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Hungry for Southern Comfort Food? 7 Dishes You Need to Try

There are a few things that the Southern US states are known for.

Their rich culture, hospitality, and roots in bluegrass music are just the beginning. The Southern comfort foods this area is known for are something to behold.

Sweet desserts using fresh fruits. Rich gravies, fried meats, and flaky biscuits. There’s nothing quite like the traditional comfort foods of the South.

Read on to find our favorite dishes to whip up at home or treat yourself to when you dine out. 

1. Hush Puppies

If you’re a true Southerner, you know how almost any food can be made better by frying it. Hush puppies are a delicious fried cornbread with a crispy outside and doughy inside. 

They’re served best as a side with fish fry or as an accompaniment for a BBQ. 

2. Biscuits

Traditionally, this southern comfort food was made with lard. These days even southerners are trying to be more health-conscious, so they use shortening instead.

Biscuits are a yummy accompaniment for fried chicken meals or served on the side with breakfast.

3. Fried Catfish

Remember how we said any food tastes better when it’s fried? Seafood is certainly no exception to this rule. In fact, seafood is one of the staples in a lot of Southern cuisines. 

Catfish are common in the Gulf states, so if you want a comforting fish dish, catfish is where it’s at.

4. Fried Chicken

This list of the best Southern food would not be complete without mentioning one more fried dish.

Chicken is one of the most common and versatile Southern dishes.

Fry it and serve with grits or cornbread. Stick it between syrup-laden Belgian waffles. Your southern-inspired mac and cheese recipe will pair nicely with fried chicken, too. 

5. Gumbo

Gumbo is a New Orleans classic. It’s truly a melting pot of a dish, taking influence from the French, Choctaw Indians, and Cajuns. 

The great thing about gumbo is that you can tweak it to your exact tastes.

Love shrimp and crab? Try a classic seafood gumbo.

Prefer chicken? How about a chicken and sausage gumbo instead?

6. Peach Cobbler

Nothing says “comfort food” quite like a delectable dessert. Though rich chocolate desserts often take the spotlight, there’s something to be said for fruit-centric treats, too.

Since Georgia is one of the top peach producing states, we had to include peach cobbler on our list. 

Warm peaches with a crumbly and sweet crust are the perfect combo to end a meal. Serve it with a scoop of ice cream for the ultimate sweet treat. 

7. Bananas Foster

How does a dessert made with bananas, ice cream, and a sweet buttery sauce sound? If we have you drooling, you need to try authentic bananas foster.

This dessert originated in New Orleans and is a must if you go out to eat. Since it’s flambeed, chefs often turn its preparation into a tableside performance. 

Whip Up Your Favorite Southern Comfort Foods

There’s nothing quite like cozying up with Southern comfort foods. They not only taste fantastic, but they can fuel the soul, too. 

Check out our Recipes section for mouthwatering comfort foods to try today.

4 Reasons Why You Should Taste African Coffee

Are you a coffee lover? Studies by Harvard show that it’s a healthy choice for most people when drunk in moderation.

You’re probably pretty picky about what coffee you drink. You no doubt have your favorite coffee shop chain or brand. But if you drink the same coffee every day, it might be time to shake it up a little bit.

You should consider drinking African coffee, which can be superior to what you drink. Here are some of the best coffee brands to try from Africa.

1. Not Starbucks

Starbucks and other chains like Costa Coffee are all the rage in America, and you might get used to drinking your favorite beverage from them. However, they are expensive and not always ethical. 

They pay their workers very low and have been caught in numerous scandals trying to minimize their taxes. Purchasing your coffee from here can be problematic for these reasons.

You are better off purchasing African coffee, which can be a more ethical choice. Making this at home for your daily commute can also save you time rather than having to queue for it every morning.

2. It Tastes so Good

African coffee has a unique taste that it’s indescribable. Unlike a coffee that is processed and laced with sugar, syrups, and other extras, African coffee is often served in a purer form.

The beans are roasted and the coffee is ground up and presented black, with maybe a splash of milk if you need it. The taste alone is enough to satisfy you. Sugar, syrups, and milk-heavy drinks are what make coffee from American chains unhealthy and can lead to a host of long term illnesses such as type 2 diabetes.

You can even start to have difficulty working because you have such a sugar crash ever day.

