Bok choy and other greens turn salads and stir-fries into disease-busting meals.

Like all members of the crucifer family, Asian greens such as bok choy, gai choy, and choy sum are an excellent plant-based source of calcium, beta-carotene, potassium, folic acid, minerals such as zinc and magnesium, and vitamins A and C. High in fiber and low in calories, iron-rich Asian greens play a role in reducing the risk of certain cancers, and their vitamin E content helps fight stress and fatigue.

Minimum preparation and cooking time make Asian greens a fast and flavorful meal solution. Fresh Asian greens should be pre- pared as simply as possible to retain maximum nutrients. Brief sauteing in a very hot pan will lock in the color, and a little bit of garlic, ginger, and sesame or olive oil is all that's needed for nearly perfect flavor.

When cooking Asian greens, always begin with the stems, which should be either blanched first or stir-fried for 2 to 3 minutes before adding the leaves. Plan on approximately 2 cups uncooked greens per person, because they cook down to about half. Inspect, and wash greens carefully to remove tiny garden critters.



By Jeannie McDermott

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