How are on you this lovely Wednesday morning? Roaring and ready to get on with the day? Ok, maybe that’s a little much to ask on a humpday, but it’s all about positive thinking, right? I’ve got a great (and easy!) recipe to share with you today, as well as my latest new foodie find. Let’s start with that recipe…
1. Recipe of the Week: Last week I was reading this month’s issue of Women’s Health, which featured an article on 125 of the best packaged foods for women. There were suggestions in each category, including everything from fruit and veggies to sweet treats to pre-packaged meals. This got me thinking about the packaged foods that I buy. To be honest, there aren’t many. I’m a big advocate of shopping the perimeter of the grocery store (for both health and budget purposes) and making as many meals as possible by myself. I can’t say I’ve ever tasted a Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, or Michelina’s dinner (if you want to call them that – I prefer not to eat dinners that come in boxes) and I don’t think I’ve even had an Amy’s burrito or Kashi frozen meal.
Having said all of this, there are a few occasions when I just don’t feel like doing a lot of prep work. Last week I came home from work with a brain bursting full of new information and new names, which left me with little energy and patience to do my usual vegetable slicing and dicing. Lucky for me, I’d anticipated this and grocery shopped accordingly:
Mann’s Rainbow Salad actually happened to be included in the 125 best packaged foods for women, according to Women’s Health, and it certainly wins my approval too. Inside the bag is shredded cauliflower, purple cabbage, carrots and broccoli, and every single bag I’ve purchased has been super fresh. One of my favourite dinner staple meals is a stir fry of some sort, typically chock-full of vegetables and some sort of protein.
This week’s featured recipe, my Super-Quick Ginger Tempeh Stir Fry, requires very minimal chopping and prep work, and if you’re really focused, I’m willing to bet you could have it on the table in less than 15 minutes. The ginger I buy is pureed and comes in a tube (another Angela-approved packaged good) so there’s no peeling needed. I chopped up a few additional veggies simply because they were sitting in my vegetable bin, but you could easily just stick to the bagged ones and add your tempeh.
If tempeh is new to you, it’s ridiculously easy to cook – simply pan-fry it in a quick sauce made of ginger puree, soy sauce (or tamari) and rice vinegar until it’s warm, et voila – done! Not only is tempeh a great vegan source of protein, but it’s also made of whole, fermented soybeans (as opposed to the processed type) so you don’t have to worry about the nasty effects of phytoestrogens that studies claim dangerous. It’s easy on the digestive tract, full of enzymes, and really tasty!
To make this a more filling meal, you could add rice or soba noodles. If you’re really not in the mood to wait, an extra cup or two of the shredded veggies would also do the trick!
2. Lucuma. Ever heard of it? If you’re a raw foodie, or if you’ve ever investigated natural sweeteners, you probably have. Lucuma is a superfruit from South America. It grows on an evergreen lucuma tree, and is available in health food stores in powdered form. Nutritionally speaking, it’s a superfruit because it offers dietary fiber, calcium, potassium, iron, beta carotene, and niacin. It also ranks low on the glycemic index (GI) scale, meaning that after you eat it, your blood sugar levels won’t quickly rise then plummet as they do with white sugar. Taste-wise, I read prior to purchasing that it is supposed to have a citrus-maple-y flavour that works well in things like puddings, smoothies, ice cream, and fudge.
Rather than adding some lucuma powder to a smoothie (my usual routine for superfood powders), I decided to add it into one of my all-time favourite snacks: cottage cheese mixed with pureed pumpkin and cinnamon. Friends, I know it doesn’t look appetizing, but this is the BOMB! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it – this might just be your next favourite healthy dessert.
In a bowl, I combined about 1/3 cup each of fat-free Nordica cottage cheese and pureed pumpkin. You’d be surprised how much cinnamon adds to the sweetness factor. I’m not sure how much I normally use but my guess is between 1/2 and 3/4 tsp. Normally I sweeten this mix further with a packet of stevia, but on this occasion I swapped it for 1 tsp of lucuma powder.
At this point, the mixture didn’t seem very sweet, so I added one more teaspoon. This was enough to notice a difference, and although subtle, the maple notes were definitely detected.
I also read that this can be mixed with the camu camu powder that I tried a couple of Tuesdays ago to make a lemonade, which I’m totally going to try next. Oh, and an update on that camu camu: I actually really like it now! While mixed with cottage cheese was certainly not a tasty combo, I’ve been mixing it into a tall glass of water with some lemon juice and a scoop of my PhytoBerry powder by Progressive Nutritionals and it’s delicious!
Ok, that’s all for now. Before you go, tell me…
- Do you like to cook with lucuma? Any great recipes to share?
- What are your thoughts on packaged dinners? Any healthy choices that you really like?
- What is one of your favourite quick and easy weeknight dinners?
Have a lovely Wednesday!