3. It’s Strong

Since African coffee brands are so strong, you don’t have to drink much of it to get your coffee fix.

Rather than gulping back a huge mug of coffee each morning, you will feel satisfied with a small shot-like glass that is rich and in aroma and flavor.

You can prepare it yourself, and you can decide what goes into the coffee and what does not, rather than wondering what additives and chemicals have been added at the coffee shop.

4. You’re Supporting African Workers

Africa is an impoverished place, and by purchasing African coffee, you are supporting their workforce and ensuring they have a job to feed their families.

Of course, many Africans are exploited, so they don’t earn a decent wage. However, there is a lot you can do to make sure you are only supporting ethical brands.

Research

Don’t rely on other people to give you information about various African coffee brands or the coffee brands themselves. Instead, do your own research.

Find out where their coffee is sourced, what farms they use, which people they employ, and what companies are associated with the brand to ensure that the workers are being treated ethically.

Reach out to other people on social media. Perhaps there are groups for people campaigning for fair coffee that can give you some more information on your brand of choice.

Fairtrade

One of the ways to ensure that you are using a healthy brand is to use only brands that are labeled as Fairtrade. They are an organization that ensures workers are well paid for their work.

If you are unsure about a brand you want to use, it might be worth contacting them to find out more about the work they do and how they ensure that all the African coffee brands they work with treat their workers fairly.

Some African Coffee Brands to Try

If you are wondering what African coffee brands to try, consider giving these a go:

Fresh Roasted LLC Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

The Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee brand takes great care over the environmental impact of its beans. Tanzania has a great history of coffee, dating back to the 19th century when the country was ruled by Germany.

TBC’s coffee has hints of lemon, peach, and even black tea, giving it a distinctive taste you won’t find in other coffees. This is what makes coffee from Africa great.

Stone Street Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

You will want to try Yirgacheffe coffee. It originated in Ethiopia, once an Italian colony, and the Italian’s love and know their coffee. The beans are roasted lightly, yet it has a tang to its taste.

Often voted one of the world’s best coffee brands, this is one to try, though be aware the description of it being a ‘light’ coffee is misleading, as it’s pretty strong. Ethiopian coffee is distinctive.

The Best Coffee Brands Come From Africa

When people think of the continent of Africa, they often think of safaris, waterfalls, and vast open plains to be explored.

But in fact, Africa has a great coffee scene, some of the best in the world, that can put some of the bigger American corporations like Starbucks to shame. You are much better off buying coffee from an African supplier and making it at home.

This way, you get to decide what goes into your morning drink and do not have to worry about the health implications of a sugary drink with additives and fatty milk.

If you are interested in reading more about the best coffee brands in Africa, be sure to check out the rest of our blog.

Beef steaks on the grill with flames

5 Types of Grills Ranked From Best to Worst!

BBQ season is almost upon us again. Time to fire up the grill and get ready for your backyard bashes. Speaking of grills, you still need to pick one up.

The taste of your food will depend on the quality of the grill you have. Between gas charcoal, electric, wood fire, and ceramic, which one provides the best results?

None of these major grill types is a bad choice, but they do have their own fair share of pros and cons. Good thing we’re here to help you by ranking them. Keep reading to find out which grill comes out on top!

1. Gas Grills 

Out of all the grill types, gas is the most popular. They don’t take too long to get hot so you can get meal preparation underway fast. They cool down about as fast as they heat up and they’re easy to clean.  

Meat that’s prepared on a gas grill is much healthier for you than meat cooked on any other type of grill as well. Gas grills are the most popular and probably the most expensive type of grill on the market. Despite how hot they can get, the heat they put out is still no match for charcoal grills. 

If you’re looking for a classic BBQ taste when you bite into your burger, it’s sad to say that gas grills fall short on that as well. 

Best Gas Grill 

The best gas grill overall is the Broil King Regal. It hooks right into your home’s gas supply so you never have to worry about picking up fuel. 

If you don’t have a way to connect the grill to your home, no worries. It comes in a propane model as well. It has 5 burners that you can set as high or low as you need making it ideal for preparing slow-cooked foods.

2. Charcoal Grills

Charcoal grills are the second most popular type of grill. They do take a lot longer to heat up then gas grills do. It takes around a half-hour for them to get hot once you light the charcoal. 

