Black bean tofu scramble breakfast with 27 g protein, 18 g fiber, low-fat, low-sodium

One of the biggest myths associated to any vegetarian or vegan diet is that people will grow frail and weak from lack of protein. You can’t get protein from plants! Gah! This breakfast is a perfect way to show that you can get protein – lots of it – from a delicious, vegan breakfast. This one is extremely healthy too. I made 5 servings even though it’s just me. Tofu scrambles actually freeze and reheat quite nicely. Just remove from freezer and defrost in the refrigerator over night and reheat over medium flame. If tofu scramble is dry on reheating, add a little vegetable broth to prevent burning or sticking to pan. This particular breakfast is great to fuel a busy day, as it is packed with fiber and very filling and will keep you sustained for a bit.

Serve the tofu scramble with a sprouted grain bagel, english muffin, or toast, and fresh fruit juice.

Oh, and this recipe is free of any refined oils too. Score!

Black bean tofu scramble

Serves 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained well
  • 15-oz can black beans
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp Bragg’s amino acids
  • 5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 5 cups spinach
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1-2 Tbsp minced garlic, to taste

Method:

  1. Make sure tofu is very well drained and pressed so it crumbles easily without extra liquid.
  2. Add all ingredients except spinach, onion, and garlic to large sauce pan. Combine well.
  3. Allow tofu mixture to cook over medium heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring occassionally. (Depending on pan and how well your tofu is drained, add 1-2 Tbsp of vegetable broth IF NECESSARY to prevent sticking/burning)
  4. Caramelize onions and garlic in preheated skillet. (View steps on caramelizing onions without oil.)
  5. Add onions and garlic to tofu mixture.
  6. Fold in spinach, continuing to stir until spinach is cooked tender.

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I served this tofu scramble with a sprouted wheat bagel, dry, (specifically the 365 Sprouted Wheat Berry Fiber Bagel) and a fresh juice with apple, pear, orange, celery, and fennel.

Approximate nutrition info per serving (including bagel but not juice):

Calories: 443

Calories from fat: 27

Fat: 10 g

Sodium: 415

Potassium: 420 mg

Carbs: 28 g

Fiber: 18 g

Sugar: 5 g

Protein: 27 g

 

Some numbers I watch:

Fat: <2.5 g/100 calories

Sodium: <1 mg/1 calorie (ex. 2000 calories per day, no more than 2000 mg sodium)

Protein: ~0.36 g/1 pound of body weight (ex. 175 pounds x .36 g = 68.4 g –  increase this if you work out to 0.6 g/#)

Fiber: >25 g per day

Carbs: I honestly don’t watch carbs. Carbs = energy. I just stay aware that if I’m consuming a lot of carb-heavy foods that I should be expending more energy.

Sugar: I don’t watch sugar intake either. I rarely consume processed sugar and instead use sweeteners like maple syrup, raw agave and honey (yes, I know most people consider honey a non-vegan food, but I do consume it.) If I’m eating a lot of foods high in natural sugars, I up my water intake to help flush it through. Otherwise, my skin tends to break out.

A note on fiber: If you currently do not consume enough fiber, make sure to increase gradually, as a sudden increase in fiber can lead to constipation and gas. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Also consider digestive enzymes as you build up to the correct amount of fiber. The benefits of consuming enough fiber include weight, cholesterol, and blood sugar maintenance, as well as regulation of digestion and prevention of constipation. I consume probably 30 grams of fiber a day and am as regular as clockwork. Someone I know recently commented that they only use the bathroom once a week, and this completely blew my mind. How I could be comfortable without daily morning elimination is beyond me. It’s a great feeling when your body is working the way its supposed to! This also prevents toxins from sitting in our intestines which can lead to health problems such as a weakened immune system. Many skin conditions, like eczema and acne, are related to an abundance of toxins as well. Drink plenty of water to help the fiber flush toxins out of your system regularly. Regular – yay!

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Sauteed chickpeas with spinach and tomatoes

I just had a huge satisfying dinner made just from chickpeas, spinach, and tomatoes – all for about 650 calories. I feel full but not gross, nourished, and content. You could easily have this recipe serve 2, unless you’re as famished as I was feeling after a bike ride and no food all day.

