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Trendy Health Food Du Jour: Freekeh

Trendy Health Food Du Jour: Freekeh

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We hope you’ve had your fill of quinoa, because it’s already yesterday’s news now that freekeh has stolen the spotlight. Pronounced "freek-ah," this ancient grain is actually green durum wheat that’s harvested young, while the grains are still green and soft, and is then sun-dried, roasted, polished, and cracked.

A cousin of bulgar wheat, freekeh is native to Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, and it’s loaded with protein, fiber — four times as much as brown rice! — and antioxidants. Compared with other grains, "it is higher in protein, fiber, vitamins, [and] minerals, and lower in glycemic index," according to Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Freekeh’s nutty, smoky flavor comes from the roasting process, and it’s great for pilafs, adding to casseroles, or as a substitute for rice or couscous. The best part: It only takes 20 minutes to cook!

There’s a widespread misconception that freekeh is gluten-free — it’s not, so those with celiac disease should avoid it. It does have a low glycemic index, though, so it may be suitable for a diabetic diet — check with your doctor or registered dietitian first.

Freekeh is popping up in health food markets around the country and is currently available at Trader Joe’s.

Need some recipe inspiration? Try these:

— Melissa Valliant, HellaWella

More From HellaWella:

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This Lemon Butter Sauce for fish is outrageous – 3 minutes, 2 ingredients, totally restaurant worthy.

The secret is browned butter – called Beurre noisette in French. Learn how to pronounce it so you can loftily tell your family and friends “we’re having French tonight!” (But don’t tell them how simple it is?)

5 Plant-Based Restaurants in Paris

France is known to have the most amazing culinary cuisine in the world. The restaurant options are limitless and there are over 30,000 bakeries in Paris alone! When you think of food in Paris, the first thing that comes to mind is probably something from the following list: baguette, croissant, Nutella crêpe, fois gras, tartare, cheese, butter, brioche, raclette, soufflé, the list goes on and on.

So what do these delicious French foods all have in common besides making our mouths water? Unfortunately, most of the good food in France doesn’t fall under the category of nutritious, and it’s quite easy to maintain unhealthy eating habits while staying in Paris.

Though all those good foods can and should be enjoyed in moderation, I noticed after a few months of being in Paris that I miss the wide variety of healthy restaurants I had back in Los Angeles, and how much harder of a time I have sticking to a wholesome diet that nourishes my body and leaves me feeling good. If you’re feeling a bit tired of gluten-filled pastries, the endless amount of dairy and excess sugar in your Parisian eating routines, it might be time to take a break from the local bakery visits and brasseries.

Sure, it’s widely known that it’s easier to eat clean when you buy groceries and cook- but many in Paris live in small quarters without well- equipped kitchens and don’t have this option! Not to mention being a tourist in Paris doesn’t usually involve standing in a kitchen preparing your dinner. Chances are one of the reasons you came to Paris is to eat out. The good news is that Paris actually has a variety of healthy, plant-based/vegan restaurants. Check out the below list of healthy food options in Paris and get ready to feel healthy in Paris!

1. Le Potager de Charlotte

Potager de Charlotte- Instagram

This family-owned restaurant was founded by two brothers and offers a gourmet home cooked approach to plant-based cuisine. The restaurant opened in 2015 and is quite popular among vegans and health enthusiasts alike. They now even have two locations- one in the 9th and one in the 17th.

The menu features healthy and unique meals with the most popular dish being the chickpea and rice pancake (this might not sound so appetizing, but it’s known to be delicious). Most of their dishes are gluten free and the recipes change over the seasons, so you’re always going to find something new and unique to try. The restaurant has a very appealing aesthetic, and has been featured in Le Bonbon and Vogue Magazine.

The place is quite popular so be sure to call for a reservation. See their website for booking reservations and hours of operation.

