6 Foods You Should Add to Your Diet

By Terres Gacek

We all want to be healthy but who has the time to research everything they eat? Here is a list of 6 foods that have been proven to have health benefits and are easy to add to your diet. Each item contains a description of the food as well as, sources for more information about nutrition and recipes.

 

1# Extra virgin olive oil

Olive-Oil

(Picture from www.healthsachoice.com

Extra virgin olive oil is considered a healthy fat for your diet. The oil is squeezed directly from the olives with no added chemicals and no diluting alike cheaper oils. The more pure the oil is, the better it is for you.

There are many nutrients that are found in this type of oil such as: vitamin E and K, Omega 3 and 6, and antioxidants, according to authority nutrition. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in antioxidants. The antioxidants found in the oil are anti-inflammatoires that can help protect you from blood clotting, lower your LDL cholesterol and blood pressure, and improve the lining of your blood vessels. The main antioxidant found in this oil called oleocanthal, has been proven to have an effect similar to ibuprofen which is a widely used anti-inflammatory drug. Among the list of diseases that extra virgin olive oil can help lower your risk from cancer. Cancer is linked to oxidative damage due to mutated cells. The antioxidant can reduce the oxidative damage.

Adding extra virgin olive oil to your diet can be as simple as replacing the butter you use to cook foods like eggs with this amazing oil or you can drizzle it over vegetables or even meat. You can also use it raw, such as in a vinaigrette salad dressing. Try adding some to your next meal, but remember to look for PURE extra virgin olive oil.

Benefits: https://authoritynutrition.com/extra-virgin-olive-oil/

How to cook with it: http://www.myhumblekitchen.com/2012/01/how-to-cook-with-extra-virgin-olive-oil-the-right-way-including-an-experimental-video/

 

2# Nonfat Greek yogurt

 

Yogurt
Fresh yogurt served in a clear glass bowl

(Picture from diet.allwomenstalk.com)

Are you one of those people who love sweets? Do you look for desert after a meal or do you want to eat healthy but still want the satisfaction of having a desert? Nonfat Greek yogurt is a perfect solution for those who crave a sweet healthy treat. One cup of this yogurt is about 140 calories and contains 17 grams of protein. Keep in mind that flavored verities of nonfat Greek yogurt can vary in the amount of sugar they contain. I would suggest using plain because you can always add fruit or honey to make the yogurt sweeter.

This type of yogurt makes for a great snack for in between meals, after workouts, or when you’re in the mood for some desert. As mentioned you can add fruit and or honey to add flavor or put the yogurt on top of already made oatmeal. This also makes for a quick and easy breakfast for those who have busy lifestyles.

Some of the benefits of nonfat Greek yogurt are like most yogurts, it contains probiotics or live micro bacteria that help improve our digestion and immune system. Yogurt is especially good for those with digestive problems such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. It’s also a good source calcium and Vitamin B12.

Benefits: https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/yogurt/

Recipes: http://www.phillymag.com/be-well-philly/2013/04/23/healthy-greek-yogurt-recipes/

 

3# Honey

honey

(Picture from product.circle-international.com)

Honey is a natural energy boosting carbohydrate, which means it is able to strengthen your body in a fast and effective way. It’s also a great way to add some sweetness into your diet without high fructose corn syrup or all the chemicals. Honey can also help your immune system because of its antioxidants and antibacteria properties. These powerful antioxidants found in honey have also been studied as a possible cancer fighter and great for those days when you have a tough cold.

There are so many ways you can use honey in your food. I use honey in my homemade salad dressing. I use just nutmeg and honey over a spinach, chicken, and strawberry salad. You can add honey for a healthier meat glaze over any kind of meat or add it to your yogurt as mentioned before as a desert. You can even drop in a teaspoon when making a smoothie, the possibilities are endless.

I would recommend buying organic honey or pure honey. Most honey is found in a supermarket contains chemicals to increase its shelf life and unnecessary sugars. The best way to get honey is at your local farmers market. So the next time you want something sweet, add some honey.

