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Chickpea and Vegetable Cutlet

Ingredients

  • Chickpeas, cooked- 1 large can
  • Mixed veggies- 1 cup (carrot, beans, corn)
  • Chili powder- 1 tsp
  • Ground Cumin- 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tsp
  • All-purpose flour or gluten free flour- 2 tbsp
  • Salt- to taste
  • Cilantro, chopped- 2 handful
  • Lemon juice- 2 tsp

Other ingredients:

  • Oil- enough to shallow fry
  • Bread crumbs or gluten free flour

Instruction

  • If you are using canned cooked chickpeas, drain the chickpeas and rinse under water.
  • Place the drained/rinsed chickpeas in a saucepan, add 1/4 cup and cook covered for 10 minutes till chickpeas has cooked well.
  • If you are using uncooked chickpeas, soak the chickpeas in water overnight.
  • The next day, cook it in pressure cooker or in a saucepan with enough water till the chickpeas has cooked well.
  • Drain the water, pat dry with kitchen paper towel, coarsely mash the chickpeas using a wooden spoon or in a food processor.
  • Don’t mash the chickpeas into a paste, it should be coarsely mashed.
  • To the coarsely mashed chickpeas, add mixed veggies.
  • Add chili powder, ground cumin, coriander powder, all purpose flour or gluten free flour, salt, cilantro and lemon juice, combine well.
  • If the mixture is too moist, add more flour till you can hold into round shape.
  • Make medium sized balls out of the ground chickpea mixture, flatten it between the palm of your hands.
  • Coat the cutlets evenly with bread crumbs or gluten free flour.
  • Place a frying pan over medium heat, add oil to it. Place the cutlets without crowding.
  • shallow fried the cutlets to golden in color.
  • If you prefer, you can deep fry it.
  • Serve the cutlets with tomato ketchup or wrap it in a pita bread or sandwich between breads.

Flax and Pumpkin Seeds

In continuation of our series of functional seeds, we have come up with this classic combination of seeds i.e.; Flax and pumpkin. The reason why we have clubbed them together is because of their similar health benefits. However, their appearance and taste are completely different from one another. In this blog we will discuss the various health benefits of consuming flax and pumpkin seeds. Especially for menstruating women, it can have innumerable benefits. 

Even though they are different seeds, we will discuss some benefits that are common to both.  This will help us understand its full nutritional value. Some common benefits are as follows:

  1. Rich in fatty acids

Both of these seeds are extremely rich in Omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, which is a boon for the non-meat eaters.  Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids are a crucial part of human cell membrane, and are responsible for the systematic functioning of the internal organs of the body. It increases what is called as “Good HDL cholesterol”. Apart from this, it is also known to improve mental health and efficiently fight problems such as anxiety, depression, and so on. A handful of these seeds on a daily basis will keep you happier and healthier!

  • Fibre rich

It is very important that our daily food intake has fibre rich foods, because they help in normalising bowl movements. Apart from that, a fibre rich diet can also help reduce cholesterol, control blood sugar levels and can also help achieve healthy weight.  Pumpkin and flax seeds in particular are a rich source of soluble as well as non-soluble fibre. Soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. While non-soluble fibre promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, are good sources of insoluble fibre.

  • Hormonal balance

Hormonal balance is an integral part of a woman’s life; at all stages, a woman goes through major internal changes that can disturb the balance between the hormones. Even though hormonal imbalance does not have any direct relation or can cause any serious illness, but it can create a lot of discomfort in daily life. Beginning right from cramps, to irregular menstrual cycle, the complications are countless. It is recommended to have pumpkin and flax seeds during the Follicular Phase, sincethey contain phytoestrogens that help adapt to the body’s estrogen levels by increasing and decreasing estrogen levels where needed. Flax seeds contain lignans that bind to estrogen so it can be removed from the body. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which prepares the body for progesterone secretion in the next phase. Both are great sources of omega 3s which help to reduce inflammation.

If you would like to read more about hormonal balance and seed rotation, please click on the following link: https://www.vitaziawellness.com/seed-rotation-therapy/

QUINOA RECIPES YOU SHOULD TRY!

