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Kale & Beans Crockpot Recipe February 6, 2011

Dwight and I have a little bit of a Saturday night dinner tradition.  This week we kept it pretty simple and very healthy.  Vegetables and beans are the best way to get your nutrients on a vegan or vegetarian diet.  They are low in fat and high in protein, minerals and vitamins.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 head of kale chopped (not 1 leaf, this should be about 4 or 5 packed cups)
  • 2 cans of navy beans
  • 1 large celery stalk chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme

Throw the ingredients in a crockpot, stir, let it cook for at least an hour.  Then you’ll have yourself a healthy stew!

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Protein – Vegetarian Sources April 28, 2010

I recently met with a nutritionist who indicated that my protein levels were low.  And no it isn’t because I’m vegan and not eating meat (MOM)!  It is most likely due to the fact that I was on a raw vegan diet for a year and eating mostly nuts for my protein.  While nuts do contain some protein they are mainly a fat dominant food.  That isn’t to say that nuts are bad for you.  In fact they are packed with nutrients, minerals and one of the best sources of essential fatty acids; but should not be relied upon as a protein source, not for an extended period of time.  I have moved over to some other plants that are protein dominant, the wonderful world of beans 🙂

If you are into smoothies, I have been using Raw Protein from Garden of Life in my smoothies in the morning.  It is basically sprouted beans, dried and ground into a powder.  There is also some flax and chia seed in there, which are also very nutritious.  I also like the fact that they include some probiotics and enzymes!  I do admit I feel kind of silly using a protein powder in the morning, something feels reminiscent of frat boys and meat heads heading to the gym with their muscle milk.  But this protein powder is 100% vegan, gluten free, raw, soy free, kosher and so on.  It has large doses of Vitamin A, D, E and K.  Vitamin D is hard to obtain on a vegan diet, whereas most vegetarians obtain this through milk and dairy products.  And finally, there are NO additives or any flavorings, and I can barely taste it in my smoothies.  I highly recommend it!

Next I’d like to talk about tofu and tempeh.  After about two years of avoiding tofu and tempeh I have finally decided to give them a try.  Since I feel that I always need to be highly informed about my food I decided to do a little research on the two.  I found that tempeh is more of a whole food because it is actually made from the soybean, higher in protein and vitamins, and the proteins and vitamins are easier for the body to claim because of the fermentation process used to make tempeh.  Whereas tofu is made from soymilk, making it not a whole food, and contains more phytates which inhibit the bodies absorption of nutrients.  I still think that both foods contain a good source of protein and vitamins.  But from now on I will be choosing tempeh!

My only caveat about buying soy products is that soy is often GMO, which is why I stayed away from them for so long.  So my advice if you choose to eat either tempeh or tofu you MUST buy organic!  GMO foods are incredibly disastrous not only to our health, but to the environment as well.

 

Mung Dhal Soup April 12, 2010

So we’ve had a bit of a cold streak, today I decided to make some soup to warm up with!

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh peas
  • 2 cups chopped and peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup mung dhal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tbs miso

Directions combine ingredients into a large pot bring it to a boil for a few minutes.  Then let the soup simmer for 30-45 minutes.  This soup turns out pretty thick and creamy, if you’d like it to be a little soupier add more water.

Mung Dhal is a great source of vitamins, protein and minerals they are also very easy to digest.

 

Stuffed Acorn Squash March 31, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers/Entrees,Gluten Free,Recipes — Yvette @ 12:55 am
Tags: , , , ,

This dish was inspired by a meal that I had at Josie’s in the city.  It’s a organic sustainable restaurant that serves delicious foods.  It’s a good place to go when you are with someone who isn’t so comfortable with vegan restaurants.  There are several good vegan selections and all their food is carefully made and well-presented. I loved the meal I had there so much even a year later I can remember what I had!  So I had Dwight make something similar, and would like to share the recipe with all of you 🙂  This is basically acorn squash stuffed with brown rice or quinoa and steamed veggies.

https://i2.wp.com/media.rd.com/rd/images/rdc/books/eat-to-beat-diabetes/rice-stuffed-squash-af.jpg

Ingredients (Serves 2):

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 cup brown rice or quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 head of broccoli

Directions:

  1. Turn the oven to 400 degrees.  Slice open the acorn squash and take out the seeds and pulp.  Place a tablespoon of water and a spoonful of coconut oil in the center of each half.  Place this in the oven for about an hour.
  2. Put 1 cup of brown rice and 2 cups water in a pot.  Bring to a boil, then let it simmer until the water is absorbed.
  3. You will only need about 10 minutes to steam or saute the broccoli and kale.  So 45-50 minutes later you will want to either place the veggies in a steamer or saute the broccoli and kale.  (Also you can put in whatever veggies you want)
  4. Once everything is cooked layer the rice and veggies on top of each half and serve.  To get the full experience you’ll want to mix the pulp of the acorn squash in with the veggies and brown rice.

If you don’t have a steamer it is no biggie.  Steaming is less damaging to the vegetables, but lightly sauteed veggies are good as well.  You can make a sauce to go along with this dish, but the acorn squash is sweet enough it isn’t necessary.

Enjoy!

 

Curried Quinoa March 25, 2010

Quinoa is a wonderful grain used by the Aztecs, it is a complete protein.  Quinoa is wonderful to cook with because it soaks up flavors well.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tbs minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin

First let the quinoa soak in a bowl for 15 minutes.  The grain has a protective coating and if it is not removed may cause you to be a little gassy.

After soaking put the quinoa and water into a pot and bring to a boil.  After the water is boiling, bring it down to a simmer and add the remaining ingredients.  Stir the ingredients around a bit, and let the quinoa cook.  It cooks similar to rice, so when the water has been cooked away, the quinoa is ready!

Enjoy!

 

Rice Dish March 8, 2010

Rice dishes can be used as a low maintenance healthy dish.  If you have a rice cooker than it’s even easier.  This rice dish is adapted from the famous Moosewood cookbooks.  I’ve made for Dwight and at potlucks and the responses have always been great.

Ingredients:

For the rice:

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 & 3/4 cups water

To throw on the rice:

  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced tofu or tempeh
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds

For the dressing (optional):

  • 1/2 cup OJ
  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)

What I usually do is I throw the rice on the stove, or throw it in the rice cooker.  Then I start preparing the veggies and the dressing.  You don’t need to steam or cook the veggies unless you want to.  I would prepare the vegetables and throw them in a large bowl, when the rice is done you can mix the two together.  The dressing isn’t necessary, but works well with the dish.  You can add whatever veggies you want to the dish, but this is a good way to add some raw veggies with a cooked grain.

When we eat too many different types of cooked food at one time it may be difficult for our bodies to handle.  Categories of foods would be grains, starchy vegetables (potatoes), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale), vegetable fruits (cucumbers, tomatoes), fruits and so on.  This is because cooked foods lack enzymes which are necessary for digestion.  The body has to draw upon its reserve of enzymes in the pancreas.  When you eat several types of food, the body needs to draw upon several types of digestive enzymes and fluids.

Have you ever felt tired after a meal?  It may have been the result of combining too many different types of cooked foods.  It’s good to give our bellies a break now and then!