Some brain foods and Smoked salmon cream cheese ball

Smokes salmon cream cheese dip

 

I am not a very organized person. There, I said it. I find it hard to create a time table, and stick to it. Or even create a menu and stick to it. I also love to cook and love to feed.

That is not a great combo in any basket.

The result being that when I have guests over, I am overflowing with creative ideas and simply running around like a chicken without a head, focused on completing the circle (read dish), and not caring the mess I have left behind. I also cook a lot, because I am forever terrorized that my guests will somehow leave without being properly fed. That harks back to a long ago experience which I will reserve for another time.

So cooking a lot also means not finding enough time to make any clicks because:

a) I can’t find the phone/camera on time;

b) When I do find it, I don’t remember that I have to use it to click pictures;

c) Because I am super organized (sarcasm), I realize that every available spot that could have been used to click the said picture has been occupied by a variety of pots, pans, wrappers, litter…you get the idea;

d) Finally when I clear up and finish setting things, I also realize that my hands are now wet and using a towel that I can’t find (is that a towel under the heap of scraped cucumber peels?) might be a good idea;

e) My pan on stove has just started smoking and is screaming for attention so maybe I need to drop everything and see to it before the fire alarms start screaming.

And of course, my Ma decides to call just at that time and ask,’ did you remember to give your kids the soaked almonds we spoke about last night? That is great for the brain…’

Of course I didn’t. They are sitting, still soaked, because in the morning I decided that they would do great if they went into that chicken dish…..sticking to the menu…well, chicken is in the menu…

So I prevaricate and tell her I gave them salmon instead, smoked salmon dip because you see, salmon is a great brain food too! And I also list others that are great as well….

She isn’t impressed. She is Ma, and her job in life is to make sure I listen to what she says. Mother is always right :D

Jokes apart, we don’t realize it, we do have loads and loads of food in our kitchen that are indeed great brain food (besides that soaked almonds of course, they are the best. Mom said so.) Eating the right foods isn’t going to turn the naturally slow into A* thinkers, but so-called ‘brain foods’ really can enhance your brain power and help reach its potential.

As my Ma says, clearly no one meal is going to significantly alter your long-term mental state or abilities, but a consistently healthy diet over a continuous period of time really will lead to marked improvements. When you drive your car, the passengers will be safer. When you sit for that exam, the recall will be easier. Or when you fight with your other half, the recall of past griefs will be even easier, or even  when you next play poker or casino games at Euro Palace Games Online, you’ll stand a slightly better chance of winning. As you grow older, the chances are you’ll be able to maintain better mental health for longer. The benefits of a little dietary boost are actually quite vast!

So to impress her, I made a list of foods that are really great for the brain.

Blueberries 

How many of us suspected that blueberries have superpowers? Research from the US is now suggesting that these delicious berries can help to prevent short term memory loss – if you’re the type of person who frequently loses their glasses when they’re actually on the top of your head then you might benefit from buying a punnet or two of these juicy super fruits and replacing any unhealthy snacks in your cupboard with a memory-boosting tick on your five-a-day tally chart!

4th of July Blueberry parfait

Blueberry parfait great

 

Tomatoes

Incredible health benefits can sometimes be found in the most remarkably unexpected of places… hard as it may be to believe it, a significant body of evidence gathered by researchers throughout the world suggests that tomatoes may be able to help prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia more broadly. Tomatoes contain an antioxidant known as lycopene, which is thought to protect cells against damage from free radicals – a key cause of dementia!

Isn’t it a good thing that I hardly ever cook without tomatoes? I am sure glad I wasn’t born before before the 1850s India…..how would I ever survived a tomato less life??

Quick pressure cooker biriyani

quick pressure cooker biriyani

 

Avocados

The December 2011 issue of “British Journal of Neurosurgery” published a lab study on animals that outlined the positive effects that a combination of avocado and soybean fats had on animals that had been exposed to low oxygen conditions. They played an important role in preventing brain damage in parts that were responsible for functions like critical thinking and planning (note to self: need to eat more avocados).

I will be honest – avocados made a very late entry into my kitchen. I started off by positively hating anything to do with these green beasts, and eventually fell in love with them, in the true Mills and Boon style :D

Recipe coming soon!

chili limeavocado taco boats

 

Nuts

Now if I left the nuts out of this list, my Mom would drive me nuts. Folklores around the world have waxed eloquent about the benefits of including nuts in our daily diet. In India, eating two almonds that have been soaked in water overnight is said to enrich the brain and enhance memory. Why soaked? Because soaking nuts removes the toxins, and a substance known as phytic acid that can obstruct the absorption of all the fabulous nutrients that the nuts contain.

Look at all those beautiful looking nuts in my falooda….

Falooda

 

Oily fish

“Eating fish can make you brainier” may sound like the quintessential old wives’ tale, but it’s actually 100% true, particularly with reference to oily fish. The human body needs EFAs (Essential Fatty Acids) in order to function properly – not only for brain function but for the heart, joints and general well-being too. A particularly effective variety of omega-3 fats are present in most oily fish, which is the reason we can rightly claim that fish are genuinely good for your brain. No wonder dolphins are so famously intelligent!

You can get your essential fishy omega-3 fats from a vast array of fish, including trout, mackerel, herring, sardines, kippers, pilchards and of course, the good ol salmon.

Smoked salmon cream cheese spread with dill (sorry for the very bad picture. Refer to top for excuses).

Smokes salmon cream cheese dip

 

(Sorry for the crappy repeat picture. Please refer to above for excuses.)

Which means, you would be just a wee bit more brainier if you spread this smoked salmon dip on your herb enriched crackers or took a bite of this fabulously spicy chipotle lime taco boats  and would contribute more constructively to discussions taking place on the table, . Especially if your guests happened to be professor(s) from Harvard and the likes, with doctoral degrees ranging from Physics to Economics to Cardiology.