12 rue de la Tour d’Auvergne 75009
21 rue Rennequin 75017

2. Liife

This trendy health food spot offers new dishes every week, and is popular among sports enthusiasts. The ingredients are fresh and the three friends who started this restaurant were inspired by the large variety of healthy restaurants in the U.S.

You can eat in or takeaway, making this healthy eating spot super convenient for those on the move. Their goal is to offer healthy food that tastes good but is also nutritious and fresh tasting. Though the restaurant is geared towards sport lovers, it is still welcoming to all who want to consume food that is good for your health.

They do have meat but offer a variety of vegan and dairy free options too, making this a favorite among vegetarians in Paris. They have more than one location, so be sure to check their website for more info on the menu and open hours.

33 rue des Petits Carreaux – 75002 Paris
21 Rue Herold – 75001 Paris (Midtown sports club location)

3. Season

Season is a cute Instagram-photo worthy spot offering tons of healthy food options for those that are hungry. People tend to enjoy this place for the California green healthy vibe. You’ll find avocado toast, kale, matcha, and delicious Acai bowls.

Though their menu offers less of a “plant-based” variety than other spots on this list, they do offer really tasty salads, bowls, and an amazing shakshuka. All of which are sure to leave you feeling healthy and good about yourself.

The interior design is impressive too, and many social media influencers tend to frequent this restaurant. It’s not far from the hip spot of Oberkampf, so go for dinner and hit the bars after.

1 Rue Charles-François Dupuis, 75003

4. Abattoir Végétal

Abattoir Végétal- Instagram

Abbatoir Végétal is a 100% organic coffee shop, bistro, and juice bar. Among their breakfast options are matcha pancakes and the charcoal pancakes, which are known to be quite popular and tasty. For lunch on a hot summer day, try the gazpacho!

Some reviews tend to mention the prices are a bit high but reasonable enough for the quality. Additionally the ambiance is quite nice, and they play a lot of Céline Dion hits! Check out their menu here. It’s also conveniently located in the 18th arrondissement near the Sacre Coeur, so try a free walking tour after your delicious meal.

61 Rue Ramey, 75018 Paris

5. Wild & The Moon

This little juice bar looks like it came straight out of West Hollywood or Venice Beach. It’s also a chain, so you can find the trendy little health cafe in six different parts of Paris!

They consider themselves a lifestyle movement created by foodlovers, chefs, nutritionists, and neuropaths, who want to serve food that tastes good, is good for the environment, and most importantly good for you.

They pride themselves on their completely plant-based, hormone-free, and cruelty-free products! Try their selection of cold-pressed juices, nutmylks (their own dairy-free milk), smoothies, salads, soups, desserts, bowls, and more.

Those who tend to frequent this healthy restaurant are nutritionists, vegans, and food lovers from around the globe! Check out their website for the menu and some delicious looking food pictures. They have a couple of locations in and around Le Marais, so it’s an ideal pick for a perfect Sunday of shopping and treating yourself.

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Miso Soup For Breakfast-One Way to Eat Your Oats

It’s funny, how memories come floating to the surface when you taste something that triggers them. Like when I took a sip of miso broth the other day.

Years ago, I worked with a guy who was partying hard by night, and baking bread by day. He’d limp in, pale and shaky, and share the details of his massive hangover. Then he started his daily ritual of self-treatment, which included making himself a steaming mug of miso broth. I’m not sure whether miso can fix the damages of drinking a 12-pack, but he was actually on to something.

In Japan, miso soup for breakfast is an ancient tradition. Warming up some dashi, whisking in the miso, and slurping the savory soup is the original morning ritual of the people who invented the tasty paste.

Hangovers aside, it’s always a good time to celebrate the big flavor gift that miso gives us. Miso is a concentrated source of Umami. Like all fermented proteins, miso is rich in umami chemicals. The bacteria have broken apart proteins, giving you free amino acids that trigger the sense of meatiness in the mouth. That means that just adding miso to water makes it taste more meaty, more satisfying, and seem more substantial. Umami is the fifth taste, and the one that meat-lovers miss the most when they eat meatless. Miso is your secret weapon for making a light, quick meal that seems weighty and complex, with the secrets of chemistry. You don’t even need the dashi, which is made with dried fish, to get a full flavor.

