Indian Style Meatballs with Roasted Garlic Cream

March 31, 2013

Indian Style Meatballs
Let's talk about ground beef... 
When buying ground beef, the rule of thumb is to buy the best quality you can afford. Organic and - if you can find it - grass-fed.
If you shop at a butcher (or a grocery store with a real butcher) you should have them grind the beef for you. Pick out a piece of sirloin or chuck (or half chuck - half sirloin) and ask the butcher to put it through their grinder. This is the only way to make sure that the ground meat you’re buying is the meat that went into the grinder.
It can be more expensive than pre-packaged ground meat, but the latter can be a hazard (food poisoning and E. coli cases resulting from bad ground meat are so frequent). On top of that you’ll know that the meat has not been sitting on the shelf for days, which guarantees freshness. Ground meat is subject to the greatest amount of handling, which increases the risk of exposure to contamination. If instead you the process happens right in front of your eyes you’ll know that how many hands have touched it. Right?

One meatballs at a time please...

Spicy Sweet Potato Burgers with Lemony Greek Yogurt and Avocado

March 28, 2013

Spicy Sweet Potato Burgers with Lemony Greek Yogurt and Avocado

Nothing get on my nerves more than hearing somebody saying “OMG, I’m such a sweet potato person, they’re so yummy and healthy!”.
What does it mean to be sweet potato person?
That if you look at yourself in the mirror you see a sweet potato? That among your peers you’re considered a sweet potato? That you eat only sweet potatoes?
In my humble experience, it usually means that you discovered recently (very recently, maybe yesterday) that sweet potatoes are a healthy food and you just need to speak it to the world. An attempt to assert that you’re a healthy person and that you know a whole lot deal about it. Bah...
For this one time you’re justified though...sweet potatoes are an awesome food so you might as well call yourself a sweet potato person. As long as you promise to really make them one of the staple food of your diet.

Spicy Sweet Potato Burgers with Lemony Greek Yogurt and Avocado

Suggested Reading: Salt Sugar Fat (How The Food Giants Hooked Us)

March 26, 2013

The food industry is a manufacturing business with just one goal in mind, design products to please consumers’ palate.
Don’t picture it in your mind as something similar to a cook, in his kitchen, trying to perfect a recipe. Think of it, instead, as more of a chemist in a laboratory performing experiments and meticulously mixing flavors in an attempt to reach that perfect balance, the “bliss point”. That perfect combination of ingredients that will send taste buds buzzing and that eventually will makes us come back for more.
As you flip through the pages of “Salt Sugar Fat” you’ll learn about how Food Giants maneuver around the boons and drawbacks of sugar, salt, and fat in order to make us consume their products, and consume them a lot. The competition for our grocery dollars affects what's in the food we eat and, as a consequence, affect our waist size and health.
Food industry’s approach is so meticulous and scientific that it has been capable of substantially altering the our desires, perceptions and expectation towards food. Without even noticing it, our taste buds have been reprogrammed to make us crave for more sugar, fat and salt.

Homemade Sourdough Bread

March 22, 2013

Homemade Sourdough Bread

Sourdough is the original "100% guaranteed" truly natural bread. There’s no commercial yeast in it, it's made only with flour, water and natural yeasts from the air.
I’ve tried several times to make sourdough bread in the past but failed on every single occasion.
I gave it a last shot two weeks ago, following Jamie Oliver’s recipe. And this one this time I’ve finally cracked it.
Baking sourdough bread has to be one of the coolest things ever. Witnessing day after day the starter coming to life through the natural fermentation of the flour. When it's baking time, the incredible aroma of bread (real bread) permeating the apt. Yes, I fell love in love with sourdough bread.
The loaf came out beautifully, crunchy on the outside, chewy and moist on the inside, as per Jamie’s words “Sourdough is the ultimate loaf.”
Sourdough bread is packed with precious nutrients. It has nothing to do with mass-produced breads that are grossly degraded in nutrients and choked with sugar, preservatives and additives.
Sourdough bread comes from the natural fermentation of gluten contained in the flour. When gluten is properly fermented it becomes healthy for human consumption. When it is not it’s potentially one of the most highly allergenic foods we eat.
Correctly fermented wheat contain 18 amino acids, complex carbs, B vitamins, iron, zinc, selenium and magnesium, and maltase.
Sourdough bread is the healthiest form of bread you can possibly dig your teeth into. Are you ready for journey?

