Steamed Vegetables with Rice

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Fresh beets peeled, halved and sliced
  • 1-2 Handful of fresh okra (washed)
  • 1-2 Tablespoon kimchi or sauerkraut (homemade preferable)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Liquid amino to taste (optional if NOT on a low sodium diet)
  • Tabasco or any chili seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon olive or coconut oil or softened goat’s milk butter
  • 1 Cup (per serving) cooked jasmine or basmati rice or quinoa (if on low carb diet)

Putting it together:

Place sliced beets and okra into a steamer (with about 1/2 inch of water on bottom of pan) and cover.  Steam on medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until beets are tender.  Place cooked rice or quinoa into a medium-sized bowl and drizzle olive or coconut oil or place the butter on the rice.  Season with liquid amino (optional) and toss lightly to mix.  Place slices of beet and okra on top of the rice and squeeze some lemon juice onto the veggies.  Garnish with Tabasco/chili seasoning and kimchi or sauerkraut.  Refrigerate leftover veggies in air-tight containers for re-steaming later.

Enjoy with a cup of naturally un-caffeinated mint or ginger tea.

~Bon Appetit~

Healthy steamed vegetables dish prepared by Dr. Huyen Nguyen

Steamed vegetables

Rating

Links for Good Eats under “Patient Education”

Local Produce – lists resources for obtaining local and seasonal organic fruits/veggies.  Farmhouse Delivery requires membership, but will deliver weekly or bi-weekly (every other week) produce/groceries to your door.  GO TEXAN from the Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner provides a list of local farmer’s markets and their hours.  River City Produce offers bi-weekly organic baskets, and weekly specials at wholesale prices.  Hours and weekly specials are posted on their Facebook page (search River City Produce Co., Inc.).

Nutrition Education – HEB offers individual nutritional counseling and group health classes for a fee.  Whole Foods Market‘s website assists with healthy meal planning even with dietary restrictions.

A Soda A Day

Ever wondered what the consequences are of drinking just one soda a day?  Click on the following link to find out.

How much weight does one gain with a soda a day?

Some suggested healthier alternatives:  

  • Plain carbonated water + fresh fruit juice in a 80:20 dilution (80% water, 20% juice)
  • Plain carbonated water + herbal tea (favorites are jasmine, mint, hibiscus, ginger, etc.) sweetened with a few drops of liquid Stevia (a natural sweetener)
  • Plain carbonated water + a squeeze of citrus (lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit, etc.)
  • Plain carbonated water + fresh fruit infusion (slices of orange, pineapple, kiwis, berries, cucumber, etc.)
  • Plain carbonated water + 1-2 drops of essential oil (lemon, orange, mint)
5 Stars

1 Review | Average Rating: 5

5 Stars

Very informative. The variety of alternate suggestions you give are a great idea and much more healthy! Hopefully more people will see this and start making changes.

Kale Greens Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2-3 peeled cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger root, peeled and julienned
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large portabello mushroom, de-gilled, brushed and sliced
  • 2 links (1/2 package) Tofurkey meatless Kielbasa “sausage”, diced
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced
  • 6-8 cups kale greens (HEB sells this already washed and cut)
  • seasoning salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar (or to taste)
  • 4 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil (can also use grapeseed oil)
  • freshly ground black pepper and/or Sriracha hot sauce to garnish

Putting it together

Preheat a large saute pan or wok on low heat while you gather and chop/slice ingredients.  Once you are ready to cook, turn heat up to medium.  Begin by drizzling oil into pan or wok.  Wait about 30 seconds until it heats up.  Then, drop in onions, ginger and garlic (in that order), stirring steadily until onions are semi-translucent.  Add carrot slices and continue to stir for about 3 minutes.  Add the diced Tofurkey and mix for another 3 minutes.  You may need to add a bit of water to the pan to make sure nothing is sticking.  Maintain cooking temperature by turning up heat slightly. Add the kale greens and stir.  Season with seasoning salt and rice vinegar (taste after adding).  Continue to mix as you saute, and the greens will go limp in about 2-3 minutes.  When the greens are limp, add the sliced portabello mushroom and incorporate into the mixture.  When the mushroom starts to sweat (in about 3 minutes), add the sliced roma tomato.  Cover the pan and turn off heat.  Let the stir-fry rest for about 5 minutes, then uncover and give a final mix.  

