Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bok choy stir-fry with ginger and garlic

Baby Bok Choy has a sweet flavor and delicate texture.
One cup has just 9 calories and barely a trace of fat, yet delivers protein,

dietary fiber and almost all the essential vitamins and minerals.  Photos: Julia Bergdoll

Healthy Benefits
This veggie is packed with vitamins C, A, and K, and excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, and iron, bok choy deserves its reputation as a powerhouse among vegetables. Vitamin A is essential for a properly functioning immune system, while vitamin C is an antioxidant that shields the body from free radicals. 
Bok choy supplies potassium for healthy muscle and nerve function, and vitamin B6 for carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
No cholesterol (high blood cholesterol is generally associated with an increased risk of heart disease) and low in calories. Very low in sodium and sugar.
Ingredients   13 calories per serving (serves 4)
4 heads of Baby Bok Choy
1-1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp grated ginger root
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp Liquid Aminos (or reduced-sodium soy sauce)
1 tsp arrowroot (or cornstarch)
Sesame seeds (black, white, or a mix) for garnish


Preparation
- Slice Baby Bok Choy in half lengthwise, leaving the root attached to make 8 pieces. Rinse to thoroughly clean.


- Heat a wok over low heat. When the wok is hot add the sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally to allow the ginger and garlic to infuse the oil (about 1-2 minutes). Add the soy sauce and then the bok choy.
- Toss the bok choy in the sauce briefly, then add 1/4 cup of water to the wok. Cover it to allow the bok choy to steam for 2 minutes.
- While the Bok Choy is steaming, stir together the arrowroot (or cornstarch) and 2 teaspoons of water in a small saucer, stir and add to stir fry.
- Remove the pan cover and stick a sharp knife into the root end of one of the pieces of bok choy. If it's just tender, it's ready; if not, add 2 teaspoons of water, cover, and cook for 1 more minute. Toss the bok choy again in the sauce, then add the arrowroot (cornstarch) mixture. Stir until the sauce is lightly thickened.
- Serve immediately, garnished with white and/or black sesame seeds.
Baby Bok Choy is a rich source of vitamins C, A and K.
A mix of black and white sesame seed would make for a colorful presentation
in this quick sauté of Asian-style vegetables. 
Note to vegan chef: if the stem is thick you might consider slicing it for quicker cooking.

Nutrition: (per 1 serving)

Fun fact: The name “bok choy” originated from the Chinese word for "soup spoon" because of the shape of its leaves.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Peanut Butter, Banana and Chia Seeds Smoothie with Blueberries

Peanut butter, banana and chia seeds with blueberries smoothie  Photos: Julia Bergdoll

Healthy Benefits
High in dietary fiber - it can delay hunger by creating a feeling of fullness. Fiber may prevent weight gain by providing calories that are not absorbed and displacing high-calorie refined foods. 

High in B6 - Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin needed by the nervous and immune systems. It helps nerve cells to communicate. It's involved in making hormones, insulin, antibodies and cell membranes, and is needed for the normal breakdown of protein, carbohydrate and fat. Vitamin 6 helps to maintain blood sugar within the normal range.  

High in Vitamin E  - an antioxidant that protects cells membranes from damage. It is particularly important for cells that carry oxygen like the cells of lungs and red blood cells. Vitamin E also has a role in immune function, DNA repair, and other metabolic processes.

No cholesterol - high blood cholesterol is generally associated with an increased risk of heart disease.  

Ingredients   292 calories per serving (serves 1)
8-10 oz chilled unsweetened almond/soy milk
1 frozen banana
1 tbsp almond/peanut butter
1 tbsp Chia seeds
1/4 cup blueberries (optional)

Preparation
Blend all ingredients until smooth





Nutrition: (per 1 serving)



Reference:  Calorie Count

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Spiced buckwheat pancakes

Spiced Buckwheat Pancakes

Healthy Benefits
This is a powerhouse of a pancake! Love these. Substantial and nutritious. The nutritious content feeling will last for hours.

High in dietary fiber (fiber can also delay hunger by creating a feeling of fullness. Fiber may prevent weight gain by providing calories that are not absorbed and displacing high-calorie refined foods), manganese (a mineral that works in many different enzymes working throughout the body), phosphorus (a critical component of every cell. It works with the B vitamins to generate energy. Phosphorus is necessary for growth of bones and teeth; bones and teeth are 85% phosphorous), and very high in vitamin B6 (a water-soluble vitamin needed by the nervous and immune systems. Vitamin B6 helps nerve cells to communicate).

There's no cholesterol and it's low in saturated fat.

Ingredients  84 calories per serving (makes 4-5 pancakes)
1/3 cup cooked steel-cut oats
1 flaxseed or chia seed egg (1 Tbspn flaxseed + 3 Tbspn water, let it rest for 3 minutes and stir). This is the binder.
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
1/8 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup almond, soy or hemp milk
Equal dashes of cardamon and coriander (or use cinnamon)

Preparation
- Prepare steel-cut oats according to directions
- Prepare a flax egg (or chia seed)

Dry ingredients:
- Combine the flour, oats, walnuts, baking powder, cardamom and coriander in medium bowl. Add the oatmeal mixture to the dry ingredients and stir gently; don’t overmix. The consistency should be that of thick pancake batter; add a little more milk or flour as needed.

Wet ingredients:
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flax egg and soy milk; add maple syrup, stir in the cooked steel cut oats. 

- Put skillet on medium heat, then spray surface with non-stick spray (if necessary). Spoon out the batter in 1/4 cup measurements. Cook until bubbles form on the top … 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip the pancakes and cook until they’re browned on the other side ... a couple of minutes more.


Note to vegan chef:
You can also use a banana as a binder in place of the flaxseed/chia seed egg.

Nutrition: (per 1 serving)




Inspired by Cardamom-Scented Oatmeal Pancakes (NY Times)

Reference:  Calorie Count