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CARIBBEAN  COOKERY – A Fusion of the World’s Foods

 By Derek Cadet

The lush vegetation found in the Caribbean, bearing exotic fruits, vegetables and nuts, has influenced Caribbean cookery. To define any  particular trend or influence is very difficult because each island has had different histories. As a result Caribbean cooking has evolved as a fusion of various influences. The English, French, Spanish, Dutch, East Indians, Chinese, native Amerindians and other nationalities brought their recipes, which were adopted and changed by West Indians.

The major ethnic group in the Caribbean is descended from Africans who were brought to the Caribbean as slaves. As a result the African influence on food in the Caribbean is quite visible in most, if not, all of the islands. The use of ground provisions, dasheen bush (taro) and ochroes to produce callaloo, peas and beans, the use of hot peppers and the cooking methods of stewing and grilling on open coal fires have been greatly influenced by Africans. They also developed dishes using pig's feet, cow's heel and ox tails (parts discarded by the plantation owners).  

Spices from India, the far East, Europe combined with West Indian flavors, nutmeg, Chadon Beni (Cilantro), bay leaves and other preservatives used by the Amerindians, the original natives of these islands, have greatly influenced the cuisine of the Caribbean.

East Indian food in the Caribbean is essentially a blending of flavors and colours. The use of varied spices is essential to produce Caribbean Indian food. Tumeric (haldi), is the most universally used spice in Indian cookery. Cumin (geera) seeds and powder has been blended with other spices to create various blends of curry powder. Curry has become an important part of the daily diet of local people from this region. A few variations have evolved from the original concept of curry introduced by the immigrant workers from India.

European dishes have been fused in Caribbean food, which has been greatly influenced by the Spaniards, English, Portuguese and French. Some examples are pastelles and garlic pork, Christmas delicacies, fish broths and chowders, white bread and fruitcakes and pastry. The French and Spanish also introduced herbs such as thyme, oregano and chives.

Local ingredients are also incorporated into Caribbean cooking. Fish and shellfish dishes are quite common and are combined with fruit and vegetables in a wide range of salads,  Hor’s D’ oeuvres and entrees to produce exciting, tantalizing dishes which are essentially Caribbean. Some examples are saltfish and shrimp accras, crab backs, coo coo balls with callaloo dip.  

Coconut and rum are other popular ingredients, Coconut, in the form of coconut milk, is used extensively in sweet and savory dishes adding a rich creamy flavor  to peas and rice dishes and stews. The grated husk is used in sweet breads and other desserts and to coat shrimp and other seafood when frying or grilling. Rum is used to tenderize meat, enhance the flavor of stews and  in a number of tropical drinks, including our famous rum punch, a mixture of fruit juice and rum.

The combination of these influences, ingredients and experimentation has evolved into a cuisine now identified as Caribbean Fusion. 



High Fiber Food Chart - Top Foods High In Dietary Fiber

A high fiber food chart helps you know the foods high in dietary fiber. Adding more foods high in dietary fiber from the high fiber food chart can help you obtain the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber each day. Sufficient daily fiber intake is important, not just because of helping the bowels function, but to provide nutrients to friendly bacteria in the digestive tracts.

Low-fiber diets have been connected to numerous diseases and conditions such as colon cancer, constipation, Crohn's disease, diverticulitis, heart disease, high blood pressure, hemorrhoids and varicose veins are examples. Correcting low fiber intake for your diet can help you achieve regular bowel movements necessary for optimum health.

Here are top foods high in dietary fiber along with the approximate number of grams of fiber they contain. Fiber contents shown below on the high fiber food chart are for a food quantity of 1/2 cup unless otherwise noted:

• Bananas, 3 grams - medium 8" long

• Beans, 6-10 grams - baked beans, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, garbanzos, pinto beans, white beans

• Berries, 4-5 grams - blackberries, raspberries

• Bran Cereals, 5-10 grams - All-Bran, Bran Buds, 100% Bran, Raisin Bran

• Bread, 4-7 grams - 2 slices whole wheat, pumpernickel, seven-grain

• Broccoli, 4-5 grams

• Brussels Sprouts, 2 grams

• Carrots, 3-4 grams

• Dried Figs, 10 grams - 3 figs

• Fruit, 4 grams - medium apple, medium pear

• Green Beans, 2 grams - broad beans, pole beans, snap beans

• Greens, 4-6 grams - beet greens, collards, kale, spinach, turnip greens

• Lentils, 6 grams

• Lima Beans - 4-6 grams

• Peas, 7-9 grams - black-eyed peas, green peas

• Potatoes, 4-5 grams - medium baked Idaho or sweet potato

• Sweet Corn, 5 grams

When making changes to your diet to include more foods from the high fiber food chart, just add a few grams at a time so your intestinal tract can adjust. And important for bowel health is that adequate liquid be present for good bowel function. Each fiber particle absorbs liquid in the colon which helps facilitate regular movement along in the bowels, so make sure that you are consuming adequate liquids daily.

