Nutritious, Versatile Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds are great freshly-ground and used as a salad-topper. Here is a salad topped with both ground raw pumpkin seeds, Cheddar cheese and walnuts.

 “Pepitas”, as they are called in Spanish, are delicious when toasted in a pan with a teaspoon of coconut oil and about a half-teaspoon of salt per cup. Stirred frequently with a wooden spoon, my pumpkin seeds were ready after ten minutes in a medium-hot cast-iron pan. Another method is soaking the seeds overnight in water, lemon juice and salt, draining and toasting them in a moderate oven.
Pumpkin seeds are a rich source of zinc, iron, magnesium, omega-3s, are low in carbs, and three tablespoons of them contain eight grams of protein. Pumpkin seeds have properties that are used in an efficacious treatment for parasites. Storing ground pumpkin seeds in the refrigerator in a jar will preserve their freshness.
From George Mateljan’s venerable website, “World’s Healthiest Foods”, here is the first paragraph of, and a link tohis article about Pumpkin Seeds:

Antioxidant Support

While antioxidant nutrients are found in most WHFoods, it’s the diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds that makes them unique in their antioxidant support. Pumpkin seeds contain conventional antioxidant vitamins like vitamin E. However, not only do they contain vitamin E, but they contain it in a wide variety of forms. Alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta-tocopherol, alpha-tocomonoenol and gamma-tocomonoenol are all forms of vitamin E found in pumpkin seeds. These last two forms have only recently been discovered, and they are a topic of special interest in vitamin E research, since their bioavailability might be greater than some of the other vitamin E forms. Pumpkin seeds also contain conventional mineral antioxidants like zinc and manganese. Phenolic antioxidants are found in pumpkin seeds in a wide variety of forms, including the phenolic acids hydroxybenzoic, caffeic, coumaric, ferulic, sinapic, protocatechuic, vanillic, and syringic acid. Antioxidant phytonutrients like lignans are also found in pumpkin seeds, including the lignans pinoresinol, medioresinol, and lariciresinol.
Interestingly, this diverse mixture of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds may provide them with antioxidant-related properties that are not widely found in food. For example, the pro-oxidant enzyme lipoxygenase (LOX) is known to be inhibited by pumpkin seed extracts, but not due to the presence of any single family of antioxidant nutrients (for example, the phenolic acids described earlier). Instead, the unique diversity of antioxidants in pumpkin seeds is most likely responsible for this effect.
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The Nutritional Benefits of Walnuts

 

Simple Greek Salad

ElegantGreekSaladM-JdeMestertonCopyright2010Simple_Greek_Salad.jpg

Simple_Greek_Salad_M-J_de_MRomaine lettuce, crumbled feta cheese, tiny tomatoes and vinaigrette combine to make a simple Greek salad. Other ingredients are sliced cucumbers, chopped fresh cilantro (coriander leaves) and Kalamata or Moroccan olives.

M-J’s Nutritious Luncheon Pancakes Made with Magical Mung Beans

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M-J’s High-Protein Mung Bean Pancakes, Filled with Strained Yoghurt (“Labneh”)

My husband Jacques likens this dish to blini with caviar and sour cream. To some, that’s quite an endorsement (I’ve resisted caviar all my life, with every fiber of my being).

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I call mung beans “magical” because they are full of life, often sprouting while being boiled.

M-J’s HIGH-PROTEIN MUNG BEAN PANCAKES

To my pot of cooked mung beans (one cup dry beans, three cups water) I add chia seeds (while beans are still hot, to make them soft), yogurt whey*, whole oat flour (I grind my own), ground flax, hemp protein powder, a couple of raw eggs, and a little self-rising flour. I keep the batter pretty thin, adding more liquid whey or water when required. Ingredients are pictured below, but I don’t use measurements. ~M-J

Read Dr. Axe’s information on the Mung Bean Nutritional Powerhouse.

Mung_Bean_Pancake_Ingredients

Save the Whey from Yogurt

I save liquid whey from the yogurt-straining process, and mix a little nonfat dry milk with it in a blender-bottle. I refrigerate the stuff to use in smoothies or pancake batter~M-J

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M-J’s High-Protein Pancakes: You Can See the Mung Beans in the Batter

Make yogurt whey* to use as liquid for pancake batter by straining your yogurt to make it thicker. Pour the liquid (whey) that has been removed from your yogurt into a jar for use in smoothies and pancake batter. Then use the resultant “Greek yogurt” to spread onto the pancakes. After spreading this on my mung bean pancakes, I roll them to create a delicious, health-promoting luncheon dish.

