7 Tips in 7 Days: Eating Consciously, Day 2

Another unconscious eating trap I’ve seen (and experienced) is forgetting about the visual part of eating. Marketers know that if you have a beautiful table setting and food arrangement, diners will mistake fast food for haute cuisine. And many dieters have reported that when they involve several senses in their meals, they feel full faster and longer! So, it’s worth the few extra moments it takes to think through how to make your meal more visually appealing: thoughtful plating, a sprinkle of fresh parsley, or similar! And just in case you’re interested, the simple recipe for the mushroom salad is below.

Eating Consciously Tip 2

Super-Simple Mushroom Pasta Salad (pictured above)

Serves 2

3 cups (or more if you like) of fresh mushrooms – whatever you have on hand – cleaned and chopped if they are large
3 cups (or more if you like) of greens – a mix of bitter winter baby greens is delicious with this
1 cup of cooked pasta (dried or fresh)
Couple of dashes of vinegar (I prefer white wine vinegar)
Two “glugs” of high quality olive oil – one for the pan, one for the salad
Salt
Pepper

Prep the mushrooms and heat a cast iron or similar skillet with a bit of olive oil. When hot, toss in the mushrooms, and cook for about 10-15 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring/flipping occasionally, until slightly browned.

Note: do not use a nonstick pan if you can help it. In addition to releasing chemicals, these pans keep the mushrooms from browning properly.

In the meantime, wash the greens, cut if necessary, and dry. First toss in the vinegar, then a pinch of salt, then toss with olive oil. (Order is important – if you start with the olive oil, the vinegar will slide off.)

When the mushrooms are ready, toss in the cooked pasta (great way to use cold leftover pasta) until the pasta is warmed through. Add fresh ground pepper, taste, add salt if needed, and then plate the salad with the mushroom/pasta mix over it.

Health-Preserving Quick Veggie Noodle Soup

Healthy Veggie Pot

There’s not much cooking here, but a fair amount of chopping. It helps if you have a grocer with a good salad bar nearby … but even if not, it’s about 5 minutes of chopping, and I promise it’s well worth it!

2 quarts water
1 cup Broccoli florets, in small pieces
1-2 cups Sugar snap or Snow peas
2 Carrots, cut into matchsticks
4 Shiitake mushrooms, cut into matchsticks or finely diced
2 Chinese napa cabbage and/or bok choy, finely shredded
handful Bean sprouts, well rinsed

2 tbsp Sesame oil
2 Garlic cloves, pressed or cut to small dice
1 Small piece ginger, cut to small dice
1/2 Onion, finely diced
2 Scallions, sliced lengthwise, very thinly

2 1/2 cups vegetable or miso broth (or 2 1/2 cup Water + 1 tsp stock granules)
2 cups Udon, soba or rice noodles – cooked ahead/separately, or with the soup, per the below

Optional add-ins
Tamari or soy sauce
Asian Hot pepper sauce
Lime (wedges)
Cilantro

Put water on to boil, and prep the broccoli, peas, and carrots. Toss into the water and cook for 5 minutes. While the veggies are cooking, prep the mushrooms and cabbage. With a strainer, remove the vegetables (leaving water boiling) and rinse in cold water, and set aside. Add the mushrooms, cabbage, and bean sprouts to the boiling water, cook for one minute, then rinse in cold water, and add them to the rest of the veggies.

In a large pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat, and add the garlic, ginger, onion, and scallions and cook for about 5 minutes until soft. Remove from heat, and carefully (so it doesn’t splatter) add the broth and 1/2 to all of the cooking water from the veggies. If you want the soup brothy, add more; if not, add less.

Add the noodles to the soup (using rice noodles will keep the broth nice and thin, as they’re less starchy), and cook until the noodles are ready. Add the veggies back in, top with sauces as desired, and serve.

Developed and posted by: Jennifer Silverberg, Eat Yourself Well

Weekday Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

Weekday Sweet Potato Quinoa Salad

This is one of my very favorite recipes, because it’s endlessly variable. Add coriander with the cumin. Top with that leftover salsa. Slip in some spinach … and on and on. But I digress … here is the basic recipe!

Makes Two Meals

1 cup raw quinoa – any type
1 large or 2 medium (about 1 pound) sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
1 tbsp cumin
splash of olive oil (doesn’t have to be extra virgin – you’re cooking with it)
—————-
1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
About 2 cups (or more) of arugula
1 green onion, sliced
—————-
1/4 cup tablespoons balsamic, sherry, or red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
pinch of salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Optional: Avocado, pepitas, lime juice, walnuts, diced bell peppers, or anything else you have on hand!

Preheat oven to 425.

Slice the sweet potato into small squares (no need to peel first). Toss in just a small bit of olive oil, the cumin, and salt, put in single layer on cookie sheet (or similar) and put in oven for about 25 minutes or until brown. Stir once or twice so that they brown evenly.

In the meantime, rinse quinoa, place in saucepan and add 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.

While they are cooking, put the raisins/cranberries, arugula and green onion into a bowl, and sprinkle with the vinegar, mustard, and salt, then toss to coat (yes, you can just toss it all in there and stir it around). Let sit for a few minutes, then add pepper and olive oil and stir it around again. Add any optional items you would like.

