I craved this meal EVERY day the last seven days. The colors, the flavors, and the ease made it my go-to lately. It is satisfying, filling, and rich in gut friendly fiber and polyphenols. Plus, it is easily adaptable to what you have around, another huge benefit to this meal. In general, I aim to have one plant-based meal per day, and this has been one of my favorites.
If you don't usually eat beans daily, then I suggest gradually incorporating more beans into your diet. If you go from null to WHAM, then you may have some tummy discomfort. For most people, 1/2 cup of beans or lentils per day is a great goal to shoot for. Not only are beans rich in prebiotic rich fibers called galactooligosaccharides, they are also a great source of plant protein. They are also an excellent source of molybdenum a nutrient that falls short if beans/legumes are omitted fro the diet and sulfur intake is high. Unfortunately, many current fad diets shun beans and legumes unnecessarily. Individuals with gut inflammation or IBS/SIBO may not tolerate beans and legumes until inflammation subsides or SIBO is treated. However, just because you cannot tolerate them now, doesn't mean you never will, nor that they are "BAD" for you. Beans and legumes can be a wonderful dietary staple, that are cheap, nutritious, and microbiome friendly. If you are on a SIBO Bi-Phasic Diet or a Low FODMAP diet, 1/2 cup canned brown lentils are often well tolerated. However, same rule applies here too. If you haven't eaten many beans or legumes, start slow!
FeedME! Belly Bowl
I am calling this bowl, FeedME! Not only am I fueling myself with nutritious food, but I am also feeding my good gut bacteria a wide variety of prebiotic rich plant compounds and fibers. For the veggie base, you can use whatever you have on hand. I have used chard, spinach, zoodles, etc. For the beans/legumes, I change it up with whatever is in the fridge or pantry. Lately, I have been making my own beans/lentils in the InstaPot after a 24 hour soak. It's cheaper and there is less waste. But canned and rinsed beans are just fine too. I would recommend Eden's brand if possible. If you have leftover ground meat you can use that in place of the tofu if you like. Pretty much you can use whatever you have available.
Time: 10 minutes
Extra virgin olive oil
1 - 3oz serving extra firm sprouted tofu - crumbled by hand
~1/4 teaspoon curry powder (or any spice/herb blend you like)
1/2 cup cooked beans/legumes
1/4 cup leftover cooked quinoa or rice
Cilantro, basil, or parsley
Veggie Base (dark leafy greens, zucchini)
Salt & Pepper
Corn Tortilla (crispy taco shells or chips work too)
Fermented veggies for good gut bug (lately I have used fermented beets)
Broccoli Sprouts (or any kind of sprouts)
Pecorino/Parmesan/Feta (or any kind of salty cheese) - can replace with dukkah if dairy free.
Over medium-low, heat a small pan and add a little splash of olive oil. Once hot add a serving of crumbled tofu (I simply break it up in my hands until it's in small "ground" pieces). Season with your choice of spice blend (I typically use curry powder), salt and pepper. Sauté the tofu for 1-2 minutes, then add the beans, leftover cooked grain, and fresh herbs if desired. Stir until combined, season with salt and pepper, and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
Meanwhile, heat another small pan (I use cast iron) over medium low and add a little splash olive oil. Once hot add a corn tortilla and cook two minutes, then flip sprinkle with salt, and cook another minute or two or until the tortilla is crispy and little bubbles form. Once done, roll the corn tortilla up and let rest in the warm pan on the outer flap to seal in a cylinder if desired. Alternatively, you can bake corn tortilla shells in the oven per package instructions, or serve with a handful of chips.
In a bowl add a handful of your veggie base (whatever you want), heat briefly in the microwave for 60 seconds until wilted ( or leave raw if desired), and drizzle with olive oil. Then top with your tofu/bean mixture. Add your favorite sides and sprinkle with salty cheese. Serve with a crispy corn tortilla and dig in!!
Are you craving this belly bowl too?? Let me know what you and your belly bugs think :)
Slippery elm bark powder is a wonderful herb used for healing common digestive ailments. It has no known toxic effects and therefore is considered safe for children, pregnant women, and adults a like.
