May 2010 eRecipes

Blog: Cooking with Madhu

May 2010 eRecipes

 


May 2010

After being cooped up all winter, I have been taking every chance I get to go for long walks in the park. Last Saturday, my friend and I walked all around our neighborhood and enjoyed the beautiful crab apple trees covered with white, pink, or red flowers. Both of us were dizzy with excitement.

April was a busy and exciting month for me with presentations and cooking demos. I gave a presentation cooking demo in Saint Louis at the Missouri Dietetic Association. In the presentation I focused on the cultural characteristics and health concerns of South Asian clients. For the cooking demo I prepared Black-Eyed Pea Dip and Pea-Mushroom Pilaf from The Indian Vegan Kitchen, and thanks to the hotel chef who prepared samples ahead of time, everyone in the audience got to taste these recipes. Here in Ames, Iowa at the Wheatsfield Co-Op, I presented Have Your Cake and Eat it Too, where I helped participants sort through the latest nutritional jargon and understand the value of portion control.

A Special Request From You: If you have bought my book, The Indian Vegan Kitchen and/or New Indian Home Cooking and have enjoyed them, I would love to hear from you. You can go to amazon.com and post your review or email me and I will add your review on my website. Thanks to you, The Indian Vegan Kitchen continues to be on the top of the Indian cookbooks section on amazon.com. If you have blogged about my book, please email me and I will add a link from my website to yours. Thank you for your support.

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution: TV celebrity, renowned chef, and author Jamie Oliver went to schools in Huntington, West Virginia to help people eat better. Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution was a six-part series on ABC and if you didn’t get to see it and are curious, you can see it on abc.com.

In the first episode, Oliver dressed up as a green giant “peapod” in the school, talked to the children about value of eating fruits and vegetables, and fed them fresh-cooked food in the school cafeteria. When kids went for familiar processed foods versus fresh cooked meals he showed them how chicken nuggets were made in a factory—trying to make a point. The goal of the TV series is to show America what they’re really eating.

I’m not in full agreement of Oliver’s approach, yet it made some very good points. I recognize that it is people like Oliver with his extreme methods and prime time TV spot that gets people’s attention, and if that makes some people eat fewer processed foods, it’s okay by me.

I have been working with a program called Healthy School Partnership in Des Moines, Iowa schools. The program is designed for 4th to 6th graders with the intent to teach them the value of power foods—high in nutrients and low in added fat and sugar. We also teach children about energy balance. I’ve been primarily working with 6th graders. I’m pleasantly surprised to see how receptive children are to our coaching. In just short 6 weeks (it’s an 8-week program) I’ve noticed children talking about eating more fruits and vegetables and becoming more aware of whole foods. The best part of this whole program is that kids inspire each other. I can just see it now, in just two years these same children will tell their parents, “Mom, Dad, where are the vegetables, there are no fruits in the house, you only buy junk food”—after all, in my experience, it was first the kids that made adults start recycling—go kids!

May Recipes: If there were a nutrition buzz-phrase of the 2000s it would be “eat more whole grains.” Whole grains are high in fiber and nutrients. Whole-wheat rotis (flatbreads) are very prevalent in Indian cuisine. Wheat is the staple grain in North India and whole wheat flatbreads are served at most meals. They are unleavened and very different in taste and texture than oven-baked leavened bread or Mexican tortillas. The scope of Indian flatbreads is unmatched by any other cuisine. Although it may take you a few tries to master the art of making rotis, they require no preplanning: just make the dough, roll it out, and grill. The “daily bread” is roti/chapati which is typically pan-grilled, but sometimes for the sake of convenience and variety I make my rotis in the oven, Tandoori Roti . Try them both; they have a different taste and texture. And then there is everyone’s favorite: Potato-Stuffed Flatbread (pan-fried), a little time consuming but totally worth the effort.

Grilled Flatbread (Roti)
Oven Roti (Tandoori Roti)
Potato-Stuffed Flatbread (Aloo Paratha)


Note: To make rotis, use roti-atta (fine ground whole wheat flour) from an Indian grocery store, white whole wheat flour which is available in the specialty flour section in most grocery stores or natural foods stores, or use regular whole wheat flour. The white whole wheat flour is the closest in taste to the roti-atta.

Happy and Healthy Cooking!
Sincerely,
Madhu Gadia

P.S. Have nutrition questions or concerns? Frustrated and confused with nutrition information and science? Want practical healthy solutions? For more information on how a nutrition consultation can help you, see www.madhugadia.com/consultant. I work with children and adults.

 

Copyright © 2010 Madhu Gadia. All Rights Reserved

 

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