Saturday, December 31, 2011

A recipe – Tahini Cookies


After the last post I felt so guilty. So much butter and sugar... Oh!
So this time - healthy cookies!
If you have a food processor, it takes just five minutes, if not, it will take 10 minutes ...
And it is tasty! Very much!




Ingredients yield: about 30 cookies
½ cup of Tahini (not the pre-make salad…)
1 stick (100 gr.) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup of sugar (white / light brown)
2 tablespoon milk (Soy / Cow)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup of all-purpose flour
¾ cup of whole-wheat flour


Directions
1.     In a large mixing bowl (or – in a food processor), stir together the tahini and butter; add all the other ingredients, and keep mixing until well blended.
2.     Form balls the size of walnuts and place them on a baking sheet protected with baking paper. The dough is dry and crumbly, so squeeze it together to make the balls.
3.     [I like these cookies nice and round, so after I placed them on the baking sheet, I cut them with a top of a glass (or cooking ring)]
4.     Preheat the oven to 350 F (180 C).
5.     Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cookies have turned light gold. Be aware not to bake the cookies too much, it can affect their flavor. Cool on a rack.

Friday, December 23, 2011

A recipe – Butter Cookies


They are unhealthy, containing mainly butter and sugar, but they are extremely good, so I said to myself: Noit, you should share it!
The original recipe is taken from a book that I really don’t know the name, but I promise to check it out and add it to the post.
I made the some adjustments in order to turn the recipe to less corrupt one…
So, here is the (super easy) recipe for butter cookies:

Ingredients
½ pound (2 sticks / 225 gr.) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar (in the original recipe – white sugar)
2 egg yolks (You can freeze egg whites for another recipe that require egg foam/Meringue)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (in the original recipe – 2 cups all-purpose flour, without whole wheat flour)
1 cup whole wheat flour


Directions
1.     In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter with the sugar, using an electric mixer (much more easier, but not necessary). Add the egg yolks, salt, and vanilla extract and beat well.
2.     Add the flour and keep mixing until you get a soft dough.
3.     Divide the dough in half and shape into 2 logs, about 1-1.5 inch in diameter. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill for about an hour, until the logs are firm enough to slice.
4.     Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C).
5.     Take off the plastic wrap and slice the dough into ¼ inch thick disks and transfer to parchment-lined backing sheets.
6.     Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cookies have turned golden. Cool on a rack.


Other option from step 3 and forward –
3.     Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and chill for about an hour.
4.     Preheat the oven to 300 F (150 C).
5.     Take off the plastic wrap. On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness (you may need to add flour during rolling). Cut into shapes and transfer to parchment-lined backing sheets.
6.     Bake for about 15 minutes, until the cookies have turned golden. Cool on a rack



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jack Donaghy: "I am a protein"

In recent months I have developed a new addiction! I'm addicted to 30 Rock!
I think this show is not only hilarious, but mostly genius!
on the fifth season, episode 9, Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin, I am in LOVE…) explains exactly what a protein’s all about:

video

(Sorry for the bad quality of the video)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A recipe – Beet salad

I haven’t eaten clementines for about 20 years. If you ask me why I really won’t have a good answer. I don’t like the smell, I don’t like the feeling on your hands after you eat them… but I don’t really even remember what they taste like. Maybe I would like them if I tried them, but I don’t think I will.
Beets are the same. I have no idea why I’ve disliked them all my life. I’ve never eaten them. I think in my mind I relate them to food old people eat. My grandparents used to eat Borsht, which is a soup made of beets. I still imagine it doesn’t taste good, but the color is amazing.
When I traveled to Morocco I had no choice, as they served beet salad at every meal. And since I traveled during Ramadan, I ate everything I found!
And I liked them! A lot!
Ingredients
2 red beetroots 
2 cloves crushed garlic
2 – 3 tablespoon olive oil
2 – 3 tablespoon vinegar
Juice from ½ of lemon
Bunch of fresh parsley chopped (or coriander, or half and half)
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt & pepper
Directions
1.     Rinse the beets. Place in a pot, cover with water and boil until tender.
2.     Drain the beets, and slide the skins off. Allow the beets to cool, and then cut the beets as French fries.
3.     Mix the beets in a bowl with the remaining ingredients, seasoning to taste with salt and pepper.
4.     Prior to serving, taste the salad and adjust the seasoning if desired.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A recipe – Creamy mushroom soup in less than 20 min.


Every time I have been asked how to make a dish, my answer started with “oh, it is so easy…” I am afraid my friends no longer believe me.
Nophar, my friend, is the same – if you ask her for a recipe it will be something like: chop, heat, mix and it is ready. Nophar is not only an amazingly talented designer, but also a great cook. Here is Nophar’s Creamy mushroom soup, and it really is that easy to make!




