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Still feeling like I need soups over salads while it has been chilly lately. Kinda burned out on stews and the slow cooker for awhile, but, the delicate Japanese broth known as miso has been so good for a quick meal.

I’m not crazy about how salty the packets are, but, you can always dilute them with more water, which is what I have been doing. Probably using double the amount of water that the directions recommend. Then, depending how I feel, I’ll add some quick cooking noodles right into the broth (in this case udon) while it’s boiling and whatever vegetables I have on hand. I have REALLY been feeling the bok choy lately. Plus, it comes in all different sizes, so you can make it work in any dish. And 100g of bok choy is only 13 calories! Lots of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A & C and potassium.

Occasionally I will throw in some curry paste because I like spicy food. Finally added in some firm tofu. Probably takes 10-15 minutes altogether to prep and cook. Calorie load is minimal, satisfaction quotient very high.

 

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IMG_5940That is the question. Well, not really, but I need a loose recipe goal in mind sometimes, so that’s where I’m at today. Found myself hungry, but also motivated…Leftover whole wheat couscous at my disposal, which in all honesty is dry as sh*t. Had a pretty good set of veggies also, so when all else fails I’m going to make a salad. In this case, a grain salad, which is way more nutritionally complete than just some greens and tomatoes.

I didn’t feel like chopping so I threw every ingredient in the mini food processor separately, which made the salad nice and uniform.

Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Couscous (cooked) – 1 1/2 cups (? more/less)

1/2 red onion

1/2 an orange pepper

1 carrot

Handful of cherry tomatoes

Sunflower seeds

Dried Cranberries

For the dressing:

Red wine vinegar

Toasted sesame oil

Maille mustard

Mint, Chives

Berbere, Ras el Hanout

Method:

In a medium to large bowl, throw in your cooked couscous. Then add in each vegetable one at a time, incorporating them into the salad. Once everything is mixed, mix the dressing into the salad (Yes, I also made the dressing in the food processor). You can pulverize the seeds and berries or throw them in whole, it’s really your preference. I chose to use some chopped Romaine for the base of the salad, but you could use it as a side dish or on its own it’s pretty good and very satisfying.

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Reminiscent of the Ethipian bread, Injera, this chickpea pancake makes for good snacking.

Was feeling a bit hungry late yesterday afternoon. The only snacks we had were Sunchips! I did not purchase these, they just appeared. This happens sometimes when you have kids, and they go places like “Nanny’s house.” Needless to say, I am not a fan…The crazy stormy weather made me pine for some crisp, crunchy fallen-leaf, autumn weather. I decided to make a snack that felt cozy (and I also had a slew of garbanzo beans I slow-cooked the day before). What I came up with reminded me of the amazing Ethiopian bread Injera. Though mine was not an exact replica of the actual Injera (it has no wheat or yeast), it did produce a texture that you could use to scoop up other stew-type foods.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans (cooked)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • !/4 onion (sauteed)
  • 1 teaspoon of Chia seeds (you can use more, its personal preference
  • Dash of Mild Curry
  • Dash of Garam Masala
  • Dash of Paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooking spray

Method:

In a food processor, combine 1 cup of the garbanzo beans, chia seeds, onion, lemon juice and all spices. Once they are pulverized, slowly add in the olive oil while processing the beans. At this point is starts to look like hummus texture. Remove the mixture and place in a mixing bowl. Take the other 1/2 cup of garbanzos and pulverize them as well, but, only a few pulses to break them down, keep them more crumbly. Take this mixture and combine with the hummusy texture mix.

Heat up a medium saute pan over medium high heat. Lightly coat the pan with the cooking spray. Take the mixture and make into a patty and then flatten as much as possible to about 1/8 inch thickness. Place patty on the pan, and cook for a minute or two on each side. The pancake can be very crumbly, but, if you cook the outside to golden brown it should be easy to remove to a plate with long spatula.

Yield: 2-4 servings (depending on the size of pancake)

I personally ate this straight up. It definitely satisfied my craving for something savory. It also gave me a ton of energy for the gym later on. I could see throwing some actual hummus on it or other dip/dressing of choice. It would also make a nice bed for s piece of fish or chicken, a la polenta.

Cheap and easy to make. Vegan and gluten-free. Full of fiber, vitamins, minerals and Omega 3 fatty acids (thanks to the Cha Cha Cha Chia seeds)

Make your own spicy condiment with Sriracha

Make your own spicy condiment with Sriracha

This article in the Washington Post does a very comprehensive job of comparing condiments in terms of their health and nutrition benefits.

I am a mustard person myself, but, every so often I will make a spicy mayo using sriracha sauce. It makes a great addition to anything from the grill, from burgers to veggies. If you choose to go with a light mayo, using the hot sauce is a good way to “mask” that light flavor.

I would also add salsa to the list of condiments, though I guess technically it is a sauce. At about 4 calories per tablespoon and less sodium than ketchup (96 milligrams per tablespoon) it’s a very good choice. Plus salsa has lots of lycopene as well.

Made from soy without dairy, cholesterol, eggs, wheat, gluten, or sugar

Made from soy without dairy, cholesterol, eggs, wheat, gluten, or sugar

There’s also a product called Miso Mayo which is more comparable to mayo in terms of nutrition, but, suitable for vegans. It has 90 calories per tablespoon, 9 grams of fat and 100 milligramas of sodium. I mention it because it is VERY tasty, and is made from soy without dairy, cholesterol, eggs, wheat, gluten, or sugar, which can be beneficial if you are on a special diet or have certain allergies.

What’s your favorite condiment or dipping sauce?