Say Cheeeese !!!


Cheese platter

Cheese platter



I recently got a mail from a friend seeking help for the various types of cheese available in the market. It’s good to know, the way people have started consuming cheese. Just browsing through “Dairy Products” section at super market will consume an hour of yours.

In the process to find an answer, even I got a chance to learn a lot.

Cheeses are categorized in several ways. Factors relevant to the categorization of cheeses include:

– – Length of aging
– – Texture
– – Methods of making
– – Fat content
– – Kind of milk
– – Country/Region of Origin

Cheese is one of the widely used milk product across the globe. It is a fermented food derived from the mammalian milk. Cheese is used in wide array of cooking depending on the desired effect. It is known for its benefits since it contains good quantity of calcium, proteins and phosphorous. It is a major source of saturated fat.

The choice is infinite when it comes to buying a cheese in the market. You’ll come across so many types of cheese that it becomes hard to choose one from the massive list. Cheese is produced in many countries worldwide and is available in many forms and flavors.

The following are some of the widely known cheese types available in the market:

Cheddar – Is a hard cheese and doesn’t have cracks or mould on it. It is the most popular cheese known and used by the mankind. It is available in a variety of ranges starting from mile to mature. They are suitable just for every cheese recipes. It is popularly used for applying on sandwich, baking or as a sauce.

Fresh cheeses – They are unripened cheeses that typically have short shelf lives (1-3 weeks), do not have a rind, and are high in moisture. While many cheeses improve with age, the opposite is true with fresh cheeses since these cheeses have flavor components that most resemble fresh milk and any sort of aging will only sour its flavor. These cheeses are typically bright white in color, smooth and creamy in texture, and possess flavor components that are tangy, milky, tart, and buttery. Examples of fresh cheeses include Ricotta, Mozzarella, and Petit Billy.

Cottage cheese – It is a cheese curd product with a mild flavor. It is drained, but not pressed, so some whey remains and the individual curds remain loose. The curd is usually washed to remove acidity, giving sweet curd cheese. It is not aged or colored. Different styles of cottage cheese are made from milks with different fat levels and in small curd or large curd preparations. Cottage cheese which is pressed becomes hoop cheese, farmer cheese, pot cheese or queso blanco. Cottage cheese can be eaten by itself, with fruit, on toast, in green salads, or used as an ingredient in recipes such as lasagna, jello salad and various desserts.

Gouda – It is a yellow cheese made from cow’s milk. The cheese is named after the city of Gouda in the Netherlands, but is currently made and sold all around the world. Depending on age classification, it can be any time between a number of weeks to over seven years before it is ready to be eaten. As it ages, it develops a caramel sweetness and sometimes has a slight crunchiness from salt-like calcium lactate that forms in older cheeses.

Blue cheese – This cheese has an acquired taste. Very few people enjoy it due to its distinct taste and aroma. Some of the blue cheeses available in the market are Danish or Gorgonzola and Roquefort, which are popular for using over salad.

Goat cheese – This cheese is made of Goat’s milk. This cheese is normally soft and easily spreadable. It is also known as the healthier cheese compared to other cheese types and is often used as diet cheese because of its low calories.

Feta cheese – This soft cheese which is easy to crumble has Greek origins and is white in color. It is quite popularly used in salads especially Greek salads. Some of the flavors available in this are black pepper, herb salted etc.

Mascarpone cheese – It is an Italian made cheese and is known for its taste and creamy texture. However this is very rich in fat and calorie content and due to which people don’t use it often as they use other types of cheeses in cheese recipes.

Storage of cheese:

Cheese which is fresh in nature should be kept in the fridge with their original containers. The fresh cheese should be consumed quickly or else it is bound to loose its taste. It is also advisable to store the cheese in a Ziploc bag by punching holes in the sides.

The consumption of cheese is seen widely across the world and cheese in India is still an average consumer. Cheese is slowly gaining popularity in India and is a lesser consuming country compared to any other foreign countries. There are varieties of dishes in India where cheese is being used these days and therefore more and more people are getting used to it.

