Delightfully Healthy! Wake Up Your Palette

Tasting Friday, 3/22, 6:00 – 7:30 pm

We’ ll be serving Pear, Cucumber & Ginger Smoothies and Roasted Red Pepper Pasta!

Spring is coming, and we have two recipes that will help you brighten your mood and awaken your palette! It can be easy to fall into a food pattern that is comfortable and familiar, but it can be fun to switch up the ingredients you use on a regular basis. Maybe you always make your smoothies with the same produce. Our Pear, Cucumber & Ginger Smoothie recipe includes some not-so-common smoothie ingredients that taste fresh and delicious when paired together. Our Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe is a nice change to tomato sauce week after week. Using a variety of ingredients in the recipes you make can help to ensure you are getting a healthy balance of the nutrients our bodies need to thrive.

Cucumber and pear bring a refreshing twist to your smoothie. Both have a very high water content, making them a perfect pair for a hydrating smoothie in the morning or even as a snack during the day when your taste buds crave something more than water. They also have several vitamins and nutrients in common, making this smoothie a great choice when you want to get some vitamin K, potassium and manganese. You may know of the connection between vitamin K and blood clotting— vitamin K is essential for proteins in blood that cause blood clotting when you get a cut. It also plays a role in bone formation. Potassium plays a key role, along with sodium, in managing fluid volume within the cell and therefore both nutrients play a role in blood pressure management. Manganese is a trace mineral that isn’t well known, but it is involved in several types of reactions in the body, such as carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism, bone development and wound healing. It is also part of an enzyme that acts as an antioxidant to decrease oxidative stress in cells. Not to be confused with manganese, cucumbers also are a good source of magnesium. Magnesium is involved in many important reactions, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.

In our other recipe—Roasted Red Pepper Pasta—pasta is tossed with a smooth and creamy roasted red pepper sauce to create a fun and fresh take on traditional pasta with sauce. Red bell peppers are extremely rich in antioxidant vitamin C, which is essential for wound healing due to its role in collagen production. Consuming adequate vitamin C is necessary to support the health of our eyes and immune system. Red bell peppers are also rich in vitamin A, which takes part in the growth and specialization of practically every human cell. Like vitamin C, vitamin A is involved in immune function and vision as well. Red bell peppers also contain a good amount of vitamin B6, also known as Pyridoxine. The coenzyme form of vitamin B6 is required for more than 100 enzymatic reactions, many of which are a part of protein, carbohydrate, and fat metabolism. Vitamin B6 is another vitamin involved in immune function and it’s also involved in the formation of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout your body.

So step into spring with these recipes that put fruits and veggies in the center stage in new, refreshing and tasty ways! Come try our samples at the co-op on Friday—available while supplies last!

Pear, Cucumber & Ginger Smoothie

Photo credit and adapted from verybreakfast.com

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 packed cup of spinach
1 pear
1 banana
½ of a cucumber
thumb-sized piece of ginger root
1 tablespoon golden flaxseed
¾ – 1 cup water

Directions

1. Wash spinach, pear, and cucumber in warm water.

2.Peel ginger root with paring knife.

3.Add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, adding extra water as necessary to reach desired texture.

Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Photo credit and adapted from minimalistbaker.com

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 red bell peppers
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice (soy, almond, etc)
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast, divided
1½ tablespoons cornstarch (or other thickener of choice)
1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
12 oz pasta of choice
Finely chopped fresh parsley or basil (optional)

Directions

1. Heat oven to 500° F, place red peppers on a baking sheet, and roast for 25 – 30 minutes until charred. Cover baking sheet in foil for 10 minutes to steam pepeprs, then remove charred skin by peeing it away. Remove seeds and stems and set aside.

2. Cook pasta according to instructions on package and drain. Toss is a little bit of olive oil, cover with a towel, and set aside.

3.While peppers are roasting, heat and sauté onion and garlic in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until golden brown and soft, about 4 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

4.Transfer cooked shallot and garlic to blender with roasted peppers, non-dairy milk, crushed red pepper flakes, nutritional yeast and cornstarch. Season with salt, pepper and optional crushed red pepper flakes.

5.Blend until creamy and smooth, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed by adding more pepper or nutritional yeast for more flavor.

6.Place blended sauce back into the skillet over medium heat to thicken. Once it starts to simmer, reduce heat to low and continue simmering.

7.Once the sauce is thickened to desired consistancy, add a little more olive oil to the cooked pasta, add to sauce, and toss to coat.

8.Serve topped with 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, optional crushed red pepper flakes and fresh chopped parsley or basil.

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