Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:13 am Post subject: Nutrition and Food Related
15 recipe ideas for heart-healthy meals
To mark World Heart Day, The Ismaili Nutrition Centre shares 15 heart-smart recipes to help you protect your heart.
We often hear that a balanced diet can promote heart health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. With World Heart Day approaching on September 29th, according to Dr Todd Anderson, Director of the Libin Cardiovascular Institute at the University of Calgary, "It is a good time to reflect on how important lifestyle interventions are in the prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. Nutrition and healthy eating are the basis of all international guidelines for the control of dyslipidaemia, hypertension and diabetes." People of all ages, backgrounds and countries are impacted by the burden of non-communicable diseases. Dr Anderson explains, "A balanced diet with optimal calorie intake is our first line defence against the risk factors that have made cardiovascular disease the leading cause of death worldwide. Adoption of local nutrition guidelines can dramatically lower cardiovascular risk and help to reverse the worrisome increase in the incidence of obesity related diseases particularly diabetes."
Research indicates that meals that incorporate vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, and lean sources of protein are excellent options for a heart-healthy diet. In collaboration with Aga Khan Health Board USA, The Ismaili Nutrition Centre is delighted to bring you 15 heart-smart, delicious dishes - packed with nourishing ingredients. What steps will you take to protect your heart health?
To mark World Vegetarian Day, The Ismaili Nutrition Centre shares 13 delicious meatless meals to power up your diet.
A plant-based diet rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds offers a myriad of health benefits. In particular, it can reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers. Many national and international healthcare providers caution that a high intake of red and processed meat is associated with an elevated risk of death from heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses. Going meatless for one or two meals a week is a great way to start reaping the benefits of a plant-based diet. But, how to start? Check out this multicultural array of plant-based dishes, packed with legumes, vegetables, nuts, and the most important ingredient - tastiness! Are you ready to incorporate plant power into your meals?
According to Hippocrates, “All disease begins in the gut.”
And while this may not be 100% true for every disease in every person, a vast amount of research indicates that our gut (digestive system) has an enormous role in many diseases than we used to think. And we’re not just talking about heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, IBD, etc. We’re talking about all kinds of issues like allergies, pain, insulin resistance (a hallmark of type 2 diabetes), fatigue, higher weights, mood disorders, and nutrient deficiencies.
There are a lot of reasons for this.
Our gut is the portal to the outside world. It’s here where we take in disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and parasites. We also take in nutrients (and toxins) through our gut. The nutrients we ingest and absorb are the building blocks of every single part of our body. We’re just learning the connections between our gut and other areas of our body, like our brain (have you heard of “the gut-brain axis”). Not just our gut per se; but, its friendly resident microbes too. These guys also have newly discovered roles in our gut health and overall health.
As you’ve probably figured out, trying to eat healthy all the time is really hard!
And there’s so much conflicting information out there about which foods can prevent and heal various diseases that it can be confusing for anyone—even people who are paying attention to food labels and doing their homework.
To help cut through that confusion, I invite you to attend the upcoming ‘The Healing Power of Food’ FREE Online Summit.
There's a delicious healing tea that has been revered in India since ancient times for its powerful effects. Down below, I've shared full details on how to make it, as well as some of the remarkable health benefits it possesses.
Golden Goddess Healing Tea
The flavorful and potent formula below has been used (in various forms) for over 2000 years in India and the Far East as a daily health tonic.
I’ve been making it quite a bit lately, because one of its main ingredients, turmeric, is a go-to cold remedy, among its hundreds of other benefits.
As you heard about in the Remedy Docuseries, turmeric is known as the “Golden Goddess” because of the seemingly limitless number of health benefits its golden-hued rhizome bestows upon us. Turmeric contains at least 20 antibiotic compounds, 14 known anti-cancer compounds, 10 antioxidants and 12 anti-inflammatory agents, to name a few.
The combination of turmeric, ginger, pepper and lemon is perfect for the colds and sore throats that come with the fall and winter months.
And when you add in the energizing and mood-elevating effects of tulsi (holy basil) plus a good honey, you’re left with a supercharged tea that delights the taste buds.
Once you begin to harness the power of herbs, your tea kettle will take on a whole new meaning in your life.
Golden Goddess Tea Recipe
3 cups water
1 fresh turmeric root (1 to 2 inches), peeled and thinly sliced
(*Or you can use dried turmeric powder)
1 ginger root (1 inch), thinly sliced
5 tulsi leaves (fresh or dried), whole
1 lemon, fresh squeezed
Pinch of ground black pepper
Honey to taste
- In a tea kettle or saucepan, add water, turmeric, ginger, pepper and tulsi.