If you find that after a few weeks of consuming more foods from the high fiber food chart you are still not having a daily bowel movement, consider adding a fiber supplement. One of the best natural foods high in dietary fiber is psyllium made from ground-up psyllium seeds. It may take several weeks to achieve daily bowel movements, but the reward will be that wastes and toxins will be eliminated from your system instead of your body reabsorbing them.

Read more about overcoming constipation at http://www.safemenopausesolutions.com/constipation.html plus natural fiber supplements easily available online. Olinda Rola is President of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of http://www.safemenopausesolutions.com - a website of natural health information and articles.





Red And White Wine: The Difference

By: Frank Sousa -

Like many other people, you probably enjoy an occasional glass of wine. You've probably tried various red wines and white wines. But do you know the difference between reds and whites? The color, obviously, but there are other factors that make reds and whites quite different.

Both red wine and white wine can be either dry or sweet, or anywhere in between. But in general, reds are more robust and more complex than white wines. White wines tend to be lighter, without the complexity of reds. This basic difference has more to do with how the wines are fermented than it does with the grapes. Although red wines are generally made with red and black grapes, and white wines are usually made from green grapes, this isn't always the case.

The main difference between red and white wines is the fermentation process. When making white wine, the stems, seeds, and grape skins are removed from the grape juice after pressing. With red wines, the grape stems, seeds, and skins are left in the juice. Because of this, tannins and pigments will leach out of the stems, seeds, and skins into the grape juice. It's these tannins that produce the complexity of red wines.

Tannins are compounds present in grapes and other plants. Tea also contains tannins... if you've ever drank a strong cup of tea, the bitter, astringent taste is caused by these tannins. In wine, these tannins act to prevent oxidation of the wine while it ages. This is important in red wines, since reds are generally aged and matured for a longer period of time than white wines. The tannins present in red wine also provide another layer of flavor, increasing the complexity of the wine, and making it more robust. The astringency of the tannins will diminish and mellow as the wine ages.

Both red and white wines make an excellent addition to your meal. There are no hard and fast rules for matching wine and food, but the differences in wine do provide some guidelines. Usually red wines, because of their complexity will match better with a strong flavored meal. White wines, with their lighter body and taste match better with chicken or fish. But the main factor in choosing a wine for a meal is your own taste. Whether you prefer a light, white wine, or a full-bodied red, just choose whatever wine you prefer to accompany your meal, and enjoy!

Article Source: http://www.Article-Warehouse.com

Learn more about wines and winemaking at Wine Country Guide.




A Quick Guide to White Wines

by Xavier Moldini

The color and characteristic of a wine is derived from the grapes used. In this article, we take a quick look at white wines commonly enjoyed by wine enthusiasts.

When discussing white or red wines, it is always important to remember that much of the discussion falls into a bit of a fuzzy area. Why? Well, white wines are rarely white for the first thing. Second, many a winery actually mixes wines of all varieties together to produce a desired flavor and aroma. Thus, the "white" wine you are drinking may not be entirely white. Having said that, there is little reason to avoid discussing what are traditionally known as white wines.

The dominant grape in the white wines is undisputedly the Chardonnay. It is a rare day you can find any wine drinker who has not sipped more than a few Chardonnay whites. The wine is incredibly popular for a number of reasons. First, there is a lot of it because the vine can be grown practically anywhere and is! Second, the wine is known for an "oak" flavor, which is extremely popular with wine drinkers. Third, the wine is very flexible and can be produced with a wide variety of fruit aromas and flavors. Chardonnay white wines traditionally have been very dry and full bodied. With the wide range of wineries producing vintages, however, a wide variety of flavors and bodies are on the market.

Sauvignon Blanc should either be next or dead last on our list of whites. This is a take it or leave it grape. The taste is sharp and dry. This is a not a wine where you will find fruity mixes and such. It is a classic, traditional white that people either love or hate. Personally, I love it and it goes number two since I am writing this article!

Riesling white wines are next on our list. This is a German wine that is excellent if you buy from a German winery. You can find French and American wineries producing it, but it simply isn't the same. This is a light wine often described as "refreshing" although I must admit I have never understood that term. The Riesling whites take a beating by wine gurus, but you can find this dry, light white to be just the trick. It is markedly different than the Chardonnay, so give it a try.

There are a variety of other white grapes that are used to produce interesting vintages, but we are going to skip them to discuss a less-known grape that is up and coming. The Viognier grape is found in the Rhone Valley in France and is used to produce a flavorful, dry white that is excellent. It is typically a medium body wine with low acidity and often has a fruity aroma to it. It is a personal favorite that I suggest you try.

When it comes to white wines, there is no disputing Chardonnay is the king of the vine. Still, you should make an effort to move beyond the king to discover the interesting other vintages available.

About the Author

Xavier Moldini is with WineriesforYou.com - a directory of wineries.



A Quick Guide to Red Wines

by Xavier Moldini

Ask a wine aficionado what type of wine they like and they almost always will pick red or white. Rarely will they proclaim a love for both. This is somewhat ironic given the fact that each goes with particular dishes, but who am I to quibble? Here's a quick introduction to the various red wines one can experience.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the standard bearer when it comes to a red. If you are just getting into the wine experience, it is pretty hard to go wrong with a "cab". This wine has undergone a unique expansion wherein it was originally associated with Bordeaux, France wineries, but is not produced from California to Australia. The wine is either medium or bold in taste and often is noted for its black currants aroma and flavor.

