Paneer - A good substitute for meat

Paneer is nutritious and a good substitute for meat. It is a high protein food generally substituted for meat in Indian and Mughlai and Arab recipes. Paneer is made at home in many Indian households

Paneer was originally found in the area that today encompasses Iran, India and Pakistan by the nomads.It is the Persian word for "cheese", the nomads carried it with them in camel skin bags. It is a high protein food generally substituted for meat in Indian and Mughlai and Arab recipes. Paneer is made at home in many Indian households.

It is fairly simple to make it at home

Method:- Traditionally milk is boiled and either fresh lemon juice or a spoonful of citric acid is added to the milk while it is still hot.When the milk gets fully curdled, the liquid is drained out by pouring it on to a clean fine muslin cloth.Once all the liquid has been drained it is laid flat and some weight has to be kept on it for some time.It becomes solid if kept for an hour or two.This can be used in various interesting recipes. However i have realised that Paneer comes out softer and much tastier when I add fresh yogurt to curdle the milk.I have been using yogurt instead of lemon juice since some time now and find that Paneer has a better texture and taste with this method. Paneer needs to be refrigerated and used within 3-4 days.It develps a sour and stale taste if kept for long.

Some of the most common recipes made with Paneer are Palak Paneer( Paneer and spinach leaves) Shahi Paneer ( Paneer cooked with mughlai spices) , Paneer masala and Matar Paneer (Paneer and Peas)..

Some Nutrition facts about Paneer

1: Paneer is a good source of calcium, which in later years helps prevent osteoporosis. Cheese provides 25% of the calcium in the food supply.

2: Paneer in moderation, is associated with lower body weight as well as reduced risk of developing insulin resistance syndrome.

3: Paneer is a good source of protein and it reduces cancer risk.

4: According to Ayurveda Paneer is health food and it can prevent stomach disorders

5: It is supposed to help in lower, back and joint pain.Reduces risks of Heart attack..

 Nutritional information of Paneer : - 100 gms of paneer provides Protein - 18.3 gms Fat - 20.8 gms Minerals - 2.6 gms Carbohydrates - 1.2 gms Energy - 265 kcal Calcium - 208 mgs Phosphorous - 138 mg  .

Paneer has a higher quality of protein as compared to soya. If one is worried about calories, it would be a better idea to make Paneer from skimmed milk to reduce the calorie content.

I am sharing one of my favorite Paneer recipes here:

Paneer Capsicum Kadai


Paneer about 100 gms, cut into cubes

Capsicums 2 medium sized cut into pieces

Onions 2 sliced

Tomato 1, Liquidised in a mixer

Curds or yogurt 1/2 cup

Green chillies

1-2 Curry leaves

a few Chopped coriander leaves

Ginger and garlic paste

2 table spoon Gharam masala powder

1 table spoon Coriander powder

1 table spoon Chilly powder

1 tea spoon Haldi or Turmeric powder

 Oil Salt and sugar to taste

Heat a little oil in a kadai (Wok) and stir fry half the quantity of sliced onions and the capsicums add salt and turmeric powder and mix well and when the capsicum is still crisp transfer it to another dish and add the Paneer cubes into the pan and stir fry for a minute taking care while turning and stirring the paneer so it doesnt break.Once Paneer is slightly browned transfer it into a dish. Add more oil into the kadai and add the rest of the onions and the green chillies .

When the onions turn golden brown add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute and add the curry leaves, Gharam masala, Coriander powder, haldi and the chilly powder.Mix well and add Tomato puree and the curds , let the mixture simmer.Add a little water if needed and adjust the taste by adding salt , a pinch of sugar and more chilly powder if needed. When the gravy is thick and well blended add the fried onion/capsicum and the paneer and mix well into the masala.Finally sprinkle some coriander leaves just before taking it off the stove. This goes well with Naans or Parathas and Jeera rice.


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Discover MORVITE and Create a New Breakfast Shake

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Breakfast - the most important meal of the day.  Don't skip it, they say.  But what if you can't help it?  What if you simply can't afford breakfast foods anymore?

It was only a few weeks ago that I was patrolling the aisles of my local hypermarket, buying amongst other things breakfast foods. 

Ah, look at all the cereals... cute characters on them, cockerels, beautiful colors, chipmunks and beavers and tigers and whatnot.  Cereal is delicious.  How cereals have become part of our lives.   

Then, I look at the price tags.  And for the first time, I come to realise what I've suspected for months if not years:  The amount of cereal in a box really is NOT worth the money you pay for it anymore.  There's just not that much in one box.  3 - 5 servings tops. 

