Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Eye Healthy Superbowl Chili

This twist on classic chili is a hit all year round. Make it a day ahead as the flavors enhance the next day.

4 tbsp olive oil or grapeseed oil
4 pounds ground turkey
3 medium yellow onions, finely diced
¼ cup cocoa powder
6 tbsp chili powder
salt and pepper
4 orange peppers, diced
2 cans diced tomatoes (28 ounce can)
2 cans red kidney beans (19 ounce can)
3 limes (zest and juice)
1-2 avocados, cubed
¼ cup cilantro, chopped

1. On med-high heat brown the ground turkey in a large sauce-pot in 2 tbsp olive oil. Be sure to work in small batches so the meat isn’t crowded in the pot. This will ensure that the meat browns nicely. Set cooked turkey aside.

2. Heat remaining 2 tbsp oil in the sauce-pot on med-high heat. Cook onions until they are softened, approximately 7 minutes. 

3. Add browned meat back to the pot, stirring together with the onions. Add cocoa powder, chili powder and salt and pepper. Stirring, cook for 2-3 minutes to enhance the flavor of the spices. 

4. Add orange peppers and tomatoes. Stir well and simmer on med-low heat, covered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent chili from sticking to the bottom of the pot. 

5. Add kidney beans and simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes or until chili is a nice thick consistency. 

6. Remove from heat. Add lime zest and stir well. 

7. Add a squirt of lime juice to each bowl before serving. 

8. Garnish with avocado cubes and cilantro.

Serves 16 

Eye Nutrients: Zeaxanthin and lutein, vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Eat Your Orange Peppers!

An all-star Eyefood, orange peppers are one of the best food sources of zeaxanthin. In fact, ½ orange pepper contains approximately 2mg of this macular pigment, the daily amount currently being investigated in AREDS 2 for its effects on the prevention of AMD.

Orange peppers are also a great source of vitamin C, containing more of this

vitamin than the green, red and yellow varieties. This tasty vegetable also beats out citrus fruit in this category containing over three times the amount of vitamin C than an orange.

With higher levels of vitamin E than other vegetables, orange peppers are an excellent low-calorie source of this anti-oxidant, which is more commonly obtained from fat and oils.

The Eyefoods plan recommends eating 2 orange peppers per week to help maintain healthy eyes. With their appealing taste to both kids and adults alike, their versatility in the kitchen and the fact that they are readily available in all supermarkets, orange peppers are a simple addition to any family’s diet.

In the not so distant future, we hope that an entire generation of parents will be telling their children to “Eat your orange peppers.”  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Broccoli, Edamame and Nut Salad

This eye healthy dish is full of lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and fiber.

1 cup brown rice, rinsed
2 cups water
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
½ bag shelled edamame
¼ cup unsalted cashews
¼ cup unsalted walnuts

Dressing ingredients:
2 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp sesame oil

1. Bring rice and water to a boil in medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. When water is all absorbed, let rest, covered for 5 minutes. Let cool. 

2. In a medium sauce pan, steam edamame and broccoli for about 3 minutes, until al dente. Let cool.

3. Heat a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat. Add nuts and toast, shaking the pan constantly until the nuts turn light brown. Remove from heat. Add 1 tbsp soy sauce and mix well. Set aside.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients of dressing. 

5. In a serving bowl, add vegetables and nuts to the rice. Pour the dressing over top and mix. Serve immediately or refrigerate overnight. 

Serves 4

Friday, January 10, 2014

Asparagus Bundles

Every year, I host a small New Year's Eve gathering.  And even though the number of people doesn't rival Time's Square, we always feast on fine food and drinks to reflect on the past year and celebrate the new year ahead.  This year, with the help of my twelve year old niece and excellent sous chef, we included many Eyefoods into our menu.  These asparagus bundles were fun to make, looked great as part of the spread and were also delicious!  (By the way, asparagus are full of lutein, too.)

Asparagus Bundles

2 bunches asparagus
1 red pepper, sliced
1 orange pepper, sliced
1/2 cup chives

1.  Place 2 asparagus spears and 1 orange pepper or red pepper slice together.
2.  Using 1-2 chives, slowly tie the chive in a knot around the bundle.  Be careful not to tie too tight or the chive will break apart.

Set the bundles aside on a plate.  You can prepare them to this point ahead of time and keep in the fridge for a day until you are ready to cook them.

Place bundles on a large baking sheet, leaving room in between each bundle.
Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.
Add salt and pepper.
Cook at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Powerfood, Superfood and Eyefood - The Wonders of Kale

A nutritional powerhouse, kale contains large amounts of disease fighting anti-oxidants, carotenoids and other nutrients. It is one of the most important Eyefoods. Additionally, the nutrients in kale have been shown to be protective against other diseases including cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.

As kale contains high amounts of most eye nutrients, eating kale every week is a great way to help protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration, the number one cause of vision loss in North America. Enjoy kale both raw and cooked with a small amount of healthy fat, such as extra-virgin olive oil, to receive all of its nutritional benefits. 

Be Aware: 
People on blood thinners need to watch their intake of kale and other leafy green vegetables. Blood thinners work by decreasing the activity of vitamin K, which is abundant in leafy greens. People on blood thinners need to discuss any potential changes in their diet with their physician.

One leaf of kale contains nearly 10 mg of lutein.

To revive ‘wilted’ kale from your refrigerator, cut an inch or two off the stems and place the leaves in cold water for 15 minutes to half an hour; it will seem to have come back to life. 

Kale is a cold weather vegetable. It grows best in spring and fall and harvesting kale after the first frost gives it a smoother flavour.

USDA Agricultural Research Service. Nutrient data laboratory.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Kale Soup with Turkey and Wild Rice

This soup will keep you warm on a cold winter evening and nourish your eyes with lutein and zinc. Thinking ahead pays off both for time saving and flavor: Save leftover turkey and make your own stock.

2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup green onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh chives, chopped
¼ cup wild rice
8 cups chicken or turkey stock
4 cups kale leaves, rib removed, and finely chopped
2 cups cooked turkey breast, sliced
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil in a medium sized stock-pot or sauce pan over medium heat. Add green onion, chives, parsley and wild rice. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is softened. 

2. Add chicken stock. Raise heat to high and bring to a boil. 

3. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, ensuring that the wild rice becomes tender.

4. Add kale and cooked turkey breast. Simmer for 5 minutes, uncovered, until the turkey is heated through.

5. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 

Serves 10

Eyefoods ingredients: Kale, turkey breast, green onions

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