Quickly gaining on cabs in popularity is the Merlot red wine. Merlot is a traditional wine produced in Bordeaux, but has also found popularity in vineyards in California and Chile. This a full blooded red wine with a lot of taste and higher alcohol content than a cab. It is also much smoother than a cab, which may make it a better choice if you are just starting out with the wine experience.

Pinot Noir is the next well-known red wine in our cellar. This is a hit and miss wine for most wineries and most wine drinkers. Whereas producing an acceptable Cabernet Sauvignon can be relatively simple, the same cannot be said for Pinot Noir. The vintages are noticeably different and some can be awful. On the other hand, many a wine expert has opined that Pinot Noir done right is the finest wine possible. Unlike cabs and Merlots, this wine is not produced in mass quantities due to its temperament. The best comes from Burgundy, France, but acceptable vintages are produced by wineries in California and Oregon.

There are a variety of other red wines that are also produced by wineries around the world. To the surprise of many, zinfandels come in a red in addition to the far more popular white vintages. Regardless, the three reds mentioned above make up a majority of the reds on the market and are a good place to start your wine tasting experience.

About the Author

Xavier Moldini is with WineriesforYou.com - a directory of wineries.


The 10 Fullest Foods 

by Kadence Buchanan

Let's begin by stating that there are no "good" or "bad" foods. No food exist that can make you thinner or fatter because you simply decided to try it. But what is true is that there are certain types of foods that have to be consumed in larger quantities due to their low concentration of fat and because they are rich of nutritional substances, in comparison to those that contain higher percentage of fats and low percentage of nutritional substances.

The foods included in the following list were selected based on their nutrition levels and the amount of vitamins and minerals they contain.

White of the egg - Albumen: The white of the egg, also known as albumen, has the highest level of protein absorbency, scoring 3.9 out of 4. Of course, the egg's crocus has also a very high absorbency level due to the nutritional substances it contains. These assist in the creation of blood cells, brain cells, muscles and bones; mainly during children's development stage.

Diary products: Excellent source of calcium and magnesium, diary products are considered essential for a balanced diet and the normal function of the body. Try to select those with lower levels of fat, since the amount of fat taken out through the factory processes is actually 98-99 percent of those harmful triglycerides.

Dry goods: A variety of flakes comes to mind when one mentions dry foods, such as oats, barley, wheat, soya, etc. Abundant in cellular fibers, these types of foods are vital for the normal function of the human large intestine.

Chicken and turkey: These types of white meat are the best possible choice one can make to receive proteins, which are high in nutrition value, and at the same time avoid the consumption of red meat that has high levels of fat and cholesterol.

Vegetables: The types of foods categorized under the culinary term "vegetables" are an exceptional source of trace elements that are vital for the activities performed by the human body, since they also contain a large quantity of cellular fibers. Fibers are useful for the movements performed by the intestines and due to their low amount of calories they give a feeling of one being full without adding weight to our figure.

Pasta: Whole grain pasta is rich in complex hydrates and at the same time an excellent source of vegetal protein. In addition, nutritionists include pasta in diet plans, since it is widely known that those who consume pasta are in a good mood. Fruits: The "sweet" delight with the lowest calories. Since they include mainly water, the feeling of fullness they provide is not "guilty" of adding any inches to our waistline. Full of cellular fibers and trace elements, fruits are nature's sweet treats. Exception to this category is Avocado due to the fats it contains.

Fish: These sea creatures add culinary pleasure to our tables apart from having a high level of protein absorbency and low fat levels; the fats found in fish actually decrease bad" cholesterol and protect blood cells.

Brown rise: One of the best natural sources for minerals and fibers, rise is high in complex carbohydrates that are absorbed gradually and help the body balance its energy levels.

About the Author

Kadence Buchanan writes articles on many topics including Food, Travel, and Outdoors


Pairing Cheese and Wine  

by Kadence Buchanan

After taking my degree from the wine classes I have been following for a whole semester I do not consider myself to be an expert in wine consumption, but an amateur who likes to taste the unexpected. Our professor, a 35-years wine producer, was an extremely knowledgeable individual who managed to introduce a class of fourteen people to the proper wine drinking and the differences one should be aware of when tasting a new bottle of wine and tasting cheese. From the very first lesson, he served as wine and cheeses so as to familiarize us with the pairing of two ingredients that go so well together. In fact, as he supported, any season is appropriate for a cheese and wine party, particularly at this time of year where the need for a fast yet festive food and wine pairing is in order. But I was wondering which type of cheese should I serve with which wine?

If you have had the painful experience of attending the pairings of the uninformed and well intended, you know that boxed wine does not lend itself to a satisfying experience, even with those American cheese slices. In the chemical additive competition, it would be hard to determine, in fact, which one of these produced that post-party headache. But wine and cheese go together for more reasons than meet the eye. First of all, both are products of fermentation-wine is fermented grape juice and cheese is made from fermented milk. Second, both can express "terroir," or the taste of the place from which they come-wine expresses the roots of grapevines, while cheese the milk of animals. If one adds their shared ease of preparation, wine and cheese indeed go hand in hand -one hand holding the wine glass and the other the piece of cheese to accompany it.

