Cornmeal, Nasturtium & Beluga Lentils

Breakfast_textCorn is a wonderful ingredient! There are so many different ways to eat it – from corn tortillas to popcorn, and it plays a double-role in your Daily Dozen, since it can be counted under either whole grains or other vegetables. I haven’t had cornmeal mush since I was a kid, and I suddenly had a craving for it, so that’s what I’m having for breakfast (minus the butter, of course).

  • cornmeal_20160627_1354541/4 c. cornmeal
  • 1/2 c. hazelnut milk (+ 1/4 c. water if you like a wetter mush)
  • 1/2 c. blueberries
  • 1 T maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 nectarine (or fruit of choice)

To make cornmeal mush:

  1. Add the liquid and the cornmeal to a small pot, and simmer on a low-med heat for ~7 minutes
  2. Add blueberries & heat through
  3. Stir in maple syrup, if using

The additional fruit can either be cut up and added to the mush or, as I did, simply eaten on the side. I was thinking some chopped dates might be a very tasty addition to the mush! Perhaps I’ll do that instead of the nectarine next time.

Checklist items: berries, 1 other fruits, 1 whole grains (3 out of 18 servings)


snack_textIt’s early, but breakfast was pretty small this morning, so I’m having a light mid-morning snack.

 

  • 1 c. melon pieceswp-1467101903567.jpg

I found an interesting melon at the grocery store. There are so many types I’ve never tried. This one is a Santa Claus Melon, and it’s excellent…a perfect, light snack.

Checklist items: 1 other fruits (1 out of 18 servings)


lunch_textI’m in the mood for rice and lentils. I plan to switch soon to non-white varieties of rice (here‘s why), but for the moment, I only have Basmati, heretofore my favorite. I’ve never had black or purple rice, and I can’t wait to try! But, for now, the lentils are the stars of the show. I’m using a mix of red & beluga lentils today.

  • wp-1467108359811.jpg1/2 c. lentils, pre-cooked
  • 1/2 c. rice, pre-cooked
  • 1/2 c. beet greens, pre-cooked
  • 1/4 c. celery
  • 1/4 c. red bell pepper
  • 2 T lime juice
  • 1 T garam masala
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 T flaxseed, ground
  • 1/4 c. arugula
  • 2 corn tortillas

I often have some cooked rice and either beans, peas, or lentils in the fridge. This makes it super easy to throw together a nutritious meal! Also, I grow beets in my garden and, when I harvest them, I cook the greens in boiling water for 1 minute, then freeze them, so I’ve got greens from my own garden throughout the year. Here’s how I put lunch together:

  1. Saute celery & bell pepper with garam masala, tomato paste, and water
  2. Add beet greens, rice & lentils and cook just until warm
  3. Turn off heat, and add lime juice.
  4. Put 1 c. of mixture on each corn tortilla
  5. Sprinkle flaxseed on top, along with arugula
  6. Wrap & eat!

Checklist items: 1 beans, 1/2 cruciferous, 1 greens, 1 other vegetables, flaxseed, spices, 3 whole grains (8 1/2 out of 18 servings)


dinner_textI love salad. Especially this time of year, when we’ve got lettuce, arugula, radishes, beets, peas & various herbs coming out our ears. Well, technically, out of our garden. I’m always excited for when the nasturtiums start to bloom. They add both color and spice to salads. The flowers are edible, and the leaves have a robust peppery flavor.

  • wp-1467118137655.jpg1 c. peas
  • 1/4 c. broccoli
  • 1 c. red leaf lettuce & nasturtium leaves, mixed
  • 1/4 c. cucumber
  • 1/4 c. red bell pepper
  • 1/4 c. red radish sprouts
  • 1/4 c. corn
  • 1/4 c. dry-roasted sunflower seeds
  • Chef AJ’s House Dressing
  • Nasturtium flowers

The only instruction worth adding here is to put the flowers on the salad after the salad has been served. Even if you’re just making it for yourself, it’s worthwhile to take a moment to enjoy the fact that you have a gorgeous bowl of food in front of you.

Checklist items: 2 beans, 1/2 cruciferous, 1 greens, 2 other vegetables, nuts (6 1/2 out of 18 servings)


Dessert_textI’m not sure you can really call this a dessert, but after dinner I went out to the garden, picked a handful of raspberries, and ate them, along with an apricot from the store.

  • 1 c. red raspberries
  • 1 apricot

Checklist items: berries, 1 other fruits (2 out of 18 servings)


Taking account of the day:

20 servings in total.

We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything.

In addition, we had one extra serving each of berriesother vegetables, and whole grains (depending on how you want to count the corn).

