Mongolian Vegetables: A Recipe


Ingredients:

1 package (14 oz) firm tofu, drained and pressed (OPTIONAL)
4 Tablespoons soy sauce
1 T dark sesame oil
1 Large head bok choy (chinese cabbage) – appx 1.5 lbs
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 t cornstarch
1 T peanut or vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, julienne
1 yellow bell pepper, julienne
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 green onions, diced

Method:
1. Cut tofu into inch squares. Combine 2 T soy sauce and 1 T sesame oil in small bowl. Marinate while prepping vegetables. (If not using tofu, still prepare the marinade for the vegetables)

2. Process bok choy (cut leaves crosswise into 1/2 inch strips). Roast sesame seeds in a skillet (appx 3 mins). To roast the seeds, heat up the pan, no oil, get it nice and hot. Turn off the heat, add the seeds and shake the pan.

3. Blend remaining 2 T soy sauce into cornstarch until smooth

4 Heat peanut oil in wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bok choy stems, bell peppers and garlic; stir-fry for apx 5 min. Add bok choy leaves and green onions; stir-fry 2 min

5 Add cornstarch mixture to wok (with tofu). Stir-fry 30 sec or until sauce boils and thickens. Sprinkle with roasted sesame seeds.

Serves 2

Chinese Cabbage


Chinese cabbage is like a romaine lettuce, with crisp, crunchy leaves that can be eaten either raw or cooked. It is also a conventional name under which to group several other oriental greens such as bok choy.

Chinese cabbage has been developed over centuries, particularly in China, since it was first recorded in the 5th century. It finally reached America by the end of the 19th century but had to wait until the 90s before it arrived in Europe.

The original Chinese cabbages were loose headed. The varieties we grow today are mainly hard headed and raised in Japan. They are tightly packed with dense leaves, which are a pale creamy-yellow and sweet tasting. They last well if kept cool, and one seems to provide an endless helping of salad leaf. It can also be cooked, but its delicate flavor can (and will) be lost or overpowered by stronger flavors if the chef/cook is not careful.

Bok choy is a common variety of Chinese cabbage, and looks more like a small Swiss chard, with dark green leaves and wide white stems. Bok choy has more flavor than the Chinese cabbage, and it can also be eaten raw or cooked.

Mizuna, another variety, is making its way into the culinary scene. It originated in Japan. Unlike other greens, Mizuna has feathery leaves which makes them useful for garnish and decoration as weel as procution. The leaves can also be eaten raw or cooked.

Nutritional highlights …
If you’re seeking a vegetable high in nutrients and absent or low in all of the bad stuff — fat, sodium and sugars, this is your Cabbage.

A 1 cup serving contains a meager 10 calories, according to Produce for Better Health Foundation data. It contains no saturated or trans fats or cholesterol. It gives you 1 gram of protein and 2 grams of total carbohydrates, one of which comes from dietary fiber and the other from sugars. It is high in vitamin A and vitamin C. The Centers for Science in the Public Interest rates ir among other vegetable “superstars,” partly due to the vegetable’s rich vitamin K and beta-carotene content.

When selecting from the market, look for firm stalks without any brown discoloration. Make sure the leaves are crisp and not wilted. It will hold in your refrigerator for about a week

Brussels Sprouts vs Cabbage.. Nutritionally


Brussels sprouts resemble a miniature head of cabbage for a good reason — they come from the same plant family. Along with Brussels sprouts and cabbage, the “family” includes broccoli, kale, cauliflower, collard greens, turnips, mustard and bok choy. These vegetables are high in sulfur-containing compounds, which account for their somewhat bitter taste when cooked. Although they are related, there are some nutritional differences between Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts received their name from the capital city of Belgium where they were first cultivated. They are one of the few vegetable crops to originate in northern Europe and were brought to the United States by French settlers. Brussels sprouts have a long growing season, from spring to fall, and fare better growing in a cooler climate. Although similar in taste to cabbage, Brussels sprouts have a dense texture and mild flavor. Brussels sprouts eaten raw are very bitter, so they are best served blanched, steamed or boiled.

Nutrition of Brussels Sprouts
A 1/2 cup serving of cooked Brussels sprouts contains 28 calories. There is no fat or cholesterol in this size serving and only 16 mg of sodium. One serving has 6 g of carbohydrates with 1 g of sugar and 2 g of dietary fiber. A 1/2 cup serving provides 2 g of protein, along with other beneficial nutrients, including vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin K and potassium. One serving of Brussels sprouts also has a small amount of magnesium, phosphorus and calcium.

