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New Year Eve Dinner “Quick-eyes”!

New Year Eve Dinner “Quick-eyes”!

New Year Eve is just around the corner and that means lots of good food (and presents), but more food! While I’m sure many of us won’t really pay attention to the nutrients we are receiving from what eat, because come on, it’s New Year’s Eve, and you just want to stuff your face with good food, here are a few easy, quick and delicious recipes that you can make which includes nutrients for your eyes!

The following recipes are not only tantalizing to the tongue but also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, which is like vitamins for the eyes that prevents eye diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and retinitis pigmentosa. Along with other natural antioxidants that are super vitamins for the eyes such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin guard and absorb excess light energy to prevent damage to the eyes from too much sunlight, especially from high-energy light rays called blue light that are found in screens in all forms of technology. Since the human body does not manufacture lutein and zeaxanthin on its own, there is no better way to receive nutrients but from yummy, superfoods!

Recipe 1: Kale, Strawberry, Walnut & Feta Salad

Kale, Strawberry, Walnut & Feta Salad

Eye Benefits:

Kale: contains lutein and zeaxanthin that helps macular degeneration Strawberry: contains vitamin C that prevents dry eyes Walnuts: contains vitamin E, which helps macular degeneration & cataracts Feta: contains vitamin B2 or riboflavin that prevents migraines and lowers risks of degenerative eye disease and aging

Ingredients

1/4 cup of olive oil
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar
1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 tsp honey
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 cup of walnut pieces
3 cups of kale
2 cups of romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup of sliced strawberries
2-3 tbsp feta cheese
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

Directions

Combine the oil, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, honey, sugar, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste together in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined. Cover and set aside for at least 30 minutes prior to serving it with a salad so the flavors have time to mingle.

Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the walnut pieces and toss until the walnuts are toasted. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Heat some olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until soft, but not colored. Raise heat to high, add the stock and kale and toss to combine. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring until all the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fun Fact: lutein is mostly absorbed in kale when cooked.

Combine the kale and romaine lettuce in a large serving bowl. Top with sliced strawberries, cooled walnuts, and feta cheese. Toss with the vinaigrette and serve immediately.

Recipe 2: Grilled Red Pepper Hummus

Grilled Red Pepper Hummus

Eye benefits:

Red Bell pepper: contains lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin A, which is very good for night vision and macular degradation. Chickpeas: contains zinc that prevents night blindness and eye age-related diseases.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers or put fresh bell peppers (with a pinch of salt and pepper) in the oven till they slightly brown.
1 15-ounce can (425 grams) chickpeas, also called garbanzo beans or soaked overnight chickpeas
1/4 cup (59 ml) fresh lemon juice, about 1 large lemon
1/4 cup (59 ml) tahini
Half of a large garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 to 1 tsp kosher salt, depending on taste

Directions:

In a food processor or blender, combine tahini and lemon juice and process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl then turn on and process for 30 seconds. Add the canola oil, minced garlic, cumin, cayenne pepper and the salt to whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process for 30 seconds, scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, then process another 30 seconds.

Open can of chickpeas or take overnight soaked chickpeas, drain liquid then rinse well with water. Add half of the chickpeas to the food processor then process for 1 minute. Scrape sides and bottom of the bowl, add remaining chickpeas and process for 1 to 2 minutes or until thick and quite smooth.

Add peppers (reserve 1-2 pieces for garnish) to hummus and continue to process for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. If the hummus is too thick or still has tiny bits of chickpea, with the food processor turned on, slowly add 1 to 3 tablespoons of water until the consistency is perfect.

Finely chop reserved pepper from earlier. Then, scrape the hummus into a bowl, make a small well in the middle and add finely chopped peppers.

Recipe 3: Zucchini & Corn Fritters

Zucchini & Corn Fritters

Eye benefits:

Corn: contains carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Zucchini: contains lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin A that promotes healthy eyesight and prevents dry eyes.

Ingredients:

4 cups shredded zucchini (about 4 medium-size zucchini)
1 and 1/2 cups corn kernels (about 8 ounces)
3/4 cup finely chopped green onions (about 6 green onions)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 and 1/4 cup chickpea flour
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon salt & pepper

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine shredded zucchini, corn, green onions, chickpea flour, cumin, oregano, thyme, salt & pepper. Stir together until well combined. Allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes. This step is important because the flour will absorb the moisture from the zucchini and create a batter. Fun fact: 1 cup of chopped zucchini provides about 2.6 milligrams of lutein and zeaxanthin!

Warm a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Grease with preferred cooking oil then scoop it out 1/4 cup of the zucchini mixture at a time into the skillet. Cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side, until light golden brown. Serve warm with black beans, salsa, or avocado!

Other vegetables that have high lutein and zeaxanthin include broccoli, spinach, kale, orange pepper, yellow & red bell peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, carrots, sweet corn, grapes, eggs and green leafy vegetables.

So call your friends over for a New Year Eve’s dinner and maybe binge on a movie or screening of your favorite show, because hey, you’re eyes are protected from all the good food you just ate!