Misconceptions about cheese

Many people believe cheese is not a healthy product due to the presence of fat elements in it. However this is a misconception. Only few variety of cheese are rich in fat and calorie and the rest are low calorie ones. You can choose them based on your needs.

Please do add to the content.

Happy Cheeseing !!!

Vaishali Parekh

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Thanks to Wikipedia and Article Base


Filed under Healthy LifeStyle

A Little Innovation


Below are a few recipes which you can prepare with leftover Diwali sweets.

Laddo Roti


– Boondi Ke Laddu – 6
– Chapati dough, without salt – 6 balls
– Ghee – for shallow frying
– Wheatflour – enough to dust the rotis

Method :-

– Break the laddus roughly.
– Roll the dough roll into 3″ diameter round.
– Stuff in one laddu.
– Properly seal from all the sides as we do with any other stuffed parathas.
– Lightly press them and roll into small chapatis arond 1/3″ inch thick.
– Shallow fry them with ghee on both the sides till light brown and a bit crispy.
– Serve hot.


Baked Barfi Rabdi With Laddu
Ingredients :-

– Laddus – 6-8

– Kaju / Badam Barfi – 8-10
– Milk – 1 cup
– Sugar powder – 2 tsp(if sweetness required)
– Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
– Silvered Almonds and Pistachio – to garnish


Method :-
– Roughly break the laddus and barfis separately.

– Spread a thin layer of laddus into a baking dish and keep it aside.
– Heat a pan and place the broken barfis into it.
– Let it melt on a low flame. Add the milk and mix well.
– Cook till it thickens and resembles a rabdi.
– Do not thicken much as it will become more thich as it gets cooler.
– Spread this rabdi over the laddu layer.
– You may repeat the two layers finishing with rabdi layer.
– Bake in the grilling mode in microwave for 10 minutes or until light brown color appears on the top. Or you may bake at 200C for 15-20 minutes.
– Garnish with almonds and pistachios.
– Serve hot, warm or cold. It always tastes awesome.



Pistachio Chocolate Gulab Jamun

Ingredients :-
– Gulab Jamun, without silver foil – 8-10 pcs
– Chocolate sauce – 2 tbsp
– Pistachios, sliced – 1 tbsp
– Toothpicks – to serve
Method :-
– Insert the sticks into the jamuns.
– Dip them half into the chocolate sauce, such as sauce covers only the half round.
– Dip them into sliced nuts, such as they stick over the sauce.
– Serve them in a serving plate.
Hot Gulab Jamun With Ice Cream

Ingredients :-
– Gulab jamun, small sized – 2
– Vanilla icecream – 1 big scoop
– Chocolate sauce – to drizzle (optional)
– Walnut, crushed – 1 tsp (optional)
– Crushed butterscotch – to garnish (optional)
Method :-
– Warm the gulab jamuns in a microwave for 10 seconds and put them in a small serving bowl.
– Put a scoop of vanilla icecream over it.
– Garnish with remaining ingredients.
– Serve with chocolate stick, if available.
Hope you find them useful.

Vaishali Parekh

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Wise Breakfast Choices

We are constantly being told that breakfast is THE most important meal of the day. You cannot start your day without any fuel — eating breakfast improves your concentration, alertness and overall performance and keeps you going through the day.

However, all of the above apply only if you have a healthy breakfast that does not overload your system with excess carbohydrates or even the bad kinds of fat.

Making the right choices of food for breakfast is as important as the meal itself! If you start your day on a high-carbohydrate, high-fat meal you are going to end up feeling sluggish and lethargic in the morning itself.

What’s more, if the pattern of your breakfast is constantly that of high calorie foods, in the long run it is going to expand your waistline, show up a few more kilos on the weighing scale and negatively affect your lipid profile.

So in the following pages, we’re going to give you the lowdown on the worst, fair and best breakfast choices.

Puri Bhaji
Serving: 1 plate (4 puris)
Calories: 450
Fat: 20 gms

Medhu Vada
Serving: 2
Calories: 260
Fat: 15 gms

Batata Vada
Serving: 2
Calories: 320
Fat: 15 gms

Aloo Paratha
Serving: 2
Calories: 580
Fat: 21.5 gms

Potato Toast
Serving: 1
Calories: 368
Fat: 22.9 gms

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why the above rank as the five worst choices.