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Cherries, Arugula & Black Beans

Today is a challenge for getting my daily dozen because I’m not following my normal schedule. Instead of breakfast and then exercise, the first thing I have to do today is run. At 8 a.m., my partner is dropping his car off at a garage 13 km from our house, and he’s running home. I’m running from the house to meet him half-way and then we’ll return together (it may seem like a strange plan, but we have our reasons). The problem is that I can’t run soon after eating, so I’m just going to drink some water and go. I don’t have a post for what I ate yesterday, but I had tons of carbs, so I’ll be just fine!

By the time we get home, it will make more sense to go directly to lunch, so I’ve decided to try to fit the daily dozen into 2 meals & a snack. Let’s see how we go…

lunch_textI had some peas and corn left over that I’ve been excited to eat, one extra corn tortilla that I haven’t made use of yet, and tons of arugula in my garden. It’s a quick & easy lunch to throw together, which is exactly what I need right now!

 

  • arugula-969099_640corn tortilla
  • 1 c. peas
  • 1/2 c. corn
  • 1/2 c. arugula, chopped
  • 1 c. lettuce or other greens, chopped
  • Chef AJ’s House Dressing, to taste

Here’s how I put my tortilla together:

  1. Mash the peas in a bowl
  2. Add corn, arugula & dressing
  3. Mix together well
  4. Put as much of the mixture on the tortilla as will fit & wrap it up.

I couldn’t fit all of the filling into the tortilla wrap and I only had one left, so I ate the remaining mixture straight from the bowl. If you prefer, you could use 2 wraps and increase your whole grain servings by one.

Checklist items: 2 beans, cruciferous, 1 greens, 1 other vegetables, 1 whole grains (6 out of 18 servings)


snack_text

The village I live in is full of cherry trees. It’s beautiful in the spring, but the real benefit comes when the cherries are ripe!

 

  • cherry-1437707_6401/2 c. cherries
  • 2 nectarines
  • .6 oz. (17 g.) any nuts or seeds you want

The amount of nuts & seeds is very small – literally a palm-full – because the rest of the daily serving will be in the meal I have planned for dinner.

Checklist items: berries, 2 other fruits, 1/3 nuts (3 1/3 out of 18 servings)


dinner_text

When the cherries are ripe, it’s also time to start using the BBQ! So much love went into the burgers I’m making today.  They’ve got a black bean base – my favorite beans! – and they’re far & away the best veggie burgers I’ve ever had. Everyone I’ve made them for, vegan or not, agrees they’re totally amazing.

  • beans-799942_6402 of these perfect veggie burgers
  • whole grain buns
  • 1 c. greens
  • 1/2 c. sliced onion & tomato
  • anything else you like to dress up your burger

I made only 1 small change from the original burger recipe: I divided the mix into 6 rather than 8 patties. This works better for me because the whole grain buns that I buy are only available in the size giant. Plus, it has the awesome benefit of fitting beautifully into my Daily Dozen calculations!! Cook as instructed in the original recipe, or as you prefer. I have to adjust my cooking times up a bit to account for the larger size of my burgers.

One more note about this meal: You may have noticed the lack of a side-dish. That’s because you’ll get everything you need if you eat 2 burger patties. I like to eat one in a bun, and one without. My Daily Dozen serving calculations are based on this.

Checklist items: 1 beans, 1 greens, 2 other vegetables, flaxseed, 2/3 nuts, spices, 2 2/3 whole grains (9 1/3 out of 18 servings)


Dessert_textI almost never eat dessert, but my partner makes a mean grilled banana, and it just so happens that the only thing remaining on my Daily Dozen checklist for today is one serving of “other fruits”.

 

  • banana-1425576_6401 banana
  • cinnamon, to taste

Intructions:

  1. Slice the banana in half, lengthwise
  2. Sprinkle with cinnamon (and anything else you want)
  3. Grill until heated through, being careful not to burn the skin.

Checklist items: 1 other fruit, spices (2 out of 18 servings)


Taking account of the day:

20 2/3 servings in total.

We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything.

In addition, we had one extra serving each of other vegetables spices, plus 2/3 of an extra serving of whole grains.

Dates, Chickpeas & Lovage

Breakfast_textWhen I made curry for lunch yesterday, I actually made a double batch so that I would have some for today. It was so good I couldn’t wait to eat more of it, so that’s breakfast! The difference this morning is that I have barely any of the peppers and zucchini left – there was just one sad little piece of each. So I’ve decided to add loads of garbanzo beans and some more peas, because I love them so much. And that means I’ve managed to knock out my entire day’s worth of beans in one go! Wow!

  • chickpea-315508_6401 serving of curry minus the zucchini & bell pepper (click for curry ingredients & instructions)
  • 3/4 c. garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 c. peas

Checklist items: 4 beans!, 1 greens, spices, 1 whole grains (7 out of 18 servings)


lunch_textI need something nice and light after that mega breakfast, so I’m going for a very fruity lunch. Each week I make a huge fruit salad to eat whenever I want.

