Healthy Bytes with Ezio Garritano
Hi and welcome back to this segment of the Leap newsletter where I share with you simple and easy to follow steps you can add to your daily lives to bring more health and wellness to you and the family. Hopefully you had the chance to read and personally experience the information I shared in the previous post. If not, it is available in the Blog section and can be easily accessed there for future reference.
I thought it would be good to build upon that simple preparation of lightly sautéed vegetables I discussed prior and add a small but significant dimension, specifically to the arugula, in the form of protein. Amongst the main food groups, protein and its healthy consumption can be problematic for a number of people. What we should keep in mind is that there are other healthy sources besides the animal ones we’re all too familiar with. In the case of this simple arugula side dish, we’re going to add white beans, which can be the Great Northern or Cannellini variety; either work well, and both are a good source of nutrients including protein and fiber.
The method of cooking will be the same. Once the arugula has been sautéed, it is put aside and the beans will be added to the same pan where garlic has been lightly cooking in olive oil. Leaving some of the natural juices created from the arugula in the pan will only add to the flavor. Cover with a lid, but cooking time is quick, so you’ll want to keep an eye on the pan, stirring frequently and adding salt to taste. I usually use a good organic brand of canned beans, checking that BPA was not used in the lining of the can. But if you prefer, you can use dry beans, soaking overnight and afterward following the proper steps.
Once the beans have softened and taken on the flavor of the garlic/olive oil mix after 20-30 mins. of light heat, they are ready to be joined with the cooked arugula. Just toss it in with the beans and give the two a chance to come together with their own unique flavors. Stirring occasionally, allow another 10 mins. or so of cooking time. And there you are, a great combination where two distinct flavors are joined to make a tasty and healthy side dish, good with just about any main course! I know and believe that the simplest and most nutritious cooking is possible and accessible to everyone, as is evident in more remote, less-westernized regions throughout the world.
Now before I wave you on till next time, I want us all to go nuts! That is, to bring in the nutrient rich components of raw nuts to our daily eating habits. It’s preferable to buy them in the shell. That natural protective covering helps to keep the nuts fresher longer. At the top of the list are walnuts, along with almonds and pistachios. All 3 are a good source of heart-healthy nutrients, and another source of non-animal protein. They can be eaten as is, or adding raisins or other minimally processed dried fruits can create your own trail mix, and have handy as a healthy snack throughout the day. Nuts can also be a great complement to salads, again adding a good source of protein and healthy fats to the mix. As a snack or as part of a meal, nuts can help to stave off those hunger pangs and keep your appetite satisfied for longer periods of time. And of course, you can also enjoy them as nut butters, making sure they’re without any added unnecessary ingredients, and preferably raw. Enjoy and feel good about eating more healthy!!!
Herb of the day (and every other day)!
Holy Basil or Tulsi-another adaptogenic herb from the Ayurvedic tradition, this herb has been used extensively for centuries because of its wide-range of medicinal qualities beneficial for the entire body. It can be taken in supplement form, or as a tea. It has a mild flavor, and can be consumed any time of day. Look into it and seriously consider making it a part of your everyday drinking or supplementing habits. I’ve included a link below to get a good idea of its far-reaching merits.
Until next time, healthy eating, and with it, healthy living!