Tamarind and Chick Peas

9🎶  THREE’S  THE  CHARM  🎶  
(1) TAMARIND (2) SPINACH (3) CHICK PEAS
I had this dish years ago, without all the spices and was not impressed.  The spices in this recipe enhance the key flavour of  the tamarind.  Surprisingly, the 3 jalapeño peppers are not hot in this dish.  An EASY 30 MINUTE meal packed with protein and flavour.  Leftovers makes a great lunch at the office!  Another  winner!


print_recipe
.
.

INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp nigella seeds
1½ tsp fennel seeds  ( or  anise seeds)
1 medium onion ( chopped )
400 g can chopped tomatoes (san marzano)
3 green jalaeño peppers, seeded and cut into quarter lengths
2-3 tsp monk fruit sweetener ( or stevia, truvia, etc. )
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
410 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp tamarind paste ( adjust to taste )
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
half a 250g/9oz bag of organic baby spinach leaves
Serving suggestion:  natural yogurt and chapatis

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Fry the nigella and fennel seeds for about 10 second. Add the onion and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until golden.

2. Mix in the tomatoes,  jalapeños,  sweetener ( Monk fruit ), paprika, turmeric and  chickpeas. Bring to a boil,  then simmer for 10 minutes.  Make sure your dish is stew-like; not too dry. Add water if needed.

3. Stir in the tamarind and coriander. ( (You need to do a taste test here. Add more tamerind to get  that tamerind sweet and sour flavour).  Add the spinach leaves and stir gently until they’ve just wilted. You can serve as a main course with yogurt and chapatis or as a side dish.

Tamarind paste

Tamarind Paste

Tamarind Chick Peas

Tamarind and Chick Peas

COOKING TIP:  Before starting to cook, do all your chopping and rinse out the chick peas. Check your spice rack to make sure you have all your spices  measured and placed in  small dishes. ahead of time. This “mise en place”  technique makes cooking time much faster.

WARNING: Do not buy tamarind without reading the ingredients on the label. I bought tamarind in a bottle at the grocery store. I neglected to read the label as I was in a hurry. The main ingredient was syrup. Tamarind was the fourth ingredient! I was disappointed. Do not accept substitutes or a bogus spice seller that claims to be tamarind. Without ‘true’ tamarind, this recipe is so – so. I soaked my tamerind block in water  took the seeds out and ladled the liquid into the dish. ( About 1 cup ) The difference was like night and day.

DID YOU KNOW? The recipe for WORCESTERSHIRE Sauce contains tamarind?  The one ingredient that sets Worcestershire sauce apart  is tamarind  fruit. The sweetness in this fruit  is balanced by its high content of acid, giving it that sweet-sour taste.

TAMARIND is a condiment, a spice and a fruit. Its extract, which tastes deliciously tangy, is one of the most highly valued foods in Asian and Indian cuisine. ( Origin: Africa )

TAMARIND contains an impressive amount of essential minerals such as thiamine, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Some of its other prominent nutrients include niacin, calcium, vitamin C, copper, fiber and pyridoxine.

Tamarind treats both constipation and diarrhea naturally by increasing the effectiveness of the digestive tract.  Tamarind has long been considered a natural laxative.  It stimulates your metabolism and also keeps your digestive system strong and improves blood circulation. Good for weight loss. Boost your immune system. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Tamarind Pods and Beverage

Don’t Panic Buy Organic!

When  Should You Buy Organic?

You might wonder if the nutrients in organic food are higher than those in non-organic food. We assume they are higher. Especially since they cost more to buy. But, it is not always the case.

Some Farms still spray their crops. The wind takes the dust to nearby organic farms?

Dirty Dozen And Clean 15

dirty-dozen-clean-fifteen

All fruits and vegetables are good but Some Are Better Than Others.

Download this FREE Brochure. Paste it on your fridge and give to your friends. Keep a copy in your wallet for your grocery shopping trips.  Your friends and your body will thank you for it.—> CLICK HERE-(to download/print the PDF). It’s fantastic!