Box of Milo cereal, almost R40???  Look at those things, "Cheerios"??  Are they made from pure gold that the price tag must be what it is?  I mean do they think that only Bill Gates shop here or something?  This isn't friggin' Harrods!! 

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Then, on a far bottom shelf, looking more like flat bags of something nobody cares for, I spot something.  I can't even make out if it's cereal or not.  They look like bags of cooking maize meal or some kind of medicinal dog food. 

I take a bag and look at it.   What in blazes is this I wonder?  Is it a cereal?  Usually cereals cost anything from R25 to R50.  This costs R8.  Well whatever it is, if it's edible I'll take it because it's slightly more affordable. 

And so, I had discovered Morevite.

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No cooking is required;  you simply add milk or water and eat hot or cold.  Easy. 

What I've discovered of course is that it makes a very easy breakfast shake, either alone or with other ingredients like a spoon of yoghurt and fruit. 

And, did I say it's probably the most affordable cereal on the market now?  That's the part that convinced me. 

I'm very happy I discovered this powdered cereal Morvite. 

Morvite is manufactured by Tiger Brands. 

It comes in various flavour names, including vanilla, strawberry, honey, and some others I don't have in front of me  now, though I will say that it's really just the aroma that differs, not really the flavour.  

You can obtain more information about Morvite from here:


Different Methods of Preserving Fish

There are several methods in preserving fish. Fish preservation involves Chilling and Freezing, Salting, Fermentation, Drying and Dehydration, Smoking, Pickling and Spicing, and Canning

There are several methods in preserving fish. Fish preservation involves Chilling and Freezing, Salting, Fermentation, Drying and Dehydration, Smoking, Pickling and Spicing, and Canning.

There is one thing first to consider, make sure that the fish that is going to be preserve is new and still fresh.

The method of Chilling and Freezing; if the fish is exposed to a low temperature environment, the growth of the microorganisms could be prevented; this could lead to spoilage prevention. The appropriate temperature is 0 degree Celsius which involves the use of ice or a refrigerator. 

The use of ice for chilling is very much convenient and widely used in the markets. If you are going to use ice for fish preservation, make sure that you have sufficient amount of ice. To keep the fish properly chilled with ice, usually the coarser ice should be put on the top while the melted ice should be put below.

Fish can also be preserved by the way of salting. Salt elements will lower the water content below the point where bacteria or microorganisms can no longer live and grow. In the time that water passes out from the tissues of the fish, the salt will going to penetrate the fish tissues until the salt solutions filled it in. This is called as the “osmosis” absorption process.

Fish fermentation can also preserved fish. It is the process of breaking down the protein in the fish caused by an enzymatic action. It is called as hydrolization. In this process of fermentation, the flesh of the fish is allowed to get “ripe”; this is the state where the flesh of the fish will start to disintegrate before it is going to undergo “aging”. In normal process, fermentation takes up to 8 months. It will take less than a month that if pure salt is used and the temperature is increased from 37 degree Celsius up to 45 degree Celsius. In the later fermentation process, the activity is faster

Drying and Dehydration is another technique. This involves the removal of water content from fish tissues until the moisture of the fish is extracted. In this process the growth of microorganisms is prevented. This can be done naturally using the heat of the sun. It is called as solar drying. Dehydration is another method in drying fish. It is done through the use of artificially heated air through the use of mechanical driers.

Smoking is also another method in fish preservation. This process gives the fish a desirable flavor and odor as well as preserving it. Smoking is usually done through four processes. First is cleaning the fish. Second is brining which is soaking the fish in a brine solution. The third is drying and the fourth one is smoking the fish. In smoking process, the length of smoking time usually takes up to 30 to 45 minutes and the temperature is 85 degree Celsius. Hardwoods together with plant leaves are commonly used.

Pickling and spicing; this method in fish preservation used vinegar and other spices. The growth of bacteria and other organisms is prevented by the acetic acid of the vinegar; the vinegar will preserve the fish as well as improves its taste.

Canning is another method in fish preservation. It is the process of preservation that uses hermetically sealed containers such as bottles or cans. The procedure of heating the fish before and after canning can kill bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause fish spoilage.

Food and Nutrition Quiz

Here are the correct answers to the quiz of your knowledge of food and nutrition. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and check to see how many answers you got correct.

How much do you know about food and nutrition? See how much you know about juices, animal products,  vitamins, chocolates, and more…

Enjoy and answer as many of the sixteen questions related to the food and nutrition as you can. When you are done, scroll down to the bottom of the page and check to see how many answers you got correct.