Benefits and recipes: http://www.benefits-of-honey.com/health-benefits-of-honey.html

 

4# Beans

beans

(Picture from www.chieftainwildrice.com)

There are so many options when it comes to beans: black, red, kidney, Lima, pinto, chickpeas, and more. Unlike meat beans won’t hurt your wallet. You can usually get a can of beans for about $1.50 or less depending on the type, and if it’s organic. Sometimes they are even less than $1 a can. Having a can of beans can be super convenient for those days you’re tight on funds or when you don’t have time to run to the store. A can of beans can be stored in your pantry for a while.

Beans are an excellent source of nutrients. They are full of protein and fiber, antioxidants, as well as vitamins, and minerals. Beans can help you get those nutrients that we often don’t get enough of such as iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium and zinc according to a Huffington Post article. They can also help keep your heart healthy, balance your blood sugar, and lower your risk for cancer and did I mention they are low in fat? So pick some beans today.

Benefits: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/16/beans-health-benefits_n_1792504.html

Recipes: http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/beans-and-legumes.html

 

5# Quinoa

Quinoa

(Picture from www.amazon.com)

Quinoa is a magical grain. It’s higher in nutrients than most other grains and contains protein and fiber. About one cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories, 4.4 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, and only about 2 grams of fat. This kind of grain is similar to rice or I like to think of it as a crunchy version of cuscus.

Quinoa has many health benefits; it can help lower your blood sugar, help you lose weight, its gluten free, and contains most of the vitamins and minerals found in beans. It’s also easy to cook with, it’s cooked in the same way as you would rice, boil the water and add the grain. You can you use it as any side grain, have it for breakfast with eggs, use it in a salad or instead of rice and beans, make quinoa and beans. Try replacing your typically grain with quinoa in your next meal.

Benefits: https://authoritynutrition.com/foods/quinoa/

Recipes: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_quinoa_recipes

 

6# Kale

kale

(Picture from churchbrothers.com)

If there is one food you remember from this list, remember kale! Kale is an all-star super food. According to authority nutrition, it’s one of the most nutrient dense foods on our planet; it’s classified as a vegetable and related to other veggies like cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Just to give you an idea of all kale’s nutrients, one cup of raw kale contains only 33 calories, vitamins A, K. C, B6, manganese, calcium, copper, potassium, magnesium, only 6 grams of crabs and 3 grams of protein. This super hero vegetable also is home to powerful antioxidants that can help lower your cholesterol and reduce your risk for cancer and heart disease. The nutrients in kale are also good for protecting your eyes and help you lose weight.

You can eat kale raw, cooked, or even baked in a chip. Some people use raw Kale leafs in a salad or blend them in a morning smoothie to start the day. You can also cook kale as a side or in a vegetable medley and add meat or beans and quinoa for a complete meal. Experiment with kale and get healthier!

Benefits: https://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-kale/

Recipes: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/recipe-collections-favorites/healthy-meals/healthy-kale-recipes

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Tonight I made Curry

By Terres Gacek

After goggling a few curry recipes I chose one that was more Thai inspired, calling for peanut butter and ginger. Overall this recipe was relatively easy to make, total cooking and prep time estimated about 30 minutes. The best part was all I had to do was server it over rice to make a complete meal and it made enough for me to have leftovers.

I highly recommend this recipe; I know at first glance it’s not the most appealing dish in the world. But it is backed with Thai flavor and peanut butter. I believe in experimenting with new flavors and exploring others cultures through food. Life gets boring when you’re eating the same thing over and over again. And if you don’t have the finances to eat out a lot, try making food at home. Making food at home saves you money and strengths you’re cooking skills. Impress your friends by making a new dish. Whatever you eat out or at home, enjoy what you need and don’t let your food experience fall flat and routine. Try new things and share what you make or try with us. Check out the recipe I used below from allrecipes.com and happy cooking!

indian food 4

indian food 5.png

Recipe form allrecipes.com

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/222913/peanut-ginger-chickpea-curry/

Ingredients

1 ½ cups white rice

3 cups water

1 (14 ounce) can of coconut milk

5 tablespoons peanut butter

2 cans of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans rise and dry them)

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 (28 ounce drained) can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

 

Directions

Step 1 –

Bring the rice and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes.