*See my jar of whey in the following picture:

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I use Karoun Plain Yogurt from California to make “Greek yogurt”, or labneh, and yogurt cheese. It is truly all-natural and makes all other American yogurt brands look weak. ©M-J de Mesterton 2018
Frozen High-Protein Pancakes
M-J’s Original Recipe High-Protein Pancakes are Cooked in Bulk, Cooled, Stacked and Separated with Pieces of Waxed Paper, then Frozen for Easy Meal Preparation
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M-J’s Original Recipe High-Protein Mung Bean Pancakes are Easy to Reheat, Fill and Roll

Strained Yoghurt

Strained_Yoghurt_Greek_Yogurt_Labneh_by_M-J_de_Mesterton

Straining your own yoghurt makes a delightful Mediterranean or Middle Eastern spread for bread or pita. Put a round coffee-filter into a bowl-sized strainer or sieve, empty a container of plain whole-milk or full-fat yoghurt into it, cover with another round coffee-filter, and place over a bowl that allows some space between the bottom of the strainer and the base of the bowl, so that when your yoghurt is draining, it will not soak itself. Keep the assembly covered with plastic or Saran-type wrap, because fruit-flies love this stuff. I initiate this process before going to bed at night; in the morning I have wonderful, thick spread for my preferred bread or pita, and this yogurt-cheese is also excellent with a fried egg. 
©M-J de Mesterton
See The Elegant Cook Bread Page for M-J’s Pita Recipe

Save the Whey in a Jar for Making Smoothies
M-J’s Yoghurt-Straining System: a White Plastic Bucket with Tight-Fitting Lid, a Sieve from an Oxo Salad-Spinner, Two Zip-Ties, and a Paper Towel
Straining_Yoghurt_Labneh_by_M-J_de_Mesterton
After You Have Strained Your Plain Yogurt, Save the Whey in a Jar for Adding to Health-Promoting Smoothies
Greek Yogurt, Yoghurt Cheese
Straining the Whey out of Yogurt for about 24 Hours Produces a Spreadable Yogurt-Cheese~~LEFT: Labneh or Strained Greek Yogurt RIGHT: Yogurt-Cheese
Pita_Strained_Yogurt_Labneh_Olive_Oil_and_Zaatar
Straining your own yoghurt (labneh) makes a delightful Mediterranean or Middle Eastern spread for bread or pita. Laden with labneh, sprinkled with zaatar Middle Eastern spice mixture and drizzled with olive oil, this pita bread is about to be reassembled for a magnificent taste-treat.

©Copyright M-J de Mesterton, August 25 2018

High-Protein and Vitamin C: Low-Cost Tofu with Shishito Peppers

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Fifteen ounces (15 oz., just short of one pound) of tofu contain 350 calories, 40 grams of protein, and 10 grams of carbohydrates. Vitamin-C-rich mild peppers also contain Vitamin A and fiber.

Tasty Tofu with Mild Green Shishito Peppers

As a nutritious austerity dish, there are scads of ways to prepare tofu. Three ounces of firm tofu, with only seventy calories, contain eight grams of protein and two grams of carbohydrate. This morning, I sautéed in coconut oil some cubed tofu that I had marinated in soy sauce, cider vinegar and miso, then added some roasted Japanese shishito peppers. I then sprinkled the dish with black-and-white sesame seeds.

NUTRITION FACTS on Shishito Peppers, from Trader Joe’s:  Serving size about 7 peppers (45g) | Amount per serving: Calories 15
Total Fat 0g (0% DV), Saturated Fat 0g (0% DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholesterol 0mg (0% DV), Sodium 0mg (0% DV), Total Carbohydrate 3g (1% DV), Dietary Fiber 2g (8% DV), Total Sugars 2g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A (8% DV), Calcium 0mg (% DV), Iron (2% DV), Vitamin C (35% DV).
The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS about TOFU, at World’s Healthiest Foods

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Sautéed Tofu with Shishito Peppers and Sesame Seeds

 

Elegant, Easy Egg Dish: Rolled Omelette



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For rolled omelettes that are more fluffy, like the one pictured here, blend one tablespoon of self-rising flour and a quarter-cup of milk into three beaten eggs.
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M-J’s Fluffy Rolled Omelette

Above: Plain and Fluffy Rolled OmelettesJapanese_Rolled_Omelette_Stainless_Spatula_Le_Creuset_Pan

For a rolled omelette with fillings, spread a thin layer of beaten egg onto a greased, hot skillet. Place cheese or chopped vegetables on the egg layer, then push it into a roll with a spatula, then keep it on the side of your pan. Pour egg mixture into the pan to create another thin layer, top it or leave it plain, then roll the first egg-roll into it with your spatula. After two-to-four layers have been rolled together, tip the omelette onto a plate. If desired, place a paper towel on a sushi-mat and lay your rolled omelette on top of it, then do the traditional sushi-rolling procedure to form a tighter roll than the one pictured here.  My fillings for this rolled omelette are crumbled feta cheese, finely-chopped red onion, and dried parsley.

©M-J de Mesterton 2018

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Japanese rolled omelettes (tamogayaki) are eaten at room-temperature, and using a sushi mat to tighten the layers is traditional, making them very attractive. If you like the omelettes very warm, however, and want to keep washing-up to a minimum, just leave the layers natural.

