Category Archives: Nutrition Tips

Thoughts on Paleo

Good Morning! Hope everyone is having a great summer and a fabulous weekend! My summer has been filled with grad classes, some pool-time, work and some messing around in the kitchen. Some of you may know that I’m doing a graduate degree in Food & Nutrition and am in a Dietetics program to be an RD. If all goes well, I’ll be done next summer – and then comes the big job hunt and move (hopefully to Florida!).

Anyway, being in the field of Nutrition I’m always fascinated by any developments in this area – and lately I’ve become more curious about the whole Paleo Lifestyle. Now I’m not saying that I’m suddenly “going Paleo,” – all I’m saying is that I’m intrigued about really understanding the science behind it. I whole-heartedly support the idea of eating minimally processed food and avoiding packed goods as much as possible. That being said, I also know that with our busy lifestyle it’s almost impossible to cook form scratch all of the time – and we inevitably end up buying and consuming some packaged and processed items. Keep in mind though that we also live a very different lifestyle from our “Paleolithic ancestors”…They didn’t have modern technology or office jobs and packed schedules – and for them, survival was the primary goal. WIth that in mind, I often question some premises of the popular Paleo diet – specifically the move towards consuming more animal fats and saturated fats.  I don’t think I’m quite on board with it simply because our lifestyle is so different – I’m not out hunting for my food or dragging carcasses home for dinner, nor do I wonder about when my next meal will be. I don’t need to “starve” for long periods of time due to a lack of food…so do I really need to eat like my Paleolithic ancestors? Shouldn’t I just try to eat more whole foods…like vegetables, meat, fish, fruit nuts etc but not necessarily as much saturated fat?Bottom line is –  I don’t think we need to try and emulate our ancestors to a T, but eating less processed foods is certainly a good idea!

I’m also intrigued by the argument that grains and legumes lead to inflammation in our bodies (an argument presented by some authors of Paleo books), and that the insulin response is what leads to obesity. Actually – insulin is not the bad guy here. Insulin is a hormone in your body that helps certain cells (those with insulin receptors) remove glucose from your blood and use it for energy. So if  you are about to embark on any exercise, supplying your cells with energy is a good thing! Perhaps what the authors are arguing is that we consume too many carbohydrates (particularly processed carbohydrates) in our diet and have excessive glucose-insulin responses in our body….(?). To be fair, I haven’t read any of the books on Paleo yet – but I ordered a couple yesterday to really try and understand the authors’ viewpoint. Once I’ve read them and thought about it, I’ll follow up with another post on this subject.

In support of Paleo though, I do believe that we should consume more of our carbohydrates from unprocessed sources such as vegetables and fruit and less from processed flours. There seems to be an increase in gluten sensitivity and celiac disease in the last few years as well as allergies to peanuts etc, and I wonder if it’s due to the high degree of processing in our food industry. I’ve been eating gluten-free for the last couple of years and have noticed a huge difference in how I feel – no more chronic fatigue, anemia or migraines and that’s why I’m also really curious about the premise behind a grain free diet. I may actually try an experiment and go grain-free for a couple of weeks – just to see how I feel on a more “Paleo” diet (though I will still be eating legumes I think). Anyway, one of the recipes I’ve had on my mind for a while is a Grain-Free Granola (nothing new…there are a whole bunch of recipes for Grain-Free/Paleo granola on the internet). But I made a batch this morning after looking at a few recipes and then coming up with my own. (I’ll post it shortly in a separate post). It was actually fairly easy to make and isn’t as dense as some of the Paleo Granola recipes out there. Yet it was surprisingly quite filling with some berries, sliced banana and coconut milk…so it may become more of a staple in my breakfast (need some variety from eggs and smoothies!)

Anyway – enjoy the rest of the weekend and look out for my granola recipe. I’ll be back at some point with my thoughts on Paleo – after I’ve read a few more books on it!

Summer Lunches

I recently saw a tweet about having a smoothie for lunch during the hot summer months. Smoothies are usually more of a breakfast or lunch “add-on” for me  (I eat a lot) 🙂 but they can certainly make a meal – or at least a large portion of it if you use the right ingredients. They key to a good smoothie – one that will keep you satisfied for a few hours, is to use a combination of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein in your concoction. Toppings can then include some more healthy fats in the form of nuts/seeds/nut butters, or some more carbs in the form of granola, cereal or sliced fruit. You could also pair the smoothie with a slice of whole grain or gluten-free toast w/an egg or egg white, some sliced fruit & nut butter or a hard-bolied egg for some added nutrients and satiety.