Step 2 –

Stir in coconut milk and peanut butter together in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until the peanut butter melts and the mixture is smooth, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir chickpeas, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper into the mixture; cook, stirring occasionally, until the chickpeas are tender, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes; continue cooking until the mixture thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. Serve over rice.

 

 

 

Delicious Korean Dinner

You must try them.

 By Ann (Lai Cheng)/Category: Feature, pictures, and recipes

IMG_8104

During my week long spring break from the University of Illinois at Chicago, I was craving a new food experience. I was on a mission to try new food that was not typical to what I normally eat.  One of my family members urged me to try Korean food. Therefore, my family and I went online to look up a good and non-expensive Korean restaurant closer to my home. We decided to go to SeoCho Garden, located at 1600 Maple Ave., Suite C, Lisle, IL 60532. Two of us ordered a silky tofu with seafood vegetable broth for $10 (Soondooboo Chigae) and rice topped with vegetables, beef, egg & spicy sauce served in sizzling pots for $12 (Dolsot Bibimbop). The restaurant offered a free Korean vegetable pancake and eight kinds of kimchi.  Everything we ordered turned out to be extremely delicious. When I got home, I talked to a Korean friend and told her that I really enjoyed the Korean food we ate. My friend shared a few traditional classic Korean recipes that I would love to pass onto you.   ENJOY!!

 

IMG_8101

Silky tofu with seafood vegetable broth (Soondooboo Chigae)

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Serving: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 palm-sized piece dried kelp
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 dried anchovies
  • 1/2 small onion, cut into large chunks
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup pork belly, sliced into strips
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 3 tablespoons Korean red pepper powder (gochugaru)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce)
  • 1 cup frozen mixed seafood (or any combination of your favorite seafood)
  • 1 tube silken soft tofu (soondooboo- use 1 tube per person)
  • 2 stalks green onion, sliced into 1″ pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg
  • Rice, for serving (optional)

Instructions:

  1. First, make the stock: Rinse the dried kelp and dried mushrooms under cold water to remove any dust. Add to a medium-sized stockpot. Remove the head and intestines from the dried anchovies, rinse under cold water and add to the pot. Add the onion and water. Cover, bring to a boil on high heat and boil vigorously for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the mushrooms and set aside to cool. Strain the stock and set aside until ready to use. Once the mushrooms are cool, slice into strips.
  3. Heat a Korean stoneware pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork belly and sauté until lightly browned. Add the garlic and reserved sliced mushrooms and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the red pepper paste, red pepper powder, and sugar. Stir to combine then quickly add 2 cups of the reserved stock. Add the soy sauce. The pot should be fairly full.
  5. Bring back to a boil and cook for 5-6 minutes over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the seafood, stir, and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Cut the tube of tofu in half and squeeze into the stew. Break it up slightly (but not too much) to submerge.
  8. Sprinkle the green onion over the top and drizzle with sesame oil.
  9. For each person, crack an egg into the stew and serve immediately while hot and bubbling, with a bowl of rice on the side.

 

IMG_8100

Rice topped with vegetables, beef, egg & spicy sauce served in sizzling pots (Dolsot Bibimbop)

Preparation time: 35 mins

Cooking time: 55 mins

Servings: 3 to 4 people

Ingredients

Meat and meat sauce

  • 100g (3.5 ounces) beef mince
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar – I used brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp minced garlic

Vegetables and other

  • 250g (0.6 pounds) mildly seasoned spinach
  • 350g (0.8 pounds) mildly seasoned bean sprouts – (You don’t have to use them up if you think it’s too much but I love having lots of vegetables on my Bibimbop!)
  • 100g (3.5 ounces) shiitake mushroom
  • 120g (4.2 ounces) carrots (1 small)
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt (1/4 tsp each will be used when cooking shiitake mushroom and carrots)
  • 3 to 4 serving portions of steamed rice
  • 3 or 4 eggs (depending on the serving portion)
  • Some cooking oil to cook the meat, mushroom, carrots and eggs – I used rice bran oil.
  • Korean seasoned seaweed, shredded (long thin cut)

Bibimbop sauce – The below sauce might be only enough for 3 servings if you like eating it spicy.

