In this issue:
- Chicken with Potatoes and Chard
- Healthy, Fabulous Flavors: Ghee
- A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Digestive Soothing Strategies for IBS
- Pressure Cooking 101
- Recommended Reading: 20th Anniversary Edition of Cooking Under Pressure
- Take Our Survey
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Chicken with Potatoes and Chard
Savor the flavors of turmeric, cumin and coriander in this simple and healthy Indian-inspired dish. Serve with lemony basmati rice for a delightful and inspiring meal.
Healthy, Fabulous Flavors: Ghee
Ghee is made from simmering butter to remove the water and milk solids. It has a long shelf life and is able to withstand high cooking temperatures, making it resistant to free radical damage. Since the milk solids are removed, it is well tolerated by most people, and is prized in Ayurvedic (Indian medicinal) cooking for balancing stomach acid and for helping lipid soluble vitamins such as a,e, d and k readily absorb.
A Note from Our Chief Nutrition Advisor: Digestive Soothing Strategies for IBS
by Kathie Madonna Swift MS RD LDN
Frustrated by an irritable bowel? If so, take heart in these digestive soothing strategies:
1. Consider the cause(s). Irritable bowel is a functional gastrointestinal disorder that has its origins in food allergies/sensitivities, infections, imbalances in gut flora, stress and our family tree (yes, IBS has been found to “run in families”). The good news is that diet, nutritional therapy and mind body strategies can ease the pain of an irritable and inflamed bowel.
2. Experiment with your diet. Adverse food reactions can be identified through the use of an elimination diet that begins by removing “suspect” foods and abiding by the “3/3 guideline”: If you suspect a food is troubling you, try it on at least three separate occasions. If it bothers you all three times, this is strong evidence that food is not for you and is contributing to your irritable bowel symptoms, whether your bowels are stubborn and sluggish or always “on the go”.
3. Sip a soothing tea. Some herbs and spices offer a dose of calm for a distressed and irritable bowel. Ginger, fennel, chamomile or peppermint tea may be just what your tummy ordered. In addition, enteric coated peppermint oil capsules used as directed may be especially helpful for IBS.
4. Tame your stress. The gastrointestinal highway houses our “second brain”, our belly brain rich in an intricate nervous system that is our “first responder” to the stressful events in our life. Breathing, guided imagery for an irritable bowel, (www.healthjourneys.com) biofeedback, and other stress-relieving practices are helpful antidotes to an agitated gut.
Healing IBS Practice: Close your eyes, put one hand on your belly and one hand on your heart and just breathe, slowly, deeply, and let the rhythm of your belly relax you as the gentle waves of breath take you to a place of calm.
Try Stuffed Avocado with Vegetables and Shrimp. Download a recipe for IBS.
Pressure Cooking 101
In the past many people have been afraid of pressure cooking, remembering the steaming, hissing pot shaking on their mother’s or grandmother’s stove. Pressure cooking has come a long way since then. New pressure cookers are safe, easy to use and are making a comeback as cooks look for a fast way to prepare healthy and flavor-rich foods.
The Benefits of Pressure Cooking
In a vacuum-sealed pressure cooker, water boils at 242 degrees Fahrenheit instead of the standard 212 degrees. This causes food to cook in one-third or less the normal time, which has numerous benefits:
- Preserves nutrients: With a pressure cooker, food is cooked more quickly with less water to boil away. As a result, more important vitamins and minerals are retained.
- Tenderizes meats: Even budget cuts of meat that usually require slow, moist-heat cooking are tender in no time when cooked in a pressure cooker.
- Saves time: If you are in a hurry and you don’t have a lot of time to cook a delicious and healthy meal, try a pressure cooker. They make it a snap to cook up a variety of recipes, from a simple entrée to a complete gourmet meal.
- Saves energy: Pressure cooking takes less time than conventional cooking methods so less energy is used.
- Saves money: Because pressure cookers are great for tenderizing meats and cooking whole grains, beans and other inexpensive ingredients they're a great way to stretch your grocery dollar.
What to Look for in a Pressure Cooker
Most modern pressure cookers are made from aluminum or stainless steel. Higher quality stainless steel pressure cookers are made with heavy, three-ply, or a copper-clad bottom. This provides more even heating, since stainless steel has lower thermal conductivity. Generally, pressure cookers range in size from 4 to 8 quarts. The 6-quart size is the standard for many recipes. Some come with a detachable pressure regulator that can adjust the pressure to low, medium or high. This allows you to adjust the cooking time since the higher the pressure, the higher the internal temperature and the faster the food will cook. Other features to consider include heat-resistant handles, an easy locking lid and accessories like a timer, a rack or a steamer basket.
Download a pressure cooker recipe from Chef Lorna Sass for Tex-Mex Black Beans with Avocado Salsa
20th Anniversary Edition of Cooking Under Pressure
by James Beard Award-winning Chef Lorna Sass
Remember how wonderful home cooking tasted when you were a kid? Remember the comforting aromas that filled your house, the delicious soups and stews that warmed your childhood winters? They can all be yours again. In Cooking Under Pressure, James Beard Award-winning author Lorna Sass tells how to get the best results from pressure cooking; provides guides to preparing all sorts of vegetables, beans, and grains; and introduces you to an eclectic array of dishes that can be prepared on a whim. Discover how fast, safe and easy it is to use your pressure cooker to create healthful and satisfying foods your whole family will enjoy.
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