Spring Into Healthy Cooking
Spring is one of the most inspirational seasons for chefs; as we emerge from the grip of Old Man Winter and the heft of our braised and roasted dishes, even the slightest ray sunshine pushes us to think of lighter yet more vibrant textures, flavors and ingredients.
Two ingredients show up on my menus each spring, dandelion greens and snap peas. The unique character and health attributes of dandelion make this a must-have dark green and the vibrantly sweet sugar snap with its crispness is irresistible.
The nutritional aspect of these two ingredients is also a major influence on our use of them. Dandelions are high in calcium (think bone health), a good source of iron and are a complete protein (they contain all essential amino acids). In fact 14% of dandelion is protein. The nutrients in dandelion greens help fight some forms of cancer and other chronic diseases. Dandelion greens are also theorized to have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Snap peas offer a healthy dose of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as folate. Both ingredients are rich in phytochemicals and phytonutrients, fiber and are a low calorie option.
Try these ingredients out this spring and let us know what you think. You can find more information and some additional spring recipes on our website, pinkribboncooking.com and our FaceBook page is always full of wonderfully delicious ideas.
Dandelion Greens with Pine Nuts & Italian Cheeses
Yes, Dandelion! The darker the greens the better they are for you. Europeans and Canadians have been eating dandelion greens for centuries. They are affordable, healthy and delicious. Treat them like spinach. If dandelion is too much of a reach for you, use arugula or fresh spinach. Serves 4.
1 bunch Dandelion Greens, washed, dried and woody stems removed
2 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. pine nuts
1 tbsp. pecorino romano cheese, grated
1 tbsp. parmesan cheese, grated
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch black pepper
1. In a large bowl toss the dandelion greens with the extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and 2/3 thirds of each of the two cheeses.
2. Place greens on a platter and garnish with the pine nuts and the remaining cheese. Serve.
Amount Per Serving — Calories: 130, Total Fat: 11.69g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 130mg, Total Carbs: 2.96g, Dietary Fiber: 0.99g, Sugars: 0.43g, Protein: 2.66g
Chef Curtiss Hemm is the Founder and Executive Director of Pink Ribbon Cooking LLC. His mission is to educate cancer survivors and those looking to prevent the disease in subjects related to how food, nutrition and diet can improve the quality of life before, during and after a cancer diagnosis, sharing simple and healthy recipes, techniques and approaches to cooking food the entire family will enjoy. www.pinkribboncooking.com
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