1 - Which of the following juices are high in iron?

a) Prunes

b) Carrots

c) Apricots

d) Oranges

2 - All animal products contain cholesterol. Is it true that trimming the fat eliminate most of the cholesterol from meats?

a) True

b) False

3 - Only a few foods contain significant amounts of Vitamin E. What are the best sources of vitamin E?

a) Eggs,

b) Wheat germ

c) Safflower oil,

d) Nuts

4 - Sulforaphane is a compound thought to protect against cancer. Where can it be found?

a) Broccoli

b) Cabbage

c) Tea

d) Kale

5 - Is it true that pink grapefruit usually costs more than white, but it's more nutritious?

a) True

b) False

6 - Which of these foods are rich in calcium?

a)  Dried figs

b)  Broccoli

c)  Dried beans

d)  Almonds.

e)  All of the above

7 - Is it true that honey and brown sugar are more nutritious than white sugar?

a) True

b) False

8 - Is it true that yogurt has more calcium and more B vitamins than milk?

a) True

b) False

9 - Is it true that researchers have found that cocoa, an ingredient in chocolate, may help prevent plaque from building up in the arteries and may reduce the risk of heart diseases?

a) True

b) False

10 - Is it true that butter and margarine have about the same number of calories?

a)  True

b)  False

11 - Is it true that spinach builds strong muscles?

a)   True

b)   False

12 - Is it true that carbohydrates, proteins, and fats have about the same amount of calories?

a) True

b) False

13 - Is it true that breakfast is the most important meal of the day?

A) True

B) False

14 - Is it true that meats described as "lean" are healthier choices?

A) True

B) False

15 - This vitamin is known as the sunshine vitamin

A) Vitamin C

B) Vitamin A

C) Vitamin K

D) Vitamin D

16 - Is it true that Indonesia produces a very expensive kind of coffee made from beans that have been swallowed, digested and excreted by the luak, a small mammal?

A) True

B) False

17 - Is it true that a specific tannin found in cranberries combats the bacteria that cause urinary-tract infections?

A) True

B) False

18 - Fruit products provide two important nutrients: water  and ________________________?

A) - Simple carbohydrates (sugars)

B) - Milk

C) - Soda

D) - All of the above

Food and nutrition Quiz Answers:

1 - a) Prunes

2 - b) False

3 - b) Wheat germ

c) Safflower oil

d) Nuts

4 - a) Broccoli

b) Cabbage

d) Kale

5 - a) True

6 - e) All of the above

7 - b) False

8 - a) True

9 - a) True

10 - a) True

11 - b) False

12 - b) False

13 - a) True

14 - a) True

15 - d) Vitamin D

16 - a) True

17 - a) True

18 - a) Simple carbohydrates (sugars)

Image via Wikipedia

The Production And Uses Of Rice

Rice is the edible grain from a plant also called Rice. Scientifically, Rice is an annual grass in the grass family, Poaceae. Asian rice is classified as Oryza sativa and African rice as Oryza glaberrima.

Rice is the edible grain from a plant also called Rice. Scientifically, Rice is an annual grass in the grass family, Poaceae. Asian rice is classified as Oryza sativa and African rice as Oryza glaberrima. Rice is the primary food for more than half the people in the world. In many regions it is eaten with every meal and provides more calories than any other single food. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) confirmed that rice supplies an average of 889 calories per day per person in China and in the United States provides an average of 82 per day in contrast to that in China. Rice provides about 90 percent of calories from carbohydrates and about 13 percent from protein which places it as one of the world’s most reliable nutritious food.

Rice is mostly grown in Asia and Africa. The Asian rice is the most popular because of the technological upgrade given to Rice planting in some parts of Asia while the African Rice is hardier and not as popular as the Asia’s. The Rice grain or Kernel contains an embryonic Rice plant and just like other seeds has its different components. The first or the outer cover which is called the hull is a hard protective covering over the bran. The bran consists of layers of fibrous tissue that contain vitamins, protein, minerals and oil; and the endosperm which contains starch. It is the bran and the endosperm that constitute the nutritious edible Rice.

Production:There are two kinds of Rice farming: the upland and the lowland Rice farming. The upland is planted on the dry soil while the lowland is planted in the water mostly swampy. The lowland Rice farming produces more yield than the upland probably because of the availability of more nutrients in the water based swampy soil. In Africa and other developing countries, Rice production is done manually; the planting, harvesting, threshing and processing, in contrast to mechanical Rice farming in developed countries where tractors and other machineries are used in the production of Rice.

