Tag Archives: calcium

Nutritious Bok Choy Recipes

Bok Choy is a member of the cabbage family, although it doesn’t look much like the cabbages we’re used to.  Its texture is more like celery at the bottom and a leafy green such as spinach at the top.

Bok Choy is common in Chinese food, but rarely used in other cuisines.  It is extremely nutritious. It has a particularly high level of calcium, with 870mg per 100 calorie serving, and an absorption rate of 53%.  When you compare that to cow’s milk, which has only 188mg per 100 calorie serving, and an absorption rate of 32%, you can see that it makes a good addition to any diet.

To prepare bok choy, you can wash the leaves and stem, then simply steam or stir fry it.  Sprinkly a little soy sauce on if you like.  Alternatively you can chop it up and use it as you would any other vegetable, in soups, stews, curries or pies. Add this to as many of your recipes as possible, for a real nutritional boost!

For lots of great vegetarian recipes, see The Veg-Feasting Cookbook.

Recipes

  • Broccoli and Bok Choy with Baked Tofu
  • Spicy Thai Soup
  • Zippy Yams and Bok Choy
  • Macaroni with Creamy Tofu Sauce

Broccoli and Bok Choy with Baked Tofu


Makes 6 1-cup servings
This simple recipe is a delicious way to add healthful greens and soy to your diet. It is served with brown rice, but can also be served with pasta or grilled polenta.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups broccoli florets
3 – 4 cups thinly sliced bok choy
2 tablespoons water
4 ounces baked tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 – 3 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
6 cups cooked brown rice

Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet, then add onion and cook over high heat, stirring often, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add broccoli and bok choy and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
Stir in water, along with tofu, black pepper, and soy sauce. Cover and cook until broccoli and bok choy are just tender and tofu is heated through, about 3 minutes.
Serve over brown rice.


Spicy Thai Soup

Makes 6 1-cup servings

What a delicious way to enjoy healthy green vegetables!

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
4 cups Vegetable Broth
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 – 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped (or more to taste)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup bite-size broccoli florets
1 cup packed finely chopped bok choy
1 green onion, finely chopped, including top
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

Mix broth, ginger, garlic, and jalapeño pepper in a pot and bring to a boil. Add mushrooms and simmer 2 minutes.

Add broccoli and bok choy. Simmer until broccoli is tender but still bright green and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Do not overcook.

Stir in green onion and cilantro. Serve immediately.


Zippy Yams and Bok Choy

Makes 4 servings

2 small yams, cut into bite-size chunks
1 onion, quartered and sliced
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Thai chili paste
2 small heads bok choy, finely sliced
1 juice of 1/2 lemon

Put yams in a deep skillet and just cover them with water. Cover skillet and boil yams for 5 to 10 minutes, until soft when pierced with a fork.

Add onion and garlic and continue to simmer until about half of the water has boiled away.

Add vegetarian Worcestershire sauce, chili paste, and bok choy. Simmer until bok choy is soft. Sprinkle lemon juice over the mixture and serve.

Macaroni with Creamy Tofu Sauce

Makes 8 1-cup servings

Here’s a healthy version of a traditional “comfort food.”

8 ounces dry macaroni
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cups sliced mushrooms (about 3/4 pound)
3 – 4 leaves bok choy, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups fortified unsweetened soy- or rice milk
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons rice flour
1/4 cup potato flour
3 tablespoons non-hydrogenated, dairy-free margarine
1 pound firm tofu, crumbled

Cook macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse, then set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet and cook onion over high heat until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add bell pepper, mushrooms, bok choy, parsley, poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook until mushrooms are soft and bok choy is just tender, about 5 minutes.

Combine non-dairy milk, onion powder, garlic powder, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, flours, and margarine in a blender. Blend on high speed until mixture is thick and smooth.

Add to vegetables, along with tofu and pasta. Stir to mix, then cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Calcium and mineral mythology

Bok ChoyOne of the many myths we hear about when it comes to minerals is that you need to consume dairy products to get enough calcium. While milk, cheese and yogurt do have calcium, there are plenty of other choices and some distinct advantages for those who want to skip the dairy and get their calcium for plant foods. Plant foods, such as collards and kale, are often good sources of calcium, but don’t carry the price tag of saturated fat and cholesterol, or a grumbly tummy for those with lactose intolerance. Plant foods are also easier on the animals and the environment.

Some people may take time to get used to the idea after seeing all the commercials with celebrities wearing a milk moustache, but as you learn more about it, we think you’ll be reaching for the veggies as the best way to get your calcium. The chart below shows some of the many plant sources of calcium, with dairy milk included for comparison. See our fact sheet to learn more about how to get plenty of calcium in your diet.

Food Calcium mg per 100 cal serving Absorption rate
Bok Choy 870mg 53%
Collard Greens 609mg 52%
Orange Juice (calcium fortified) 320mg 52%
Tofu, set with calcium 287mg 31%
Kale 270mg 49%
Broccoli 215mg 61%
Cow’s milk (for comparison) 188mg 32%
Sesame seeds 170mg 21%
Cabbage 160mg 65%
White beans 72mg 22%
Tempeh 55mg 37%

See professional level article on ensuring adequate calcium.