Heating it can take even longer on days that are cold and windy. The cleanup process is about as fun as trying to make it get hot. It takes quite a bit of elbow grease to get rid of charcoal stains. 

The extra time you spend doing all this will all be worth it in the end for the taste. Everything you cook on it will have that unique taste everyone associates with a summer BBQ. 

Best Charcoal Grill

The Weber Original Kettle Charcoal Grill doesn’t have side tables or any of the bells and whistles other grills have but that keeps the price down and doing without isn’t that big of a deal. It’s large while still remaining lightweight enough to carry around and it has a handy ash catcher that makes clean up a little bit easier.

3. Electric Grills

If you live somewhere that doesn’t allow for outdoor cooking, electric grills are the way to go. You plug them in and use them indoors. 

They make for a simple grilling experience and don’t have the same set of inconveniences that other grill types have. You won’t get that classic BBQ feel or taste from the food you cook though.

Plugging them in also isn’t optional so if you want to grill while camping out under the stars, an electric grill isn’t going to help you much. 

Best Electric Grill

The Char-Broil TRU-Infrared Grill provides an even distribution of heat so everything comes out cooked to perfection and juicy. It’s small and lightweight so it’s easy to carry around with you. 

It can fit around a dozen hamburgers on it all at once and it has a porcelain surface area that makes cleaning up a breeze. 

4. Wood Fire Grills

The first grills to ever arrive on the market were wood fire grills. It will take a while for the fire to burn down enough for you to start cooking your food and you’ll have to keep an eye on it.

Even with the extra time you take to cook, nothing can beat the smokey taste that it provides. 

Best Wood Fire Grill 

Wood fire grills take a notoriously long time to get going unless it’s the BioLite FirePit. It has air jets that blow oxygen into the fire. This feature keeps the flames going strong for quite a long time before you have to throw more wood in. 

It also keeps smoke from rising up into your face which is super helpful. Unlike a lot of other grills on this list, it’s not that big. You’ll only be able to cook a few burgers at a time on it.  

5. Ceramic Grills 

Ceramic grills produce the juiciest meat that you can get due to the limited airflow. The material keeps heat and temperatures regulated while the food is cooking. It’s no wonder that they’re so expensive. 

They also weigh a ton so you won’t be able to take it from location to location without quite a bit of effort.

Best Ceramic Grill

Kamado ceramic grills originated in Japan but they are making quite a splash in the states. The best Kamado grill you can buy is the Kamado Joe.

The unique style and shape of the grill allow the user to cook several types of food all at once at different temperatures if need be. The top of the grill can be lifted using a single finger making it not only a versatile cooking experience but a comfortable one as well. 

Your Guide to the Different Grill Types 

With BBQ season almost upon us, it’s time to pick out your grill. with all the different grill types out there, it can be hard to pick the best one to suit your needs. We hope we’ve helped you narrow down the choices a little so you can get prepared for the summer. 

Are you new to the grilling game? Check out our blog daily for tips on choosing and preparing the best cuts of meat. 

Mitragyna speciosa or kratom leaves with medicinal products in capsules and powder in white ceramic bowl and wooden table, top view

5 Awesome Health Benefits of Kratom You Need to Know

Much like the medical uses of CBD oil, the western world is starting to pay a lot closer attention to the health benefits of kratom. Kratom is a tree that grows in places like Malasia, Thailand, and Indonesia.

Like other plants, it’s leaves have powerful side effects (such as pain relief). Unfortunately, like poppy plants that produce opiates, kratom can have negative side effects if abused, which has led to some controversy in its use in the United States. However, when used appropriately, kratom can present amazing health benefits.

The Top Health Benefits of Kratom

Kratom can have a lot of different effects based on how you ingest it and how much you use. In the past, people have used kratom leaves for tea, smoking, and even chewing. However, we are now grinding them up, so they can be ingested in pill form, such as in Gold Bali kratom pills.

While there is still much research to be completed, kratom is proving to be an amazing plant. Keep reading for the top health benefits of kratom.

1. Pain Relief

Pain relief has been shown to be one of the most common health benefits of kratom. Kratom possesses several anti-inflammatory alkaloids, such as Epicatechin and Rhynchophylline. 

While most strains of kratom have some level of anti-inflammatory alkaloids, the Green Bali and Yellow Borneo strains tend to be more effective at treating pain.