Eat Food Not Edible Foodlike Substances

March 20, 2013

This is one of the my favorite quotes from Michael Pollan’s Food Rules.
It focuses on the importance of eating real, whole food over any sort of junk food or food like product.
Eat Food Not Edible Foodlike Substances

Heavy processing of food - which improves shelf life and palatability - also removes nutrients, adds chemicals and makes food more readily absorbable, which might be a problem for insulin and fat metabolism.
That’s why you should try to avoid heavily processed foods, labeled by Michael Pollan as “edible foodlike substances.”
"They’re highly processed concoctions designed by food scientists, consisting mostly of ingredients derived from corn and soy that no normal person keeps in the pantry, and they contain chemical additives with which the human body has not been long acquainted. Today much of the challenge of eating well comes down to choosing real food and avoiding these industrial novelties1."

Black-eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Cakes With Greens

March 19, 2013

Black-eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Cakes With Spinach

I bought a can of black-eyed peas a while ago and every time I would open the kitchen's cupboard I could feel them staring at me; with their judgemental look, as if they were saying “You haven’t got the slightest idea of what to do with us, that’s why we’re still here, covered with a layer of dust.
I knew that I had to take action asap. No way a bunch of canned peas was going to get at me.

Black-eyed Pea and Sweet Potato Cakes With Spinach

Getting All The Nutrients Without Consuming Too Many Calories

March 18, 2013

When trying to control calories while balancing the diet, some foods can be especially helpful. Foods that are rich in nutrients relative to their energy content.
It is well established that some foods deliver more nutrients than others do for the same amount of calories, as they have a higher nutrient density.
Those nutrient dense foods give you the "biggest bang for the buck." You get lots of nutrients, and it doesn't cost you much in terms of calories1.
Let’s take for instance ice-cream and fat-free milk. Both supply calcium, but milk is much more calcium dense than ice-cream. The latter having over 300 calories per cup versus 80 calories for a cup of milk2.

Vegetables are always the best choice

Nutrition Science Should Be Taken With A Grain Of Salt

March 17, 2013

On this little space we like to call “TheIronYou” we talk about food, nutrition and health, almost on a daily basis. We create recipes that are supposed to be good for you. We discuss about the ultimate superfood landed in grocery stores. We point out the latest researches made by scientists. Often, we just ramble about what goes through our minds.
Whatever that might be, there’s one thing we want to stress out: when we talk about nutrition science keep in mind that it's a relatively young science still surrounded by much uncertainty.
So whenever you’re reading about “this is good for you”, “this is bad for you”, “if you eat this it will kill you”, “if you eat that you will live forever”, don’t take it for granted but process it into your mind with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Science On A PlateCredit: Image courtesy of University of Aberdeen

Cauliflower Crust Cheese Pizza

March 16, 2013

Cauliflower Crust Cheese Pizza
I must come clean. I’m having too much fun making cauli crust pizza and it’s starting to become an obsession. Thing is, I’m fascinated by how well the cauliflower crust holds and how good it is.
It’s not only about the looks, I love flavor too. It’s just so delicious!
I really wonder why cauli crust pizza hasn’t become a big hit yet. Everybody seems to love it. There’s definitely room for taking up a paleo pizza business...
Plus, while you’re munching a slice you know you’re getting a full serving a cauliflower. On top of that there’s no gluten, low carbs and very few calories. Now, that’s rad!

30-Minute Chicken Tikka Masala

March 14, 2013

30-Minute Chicken Tikka Masala

Spices and aromatics are the very heart of Indian cooking. Flowers, leaves, roots, bark, seeds and bulbs are used in endless combination to produce an infinite variety of flavors: sweet, sharp, hot, sour, spicy, aromatic, tart, mild, fragrant or pungent. 
Masala is a term that identifies a mixture of spices, that can be either a combination of dried spices or a paste made from a mixture of spices and other ingredients.
Chicken tikka is traditionally small piece of boneless chicken baked using skewers.
Chicken tikka masala is therefore a dish of roasted chicken chunks (tikka) in a spicy sauce (masala). The sauce is creamy, spiced, orange-colored and delicious!