Tex-Mex Bowl

As you may already know, I live in Texas. Houston has been my home for my entire life. (Actually now I live in Pearland, but if I just drive for 5 minutes I’m back in the Houston areas.) Therefore, it should be no surprise that my favorite dishes are “Tex-Mex” combinations which include lots of beans, rice, salsa, guacamole, corn, grilled onions, etc. Yeah, I know, you might be thinking…”What about the cheese?” Well I don’t eat cheese anymore, (gasp), and I don’t miss it one bit.

This is my chance to add a little nutrition/health info…so I’m going to do just that.

I grew up eating cheese and many dairy products (ever heard of Borden milk and Blue Bell ice cream?) I never imagined my life without cheese/dairy. But about a decade ago, when my allergies had become unbearable…I decided to test the theory that perhaps the milk and cheeses were causing most of my issues…and that was exactly the case.

But, since that’s the only change that I made during that time and the fact that I haven’t been bothered by seasonal allergies since then….well one thing is for sure – the milk and the cheeses didn’t agree with my body. I had these issues since a small child and they disappeared  when I took milk and cheeses out of my diet. The relief that I now experience makes up for any losses I initially felt when I gave up dairy.

For you – Do you battle seasonal allergies? If so,  I suggest that you try changing your diet by removing dairy from your diet. You will know in a matter of weeks whether it’s had a positive affect.

I won’t try to explain the science behind it all. Just some basic principles. I talk about this more in the online courses and in some of the nutrition blog posts too. Here is the recipe:

Tex-Mex Bowl

Category: Bowls, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Whole Plant-Based

Tex-Mex Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • Fresh slices of colored bell peppers, chopped
  • Onions (of choice)
  • Prepared beans of your choice*
  • Leafy greens, chopped (collards, kale or chard)
  • Diced tomatoes (fresh)
  • Sweet Corn** (fresh or frozen organic is a quick and handy option)
  • Pico de gallo (topping)
  • Guacamole (topping)
  • Cooked Brown rice or quinoa

Instructions

  1. Grill the onions and bell peppers together on the stove-top, adding garlic last so it doesn't burn
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, corn until heated thoroughly
  3. Toss in chopped leafy greens
  4. Serve in a bowl on top of a bed of rice/quinoa. Add toppings such as guacamole and/or pico.

Notes

* Home-cooked beans are preferred, but organic canned is a quick and handy option

** Fresh corn is preferred, but organic frozen corn works well too

Most of the ingredients in this recipe are some that you can keep on hand in your fridge/freezer ready to grab. This makes preparing meals so easy.

http://realfoodanddrinks.com/tex-mex-bowl

Red Curry Noodles and Tofu

Red Curry Noodles and Tofu

Category: asian, Bowls, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, Vegetarian

Servings: 4-6

Red Curry Noodles and Tofu

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces stir fry rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp ginger powder (or a knob of fresh ginger)
  • 14 ounces extra firm tofu, cubed (My preference is Trader Joe's Organic SPROUTED)
  • 1 - 2 tsp turmetic
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 4 cups stir fry vegetables (carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms, etc)
  • 1/2 (14-oz) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 (14-oz) can coconut cream
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (or coconut aminos), divided
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1 tablespoons sriracha (or your favorite hot sauce)
  • handful of cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  1. Prepare noodles according to instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Squeeze tofu between paper towels prior to cutting into cubes. Toss with 2 TBS soy sauce (or liquid aminos), turmeric and onion powder. Allow to sit, or you can bake in the oven for 20 - 30 minutes to give a firmer texture.
  3. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Alternatively, add 1/4 cup water to pan.
  4. Add the garlic and white parts of green onions.
  5. Saute until soft and onions are a bit transparent.
  6. Add the curry paste, tofu (if not baking), and the vegetables to the pan. Stir gently, and saute until the the vegetables are done – about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut milk, soy sauce, sugar, and sriracha (hot sauce) and allow to simmer just a bit longer.
  8. Add the cooked noodles and combine. Test the noodles for desired tenderness...you can cook them longer in the sauce if needed.
  9. Adjust seasonings, serve, add cilantro on the top
http://realfoodanddrinks.com/red-curry-noodles-and-tofu

This recipe is an adaptation of the recipe at  https://pinchofyum.com/red-curry-noodles.

Buddha Bowl using Leftovers

I think I have been creating these all along prior to the term “Buddha Bowl” becoming popular. This is my second “go to” option when trying to determine what to eat next. My first is plant-based Tex-Mex meals. (I live in Texas y’all!)

The Buddha Bowl I prepared today uses quinoa as the base! I love quinoa for so many reasons and healthy ones too. It’s gluten-free and high in protein (a concern for some when embarking on a plant-based eating plan). I had roasted sweet potatoes using my favorite recipe. I had a bunch of colorful Swiss chard that I needed to prepare and hummus (which I practically keep on hand at all times). So I threw all of these “leftovers” together and created a very satisfying lunch.