Stir-frying tip:  Using a pair of sturdy wooden chopsticks (no, not the ones you saved from your favorite Asian restaurant) or a flat wooden spoon or spatula to toss the veggies while saute-ing will prevent food from sticking to bottom of wok or pan and ensure even cooking.  Making sure the pan is hot enough (you can hear the slight sizzle and smell the fragrance) is also important to have tender, not limp veggies.  

Serve on a bed of cooked quinoa (shown here) with a side of steamed vegetable gyoza (from Trader Joe’s) and dipping sauce (made with rice vinegar, liquid amino, sesame oil, freshly ground black pepper, and a few drops of agave).  If you like your stir-fry spicy, sprinkle a bit of freshly ground black pepper or drizzle some Sriracha hot sauce onto the plate before serving.  Bon appetit!

Kale greens stir fry

Kale greens stir fry

Sunday Morning Buckwheat Pancakes (gluten free)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour (sifted)
  • 1/4 cup rice flour (sifted)
  • 2 Tbsp flax seed meal (ground flax seeds) 
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 to 2 tsp agave nectar or 8-10 drops of liquid Stevia (to taste)
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (approximately) unsweetened almond milk or any unsweetened plant-based milk
  • 2 Tbsp (approximately) grapeseed oil
  • Toppings:  non-cow’s milk plain yogurt (used here, Redwood Hill Farm goat’s milk yogurt), unsweetened applesauce, fresh blue berries, bittersweet chocolate chips (optional).

Putting it together: 

Preheat a non-stick 12″ skillet on low-medium heat while you assemble the ingredients.  You can use a regular stainless steel or cast iron skillet as well – just use more oil during cooking to prevent sticking.  

In a large glass or ceramic bowl (I used a 2 quart Pyrex measuring bowl which has a pouring spout and handle), sift the flours, then put all the dry ingredients together.  Stir to mix, then slowly add the unsweetened almond milk.  Continue to mix and stir while adding the milk.  You want to add enough of the almond milk to make a rather thick batter (not runny) but which is still thin enough to pour easily.  If you accidently add too much almond milk and it’s too runny, thicken it with some additional buckwheat flour.  

Add vanilla and Stevia or agave.  Stir until well-incorporated.  Taste the batter and add more sweetener if desired.  I would caution against adding more than a couple of teaspoons of agave, because what you may get would be more like a dessert, and less like a healthy breakfast food.  If you are desiring additional sweetness, save it for the toppings.

When you are ready to cook, drizzle a teaspoon or so of the oil into the already heated skillet (use more oil if not using a non-stick skillet).  Turn heat up to medium and wait about 30 seconds for the oil to heat up, then pour the batter into the skillet to make 3-4 inch discs.  This size cooks faster and flips more easily.  You can squeeze 3-4 cakes into a 12 inch skilet.  Your skillet is hot enough if you hear a sizzle as the batter is being poured into the pan, and you begin to see bubbles around the edges of the cakes in about 30 seconds to a minute.  You will also begin to smell the fragrance of the frying batter.  Check to see if the cake is ready to flip when it’s risen a bit and the edges are golden brown.  Loosen the cakes with a spatula and lift to check done-ness.  It is ready to flip when you see that the cooking side is a nice golden-brown.  Flip the cakes and allow to cook for another 3-4 minutes until golden brown.  Remove from heat.  Add more oil into skillet and repeat the process until all the batter is gone.  Makes about 10 pancakes. Leftover cakes may be stored, refrigerated, in an air-tight container.  Eat within 2-3 days.  

To plate, place 2-3 of the cakes on a plate.  Layer applesauce, yogurt and blueberries on top.  Bittersweet chocolate chips also work well as a topping.  Bon appetit!

