When I think of "superfoods," I think of things like goji berries and lucuma powder, neither of which are staples in my kitchen. But, actually, it turns out that there are so many superfoods that are actually staples in my kitchen! Things like almonds, edamame, walnuts, oats, lentils, turmeric, blueberries, sweet potatoes... and the list goes on and on. When my friend Jess Nadel of Cupcakes and Kale asked me to be a part of the blog tour for her newest book Superfoods 24/7, I was stoked! I enjoy eating healthy and learning about foods that are full of yum-power and nutrition-power.
So, I set to work, super-charging my meals with all sorts of great recipes and ingredients. I was happy to find that many of the recipes called for ingredients that I had loitering in my pantry or my freezer... things like hemp seeds, chia seeds, amaranth, maca, and acai. These were all things that I bought on a whim (probably at Grocery Outlet, where I am unable to resist appealing deals on hippie products), and then didn't know what to do with. As you'll see, I put them all to excellent use!
The first thing I made was Coconut Kale Soup with Cashew Creme Fraiche. This soup is easy to make and has So Much Kale in it!!! It's also got a lot of peas in it, which is a great contribution to the flavor and the overall body of the soup. The recipe doesn't call for any specialty ingredients at all, and actually the flavor isn't particularly complicated... but with each bite, I became more and more enamored with this soup. Then we both went back for seconds. Then I had the leftovers for lunch the next day. Then I decided to make it again next week. So, I'd say that qualifies as a hit.
We had the soup with Turmeric-Roasted Cauliflower Steaks, which was a great combo! I make roasted cauliflower all the time. It's easily one of my favorite foods. But I usually just use a little oil, salt and pepper for seasoning. This was a big step up! We both loved the Indian flavors of turmeric and fresh ginger coating these giant cauliflower slices... and we also both gobbled them down immediately before even getting started on our soup. Honestly, for a less presentation-worthy affair, you could definitely use these same seasonings on every day florets and still have the same great taste sensations!
two important things of note: fresh turmeric is so beautiful, and also
look at my cute mug of cats playing on a swing
Back in VeganMoFo, I learned that drinking coffee or tea within 3 hours of an iron-rich meal will vastly inhibit your body's ability to absorb the iron. This is a bummer for me, because I really love coffee. I usually drink decaf, so that's not the issue. I just like the flavor a lot, and I like how it feels sorta substantial. I mean, herbal tea's o-k... but it's also kinda just a glass of hot water. So, ever since I learned that, I have been on the lookout for other nice toasty beverages. Especially after eating a giant bowl of kale soup -- I wanna maximize my nutrient intake, baby! So, I was excited to finally try something I've heard of before: Golden Turmeric Milk. I really loved this. It's made with almond milk, some great warming spices, and turmeric and ginger. Options are given to use fresh or dried turmeric, so I jumped on the opportunity to buy some beautiful fresh turmeric. I first found out about fresh turmeric when I was in India, and it still reminds me of that special time. I loved this toasty and satisfying drink, and I'll definitely make it again!
I'm always looking for new breakfast ideas. I love to have the same thing for breakfast for a few days and then move along to the next thing. A while back I got some 100% acai packets (at Grocery Outlet, of course), and they've been siting in my freezer ever since. So, when I saw the recipe for Acai Smoothie Bowl with Superfood Toppings, I knew this was my moment! I almost never buy things like bananas or canned pineapple, so they feel like special treats to me! I know that sounds crazy, but we have great local fruit year-round at the farmers markets here, so I mostly stick to that. As a result, buying bananas and pineapple for my acai bowl made me feel like I was treating myself to something super special.
i am a cheap date
In honor of Jess' Canadianness, I used my Canadian Maple Sugar & Cranberries to sweeten my oats!
I also made the Blueberry Chia Overnight Oats. The recipe called for fresh blueberries, but it's wintertime, and I had a big bag of blueberries that I bought in the summer and had frozen for later. So, I used frozen. Overnight oats are so easy and delicious! It's been cold and rainy here, so when I was ready for breakfast, I just microwaved that biz and had a delicious, hot bowl of oatmeal in no-time flat. That left me plenty of time to drink my coffee and do the crossword puzzle before leaving to teach!
so delicious and so quick to make!!
Happily, I am able to share this recipe with you! I hope you enjoy it!
VIETNAMESE BRUSSELS SPROUT and NOODLE SALAD
This fresh and crunchy salad is bound to fill you up and brighten your day, with Vitamin C-rich Brussels sprouts and lively flavors from heaps of fresh herbs.
Serves 6, gluten-free
Prep: 15 mins | Cook: 5 mins
2 cups (180 g) Brussels sprouts
3 cups (300 g) beansprouts
1 large carrot, julienned
1 cup (20 g) Thai basil (I had to resort to regular basil, since it was all I could find)
1 cup (20 g) fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup (8 g) fresh mint leaves
½ cup (70 g) dry roasted peanuts, chopped
4 oz (100 g) rice vermicelli noodles
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons gluten-free tamari or light soy sauce
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon unrefined cane sugar
1 small Thai chili, minced or ½ teaspoon dried chili flakes (optional)
1. Peel away and discard the outer leaves of the Brussels sprouts. Rinse the sprouts well and pat dry. Slice each one in half, then, cut-side down, slice into thin ribbons. Transfer to a bowl and add the beansprouts and carrot.
2. Roughly chop the fresh herbs and add these to the bowl, along with the peanuts.
3. Prepare the rice noodles according to package directions. If they are long, cut them in half to make tossing and serving the salad easier. Add to the salad bowl.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients together, toss through the salad and serve.
Calories (per serving): 178
Protein: 8.5 g
Total fat: 6.4 g
Saturated fat: 0.9 g
Carbohydrates: 24 g
Dietary fiber: 3.1 g
Sugars: 2.7 g
Vitamins: A, C
Credit line: Recipe from Superfoods 24/7: More than 100 Easy and Inspired Recipes to Enjoy the
World’s Most Nutritious Foods at Every Meal, Every Day © Quantum Publishing, 2015. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com
Overall thoughtsAs you can see, we've eaten really well from this lovely book! Superfoods 24/7 is also really beautiful (with gorgeous color photos by Jackie Sobon), an attractive and easily-readable layout, and a few nice features that I really appreciate: each recipe includes the volume and weight for the listed ingredients (I love this!!), very clear instructions with no surprises, and there is also a nutritional profile provided for each recipe.
I have several more recipes marked to try soon, including:
Coconut Milk Amaranth Rice Pudding ~ Apple, Beet & Broccoli Slaw
Sweet Potato Mac & Cheese ~ Tempeh Brassica Bibimbap
Gnocchi with Roasted Garlic & Kale Puree' ~ Almond Tahini Truffles
Crispy Amaranth Coated Edamame ~ and more!!
The recipes aren't oil-free, salt-free, or sugar-free, but they are quite healthy and are just about at the end of my healthy-eating spectrum. I'm happy to have a book full of healthy-oriented recipes that are also so delicious and satisfying to eat. I still haven't ever tried lucuma or matcha... but I'll have to work on that (and look for deals at Grocery Outlet!). There are definitely some recipes in the book waiting for me when I'm ready!