It's difficult to make good choices while hungry. Grocery shopping on an empty stomach is a bad idea, and to me, so is deciding what to have for lunch. It's just too tempting to succumb to unhealthy takeout options when my stomach is growling and I'm snappy and crabby due to low blood sugar.
Wouldn't it be nice if every day at noon, you could have a delicious, healthy, inexpensive lunch at the ready, to fight those takeout temptations? Well, with a very little forethought and advance preparation, you can!
I love to prepare jarred salads - they are a snap to put together, and two or three days' worth of lunches can be assembled at one time. This bruschetta quinoa salad is so easy to make and it really incorporates the wonderful, fresh flavours of tomato and basil, with the added benefit of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied all afternoon. No three o'clock crashes with this flavourful lunch! It will keep you going until dinnertime. Plus, it's the prettiest lunch on the block!
Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Allow to cool completely. *Make ahead: prepare the quinoa in advance and keep refrigerated until needed.*
Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and garlic. Pour into bottom of jar.
Spoon cooled, cooked quinoa over top the dressing in the jar.
Add a layer of halved cherry tomatoes, topped by chopped basil.
To eat, shake up and enjoy!
Life can be full of surprises. Sometimes you can think you know someone, and then something happens that makes you question everything.
I’m talking, of course, about tofu.
Tofu, in its raw form, is less than appealing, especially to devoted meat-lovers, but its very blandness is its greatest attribute. Tofu is a perfect blank canvas for a wide variety of flavours and seasonings and adds a lovely protein-rich creaminess to any dish. This tofu scramble is a tasty alternative to scrambled eggs; it’s a deliciously savoury and simple addition to any breakfast or brunch. But more importantly, in my house, it passed the carnivore test.
I was creating this dish one day, adding sundried tomatoes and flavourings until it was just so. I offered up a taste to my husband, with low expectations as to his reaction. It's tofu, after all, and he was busily cooking a pound of bacon. To my surprise and shock, he devoured it with enthusiasm and asked for more. Who ARE you? I wanted to ask, but instead, I silently served up another helping.
Using 2 teaspoons of oil from the sundried tomatoes, sauté mushrooms over medium heat until browned and soft, about 10 minutes.
Add the crumbled tofu, garlic powder, onion powder, and nutritional yeast to the pan. Stir to mix, and sauté over medium heat until most of the moisture is gone and tofu has a “scrambled egg” consistency, about 10 minutes.
Add the sundried tomatoes and spinach to the mixture. Stir and cook until spinach is wilted, about two minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
Yield: 2 large or 4 small servings
Nutritional Information (approximate, per serving based on 2 large servings): Calories 240, Fat 11 grams, Total Carbohydrates 23 grams, Fibre 6 grams, Protein 21 grams
Do you have a sweet tooth? Apparently if you are always craving sweets, your diet may be deficient in protein. It seems a bit counterintuitive—want a chocolate bar? Go eat some almonds—but it is actually very true.
As a vegetarian, I need to be cognizant of my protein consumption—not consuming enough protein leaves me dizzy, hungry, and grouchy, so I make sure to monitor it pretty closely, for the good of the household. And generally that works well; when I have cravings, they are usually the salty or savoury kind, but on occasion I get the feeling that I need something sweet and I need it right now.
That's what makes these Maple Coconut Tahini Treats so great—they are sweet and delicious, and they are made with tahini (sesame seed paste), which has 6 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving. Not only do these little vegan energy bites hit the sweet spot, but with their protein-rich ingredients they also curb cravings from within. A pretty perfect way to satisfy a sweet tooth, if you ask me.
In a food processor, whirl together tahini, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and vanilla until very smooth and paste-like in consistency.
Add coconut, 1/4 cup at a time, and process until the mixture becomes very thick and sticks together, like a ball in the food processor (see below video).
Roll the mixture into bite-sized balls and refrigerate until firm.
Tip: this recipe freezes well.
(Yield: 20-24 bites of energy)
Nutritional Information (approximate, based on one of 24): Calories 90, Fat 6.5 grams, Total Carbohydrates 7.5 grams, Fibre 1 gram, Protein 3 grams
See for yourself how to make these sweet energy bites—watch below!