All are high on fat and very low on nutrition, ie they contain a lot of empty calories. These options are also very high on salt and low on fibre. Unfortunately, a lot of offices usually serve vadas and samosas as part of the mid-morning snack and most people end up having them as a second breakfast, so imagine the calorie overload early in the morning! Whether you are watching your weight or not, the above are options that should be in the category of ‘To be eaten once in a blue moon’!

Veg Upma
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 180
Fat: 5.5 gms

Potato Poha
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 185
Fat: 5.4 gms

Idli Sambar
Serving: 2
Calories: 312
Fat: 11 gms

Serving: 5
Calories: 110
Fat: 2.5 gms

Onion Pudla (salty)
Serving: 2
Calories: 350
Fat: 11 gms

As a nutritionist, I am asked nearly everyday — ‘Why can’t I include Upma or Poha or any of the above for breakfast?’

While all the above options are not fried and therefore not very high fat choices, they contain a lot of processed/refined carbohydrates and as a result, are low on fibre. Such foods affect and raise your blood glucose levels very quickly and also cause it to drop equally quickly, resulting in low energy and hunger pangs within an hour of eating. Whenever there are high levels of blood glucose in the bloodstream after a meal, some of this excess sugar may be burnt off if you are an active person — but most of it is converted to fat and stored in the body, causing weight gain!

Oatmeal Porridge
Serving: 30 gms
Calories: 250
Fat: 2 gms

Milk with Bran Flakes
Serving: 30 gms
Calories: 250
Fat: 2 gms

Egg-white Omelette with 2 slices of bread
Serving: 2 whites
Calories: 180
Fat: 5 gms

Daliya (salty) with veggies
Serving: 1 mk
Calories: 150
Fat: 5 gms

Brown bread sandwich with veggies
Serving: 2 slices
Calories: 250
Fat: 5 gms

Oats contain soluble fibre; this fibre is broken down slowly by the body, as a result of which energy is released into the blood stream gradually, keeping you going for the next two-three hours. The porridge can be made more nutrient-rich by adding two walnuts for omega 3 fatty acids & a few (three to four) raisins to add to the taste.

Milk with bran flakes is another ready-to-eat breakfast for people on the go, who don’t have much time to cook. You get good quality protein from milk and you get fibre from the cereal which keeps you full, along with several other nutrients which the cereal is fortified with. Add a fruit to this mix and you have a perfect start to the day!

Egg whites can be had boiled, scrambled or as an omelette. If you are watching your weight or your cholesterol, it is best to do away with the yolks and add veggies. However, if you are fit, exercise regularly and keep your meals low-fat, it’s okay to add one egg yolk twice weekly for Vitamin B 12. Eggs are a good source of high-quality protein and have a good satiety value. You can have high fibre or multigrain bread to go with it and can even add a fruit later to improve the overall nutrient value.

If you prefer an Indian-style option, daliya with added veggies is a good choice. Wheat cracks or daliya are nothing but broken wheat and contain a high amount of fibre. While it is not a source of high-quality protein, it helps keep you full for a longer time. If you want to improve its nutrient content, add a cup of milk with sugar and eat it as porridge.

Brown bread/multigrain sandwiches are also a good choice for people who have no time to cook. This high fibre sandwich can be further fortified by adding two or three teaspoons of cottage cheese or just one slice of low-fat cheese. Make sure you add a lot of vegetables — put in more of coriander chutney and less than a teaspoon of butter if you are watching your weight. Having a glass of milk with the sandwich will make it a more wholesome meal.

Vaishali Parekh

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Take Care, Honey

They say, you are what you eat. But do we know what we are eating? Do we know who is cooking and who is serving us the food we take into our kitchens and then into our bodies?

The more I dig into this issue, it is clear that our world of food is spinning in directions that we know nothing about. This is not the way it should be.

