I’m feeling the need for total nourishment today, and yet I’m craving light foods rather than comfort food (even in the depths of a British winter!) Think body-is-a-temple kind of food. but, being busy working away on the new website and preparing to start the radio show, it’s a working weekend, so quick and easy are necessities. Pak choi is a natural choice; incredibly nutritious, and easy to whip up something warming, light and delicious.
As a cruciferous vegetable, pak choi is fast becoming a more popular vegetable in its own right, not just used as part of asian cooking. A member of the cabbage family, it’s one of the highest nutritionally ranked vegetables, providing high amounts of more than 21 nutrients. Even more brilliantly, as well as the usual benefits of cruciferous veg, pak choi boasts omega-3s, as well as the antioxidant mineral zinc, boosting immunity, anti-inflammatory processes and brain function.
With vitamin C, carotenoids, manganese, and zinc, pak choi provides us not only with core antioxidants, but goes beyond this to a wide range of other phytonutrient antioxidants, like quercetin, kaempferol, and isorhamnetin. Why is this important? Different types of antioxidants function in different ways, and though all are helpful in fighting oxidative stress, they have a variety of roles to play, and it is the combination that make them so valuable. So, eating a wide range of foods is crucial, including ranges within veg and fruit families.
It’s true, too, that while all veg and fruit are good, some are downright extraordinary – recent studies have identified over 70 antioxidant phenolic substances in pak choi, with it being included in some large-scale human studies about dietary antioxidants and cancer prevention. Eat pak choi and its cruciferous cousins on a regular basis to harness fantastic health benefits, including them as part of your diet daily. Quick to prepare, with a light, crunchy texture and mild taste, it’s versatile and easy to use in a number of ways. Try this lovely, quick salad, for a light lunch or a side dish. Gorgeous!
Warm pak choi salad with ginger and chilli dressing – serves 1
2 pak choi, quartered
small piece of root ginger, peeled, finely chopped
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh chopped chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the pak choi into a steamer and steam for few minutes until wilted. Whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a small bowl to make a dressing. To serve, pile the pak choi onto a serving plate and drizzle over the dressing.
Enjoy, and be nourished!