Chickpeas are very quickly becoming one of my favorite foods – you can puree them, sautee them, make them into a sandwich spread or a dip, roast them, put them in soups, salads… expect to see a lot more chickpea recipes on the way!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 can chickpeas, no salt added (15 oz)
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried garlic
  • 1 tsp minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, no salt added (15 oz)
  • 4 cups spinach
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg’s amino acids

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in skillet over medium flame.
  2. Combine flour and spices in a bowl.
  3. Drain chickpeas; add to flour mixture and stir to coat evenly.
  4. Sautee chickpeas until crispy.
  5. Combine tomatoes, spinach, and Bragg’s amino acids in sauce pan. Cook until spinach is tender.
  6. Strain excess juice from tomato mixture.
  7. Serve chickpeas on top of tomato mixture.

 

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I had a nice jar of kale, carrot, apple, lemon, and ginger juice with this. I’ve been having at least one jar of this a day!

Other garbanzo bean posts you might like:

The Great Garbanzo (bitemywords.com)

Couscous Salad with Garbanzo Beans and Dates (foodologie.com)

Capsicum, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup (runmomma.com)

 

 


Homemade vegetable broth from juicing pulp

One of my biggest “issues” with juicing is that fresh produce can be pricy, so the cost of including juice into a daily diet can really add up. I made a goal to start saving all the pulp (I run the veggies through the juicer first and empty the pulp, then add any fruits and save that separately.) I hope to repurpose the pulp to help cut down on other food costs. Last week, I made a chili and dumped some of the veggie pulp in the chili to thicken it up, and that worked great. This time, I decided I’d see how it would do for vegetable broth. Saving the pulp from 5 juices allowed me to make about 8 cups of broth, saving me about $5-$6. Not bad! When saving pulp, it’s best not to keep in the fridge for more than 2-3 days max. I stored in a Mason jar in the freezer and added to the jar every day. By the end of the week, I had a packed jar, mostly carrot, kale, and celery.

Ingredients:

  • Veggie pulp (I used 1 quart mason jar, packed)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • Other whole vegetables or spices as you see fit (I just added black pepper)

Method:

  1. Add all ingredients into large stock pot. Cover with water about 2-3″ above pulp/veggie mixture.
  2. Simmer, stirring frequently, approx 45 minutes for flavors to release and soak into liquid.
  3. Strain out pulp.
  4. Store broth in refrigerator, or freeze if not being used within 2-3 days.

 

 

 


Homemade ‘steak’ sauce, and how I like my seitan (juicy and full of flavor).

Seitan is a nice addition to a veggie diet since it’s packed with protein (approx 25 g in a 4 oz serving). It’s made entirely from wheat gluten, which is the protein in wheat that makes it stretchy/sticky. I’m not crazy about the texture, I find it to be a little dry and rubbery, and it doesn’t absorb flavor that well. When I decide I want to have it, I always make sure to cook it in a way that makes it juicier and more tender. My favorite way to prepare it simmering on the stovetop, allowing the sauce to cook down and absorb into the seitan. The sauce I used tonight was a steak sauce recipe with simple common ingredients from allrecipes.com.

Tender seitan with homemade “steak” sauce

Ingredients:

Sauce:

  • 8 oz seitan cubes or strips
  • 1/3 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 2 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce (Amy’s Organics makes a great one)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • a few drops hot sauce of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method:

  1. Whisk together all ingredients for sauce (everything except vegetable broth and seitan).
  2. In a medium sauce pan, add vegetable broth, sauce, and seitan.
  3. Cook over medium-medium low heat, stirring occassionally to prevent burning (sauce is high in sugar content.)
  4. Seitan is done when all sauce is cooked down, approx 30-35 minutes.

 

Before I started cooking the seitan, I threw some wild rice in the rice cooker. I steamed butternut squash and spinach on top to make a complete meal!

