Antioxidants to the Max – Super Foods Part 4

Super Foods and Antioxidants – a match made in your local kitchen!

I didn’t invent these lists, for that I must give credit to Rebecca Katz’s “The Longevity Kitchen” and my favorite source for advice to the aging – the AARP Magazine. But as I’ve said before and will say again – the comments are all mine!

Food 11: Pomegranates
I’ll never forget being in China and seeing how Pomegranates grew. Who knew that they grow in baggies. Well, they do – at least in China. It was explained to us that putting the fruit when they are small in clear plastic bags encourage them to grow bigger – and juicier. Interesting, eh? Like Apple Trees, Pomegranate Trees are kept short for easier picking. But it’s not just about the yum – it’s about the antioxidants! Pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants, and a 17 oz glass a day was shown to lower blood pressure in a study in Britain, but that might just have been the result of getting all that liquid out of the Pomegranates!

Food 12: Green Tea
The signature dish of China – second only to BBQ Duck in my book – Green tea is known to be delicious – and not surprisingly – good for you. It’s abundant in catechins, a type of super antioxidant known to protect cells. And it turns out that green tea may also reduce the risk of certain types of cancer – particularly those of the stomach and esophagus. So drink up and be merry! (We know how that ends – but at least you get to be merry first)

Food 13: Blueberries
I unabashedly love blueberries. Those and raspberries are probably my favorite summer fruit snacks. And I admit to a total passion for Lac St. Jean wild blueberries. Unlike the huge, and sometimes tasteless store-bought Blueberries – the wild ones are tiny – but packed with flavor. But it’s not just about flavor with Blueberries – it’s about even more antioxidants. Blueberries rank among the top disease-fighting foods – including but not limited to reducing a woman’s risk of heart attack by 33%. Even better – blueberries are good for staving off the loss of memory – by several years. So eat up – Today.

Recipe from Allrecipes: Green Tea Cheesecake

Makes 1 – 9″ Cheesecake, cooking time is over 2 hours including the wait for the cake to ‘set’

16 oz of fat-free or low-fat cream cheese, softened
2 eggs beaten
3/4 cup white sugar (or use Splenda)
1 tbs green tea powder (some reviewers went up to 3 tbs for a stronger flavor)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 9″ prepared graham cracker pie crust (some reviewers when with lady fingers – another prefered a short-bread crust. So reader – you choose)
Lots of Blueberries and Pomegranates for Garnish

Step 1: Pre-Heat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2: In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the green tea powder, eggs, and vanilla extract until lightly and creamy; pour into the prepared crust.

Step 3: Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until the center jiggle evenly when the case is shaken lightly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving – more is merrier.

Step 4: Garnish with Walnuts, Blueberries, and Pomegranates. You can even add the mint.

Super Foods – Part 3 – Asparagus and Avocados

Super Foods Part 3 – yummy ways to eat yourself into better shape!

I didn’t invent these lists, for that I must give credit to Rebecca Katz’s “The Longevity Kitchen” and my favorite source for advice to the aging – the AARP Magazine. But the comments are all mine!

Food 9: Asparagus
The problem with Asparagus – it makes your pee smell! Otherwise – it’s the best food ever. Low calorie, elegant, sophisticated, and if it wasn’t for that very unfortunately ‘smell’ problem – I’d love it every day. And best of all – it’s a Super Food. A natural diuretic (makes you pee), it’s high in B12 and Potassium – seriously important for cell repair. Plus B12 has been shown to boost the auditory system – if you have low levels of B12 in your blood – you are 39% more likely to have hearing issues.

Food 10: Avocados
Unfortunately – Avocados are high in fat – but eaten in moderation (like in the recipe below), they are great sources of glutathione – and antioxidant that improves overall hormone function. So – win some, lose some. But since Avocados are delicious – I say – why not up the fat just a bit – in exchange for better hormone function. You can just walk it off!

Recipe from Allrecipes: Asparagus Angel Hair Pasta!

Makes 8 servings – takes 30 minutes start to finish!

