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Healthy Vegetable Recipes

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Kale Broccoli Colcannon

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Kale (also called Borecole)

Kale is similar to the cabbage in color (green or purple) except the central leaves do not form a head. It is close relative of the wild cabbage and belongs to the same family as Broccoli, Cauliflower, Collard greens and Brussels sprouts.

Kale is a very nutritious vegetable containing powerful antioxidant properties and is believed to be good at controlling inflammation. This vegetable is also high in beta Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Carotene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and is also rich in Calcium.

According to information available online, when finely chopped, Kale oxidizes with air to develop a chemical called Sulforaphane which has potent anti-cancer properties. Boiling reduces the potency of the anti-cancer compounds but if you steam or microwave or even stir fry, Sulforaphane seems to remain largely intact. Because Kale contains indole-3-carbinol, eating this vegetable also boosts DNA repair in cells. Kale is also a good source of carotenoids.

I came to know of this vegetable when I was invited for dinner at a friends place. She had made this lovely Potato, Kale and Rapini Colcannon. It is basically her recipe that I am reproducing here. Since then I must have made this at least a dozen times.

Tip1:

Mixing a smaller portion of high-carbohydrate potato with a larger portion of low-carbohydrate Kale is an excellent way to appease a hankering for mashed potatoes without overloading on carbs. Read how to healthy Rapini to Potato to Kale ratio should be 1:2:4.

Tip2:

Kale freezes well and actually tastes sweeter and more flavorful after being exposed to a frost. Tender kale greens can provide an intense addition to salads, particularly when combined with other such strongly-flavored ingredients as dry-roasted peanuts, tamari-roasted almonds, red pepper flakes, or an Asian-style dressing.

The calorie/carb differences are amazing. As made, with Kale and potato, a serving is 73 calories, 9 grams NetCarbs and 1 Weight Watchers point. If it’d been made with ALL potato, a serving would have been 114 calories, 20 grams NetCarbs and 2 Weight Watchers points.

Kale and Broccoli Rabe Colcannon
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • Salted water to cover
  • 1/2 pound potato, skin on, diced
  • 1 pound Kale, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 pound Broccoli rabe, heavy stems removed, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream (any liquid would do, including no-fat broth)
  • 1/4 cup half ‘n’ half
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Bring the water to boil on MEDIUM HIGH in a pot that can be used for mashing later.
  2. Add the potato and Kale as they’re prepped, even before the water boils.
  3. Once it boils, you need to reduce the heat to MEDIUM.
  4. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes or until both the potatoes and Kale is soft.
  5. Add the Broccoli rabe and cook for about 3 minutes, until soft but still bright green.
  6. Drain and return to the hot pan.
  7. Mash with a hand mixer.
  8. Add the sour cream and half ‘n’ half.
  9. Season to taste, serve and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving – 1/2 cup Calories: 73
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 5mg
Sodium 31mg
Total Carbohydrates 12g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Protein 3g
Calcium 54mg
Iron 1mg
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Jerusalem Artichokes (also called Sun Chokes)

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Jerusalem Artichokes (also called Sun Chokes)

In case you are wondering if these come from Jerusalem, the answer is no. It has no connection whatsoever with Jerusalem. I suspect the name Jerusalem artichoke was probably a corruption of its Italian name Girasola articiocco. The funnier part is that Jerusalem artichoke is not even an artichoke. What you eat is a lumpy, brown-skinned tuber that resembles a gingerroot.

This vegetable is usually called the Sun Choke because its small flower resembles the sun flower. Jerusalem artichoke has an edible tuberous-root that is nutty, sweet and crunchy. Always buy Jerusalem artichokes that are firm and fresh-looking and not soft or wrinkled. The root may be peeled or, because the skin is very thin and quite nutritious, simply washed well before being used. Jerusalem artichokes can be eaten raw in salads or cooked by boiling or steaming and served as a side dish. They also make a delicious soup.

Because the Jerusalem artichoke was titled ‘best soup vegetable’ in the 2002 Nice festival for the heritage of the French cuisine, I selected this vegetable be a part of our 2003 Thanksgiving dinner and the recipe I have produced here is actually an improvisation of my aunt, my mom and myself. We selected this vegetable so that its simplicity and earthy flavor would help balance out the ultra rich delicacies on the Thanksgiving dining table.

Nutritional content: Jerusalem artichokes have 650 mg potassium per 1 cup (150g) serving. They are also high in iron, and contain 10-12% of the US RDA of fiber, niacin, thiamine, phosphorus and copper.

Okay, enuf said. Now on to our Sun Choke Salad

Preparation & Notes:

1. Assemble the salad the morning of (or late the day before)
2. You might stir in the dressing an hour or so before serving.
3. If you do dress the salad in advance, think about stirring in the parsley just before serving.