 

 


There comes a time in every healthy girl’s life that she has to fry something for her man: Vegan buffalo seitan

In passing, I mentioned to my boyfriend that I used to make fried buffalo seitan. Immediately, he said he wanted it. I haven’t made it in probably almost 2 years because, with the very high unhealthy fat and sodium content, it was something I decided I needed to remove from my cooking repertoire. But, as a special treat, I broke out the recipe last night with a few changes. I nixed the flour and subbed in whole wheat flour with a sprinkle of ground flax seed. And when I may have put these buffalo seitan bits on a pizza or sandwich with added fats and sodium, this time, I served with just plain steamed veggies.

So what is seitan anyway? Seitan is made from wheat gluten, which is the main protein of wheat. The wheat flour dough is stripped of its starch, and the elastic, gummy, sticky stuff that’s left is the gluten. Of course, seitan isn’t a good meat substitute for those of us who may have celiacs or a gluten intolerance… but for someone who has a bit of trouble digesting soy and no trouble with wheat, like myself, seitan is a great alternative. Generally, I don’t use meat substitutes, just because I feel the best when I concentrate on vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and beans. Seitan is fairly processed down, but it does offer a good hit of protein: 21 g of protein in one serving, with just 120 calories and 2 g of fat.

Some notes on the ingredients…

Oil: Olive oil is technically said to be the “healthiest” but the bottom line is that you’re using 100% fat no matter what. I chose canola for my budget’s sake. Try to find organic, and look for brands that avoid sourcing GMO! I used Whole Food’s 365.

Seitan: I used West Soy brand strips. The bigger the chunks you can get the better, but the little fried buffalo bits are also quite delicious.

Hot Sauce: Frank’s Red Hot is commonly used in buffalo sauce, but I used all-natural cayenne pepper hot sauce from The Scoville Food Institute. The sauce I used did not contain any garlic, but that is an ingredient in the Frank’s Red Hot. I felt it really benefited the sauce to add some fresh garlic in.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Oil for frying
  • 8 oz seitan
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 cups almond milk (or milk substitute of your choice)
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance
  • 1/4 cup hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic (optional)

Method:

  1. Open seitan, drain extra water. Wrap tightly in paper towels and press out extra moisture.
  2. Fill pan 1/4″ – 1/2″ with oil and heat over medium flame.
  3. Pour milk substitute into a bowl.
  4. Combine whole wheat flour and flax seed in second bowl.
  5. Dredge seitan in milk, then flour mixture, then back in milk.
  6. Place seitan carefully into hot oil, making sure to be careful for splash back.
  7. Fry seitan until breading is golden brown and crispy, flipping halfway through for even cooking.
  8. Drain seitan thoroughly on paper bags or paper towels. Press excess oil out with paper towels.
  9. Melt Earth Balance in a small sauce pan over medium low heat.
  10. Whisk in hot sauce and garlic.
  11. Toss seitan chunks in buffalo sauce. Enjoy!

 

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Other seitan recipe posts you might like:

38. slowcooker chick’n seitan. (makegreat.wordpress.com)

Top Chef Wednesday: Enchiladas with Onion & Seitan (suburbanvegan.com)

Pesto Infused Rice with Seitan (foodfitnessfreshair.com)


Meatless Monday: Quinoa stirfry with broccoli, mango, cashews and spicy ginger sauce

Meatless Monday!

Let’s talk quinoa, a great addition to any meatless diet. Pronounced KEEN-wah, in case you were wondering. But what is it? It’s actually a seed, but is considered a whole grain. Most importantly, quinoa is the only plant-based source of complete protein. Whoa, what’s that? Yes – there is a plant that contains all 9 essential amino acids: quinoa! And it packs 7g of protein per serving compared to brown rice’s 4g. So it’s got more of a better quality protein. I love it. I will admit it took me a little while to come around to it. I’m much more of a fan of a hot quinoa dish than a cold quinoa salad, though. (Quinoa can replace other grains in soups, stirfries, or Mexican dishes, OR try it in place of oatmeal for breakfast.)