No matter how many times we discuss the health benefits of Quinoa, people will not be motivated to eat until it tastes good. So, we thought, that today we should dedicate a blog to tasty Quinoa recipes that are easy to make at home. Follow this blog to understand how to cook quinoa for maximum taste and health benefit.

In this blog we will discuss the following recipes:

  1. Quinoa Kichdi
  2. Quinoa Cheela
  3. Quinoa Burger Tikki
  4. Quinoa and Soya Masala Roti

QUINOA KICHDI

INGREDIENTS

Ghee – 1 tblsp

Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp

Cinnamon – 1 small piece

Onion – 1 medium size chopped finely

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp

Tomato – 1 medium size chopped finely

Mixed Veggies – 2 cups chopped

Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Cumin Powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Split Yellow Moong Dal – ½ cup

Quinoa – 1 cup

Water – 4 cups

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat ghee in a cooker, add cumin and cinnamon. Add onions, ginger garlic paste and sauté for 2 mins. Add in tomatoes and mix well, add all veggies and mix well, add all spice powders and salt and mix well, Add dal and water and mix well. Add quinoa and cook till it is soft.

Serve.

QUINOA CHEELA

INGREDIENTS

Quinoa-1/2 cup

Besan/Chickpea flour– 2 tbsp

Palak/Spinach- handful or two (chopped)

Cumin-1tsp

Turmeric- 1/4 tsp

Asafoetida- 1/4 tsp

Ginger- 1/2 inch grated

Green Chillies– 1 chopped

Kashmiri Mirch-1/2 tsp

Tomato- 1 medium (chopped) optional

Capsicum -1/2 chopped

Onion– 1/2 medium chopped

Shallots– 4 / 1/2 medium sized onions

Salt- to taste

Water- ½ cup

INSTRUCTIONS

To make Quinoa flour:

  1. Roast quinoa on a medium flame until the seeds lose all their moisture and become slightly crisp. Let it cool, and grind it in a food processor.  Let cool and store in a dry place.


To make Cheela:

  1. Chop ingredients as required. Keep aside.
  2. In blender take chickpea flour, Quinoa flour  add in shallots, salt, kashmiri chilli, cumin, turmeric, asafoetida and washed quinoa. Blend smoothly adding water.
  3. Take out in a bowl, mix chopped ingredients (tomato, capsicum, onion, green chillies spinach) along with grated ginger. Give a gentle mix.
  4. Heat a Pan and grease it. Take a ladle full of or two of batter and spread in circle. cook from both sides well.
  5. Serve hot with green chutney or tomato chutney.

QUINOA BURGER TIKKI

INGREDIENTS

Quinoa flour – 2 and 2/3 cups 

Eggs, beaten– 4 large 

Salt– 1/2 teaspoon 

Pepper- 1/4 teaspoon 

Chopped coriander – 2 Tablespoons

Small onion, finely chopped– 1/2 

Cloves garlic, finely chopped– 3 

Gluten free whole grain breadcrumbs OR dry poha powder – 3/4 cup 

Finely chopped carrot and zucchini– 1/2 cup 

Oil, plus more as needed– 1 Tablespoon 

INSTRUCTIONS

Combine the quinoa flour , eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in the coriander, onion, and garlic. Stir in the bread crumbs and chopped carrot/zucchini. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the crumbs absorb some of the moisture.

Make equal parts of the mixture, and heat a pan. Add a few drops of oil and shallow fry the patty.

Let cool, and consume them as is, or put in between whole wheat breads, roti, etc. 

QUINOA AND SOYA MASALA ROTI

Ingredients

Soya flour– ½ cup

Quinoa flour – 1 cup

Salt- to taste

Fresh Methi leaves– I cup

Oil– 2-3 tbsp

Spices (Turmeric, jeera, mirchi)- to taste

Whole wheat flour (For rolling) – as required

INSTRUCTIONS

In a bowl mix together soya flour, quinoa flour, salt, spices, and methi leaves. Add little oil and water, and make dough.

Make equal parts roll into a roti, heat a flat pan and shallow fry the roti with 1 tbsp oil. Have as is, or with a vegetable sabji.

THINGS YOU MIGHT WANT TO READ ABOUT QUINOA

In the recent years, Quinoa has gained a lot of popularity, and is also considered as one of the best “health Foods”; and for all good reasons! Apart from having uncountable health benefits, it also has a good taste, and therefore, it is widely accepted by the people.

