Food Highlight: Arugula
Many people have eaten a green salad and tasted a spicy leaf and not known what it was. If it was green and delicate and hidden among other field greens, chances are it was arugula. This cruciferous vegetable provides many of the same nutrients as it’s better known cousins: kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
Consuming fruits and vegetables, like arugula, has been shown to help reduce obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and overall mortality. In addition to providing vitamins A, C, K, and folate, arugula is high in nitrate, which has been shown to help lower blood pressure, as well.
Arugula can be consumed raw or cooked. It’s tender leaves cook quicker than kale or collard greens, and it’s tang adds more flavor to a dish than spinach or chard. It’s peppery flavor mixes nicely with other salad greens and is the reason it’s commonly added to pizza in Italy. You can also chop it and add it to omelets or smoothies. It also dresses up a sandwich with a kick.
Eating cruciferous vegetables has been linked to lower risk of cancer and may help people with diabetes maintain blood sugar control. But a word of caution for those taking prescription blood thinners, as with other high vitamin K foods, do not suddenly add arugula to your diet, but maintain a consistent intake of all vitamin K foods.
This food highlight is offered by Dr. Shillingford, M.D., P.A., a board certified surgeon specializing in laparoscopic and obesity surgery. Dr. Shillingford’s gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, and gastric band patients come from all over South Florida, including Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Wellington, Miami, and Jacksonville. His bariatric patients often enjoy recipes that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein to fit into their low calorie diet to help promote weight loss after their gastric sleeve, gastric bypass, or lap band surgery.
Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Arugula
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin
- Salt and pepper
- 2 oz arugula, stems trimmed
- 2 oz soft goat cheese, cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
- Wooden toothpicks
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. While preheating, pound chicken breasts until even and thin enough for rolling.
- Season both sides with salt and pepper. Lay cutlets out on a smooth work surface or cutting board.
- Layer arugula leaves and goat cheese pieces in the center of the cutlets. Roll the chicken up in a tight roulade and pierce with a wooden toothpick to keep from unrolling.
- Heat oil or butter on medium high heat in a cast iron pan or oven proof non stick skillet. When hot, place chicken rolls in the pan and brown both sides.
- Place the whole skillet in the oven and bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.
- Carefully remove chicken from the pan and let rest covered with foil for 5 minutes. Cut into thin rounds and remove toothpick to serve.