When I'm in school, my meals tend to be pretty repetitive- I make my lunches and dinners for the week on Sundays. Since I eat the same thing every day, I have to make sure the food is delicious so I don't get tired of them. This is one of my favorites: crispy garlic kale, warm roasted yams and a poached egg together with tahini sauce. It is delicious, filling and so satisfying.
One of the less-talked about components of nutrition is phytochemicals/phytonutrients which are naturally occurring chemical components in vegetables (particularly brightly colored veggies). Phytochemicals have a amazing preventative health benefits. Over 2000 phytochemicals have been identified in various foods. Two of the phytochemicals in this dinner are beta-carotene and lutein. They function as antioxidants, stimulate the immune system, are protective against cancers and can prevent cataracts and age-related eye degeneration.
Studies show that having a diet rich in phytochemicals is more effective in disease prevention than taking a singular supplement. Beta carotene is found in leafy green veggies, yams, carrots, squash, spinach, apricots, green peppers and mangoes. Luteine is found in green leafy veg, broccoli, egg yolks, corn, potatoes, spinach, carrots and tomatoes. To simplify, it is suggested that diets contain at least one orange vegetable/fruit and one dark green vegetable/fruit per day to get the benefit of phytochemicals. This dinner has both!
Peter Bjorn and John- Young Folks
1 medium yam, peeled and diced
1 bunch kale, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
sea salt & pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp vinegar
tahini sauce (see below for recipe)
Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss diced yams in 1-2 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30-50 min until golden and soft. While yams are roasting, prepare the kale: drizzle with 1-2 tsp olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Massage the oil and spices into the kale. Spread over a baking sheet and roast at 400F for 5-10 minutes, until lightly crispy (keep an eye on it, it will burn quickly). If adding the eggs, poach 2 eggs while the kale is in the oven- check out how to poach an egg here. When the veggies and eggs are done, place the yams and kale on a plate and top with eggs. Drizzle with a generous amount of tahini sauce.
Note: To speed up assembly time, I roast 3-4 yams at the beginning of the week and just warm them up while the kale roasts.
1/2 cup tahini
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp soy sauce (I used GF Tamari)
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp sriracha
2-3 tsp water
Add all ingredients to a jar. Shake until well combined. If it's too thick, add 1 tsp of water and shake, repeating until you get the desired consistency.
Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider. Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.