2. Improved Immunity

When it comes to our body’s innate defense capabilities against viruses and diseases, a strong immune system is vital to our health and survival. Kratom has alkaloids that are widely believed to have positive effects on our immune systems. These alkaloids have various responses in our bodies (diuretic, anti-leukemic, etc.) that align for overall improved immunity.

3. Increased Libido

There are several health benefits of kratom that can lead to an improved libido or sex drive. For example, many strains of kratom are believed to reduce stress and anxiety, two major factors when it comes to erectile dysfunction and other disorders. Kratom also helps increase blood flow, which is paramount for high-functioning sexual organs.

4. Stress Relief

Our society is all about measuring success, the pressure to perform, and running our selves into the ground to keep up with everyone. Fortunately, stress relief is one of the more common health benefits of kratom. The compounds of kratom attach to specific receptors in our bodies that help regulate our hormones, reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

5. Anti-Diarrheal 

Finally, for those suffering from chronic diarrhea, the health benefits of kratom can help them control their bowel movements. Kratom has agents within its leaves that help slow down muscle movements in the gut. This can be incredibly beneficial for people who have Chrohn’s disease or irritable bowel syndrome.

Want More Knowledge About Food and Other Consumables?

If you found this article helpful and informative, there’s more where that came from. If you’re passionate about food and like to know what you’re putting in your body, check out some of our other articles before you go. Our site is where foodies come to talk.

How to Create an Easy Weekly Menu When Your Family Has Strict Diets

Has anyone in your family recently transitioned to a restrictive diet? Maybe someone identified that they’re eating too much sugar. Or maybe you’re in a unique position where everyone has different dietary needs.

When one person is gluten-free and another follows a plant-based diet, it can be overwhelming to think of what to make for dinner. 

These meals are important to your family’s lives in so many ways. Food can fight depression and it can provide fuel for intense physical demands. 

And since it’s not an option to ditch the family meals, let’s explore a few ways you can create an easy weekly menu when your family has strict diets. 

  1. Get Clear on the Restrictions

It’s relatively easy to plan for calorie restrictions but it’s another thing to account for something complicated like a peanut allergy. Get clear on the things you can and cannot use in your weekly menu, and then see if you can create balanced meals for everyone. 

There’s almost nothing more frustrating than realizing you’ve taken time and effort to create a special meal that someone cannot or will not eat. So, be sure you’re crystal clear on any restrictions people have (even if it’s foods they simply refuse to eat).

  1. Focus on Balance

Regardless of what you’re restricting, each meal should have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. Since vegetables are on almost every list of “approved” foods, try to fill each plate halfway with fruits and veggies. 

The remaining portion of each plate can be divided equally among protein and whole grains. Depending on your family’s needs, the protein may vary from person to person, but if you so choose, you can cook an animal-based protein for one person and a plant-based protein for another. 

  1. Choose Whole Foods

When you’re working with dietary restrictions, processed foods can often be a problem. If someone is trying to avoid a certain ingredient like gluten, peanuts, trans-fats or MSG, you’re going to have a lot of label-reading to do. Many processed foods contain all of these ingredients that can render your weekly meal plan unusable. 

Instead, opt for whole foods that only have one ingredient, like fruits and veggies. If you want to buy something with more ingredients, look for the items that have the fewest ingredients. 

Here’s a good tip: if you’re buying bread, look in the frozen section or in the bakery. The most damaging ingredients are the ones that help preserve foods for long periods of time. So, fresh-made or frozen bread is often healthier than the stuff that sat on a store shelf for an extended time. 

Once you get into the groove of creating weekly meals for your family, even though they have strict diets, it’ll become a lot easier. As you find recipes that work, save them to a recipe file, so you have some go-to dishes that you can make often. 

And it also helps to ask for input. Although it can be nice to accommodate everyone, it can feel overwhelming when you’re doing all the work. At the very least, ask for some input on what to make. And at best, ask for help planning and cooking.

Secret recipe. Close up photo of chef hands with several tattoos adding a sauce to italian pasta Carbonara. Food concept

4 Ways to Make Italian Recipes Healthier

Italians are known all over the globe as the creators and masters of cooking delectable dishes like pasta and pizza. It is the home of meals that food lovers and enthusiasts absolutely love. There are even various gastronomic guides posted on the web that can be used by tourists to figure out the best restaurants to visit.