When it’s all ready, plate the salad, spoon some quinoa over it, and toss on the crispy, delicious, hot sweet potato.

And have fun with this … have some fresh herbs on hand? Toss ’em in. Like garlic in your dressing? Toss it in. Don’t have raisins but have apples? Go with that. Enjoy!

Simple lunch: Pita with Hummus + Sprouts

Pita with Hummus and Sprouts

I thought I’d share my version of yesterday’s Food Challenge lunch … which was a little bit of a riff on the recipe for the day. When I went shopping to get wraps, the store had handmade whole wheat pita for half off, so I bought those instead; on this budget you get creative with what’s on sale, for sure!

And, since I keep sprouts growing on my windowsill, I tossed those in for extra flavor, crunch, nutrition, and beauty. It was SO simple and delicious – I will do this again and again anytime I need to grab a quick, simple lunch that’s also healthy!

Ingredients
Gluten-free or Whole Wheat Pita
Organic Hummus (homemade or store-bought, any type)
Sunflower sprouts (or any other greens or veggies you have on hand)
Turmeric
Black pepper

Instructions

Cut the pita in half and spread hummus on both inside surfaces. Toss sprouts into the pocket, sprinkle with turmeric and black pepper (or any other spices you like), and eat!

Would REALLY like to hear from you – how is your challenge going?

Recipes for Friday, September 26 – Real Food Challenge

Butternut SquashThe Real Food $100/4/7 Challenge

Friday Breakfast: Eat Yourself Well Simple Scrambled Eggs

Eggs, 8, frothed with fork in a small bowl
Coconut oil, 1 tsp
1.5 tsp turmeric
Freshly ground salt and black pepper

Turmeric intensifies the yellow of the eggs, adds just a hint of flavor, and a huge health benefit! Be sure to add fresh ground pepper at the end, to dramatically increase absorption of the turmeric.

In a small bowl, add turmeric to eggs and mix until blended. Melt coconut oil in pan over medium-low heat, gently add the eggs and stir until no longer runny, but still soft. Top with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Friday Lunch: Leftover Pasta from dinner last night

Friday Dinner: Eat Yourself Well Hearty Freekeh (Wheat) Pilaf

5 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
1 butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, cut into 1/2″ cubes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 bunch kale (about 5 ounces), center stems removed, leaves torn
1 cup freekeh
1 diced small white onion
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a bowl toss squash, about 1 tbsp oil, and a bit of salt and pepper,until coated. Spread out on a rimmed baking sheet (lined with aluminum foil if desired for ease of cleaning). Roast, turning squash every 10 minutes, until tender, 30–35 minutes.

Place 2.5 cups cold water, 1 cups Freekeh, 1 tsp. salt, and 1 tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Cover the saucepan with a tightly fitting lid. Lower heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes if cooking cracked grain, and 40-45 minutes for whole grain.

Melt olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic; stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup vegetable broth or water, kale, 1 tbsp oil, and cheese; stir gently until cheese is melted and kale is lightly heated, about 5 minutes. Gently stir in roasted butternut squash and let sit a few minutes to combine.

Mix in freekeh and serve in a single dish, or serve alongside.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Mediterranean Feast in <5 Minutes!

Weeknight Mediterranean Platter

With just a little planning and some common prepared foods on hand, weeknight dinners can look like this Mediterranean Feast – in under 5 minutes! Be sure to plate them in a way that pleases your eye as well as your palate (yes, it matters) … those fast-food places on your way home won’t stand a chance.

Plus, this kind of eating – little bits of several high-nutrient and high-quality foods – is a great way to give your body a variety of nutrients to support your health!

What I used:
Organic Hummus
2 organic peppers – red, and purple
2 pickled hot peppers (I made these over the weekend in a simple vinegar brine)
A couple of bits of cheese – I had a goat brie and a bit of Iberico
Bagged greens – I love the Cruciferous Crunch Collection that Trader Joe’s sells, but you can use kale, chard, or lettuces if you prefer
A bit of wine vinegar and olive oil to sprinkle over the greens
sliced mini-cucumber
sliced tomato
A few wheat crostini
Salt and fresh ground pepper
100% grape juice

What I might have also used, if it were handy and sounded good:
Any other in-season veggies – avocado, chickpeas, carrots, celery, etc.
Herbs to mix into the greens
Raw, organic almonds, cashews, etc.
Leftover grains of any kind – quinoa, freekeh, etc.
Wine

Lemony-Hot Summer Squash Salad

Lemony Summer Squash SaladWhen it’s hot outside, lemon is refreshing, and spicy foods actually help your body cool down (that’s why they’re so popular in hot climates like Mexico). Give this salad a try!

Ingredients

Dressing

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 crushed garlic clove
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Salad
1 pound summer squash (a mix of green and yellow)
1 fresh jalapeno or serrano pepper, finely minced
Chopped cilantro, to taste
Few tablespoons of Cotija or Queso Fresco cheese (optional, omit for vegan version)

Preparation

Put olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic clove, and kosher salt (to taste) into a jar and shake it (or a bowl and whisk it) until well mixed. Set aside.

