Friday, December 16, 2011

Vegan Collard Greens With Julienned Carrots - A Delicious Way To Protect Your Eyes!

A simple and colorful preparation of collards and carrots.

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Greens Don't Need Meat!
I always wonder why chefs feel compelled to stick meat into an otherwise perfectly healthy bowl of greens. Paula Dean, the queen of unhealthful cooking, has a collard greens recipe with 1/2 pound of smoked meat for only a single bunch of greens! Why would you counteract all the goodness of this vegetable with all that meat - especially smoked meat which is thought to be a carcinogen. 
This incredibly healthful cruciferous vegetable beat out kale, mustard greens, broccoli, cabbage and even my favorite Brussels sprouts in its ability to lower cholesterol. It also helps your body detoxify and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. So it's perfect, just as is, or garnished with another beautiful veggie, like carrots!
Here's a simple recipe that's colorful, healthful and features the wonderful natural flavor of collards.

Clean collards, remove stem and slice into 1" pieces.
These lovely greens are from my fall garden.

Julienne a Carrot
Sometimes doing something as simple as cutting a carrot into little matchsticks can make a dish more appetizing and visually pleasing. Usually I'm in a hurry, but the other night I just felt like doing something a little special.
To julienne a carrot:
There are some cool techniques, like the one shown in where you trim and stack and slice, etc. But you can just peel and cut the carrot into 3 or 4 pieces, depending on how long you want the julienned carrots. Then start slicing until you end up with little match sticks. 

Adding julienned carrots to a recipe makes it look special 
These slender, julienned carrots only take a short time to cook.
Add them in for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Good for your Eyes
Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness, retinal damage and dry cornea which can lead to corneal ulcers and vision loss. Vitamin A, when in combination with other antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, E and zinc, may decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration or AMD. 
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are also associated with eye health. Specifically, they may protect against cataracts and AMD. A large research study on carotenoids has shown that people with large amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin in their blood (~5.8 mg per day) have much lower risk of getting AMD than those who have a blood level as low as 1.2 mg per day.
This recipe is a bonanza for eye health!
* One cup of cooked collards has over 300% the daily requirement of vitamin A.
* One medium carrot has over 200% of the daily requirement of vitamin A.
* One cup of cooked collards has 14.6 mg of lutein and its accompanying molecule, zeaxanthin.
Note: Vitamin A from plant foods is in the form of "provitamin A" carotenoids (mostly betacarotene) that is converted to "pre-formed" vitamin A or retinol by the body.

Vegan Collard Greens with Julienned Carrots
Vegan, Gluten Free

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced onion
1 pound collard greens, cleaned well, stems removed, 1" slices
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
3/4 cup vegetable stock (or water and a bouillon cube)
2 teaspoons distilled white or balsamic vinegar
3 carrots, peeled and julienned

Heat olive oil and sauté onion for 5 minutes.
Add sliced collard greens, granulated garlic, salt, vegetable stock and vinegar. Mix well and bring to a boil.
Lower heat, cover and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until collards are almost done.
Stir in julienned carrots, cover, and cook another 10 minutes.
Adjust salt and serve.

Per serving: 99.7 calories, 4.0 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 149 mg omega-3 and 478 mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 3.6 g protein, 13.6 g carbohydrates, 5.8 g dietary fiber and 201 mg sodium.


Hema said...

Great recipe! I make it minus Carrots, vinegar and vegetable stock. Carrots are a good addition to the recipe.
As a vegetarian I eat collard greens for its iron and calcium content. Especially when I was pregnant.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

That was a good thing to eat during your pregnancy. Collards are a nutrient powerhouse! Besides calcium and iron, they are rich in fiber, vitamins A, C, K, B6, riboflavin, folate, and manganese! I bet you gave birth to a healthy kid!

Anonymous said...

I love collards! My favorite way to eat them is as a wrap for all kinds of veggies.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

They make a good wrap for my "Raw veggie wrap with ginger tahini dressing"!