It is undeniable that Italian meals are superb, but some are not the best food you should take if you want to be healthier. Nowadays, a lot of people are investing a lot of money, time, and effort to have a more nutritious diet. Various diet trends, like intermittent fasting and keto diet, have now surfaced and the demand for healthier food and recipes has increased. 

If you have decided to recreate and make Italian dishes at home, there are recipes online, like A Guide For Your 20s, that you can follow. Most of these recipes include traditional cooking and recipes. If you want to make it more nutritious, there are ways to accomplish that.

Here are 4 ways to make Italian recipes healthier:

Add High-Protein and High-Fiber Food

Instead of adding meat to your sauce and pasta, you can use beans and legumes which are rich in protein. By adding lentils, chickpeas, and peas, your Italian dish can be cooked with more nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Also, when making pasta bolognese, you can use beans as a meat-alternative.

Adding more fiber-enriched food into your recipe can also help make your dish healthier. Fiber is a healthy carbohydrate that can reduce the chances of colon cancer and improve heart health by lowering cholesterol levels. It is also an excellent nutrient that can aid you in losing fat and weight. If you’re into Italian salads, you can put spinach, beets, almonds, or sunflower seeds to create a high-fiber meal. 

Use Gluten-Free Ingredients

Italians are world-renowned for their pasta dishes. They have carbonara, lasagna, puttanesca, and more pasta recipes that are also served in Italian-inspired restaurants all over the globe. This food is indeed delicious and versatile, though, pasta is high in carbohydrates that are more difficult to be digested by the body and also results in high blood sugar. 

Fortunately, you can stop eating regular pasta and munch on gluten-free pasta instead. These are often made of chickpea, quinoa, corn, and lentils. You can purchase these organic and healthier kinds of pasta in the market. If these are not available in stores near you, you can also choose to make your own homemade pasta, which is indeed healthier than instant pasta or noodles.

Chicken Over Pork and Beef Meat

To create a delicious, healthy, and meaty Italian recipe, it is better to use white meat than dark meat. Instead of using pork to create meatballs, you can choose to add chicken or turkey. While it is true that dark meat contains tons of nutrients like Vitamin B12, white meat is healthier as it contains less saturated fat and it is an excellent source of protein.

It is also best to broil meat instead of frying it. The process of frying includes the use of cooking oil, which contains a considerable amount of fats and calories that can be unhealthy for the body. This is not only applicable to meat but vegetables and pasta as well. Choose to include broiling and baking in your recipes to create a more nutritious meal.

Use Honey and Fruits For Desserts

Have you ever heard of tiramisu, panna cotta, and semifreddo? These are just a few of the famous desserts the Italians have created and mastered. However, everyone knows desserts and sweets are the enemies when you’re trying to be more conscious about your health and fitness. They contain high contents of sugar that are indeed unhealthy, particularly if you have medical conditions like diabetes. 

As an alternative for sugar, you can opt to use honey as a sweetener for your desserts. Because it contains antioxidants, honey is great for improving cardiovascular and digestive health. In addition to that, you can also use fruits to make your Italian dessert more scrumptious and nutritious at the same time. Incorporating ingredients that are good for one’s health in your recipes, such as greek yogurt and dark chocolate, is another great way to make your body nourished while consuming sweets. 

Conclusion

These ways to make Italian recipes healthier are also applicable to other types of dishes. Instead of dining in restaurants and fast food establishments, you can easily recreate Italian meals with a more nutritious twist in your home.

How MCA Can Be Used Successfully For Restaurant Owners

Building a new business from scratch is not an easy venture to take on, and today’s atmosphere certainly works against most small businesses. CEO of Next Street Marina Linhart said, “There is an $87 billion gap in financing for small businesses.”

What exactly does that mean? Simple: If your business is new, then you’re a lot less likely to find even moderate capital investments. It’s like when a new author goes to publish a first book, but can’t find an agent who accepts authors who haven’t been published, and can’t find a publisher that accepts authors who don’t have an agent. New businesses operate the same way. You need to prove yourself before you find an investor, but there’s no way to do build the business without one.

That might sound like a problem, because it is. Restaurant owners, in particular, can expect lower sales without those initial investments. That means fewer employees and a barely operating skeleton crew.

