Green Means "Go" When It Comes to Eye Health
Green vegetables, especially leafy greens such as kale, spinach and collard greens, contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. These pigments are powerful antioxidants that protect the retina from the damaging effects of UV rays and blue light.
Leafy greens also contain a lot of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc and fiber. These additional nutrients help prevent the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Kale is the superstar of leafy green vegetables and is the feature of this eye-healthy recipe. This salad was inspired by the popular coleslaws that are served in delicatessens everywhere.
Deli-Style Kale Salad (serves 4)
- 4 cups raw kale, thoroughly washed and dried
- 1/4 cup chopped dried figs or dried apricots
- 4 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1/4 cup roasted soybeans
- 2 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp plain yogurt
- 2 tsp vinegar (apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or rice vinegar)
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
- salt and pepper
1. Remove ribs from kale leaves.
2. Roughly chop kale into bite-sized pieces (1-2 inches) and place into a large salad bowl.
3. Toss together all ingredients of the salad except the roasted soybeans.
4. In a small bowl, mix together all dressing ingredients. Pour over the salad and toss.
5. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
6. Sprinkle with roasted soybeans and enjoy.
Pumpkin for Your Peepers
This fall, trade your traditional pumpkin pie for this lighter dessert.
Filled with beta-carotene, it will nourish your eyes and satisfy your sweet tooth.
Pumpkin Mousse (serves 4)
- 1 cup pumpkin puree from can (240g)
- 1/2 cup plain 0% or 2% fat Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 envelope gelatin
- 1/4 cup whipping cream, very cold
- zest of one orange
- 1/2 tsp mixed spice (cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, ginger)
- Put medium bowl in freezer.
- In a large bowl, mix pumpkin and yogurt, using a whisk.
- 3. Sprinkle gelatin on orange juice and let sit for about three minutes, just enough time to get maple syrup ready.
- Bring maple syrup to a boil on medium-high heat in a small sauce pan, stirring constantly.
- Pour boiling maple syrup over orange juice and stir until gelatin has melted.
- Pour maple syrup mix into pumpkin preparation and mix well, using a whisk.
- Add orange zest and spices; stir to combine.
- In chilled bowl, whip cream to firm peaks, using a hand mixer.
- Use your mixer to whip pumpkin mix for about one minute.
- Fold whipped cream gently into pumpkin mix, using a spatula.
- Ladle into serving cups and chill in the refrigerator for two to three hours, until set.
Turkey Is Terrific for Eyes
These healthy turkey burgers will turn your weekend barbeque into an eye-healthy feast!
For a lighter version, omit the whole-wheat buns and enjoy your turkey burger wrapped in lettuce leaves.
Turkey Burgers with Roasted Orange Peppers (serves 4)
- 1 lb ground turkey (extra-lean)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup green onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs or oat bran
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- salt and pepper
- 2 orange peppers
- 3 Tbsp Dijon mustard (grainy)
- leaf lettuce
- 4 whole-wheat burger buns
Caramelized Onions (Optional):
- 2 yellow onions
- olive oil
- Mix all ingredients for the burgers. Shape into four patties. Place each patty on a square of parchment paper, and set aside in the refrigerator.
- Preheat the grill to high. Put the peppers on the grill, turning until charred on all sides. Remove them from the grill and place in a paper bag. Close the bag tightly and let cool for about 10 minutes. The steam will help separate the skin from the peppers so they are easier to peel.
- Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, and working over a bowl to collect the juices, peel the peppers. Cut in wedges and remove the stems, seeds and white membranes.
- Set aside roasted pepper wedges. Mix 1 tablespoon pepper juice (that you collected while peeling the peppers) with 3 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard.
- Holding onto the parchment paper, flip turkey patties on the grill and cook on each side, until they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees (as recommended by the FDA).
- When patties are almost ready, toast outside of burger buns on the grill.
- To assemble burger, spread the mustard mix on both sides of the buns. Add roasted pepper wedges. Layer the patty next. Top with leaf lettuce.
- Optional: Prepare caramelized onions ahead of time: Cook thinly sliced yellow onions over low heat in olive oil for about 20 minutes, or until very tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Enjoy with coleslaw, enriched with kale.
Green Eye Goodness in a Cup
Chilled soup sipper or juice? This versatile recipe by chef Anna Olson can work both ways.
The green peas are full of vitamin C, with a significant amount of vitamin A as well.
The apples and leafy greens contain other important nutrients for eyes. The mint is a good source of several antioxidants. And the Greek yogurt offers a beneficial dose of protein.
Niagara Springtime Soup Sippers (makes about 6 cups)
- 1 English cucumber
- 2 Granny Smith apples
- 1 lime, peeled
- 4 cups loosely packed spinach leaves
- 4 cups loosely packed baby kale
- 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen peas
- 2/3 cup loosely packed mint leaves
- 1-1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
- honey, to taste
- lightly toasted sliced almonds, as garnish
- Wash all of the vegetables and fruits thoroughly.
- Cut the cucumber and apple into large pieces.
- Push all of the ingredients except the yogurt, honey and almonds through a juicer.
- Whisk the juice into the Greek yogurt and add the honey to taste.
- Pour into bowl or little glasses for sipping, and top with the toasted almonds.
Smoked Salmon Pizza with Dill & Lemon (serves 6)
Especially rich in: eye-healthy omega-3s DHA and EPA.
Also rich in: iron
- Cooking spray
- 2/3 cup fat-free sour cream
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- Black pepper
- 1 - 13.8 ounce can refrigerated pizza crust (such as Pillsbury Pizza
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 6 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
- 1/4 cup peeled and thinly sliced cucumber
- Coat a pizza pan or cookie sheet with cooking spray. Set aside. Heat
oven to 425°F.
- In a small bowl, thoroughly mix first 6 ingredients (sour cream through pepper). Set aside to let flavors blend.
- Remove pizza dough from tube. Knead until smooth, roll into a ball, and spread on a round pizza pan or cookie sheet until 12" round in diameter.
- Sprinkle onion evenly over top and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
- Spread sour cream mixture over pizza crust, top with salmon and cucumbers.
Whole Wheat Penne with Spinach and Gorgonzola (serves 6)
Especially rich in: lutein, zeaxanthin, folate, and zinc, with modest amounts of vitamin C. Most of the omega-3s are from plant sources, which are not quite as good as the EPA and DHA in fish.
Also rich in: iron, fiber, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, and copper
- 10 oz. uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced (~ 1 medium onion)
- 3 large clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 3 Roma tomatoes, chopped (~2 cups)
- 1 (6-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese
- 1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)
Cook pasta according to package directions, without salting water.
While pasta is cooking, spray a large, non-stick frying pan with cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Add onions, then stir and cook until slightly transparent, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook for another minute. Add broth and let simmer for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, toss, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add spinach and basil, cook and stir for approximately 2 minutes, or until leaves wilt. Remove from heat and salt/pepper to taste.
Drain pasta and add to spinach mixture. Thoroughly toss. Serve on a platter and top with gorgonzola and pine nuts.