Thursday, 29 April 2010

Add a Vegetable: Baby Bok Choy

If you haven't been able to tell yet, I'm really bad at remembering details. I can't remember where I saw this, but some health/nutrition guru/dr. suggested adding a new fruit or vegetable to your family's menu each week.

I think you might run out of new ones sooner or later, but I think the idea is to get out of the routine broccoli and corn, and try something new! Even if your kids turn up their noses at the look of a foreign vegetable (like mine did last night), it introduces them to different foods and presents all kinds of teachable moments - healthy eating, proper manners when you are served a food you don't like, the one-bite rule (this is a no-exceptions rule in our house), and maybe even some cultural awareness.

So last night we tried baby bok choy.

I loved it, Dave ate it, and Elysse tolerated (okay, gagged on) her one bite. I've eaten it before, but never cooked it, but will definitely be adding it to our vegetable rotation. A big bag of it was just over $1 at Superstore. I washed it, sliced them in half lengthwise, drizzled some sesame oil over them in a bowl, seasoned with a big of salt and pepper, and would have barbequed them if it weren't for the pouring rain, but instead did them on the open panini press for about 3-5 minutes (I think they would take much less on the BBQ). Thanks to Martha for the recipe!

Here are her other ideas on how to cook bok choy.

And here are some random tidbits about (baby) bok choy:
  • member of the cabbage family
  • when choosing baby bok choy, look for crisp white stalks and crisp green leaves
  • commonly grown in Alberta (this is good!) and California, and available year round, but best purchased in the fall and winter
  • like all green, leafy vegetables, it is packed with minerals and vitamins - high in vitamins A and C; high in beta-carotene which has been shown to reduce the risk of certain types of cancers, as well as cataracts; high in calcium and fiber, which makes it an aid to healthy digestion; high in folic acid, so it is especially great for pregnant women; contains potassium, as well as many other vitamins that are powerful antioxidants (see full nutritional breakdown here)
Let me know what vegetables/fruit you add to your menus and look for more ideas here. (Once I've regained my family's confidence by cooking a few of the "regular" veggies again!)


Oler Family said...

I'll have to give that a try. We introduced brussel sprouts a while didn't go over so well

Sarah Willett said...

we like Baby bok choy in stir fry I wish all the exotic veggie where as easy to get as they are at superstore here all the veggies are pretty vanilla

Natalie said...

We recently tried Jicama. I think it's great, but Blake who likes everything says he doesn't like it. So good diced in salads or cut into sticks with dip.

Bok choy sounds interesting though, I'll have to give it a whirl. (Brussel sprouts were a total bomb.)

Janine said...

We love Jicama and Bok Choy. I find stirfry is the best way to get those newer veggies in there, the kids hardly notice (not Jicama though, ew.) I tend to buy local, so at this time of year, its a lot of peppers and cucumbers from the Farmer's Market (there's a huge greenhouse just outside of Red Deer that grows them year round.) We only introduce a new food every couple of weeks to a month to watch for allergies and also to allow the tummies to adjust. Plus, we have a super picky eater in the house, so we have to be patient and creative. I also add zuchinni to any muffins I make. In the summer, we put carrot juice and kelp powder in our popsicles (yep, kelp powder.) It turns them green and are best eaten outside cause it can stain, but one popsicle has a day's worth of greens in it! No fiber, but eh. I got sneak in what I can.
Wow, can you tell I spend way too much time on food around here? Obsessed really.

Jordana said...

Good idea, maybe I'll try your recipe when we get back. I love trying new foods. It sounds like our house would be similar to yours, I would love it, Gibb would eat it, and Jayna would probably gag and/or cry, haha! Sometimes I don't know if it's harder to get Jayna or Gibb to eat veggies...