I grew these radishes using only home-made, all-vegetal compost for fertiliser.
Salad with Radish Greens, Photo Copyright M-J de Mesterton
Three ounces of radish greens contain on average 200mg (20% RDA) of calcium. They also provide 13% of the human RDA (recommended daily allotment) of iron, and vitamins A (280% RDA) and C (173% RDA). All vegetable-greens are high in vitamin K. magnesium and other beneficial minerals.
This home-garden-grown baby beetroot was washed, steamed for five minutes, then dressed with olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar. The root, bulb and leaves were consumed by your faithful editor. Grown in soil with only kitchen compost as a fertiliser, and no pesticides, this exquisite, nutritious beet was part of a health-promoting luncheon. Here is an article in the Wellness Times about the many health-benefits of beets, by Jacob Schor, ND, FABNO. Dr Schor recommends drinking beet juice as well as eating the richly-coloured, elegant vegetables.
Beneficial Salad Tastes Better in a Beautiful Bowl
Napa cabbage, orange peppers, cayenne pepper and feta cheese are served in an antique Noritake bowl made by Baron Morimura in Japan in the early 20th century. Napa cabbage has a finer leaf than regular cabbage, but I think it needs to be softened considerably by marinating for several hours in vinegar and oil. The marinating process can be accelerated by setting your bowl of thinly-sliced Napa cabbage and marinade in a microwave oven at the defrost-setting for three minutes or slightly longer. I used white wine vinegar and olive oil for this health-promoting salad. To this bowl of simple cabbage, I added diced sweet mini-peppers, bits of home-grown cayenne pepper, and feta cheese. There you have a cruciferous, low-calorie vegetable, a heart-healthy combination of peppers that contain vitamin C, olive oil that is good for your blood, vinegar that adjusts your body’s acidity, and a little protein from the cheese.
Serving something-not-so-special in a sumptuous style makes healthy eating less boring, don’t you think?
Make a roux with flour and butter, Brown it slightly, then add milk or cream very swiftly while whisking it in the saucepan. Add Swiss cheese, and a little water to help blend the mixture. Incorporate Dijon mustard to taste. Salt and white or green pepper may be added if you need more flavour. Drizzle this cheese sauce over par-boiled broccoli which has been placed in a buttered baking dish. Bake in a medium-hot oven until the sauce is lightly golden.
Cucumbers, celery and red onions all chopped finely and dressed with vinegar and olive oil comprise a health-promoting salad. This elegant vegetable dish is refreshing in summer, and can help to prevent colds in winter. Vinegar helps to adjust your body’s alkalinity to the desired level, and olive oil is beneficial to the heart, reduces corporeal inflammation, and is now commonly known as an anti-cancer food.
Boiled yams, sliced fresh jalapeños, crushed pineapple and cream cheese are seasoned to your taste (I use Tajín chile-lime-salt seasoning from México) and baked in a dish after being crushed and mixed with my Braun hand-mixer. Courtesy of M-J de Mesterton, the Elegant Cook Thanksgiving, 2011
The Elegant Yam: a Versatile, Health-Promoting Root-Vegetable
Eating yams or sweet potatoes every day is believed to be one of the reasons the people of Okinawa, Japan, have the longest average life expectancy in the world.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the yam is “neutral” in nature–somewhere between yin and yang. Its properties can help to tranquilise the mind, preserve youthful skin, nourish the spleen, stomach, kidneys, aid in digestion, and contribute to a feeling of fullness, something that can aid both dieters and poor people.
Yams contain vitamin B6, which can soothe the mind as well as boost immunity. Rich in linoleic acid and fibre, yams not only help to alleviate constipation, but can also reduce cholesterol build-up blood vessels, a process which helps prevent arteriosclerosis and thrombosis.
The yam is rich in protein, vitamins A , E and C, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, magnesium, and potassium. Although its vitamin B1 and B2 content is six and three times higher than that of rice respectively, 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of yams produce only 99 calories, a one-third the amount that rice contains. Because yams are alkaline foods, they can help decrease body fat. Acid foods lead to fat-storage in the human body. Yams and sweet potatoes also contain lycopene, which is believed to help prevent prostate cancer. A hormone-like, anti-inflammatory compound called dioscin exists in both yams and sweet potatoes, as well as vitamin C and carotenoids.
