Welcome to Tablespoonsandteaspoons first Meatless Monday post of 2017. As part of this week’s game plan, we will be exploring what is considered lucky New Year’s foods that is also beneficial for one’s health. To start the year off, we will be working on another 5-ingredient dish that consists of two lucky foods that are also healthy: Black Eyed Peas and spinach.
Black eyed Peas – are the creamed colored bean with a black speckle on it almost resembling an eyeball. Consumption of this bean is considered good luck according to a Southern food tradition. For New Years, eating black eyed peas symbolizes coins, which brings in good luck and prosperity for the year.
Consumption of black eyed peas also has several health benefits including:
- Improving digestion and preventing constipation due to its high dietary fiber content
- May prevent anemia due to its high folate content, which is partly responsible to producing red blood cells
- May lower blood pressure thus potentially lower the risk of heart disease due to its high potassium, which balances blood pressure.
- Helps protect vision and skin due to its high vitamin A content.
Spinach – is a vegetable that are relatives with Swiss chard, kale, . Eating spinach or any greens on New Year’s is good luck because the green color resembles money.
Consuming spinach has many healthy properties making it one of the best foods to consume to prevent and potentially treat illnesses. These include:
- Cancer prevention due to its high antioxidant & anti-carcinogrnic properties, protects the cells from DNA damage and oxidative stress.
- Reduces inflammation associated with heart disease in the long run and due to its high antioxidant content.
- Reduces cholesterol, improve circulation especially in blood vessels, and reduces blood pressure,
- Helps maintain a strong immune system thus reducing inflammation and protects eyes, skin and teeth.
- Helps protect against diabetes prior and even during diagnosis due to its protective steroid properties responsible for maintaining blood sugar levels in the body.
- Preserve and even protect macular degeneration due to its high vitamin A and carotenoids content
- Maintain strong bone due to its high vitamin K content, which also helps blood clots and reduces inflammation.
- Help prevent skin cancer
- Its high fiber content helps serves as a detox.
- Protect and even reduce neurological damage
- Contains magnesium which help regulate and control nerves and muscular functions
Given these two lucky and yet very healthy foods, here is a recipe that would be considered lucky while promoting good health.
Sautéed Black Eyed Peas and Spinach –
2 tablespoons of olive oil = 120 cal/tbsp.
1 tablespoons of minced garlic = 15 cal/tbsp.
1/2 red onion sliced = approx. 40 cal/100g
2 cups (32 tbsp.) spinach = 7 cal/16 tbsp.
1 can (15 oz.) Eden Organic black eyed peas = 90 cal/8 tbsp.
1) Sauté oil, garlic and onion for approximately 5 min.
2) Add spinach and stir until wilted (approximately 3-4 min).
3) Drain and rinse the canned black eyed peas (dried black eyed peas would be cheaper but due to time, we had to settle with the canned peas). Add them to the mixture. Stir until heated through.
Ready to serve.