Saturday Brunch at Secteur 75!

Two weeks ago I attended with a couple of friends a Saturday brunch. It was such an amazing experience; we spent like 3 incredible hours enjoying the place, atmosphere and of course the delicious food.  Sharing the experience, here’s a full blog post!

1 Friends at Secteur 75

An old traditional Beiruty house turned into a must try artistic resto-bar. It’s located in the heart of Beirut, Mar Mikhael Street. Its name refers to the area where it is located “Secteur 75”, which means district 75.

2 Secteur 75

The atmosphere is very artistic with graffiti decor and wall paint along with old style rustic chandeliers, doors, windows and unconventional furniture. The music is so nice, not too loud and not too low, you simply enjoy the stay while chitchatting peacefully with your friends.

3 Secteur 75 Menu

Here’s the delicious part!  The food is simply mouthwatering. We tasted a couple of their must try dishes that you should definitely give a try.
La Vie en Vert Cocktail (a mix of passion fruit, apple juice, litchi and alcohol)

4 La Vie en Vert Cocktail

Eggs Benedict

5 Eggs Benedict

Croque du Chef (with Bresaola)

6 Croque du Chef

Champignons des Dieux

7 Champignons des Dieux

Mushroom & Swiss Omelet

8 Mushroom & Swiss Omelet

Scrambled Eggs

9 Scrambled Eggs

Calamari Salad

10 Calamari Salad

Fish Tartar (one of their star dishes)

11 Fish Tartar

Omelet Burger (with a + 200g beef, bacon, Swiss cheese, and omelet)

12 Omelet Burger

Pancake Tower (excellent for groups)

13 Pancake Tower

Gaufre with Chocolate and Ice Cream

14 Gaufre with Chocolate and Ice Cream

See for yourself! Don’t wait long, go give it a try and let us know what you think!

Oh! and by the way, we were 4 girls, and we literally kept nothing in our plates :)

Salmon Mood!

Salmon is a highly nutritious oily fish; rich in proteins, omega-3 fatty acids (the good fats), and vitamin D. Despite it is rich in the good fats; it’s also a source of cholesterol.

Salmon is consumed raw (in sushi and sashimi) and is used as a basic ingredient in several tasteful dishes, sandwiches, salads, omelets, mousses, quiches and pasta dishes.

Alert: For all pregnant women, it’s very important to know that despite fish is highly nutritious; it might contain some unhealthy toxic substances, mainly mercury. Mercury, coming from sea water contamination, can accumulate and sit within the fish meat, specifically that large in size fish; thus if eaten can pass through the placenta to the infant causing a disruption in the nervous and brain development. For more info regarding the topic check out one of our previous posts: Can I Eat Fish when I am Pregnant?

Have a look at this delicious Tagilatelle Creamy Salmon Dish. I’ve tasted it at “La Estancia”, an Argentinian steakhouse in Beirut, despite it is famously known for its freshly prepared Argentinian meats, this tasteful salmon is not to be missed.

Some Salmon Recipe Ideas:
Ginger-Scallion Crusted Salmon
Salmon with Brown Sugar and Mustard Glaze

Can I eat Fish when I am Pregnant?

Can I eat Fish when I am Pregnant?

I’ve been asked this question several times, especially that we are in the summer season, and people eat lots of fish. I’ve discussed this issue of fish and mercury in a previous post but I would prefer to re-post the subject again. Before answering the question here’s a general overview about the health benefits of fish.

Health Benefits of Fish

Most kinds of fish are highly nutritious, containing large amounts of vitamins, minerals and highly beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (the good fats), good quality lean proteins and are also low in saturated fats. Some fish are also rich in specific nutrients such as calcium for example in salmon and sardines.

Due to the highly nutritious content, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, fish has been highly correlated with preventing heart diseases (by preventing blood clots), enhancing infant’s neurological development (intellectual ability), reducing mood swings and depression, reducing blood pressure, and preventing Alzheimer.

It’s highly recommended to eat around 2 servings of fish per week (always consider steaming, baking etc. over frying cooking techniques). As for pregnant women, it’s highly recommended to eat fish, because fish provide the infant with a specific type of omega-3 fatty acid named DHA that is, as stated previously, essential for brain development.

