :))

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Diabetic-friendly Kabseh & Spiced Garden Salad

Cooking for diabetes does not have to be boring and is not as limited as most of us think!

Keeping with the spirit of November being Diabetes Awareness month, and to complete the menu for you from the last post - having started with dessert: Diabetic-friendly Cheesecake - this post is about the main course. 

I for one, used to think that one of the first foods diabetic patients have to omit is rice. As it turned out this is a common misconception! In fact, "diabetic patients can still consume rice, provided they stick to the quantities and counts given to them by their doctors" said Dr. Wafa Helmi Ayesh, the Director of Clinical Nutrition Department / Clinical Support Services Sector – DHA, and the founder of Sweet Kidz, who is dedicated to helping patients, parents and caregivers cook for diabetes. She even developed many recipes that are tailored to diabetes, many of which are everyday foods that we all know and love.

"Diabetic patients need the different nutrients from various foods. They need to feel undeprived, and food must remain exciting. With a few adjustments to the cooking methods, and with following count, food will never be boring or limited for diabetic patients!" she continued.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Diabetic-Friendly Baked Cheesecake & Tips on Healthy Eating for Diabetes

Eating healthy or for a specific dietary need does not have to be boring!

On World Diabetes Day

'Decide Diabetes Initiative' together with myself and Dr. Wafa Helmi, the founder of 'Sweet Kidz' got together with media representatives to kick off the 'Raising Diabetes Healthy Eating Awareness' project. The event took place at the beautiful Miele Gallery's state of the art kitchen, where we discussed diabetic health, and healthy eating for diabetic patients. We also cooked a diabetic-friendly three-course meal to showcase how with a few adjustments to cooking methods, and the proper counting of food intake enables diabetic patients to enjoy all types of food and lead a healthier life style. We focused on the fact that diabetic-friendly foods do not have to be tasteless, or even boring! Furthermore that the preparation of this food does not have to be complicated or requiring any extra work! Click here for photos of this event.
Read on for the recipe :)

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Food: The Other Side of The Coin & Social Responsibility

It all starts during childhood, is cemented in teenage and is harvested during adult life

My blog is a dedicated blog to all things food. Anyone who reads this blog, who meets me through my courses or even through my social circles, knows that I am one who is very passionate about food. Like every one else, I believe that food is a basic necessity, a pleasure, and a nutrient to both our bodies and souls. I also believe that food connects us to our roots, to our community, our cultures, and is at the base of our social relations. Extending this further, I even find food to enable us to reconnect with our humanity, our collectiveness and sameness despite the peripheral differences! Long Story! Maybe another time...

I spend a lot of time telling any one who would listen to go back to the kitchen, encouraging you all to get back to home cooked meals, asking the world to go back to cooking. I talk with ample fondness about food and cooking, about the pleasures food brings into our lives, and tell you all, over and over, to allow yourselves to discover the many rewards of cooking and baking. Now while I still want you to do that, and my views about food as such will never change, I do however understand the significance of balance and social responsibility.

Live, enjoy and eat with balance

Like everything in life, even the best things will turn against you without the right balance. While food is such a pleasure, when not done right food can become the cause of many health issues. Both sides of the pole - overeating/ under-eating, dieting/letting loose, starving/binge eating, or even non-healthy/over healthy - are dangerous zones to our health; even life threatening at times! Therefore, since I am always telling you about the pleasures of food, it is only balance that I include the other side of the coin. Also since I feel very blessed, it is only balance that I give some love back to the community that embraces me. Social responsibility is another word for love. It is loving your community, the people, and extending support to the different groups and for the different needs.