This recipe is one of my favourite fall/winter lunch dishes! It’s easy to make, and will serve ~6 meals.
Ingredients: • 1 cup quinoa • 2 chicken breasts • 2 cups arugula • 3 large celery stalks • 1 bunch of green onion • ¼ cup chopped pecans • ¼ cup dried cranberries • ¼ cup olive oil • 1 lemon • 4 tbsp white vinegar • Salt and pepper Note: replace chicken with crumbled goat cheese for vegetarian option.
Directions: Bake the chicken breasts at 350°C for ~30 minutes. While the chicken is baking, cook 1 cup quinoa in 1 ½ cup water – heat to boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Finely chop the green onion and celery. For the dressing combine the olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, white vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Once the chicken is done baking, cut into bite sized pieces. Combine the chicken, quinoa, celery, green onion, cranberry, pecans, and arugula. Drizzle with your vinaigrette-dressing, toss, and voila, you can now enjoy your delicious and nutritious meal!
This is an easy to make salad, perfect for summer. It is full of nutrient dense vegetables, and can be enjoyed by meat or fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans alike. It is gluten free and dairy free. I always make a big batch as it keeps for a week in the fridge. Your family will love it!
Makes 5 servings as a complete meal
Ingredients: - 1 1/2 cup of cooked and drained chickpeas - 1 bunch of asparagus - 1 red pepper cubed - 1 orange pepper cubed - 2 cup of white mushrooms sliced - 1 bunch of cilantro chopped - Olive oil - Fig Balsamic vinegar (or regular balsamic vinegar) - Sea salt - Choice of the following depending on your preferences: 2 chicken breast, or 6 oz of salmon, or 8 oz of tempeh, cut to bite size.
Directions: Steam the asparagus until tender, then cut into bite size. Sauté the mushrooms, asparagus, and the meat, fish or tempeh, until tender with 2 tbsp of olive oil and 2 tbsp of fig balsamic vinegar. In a salad bowl, toss the red & orange pepper, the chickpeas, the cilantro, a dash of sea salt, and 1 tbsp each of olive oil & fig balsamic vinegar. Add the sautéed mixture and toss again. Voila!
I love Quinoa and what can be done with it. You can have it for breakfast with almond milk, walnuts and a dash of maple syrup or cinnamon (great on a cold winter morning), or for lunch as a salad. This recipe is easy, and I usually make a big batch on Sunday evening, so my husband and I can take it to work a couple of times a week. For the olive oil, I use our local supplier Tri-Cities tasters because their products are amazing, but if you don't live around Port Moody, then shop locally in your area for an infused chipotle oil.
Quinoa: 1 1/4 cup dried Asparagus: 1 bunch diced Mushrooms: 2 cups sliced Red pepper: 1 diced Green pepper: 1 of diced Wild Salmon: 6 oz
Directions: - Cook the quinoa in 2 1/2 cups of boiling water (always rinse before cooking), until the water is gone (about 15 minutes). - Bake the salmon for 15 minutes at 425 degree. Then flake it into pieces. - Sauté the asparagus, mushrooms and peppers with 2 tbsp of chipotle olive oil until tender, add the chill powder and cook for 2 more minutes.
Once everything is cooked, baked and sautéed, mix it all together, add the sea salt and 2 tbsp of chipotle olive oil. Voila! Serve warm and enjoy!
I assume you know what a nutritious diet consist of, so I won't talk about healthy nutrition. We are all aware of what's good and what's bad for us in terms of food (at least, I hope so). All we need is to be prepared.
Here are 3 tips to help you be prepared:
1- Meal Planning: this is the hardest one for people, but it pays off tremendously in the end. My husband and I spend our Sunday evenings cooking for the week (okay I cook, he keeps me company). We drink a glass of wine and have great conversations, our bonding time if you will. For about 2 hours, I cook our weekly meals. I make 3 to 4 different dishes (see below for ideas) and put them in containers. I hard boil eggs. I cook meat and fish which can be paired with a salad as a quick meal. We both bring our food with us to work. We eat real, nutritious food, and also save money!
2- Keep snacks handy: if you're hungry and you're away from home, the easiest thing to do is stop somewhere and grab food. Unfortunately, there aren't many healthy options around. Keep water with you at all times; have nuts or seeds handy (they make a quick, healthy and fulfilling snack, and don't need a fridge); and make your own trail mix, ensuring you keep a bag in your car or purse.
3- Eating out: you need to be mentally prepared for this one. There are healthy choices at most restaurants and coffee places. Not perfect choices, but at least options. Order foods that are wholesome, such as grilled and sautéed meat or fish, with vegetables, and with the least amount of sauce. No bread, no dessert, but enjoy a glass of wine if you wish. Remember, you're there to enjoy the people you're with. At the coffee shop, have a tea, coffee or any natural beverage, no food unless you brought some nuts to munch on. At the convenience store, fresh fruits and unsealed nuts or seeds are probably your only healthy options.
