Lutein, found in leafy greens, may counter cognitive aging — ScienceDaily

Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study. The study, which included 60 adults aged 25 to 45, found that middle-aged participants with higher levels of lutein — a nutrient found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and kale, as well as avocados and eggs — had neural responses that were more on par with younger individuals than with their peers.

Source: Lutein, found in leafy greens, may counter cognitive aging — ScienceDaily

Today I made a warehouse club run.  I needed mineral water, coffee, and…spinach.  Seriously, I just bought a huge tub of organic spinach.  I have no clue what I’m going to use the spinach for but at least I’ll be improving my neural responses.

Kale?  No thanks.

Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche

It’s been two months since I posted a recipe.  Too many interesting research articles, bunnies, work…the list is endless.  Well the drought is over.  I had leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge and told myself “I am not going to waste perfectly fine leftover mashed potatoes”.  I hopped online to find  a decent potato pancake recipe.  But instead, I stumbled on a quiche recipe that used instant mashed potatoes for the crust.  One of my go to recipes is frittata that has plenty of potatoes in it.  So why not quiche?

Trigger Warning for Easily Offended Militant Vegans

Stop reading now.  This recipe has eggs and dairy.

You’ll need:

3 tablespoons EVO

2 tablespoons butter

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes

1 small (or half a large) sweet onion, chopped

2 cups frozen organic chopped spinach, thawed & drained

2 large mushrooms (white button or baby bella) sliced thin

4 large eggs

1 cup organic half and half

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese cheese

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Two dashes nutmeg

salt & pepper

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease a 9″ pie pan with 1 T of the olive oil.  Press the mashed potatoes into the pie pan to form a crust.
  3. Bake the potato pie crust for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes turn the oven off and leave the potato crust in the oven for another 15 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.  Cool thoroughly.
  4. Heat up the oven again, this time to 425 degrees.
  5. In a large pan saute onion and mushroom for approximately 10 minutes in 1T olive oil and 2T of butter.  Add defrosted and drained spinach and continue to saute until the mixture is somewhat dry.  Add a dash of nutmeg. You don’t want any visible liquid.  Set aside.  Cool thoroughly.
  6. In a small mixing bowl whisk the eggs & half and half.  Add the other dash of nutmeg, and a dash apiece of salt and pepper.
  7. Spread vegetable mixture evenly on your potato pie crust.
  8. Sprinkle Parmesan and cheddar cheeses over the spinach mixture.
  9. Pour egg mixture over the spinach and cheeses.
  10. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.  Turn oven heat down to 350 degrees and continue baking for approximately 30 more minutes or until golden brown.

Slice & serve.

 

Tips

Why yes, of course you can add cooked diced bacon at step 8.5.  Swiss instead of cheddar would be an excellent substitute.  If you don’t have any leftover mashed potatoes by all means use one of those deep dish frozen pie shells.  If you add bacon and use a frozen pie crust this recipe becomes my world famous spinach quiche that I’ve been making for years.  But as I move along the spectrum to more of a WFPB diet I’ve been leaving the bacon out.

I’m not quite sure how I would make this pie palatable for my easily offended militant vegan readers.  I need to think about this a little more.

Google’s Quest To Develop A Plant-Based “Power Dish” More Popular Than Meat

“It’s moving people along a continuum, whether people are eating red meat every day and you ask them to start eating a little more white meat, or they’re already on a white meat kick and it’s a little bit more seafood, or moving even further along to alternative proteins or produce. You can’t expect everyone to start loving lentils day one,” Giambastiani says. “Some do, most don’t. What you’re trying to do instead is get people to think about that continuum.”

Source: Google’s Quest To Develop A Plant-Based “Power Dish” More Popular Than Meat

Google?  Wow.

Semi-Organic Vegetarian Vegetable Soup

  • 1 T minced sweet onion
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 2 small red potatoes, diced, skin on
  • 1 medium yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 15.5 ounce can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 handfuls fresh baby spinach leaves
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • pinch dried parsley
  • pinch dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 quart vegetable stock or broth
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste

Makes about four healthy servings.

  1. In a small stockpot heat olive oil until hot.  Add the carrot, celery and onion.  Reduce heat to medium and saute for several minutes.
  2. Add salt, white pepper, garlic powder, and thyme.
  3. Add the potatoes and continue sauteing for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the yellow squash and saute for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add vegetable stock and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Add the beans, tomatoes, and spinach.
  7. Simmer until the vegetables are soft.
  8. Adjust your seasonings.  Add parsley.
  9. Serve this soup with grated Parmesan cheese on the side.

I typing this as fast as I can.  Before I forget.

The Boss is sick.  Last night I made chicken soup.  When you’re sick you have to have chicken soup.  There was enough leftover for lunch.  So we’ve had chicken soup, raisin bran, chicken soup for the last three meals.  The Boss has a sore throat.  As I’m typing I hear coughing.  Well, time for soup again.

A high quality vegetable soup is the end result of the ingredients you have on hand.  The other key issue is balance, hence the small amount of spinach leaves and just a half cup of diced tomatoes.  This recipe is semi-organic because most of the ingredients were organic but some were not.

Tips

I kind of tossed this together and surprisingly, it tasted fine.  Next time mushrooms.  I used low sodium organic broth.  The Boss didn’t add any additional salt but I added a dash and it really helped.  Use vegetables you have on hand.  I bought a green squash but didn’t use it.  I also decided to leave out peas and corn.  Try different beans.  Chickpeas or kidneys would work well.

A salad on the side and crusty bread would make this a meal.

But so would a nice ribeye.

Black-Eyed Pea Dip

Source: Zannie’s Black-Eyed Pea Dip | The Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 cups cooked Black-eyed Peas
  • 1/4 whole sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 8 slices Jalapenos
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Salsa
  • Hot Sauce (optional)
  • Garlic powder, a dash or two
  • Salt And Black Pepper To Taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain black-eyed peas and mash, leaving some whole.

Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.

Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Serve warm with tortilla chips.

I stole this recipe.  I did the usual change one or two things but refuse to claim this recipe as an original.  Instead of canned beans I prepared my own from dried beans.  The hot sauce is optional because I forgot to add it and when we started to chow down the dip didn’t really need any more heat.  As far as bean dips go this recipe is a keeper.  There were only six people at the gathering and we ate it all.  So the recipe serves six.

The stuffed mushrooms all got eaten too but that’s another recipe for another day.

Helpful Hints –  This is a Texas thing, black eyed peas for good luck at New Year’s.  So here are a few hints.  Salsa is not optional and I think I used a half cup but since I tossed and didn’t measure it might have been a little less or a little more. Hell on the Red from Telephone Texas.  Use a different salsa but the dip won’t taste the same.  If you like your dip spicy add more jalapenos.  Add hot sauce too but it better be a good Tex-Mexican hot sauce.  Don’t do the sriracha thing that everyone else does or it won’t taste the same.  

 

 

Texas Corn Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 8 tablespoons margarine, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Beat eggs.  Add butter, margarine, and milk.
  4. Add wet to dry and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour into an 8 x 12 greased baking dish.
  6. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top and/or the sides are brown.

 

Adapted from a recipe in Delicioso! a cookbook from the Corpus Christi Junior League original copyright date December 1982.  The only change I’ve made over the years was to substitute light brown sugar for white sugar.  This is the family’s go to corn bread recipe.