Kichadi East Indian comfort food

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By Cathy Fisher | Posted on August 14, 2013
KichadiKichadi is an East Indian comfort food that features rice and lentils (or split peas), and a variety of spices and vegetables. The combination of herbs and spices will fill your kitchen with a wonderful fragrance, and reward your tongue with spiciness that isn’t overly hot. This hearty dish is not short on ingredients, so please see the chef’s notes below for time-saving variations.

Kichadi
Serves 6

Ingredients:

• 3½ cups water
• ¾ cup dry brown basmati rice
• ¾ cup dry red lentils (see notes)
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
• ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom seed
• 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
• 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (10 ounces, 2 cups)
• ½ tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
• 1 teaspoon freshly minced ginger
• 3 cups water
• 1 medium Yukon gold potato, diced into small cubes (8 ounces, about 1-¼ cups)
• 1 medium yam, diced into small cubes (8 ounces, about 1-½ cups)
• 2 large ribs celery, diced (about 1 cup)
• 1-¼ cup green peas (thaw first if frozen)
• 4 cups roughly chopped curly kale (about 3 large leaves)
• 2 tablespoons walnuts to grate on top (optional)

Instructions:

1. In a large soup pot, stir together the water, rice, lentils, and spices (cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, turmeric, cardamom, clove). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 45 minutes. While the rice and lentils are cooking, chop and prepare the remaining ingredients.

2. About 15 minutes before the rice and lentils are done cooking, place a large skillet or saucepan on high heat with 2 tablespoons of water. Once the water starts sizzling, add the chopped onion and sauté for 3 minutes (adding water as needed to prevent sticking). Add the garlic and ginger, and sauté for another 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic, adding water as needed.

3. Add to the onions, garlic and ginger: 3 cups water, potato, yams, and celery, and return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 7 minutes. Stir in the peas and kale and cook an additional 3 minutes (still covered). (The potatoes should now be tender.)

4. Add the onion-potato mixture to the pot of rice and lentils and stir well. Serve immediately as is or with a dusting of grated walnuts on top.

Chef’s Notes:

Red lentils in their dry form come in a range of colors, from gold to orange to rosy red. They can be found in most healthy groceries as well as Middle Eastern markets labeled as masoor (red lentils).

If you don’t want to bother with the individual dried herbs and spices (cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, turmeric, cardamom, clove), you may replace them with 2 to 3 teaspoons of your favorite curry powder.

If you’re not in the chopping mood, you can also make a meal of just the lentils, rice, and herbs and spices after cooking them together in step 1.

To add a little more heat, add a half to one teaspoon more red pepper flakes.

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Foods To Avoid

 

FOODS TO AVOID:

Meats, poultry, fish, eggs (both whites and yolks), and all dairy products (regular and non-fat), including milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, cream, sour cream, and butter.

Added oils, such as margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, and cooking oils.

Fried foods, such as potato chips, French fries, onion rings, tempura, and donuts.Avoid sodas, juices that are mostly sugar( apple juice 90% sugar) and all refined sugar.

IF YOU CAN ELIMINATE ONLY 1 FOOD TYPE, ELIMINATE DAIRY PRODUCTS ENTIRELY. DAIRY PRODUCTS PROMOTE CHRONIC DISEASE, CANCER, HEART DISEASE, DIABETES AND OTHER AUTO-IMMUNE DISEASES. IF YOU CAN ELIMINATE 1 MORE FOOD TYPE, ELIMINATE  MEAT; BEEF, PORK, LAMB, TURKEY AND CHICKEN. MEAT PRODUCTS PROMOTE CHRONIC DISEASES, CANCER, HEART DISEASE, DIABETES AND OTHER AUTO-IMMUNE DISEASES. FOODS TO INCLUDE:

EAT PLANT BASED FOOD THAT HAS NOT BEEN REFINED OR PROCESSED. VEGETABLES, FRUIT, WHOLE GRAINS, LEGUMES, BEANS, BROWN RICE, WHOLE GRAIN PASTA, OATMEAL, QUINOA, DRINK ALMOND BEVERAGE (SILK) AND WATER

MEAL SUGGESTIONS BREAKFAST—Often breakfast can be similar to the one you are accustomed to with a few simple modifications.

