Simple Summer Stir-Fry

Simple Summer Stir-Fry with Tempeh, Tofu, and Pecans

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This dish has it all: color, crunch, flavor, and it’s an easy way to make use of these or other summer veggies. Serve over brown rice or other grain (millet, barley, quinoa, etc.)

What’s Tempeh? Tempeh is a terrific high protein (equal to animal protein) fermented food made from soybeans that is sturdy, tasty, and nourishing. With its high fiber and essential fatty acids and other nutrients, it’s also excellent for your gut health. It’s been a staple in Indonesia and other southeast Asian countries for many centuries. You’ll find it in some supermarkets in the refrigerated or frozen food section or in Asian or healthfood markets. It’s ugly, but oh so good!

Main Ingredients:
• 3 tablespoons sesame oil or olive oil
• 1 medium red onion, sliced
• sliced mushrooms, zucchini and carrots
• broccolini, large bite-sized pieces
• ½ package of tempeh cut in bite-size pieces
• about ½ cup tofu cut in bite-size pieces
• ¼ cup raw or dry-roasted unsalted cashew pieces
• ¼ cup fresh cilantro

Sauce Ingredients (or use Ponzu Sauce)
Mix together:
• 1-inch piece peeled ginger root, minced (1 tablespoon)
• 1 tablespoon tamari or low-sodium soy sauce)
• 1 tablespoon honey, molasses or maple syrup
• 3 tablespooons liquid (vegetable broth, wine, or water)
• Fresh ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions:
Heat wok or skillet over medium heat. When hot, add oil and swirl to coat the surface. Add onion and ginger; stir-fry for a few minutes, turn heat up to medium high and add mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, and broccolini, and cook until the ingredients are fragrant yet still crisp. Add tempeh and tofu .
Increase the heat to medium-high. Add the broccolini and stir-fry for 3 to 5 minutes, then reduce the heat to low; return the vegetable mixture to the wok or skillet and add the cashew pieces, sauce, and pepper. Stir to incorporate, then cover and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes.
Serve immediately.

marinated-tempeh-stirfryTop with black sesame seeds. Use broccoli or snow pea pods instead of broccolini.

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Are You A Food Addict?

This Week In Food News:

June 27, 2013
Bet you can’t eat just one! If you honestly have trouble stopping when you know you’ve had enough, this may be a sign of food addiction. Bagels. White bread. Cookies. Ice cream. Refined cereal grains. Candy. Sugary soft drinks…consuming this stuff can actually make you want more.

Most are simple carbohydrates that are quickly absorbed, alter brain chemistry, and can even change your mood by stimulating parts of the brain involved in cravings.
According to Dr. Serge Ahmed, a French researcher, “the super stimulation of our brain receptors by sugar-rich diets generate a supernormal reward signal in the brain, with the potential to override self-control mechanisms and thus lead to addiction.”

A recent study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition on June 26, 2013, found that those who consumed a high-glycemic index (quickly digested) milkshake experienced an initial surge in blood sugar levels followed by a sharp crash four hours later. With this drop in blood glucose came excessive feelings of hunger due to an intense activation of the brain (the nucleus accumbens) known to trigger addictions. When brain function is altered, overeating follows.

What to do? Take a look at the list below. Keep in mind that each 4 grams of added sugar is equal to one teaspoon of sugar. Go for foods that contain slowly digested carbs instead. Eating too much can make us fat and sick. Type 2 diabetes (insulin resistance) and an increased risk of other health problems may be what’s in store for those who can’t reduce their cravings.