Many restaurant owners opt for a merchant cash advance, or MCA agreement, to make ends meet. These contracts can be great for restaurant owners who are going places. But they can also be a nightmare for those who were already doomed from the beginning.

Business owners who are considering an MCA agreement need a solid plan before signing one. Is there an open demographic interested in what they’re selling? Is the business’s location easily accessible? How will new customers find out about the business? How will the business continue to grow in the long-term? Business owners who cannot answer these simple questions should quit while they’re ahead.

For those who have built a solid foundation with proper planning, it’s doubly important to take only as much as needed. Interest rates will be higher in an MCA agreement, and many states still don’t regulate these lending practices. Until regulations are put into place, it’s up to the business owner to weed out the predatory lenders from those who are actually on their side. 

Restaurants stand to benefit more than many other businesses because profits can fluctuate day-to-day even when the weather changes. That’s okay, because merchant cash advances generally operate by taking a percentage of the profit each day instead of using a set payment amount.

The advance can usually be obtained within 48 hours, with a low credit rating, and without risking assets or worsening an already low credit rating — as long as the business owner was careful not to put up collateral before signing the agreement. When the business grows significantly, an owner can move on to a more traditional investment strategy.

8 Great Greek Recipes for the Passionate DIY Chef

Do you like trying new recipes, especially from different parts of the world? Then you must try these recipes and take your tastes buds on a trip to the Mediterranean. 

Keep reading for some of the best Greek recipes to add to your meal rotation.

1. Baklava

Baklava is a pastry made out of paper-thin sheets of phyllo dough and a sweet mixture of nuts. You can use any variety of nuts that you like, but the most common mixture calls for a combination of walnuts and almonds. 

After baking, you’ll then cover the pastry in a sweet syrup that is usually sugar or honey-based, or a combination of both. Each bite of this flaky dessert is packed with sweetness and will have you wanting more. This is one of the most famous dishes from Greece and you’ll know why it’s so popular after you’ve tried it. 

2. Tzatziki

Tzatziki is a classic Greek dip that is made from yogurt, cucumber, and garlic. This dip is easy to make since it only requires a few ingredients and will quickly become a staple in your household. 

One of the most traditional uses for this dip is as a sauce on pita bread for the gyro sandwich. The flavor combinations mix well with the delicate flavors of the lamb and you will want to eat it again and again. 

3. Arni me Patates

Arni me Patates is a leg of lamb that has been roasted with potatoes and is flavored with garlic, oregano, and lemon. This meal is a classic dish served when visitors are expected over for dinner or for other special occasions. 

The great thing about this dish is the flavor combinations are delicious and it is very easy to prepare. It would be the perfect meal for your next Easter celebration, as lamb is an important dish to serve in Greece. It also pairs well with this yogurt mint sauce

4. Pastitsio

Pastitsio is a cheesy meat dish that is layered with rigatoni, cheese, and meat sauce. It is then covered in a creamy bechamel sauce and then baked to perfection. This dish is a bit more complicated than other Greek dishes, but it’s well worth the effort. 

This dish gained in popularity during the 20th century when people started experimenting with cream sauces and added them into different types of Greek cuisine. 

5. Horta Vrasta

This is a staple dish for the traditional Greek dinner table. It consists of boiled leafy greens which are often gathered outdoors in the wild. These greens usually consist of dandelion greens or spinach leaves. 

The greens are boiled until tender and then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, usually sourced locally, and then topped with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. This dish is not only delicious but it is also healthy for you. 

6. Galaktoboureko 

This custard-filled phyllo pastry is another famous dessert in Greece. The custard is made of milk and egg and then wrapped between layers of phyllo dough.

It is then baked until it is golden brown and soaked in an orange and lemon-flavored syrup. The flavors are light and sweet, making it the perfect after-dinner treat. It is best to serve this dessert on the same day it was made since the custard has a tendency to harden after refrigeration. 

7. Moussaka

Traditional moussaka is a casserole that has been layered with a variety of vegetables and meat. Sometime during the 20th century, cream sauces became popular and people started adding a topping of thick and creamy bechamel sauce to the dish. This version of the dish has become one of the most famous dishes in Greek cuisine. 

