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Spiced Up Githeri

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One of the oldest foods in our country is githeri simply because it is filling, nutritious, low cost and with a little preparation, can be ready within minutes.

First of all the combination of two grains here makes the dish a full protein and if you can add an avocado, the better. Serve it with sauteed kunde and you have a nutritional powerhouse on a plate. Not only do you get the protein that repairs used up tissue, but you also get minerals like magnesium, manganese, copper and molybdenum ( All good stuff, trust us J ). Furthermore, you get a great dosage of fibre which is key to maintain good digestive health. The Father of Greek medicine said, “Disease begins in the gut’, fibre takes care of the gut.

The maize is loaded with complex carbohydrates which also give you sustained energy for long periods. It is also a decent source for B3 and B6 vitamins, as well as antioxidants.

INGREDIENT AMOUNT COST AT MBOGA MASTERS
Red beans 1kg 180/- per kg
Maize 2 Cups 150/- per cup
Kunde 1 bunch 30 per bunch
Garlic 2 cloves 20/- per piece
Ginger Small piece 40/- per piece
Red onions 1 piece 120/- per kg
Red and Yellow Capsicum 1 piece each 45/-
Carrots 1 small 70/- per kg
Baby Potatoes 1/4kg 100/- per kg
Courgette 1 piece 120/- per kg
Dhania 1 bunch 10/- per bunch
Mint 1 bunch 30/- per bunch
Curry Powder 1 tsp 90/- per jar
Tumeric Powder 1 tsp 85/- per jar
Sea Salt 1/3 tsp 90/- per 500g Jar
Black Pepper A few grinds N/A
Unsalted Butter 1 tsp N/A
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil    

*N/A= Not YET available at Mboga Masters

Method

  1. Soak your dried beans overnight
  2. Heat sufuria over medium low heat, add some extra virgin coconut oil and a little unsalted butter to help browning and add flavor.
  3. Add your crushed garlic and ginger, red onions, finely diced carrots, mixed colored peppers, baby potatoes, courgette/zucchini, dania/cilantro, mint and let them sweat slowly, about 7 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  4. Then add the curry powder and turmeric powder, toast for about 1 minute or until you can smell the aromas from the spices.
  5. Add 3 cups of water and scrape the bits that stick on the bottom of the pan, we call this fond, as in foundation of flavor, very important to deglaze.
  6. Add the soaked beans and fresh maize now and bring to a boil over high heat. If you would like more heat in your githeri you can now add a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  7. Lower the heat to a simmer and cover leaving a little space for the steam to escape.
  8. Cook for about 40 minutes or until beans are almost soft.
  9. Remove from heat and then add some fresh dania/cilantro and mint leaves for garnish, leave to rest for about 10 minutes
  10. Now Heat your frying pan, add some extra virgin coconut oil, brown some onions there and then add your roughly chopped kunde, cook for only about 2 minutes while stirring occasionally. Add a little bit of broth/soup from the githeri onto the greens to add a little bit of moisture.
  11. Serve immediately

 

What To Do With Mushrooms

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Also known as the meat from the ground, mushrooms are increasingly becoming popular due to their incredible health benefits, superb flavor and ease of use. For chefs, mushrooms have been used widely but for the home cook it can be a little daunting since there is a bad misinformation out there saying that they should be boiled.

 

That is just a culinary sin as mushrooms are already loaded with a lot of moisture and putting them in water just makes tem soggy and unimpressive, matters taste and flavor.

 

First things first, mushrooms are low in calories, contain no fat, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), riboflavin, niacin and vitamin D, which is critical as we enter the cold months of the year where getting  enough sunlight to make our own vitamin D will be tough.

 

The best way to utilize these nutritional powerhouses is to sauté them and to serve them as a side dish either with meat or in a vegetarian menu, it goes well on a burger, making junk food slightly healthier, just a tip for those days you want to make a healthier homemade burger, a recipe for another day

 

 

INGREDIENT AMOUNT PRICE AT MBOGA MASTERS
Button Mushrooms 1 Cup 300/-  per pack
Garlic 1 Clove 20/- per piece
Red onion 1 small 120/- per kg (Approx 10/- each)
Celery 1 stalk 150/- per kg (Approx 100/- each)
Leeks 1 teaspoon chopped (only the white parts) 150/- per kg (Approx 10/- each)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 teapsoon N/A
Unsalted Butter ½ teaspoon N/A

*N/A = Not YET available at Mboga Masters

 

Method

  1. Heat a wide base frying pan and add the 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and ½ teaspoon unsalted butter
  2. Lay the mushrooms on cut side down and let them be, over medium-low heat. About 4 minutes then you flip and brown the other side.
  3. Immediately add the all of the aromatics and brown them together with the mushrooms, about 4 minutes n medium-low heat
  4. When the 4 minutes are over and everything has cooked nicely remove from the stove and cool
  5. Serve as a side to meats, beans, lentils or even on your homemade pizza to add that extra bit of nutrition.

