Vegetable

Sweet Bean Red Thai Curry

1 fat, 2 grains, 1 protein, 1 vegetable20140404-222652.jpg

Eggplants go well with bok choy. Kidney beans go well with sweet potatoes. Everything goes well with red curry. 20140404-222700.jpg

You’ll love this modification to the classic. I didn’t have any coconut milk in the pantry so I made my own version.

The spices in curry, specifically turmeric, cleanse the digestive system and the liver. Here are some quick facts:

  • Red curry boosts the immune system.
  • UCLA studies show a chemical found in turmeric reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Curry spices can help ward off the common cold by triggering the body to produce extra mucus and reduce inflammation in nasal passages. 
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1 tsp vegetable oil [1 fat]

1/2 sweet potato, chopped [1 grain]

2 baby bok choy, chopped [1/2 vegetable]

1/2 japanese eggplant, chopped [1/2 vegetable]

1/2 cup kidney beans [1 grain, 1 protein]

1 shallot

1/2 tbsp red curry paste

1 tbsp plain greek yogurt

1/2 cup coconut water

1/2 tsp cornstarch

chili powder and ground ginger

>> Heat oil in a skillet and sauté the sweet potato. In a separate bowl, combine coconut water, cornstarch, yogurt, and red curry paste. Once the potato gets some color, add the bok choy and eggplant. After about a minute, add the beans and curry mixture. Reduce to a simmer. Add a few shakes of chili powder and ground ginger. Let simmer about 3 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked through. Top with chopped shallot. Serve over rice, with naan, or enjoy as is.

Garlic and Ginger Bok Choy, Mushrooms, and Eggplant

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Last week I wrote about a cabbage stir fry I made with button mushrooms. Today the ingredients became even more asian. I incorporated chinese cabbage (bok choy), shiitake mushrooms, and japanese eggplants.

I love cooking with japanese eggplants and baby bok choy because their smaller size gives them so much more flavor!

Bok Choy fun facts:

  • One cup of bok choy gives you about 100% of your daily vitamin A needs, and about 66% of your daily vitamin C.
  • The word bok choy originated from the Chinese word for “soup spoon” because of the shape of its leaves.

Japanese Eggplants:

  • Uncooked eggplants may contain a toxin called solanine that inhibits calcium absorption.
  • Traditionally, raw eggplants have been used to treat scorpion bites and help those suffering from frostbite.

20140403-193651.jpg1 scallion

1 japanese eggplant

5 baby bok choy

5 shiitake mushrooms

2 tsp minced ginger

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp tamari/soy sauce

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp oil

>>Sauté chopped scallion and ginger in oil. Add vegetables. Once browned add tamari, rice vinegar, and ginger. Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds and fresh scallions.

 

Will April Showers Bring May Flowers ? // Pineapple Tofu Stir Fry

2.5 fats, 1 fruit, 2 grains, 3 proteins, 2 vegetables20140401-202525.jpg

Happy April! I’m so excited to share this recipe with you guys; it’s juicy, tangy, naturally sweet and salty.

But let me back track a little. Over the winter I bought a 4 lb bag of frozen pineapple chunks from Costco. I’m almost at the end, but still have a little left. I like to eat them right from the freezer, but decided to switch things up and incorporate them into my stir fry. Do you have any pineapple recipes to share for the last of my bag?

20140401-202532.jpgFun Fast Facts:

  • Pineapple has very good anti inflammatory benefits because of its enzyme bromelain.
  • Pineapple grows as a result of of many flowers whose flowerets have joined around the core.
  • Hawaii is the world’s largest producer of pineapple.
  • Traditionally, pineapple was used as a diuretic and a labor inducer.

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For stir fry:

1 cup brown rice, cooked [2 grains, 1 protein]

1 tsp coconut oil [1 fat]

3/4 cup fresh or frozen greens (I used a broccoli, edamame, green bean mix) [1.5 vegetable]

4 oz. tofu [1 protein, 1/2 fat]

1/3 red bell pepper [1/2 vegetable]

1/2 small onion

~ 1/2 cup chopped pineapple [1 fruit]

1/4 cup egg whites (opt.) [1 protein]

6 cashews [1 fat]

For sauce: 

2 tbsp pineapple juice*

2.5 tsp rice vinegar

2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)

1 tsp brown sugar

1 tsp cornstarch

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp minced garlic

>> Combine all ingredients for the sauce, except cornstarch, in a dish. Dry tofu with a paper towel and dice it into a bowl. Cover with 2 tbsp. of sauce and set aside to marinade about 5-10 mins. Add cornstarch to the remaining sauce and mix until smooth. Heat skillet with coconut oil and sauté onions. Add the tofu until it has browned. Add vegetables and cook 2 minutes. Add the brown rice and egg whites. Cook an additional 2 minutes and serve. Garnish with scallions, cilantro, and cashews.

*To get pineapple juice, I simple microwaved the frozen pineapple chunks for about 30 seconds.

