gingertempehstirfry

Recap: Try Something New Tuesday 124

Hey hey!

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

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.

Tempeh

Rice vinegar and ginger puree

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.

Ginger Tempeh Stir Fry

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!

Ginger Tempeh Stir Fry

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!

Ginger Tempeh Stir Fry

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 blackjack online 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.

Natural Traditions Lucuma powder

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.

Lucuma powder

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.

Cottage cheese with pumpkin, lucuma, and cinnamon

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.

Pumpkin cottage cheese with lucuma and cinnamon

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! :)

Comments

  1. says

    i LOVE tempeh and agree with all of your positive statements about its attributes, angela!
    never heard of lucuma, so i appreciate the info!
    a salad with protein, healthy fats (almonds, avocaco) and whatever else is handy is my quick n ez meal pick!
    have a great day!

  2. Danielle says

    I’ve also tried lucuma as an alternative to sweetener but never seemed to found it made much of a difference! (Unless I add more than 1 tsp) I’ve seen quite a few recipes on the Purely Twins blogs. They often compare lucuma to a caramel flavour!

    Hope your new job is going well!

    • says

      Aw thanks Danielle! Yep it’s been awesome so far. I hope you’ve settled in to your new home and are enjoying Vancouver so far! I’ve also read a few blogs that say lucuma tastes like caramel, but I don’t know if I’d go that far. In large proportions maybe, but I haven’t used more than a couple of teaspoons yet. I’m a huge caramel and butterscotch fan though (hello, Werthers Originals!) so the idea sounds very appealing!

  3. says

    Interesting… super food IN food. This is something I just got interested in these last couple of days trying to find places to put my Philosophie super food blends. I’d never even though to add them to baking and other recipes. I’ve only ever just used them in smoothies. Seesh, it’s a whole other world out there.

  4. says

    I can’t get on board with packaged dinners either. Just thinking about the airplane food they’re about to try and serve us is freaking me out….. Anyways- your stir fry recipe looks TO DIE FOR!! I’m pinning it!

    • says

      Ugh airplane dinners… I’m not a fan!! I’m not sure about on airlines in the US, but they charge for any food whatsoever now on carriers up here unless you’re traveling a significant distance. (In my opinion, you can’t pay ME to eat that stuff, let alone get me to pay the airline!) Knowing you, I’m sure you’ve got some healthy tasty snacks packed for the trip. That’s always the first thing I pack (even before clothes!!)

  5. says

    I just made tempeh for the first time a few weeks ago, and was surprised to like it! I thought the texture would get me but it wasn’t bad. I’ve never heard of lucuma, I’m curious to learn more and check it out!

  6. says

    I have never heard of Lucuma powder, but am so going to get it!! I’m always looking for new healthy sweetener alternatives, and this one looks amazing!! One of my favorite quick dinners is buffalo style tempeh with lots of diced celery. I love tempeh, and this recipe looks fabulous!! I am new to your blog, but totally bookmarking it now, so awesome!!

  7. says

    You know something, I’ve always had issues with tempeh. Said to be fine for digestion, it is one of the WORST gassy foods for me. Consistently! It drives me crazy because I do enjoy the taste when prepared right, but not the tummy aches that ensue after consumption. any ideas?

    • says

      Oh no! That’s so interesting… I tend to have a pretty sensitive system too but tempeh doesn’t bother me. Have you tried experimenting with some different brands? From what I understand, the fermentation process helps to make it more digestible. I wonder if you could find a brand that has a longer fermentation process? Just a guess – I’m certainly not an expert on this one! The brand I love is Henry’s, which is made here in Kitchener but is shipped all over. Let me know if you have any luck!

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