Hello DK readers and welcome to my first book give-away. I am so excited to share this book with you, I know you are going to love it. Last week I interviwed the author, Gita Patel MS RD/LD CDE CLT, regarding the release of her new book “Blending Science with Spices: Tasty Recipes & Nutrition Tips for Healthy Living.”
Gita has been in practice for over 20 years and is an expert on vegetarian nutrition and diabetes education. In addition to discussing more about her upcoming book, Gita also shares her amazing stir-fry recipe that was featured in Cooking Light in 2010. “Blending Science with Spices” is a completely gluten free, vegetarian cookbook with options on making every recipe vegan if desired. To enter the give-away, please comment below with your favorite tip for “healthy living.” The winner will be chosen at random on Wednesday at 6PM, good luck!
DK: Why did you decide to write this book?
Gita: My patients tell me the fast pace of today’s “developed” world makes it hard to eat well. They say over and over again that all the knowledge in the world about nutrition does no good if it cannot be implemented easily.
The purpose of this book is to show how to choose health, understand nustrition science, and easily put the information to use to make the kitchen into an “instant take-out” hub for healthy food. I also wanted to share my approach to healthful cooking which combines modern nutritional science with my traditional vegetarian Indian heritage to improve the quality of lives by supporting health with nutritious food.
Color is used as a theme throughout this book to illustrate the bounty provided by nature and as a guide to healthy eating. Food color is indicative of health-enhancing phytonutrients that act as antioxidants to fight harmful chronic inflammation. Phytonutrients occur naturally, but only in plants. These phytonutrients reduce our risk of those diseases associated with chronic inflammation, including cancer, atherosclerosis and diabetes. When you get home from work at 5:30 pm and the family is tired and hungry, you want to reach for whatever is “quick and easy.” I show you how to make the kitchen into an “instant take-out” hub. Your freezer and pantry will be stocked with healthy foods, so you will have the knowledge and ability to put “Feeding Health” into action.
DK: I love the idea of a “take-out hub.” Where do you get your inspiration for your recipes?
Gita: My mother is the source of inspiration for healthy eating. I enjoy eating nutritious foods and I believe my creativity is best expressed in the kitchen.
DK: Your book is titled “Blending Science with Spices,” is there one spice you find most beneficial?
Gita: Herbs and spices (in use since approximately 5,000 B.C.E.) are among the richest sources of antioxidants and play a central role in Indian cooking. They can reduce salt, fat and sugar by adding flavor to foods without adding unwanted sodium and fat calories. If I had to pick just one it would be turmeric. It is anti-inflammatory, odorless and flavorless, but imparts a beautiful yellow color to the food. However, many other herbs and spices (such as cinnamon, cloves, coriander, dill, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds, turmeric, garlic and many others) have high ORAC scores.
DK: Your book is completely plant-based; what advice would you give someone who is interested in trying to eat more plant-based foods, but afraid of taking the leap?
Gita: They do not need to take the leap. All the recipes can be used as side dishes or entrées. About half the recipes are vegetables, then come beans and legumes and then grains. If they want to be vegetarians or vegans they can start slowly with breakfast, and then move on to including lunch and finally dinner. Or they can choose to decide on 1 day each week that may be all plant foods. Enjoy one meatless day each week.
DK: Tell us more about “Blending Science with Spices: Tasty Recipes & Nutrition Tips for Healthy Living.” Where can we buy it and what is its focus?
Gita: It is available on my website www.feedinghealth.com Amazon and B&N
The focus is on planning, nutrition and health, taste, cooking and variations. I have woven simple recipes with adaptations and variations with evidence-based rationale for the science of nutrition to substantiate each and every recipe. The recipes and tips help to make kitchen time more fun than work, with an outcome that is divine.
This practical vegetarian cookbook (with vegan options) with an index, nutrient analysis, menus and much more will transform your kitchen into an instant take-out place for healthy food. Simple recipes highlighting spices and herbs enhance vegetables, beans, and grains, while the accompanying index, glossary, and nutritional analysis of each recipe make the book accessible to even the most tentative of cooks.
About half the recipes are the most nutritious part of your plate…the vegetables. I have included a nutritional analysis of each recipe’s star and supporting cast, which affords you the opportunity to take charge of your health by guiding you to make appropriate, educated culinary decisions.
DK: Would you mind sharing your favorite recipe with DK followers?
Gita: I was one of four finalists in Cooking Light magazine’s Healthy Cook of the Year contest in 2010. I have many favorites, however the recipe I entered for the contest is one of my favorites. It is very quick, tasty and easy to prepare.
Edamame with Stir-fried Vegetables—Simple
Science: Edamame (Green Soybean or Sweet Soybean) has been cultivated in China for over 3,000 years. Research shows that consuming isoflavone-containing whole soy foods, as opposed to isolated isoflavones, significantly inhibits bone loss and stimulates bone formation in menopausal women. Whole soy foods protect post-menopausal women against cardiovascular disease. Soybeans, high in protein, contain molybdenum, iron, manganese, phosphorus, omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, copper, potassium, vitamin B2 and choline. (8,9,10)
For a video of the cooking demonstration of this recipe go to www.feedinghealth.com
Olive oil… 2 T
Cumin seeds… 1 t
Garlic chopped… 3 cloves
Jalapeño pepper sliced in half… one-half
Corn kernels, fresh (or frozen)… 1+½ cups
Turmeric… ¼ t
Salt to taste or ¼ t
Edamame thawed… 1 cup
Zucchini diced… 3 cups
Sweet red bell pepper diced… 1 cup
Cilantro with tender stems chopped… 1 cup
Lemon juiced… one-half
Assemble and prepare all ingredients. Add jalapeño, salt and turmeric to the corn and set it aside. Heat on medium-high heat a 2 to 3 quart skillet or pan. Add cumin seeds. When the seeds begin to change color add oil and garlic, turn heat to medium. Fry the garlic for a minute, then add corn with combined ingredients. Stir and cook covered for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir and add edamame, zucchini and red pepper. Stir and cook covered for 3 to 4 minutes. Before serving add chopped cilantro and fresh lemon juice, stirring to mix all the ingredients. Serve the vegetables over rice, quinoa or millet as part of a meal. Enjoy leftovers for lunch in a pita pocket.
Variations and Options
1. Eliminate jalapeño if you prefer it without the heat of the pepper. Substitute cayenne pepper, fresh ground black pepper or mild paprika for the jalapeño.
2. Substitute chopped onion for garlic.
3. Substitute either basil or parsley for cilantro.
4. The recipe calls for 6 ½ cups of vegetables, so you can substitute a variety of vegetable combinations.
5. Substitute 1-cup sprouts for 1-cup zucchini.
6. Substitute canned beans for edamame.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Protein: 5 grams
Total carbohydrates: 16 grams
Fiber: 3 grams
Total fat: 6 grams
Sodium: 59 milligrams
Calcium: 46 milligrams
Omega-3 Fats (ALA): 80 milligrams
DK: Tell us a little about your services offered and how to get in touch with you for more information.
Gita: I partner with individuals and organizations that want the science of nutrition translated into the art of healthy vegetarian cooking. I am a registered dietitian, certified diabetes educator, and certified LEAP (Lifestyle Eating and Performance) therapist specializing in diabetes, women’s health, heart disease, vegetarian nutrition, healthy aging, migraines, IBS, IBD, Celiac disease, gastrointestinal problems with food allergies, food sensitivities and food intolerances, and multiple sclerosis.
You can reach me through my website. www.feedinghealth.com
Thank you Gita for the interview, don’t forget to comment below to enter to win!