The rice plant is a type of grass that has narrow leaves and grows between 60cm to 180 cm tall. It usually has flower stalks emerging from the plant and a loose cluster of branches called panicle emerges out from the top of each stalk with small green flowers hanging from the stem. When the grain is matured, the panicle sags under the weight of the matured kernels or grains. Each of the stems carries so many Rice kernels or grains.

History:The most widely accepted theory is that Rice cultivation originated in Asia around 10,000 BC and this was confirmed by archeological findings in the area. There are evidences that Rice was cultivated in Thailand as early as 4000 BC and later spread to other parts of Asia. It is also believed that Rice cultivation got to Africa and the Middle East by 400 BC; and to Greece and other Mediterranean countries by 330 BC. Rice got to the American colonies in the early 1600s and the commercial production began in 1685. From then, Rice spread to many other parts of the world and many countries began producing Rice.

Uses:Rice is used in many ways both for food and other purposes. Everything about Rice is of economic importance to man: the bran for oil; hull for fuel, fertilizers and insulations; straws from the leaves and stems are used for weaving roof tops, baskets, hats and bedding for animals. The edible Rice also have different purposes like in Japan where they use it to brew alcoholic drink known as ‘the saki’ as well as delicacies like the ‘sushi’ and many other indigenous cuisines. The other forms of preparing the edible Rice for food include the popular fried Rice, Jollof Rice mostly cooked in the tropics, the plain cooked Rice that can be eaten with stews, soups, salads and ketchups etc. In some part Africa, there are local ways they prepare Rice for food. There is the ‘Tuwo’ which is made from smoothly grinded and cooked Rice; it’s being moulded and could be eaten with African soups. The local ‘Rice pudy’ is made from cooked and mashed Rice mixed with sugar and milk.

The brown Rice is more nutritious than the white because of the bran but when the bran is removed and polished, it becomes white with less nutrients. The white Rice is preferred by many because it can be preserved for a longer time than the brown.

Picture of rice farming by IRRI Images ( creative commons

Goswill A. Paul is a Clergy and Authour based in Lagos.

Is Bratwurst Healthy For You?

Most nutritionists would tell you that Bratwurst is not a healthy food, however Bratwurst does have some serious nutritional value, and here are the reasons why:

For tens of millions of Americans, bratwurst is a favorite food. Sometimes referred to as "Midwestern soul food," the bratwurst is a German sausage named for the way it is cooked. Traditionally, these sausages are to be "braten," or simmered (never boiled) in water or beer.

No nutritionist is ever going to recommend bratwurst as a health food. The facts are, however, that bratwurst has some serious nutritional value. Eaten in moderation, bratwurst may not be a health food, but it can be a relatively healthy food. Here are the key reasons why.

Bratwurst is an excellent source of choline. Choline is an essential chemical in the construction of cell membranes, especially in the brain and the heart. It is a precursor of acetylcholine, used in the brain for electrical transmission from neuron to neuron. It is also a precursor of s-adenosylmethionine, better known as SAM-e, the "feel good" chemical that relieves both pain and depression.

Nutritionists might protest that even though bratwurst is a great source of choline, it is still a high-fat food. That is certainly true. Fortunately for millions of bratwurst fans, the majority of the fat in this delicious sausage is the healthier cis- fat rather than the unhealthy trans- fat. Cis- fats travel quickly through the cell membrane to go to the mitochondrial furnaces where they are needed. Trans- fats, which occur in other foods, tend to get "stuck" in the lining of the cells where they oxidize and attract cholesterol.

But isn't bratwurst high in cholesterol? Yes, it is. No one would want to eat a cholesterol-free veggie bratwurst. However, the cholesterol in a serving of bratwurst is less than a quarter of the cholesterol in a serving of eggs, and most of the body's cholesterol is made in the liver, not extracted from food. Giving up bratwurst is not likely to have any significant effect on cholesterol levels.

And there is one way bratwurst really may be a "health" food. Most people are aware of the glycemic index. This number indicates how fast glucose sugars are released from the digestion of the food. White bread, for instance, is digested into sugar very quickly and has a very high glycemic index. White bread around a brat, however, is digested much more slowly. The meat and fat in the brat keep food in the stomach longer, and release carbohydrates to the colon much more slowly.

There really is no way to convince most people that bratwurst is good for you. Eaten in moderation, however, this tasty sausage can be safe treat for healthy people of all ages. Enjoy your brats guilt-free!