But not all wines go with all cheeses. Due to their unique strong taste, cheeses different considerably and cannot be combined with any type of wine. The best way to get the feel is to explore the sensation of combining the two foods yourself. In fact, as our professor supported, "it's a veritable and delightful education for your mouth's palate." While he told us that Sauvignon Blanc is usually selected to accompany cheese, he firmly supported that the best wines for this kind of combination are those that are light and fruity. Finally, I advice you to select crisper and fruiter wines for white fresh cheese. Fatty cheese go best with rich wines or with light and zesty ones, salty cheese taste can be combined with sweet wines or high-acid ones, fruity red wines suit soft cheeses and dry sparkling wines are brilliant with a bloomy white rind. Finally the classic combination of Champagne and brie can always appear on your table.

Remember that the key to successful events is variety. Offering a wide range of both wines and cheeses will make your guest feel special and your party successful, interesting and enjoyable.

About the Author

Kadence Buchanan writes articles on many topics including Food, Travel, and Golf


Garlic Fights More Than Vampires

by Kadence Buchanan

Closely related to onion, shallot, and leek, garlic has been known for more than 5,000 years for its special smell, taste and healing powers. Throughout all of recorded history, people have been using garlic for a variety of purposes; either culinary or medical. It come as a surprise to some, but apart from its legendary powers to "scare vampires away," garlic has been considered for centuries a natural health improver that originates from a simple perennial plant.

Due to its numerous components, garlic has been found to lower blood pressure and thus reduce the incidents of strokes, prevent hypertension, improve the human immune system, prevent heart disease -by enhancing the elastic properties of aorta in the elderly-increase the body's strength and energy levels, lower cholesterol levels and fight cancer-due to its high diallyl sulphide concentration. In short, garlic is one of the best natural healing herbs and culinary ingredients currently available.

From the earliest times, garlic has been used as an article for diet. In fact, garlic has been consumed by ancient civilizations on a daily basis. This herb's unique capabilities come from its components, such as calcium, selenium, zinc and potassium. Its essential oils-whose principal active agent is allicin-have made people want to praise this health fighter's strong antibiotic, antifungal and antiviral properties. From healing an upset stomach to fighting infections, garlic has been incorporated in modern medicine practices and has experienced tremendous success for its positive results.

Since garlic is easily incorporated into a meal, one can chop or crush garlic bulbs and individual cloves after peeling them or even add the whole garlic head for some extremely tasteful culinary creations, this aromatic ingredient brings an extra tone of healthy nutrition to daily cuisine. After garlic is ingested, it is absorbed into the bloodstream and then diffused through various organs. Patients suffering from intestinal upsets have added 7-9 cloves of garlic into their daily diet plan so as to keep the acids released inside the stomach from developing over a specific amount. Fresh garlic can also be directly applied in the naked skin's surface, if one suffers from athlete's foot, skin infections and acne. Moreover, fresh garlic mixed with honey can be an extremely effective home remedy for colds, throat irritations or other areas of the human respiratory system that might be affected during a period of flu.

Finally, those hesitating in adding garlic to their daily diets due to its characteristic odor that causes bad breath, there is always the solution of chewing a strong gum, fresh parsley leafs, thyme or peppermint, right after consuming a meal that contains any quantity of garlic. Always remember to choose from firm garlic bulbs, which are taut, unbroken and white or light in color. It is essential to keep garlic stored in dry, cool places and if properly stored, garlic can last for several weeks. Concluding, if you are not a garlic fun, avoid buying braids of garlic to hang on your kitchen cabinets, as its bulbs will be spoiled before you have a chance to use them. Keep in mind that garlic is an excellent germs fighter, antibiotic and powerful health agent, making it a perfect natural addition to your meals. Do not let its odor keep it out from your fridge or cool cupboard. Eat garlic and keep health problems, such as migraines, influenza and blocked arteries, always far away.

About the Author

Kadence Buchanan writes articles on many topics including Food, Travel, and Golf





Olive Oil – What’s the Difference?

Contributed by Kelly Martinez

‘Olive oil’, ‘Virgin’, ‘Extra Virgin’, ‘Light’, ‘Pure’ - Is there a difference? If so, does it matter? Which is better? Are all olive oils ‘extra virgin’? What is ‘extra virgin olive oil’? Are all products sold as ‘olive oil’ essentially the same thing? Here are some answers in plain English:

What is ‘Olive Oil’

A. Olive oil is olive juice, plain and simple. 

What is ‘Virgin?’

A. Virgin means mechanical extraction. The oil or juice is extracted by machines with no chemicals used in the process.

What is ‘Extra’?

A. Mechanically extracted (virgin) olive oil is not all the same quality. 'Extra' is the highest quality and is thus classified because it goes through a battery of tests, both laboratory (analytical) as well as 'taste' (a cutting by an olive oil master similar to the way wines are taste tested). Virgin olive oil that is judged to have ‘no defects’ is classified as extra. So ‘extra virgin’ means – mechanically extracted olive juice that passes laboratory and taste testing with no defects.

