Sup on Soup

Last Updated on Tuesday, 25 October 2011 12:04 Written by Flax Tuesday, 25 October 2011 11:35

Personally, after a month of holidays, I feel the need to lighten up the meals and drop off some of that extra weight.  One statistic claims that the average Israeli manages to gain 2.5 kilo (5 lbs.) over the month of Tishrei!  Perhaps what we really mean by mar-Chesvan is diet-Cheshvan.   Ironically enough, some of the best foods to assist in weight loss are bitter foods, examples of which include, radish and celery.  While eating a radish a day is beneficial for anyone trying to lose weight,  one of the best ways to feel full while shedding some weight is with a hearty vegetable soup.  Soup is a water based food that is extremely filling while also being low in calories.  To turn a vegetable soup into a full meal I add whole grains to the soup as a thickener while simultaneously adding nutritional value.  I also tend to puree my soups so that the individual ingredients become unidentifiable.  This trick is especially helpful with picky eaters who are afraid of new foods.

This recipe below is a healthier version of a Russian Spinach Soup. While the real Russian would use potatoes, I try to avoid that.  Potatoes happen to be one of the most fattening foods around, not a good choice for anyone wanting to lose weight.  Instead of using a potato, I use both millet and quinoa.  The grains thicken the soup in the same manner as a potato would, but they are a whole lot healthier.  While really any grain can be used here, I chose to use quinoa, for its nutritional value and millet as a wonderful way to balance the spinach.

Quinoa, considered only a few years ago to be exotic, is now a popular food.  The rise in popularity of quinoa  is due to its wonderful nutritional value.  Quinoa has the highest protein content of any grain, has more calcium than milk and is a very good source of iron, phosphorous, and vitamins B and E.  Millet on the other hand, might be one of the least used grains.

Millet is also high in protein and it has a rich silicon content.  Millet is a great food to eat while pregnant and it is helpful in preventing miscarriage. Millet is also used in  treating candida, this is due to its anti-fungal properties. Millet is  the most drying of the grains and is beneficial to a state of excess.  Eating millet during the month of  Cheshvan will help us to lose weight by restoring our normal balance after a month of feasting.  Combining spinach and millet is a very good practice.  While millet is very drying, spinach is very slippery.  The two foods harmonize each other both in flavor and by nature.

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 bunches spinach, washed well
  • 1/2 bunch parsley
  • 5 sprigs dill
  • 2 liters water
  • 2 cups oat milk (optional)
  • 1/4 cup millet
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a soup pot. Saute the onion until they soften. Add the carrots and celery and continue to saute for five minutes more. Add the water and the oat milk and bring to a boil. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer on a low flame for one hour.  Remove from the flame and puree.

Serve hot.  Serves 6

Note: Adding a little bit of hiziki (seaweed) to your bowl of soup will add nutritional value as well as promote weight loss.

Sima Herzfeld Navon has a clinic for holistic medicine and nutritional counseling.  She also teaches healthy cooking.

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Colorful Cabbage Salad

Last Updated on Monday, 4 June 2012 09:16 Written by Flax Thursday, 7 October 2010 12:11

Colorful Cabbage Salad

The abundance of summer fruits and vegetables contain a virtual rainbow of color.  Having a deliciously beautiful summer salad always helps to brighten up the table.  The salad recipe below, uses my favorite color combination, purple, green, and white.

This salad is especially nutritious as it uses hiziki.  Hiziki is a long, thin seaweed that I find blends nicely with salad.  While many of us are aware of the benefits of eating dark green leafy vegetables, not everyone realizes that sea vegetables are the most nutritious of the dark green leafy vegetables.  Hiziki contains more than ten times the amount of calcium than milk, eight times  more iron than meat, and in addition, a virtual abundance of vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  Additionally, hiziki aids in weight loss, normalizes blood sugar levels, benefits the thyroid, helps to detoxify the body and is useful in preventing and healing tumors and cancers.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts or sunflower sprouts (the photo is with sunflower sprouts.)
  • 2 scallions, sliced on a diagonal into pieces 2 cm. long (1″)
  • 1/ tsp hiziki, soaked for 10 minutes in cold water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 drops stevia
  • 1/2 tsp fresh, grated ginger

Squeeze the excess water from the hiziki. Place all the ingredients into a salad bowl. Mix and Serve.

Serves 4-6

Sima Herzfeld Navon is a nutritional healer and teaches healthy cooking classes.

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Cucumber Hiziki Salad

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 October 2010 11:55 Written by Flax Thursday, 16 September 2010 01:45

I’ve been reading a lot about seaweed and I realize that I want to be eating three portiions of it a day. There’s only one small problem.

The Taste!

Let’s face it, people don’t normally start salivating when you mention seaweed. If they don’t automatically say “yuck!” then that’s already a good start. People feel so extremely about seaweed that I have heard more than once, “I would prefer to be dead than to eat seaweed.” It’s really a shame.

Taste is a matter of culturization. For example, the Japanese don’t like sweet foods. Give a Japanese kids a lollipop and they will like the color but not the flavor. Give them a pickle, however and they will be in heaven.

Since culturally, we are not used to eating seaweed, I have been looking for seaweed recipes that people might actually enjoy. Here’s one that I have seen devoured.

This salad is very quick to make, and is enjoyable as light summer dish. The ingredients, cucumber and seaweed are both considered to be among the most cooling foods and are perfect for a hot day. While the ginger heats it up a little bit, if it’s too cold for you, add some hot chili flakes to give it a kick.
Ingredients:

3 cucumbers
1 scallion
1/4 tsp hiziki
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame oil or sesame seeds
2 slices pickled ginger
1/4 tsp sweetener, sugar, agave or 2 drops stevia

Soak the hiziki for 10 minutes.
Peel the cucumbers. Slice them thinly, first lengthwise and then the width so that you are left with long skinny slices. Cut these on a diagonal to 1 inch pieces (2 cm). Put them into a serving bowl.
Slice the scallions on an angle to pieces approximately the same size. Arrange the scallions on top of the cucumbers.
Drain and squeeze the excess water out of the hiziki and arrange them on top of the salad.
Slice the ginger into small pieces and place in the center of the bowl in a flower shape.
Pour the dressing on top.
Serve cold.

Note: If you want to cheat and make a quick dressing, just use a tbsp of the pickled ginger marinade. You can add a touch more vinegar if you prefer the dish more sour.

Note: Do not use honey as a sugar substitute as combining scallions and honey will give you a stomach ache.
Enjoy!

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