What I’m Eating:
Alright, I’m not going to bore you with an extensive list of ingredients and tedious steps on how to make a healthy lunch. If you’re like me, you don’t have the patience to read through chapters and chapters of steps. ‘Work smarter, not harder’ is what I believe in and Folks, this recipe is the result of that philosophy. The following ingredients are just guidelines simply because they were leftovers. You can alter this recipe as much as you want, just remember to keep it simple and healthy.
If you don’t have leftover quinoa, black beans, mushrooms, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and kale, NO PROBLEM. Use whatever whole grains and fresh veggies you have in the fridge. I often find myself wondering what in the heck to do with veggies that are close to going bad or I’m just not in the mood to eat alone. The solution? Throw everything together in a bowl.
Chop your veggies into small pieces or keep them chunky if you prefer.
Afterwards, put ingredients in microwavable bowl and heat for 2-3 minutes until mixture is warmed through. Not a fan of warm salads? Feel free to skip the heat.
Finally, add a serving or less of your favorite dressing. (Read food labels and pay attention to serving size. Some dressings are well over 120 calories per serving.)
Whole Grains: Quinoa, Wheatberry, Barley, Brown Rice, Farro, 100% Whole Grain Pasta (Make sure packages are labeled 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat)
Veggies/Fruit: Carrots, Onions, Spinach, cucumbers, cubed sweet potatoes, apples, pears, blueberries, melons
Protein: Chicken, Beef, Salmon, Chickpeas, lentils, tofu
Dressing: Whatever rocks your world (Just make sure it’s low in calorie or use less if it’s not. Better yet, shake things up a bit and make your own healthy concoction.)
This week’s secret ingredient is the almighty BANANA. Never underestimate the power and versatility of America’s number one fruit. Have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a snack, or dessert. Not only are bananas nutritious and awesomely sweet, they’re very inexpensive. Known mostly for its high levels of potassium, which helps to maintain normal blood pressure and keeps your “ticker” functioning properly, bananas also provide a healthy dose of Vitamin C and dietary fiber. Bananas are also used as a natural antacid to prevent stomach ulcers and protect against ulcer damage. Here’s one more thing you should know about bananas. They can help build stronger bones due to a compound known as a prebiotic (fructooligosaccharide), which works with probiotic or the friendly bacteria in your colon.
Below are a few ways I like to enjoy these beauties!
Banana Raisin Wrap
Sweet Potato Fluff
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Coconut-Banana Creme Bowl
I strongly believe that the more we learn about food, the healthier we become. Learning about the history, benefits, and how to prepare different foods helps us to make healthier choices and to step outside of our comfort zone. Maybe the next time you’re cruising around the grocery store, you’ll pick up that pint of blackberries or bunch of cilantro you’ve been eyeing for a while. Many people are curious about certain foods, but have no idea how to cook them. Each week I will show you how to cook one basic healthy ingredient such as oatmeal, fennel, almond butter, or chicken. You can find videos on how to prepare the mystery ingredient on my Youtube channel (links provided below). I will also add videos that show you five different ways to incorporate them into any meal whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, or even dessert. Chicken for dessert? Hmmmm, maybe not! This series is called ‘(food name) All Day, 5 Ways.’
This week’s mystery ingredients are the awesome garbanzo beans also known by many as Chickpeas. Now I understand some people have never ventured over to the world of chickpeas or have no idea what these things are. Maybe you’ve dipped a few baby carrots or celery sticks in a pool of hummus, but never knew the primary ingredient, but if your only understanding of hummus comes from a certain movie…well then I hope I can help you out a little bit. No, I will not teach you how to make a hummus hose!
Here’s some cool stuff about garbanzo beans. Garbanzo beans (chickpeas) are from the legume family meaning they are the fruit or seed of a plant. Many sources trace their origins back to India, but you can also find variations in areas of the Mediterranean, north Africa, and Mexico. I won’t bore you with extensive fun facts about these beauties, but there are many reasons why you should consider including them in your diet.
Photos Courtesy of:
The World’s Healthiest Foods: Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
Almond Choco-Cherry Smoothie
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (40)
1/2 banana, frozen pieces (55)
1 tbsp unsweetened coco powder (12)
1/4 cup frozen dark cherries (50)
½ tbsp almond butter (48)
1 cup spinach (7)
1 scoop protein powder, vanilla or chocolate (120)
*Throw all ingredients into blender until smooth. Add extra almond milk or water to thin out if you prefer thinner consistency.
Breakfast: Apple Fruit & Oak Bake with boiled egg (436)
Snack: Berry-Vanilla Protein Smoothie (372)
Lunch: Shrimp and Lotus Rice Bowl with Vietnamese Dressing and Nori Chips (488)
Dinner: Carrot Ginger Soup with Lemon Cod (Sides: Sweet potato fries, broccoli, and seaweed salad) (515)
*Also snacked on a few brazil nuts and walnuts. Would like to add more greens to the menu, but overall, the food was awesome. Recipes coming soon!