Ingredients
1/2 cup of dried mushrooms
1/2 cup of boiling water
1 large onion - finely chopped
1.75 Oz (50 grams) butter
2 boxes of fresh mushrooms (2 kinds) - wash, take of stem and slice
1/4 cup of mushroom Bullion (not necessary)
4-5 cups of milk
1 cup of heavy cream
Salt & pepper
Sour cream


Directions
1.     Put the dried mushrooms and the boiling water in a bowl and cover for 20 min. Strain and finely cut the mushrooms. (You can use the water to replace some of the other fluids in the soup, it'll give it an extra mushroom flavor)
2.     In a big pot, sauté the onions in the butter until the onion is soft and translucent, then add the mushrooms. Stir for 5-7 min.
3.     In a separate small bowl, mix the Bullion with 1/2 of the milk, and Pour this into the pot.
4.     Pour the rest of the milk, heavy cream, salt and pepper (Do not add the sour cream).
5.     Heat through over low - medium heat, while steering, for about 10 min, until soup is thicker. If the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat.
6.     Soup is ready. Put a dollop of sour cream in your serving bowls, pour the soup over it and enjoy!







Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


 


Few years ago I participated in a workshop about Positive Psychology by Tal Ben-Shahar.
The basic idea of the Positive psychology is that it does not ask what does not work, but asks what does work. What worked in the past and what it would take to implement it.

One of the tools that was recommended by Tal is writing to write every night five things that we're grateful.
He said that people who regularly write the things they're grateful to them, they people who experience more optimistic, are more prosperous and more healthy.

I am not writing every night, not even once a month, but today is the right time to do it:
1.     I am grateful for being a photographer
2.     I am grateful for having my sisters and their kids
3.     I am grateful for having the courage to make a big change in my life
4.     I am grateful for having my friends
5.     I am grateful for the first time the subway arrived so fast (last night)

Happy thanksgiving!



 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A recipe – Granola


Did you know that ½ cup granola with cup of yogurt contain about 50% of the daily amount of protein that we need?

My cooking is based on my mother’s recipes, friends’ recipes, cookbooks, websites and mainly – my imagination.
This recipe is based on one from bazekalim.com, with my personal edits.




Ingredients
5 cups rolled oats (not the quick cooking oats)
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup flax seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup dried figs (8-10 pieces)
½ cup dried dates (8-10 pieces)
½ cup dried apricots (8-10 pieces)
1 cup honey
4 Oz butter
1-2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(Recipe Yield 3.3 Pounds (1.5 Kg) of granola)


Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients: oats, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds and sesame seeds. You can make any mix of nuts and seeds, as long the total amount will be 4 cups, like pecan, coconut chips (the big ones), wheat germ and all other kind of nuts
  3. Heat for about 5 minutes in a small pot the butter, honey, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Be careful not to boil it, just heat until everything is melted and mixed. Pour mixture over the oats and stir all together until completely combined.
  4.  Spread evenly over the prepared baking sheets, pressing down lightly with the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven – IMPORTANT – set a timer for 5 minutes, stir and flip the mixture every 5 minutes (total baking 5 minutes X 4 times). Allow to cool completely.
  6. In a large bowl (the same one from the beginning…), break the cooled granola into large chunks. Mix in the raisins, dried cranberries, dried figs, dried dates and dried apricots. Here as well, you can add or reduce dried fruits as you like.
  7. Store in an airtight container. 





Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Protein - @#$%^&*&^%$#@ - what is it?

No, I am not a Doctor and not a nutritionist. I am a photographer who like to cook as much as I like to photograph. So when I got my blood test I made a little “research”, tried to understand what should I eat and what I should not. Everything in this blog is about sharing my experience only, and not health / nutrition info or tips.

I found the article “The Nutrition Source - Protein” on HARVARD School of Public Health website, very clear and helpful.


So what is it Protein?

Proteins are polymer chains made of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds” (Wikipedia). I know, it is sound like Chinese!

The sources for Protein in our food are:
Animal source – fish, poultry, red meat, dairy foods (milk, cheese, and yogurt), eggs. This is the best source for protein, since they contain all the amino acids needed to build new Proteins. The problem is, that they have “side effects” as high level of cholesterol, lactose and other.
Whole grainsbrown rice, whole wheat, rye, quinoa, corn
Legumes – lentils, chickpeas, soy, beans, peas
Nuts and seeds – walnuts, cashews, almonds, flax, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame



But as many things in life, It's not quantity but quality, and in the Protein case - It's the Protein package (or mix) that's likely to make a difference.






Friday, November 11, 2011

The beginning

I got a wakeup call!
I got my blood test result and an email from my nutritionist that reacted as if I am going to die. Soon.
It read: “You must change your diet immediately!!!”
Immediately? this sounds serious!
So I took a second look on the blood test result and looked for more info on the net,
and you know what – he is so right!

Immediately!

So here is My High Level Protein Diet, week by week