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The Goodness of Garlic

June 1, 2010

This month we’re going to take a closer look at garlic. Most of us know and use garlic as seasoning and most of us are aware of the fact that garlic combats colds and flu (because it’s full of vitamin C and it contains both antibacterial and antiviral properties). But this is not all garlic is useful for. Of course, the more processed the less good stuff you get out. So put in those extra five minutes to mince or chop raw cloves and cook or fry it for only a short period to release all the goodies. Alternatively, you could place the cloves inside your shoes. As you walk, the cloves will be crushed, absorbed into your skin and then into the blood to your intestinal tract. Sound crazy? Well, this is what our ancestors did to get rid of worms! Garlic is also an excellent source of vitamin B6, functions as a natural anti-inflammatory, inhibits the growth of cancer cells, lowers blood pressure and it is an antioxidant with anti-clotting abilities, which means it helps to prevent heart disease.

For all this garlic-goodness, none of us want to overpower our guests or family with too much garlic. So our recipes combine Thai and Western ideas to bring a meal full of garlic without the too-much-factor. Enjoy!

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Vegetable Spring Rolls with Thai Peanut Sauce

A quick and scrumptious appetizer.

Ingredients

1 packet frozen vegetable spring rolls (I get mine in the frozen section at Pick n Pay)
½ cup smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp soy sauce
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp wasabi sauce (only 1 tbsp if you use wasabi paste)

Preparation

Deep fry the vegetable spring rolls from frozen until golden brown. In the meantime, start preparing the peanut sauce. This is a very straightforward process; simply add all the ingredients in a pan and mix over low heat until it becomes creamy. Serve hot with the vegetable spring rolls.

Serves 4.

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Thai Coconut Rice

For the main course, prepare both the Thai Coconut Rice dish and the Zucchini Fritters and serve with a green salad.

Ingredients

4 tbsp peanut oil
½ onion, diced
80g spring onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup white rice
2 packets small button mushrooms
½ can coconut milk
Pinch of ground coriander
Pinch of ground ginger

Preparation

Heat the oil in a pan. Fry the onion till golden brown and then add the spring onions, garlic and mushrooms. When done, remove from stove. Boil the rice, drain when cooked and then fry the rice for a few minutes with the onion and mushroom mixture. Now add the coconut milk, coriander and ginger. (You can add more coconut milk to taste.) Mix until hot and serve with browned coconut flakes.

Serves 4.

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Zucchini Fritters

The last part of this meal can be prepared in advance so that it’s ready to be fried while the rice is cooking. This recipe not quite Thai, but this crunchy treat works well with the rice dish. I usually serve it with hummus.

Ingredients

300g zucchini, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup soy milk
1 packet croutons, broken (do not crush too finely)
¾ cup flour
2 tsp Orgran egg replacer

Preparation

Place all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl and mix together. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and then dollop the fritter batter into the pan in heaped tablespoon measures, waiting for bubbles to form on the top of the fritter before carefully turning it around. The fritters should be golden brown on both sides. When ready, serve with hummus.

Serves 4.

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ChantelleChantelle Roelofse works as a cognitive linguist at Unisa, but also loves playing piano and composing music. She teaches yoga at the Yoga Revolution studio, focusing on power yoga and surya namaskara classes. She is interested in the philosophy of yoga and how we can incorporate it in modern living. Chantelle supports ethical living and veganism. Roeloc@unisa.ac.za

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