Alert: Fish contains Mercury

Talking about pregnant women and fish, it’s very important to be alert that despite fish is a highly nutritious food, it might contain some unhealthy toxic substances, mainly mercury. Mercury, coming from sea water contamination, can accumulate and sit within the fish meat, specifically that large in size fish such as tuna; thus if eaten can pass through the placenta to the infant causing a disruption in the nervous and brain development.

That’s why as we always say, it is all about moderation, pregnant women ought to consume fish due to its highly beneficial nutrients yet, must avoid the high mercury containing fish especially the shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish; tuna can be eaten yet in restricted amounts, as for sardines, they are safe (due to their small size).

Note: Mercury can accumulate in our bodies, thus it’s highly recommended that women planning to get pregnant also restrict the highly contain mercury fish before the phase of conception.

More info from Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/omega-3/HB00087

Photos Sources: http://bit.ly/NX1oN2; http://bit.ly/Ptbc3Q

Fish and Eat!! A Collaborative Post by Pearl’s Powder and Strawberry Blu…

Fish and Eat!! A Collaborative Post by Pearl’s Powder and Strawberry Blu

It was Friday night so it was sea food night which brought to Me and Loulwa (Pearl’s Powder) to talk about sea food history, types, and provide some nutritional advice.

Sea Food: History, Health Benefits

InterContinental Phoenicia Beirut’s Mosaic Restaurant was transformed into a French highlighting the folklore, traditions, costumes and most importantly the exquisite cuisine that carried the invitees away on a captivating voyage to enchanting

After the revamping of the luxurious Phoenicia Hotel Beirut’s Mosaic restaurant, the restaurant is aiming to take us on a voyage to a new country to visit the folklore, traditions, costumes and mostly taste the exquisite cuisine. The week I and Loulwa visited was the French cuisine promotion with the 60’s Photo exhibition at Mosaic.

And check the COMPLETE ALBUM for more Delicious photos!!!

History of Sea Food: (By Pearl’s Powder)

Is sea food a new human habit? No. Sea food dates back to prehistoric times.
Archaeologists proved that humans have been eating crustaceans (lobsters, crabs, shrimp) from prehistoric times to present by the discoveries in excavating “middens,” deposits of shells and bones left by early civilizations.

Remarkably, this food wasn’t just discovered by coincidence, but rather by observation. Prehistoric humans were hunters and thus they took advantage of every available food resource. Hunters who lived near water (oceans, seas, lakes, rivers) naturally took advantage of the foods offered by these resources.

A book called Food in the Ancient World From A-Z, by Andrew Dalby, states “Lobster, well-armed sea creature. Its most noticeable external traits were its long hands and small feet’ (Archestratus), its bent fingers (Epicharmus) and its dark color (Pliny). It is very good, albeit somewhat complicated, to eat; simpler for the eventual diner if the cook minces the meat and forms it into cakes, as described in Apicius…The lobster (Homarus Gammarus) is Greek askakos…, Latin astacus and elephantus; the latter name is seldom attested in classical texts but was certainly in use, since it survives in modern Italian dialects.”

As for shrimps or “Squilla” in Latin , both ancient Romans and Greeks had ready access to very large specimens and enjoyed their shrimp prepared many different ways. Apicius, an ancient Roman author, collected these recipes in his cookbook.

The Chinese have the famous hot pot plate. The Japanese have the famous sushi and sashimi, which were the major foods consumed by Samurai. Fish and chips were a major part of the famous british dish . The Moroccoan Spanish, Yemeni, cuisines are all full of fish dishes.

One traditional Lebanese recipe is samakeh harra or “Chili Fish” from Taste of Beirut

Health Benefits of Fish (By Strawberry Blu)

Most kinds of fish are highly nutritious, containing large amounts of vitamins, minerals and highly beneficial nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids (the good fats), good quality lean proteins and are also low in saturated fats. Some fish are also rich in specific nutrients such as calcium for example in salmon and sardines.

Due to the highly nutritious content, specifically omega-3 fatty acids, fish has been highly correlated with preventing heart diseases (by preventing blood clots), enhancing infant’s neurological development (intellectual ability), reducing mood swings and depression, reducing blood pressure, and preventing Alzheimer.

