Thursday, September 8, 2011

Super Immunity Sneak Preview #2: Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin, Raw Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad

I'm going to let you in on a little secret that I learned while working my way through Dr. Fuhrman's Super Immunity:

"All vegetables contain protective micronutrients and phytochemicals, but cruciferous vegetables have a unique chemical composition: they have sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent or bitter flavors. When their cell walls are broken by blending or chopping, a chemical reaction occurs that converts these sulfur-containing compounds into isothiocyanates (ITCs)--an array of compounds with proven and powerful immune-boosting effects and anticancer activity."

Think cold viruses. Think flu viruses. Think bacterial infections. Think resistance.

Think "a 20 percent increase in cruciferous vegetable intake corresponds to a 40 percent decrease in cancer rates."

So now you are probably wondering exactly which vegetables are the cruciferous vegetables? Lucky for us, Dr. F lists them out:

bok choy
broccoli rabe
Brussels sprouts
mustard greens
red cabbage
turnip greens

But to get the incredible benefits, it's not enough just to eat these cruciferous vegetables. You've got to eat them RAW. And either well chewed, chopped or blended. For an explanation of why, well, you're just going to have to get a copy of Super Immunity and find out for yourself.

But am I the only one who has a hard time chewing all of those raw cruciferous vegetables?

That's why when I saw that Gena at Choosing Raw had featured a raw chopped broccoli and cauliflower salad with a creamy asian dressing, I jumped on it. The original Creamy Asian Dressing called for one cup of olive oil. I figured I'd give it a shot by substituting almonds and increasing the amount of water. The results were stupendous. A sweet, creamy, and satisfying salad dressing. This would be great served at a pot luck.

Creamy Asian Dressing Redux
makes 2 1/4 cups

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 cup raw almonds
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
juice of one lime (2+ Tbsp, and you could even use more)
4 Tbsp mellow white miso
6 dates pitted or 1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce or Tamari or Nama Shoyu
1 cup water
Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until creamy.

Raw Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with Creamy Asian Dressing Redux
serves 4

3 heaping cups broccoli florets
3 heaping cups cauliflower florets
1 small or 1/2 large red bell pepper, finely diced
1/3 cup currants, raisins or goji berries

Finely chop broccoli and cauliflower florets (using a chef's knife makes this really easy and fun). Transfer to a large bowl.

Add chopped bell pepper and currants, raisins or goji berries.

Dress to taste with creamy Asian dressing. (I used 1/2 of the 2 1/4 cups from the recipe. Save the rest for a Hugh Jass green salad!) Finish with a squeeze of lime.

And because I couldn't resist the Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin recipe from Super Immunity, here it is. It was fantastic, my husband and 11-year-old daughter agreed.
Printable Recipe
1 teaspoon chopped or grated fresh ginger
1 medium onion, finely chopped
8 cups Swiss chard, stems removed, finely chopped
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, sliced on the diagonal, 1/8 inch thick
8 ounces tempeh, completely crumbled
2 cups unsweetened hemp, soy or almond milk
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup non-dairy mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons flax or hemp seeds, toasted

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a 9 X 13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Heat 1/8 cup low sodium vegetable broth in a large pan and "water saute" ginger and onion until softened. Add Swiss chard and cook until just tender (do not overcook chard).

Arrange one third sliced sweet potatoes on bottom of prepared baking dish. Place one half of Swiss chard mixture and then one half of crumbled tempeh on top. Arrange another one third sweet potato slices and Swiss chard and tempeh, followed by remaining sweet potato. 

Combine milk, nutmeg and black pepper. Pour over dish. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, top with non-dairy mozzarella cheese and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted flax or hemp seeds.

Intrigued? You can pre-order Super Immunity on Amazon. Here's the link:

Do you eat raw cruciferous vegetables daily? How do you do it? What are your favorite ways?

If not, will you consider it now?


princess singular said...

wendy: what non-dairy cheese do you use? i have yet to find one that I like.

Healthy Girls Kitchen said...

Daiya brand. I try to limit my use of it to occassionally though because it is essentially just flavored oil.

