There are some things I miss about Texas, such as, friendly drivers, everbody loving the same team, all of my childhood friends and the taste of Cumin! My momma was always adding Cumin to everything! I just love the smell and taste of it!
Tex-Mex food is just different than Southern Californian Cuisine. Oh don’t get me wrong- I do love the flavors out here… but nothing says home like Southern-Tex-Mex food with Cumin!
Why Cumin? It appears Cumin has been used by thousands of years by the Egyptians, Indians and the Native Americans…
Cumin seeds contain numerous phyto-chemicals that are known to have antioxidant and anti-flatulent properties. The seeds are also an excellent source of dietary fiber.
The active ingredients in Cumin are known to improve gut motility and be a digestive aide by augmenting gastro-intestinal enzyme secretions.
A study on rats by researchers at Mysore University, published in the “Indian Journal of Medical Research” in 2004, found cumin useful for both dyspepsia and diarrhea which are prevalent in Celiacs. Cumin appears to stimulate the liver to secrete more bile, which aids in the breakdown of fats and the absorption of nutrients, leading to healthier digestion. In the study, cumin increased bile secretion in the rats by 71 percent.
Cumin Essential Oil is also of great benefit! Cumin oil is a bactericidal, carminative, digestive, diuretic, antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, detoxifier, emenagogue, stimulant, nervine, and tonic substance.
This Golden Spice is an excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, selenium, zinc and magnesium. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in enzymes regulating growth, development and sperm generation.
Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps maintain our heart rate and blood pressure. Our body uses Manganese as a co-factor for the powerful anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Cumin spice also contains great amounts of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, and other vitamins like vitamin E, vitamin A and C. There is so much goodness in Cumin, it’s easy to see why it’s been used by various cultures around the world! Oh, how I love learning the healing properties of food!
I want to take this opportunity to remind you that it is very important to know our B-Vitamin Status! Are you experiencing any pain, inflammation, auto-immune issues? Being aware of our homocysteine levels and genetic polymorphisms is very helpful in maintaining long-term health and well being. In the meantime, Cumin is a great way of helping you get some vital nutrients, vitamins and anti-oxidants!
I’m not sure how my mom always made Cumin work into her recipes, but she did! Here is my attempt at channeling her Cumin that always left us Cummin back for more! Mmmm… this lasagna is Yummy Yummy Baby!
Savory Southwest Lasagna Ingredients
- 3 Zucchinis
- Zesty Cumin Marinara (See below)
- Cashew Cheese (see below)
- 1 Tomato, sliced
- 1/3 Cup of Red Onion, sliced
- 1/3 cup Black Olives, sliced & pitted
- 1/3 Cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
- Fresh Oregano
Instructions for Lasagna
- To make Zucchini Strips, use a Mandoline slicer or a large ceramic peeler for long thin slices.
- In a 9 X 13 baking dish, create layers with Zucchini ribbons on the bottom (as if pasta layers).
- Next, gently slather the Cashew Cheese on Zucchini, then spread 1/2 the diced tomatoes, 1/2 sliced Red Onions.
- Next pour & spread 1/2 the Marinara, then sprinkle 1/2 the black olives over Marinara, then Oregano leaves.
- Create your second layer by repeating the exact same steps.
- 3 Medium Tomatoes (about 3 cups chopped)
- 1 1/2 Cloves Garlic
- 3/4 Cup Fresh Basil leaves
- 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 Juice Lemon (fresh)
- 1/2 Juice Lime (fresh)
- 2 teaspoons Pitted Medjool Dates
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Rosemary
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 5 Tablespoons Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- 1/8 teaspoon of Cumin
Instructions for Zesty Cumin Marinara
- Put all of the ingredients inside a food processor, EXCEPT the sun-dried tomatoes. Once the mixture is smooth, slowly add the sun-dried tomatoes until you see that it is thickened and not too runny.
- 3 Cups of Soaked Cashew Nuts
- Juice of 1 Lime
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- 3/4 Cup of Basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
- 1 Cup of Spring Water
Instructions for Garlic Cashew Cheese:
- Place all ingredients in the Food Processor, but slowly add in the water until you see that it is a smooth and creamy texture.
- This cheese can be used for so many different things, including wraps and vegetable dip to name a few.
I’m looking forward to hearing about your South-Western Italian Night!
Stay Blessed! Dr. Dee