 

Orange Glazed Brussel Sprouts and Carrots with Crispy Tofu

2.5 fats, 1 fruit, 1 protein, 2 vegetables20140330-162708.jpg

 

I spent the afternoon today doing some crafting. I took an old jar and glued crushed sea shells onto it. I can’t wait to put a candle inside and see if it creates a disco ball effect- haha!
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For lunch I made this orange goodness! I have never boiled brussels sprouts before, but I love it! I adapted this recipe from Better Homes and Gardens.
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Apparently there are detoxifying effects in brussels sprouts. Studies show compounds in these leafy greens can activate cancer-fighting enzymes. As with most vegetables and fruits there are a lot of health benefits that brussels sprouts provide. These can be found here.  
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1 orange (or 1 clementine + 1/4 cup orange juice) [1 fruit]

4 oz tofu [1 protein, 1/2 fat]

1 1/2 cups brussels sprouts, cut in half [1.5 vegetables]

1/2 cup carrots, chopped [1/2 vegetables]

1 tsp cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tsp olive oil [1 fat]

6 almonds, chopped [1 fat]

>> Bring water to a boil in a pot. Add brussels sprouts and carrots and cook about 10 minutes, or until soft. Heat skillet with olive oil. Dry the tofu in a paper towel and add to the hot skillet. Chop the orange/clementine into small pieces and mash it in a pot to get all of the juices out. (Alt. use 1/3 cup orange juice if you don’t want the orange pieces in your dish) Add the cornstarch, sugar, nutmeg, and salt to the orange. Once the vegetables are cooked, and the tofu is crispy, add everything to the pot with the orange glaze. Let it thicken on low heat for a few minutes, and serve over rice. Top with almonds.

African Peanut Butter Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew

1 fat, 2 grain, 1.5 protein, 1 vegetable20140327-204503.jpg

I wanted to test out a recipe from a country (…or continent) I’ve never been to before. I chose Africa. Of course, Africa is huge so you can only imagine the range in cuisine. Central, East, South, and many other regions have their own signature dishes depending on the climate and environment.

I’ve only tried African cuisine once before at an Ethiopian restaurant in Boston and I wasn’t impressed. I was caught off guard by the fact everyones orders came served on the same dish. Plus I was forced to sit on a wooden stump. Granted, this was probably ten years ago and I was young, confused, and uncomfortable.

That being said, I’m so happy I tried this! The spices blend wonderfully; I will definitely be testing more African recipes. Maybe I’ll even make my own Injera (African flatbread)!
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This recipe was adapted from Vegangela

1/2 cup black beans [1 grain, 1 protein]

1/2 cup diced tomatoes (canned) [1 vegetable]

1/2 large (or 1 small) sweet potato, cubed [1 grain]

2 tbsp PB2 (or 1 tbsp peanut butter) [1/2 protein]

1/2 small onion, largely chopped

1/2 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp coconut oil [1 fat]

1/4 tsp chili powder

dash of cinnamon, cayenne pepper

1/4 cup water

>>Saute onion and sweet potato in a skillet. Add remaining ingredients and let simmer for a couple of minutes. Serve with rice.

 

Sweet Potato Quinoa with ‘Cheezy’ Broccolini

2 fats, 3 grains, 1 protein, 1 vegetable20140324-154750.jpg

WOW I can’t even describe how surprised I was with this dish. It’s sweet, salty, nutty and so good I licked my bowl clean!
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I used broccolini instead of broccoli which absorbed more flavor and gave perfect bite size crunches. The stems resemble asparagus in shape, but have the taste and sweetness of broccoli. If you must, you can use broccoli but be sure to slice the stems to achieve a similar texture.

What’s broccolini you ask? ….

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Broccolini is sometimes mistaken for “baby broccoli”, but it’s actually a cross between broccoli and chinese broccoli. Nutritionally speaking, broccolini and broccoli are very similar and considered to be superfoods. They are high in vitamins K and C and well known for their cancer preventing properties. Research has specifically identified broccoli with decreased risk in the following types of cancer: prostate, colon, breast, bladder, and ovarian. Click here to read more about the specific health benefits of broccoli.20140324-154808.jpgSweet Potato Quinoa:

1/4 cup dry quinoa [2 grains, 1 protein]

1/2 sweet potato [1 grain]

1/2 tsp chili powder

pinch of salt

‘Cheezy’ Broccolini:

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

1 tsp olive oil [1 fat]

1 cup broccolini, chopped [1 vegetable]

Top with:

1 tbsp (~6) almonds, chopped [1 fat]

>> Quinoa: Set your quinoa to cook with the chili powder and salt. With a knife, poke holes in the sweet potato and microwave for about 2-3 mins, until soft. Once cooled a little, peel and mash with some hot water. Mix the mashed sweet potato with the quinoa once it’s cooked.

>>Broccolini: In a skillet, saute broccolini in oil. Mix in the tamari and nutritional yeast, and set aside. This entire process should take about 3-5 minutes as you still want the broccolini to be little crisp.

Serve the broccolini with quinoa and top with 1 tbsp chopped almonds.

 

Summer Squash Pita Pizza

2 1/2 fat, 1/2 grain,  1 protein, 2 vegetable20140323-150733.jpg

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting this recipe to be as good as it came out to be. It was quick, easy, and cheap! I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be making this again soon…maybe even for lunch tomorrow.20140323-150738.jpg

Summer squash is known for it’s antioxidants. The specific antioxidants found in summer squash are especially good for your eyes. Furthermore, the combination of antioxidant and anti inflammatory nutrients are suspected to provide anti-cancer benefits. 20140323-150744.jpg1 small summer squash [1 vegetable]

1 small tomato [1 vegetable]

1/2 onion

1 whole wheat pita [1/2 grain, 1/2 fat]

1 oz cheese (I used 1/2 parmesan, 1/2 gouda) [1 protein, 1 fat]

1 tsp olive oil  [1 fat]

>>Preheat oven to 400F. Sauté chopped onion in oil until clear. Add summer squash and a pinch of salt. Meanwhile, place the pita on a cookie sheet and lay sliced tomato on the pita. Top with your sautéed squash and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the oven for ~6-10 mins.

Sprinkle oregano, chili flakes, basil, etc. on top. Be careful of the hot juices that will leak from the pizza!

Vegan? Replace with cheese with nutritional yeast or make your own “cheeze” sauce.