Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

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Posts Tagged ‘black sesame’

Seeds: Sesame and Nigella

Posted by terrepruitt on March 30, 2016

My favorite recipe as of late called for white sesame seeds and Nigella seeds.  Now I know what sesame seeds are, but I didn’t know there were black/brown ones.  I didn’t know what Nigella seeds were and the recipe even noted that they might be hard to find so black sesame, black cumin, or onion seeds could be used as a substitute.  But I found them easy enough on Amazon, but they were listed under several different names.  And when I googled them, even more names came up.  I love this recipe enough I can see myself using all the seeds just for this, but if not I was curious what else I could use them in.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitI know that sesame seeds are used in a lot of dishes, but I don’t normally use them.  According to Nutrition and You they have been used in “traditional medicines for their nutritive, preventive, and curative properties and are an important source of phyto-nutritents.”  Sesame seeds are high in protein, and like all seeds and nuts they are also high in fat.  But it is thought that this fat is actually one of the better ones in that it has been shown to lower the LDL cholesterol and raise the HDL cholesterol.  The USDA National Nutrient data base has the pictured information listed for “Seeds, sesame seeds, whole, dried”.

You are probably familiar with sesame seeds because they are used in many things.  For one they are famous a top a bun, yes?  They are also what makes up Tahini which is an ingredient in humus.  They are used in so many things it is almost as if they go unnoticed.

Now this nigella seed, what it up with that?  Well, Wiki helps a bit with the names by stating “In English, Nigella sativa and its seed are variously called black-caraway, black-cumin, fennel-flower, nigella, nutmeg-flower, Roman-coriander, and kalonji (from Hindi).”  As I mentioned the recipe I made said you could us black cumin as a substitute, but according to what I have seen on the internet (included Wiki) black cumin is just another NAME for nigella seeds.  It seems that this seed just has a lot of names.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitJust like the sesame seed, there are claims that the nigella seed helps lower LDL.  Claims also include they help to lower blood pressure, have anti-asthmatic effects, relieve viral sore throats, protect the brain against radiation damage, help reduce the possibility of morphine addiction, reduce symptoms of chemical weapons exposure, helps prevent post-surgical scars of the  a thin, delicate sheet that lines the inside wall of the abdomen and covers the uterus and extends over the bladder and rectum (the  peritoneum), protect neurons, slow the spread of cervical cancer, and, as a topical, helps with psoriasis.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitInternet information refer to it as the “cure all for everything but death”.  And it sure sounds like it with all of the aforementioned information that was found on NaturalSociety from a post from 2013.  I hadn’t even mentioned the info on the first part of the post stating that is it thought to help people with Type 2 diabetes, epilepsy, colon cancer, breast cancer, leukemia, and oral cancer.  AND . . . (yes there is more) help protect against damage to the heart from heart attacks, and also treat MRSA!  Wow.  And to think I had never even heard of the stuff.

This is the type of seed that can be added to many dishes.  The recipe I made called for it to be sprinkled on the pan so it stuck to the outside of the cake while baking.  But I really liked the flavor of both the seeds so I plan on putting some on top, if not inside.  I think inside the cake they would not get the same toastiness that they did on the outside of the pan.  But I can see adding them to other things.  I will add it to vegetables as I cook them and then on top when I serve them.  I might put some on my sandwiches.  They will probably add a nice extra layer of flavor.  Oooo.  I can’t wait to try that.

Seems like the benefits thought to be held in those little seeds are worth adding them to everything.

Do you cook with nigella seeds?  What about sesame seeds?

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Cauliflower Cake

Posted by terrepruitt on March 25, 2016

So yummy.  My friend posted on Facebook that she had to explain to her child that the Cauliflower Cake she made for dinner was a savory CAKE, not like a birthday cake.  She said it was a recipe from Ottolenghi.  Of course I Googled it and I was intrigued.  Then I noticed that a head of cauliflower was to be delivered in our produce box so I thought, ok. Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit The challenge according to the posted recipe was finding the nigella seeds, but I think Amazon meets each and every challenge with a “pppprrrruuuuuf”.  I ordered both the white sesame seeds and nigella seeds online and had them before my scheduled produce delivery.  The recipe noted you can use black sesame, black cumin, or onion seeds instead of the nigella/black caraway seeds.

