Saturday, April 13, 2013

Stir Fry Bok Choy: A Super Healthy and Gluten Free Recipe

















Today I will give you a recipe for bok choy that I have made up myself through cooking authentic chinese dishes and then adding my own twist to them.  Although this recipe may be similar to actual recipes made in China (it has that oriental flavor), I have not followed or copied any Chinese recipe for bok choy per se. You judge for yourself. I had a dinner party last week and let’s just say that the bok choy was the main topic of discussion during most of the dinner. In fact 2 women friends would not leave unless I gave them the recipe first.
First, let’s do a short background on the vegetable. Bok choy is from the cabbage family and sometimes called white cabbage. There are many varieties of size shape, colour and taste but its main characteristic is its rounded leaves. The Chinese have been growing this vegetable for thousands of years and is an important part of their diet. Bok choy is known for its mild or light flavor and is used mainly in stir fries and soups. Our recipe today will be a stir fry.

Bok choy is rich in calcium and contains vitamins A and C and as well as beta carotene and iron. Let’s look at the health benefits here. Vitamin A and beta carotene (the body converts beta carotene to vitamin A or retinol which is essential for vision) are strong antioxidants that fight against many forms of cancer and heart disease. Without getting into a lengthy scientific discussion, antioxidants fight free radicals which can harm the body. Free radicals are molecules or atoms that have unpaired electrons which are unstable and may be formed when coming in contact with oxygen or a process called oxidation. These free radicals have been shown to be implicated in the development of various types of cancers and heart diseases in humans. So you can see now how Antioxidants as the name suggests can fight against these dangerous free radicals and help to maintain health.
Alright enough of this scientific mambo jumbo you say. Let’s get right into the recipe. You’ll see that it’s really quite simple. You don’t have to add many spices to bok choy because it is naturally delicious. First let’s list the ingredients.

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon fresh ginger minced

1 1/4 pounds fresh bok choy
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon sesame seed oil

1 teaspoon honey

Salt and ground black pepper
 
Slice the bottoms off the bok choy and then slice it lengthwise into strips. Or slice them in half if you like.

In a wok (medium heat) add the olive oil. When hot, add the garlic and ginger. Stir for a couple of minutes until it starts to change color. Then add the bok choy, soy sauce and honey and cook while tossing frequently for 2-3 minutes until they are slightly wilted. Then add the sesame oil and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the leaves are wilted and the stacks still crunchy. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve while hot.
Spice up you dinner! This vegetable dish can be added to a Chinese or any other traditional meal as well. It is gluten free and the kids will enjoy it because it`s very tasty. It is high in fiber and nutrition and could be a great addition to a healthy weight loss diet. Enjoy!


References:
http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/nutritious_foods_for_a_healthy_body/bone_builder_bok_choy.php?page=1

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/beta-carotene/NS_patient-betacarotene
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252758.php

By John Tiniakos
Author of the NL Natural Weight Loss Program



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