Supercharged foods – a term you might have heard bandied about, but what are they? A simple definition would be any food that is unprocessed, whole and nutrient rich. Below are some suggestions of supercharged foods to add to your diet.
Artichoke: Artichokes contain inulin, which is a type of carbohydrate that has been shown to decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Cayenne pepper: Cayenne pepper heats up the body and therefore is thought to increase metabolism. Chili pepper has a similar effect.
Cinnamon: According to the USDA, consuming as little as a ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon with food helps the body metabolize sugar 20 times faster and lowers blood sugar levels. This means faster weight loss!
Ginger: Ginger has been found to increase feelings of satiety.
Seaweed: The property in seaweed that helps us lose weight is alginate, which lines the walls of the digestive system and prevents dietary fat from passing through.
Tea: The caffeine in tea stimulates thermogenesis, the biochemical process by which fat in the body is burned to produce energy. Plus, tea has a fabulous antioxidant called EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate) that provides fat-burning activity.
Vinegar: Vinegar helps lower blood glucose levels.
Vegetarian Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms
By Lévana Kirschenbaum
Artichokes: A great Sephardi favorite, we grew up in Morocco eating them in every shape and form, even for dessert. Someone in the food industry, bless him, has done the pesky job of snapping the leaves off the artichokes, and the even peskier job of scraping the fuzz off the artichoke bottoms, leaving us only with exactly what we want (perfect artichoke bottoms or baby artichoke hearts) in order to sail through the preparation of quite a few artichoke-based treats. There’s nothing I don’t do with them: soups, tajines, Hummus, risottos, side dishes, salads, pickles, pastas, dips!
Lean, nutrient-packed, different, and delicious. Did you know there was an artichoke liqueur called Cynar? Not for the fainthearted: Try it, it might grow on you!
You can stuff artichoke bottoms with virtually anything you like: meat, fish, rice, vegetables, cheese, breadcrumbs (substitute ground meat or fish, or cooked rice, in equal parts, for the breadcrumbs, and proceed just as instructed. The latter is what I am choosing to go with in this recipe, just so I can let the artichoke be the main star.
¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, quartered
4 large cloves garlic
2 ribs celery, peeled
1 bunch flat parsley
6-8 sprigs dill, fronds and stems
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons capers
3 cups fresh bread crumbs, gluten-free OK
Salt and pepper to taste
14-16 large frozen artichoke bottoms, no need to thaw before using.
2 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons turmeric
2 good pinches saffron
Heat the oil in large skillet.
In a food processor, coarsely grind the onion, garlic, celery, parsley and dill, and add to the skillet.
Sauté the mixture until translucent.
Add all but last ingredients, and mix thoroughly, adding a few drops water if necessary to form a thick paste.
Fill the artichokes with the mixture, using it all up.
Bring the cooking liquid ingredients to boil, and place the bottoms stuffing side up in the skillet.
Reduce the flame to medium, and cook covered for 20 minutes.
Transfer the artichokes to a platter, and look at the liquid left in the skillet: if it is too thin reduce to thicken, and pour over the artichokes.
Serve hot or at room temperature.
About the Author: Lévana Kirschenbaum was co-owner of Lévana Restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (alas, recently closed after a thirty-two year run), and a pioneer in upscale kosher dining. She is a cooking teacher and cookbook author, with speaking engagements and cooking demos across the country. She has published “Lévana’s Table: Kosher Cooking for Everyone,” “Lévana Cooks Dairy-Free!” and a book-DVD set based on her demo series called “In Short Order” on cooking great meals in no time, in style and in good health. She has just published “The Whole Foods Kosher Kitchen: Glorious Meals Pure and Simple." Visit her on the web at www.levanacooks.com
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