Healthy Ingredients – Tahini

Healthy Ingredients_Tahini

14 Jul 2021

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Healthy Ingredients – Tahini

If you’ve ever dipped a carrot or pita chip into a bowl of hummus, you’ve likely been the lucky beneficiary of tahini — an extremely common, yet not commonly known ingredient that serves an integral role in middle eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. This incredible ingredient is a tasty, healthy, and versatile food that you’ll want to get to know.

A smooth paste made from grinding hulled sesame seeds, tahini is essentially sesame butter. With a delightful nutty flavor and a rich, creamy texture, tahini is almost the middle eastern equivalent of peanut butter, although tahini is a little bit looser, with an earthier, slightly more bitter flavor.

The appealing taste and texture of tahini lends itself to many tasty iterations in middle eastern cooking. Tahini is most well-known for being the glue that holds together quintessential middle eastern dips like hummus and baba ghanoush, (smoked eggplant dip) but it’s also be used in numerous other applications. It can be served as a stand-alone dip for crackers and vegetables, mixed with olive oil and lemon to make a full-bodied salad dressing, spread on toasted bread or pita, used as a marinade for grilled meats, slathered over roasted vegetables, blended into healthy fruit smoothies, or even used in desserts such as cakes and cookies.

Aside from its delicious taste and endless culinary utility, tahini is loaded with health benefits. It boasts high levels of healthy fatty acids and it’s a good source of protein, iron, calcium, antioxidants, dietary fibers, and a host of other important vitamins and minerals. This varied and impressive nutritional profile renders tahini a bona fide superfood and its rich levels of iron and protein make it an excellent ingredient for vegan and vegetarian cooking.

Among many other benefits, tahini can reduce inflammation, is good for weight loss, can strengthen the immune system, and may even help protect against heart disease and some cancers.

(Also ReadHealthy ingredients – turmeric)

You should be able to find tahini at your local grocery store in the international section, although it may sometimes require a trip to a specialty market or health foods store.

With all of its wonderful culinary variations and incredible health benefits, tahini is a great ingredient to start incorporating into your life. But with all new ingredients, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to begin.

That’s where CookinGenie comes in. Whether it’s folded into a creamy homemade hummus, drizzled over crispy hand-rolled falafel, or topping a hearty chickpea shawarma salad, our genies offer an array of healthy, delicious, family-friendly dishes that will help you seamlessly blend tahini into your diet. Book one of our talented genies today to taste and experience this magical ingredient from the comfort of your own home.


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30 Oct 2019

We have spoken about the idea of having someone come to your home to cook for you. How do you ensure that this is safe for you & your family? The idea of allowing someone you do not know into your home and preparing food for you and your family feels intrusive. So today we are going to discuss why those fears exist, how other industries have overcome it. As well as some practical advice for you so you can feel safe while you make good choices for your family. Overall though, if you do your homework and follow some basic safety precautions there is no reason you should feel hesitant to enjoy services like in home cooking.

So, what are the safety concerns of bringing a CookinGenie into your home? Common concerns are theft, personal safety, and food safety. Let’s explore a few other emerging industries that pushed our comfort boundaries when they first entered the scene and examine how they put our fears at ease.

Getting in a stranger’s car. Isn’t this the EXACT thing that mothers in the 80’s warned their children about? Then Uber and Lyft hit the scene and the world transformed. What makes them safe? Geolocation, background checks, driver reviews, and customer reviews. In today’s digital age this dual rating system protects the buyer and the seller by giving each a chance to rate each other. Encouraging everyone to keep things on the up and up.

Allowing Strangers in our home. Another one our mothers warned us against. It’s not a bad principle, unless your refrigerator breaks, or your washing machine, or you need cable installed, or you have a clogged pipe. When something goes wrong, we shift our fears and let a stranger in. Why? Because we trust people who are vetted by reputable firms or reviewed by our trusted circle. Online ratings help.

Staying in a stranger’s home. This is how campfire stories start. You should never ever stay in someone’s home. Especially if the owner is not there. Unless it’s and AirBnB. Suddenly the world shifted again when AirBnB started allowing property owners to rent out their residences to weary travelers. Especially for families, having a cost-effective alternative to a hotel with all the comforts of home solved a problem for traveling families. So what do they provide to make this once taboo idea feel safe and even luxurious? Boundaries. In every AirBnB booking there are house rules. Clear written boundaries for both parties to agree- encouraging open communication and enforced with a dual rating system.