Olive oil with slight defects, but that is still good for human consumption is classified as ‘Fine’. Low quality oil with numerous defects is classified as either ‘Ordinary’ or ‘Lampante’ (lamp oil). This oil is either used for industrial purposes or is chemically refined.

What is ‘refined’ oil?

A. Olive oil that is not suitable for human consumption is refined by a heat and chemical process. Chemically refined oil is totally insipid (0% acidity) which means it is flavorless and no quality standards stated or implied. Refined oil is mixed with virgin for color and flavor.

What is ‘pomace’ oil?

A. Pomace is produced by a heat and chemical process from the waste of the 'virgin' olive oil after the virgin olive oil is extracted. It is also insipid (0% acidity) with no flavor and no quality standards stated or implied. Pomace is used as a cheap alternative to ‘refined’ oil in order to lower the product cost of the packers who mix it with virgin and refined oils.

What is ‘pure’ olive oil? What is ‘light’ olive oil? What are ‘olive oil blends’?

A. 'Pure', 'Light', 'Extra Light', etc. are not olive oil classifications. They are mixes of refined and/or pomace with virgin oil. Mixes (or blends as packers like to call them) are generally 90-95% pomace/refined with 5–10% virgin oil. Some packers mix in seed, soybean, hazelnut or other oils.

Is there a difference between extra virgin olive oil and the refined oil mixes?

A. Yes. They are two entirely different products. Refined mixes are cheap to produce. Because they are sold at a premium price the mixes benefit the seller more than the consumer.

Extra virgin olive oil is an entirely natural product and is more expensive to produce. Extra virgin olive oil is much better tasting than the refined mixes and provides all of the health benefits that are associated with olive oil.

About the Author

Kelly Martinez 

Article Source:  http://www.articlematrix.com



Different Coffee Methods: But Which One Do You Like?

Walk into any house or specialty coffee shop and you will find a myriad of different brands of coffees and methods of coffee brewing. Every one has their own coffee making process, but here are the most common methods explained.

Instant coffee, invented in the early 1900’s, has grown and improved over the years. Instant coffee is created by from coffee beans, but during the first stage of harvesting the coffee is made into a coffee concentrate by dehydrating the beans to produce a powder or grainy coffee substance. This allows consumers to just add water to the substance to enjoy a quick cup of coffee. This type of coffee stays fresher longer than traditional grinded coffee beans, but may lack the taste of a fresh brewed cup.

The filter method of brewing coffee is the most common used process today. Ground coffee beans are measured into a filter and then hot water is poured on top. This can be done by hand or in an electric coffee pot, which can be found in just about any home across the world.

The percolator method consists of placing coarsely ground coffee in a metal filter that is placed in a pitcher with cold water. The percolator heats the cold water, making it bubble up into the metal filter. After the percolating process if finished, a nice pot of coffee is ready and waiting to be consumed.

The espresso method of brewing, which was perfected by Italy, forces hot water through a finely grinded coffee bean, making a very strong coffee solution. It then is drained through the machine into cups. If desired, Espresso can become a lighter, frothy liquid known as cappuccino just by adding steamed milk. Espresso is commonly drunk in the United States and beyond, and is considered a delicacy.

The Arab or Turkish coffee brewing method is very easy – the ground coffee bean and two teaspoons of sugar are boiled three times in an ibriq – a small copper pot. This coffee brewing method isn’t all too common in the United States, but is a general practice for Arab culture.

Brewing Flavored coffee is also commonly used in specialty coffee venues and homes across the United States. One can easily purchase different flavored coffee beans in grocery stores or specialty coffee shops for a pretty penny. In order to make coffee beans contain added flavors, they are combined during the roasting process. Different flavors like chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla are added on the bean while they are being roasted. Then the beans are processed as usual, and sent to markets world-wide. Instead of purchasing the flavored coffee beans, one can actually add special syrups containing flavoring right to their cup – something many specialty coffee shops offer.

The plunger method of coffee brewing involves warming a pot and then adding coarsely ground coffee beans in the bottom of it. Hot water is then added to create coffee. One can purchase mesh to divide the coffee beans from the liquid, but they do not last long. This method isn’t at all convenient, and may turn up grounds in your drinking experience. This is commonly used for camping and other outdoor activities if a percolator isn’t readily available.

Article Source: http://www.kokkada.com

Robert Michael is a writer for Rgb Coffee which is an excellent place to find coffee links, resources and articles. For more information go to: www.rgbcoffee.com



Eating Low on The Food Chain: Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism is becoming more and more popular. Some people chose to become vegetarian because of health issues, animal right issues or they simply don’t enjoy the taste of meat. There are several types of vegetarians which include semi vegetarians, who still eat meat, but eat meat and all animal products in small amounts. These type of vegetarians usually eat this way because of a health problem such as high blood pressure, obesity or heart disease. Lacto-ovo vegetarians don’t eat any meat but include dairy products and eggs in their diet, this is the most common type of vegetarian in Western cultures. There are also lacto vegetarians, who do not eat eggs, but still eat dairy. The last and most extreme type of vegetarian is a vegan. This type of vegetarian doesn’t include any type of animal products in their diet, including honey and gelatins. They often avoid wearing clothing made out of leather or wool and only use products which are not tested on animals. Most vegans become vegetarians because of issues concerning animal rights. Some vegetarians will only eat white meats, such as chicken or fish, or will only eat meat that is labeled “free range”, which indicates that the animals were not raised under cruel conditions.

