Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meatless Anyday

I think it's important to go meatless at least one day a week and I often find myself going meatless even more than that without even trying.  I love a good steak as much as the rest of you, but it's important to get variety and not load up on the saturated fat that comes along with most meat.  Meatless Monday has health and environmental benefits, so give it a try.

Here are some meatless anyday recommendations:

  • Salad:  This is an easy one.  You can include all types of salads (fruit, quinoa, wheatberry, etc) on your plate.  Here, I made an easy garden salad with mixed greens, tomatoes, carrots, green peppers, and pomegranate seeds; and a roast butternut squash Israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous).  The only dressing I have over the garden salad is fresh squeezed lemon.  If you need more of a kick, any kind of vinegar would be fine, may I recommend the Spectrum pomegranate white wine vinegar, found a Wholefoods.  As for the couscous salad, I bought the Israeli couscous at Trader Joe's and I also bought their precut raw butternut squash that was all ready to go in the oven to roast.  There is even a recipe for the whole thing on the Trader Joe's box.  Including different types of salads on your plate is the best way to get all the nutrients you need and to fill you up.  The veggies have most vitamins (especially A and C) and minerals; and the couscous has the fiber and the complex carbs to keep you feeling full.
I always like to add a little fruit to my garden salads for a sweet touch

  • Stir-Fry:  Make the switch to brown rice from white rice.  This way, you gain all the fiber that is striped from the white rice version and you get all the nutrients too.  While you are making the rice, cut up and saute your veggies in a pan.  Use olive oil to lightly coat the pan and veggies.  I like to add broccoli, carrots, snow peas, peppers, and mushrooms the mix.  Once everything is mixed in together, feel free to add a teaspoon of low-sodium soy sauce or other sauce, I like San-J Teriyaki, but only use a little bit because there is a lot of sodium (and added sugar!) in these types of sauces.  If you need more flavor, add garlic to your olive oil when you are sauteing the veggies or try grating fresh ginger over top of the meal.  Again, you have the whole grains for fiber and keeping you feeling full and the veggies for the vitamins and minerals...whole grains have vitamins and minerals too!
For a little protein, try adding an egg

  • Pasta Primavera:  This is also an easy one...I mean, who doesn't have a box of pasta sitting in their cabinet?  I often make this when I have a bunch of veggies that I need to use up sitting in the fridge and I'll just throw in whatever I have.  Use wholewheat pasta, of course, and steam or lightly saute some veggies.  Here I had steamed some kale, chopped up some raw yellow and red bell peppers, and sautéed some crimini mushrooms.  Other good things to add are artichokes, tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, swiss chard, even a little avocado would be nice creamy touch.  Feel free to add any herbs, like basil or oregano, for some added flavor.
    Any shape of pasta will do, just use your favorite

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