What is EWG?

dirty-dozen
Mimi is holding her ‘dirty dozen’ shopping guide

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) have generously provided us with this excellent shopping guide. EWG studied 46 conventionally grown fruits and vegetables over a ten year period and have listed the ones with the most peswgticide contaminants and those with the least amount of pesticides.

Their Dirty Dozenhave the most contaminants. The clean fifteen has the least contaminants defined with both organic and conventional produce. Nice work EWG!

Pestacides

It all began 4,500 years ago in Ancient Mesapotania, where the first known (organic) pesticide was elemental sulfur dusting. In 1959, the dominant arsenic spray used to preserve the orange groves in Florida was on the decline as organic sprays were emerging again. We are still left with residual arsenic in the soil including other synthetic pesticides that are still being used.

Aerial view showing orange grove being sprayed – Winter Garden, Florida.


New Farm Methods since 2017

We are really talking about are pesticides. Do we spray our produce with poisonous chemicals or not? (1) Electrostatic Sprayer with a specific lower diffuser (named Gib-Dor) are designed to combat the Brown Spot on these pear trees (and apple trees). (2) Florescent spraying (since 2017) is in the experimental stages, used on apricot trees. (3) Electrostatic charge sprayer generate saving to the farmers. (4) Yet, according to the SBS News: The National Farmers’ Federation has defended the continued use of a British-made herbicide that’s allegedly been behind thousands of deaths overseas. (5) Drones spraying crops.

KING SPUD The Mighty Potato

White potatoes have such a high amount of  pesticides that the potato farmer will not eat them but have a separate potato patch for their family consumption.  The interesting Michael Pollan film “Botany of Desire” (available on YouTube) explains this in length.

THE JOY OF A FRESH TOMATO

Organic Brandy Wine Tomatoes

BY examining the tomato, Food Chemists at the University of California found that organically grown tomatoes have a significantly higher amount of vitamin C than their non organic counterparts. Don’t kill the good stuff with pesticides!

My favorite tomato is called the Kumato (green/purple) tomato from Spain. I really like the taste. It reminds me of tomatoes when I was a kid. Kumatoes are not genetically modified. They are a cross breeding of tomatoes and can be grown hydroponically. 

BELL PEPPERS ARE EQUAL in VITAMIN C

For Both Organic and Non-Organic Foods ~ But wait, there’s more….

peppers_mini


Sweet bell pepper are very tasty and colorful. But peppers, like all vegetables, must adhere to scrutinous washing with vinegar. Non-organic bell peppers are sprayed many times during its growth cycle. We are looking at 49 possible carcinogens, nine suspected hormone disruptors and nine neurotoxins.  Question: How much gets into our system? Answer: “All of it!” Bell peppers on the “DIRTY DOZEN” list.

Pediatricians 👩‍⚕️ Don’t All Agree 👨‍⚕️

A new report claims that organic food does not have “any meaningful nutritional benefits or deficits.” Conducted by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the report recommends that pediatricians take the findings of the report into account when giving nutritional advice to parents. from www.naturallySavvy.com

A study showed that on average organic produce had 27% more vitamin C, 21% more iron, 27% more magnesium and more than 13% more phosphorous than conventional produce. These facts can be referenced in Dr. John La Puma’s book “Chef MD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine“.

organic_chart_conventional

Organic chart provided by ecochildsplay.com

RATE YOUR PLATE (Using EWG Guidelines)

You can drop your pesticide exposure by 90% when you follow the EWG GUIDELINES When I didn’t see blueberries on their short list, I went to the EWG site.  Blueberries don’t have to be organic. I can buy conventional blueberries.  Visit www.EWG.org to rate your plate.

What is GMO?

GMO ( genetically modified organism) produce; using genetic engineering techniques  were designed build a better tomato and thwart pests. GMO tomatoes are not labeled in your grocery store and may have unknown allergens.