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Asian Cuisine and … Fish Oil?

Posted Sep 20 2010 7:37pm

Too bad all practicums can’t be like this! Today, as an introduction to the world of food service, we made nine delicious Asian dishes and sampled them all. Pictures really speak louder than words, so here goes:

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Chicken-Pine Nut Dumplings with Ginger-Chili Dipping Sauce (unpictured)

Vietnamese Sticky Chicken with "Daikon" and Carrot Pickle (Kristen and I made this one!)

Scallion Cakes

Chinese Egg Rolls

Shrimp and Scallops with Asian Eggplant

Roasted Brussels Sprouts (my personal favorite - great combination of flavors)

We also made Shrimp with Shiitake Mushroome and Baby Bok Choy, and Pork Pot Stickers. Somehow I missed those while I was running around with my camera. Kristen of Simply Savor was the expert chef who sliced our chicken. happy

This device is pretty interesting:

This hot-plate look-a-like is an induction burner . The burner heats the pot by generating an electromagnetic field through induction. The pot heats extremely fast (in an ideal world, just imagine the speed of light – now that’s fast!). It’s nice to know my physics education occasionally comes in handy. happy

My brother-in-law sent me a really good question about fish oils recently. To paraphrase, he asked me what is the recommended amount of fish oil he should take per day. As with many nutrition-related topics, this hot issue does not have an absolute answer. First of all, here is just a little of what some of the latest research is saying about the health benefits of omega-3 fats:

* Helps your brain stay sharp

* Keeps your heart healthy

* Can reduce complications from diabetes

* Can ease exercise-induced breathing difficulties

The American Heart Association recommends that healthy people eat two palm-sized serving of fatty fish per week, like salmon, sardines, and tuna (or take 500 – 1000 mg of omega-3 capsules per day). People with heart disease are recommended take 1 gram of omega-3 fats per day. If you are taking capsules instead of eating fish, be careful not to overdo it: more than 3 grams of omega-3 fats a day can cause you to bleed too much if you get a cut.

Fish oil and omega-3 fats are NOT the same – at least in terms of amount. A bottle of fish oil pills may advertise in big, flashy words on the front that each pill has a 1 gram of fish oil. In reality, however, only a fifth of that amount (or less!) may be DHA or EPA, which are the heart-healthy fats that you want. Very misleading advertising! When you buy omega-3 supplements, look carefully at the label to see how much DHA and EPA the pills actually have in them.

For vegetarians, check out walnuts, flaxseed, soybeans, or the oils from those foods. These foods have omega-3 fats, too. Future studies will be able to tell us more about omega-3 fats and how much is best for us (I can’t wait to hear the results of this one).

Wow! After that marathon post, I think I’ll take a breather.

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