Preparation Notes:

Quinoa
pre-soak 1 – 2 hours for better nutrient absorption

Sweet Potatoes
Diced and seasoned with cumin, turmeric, salt, paprika, chili powder, garlic (sprinkled on as you like). Toss with a little coconut oil (barely oil them) and bake 350 – 400 degrees Farenheit
Swiss Chard
Saute green onions and bell peppers in water until soft. Add tomatoes and Swiss chard until wilted. Squeeze fresh lemon juice on top

Hummus
Seasonings: cumin, lemon juice, tahini, roasted red peppers, salt/pepper and sometimes olives
Hey, here are some ingredient ideas for a Tex-Mex Budha Bowl!
  • Mexican “brown” rice
  • Black or pinto beans
  • Fresh spinach, kale or romaine lettuces
  • Roasted corn
  • Salsa or Pico de gallo
  • Lemon/Lime Juice
  • Avocado (or guacamole)
  • Cilantro
  • Green onions
  • Not-so cheese (a Vitamix recipe)

Apple Breakfast Bowl

For almost 2 months this has been my daily breakfast. Additionally, I either have a glass of fresh green juice or I use a green powder mixed with water. It’s hydrating, sweet and satisfying. It only requires a little preparation. To make the mornings easier, you can mix all the ingredients the night before, except for the apples (because they oxidize quickly and you want them to be as fresh as possible).
Apple Breakfast Bowl
Ingredients:
  • 1 large apple, chopped into bite-size pieces (like a Fuji, or two smaller ones) – about 300g
  • Carrots, shredded (about two medium size) – 130 g
  • Celery (1 to 2 stalks) – 50 grams
  • Chia Seeds – 2 TBS, preferably soaked in water
  • 1 TBS Nut Butter (I prefer almond butter)
  • 1 Date, chopped (or an equivalent amount of raisins)
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger, powder – 1/8 tsp (or juice of 1 small knob pressed using garlic press)
  • Shredded Coconut, unsweetened – 3 TBS
Directions:
  1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.
Options:
  1. If you need more calories, add more apple, dates (66 calories each) or nut butter (100 calories per TBS).
  2. If you don’t have nut butter, you can simply sprinkle the breakfast with chopped nuts
  3. Add coconut water (or coconut cream – more calories) to make it easier to mix in the nut butter.
  4. When I’m really in a hurry or I am traveling, I simply use my favorite Larabar in place of the nuts/nut butter, dates and coconut.

Calories and nutrients calculated using http://www.caloriecount.com/

Vegan Chili

Today I made chili for the family and I will use it to top some potato hash browns. Remember to add whatever additional “chili” toppings you like (while sticking to your healthy diet, of course).

I needed something to eat and chili sounded great. But for now, I’m focusing on not eating as much meat and I definitely cannot have the potato hash browns while on the GAPS and SCD Diets. So here is the recipe I created for myself today.

Mushroom and Lentil Chili over Cauliflower Hash Browns

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mushrooms* (I like portabello)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions*
  • 1/4 cup chopped yellow, orange, or red bell peppers (or combination)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder*
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic powder* (or 1 clove fresh garlic)
  • 1 – 2 tsp favorite chili powder*
  • 1 – 2 TBS tomato paste (or substitute 1/4 – 1/2 cup tomato sauce or puree for GAPS/SCD diets)
  • 1/2 cup lentils (brown or green works best, red tends to get mushy when cooked)
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 TBS olive oil for grilling the onions*

*High FODMAP food – remove from ingredients to achieve a Low FODMAP recipe.
Onions can also be cooked in a non-stick pan with a little water instead of using oil.

Directions:

Mushroom and Vegetable Mixture
  1. Cook lentils according to directions, adding carrots. Usually 1 part lentils to 2 parts water. Add a dash of salt and bay leaf for added flavor.
  2. Put olive oil into a heavy bottom pan and grill the onions until translucent
  3. Add mushrooms and bell peppers (plus fresh garlic, if using) and stir for a couple of minutes
  4. Add water, tomato paste, onion powder, granulated garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to taste, simmer for about 5 minutes. You might have to add more water if too dry.
  5. Add mushroom mixture to lentils and simmer about 5 additional minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  6. Serve over cauliflower hash browns.

Notes:

  • Try adjusting (or adding to) any of the seasonings to best suite your personal tastes. 
  • The mushroom mix should create a tasty “savory” sauce if cooked long enough before adding to lentils (see ‘Mushroom and Vegetable Mixture’ photo above). 

Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti Sauce

I cannot seem to get enough of zucchini noodles. Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti Sauce for lunch and a Taco Salad for dinner.

But today I had Zucchini Noodles and sauce.

Here is the recipe:  I made the sauce in the Vitamix.  I made just a few changes from the “Fresh Tomato Sauce” recipe in the Vitamix Whole Food Recipes Book. This recipe is for one serving.

Step 1.  Place the following ingredients into the Vitamix:

  • 3 Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 small red onion
  • 1/2 small carrot
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp RAW honey
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • dash of pepper
  • dash of smoked paprika (to spice it up a bit, optional)
Step 2.  Process on high speed for about 3 minutes.
Step 3.  Pour into saucepan ans simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.
Step 4. When sauce is just about done, use Spiralizer to make noodles using 2 small to medium size zucchinis.
Step 5.  Pour sauce over noodles and add fresh basil, parsley and Parmesean cheese.

It was a good serving size.  It looked like a lot, but it tasted so good that I finished the plate and found the serving size to be just right.

www.realfoodanddrinks.com

Kathmandu Stew

Recipe By Moira Nordholt
I don’t know how I came about this recipe, but it has two of my favorite things in it.  I love sweet potatoes and lentils, so I had to try it.  It has lots of Indian flavors, quite tasty – especially if you are looking for something different.
Serves 4
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
3 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 pinch of cinnamon
2 cups organic red lentils, rinsed
1 medium sweet potato, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 or 2 teaspoons sambal oelek (chile paste) or dried red chiles (I used Chiapaspaste.)
4 cups water
Pink Himalayan sea salt
1 small bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped
1.  Toast the cumin seeds and powder, fennel seeds, curry powder, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon in a cast iron frying pan on high heat until the cumin seeds start to pop.
2. Add the red lentils and stir until the spices are mixed in.  Add a splash of water and continue cooking and stirring.  Add the sweet potato, carrots, onion, sambal oelek, and 4 cups water.
3. Stir, cover, and bring to a boil, then stir again, turn down the heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes and lentils are cooked.  Add salt to taste, and serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

www.realfoodanddrinks.com