  • 2 Tbsp gochujang
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp sugar – I used raw sugar
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp vinegar – I used apple vinegar
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

* 1 Tbsp = 15ml

Instructions

  1. Prepare and cook ingredients as below.
    – For meat, mix the beef mince with the meat sauce listed above. Marinate the meat for about 30 mins while you are working on other ingredients to enhance the flavor. Add some cooking oil into a wok and cook the meat on medium high to high heat. It takes about 3 to 5 mins to thoroughly cook it.
    – Mix the Bibimbop sauce ingredients in a bowl.
    – Spinach and bean sprouts
    – Rinse, peel and julienne the carrots. Add some cooking oil and ¼ tsp of fine sea salt in a wok and cook the carrots on medium high to high heat for 2 to 3 mins.
    – Clean/rinse the shiitake mushrooms and thinly slice them. Add some cooking oil and ¼ tsp of fine sea salt in a wok and cook the mushrooms on medium high to high heat until they are all cooked. (It takes 2 to 3 mins.)
    – Make fried eggs. (While sunny side up is common, you can make them per your preference.)
  2. Put the rice into a bowl and add the meat, assorted vegetables, seasoned seaweed, Bibimbop sauce and the egg on top of the rice. Serve it.
  3. Mix the ingredients well in the bowl and enjoy!

 

IMG_8099

Korean Vegetable Pancakes

(Makes about four 8-inch pancakes)

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cups ice cold water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for pan frying (approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons for each pancake)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned (or grated)
1 green pepper, cut into thin slices
1 red pepper, cut into thin slices
1 bunch of scallions, sliced

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, egg, salt, and 1 1/2 cups water until a smooth batter is formed.  If batter is still thick, add a little more water (you want it to be the consistency of pancake batter).  Stir in the potatoes, carrots, peppers, and scallions.
  2. Place an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Let it heat for 15-20 seconds, and then coat bottom with vegetable oil.  Ladle in about a quarter of the batter and spread it out evenly into a circle.  Cook for 5 minutes until edges start browning.  Then flip and cook for another 3-5 minutes.  When completed, transfer the pancake on a plate lined with a paper towel to drain oil (if necessary) and then place on serving plate.
  3. Repeat steps 1 to 3 with remaining batter.
  4. When pancakes are all finished, cut into wedges and serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce (sauce for pajeon and dumplings):

Ingredients
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon rice or white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Pinch of roasted sesame seeds
Pinch of chopped scallion
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)

In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, and sesame oil.  Sprinkle in sesame seeds, chopped scallion, and if desired, pinch of red pepper.

 

Kimchi

Kimchi

Ingredients

    • 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
    • Water
    • 2 heads Napa cabbage, cut into quarters or 2-inch wedges, depending on size of cabbage
    • 1 bulb garlic, cloves separated and peeled
    • 1 (2-inch) piece of ginger root
    • 1/4 cup fish sauce or Korean salted shrimp
    • 1 Asian radish, peeled and grated
    • 1 bunch of green onions, cut into 1-inch lengths
    • 1/2 cup Korean chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
    • Sesame oil (optional)
    • Sesame seeds (optional)

Preparation

    1. 1. Dissolve 1 cup salt in 1/2 gallon water. Soak cabbage in the salt water for 3 to 4 hours.
    2. 2. Combine garlic, ginger, and fish sauce or shrimp in food processor or blender until finely minced.
    3. 3. In large bowl, combine radish, green onions, mustard greens, garlic mixture, chili powder, 1 tablespoon salt and optional sugar. Toss gently but thoroughly. (If mixing with your hands, be sure to wear rubber gloves to avoid chili burn.)
    4. 4. Remove cabbage from water and rinse thoroughly. Drain cabbage in colander, squeezing as much water from the leaves as possible. Take cabbage and stuff radish mixture between leaves, working from outside in, starting with largest leaf to smallest. Do not overstuff, but make sure radish mixture adequately fills leaves. When entire cabbage is stuffed, take one of the larger leaves and wrap tightly around the rest of the cabbage. Divide cabbage among 4 (1-quart) jars or 1-gallon jar, pressing down firmly to remove any air bubbles.
    5. 5. Let sit for 2 to 3 days in a cool place before serving. Remove kimchi from jar and slice into 1-inch-length pieces. If serving before kimchi is fermented, sprinkle with a little bit of sesame oil and sesame seeds. Refrigerate after opening.

