Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata



I cook frittata every week. Well, almost every week and sometimes even twice! That’s how much we love it. We are a egg loving family and have taken the punchline "Sunday ho ya Monday... Roj khao aande" (be it Sunday or Monday... Got to have Eggs everyday) quite literally.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad


If the Fall and the super extended Winter saw me turn into a Soup-o-holic, the Spring and the Summer will bring out the Salad Addict in me! As the weather turns warmer, my body craves for fresh crunchy and light salads especially for lunch. And this wonderful, nutrient rich Grapefruit and Avocado Salad fits the bill perfectly.


Though I had heard both the names before, I started having both Avocado and Grapefruit after I set my foot on the US soil. I instantly connected with Avocado, but, it took a lot of coaxing from  various nutritionist to coax me to try Grapefruit.


Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi) reminded me of Batabi Lebu or Pomelo (Citrus maxima or Citrus grandis), a fruit I was never fond of. Though Grapefruit is a lot juicer and sweeter than the Batabi Lebu, that you get back home, I don't like the bitter after taste they leave. Don't get me wrong, I love Guinness!!! And Karela (Indian Bitter Melon) and Neem Pata Bhaja (margosa, Azadirachta indica, a bitter leaf known for its anti bacterial and anti fungal properties) too..... But when its a fruit and its starts with the word 'Grape", its difficult to imagine a bitter taste.

A mental block I say.




I cannot not eat a grapefruit on its own, the way I gladly eat an orange. A sprinkle of rock salt, as Mom suggested, did not help either. But I wanted all its anti-oxidant properties, all its metabolism boosting capacity and all its cholesterol lowering abilities, but without its bitterness.

This recipe which I got from here, fits the bill perfectly. Since I have to be me, I could not stop myself from tweaking the recipe a little. I added some sweet clementines, tart cranberry  and some crunchy sunflower seed to finish it off. 


When you combine bittersweet Grapefruit with crisp Spinach, creamy Avocado, sweet Clementines, tart nuggets of dried Cranberries and crunchy Sunflower seeds, dressed in a spicy vinaigrette, you get one platter full of flavor explosion. I added some hot sauce (Tabasco) to my vinaigrette, which might sound a little audacious, but trust me few dashes of this fiery liquid, takes the salad to a whole new level.


Recipe Snapshot: Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Serves: 2 serving
(1 serving = 3/4 cup)

What I used:
For the Salad:
Baby Spinach or Arugula - 1½ cups
(or any greens of choice)

Grapefruit - 1, peeled and segmented

Avocado - 1 peeled, pitted and sliced

Clementine - 1 small, peeled and segmented
or
Orange - ½, peeled and segmented

Cranberries - ¼ cup, dried (optional)

Sunflower Seed - 2 tbsp
(or Flax Seedor Almonds or Walnut)

For the Dressing:
Grapefruit Juice (reserved) - 2 - 3 tbsp

Raspberry or any other fruity Vinegar - 1 tbsp
(Red or White Wine Vinegar works well too)

Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
Hot sauce - 10 dash or to taste (optional)
Salt

Pepper



What I did:
The Salad:
1. Peel and segment the grapefruit and reserve any juices that might flow out. Do the same with the oranges. Peel and pit an avocado and slice them.

2. In a platter, arrange the green (in this case spinach) and top it alternately with grapefruit section and avocado slices. Also add the orange or clementine slices.

3.  Tip in the dried cranberries and the sunflower seeds.

4. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy!

The Dressing:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the reserved grapefruit juice, vinegar, olive oil, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the salad and refrigerate the leftovers. 




Diabetic Platter:
Grapefruit is a citrus fruit with a high water content and a good amount of fiber, making it a great choice for people who are trying to lose weight or prevent or manage heart disease or type 2 diabetes. All grapefruits are a good source of vitamin C, and red and pink grapefruits also offer up a high dose of beta-carotene. Vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants found in many fruits that help prevent arthritis, cataracts, and macular degeneration as well as help maintain healthy hair and skin. 

Caution: Because grapefruit and other citrus fruits are possible triggers for IBS and migraine headaches avoid them if they are problematic for you. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice can affect how some medications (most commonly cardiac medication and cholesterol medication) are absorbed and metabolized, so always speak with your pharmacist about your medication/grapefruit interactions. 

Source: http://www.joybauer.com/food-articles/fruit.aspx#grapefruit

Avocado is high in monounsaturated fats, which are generally considered among the healthiest of fats. Researchers have found that a diet high in monounsaturated fats and low in low-quality carbs may improve insulin sensitivity. Monounsaturated fats also improve heart health—an especially important benefit for diabetics, who are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke.

Source: http://www.joybauer.com/funnel/type-2-diabetes-results.aspx#slideshow
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