Terre Pruitt's Blog

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

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Posts Tagged ‘cardamom’

Roast Pumpkin Soup, My Way

Posted by terrepruitt on December 12, 2016

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitOh, it has been too long since I posted on Monday.  Just so much to think about right now it is difficult to focus on what to write for a blog post.  I was busy with another project today so I was barely thinking about dinner much less a blog post.  I had a sugar pie pumpkin that needed to be used.  Normally with sugar pie pumpkins I make Pumpkin For Dinner but I didn’t feel like making that.  I don’t know why.  I LOVE that.  But I just didn’t want to make it.  So I thought I would make pumpkin soup.  I have never make pumpkin soup before.  I was certain there was a recipe online I could use.  But when it came time to make dinner I didn’t feel like looking at a bunch of recipes to figure out which one to make.  Or which ones I could use to make soup so I just made up something.  For me . . . it was too bitter, but my husband loved it.

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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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitPumpkin Soup

1 sugar pie pumpkin
olive oil
garlic salt
1/2 large onion
32 ounces veggie broth
1 pumpkin beer
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon marjoram
sprinkle of pepper
sprinkle of nutmeg
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of water

Preheat the oven to 450° F.  Wash the pumpkin, then cut it up in quarters.  Removing all the seeds.  Rub the pumpkin with olive oil and sprinkle both sides of each quarter with garlic salt.  Then place the pumpkin – outside up – on a parchment paper lined baking pan.  Then bake it for 30 minutes.  Take the pumpkin out of the oven and turn each piece over, bake it for about 20 minutes more.  This is where you have to decide if it is done in 20 minutes or needs more time in the oven.  Use a fork, if needed, mine was kinda brown.  It might have been more than 20 minutes.

While the pumpkin is roasting.  Heat up some olive oil in your stock pot or soup pan.  Chop the onion.  Then cook the onion.  Then add the broth.  Then add the beer.  Add the salt and all of the spices.  Just let it barely boil.

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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitWhen the pumpkin is done roasting put it in your super blender (or perhaps you have an immersion blender*) and blend it until you have a pumpkin puree.

Add the pumpkin puree to the liquid in the soup pot.  Stir until incorporated.  Then serve.

*with the immersion blender add the pumpkin to the liquid then blend until smooth

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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, Nia Technique, SJ City Fit, SJCityFitSo, I didn’t have anything to serve this with.  I think I would have put some creme fraiche on top or some cheese.  But I wasn’t sure.  Strangely I didn’t taste it before I served it.  As I said, I have a lot of things on my mind and I was doing three other things while I was cooking, so dinner was super late in the evening, and when I first tried to taste it, it was too hot.  I didn’t try again.  But it was ok.

My husband really liked it.  He said it had a finish that tasted like Taco Bell’s Hot Sauce.  Can’t say I am happy about that exactly, but then again, it allowed him to like the soup, so ok.  But to me, it was too bitter.

So, help me out.  Why was it bitter?  Is cardamom bitter?  Is cumin?  Would cutting back on either of those help with the bitter?

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Health Benefits Of Cardamom

Posted by terrepruitt on June 20, 2016

You may have read my post about Chai Tea.  A Nia Teacher friend gave me a yummy recipe for chai tea.  I had futzed with it because I wanted it a bit spicier — what?  Me?  I know.  But it is not HOT spice, just more flavorful.  Well, I was excited until I saw the price of cardamom.  And, as is my habit, I posted about how outrageous it was.  As is my friends’ way . . .one of them helped me out.  First of all she GAVE me some Cardamom, then she reminded me of where I live.  I live in one of the most diverse areas in the country – well, I think I do.  But whether that is true or not we have all types of different markets around.  There are Asian Markets, Hispanic Markets, Indian Markets, Spice Markets, Vegetable Markets, Fabric Markets . . . you name it, I bet there is one within 5 miles of me.  Well, Spice Markets have way more affordable spices then grocery stores.  I got a bag of cardamom and I have been using it in my tea.

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 was curious as to what benefits cardamom might have.  And also what else I can use it in besides tea.  Here are the results of my “research”.