Health Benefits of Watermelon & Great Ways to Consume

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Watermelon, a great way to refresh yourself in the heat. Did you know that it is about 90% water? And the other 10% nutrients that help you to keep fresh and energetic all day long. If you can JUICE IT, even better and it also works great in a SMOOTHIE. Watermelons are also awesome because they have very few calories yet so many vitamins (vitamins C, B1 & A), minerals (potassium, magnesium and calcium) antioxidants and fibre.

Oh, and EAT THE SEEDS too, they contain a lot of nutrition as well and can be dried, roasted on a pan or in the oven and consumed as a snack – they are loaded with protein and ‘good fats’ too so no need for using any cooking oil, just a little bit of natural Himalayan salt.

You could also dice the watermelon and freeze them using some skewers to make watermelon popsicles, there are so many endless possibilities with this nutrient dense fruit.

Here’s another idea, you can MAKE A SALAD using watermelon, which goes really well with mint, maybe a little crispy prosciutto, some red onion, dress it up with extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice, serve with nyama choma, or anything grilled, the freshness works well with meats and also helps to digest it.

Another tip is to EAT PART OF THE RIND itself which also contains plenty of nutrition and fibre.

 

 

An Elevated Kachumbari Recipe

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An Elevated Kachumbari Recipe

Kachumbari or red relish is one of the most popular sides in Kenyan cuisine. Not only is it nutritious, it is also delicious and goes with so many things, pilau, nyama choma (roast/grilled meats) and when you add a little avocado, it becomes guacamole, which is another versatile side that can make your party go wild on the food platter. Guacamole or elevated kachumbari can go with anything too, bread, pasta, pizza, guacamole is so good that you can have guacamole with guacamole haha.

Cherry tomatoes are more preferable in this recipe because they are sweeter and less acidic. Loaded with lycopene, vitamin C and fibre, this fruit is really what you want to have with your mbuzi choma as the acidity cuts through the fat in the roast bringing balance in flavor. Red onions are also a great source of minerals like zinc, potassium which help in maintaining blood pressure. Dania/cilantro/coriander is a herb and many herbs are very nutrient dense, rich I vitamin K which is associated with impeccable cardiovascular health.

The seasonings also play a big part in your health even in their relatively minute amounts in food. Sea or Natural Himalayan salts contain many minerals like calcium and magnesium which are important for maintaining good health.

Black pepper is also good for digestion.

*Amounts for 4 generous servings

INGREDIENT AMOUNT COST
Cherry Tomatoes 10 N/A
Red Onion 1 large 120/- per KG
Fresh Dhania 2 healthy bunches 10/- each
Avacado 1 piece 30/- each
Sea Salt   145/- per jar
Black Pepper in Grinder   N/A

*N/A = Not YET available at Mboga Masters

Method

1. Finely chop the cherry tomatoes, red onions and fresh dania/cilantro/coriander as fine as possible except the avocado and lime/lemon juice
2. Mash the avocado into the mixture with a fork or pestle. Season with the salt and pepper.
3. Add very little lime/lemon juice, about ½ a teaspoon for 1 cup of kachumbari, taste and adjust if necessary, you do not want the citrus to overpower everything else.
4. Serve with nyama choma/grilled/roast meat or with pilau

Pears are in season- Here’s why you should be excited

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Local pears are now in season and bursting with flavor and nutrition. Plus, they are cheap – only 15/- each at Mboga Masters. Don’t peel your pears, when cleaned nicely, the skin adds flavor, texture and nutrients. Not peeling also means less work for you 🙂  and less chance of cutting yourself – peeling fruit is tricky business.

Here are some benefits of pears:
FIBRE
Pears contain a good amount of the water-soluble fibre called pectin which is linked to good health and longevity in their skin. Fruit skin/ rind in general contains a lot of fibre – which is great for digestion, controlling blood sugar and maintaining a healthy blood pressure. The pectin fibre is also attributed to help with constipation, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and many other digestion-related ailments.
VITAMINS & MINERALS
Pears contain a good number of vitamins; Vitamins B2 (helps prevent migraines, treats anaemia among others) C (boosts immunity) & E (cancer and heart disease prevention) can all be obtained from this amazing seasonal fruit. Pears are also a great source of the dietary mineral Potassium whose deficiency is usually associated with risk of high blood pressure.
ENERGY
Naturally the fruit contains fructose and glucose which are complex carbohydrates that boost your energy and are also used in cell structure formation. This burst of natural sugars gives you high amounts of sustained energy which is great for people who work out and do not want to consume calorie-heavy foods that will use up some of their working-out energy.
NON-ALLERGENIC
This fruit is one of the easiest foods to digest – being one of the first few foods recommended when weaning infants. For this reason it is also recommended for people with food allergies as they often don’t react to them.
OTHER HEALTH BENEFITS
Studies have shown pears to be very helpful in cancer prevention, immune boosting and anti inflammatory. They contain folate, which is recommended to pregnant ladies or those of child-bearing age because it helps to avoid birth defects. In traditional Chinese medicine, they simmer the pears and add honey and lemon juice to the mixture and use it to treat throat ailments.

There are indeed many reasons to be excited about pears this season.