Take honey. A sweet preserve that we take for granted comes from the bees that collect it from the nectar of flowers. We pick up the bottle from our local shop, believing that the honey has been collected naturally, it is fresh and certainly without any contaminants.

In most cases, we would even think that small farmers produced it or it was collected from the wild and packaged by large companies. In any event, we believe it is the honey that nature produced, collected and delivered to us, as nature would have wanted.

But little do we know
how the business of honey has changed. Nobody explains that the culture of food is intrinsically linked to biodiversity, of plants and animals.

But mess with biodiversity and you mess with food. The ubiquitous bee is one such instance. Some years ago, leading scientific institutions sold the idea of introduction of the European bee (Apis mellifera) into India, as it was a more prolific producer of honey.

This economically viable bee took over the business, virtually replacing the humble but more adapted Indian bee (Apis cerana) from our food. At the same time, the business of honey was also transformed.

It moved away from the small producers collecting honey from the wild and cultivating honey in natural conditions. It got consolidated into a highly organised business, controlled by a handful of companies.

Now it is these companies that handle all aspects of the trade – from the supply of the queen bee to the paraphernalia of bee-housing, feeding and disease-control to the producers, spread across different states.

It is an outsourced business
, run by franchisees whose job is to find places, like the apple farms of Himachal, where there is nectar for bees to suck.

We have lost the biodiversity of the bee and we have lost the diversity of the business. Business is not about food. It is about commerce.

But nature has its way of getting back at us.
The European bee is now showing signs of over-use across the world.

In the US and in Europe, there is worrying news about honeybee colony collapses – where bees are disappearing from colonies, not to return. This is hitting crop production as bees play a critical role in pollinating food crops across the US – a service, which is officially billed at some $20 billion annually.

The trade in pollinator bees involves carting bee colonies across the county, where crops need their service. But now there is evidence that this overwork, combined with the use of nasty new pesticides, new diseases and immune-suppressed bees, is destroying bees.

In India, we are no different. The dependence on one introduced species and emphasis on over-production mean bees are overworked in this competitive business.

As disease grows, the answer is to feed bees antibiotics liberally, mixed in sugar and other syrups. The bee makes honey and with it comes the lethal dose of unwanted antibiotics in our food.

When the Pollution Monitoring Laboratory of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) checked honey, it found a cocktail of antibiotics – mostly banned and severely prohibited to be in our food.

It found everything from the commonly used Ampicilin, Enrofloxacin, Ciprofloxacin, Erythromycin to the strictly banned Chloramphenicol in the honey made and packaged by the biggest and the most known. These antibiotics in food are bad for us, as any doctor will tell you, because they add to the bugs getting resistant to antibiotics.

The fact is that CSE’s laboratory checked two foreign brands bought from our local store. We know that there is strict control in these countries against antibiotics. In fact, Europe has kicked hell and banned Indian honey for having these antibiotics.

They do this because they say they care about their health.

Good. But the question is what about our health? Who cares about
this? Both brands that were checked had the same and even higher levels of antibiotics in them. The fact is that why should they care, when our government does not? The same government, which makes strict standards for the exported honey, could not care about what we are using domestically. There are no standards for antibiotics in Indian honey.

There is certainly no check on what ends up on our tables and in
our bodies.

But do not be surprised. This is the age of takeover by the big and the powerful only because we have compromised and have complicit food regulators. The recently set up Food Safety and Standards Authority has been dead on entry.

Do not be surprised. But be angry. This is not a takeover we
should allow.

It is about us. Our bodies. Our self.

Your comment is very much awaited.

