Foodie Tuesday is almost here!


Foodie Tuesday has returned! …Except we’re a day late…so we would like to introduce Foodie Wednesday this week!

Fall is here, but not for much longer. In nearly one month winter will have set in, and unhealthy eating & laziness will also be setting in… NOT! Wait a minute……. Just because the months of notorious unhealthy eating are creeping up on us doesn’t mean we have to let all of our hard work with our bodies go to waste. Beginning this coming Tuesday, November 25, we will provide you with yummy recipes for eating healthy throughout the cold months to come.

We wanted to warm you up this week with an overview of some of the fresh, rich in folate, produce our beautiful state of California provides us, in the fall and winter months.  california-dreaming-panoAnd to the rest of the world outside of California, all of these foods still apply to you (but you may have to be a little more creative)!

FYI: We will be using the words folic acid and folate interchangeably, like we explained two weeks ago, folic acid and folate are essentially the same, the difference is how the body recognizes it.

Dark Leafy Greens
-Spinach- 1cup= 263 mcg of folate
-Collard Greens- 1cup= 177mcg of folate
-Romaine Lettuce- 1cupe= 76 mcg of folate
Broccoli– 1cup= 24% of daily folic acid recommendation
Citrus Fruits
-Papaya- 1 papaya= 115mcg of folate
-Oranges- 1 orange= 40mcg of folate
-Grapefruit- 1 grapefruit= 30mcg of folate
Brussels Sprouts– 1cup= 25% of daily folic acid recommendation
Cauliflower– 1cup= 55mcg of folate and approx. 14% of daily folic acid recommendation
Beets– 1cup= 76mcg of folate and approx. 20% of daily folic acid recommendation
Celery– 1cup= 34mcg of folate and approx. 8% of daily folic acid recommendation
Winter Squash– 1cup= 57mcg of folate and approx. 14% of daily folic acid recommendation.

vegetables-to-grow-in-winter-640x360

Now that we are all aware of some of the folate rich produce available in the fall and winter months, we can let the information marinate until Tuesday. Make sure to stay tuned and bring your appetite next week!

Until next time, keep folicin’ San Francisco.

Foodie Tuesday: Garlicky Sautéed Greens


This is the season for dark, leafy greens – collards, mustard, beet, kale, even cabbage!  While in Northern California, we can get dark leafy greens pretty much all year-round, they grow best in cooler weather, making fall and winter the best seasons to eat them.  For today’s recipe, we were inspired by the beautiful pre-washed braising greens that we found at the Happy Boys Farm farmers’ market stands this weekend (see our first photo).

Greens are high in so many nutrients and so tasty that we can’t help featuring them often.  They are rich in both minerals (iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins (folate and other B vitamins, K, C, and E). They also provide the phytonutrients beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems. They even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats.

This Italian-inspired recipe would make a great addition to any Thanksgiving table, and could also be used with lightly pre-steamed broccoli.  It is one of the quickest greens recipe that we’ve published over the years.  First, it uses baby greens, which are less time-intensive.   It also uses pre-washed greens, which greatly cuts down on the prep time.  If you can’t get to a farmer’s market, consider using pre-washed bagged greens, available in many supermarkets.

Garlicky Sauteed Greens

Garlicky Sautéed Greens
Makes 6 servings
Folate per serving: between 20 – 60 mcg (5-15% RDA)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 & 1/2 lb. mixed, pre-washed braising greens (collards, kale, mustard, beet, turnip), cut on the short side into 1-inch strips
  • 1 TBS cooking olive oil
  • 3-6 cloves garlic, depending upon taste, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 TSP crushed red pepper, or more to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock + more as needed
  • 1 – 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil, to finish
  • 1 TBS balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, to finish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet until warm but not smoking.  Add minced garlic and sauté until soft and slightly browned.  Be careful not to burn the garlic – it can turn very quickly. 
  2. Add crushed red pepper and stir briefly with spoon.
  3. Add a handful of greens, stirring constantly.  Add another handful of leaves as the first batch wilts slightly – continue until all greens have been added.
  4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in chicken stock.
  5. Steam greens in stock until chicken stock is absorbed and the greens are cooked through but still bright green and retain some shape (about 4-8 minutes, depending upon greens).
  6. Remove from heat, and stir in extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice.  Taste and add more salt, if needed.
  7. Serve immediately.

Optional cooking additions: For a slightly nutty flavor, add 2-3 tbs. of toasted pine nuts before serving.  For a Sicilian twist, add 3-4 tbs. of raisins with the stock and then add the toasted pine nuts before serving.

Nutritional cooking tip: Greens need to be slightly cooked in order to absorb the iron they contain, but not cooked so long that the folate is destroyed.

