September 8, 2013

Home made Burrito Bowl \ Burrito

I love Chipotle Burrito bowls and I bet everyone does. I think I should thank Steve Ells, founder of Chipotle for coming up with such a simple and nutrition packed recipes that taste good too.
I typically do not like Mexican food, reason being most of the restaurants make dishes with lots of cheese, making them soggy and hard to eat. ( Or may be I have visited wrong restaurants ;)). Burritos are exception to it. They are quick, easy and clean and that's why I prefer making them at home as well.
 
Below recipe is the outcome of my visits to Chipotle and there informative website.

Ingredients:

Salsa - I prepared Tomato based salsa at home. Generally you get lot many varieties in the market. You can prefer whatever you like, the spice levels of these are different and hence having a different variety each time you prepare burritos add a new flavor. Here is the recipe of the salsa I made:

Heat some oil in a skillet, when warm, add chopped onions and sauté. Add chopped tomatoes (more in quantity than onion) to it. Then add chopped red\green bell peppers. Add red chili powder, salt, little cumin -coriander powder, lemon juice, chopped cilantro and cook for 2 minutes.
You can adjust the spice level as per your desired taste. Other optional ingredients are chopped jalapenos, corn etc.




Lemon + Coriander Rice - No special type of rice. I used basmati, as that's the one which is always available in my kitchen. You have 2 options either cook rice in rice cooker, or in a microwave or any other method that you prefer. The rice should not be sticky, the more the grains are separate it better. Once done, add chopped cilantro and lime juice to the rice.

Black Beans - Get any canned black beans. Vegetarian folks should make sure you read ingredients.

Vegetables- Fresh, sliced green bell peppers and red onion sautéed in a touch of oil with oregano. Sauté only until bright and slightly crisp.

Cheese - I am not expert in cheese and hence I just preferred a readymade shredded Mexican cheese blend that is usually available in stores like Fred Meyer or Target. If not, you can very well use shredded Jack and Cheddar cheese.
 
Sour Cream - Buy this from any food store.

Guacamole - only if you like :)

Lettuce - Fresh and chopped Romaine Lettuce, adds crunchiness and freshness to Burrito.



Method:

Basically everyone who has visited Mexican restaurants like Chipotle knows how to make a burrito bowl. But I would still have a one liner here :)

In a bowl, take rice, spread beans on top of it, add vegetables, lettuce, salsa, sour cream, cheese. Mix well before you eat. 

Tips:

  • Health Tip: Use brown rice instead of white. Brown rice contains more fiber than white.
  • Health Tip: Go for a reduced fat or non-fat version of sour cream if you are weight conscious.
  • Make Burrito, by wrapping this all in a corn tortilla.
 

February 4, 2013

All I wanted to know about Antioxidants!

I been upto a lot of things lately and definitely this is not the post I want to resume my writing with.
I was reading about Green Teas (as I have started drinking it instead of regular tea) and that directed me to read about antioxidants. This topic, like many others, had always been dwelling in my mind but its just today that it surfaced and I thought this is good to write about.

I want to write down about it in the language that I can clearly remember and explain others.

What is oxidation:

What I knew - Rusting of iron or a peeled apple turning red is related to oxidation. So definitely oxidation is a chemical reaction, that is related to oxygen (as the name suggests) and could be slower or a faster process. Definitely it is not good as nobody likes a rusted iron or a peeled apple that had turned red. :)

What I learnt - Oxidation never occurs on a painted iron object or not on the Apple that has skin, which means, it occurs when some kind of cells\molecules come in contact with oxygen. As we know any burning process requires Oxygen and so does the food (glucose) in our body requires oxygen to ignite itself and generate energy that body requires for functioning. We also burn the energy resulting into heat that can damage cells. This process is nothing but oxidation.
The damaging of the cells actually occurs because of the electrons that are generated during these reactions of molecules and oxygen. These free electrons are also called as free radicals.

Prolonged damaging of cells can cause serious injuries.
 
Effects of Oxidation:

What I knew - Nothing

What surprised me - As the oxidation\burning can occur anywhere in the body, the effects could also been at any place or of any kind. Here is the list which is literally shocking and if we correctly know how tackle the oxidation we can at least eliminate a good chance of these disease ever happening and lead a healthy life. (source- http://www3.amherst.edu/~dmirwin/Reports/BetterHealth.htm)
  • Deterioration of the eyes, which contributes to blindness.
  • Inflammation of the joints (rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Damage to nerve cells in the brain.                   
  • Acceleration of the ageing process.
  • Increased risk of coronary heart disease, since free radicals encourage low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol to adhere to artery walls.
  • Certain cancers, triggered by damaged cell DNA.

What are antioxidants ("free radical scavengers"):

What I knew - I should eat antioxidants like berries to have healthy life.
 
What I learnt - These are the chemicals that are responsible for removing the free radicals that cause disease. Many vitamins act as antioxidants. Antioxidant supplements do not work as well as the natural sources of them found in vegetables, fruits, etc.
Antioxidants block the process of oxidation by neutralizing free radicals and themselves become oxidized. That is why there is a constant need to replenish our antioxidant resources.
 
Sources of antioxidants:
 
Type
Source
Allium sulphur compounds
Leeks, onions and garlic.
Anthocyanin
Eggplant, grapes and berries.
Catechins
Red wine and Tea.
Cryptoxanthins
Red capsicum, pumpkin and mangoes.
Flavonoids
Tea, green tea, citrus fruits, red wine, onion and apples.
Indoles
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
Isoflavonoids
Soybeans, tofu, lentils, peas and milk.
Lignans
Sesame seeds, bran, whole grains and vegetables.
Lutein
Leafy greens like spinach, and corn.
Lycopene
Tomatoes, pink grapefruit and watermelon.
Polyphenols
Thyme and oregano. Grapes, all berries
Beta carotene
Pumpkin, mangoes, apricots, carrots, spinach, parsley.
Vitamin C
Oranges, blackcurrants, kiwi fruit, mangoes, broccoli, spinach, capsicum and strawberries.
Vitamin E
Vegetable oils (such as wheat germ oil), avocados, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Copper *
Seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts.
Selenium *
Seafood, offal, lean meat and whole grains.
Manganese *
Seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts.
Zinc *
Seafood, lean meat, milk and nuts.

* Need only in small amounts.
 
  • Know it right and do it right !