Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Easy meals and substitutions

For those of you who are looking for easy, healthy meal ideas, here are a few tips and recipes

-Almost all greens are good chopped and sauteed. Kale and chard are best de-stemmed. Broccoli stems are delicious-- don't throw them out! Beet greens and turnip greens are delicious and highly nutritious-- de-stem them, too. Dandelion greens, purslane, and just about every dark green veggie there is boast a host of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
I've not tried them, but here's an interesting article on carrot greens:

As a general rule, the easiest thing you can do with any green is chop them into bite-sized pieces (and de-stem as necessary) and sautee them in a healthy cooking oil (like grapeseed oil) till they're a bit wilted with garlic and a little bit of salt and pepper. You can always experiment by adding other veggies to the mix and throwing in a lean protein like sprouted tofu or whatever protein works for you.

Tonight, I mixed up an easy peanut sauce-- about a cup of peanut butter, about a cup of unsweetened almond milk, a few dashes of tamari sauce, a few spoons of erythritol, and some Siracha sauce (Siracha sauce makes everything better, IMHO)-- mixed it all together in a pot over a flame using my immersion blender and it was done in less than 5 minutes. I mixed in a bag of kelp noodles and poured it all over some lightly sauteed spinach with scallions. It was delicious, highly nutritious, and really fast to make.

Which brings me to another point: here are some really healthy pasta substitutes:
-Zucchini (grated into long shreds)
-Spaghetti squash
-Kelp noodles
-Thinly sliced eggplant (works great as lasagne noodles-- so does thinly sliced zucchini)
-Cabbage (slice the large leaves into thin strips and sautee with some garlic until it's limp and a bit caramelized)
-A spiral slicer like this: can turn most veggies into noodly possibilities. Try experimenting!

A lot of people I know don't eat breakfast in the morning, and as a result resort to junk food at work to compensate. If you're a victim of this, try making a shake for breakfast! Here are some great, healthy, WHOLE-FOOD shake recipes that beat the @#$% out of Jamba Juice:

Use these ideas to come up with your own. Make sure there is:

-A protein source (such as raw nuts or nut butter, or you can add a healthy, whole-foods based protein powder [I like SunWarrior's chocolate rice protein, as an example]) Avocados make for a great, creamy texture and add healthy fats.
-WHOLE foods, not just the juice. Throw in some berries (frozen or not). Try adding some salad mix or other greens to your shakes!
-Sweeteners: I try not to add much in the way of sugars to shakes. You can try soaked dates, stevia, or erythritol and see if you like it.
-Add-ins: cocoa powder, vanilla, maca, cinnamon/other spices make great add-ins!

Thoughts? Other suggestions? Post it here!

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