Meatless Monday

Hello Happy Healthy people (*and g’day to the rest of y’all too!)

Today, as it is an “overlap” between National Nutrition Month, and the every-week marker of “Meatless Monday”, I thought I would give you guys one of my fave Vegan/Veggie go-to meals, I got it from my sis, Alex (*see her blog here: http://imalittle.com) & I just tweaked it a bit for my taste & waist!

White Beans & Kale, with Chili Flakes
Sounds simple enough, but it’s creamy, filling, with just a hint, or a haymaker (depending on your tastebuds), of heat.  Not to mention it’s chock-full o’Vitamins, nutrients fibre and some protein and with delicious flavor.

What you Need:

  • Large Sautée Pan
  • 1/2 Large white onion
  • 1-2 cloves Garlic
  • 1/2 – 2TB red chilli flakes
  • 1 (full) TB Coconut Oil (~ if liquid/melted, or you would rather EVOO use 2 TB)
  • 1-3 TB additional Oil (*set aside)
  • 1 Can of White Beans – drained & rinsed (*you want to add your OWN salt)
  • 2-4 cups of Fresh Kale (*I used purple Kale in the, rough chopped (*think bite sized ribbons)
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste

Optional: Nutmeg, Thyme, PineNuts, Lemon Juice – all add different nuances to the dish, but aren’t “Needed”

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What you Need to DO:

  • Warm your oil over medium heat
  • Add Onion & when mostly softened, add garlic until both translucent (3-4mins)
  • Add in the rinsed Beans, and Salt, Pepper, Chili flakes, and drizzle in a little of the additional oil
  • As beans soften, stir and smush the beans, until they are to your desired consistency; adding in a little oil if you notice they’re drying up
    (~ I like it creamy, so it takes a little longer for me)
  • When the beans are to your desired softness, add in the Kale
    (~ start with 2cup, and add more if you like – 3cups is about a 60/40 beans/kale ratio)
  • IF using the optional dry ingredients, add them now
  • Season with additional salt, pepper & chili, and let it wilt down (5-7 mins)
  • IF adding lemon juice, squeeze over the kale & beans after plating.

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Swaps:

  • No Kale? – Try Spinach or Chards
  • No White Beans? – Try Garbonzo (*chickpeas)
  • No Coconut Oil? – Use EVOO!
  • Not into Heat? – Use Rosemary, and add Nutmeg & Thyme
  • Need some Crunch? – Add the pinenuts, or Walnuts, hazelnuts
  • Not into Meatless? – Add Tuna, like I do OR try lean Chicken, Turkey or Pork

It is SO easy, yet SO satisfying! For the days which AREN’T “Meatless”, when I take it off the heat, I will toss in a can of low sodium Tonna al Olio (*Tuna Steak, packed in pure EVOO, no added salt) and a squeeze of Lemon – Italian style!
*Cosi Buono!*

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Buon Apetito!

xo – Mia

ps – THIS dish, is ESPECIALLY Great for Women (*dudes, CHILL) See why HERE

FYI

As my GF would say “and just For Your FYI…”

Here is WebMD’s list of SuperFoods
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/superfoods-everyone-needs

Just as an aside:
I am, for my own reasons, wary of Soy and IF I am eating it, I make sure it is only Non-GMO sources. Also, being mildly gluten sensitive, I consume ONLY Gluten-Free Oats (*yes, they exist, I use the RedMills brand, but others are available) and I stick to only fat-free, plain Greek Yogurt, or Phage.

To that list I would like to add:
Pomegranate, Cranberry, Raspberries, Spices (esp: Cinnamon, Ginger, Tumeric, Cumin, capsaisin), Garlic, and Broaden Walnuts to “Oil-rich Nuts”, Broaden Spinach to “Dark Leafy Greens” and of course, no list is complete without Avocado.

That said… it would make the list MUCH longer.

🙂

International Women’s Day

Hey Yall,

Today’s post is for the LADIES!! *Don’t worry guys, it’s nothing scary!*

For busy women of all ages, a major concern is getting enough of the foods which provide a boost of essential nutrients. Adequate amounts of folate, iron & magnesium, calcium & vitamin D, vitamin K, and omega-3 fatty acids, are especially of concern for women’s biological health, as well as being/staying properly hydrated. (Yes… THAT, AGAIN.)

In order to get the proper Recommend Daily Allowance (RDA) for nutrients, or the more modern tables for RDI (US/Aus) or DRI (Can) women should aim to eat some (or all) of the so called “Super Foods” which are readily available sources of these essential nutrients.