Source of nutritional information: http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=23199

Foodie Tuesday: Glazed Chicken Salad with Fuyu, Avocado & Pomegranate


Honey Glazed Chicken Salad with Persimmon, Avocado and Pomegranate

Why do we love the fall?  For one thing, fuyu (Japanese persimmons) are back in season!  While fuyu have small amounts of folate, they are big on overall nutrition.  High in fiber at 6 grams, one fruit also contains 55%  of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A and 21% of your daily minimum requirement for vitamin C, both of which are good for skin. It also has 8% of your RDA for potassium, to keep your muscles in good working order.

fuyu at the Ferry Building Farmer's MarketToday’s recipe combines fuyu, pomegranate seeds, avocado and folate-full greens with glazed chicken, for an elegant company brunch or lunch-time winter salad, one high in nutrients and bursting with flavors, both sweet and savory.  This recipe takes a little longer than many Go Folic! recipes, but it’s worth it.  Serve with a nice walnut or cranberry bread, and your favorite ice tea.

Glazed Chicken Salad with Fuyu, Avocado & Pomegranate
Prep time: 40 Minutes
Servings: 4, 155 mcg folate (38.5% RDA)

INGREDIENTSFor the honey-glazed chicken:

  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves with skin
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbs mild olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

For the dressing:

  • 1 tbs finely chopped shallots
  • 3 tbs fresh pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbs sherry vinegar
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs hazelnut or walnut oil

For the salad:

  • 2 small Fuyu persimmons, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 cups pre-washed baby arugula
  • 2 cups pre-washed baby spinach
  • 2 cups pre-washed sweet baby lettuces
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced, sprinkled with lemon juice
DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rub chicken with salt and pepper to taste, and place on a baking sheet skin side up.  Roast for 20 minutes. While chicken is roasting, stir together honey and lemon and set aside.
  2. After chicken has cooked 20 minutes, remove from oven, and discard the skin.  Spread with the lemon-honey mixture.  Return to oven and cook chicken, basting with pan juices, until meat is opaque throughout, about 15 minutes longer.
  3. Remove chicken pan from heat, and let sit in pan juices.  When cool, cut into bite-sized cubes.
  4. In a small bowl, combine chopped shallots, pomegranate juice, sherry and rice vinegars, and salt; let stand 5 minutes. Whisk in walnut and olive oils.
  5. In a large bowl, toss persimmons and chicken with dressing; season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. Gently toss with greens.
  6. Arrange salad on a serving platter, tuck in avocado slices, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, and serve.

Hint #1: Unlike their Western cousins, which are ripe when soft, fuyu are ripe when very firm to the touch.  And as you cut them into wedges for the salad, don’t worry about taking out the seeds – they’re edible!

Hint #2: Cut down on prep time by cutting vegetables while chicken is cooking and by using pre-seeded pomegranate seeds.

Foodie Tuesday: Halloween Slow Cooker Pumpkin and White Bean Stew


Slow Cooker Pumpkin and White Bean Stew

Just recently, as though to welcome Halloween, sugar pumpkins began to appear in farmers’ markets and the weather turned fall like.  In response, at Go Folic! our thoughts naturally turn towards hearty pumpkin soups and stews.

While not high in folate, this orange fall favorite packs many health benefits.  Pumpkin is high in fiber (good for digestion), the antioxidant beta-carotene (which may reduce the risk for cancer and reduce wrinkles), and the immune system booster, Vitamin-C.   One cup of pumpkin contains more potassium than a banana (crucial for heart and other muscle function).  When you cook pumpkin, save and roast the seeds, which are full of the mood booster, tryptophan and  phytosterols, shown in studies to reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

Today’s recipe contains both pumpkin and folate-full white beans.  This elegant, easy-to-make vegetarian entree is a slow-cooker adaptation of a Basque recipe published in the original Greens Restaurant Cookbook by Deborah Madison.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin and White Bean Stew
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4, 160 mcg folate (33% RDA)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup dried cannellini beans, rinsed and picked over
  • 1.5 pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2 tbs. virgin olive oil
  • 3 leeks, white parts only, rinsed and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. dried sage, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for garnish)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Soak beans in water overnight; drain, then place in bottom of crock pot.
  2. Toss vegetables with olive oil to coat; mix in sage, salt and pepper; place vegetables on top of beans.
  3. Pour vegetable stock over all; stock should cover all ingredients.  If not, add stock to cover.
  4. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  5. Serve topped with parsley and a  drizzle of olive oil for garnish.

Foodie Tuesday: Slow Cooker Lamb and Chickpea Stew


Slow Cooker Middle East-Inspired Lamb and Chickpea StewIn addition to containing chickpeas, which are high in folate, this Turkish-inspired dish takes advantage of the last of the season’s eggplant (Asian) and tomatoes (think Early Girls- not sure why they are called that since they come so late in the season).  With a full day of low-temperature braising in the slow cooker, the lamb should be tender and succulent, while the eggplant will serve to thicken the stew.  Serve it over instant whole grain couscous, which takes only minutes to make,  for an easy weekday meal.

