Petals and Panini

The Petals

The planting continues in the side and front yard. I spoke of my grandmother's hydrangea in my  Flower Patch post, and how huge and bountiful it's huggable round flowers were.

When I went shopping this morning I was greeted by a full display of flowers at the front of the market. To my delight, there on the top row, huddled together, were hydrangeas in several shades.

Below them cheerful daisies and mums. I smiled back as I walked past.

I made my way to the refrigerated section that carried dairy alternatives, and picked up a block of Almond Cheese and a block of Rice Cheese.

Then to the produce aisle to fulfill a lunch craving...some organic spinach, organic Roma tomatoes, and then a couple isles down for some black kalamata olives.  I completed the rest of my shopping and headed home on this 82º day in the valley.

The hills are beginning to turn yellow as we say goodbye to rainfall until October. Of course with the unpredictable weather patterns of the 21st Century... who knows... they may surprise us and flash green once more.

I like the contrast. The evergreens stand out against the hay colored hills, and Mount Diablo stands ever majestic looking over us, lending its protective energy to life here.

It's  a little after noon when I get home and unpack the groceries.

I am going to make Swiss Chard Turnovers for the week, so I chop and blend the ingredients for the filling. (Will post recipe for these delicious triangles later).  I make a batch of  the Basic Dough we discussed in Authentic Arabic Bread post, and leave it to rise.

Now I can make my lunch!  Am quite hungry by this time.

The Panini

Out comes the Panini grill.  While it's heating I slice some Almond Cheese and Tomatoes, and wash a few Spinach leaves.

The Tapenade

I throw a handful of Kalamata olives in the blender with a large clove or garlic, some dry thyme and a dash of lemon. I turn on the blender for 3 seconds, drizzle 2 Tbs. of olive oil through top opening, and pulse it another 3 -4 seconds to blend everything.

Assembly

Two Gluten Free slices of bread are ready to be smothered in Tapenade, topped with Tomato, Spinach leaves and finally the Cheese. Top bread slice holds it all together.

A light spray of Extra Virgin Olive Oil on each side of the sandwich, and onto the grill for about 3-4 minutes depending on heat of your panini maker.

My green salad is already waiting and lunch is ready!

~ Bon Apetit!

Foods with Vitamin E

Like many nutrients, instead of taking them in the form of a supplement, it's best to get our Vitamin E from foods.  This way we get all the other benefits that particular food has to offer, since happily Mother Nature loads each food with more than one beneficial ingredient! I thought this table might come in handy when you're shopping, or planning your meal to include Vitamin E.

Selected Food Sources of Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol) mg per serving Percent DV*

 Wheat germ oil 1 Tbs.                20.31
Sunflower seeds- dry roasted 1 oz.

7.437

Almonds- dry roasted 1 oz.                6.834
Sunflower oil 1 Tbs.                5.628
Safflower oil 1 Tbs.                4.625
Hazelnuts - dry roasted 1 oz.                4.322
Peanut butter 2 Tbs.                2.915
Peanuts - dry roasted 1 oz.                2.211
corn oil 1 Tbs.                1.910
Olive oil 1 Tbs.                1.910
Spinach, boiled ½ c.                1.910
Broccoli, boiled chopped ½ c.                1.26
Soybean oil 1 Tbs.                1.16
Kiwifruit 1 medium                1.16
Mango -sliced ½ c.                0.74
Tomato - raw 1 medium                0.74
Spinach - raw 1 c.                0.63

Spinach-Avo Soup

This recipe is packed with diabetes, cholesterol and cancer defense!It's not cooked so all the nutrients are preserved.

  • 4 c. organic baby Spinach, well rinsed and dried
  • 1 c. water
  • 3 cloves roasted Garlic, or 1 large clove, raw
  • 2 tsp. freshly squeezed organic Lemon juice
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. black or cayenne pepper
  • 1 ripe Avocado, cut in half and pitted
  • 2 Tbs. crushed dry-roasted Hazelnuts, or lightly toasted Pine nuts
Place Spinach, water, garlic, lemon juice and spices in a blender. Pack leaves down and blend until smooth. Scrape down sides if needed.
Spoon avocado out of its skin.  Add to blender and process until smooth.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Garnish with nuts.
Makes 4 servings.
~ Bon Apetit!

