Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Calcium- Who needs it? YOU.

I recently read an article in Natural Health magazine that I found very interesting. The article as a whole was about bone health, but the part I found interesting was about calcium. We have all been told our entire lives that if we want to get enough calcium in our diet to drink milk. Remember, “Milk, it does a body good.” Well, according to this article, that is just not so!

Milk can actually speed up bone loss. Dairy products spike acidity levels in our bloodstream and our body’s way of defense… releasing calcium from our bones. Interesting… so what are we supposed to do? Osteoporosis is a huge issue with women and if we aren’t building up calcium in our bones with milk, what should we eat? The answer: dark leafy greens such as kale and chard.

I will admit that until this past summer I had never cooked (okay, or seen) kale or chard… ever. I received my first CSA delivery in June and there in the box were two things I didn’t recognize. Fortunately for me, my CSA program sends recipes (with pictures) every week that correspond to the food delivered.

Here are some recipes that are packed with dark leafy greens and are DELICIOUS! They are vegetarian and have some cheese, but you can omit. Here’s to bone health! On a side note... the next blog is going to be about interval training. All you runners out there, the next one is for you!

1/2 cup pine nuts
2 cups firmly-packed fresh kale
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. to 1/2 cup olive oil

Place pine nuts in a dry skillet, and toast, shaking occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Place kale in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add pine nuts, garlic and salt. Pulse until kale is finely chopped.

Add cheese, and pulse until cheese is incorporated. Do not puree or over process. The pesto should still be chunky.

Drizzle in olive oil, and continue to pulse until the pesto reaches the desired consistency.

**Add to Penne for a pesto pasta. Or add a different twist to your lasagna and use kale pesto instead of marinara sauce.

2 lbs Swiss Chard, washed & spun dry
4 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Spanish Onion, sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, thinly sliced
1/4 Bunch Fresh Flat Leaf parsley, finely chopped to yield 1/8 cup
3 Large eggs
Salt & Pepper
3 tbs Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Cup Bread Crumbs or Panko Crumbs

Preheat oven to 350

Heat olive oil in saucepan add onions, garlic, Swiss Chard and sauté. Remove from the heat once onions are translucent, and Swiss Chard has cooked down a bit. Approximately 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix eggs, season with salt and pepper, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, mix well.

Once Swiss Chard mixture has cooled. Add egg mixture and toss to combine.

Lightly grease a 9 inch round baking dish. Dust the bottom of the dish with 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko crumbs. Carefully place Swiss Chard mixture into the pan. Dust the top with breadcrumbs. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour serve hot or at room temperature.

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