- Bring to a boil and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Using a small strainer (optional), pour the liquid only into 2 serving cups.
- Squeeze 1/2 of a lemon into each cup.
- Add honey to taste.
- Serve and enjoy!
(If you used the dried forms of any of the herbs above, it’s a good idea to pour the tea through a strainer and then into serving cups.)
One of our core team members, Mileen Patel, introduced me to this recipe a few years back and it blew me away. Once you try it and experience the feeling of wellness that comes over you while drinking, you’ll know why it’s such a cherished beverage in India!
Tazim Giga-Punjani: Edmonton’s uncrowned “sugar cookie queen”
BY ISMAILIMAIL POSTED ON OCTOBER 11, 2018
Tazim is Edmonton’s uncrowned “sugar cookie queen”
BY SULTAN JESSA
Tazim Giga-Punja: Edmonton’s uncrowned “sugar cookie queen”EDMONTON – Alberta: She is regarded as Edmonton’s uncrowned sugar cookie queen.
Tazim Giga-Punjani has probably made more than 10,000 cookies for friends and relatives in the past decade.
“The cookies are all hand decorated so they do take a long time to make,” she said. “The first step is to make the dough (my secret recipe), chill the dough, roll it out and cut out with my countless cookie cutters. Then they are baked until slightly golden brown.”
Once baked, she hand decorates them with different colors of royal icing. The icing has to dry for eight hours so colors do not bleed.
The cookies need to dry for at least eight hours to ensure the cookies don’t bleed into each other.
Tazim Giga-Punja: Edmonton’s uncrowned “sugar cookie queen”“I would say from start to finish, it takes four to five hours to make two dozen cookies,” said Giga-Punjani. “The more complicated the design, the more time it takes.”
It all started in 2009 when she had open heart surgery to fix a leaky heart valve at the age of 36 after suffering from heart palpitations and other problems for 16 years.
“This surgery changed my life and it looked like I was given a brand new life.”
Giga-Punjani had pretty rough and tough six months of recovery.
Tazim Giga-Punja: Edmonton’s uncrowned “sugar cookie queen”On the first anniversary of her complicated surgery, she threw a “Celebration of Life “party.
This was to thank friends and family members who were there for her during the “difficult and scary time.”
“I reminded everyone that life is short and they needed to stop and smell the roses.
She wanted to present everyone with a party favor but could not find anything with hearts that she liked.
“So I baked heart shaped cookies, decorated them, placed them in cellophane bags with pretty ribbons and a thank you note.
Tazim Giga-Punja: Edmonton’s uncrowned “sugar cookie queen”“All my guests liked the cookies.”
Giga-Punjani decided baking sugar cookies was a good hobby.
Today, she is passionate about baking cookies.
Friends gave her tips on decorating cookies and that was the launch of “Sugar Mammas.”
Watching decorated cookies inspires her.
“I do not have any kind of training,” she said. “I learn by trial and error. I also watch you tube videos.”
Tazim Giga-Punja: Edmonton’s uncrowned “sugar cookie queen”“My cookies are far from perfect but everyone seems to love them and even crave for them.”
She mostly makes cookies for friends and relatives.
The first cookies she made showed sporting events like football, soccer, and basket ball.
Now, she makes cookies for all occasions.
“At the time, I thought my cookies looked great. Now, when I look back, I realize how horrible they were. When I look at professional cookie decorators, I know I still have a long way to go. But, I am learning new tricks every day.”
Giga-Punjani makes only sugar cookies.
Tazim Giga-Punja: Edmonton’s uncrowned “sugar cookie queen”
Tazim, Shakil and their two children
“I make them thick. A lot of people assume these are short bread cookies. They are crunchy on the outside and melt in your mouth…they are soft on the inside.”
Giga-Punjani has always been interested in photography.
She enjoys taking photos of her cookies and sharing them with friend and relatives on the social media.
“The most pleasure I get from these cookies is hearing how these cookies put smiles on people’s faces,” she said. “This makes my day a little sweeter.”
Ultimate egg tricks video showing 40 incredible edible egg tricks you can try in your home kitchen.
