I find Switzerland a very difficult country to get seasonal greens in winter. Of course. There is a lot of snow. But still – we do have greenhouses – what the heck are we growing there in winter? I don’t know. Subject for research.
I am particularly missing leafy greens. Why leafy greens? They are of a special nutritional value – not only do they help building our microbiome but they also strengthen our respiratory system and our blood. They have an alkalizing effect on our body and neutralize acidic conditions as well as clean out toxins. Leafy greens are high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, vitamins A, C, E & K (vitamins A, E & K need fat to be assimilated in our body) and are loaded with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. All the goodness I want and crave for.
I am a particular fan of kale. The Swiss kale has gone off the shelves – I could only get Spanish one today. And since I realised if I did not want to keep eating carrots, beetroot and potatoes until June, I may as well buy another non-Swiss vegetable (you see, I am a huge advocate for local produce – I rather buy a Swiss salad that is non-organic than a Spanish one, that is certified organic and comes wrapped in plastic all the way from Spain). So today is the day I introduced myself surprisingly to a new leafy green vegetable, that I didn’t know yet! 🙂 Yes that happens.
It is called “Cime di Rapa” and its origin is stated as Italy. Wikipedia translates that beautiful vegetable as “rapini”, “broccoli raab” or “broccoli rabe”. Interesting. It seems to be some kind of broccoli that does not form broccoli heads. It looked delicious in the shop and I tell you – it tasted delicious as well!! It has the sweetness of broccoli with a slight bitter note similar to kale.
What Switzerland is very good at though, is re-introducing species of ancient vegetables. At the moment I can find a variety of beetroots in the shops and not only do they look awesome but they also taste each one completely different to the other.
I was drawn to Chioggia today, which is the one on the very right of the photo. As I am at the moment on a no-sugar, very low salt regime to support my kidney health, I am specifically looking for wholesome naturally sweet and grounding recipes. Foods like sweet potatoes, butternutsquash or beetroot are sweet in nature and help cutting the sugar cravings. So is cococnut milk. Hence I combined all those ingredients in one awesome meal and added peanutbutter – peanuts are not only a healthy fat but also full of antioxidants and consist of around 20% protein!
And here comes the recipe.
What you need:
- a wok
- organic virgin coconut oil (I got mine from Migros, alnatura)
- organic peanut butter (I got mine from Migros, alnatura –> Please check the label of your peanutbutter. What you want in your peanutbutter is… peanuts! Nothing else!! If there is added sugar, salt and palm oil on your ingredients list – don’t buy it! You are doing no good to anyone. And the recipe tastes just as good without the peanutbutter.)
- organic coconut milk
- cime di rapa
- beetroot (any beetroot but chioggia was perfect as it tastes very mild and sweet)
- onions and garlic
- spices to your liking – I used sweet paprika, dried ginger, a pinch of salt and some mustard seeds
Cut one onion in small pieces. Squeeze the garlic through a garlic press or press down with a fork and cut in tiny pieces. Use about 2-3 tbsp coconut oil, heat in the wok together with the onions and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, cover, reduce the heat and let sweat for a few minutes. In the meantime cut the kale and the broccoli rabe (cime di rapa) in the size you want it to be (I cut stripes of about 1cm). Once it is all cut, add to the onions and garlic and sprinkle with a bit of water.
Now peel the beetroot and cut in nice pieces. Add to the greens. This is the time where I add about half a tin of coconut milk and the spices. I used sweet paprika, dried ginger and mustartd seeds. Spice to your liking. Let cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes, add more water if needed. Towards the end, fold in a huge tablespoon of peanutbutter.
For more wholesome foods during a whole week, cooked and prepared for you lovingly: www.portugal-retreats.com
Photo credit cime di rapa: http://www.lacucinaitaliana.it/tutorial/le-tecniche/come-pulire-le-cime-di-rapa/)
Photo credit beetroots: https://www.poetschke.de/)