Makes 12 pinwheels
- 3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 4 thin slices
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup ricotta
- ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
Heat a grill pan or broiler. Brush zucchini with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil the zucchini on each side until tender. Mix the ricotta together with the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread 1 tablespoon of the mixture on each zucchini slice, roll up, and secure with a toothpick. Chill until ready to serve.
Not a zucchini fan? Try skinny Japanese eggplant instead.
Happy Kale Day!
- Three servings of leafy greens each day has been found to slow cognitive loss by 40 percent.
- Kale is packed with phytochemicals like sulfur-containing glucosinolates and isothiocyanates that help ward off cancer.
- The fiber in kale helps absorb and sweep out DNA-damaging chemicals and other toxins that enter our bodies.
- Open-leafed plants in the cabbage family, like kale, have higher amounts of vitamins C and A and carotenoids than plants whose leaves don’t see the sun. Carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that also support proper functioning of the immune and reproductive systems and lower the risk of cataracts.
- Kale is an excellent source of minerals, including calcium, and manganese, a mineral the body requires for many physiological functions.
- One cup of kale provides 1,300 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin K, which is important for healthy blood coagulation and maintaining bone mass.
- Allicin, the phytonutrient responsible for garlic’s strong odor, is a powerful antibacterial and antiviral agent. To get the best cancer-protective benefits from garlic, wait at least five minutes after chopping or crushing before eating, cooking or adding acidic foods to it. That will help stimulate the enzymatic process that converts garlic’s alliin (a sulfoxide) into allicin (a thiosulfinate).
- Several nutrients in garlic help protect the heart. Its polysulfides are used by red blood cells to produce hydrogen sulfide gas, which can help blood vessels expand, keeping blood pressure in check.
- Garlic’s sulfur-containing compounds also support the liver by bolstering its detoxification enzymes.
- Spinach contains more than a dozen flavonoids, which fight inflammation and cancer.
- In addition to flavonoids and carotenoids, spinach provides vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, manganese, zinc and selenium, making it an excellent antioxidant.
- Researchers are beginning to discover links between the health of our nervous system and the unique phytonutrients in the chenopod plant family, which includes spinach, beets and chard.
- Cooking spinach releases lutein — a carotenoid that helps prevent macular degeneration — making the nutrient more available to the body.
- The high level of vitamin K in spinach helps maintain strong bones.
Tips and recipees for cooking with spinach.