SUNCHOKE SALAD
Preparation: 25 minutes
Makes 4 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound sun chokes
  • 2 small turnips, peeled
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/4 of an onion

DRESSING:

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon, about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Grate the sun chokes, turnip, carrot and onion in the food processor and transfer to a bowl.
  2. In the same food processor, whiz the dressing ingredients.
  3. Stir into grated vegetables.
  4. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  5. Stir in parsley.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving – 1/2 cup Calories: 118
Total Fat 7g
Saturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0g
Sodium 49mg
Total Carbohydrates 13g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Protein 2g
Calcium 22mg
Iron 2mg
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Leeks

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Leeks

Related to both garlic and onion though milder and more subtle in their flavor and fragrance, Leeks have thick white cylindrical stalks with slightly bulbous roots. The broad, flat, dark green leaves wrap tightly around each other like a rolled newspaper.

Leeks have an almost-sweetish onion essence. Paired with butter, they are delicious. Leeks, however, will impart a sweet touch to any recipe. They form the basic ingredient in most Chinese recipes including almost all soups and fried rice variations.

My grandmother, my mom and myself have been using leeks on a regular basis for as long as I can remember.

Tip:

Leeks should be firm and straight with dark green leaves and white necks. The bulbous root should not have any cracks in it and should be bright white or greenish-white. Avoid overly large leeks as they tend to be kind of over grown i.e. not tender so only purchase those that have a diameter of under two inches.

Tip2:

Leeks contain oxalates. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating leeks.

The long list of nutrients present in leeks include Carbohydrates, Sugars, Dietary fiber, Fats, Protein, Water, Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, C, E, K, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium and Zinc.

Here is my favorite Leeks and Asparagus recipe.

LEEKS and ASPARAGUS

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large leek or 2 small leeks
  • 1 pound asparagus, thin or thick spears, woody ends removed, and if thick, stripes of skin removed with a vegetable peeler
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Preparation:

  1. Melt butter in a skillet over MEDIUM HIGH.
  2. Reduce heat to MEDIUM, add leeks and stir well to coat.
  3. Sauté the leeks lightly until they become soft (usually takes about 3 minutes).
  4. Cut the Asparagus into one-inch lengths and add to skillet, turning well.
  5. Cover the skillet. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until asparagus is cooked through but still bright green, about 5 minutes for thin spears, about 15 minutes for thick.
  6. Season your dish with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving – 1/2 cup Calories: 62
Total Fat 3g
Saturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 8mg
Sodium 7mg
Total Carbohydrates 8g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Protein 3g
Calcium 41mg
Iron 3mg
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Mushrooms

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Mushrooms

Many mushroom species are high in dietary fiber, protein, and vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, Cobalamins, and ascorbic acid. Mushrooms are also a source of some minerals, including selenium, potassium and phosphorus with no sodium . Most mushrooms that are sold in supermarkets have been commercially grown on mushroom farms.

Today there are literally thousands of varieties of this fleshy fungus. Sizes and shapes vary tremendously and colors can range from white to black with a full gamut of colors in between. The cap’s texture can be smooth, pitted, honeycombed or ruffled and flavors range from bland to rich, nutty and earthy. The cultivated mushroom is what’s commonly found in most U.S. supermarkets today. However, those that readily excite the palate are the more exotic wild mushrooms.

Wild mushrooms are more delicious than the farm variety and can be obtained at a farmer’s market or specialty grocer. Unless you really know what you are doing, do not attempt to pick wild mushrooms yourself from any forest area or your backyard. Most species of mushrooms are toxic and identifying edible from toxic ones can be a challenge.

Bugs love dried mushrooms. Although dried mushrooms have a richer flavor, try the fresh variety – this is a sure way to avoid having tiny bugs crawling inside. Besides, it’s difficult to know how long the mushrooms have been sitting in the warehouse or store shelf.

Here’s a traditional steak and mushroom recipe that has been in my recipe book for the past 15 years.

PEPPER STEAK and MUSHROOMS
Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves 4

Ingeredients for Pepper Steak Steak & Mushrooms

Mushroom Preparation Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced thick
  • 1 cup good red wine
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon flour

Pepper Steak Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound top sirloin steak, fat trimmed, cut into four pieces
  • Coarse pepper
  • Kosher salt

Directions
In a large skillet, melt butter on medium high till sufficiently hot.
Add onion and mushrooms stirring to evenly coat the butter. Adjust heat to maintain a slow simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes, then uncover and cook for another 10.
Add wine and broth, cook for 5 minutes.
Sprinkle flour over top, gently whisk into sauce and cook until just thick, 1 – 2 minutes. T
Transfer to another dish and cover.