Jen said...

Yum, thanks for the recipes.

I'm new to eating larger quantities of raw vegetables & have to push myself to get beyond crudite.

Two very simple ways I've started enjoying raw broccoli: Slice stems crosswise into "chips" to dip hummus; Stems plus jarred tomato sauce and water in Vitamixer makes a really quick, supernutritious Virgin Mary.

Annaleigh Belle said...

Aw, I'm fasting today and you're making me hungry...

By the way, we got our bracelets and love them!

Anonymous said...

Flavored oil in Dayia?? No wonder it tastes better than other vegan cheeses which I think ALL taste awful. Does anyone know of a better one than Daiya that doesn't have as much fat? Diane

Hope said...

This gratin looks divine - im in love with your blog! And yes, i love my raw veggies - i either whip them up in a smoothie or eat them in a salad with homemade dressings! yum!

TejasJJain said...

As I am learning to enjoy raw food, I am beginning to like raw veggies.
Easiest way is definitely smoothie, but now I am in second grade  so I eat raw broccoli with hummus (or eggplant dip)

As I am obsessed with cooked veggies and I need my spice kick, I make Potato-tomato sabji (similar to your potato-eggplant preparation) and I add raw broc to it on the side. This way, I get my raw stuff along with spicy stuff.
I make dips and sauces at home without oil, so I do not feel bad for eating one cup of eggplant dip with 7 florets.

Another things works with my kids is that when I make brown rice (or pasta), I mix raw veggies with hot spicy rice (or pasta). This way, veggies do get a bit warm but then everyone in family eats it. On my plate, you have to search for grain with microscope though

I have seen significant improvement in my kids ability to handle season issues (fever, flu) etc since we increased raw food consumption, 3 years ago. We started with fruits and later we added more and more veggies.

Also, I think early training for kids helps a lot as well. Recently, a friend made mac-chees for my kids and my son was extremely surprised to know that you can make mac-cheese without green tree (broccoli). He never had mac-cheese without raw broc.

I do have issue with social pressure. In general I am considered ‘stone hearted mom’ who deprives simple pleasure of everyday food to my kids (yes, no muffin, cakes etc for them due to egg). But you have to take these out to develop taste for bitter greens. But I hope my kids will be wise enough to understand that skipping golden arch is no big deal.

Healthy Hailey said...

I only eat cruciferous about once a week, but I'm trying to increase that as I learn delicious ways to eat them. Asian dressing on broccoli sounds likes its worth a try. I do have a couple of unique recipes for brussels sprouts that I enjoy. They should be posted on my blog within the next day, so you can check them out there.

liz said...

that salad looks delicious! so fascinating that Dr. Fuhrman is recommending blending veggies to make them better for the body... i like to sneak my cruciferous veggies into my smoothies - broccoli, kale, cabbage, bok choy - delish!

Michelle said...

I don't eat raw cruciferous daily, but I will definitely be looking for ways to increase consumption! The broccoli salad looks delish! How cool is it that you get to preview Super Immunity for us! With a 3 year old starting pre-school this fall, we need all the "Super Immunity" we can get!

Kircho said...

This article is really great and useful. Thanks :)

JayKayTee said...

If I juice I can get in a good amount per day but don't believe I am getting all the fiber benefit so we (hubby & me) have made a promise to have more raw cruciferous vegetables on a daily basis.

Broccoli and cauliflower don't inspire me but your recipe does, I'm up for another stab at these two.

The few times I sauteed or boiled kale and chard I couldn't eat it - too bitter. But never say never. I do like them in soups and stir fry and love them in juices. I'll keep on trying them.

Healthy Girl said...

JayKayTee-I promise you will love both of these recipes if you give them a try. If you don't, I'll eat your leftovers.

Undercover Planner said...

So glad to have found someone who is actually trying and reviewing these recipes. Excited to see more posts and to start changing my eating habits!

Anonymous said...

Sorry wasn't a fan of the sweet potato recipe.

Wendy said...

I agree, that recipe is pretty weird. I never made it a second time!

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