Vaishali Parekh

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Split dreams

They were college sweethearts who seemed happily married. Three years after they tied the knot, Mayuri says she felt all knotted up. Even her husband Rakesh, an architect, felt that the duo’s relationship was radically altered. As Mayuri felt that Rakesh was more attached to his laptop, the young man himself attributed the broken marriage to deadline pressures at work. Both, in their early 30s, feel they are mature enough to take their own decisions.
In fact, soon after filing for a divorce petition at one of the four family courts in Bangalore, the couple headed to the coffee joint Koshys on St. Marks Road to celebrate their separation over a quick south Indian kaapi. “It was separation by mutual consent,” says Rakesh, “we couldn’t make it as husband and wife, but will remain friends.”
Not all cases of marital problems dogging India’s Silicon Valley end in such civility. On August 13, the police arrested top Infosys executive Satish Gupta, 32, for killing his wife Priyanka, 28, who was a schoolteacher. The police claim that Satish, in jail now, told them they developed serious differences after she forced him to separate from his parents. When he told her he wanted a divorce, she threatened to drag him and his parents to jail with a dowry harassment case. That is allegedly when he decided to act in cold blood: strangling her first, and then slitting her throat with a kitchen knife.
Though extreme, it does reflect the kind of marital stress ambitious professionals are facing in their high-pressure jobs. As if the suicide-capital tag was not enough, officials are now grappling with ways to stamp out the new virus eating away at healthy homes. In the last two years alone, nearly 4,000 divorce petitions were filed-a huge jump over previous years: 1,200 in 2004 to a three-fold jump in 2008 and rising. The IT sector and it-enabled services like BPOs are the biggest employer of youth, aged between 20 and late 30.
The backlog continues to grow. Almost 25 to 30 petitions involving matrimonial disputes are filed in a day. Three more family courts are being planned in months to come to cope with the load. Karnataka Law Minister Suresh Kumar, shocked by the divorce statistics, is traveling to Chennai to study the evening courts that have lessened the number of pending cases. “Cases hanging fire only cause more damage to the already affected parties, elders and the children,” says Kumar. He is also planning to introduce weekend courts to address the problem.
Infosys founder N.R. Narayana Murthy’s wife Sudha says: “Right in the beginning Murthy made it clear that one of us can work and the other had to run the family. Not that I was any less qualified but am glad I made the decision to stay at home. The choice was intentional.” Sudha is a qualified computer science engineer and the first woman to join the all-male Tata auto plant in Pune before she and her husband settled in Bangalore. With both men and women earning well, women sometimes earning more, pressures on marriage start early and often end in an early divorce.
A young globetrotting software executive says her marriage is on the rocks because she is unable to spend time with her husband. Both travel a lot and one of them has to cut down on work. And both are not sure who will do that-and that inevitably drives them to lawyers like P.B. Appiah, whose hands are full. “We simply have no clue how to deal with the rising number of disputes. Today’s generation faces a new kind of challenge both in terms of work schedules, relationships and life in general,” says Appiah.
Psychologists like Hannah Samuel feel stress kicks in during the early years of the marriage when couples in IT jobs have to confront the challenges of juggling two or three careers and balancing family and work. “There is simply no time to communicate. They just get married to their jobs; drag on till the D-word hits them.” Bangalore’s Family Welfare Centre Director Father Martin Anthony makes marriage classes compulsory for couples waiting to get married, where they are counseled on how to manage money, in-laws or work-life balance. District Judge and director of Bangalore Mediation Centre, Justice K.N. Phaneendra, whose centre has handled nearly 5,000 divorce cases since 2007, throws his hands up as couples have no qualms about divorce now.
India’s Silicon Valley may be the country’s showpiece sector but what’s not shown enough is the troubles of young married techies trying to juggle high pressure careers, deadlines and a normal marriage. Clearly, no software has been written yet to protect them from the marital virus.
“To cope with the increasing rush at the family courts we have decided to launch weekend courts, perhaps for the first time in India.”Suresh Kumar, Karnataka law minister.
I came across the above facts from TOI site and  could not help myself from sharing with you.

Most of us are running a race… a blind, reckless race… a race to achieve and acquire. Our identity is defined by our professional success and material acquisitions.

Somewhere along the way, during this mad race, we tend to completely neglect the other aspects of our lives, which tend to fall apart. We develop into misbalanced humans. The worst part is that this is becoming the norm rather than an exception.

Is it possible to reverse the trend?
Is there anything wrong with our education and value system?
Can anything be done or are we fighting a lost cause?

