Summer is hands down my favorite season. The days are at their longest and brightest, the beautiful place I live in is in full bloom, and my backyard vegetable garden is turning out fresh organic vegetables almost quicker than I can eat them.
I always wanted a garden of my own, but I wasn't sure how successful I might be. I didn't have much experience and I was never really good at keeping houseplants alive. I got some advice, prepped a garden bed with healthy soil and plant food, and gave it a go. I quickly learned that taking care of plants is a lot like taking care of people. They need a solid base of quality nutrients, lots of fresh water, plenty of sunshine, and a whole lotta love. I love walking out barefoot in the morning across the lawn, plugging my feet into the earth, and checking on how my little friends are growing.
Of all the foods that grow in my garden, the ones that offer the most power-packed nutrient-dense nutrition are the green leafy vegetables. They contain only about 100 calories per pound and can be consumed in virtually unlimited quantities so are great for those who want to lose weight. The majority of those calories come from protein packed with beneficial phytochemicals (plant nutrients). One cup of Kale, spinach, or swiss chard offers at minimum your daily requirement of Vitamin K- essential for proper blood clotting and essential for bone and cardiovascular health. They lower cholesterol, improve digestive habits, preserve vision health, and contain high levels of easily absorbed calcium, magnesium and folic acid. On a cellular level, they remove carcinogens, reduce inflammation, neutralize oxidative stress, inhibit the process by which tumors acquire a blood supply, and kill cancer cells.
"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food." -Hippocrates
It's pretty simple actually. If you look at food as medicine it makes perfect sense that each time you eat, you would choose the highest quality foods to support your health. You would choose from a wide variety of plants to provide yourself an abundance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. These compounds would then work together in your body to create building blocks for cellular growth, optimal body function and comprehensive healing.
There is an acronym that starts with G for "green leafy vegetables" and points to some of the most nutrient-dense health-promoting foods out there. "G-BOMBS" stands for Greens, Beans, Onions, Mushrooms, Berries and Seeds. These are foods that you should try to eat every day as a significant portion of your diet. They promote optimal health and longevity while preventing chronic disease, specifically helping to prevent cancer.
I made this recipe for dinner last night. It's something I've made many times before, and I think it's just about the perfect meal. It is composed of greens (I used swiss chard from the garden but take your pick), onions, and organic local shiitake mushrooms. I served it over quinoa (a seed) so there's another one! This is a main course in my vegetarian household but could also serve as a great side dish for an omnivore.
Eat to your health!
GREENS, ONIONS, and MUSHROOMS
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, caps thinly sliced
- Celtic Sea salt or Pink Himalayan salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- 1 bunch Swiss chard or other green leafy vegetables, rinsed, stems cut from center of leaves, leaves cut into 1-inch-wide ribbons
- 1 large chopped onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in extra-large skillet over high heat. Add mushrooms; sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Sauté until brown, about 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
Pour broth into same skillet. Add greens. Sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Toss until wilted but still bright green, about 2 minutes. Transfer to large strainer set over bowl.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions. Sauté until beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; stir 1 minute. Add greens and mushrooms. Toss to heat through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl and serve. Enjoy!