Life hacks with eggs that are shown in this video:
1. Pealing an egg with a shaker
2. Pealing a boiled egg
3. Bacon cups with eggs (not for Ismailis)
4. Fried ham and egg bread (not for Ismailis)
5. Avo eggs
6. Bacon egg and blueberries bunny (not for Ismailis)
7. How to hold up an egg
8. Microwave egg
9. Herbs in egg
10. Pepper and Onion Rings
11. Different fried eggs
12. Egg funnel
13. Egg candles
14. How long to cook an egg
15. How fresh is an egg
16. How old is an egg
17. Baking eggs
18. Bouncy egg
19. Chopstick egg
20. Separating an egg with your hand
21. Bottle yolk grabber
22. Egg cutter
23. Cheesy fried bread
24. Scrambled egg in microwave
25. Pepper and Onion Rings
26. Herb Fried Egg
27. Colourful Eggs
28. Colourful Eggs 2
29. Heart Eggs
30. Egg sandwich
31. Heart Yolk
32. Heart Sausage Eggs
33. Poached Eggs
34. Straw Hack
35. Getting shell out with water
36. Eggshell cleaner hack
37. Egg Bunny
38. Boiled egg in kettle
39. Egg Basket
40. Microwave fried eggs
My dad and colleague, John Robbins, and I are on a mission. We’ve written books and led events that have reached millions of people with empowering food and health knowledge.
What we’ve seen, time and again, is that the people who get results are the ones who take action.
That’s why we’ve decided to take the biggest step since we founded Food Revolution Network in 2012. We’re preparing to launch a membership community, called WHOLE Life Club, to help you sustain and optimize your healthy habits — for life.
When you join, you’ll get cutting-edge, expert wisdom and fabulous, nutritious recipes every week. You’ll also gain access to a welcoming community of health-minded people who will cheer you on, celebrate your victories, and support you in achieving your health and lifestyle goals.
Over the next week, in celebration of this launch, I’m hosting 3 powerful, live Action Hour events with world-leading health revolutionaries. And you’re invited — for free!
#1: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease with Joel Kahn, MD
#2: How You Can Eat to Starve Cancer with William Li, MD
#3: Effective Solutions for Healthy Digestion with Ritamarie Loscalzo, DC, CCN
The first event about heart health starts on Saturday, October 20th.
Go here now to claim your spot for these complimentary Action Hours.
They found the answer during Udeema’s 2014 visit to Belize, where a perfect marriage of history, tradition and mother-nature birthed an award-winning social enterprise that would support farmers to earn extra income, employ youth, improve health and produce products sustainably.
Their entrepreneurial venture, Naledo Belize, combines Nareena’s name with Toledo, the district in Belize where the turmeric is sourced. The company purchases turmeric directly from local farmers and uses it to manufacture Truly Turmeric the world’s first wild crafted, whole root turmeric paste.
It’s just turmeric, you may say. But make no mistake, Naledo’s mission, their end product and the social element used to produce it are transformative. The company has been shortlisted for a SIAL Paris 2018 Product Innovation award, which recognises those who help shape what we eat today, and tomorrow.
At the heart of the sacred recipe below is one ingredient in particular that has quite a tale to tell.
Known as Lens Culinaris, the lentil is one of the oldest food sources in human history.
A vast majority of the ingredients we use today were cultivated after we humans settled down into agrarian societies and began planting and harvesting on a seasonal calendar. But there are some that were pivotal food staples of our ancestors long before that.
I’m talking about primal foods that hunters and gatherers treasured for their taste and nutrition. The everyday lentil, as plain as it might seem, is a member of that special group of ancient foods.
Evidence shows that hunter gatherers in Northern Africa and nearby regions of Southwest Asia consumed wild lentils over 13,000 years ago. And guess what?
They’re LOADED with nutrition.
Dried lentils are 26% protein (one of the most protein-rich legumes) and are a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, lysine and folate. Plus they have a ton of dietary fiber. It’s no wonder our distant forebearers turned to them as a primary source of plant sustenance.
Who needs fiction when the truth is so fascinating?
When you’re crafting the delicious soup below, keep in mind the not-so-ordinary history of its ingredients.
Click here to continue reading this recipe on our blog
WhatsApp Is Changing the Way India Talks About Food
The application, blamed for all kinds of mayhem on the subcontinent, has proved a boon for farmers, home cooks and chefs who once lacked a way to share.
But among Indians who produce, cook or care about food, the service has been a godsend. In a country where culinary traditions are often spoken but not written, WhatsApp has provided an open, democratic forum where Indians can share and codify their knowledge and skills, in new ways, and even profit from them.
“One of the problems with documenting Indian food is that the people who prepare it” — mainly homemakers, farmers and young cooks — “tend to be less empowered and less formally educated,” said Vikram Doctor, 51, a journalist in Mumbai. “They just don’t document. They are not comfortable using a computer or blogging, or people just don’t ask them.”
