This is what we’re having for lunch today. One of my favorite vegetables, eggplant. As always, quick and simple to prepare.
1 1/2 square of tofu, cut into strips
2 small pcs of eggplant, cut into smaller pieces
soy sauce & brown sugar (you can also use barbecue sauce)
Fry the tofu in oil until it’s brown. Sautee the garlic and onion with the tofu until the onion is translucent and the onion is also golden brown. Set aside. Fry the eggplant until light brown. Mix soy sauce and brown sugar in water (or use barbecue sauce if you want it a bit sweeter, just read the ingredients, most have MSG in it). Pour a small amount of your sauce into the eggplants, mix in the tofu and garlic. Stir for 1-2 minutes and turn off the heat.
Eggplant is a nutrient dense food containing dietary fiber, manganese, potassium, vitamin b6, folate, niacin, copper and thiamine, as well as other phytonutrients. It’s very low in calories so it’s good for people who want to lose weight. Its skin contains a phytonutrient called nasunin which is a potent antioxidant and helps protect the lipids in our cells responsible for keeping out free radicals. Nasunin also helps in chelating iron in our blood. Too much iron is not good for the body, and may result to excessive free radical production which leads to heart disease and cancer. When nasunin chelates iron, it also lessens the production of free radicals, protects blood cholesterol, and prevents preoxidation of cells that can lead to cancer.
My husband bought a jar of Garlic and Spinach artichoke from Bravo last night and tonight I made some for myself for dinner. I just prepared the pasta, mixed 3 spoonfuls of the pesto sauce, and voila! Also, I toasted some bread and put Spinach and Artichoke spread on top of it. Divine.
Pesto is actually quite easy to make, I’ve made some for myself several times. All you do is put basil leaves and olive oil in a blender (or chop them up like what I do), add garlic and nuts and that’s it! I used to put pan-fried chicken strips on top of my pesto pasta, but it’s just as great without them. I wanted to try Bravo’s sauces because there are times when my husband and I need a quick meal and I can’t always be available to cook. I used angelhair pasta (spaghettini #1) above, which is also my favorite kind of pasta but it’s not popular with my brothers because it looks a bit like bihon. Haha. It’s really quick-cooking, though. So if you’re in a hurry, this is one of the best things to prepare for lunch or dinner. Also, since pesto sauce doesn’t require cooking, the heat won’t kill the enzymes of the garlic and basil too quickly.
Did you know that basil is not just a great pasta garnish and/or ingredient? The oils that its leaves contain has antibacterial properties, especially specific bacteria that can be resistant to antibiotics. Also, it has properties that protect your cells from oxygen-based damage. Basil’s natural oils can also protect your cells from free-radicals. Basil also contains beta carotene, vitamin a, magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, and vitamin c. There’s really a lot more, you can read up about basil here.
We finally had the time to go to the grocery yesterday and buy a kilo of brown rice. The taste and texture is different from the white rice we’re used to, but before you rule this kind of rice out of your menu because of the color (and the fact that it takes longer to cook and the water measurement is sometimes hard to estimate), there are many articles where you’ll read that red/brown rice is better for your health than white rice.
Brown and white rice come from the same rice plant, but is unpolished (whole grain) and therefore has most of the nutrients intact.
Brown rice is rich in Manganese which helps produce energy from protein and carbohydrates, aiding in the synthesis of fatty acids and producing cholesterol which also helps the body produce sex hormones. Manganese is also a component of superoxide dismutase, which protects our bodies from damage brought by free radicals.
Brown rice is also rich in fiber and selenium, which helps in lowering the risk of colon cancer. To find out more about the health benefits of eating brown rice, visit this website.