16 oz package of angel hair pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin Olive Oil (Super Food # 4)
2 cloves garlic, minced (Super Food # 6)
1 pound fresh asparagus – trimmed and chopped
2 cups grape tomatoes
1 quart of chicken broth
1 tsp dried dill weed
ground pepper to taste
2 avocados – peeled, pitted, and mashed
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp garlic powder (got to love that Super Food)
1 cup shredded white Mexican Cheese (substitute any bland cheese here!)

Step 1: Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta, cook 5 to 6 minutes, drain and toss with t tbs of olive oil.

Step 2: Heat remaining 3 tbs of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the asparagus and tomatoes, stirring to coat. Pour in the broth, continue cooking uncovered 10 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender by still bright green.

Step 3: Place pasta in a large bowl, toss in asparagus and tomato mixture. Season with dill and pepper. In a separate bowl, mix the avocados, lime juice, and garlic powder together until blended.

Step 4: Serve pasta with a dollop of the avocado mixture, and top with shredded cheese.

Super Foods Part 2 – yummy yourself into better health

I didn’t invent these lists, for that I must give credit to Rebecca Katz’s “The Longevity Kitchen” and my favorite source for advice to the aging – the AARP Magazine. But the comments are all mine!

Food 5: Kale
Ok – not one of my favorite veggies – so I’m more into hiding it than featuring it – but Kale is a definite Super Food. It’s rich in vitamin K (for Kale) – which is essential for blood clotting. Kale also contains lutein – which reduced the risk of cataracts and eye disorders. A surprising fact – one serving of Kale has almost 3 times the amount of Lutin as Raw Spinach. (So if you have to pick between Spinach and Kale – pick Kale!)

Food 6: Garlic
Not just for scaring off Vampires – Garlic is a great Super Food – and you can use it just about anywhere. It contains antioxidants, and antimicrobials. And when it’s crushed, it releases allicin, which wards off heart attacks, strokes – and vampires!

Food 7: Thyme
Beyond being famous for being in the title of a song from Simon and Garfunkle, Thyme fights bacteria. And in tincture form, it has recently been found to be effective in the treatment of acne. Pretty sure you don’t want to put the food on your face – but still, interesting to know, eh?

Food 8: Dark Chocolate
Ok – this is clearly my favorite Super Food. Honestly – ask me to eat more dark chocolate – I’m so there! Notice its dark chocolate – not milk and not white – that’s good for you. It’s lower in calories, rich in flavonoids, can aid in decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And – at the 60% or more cocoa level – it may reduce heart attacks and strokes in high risk individuals if consumed daily. Let’s see – daily consumption of dark chocolate. I can handle that.

Another yummy recipe from using 3 of the 4 Super Foods described above!

Whole-wheat Lasagna with Butternut Squash and Kale

You can assemble and chill the lasagna a day ahead, but add 10 to 15 minutes to the baking time. You can also freeze the lasagna, wrapped well in plastic wrap, for up to 1 month and bake it frozen (add 1 1/4 hours to the oven time).

Yield: Makes 8 servings
Total: 2 Hours

Recipe Time
Total: 2 Hours
Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 424
Calories from fat: 38%
Protein: 20g
Fat: 18g
Saturated fat: 7.4g
Carbohydrate: 51g
Fiber: 8g
Sodium: 659mg
Cholesterol: 39mg