It’s highly recommended to eat around 2 servings of fish per week (always consider steaming, baking etc. over frying cooking techniques). As for pregnant women, it’s highly recommended to eat fish, because fish provide the infant with a specific type of omega-3 fatty acid named DHA that is, as stated previously, essential for brain development.
( More infor from Mayo Clinic) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/omega-3/HB00087

Fish contains Mercury

Talking about pregnant women and fish, it’s very important to be alert that despite fish is a highly nutritious food, it might contain some unhealthy toxic substances, mainly mercury. Mercury, coming from sea water contamination, can accumulate and sit within the fish meat, specifically that large in size fish such as tuna; thus if eaten can pass through the placenta to the infant causing a disruption in the nervous and brain development.

That’s why as we always say, it is all about moderation, pregnant women ought to consume fish due to its highly beneficial nutrients yet, must avoid the high mercury containing fish especially the shark, king mackerel, swordfish and tilefish; tuna can be eaten yet in restricted amounts, as for sardines, they are safe (due to their small size).
Note: Mercury can accumulate in our bodies, thus it’s highly recommended that women planning to get pregnant also restrict the highly contain mercury fish before the phase of conception.

Interesting Notes:

•Nutritional value for each type of fish: http://www.howmuchfish.com/
•Overfishing and the threat on fish species http://overfishing.org/
•Learn about the seafood you eat from one ocean.
•Crab Sticks that you buy from the supermarket are not really from crabs. It is made from fish and added to it colorants and preservatives.

So what’s with the Blue Strawberry??

Dear viewers!!

The post on the Blue Strawberry is ONLY sharing the attempt of GMO strawberries yet, more research is needed concerning the matter; up to this date there are NO blue strawberries in production, as far as we know. We respect all points of views concerning this issue and we insist on not showing any side (against or with) the topic.

Please check our CLARIFICATION post!!

Moreover, inorder to answer all your questions and concerns kindly check out our interview with Dr. Kevin M. Folta on The Blue Strawberry Incidence!!

Thank you!!

Disclaimer: This post is written ONLY to answer the question on what is a Blue Strawberry and if it exist or not; the picture presented is NOT our property, kindly find below the source link.We are showing neither side on the topic.

I’ve been asked in several occasions about a blue strawberry and whether it truly exists. Thus, I thought of reposting one of my first blog posts to clarify this point.

The Blue Strawberry is a genetically modified food.

To start with, genetically modified foods are foods that are engineered through an artificial transfer (insertion or deletion) of genes; the genes usually come from different species.

Scientists have found that the “Arctic Flounder Fish” produces an antifreeze to protect itself in freezing waters.

Thus, the gene that regulates the production of the antifreeze trait was taken from the Arctic Flounder fish and was genetically introduced into the strawberry plant. As a result, a gmo strawberry plant is formed.

The gmo strawberry plant can withstand icy freezing temperatures; thus wouldn’t degrade or turn into mush after being placed in the freezer. To this date, such attempts are done for research purposes!!

The post shared the attempt of GMO strawberries yet, more research is needed concerning the matter; up to this date there are NO blue strawberries in production, as far as we know.

Reference:
Graduate Program Advanced Biochemistry, Genetically Modified Foods Lecture Notes, Dr. Imad Toufeili, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon.

Picture Source:
http://dirtymartini.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/bluestrawberry.jpg?w=500&h=403

Related References:
– AGROBACTERIAL TRANSFORMATION AND TRANSFER OF THE ANTIFREEZE PROTEIN GENE OF WINTER FLOUNDER TO THE STRAWBERRY http://www.actahort.org/books/484/484_99.htm

– CBF1 Gene Transgenic Strawberry and Increase Freezing Tolerance http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-DNYX200702001.htm

– THE GENETIC TRANSFORMATION OF STRAWBERRY WITH WINTER FLOUNDER ANTIFREEZE PROTEIN GENE http://en.cnki.com.cn/Article_en/CJFDTOTAL-HNXB200903015.htm

– The Genetic Transformation of Strawberry with Winter Flounder Antifreeze Protein Gene http://www.hnxb.org/EN/abstract/abstract8448.shtm

– GENETIC ENGINEERING http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/006/T2114E/T2114E07.html Transgenic Strawberry: State of the art for improved traits http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0734975007001371

-Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of modified antifreeze protein gene in strawberry http://webfortesting.com/journal/27-4/02-strawberry-gene.pdf

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