Slow-Cooker Lamb and Chickpea Stew with Eggplant and Tomatoes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4-8 hours
Servings: 4, 150 mcg per serving (37.5% RDA)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound lamb stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium Chinese or Japanese eggplants, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 Early Girl or other medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp crushed hot pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo Pepper or smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can chickpeas (15 oz.)
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt (to top)
  • 2-4 tbsp fresh mint leaves, very finely chopped (to top)
  • 1 cup whole wheat couscous, cooked in vegetable broth as per package directions

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the slow cooker and then add cubed lamb.
  2. Toss onions, eggplant and garlic in the olive oil to coat, layer over lamb.
  3. Mix chopped tomatoes with spices; layer over eggplant.
  4. Pour vegetable broth over all.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.
  6. Uncover, mix with spoon, and check for salt and pepper.
  7. Mix in canned chickpeas and turn slow-cooker to high; recover and cook for 30 minutes more, or until chickpeas are warmed through.
  8. As chickpeas warm, cook whole wheat couscous according to package directions.
  9. Serve stew over couscous; pass around yogurt and mint for people to add to taste.

Foodie Tuesday: Green Bean Salad with Asian Pear


Green bean, fennel and asican pear saladThe combination of green beans and Asian Pears may seem novel.  However, when we saw the beautiful beans at the farmer’s market this Sunday, and then found the season’s first Asian pears, we knew that we had to do something with them.

Getting our inspiration from this recipe for green bean and fennel salad on Epicurious.com, we tweaked it to get this supper tasty recipe! The sweetness and crunch of the pear provided great contrast to the acidity of the dressing and the bitterness of the parsley.  If you don’t like the taste of parsley, try mixing it with baby lettuce greens.

Have it with a rotisserie chicken and either a nice bread or marble potatoes sprinkled with salt, pepper and thyme, and then sautéed in olive oil & butter, and you have a great meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons water
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups
  • 1 large fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium Asian pear, cored, quartered and cut into thin slices
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley leaves, removed from stalks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Instructions

  1. Whisk first 6 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook green beans in large pot of boiling water until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Drain. Transfer to large bowl of ice water. Drain beans. Pat dry. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill dressing. Wrap green beans in paper towels and chill.)
  3. Place beans in large bowl. Add fennel, Asian pear, parsley, chives and lemon peel. Drizzle dressing over; toss. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Toss again and serve.

Foodie Tuesday: Italian Slow Cooker Chicken & Summer Veggie Stew


Ingredients and final dish for chicken stew with eggplant, artichoke hearts, kumatos and kaleWho has time to spend preparing substantial meal on a weekday?  We don’t.  So that’s when we turn to our slow-cooker, otherwise known as a crock pot.

Today’s stew is a seasonal celebration for your mouth!  It takes advantage of some of midsummer’s great produce – tomatoes, eggplant, and basil, while also having the advantage of using ready-made items, like canned artichoke hearts and your favorite commercial spicy tomato sauce (we like Trader Giotto’s Puttanesca Sauce).  The recipe calls for homemade pesto, but a good fresh pesto sauce from the grocery store would do just as nicely.

This recipe was inspired by fastPaleo.com’s Paleo Chicken and Eggplant No ParmigianaWe’ve added canned chickpeas to up the folate and fiber content (yes, we know, they’re not paleo).  We’ve also added a couple of fresh tomatoes, and recommend stirring in pre-washed baby kale when you first get home – this will allow it to wilt but retain it’s fresh green color and high folate content.

Slow Cooker Chicken & Summer Veggie Stew

Prep time: 15 minutes; Cook time: 6-8 hours
Makes 4 servings, 100 mcg folate (25% RDA) per serving

STEW INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 lbs chicken (boneless breasts and thighs)
  • 2 small japanese-style eggplants, halved & sliced 1 inch thick
  • 2 medium tomatoes (we love the brown/red Kumatos)
  • 1 can low-sodium chickpeas, drained of liquids
  • 1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups spicy marinara sauce
  • 2 cups pre-washed and chopped baby kale

To make the stew:

  1. Layer the first 5 ingredients in the crockpot, beginning with the chicken and ending with the artichoke hearts.
  2. Pour first the spicy marinara sauce and then the chicken stock over all. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.
  3. During the last half-hour of cooking, stir in the chopped baby kale.
  4. Servie, topped with pesto sauce.

PESTO INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • three handfuls of basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, salt and pepper to taste

To make the pesto:

  1. Place olive oil, basil, pine nuts, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor.
  2. Blend to a pesto consistency.
  3. Place a couple of tablespoons of pesto on each serving.

To make this a full meal, just add a slice of crusty bread and your favorite red wine or ice tea, then top it off with some grilled peaches for dessert!  Yum!