Friday, February 13, 2009

Recipe for Brain Food-Nuts to you

Updated: Monday, 02 Feb 2009, 11:50 AM EST

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - Recipe developed by Chef Wendell Fowler Eat Right, Now!

Yields: 6 servings
4 cups of cooked quinoa
1/3 cup olive oil
½ cup chopped red onion
1 sweet red pepper, diced
½ cup dried cherries or fresh in season.
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup fresh chopped mint
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
½ cup toasted walnuts, chopped
Several leafs of butter lettuce for a bed

Drain the quinoa of liquid then place the grain in a mixing bowl
Add the remaining ingredients and fluff with a fork.
Place the lettuce around the edge of a serving bowl or platter, then mound the salad in the center.
Serve with pride
Have you ever felt like you were mentally swimming through Jell-o? Are you brain dead? Has your doctor said you're arteries are dangerously clogged? Is that what's got you down, Bucko? If so, Chef Wendell says, "nuts to you!"

If you take a close look at a shelled walnut, you will see that it looks appropriately like your brains. Walnuts have often been thought of as a "brain food," not only because of the wrinkled brain-like appearance of their meat and shells, but because of their dense concentration of omega-3 essential fatty acids. Our brains are more than 60% structural fat. For your grey matter to function properly, this structural fat needs to be primarily the omega-3 fats found in walnuts, flax seed and cold-water fish. Walnuts, a rich source of the omega-3 fat, improve artery function after a high fat meal and may be even more important in a Mediterranean-type diet than olive oil in promoting heart health, suggests a small study from Spain (Cortes B, Nunez I, J Am Coll Cardiol).

Research shows that eating a modest 1.5 oz of walnuts per day, as part of a low saturated fat and low cholesterol diet, intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Yippee!! Nuts are high in calories, so moderation is the key. The best approach is to reap the health benefits of eating walnuts, but not add excessive calories to your daily intake. Instead of just adding walnuts to your current diet, eat them to replacement foods that are high in saturated fats (such as cheese and meat). Limit your intake of these tasty nuts to the recommended 1.5 oz per day. That is about 20 walnut halves. Walnuts add a flavor and texture to dishes. Here are some simple ideas to incorporate walnuts in your diet:

  1. instead of snacking on cookies, crack some walnuts open and eat them as snacks
  2. instead of using meat, toss toasted walnuts in your salad or pasta to add some crunch
  3. instead of greasy pepperoni, use chopped walnuts in your pizza for texture and vitamins
  4. instead of eating cancerous bacon or eggs, use walnuts as a protein choice by sprinkling chopped walnuts and dried fruits in your oatmeal or breakfast cereal