Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Healthy and Heavenly Date and Walnut Roll

So, let's talk about the three things that are important to be happy  - TV, retail therapy and chocolate. Nah, just kidding!  We all know what the "right" answer is - right diet, regular exercise and adequate sleep.   This applies to the young and the old, the busy and the idle, the motivated ones and the procrastinators.  Lately, more and more emphasis is being laid on bringing about a complete lifestyle change, so that one may live life in a healthy and happy way, in other words, fully.  Below, you will find all that advice in a (very) condensed format.

Right Diet - This includes eating whole foods (raw and/or unprocessed) - stick to vegetables, fruits and grains.  Eat mindfully and in moderation.  Drink water, lots of it!

Regular Exercise - Be it yoga or aerobics, get the heart going and the endorphins flowing, atleast 3 times a week, if not daily.  For me, this also includes Breathing exercises (pranayama).

Rest or Sleep - Get 6-8 hours of sleep every night.  Sleep plays a critical role in your body's immune functions, learning, memory and metabolism.

Now that I have wrapped up that health sermon, let us move into the kitchen and make ourselves a fantastic healthy breakfast/snack/dessert item that is all natural and packs a punch!  The main ingredient is dates, which are high in vitamins (rich in B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin K), fiber, minerals(iron, copper, potassium) and phytonutrients(caretenoids and antioxidants).  Add to this walnuts, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  And here's where we seal the deal - it takes no more than 5 minutes to make!  Let's get started:

Date and Walnut Roll

4 lbs pitted dates (the best ones are black and melt-in-your-mouth soft)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)

In a heated wok, add ghee and pitted dates.  In about three minutes, you will see the dates have "melted" (soft and mushy).   Add the walnuts, mix them in and take wok off the heat.  Spread the mixture on a flat heat resistant surface, and roll it up, then cut into wheels.  Or just flatten mixture onto surface and cut into squares.  Enjoy it anytime!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Palatable Pizza

There's nothing like homemade pizza, especially if the vegetables come from your own garden.  If you do not have  a vegetable garden, fret not.  The local farmer's market always has freshly picked produce for your quick and healthy meals.  Pizza, to me, is something that can be heavily customized or eaten just plain, either way it pleases the palate no end.  With store-bought dough and sauce, this recipe is a cinch to make.

Simple Pizza

1 large tomato, sliced
1 clove minced garlic
A dozen basil leaves
1 jar pizza sauce
1 packet shredded mozarella cheese
Pizza dough

Dust a baking pan with flour, then roll out or flatten dough with hands and spread in pan .
Rub garlic all over crust.
Now, spread the sauce over crust, then the tomatoes and basil evenly.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top.
Bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes. 

Variations: Add toppings like onions and bell peppers, olives and mushrooms, or try herbs like parsley for flavor.  The first couple of times, keep an eye on the pizza to make sure it doesn't get overdone.  You can make mini pizzas for the kids, make it fun for them where they can pick their own toppings.