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culinary nutrition

Mustard greens, why eat them?

Mustard Greens are best consumed raw or lightly cooked.

The only reason to cook Mustard Greens ( besides softening and toning down the pungent content ) is to increase their ability to bind with the bile acids in the intestine. Bile acids are made from cholesterol by the liver. Their purpose is to assist with fat assimilation. The fiber content of mustard greens bind with bile acids, and prevent it from being reabsorbed by the body by simply excreting it from the bowel. Reducing the content of lost bile acids the liver draws upon the existing cholesterol volume there by reducing it's total amount in circulation. But more importantly this mechanism allows for the excretion of the oxidized cholesterol, which is the type of cholesterol considered dangerous. Mustard greens deliver an abundance of crucial nutrients such as:

Beta Carotene - precursor to Vitamin A, crucial for healthy vision, immune system, skin and lungs.

Vitamin C - a co-enzyme and another anti-oxidant that supports the immune system, integrity of the blood vessels and essential in any tissue healing.

Vitamin E - yet another anti-oxidant, that keeps the fatty acids from excessive oxidation, natural blood thinner, important in healing, skin and hair.
Vitamin K - needed for proper blood clotting, skin health and powerful anti cancer molecule.

Folate - reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Glucosinolates - precursors to Isothiocyanates which are the phytonutrients that inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.

Manganese - a mineral used by the body to neutralize one of the most potent free radicals and in many detoxification pathways, an important in bone formation and essential in wound healing.

Potassium - a mineral important for the proper function of all the cells in the body.

Roasted Sea Bass with Mustard Greens Chiffonnade

6-8 Oz fillet of fresh Sea Bass
3 large or few medium leaves of Mustard greens*
1 Tbspn of Butter
2 Tbspn Extra Virgin Olive Oil and/or Sesame Oil
1/2 tspn Fresh or dry Oregano 1 Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste

In a mixing bowl mix together olive oil and/or sesame oil, about 1 tbspn of the fresh squeezed lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper until well emulsified. Wash and dry the mustard greens, stack and roll them in to a tube and slice across in thin ribbons ( now you got chiffonnade!) Toss the greens in the dressing taking care not to bruise them too much.
Heat the butter in a saute pan until bubbly, but not brown. Meanwhile pat the fish dry on both sides and season it with salt, pepper on both sides. Place the bass into the pan skin side down and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Turn off the flame, tilt the pan and baste the top side of the fish with the pan juices, give it a nice squeeze from the remaining lemon, cover and let it stand for 2-3 minutes or until the desired texture. Generally if you stick a metal skewer into the flesh of the fish for few seconds then touch the back of your wrist with it and if skewer is warm - it is time to eat!

*Allowing the sliced Mustard Greens to be exposed to the air for few minutes will activate the cancer protective phytonutrients even more!

By Eli Katz / 15.09.11

Culinary Nutrition