Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Turmeric

Turmeric, the deep yellow spice that gives curry both its color and earthy, bitter taste, has been used for centuries for both its culinary and medicinal properties.  Curcumin, one of the main components in turmeric, is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.  Some studies have shown that turmeric helps reduce the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, but more research still needs to be done to confirm its effectiveness in treating a variety of conditions.  Medical claims aside, turmeric is a good source of iron and manganese and contains a host of other vitamins and minerals.  If you’re a fan of curry, then you already know that even a small amount of turmeric can add a lot of color and flavor to a meal.  If curry’s not your thing, plenty of other options abound for adding a little more spice to your meals by incorporating turmeric.

Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower and Peas

Ingredients
2 teaspoons ghee (clarified butter), melted butter, or vegetable oil
1, 10-ounce package diced onions, or 1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
6 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Instructions

  1. Heat ghee, oil, or butter in pressure cooker over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, mustard seeds, and turmeric, and sauté 2 minutes.
  4. Add potatoes, cauliflower, sugar, and ½ cup water.
  5. Close pressure cooker, and bring up to high pressure. Cook 5 minutes.
  6. Release pressure with quick-release button, or transfer pressure cooker to sink, and run cool water over rim to release pressure.
  7. Stir peas into cauliflower mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature. Serves 6.

 Recipe from Vegetarian Times

Greek Lemon Rice Soup

Ingredients
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
⅓ cup brown rice
1, 12-ounce package silken tofu (about 1 ½ cups)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring broth and rice to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the rice is very tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Carefully transfer 2 cups of the rice mixture to a blender. Add tofu, oil and turmeric; process until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
  3. Whisk the tofu mixture, lemon juice, dill and pepper into the soup remaining in the pan. Heat through. Serves 4.

 Recipe adapted from EatingWell

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