First of all wiki states:  “It is the world’s third-most expensive spice, surpassed in price per weight only by vanilla and saffron.”  Well, that explains the high price at the store.  I did not know that!

Cardamom has been used in Ayurveda and Chinese medicine for thousands of years to treat many ailments.

According to several websites (Sunwarrior, Organic Facts, Food Facts, and The Health Site), cardamom is good for digestion.  Some compared it to ginger, in that it can aid in digestion. It can help relieve things like nausea, bloating, gas, heartburn, acidity, loss of appetite, and constipation.

It helps eliminate toxins from the body.

It helps with bad breath. And mouth ulcers and throat infections.

It is a diuretic, which could be one way it helps eliminate toxins.

It can act as an anti-depressant.

It can also help prevent colds and flus.

Studies on animals are showing it might help protect against some cancers.

Studies on humans have shown it helps lower blood pressure.

It controls cholesterol according to a study in India done on mice.

Can possibly prevent or aid in the prevention of blood clots, by improving circulation.

It is an antioxidant, an anti inflammatory, and an aphrodisiac.

It’s essential oil can be used in aromatherapy.

Research has been done at the King Saud University concluding that cardamom can be used to control muscle spasms on animals.

Cardamom can help with some respiratory issues such as asthma and bronchitis.

It can help with sore throats and hiccups.

It is said to cure impotency and a bevy of penis problems.  I occurred to me with better circulation, these types of problems could possibly be helped.  And then if these types of problems are improved upon it could definitely relieve some depression.  🙂

In a tablespoon of cardamom there is 80 percent of the recommended value of manganese, which is really important for healthy skin.

Cardamom is a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

Well, I didn’t quiet get to the part on how to use it other than in tea.  But perhaps you can help.  Do you use cardamom?  How do you use it?

Posted in Misc | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Meat Topped Polenta Rounds

Posted by terrepruitt on November 14, 2015

So I had an idea to make another dinner with polenta but it was kinda like the last thing I made with polenta, but I was hoping it would be different enough I could add it to the list of things to make.  But it actually turned out to be almost exactly like the Turkey And Polenta Bake I had made.  The polenta I buy is in a tube, like a roll of sausage,  But it is hard, not mushy.  I was still thinking I could roll it out so that I could put the rolled out rounds of polenta in muffin pans then fill ’em.  But the polenta did not flatten when I tried to roll it out, it just started breaking up.  So, I ended up just putting the sliced rounds in the bottom of the muffin cups.

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Meat Topped Polenta RoundsDance 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

Olive oil
1 leek
9 mushrooms
1 tsp garlic
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp thyme
1 tube of polenta
1 lb beef
2 cups shredded cheese
(green onions and sour cream)

Chop the leek and slice the mushrooms, then cook the leek for a few minutes in the olive oil over medium heat.  Then add the sliced mushrooms to the pan, add half the garlic and half the salt – reserving the rest for later (when you add the meat).  Continue to cook and stir, then add the rest of the spices.

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

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 TechniqueWhile the mushrooms and leek are cooking, preheat the oven to 425° F.  Then slice the polenta.  I sliced mine so I would have enough to fit into both my pans.  One isn’t even a muffin pan. Grease the muffin pan.  Then put a polenta round into each muffin well.  Brush some olive oil on each round.  Bake the polenta for 15 to 20 minutes.  Check on them.  I wanted mine to have cooked to where the edges were getting crispy.

Back to the mushrooms.  Cook the mushrooms until they are almost done – you decide how done you want them – then add the meat to the pan.  Cook the meat a bit, then add the rest of the garlic and salt.  Cook the meat until it is pretty much done, but don’t overcook it because it has to be in the oven a bit still.

Once the meat is cooked to your satisfaction, put a tiny bit of cheese on the polenta, then fill the muffin cups (on top of the polenta) with the meat veggie mixture.  Top each meat filled cup with cheese, then bake for 10 to 20 minutes.

After the cheese is melted and everything is cooked to your satisfaction, just pop the meat topped polenta rounds onto a plate to serve.  (I forgot to take a picture of this part.)

You can top them with sour cream and green onions.  I forgot to buy one (sour cream) and I forgot to use the other (green onions).