A lot of people who eat meat can’t understand how a vegetarian can be healthy. The truth is that vegetarians tend to be a lot healthier than meat eaters. Statistics show that meat eaters are three times more likely to develop heart disease or breast cancer than vegetarians. Meat eaters are also 400% more likely to develop colon cancer. Eating too much meat has also been linked to obesity and excess weight. On average, vegetarians live about 6 years longer than meat eaters.

If you decide you want to become vegetarian, you have to make sure you are consuming enough healthy foods. A healthy vegetarian doesn’t survive off of white bread and pasta alone. Make sure to include a lot of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain pastas, breads and rice, lots of beans and legumes, soy proteins, tofu, and nuts. Make sure you get adequate amounts of calcium by eating a lot of soy milk, tofu, spinach, kale and other vegetables high in calcium. If you are still eating dairy products and eggs, make sure you are consuming them in healthy amounts.

By switching to a vegetarian diet, you will improve you’re health and lose weight as long as you are eating the right foods. There is a lot of information on the internet concerning the issue of vegetarianism, so you can find out which type of vegetarianism is right for you.

Article Source: http://www.kokkada.com

Author Barney Garcia is a proud contributing author and enjoys writing about many different topics. Please visit my web sites @ Diets for Health and Detox for Health



Great Health Benefits Of Seafood

Seafood contains essential oils that are an important part of your diet. Oils provide the source of energy we need and they are also great flavor enhancers. More importantly, they are a source of significant fatty acids.

Seafood oils are unique and have great nutritional benefits to our body. This oil contains the omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, specifically the eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Our body only produces small amounts of these important fatty acids; therefore we need to rely on other sources for this essential nourishment. Seafood is one of the best sources of these nutrients. In fact, oils are the second biggest components in most seafood.

Eating seafood just once or twice a week can provide good health benefits. Eating fresh seafood is a great way to obtain your required dose of these essential oils. Oils extracted from seafood are also available as nutritional supplements.

Oils derived from seafood help prevent some of the most deadly diseases today, including Alzheimer's disease, asthma, arteriosclerosis, bipolar disorder, bronchitis, cancer, heart diseases and more.

The omega-3 oils decrease the risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. They are also beneficial to infants' brain and eye development.

The oils in seafood can also prevent osteoporosis. This is because the oils improve calcium absorption in our bones and can prevent the bones from becoming brittle.

According to recent findings, Omega-3 also helps improve people's immune functions, thereby reducing infections.

Seafood oils are known to have properties that lower blood pressure, benefiting especially those suffering from hypertension.

Another kind of oil found in seafood is the omega-6 fatty acid. This is important for growth and plays an important role in people's health and well-being.

Eating a seafood diet can also help you reduce weight. For years, seafood has been part of many weight loss programs. This is because, unlike diet pills, seafood is natural and has beneficial properties to people.

However, fish can rot quickly. Therefore, you should cook it the day you buy it. Here are some tips for preparing seafood:

* If you do not plan to cook the fresh seafood the day you buy it, you should store it for no longer than two days at very cold temperatures.

* If you are going to thaw the fish, keep it in the refrigerator or thaw it under cold water. Do not leave it to thaw on your kitchen counter. This is because the nutritional value of the seafood may diminish.

* You can prepare many delicious seafood dishes from great seafood recipes. You can fry or grill seafood. You can combine it with fruits and vegetables to make it even more delicious. You can marinate it and further enhance its flavor and get rid of its unique smell.

* Some people do not want to eat seafood for fear of choking on the tiny bones. In this case you can request the fish store to help you remove these fish bones.

Remember that seafood is not only delicious; it can also provide wonderful benefits to your health.

Article Source: http://www.kokkada.com

For a more comprehensive look at seafood visit Susan's sites Seafood Market, Seafood Recipe and Fresh Seafood.



The Importance Of Starting Your Day The Right Way

 Most people will agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is meant to provide you with the energy and nutrients that you need in order to start your day off right. Let us analyze this term more closely. To 'break fast' means to end a long period of time when someone has not had any food. This is entirely true, if you think about the fact that you have spent most of the night sleeping. After a long night of sleeping, you will definitely feel the need to fill up and have a good meal. Starting the day without having breakfast is like trying to get through the day without anything to give you the power to do your tasks properly. Breakfast is the single thing that gets you going so you can hit the road and succeed in whatever you may be doing.

People should eat breakfast, even if they are not feeling hungry at all. Otherwise they may be tempted to snack during the morning and end up eating a lot of high-sugar or high-fat foods. This will surely give them lots of calories, but not much nutrition.