Vaishali Parekh

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Prayers for my friend

Hello dear,

Hope you are in the pink of health. I am fine too, but one of my readers whose name is Rashida Abdulhussein, is not well at all. She is a resident of Canada and mailed me a few days back informing me of her ill health.

We all love you

We all love you

She is suffering from a complex systemic problem which has given rise to a number of ailments which are refusing to go away. Above all, she does not have anyone to take care of her since she stays alone. Her children do not stay with her and they are very busy with themselves.

Rashida has helped me a lot with the editing of my e-book ‘Cure Yourself – Secret Remedies and Wonder Foods’ and was very involved with the development process. She has also written a short bio about herself, as a guest writer, in my blog.

I am reproducing her last email, as it is, for you to see.

hi vaishali

loooong time since i have been able to write to you
cough is still going on
antibiotics dont help
inhalers dont either
have been taking adrak ka juice and that has been helping otherwise,,,
ramadhan has begun, have not been able to fast yet, but do go for prayers every evening…
other than that, same ol same ol

have been reading the new posts
i know u have been busy as a bee as usual,,,
kuchh nayi tazi ho toh batana

i know u have been thinking of me coz i have been thinking of u too….
just that i have not been able tokeep in touch, not only with you, but other friends too….

continue to pray for me please, and hope to hear from you soon!


Rashida Abdulhusein

Shall we all pray for her? I believe that there is great power in prayer and if we all pray for her, then the combined effect is bound to have a positive effect, don’t you think?



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Manage your depression… naturally

Being able to manage stress efficiently is among the best life-skills you can possess. If you possess effective stress management skills, you’ll enjoy a better quality of life and keep yourself healthy, even if it’s knowing how to cope with financial stress or having to handle the loss of loved ones, a marital split, relocation and stress with your job.
It can take a while to acquire the skills for dealing with stress efficiently but here comes three simple, highly-effective stress management tips that will enable you to reduce stress and anxiety quickly.

1. Keep An Eye On The Plates – When you’re in the middle of coping with a stressful event, it is crucial to not add to the stress and take on more pressure. Adding to an already full plate will merely increase the pressure and stress levels will soar making it much more difficult to remain in control of events. Think of it like spinning plates. As more and more plates are added, it becomes harder to keep each one spinning enough and plates start to fall to the ground and smash!

Give your attention to that which has to be done and resist the urge to add to the pressure. Imperative: Only decide to proceed with any life-changing decisions when you have stress or anxiety or depression thoroughly in check.

2. Indecision – Indecision is, without doubt, a contributor to stress and depression. It is an issue because hesitating about a decision draws out uncertainty. Dealing with uncertainty is very difficult if you are highly stressed, anxious or in a depressive episode. So, not only is it important to make a decision, it’s also crucial that once you have made a decision, you go through with it. What techniques are useful to help with decision making? Copy each alternative onto a sheet of paper divided into 2 columns, one for the plus points, one for the minuses.

Share responsibilities and obtain different points of view by consulting with family or good friends. Don’t rush, take your time, as much as you need to ensure you have all the facts. Once you feel ready, make your choice and follow it through. No looking back, just focus on making your decision work. Bear in mind that if you always looked behind you when you’re walking, you’d crash into things. Look forwards, not backwards and use this stress management technique with the next tip.

3. CrossOver Time – The one constant throughout life is change and as situations change – for example, relationship breakdown or losing a loved one – stress can be triggered and it is possible to enter into anxiety or depression. Expecting to adapt to your new circumstances right from the off is at the root of this because it puts a great strain on you. At such times, you can feel awkward and unsettled, and you can even start to feel like things have changed for the worse.

Allowing yourself plenty of crossover time is an excellent stress management technique to help you handle major changes to your circumstances. You’ll reduce stress significantly if you recognize that adapting to new situations can take a while and allocate enough crossover time so you keep stress and its related illness at bay.

Put each one of these effective stress management tips into action and they will help you to effectively handle the stress triggered by a change to your circumstances.

To discover more powerful, highly-effective stress management tips, techniques and methods to help you relieve stress, anxiety and depression quickly, naturally and permanently.

Click Here Now

Vaishali Parekh

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