The most popular vegetable for moussaka is thin slices of eggplant between the layers of meat sauce. If done the traditional way the meal will take most of the day to prepare, but it’s worth all the work and the wait. Leftovers also freeze well so you can make a double batch and save the extras for another day. 

Moussaka is a versatile dish that can also be made with a wide variety of vegetables and without meat for a vegetarian version. 

8. Gyro

The gyro is a widely popular street food that is sold at stands all over Greece and in other parts of the world. The word gyro in Greece means to turn, the name of the sandwich is based on the method in which the meat is cooked. 

When prepping the meat for the cone, thin slices of pork or lamb are seasoned with a mixture of spices such as salt, pepper, oregano, and paprika. Next, the entire mixture is sprinkled with white-wine vinegar and then layered with more meat, spices, and vinegar until all the meat has been seasoned and coated. 

Then the meat is skewered and set on a bottom base plate with larger slices of meat draped around the skewer. No gaps between meat or skewer are left and no meat is left to hang off over the edges of the base.

With each layer, the meat is compressed so it is packed solid with the final piece being a thin layer of fat that will cook and drip down through the gyro keeping it moist during the process. 

The cone is then placed on the rotisserie grill cooking the meat as it turns. The outside meat gets cooked and as it is sliced into the interior pieces of meat are then able to cook, giving it a nice flavor as it cooks low and slow. 

If you are making this at home you can grill your seasoned meat on your bbq grill or on the stovetop. Then add your pieces of meat into a grilled pita wrap with tzatziki, onions, and tomatoes. 

Learn More About Delicious Greek Recipes Today!

These are just some of the many wonderful Greek recipes that you should add to your weekly dinners and desserts. Get adventurous and let your taste buds try something new!

For more great cuisine tips and ideas, visit our website daily!

Superfoods That Have Healing Powers

avocado

It’s no secret that the foods we eat play a role in how our bodies operate. Food can influence our weight, our moods, and, in some cases, our ability to heal. That’s no exaggeration, and certain foods packed into certain diets can help promote a kind of general healthiness that speeds recovery (it’s so common, for example, that even trial lawyers for brain injuries know a proper diet is a good foundation for healing).

Not all foods are created equal, though, and there are some “superfoods” that pack a heaping helping of essentials that can hold sway over your immune system and other bodily functions. Here are a few you should keep in mind as far as healing is concerned.

Vitamin D

We all know about how Vitamin D can affect mood and energy levels, but did you know that it, similar to calcium, can help you with healing broken bones? While the best source of Vitamin D is sunlight, you’ll also get plenty of it by consuming dairy, fatty fish, and eggs.

Healthy Fats

The word “fat” gets a bad rap sometimes, but there are some fats that you’re going to want to be in your diet, particularly those related to brain function and heart health. Try to get a good amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which you can find in foods like avocados, olive oil, pecans, and fatty fish.

Beets

While beets don’t rank that highly on most of our favorite food lists, they do provide some powerful nutrients, like carbs, vitamin a, vitamin c, iron, and calcium. They’re sweet (a definite plus if you’ve got those cravings) and they might even be useful for reducing inflammation and controlling your overall blood pressure.

Proteins

Any burn injury accident attorney will tell you that such injuries can be quite serious. Those with a modicum of knowledge on nutrition will also tell you that a diet packed with calories and protein will help bolster your immune system (decreasing the risk of infection), while simultaneously promoting healing, keeping your muscle mass high, and mitigating excessive weight loss.

Cranberries

We all know that cranberries are the go-to home remedy for preventing UTIs, but that’s not their only healing power. They also have plenty of antioxidants, so they can help your body heal from some forms of cell damage and may even help in thwarting some types of cancers.

Power Greens

You’ve likely already heard of kale and spinach, but these aren’t the only magnificent greens you should have in your diet. Keep your energy levels high by mixing it up with parsley, alfafa, kelp, and the occasional serving of bok choy if you’re feeling adventurous.

Eat This First Thing in the Morning to Boost Your Metabolism and Burn Fat

Are you having trouble burning off that stubborn body fat? If so, then you might benefit from changing your diet to include foods that work with your body to help you burn fat, naturally. 

To maximize the natural fat burning mechanisms of your body, you need to consume foods that are high in fat neutralizing nutrients (which are found in foods such as vegetables, snacks, nuts, and fruits) first thing in the morning to jumpstart your day.