Japanese Rolled Omelette: Making Tamogayaki

Re-Purposing Commercial Containers

Painter M-J de Mesterton
I usually fill these gallon-jugs with emergency water and store them out of sight.  This time, I decided to use one for watering potted plants.  I am going to keep it filled and ready, maybe adding a few drops of hydrogen peroxide. Most commercial labels are unattractive, and are misleading when their respective containers are empty. Soaking labels off huge bottles requires lots of hot water, time, solvent and elbow grease, so I grabbed a hefty black  permanent marker, then yellow and red “Sharpie” pens, which I used to loosely disguise the original label by drawing on it “freehand”. ©M-J de Mesterton 2018

Making Mini Salt Shakers
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Re-purposing another commercial container: a tiny jam jar was converted into a mini-salt shaker and filled with Himalayan salt. I used a sharp-pointed pair of scissors and lightly pounded it with a meat mallet to poke holes in the lid. I also put three little holes in the screw-top of a nicely-shaped Herdez green salsa jar, then filled it with my seasoning blend for use while cooking. ©M-J de Mesterton 2018

From the Clothes Line: Elegant Survival of Your Clothing

Summer Clothing Survival

Drying Clothes Naturally

Clothes and Towels Sunbathing on the Clothesline

Washing and Drying Your Shirts

A well-made shirt can cost $100.00 or more. That is an investment to protect. Your shirts will last much longer if they are washed by hand and hung to dry. Don’t use so much detergent that it takes a rinsing marathon to remove it. “A little dab’ll do ya”, as the old Brylcreem jingle said. Ideally, one would hang shirts on a clothesline, upside down, with clothes-pins or pegs. This keeps pinch-marks off the important areas of your shirts. The sun will dry them in no time. Alternatively, one could hang them indoors, perhaps out-of-sight behind the the shower curtain, on hangers. A sturdy spring-rod, placed inside the shower area for the purpose of hanging clothes to dry will not interfere with your existing shower-rod. If you don’t want to get hanger-marks on the shoulders, just put wash-cloths under them, over the ends of your hanger. The worst thing to do, even if you wash your shirts in cold water in the gentle cycle, is to dry them in a machine–doing so will quickly degrade your shirt, which will die an angry death before its time. My husband and I have shirts from France and England that are more than twenty years old, and in perfect condition.

An electric, energy-consuming dryer is an enemy to high-quality clothing. In fact, dryers shrink clothes and wear them out quickly; lint is composed of fibres that a machine robs from your clothes. You’d be surprised at how swiftly shirts dry naturally, and when they are just a wee bit damp, they’re easy to iron. In cases of stubborn collar and cuff soil, when hand-scrubbing fails, you can still wash your white shirts in hot water, soap, and a little bleach, as long as they are rinsed well, and then hung to dry. (Bleach alternative may be a better choice, if you can get it to work on stubborn stains. I sometimes use hydrogen peroxide and/or vinegar.) The sun will do some natural bleaching of white cotton. Save costly energy and your shirts by hand-washing and sun-drying them.

Giving your precious shirts to a dry-cleaner or other laundry service is wasteful. They crush buttons and machine-dry the poor things. Do clothes hanging on a line outdoors conjure up bad images for you? Too bad, because it is one of life’s simple luxuries to be able to dry a beautiful, well-made shirt in the sun–some of the best people do it. Believe me, it’s not remotely infradig to care for your own shirts. After all, who cares for them more than you do?
~~Copyright M-J de Mesterton, May 2008-2012

Elegant Survival

Clothes-Line_Copyright_M-J_de_Mesterton_2007The Clothes Line, an Elegant Survival Original, Copyright M-J de Mesterton 2006

Clothes dryers are energy-wasters, and will ruin your clothes as well, through fibre-loss and shrinkage. Some electric dryers even tear holes in clothes. Hand-washing and line-drying your shirts and other washable garments will extend their lives. I use Zote soap and a microfibre cloth to rub dirt out of cuffs and collars. Underarms need special attention, too. I use a microfibre cloth instead of a brush because it is more gentle on the fabric, while strong enough to grab what I like to call “café crud” from cuffs.

You don’t need a fancy contraption for natural clothes-drying; a five-dollar investment in a clothesline from a supermarket, and a packet of wooden clothespins for about three dollars will do, and you can be line-drying in a jiffy. Having a couple of trees to hold your clothesline at each…

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Elegant Breakfast Dish: Pink Grapefuit

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Grapefruit is part of a healthy, elegant breakfast. Peeled and cut into sections, then drizzled with a bit of honey and a few grains of sugar, this exquisite pink grapefruit is ready to eat in an antique Japanese export bowl  (which I acquired in 2004, and has disappeared–that’s all right; my main collection is Baron Morimura’s Noritake).

Grapefruit has a reputation of breaking-down fats, so it is advisable to eat it in conjunction with your favourite bacon-rich breakfast. By the way, in our house, Real Men do eat quiche, an entrée that would be beautifully complemented by grapefruit. ©M-J de Mesterton

  Visit Elegant Cook for M-J’s Quiche Lorraine Recipe