Are whole grains better for us than those that have been refined? Researchers at Tufts and Harvard Universities think so. Learn about the health benefits of adding whole grains to your diet.
This article is part of a series by the Ismaili Nutrition Centre that examines evidence-based studies published in scientific journals, and distills what they mean to our readers.
Whole grains are a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and can help keep you feeling full. Photo: Barkatali Kerai
Whole grains are a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and can help keep you feeling full. Barkatali Kerai
Whole grains are a great source of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and can help keep you feeling full. Researchers at Tufts and Harvard Universities studied 2 834 people aged 32 – 83, to see if eating whole grains (that have not been refined) are better for us. They published their results in September 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nutrition.
Those people, who ate three whole grain servings per day, such as whole-wheat bread and wild rice, had an average of 12 per cent less fat beneath their skin and 17 per cent less fat around their organs compared to those who ate very few whole grain foods. People who ate more refined grains, such as pasta and white rice, had more fat both underneath the skin and around their organs.
What this means for you
The process of “refining”, removes some of the healthiest parts of the grain (the bran and the germ). Without these parts the grains have only half the protein and less than half the fibre of their whole grain counterparts. Whole grains include whole wheat, whole oats/oatmeal, whole rye, whole grain corn, brown and wild rice, buckwheat, triticale, barley, bulgur (cracked wheat), and quinoa.
Multigrain and 100 per cent wheat products are not always "whole grain", and those labelled “whole grain” are not always high in fibre. Check the package labels to find higher fibre products. Try eating more whole grain chapattis or roti and seeded breads more often.
For more information on whole grains, see Make the whole grain a part of your healthy lifestyle, or the Harvard School of Public Health Website.
It’s Time to Study Whether Eating Particular Diets Can Help Heal Us
The smatterings of advice gathered from the internet prompted a thought experiment. What if you went to your doctor with a specific condition, and she prescribed a medicine? But when you asked her why you were taking this pill, she said, “Oh, because your ancestors took it.” Or “because it tastes good,” or, worse, “because it was what the pharmaceutical industry could make most profitably and effectively.”
Most of us, I imagine, would find ourselves irate over such answers. Yet we blithely accept these standards for human diet: We are stuck with our diets because our ancestors ate this way, because food tastes good or because agribusiness has persuaded us about dietary compositions. Unlike most medicines, whose effects we sift, measure and scrutinize, often using the most rigorous clinical trials, human diets — the other set of molecules we put into our bodies — have gone relatively unexamined. We are living in a molecular age of targeted therapies, in which strategies like immune modulation, genome sequencing and gene editing are used to probe and alter human biology. And yet, while aspects of human diet have undoubtedly changed, we may be eating what we eat for no good reason at all.
This was one of my personal favorite Indian street food dishes in Kolkata, India. It's amazing!
Few things are more beautifully displayed on the streets of Kolkata, India, than a dish known as Ghugni Chaat. It's bright yellow sculpture of yellow peas that sit on a podium while slowly simmering for hour upon hour. If the bright yellowness doesn't catch you attention, the bright red tomatoes, chilies, and cilantro will surely demand your attention.
The ghugni chaat is easy to order, you simply put of your finger and ask for a portion. The vendor then proceeds to grab a leaf bowl, put in a big spoon of piping hot yellow peas, slash in a squeeze of lime, mix some fresh onions, tomatoes and cilantro in, and add salt and chili powder for even more flavoring. He then presents to you a bowl of ghugni chaat (pretty cool name too).
I ate ghugni chaat numerous times in Kolkata, India, in the New Market area. Here you'll find a tantalizing variety of Indian street food that's cheap and tasty. This place of the dish costs just 10 Rupees and you'll definitely love it!
Nankhatai: Popular Indian Snack
BY ISMAILIMAIL POSTED ON JANUARY 24, 2019
By Sultan Jessa
MONTREAL – Quebec: Nankhatai is fast becoming a favourite snack with tea time around the globe.
Nankhatai is derived from a Persian word naan, which means bread and khatai comes from the Afghani word meaning biscuit. In Afghanistan and Northeast Iran, these biscuits are called Kulcha-e-Khataye. But, this popular snack seems to have originated in Surat, India, in the 16th century at a time when the Dutch and Indians were engaged in a thriving spice trade. Over the years, nankhatai has taken different shapes, sizes and ingredients.
This soft and crunchy nankhatai was very popular among Ismailis in East Africa. Most of us know or have heard of the British and Portuguese influence on the Indian food. But, we still don’t know a lot about the Dutch fingerprints on Indian food.
