What is rapini? Also known as broccoli rabe, rapini belongs to the cruciferous, or cabbage, vegetable family and is highly nutritious as well as delicious. It is a cousin to other ‘super-veggies’ that include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, kale, and mustard seeds and is a great source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Being rich in disease-fighting phytochemicals, particularly sulforaphane, these healthy greens have potential anti-cancer properties.
‘Rapini’ is actually a culinary term for the edible leaves, stems, and shoots of cruciferous crops. So you can eat every bit of this plant! This vegetable has thick tender stems, flower buds, and mild peppery leaves. Rapini can have a bitter edge to it which gives it it’s characteristic flavor. The bitterness, however, may vary bunch to bunch and in season, but is toned down when cooked. A long-standing favorite in Italian cuisine, rapini pairs well with pasta and polenta.
Quinoa (pronounced “KEEN-wah”) has gained recognition and popularity as a gluten-free grain alternative and valuable vegetarian source of protein. As a breakfast, side dish, salad, or dessert, quinoa is a versatile ingredient that can be used in various cuisines.
Quinoa is rich in B vitamins like other grains, but it’s actually an edible seed and a relative to spinach, beets and Swiss chard. Quinoa is unique in that it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete (whole) protein. This protein-dense food originated in the Andes Mountains of South America and was a sacred staple in the diet of the ancient Incan culture.
If you’ve never tried quinoa before, here’s a great recipe to try for your first experience! This dish travels well and can be eaten hot or cold. Enjoy it as a side or wrap it in a warm tortilla with avocado and shredded raw cabbage or lettuce for a satisfying meal. Continue reading “Quinoa and Black Beans”→
Eggplants are low in calories and fat and a good source of dietary fiber, B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin C. Traditional Eggplant Parmesan recipes call for salting, pressing, draining or “weeping” and frying the eggplant in batches before layering it in the casserole dish. So much work! And when eggplant is fried, it acts like a sponge and soaks up a lot of oil.
There’s none of the prep, clean-up, and extra fat in this recipe! No need to hover over a hot spattering fry pan. You’ll need extra time for the baking though, but that’s just extra time for you to relax. Continue reading “Eggplant Pesto Parmesan”→
Icelandic Arctic char, also known as salmon trout, is rich in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. If you haven’t tasted Artic char, it’s well worth giving it a try. Arctic char tastes similar to salmon (even looks like salmon with its pinkish-orange flesh), but is milder in flavor.
Arctic char is an excellent choice if you don’t like a strong tasting fish, but want to include fish in your diet for its health benefits. Be sure not to overcook this versatile delicacy or you’ll lose its natural moistness. A quick grilling on both sides is all you need. Continue reading “Grilled Arctic Char with Cilantro Island Sauce”→