Note:  Kimchi will be good enough to eat straight for up to about 3 weeks. After about 4 weeks, once the kimchi gets too fermented to eat by itself, use it to make hot pots, flatcakes, dumplings, or just plain fried rice.

 

To Die For effortless Chicken Thighs

By Alexandra Wasiek

There’s nothing that puts a bigger smile on my face then minimal labor cooking that turns out rich in flavor. I’m not a big fan of chicken and if I end up cooking it, I try to discover flavorful recipes. This slow cooker honey garlic chicken and veggie recipe is super simple and definitely to die for. I came across the recipe on Tasty facebook page and they shared the inspired recipe from damndelicious.net.

I care deeply about what I put in my body and you should care about yours too. If you choose to eat meat, get good quality meat. There are many kick a** butchers in the West Loop. If you are lazy like me and don’t live by West Loop you can simply drive over to your local Whole Foods and buy the free range meat and organic products, damn it! I have to almost swear because I mean it (and if you still don’t care about the quality food you decide to buy then do yourself the favor of watching foodinc.). Ok, enough lecturing, lets move on to the goodies.

Ingredients (for two people):

4 – 6 Free range Chicken thighs with the bone and skin (this keeps the chicken juicy and flavorful)
8 organic baby red potatoes (cut them in half)
1 small bag of organic baby carrots
1 bag of organic green beans (don’t be lazy and actually trim them)
2 tablespoons of organic chopped fresh parsley leaves

Sauce:

1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup farmers honey
1/4 cup 78 red ketchup (my favorite ketchup brand which has a nice kick of spiciness to it. Make the right choice and satisfy your taste buds)
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of dried basil
1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the sauce.
  2. Place the chicken thighs, potatoes and carrots in the slow cooker. Pour in the sauce mixture. Cover the slow cooker and either cook on low hear for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours. During the last 30 minutes, throw in the green beans.
  3. Don’t slack off. Presentation is required so place everything on the plate nicely and pour some of the sauce over the chicken and veggies. Top the dish off with parsley. Viola!

 

Interview Q & A

Malahini Terrace Chinese Restaurant

 By Ann (Lai Cheng)/Category: Q & A and pictures

Beef

Mongolian Beef

 

Chicken

Orange Chicken

 

drink

Maitai Topical Drink

Opening: We began with a simple greeting and a firm handshake. I began casual “chitchat” about whatever matter seemed timely and appropriate—the weather, the busy time of the year, etc. I interviewed a successful business former owner of Malahini Terrace Chinese Restaurant, 321 75th Street, Willowbrook, IL 60527, Mr. W.T.  I interviewed him was because my family liked the Chinese food at his restaurant. For example, the Mongolian beef and Orange chicken are delicious food.  Also, the Maitai topical drink is famous at his restaurant. My family used to order this food and drink. The main objective for this interview was to know more about how to build up a successful business in restaurants. I asked Mr. W. T. ten questions about his business at Malahini Terrace Chinese Restaurant.

Questions: I started to ask him my questions about the food business.

1.Interviewer: Why did you choose the location in Willowbrook, IL?

Interviewee: When I had time off from my work (restaurant) to home. I saw a

new mall which was the Malahini Terrace Chinese Restaurant location.

2.Interviewer: When did you open your business?

Interviewee: I started my business on June 23, 1980. However, I already

sold my business. The new owner continues to run the business.

Probing Question from Interviewer: You had a lot of customers.

Why did you close your  business?

Answer:  I have another business other than a restaurant. My wife usually

took care of the Malahini Terrace Chinese Restaurant. However, she wanted

to spend more time to take care of my children.

3.Interviewer: Did you need to learn how to cook before opening the restaurant?

Interviewee: I knew how to cook before I opened my business, but it wasn’t

necessary.

4.Interviewer: How many employees did you have?