During the 16th century many Dutch colonies cropped up all over the Gujarati city of Surat. Anxious for a taste of home, the Dutch people set up bakeries and often employing Parsis to run it. This went on for many years until Britain wrestled control from the Dutch. One of the Parsi run factories survived and this is where the nankhatai came from. The Parsis were always fascinated by the egg less Scottish shortbread, favored by sailors because it kept for a long time on voyages.
Gradually other items like cardamom, cashews, almonds and pistachios were added.
Today, the nankhatai we know with a light golden circle and it has a dense, brittle and buttery texture. It is excellent with a hot cup of Indian tea.
The Parsis have taken a liking to nankhatai. When my parents started the Kilimanjaro Electric Bakery in Arusha in Northern Tanzania, we used to make nankhatai but the recipe was very different.
We often distributed nankhatai in our Jamat Khana’s (praying houses) as jura or as a blessing. My late mother was exceptionally good at making nankhatais and this is when my wife Rosila took a liking to nankhatai although she does not have a sweet tooth.
Over the years, we have made some adjustments to the recipe. Our recipe is very different. Rosila found out the best khatai is made from margarines instead of butter. She normally uses Becel margarine made for baking. She prefers the margarine sticks because they come in correct measurements. My mother did not use any measurements. She only used her hand. This was too confusing for Rosila because there were no proper measurements. She watched my mother make nankhatais and devised her own measurements.
Today, I love making nankhatai and I love making it and eating it.
During a reunion in Toronto many years ago, two ladies who helped with decorations, came to me and said the thing they remembered the most about Arusha were nankhatai made in our bakery. I told the ladies I had some nankhatai with me because when we travel, we always take some snacks with us.
Here is our recipe:
One cup of margarine
One cup sugar
¾ cup semolina or sooji
¾ tsp of baking powder
Between three to four cups of all purpose flour (you add all purpose flour until it is easy to roll all the ingredients into tiny balls and then flattening them)
Method of making nankhatai
Cream margarine, sugar and add some Vanilla essence and continue mixing it until creamy
Add sooji or semolina
Add flour and baking powder until the dough is stiff and it is easy to roll it into small balls
Arrange these balls on greased cookie sheet.
We flatten the balls and use the apple core for intricate design…a very easy way
We used orange liquid food color for the dot
We use the cake mixture for making nankhatai
Switch on the oven and set it at 350 degrees
After the oven alarm goes on, place the nankhatai in the oven and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes or until the nankhatai is golden brown.
Remove from the racks and let it cool for a little while…
Signs You May Have Dairy Intolerance (Lactose, Casein & Whey)
Dairy – There are few foods as controversial as dairy. I mean, it used to be an entire food group, right? And there are definitely some people who say you need it. But, there are others who say to avoid it. And no one disputes that some people react to it. And by “react,” I mean both dairy intolerance and dairy allergies. But whether you love it, hate it, react to it, or avoid it, I have an amazing dairy-free recipe for you. (It’s one of my favs).
The Healthiest Way to Get the Calcium You Need + 9 Calcium Rich Foods
You hear that calcium is essential to strong bones. And that the best source of calcium is dairy products. But is that the whole story? How should you get the calcium you need? And what are some of the most healthy, calcium rich foods? Read on to see what the science says so you can make the best decisions for your health.
As a teenager, I remember seeing TV commercials featuring celebrities and athletes proudly wearing milk mustaches, gazing into the camera, and asking, “Got Milk?”
As the grandson of the co-founder of the Baskin-Robbins ice cream chain, that question had a particular resonance for me. And as the son of John Robbins, who walked away from an opportunity to helm that chain for ethical reasons, I knew the answer that fit for me.
“Yessir! I got almond milk!”
The Got Milk? campaign, which ran from 1993 to 2014, made an effective and lasting impression on consumers. And it’s one reason why so many consumers, even today, strongly associate calcium with milk and dairy products.
But is this message valid? Are milk and dairy products really the best places to get calcium? Are other calcium rich foods better for you? And is calcium as important as we’ve been told it is?
Health: Sindh's hunger games
Moniza Inam February 24, 2019
Sakina Mallah, 21, was married off at the age of 16 to a man 20 years older to her. During the past five years, she has had two miscarriages, besides giving birth to two underweight babies, and is currently expecting her third child. Both she and her younger child were admitted to the Nutrition Stabilisation Centre in Civil Hospital, Thatta, for the treatment of acute malnourishment — known as edema in medical terminology.
Mallah had to be given food supplements and medicines to stabilise her nutritional deficiency and sustain her pregnancy. According to her doctors, Dr Maqsood Ali Memon and Dr Sadia Usman, “Sakina is a textbook example of the rampant malnourishment and food insecurity in the country.”