Here are some tips on making a satisfying smoothie:

1.  Choose your base: 1/2 cup almond/soy/dairy/coconut milk + 1/2 cup water (can also do just 1 cup of your milk of choice)

2. Add in your fruit and vegetables. Some possible combinations are:

– 1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup baby spinach (or kale); 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, OR

– 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2-3/4 cup sliced strawberries (fresh or frozen), 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (optional), OR

– 1/2 frozen banana, 1/2 pineapple, 1/2 cup spinach

– 1/2-3/4 cup frozen or fresh pitted cherries, 1/4 avocado

– 1/2 cup chopped mango, 1/2 cup chopped pineapple, 1/4 avocado

Tip: Using a frozen banana or avocado makes the smoothie really creamy. The avocado adds healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals too…and the banana is a great source of carbs and potassium!

3. Add in your protein option: 1/2-1 scoop of a protein powder, or 1/2 cup Greek yogurt

4. Add in your healthy fats: 1/4 avocado, or 1 Tbs nut butter, or 5-6 almonds, or 1 Tbs flax or chia seeds

5. Add in a few ice cubes and blend away!

Top with: 1-2 tsp chia or flax seeds, 1/4 cup granola or cereal, or 1 tsp nut butter w/sliced fruit, or 1-2 Tbsp walnuts

Enjoy!!

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Night Owls and the Art of Snacking

Hello folks – I survived my first day back at grad school 🙂 Actually, it was fun to be back and see familiar faces again, and dive right into a busy schedule. I had 2 of my 3 classes today and spent a good deal of time sorting out books and other administrative stuff. I also went to the gym, swam and spent another chunk of time putzing on the internet… as usual 🙂 Well – I’ll take some time off to putz while I still can and while my schedule isn’t too insane.

Moving on…I also realized that I’m dangerously slipping back into my days as a “Night Owl” – no pun intended. I keep telling myself that I should become a morning person…go to bed earlier and wake up earlier…but somehow that doesn’t seem to quite work for me. I must have been a vampire in my former life…hence my sudden burst of energy to write this post at 11:50pm instead of going to bed and getting up early to do it….Maybe I should just stop trying to convince myself that I should really be a “morning” person.

Jokes aside, when I came home today from class around 5:15pm, I was hungry for a snack – but not for anything big or “dinner-like” – and so I snacked on some apple slices, crunchy almond butter, baby carrots and some mashed roasted sweet potato, along with a cup of tea. It was an odd combination but it was really satisfying and gave me the energy to go for a late evening swim at the gym. Part of the reason that my snack was so satisfying was that it a combination of healthy carbs and fats from the fruit, veggies and the almond butter. However in addition to that, it was also very satisfying on a sensory level – in terms of flavor and texture.

One of the reasons that people don’t always feel satisfied with a mid-afternoon or a mid-morning snack is that it is only comprised of one food group – usually just a carbohydrate based snack (such as crackers, chips a piece of fruit, cookie…though the fruit is by far a better choice than the cookie!). Since our bodies use carbs as a primary source of fuel, we typically crave a carb snack when we’re depleted of energy (e.g. mid-morning or mid-afternoon) and need an energizing boost. Carbs can certainly provide that but as we’ve heard before, simple carbohydrates such as sugars, candy, cakes etc can lead to a “sugar high”/an insulin spike and then a crash – leading to more cravings. However, pairing a carb with a healthy source of protein and/or fat will not only make it feel more satisfying and hefty but will also delay digestion and promote satiety, tiding you to your next full meal.

Another often overlooked reason why people may not feel satisfied with a simple snack is that as individuals, we typically crave variety in life, and a single food item may not always satisfy all of our senses – of taste, flavor and texture; senses that we innately use in our appreciation of food. When we eat a full meal we usually have a variety of flavors, textures, colors, aromas and sometimes temperature on our plates – and that’s part of why we feel satisfied after a meal. We’ve engaged all our visual, olfactory and sensory receptors..and so we’re happy. (Of course, our stomachs are also happy because we’ve eaten a real meal and are full 😉 ). Applying the same idea to snacks, albeit on a smaller scale, may therefore help to promote a sense of satisfaction and satiety. In practice, this idea is not very difficult to do at all – and it works simultaneously with the idea of adding a healthy fat and/or protein to a carb-based snack.

So what are some examples of healthy snacks that provide a combination of carbohydrates and proteins/fats, and a variety of texture, flavor, color and taste?