Trim the ends off summer squash. Using a vegetable peeler or mandoline, thinly slice the squash lengthwise into strips and transfer to your serving bowl. Top with minced pepper.

Pour dressing over vegetables. Toss, and let stand for about 5-10 minutes, toss again, then sprinkle with the cheese if using. Season with more salt if needed, and freshly ground black pepper, and serve.

Note: This is also extra-tasty over a bed of peppery arugula … delicious!

5 Fresh & Fast (and simple) Fig Recipes

Five Fresh Fast Fig Recipes - Eat Yourself Well

Last week, my figs were tiny and green – this week, they’re ripe – ALL of them! Following are a few ways I’m going to make use of these amazing fruits – in addition to eating them right off the tree, when the birds don’t get to them first!

Crispy Broiled Figs: Melt a bit of coconut oil with honey (just a little of each). Lay figs halves on a baking sheet. Brush with melted mix. Broil until the fig tops bubble and start to brown on the edges. Serve as a side dish with veggies, or add a bit of marscapone for a wonderful earthy dessert.

Fig Bruschetta: Finely dice fresh figs, and toss with a splash of balsamic vinegar and one good grind of black pepper. Top toasted baguette slice with a bit of ricotta or marscapone cheese, top with fig mix

Cheesy, Melty Figs: Chop the top half off the fig (reserve for Bruschetta, above :-)) and slightly “open” the bottom half. Add a soft cheese: a nice ripe bleu, robiola, or a bit of brie. Place under broiler until cheese is melted, serve immediately, alone or over mixed greens as a salad.

Fig, Walnut, and Goat Cheese Salad: Cut/crumble all into pieces and toss with mixed greens. Top with a quick mix of balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, and the best olive oil you can find.

Gingered Fig Martinis (over 21 only): Blend 2 cups figs, 1 small knob of ginger (less for less spicy, more for more) 2 tsp water and the juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon (depending on size) in the blender. Pour over ice in cocktail shaker, add vodka to taste and shake well. Pour into chilled martini glass.

From Jennifer Silverberg at www.EatYourselfWell.com and facebook.com/eatyourselfwell Please maintain link as you copy and share recipe with others!

Quinoa Mango Healthy Taco Salad

Quinoa Mango Taco Salad

You get everything in this salad: texture, sweet, salty, fresh, bitter, and spicy – and it takes only a minute or two to prepare, if you have leftover quinoa on hand! If you’re missing one or two ingredients – try it anyway – you may discover a new favorite variation!

Quinoa Mango Taco Salad

2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1/4 cup cooked quinoa (feel free to substitute freekeh or other grain if you have it on hand)
1/4 cup black beans (cooked and drained, or canned and drained)
1/4 cup chopped organic mango (fresh preferred, or frozen is fine)
1 fresh tomato, diced
1 green onion, sliced on the bias
10 organic blue corn chips, crushed
1/2 organic avocado, diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh salsa

To assemble:
In serving bowl, place romaine lettuce on the base, then add strips of quinoa, beans, onion, mango, tomato, cilantro, chips, avocado, and salsa.

Please resist the urge to add “salad dressing” – this does not need additional flavors, it just adds calories and masks the beautiful fresh flavors.

All of the Fig – None of the Newton – Bars!

All of the Fig, None of the Newton, Bars - Eat Yourself Well

Sometimes you – or your kids – want something sweet, which can wind up being a mess for your healthy, whole-food diet. Recently, Food Babe posted about one sandwich bar that we used to think was healthy, but has a dizzying (sometimes literally) array of unnecessary chemicals in the ingredients.

That inspired me to grab the simple fig paste I’d made yesterday out of the fridge and try an easy, healthy, replacement for my less-healthy childhood treat. It turned out to be even easier than I’d thought – check this out!

Simple, Healthy Fig Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 cup ground dried organic figs, ground to a paste (instructions for grinding, below)
  • 1/2 cup organic hemp seed
  • 1/2 cup salted pumpkin seeds, ground – I used sprouted, salted (I used Go Raw brand)
  • Cut the figs into smallish pieces and process by pulsing in a strong food processor. If you do not cut them up into bits, they will gum up in your processor, and possibly burn out the motor – trust me on this one :-). Once the processor is running easily, leave it in the “on” position until the fig bits gather into a ball, about 1 minute.

    Take about 1 cup of the fig paste on put on a large plastic cutting board or silicone baking mat. Press with your hands or a rolling pin into a disk about 1/4 inch thin.

    Sprinkle a mix of the hemp seed and pumpkin seeds over the disk and press in with your hands. Flip the disk and repeat. Do this a few more times until the figs are holding as much of the seed as they can.

    IMG_1463Start cutting the disk into rectangular strips that when folded over (see pic) form a sandwich bar square.

    Store in fridge, if they aren’t all grabbed up right then!

    From Jennifer Silverberg at www.EatYourselfWell.com and facebook.com/eatyourselfwell Please maintain link as you copy and share recipe with others!