So how do you decide if you want someone to come to your home & cook for you? Common questions may be – is this person insured? Is he or she background checked? Is this person rated highly? Is this person local?

Do your due diligence & you will start feeling comfortable soon. Our Genies are background checked, know about cooking & are from your locality. You feel comfortable with your favorite babysitter? This is no different.

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The Benefits of Hiring a Personal Chef for Food Allergies

11 Aug 2022

Did you know that food allergies are on the rise? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, around 12 million Americans have food allergies that account for 50,000 – 125,000 emergency clinical visits annually. And if you have food allergies, eating out can be pretty unsettling. Fortunately, hiring a personal chef is a solution that can help you avoid your allergy.   

A personal chef can tailor each meal to your specific dietary restrictions, ensuring you relish a delicious and safe dining experience. In this post, you will read about some common dietary restrictions and how a personal chef can help address them.   

What are common food allergies?

When referring to food allergies, most people think of the severe reactions that can occur after eating something that doesn’t suit your body. However, there are many different types of food allergies, and their symptoms range from mild to severe reactions. Nut allergy, for example, is a common food allergy that causes raised red bumps on the skin (like hives), cramps, runny nose, or nausea.   

Some other food allergies commonly experienced by many people in the US include:  

Lactose Intolerance

Affecting up to 36% of the population, Lactose intolerance is one of the most common food allergies. Lactose intolerance means an inability to produce enough of the enzyme lactase, which is necessary for breaking down Lactose. As most dairy products contain Lactose, consider avoiding milk, cheese, and similar dairy products if you have lactose intolerance.  

Diabetes   

Diabetes is another common food allergy. The inability to produce or use insulin affects blood sugar levels, sometimes causing diabetes. Therefore, carefully monitor blood sugar levels and your intake of sugary foods if you have diabetes.   

Gluten Allergy

Gluten intolerance occurs because of reactions to the ‘Gluten’ protein, mainly found in wheat, rye, and barley. Avoid these grains if you are gluten intolerant. Gluten can also be found in some processed foods, so always read food labels carefully.  

Protein Allergy

Protein allergy prevents the digestion of specific proteins. Common symptoms of protein allergies include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Avoid foods that contain proteins that cause allergic reactions.   

Although most food allergies are easy to manage through diet and lifestyle changes, others may require medical treatment. If your allergies to such foods can be avoided by following a special diet, you can benefit by hiring a personal chef.  

How is hiring a personal chef is a healthy choice?  

When you have food allergies, eating out can be a stressful experience. Will the restaurant be able to accommodate your dietary needs? Will you end up feeling sick after eating?   

One solution for food allergies is hiring a personal chef. A personal chef can work with you to create safe and delicious meals. In addition, a personal chef can provide much-needed peace of mind, knowing that you will always have access to safe, allergen-free meals. If you struggle to manage your food allergies, consider hiring a personal chef.   

Selecting a personal chef for food allergies

If you have food allergies, cooking at home can be a challenge. You must be careful about every ingredient you use; cross-contamination is a constant concern. That’s where a personal chef can be a lifesaver.   

A personal chef can customize meals to your specific needs, ensuring you can eat without worrying about an allergic reaction. But how do you choose the right chef for your needs? Here are a few things to keep in mind.   

First, ensure that the chef is familiar with your allergens and knows how to avoid cross-contamination.   

Second, ask about the chef’s experience cooking for people with food allergies.   

And finally, check if the chef holds any professional certification. 

By taking these steps, you can find a personal chef who will make dining safe and enjoyable for you.  

Essential questions to ask a personal chef

If you’re thinking of hiring a chef, there are a few things you’ll want to ask first. Some reasonable questions you can ask are as follows:  

How long have they been cooking professionally?  

It will give you an idea of their experience level.   

Have they ever worked for a client with dietary restrictions?  

Knowing if the chef has any experience serving a client with food allergies or specific dietary needs is essential.  

Which cuisine can they prepare?