Sweet potatoes and yams have the same qualities, even though they are from different families, so substituting the root-vegetable known as sweet potato for yams is perfectly acceptable and will yield the same health-results when eaten. If the yam or sweet potato is too sweet for your liking, there are several ways to incorporate them into your diet that will make them seem less so. For example, a well-scrubbed yam may be chopped into matchsticks or slivers, fibrous skin and all, and added to a stir-fry. Adding soy sauce to sweet potatoes and yams will give them a more balanced taste. Soaking them in Himalayan salt solution will also do wonders for the flavour of sweet potatoes and yams. Copyright M-J de Mesterton, 2010
The savoury fruit once known as the “Love Apple” was long ago considered poison by some Europeans, and initially regarded with much scepticism. The wider world now knows these delicious, juicy orbs as “tomatoes.”
Tomatoes are a good source of vitamin C and potassium. They also contain plenty of phytochemicals that inhibit the development of certain degenerative diseases. Tomatoes are high in the strong antioxidant lycopene, and some phenolic compounds. In the average western diet, 95% of lycopene intake comes from tomatoes and tomato products. It is also found in watermelon, rose-hips, red grapefruit, and papayas. Lycopene is the carotenoid that gives tomatoes their red tint. It appears that lycopene can reduce one’s susceptibility to certain cancers, the eye disorder known as age-related macular degeneration, atherosclerosis, and mitigate skin-damage from over-exposure to the sun. Men who eat two or more servings of tomato products experience an average of 35 percent-less incidence of prostate cancer. According to research done by the University of Illinois at Chicago, lycopene helps women to prevent the development of cervical intra-epithelial neoplasia (CIN), a tumorous tissue-growth in the cervix. Lycopene is a powerful inhibitor of the growth of breast, endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) and lung-cancer cells. Some nutrients are, unfortunately, cooked away from other vegetables, but lycopene is better absorbed by the body when the tomatoes in which it is inherent are cooked with oil, as in a tomato sauce or paste. This is good news for those who like Italian and Mexican cooking, as well as for adherents of what is known as the Mediterranean diet. The cooking helps to break down the cell walls of the tomato releasing the lycopene and the oil helps to increase its absorption.
Japanese scientists have determined that mixing tomato juice into the drinking water of mice prevented them suffering the sort of emphysema that is brought on by the inhalation of tobacco-smoke. Tomatoes contain lutein. Lutein is found in the retinas of our eyes, thus its ingestion promotes good vision. This substance also is believed by scientists to lower the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, two negative eye-conditions. Lutein may also help to prevent atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis contributes to cardiovascular disease. Tomatoes and tomato-products are known to be effective in arresting aggressive, metastasizing cancers. Tomatoes are believed to have originated in Peru, and were introduced into Europe in the 16th century. The genus tomato’s Latin name isSolanum Lycopersicum.
The Elegant Purple Cabbage is Brilliant in a Fresh Salad[/
The deep colour of red or purple cabbage is caused by a high concentration of anthocyanin polyphenols, giving it significantly more phytonutrients than green cabbage. Anthocyanin pigments are strong dietary antioxidants, and possess anti-inflammatory properties, meaning that they can play a role in protecting the human body from cancer and other degenerative diseases.
100 grams (about 3 ounces) of raw purple cabbage can contain as much as 196.5 milligrams of polyphenols, of which 28.3 milligrams are anthocyanins (deep red, blue and purple pigments found in plants). Green cabbage contains a comparatively low 45 milligrams of polyphenols, which include less than one milligram of anthocyanins. The “vitamin C equivalent,” which represents the antioxidant quotient of red or purple cabbage, is roughly eight times higher than that of green cabbage. Red cabbage is one of the most nutritious and potentially best-tasting vegetables on planet Earth. Shredded thinly and marinated in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, eating red cabbage is a powerful health-tonic. In my photograph of a purple cabbage salad, I have added yellow pear tomatoes and feta cheese to it for a colourful and nutritious dish.
Easy to grow, red or purple cabbage will continue to thrive until the garden has suffered many deep-frost nights.