We get so caught up with yogurt and kombucha as the probiotic, fermented foods du jour and forget, miso is an old school probiotic food. A steaming (never boiling) bowl of miso soup is a treasure trove of helpful enzymes and probiotics. So, when my hard-partying co-worker was nursing that cup of warm broth, he was repopulating the helpful bacteria that he had so callously wiped out the night before.

It’s also high in Vitamin K, Riboflavin, and B-6, and some Niacin, Folate and Vitamin A. You have to eat quite a bit of it to get much of these, but every little bit helps.

Another big deal with miso and health is the isoflavones. The fermentation process also breaks down the soy beans and makes the beneficial plant chemicals easier to absorb. Isoflavones are thought to protect against many forms of cancer. They are in all soy foods, but the fermentation process makes them more absorbable.

So for my miso breakfast, I am also employing one of my best strategies for getting whole grains into life. I have a batch of cooked whole oats in the fridge, just waiting to be leveraged in quick and easy meals. Instead of making something sweet for breakfast, I am enjoying my oats in a savory way. This soup is a perfect way to use up some leftover brown rice or quinoa, whatever you have. Whole grains, or Japanese noodles like soba or udon are perfect in this soup.

You can use whatever vegetables are on hand, or even leftovers. It’s an great place to use things up.

So, instead of eating your oats with yogurt and fruit, or some other sweet cereal for breakfast, give miso soup a try.

Who knows, you might just cure whatever ails you.

Miso Soup for Breakfast

1 small carrot, quartered and chopped

1 small zucchini, quartered and chopped

grated fresh ginger, to taste

1 tablespoon red miso, to taste

1/2 teaspoon raw apple cider vinegar, to taste

1 1/2 cups cooked whole oat groats (about 1/2 cup raw)

1/4 box silken tofu, drained and cubed

a couple of handfuls of spinach

Bring the water to a boil in a small pot. Add the carrot and cook for two minutes, then add the zucchini and cook for a minute more. Scoop out some of the hot water in a cup and whisk the miso into the water. Off the heat, whisk the miso mixture and cider vinegar into the soup, and add some grated ginger.

To serve, portion oats into each bowl, then top with hot soup, spinach leaves, and cubes of tofu. Serve hot.

Last updated: 02 November 2018

Known variously as grain bowls, macro bowls, hippie bowls, poke bowls, nourish bowls or power bowls, buddha bowls are the food fad du jour.

For those of us sick of slogging through uninspiring green salads in the name of health, these bowls are something of a treat: crunchy, zesty, filling and colourful, they're a far cry from the salads of the past.

But just because an Instagram influencer recommends something, it doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you (we're looking at you, HiSmile teeth whitening kits).

We take a look at buddha bowls to see whether they actually deliver on nutrition.

Are buddha bowls good for you?

CHOICE has been skeptical of many food fads in the past &ndash from coconut oil to apple cider vinegar to keto diets &ndash but this is one food fad that we can actually get behind. Every dietitian we spoke to gives buddha bowls the tick of approval.

This is one food fad that we can actually get behind

What is a buddha bowl?

Think of buddha bowls as super-charged salads.

You can't just plonk any old salad in a bowl and call it a buddha bowl, though.

What makes a buddha bowl a more balanced meal than a regular salad is that they contain a grain component (such as brown rice, quinoa or soba noodles) and protein (eggs, tofu or lean meat), plus a range of colourful vegetables.

What is a poke bowl?

Poke bowls are a modern take on the traditional Hawaiian poke &ndash raw fish served with sea salt, seaweed and candlenut.

It's often served with warm sushi rice to make a more filling meal.