Millions of Pakistanis experience chronic hunger and malnourishment. According to the Sustainable Development Policy Institute’s 2013 policy review paper, up to 58 percent of the country’s population is food insecure. Women and children suffer disproportionately because of gender discrimination, customary practices and prevalent dietary habits.
Pakistan stands at 106 among 119 developing countries, in the Global Hunger Index (GHI) of the Washington-based The International Food Policy Research Institute, lagging behind India and most African states. The problem of hunger in Pakistan is described as ‘serious’ by the GHI, and the situation could become alarming in the coming years as many rural and urban families live below the poverty line.
With up to 58 percent of the country’s population being food insecure, urgent measures are needed to alleviate the problem
According to the National Nutrition Survey (NNS) 2011, up to 58 percent of households were ‘food insecure’ at the national level. Rural households were more food insecure (60.6 percent) as compared to urban households (52.4 percent). These statistics are projected to become more alarming in the future.
According to the NNS 2011, Sindh is the most food insecure province, with up to 72 percent of the population being food insecure without access to enough food, despite the fact that it is an agrarian society and majority of the people are connected to farming and its associated professions. The Pakistan Demographic and Health Survey (2017-1 reveals that nearly 61.1 percent of children are stunted in rural Sindh, the highest percentage in the country.
Nutritional deficiency and related complications are a grave problem, with dozens of children under the age of five losing their lives because of it. Poor nutrition can lead to reduced immunity, increased susceptibility to disease, impaired physical and mental development, and reduced productivity. Experts believe that better awareness and education about a “cheap but balanced diet” among parents, especially mothers, can be useful in reducing malnourishment in Sindh.
“We diagnose numerous children with severe iron deficiency (anaemia) or low haemoglobin levels,” says Dr Memon. “Parents often complain that they are unable to afford iron-rich food, such as mutton or beef, for their children. Few are aware that affordable leafy vegetables and dates are also a great source for iron intake. In fact, malnutrition can, to a large extent, be overcome by public awareness.”
“Malnutrition, especially in newborns and children up to five years, is a complex and multidimensional problem,” says Dr Usman. “It involves many factors, such as poverty, lack of awareness regarding nutrition, child marriages, repeated pregnancies, poor birth spacing, customary practices, lack of prenatal and antenatal check-ups, underweight babies, a poor literacy rate, births by traditional birth attendants [midwives], lack of breastfeeding, lack of hygiene, etc.” However, the crux of the problem, Dr Usman elaborates, is that mothers are usually themselves severely malnourished which, along with multiple pregnancies with poor birth spacing, affects the child’s growth and its chances of survival.
Dr Ismail Memon, programme manager of Nutrition Stabilisation Programme, Government of Sindh, explains the measures taken to alleviate the problem in the province. He says, “The government has adopted a multi-sectoral approach to tackle the problem which includes the health, agriculture, fisheries, education and livestock departments, as well as the WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) programme. All these departments are working together to end the peril of malnutrition once and for all.”
Sakina Mallah says that there was not enough food to eat for her children. Traditionally, women of the family eat leftovers after the men and children have eaten. Repeated pregnancies made Mallah weak and frail. To add insult to injury, she never visited a hospital for prenatal or postnatal check-ups, LHWs never visited her and she never had access to family planning services. The men in her house are the decision-makers; the women have no say in any matter regarding family size or women’s bodily rights.
Poverty is a damaging factor which influences every aspect of Mallah’s life — be it nutrition, education, entertainment or mobility.
She was brought to the hospital only when her child was severely ill, and her husband didn’t want to lose his son.
Dr Usman says that initially they focused on the child but when they noticed that Mallah was also expecting, certain clinical tests were conducted to ascertain her nutritional status. When it was discovered that she was severely emaciated, she was given iron, folic acid and other supplements to stabilise her. She was also counselled regarding the benefits of smaller families, birth spacing, hygiene and nutrition.
Dr Lal Mir Shah, medical superintendent and surgeon at Civil Hospital, Thatta, says, “Due to the patriarchal set-up in rural areas, women’s health and nutrition is never a top priority in the family. The men want their children to be healthy but are not ready to give due importance to the health of their wives. They fail to see the connection between the health and well-being of the mother and child. As long as women are malnourished they give birth to underweight babies, who are susceptible to wasting and stunting [both resulting from acute malnutrition].”
