Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cilantro & Coriander- A Delicious Herb For Your Circulation

Cilantro/Coriander is a love it or leave it herb. Many people enjoy eating cilantro fresh and use coriander in their curries and soups. Others can't stand the smell. But for those who enjoy it, cilantro and coriander can offer great health benefits when eaten either as fresh leaves or dried seeds.

First off, cilantro is RICH in many vitamins and minerals. It is particularly known for its vitamin A and K content, with 225% and 250% of your recommended daily intake respectively. It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic-acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta carotene, and vitamin-C. It also contains many of the minerals that are essential to good circulation and red blood cell production. 

Coriander is also high in anti-oxidents, and most people know that anti-oxidents are necessary for anti-aging and protection against many illness that appear as people grow older. Eating cilantro while you are young will help to protect your body as you grow and age (along with a healthy diet and exercise, of course!) 

coriander and cilantro

This recipe includes cilantro as a lovely garnish. I think the more the better on this dish. And if your cilantro plant has gone to seed, green coriander seeds do well too. It's really yummy!

Yields 8 to 10 side-dish servings; 6 main-course servings.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 1-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 jalapeƱo pepper, seeded if desired, then minced
4 to 5 cups vegetable broth as needed
2 pounds orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into
1/2-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
1 bay leaf
1 pound Swiss chard, center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/3 cup finely chopped tamari almonds, for garnish (optional), available in health food stores
1/4 cup chopped scallions, for garnish.

1. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, garam masala, curry powder and jalapeno. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

2. Stir in 4 cups broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and bay leaf. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, partially cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. (If lentils seem dry, add up to 1 cup stock, as needed.) Stir in chard and salt and pepper, and continue cooking until lentils are tender and chard is cooked, about 30 to 45 minutes total.

3. Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime zest and juice. Spoon into a large, shallow serving dish. Garnish with almonds if desired and scallions.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hand and Foot Scrub

granulated sugar scrub

You don't have to spend $25 for a bottle of expensive body scrub. Look around in your kitchen, and you are sure to find the ingredients for making great body scrubs. Sugar, cornmeal, lemon juice, and cooking oils aren't just great for cooking, they are also great cleansers for the skin.

pumice stone

Here are a couple of recipes to pamper your hands and feet from the book Secrets of the Spa by Catherine Bardey.

Apricot Oil & Sugar Hand Exfoliator

1/2 cup granulated sugar
 2 tbsp. apricot oil
juice of 1/2 lemon

Combine ingredients and immediately rub the mixture on hands. Rinse with warm water. Pat dry and moisturize.

Lemon juice

Cornmeal & Pumice Foot Scrub

1/2 cup dry cornmeal
2 tbsp. avocado or olive oil
1 pumice stone

Mix cornmeal and oil. Spread on feet and rub skin with a pumice stone, concentrating on heels and callused areas. Rinse with warm water and pat dry.

You are always welcome to try different oils and exfoliating ingredients, like oatmeal, clay, jojoba oil, almond oil, avocados, and essential oils. I personally love brown sugar in my sugar scrubs, and a little bit of citrus essential oils. Do what you like, and what feels and smells good to you!