4 tablespoons olive oil, divided $
1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced
3 peeled garlic cloves (1 minced, 2 left whole)
2 cans (14 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
About 1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided
6 cups (about 2 lbs.) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. cubes
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 pound Lacinato kale (often sold as dinosaur or Tuscan kale)
9 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 8 oz.)
1 container (15 oz.) part-skim-milk ricotta cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a 2- to 3-qt. pot over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until thick and flavors are combined, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
2. While sauce is cooking, in a 12- by 15-in. baking pan, sprinkle squash with thyme, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic cloves and toss squash mixture to coat with oil. Bake until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 3 qts. salted water to a boil in a large pot.
3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Transfer squash and garlic to a food processor and purée until smooth.
4. Tear kale leaves from center ribs and discard ribs. Boil leaves until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain; let cool. Squeeze out as much water as possible and chop finely.
5. In the same pot, bring another 3 qts. salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water.
6. In a bowl, mix ricotta, nutmeg, 1 cup mozzarella, and remaining 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.
7. Coat the bottom of a 9- by 13-in. pan with 1/3 of tomato sauce (about 1 1/2 cups). Lay 3 noodles in a single layer over sauce. Top noodles with squash, spreading evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 of kale evenly over squash. Arrange 3 more noodles on kale and top with ricotta, spreading evenly. Top with remaining kale and noodles. Cover noodles with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.
8. Bake lasagna until juices are bubbling and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.
Note: Nutrition analysis is per 4 1/2- by 4 1/2-in. serving.

Super Foods – Part 1

Yummy ways to eat yourself into better shape!

I didn’t invent these lists (there are 16 Super Foods in total), for that I must give credit to Rebecca Katz’s “The Longevity Kitchen” and my favorite source for advice to the aging – the AARP Magazine. But the comments are all mine!

Food 1: Coffee. Don’t need much to convince me that life without coffee isn’t worth living. But it’s nice to know that in addition to caffeine – there’s some good stuff – including antioxidants that can protect against cell damage and reduce your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes.

Food 2: Wild Salmon: It’s not just that it is a fish – and everyone knows that you should eat more fish – it’s also omega-3 fatty acid heavy (good not just for your heart, but also possibly a way to keep your DNA healthy).

Food 3: Sweet Potatoes: I admit – I just really prefer the taste of Sweet Potatoes over the plain boring white ones. But it’s seriously nice to consider that sweet potatoes have lots of Vitamin B6 and potassium. They can even help regulate blood pressure. And when eaten with the skin ON, they have more fiber than a copy of oatmeal.

Food 4: Olives/Olive Oil: Known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, Olive Oil may even reduce the risk of stroke by up to 41%.

Need dinner tonight with 3 of the 4 super foods?
Try Salmon Burritos with Chile-Roasted Vegetables from This recipe is rated as Outstanding!

The usual rice is replaced with pan-roasted sweet potatoes, onions, and poblano chiles, giving this burritos a healthy dose of fiber as well as heart-protecting micronutrients such as carotenoids (in the sweet potatoes), flavonoids (onions), folic acid (cabbage), and omega-3 fatty acids (salmon). Prep and Cook Time: about 45 minutes.

Nutritional Information – Amount per serving
Calories: 325
Calories from fat: 39%
Protein: 19g
Fat: 14g
Saturated fat: 2.5g
Carbohydrate: 30g
Fiber: 3.4g
Sodium: 852mg
Cholesterol: 45mg

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground dried chiles
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 pound boned salmon fillet (about 1 in. thick) $
1 large Garnet or Jewel sweet potato, peeled, quartered lengthwise, then sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, then sliced 1/3 inch thick
1 red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges
1 fresh poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
6 whole-wheat flour tortillas (10 in. wide), warmed $
Chopped cilantro, shredded cabbage, low-fat sour cream, and lime wedges

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Line two 12- by 15-inch baking pans with aluminum foil.
2. Whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ground dried chiles, and salt.
3. Rinse salmon and pat dry. Brush flesh side of salmon with 2 tablespoons of the lime-chile marinade. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, toss the sweet potato, zucchini, onion, and chile with the remaining marinade. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on the baking pans.
5. Roast vegetables for 10 minutes, then add salmon, skin side down, to one pan and return to oven. Continue roasting until potatoes are tender when pierced and salmon is opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part, 7 to 10 minutes.
6. Remove skin from salmon and slice fillet into six equal portions.
7. Spoon vegetable mixture equally onto warm tortillas. Top each with a piece of salmon and a little cilantro, cabbage, and sour cream. Fold tortilla over the filling. Serve with more sour cream and the lime wedges.

Curious about the rest of the Super Foods? Stay tuned!