Interviewee: I had 6 chefs, 6 waitress/waiters, 3 delivery boys, 2 cleaning

employees, 2 bus boys, 1 bartender, and 1 cashier.

Probing Question from Interviewer: Wow! You had a lot of employees. Did

they continue to work there after you sold your business.

Answer:  Yes, most of my employees have continued to work at the restaurant.

5.Interviewer: When your chef was sick, did you have to cook?

 Interviewee: Yes, I needed to cook if my chef was sick.

6.Interviewer: What food did your customers usually order? In other words,

what are the best-selling foods?

Interviewee: The Mongolian beef and Orange chicken are the most people

popular food items customers order.

7.Interviewer: What drink did you sell a lot? In other words, what is the best-selling drink?

Interviewee: The Maitai topical drink is famous at the restaurant.

A lot of American customers loved it.

8.Interviewer: How often did you change the menu?

Interviewee: I only changed the menu every year.

9.Interviewer: When were the busier days? In other words, when would you have more customers?

 Interviewee: We were busy on lunch times during weekdays because we had an

“all you can eat lunch buffet.” Also, we were busy on Fridays and

Saturday night.

10.Interviewer: How many square footage is the place?

Interviewee: The place was about 4,000 square feet.

Closing: Is there anything you would like to tell me about which I haven’t thought to ask you?

Mr. W. T. answered “no.”

I have enjoyed talking to you about the business of your Chinese restaurant.

Well, I think that covers everything.

Okay, these are all the question I have.

Well, our time’s perfect for this session.

Thank you so much for meeting with me.

Good-bye.

What I took away from this interview is that if people work hard, people could be successful like Mr. W. T. I found out that he was a kind, hard-working, and successful man. He really inspired me to work hard to achieve my goal.

 

Malahini Terrace Chinese Restaurant

321 75th Street, Willowbrook, IL 60527

Website

 

 

 

India in Chicago

By Terres GacekIndian food 2

My first adventure started at India House restaurant.  This restaurant is located in Downtown Chicago on Grand Ave in the River North area. Indian House has a great deal available Monday through Thursday, only $15 for an all you can eat buffet. They offer an excellent menu of Indian style dishes.  Indian food is very different because it involves the use of many spices from a variety of regions in India and most dishes don’t incorporate meat. But like most ethnic food, it’s cooked to please the soul and bring people together.

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Tandoori Chicken from India House

 

Our meal started off with a sizzling hot plate of Tandoori Chicken. It comes out bright red in color, my first reaction was that my month would start on fire because like most things in nature bright red usually means danger and in my mind that danger meant HOT MONTH! But instead my month was greeted with mouth full of flavor. This type of chicken can be described as tangy with a bit of sweetest from a drizzle of lemon. Tandoori chicken is very popular in Indian cooking. The chicken is roasted and prepared with a yogurt and spice marinade. The bright red color comes from the spices that are used, cayenne pepper and red chili pepper.

Idain food 4
Naan Bread from India House

 

Along with our Tandoori chicken, we were also given a basket full of Naan bread, and if you ask you can get it with butter and garlic. Naan bread is a kind of leavened flatbread which closely resembles pita bread. In Indian culture this type of bread is served with most Indian dishes and usually used to scoop up food during the meal.

The buffet was filled with delicious food! Like most Indian style meals, the buffet had traditional staples such as veggies with curry spice, rice, samosas, and all kinds of different curries. Vegetables such as carrots, red peppers, onions, and cauliflower were all pan fried topped with a curry seasoning. As for the rice, traditional basmati rice is often used in most Indian style cooking. Basmati rice is a kind of white long grained rice. Samosas are my favorite! A samosas is a savory fried pastry filled with potatoes, onions, peas, and or lentils and sometimes they contain meat.

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My plate from the India House buffet, includes a few different curry dishes.

 

Now I have mentioned the word curry a few times now. Curry is used in many ways in Indian Style cooking. Curry can be used as a spice or a curry can be a type of dish. A curry dish is usually involves a curry sauce made with vegetable and sometimes meat or fish and served over rice. At Indian house we enjoyed all kinds of curries; some of the curries we had were made with chickpeas, black lentils, and goat.