Hot cereals: oatmeal, cream of wheat, creamy rice cereal,  or Irish oatmeal with cinnamon, raisins and/or applesauce (no milk)

High-fiber cold cereals: wheat or oat bran cereals with non-fat soy or rice milk and berries, peaches, or bananas

Melons, such as cantaloupe and honeydew, or any other fruit

Whole grain toast topped with cinnamon or jam (no butter or margarine)

Bagels (no cream cheese) topped with apple butter or hummus

Oven-roasted “home fries” plain or smothered with roasted mushrooms, peppers, and onions

LUNCH—Whether you dine in or out at lunchtime, there are lots of healthy and delicious options to choose from. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Salads

Garden salad with lemon juice, fat-free dressing, or soy or teriyaki sauce

Legume-based salads: three-bean, chickpea, lentil, or black bean and corn salads

Grain-based salads: noodle, couscous, bulgur, or rice salads

Soups

Vegetable-based soups: potato-leek, carrot-ginger, mixed vegetable, or mushroom-barley.

Legume-based soups: black bean, vegetarian chili, spinach lentil, minestrone, or split pea.

Instant or prepared soups (as long as they are low-fat and free of animal products).

Sandwiches/Wraps

CLT: cucumber, lettuce, and tomato sandwich with Dijon mustard

Hummus sandwich tucked into whole wheat pita with grated carrots, sprouts, and cucumbers

Sandwich made with fat-free meat alternatives such as barbeque seitan or veggie pepperoni slices with your favorite sandwich veggies

Black bean dip, peppers, tomatoes, and lettuce wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla

Italian eggplant sub: baked eggplant slices, pizza sauce, and mushrooms on a multi-grain sub roll

Black bean and sweet potato burrito with corn and tomatoes

DINNER—Emphasize vegetables and grains in all your meals. The evening meal is a good place to try new items. You might start with a bean, rice or other grain, or potato dish and add a couple of vegetables.

Starches:

Grains: Use generous amounts of grains.

pasta

brown rice

boxed rice dishes (e.g., pilaf, curried rice, etc.)

couscous

Potatoes: Enjoy them baked or mashed and topped with steamed vegetables, salsa, ketchup, Dijon mustard, black pepper, or black beans.

Breads: Whole-grain is preferred. Avoid sweet breads that contain oil, eggs, or milk.

Vegetables:

Try any vegetables you like.

Greens (broccoli, spinach, kale, Swiss chard) topped with lemon

Carrots

Corn (note: corn is technically a grain, but works as a vegetable)

Legumes:

Pinto beans, vegetarian refried beans, baked beans, black beans, garbanzos, kidney beans

Main Dishes:

Pasta marinara: Choose commercial brands that are free of cheese and are low in fat.

Beans and rice: Try black beans with salsa, vegetarian baked beans, or fat-free refried beans.

Soft tacos: Prepare this dish with whole-wheat flour tortilla, beans, lettuce, tomato, and salsa.

Chili: Vegetarian boxed versions are fine.

Veggie lasagna: Made with low-fat tofu to replace the ricotta, layered with grilled veggies.

Rice pilaf, Spanish rice, or packaged rice dinners: Try packaged rice dishes and omit butter.

Steamed rice and stir-fried vegetables: This meal can be seasoned with soy sauce. Be sure to use a non-stick pan.

Fat-free vegetarian burgers: Make your own lentil burgers or try soy-based commercial brands.

Fajitas: Lightly sauté sliced bell peppers, onions, and eggplant in a non-stick pan, with fajita seasonings.

Desserts:

Fresh fruit

Fat-free chocolate or fruit sorbet

Popsicles

Baked apples

SNACKS

Bagels (plain or flavored; no cheese, butter, or margarine)

Fruit, carrots, or celery sticks

Vegetarian soup cups (split pea, lentil, etc.)

Toast with jam (no butter or margarine)

Baked tortilla chips with salsa or bean dip

GENERAL TIPS

TRYING NEW FOODS AND NEW TASTES:

Explore new recipes, new books, new products.

Fat-free meat substitutes can ease the transition.

Be strict with yourself. This is easier than teasing yourself with small amounts of the foods you are trying to leave behind.

Focus on the short term. Three weeks is a short time.

Frozen vegetables are fine.

Canned beans and vegetables are okay for convenience.