Modern versions incorporate a more diverse range of ingredients, including quinoa, zucchini 'noodles', chicken, tomatoes and Korean-inspired sauces.

(It's pronounced poh-kay, not poky, in case you were wondering.)

Health benefits of the buddha bowl

Buddha bowls are making salad sexy again, says accredited practising dietitian Anna Debenham, co-founder of consultancy The Biting Truth.

The variety of colours, textures and flavours in buddha bowls makes them far more interesting than a plain old plate of green salad.

And anything that encourages people to eat more vegetables gets the dietitians' tick of approval.

Buddha bowls are making salad sexy again

"95% of the population don't eat the recommended five serves of vegetables per day, so this is a fun way of adding in your vegetables and enjoying a balanced, nutritious meal," says Dr Nick Fuller of the University of Sydney, author of Interval Weight Loss for Life.

Buddha bowls are a great example of the 'Healthy Eating Plate' model developed at Harvard, Debenham adds.

Half the plate (or in this case, bowl) is made up of vegetables, a quarter carbohydrates and a quarter protein, making it a healthy, balanced meal.

How to make your buddha bowl as healthy as possible

  • Choose complex carbs like brown rice or quinoa, rather than white rice or vermicelli noodles.
  • Include a wide variety of vegetables.
  • Avoid creamy sauces and deep-fried toppings.
  • Keep salty dressings like soy sauce to a minimum.
  • Be mindful of the portion size.

Are frozen buddha bowls healthy?

You know a food trend is here to stay when it hits the supermarket &ndash and the bowl trend is no exception.

Super Nature 'wellness bowls' are popping up in the freezer section of major supermarkets, with varieties such as Super Protein, Super Green, Super Wholegrain and the slightly-less-appealing Super Collagen &ndash a wholemeal pasta dish with added bovine collagen peptides. Mmm.

Debenham says you're always better off making a 'wellness bowl' at home where you can control the ingredients and portion size, as well as things like salt content.

For example, the Super Nature bowls contain 135 to 240mg of sodium per 100g, so you'll need to factor that into your daily sodium intake.

However, while fresh is always best, frozen buddha bowls are far from the worst thing you can put in your body when you're pressed for time.

Once a food is frozen, nutrients are locked in

"From a nutritional perspective, freezing is a good way to preserve the nutrient content of food. Once a food is frozen, the nutrients are locked in," says Sharon Natoli, founding director of Food & Nutrition Australia.

"This means that frozen meals such as these can be a reasonably good option, depending on the quality of the produce and ingredients that go into them."

Adds Debenham, "If you're going to have a few of them in your freezer to save you from going and getting Thai up the road, that's a much better option."

How to make your own buddha bowl

Buddha bowls should contain a mix of vegetables, protein, carbohydrates, dressing/healthy fats and added extras.

You can tweak them to suit your tastes and what you have in the fridge &ndash they're the ultimate customisable meal.

Budget Critiques by Sandra

I liked this one, mostly because I discovered Rush for myself a couple of weeks ago while visiting Athens Church (they’re in the same parking lot). I didn’t go in – it was closed at the time (late night) – but I’m considering doing so and would even like to take my sister there the next time she visits me in Athens.

I think the author made a good use of Tool 40: Draft a mission statement for your work. He or she gave a good proposal of what he/she proposed to do. As someone who’s interested in visiting the site, I would have actually liked to see all the stuff the author proposed, as well as a first-hand account: I would have liked for the author to have gone in and bounced on the trampolines, somersaulted into the foam pits. That would give it the most tangible edge, in my opinion.

#TheWhoevers, CAPS, and Barre Exam
#TheWhoevers, CAPS, and Barre Exam left much info to be desired. The former was the worst, consisting only of questions. CAPS and Barre Exam do better by presenting an opening problem statement (Barre’s was shorter and definitely lacking), but then both just have questions too. Although the questions asked are relevant, the authors make no game plan on how to go about finding the answers to those questions. Tool 40 needs to make an appearance in all three without it, these are just questions on a page.