  • Apple slices with 2 tsp of almond butter, and 1/2 cup of greek yogurt or cottage cheese, w/ sprinkle of additional almonds.
  • Baby carrots, sliced cucumbers or celery with almond or peanut butter, 1/2 cup yogurt, cottage or ricotta cheese
  • Baked tortilla chips with salsa, sliced avocado & 1/2 cup greek yogurt or cottage cheese
  • A hard-boiled egg, mashed onto a slice of toast with some crunchy, diced carrots or celery
  • 1/2 mashed banana on toast with almond butter and chopped almonds
  • Crackers and cottage cheese/greek yogurt or mashed soft tofu with chopped almonds and a tsp of almond butter
  • A small cup of broth based or vegetable soup (e.g. minestrone, tomato or butternut squash soup – without cream) with whole grain or rice-based crackers, chopped avocado and/or dollop of cottage cheese or greek yogurt
  • A small cup of tea or decaf coffee along with a 1/2 cup of yogurt and some sliced almonds and a couple of whole grain crackers.

Of course there are many other combinations depending on what specific foods you like and feel like having but the principle behind it is the same: aim for a healthy combination of carbs, protein and fats, and aim for a variety in texture, taste, flavor and color. (Just remember to keep your portion size in check – after all it is a snack and not a meal!) You may just find that your snack is so much more satisfying!

Vega Energizing Smoothie

Hi guys – Happy Monday! This is my last full week of summer break before classes start again next Wednesday. I took full advantage of my current laid back schedule and went out for a nice long bike ride again (I went yesterday afternoon too). In my last post, I mentioned making a smoothie with a new smoothie supplement, and that I’d do a review later on. Well, here it is! The smoothie supplement to which I referred is Vega Energizing Smoothie, which I bought at Whole Foods last week when it was on sale. I drink at least 1 or 2 smoothies every day and so I like trying out new, natural smoothie supplements (especially when they’re on sale!). Smoothies are a great post-workout fuel because (a) they’re liquid and so the carbs and calories are in a much easier form for your body to process and digest after a workout, (b) they’re so refreshing after a workout, in the morning and on a hot day, and (c) they’re a great way to pack in a lot of nutrition (calories, protein, carbs, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats) in a convenient and portable form – which may be particularly useful for people on the go (Think portable breakfast, snack, meal supplement).

Lately, I’ve been getting a bit tired of my vanilla protein shakes so I decided to give this smoothie supplement a try. I bought the Tropical Tango flavor, but it’s also available in a natural, vanilla almond, chocolate and berry flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The supplement is entirely plant based, and free of gluten, soy & dairy, and has no added sugar. One scoop has 95 calories (20 from fat), 9g carbs, 5g fiber, 1g sugar and 10g protein. It has a protein blend of pea, hemp, savi seed and sprouted brown rice protein, and also has flaxseed, inulin, a blend of greens (alfalfa, spinach, broccoli and kale) and a digestive enzyme. The Tropical Tango flavor has a delicious peach and mango flavor, and it can be mixed with just water or added to juice or milk in a smoothie. I typically make mine with a mixture of half water/half almond milk, some ice cubes, a handful of spinach and 1/3 banana – and it tastes fabulous! Especially after a long bike ride, or run, or even first thing in the morning. This type of smoothie mix would also be great to take with you to any races or on vacation – since it’s a convenient and great tasting form of nutrients when you may be hard-pressed to find a healthy meal option, or need a quick source of fuel after a tough race.

I may get the berry flavor too while it’s still on sale and give that a try. Needless to say – it’s become one of my favorite, all natural supplements. Off to walk Folly and then soak up some sunshine at the pool before my classes start!

 

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Hi everyone,
I’ve been craving a really good black bean burger lately, and instead of buying some of the highly processed ones on the market, I tried a slightly different variation on my Homemade Black Bean Burger for One recipe. I made a batch of 4 burgers this time, using a whole can of black beans, and froze some for lunches/dinners later this week or next. Th burger mixture is somewhat wet and sticky when you first make it so you can either let the mixture “set” for a few hours before forming it into patties, or form it into (very sticky) patties before refrigerating. I did the latter but it was very messy so I’ll try refrigerating the mixture before forming patties next time.

Note: To make the burgers less spicy, use 1/8 tsp instead of 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper.

They are still crumbly – not your typical “store-bought” type burgers – but they use all natural ingredients and have no artificial or heavily processed ingredients, so they’re healthier – and cheaper!

Enjoy!

