Last night I realized I didn’t have any spinach to make my family’s favorite green smoothie. The only greens I had was lamb’s quarter (mache), and arugula. I love arugula, but it is a bit spicy – like a peppery mustard flavor. But I thought, “why not?” I could just add extra banana and pray for the best. Well, the results were great. It was a hit with my family. In fact, the flavor was minty and very refreshing. However, I have to say, it didn’t smell minty fresh, it smelled more like peppery-mustard – but that’s okay.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this spicy green, arugula is a leaf vegetable, and has been grown in the Mediterranean since Roman times. Because of its strong flavor, arugula is often mixed with milder greens to balance the flavor. Arugula is great to sauté with other fresh vegetables with or without olive oil. It’s a great replacement for escarole, and dandelion greens.
Arugula is rich in vitamin C and potassium, and is considered a cancer-preventing food. Arugula has the same amount of calcium as spinach, but has better calcium absorption. During ancient Roman times, arugula was considered an aphrodisiac. Arugula usually is collected in the wild. It wasn’t until 1990 that this spicy green was cultivated on a large scale. At your local Trader Joe’s you can purchase arugula both in its organic cultivated state, or as the traditional wild arugula. I tend to purchase the wild arugula as it has a much stronger flavor.
I use arugula in a lot of my meals. It’s great for spicing up a dish, or balancing out the flavors of a dish. Its great raw or slightly cooked and it goes great with just about any vegetable, and many fruits. If you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest you do. Here are my recipes for the day using this wonderfully, nutritious, and flavorful green. Enjoy!
Mango, Arugula Green Smoothie
3-4 handfuls Arugula
1 scoop vanilla-hemp protein powder
1 scoop Delicious Greens 8000
2 cups mango chunks (fresh or frozen)
2 medium bananas, peeled
1 spoonful raw honey
1 T bee pollen
4-6 drops SweetLeaf Stevia clear liquid
3-4 ice cubes purified water
Combine all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Cover blender half-way with the purified water. Blend on high until super smooth. Makes about 2-3 12oz glasses.
Arugula with Peppery Vegetables.
1 Red pepper, seeded, cored, and chopped
1 Orange pepper, seeded, cored, and chopped
1 Yellow pepper, seeded, cored, and chopped
½ large Sweet onion, peeled and chopped
1 full cup Butternut squash cubes (fresh or frozen)
1 full cup Sweet potato cubes (fresh or frozen)
2 T Coconut butter or goats butter
1 T EVOO
1 tsp Sea salt
½ tsp Pepper
½ tsp Chili pepper flakes
1 tsp Garlic powder
½ tsp Onion powder
1 tsp Bragg’s spice blend with kelp
½ cup Dried shredded coconut
2-3 cups Arugula
Add olive oil (EVOO) to a large skillet with lid. Heat on medium, and add coconut butter. Let melt slightly. Add all ingredients except spices and arugula. Place lid on top, and toss occasionally during heating process. Heat, but don’t overcook. You want to lightly sweat the veggies but keep them at a warm – not hot temperature. Lower temperature to simmer. Add shredded coconut and arugula. Toss well and remove from heat. Serve with or over top of coconut brown rice.
Coconut Brown Rice.
1 cup Japanese brown rice
2 cups purified water
dash sea salt
1-2 T Coconut butter
Combine rice and water in a medium-sized sauce pan. Add a dash of salt and heat water and rice to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and placed a lid on top. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes until rice has absorbed all water and is fluffy. Remove from heat and add pepper and more salt. Stir up rice, and add the coconut butter, stir again. It’s ready to serve.