Thursday, September 15, 2011

Astaxanthin and Smoked Pasta

Sautéed chorizo and potatoes in spicy tomato sauce
Food Diary (September 14, 2011)
Breakfast: Boiled egg with wholemeal sourdough toast
Lunch: Sautéed chorizo and potatoes in spicy tomato sauce
Dinner: Pasta and cauliflower in filmjölk sauce

I did something stupid today. There was leftover dinner which I saved to have later in the evening. I put the pot on medium heat and decided to take a 5 minute rest in bed. I woke up to the sweet smell of caramelized onions. I checked the time and realized I had slept for about an hour. The charred smoked pasta and cauliflower in filmjölk sauce had a strong smoky aroma but it was really delicious, I just wished there was more. The last time I smoked my own food was in university when I smoked some sausages, and that was done on purpose. A friend showed me how to smoke using tea leaves and sugar. My recently discovered method is quite simple though it requires some effort in cleaning the burnt stains from the pot. I guess its best to use this method when staying in a motel, or your ex's place.

Today's Favourite Photo
Source: Camemberu
Daurade a la Plancha - Seabream with Romesco Sauce and Arugula

Today’s Favourite Blog
Source: Care2
A natural compound has been discovered which can help increase your strength and stamina, decrease your post-exertion recovery time and decrease soreness after physical activity. Astaxanthin is believed to be the most potent antioxidant nature has to offer. Its other benefits include improving cardiovascular health, stabilizing blood sugar, boosting your immune system, fighting cancer, reducing inflammation, improving eye health and protecting you from sunburn. Sounds too good to be true?

Astaxanthin is a carotenoid and carotenoids are the compounds that give certain foods its vibrant colors such as green grasses, red beets and yellow bell peppers. Astaxanthin is produced only by the microalgae haematoccous pluvialis. There are only two sources of natural astaxanthin—the microalgae that produce it, and the sea creatures that consume the algae (such as salmon, shellfish, and krill). Astaxanthin is what gives salmon the strength and endurance to swim up rivers and waterfalls for days on end. 

Astaxanthin is 65 times more powerful than vitamin C, 54 times more powerful than beta-carotene, and 14 times more powerful than vitamin E

Synthetic (laboratory-made) astaxanthin is now commonly used worldwide to supplement fish feeds in order to obtain the desired pinkish to orange-red color. According to the article synthetic astaxanthin should be avoided because it’s made from petrochemicals.

Wild salmon are 400 percent higher in astaxanthin than farmed salmon, and 100 percent of their pigment is natural astaxanthin, rather than synthetic. Plus, wild salmon have much higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids than the farmed version.

So it seems the overall moral of this story is to eat wild salmon. This will give us strength to swim up rivers and waterfalls for days on end. 

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  1. LOL!!! I'm sure a lot of dishes were created out of the times the chefs dozed off for 5 minute rests. Take our 'bak kut teh' (herbal pork ribs soup) for example. They have a new version these days called dry bkt and it's all dark and coated with a thick gooey herbal sauce. Interesting but not my fav. The other day, I did the 5 min booboo and found the same concoction in my pot! Waddaya know? Eureka!
    Hmm... Astaxanthin ... i get this scenario in my head of superhuman armies. Must be watching too many movies.

  2. I have burnt so many pots, but have never thought it was actually a way to smoke food! Your sugar and tea method sounds very interesting.
    I hate farmed salmon anyway (I only cook it for others and prefer a humble sardine or mackerel for me) and am convinced it sells so well only because of the appealing colour. Most people are like children.
    Maybe if black pudding wasn't black no one would say it looks disgusting?

  3. That's so cool that you learnt how to smoke your own food !

  4. ping: that’s true, many dishes created out of accidents or lack of time and ingredients. Maybe that’s how cookies were created – chefs put cakes in the oven and dozed off. Cakes become cookies:) I’ve never heard of dry bkt but it sounds delicious. Wild salmon eating superhuman armies – this movie could become reality!

    Sissi: I think if black pudding was red it would attract a lot of people, including children, until they find out what it is and they will run in the opposite direction as fast as they can!

    Mary: Unfortunately I haven’t been smoking foods – I should

  5. very funny---at a motel or your ex's----glad your meal was smoky-delicious, despite the difficult clean-up! I call these happy accidents.

  6. Glad that your "smoked" pasta was still delicious!

  7. Gosh, things I've accidentally "smoked" have been totally ruined and sent to the trash! How lucky you woke up at the perfect time :)

  8. Nancy: thats a good phrase - happy accidents

    yummychunklet: I am glad too!

    Lizzy: I was lucky