 

Spicy Black Bean Burgers (makes 4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

1 15 oz can black beans, drained & rinsed

1/4 cup egg beaters (or 1 egg, lightly beaten*)

1/4 cup peanut flour (or oat flour/ garbanzo bean flour**)

1 carrot, diced

2 – 3 button mushrooms, chopped

3 – 4 tsp Worcestershire sauce (4 will make the mixture more wet so use less if desired)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp black pepper

1/8 – 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (use 1/4 tsp if you like it spicier!)

 

Method:

1. Set aside 1/4 cup of the rinsed and drained black beans.

2. In a food processor or large bowl, pulse/mash the the black beans, carrots, peanut flour, eggbeaters (or egg) and spices.

3. Add the mushrooms and pulse to combine the ingredients.

4. Put the mixture in a large bowl (if using a food processor) and then add the remaining 1/4 cup black beans. Mix all ingredients till well combined.

5. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and allow to set for 30 minutes – 2 hours. (Can form patties and allow to set, but the mixture will be sticky)

6. Lightly spray a frying pan/skillet with cooking spray and cook burgers till well browned on both sides, flipping once.

7. Serve on a bun, on a salad, with rice or millet, along with the fixings of your choice! You can also add these to tacos or in a wrap or quesadilla.

Topping ideas: Tomatoes, salsa, avocado, corn, mustard, cheese(s) of your choice (blue cheese, cheddar, feta, goat cheese), grilled onions, lettuce, cooked kale and carrots, grilled pineapple, grilled mushrooms & onions

Nutrition Information (per patty, without toppings or bun):

Calories: 152 – 162 calories,* Protein: 9 – 12g** , Carbohydrate: 20 – 21g, Fat: 1.5g – 2.5g*
* The calorie and fat content will be the higher number in the ranges provided above if you use a whole egg vs 1/4 cup eggbeaters

** The protein content of peanut flour is higher than wheat, oat or bean flours, so the amount of protein per patty will be slightly higher with peanut flour.

FYI: peanut flour has 16g protein per 1/4 cup, vs 6g per 1/4 cup for garbanzo bean flour and 2-3g per 1/4 cup for most other oat or wheat flours.

PS: Some of my friends from Art School have started a Blog Hop featuring recipes and home-grown ideas. I posted this recipe on Foy’s blog and am linking back to their hop below. Check out some of the ideas and recipes – all healthy and very inspiring!

 

Eat Make Grow Blog Hop 3

French Toast Breakfast

Good Morning everyone! I hope this week has been off to a great start for y’all. I started my day with Gluten Free French Toast and egg whites – for the third day in a row! I don’t know why I’ve been on a French Toast kick this week but I just can’t get enough of it. I also find that with the combination of healthy carbs (whole-grain, gluten free toast & fruit), protein (eggs/egg whites) and fats (nut butter), this breakfast keeps me perfectly satisfied and energized till lunchtime. I use gluten-free bread since I’m gluten intolerant, but whole-grain bread will work just fine. And of course you can add any fruit you wish! The last couple of days, I’ve cooked up the remaining egg white batter and also had an egg on the side for some extra protein so feel free to add an extra egg and egg white on the side based on your hunger levels. The extra protein will certainly keep you satisfied for a while.

French Toast with Berries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

2 slices whole-grain (or gluten free) bread

1/4 cup eggbeaters or eggwhites

2 Tbsp almond milk

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt

Topping:

5 sliced strawberries

5 – 6 blackeberries

1/2 sliced banana

1-2 tsp nut butter (almond, peanut etc)

 

Method:

1. Whisk egg whites, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and salt in a shallow dish.

2. Dip bread in batter till it is evenly coated and soaked through.

3. Spray a skillet with cooking spray and cook bread till golden brown. Flip and cook till the other side is evenly browned. Set aside on a plate

4. Heat berries in the same skillet and pour over toast.

5. Top toast and berries with nut butter and banana slices.

6. Cook the remaining batter and an extra egg (if desired) and serve along-side toast for extra protein!

Are You Afraid of Yolks?

Good Morning! I hope everyone had a great 4th! This morning’s post was unplanned – but I thought of it while devouring a runny egg on toast with my breakfast. I’ve always found the debate on eggs to be interesting because they’re packed with so much nutrition and yet there’s always been a huge “fear factor” about the amount of cholesterol that’s in the yolk. Poor eggs…they’ve gotten such a bad rap in the past, and yet now, especially as I hear more people going ‘Paleo,’ eggs are making a comeback. Well…they were never all that bad for you to begin with, especially (as with anything) when eaten in moderation as part of a healthy diet (blah, blah, blah,…I know – we’ve all heard it before :)) Well – I’m not going to go into a long, lengthy discussion on eggs, but I thought it might be interesting to know exactly what’s in the white and the yolk, and what makes the yolk so nutritious.