[Indian] Dance Revolution
Tool 40 must be my favorite tonight (I promise I did read the rest!), because it comes up here too. Unlike #TheWhoevers, CAPS, and Barre Exam, [Indian] Dance Revolution has the problem in that it is just a statement: there are no questions or inquiries. In other words, I don’t know what the author wants to solve, and hence what story he or she wants to tell. Need a game plan, folks.

BY Author

Blueberries are a popular summer treat! You can eat them freshly picked or incorporate them into processed foods including fruit pulp, yogurt, candy, ice cream, jams, liqueurs and juices. Anthocyanin is giving the blueberry’s characteristic blue color and at the same time it contributes to numerous health benefits with its powerful antioxidant effect.

They have become one of nature’s all-star superfoods that provide a nutritional punch. There is increasing evidence positively associating anthocyanins with the control of hypertension (Nicoletti et al., 2015).


Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most prevalent component extracted from Matcha tea. Scholey et al. (2012) investigated the effect of 300mg EGCG and showed it can help to increase calmness and reduce stress. This demonstrated that consumption of EGCG promote a more relaxed and attentive state, and has therefore been widely purported for its relaxing and refreshing properties.

Matcha is also a good source of catechins. According to study (Willemst al., 2018), participants consumed three drinks (each drink made with 1g Matcha) the day before and one drink two hours before the 30-min brisk walk were able to enhance exercise-induced fat oxidation.


The tiny little chia is a nutritious ancient seed. It provides sustainable energy and endurance along with a dense source of nutrients such as soluble and insoluble fibre, plant omegas, protein and plentiful of essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. According to the USDA (2016), the dietary fiber content in chia seed is higher than flax seed and quinoa seed. This little seed packs heart-healthy fibers which promote inflammation-quelling omega-3 fatty acids by reducing the concentrations of inflammatory signalling substances that are released during your body’s inflammatory response (Zivkovic et al., 2011). It also contains some of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids (Boone, 2014).


Probiotics are live cultures and health friendly bacteria that positively support the community of microorganisms in our gut as well as improving body immunity. There are hundreds of different types of bacteria species that are naturally and predominantly present in our intestinal microbiota. Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium are the most common probiotic bacteria added in food products.

There are plenty of probiotic products from dairy-based sources such as fermented milk and yoghurt. Probiotic products from non-dairy based sources are recently gaining attention due to the ongoing trend of vegetarianism as well as the need to meet the demands of those who are lactose intolerant (Lye et al., 2016).


Another functional ingredient to support gut health is with probiotics’ friend – prebiotics. They provide the nutrients to probiotics to support their growth and thrive. Prebiotics are non-digestible food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth and multiplication of good bacteria l in our gastro-intestinal tract (Rosica & Levinus, 2016).

The market for prebiotics is growing tremendously as there is increasing demand for products with functional benefits. The rising health-conscious consumers also become the main drivers for the market of prebiotics such as inulin and oligofructose (FOS).


Turmeric is another upcoming health halo functional ingredient. Curcumin, the yellow pigment active ingredient that is present in turmeric has been associated with multiple potential health benefits (Hewlings & Kalman, 2017).

Asian countries have been using turmeric as a traditional medical herb for its natural properties of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects (He et al., 2015) as well as aiding in metabolic syndrome (Panahi et al., 2016). Besides that, oral curcumin supplementation with 2.5g twice daily is likely to reduce pain associated with muscle soreness and may enhance recovery of muscle performance (Nicol et al., 2015).


Collagen is a protein, abundantly present in our body , especially in our skin, joints and bones. By consuming it, it can “enhance our beauty from within” by helping to improve skin firmness and constantly renewing skin cells. It has been widely used as a bioactive ingredient in nutri-cosmetic products, beauty-positioned food and beverages.