You’ll want to ensure their cooking style matches your taste preferences.  

How much do they charge per meal?

Knowing the cost will help you determine your budget for hiring a personal chef.   

What is their cancellation policy?   

If you are occupied with something urgent and wish to cancel or postpone your reservation, it’s good to know the chef’s cancellation policy beforehand.  

By asking these questions, you can easily make the best decision when hiring a personal chef.   

Book a chef from CookinGenie to match your dietary restrictions

CookinGenie is an Ohio-based chef-on-demand service fully capable of providing experienced professional chefs for preparing meals considering your allergies and dietary restrictions. When you book a chef from CookinGenie, he is not only responsible for preparing your special meals but also for looking after grocery shopping and cleaning up after cooking.   

So, whether you are following a specific diet due to health reasons or concerned about food safety, a personal chef from CookinGenie can help you keep your dietary restrictions in check by preparing delicious meals that suit your preference.   

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Ways to store food safely - cookinGenie blog

24 Sep 2021

When we think of food safety, we usually think about cooking foods properly to prevent getting anyone sick. However, storing foods properly is just as important to prevent foodborne illness. Just like the actual preparation of food, all it takes is a little common sense to make sure you’re storing food safely.

Keep foods cold

This may sound obvious, but there are some extra steps you can take to make sure your fridge is keeping food cold enough. Make sure you check the temperature gauge in the fridge regularly, about once a week. If it is consistently higher than 40⁰F, you should turn the temperature down or get your refrigerator serviced.

Also be sure to keep the fridge closed as often as possible. Leaving the door open for extended periods of time as you rummage through the shelves can expose the food inside to warm air, causing it to spoil quicker. Try not to keep the fridge too jam-packed with food. If there’s not enough space in between food, the cool air will have a harder time circulating and keeping everything cold.

Where you store matters

Certain foods, like eggs, dairy, and raw meat are more sensitive to temperatures than others. To protect those foods, store them further back in the fridge to keep them colder. The shelf in the door is the warmest part of the fridge, so you want to keep condiments, drinks, and other ingredients that are less sensitive to temperatures there.

It’s also important to keep different ingredients separated from one another in the fridge. Dairy and eggs should be stored away from raw fruits and vegetables so that bacteria from the eggs don’t contaminate the produce.

Another good rule to remember is always store raw meat in the bottom of the fridge and produce in the top. If you have raw chicken breasts stored over fresh lettuce, there’s a chance those chicken breasts drip into the lettuce and contaminate it. To be safe, always store meat on the bottom. And if you have multiple kinds of meat in your fridge, chicken should always be below beef, pork, fish, or other meats as chicken requires the most cooking to be safe.

Keep food away from chemicals

Not all foodborne illnesses come from biological hazards like bacteria or parasites. Some come from chemical contaminants. When storing dry goods in the pantry, they should always be kept far away from bleaches, detergents, cleaning supplies, or any other potentially harmful chemicals. Even storing food in the same cabinet as chemicals could lead to an accidental spill that contaminates the food, which can cause serious illness.

Don’t put steaming hot food in the fridge

It’s very common for people to throw a whole pot of something in the fridge if they don’t feel like putting it into containers. That’s fine as long as the food has cooled down first. If you take a steaming hot pot of soup and place it into the fridge to “cool down”, all you’re really doing is warming up the fridge. The heat and steam from the soup will circulate around the fridge and warm up all of the food inside, likely above the safe 40⁰F. Additionally, the soup itself probably won’t cool down very quickly either, leaving it at an unsafe temperature for an extended period of time.

Instead of putting the hot food directly in the fridge, let it cool down at room temperature first. If you pour hot foods into a long container with more surface area, they’ll cool down quicker. You can also try putting hot foods on an ice bath. To make an ice bath, fill your sink with ice and cold water. Then take the container of hot food and put it in the sink so that the water comes about three-quarters of the way up the container. Give the food a few stirs and after about 30 minutes or so, it should be cool enough to store in the fridge safely.

At CookinGenie, the chefs are experts in food safety and know how to ensure food is being handled safely all the way from shopping for the ingredients, storing them properly, and cooking them in the safest way possible.

Author – Jared Kent

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