1 large egg contains about 70 calories and 6 g protein. Here’s a website that breaks down exactly what nutrients are in the white and the yolk:

Egg Whites: Contain just over 50% of the total protein in a large egg (3.6g vs 2.7g in the yolk). The whites also contain more magnesium, potassium and sodium, niacin and just under 50% of the total selenium in a large egg.

Egg Yolks: Contain most of the calcium, iron, phosphorus, copper, zinc, manganese, selenium, thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid (a B vitamin), vitamin B6, B12, Folate (95% of the total amount in the egg!),the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, essential fatty acids (DHA) and carotenoids (like beta-carotene which is essential for good eye health). The yolk also has 215mg of cholesterol – but that’s only a fraction of the cholesterol that your body produces on its own (and besides, cholesterol is essential for the maintenance of cell membranes – it provides structure to them, and is also important for the production of hormones)

So bottom line: Eat the whole egg, or even two on the odd occasion. I have a whole egg on most days of the week, plus a couple of egg whites as part of breakfast (or lunch sometimes). I buy organic eggs – yes they’re more expensive, but I like to know that the eggs I eat are coming from hens that are treated fairly and ethically. And FYI – brown eggs are no more or less nutritious than white eggs – they just come from different hens…

Have an egg-cellent day (cheesy I know – but I couldn’t help it! 😉

Fish is Back

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a couple of weeks now, but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. As many of my friends know, I’ve been vegetarian for over a year and half, eating mostly tofu, Tempeh, beans and the occasional egg for protein, and a variety of vegetables, fruits, and corn and rice products. However, over the last month, I’ve made a few changes to my diet: (i) reduced my consumption of soy products – especially soy yogurt, soy milk, tofu & Tempeh, (ii) added more eggs and egg whites, as a source of protein, and (iii) added fish back into my diet. And honestly – I feel better after making these changes.

There are several reasons why I made these changes, but before I elaborate, I do want to emphasize that everyone is different, and has different likes/dislikes, food tolerances and a different metabolism. What works for one person may not work for another, and it is crucial to really listen to your body and do what makes you feel and function at your best – all within your own level of moral and ethical comfort. For the last few months, I had noticed that I was feeling more tired than usual, was sore after workouts for longer, and was losing some hair (yikes!). Then, during a physical checkup, my doctor reported back that both my iron and protein levels were very low – and this was despite the fact that I had been eating (what I thought was enough) protein in the form of soy, beans and the occasional egg & egg whites. I also thought that I was getting enough iron from the beans and dark leafy greens, but evidently not. Moreover, I was also concerned about my heavy reliance on soy products for protein (there is much debate on the benefits vs dangers of too much soy due to the phytoestrogens it contains and how these hormone-like substances can affect your own hormone levels).

True, there are many individuals who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet and do remarkably well on it – but I may not be one of them. It took me a while to accept this. And I admit, I felt torn with guilt at the thought of “giving up” on a vegetarian diet, and felt like a hypocrite for starting to eat fish again when I had been such an advocate for vegetarian diets. But I also had to acknowledge and accept my own likes/dislikes and my own lifestyle. I just don’t like a lot of pulses and large amounts of beans – my body does not like digesting them and I don’t like spending the time cooking them…Plain and simple – and the harsh truth. Hence my heavy dependence on soy the previous year; it was just easier to stir fry tofu & Tempeh than plan out a bean-based meal. For me anyway…

So lately, I’ve added some tuna and the occasional bites of salmon back into my life, and cut back on soy. I don’t eat poultry or red meat (still wrestle with the humane side of the issue), but I do buy organic and cage-free eggs, and sustainably caught tuna and other fish. I’m not sure if I will eat poultry or red meat again – maybe, but maybe not. I can however  say that I won’t be so harsh in “sticking to an ideal” or idea at all costs, and try to be “ethically flexible” if that can be called a phrase. By that I mean buying local, organic and minimally processed food whenever possible, and to eat a primarily plant-based diet. However, I no longer say that I’m vegetarian because I’m honestly not – I eat fish and will probably continue to do so, but mindfully and only if I really want it – not simply because it may be convenient. At the end of the day, I think that a diet that is based on natural, minimally processed foods, that do not place an excessive burden on the environment is ideal – but it is also equally important to care of yourself and be healthy. So if something in your way of eating is not working for you then don’t be afraid to change it. Finding what works best for you is often hard and may take some experimentation, but it’s worth it in the end – especially if it turns into a lifestyle that you can maintain and one that seems ‘natural’ and not any form of a forced ‘diet.’ After all, this blog is called “Coffee Beans and Greens,” and is about trying to maintain a balance in life – and that includes balancing my concern for the environment with maintaining my own health.