Photo from Wikipedia by Kobako

The Best Pancakes Breakfast Recipe My Mother Ever Made I Mean It

Everyone has a mother that made the best pancakes. I didn't realize how good my mother's breakfast recipe for pancakes was until I started trying to make them. These are the fluffiest, best tasting pancakes ever. I mean it.

Mom Made the best pancakes for Us Back in the 50's and 60's, when Food was Real.

You know how they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day? Well turns out they were right. But why? You may ask.

Well I'll tell you. You just have to know how to make it. I am going to share with you the very best pancake recipe ever. No matter where you come from or how many pancakes you've eaten. This recipe is from my mother, from back in the 1950's. You can not beat it. So just take notes and give this a try.

You'll need three large eggs, separated into whites and yolks.

You'll need either buttermilk, whole milk or half and half, I prefer half and half. Don't use skim milk, the consistency will change and you'll just have thin runny pancakes. Yuk!

You'll need a whisk and an electric mixer.

Okay, ready here we go.

Put into a large bowl:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp of baking soda

3 tablespoons sugar

½ tsp salt

Whisk these dry ingredients together until they are well incorporated.

In another mixing bowl:

beat the 3 egg yolks with a whisk to break them up

add 1 2/3 cup of the milk of your choice (yes, even the skim milk if you insist)

4 tablespoon of softened butter

½ tsp vanilla

Mean while using a stand or hand mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff peaks.

Now mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, except the egg whites. PLEASE, only mix these together until the dry ingredients are wet, THERE WILL BE PLENTY OF LUMPS. Lumps are good!

Now FOLD in the egg whites. This is important. You want the egg whites to maintain their volume and air. This is what is going to make your pancakes the best pancakes ever. If you smoosh them down to just wet egg whites you've killed them. Shame on you!! FOLD IN THE EGG WHITES.

Now cook them on a griddle or large enough pan that you can flip them. If you use a nonstick skillet you can butter it a little to give you that crispy edge on the outside. Watch for the bubbles on the batter as it cooks, that's the sign it is ready to flip. And please only flip them once. You can peak under them with the spatula if you are uncertain. You are looking for golden brown.

I love to serve maple butter syrup over them. Or you can use fruit syrups or just pick them up and eat them. They are to die for. You will love them. Enjoy!

The Best International Soups

Soups are eaten worldwide for nourishing and economical value. Know the best popular international soups consommé from all around the world like England, Russia, Spain, France, Poland, etc

It is probable that soup in its earliest form was a complete meal, because it was found hearty, nourishing, economical and wholesome. Being a liquid it is absorbed quite easily and is utilized very quickly by the body. Here are the list of the best and popular international soups, eaten widely known for their taste, flavour and health value.

1. Minestrone: (Italian) Made of chopped onions, leeks and vegetables tossed in pork fat with water and cooked consommé, or with tomatoes, diced of beans, spaghetti, rice, peas, garlic, parsley and chopped basil.

2. Turtle Soup: (England) Consommé of beef, chicken and turtle, flavoured with basil, marjoram, sago, rosemary, thyme, coriander, peppercorns, bay leaf and thickened with arrowroot, garnished with warm cherry.

3. French Onion Soup: Consommé garnished with fried onions served with melba toast with cheese gratinated under the salamander (Soupe A l’Oignon)

4. Cock-A-Leekie: (Scotland) Chicken and veal consommé garnished with juliennes of leeks, prune and chicken.

5. Mulligatawany: Broiled spices cooked in water with tomatoes, onion, served with rice, sliced onions and lemon wedges. In case of non-vegetarian, it is garnished with small pieces of mutton which is cooked with the soup.

6. Bortsch Polanaise: (Poland) Duck flavoured consommé, strongly flavoured with parsley, root vegetables, celery, fennel, marjoram, peppercorns. Garnished with juliennes of leeks, carrot, beetroot, cubes of beef and duck. Accompaniments are:

i). Warm Beetroot Juice

ii). Sour cream

iii). Bouches stuffed with duck force meat.

7. Bortsch Koop: (Russia) Julienes of leeks, carrots, onions, celery, beef, moistened with consommé. Garnished with minced beetroots and cereal with bouchees filled with chicken, forced meat and beetroot juice.

8. Hongroise: (Hungarian) Dices of beef seasoned with paprika, tossed in butter with onions, and flour. Moistened with consommé and garnished with/dices of potatoes, pinch of fennel, crushed garlic and fried croutons.

9. Biere: (German) Veloute with beer, salt, sugar, pepper, cinnamon, garnished with toast.

10. Gazpacho: (Spain) It is a cold vegetable soup of cucumber, tomato and capsicum, garnished with dices of cucumber, tomato and capsicum.