Cabbage

Cabbages have been a staple of the human diet for a long time, being one of the oldest recorded vegetables. There are close to 100 of varieties of cabbage grown worldwide, but the most popular in the United States are savoy, green and red cabbage. The head of the cabbage differs by variety; it can be rounded, flattened or pointed. Along with Brussels sprouts, cabbage does best in a cooler climate, but they are ready for picking sooner — 50 to 60 days, as opposed to 85 to 110 days for Brussels sprouts.

Cabbage Nutrition
There are 17 calories in a 1/2 cup serving of cooked cabbage, about half the amount in the same size serving of Brussels sprouts. A serving of cabbage has no fat or cholesterol and provides only 6 mg of sodium. A 1/2 cup serving of cooked cabbage contains 4 g of carbohydrates with 2 g sugar and 1 g of dietary fiber, along with 1 g of protein. Cabbage also has lower amounts of other nutrients than Brussels sprouts specifically vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K and folic acid. One serving of cooked cabbage has more calcium, and but less magnesium, phosphorus and potassium than Brussels sprouts.

Cabbage… Part 2


Red and green cabbage are two different cabbage varieties that have a similar flavor, although red cabbage tends to be more peppery than green. Heads of red cabbage are also smaller and denser than green cabbage heads. Both cabbage varieties provide a wealth of health benefits.

If you add a cup of chopped green cabbage to your diet, you’ll get 3 percent of your daily value of vitamin A. But if you opt for a cup of chopped red cabbage, you’ll add 19 percent of your daily value of vitamin A to your diet for. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that helps maintain your teeth, skeletal tissue, skin and mucous membranes.

Vitamin C is a necessary vitamin that your body needs to promote new tissue growth. Your body uses vitamin C to repair wounds and to keep your bones, cartilage and teeth healthy. Both red and green cabbage are good sources of vitamin C, but you’ll get a super boost from adding red cabbage to your diet. While a cup of chopped green cabbage contains 47 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, eating a cup of chopped red cabbage will get you 84 percent of your daily value.

Vegetables aren’t the best sources of iron, but cabbage does offer a small amount of this essential mineral. Eating a cup of shredded green cabbage will add 2 percent of your daily value of iron to your diet, while a cup of shredded red cabbage contains 3 percent. Your body needs iron to keep your red blood cells functioning properly, carrying oxygen to all of your cells.

Red cabbage boasts an extra nutrient not found in green cabbage. Anthocyanins are the antioxidants that give red cabbage its purple color. These flavonoids are known for their health-boosting benefits including cancer-fighting and memory improvement. Anthocyanins may contribute to healthy weight loss by helping your body release hormones that metabolize fat and suppress your appetite.b

Cabbages … Part 1


Cabbage has been in cultivation for 3,000 years or so, but the cabbage as we know it today is a comparatively recent development, probably dating from the Middle Ages. Cabbage can be found growing in the wild throughout Europe, from Britain to Spain, but the wild form is more akin to broccoli than the hearted varieties with which we are now familiar.

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Cabbages come in various forms, mainly depending on the time of year they are harvested – spring, summer, autumn and winter varieties (self-evidently named). These are all hearting cabbages, although spring cabbage is also available as “greens,” which are loose heads of green leaves unlike the typical tight heads of blanched leaves. There are also a few other winter varieties, which are sometimes considered separately, such as the savoys (with their distinctive, crinkly leaves,) hybrids between the savoy and winter cabbages and ‘January King.’ The most distinctive of this group of cabbages is the red cabbage.

Some people have been put off cabbage by having to eat overcooked leaves, but it has remained a staple winter vegetable in country areas, and nowadays it is enjoying a revival in popularity as people and chefs increasingly appreciate its culinary potential.

Nutritional Highlights…

Like broccoli, cauliflower, collards and kale, cabbage is a cruciferous vegetable. Eating different types of cabbage — green cabbage, red cabbage, Savoy cabbage or bok choy — boosts your intake of vitamin C and other important nutrients. If you don’t enjoy raw cabbage, you can serve it steamed, boiled or stir-fried.

If you’re watching your intake of calories, fat or cholesterol, cabbage is a great food choice. According to the Centers for Disease Control, a half-cup of raw cabbage has 10 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 milligrams of cholesterol. The same amount of cooked cabbage has 15 calories and no fat or cholesterol.

Cabbage is also relatively low in both carbohydrates and protein. A half-cup serving of raw cabbage has 2 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber and 0 grams of protein. That same serving size of cooked cabbage has 3 grams of carbohydrates, no fiber and 1 gram of protein. By adding ham, sausage or tofu, you can increase the protein content of a cabbage dish.

You can help cabbage retain its nutritional value by following a few simple guidelines. Buy whole heads of cabbage rather than shredded cabbage, as shredded cabbage may have lost its vitamin C. Store the cabbage in sealed plastic in the refrigerator. Don’t wash, cut or shred the cabbage until right before you’re ready to use it.