While sauce cooks, prep steaks by pounding between sheets of waxed paper with a mallet or rolling pin until half-inch thick.
Generously season both sides with pepper and salt.

Melt butter in same skillet (don’t worry if some sauce is left) over medium high.
Add meat; cook until done, about 2 minutes per side for medium rare.
Transfer meat to warm plates.
Return sauce to skillet, stir in meat juice.
Top the steaks with sauce. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving – 1/2 cup Calories: 338
Total Fat 14g
Saturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 90mg
Sodium 127mg
Total Carbohydrates 10g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Protein

 

EAT LESS
EAT MORE

 

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The Vegetable Chart

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  • Non-starchy vegetables: These vegetables rich source of
      • dietary fiber made up of:
        • Soluble fiber that forms a gel and ties up bile acid (bits of cholesterol) for disposal
        • Insoluble fiber that adds bulk to stool to prevent constipation
    • vitamins (A, B1, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K, niacin, and others. Vitamins play a critical role in food metabolism, and the formation of hormones as well as other important bodily functions.
    • Minerals (Potassium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Calcium, Iron, Sodium, Manganese, Copper, Selenium, and Zinc) play many important roles in the many life functions of the body.
  • Starchy vegetables: These vegetables are a high source of starch, which the body converts to glucose for energy. They also provide small amounts of dietary fiber compared to non-starchy veggies.

Here’s a Healthy Eating Food calorie Chart for each veggie (non-starchy and starchy) in the group:

Vegetables Name Serving = Calories
Alfalfa sprouts

Artichoke

Artichoke hearts

Arugula

Asparagus

Avocado

Bamboo shoots

Beet greens

Beets

Bell peppers

Bok choy

Broccoli

Broccoli, raw

Brussels sprouts

Cabbage

Carrot, raw

Carrots

Cauliflower

Cauliflower, raw

Celery, raw

Celery

Chard

Chives

Collard greens

Corn

Cucumbers

Eggplant

Endive

Garlic

Green beans

Green onions

Jicama

Kale

Kohlrabi

Leeks

Lemon grass

Lettuce, iceburg

Lettuce, romaine

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Mustard greens

Okra

Olive oil

Onion

Onion, raw

Onion, raw

Parsley

Peas

Potato, white

Pumpkin

Radishes

Radicchio

Rhubarb

Rutabaga

Sauerkraut

Spinach

Spinach

Summer squash

Sweet potato

Tomato

Turnip greens

Turnips

Water chestnuts

Winter squash

Zucchini

1 cup 20 calories

medium 60 calories

1/2 cup cooked 42 calories

1/2 cup 3 calories

1/2 cup cooked 23 calories

1/2 cup pureed 185 calories

1/2 cup raw 21 calories

1/2 cup cooked 20 calories

1/2 cup cooked 38 calories

1/2 cup raw sliced 25 calories

1/2 cup cooked 10 calories

1/2 cup cooked 22 calories

1 medium stalk 45 calories

1/2 cup cooked 30 calories

1/2 cup cooked 17 calories

1.7 inch 31 calories

1/2 cup cooked 35 calories

1/2 cup cooked 20 calories

3 florets 14 calories

1 stalk 6 calories

1/2 cup cooked 13 calories

1/2 cup cooked 18 calories

1 medium 9 calories

1/2 cup cooked 17 calories

1/2 cup cooked 89 calories

1/2 cup sliced 7 calories

1/2 cup cooked 13 calories

1/2 cup chopped 13 calories

1 clove 4 calories

1/2 cup cooked 22 calories

1/2 cup chopped 16 calories

1/2 cup cooked 43 calories

1/2 cup cooked 18 calories

1/2 cup cooked 24 calories

1/2 cup cooked 16 calories

1 cup raw 66 calories

1/2 cup 9 calories

1/2 cup 4 calories

1/2 cup raw 9 calories

1/2 cup cooked 21 calories

1/2 cup cooked 11 calories

1/2 cup cooked 25 calories

1 tbs. * 120 calories

1/2 cup cooked 46 calories

1 medium 60 calories

1/2 cup chopped 30 calories

1/2 cup chopped 11 calories

1/2 cup cooked 34 calories

1/2 cup cooked 59 calories

1/2 cup cooked 24 calories

1/2 cup sliced 12 calories

1 medium leaf 2 calories

1/2 cup raw 13 calories

1/2 cup cooked 47 calories

1/2 cup cooked 25 calories

1/2 cup cooked 21 calories

1 cup raw 14 calories

1/2 cup cooked 36 calories

1/2 cup cooked *125 calories

1 medium 35 calories

1/2 cup cooked 15 calories

1/2 cup cooked 24 calories

1/2 cup raw 60 calories

1/2 cup cooked 80 calories

1/2 cup cooked 14 calories

*Alert: High calorie – Don’t go hog wild with it!