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Market Watch with Timaree Hagenburger: Asian watercress

This dish is a win-win-win in the flavor, nutrient and "ease of preparation" departments! The onion and garlic, along with the vitamin C from the lime juice, make it easier for your body to absorb the iron from the greens, and the peanut butter improves the absorption of the anti-cancer carotenoids.

Timaree Hagenburger
The Nutrition Professor
Cosumnes River College, Sacramento

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Ingredients

Quick Asian greens

3 cloves garlic
1 medium red onion, diced
2 to 3 tsp. fresh grated ginger (optional)
Red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
1 bunch fresh Asian watercress or other favorite greens, washed and chopped (including edible stems)
1/8 to 1/4 tsp. dried mustard powder
2 tsp. peanut butter
1 to 2 tsp. rice wine vinegar, labeled "natural"
Zest and juice of 1 lime
Black or white sesame seeds

Instructions

Mince/press garlic and let sit for about 10 minutes. Add onion to a hot, dry pan over medium-high heat. When onion begins to caramelize and stick, add a tablespoon or so of water and use lid to keep in moisture. Once onions are translucent, add garlic (and, if you like, ginger and red pepper flakes). Stir for 30 to 45 seconds, being careful not to burn garlic. Add greens and cook for a few minutes, until very brightly colored and just tender. Stir in mustard powder, peanut butter, vinegar, lime juice and lime zest. Garnish with sesame seeds. If you like, serve over a bed of quinoa or whole grain rice.

The Nutrition Professor's Shop Smart, Prep Smart, Cook Smart, Eat Smart Tips:

 • To maximize the health benefits offered by garlic, it is important to chop or crush the garlic and then let it sit for about 10 minutes before heating it or adding it to a recipe with acidic ingredients (tomato, lemon juice, etc.). The rest time will allow important enzymes in the garlic to get working to make healthful compounds.

• The mustard powder will provide an important enzyme to enable the greens to offer even more powerful protection against chronic disease.

• Any nut or seed butter will work, as would chopped nuts, or you can omit this ingredient.

• Be sure to purchase rice vinegar labeled "natural," as the "seasoned" varieties have added sugar and salt.

• Always zest your citrus first, before cutting it in half or quarters to squeeze for juice. Any citrus will work in this recipe, so experiment with lemon, orange or even grapefruit.

 



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