You definitely need the brain foods.

Recipe for smoked salmon spread: I have posted a similar recipe long time ago, but made a few changes, so posting it again.

What you need:

smoked salmon spread

  • 100 gm smoked salmon
  • 100 gm cream cheese
  • 50 gm heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp cracked pepper 
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp dry dill leaves (you can use fresh as well)
  • 1 unflavored pkg of gelatin

How to make it:

  • Soften the cream cheese with a fork in a bowl. Add cream to make a smooth paste.
  • Reserving a couple of slices, mix in the rest of the smoked salmon, stirring gently till it looks properly mixed in
  • Reserving 1 tsp of dill leaves, mix in the rest with the smoked salmon. Add salt, and pepper. 
  • Empty the package of gelatin in 1 tbsp of cold water and let it flower. Add 2 tbsp warm water and dissolve the gelatin.
  • Meanwhile, in a plastic container, lay out pieces of salmon, and sprinkle rest of the dill leaves and some red chili flakes. I also stick some pieces of salmon to the inside wall of the container.
  • Now, mix in the gelatin with the cream mixture and stir with the fork until smooth. 
  • Pour into the container, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  • smoked salmon dip/spread
  • Use a knife to loosen the side, and invert on a plate. 
  • Serve with crackers. 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Smoked salmon cream cheese ball
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 100 gm smoked salmon
  • 100 gm cream cheese
  • 50 gm heavy cream
  • ½ tsp cracked pepper
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp dry dill leaves (you can use fresh as well)
  • 1 unflavored pkg of gelatin
Instructions
  1. Soften the cream cheese with a fork in a bowl. Add cream to make a smooth paste.
  2. Reserving a couple of slices, mix in the rest of the smoked salmon, stirring gently till it looks properly mixed in
  3. Reserving 1 tsp of dill leaves, mix in the rest with the smoked salmon. Add salt, and pepper.
  4. Empty the package of gelatin in 1 tbsp of cold water and let it flower. Add 2 tbsp warm water and dissolve the gelatin.
  5. Meanwhile, in a plastic container, lay out pieces of salmon, and sprinkle rest of the dill leaves and some red chili flakes. I also stick some pieces of salmon to the inside wall of the container.
  6. Now, mix in the gelatin with the cream mixture and stir with the fork until smooth.
  7. Pour into the container, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
  8. Use a knife to loosen the side, and invert on a plate.
  9. Serve with crackers.

 

 

 

smoked salmon dip

 

Coming soon…….Chipotle chili avocado taco boats

Spicy avocado taco bites

 

 

13 comments for “Some brain foods and Smoked salmon cream cheese ball

  1. February 27, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    I really do need to eat more brain food. I think I am otherwise doomed . I don’t care about the photo. The dish sounds yumm.
    Ansh | Spiceroots recently posted..Vegan Quinoa BiryaniMy Profile

  2. February 28, 2014 at 2:46 AM

    Haha I have dropped my phone in batter more times than I care to admit – you are not alone!
    Thanks for the health benefits :D
    And I need a lot of brain food! So I should definitely try this cream cheese ball without a salmon sub!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Belated Valentines PostMy Profile

  3. February 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    Salmon cheese ball and Chipotle chili avocado taco boats looks very tempting
    jaleelakamal recently posted..Hyderabadi Nizami BiriyaniMy Profile

  4. February 28, 2014 at 5:34 PM

    Your mom cracks me up! Mine used to do the same thing. She would hand me almonds every chance she got. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that because my kids love nuts mire than I do and if there’s any around, they’ll find them!
    Great round up of brain foods and even yummier cheese ball!
    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Blood Orange Upside Down CakeMy Profile

  5. March 1, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    I had blueberries for breakfast but no soaked nuts or fish. I’m off to the shop first thing in the morning! :)
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..Vietnamese Grilled Pork Patty Skewers (Nem Nuong)My Profile

  6. March 2, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    Really interesting post! I’m not the most organized person in the world either, alas. I love the combo of salmon and cream cheese, so you know I’m loving this recipe. Really nice — thanks.
    John@Kitchen Riffs recently posted..Chicken and Andouille Sausage GumboMy Profile

  7. March 2, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Great list of healthy foods! A few days a week I’ll put a few nuts in a bowl on the countertop so we can much on them all day and then blueberries – can’t get enough of them! Love the idea for getting enough salmon in the diet.
    mjskit recently posted..Beans and Rice with Sausage – An Easy One Pot MealMy Profile

  8. March 3, 2014 at 6:09 PM

    That looks like a great party food! And phew, good to know that we eat plenty of those items. We try and eat a lot of vegetables because we both love them and I particularly like fish :D

  9. March 3, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Your cheese ball is gorgeous – what beautiful presentation. And thank you for the list of all the things I should be eating more of. I once was treated by a naturopath who said that if you were stuck on a desert island with nothing to eat but rice and tomatoes you’d be perfectly healthy – apparently those two things have basically everything you need to survive and stay healthy – but I prefer your list where there are a lot more options xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..In My Kitchen, March 2014My Profile

  10. Liz
    March 4, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    You are too funny!!! And I’d be happy to eat a whole lot of your smoked salmon cheeseball…especially since it’s brain food :)

  11. March 5, 2014 at 2:16 AM

    Hi Minnie,

    Good cooking is a best dream of any women. But praise-able cooking is not an easy task and not every women is capable for do it .
    You are helping me many times , I am humbly Thankful for you.

    Regards
    Tanisha recently posted..Yukari Kane’s new book “Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs” profiled Tim CookMy Profile

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