One particular amino acid that quinoa is high in is lysine, which is missing from wheat and rice. Lysine aids in tissue growth and repair, aiding the immune system. (Lysine is often used as a supplement to quickly banish cold sores.) Quinoa also is packed with fiber and minerals. It’s gluten-free, and considered an easily digested grain. Win-win-win.

This dish is vegan, gluten-free*,with no added salt, no added refined sugars, no extracted oils. It’s packed with fiber and healthy fats.

*contains no added gluten ingredients, but make sure you double check all brands of products like vegetable broth or soy sauce that you are using, as many will contain gluten or wheat ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 1cup quinoa, uncooked
  • 2 cups water or reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups frozen mango chunks (this would work well with pineapple too)
  • 6 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • 2 cups frozen diced pepper/onion mix
  • 1 cup raw cashews

Sauce:

  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup raw agave nectar
  • ¾ cup water
  • 2 ½ Tbsp Bragg’s (or reduced sodium tamari or soy sauce)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • ½ Tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch

Method:

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package. (Typically, add 2 cups water or reduced-sodium vegetable broth and 1 cup quinoa. Bring to boil. Cover, and lower for a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Quinoa will be done when grain is translucent and has little spirals coming out of it.)
  2. While quinoa is simmering, steam broccoli in covered pot for approx 10 minutes.
  3. Add mango and pepper/onion mix to broccoli and steam for approx 5-7 minutes until heated thoroughly.
  4. Stir in cashews and remove from heat.
  5. To prepare sauce, add all ingredients except corn starch to a small sauce pan and bring to low boil.
  6. Whisk in corn starch until thickened and thoroughly dissolved.
  7. Once quinoa is finished, add quinoa to broccoli/mango/cashew mixture and stir in sauce.
  8. Simmer all ingredients together above medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3-4 minutes to reduce sauce slightly and meld flavors.

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Other quinoa recipe posts you might like:

Sopa de Quinua or Quinoa Soup (vegetarianirvana.wordpress.com)

Quinoa: breakfast of champions (mostlyfood.org)

Thai Fried Quinoa (feastyoureyesonmyveg.wordpress.com)


Brown rice noodles and veggies with sweet and spicy sauce

 

Last night, I made brown rice mai fun noodles with veggies and a homemade sweet and spicy kind of sauce. I always tend to make a huge amount of food when I cook and eat the leftovers for days. Yummmm!

 

 

Ingredients – Serves 8

Vegetables

*Note: this is what I used but you can use any veggies you like in your stirfry that equal out to about 8 cups of vegetables.*

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable broth
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh minced garlic (to taste)
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger (to taste)
  • 4 cups assorted veggies, fresh or frozen (I used frozen – red and green peppers, onions, carrots, cauilflower, and broccoli)
  • 6-8 shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • 6-8 crimini mushrooms, chipped
  • 1 can cut baby corn
  • 1 can watercress
  • 1 bunch scallions

 

1. Heat vegetable broth over medium-high heat, steamfry ginger and garlic for 1-2 minutes.

 

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2. Add and stir in all vegetables, coating garlic and ginger mix throughout. If you have frozen, add those and cook for 4-5 minuets before adding fresh. Add more vegetable broth as needed to steam vegetables. Keep flame on a low heat to prevent overcooking as a stir fry tastes best with vegetables just under tender (in my opinon).

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Sauce:

  • 1 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce, tamari, or Bragg’s (choose low-sodium version)
  • 4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp cooking wine
  • 4 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 Tbsp red curry powder
  • 2-4 tsp crushed red pepper, to taste

 

1. Add water to pan and begin to heat over low flame.

2. Whisk in cornstarch until evenly dissolved.

3. Add remaining ingredients one at a time, whisking often to prevent cornstarch from clumping.

 

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Add sauce to veggies and simmer on low for a 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly to distribute sauce and prevent burning.

At this point, I felt the sauce was a little too thin for my liking for the amount of veggies that I had, so I stirred in some more cornstarch and cooked for another few minutes, stirring constantly.

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Brown Rice Noodles

  • 2 – 8 oz packages 100% brown rice mai fun noodles (I used Annie Chun’s)

Prepare according to package.

 

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Serve with warm green tea – delightful and nourishing!