Numerous studies have shown that the collagen fibers are depleting with the passing of time, losing thickness and strength, which is correlated with skin aging (Maria et al., 2017). A study revealed that 2.5g or 5.0g of collagen consumed orally once daily for 8 weeks, significantly improved skin elasticity levels in elderly women indicating that collagen has a positive effect on skin aging (Proksch et al., 2014).

Plant Proteins

Plant protein has made its own way to the mainstream in market. The increasing demand for healthy foods and the trend on reducing meat consumption for either health reasons or to protect the environment, have paved a way for the growth of plant protein ingredients. They are derived from sources such as almond, soy, wheat and peas and could potentially be an interesting competition for the animal proteins. Plant proteins earn a good review on their ease of digestibility and high nutritional value (Mordor Intelligence, 2018).

An adequate dietary protein intake is crucial for growth and repairing body cells as well as the normal functioning of muscles. Plant proteins can be used in a wide array of applications, ranging from dairy alternatives, bakery, confectionery, meat alternatives and sport nutrition products to pharmaceutical applications.

Please help with a bridal shower salad buffet menu & cooking theme

Hi, chowhounds, thanks so much for being such a great resource!

So here's my project du jour. I'm having a bridal shower in less than two weeks and it has a cooking theme. Of course, for me, any event is all about the food, so I'm going to force feed my guests from the minute they get here til they leave!

I'm thinking of starting with champagne cocktails of some kind and some apps like maybe gougeres and. The main course will be a salad buffet. So far I'm planning a green salad with field greens, thinly sliced sweet onion, dried cranberries, sliced almonds, feta and a sweet balsamic dressing. I'm going to do some kind of fruit salad/tray/skewers. I want to do a fancy-schmancy crab salad served in endive leaves - does anyone have a good crab salad recipe for this?? I was also thinking of some kind of a rice salad - again I was thinking of a dried fruit/nut/cheese/crunchy (probably green onions) combo, but now that's sounding too much like the green salad, so does anyone have any ideas for a starch-based salad that isn't pasta? (I'm the queen of the pasta salad at all family events, and we're heading into pasta salad season, so don't want to do pasta here.) I'll also serve a nice bread basket and lots of butter. I might want one more salad, so does anyone have ideas?

For dessert I'm planning an assortment of purchased bite sized yum yums from the nice bakery that makes you drool just to walk in the door.

Any other ideas of help with recipess? Also, I need help with the dread bridal shower games - ! I'm going to do the ol' put a bunch of cooking tools and stuff on a tray and show them for 30 seconds and see how many the guests can list. Any other cooking theme game ideas?

Tabbouli Tabbouli Tabbouli

I just said it 3X because it’s kind of a dirty word in our house. Some people (who will go unnamed) won’t touch it. So instead of putting it on the menu, I made a delicious quinoa recipe on Saturday with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and garlic from our CSA pick-up, along with parsley, chives and mint from our garden, and didn’t utter the 8 letter word. And what do you know? It was roundly enjoyed.

I’ve written about quinoa and its virtues before, so no need to blather on about that. I will say that this recipe from Bon Appetit for Tabbouli-style quinoa was easy to prepare and very enjoyable: crunchy, summery, fresh and healthy. It also lasts a day or two, tasting better on day 2 if you ask me.

Bon Appetit’s Tabbouli Quinoa. My preparation looked the exact same

I prepared the recipe with minimal modifications and it was perfect [used chopped and seeded hothouse tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes]. Here’s how I know:

  1. Aesthetics: it looked exactly like BA’s photo above (ex the cherry tomatoes)
  2. 2nd Helpings: Served at a casual buffet lunch and discerning guests came back for more (ok, not super scientific, but unless everything else tasted awful…)
  3. The “H” Factor: Hubs liked it

Just call it something else. Chalk up another win for quinoa. I still have to try Rebecca’s recipe before the end of the month.