Here’s a few other ideas of what to eat and what to do;
1) Eat whole foods that resemble what our ancestors ate like vegetables, tubers, fruit, nuts and seeds. They are full of nutrients and phytochemicals—disease fighting substances that also can help fight cravings, are slow to raise blood sugar and offer us a steady stream of energy.
2) Sauerkraut, tempeh, kefir and more
Fermented foods, like sauerkraut and tempeh are said to have a number of benefits, including curbing cravings.
3) Eat greens – especially dark leafy ones
Some of us may be able to satisfy a craving for dessert with a green smoothie (see recipe section of this site.) And by blending in greens (like kale, chard or spinach), we are fueling our bodies and giving ourselves more of the nutrients we need to stay in physical balance. If you are new to green smoothies, it is helpful to start by just adding a small portion. Over time, you may find the ratio of greens to fruit shifts… but pace yourself so you enjoy your shakes. Also, natural fruit sugars can satisfy a sweet craving.
4) Get more sleep
Sleep deprivation makes you more prone to cravings. Try getting more sleep for a couple of nights in a row and see if it helps.
5) Chew more
Sometimes when we are eating dessert to satisfy a craving, we forget to take the time to chew and enjoy the dessert. So instead of inhaling it try to take a deep breath and then chew each bite 10-40 times.

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Dukkah: nourishing nut/seed/spice mix

Dukkah photo

What’s So Good About Dukkah?

  • Contains healthy fats including omega 3s—good for memory, healthy skin, and lots more.
  • Rich in antioxidants to help reduce the risk of age-related diseases.
  • Loaded with minerals.
  • Contains protein which helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • An important component for weight loss or maintenance.
    (Note: Around 2 ounces per day is about right for most people.)

Ingredients
¼ cup each:
hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts,
cashews, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds,
sunflower seeds, sesame seeds,
anise seeds, flaxseeds, candied ginger
(Note: if you’re missing any of the above it will be fine.)

1-2 tablespoons each:
ground cardamom, coriander, cinnamon, brown sugar
(Note: it’s best to start with 1 tbsp and increase the amount as desired.)

Instructions
Combine everything in food processor or blender.
Pulse until it’s the consistency you desire.
Adjust according to taste.
Store in the fridge for up to 2 months.

What to do with your Dukkah
Sprinkle over fresh fruit
Add to your yogurt
Top off your oatmeal or cereal
Eat a spoonful for a snack
Sprinkle over cashew cream & maple cream
Split a banana, blueberries, dukkah
Split a banana, add melted dark chocolate, dukkah

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Mango Papaya Salsa

Here’s a recipe that is good with any dish to add a taste of the Caribbean.

Mango

1 mango
1 papaya (be sure it’s soft!)
1 red pepper
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime
¼ tsp cayenne pepper or chili pepper or chili oil
Optional: chopped chives or sweet red onion or neither
Combine everything.

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About This Site

Hello, and welcome. I’ve launched this site to offer nutrition counseling services, tips for a healthy lifestyle, nourishing recipes and more. I’d like to help you improve your diet and realize that food is a vital, life-giving element that can improve your health and well-being.

From this space, I will offer practical nutrition advice and original recipes. You are invited to make use of my counseling services whether in person, by phone or Skype. I’d like to keep you well-nourished and feeling energetic. I have 30 years of experience.

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Nutritious and Delicious Smoothies

Fighting a cold? Trying to get rid of blemishes? Or just looking for a refreshing, energizing option? Three great recipes:

1) The Basic Green Smoothie

green smoothie

2 cups spinach, kale, escarole or swiss chard
1-2 medium cucumber (approx 2 cups)
1 stalk celery (organic best)
1/2 inch gingerroot (or 1 teaspoon)
1 bunch chopped parsley or cilantro (about 1/2 cup chopped)
2 apples, cored
1 lime, juiced
1/2 lemon, juiced
4 ounces water (or a handful of ice cubes)

Blend ‘til smooth

***

2) The Healthy Skin Smoothie

1/8 avocado
½ apple
¼ cup watercress
1 T lime
1 T cilantro
1 cup hempseed milk

***

3) The Sniffle Tonic

Prepare mug of herbal tea.
Add ½ ginger root
1 large clove garlic
½ lemon (juiced)
1 t honey
tobasco sauce

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