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This was good, but it was not what I had planned and it was so much like my other dish I almost didn’t post about it.  I liked it better though because the polenta was “crispy” and that is what I had wanted in the other recipe.  This one was also good because it was different flavors than “taco flavor”.

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 TechniqueMy plan – aside from rolling out the polenta, was to use corn and peppers, but we received two leeks in our produce box and I need to start using the produce right away, so I decided to use the leek instead.  I didn’t think there would be enough room in the muffins cups to hold meat, mushrooms, leek, corn, and peppers.  Perhaps next time I’ll do the corn and peppers sans leeks.

My plan was also to start cooking earlier and take pictures of every thing, ingredients, and each step, but I started late and was on the phone while I was cooking so I almost forgot about the pictures.

So what would you put on your polenta rounds?

 

Posted in "Recipes", Food | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Venting Gets Me Good

Posted by terrepruitt on January 31, 2013

I go to Starbucks when I have a gift card.  I like Starbucks Chai Tea Lattes.  When I first started getting them they were almost too spicy for me.  Then they seemed to change a bit.  They got less flavorful.  Then one time I got one at a store I don’t normally frequent and I thought my teeth were going to fall out.  It was soooooo sweet.  Yes, I know that the fancy drinks at Starbucks and other coffee houses are a huge source of sugar.  That is ONE reason why I don’t buy them.  I DO have them on occasion when I am blessed with receiving a gift card.  To me they are a nice treat.  But this one hurt my teeth and my stomach.  I chalked it up to this store making them different.  But then I went to the store I usually go to and it was the same thing.  Ugh.  I posted a Facebook status asking if they had changed their recipe.  I know places and manufacturers do that all the time.  One of the responses I received was to make my own Chai.  The response even included the recipe.

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaA few days after that I was in the grocery store and I actually remembered while I was in the spice aisle that I needed cardamom to make the chai.  I looked and looked and when I finally found it I almost choked.  It was $12.99.  I didn’t realize it was that expensive.

So, again, I posted on Facebook, I said that I would stick to using my gift cards at Starbucks instead of spend $13.00.  And again the replies were awesome.  People near and far reminded me that I live in an area rich with many cultures and that I could find cardamom at Indian Spice stores.  The major benefits to that would be that it would be cheaper and more than likely better.

But before I could remember to get to a store one of my amazing friends brought me a little box of it.  She is awesome like that.  She frequents an affordable spice shop so she picked me up some.

Here is the recipe that Danielle Woermann (a Nia Black Belt) posted for me on Facebook.  I am unaware of where she got it.

Masala Chai. Serves four.

Boil 3 cups (.7 liters) of water with
4 cloves
2 pinches ground nutmeg
2 pinches ground cinnamon
2 pinches ground cardamom
1/2 inch (1.27 cm) piece of grated fresh ginger

Add 2 tea bags (black, green, redbush, etc.) and simmer for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup (.2 liters) almond milk or milk of your choice, and heat until hot, but not boiling. Add sweetener of your choice. Serve and enjoy!

Dance Exercise, Nia, Nia at the City of San Jose, Nia classes in the South Bay, Nia Teacher, Nia Class, San Jose Nia, Nia San Jose, Nia workout, Nia, ZumbaI decided to measure my “pinches” so that I could have a more accurate measure and adjust accordingly.  I used an 1/8 of a teaspoon as a “pinch”.  I think that I need to work on it a bit.  Either the person doing the pinching who created this recipe has REALLY LARGE pinches or they like a more mellow tea.  I think that this might be really good if I made it ahead of time and let all the flavors really seep into the water.  The time that is stated in the recipe didn’t seem to do that.  Also it does help if, when you are drinking it, you actually get some of the spices in your mouth . . . . which also makes for an oddly textured and a bit chewy tea.  But I’m ok with that.

I think I might experiment with chopping the ginger.  For some reason I don’t might little tiny chunks of fresh ginger as opposed to what came off my grater . . . . it was odd.

That is a GREAT thing about recipes though, right?  I love to try them the way they are then adjust them to my tastes.  Maybe this is one that you can make and enjoy — either adjusting or not.

Do you like Chai Tea?  Do you have a recipe?  Doesn’t this one sound yummy?

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