Friday, September 18, 2009

Greens & Pasta: Nutritional Powerhouse

Pasta with Greens: A Nutritional Powerhouse
Makes 4 servings
Video included:

Greens are one of the healthiest vegetables on God’s green earth. Why we don’t eat more of them is a mystery. Dark green leafy vegetables are the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food.
Clearly, if Americans would have been swayed to eat more greens as they grew up, there would be a mere fraction of the disease we experience today.
They are a rich source of iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium and vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. Greens provide an assortment of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.
Vitamin K:
  • Regulates blood clotting

  • Helps protect bones from osteoporosis

  • May help prevent and possibly even reduce atherosclerosis by reducing calcium in arterial plaques.H

  • Helps prevent diabetes

This dish is quick, easy, nutritious, deliciously, economical and works with all sorts greens. (Except Al Green)

Hint: Use the same pot of water to blanch the greens before boiling the pasta and then cooking the whole dish in the pot.

1 bunch cooking greens (chard, collard greens, turnip greens, spinach)
1 tbs. sea salt plus to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 lb. whole grain / bean spaghetti or linguini
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbs. ground flax seeds
3/4 cups freshly shredded grating cheese such as parmesan, soy or Romano

-Bring a large pot of water to a boil
-Meanwhile, trim and wash greens, leaving the leaves whole
-Add 1 Tbsp. salt to boiling water. Add greens and blanch 30 seconds until wilted
-Use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the leaves to a colander
-In the same water, boil pasta until tender to the bite
-Drain, reserved 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid, and set aside
-Meanwhile, chop garlic and cooked greens
-Once pasta is drained, return pot to medium high heat. Add oil, garlic, pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, until garlic turns just the tiniest bit golden
-Add chopped greens and flax; stir to combine
-Add reserved liquid and bring to a boil.
-Add pasta, stir to combine and bring to a boil
-Take off heat. Stir in half of the shredded cheese
-Taste and add salt and pepper to taste
-Divide between plates or pasta bowls, garnish with remaining shredded cheese and serve.

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