Folate (folic acid/folacin)
Folate is a water-soluble B vitamin that’s needed for making and protecting DNA, producing new blood, forming new cells, and synthesizing protein Folate has also been tied to a decreased risk of some cancers in adults; including, specifically, breast & cervical cancers in women.

Some great sources include:
Cruciferous Green Veggies – Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts
Avocado
Black-eyed peas, Kidney Beans
Beef/Calf Liver
Nuts – especially almonds, walnuts

Iron (ferrous oxide) & Magnesium
Iron
is an essential mineral used to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. A slight  deficiency in iron causes anemia (fatigue/weakness), and a chronic deficiency  can lead to organ failure.
Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and  nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and  building strong bones; it is also a necessary mineral for the body to uptake & process iron and calcium.

Some great sources of Iron include:
Mollusks – Clams, Oysters, Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Scallops
Animal Protein (esp livers) – beef/calf, chicken/turkey
Squash & Pumpkin (& seeds)
Nuts & Seeds – Sesame, Pinenuts, Hazelnuts, walnuts
Beans & Pulses
Cruciferous Green veggies

Along with these, Magnesium can be found in:
Dark chocolate – high cocoa content >70%
Bran – rice, wheat & oat
Brasil nuts – all nuts, but brasil nuts are highest
Dried Herbs – coriander, spearmint & chives especially
Molasses

Calcium and Vitamin D
Calcium
is very important to ensure strong, healthy bones and teeth; especially in women, in preventing osteoporosis. Calcium is also necessary for muscle function and nerve-signal conduction.
Vitamin D helps you to absorb and use calcium.

Best Calcium & Vitamin D sources in food:
Dairy – milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese
NB:  For those who are NOT dairy sensitive; often sources are “nutrient enriched” or “fortified” (*there is a LOT of speculation as to the TRUE benefit of dairy sources of calcium, but I will leave that up to you to explore – no “politics” on my blog)
Cruciferous Green Veggies (*have you noticed a pattern yet? EAT YO GREENS!)
– Okra, seaweed (wakame) and kale are exceptional sources of vitamin D
Egg Yolks
“Fatty” Fish – salmon, mackerel, trout, herring
Legumes – nuts, seeds, beans, pulses – *Soy, Soy products & Tofu are also great sources of calcium/Vit-D, again IF you are not sensitive to these products – consult your physician
Orange

Vitamin K
Vitamin K, similar to Vitamin B, is not a single chemical substance but rather a family of chemically related substances that go by the general name of “vitamin K.” They are required in blood clotting (even a simple cut), in bone density maintenance, and are imperative in preventing atherosclerosis (arterial calcification). Vit-K has also been cited in prevention of liver and cervical cancers (*and prostate cancers, in men).

Best sources of Vitamin K:
Cruciferous Green veggies
Dark colored berries – blueberries & blackberries are the best sources
Herbs – sage, oregano, thyme
Cauliflower
Cabbage & Romaine lettuces

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (ALA / EPA and DHA)
The Omega-3s (EPA and DHA) can boost heart health and lower triglycerides. And there are studies showing that omega-3 fatty acids may help with other conditions — rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and many morethe fatty acids responsible for brain health and function (*studies have shown EPA/DHA are responsible for prevention of depression and ADHD) & cellular maintenance, especially the myelin sheaths of nerve cells, and with regards to the reduction of inflammation throughout the body.

Best sources of Omega-3s from food:
EPA and DHA
Fish – Salmon, Tuna, Game fish, mackerel, herring
Fish Oil
Algae Oil

ALA – precursor to EPA & DHA
Flax seed/oil

WHEW!! THAT WAS A MOUTHFUL! (*see what I did there?)
Anywho, you can see that a MAJORITY of the essential vitamins and minerals that are required by the body come from the same, overlapping, sources.
There is a REASON that they are part of the list of SUPER FOODS. Not only do they provide exceptional sources of these essential nutrients BUT they are also helpful in maintaining a healthy weight, and physique, due to their being clean foods. Most of the listed sources are also WHOLE foods – 1. Because they’re unprocessed, but 2. because they provide all the macro nutrients (fat, protein, carbs) required by the body, when combined.

Eating a diet rich in these foods, and therefore rich in these nutrients, will help you live a long(er) and health(ier) life, plus you stand a better chance of that Year-round Summerbody and potential 6-pack, we have been working on these last 6 weeks!
**Clever Segue: Have you done your sit ups & Leg challenge for today, yet?**

😉
Happy Eating
xo – Mia