Posts tagged ‘curry’

September 23, 2013

Healthy Eyes

by lrmetcalfe

My mother took a trip to the opticians today, for her Spinach-photoannual check-up. Worryingly he has said that her eyes are showing the beginnings of cataracts. My mum dismissed this as just a part of the ageing process, however, there are dietary changes we can all make to improve the health of the eyes.

Increasing the levels of certain essential nutrients which are important for maintaining eye health, can help. Antioxidants are important- Vitamin A,C, E, selenium, lutein is particularly important as it has specific properties for protecting the eyes.

So, I thought I would look at some yummy foods and recipes which contain these antioxidants.

Popeye never wore glasses- Spinach is a great source of the antioxidant, Lutein, along with other leafy dark green vegetables.

Palak Paneer (Spinach & Paneer Curry)


4 cups of fresh finely chopped spinach

1/3 lb paneer

2 medium tomatoes

1tsp chopped ginger

1tsp coriander powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp teaspoon chili powder

1 tablespoon oil

½ tsp cumin seeds

½ tsp salt, or to taste

2 tbsps of whole wheat flour

1 ½ cups of milk

  1. Blend the tomatoes and ginger to make a puree.
  2. Mix coriander, turmeric, and red chili with tomato puree and set aside.
  3. Mix whole-wheat flour with milk and set aside.
  4. Cube the paneer into pieces and  fry them on medium high heat just for few minutes so paneer becomes golden in colour, take paneer out, and put on kitchen towels
  5. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add cumin seeds.
  6. After cumin seeds crack, add the tomato puree mixture, and let it cook for a few minutes until the tomato puree is about half in volume.
  7. Add the spinach, and let it cook on low medium heat for about 10 minutes covered.
  8. Add milk mixture and let this cook another four to five minutes.
  9. Add paneer and fold it gently with spinach and let it simmer for a 2-3 minutes, keeping the pan covered.
  10. Serve with rice or chappatis.


Blueberries are a great source of bioflavonoids, which encourage eye health. Try this healthy smoothie…

Super-Berry Smoothie

50g blueberries

50g Canteloupe Melon, diced and de-seeded


Pure orange juice (not from concentrate)

½  tbsp ground flaxseeds

1. Place melon, blueberries, banana and flaxseed into a blender, and whizz. Use the orange juice to thin out the smoothie, making sure it is smooth.


Check out these other great sources and include them in your diet to improve your eye health….

Vitamin A liver, paprika, chilli powder, sweet potato, carrots, butternut   squash, dark leafy green vegetables such as- kale, spring greens, spinach
Vitamin C chilli peppers, dark leafy green vegetables, broccoli, cabbage,   brussel sprouts, kiwi fruits, oranges, strawberries, guava, papaya,   grapefruit, cantaloupe melon
Vitamin E Sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, swiss chard, papaya, asparagus,   wheat germ
Lutein Spinach, kale, swiss chard
Selenium Brazil nuts, shellfish, liver, tuna, swordfish, anchovies, sunflower   seeds, bran
August 23, 2012

Curry Night

by lrmetcalfe

To many of us, a curry on a Friday night is a weekend indulgence and is not to be considered a healthy habit. However, if you make your own curry from scratch using an array of spices and cut down on the ghee and oil, a curry can pack a strong nutritious punch!

 A great curry base starts with onions and garlic fried in a little oil.

Onions contain the sugars fructo-oligosaccharides or FOS. These compounds are only partially digested by humans, however the undigested portion feeds the intestinal microflora or ‘friendly bacteria’ present in the human gut. The microflora keep the intestines functioning healthily, whilst simultaneously reducing the population of harmful disease-causing bacteria.

Garlic is renowned for its medicinal properties. A great remedy for colds and flu it is antibiotic and anti-viral, garlic has also has been found to loosen catarrh. It regulates blood pressure and lowers cholesterol.

 Next to add a kick of heat- chilli pepper and ginger…

Chilli peppers encourage blood flow and improve circulation. Chilli pepper or capsicum has become an increasingly popular weight loss remedy due to its effects on the body’s metabolism.  Diet-induced thermogenesis is the amount of extra energy used by the body to process food for use and storage. Chilli pepper is believed to increase this.

Ginger root has an anti-inflammatory effect, a useful remedy for inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. It aids digestion by encouraging gastric secretion; it has carminative and anti-spasmodic properties, a popular remedy for stomach complaints and nausea.

Once the chilli, ginger, onions and garlic have started to brown, add the spices…

Cumin- A traditional Indian remedy for indigestion.

Coriander- Useful remedy for flatulence and colic.

Turmeric- Powerful anti-inflammatory, useful for arthritis and inflammatory skin disorders such as eczema. Inhibits the growth of H.pylori, the bacteria commonly responsible for peptic ulcers.

Black Pepper- Contains piperine which encourages the absorption of nutrients.

Cloves- Popular topical remedy for toothache, acts as a mild anaesthetic, also has a powerful antiseptic effect.

Cinnamon- Can help to normalise blood sugar levels.

Cardamom- Useful remedy for flatulence and colic, soothes the digestive system.

Once you can smell the aromas from the spices add tinned tomatoes.

Tomatoes contain vitamins C & A, both important for a healthy immune system. Tomatoes are also the biggest dietary source of the powerful antioxidant lycopene, the component which makes the tomato red.  Don’t worry about using tinned tomatoes over fresh, as unusually lycopene has even greater bioavailability after cooking and processing.

Research continues into the anti-cancer properties of tomatoes.

Now you have a great curry sauce to add your favourite protein to- chicken, lamb, king prawns, lentils, paneer and white fish are all tasty choices. Just make sure to buy lean meat or cut off any fat.

Serve with brown rice and a little natural yoghurt and you will be hard pushed to find a tastier, more nutritious meal for your Friday night treat.