Due to its demulcent properties slippery elm in used to heal irritated and inflamed mucous membranes along the digestive tract, including esophageal irritation, GERD/acid reflux, and gastric ulcers. It is also used to alleviate both diarrhea and constipation.
When mixed with boiling water slippery elm becomes a slimy consistency due to its unique carbohydrates called polysaccharides. These polysaccharides are considered prebiotics and may therefore cause symptoms in some patients with SIBO. If you do have SIBO, it may be best to use slippery elm slowly and cautiously and monitor for symptoms. Usually, patients tolerate slippery elm well after SIBO has been treated. However, for most slippery elm is very well tolerated and is considered safe for regular use.
You can drink slippery elm as a tea in combination with other demulcents in Traditional Medicinals Throat Coat blend, you can use slippery elm lozenges, or you can make your own slippery elm gruel (my preferred method) and eat it straight or mix it into other mucilaginous porridges like oatmeal or buckwheat porridge.
Slippery Elm Gruel
Making a gruel is a great way to get larger therapeutic amounts of the herb in one sitting. If you are new to slippery elm gruel, I would suggest starting with a smaller amount to see if you tolerate it well (especially if you have SIBO or IBS). Ideally, it is best to take the gruel on an empty stomach such as before bed or in between meals. To enhance the the flavor of the slippery elm bark gruel I like to add ground fennel and ginger due to their gut healing benefits, but these are optional. I also like to sweeten it with a little drizzle of honey to make it taste like a little treat. You can find slippery elm bark powder at your local herb shop. In Bellingham, you can find it at Living Earth Herbs and Wonderland Herbs. You can also find slippery elm bark powder online at Mountain Rose Herbs.
Makes 1 Serving
1/2 tablespoon slippery elm bark powder
Sprinkle ground fennel (optional)
Sprinkle ground ginger (optional)
Pinch sea salt (optional)
3-4 tablespoons boiling water
Drizzle honey (optional)
Bring water to a boil. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix together the slippery elm bark powder with the optional spices, and salt. Pour in the hot water, and begin to stir vigorously with a spoon until a gelatinous pudding forms. Stir in optional honey and enjoy.
Have you used slippery elm before?
Chickpea flatbread is something super satisfying and comes together super quick and easy. Although very similar to farinata (or socca), it has one very important additional ingredient, baking powder. This addition gives the flatbread, a lighter more bread like texture. You can serve this flatbread as a gluten-free bread alternative without the added refined starches and binders often used in gluten-free baking. Plus the garbanzo bean flour is really cheap and great if you are watching your food budget. So here you go! This is one of my favorite hacks for a bread alternative, that is lower in carbohydrates (18g), high in protein (7g), and high in fiber (8g). The Maldon's sea salt flakes, definitely takes it up a notch and is not required....BUT I personally think it's a necessary garnish for the full flatbread experience.
Chickpea Skillet Flatbread
Makes 1 Serving
1/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
Generous pinch salt
Fresh ground pepper
Herbs to taste (I like oregano and rosemary)
1/4 cup water
Butter (or olive oil)
Maldon's Sea Salt Flakes
In a small bowl mix together the garbanzo bean flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and herbs until incorporated. Then add 1/4 cup water and mix with a spoon until most lumps are gone (doesn't have to be perfectly smooth).
Meanwhile, heat a small cast iron skillet over medium. Once hot reduce to medium low and add a generous pat of butter, evenly coat the bottom, and pour in your garbanzo bean mixture. Tilt the pan to evenly distribute the mixture across the bottom. Sprinkle with Maldon's salt and cook until set about 3-5 minutes.
Using a large spatula flip the "pancake" over, all the while carefully slipping in another pat of butter. Then cook another minute. Voila! You are done!
Cut up the flatbread into quarters, and enjoy as part of your meal. I like it with soup, as a side to a salad, or simply topped with tomato slices and avocado.
Note: Instead of making 1 larger "pancake", you can also make a few smaller ones. It's up to you!
Let me know how you enjoy this chickpea flatbread at home!
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.