Use a non-stick pan.

“Sauté” vegetables in water or vegetable broth.

Steam vegetables.

When you can’t avoid oil, use a cooking spray instead of poured oils.

Use non-fat, non-dairy coffee creamers.

Read package labels to check grams of fat per serving. It is best to choose products that have less than 2 grams of fat per serving.

Dining Out: Look for ethnic restaurants, especially Japanese, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, and Italian, as they normally have many vegetarian dishes.

Japanese: vegetable sushi

Chinese: lots of rice with smaller amounts of vegetable dish; request oil-free and sauce on the side

Mexican: bean burrito, hold the cheese, sour cream, and guacamole; Spanish rice. Ask the waiter to bring out warm corn tortillas to dip in the salsa and to take away the fried chips.

Italian: pasta e fagioli (soup); pasta marinara. Ask that oil be kept at an absolute minimum.

Thai: vegetarian selections with lots of rice; avoid coconut milk

Indian: rice dishes or breads (beware of curries—very fatty)

Middle Eastern: couscous; baba ganouj and hummus with lots of pita bread

American: vegetable plate; salad bar; baked potato; baked beans; spaghetti; fruit plate. For salads, ask for no dressing, or try lemon or lime juice or soy or teriyaki sauce. Ask that fatty toppings, such as cheese, bacon, eggs, olives, and avocados, be left off.

7 Tips to Boost Brain Health

NEWS RELEASE May 16, 2014

International Researchers Identify Seven Dietary and Lifestyle Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Prevention

 

 

WASHINGTON—Seven dietary and lifestyle guidelines to boost brain health and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s are available as an online advance on May 16, 2014, as a special supplement in Neurobiology of Aging.

“Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a natural part of aging,” notes lead author Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee and an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine. “By staying active and moving plant-based foods to the center of our plates, we have a fair shot at rewriting our genetic code for this heart-wrenching , and costly, disease.”

Alzheimer’s Disease International predicts Alzheimer’s rates will triple worldwide by 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts long-term care costs start at $41,000 per year.

7 guidelines to reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease

The seven guidelines to reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease are:

  1. Minimize your intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fat is found primarily in dairy products, meats, and certain oils (coconut and palm oils). Trans fats are found in many snack pastries and fried foods and are listed on labels as “partially hydrogenated oils.”
  2. Eat plant-based foods. Vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), fruits, and whole grains should replace meats and dairy products as primary staples of the diet.
  3. Consume 15 milligrams of vitamin E, from foods, each day.Vitamin E should come from foods, rather than supplements. Healthful food sources of vitamin E include seeds, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. Note: The RDA for vitamin E is 15 milligrams per day.
  4. Take a B12 supplement. A reliable source of B12, such as fortified foods or a supplement providing at least the recommended daily allowance (2.4 micrograms per day for adults), should be part of your daily diet. Note: Have your blood levels of vitamin B12 checked regularly as many factors, including age, impair absorption.
  5. Avoid vitamins with iron and copper. If using multivitamins, choose those without iron and copper, and consume iron supplements only when directed by your physician.
  6. Choose aluminum-free products. While aluminum’s role in Alzheimer’s disease remains a matter of investigation, those who desire to minimize their exposure can avoid the use of cookware, antacids, baking powder, or other products that contain aluminum.
  7. Exercise for 120 minutes each week. Include aerobic exercise in your routine, equivalent to 40 minutes of brisk walking, three times per week.

Other preventive measures, such as getting a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night and participating in 30 to 40 minutes of mental activity most days of the week, such as completing crossword puzzles, reading the newspaper, or learning a new language, can only help boost brain health.

“We spend trillions of dollars each year on failed drug trials,” notes study author Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., Physicians Committee director of nutrition education. “Let’s take a portion of these funds and invest in educational programs to help people learn about foods that are now clinically proven to be more effective in fighting this global epidemic.”

The preliminary guidelines to reduce risk of Alzheimer’s were formed at the International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain in Washington on July 19 and 20, 2013.

The full guidelines are available at Neurobiology of Aging.

Learn how to prevent Alzheimer’s with these seven tips for brain health.

For an advance copy of the Dietary and Lifestyle Guidelines for the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease or to interview one of the study authors, please contact Jessica Frost at jfrost@pcrm.org or 202-527-7342.