Before we get into the exact benefits, let’s first learn about what is quinoa. Quinoa is a small, grain-like seed originally from South America. It has a mild nutty, grainy flavour and when cooked properly has a lovely chewy texture similar to cooked barley.

It’s higher in protein than most grains. And a good source of fiber. It’s low GI, so a better choice than many grains.

A FEW SURPRISING FACTS ABOUT QUINOA

This includes plant antioxidants called flavonoids, which have been shown to offer various health benefits. Two flavonoids that have been particularly well studied are quercetin and kaempferol, both found in high amounts in quinoa. In fact, the quercetin content of quinoa is even higher than in typical high-quercetin foods like cranberries.

These important molecules have been shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer and anti-depressant effects in animal studies.

By including quinoa in your diet, you will significantly increase your total intake of these (and other) important nutrients.

1) VERY HIGH IN FIBER, MUCH HIGHER THAN MOST GRAINS

Another important benefit of quinoa is its high fibre content.  This is almost more than twice as high as most grains. Boiled quinoa contains much less fibre, gram for gram because it absorbs so much water. Unfortunately, most of the fibre is insoluble, which doesn’t appear to have the same health benefits as soluble fibre.

Numerous studies show that soluble fibre can help reduce blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, increase fullness and help with weight loss

2) GLUTEN-FREE AND PERFECT FOR PEOPLE WITH GLUTEN INTOLERANCE

A gluten-free diet can be healthy, as long as it’s based on foods that are naturally gluten-free. Problems arise when people eat gluten-free foods made with refined starches. These foods are no better than their gluten-containing counterparts, as gluten-free junk food is still junk food. Many researchers have been looking at quinoa as a suitable ingredient in gluten-free diets for people who don’t want to give up staples like bread and pasta.

3) VERY HIGH IN PROTEIN, WITH ALL THE ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS

Protein is made of amino acids, nine of which are called essential, as your body cannot produce them and needs to obtain them through your diet.

If a food contains all nine essential amino acids, it’s referred to as a complete protein.

The problem is that many plant foods are deficient in certain essential amino acids, such as lysine.

However, quinoa is an exception to this, because it contains sufficient amounts of all the essential amino acids. For this reason, it’s an excellent source of protein. It has both more and better protein than most grains.

4) HAS A LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX, WHICH IS GOOD FOR BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL

The glycaemic index is a measure of how quickly foods raise your blood sugar levels. Eating foods that are high on the glycaemic index can stimulate hunger and contribute to obesity.

Such foods have also been linked to many of the common, chronic, Western diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Quinoa has a glycaemic index of 53, which is considered low. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s still fairly high in carbs. Therefore, it’s not a good choice if you’re following a low-carb diet.

5) HIGH IN IMPORTANT MINERALS LIKE IRON AND MAGNESIUM

Many people don’t get enough of certain important nutrients. This is particularly true of some minerals, especially magnesium, potassium, zinc and (for women) iron. Quinoa is very high in all 4 minerals, particularly magnesium.

6) HAS BENEFICIAL EFFECTS ON METABOLIC HEALTH

Given its high beneficial nutrient content, it makes sense that quinoa could improve metabolic health. To date, two studies, in humans and rats respectively, examined the effects of quinoa on metabolic health. The human-based study found that using quinoa instead of typical gluten-free breads and pastas significantly reduced blood sugar, insulin and triglyceride levels.

7) HIGH IN ANTIOXIDANTS

Quinoa is very high in antioxidants, which are substances that neutralize free radicals and are believed to help fight aging and many diseases.

8) MAY HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT

In order to lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you burn. Certain food properties can promote weight loss, either by boosting metabolism or reducing appetite. Interestingly, quinoa has several such properties. It’s high in protein, which can both increase metabolism and reduce appetite significantly. The high amount of fibre may increase feelings of fullness, making you eat fewer calories overall.

9) EASY TO INCORPORATE INTO YOUR DIET

While not directly a health benefit, the fact that quinoa is very easy to incorporate into your diet is nonetheless important. It also tasty and goes well with many foods, and also tastes nice.