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.

 

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Secret Ingredient Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

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Apparently yesterday was national peanut butter and jelly day. How could I miss such a holiday?! Well, since I eat peanut butter and jelly every day (in one way or another) I wasn’t too surprised when I found myself making these PB&J bars anyways.

20140402-214330.jpgWhat I actually did was use up ALL the ‘leftover’ ingredients I could find. This includes: half a frozen pear from this recipe, the rest of the blueberry muesli from this recipe, and some blueberry jam that’s been sitting in our pantry untouched.

Here’s the whole bar fresh from the oven:

20140402-214416.jpgBe sure to read the substitution notes. As I said, I was trying to use up old ingredients but you can use more generic pantry staples.

And now cut into bite size pieces:

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1 1/2 cups Trader Joes Blueberry Muesli*

1/4 cup pear sauce**

1/3 cup jam

1 egg

2.5 tbsp peanut butter

>> Preheat oven to 350F. Add peanut butter, pear sauce, and beaten egg to the muesli. Line a 8×4 loaf pan with tin foil for easy removal. Press about 3/4 of mixture into the pan firmly. Spread jam on top. Firmly press remaining mixture bits on top. Bake for about 20 minutes. Let cool before cutting into 8 bars.

*Alt. use 1 1/2 cups oats + 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins

**I made this by placing 1/2 chopped frozen pear in a pan with some water, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves and letting simmer until soft. Then I blended into a puree. Alt. use 1/4 cup applesauce or other fruit butter.

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.

Coconut Quinoa with Ginger Pears

[2 fat, 1 fruit, 1 grain, 2 protein]
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I’ve had a pear sitting in the freezer for over a month now. It just stares at me and I’m getting annoyed looking at it. This morning I ended the torture!20140330-162608.jpg

Pears are high in fiber and antioxidants. Just one pear has about half of your daily need of flavonols. Flavonols are plant pigments that protect the cells from oxygen damage, prevent excess inflammation, and help protect blood vessels from leakage or breakage. You can read more about the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-cancer properties of pears here.
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1/2 cup cooked quinoa [1 grain, 1 protein]

3/4 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)

3 tbsp egg whites, or 1 egg [1 protein]

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1-2 tsp sugar

1/2 pear [1 fruit]

2 tbsp coconut shreds [1 fat]

4 walnut halves, chopped [1 fat]

>>Bring the milk to a boil. Add the cooked quinoa and lower heat to a simmer. Add the ginger, vanilla, and sugar. Let everything cook, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until most of the milk has been absorbed. Add the pears, walnuts, and egg whites. Let it thicken, and then top with coconut shreds.

‘Cheezy’ Complete Lunch

20140324-154859.jpg Based on the survey I sent out last week, a couple of readers showed interest in getting ideas for balanced meals and not just individual recipes.

Please comment your opinions if this is helpful for you, otherwise I plan on discontinuing this.

1 Almond Butter Toast [1.5 fat, 1 fruit, 1 grain, 2 protein]

1 Sweet Potato Quinoa with ‘Cheezy’ Broccolini [2 fats, 3 grains, 1 protein, 1 vegetable]

1 Apple [1 fruit]

1 cup Milk [1 milk]

African Peanut Butter Sweet Potato and Black Bean Stew

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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.