Before launching into my weekly What I Ate Wednesday spiel, I’d like to thank you all for the outpouring of support I’ve recieved for the article I posted yesterday, entitled We Can Keep Romanticizing Our Food Choices as Long as They Don’t Involve Animal Suffering. Here’s an excerpt: “Do we think that shopping in a manner that we consider morally sound, in that it supports the local economy, serves as a legitimate excuse to overlook the ethical implications of other aspects of our food choices, such as whether or not a sentient being—who would undoubtedly choose life over slaughter—died merely to satisfy our taste preferences, even though we know that humans can easily thrive on a plant-based diet?” I hope you’ll hop on over to yesterday’s post and give it a read if you haven’t already!
Breakfast: A green smoothie of 1 frozen banana, a large handful each of frozen pineapple and raspberries, 1 tbsp goji berries, 1 tbsp hemp seeds, 1/2 tsp maca powder, 1/2 scoop Amazing Grass Green Superfoods powder, 8 medium leaves of lacinato kale, and 1 cup homemade almond milk, topped with 1/2 cup of my version of Nouveau Raw’s Pumpkin Caramel Cereal.
This Christmas, I positively shrieked with delight upon unwrapping Superfood Kitchen, a gorgeous tome by Julie Morris of extremely healthy recipes featuring every superfood imaginable. Though I already incorporated many of what Julie categorizes as superfoods into my diet prior to reading her artfully written cookbook, her playful voice inspired in me an even greater awareness of the benefits of including these highly nutrient-dense foods into everyday meals. As such, I bought a bag of goji berries that have earned a spot in my morning smoothies, imparting in them an intriguing chocolately flavor, and have also began to utilize some variety of berries—the most antioxidant-rich of fruits—in every smoothie.
Breakfast Checklist: Protein—hemp seeds, almond milk, almond meal, chia seeds, sunflower seeds (last three in cereal). Whole Grain—buckwheat. Fruit—banana, raspberries, pineapple, dates, apricots, persimmons. Leafy Green—lacinato kale. “Super Food”—Amazing Grass powder, hemp seeds, maca, goji berries, chia seeds.
Local Ingredients: None.
Morning Tea: Eden Organic Genmaicha green tea.
Lunch: A salad of mixed greens, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, carrots, parsley, and dulse flakes, all tossed with Liquid Gold Dressing and topped with Kickapoo Kimchi, accompanied by a plate of Happy Crackers with garlic powder and sundried tomatoes, a ball of Vegan Buffalo Mozzarella, and a dollop each of Roasted Garlic & Kale Hummus and Sweet Potato Hummus with Fennel Seeds and Smoked Salt.
You know it’s a good day when not one, but two hummus varieties grace your plate. A sucker for roasted garlic, kale, sweet potatoes, fennel seeds, and smoked salt, both of the hummuses in which I reveled today spoke directly to my culinary heart, nourishing my spirit as well as my health. Both hummuses pack a huge flavor punch and finish with a spicy kick—yum!
Meal Checklist: Protein—sesame and flax seeds in crackers, cashews and soy yogurt in mozzarella, tahini and garbanzo beans in hummuses. Whole Grain—brown rice and quinoa in crackers. Vegetables—parsley, alfalfa sprouts, mixed bean sprouts, carrots, kimchi veggies, sundried tomatoes, garlic, sweet potato. Leafy Greens—mixed greens, dulse seaweed, cabbage in kimchi, kale in hummus.
Afternoon Beverage: A tall glass of NessAlla Kombucha in a gorgeous seasonal flavor of Hibiscus Ginger Cardamom, oh my!
During the summer when I first glimpsed Veggie Wedgie’s cabbage roll recipe, which featured two of my all-time favorite ingredients—tempeh and chestnuts—I vowed to recreate it as soon as possible. Unfortunately, a little thing called college got in the way and forced me to endure five long months with this recipe tantalizing me every time I opened my “Recipes to Try” Word document. Fortunately, after finally making them, the cabbage rolls certainly lived up to the high expectations I had set for them—deeply earthy from the shiitakes, hearty and toothsome from the tempeh, refreshing and leafy from the cabbage, and decadently creamy from the chestnut sauce. This deceptively simple recipe falls short of absolutely nothing in the flavor department.
As for the shredded beet and fennel salad, I formulated the recipe out of a desire to provide a light, acidic accompaniment to the cabbage rolls while abiding by the Balkan origins of the dish. Borchst first popped into my head, but I yearned for a dish more toothsome than a pureed soup to offset the already creamy component of the chestnut sauce. However, I held onto the notion of highlighting beets in my side dish, and also decided to play off of the flavor profile of borchst by incorporating caraway seeds. A beet salad tossed with a caraway-laced dressing seemed like the perfect playmate for the cabbage rolls, and I’ve included the brightly flavored recipe here:
Borchst-Inspired Shredded Beet and Fennel Salad
¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup fresh dill
¼ cup fresh parsley
1 ½ tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp caraway seeds
2 garlic cloves
3 raw beets, peeled and finely shredded
1 large fennel bulb, finely shredded
- Place lemon juice, dill, parsley, olive oil, seeds, and garlic in the bowl of a mini food processor. Blend until everything is broken up, but still slightly chunky.
- Drop into a bowl with shredded beets and fennel. Stir to coat.
Meal Checklist: Protein—tempeh, chestnuts. Whole Grain—none. Vegetables—shiitake mushrooms, dill, parsley, beets, garlic, fennel. Leafy Greens—savoy cabbage.
After-Dinner Beverage: Traditional Medicinals’ Organic Eater’s Digest tea.
Comment Provoking Questions: Which superfoods do you like to incoporate into your daily meals? What is your favorite creatively flavored hummus? How do you feel about borchst (I’ve never actually tried it!)?
Until next time, Ali.