So sorry for the lengthy post – but I did want to express my views on this subject. And with that, I’ll also leave you with my ‘fish’ addition that I had earlier this week: Easy Tuna Salad

Easy Tuna Salad

Ingredients:

1 6 oz can light tuna, drained

1 large carrot, washed and diced

1 – 1.5 Tbs light mayo

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbs raisins

1 Tbs chopped walnuts

1/2 tsp cumin

Pinch of black pepper

Dash of hot sauce

1 – 2 Tbs mashed avocado (Optional)

Method:

1. Combine all the above ingredients in a bowl and divide into two portions.

2. Add to a salad, sandwich or wrap with additional greens and avocado (if desired)

Two steps forward, one step back

Hello, Hello –  and happy weekend to you all! It’s going to be another hot one here in New England – so please stay well hydrated whatever you’re doing – going to the pool, beach or just hanging out outside!

Since my last post on my ridiculous refrigerator situation, I’ve made some progress in using up what I currently have on hand, but I also took “a step back” when I came home with more produce: strawberries, bananas, eggs and a box of veggie burgers this week (Hey – they were all on sale and things that I will eat up quickly!). However,  I did exert some self-control and refrained from buying yet another jar of peanut butter (to add to my collection – IOI). On a sad note though, some foods that I used to eat all the time last year are no longer as appealing to me – mainly tofu and Tempeh 😦 Not sure if I just OD-ed on soy and am just sick of it now, but I’m waiting till I really want some before opening up the packs that are currently sitting in my fridge.

Some creative ways in which I used up leftovers in my fridge this week were:

– Making a mashed chickpea burger/hash with the leftover Chickpea Curry, and eating that in tacos with a side salad.

– Having eggs (cooked in various ways) for either breakfast, lunch or dinner with brown rice tortillas, tacos or in a salad (Eggs are super versatile and can form the basis of a very nutritious and quick meal at any time of day. And don’t discard the yolk! Eating a yolk a day is fine for most people unless they have extremely high cholesterol, and more often it is dietary intake of saturated fats, especially from animal products, that is associated with high cholesterol, and not specifically dietary intake of cholesterol. Egg yolks are a great source of choline – necessary for healthy functioning of the brain and nervous system, many B vitamins, especially B12 – necessary for metabolism, selenium, vitamin A and vitamin D.)

– Having tofu tacos (not my favorite, but I was trying to use up leftover tofu)

– Making Homemade Black Bean Burgers with leftover black beans

Other ideas for using up leftover curries, vegetables and proteins (meat fish, chicken, soy) is to make a quick stir fry with them and then add them to a salad, sandwich or a wrap. Most things taste great in a sandwich 🙂 and that way you (i) don’t waste any leftover food, (ii) save money by not ordering take-out again, and (iii) probably end up with something that is healthier than take-out anyway.

Now if  only I can be satisfied with home-brewed coffee, and not feel compelled to get Starbucks everyday, sometimes twice a day :(….

Working on it folks… 😉

Simple, Spicy Dinner

Hi everyone! So in my last post I highlighted three great cookbooks for ya’ll to try out, and it really motivated me to try one of the recipes that I’ve been meaning to make for a while now. Mama Pea’s Spicy African Peanut Stew from her book Peas and Thank You. I don’t have a slow cooker so I just used a large pot and made it on the stove – and it was awesome! So easy and so delicious! And all the ingredients were plant based! The stew is a great meal in itself, providing protein, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals all in one dish. Protein, complex carbohydrates, iron and B vitamins from the chickpeas and lentils, complex carbohydrates, vitamin A and beta-carotene from the sweet potato, and healthy fats from the peanut butter and the coconut milk (more on the fats in coconut milk in a later post!). Plus, the spices in the dish are a great source of antioxidants.

I added a base of baby spinach to my bowl of the stew, and here’s a picture of it below.

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The recipe is on her website so certainly give it a try – and I promise you that you won’t miss any meat!

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