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Healthy Recipes: One Ingredient, Five Ways Healthy Recipes: One Ingredient, Five Ways
Lifestyle

Healthy Recipes: One Ingredient, Five Ways

by Sarah Engler, Matt Chase

March 2, 2013

This is the first post in the GOOD Guide to Healthy Living and Eating, brought to you by GOOD with support from Naked Juice. Naked Juice drinks are made with one pound of all-natural fruit and veggies in every bottle with added boosts such as Vitamin B12, whey protein, and grape seed extract to help get you through a busy day.

We all know that healthy foods should be part of our daily diet, but it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with the same ingredients cooked the same way. Here are ingredients that are so good—and so versatile—that you’ll actually want to eat them every day. Check out recipes and advice for three healthy superstars that you can count on all week.

KALE

The superhero of leafy greens, kale is a great source of protein, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, iron, and a host of vitamins. In fact, one cup of chopped leaves provides 354 percent of the daily value of Vitamin A, 89 percent of Vitamin C, and a whopping 1,328 percent of Vitamin K. To find the freshest bunch, look for deeply colored leaves (can be green, purple, or red and flat or curly depending on the kale variety) with moist-yet-firm stems. Its taste is slightly more bitter than its cousins–collards, cabbage and broccoli–but any of the preparations below are sure to satisfy. 

Bake It

Grease-free kale chips pack a salty crunch powerful enough to curb junk food cravings. This Sweet Home recipe is an easy way to turn a large head into a bowlful of crispy treats.

Soften by Shredding

Because whole kale leaves can be a bit tough, Dinner a Love Story recommends slicing them into ribbons and tossing with avocado, pecorino, scallions, and homemade dressing to create more kid-friendly forkfuls.

Steam Up a Side dish

Bring out more flavor by placing ripped or chopped leaves in a steamer for a few minutes and then seasoning with a little toasted walnut, red onion, and salt or soy sauce as shown in this recipe from Dr. Aviva Romm.

Make Pesto

Move over, basil. As Heidi Swanson shows, kale can also become a delicious pasta topping when pulsed with garlic, shallots, herbs, oil, and cheese.

Massage It

To get really hands-on, Eating Well suggests softening salad leaves by tearing them into bite-size pieces and rubbing and crushing them into a bowl with dressing to work in the flavor.

QUINOA

This gluten-free grain native to South America continues to gain popularity because it’s low in sodium and cholesterol, high in magnesium and manganese, and contains 8 grams of protein per cup. Did we mention that it’s also filling and has a lovely nutty taste? Because demand has gotten so high, seek out fair trade brands to help ensure the ethical treatment and pay for farmers in countries where the crop is typically grown. And then enjoy the variety of tastes and textures possible with these techniques.

Fry It

Sprouted Kitchen shows how quinoa mixed with garbanzo beans can become the perfect base for falafel.

Create a Grain Salad

Cooked quinoa can be combined with a variety of herbs, vegetables, and nuts, but we’re particularly fond of this pistachio-and-cranberry combination from Leite’s Culinaria.

Make Bread

Sarah Britton’s tasty quinoa corn muffins are free of gluten, sugar, dairy, egg, wheat, and soy—and, therefore, any possible form of guilt.

Turn It Into Breakfast

When mixed with almond milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and raisins, this grain can provide a nice protein-packed alternative to oatmeal. Eating Bird Food’s recipe is particularly promising.

Use it as Stuffing

Edible Perspectives substitutes quinoa for bread crumbs and roasts the mixture in delicata squash halves.

EGG

Ah, the old incredible edible. They’ve gotten flack in the past for being high in cholesterol, but did you know that eggs can help reduce your risk of cancer and ward off macular degeneration? Along with being a more easily absorbed form of protein than meat, an egg is also a far more versatile ingredient. Here are five techniques to take a crack at with your next (ideally organic) dozen.

Bake Them

A frittata is a great way to incorporate excess veggies and herbs. This one from Joy the Baker calls for onions, rosemary, parsley, and thyme as well as ricotta.

Over Rice

Most anything is more enticing with a fried egg on top; Smitten Kitchen’s ginger fried rice is the perfect example of this rule.

Make Egg Salad

The hardboiled sandwich staple has been a crowd pleaser for generations. Elevate the recipe the way Orangette does by adding mushrooms.

Top Pizza

Up the ante of your next pie by cooking it with a few freshly-cracked eggs. The Kitchn’s breakfast pizza would be welcome any time of day.

Cook Them in Tomato Sauce

David Lebovitz’s recipe for Shakshuka, a classic North African dish consisting of soft-cooked eggs soft in spicy tomato sauce, can be finished on the stovetop or in the oven.

Illustration by Matt Chase

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