I altered this recipe because I used the head of cauliflower I had and did not specifically shop for a small one as the recipe called for.  I also could not bring myself to use the 5 (FIVE) tablespoons of olive oil that the recipe called for.  I put two in the pan and almost stopped there, but decided to go with three . . . which I think was PLENTY!

I don’t like biting into rosemary stems so I had my husband grind them.  He used a mortar and pestle and he does an excellent job making them fine and powdery!  I also used SHAVED cheese instead of shredded Parmesan, and it was actually a Parmesan/Romano blend.  I like how there is more cheese in a bite that way . . . but I am sure either is fine.  The recipe called for unsalted butter, which I bought once for a recipe a long time ago and will not be doing that again.  So I used regular butter.

Since I use my blog as my recipe book I put my ideas for next time I make this in the recipe below in asterisked italics.  That way I don’t have to continue to scroll down to check what I want to do different and I won’t forget because it will be right there.)

This is what I did, which is an adaptation of Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipe I found on thekitchn.com

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Savory Cauliflower Cake

(Serves 4 to 6)

1 cauliflower head, cut into pieces (not small pieces, about an inch big)

1 medium red onion

3 tablespoons olive oilDance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFit

1 teaspoon rosemary leaves (which I had my hubby grind up for me)

7 large eggs

1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped **use more**

1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/3 teaspoon (heaping) ground turmeric **1/2 to 1 teaspoon**

1 1/2 cups shaved Parmesan or Parmesan/Romano

Melted butter, for brushing the sides of the pan

1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

1 teaspoon nigella seeds (also known as black caraway)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt  **to 2 teaspoon**

black pepper (to taste)

9 1/2 springform pan (or a 9-inch cake pan or even an 8-inch square pan)

Preheat the oven to 450°F.  (The original recipe called for 400° F, I mistakenly did it at 450° which requires less time . . . .so I think I will stick to 450° F and bake it for less time.)

Place the cauliflower florets in a saucepan and add 1 teaspoon salt. Cover with water and cook until the florets are quite soft. They should break when pressed with a fork.  (But don’t break them up.) Drain and set aside while preparing the rest of the ingredients (whatever you didn’t get done while the cauliflower was cooking).

Peel the onion, then cut 3 slices, almost 1/4-inch/5-mm thick, off one end.  Set the onion rings aside.

Heat up the 3 tablespoons of oil in a small pan.

Coarsely chop the remaining onion and cook it in the oil with the rosemary, stirring as necessary.  Cook it until the onion is soft.  When done remove from heat and set aside.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia in the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, Gentle Yoga, Group Ex classes, YMCA, Zumba, PiYo, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhile the onion is cooking you can line the bottom and sides of the springform pan or your chosen baking dish with parchment paper.  Then use the melted butter to butter the paper in the pan, the sides and the bottom.  In the 9 1/2 inch springform the mixture does not go all the way up to the top so you only need to butter about halfway up.  Mix the white sesame seeds and the nigella seeds together.  Then sprinkle the seed mixture on the sides of the pan.  **USE ALL THE SEEDS!  Perhaps even putting them on the bottom of the pan.**

While your onions are cooling, break the 7 eggs into a large bowl and whisk well.  Add the basil and whisk.  Add the cooked onion and rosemary mixture to the eggs.  Whisking and stirring.  Then stir in the flour, baking powder, turmeric, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper.  Stir until all ingredients are mixed well.  Then mix in the Parmesan.  Then add the cooked cauliflower.  Don’t stir too much that you break up all the flowerets into little pieces, but mix it enough so that it is all mixed together.

Pour the egg and cauliflower mixture into the pan.  Spreading it evenly, then put the onion rings on top.  **Sprinkle some seeds on top**  Place in the center of the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  Bake it until golden brown.  Check complete doneness by inserting a knife into the center.  It is done when the knife comes out clean.  Remove from the oven and serve to your liking, hot, warm, or cold.

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I ate on this for a few days.  I can’t wait to make it again with my extra **tweaks.  I really like it.  I thought it was super yummy.  You can use it as the main dish or a side and serve it with a salad and something meaty.  It could be breakfast, lunch, or dinner.  It is yummy!

Well, what do you think?

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