Here are some healthy menu planning ideas:
2 Brown Rice Cakes with almond butter, 1 apple & Green tea (this one is for people who just need a light start to their day);
1 Cup of cooked quinoa, with 1/4 cup of almond milk, chopped walnut, cinnamon & chia seeds (this is for people who have tendency to feel cold easily);
Smoothie with one avocado, an apple, 1 juice of a lemon, kale, spinach and celery with ground flax seeds (this is for people who have tendency to feel warm often);
1 omelete made of 2 eggs & 2 egg whites, chopped mushrooms & grilled asparagus, sea salt and pepper & green tea (for those who like some savory food upon waking).
In the west, we frequently view our food and our medicine as two separate entities. Often we eat simply to fill a hunger void or particular craving, and do not view our food as having possible therapeutic benefit to our bodies. In contrast, many other cultures see their food and their medicine as one in the same. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), congee is a versatile dish to which ingredients can be added for general health, or to address specific nutritional/medicinal needs.
Congee is a simple fare, usually based on rice (though other grains can be used), cooked to the consistency of soup or porridge. Historically it was used as both a popular nutritious meal, as well as a vessel for delivering easy-to-digest medicines to the sick or weakened. Such use was first found in medical volumes discovered in tombs dating to the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE). Later texts from the Tang (618-907 CE) and Song (960-1279 CE) Dynasties also described their extensive use by medical practitioners.
According to TCM, rice has a sweet flavour and neutral property. It is easily accepted by the digestive system, and provides the body with a stable form of nutrient qi (vital energy), while activating and promoting the digestive process. It is interesting that the Chinese symbol for qi (shown above), contains the symbol for rice, and depicts “having rice inside”.
Rice is turned into congee by cooking it with large amounts of water, about 5 to 7 times the amount you would normally use, until it has a thick and even consistency. Consuming it warm makes it immediately available for digestion and absorption, without relatively much work by the digestive system. In addition, because it is cooked with so much water, it provides gentle hydration. TCM considers that the less work the body needs to do to process a food, the more benefit one may gain from it.
The versatility of congee makes culinary possibilities quite numerous and open to the imagination. It is important to note that congees with highly specific medicinal purposes are best left discussed with your healthcare practitioner, before being implemented into your diet.
The following recipe is a simple SEAFOOD CONGEE that can be enjoyed by anyone, at any time of year, as a nutritious and energizing meal. It contains such mild food therapy ingredients as garlic, shallot, and ginger (which may help expel a cold or flu, as well as clear phlegm), shiitakemushrooms (which benefit the immune system), and seaweed (which also helps to clear phlegm). As such, it can be especially great in the cold and flu season!
It can be made vegetarian by omitting the seafood ingredients; or converted to a chicken or pork congee by substituting for the seafood, optionally omitting the seaweed, and using chicken stock instead.
2 cups cooked jasmine rice 6 cups low-sodium vegetable stock 1 tbsp crushed garlic 1 shallot or green onion, sliced small ½” to 1” section of ginger (depending on taste), cut lengthwise into very thin sticks 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms 1/2 sheet or less of reconstituted culinary seaweed (such as kombu), cut into very thin 1” strips 1 8oz can of either sliced bamboo shoots or sliced water chestnuts (your preference) 1 small head chopped broccoli 10 pcs baby bok choi, sliced in half lengthwise 1 tbsp light soy sauce 2 tbsp vegetable oil 1 handful chopped fresh cilantro Fresh lime wedges Ground white pepper, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and/or other spices to taste
Seafood – use 1-3 choices (adjust amounts accordingly) from options of: a filet of any whitefish or salmon, cubed approx 1/2lb or so of shrimp/prawns 1 or 2 small tubes of squid, sliced into thin rings Other shellfish (e.g. ½ can clams)
PREPARATION In a soup stock pot, add the pre-cooked rice and stock together with the soy sauce and seaweed, bring to a boil and cook at medium heat for 40 minutes to an hour until the rice has the desired porridge-like consistency. This procedure can vary quite a bit in time depending on the nature of the rice.
After the rice and stock have cooked for at least 20 minutes, in a separate wok or large frying pan, add the garlic, shallots, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, vegetables, and bamboo shoots or waterchestnuts. Stir-fry this mixture for a few minutes until ingredients soften, then add to the cooking rice and stock.
In the same wok, add a bit more oil and stir-fry the seafood ingredients lightly, being careful not to over-cook them. Add this to the cooking congee within the last 5-10 minutes of cooking (helps prevent excessively over-cooking the more delicate seafood ingredients).
Note - if using chicken or pork instead, stir-fry until well done and add to congee earlier.
Serve in bowls garnished with fresh cilantro and green onion. Some also enjoy squeezing a fresh lime wedge over the finished product. Enjoy!
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