You have probably heard the saying that one should have breakfast like a king, lunch like a lord and dine like a pauper! This is entirely true! Breakfast is important for all ages, not just children. Studies showed that more and more people, especially teenagers, are missing breakfast. More girls skip breakfast than boys do, in an attempt to watch their weight. In fact research has shown that teens who eat a balanced breakfast, weigh less than those who have a sugary one or skip it all together. This is all because you will have to refuel on chocolate bars and crisps if you don't have a good enough meal in the morning. The immediate cause of this is weight gain on the long term.

Starting from the fact that most of the leading causes of death and chronic diseases are preventable, we can say that adding breakfast to your eating pattern is a major step to improving your health and your lifestyle. Scientific research has shown that eating breakfast regularly is a factor in maintaining health. It's true! People who regularly eat breakfast even stay slimmer! Not to speak of the fact that they are more active throughout the day!

Article Source: http://www.kokkada.com

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What's cool about coconuts

 A switch to a raw, vegan, natural foods lifestyle requires a little creativity and a lot of getting used to. It may feel at first as if we are giving up more than we are gaining.

When I became a 'raw dude' I expanded my tastes by experimenting and trying different foods that I previously paid little or no attention to. One of these newfound treasures was coconut.

I am blessed to live in a tropical climate where coconuts grow in abundance so that also had an influence on my desire to include more coconut in my daily diet. I've heard amazing things about the healing properties of coconut oil- some of which I will share in this article in hopes that you'll be convinced to give coconut a try.

You can't keep a good oil down!

The false and misleading information that has been widely distributed marking coconut oil, or saturated fats, as bad was pushed by the corn oil industry. As we know, whenever huge profits are at stake, the truth is hidden and replaced with lies to support the profit agenda.

However, coconut oil which is far more nutritious and beneficial than corn oil, safflower oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, and even olive oil- contains no dangerous trans-fatty acids. Trans-fats can raise LDLs, commonly known as 'bad' cholesterol, and lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more.

Coconut oil increases metabolism and supports healthy weight loss.

Coconut oil's saturated fat is a medium-chain fatty acid which means it is digested more easily than other fats. Whereas, other fats are stored in the body's cells, the medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are rapidly broken down and converted into energy putting less strain on the liver, pancreas, and digestive system. By activating the metabolism, coconut oil is outstanding for those with thyroid issues.

Coconut oil is antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-cancerous. It enhances the immune system by destroying lipid-coated viruses such as HIV, herpes, influenza, and various pathogenic bacteria.

There are many uses for pure, virgin coconut oil. If you are interested in getting a more in-depth view of healthy saturated fats that should be included in your diet, Dr. Mary Enig's, Eat Fat, Lose Fat : The Healthy Alternative to Trans Fats, is a clear, understandable read on 'good' fats. Dr. Enig provides a lot of information on coconut oil as well as other healthy, saturated fats.

Uses of Coconut Oil:

* As a stable cooking oil
* salad dressing
* shakes, smoothies, juices
* skin moisturizer
* massage oil

I feel the best and most complete benefits come from the whole, natural coconut eaten regularly as a part of a natural foods diet. But if you don't happen to have a coconut tree in your backyard then you must make sure you are getting the highest quality virgin coconut oil.

Some requirements to look for would be:

* certified organic, USDA standards
* low-level heating to preserve natural nutrients
* made from fresh coconuts, not dried
* no chemical additives
* no refinement
* non-GMO
* no hydrogenation
* no hybridized coconuts

Superior quality makes a big difference, not only in regards to health and safety, but also in regards to taste and cooking quality if you use it in sautees and stir-frys. However you use your coconut oil, you can be assured that you are fortifying yourself with healthy, natural foods that taste good and are good for you!

Article Source: http://www.kokkada.com

Edwin Geronimo is a writer, musician, explorer. Edwin has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and has been raw/vegan and a health enthusiast for more than 7 years. For more interesting info on topics related to alternative health and life enrichment, visit nappy-head.com




Storing Food - The Basics

 In The Refrigerator

Foods stored in the refrigerator or freezer should be in excellently wrapped packaging such as cellophane and tin foil or in sealed containers such as zip lock bags and plastic bowls with lids and locking mechanisms. A pad lock is suggested to keep kids and spouses out of your favorite ice creams. The main point is that the food is sealed; nothing gets in nothing gets out.

Food sealed effectively preserves flavor and moisture also thwarting any attempts of other foods with dripping juices and stronger aromas seeping out and transferring into dishes they are not meant to be in. Not to mention making a refrigerator much fresher and easier to clean.

It is crucial to keep raw meats and poultry sealed as best as possible due to their tendency to drip and seep bacteria into foods not intended for cooking or even your leftovers. This can cause a common illness called "food poisoning".

Perishable foods should be kept at a temperature of 35 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit to maximize freshness. These foods include but are not limited to all meats (beef, pork, poultry, fresh water fish and seafood), eggs, all dairy products (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc.), most fruits, and most vegetables.

Why does cooling or refrigerating help preserve foods? Well the basic science is simple. Temperature is a measurement which tells us how fast molecules are moving. The refrigerator is a tool which slows the molecules in food thus decreasing the rate at which the food spoils. The warmer the food is the faster the rate of spoilage, which is why freezing our food is so advantageous. Freeze foods at temperatures lower than zero degrees Fahrenheit for longer storage periods.