Buckwheat pancakes

Buckwheat pancakes

Vegan Pizza with Multigrain Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Whole Foods Multi Grain Dough Ball (in the refrigerated deli section)
  • 1 package of Daiya vegan mozarella shreds
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce 
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 12 to 14 button mushrooms, brushed and thinly sliced
  • 5 roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 2 bunches of fresh oregano (about 20 leaves)
  • optional deli toppings:  olive oil marinated garlic, pitted olives (sliced), peppers, artichoke hearts, etc.
  • flour to roll out dough
  • red pepper flakes (optional)

Putting it together:

Mise en place:  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Set the dough ball aside in a dark, warm place (not in oven) to rest and rise a bit.  Using a pastry brush, lightly cover two pizza pan bottoms with some olive oil; set aside.  Using a sharp chef’s knife, thinly slice red onion, mushrooms, tomatoes and olives (if using) and set aside.  

The crust:  Prepare a flat, clean surface to roll out dough.  I put a couple of sheets of aluminum foil down on a butcher block table, but could have also used wax or parchment paper.  Sprinkle surface liberally with flour.  With clean hands, remove dough from bag and place on surface.  With a clean, dry bread knife (or a very sharp chef’s knife) carefully slice the ball of dough in half.  Put half the dough back into the bag while you work on the other half.  Use finger pads to push dough into a round, flat disc.  Flour a rolling pin and begin rolling out the crust, starting from the center and working your way outward in a circle, using additional flour if necessary to prevent sticking.  Roll until the thickness of the crust is about 1/8 inch, and the diameter is about 11-12 inches.  Sprinkle a bit of flour in the center and prepare the crust for transfer by folding the edges toward the center in four directions.  Be careful not to tear the dough while peeling it off the surface.  Place the folded crust in the center of the greased pizza pan and carefully unfold it, using the balls of fingers to reposition the crust so that it meets the edges of the pizza pan.  Repeat the whole process with the other dough half.  Once the oven is heated to 450 degrees, bake both crusts for about 5 minutes (do not let turn yellow or brown).  The edges may rise a little.  Remove from oven.

Toppings:  Using a pastry brush, brush the remaining olive oil onto the surface of the pizza crusts.  Sprinkle each crust with about 1/2 tsp dried oregano.  Divide the tomato sauce in half and, using the back of a tablespoon, spread 4 oz of sauce on each pizza crust.  Place sliced roma tomatoes onto the crust so that the edges touch.  Scatter on deli items (if using), then top with the vegan mozarella.  Layer on fresh ingredients – mushrooms, onions and basil.  Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges of crust are golden to light brown.  The more toppings it has, the longer it will need to bake.  

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.  Carefully slice each pizza into 8 slices with a pizza cutter.  Sprinkle with red pepper flakes (optional) before serving.  A salad on the side makes this a complete meal.

Vegan Pizza

Vegan Pizza

Good Morning Sunday Breakfast

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 white or yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 to 1 Tofurkey Kielbasa (meatless) link, diced (optional, may use sliced portabello mushroom instead)
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 cups green leafies:  (shown here) already washed & chopped kale greens, frozen sweet peas (thawed)
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • fresh fruit and yogurt compote 

Putting it together:

Mise en place:  Heat on low two medium saute pans with a tablespoon of oil in each.  I used one 12 inch saute pan and one 3 quart sauce pan (I only have one saute pan).  Using a sharp chef’s knife, peel and chop the garlic, onion, and potato; dice the Tofurkey link and tomato.  If using portabello mushroom, remove cap, de-gill, cut into quarters and slice.

Sauteing:  Begin by turning up the heat to medium and sauteing the garlic in one pan and the onion in the other pan.  Once the garlic is fragrant and before it turns yellow or brown around the edges, add the diced potatoes and stir to coat with the oil.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper and cover.  Be prepared to dial down the heat in about 5 minutes as the potato heats through.  

Turn your attention to the other pan which has the onions.  Add the Tofurkey and stir for about 1 minute (to heat).  If using portabello mushroom, stir-fry until it starts sweating (release juice).  Add the greens and stir to mix thoroughly.  Season with a bit of salt and pepper (use less salt than you think if using Tofurkey because it is also salty).  Cover and allow to steam.  Turn heat down to low-medium or low as the veggies heat up (after steaming for about 5 minutes).

