Living the WELL Life

Bone Appétit - by Christina Pirello

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Looking to build stronger bones?  The answer isn't dairy.  Steer clear of the milk and the cheese (for more on that, read The China Study of any books from Dr. Neal Barnard).  I've created a menu of recipes with ingredients chock full of calcium - greens, broccoli, chickpeas, black beans and hiziki (a sea vegetable).  They'll help your bones while your taste buds enjoy every bite.  And what's a good dinner without a little sweetness at the end?  Enjoy!

Garlic Sautéed Greens
Hiziki Caviar on Daikon Rounds
Hiziki Spirals
Fusilli with Broccoli Rabe and Fried Chickpeas
Spicy Black Bean Cakes
Nutty Drop Cookies

Garlic Sautéed Greens
Extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thin half moon slices
sea salt
generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 small bunch kale, collard greens, broccoli rabe or other dark green, rinsed well, left whole
4 lemon wedges
Place about 3 tablespoons oil, garlic and onion in a skillet over medium heat. When the onions begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt, the chili flakes and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Just before you are ready to sauté them, slice the greens into bite-sized pieces and add to skillet. Season to taste with salt and sauté until just wilted and a rich green color, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.  Makes 3-4 servings.

Hiziki Caviar on Daikon Rounds
1 cup Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon arrowroot
sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
spring or filtered water
light sesame oil

hiziki filling:
1/2 cup dried hiziki, rinsed well, soaked until tender, minced
spring or filtered water
soy sauce
light sesame oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
3 yellow onions, diced
2-3 fresh scallions, finely minced

Prepare the crepes by combining flour, arrowroot, a pinch of salt and baking powder in a small mixing bowl.  Slowly mix in water, to create a thin, pancake-like batter.  Set aside for 15 minutes.  Brush a small skillet or crepe pan with oil, turn heat to medium-low and spoon 2-3 tablespoons of batter in, smoothing the batter or turning the pan to create an even, thin round.  Cook on one side until the crepe easily lifts off the pan.  Turn and cook the other side until it releases.  Turn the crepe onto a dry kitchen towel and place another towel over top.  Repeat with remaining batter.

While the crepes cool, drain hiziki and place in a small saucepan.  Add water to just cover and a light seasoning of soy sauce and mirin.  Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and cook until hiziki is tender and all liquid has been absorbed, 30-35 minutes. 

While the hiziki cooks, place a small amount of oil, garlic and onions in a skillet and turn heat to medium.  When the onions begin to sizzle, add a dash of soy sauce and sauté until the onions are quite limp and beginning to brown, 7-10 minutes.  Mix cooked hiziki and scallions into onions and stir to combine.  Transfer to a mixing bowl and set aside to cool to room temperature.

To assemble, lay a crepe on a dry work surface.  Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of filling across each crepe and roll, jellyroll style to create firm cylinders.  Slice each cylinder into 1 half- inch pieces.  Arrange, cut-side up on a platter and serve.  Makes 5-6 servings.

Hiziki Spirals
extra virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
3-4 shallots, finely minced
1/2 cup loosely packed, dried hiziki, rinsed well, soaked until tender, finely diced
dry white wine
soy sauce
8, 1/4-inch thick rounds fresh daikon
1-2 fresh scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1/4 roasted red bell pepper, finely minced

Place a generous amount of oil in a deep skillet, along with garlic and shallots and turn the heat to high.  When the shallots sizzle, sauté for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in hiziki and reduce heat to medium.  Sauté for 1 minute.  Add white wine to half cover ingredients, sprinkle lightly with soy sauce, cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to very low and simmer until all the wine has been absorbed into the hiziki--the longer the better--about 40-45 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching. 

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook daikon until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Drain well and set aside to cool.  To serve, mound hiziki on daikon rounds and top with scallion and roasted pepper as garnish.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Makes 4 servings.  Note: You will have hiziki left over.  You can make more daikon rounds or serve the hiziki as a side dish.