Conversely, Cryopathy or the "destruction of tissue by freezing" is where the molecules in living matter such as meat slow down so much that they loose their molecular cohesiveness and break down. This is what occurs when something decays. Thus frost burn on meat or any food is actually frozen decay, icky, don’t eat it.

However, refrigerator companies still see no reason to integrate a thermometer, allowing us to tell what temperature our food is at. They instead use this dial with a number or a red and blue image indicating colder or hotter. The dial only controls the refrigeration of the food and does not tell us what temperature the refrigerator is at.

Consequently whether storing, preparing, or serving your food it is essential to keep it at the correct temperature. Get your self a nice freezer and refrigerator thermometer. Don’t be weird about the temperature of your food just keep on eye things. You’ll notice that because the refrigerator is controlled by a dial it refrigerates at that same rate no matter what how cold or hot it may really be inside of the refrigerator, thus in the winter you may need to turn your dial down in order to not freeze your milk.

Storing Fresh Fruits

Fruits that can be stored at room temperature while ripening include but are not limited to apricots, kiwi, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, pineapples, and plums. Once they have ripened refrigerate and eat within 2-3 days for maximum freshness.

Apples stored in a refrigerator stay crisper longer however they can be stored at a cool room temperature. Other fruits that can be stored at a cool room temperature include bananas, dates, lemons, limes, grapefruit, and oranges. Apples can be kept at this temperature for a few days, citrus fruits up to a week, and dates for several weeks, any longer than that toss them in your refrigerator.

Fruits purchased while ripe include but are not limited to berries, cherries, figs, grapes, melons, pomegranates, and tangerines. These should be refrigerated and eaten in about 2 to 3 days. Pomegranates seem to last longer but don’t wait too long they can be expensive.

Storing Fresh Vegetables

Many vegetables can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Yet the ideal for many vegetables is in a dark cool ventilated room at a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit. These veggies include chayote, garlic, onion, potato and sweet potato, rutabaga and winter squash. These vegetables can be kept in this environment for about 2 months.

Remember that technically a tomato is a fruit not a vegetable, despite what it tastes like or what type of plant it grows on. Tomatoes should be ripened at room temperature then refrigerated.

Some vegetables spoil faster than others and should be refrigerated; peas and corn should be eaten as soon as possible while carrots and cabbage can be stored for longer. In most cases do not wash the vegetable until you are ready to serve and eat it, this prevents mold and rot. However, celery, curly endive, escarole, hearty greens, herbs, lettuce, spinach and watercress should be washed before storage.

Storing Canned and Dry Foods

Having a full pantry can be fun and reassuring. Yet keeping your canned and dry goods past their date of expiration or even past their freshness date can be bad when cooking for taste and nutrition. These foods should be kept in a cool dry cabinet no warmer than 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Indispensable items such as flour, salt, sugar, pasta, and grains should be sealed in humidity proof containers.

Further more moving these items to puncture and spill proof containers such as jars and plastic bins can greatly improve organization and make cleaning your cabinets much easier. Refined grains tend to last longer than whole-grain items do, so keep an eye on your whole-wheat flour and brown rice, perhaps in see through containers.

To add protein to your diet open all your bags and boxes of dry goods. Wait bug hovel saturation to peak then cook and serve, yummy! There is nothing like whole wheat pancakes and some sweet little bugs.

Dried spices and herbs keep their value to your cooking endeavors better in tightly sealed jars. Light is there enemy store your precious herbs in a dark place in a dark sealed jar, glass or ceramic if possible. Oils are the same way except make sure they are airtight and spill proof, a cooler place than the herbs and spices is more desirable for oils. Nut oils can be preserved longer if refrigerated.

Storing Fresh Herbs and Spices

Fresh is better than dried in my opinion and should be used whenever possible. Their scent and color can make all the difference in an ordinary dish that you have become board with. Many herbs can be grown at home in a pot on your window seal and have become easier to find at niche grocery stores and even supermarkets.

Fresh herbs are quicker to expel their flavor than dried herbs thus they should be chopped just before using and added to hot dishes towards the end of cooking. Some herbs you should not chop or cut, such as a bay leaf, these are so potent that it may be detrimental to your meal if you did chop it up, not to mention hard to chew and swallow. Many people even take herbs like this out of the soups so as not to have it accidentally eaten by a naГЇve friend.

When substituting fresh with dry herbs and spices or vice versa us the ratio of 1 teaspoon dried to 1 tablespoon fresh.

Though herbs are quick to impart their flavor spices are a different story. Spices typically need a longer amount of time to pass on their flavor and aroma. So follow the recipe directions and use your experience and knowledge to know when the directions are flawed or incomplete when adding the spices. Spices should be ground freshly just using a spice mill, nutmeg grater, or even a mortar and pestle. You will find an amazingly distinct difference in pre-ground and freshly ground spices.

Article Source: http://www.kokkada.com

Recipe Man is an advocate of recipes and appliances. Suggested recipe link: shepards pie Suggested kitchen appliance link: crock pots










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This page was last updated on: Monday, December 11, 2006