Hilda Saeed, one of the founding members of Women’s Action Forum (WAF) and gender expert, says, “Malnourishment, by and large, exists in all social classes, including those who are well-off. There’s a lot of socio-economic disparity in Pakistan, and high poverty levels exacerbate food insecurity and nutrition among the marginalised groups. Then there are myths, such as girls shouldn’t eat eggs once they start menstruating, or that expecting mothers don’t need any special nutrition or care. These and associated facts leave long-lasting micro- and macro-nutritional deficiencies, such as stunting and wasting in children, and extremely high levels of anaemia and calcium and other deficiencies in adult women.”
Several other factors also influence the health of the communities. Adam Malik, regional programme manager working with Medical Emergency Resilience Foundation (MERF) says, “Malnutrition basically is not only a health issue. It can be prevented by improving conditions at community level by providing hygienic food, safe drinking water, the recommended standard feeding practices for infants and children.”
Mindful Eating Means Making Food Choices That Protect Our Planet
Mindful eating now involves seeking out food that is sustainably sourced
Mindfulness is a popular concept many of us are familiar with. From health-care professionals and registered dietitians just like me to entrepreneurs, career coaches and yogis: we're increasingly discovering its many benefits not only for the mind but for the body as well. But what about mindful eating?
The phrase mindful eating may conjure up several scenarios. Like eating on the go, between errands or contemplating whether to have that second serving, or even trying to avoid being on autopilot at meal times so that you can attend to your body's cues.
I know the debate all too well. I grew up in a culture where slowing down meant falling behind — at school, at work and at home. What's more, this hectic mindset transpired into my eating habits, which wreaked havoc on my digestion and energy levels and led me to explore tools to help me shift the needle — in order to feel better. This is where my journey with mindful eating began. I vividly recall starting to ask myself: Why am I eating? What am I eating? How am I eating? What's the bigger picture?
I have said before that mindful eating is simply having a greater connection with your body and with the food you consume by eating with attention and intent. However, as we learn more about the plate-to-planet connection — that our food choices can impact the entire planet — eating with intent now involves seeking out food that is sustainably sourced.
Bharazi (Vegan Coconut Curry) | Easy East African Recipe
A classic from Nairobi, East Africa, this easy Vegan Coconut Curry, aka Bharazi, will make your taste buds dance. Perfect as a one-pot dinner, this mouthwatering creamy sauce is infused with the flavors of coconut, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cilantro – to create a flavor-packed plant powered dish. Meatless Monday….check!
Yes, it’s heating up here in Toronto, and am dishing out a vegan coconut curry recipe. Well, lets just say, this is what curry dreams are made of; done in under an hour, super yummy, and all the action in one pot! No matter how hot it gets, there’s always time for a curry.
If you’ve ever been to East Africa, then you’ve surely tried this addictive combo of bharazi and madazi (coconut donut-style bread) for breakfast. It’s typically found in small restaurants or sold by street vendors. I love to serve my vegan coconut curry with grilled veggies, as a low carb option. But honestly, it tastes great with roti too. We enjoy it as a breakfast, lunch and dinner option!
How To Make Vegan Coconut Curry (Bharazi) – Step By Step
Four steps and you’ve got yourself an easy and super delicious Bharazi recipe.
Start by sautéing the onions, garlic and ginger in oil (Image 1)
Once the onions are nice and golden, add the turmeric and stir well (Image 2)
Pour in the thick and creamy coconut milk and salt (Image 3)
Add the cooked pigeon peas, stir and simmer; allowing the flavors to infuse the curry (Image 4)
Don’t forget to garnish with cilantro and chillies!
What Are The Health Benefits Of Pigeon Peas?
Pigeon peas are a legume, with a remarkable nutritional profile; protein, dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Not to mention, they’re low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium – making them – like other legumes – a healthy substitution for meats. Eating legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas), as a source of fibre and plant based protein, may help to keep blood sugars in check, prevent some types of cancers, and support a healthy gut and heart. And if that isn’t enough of a push to enjoy legumes more often, they’re also good for the planet – with a low carbon foot print.
Do Pigeon Peas Need To Be Soaked?
If you’re using raw pigeon peas, I’d recommend sprouting them, in a bowl of water for several days. Sprouting can help to increase the digestibility of pigeon peas and does change the flavor slightly. If you’re short on time, opt for cooked pigeon peas. Trust me, your vegan coconut curry will still taste mega delish!
bowl of pigeon peas coconut curry (bharazi) with red roasted pappers and lemon segments on a tray with mandazi (coconut bread)
Top Tips For Making Vegan Coconut Curry (Bharazi)
The key to a thick and creamy curry is to use a high quality coconut milk. I love the Aroy-D brand.
