The Goodness of Greens

So with my fast, I’m going to be trying a lot of these green smoothies out. I can’t eat dairy or sugar, so this should be perfect! Here are some health benefits to eating green and I’ll post some more recipes tomorrow.

Health Benefits of Lettuce…
Lettuce, like kale, is a low calorie green packed full of nutrients.  Lettuce aids digestion and promotes liver health. It may also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cataracts and may ease nervous insomnia.  Lettuce is a good source of folate which is known to reduce neural tube defects such as spina bifida.  The Spina Bifida Assocation of South Australia says the incidence of spina bifida could be reduced up to 70% by getting enough folate before and during the first 3 months of pregnancy.  Lettuce is also a good source of iron and vitamin C and according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, lettuce may help to fight anemia.
Talk show host Montel Williams gives credit to Vita-Mix green smoothies made with romaine lettuce for helping him fight multiple sclerosis.

Health Benefits of Spinach…

Famous for being the secret to Popeye’s legendary strength, spinach is truly a nutritional powerhouse—and perfect for green smoothies.  A Harvard University study found that women who ate spinach more than five times a week had a 47 percent decrease in risk of cataract surgery compared with those who ate spinach less than once a month.  Lutein, found in spinach, may also benefit eye health by reducing the risk of macular degeneration, according to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation.  Vitamin A and vitamin K are two of the prevalent vitamins in spinach and they are known to help regulate blood flow, maintain bone health, preserve cell health and help the cells in the body grown normally. If Popeyes had a blender the Emerald Smoothie would have been a healthy and tasty treat; a nice change from eating spinach straight from the can!

Health Benefits of Collards…
Collard greens are similar to kale in many ways.  Like kale, they too contain the phytonutrient sulforaphane which has been shown to stop breast cancer cells from growing in a study published in Drug Discovery Today.  Collard greens are also a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E and together, these antioxidants disarm free-radicals which may prevent significant damage to life-sustaining molecules such as enzymes, membranes, mitochondria and DNA.  Include collard greens in your green smoothie for an excellent source of calcium, which helps to maintain the strength and density of bones and may also help prevent osteoporosis.

Health Benefits of Parsley…
Although usually used as a garnish on entrées, the addition of parsley to a green smoothie is a smart decision.  Parsley contains unique volatile oils such as myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene.  The volatile oils, especially myristicin have been shown to inhibit tumor formation, especially in the lungs, as published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  Flavonoids such as luteolin are present in parsley and serve as anti-oxidants.  They help by combining with highly reactive oxygen radicals and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells.   Adding parsley to a green smoothie will add flavor and may even help reduce the risk of cancer.  The bonus is, your breath will be fresh!

From Vita-Mix

Look out for the new recipes!

JG*

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Good Eats!!! w/Pics!

Seared Salmon with Parmesan Risotto and Sauteed Squash, Zucchini, and Onions

 

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This was my dinner last night. I’m sure that overall it was healthy, so I’ll share the recipe below!

 

Salmon:

  • 2 salmon filets 
  • Jerk Seasoning
  • Garlic Salt
  • Essence of Emeril or Seasoning Salt

Season the salmon about 30 minutes before you are going to cook it. I season a few hours ahead and let it rest in the refrigerator. When it’s ready, put enough Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the pan to cover the bottom of the skillet. Sear salmon over medium-high heat for about 5 to 6 minutes on each side until it is cook through! And that’s it! Throw a little extra salt & pepper on there for added kick and you are good to go!

Sauteed Veggies

  • 2 Yellow Squash
  • 2 Zucchini
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Teaspoon minced garlic
  • Dash of Sugar
  • Seasoning Salt

 

Dice the onion and slice the squash and zucchini, then cut the slices into 4 pieces. Effectively, dicing the veggies in large chunks. I then season the veggies and toss in a bowl to make sure it’s coated. I use a little sugar even though the squash is sweet, and it’s awesome combined with the saltiness. Pour some EVOO in the skillet and saute until the veggies are soft with a little bite, and a little translucent. 

Risotto

  • 1 3/4 cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon saffron powder
  • 3/4 cup white wine (I use a sweeter wine, but I think most use dry)
  • salt 
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese

 

Melt half of the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Saute the onion in the butter for about 8 or 9 minutes until it gets a little soft. Then saute the rice in the pan over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes it should start to toast a little. Keep stirring though so it doesn’t get stuck to the pan.  Then start pouring the chicken stock into the pan slowly. Like 1/2 a Cup at a time. Each time, wait until it has absorbed. Do the same with the white wine. Add the saffron, the rest of the butter, and 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for 4 or 5 minutes. This is probably the most “unhealthy” part of the dish. 

Pretty much done after that, and you can put the rest of the cheese on top! 

 

Enjoy the dinner!

 

Chef JG*