Overall I had a great experience at Indian House and I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking to try Indian cuisine. This was my first time trying Indian food and I couldn’t have asked for a better place. I hope you all put your fears aside and try something new! Trying new food is more than just an experience for your month; it allows you to connect to another culture.

Share your new food stories with us!

Check out Indian House in Chicago!

Indian House Website

 

Chicago Chinatown

Ten Favorite Chinese Restaurants

 By Ann (Lai Cheng)/Category: Listicle, pictures, and websites

Chinese Food

1) Emperor’s Choice Restaurant
麗晶海鮮酒家

Lunch/dinner Restaurant

The restaurant offers many different kinds of seafood such as scallops, oysters, lobster, and etc. Also, the Hong Kong beef, Mongolian beef, and Sesame chicken are good there.

emperor.0

2238 S. Wentworth Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616
312-225-8800
Visit website

2) HingHin Cuisine

Dim Sum/breakfast/lunch/dinner Restaurant
This is a modern restaurant. I know some Americans like their interior design. MingHin is one of the best Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. I like the dim sum, short ribs, beef with thick noodles, egg tarts, crispy pork belly, and BBQ pork.

minghin.0

2168 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 808-1999
Visit website

3) Phoenix Restaurant

     萬壽宮

Dim Sum/breakfast/lunch/dinner Restaurant
During weekends in peak hours, people usually need to wait for a table.
The restaurant offers many different kinds of dim sum. The servers push food in
carts around the room during weekends so people can pick their favorite dishes.

phoenix.0

2131 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 328-0848
Visit website

4) CAI Restaurant

     彩蝶軒

Dim Sum/breakfast/lunch/dinner Restaurant
Cai is one of the best dim sum in Chinatown. The restaurant also offers a lot of varieties such as: shrimp dumplings, BBQ pork buns, chicken feet, egg tarts and more. During lunch hours, the restaurant offers special lunches that are less expensive.

CAI

2100 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-6888
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5) Tangs Garden

Dim Sum/breakfast/lunch/dinner Restaurant
The restaurant provides a variety of dim sum. Also, they offer Mongolian beef, Sesame chicken, and Kung Pao chicken.

tang-s-garden-restaurant

1826S Canal Street,
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 226-1826
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6) Triple Crown Restaurant

Dim Sum/breakfast/lunch/dinner Restaurant
The restaurant offers many different kinds of dim sum. In addition, they provide the Peking duck, Kung Pao chicken, Sesame chicken, and Mongolian beef.

triple-crown-seafood

2217 S. Wentworth Avenue, Chinatown, Chicago, IL 60616
312.842.0088
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7) Lao Szo Chuan Restaurant

    老四川

Dinner restaurant
I like spicy food and that is why I enjoy their mapo tofu and their signature dry chili chicken. I also tried the hot pot which includes adding my own preferred soup base, cooked meats, and vegetables that were on the table.

lao.0

2172 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 326-5040
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8) Joy Yee’s Noodles

    祖璵麵檔

Ramen / Noodle House
Joy Yee is very popular and that is why they always have a crowd inside, and many people also line up outside to get their smoothies. The restaurant specializes in chow mein, chow fuun, noodle soups, meat and rice dishes. They also include a variety of bubble teas and smoothies.

joy_20yee.0

2139 S China Pl
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 328-0001
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9) Chi Café Restaurant

Breakfast/lunch/dinner Restaurant
Chi Café’s menu is cheap but the quality is good. They offer special breakfast menus, special lunch menus, and special afternoon tea menus. Chi Café provides congee, noodle soups, beef dishes, pork dishes, chicken dishes and more. Also, the restaurant is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

chi_20cafe.0

2160 S Archer Ave
Chicago, IL 60616
(312) 842-9993
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10) Furana Seafood Restaurant

       富麗華海鮮大酒樓

Dim Sum/breakfast/lunch/dinner Restaurant
This restaurant is big enough for wedding parties or special events. People can order traditional Chinese food there. The Peking duck is a multi-course unique dish for family dinners.

furama

2828 S Wentworth Ave #2, Chicago IL 60616
(312) 225-6888
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