Don’t skim on the aromatic ingredients; onions, garlic and ginger. Remember to keep these finely chopped and brown them in the oil – to release flavor.
Take your time and allow the curry to simmer for 15-20 minutes (you won’t regret it!)
Wait to garnish with cilantro till the end. The freshness of the cilantro will add another layer of flavor.
Make a big batch and freeze to use on busy weeknights.
Perfect for times when your pantry is low in ingredients and you just need something quick and simple. These succulent and soft vegetarian kebabs (Shammi kebab-style) are packed with protein and rich in flavour! Made with black beans and sweet potato, and infused with traditional South Asian spices, to create a healthy ethnic food recipe – that the entire family will love.
seven round shammi vegetarian kebabs on a floral plate with red chilli chutney in the middle
We’ve been experimenting in the Devje household with a variety of pulses; pigeon peas and black beans being a few of our family favourites. After my last success with our pumpkin bean burger, I had to try another spin. I find, preparing these vegetarian kebabs in advance, is a guaranteed way to use them in our meals – more often. It then feels so easy, with meals done in 30 minutes (or less!). Not to mention, we look for creative ways to use them, so we never get bored. Here are a few ways we enjoy pulses:
added to wraps
to create hummus
thrown into soups
added to buddha bowls
What Is Shammi Kebab?
Shammi kebab is a South Asian pattie-style kebab, enjoyed as an appetizer. It’s typically made with mince meat (beef, lamb or chicken), along with lentils and spices. The kebab is coated in egg, and fried to create a crispy, tasty coating. My vegetarian kebabs are made completely with beans and sweet potato – with no egg coating. They’re a great alternative, if you’re looking to reduce the amount of meat in your recipes (hello #meatlessmonday!!).
How To Make Black Bean & Sweet Potato Vegetarian Kebabs – Step By Step
Just look how well the ingredients bind together. The kebabs will not fall apart when pan fried, despite the addition of tender sweet potato. Pan-frying the kebabs in a bit of oil creates a scrumptious, crispy outside – that is sure to get you hooked!
step by step preparation shots of black bean and sweet potato vegetarian kebabs
Start by thoroughly washing the potatoes. I use a sharp knife to pierce holes all over the potatoes. To make life easier, I simply cook them in the microwave – on high (Image 1).
Whilst the potatoes are cooking, pulse the beans and oil (Images 2-3) in a food processor, and add to a large mixing bowl.
When the potatoes are cooked, slice them through the middle, and scoop out the flesh. Combine with the bean mix (Images 4-5).
Stir the rest of the ingredients (except oil for frying and lemon juice) into the bean-potato mixture. I like to use my hands to combine the ingredients (Image 6).
You can use a dash of water to help shape the mixture into ten round patties (Image 7).
When you’re ready to enjoy the kebabs, heat the oil in a pan and fry the kebabs in two batches. Squeeze lemon juice over the kebabs before serving (Image .
Top Tips For Making Vegetarian Kebabs
Use a pressure cooker to boil the beans the night before, and cook the sweet potato in the microwave – to make it a cinch the next day!
Avoid over-cooking the beans, otherwise the kebabs won’t bind.
If using canned beans, make sure you drain them very well. You don’t want them to be too wet.
Choose small to medium sized sweet potatoes, to ensure they cook evenly.
Make all the patties – before frying. Let them rest in the fridge – if you time. It will make it easier to handle them.
Heat the oil well before frying so the kebabs don’t stick to the pan.
Be gentle when handing them in the pan, and avoid moving the kebabs around too much.
These are best served hot with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.
You can freeze these vegetarian kebabs for up to a month. Simply thaw and warm in the microwave, before serving.
seven round shammi vegetarian kebabs on a floral plate with red chilli chutney in the middle
Here are 5 ways we enjoy these vegetarian kebabs:
In wraps with tahini spread or chilli avocado mash
Sneaked into a sandwich – our go to, for kids’ lunches
On a quinoa salad
Alongside roasted or grilled veggies
With tender sliced avocado, a crisp bed of greens, and fermented mixed vegetables (my favourite)
Other Vegetarian Recipes You May Like
Tomato Asparagus Frittata
Tandoori Cauliflower Tacos With Cashew Marinade
Slow Cooker Black Eyed Beans Curry (Lobia)
seven round shammi vegetarian kebabs on a floral plate with red chilli chutney in the middle
Tell me, how do you enjoy beans? Have you tried my black bean and sweet potato vegetarian kebabs before? Leave me a comment and share your all-time fave sweet potato recipe?
If you try this recipe, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate it, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter! Can’t wait to see your photos.
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