Organic fruits and vegetables

Organic fruits and vegetables
To Love Oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. --Oscar Wilde

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Greens, onions, mushrooms and turmeric: The anti-cancer team

Leafy green vegetables contain such a rich array of micronutrients and phytochemicals that Dr. Joel Fuhrman puts them at the top of his Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (or ANDI Scores).  The nutrients considered in his evaluation include fiber, calcium, a long list of vitamins and minerals, resistant starch, resveratrol, and antioxidant capacity.  Kale, watercress, and collards are at the top of the charts with a score of 1000. Swiss Chard, Bok Choy, Spinach, and Arugula come in as close seconds.  At the bottom of the chart is a can of Coke at a score of 1.  A white potato has a score of 28, iceberg lettuce a score of 127, and corn at a score of 45. (To read more about Dr. Fuhrman's ANDI scores see:

I get it.  I need to eat more dark leafy greens.  Some of us vegans even like to think of kale as the new beef.  No need to have a big juicy burger for dinner when kale is sitting around in your fridge.  The best way to get greens into your diet is to eat them in a salad, or steam them.  I love salads, but they do take a while to eat when the salad is the main dish. I like steamed greens with a little vinegar on them but that gets boring after awhile.  So I have been trying new recipes.  Tonight for dinner I found a keeper.  My husband drooled just smelling it as he walked in the front door.  I don’t usually post about recipes, but I’ve got to share this one.  It is reminiscent of Nepalese Saag.  It has rich flavors from lime and coconut milk and you could add other ingredients to make it your own like garbanzo beans, or diced bell peppers. 

A great add-in is mushrooms.  They have unique phytochemical compounds with a host of immune-strengthening effects.  These are further enhanced when the diet also contains onions, and greens simultaneously.  Well, okay, so this recipe has onions, greens, and mushrooms. These foods together are anticarcinogenic.  That means they inhibit tumor and cancer growth of abnormal cells in our bodies.  Using these foods frequently in the diet as a preventative strategy to “starve” cancers while they are still small and harmless. Other foods with similar properties include any food in the onion family, berries, black rice, cinnamon, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, flax seeds, ginger, grapes, green tea, tomatoes, and turmeric. Oh yeah, there’s turmeric in the curry powder in this wonderful anti-cancer recipe. Serve this dish any day of the week.  But it is especially appropriate during the month of November when Hindus and Sikhs celebrate Diwali, or Garland of lights.  Add a vase of fresh flowers and some candles and it will be a true celebration. Hope you enjoy it.  I know your body will.

10 oz. fresh spinach, kale, or swiss chard (a mix is also very nice)
2 T. coconut oil
1 ½ c. chopped onion (approximately one large onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small fresh green chile, seeded and minced (1 can diced green chilis will also work)
1 c. sliced mushrooms
½ c. toasted cashews
2 T. fresh squeezed lime (one lime)
¾ t. salt
½ c. coconut milk
1 t. curry powder
optional:extra toasted cashews for garnishing

Toast the cashews in a single layer on an unoiled baking tray at 350 degrees F for 3-5 minutes.  They will smell fragrant and be slightly browned.  A toaster oven works well. 

Rinse, stem, and coarsely chop the spinach, kale, or Swiss Chard and set aside.  Heat the oil in a large saucepan (like a wok) and add the onions, garlic, mushrooms and chilies.  Cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile combine the cashews, lime juice, and salt in a blender and puree until fairly smooth.  Gradually blend in the coconut milk.  Set aside.

Add the curry powder to the saucepan and sauté for one minute.  Add the greens, cover and cook on medium-high until just tender, stirring often.  This will take just 2-3 minutes for the spinach or chard, and about 6 minutes for the kale.  Pour in the cashew/coconut milk mixture, stirring to evenly coat the greens.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  This is very good with quinoa. Garnish with cashews.  Your plate will look prettier if you serve something red with this meal, like red pepper strips or radishes.  You can use the left-over coconut milk to make a fruit smoothie (try mangos, strawberries, or peaches).  You're going to love this meal.

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