10/9/12

Tempeh and black bean stir fry

Every time I work at Baptist Medical Center Beaches (where I work as a clinical dietitian, as needed), I bring my lunch.

I love it when people ask "what creation did you make today?" as it gives me great joy to share with others what I am enjoying. Maybe I smile too much when I eat?

Key word: ENJOY

Because I make my lunch the night before (typically leftovers), I am always so excited to see how it tastes the next day. I have yet to be disappointed and my meals leave me super satisfied because I am making meals that fit my needs. I am not out to impress others as to how "low carb, low fat, low calorie" I can eat for I don't believe a diet should be low in anything. Bad, off-limit, guilty....you won't find me ever saying those words when it comes to my diet or the food I am eating. I want a meal to leave me satisfied so that I have energy later in the day and to be productive, alert and so my mood stays happy all day. It's so much fun to describe the ingredients in my meal and of course, eat it w/ silverware rather than w/ my hands.

When I work w/ individuals who are trying to change dietary habits and feel the pressure to "give-in" as to what others are sharing/eating or feel like an outsider, I remind them to keep in mind that you have the ability to inspire others w/ your creations, so long as you trust yourself that what you are eating is working for you. Everyone is on his/her own journey but when it comes to food, it has to work for you to fit your lifestyle (and activity) needs.
No need to tell others that they need to eat like you but rather, inspire others to enjoy real food. I don't believe there is a perfect way to eat and certainly, some progress is better than no progress.

Whether you are making a 100% homemade creation, bringing mixed raw veggies to go along w/ a PB&J on whole grain bread or bringing a salad from home to enjoy w/ your lunchtime fast food hamburger, keep in mind that the foods you eat should make you feel better after you eat them, than before. Be proud of what you are eating...even when you indulge every now and again on those 'occasional' eats.

I think when people look at my creations at work, they think my recipes are complicated, time-consuming and difficult. If they only knew.....
 

I guess the hardest part is just taking the 10 minutes to get off the couch in the evening to make this for the next day. But I promise, the 10 minutes of your day spent in the kitchen to make a lunch, will be worth it when it comes to reaching health-related goals and of course, showing off your creation at work the next day. Oh and never forget leftovers - they make for a 5 minute prep for lunch!
 
Grilled tempeh (1 block tempeh, sliced into wedges. Cooked in a little olive oil on medium heat until golden).
Canned black beans (Rinsed well under cold water for a minute)
Frozen edamame (without the pods) - placed in Tupperware frozen
Frozen corn - placed in Tupperware frozen
Leftover brown rice (cooked in microwave)
Salsa
Mozzarella cheese
White onion (sliced)
Seasonings (basil, parsley, pepper, curry)
Large handful spinach

1. Toss everything in Tupperware, except spinach. I don't measure but I do about a large handful beans, corn and edamame. I used about 1/3 brick of tempeh, about 1/2 cup brown rice.
2. Cover with a large handful or two of your favorite leafy green and sprinkle w/ cheese and salsa.
3. Shake, refrigerate and cook in microwave the next day for 2 minutes.
4. Enjoy
 
Viola! Super easy.
 
 
I recently received my latest issue of Environmental Nutrition (Oct 2012 issue). There was a great article on pg 2 titled "Healthy Food Preparation is Everything".
 
According to the article, here are the TOP HEALTHY FOOD PREP STYLES
 
1. Don't toss the salad: instead, serve a small amount of light or oil-based dressing on the side. "Put the salad on your fork and then "dip" it into a small amount of the salad dressing."
2. Light saute: quickly sauteing veggies or lean meats, poultry or fish in a small amount of olive oil is a great preparation technique.
 
3. The fresher, the better: The best way to preserve all of those nutrients in foods is to serve them fresh, such as in a salad or veggie appetizer.
 
4. Don't toss out the peel: Remember, most of the nutrients in plant foods are found in the skin or directly under the skin. Don't peel your fruits and veggies w/ edible skins like potatoes, carrots, cucumbers, apples and pears.
 
5. Crisp steaming: Don't overcook veggies in large amounts of water, which can leach nutrients. Steam then until they are crisp-tender.
 
6. Slow cooking: Pull out your crock pot to cook meats in slow, moist hat - a cooking style that doesn't promote the development of carcinogens. It is also great for cooking beans and lentils.
 
7. Try a rice cooker: The best way to cook whole grains, such as brown rice, what berries, barley and quinoa is to place the grain and the recommended amount of water into a rice cooker and push the button.
 
8. Bake it: Place chicken, fish, potatoes and casseroles in the oven for an easy, light cooking technique.
 
9. Skip the sauce: Instead of relying on fatty, salty sauces, dips and condiments, serve "clean" whole foods w/ plenty of herbs, spices, tomato sauce and lemon juice for flavor.