ask the nutritionist: greens

For those of you intrenched in the whole Co-op shopping, carrot-juice drinking lifestyle you are probably very familiar with greens.  I go through phases of taking “the greens” but never quite knew the benefits, except that it was good for me.  I think this happens a lot, we know that eating certain things are good for us but we might not know the power of the foods we eat.  Well, greens are very powerful so I suggest that you start a greens-taking regimen!

 picture by JulianVH

Alfalfa: provides calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, Vitamins A & C, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.  

Kelp: rich source of vitamins and minerals including iodine 

Spirulina: high in protein, can help improve immunity, lower cholesterol, and stabilize  blood sugar

Chlorella: helps protect from damaging chemicals 

Wheat Grass: source of chlorophyll, Amino Acids, minerals and vitamins

Green Tea: contains catechins which may help prevent cancer and tumors, also a powerful antioxidant 
So now that you know all of the benefits of greens, how do you get them?
Here are my two favorites: 
Naked Juice Green Machine: In addition to almost three apples, 1/2 of a banana, 1/3 of a kiwi, 1/3 of a mango and a hint of pineapple, here are the greens inside: spirulina, chlorella, broccoli, spinach, blue green algae, garlic, barley grass, wheat grass, ginger and parsley.  After typing this I realize that it sounds absolutely awful but I promise, this juice is delicious!  And yes, the juice is green.
Amazing Grass GREENSuperFood: This is a powder that you can mix with juice – I have done a mix of juice and water but am totally not brave enough to do straight water…..Anyway it contains 5 different blends that really do make for an Amazing Superfood:
Green Food Blend: Wheat Grass*, Barley Grass*, Alfalfa*, Spirulina*, Spinach*, Chlorella, Broccoli*     *denotes Organic ingredients
Antioxidant Blend: Acai*, Maca*, Carrot*, Beet*, Raspberry, Rose Hips, Pineapple, Green Tea, Acerola Cherry
EFA Fiber Blend: Flax Seed Powder*, Apple Pectin Fiber 
Digestive Enzyme & Active Culture Pre & Probiotic Blend: F.O.S. (from chicory root), L. Acidophilus, Alpha and Beta Amylase, Protease, Lipase, Lactase, Cellulase
Energizing Herb Blend: Siberian Eleuthero Root, Peppermint 

recipe make-over: chorizo mac & cheese

I adapted this recipe of Rachael Ray’s.  It sounded delicious, rich and oh so different.  If you aren’t familiar with The Rach, she is not bashful with cream, cheese, butter, etc.  To a certain extent, I’m not either, but I did want to up the health-factor and lessen its damage a bit.  My tester thought that I should have added more cheese, but I think that the spiciness of the chorizo made up for it. Here is what I came up with:
Chorizo Mac & Cheese
  • 10 oz 100% whole wheat gobbetti (hollow corkscrew noodles)
  • 4 chorizo links, sliced thin
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 16 oz. bag of petite peas
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, chopped
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 3/4 cup shredded cheese (I used aged gouda & swiss)
  • salt, pepper and 1 tsp powdered mustard
  • chopped cilantro, optional

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente.  Microwave peas until warm. Saute the sliced chorizo until browned and set aside.  Add the olive oil to the pan used for the chorizo and saute the garlic, shallot.  Add broth and season with salt, pepper and mustard powder, cook for about 2 minutes.  Add peas, red pepper and 3/4 cup of the cheese. Stir until melted.  Put pasta into a glass pan and stir in the pea mixture.  Sprinkle the chorizo and the remaining cheese on top.  Broil until cheese has melted.   Sprinkle with chopped cilantro if desired.  Serves 4.

focus on: artichokes

picture by MatthewA
Artichokes are one of my favorite vegetables.  I love artichoke dip, steamed artichokes, marinated artichokes, artichokes in salads…… 
What makes them such a great veggie? 
  •  provides lots of antioxidants
  •  excellent source of fiber
  •  high in magnesium (which helps control blood pressure)
  •  filled with folate (prevents birth defects)
  •  good source of Vitamin C

Balsamic Artichoke Salad

  • 1 can of artichokes, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small green zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 

    Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the vegetables, mix and let marinate 4-6 hours before serving. 

roasted red-pepper feta dip

One of my all-time favorite dips. Not necessarily fat-free, but so satisfying.  Serve with veggies (cucumber slices and peppers are especially great), endive leaves or pita chips.  (Organic ingredients when possible)

Roasted Red Pepper Feta Dip

  • 1 8 oz block of Nuefchetal (reduced-fat) Cream Cheese 
  • 1 6 oz container of feta cheese crumbles
  • 1 small jar roasted red-peppers (in water)
Pulse in a food processor until chunky and serve!