Wednesday, 27 February 2013
About once a week it is Big Daddy's night to make dinner. Usually it falls on one of my busier days when I haven't been able to consider dinner early enough in the day to make sure that the meat is thawed and prep done. Sometimes it is left overs but most often he does 'Platter Night' or a 'Lazy Mans Dinner'. This is our huge wooden cutting board covered in cold cuts, raw vegetables, dips, fruit, cheeses, and a few crackers. If there is ever a meal that is eaten while we watch a movie, this is it.
These are our usual platter ingredients
1. Slices of whatever roast meat I did that week or some organic hot dogs (if they were on sale)
2. Carrot sticks
3. Cucumber slices
4. Apple slices
5. Orange segments
7. Aioli mixed with pesto for dipping
8. Boiled eggs
I mention these nights because I have had some feed back lately from a few people feeling it would be impossible to keep up with the cooking I do and work full time. So instead of trying to defend how busy I am and how possible it is (and perhaps causing the collateral damage of making those people feel defensive, which is never my intention) I have added a label here on the site called 'short cuts'. These are ways to stretch out the time spent in the kitchen to cover more than one meal, or quick meals like this one that essentially give you a night off from pulling off a more complicated menu. I have also started up the label 'school friendly' so parents can find nut free healthy snacks or lunch bag items to help stem the tide of processed crap kids are being told they need have in their lunch. Now back to recipes
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tbsp tahini
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/3 cup olive oil
juice from 1 lemon
pinch of salt
Place the chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, salt and about 1/2 the olive oil in a food processor and pulse 5-6 times. Then run continuously slowly adding in the remaining olive oil. You might find you need a little more or less than I have written here to get a creamy texture. Taste and see if your taste buds want more lemon juice or a little more salt and then pulse a few more times, tasting and adding.
I like to processes it until it is almost frothy while others like it chunky.
From a health standpoint - tahini (a paste made from sesame seeds) is a great non-dairy source of calcium. Tahini contains B Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15. B vitamins promote healthy cell growth and division, including that of red blood cells, which will help prevent Anemia. They also support and increase the rate of metabolism, enhance immune and nervous system function as well as helping to maintain healthy skin and muscle tone. Recent studies have also shown that Vitamin B can help protect against one of the most deadly forms of cancer, pancreatic cancer, but only when consumed in food.
Chick peas are full of fibre, high is protein and have a low glycemic index. They are also known to lower your LDL (bad cholesterol)
Components in garlic called allyl sulfides and bioflavonoids may be key to the research observations of generally lower incidence of cancer and heart disease in people who frequently eat garlic (and onions). Eating only 10 grams (about 2 tsps) of garlic a day is associated with a significantly lower risk of prostate cancer and currently a study is being done that indicates that garlic may help reduce the occurrence rate of pre-cancerous tumours (polyps) in the large intestine. Garlic removes key toxins in the blood and lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol. It is also a natural anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.
Raw lemon juice is well known for it’s antioxidants and anti-cancer properties and has been used for centuries in order to cure many ailments. Being rich in Vitamin C, it is also essential for maintaining a fully functional immune system, aiding digestion, fighting cancer, helping wounds to heal faster and can even help to prevent heart failure. Although acidic to taste, lemons are one of the most alkaline of foods and help to push our bodies to the required pH alkaline state of around 7.4.
And that is just some of the nutritional benefits....