The Antioxidant Capacity of Veggies, Fruits n' Spices

This table shows the anti-oxidant potency, ORAC (Oxygen radical absorbant-capacity) value of the listed foods.

An  intake of at least 8,500 ORAC is recommended, and yet most of us only get around 1,800 units per day.

>>  People with high oxidation levels (athletes, runners..) may need 10,000 units or more to maintain a healthy immune system.

Diet is the preferred way to increase your levels, as opposed to supplements, but most people don't seem able to fit 7 -8 servings of these fruits and vegetables a day.  That's why taking pharmaceutical-quality antioxidants is critical.  I can guide you in selecting trusted brands, and the top hitters.

Organic foods with deeper, darker colors have higher anti-oxidant levels.  Commercially raised, sprayed produce offers much less, and actually taxes your immune system.

 

The Antioxidant Capacity of Fruits and Vegetables

 

Blueberries 1 cup 3240
Cinnamon, ground ¼ tsp 2675
Pomegranate juice 5 ozs 2450
Pomegranate juice 5 ozs 2450
Blackberries 1 cup 2932
Strawberries 1 cup 2288
Figs ½ c. 2124
Oregano leaf, dried ¼ tsp. 2001
Prunes 4 pitted 1848
Pomegranate ½ pomegranate 1654
Turmeric ¼ tsp 1592
Raspberries 1 cup 1510
Brussels Sprouts 6 1236
Green Tea 1 teabag, steeped 5   mins 1200
Raisins ¼ cup 1019
Spinach, steamed ½ cup, cooked 1089
Kale ½ cup, cooked 1150
Oatbran 1/2 cup 992
Orange 1 982
Plum, dark purple 1 949
Cabbage, purple ½ cup 924
Cranberries ½ cup 831
Broccoli Florets ½ c. cooked 817
Parsley, dried ¼ tsp. 743
Beets ½ cup, cooked 715
Spinach, Raw 1 cup 678
Basil leaf, dried ¼ tsp 675
Cantaloupe ½ melon 670
Beans, baked ½ cup 640
Plum, red 1 626
Grapefruit, pink ½ 580
Pepper, Red 1 med. Pepper 540
Watermelon 1/16th,   10” diameter 501
Kiwi 1 458
Cherries 10 455
Asparagus 8 spears 900
Beans, Kidney ½ cup, cooked 400
Eggplant, with skin ½ cup, cooked 386
Onion ½ cup chopped 360
Corn ½ cup cooked 330
Yam or sweet potato ½ cup cooked 301
Pumpkin ½ cup mashed 301
Apple 1 medium 300
Peas, frozen ½ c. cooked 291
Ginger, ground ¼ tsp. 288
Banana 1 252
Applesauce ½ cup 250
Mango 1/2 cup 246
Potatoes ½ cup cooked 244
Cauliflower ½ cup cooked 234
Tomato 1 medium 233
Zucchini ½ cup, cooked 230
Pear 1 medium 222
Leaf Lettuce 10 leaves 200
Tofu ½ cup 195
Squash, yellow ½ cup, cooked 183
Grapes, red 10 177
Apricots 3 175
Carrots, cooked ½ cup 160
Tomato sauce ¼ cup 149
Avocado, Florida ½ 149
Peach 1 medium 137
Green beans ½ cup cooked 125
Melon, honeydew 1/10th 125
Lettuce, iceberg 5 large leaves 116
Carrots, raw ½ cup 115
Grapes, white 10 107
Cabbage, white ½ cup 105
Celery ½ cup, diced 60
Cucumber ½ cup, sliced 28

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables (Organic)

Mom said 'Eat Your Veggies'..and we pouted. But Mom was wiser than we ever suspected!
 

Spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, collard greens, chicory, dandelion and Swiss chard are excellent sources of fiber, folate and a wide range of and flavonoids.

Carotenoids are a group of phytonutrients that lend the red, orange and yellow hues to fruits and vegetables...beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, etc..  Carotenoids are present in all living organisms, but humans are not able to make them and must get them from food.

Carotenoids seem to prevent cancer by acting as antioxidants. Some laboratory research has found that the carotenoids in dark green leafy vegetables can inhibit the growth of certain types of breast cancer cells, skin cancer cells, lung cancer and stomach cancer.

The Second Expert Report noted probable evidence that foods containing folate decrease risk of pancreatic cancer and that foods containing dietary fiber probably reduce one’s chances of developing colorectal cancer.