  • dates-1067265_6402 c. fruit salad (described below)
  • with 1/2 c. strawberries added
  • 1/4 c. dates

Here’s a list of what I put in my fruit salad this week:

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 mango
  • 4 kiwis
  • 2 peaches
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 2 passion fruit

Checklist items: berries, 3 other fruit (4 out of 18 servings)


dinner_textI eat loads of salads. I’m a huge fan of chopped salads, with tons of different veggies and herbs. I often add beans to them, too, but not today! The trick is the salad dressing. I’ve managed to find some truly tasty oil-free dressings. My favorite one is called Chef AJ’s House Dressing, and it’s one of the best I’ve ever had, so I put it here for easy reference. Save the page if you love it, too!

  • lovage-1404183_6401 c. lettuce mix
  • 1/4 c. purple radish sprouts
  • 1/2 c. corn
  • 1/2 c. cucumber
  • 1/2 c. bell pepper
  • 1/4 c. tomato
  • 1/2 an onion & 1 clove garlic (1/4 c. total)
  • 1/4 c. toasted pumpkin seeds
  • 1 T. ground flaxseed
  • parsley
  • coriander
  • lovage (a.k.a. maggi)
  • 1/2 c. cooked quinoa

I don’t have to tell you how to make a salad, do I?

Checklist items: cruciferous, 1 greens, 3 other vegetables, flaxseed, nuts, spices, 2 whole grains (9 out of 18 servings)


Taking account of the day:

20 servings in total.

We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything.

In addition, we had 1 extra serving each of beansother vegetables, and spices.

Blueberries, Ginger & Tarragon

Breakfast_text

It’s a rainy morning and chilly for June, so we’re starting things off with hot oatmeal.

 

  • blueberry-539134_6401/4 c. dry rolled oats (yields 1/2 c. cooked)
  • water (approx. double the amount of oats, depending on how soupy you want it)
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 1 T (15 ml) ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 peach or nectarine
    • or 1/2 mango, cut up
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom

The way I make this is very simple:

  1. Mash the banana at the bottom of a bowl
  2. Add dry oats, water, flax, spices
  3. Mix until well combined
  4. Cook on stove or in microwave
  5. If blueberries are frozen, add them when the water is about half absorbed
  6. When done cooking, add remaining fruit, berries, & nuts

Checklist items: berries, 2 other fruits, flaxseed, spices, 1 whole grains (6 out of 18 servings)


lunch_textA lovely spicy curry seems like just the ticket on this particular rainy afternoon.

root-617409_640

 

  • 1/2 c. brown rice, cooked
  • 1/2 c. garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 c. peas
  • 1/2 an onion, diced (optional)
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, diced (optional)
  • 1 T. fresh ginger
  • 1/2 c. red bell pepper, coarsely cut
  • 1 diced chili pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 c. zucchini, coarsely cut
  • 1 c. raw beet greens or spinach
  • curry and salt-free spice blend of your choice (I used garam masala)
  • lime juice
  • tomato paste + water (or coconut milk + low-sodium soy sauce if you’re not worried about the fat content)

Another super simple meal:

  1. Cook rice separately
  2. Saute onion, garlic, & ginger in a minimal amount of olive oil or, better yet, no oil
  3. Add beans, peas, peppers, zucchini, & spices
  4. Cook until vegetables are desired consistency, adding water as necessary to prevent burning and sticking
  5. Stir in lime & tomato paste or coconut milk & bring back up to temperature
  6. Add leafy greens and wilt

Checklist items: 2 beans, 1 greens, 2 other vegetables, spices, 1 whole grains (7 out of 18 servings)


snack_textA little afternoon snack is never a bad idea. Perhaps with some tea?

 

  • 1 peach
  • 1/4 c. dates
  • 1/4 c. nuts

Instructions: nosh.

Checklist items: 2 other fruit, nuts (3 out of 18 servings)


dinner_textLast meal of the day! We’d better make it count! I can never resist a good hearty soup. It’s the perfect dinner for a rainy day.

 

tarragon-74234_640

  • 1/2 c. chopped beet greens or spinach
  • 1/2 c. cooked cannellini (white beans)
  • 1/2 c. chopped cauliflower
  • 1/2 c. brown or wild rice, cooked
  • 1/2 c. diced tomato
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • vegetable broth, low- or no-sodium
  • Italian herb blend (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, savory, fennel, sage and marjoram)
  • lots of tarragon – for me, the tarragon really makes this soup
  • fresh basil to sprinkle on top

Making the soup:

  1. Saute onions and garlic in minimal or no oil
  2. Add everything else except for the rice & fresh basil
  3. When the soup is ready, add the rice & heat through
  4. Chiffonade basil and sprinkle on soup at service

Checklist items: 1 beans, cruciferous, 1 greens, 1 other vegetables, spices, 1 whole grains (6 out of 18 servings)


Taking account of the day:

22 servings in total.

We got at least the minimum recommended servings of everything.

In addition, we had 1 extra serving each of other fruit & other vegetables, plus 2 extra servings of spices.