So, what exactly is a fat neutralizing nutrient? This specific type of nutrient refers to protein, but it is not just any kind of protein: in this article, we will also look at 5 simple truths about the type of protein that will help you maintain a healthy weight. We will also address how to protect ourselves from “toxic proteins” that most people consume on a daily basis. Today, there is a lot of misinformation about protein in the media, which we will try to set straight. 

Here are the 5 facts that you need to know about protein:

1.    True Power of Protein

For years, many people including athletes, actors, models, actresses have used protein-based meals as a part of their quest in attaining fitter bodies. In recent years, there have been studies that reveal how a protein-rich diet helps you attain optimal fitness levels. A study by University of Illinois researchers published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that women who consumed a high amount of protein had 66 percent better fat ratio to lean body mass as compared to those in a group taking half as much protein. The results of the study imply that the group that consumed higher protein content maintained greatly more muscle and lost relatively more fat despite consuming the same number of calories. 

So how does protein accelerate weight loss and create these incredible improvements in body composition while also delivering results that no other nutrient can provide? With the high number of evidence-based studies, it is now evident that protein provides several unique qualities, as long as you consume the right amount of the nutrient. One of these factors is the thermic effect of feeding (TEF) or what is commonly known as the thermogenic burn. 

The thermogenic burn refers to the number of calories that your body needs to metabolize nutrients. This helps in ensuring fast metabolism, which explains why protein delivers speedy fat-burning metabolism regardless of your genetics. Therefore, the more protein you consume the more calories you get to help your body metabolize food, which includes fats. 

2.    How much protein do you require to lose weight faster and maintain the healthy weight?

Well, according to research, protein requires up to a staggering 35 calories for every 100 calories ingested, for it to be completely metabolized. The amount of calories is seven times the energy required to metabolize fat and double the calorie needed for carbohydrates. This means that the more protein you consume, the more free calories you get to help you in your fat burning efforts. Therefore, protein is the fat neutralizer, as it requires considerably more calories to metabolize. According to medical research, you need at least 1 gram of quality protein per pound of your body weight every day to attain more lean muscles and maintain lower body fat levels. 

3.    The protein you are consuming could be doing more harm to your body than good

It is advisable to consider whether the source of the protein that you consume is unhealthy or simply doesn’t contain the full amino acid spectrum. Besides, some of the protein-based products we buy may not be easily digestible or may be loaded with artificial chemicals, hormones and other toxins that can cause digestive discomfort and counteract your efforts of burning fats. For instance, traditional eggs from caged chickens contain high amounts of confinement toxins, which can get into your body causing complications to your own hormones. Even further, while wild-caught fish offers the healthiest sources of protein, many fish are loaded with high mercury levels and other toxic metals. In regards to supplementing with powders or RTD shakes, some protein products contain high amounts of artificial sweeteners and destructive hidden sugars, which we will cover next.

4.    Criminal practices of many protein supplement manufacturers 

Many supplement manufacturers claim to provide a product that delivers impressive benefits. However, it is essential to know that the majority of protein supplements available in the market today are loaded with denatured, extremely cheap protein and house a host of toxic ingredients. Such products can easily slow and counteract your weight loss efforts rather than ensuring faster results. Conducting proper comparative analysis while studying consumer reviews and becoming savvy at reading product labels will help you out in the long run.

Is There Such Thing As a Viable Protein Supplement? 

The answer is yes! While we will not make any attempt to promote one product over another, if you are in the market for a protein product to supplement your balanced diet, ensure that it:

•    gluten-free and made from high-quality natural ingredients

•    free of harmful substances such as additives, artificial sweeteners, flavors, colors or preservatives

•    a true time-released blend of slow and fast-acting proteins that offer quality nutrition to your body for up to 8 hours

•    certified hormone-free 

Conclusion

As mentioned above, consuming the right amount of healthy and high-quality protein can help you burn fat faster as it requires more calories to metabolize. This means that the more protein you take in, the more energy will be needed, which will effectively speed up the process of breaking down the body’s stored fats. According to research, breakfast time is the best time to take your protein as consumption first thing in the morning will boost your natural fat-burning mechanisms. This ensures that you get enough protein to kickstart your metabolism and puts you on the right track to find success on your weight-loss journey.