Check on the sweet potatoes and give it a stir.  It’s done when the edges are brown and there’s some liquid steaming off the potato (and it’s tender).  It takes about 10-12 minutes to fully cook through and slightly carmelize.  Do not burn.  Turn off heat, gape the cover slightly and set aside.

Add the diced tomatoes to the greens and incorporate into the mixture by lightly stirring.  Squeeze on the lime juice, give a final mix, and cover.  Once the tomatoes are wilted, and the green leafies have sweated, you are done.  Gape the cover to allow the steam to escape and turn off heat.

Follow my recipe for fresh fruit and yogurt compote while allowing the cooked food to rest.  Resting is important for flavor development and avoid burning your tongue.  Serves two with left overs.

Accompaniment:  A hot cup of herbal tea (like mint or ginger) helps with digestion.  If you want to have a more energizing feel, try some unflavored carbonated water (i.e. seltzer water) with a twist of lime or a bit of fresh fruit juice (fresh-squeezed OJ or grapefruit) with or without ice.  This reminds me of a healthy mimosa.  I would avoid alcohol in the morning because it drags down your whole day.

Bon appetit!

Sunday Morning Breakfast

Sunday Morning Breakfast

5 Stars

1 Review | Average Rating: 5

5 Stars

I love this breakfast. It has a variety of HEALTHY ingredients, texture, and color. A great way to start my day!
M.H.

Fresh Fruit and Yogurt Compote

Ingredients:

  • Fresh fruit – used here:  blueberries and mango (cubed).  Try also, melons, raspberries, blackberries, sliced kiwis, pomegranate seeds, etc.
  • Non-cow’s milk yogurt – used here:  Redwood Hill Farm plain goat’s milk yogurt.  Can also use plain soy or coconut milk yogurt as well.
  • Raw cacao nibs or other toppings.  
  • Alternative toppings include cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, fresh mint or basil (chiffonade), candied ginger or lavender.

Putting it together:

Layer the fruits and add a dollop or two of the plain yogurt.  Garnish with the cacao nibs (or other topping).  Great for breakfast, as a between meal snack or as a simple, elegant dessert.  Bon Appetit!

Fresh fruit and yogurt compote

Fresh fruit and yogurt compote

Vegetable Udon Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 cloves crushed, chopped garlic 
  • 1 inch peeled, julienned fresh ginger
  • 1/3 yellow onion, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, peeled & sliced thinly
  • handful okra washed and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 2-3 handfuls chopped kale greens
  • 1 portabello mushroom with stem removed, gill scraped and sliced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, sliced
  • Tofurkey Kielbasa meatless sausage 2 links, diced (optional)
  • 2 packages of udon noodles (7.22 ounces each)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 cubes low-sodium vegetable bouillon (or whatever the package instruction suggests based on the volume of water)
  • juice of 1 freshly-squeezed lime
  • salt to taste
  • chili sauce (optional)

Putting it together:

Prep all dry ingredients before turning on the stove.  

Heat both oils in a soup pan on low-medium heat until hot, but not smoking.  Saute onions, garlic & ginger until fragrant, and onions are translucent.  Do not burn.  Add sliced carrots and okra and stir-fry until slightly soft, about 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the Tofurkey sausage if you are using it.   Add a little water, if necessary, to keep vegetables from sticking to bottom of pan.  Add kale greens, mix thoroughly and cover until greens become limp, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the sliced portabello mushroom and stir thoroughly.  Saute until mushrooms are slightly soft and moist.  Season as you go with a bit of salt if you are NOT on a sodium-restricted diet.

Add the 5 cups of water, vegetable bouillon and cover.  Heat on low-medium until almost simmering.  Add udon noodles and sliced tomatoes; stir and cover.  Bring to a simmer and turn off heat.  Top with the lime juice.  If you like it spicy, squeeze on a bit of chili sauce before serving.

Makes enough as a main course for two very hungry people (with left-over), or as a first course for 3-4 people.

Vegetable udon noodle soup

Vegetable udon noodle soup