Fusilli with Broccoli Rabe and Fried Chickpeas
1 pound fusilli
extra virgin olive oil
4-5 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
3 cups cooked chickpeas
2 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed from stems, finely minced
1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems trimmed, shredded
1 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons white miso
2-3 fresh basil sprigs

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook fusilli al dente, about 10 minutes.  Drain well, reserving about a cup of cooking water, but do not rinse.

Place about 8 tablespoons oil and garlic in a skillet and turn heat to high.  Sauté for 30 seconds.  Add chickpeas and sauté until they begin to lightly brown, 8-9 minutes.  Stir in fresh basil and sauté for about 30 seconds to blend the flavors.  Stir in broccoli rabe, wine and reserved pasta cooking water.  Cover and cook until broccoli rabe just wilts, 6-7 minutes.  Remove a small amount of liquid, dissolve miso and stir into broccoli rabe and chickpea mixture.  Stir in pasta and mix gently.  Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with a fruity extra virgin olive oil and garnish with fresh basil sprigs.  Makes 4-6 servings. 

Spicy Black Bean Cakes
3 ½ cups cooked black turtle beans
5-6 fresh scallions, finely diced
½ roasted red bell pepper, diced
5-6 sprigs fresh cilantro, finely minced
2-3 fresh garlic cloves, finely minced
1-2 tablespoons finely minced, seeded jalapeno
2 teaspoons ground cumin
½ pound firm tofu, finely crumbled
sea salt
Bob’s Red Mill yellow cornmeal
light olive oil, for frying

tofu sour cream
½ pound firm tofu, crumbled
½ teaspoon sea salt
splash umeboshi vinegar
juice of ½ fresh lemon
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup

Place cooked beans in a mixing bowl and using a potato masher or a fork, crush the beans coarsely.  Stir in scallions, pepper, cilantro, garlic, jalapeno, cumin and tofu, mixing well to combine.  Stir in salt and about 2 tablespoons cornmeal to help the cakes hold their shape.  The mixture will be stiff. 

Place about a cup of cornmeal in a bowl.  Form tablespoonfuls of the black beans into small cakes, about ½-inch thick and dredge in cornmeal to coat.  Place each cake on a plate and repeat with remaining bean mixture, forming 18-20 cakes. 

Place oil in a deep skillet to generously cover the bottom and turn heat to medium.  When the oil is hot (you’ll know it’s ready by the patterns forming in the oil).  Working in small batches, fry the cakes until golden and crispy, turning them once to insure even cooking.  Drain on parchment and repeat with remaining cakes.  You may want to place the fried cakes in a warm oven while making the rest. 

Make the tofu sour cream by placing all the ingredients in a food processor and pureeing until smooth.  Adjust seasoning to taste and puree again.  Arrange fried bean cakes on a platter and spoon a small amount of salsa and tofu sour cream on top of each cake.  Makes 6-9 servings.   

Nutty Drop Cookies
1 cup pecan pieces, ground into a coarse meal
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
pinch sea salt
pinch ground cinnamon
1/3 cup light olive or avocado oil
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pearl Creamy Vanilla soymilk

Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup non-dairy, grain-sweetened chocolate chips
1/3 cup Pearl Creamy Vanilla soymilk
2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
pinch cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Prepare the batter by combining the nut meal with flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in oil, rice syrup and vanilla. Slowly add soymilk to create a soft, formable dough. Roll the dough into 1-inch spheres and place them, 1 inch apart, on the lined sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes, just until the cookies puff and are firm at the edges. (The tops should still be a bit soft when you take them out of the oven. They will finish baking as they cool. If you bake until the cookies are thoroughly firm, they will harden as they cool). Transfer immediately to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

These cookies are delightful as they are, but to add a bit of festivity to them, make a chocolate glaze. Simply place the chocolate chips in a heat-resistant bowl. Combine soymilk, rice syrup and cinnamon in a sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Pour boiled liquid over chocolate and whisk to create a smooth satin-like texture. Dip one half of each cookie in the glaze and set them on a sheet of parchment until the glaze sets.  Makes about 24 cookies.  Note: Other nuts can be substituted for pecans...hazelnuts are very nice.


Bookmark and Share

Meet Our Bloggers