Eat Happy, Be Healthy!
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 :)
It can often be a struggle to get babies and toddlers to eat their veggies for a variety of reasons. But mostly commonly what I see is that babies and toddlers are offered plain/bland veggies. Although some may like that, I find that most do not. Babies like flavor just as much as adults do. AND adding flavor encourages them to be a more adventurous eaters as they get older. That's where these little patties come in! They are flavorful, veggie rich and nutrient dense! The nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavor and an excellent source of B vitamins. The garbanzo flour adds protein and fiber, but most importantly acts as the binder to keep these veggie patties together. These patties can easily be adapted with different herbs/spices and cauliflower can be used in place of broccoli. Toren especially enjoys these patties with Karam's Garlic Sauce or hummus. I am sure pasta or marinara sauce would also be tasty.
Makes 12 patties
Time: <30 minutes
2 cloves garlic
1 small head of broccoli (florets only, ~15)
3-4 medium crimini mushrooms
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup garbanzo/chickpea flour (Bob's Red Mill)
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (I used large flaked)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon aluminum free baking powder
~3 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon grass-fed butter/olive oil for frying
Place the garlic cloves into a food processor and process until finely minced. Add the broccoli florets, mushrooms, and oregano. Process until finely minced and sticking together. In a separate medium bowl mix together the garbanzo flour, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and baking soda. Stir in the broccoli mixture with a spatula. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture sticks together without being too wet, ~3 tablespoons.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add butter (or olive oil). Once melted and sizzling reduce heat to medium low. Using a tablespoon add the broccoli chickpea mixture to the pan, making ~ 12 patties. Flatten with spatula and cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip and cook another 3-4 minutes.
Serve warm (not too hot) or room temperature with Karam's Garlic Sauce or hummus.
Note: Store patties in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The patties also freeze well and can be briefly reheated in microwave (~15 seconds). Make sure to let them cool before serving.
Nutrition (for 2 patties): 57kcal, 2.3g fat, 6.5g carbs, 3g fiber, 3.3g protein.
Although most Americans may be weirded out by chicken feet, many cultures use chicken feet as part of their home cooking. Since feet are really high in connective tissue, they make a very gelatinous broth, more so than beef bones. If you want that jelly...then make chicken feet broth! If you are feeling a cold or flu coming on, needing extra collagen for healing after surgery or birth, or are wanting to boost your skin health, then drinking homemade bone broth can help.
Makes 8-10 servings
Time: 6-8 hours or more
2lbs chicken feet (I buy mine from Osprey Hill Farms)
1 whole onion, cut in half (keep peel on)
1/2 small celeriac root
2 carrots (cut in half)
1/2 bunch parsley
2 cloves garlic
1 thumb length ginger root
1 sprig rosemary (or 2-3 sprigs thyme)
1 bay leaf
Splash apple cider vinegar
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the chicken feet to the pot and boil for 5 minutes. Strain the chicken feet and briefly rinse under cold water. Using scissors, cut the nails off at the first joint. This is done very easily, you don't need special kitchen shears for this. Meanwhile, sear the onion face side down in a skillet until browned.
Place the feet, seared onion and all the rest of the ingredients into a pot (or slow cooker) and cover with filtered water. Bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to low. Allow to very gently simmer for at least 4 hours, preferably 6-10. If using a slow cooker, put heat on low for 10 hours.
Use only what is needed from the base pot of bone broth for soups or simply for drinking. Season that separately with salt, bouillon and/or dulse flakes. Pour more fresh filtered water into the bone broth pot to replace what has been taken out. Continue to simmer. Repeat this until the broth lacks flavor. Alternatively, you can transfer all of the bone broth into glass mason jars and freeze what is not needed for immediate use.
For individuals with IBS & SIBO: If you want to make a Low FODMAP alternative simply omit the garlic and onion, and use only the green parts of the leek. Keep in mind some individuals with SIBO do not tolerate collagen rich broth. Use small amounts as tolerated.
I hope you enjoy my creative, flavorful, and nutrient dense approach to whole foods cooking. All recipes are gluten free.