Tag Archives: nuts

Sauted Spinach with Garlic and Nuts!

I eat spinach just about every other day and while the iron and vitamin K is important for women, it’s not as important for men. Fortunately, Brent likes spinach too so we added spinach as the third element to our BBQ dinner. We used the following:

3 cups spinach (one package frozen is fine)

1 tbsp sun dried tomato, minced (opitonal)

2 tbsp vegan margarine

6-7 cloves of garlic, minced

1/4 cup nuts or squash seeds, toasted

Melt the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and nuts or seeds and heat until it becomes fragrant.

Add the spinach and stir until it wilts.

Butter and garlic make anything delicious. Fortunately spinach is delicious all by itself. We served it up with tangy BBQ butternut squash ribs, savory mushroom wild rice and it was a great meal.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Where do you get your protein?

I come from a family that loves meat and dairy. Sound familiar?

My dad doesn't really look like this.

My dad is an avid bow hunter. My mother is down with Paula Dean. My brother and I were certainly a product of them. That is, I freaking loved meat and cheese. Upon challenging myself to be vegan, I had to re-educate myself about what food was good for me. Being disgustingly close to a scientist/vegan makes for delicious amounts of good information.

Ultimately the question from my family is always — always — “How do you get your protein?” Without going into an anthropological diatribe reminding you and them how our LCA likely survived best on nuts and plants gathered rather than from the often rotten scavenged meats the males would kill themselves to get, I will throw down a quick list of vegan goodies that are high in protein.

Peas

Peas are the overlooked powerhouse of the western diet. Not only are they jam packed with vitamins and minerals your body craves, but they offer a generous dose of protein to keep you strong like young bull (5.9g/100g).  Protip : Stay away from canned peas… or canned anything for that matter.

Beans

They don’t just make you toot; they make you strong. A cup of cooked beans can yield 12g of protein. That’s pretty gangster if you ask me. I prefer black beans when I get the choice (read : when cooking). I like the flavor more than green beans, and I stay away from refried beans. While that seems limiting, the nutritional benefit is nothing to scoff at and there are loads of ways to prepare them.

Soy Beans

I had to put these separately as they provide such an insane amount of protein. 68g per cup, is what I’m reading. Unreal. I also had to put this separately as I know some folks who are allergic to soy. That really really really sucks.

Lentils

I love lentils. Lentil soup is amazing. Lentils with rice and quinoa is killer. What’s more is how they provide such an unreal amount of nutritional substance. 18g protein per cup? Yes please. Protip : If you sprout lentils before consumption (soak for more than 8 hours) you get all of the essential amino acids. By themselves.

Seeds

Here’s a fun one. Pumpkin seeds can provide 74g protein per cup. Eat them like sunflower seeds and crack the shell. Or eat them whole when cooking them in something. Better still, grind/blend up the seeds and make the pasty substance into something delicious!

Nuts

Nuts are awesome for protein, but the consequence for all that delicious flavor is a lot of extra fat and whatnot (20g protein per cup, but 48.11g fat too). That’s not to say that one should avoid nuts, but if looking for a lean way to get protein, nuts should be used sparingly. Almonds are a solid go-to and are now made into all sorts of goodies.

Asparagus

On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have asparagus. Not a lot of fat, but not a whopping amount of protein either (2.95g protein per cup, .16g fat per cup /underwhelmed). But consider that the human body isn’t meant to get 200g protein a day, folks. Rather, the average should be somewhere around 50-60g for men, 40-50g for the ladies. Then again, I’m not a nutritionist, and these numbers vary on height and weight. This should give you a nice jumping off point, though.

Final Thoughts

By being vegan, you don’t have to sacrifice protein. In fact, you shouldn’t. Your body effing needs it. I hope this post helps point you to the threshold of the myriad of options you have as a vegan to get your protein. Protein doesn’t just come from milk, cheese, eggs, meat. Some of the best protein comes from anything but meat and dairy. That said, this is not a comprehensive list by any means. There are loads of other protein sources out there. What are some of your favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

Peas out, my vegans.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Raw Manicotti: Effing Delicious!

Melissa has set me on a raw bonanza! If you want to be really simplistic, you could call raw food “complicated salad”. Considering how little time it takes to make a salad… this should be appealing to busy people. Complicated salads only take a little longer than simple salads. It’s also a great alternative to the same boring salad you’ve been trying to eat meal after meal in order to avoid getting new pants after all those rich holiday meals. I love shopping but I’d rather spend my money on farmer’s market veggies than pants.
Start out with 2 medium zucchini. These are your “noodles”. For the noodles, cut off both ends of each zucchini. Slice the zucchini the long way so that you have long, wide noodles. Use a knife, cutting as thinly as possible and be really careful. Set them aside. Now it’s time for the creamy filling.  You’ll need the following ingredients:
1 block of Mori-Nu silken tofu
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tsp tablespoons Italian seasoning
4 cups spinach

Combine all the ingredients except for the spinach in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Scrape into a large bowl. If you want to be extra raw or soy free, substitute a cup and a half of soaked cashews for the tofu. Chop the spinach finely by hand and set it aside.

Now it’s time for the tomato topping. You’ll need to get all of these ingredients.
1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (pre-soaked or not, just you’ll need more water for the latter)
1/4 cup water
1 medium tomato, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
1 handfull of fresh basil
salt to taste
Combine the ingredients in the food processor and blend until slightly coarse.

To assemble the manicotti, arrange 3 or 4 zucchini strips on a cutting board, slightly overlapping one over the next by about 1/2 inch as in the photograph. Add a handful of chopped spinach, as shown. If you’re feeling less adventurous, layer the ingredients to make “lasagna” instead.

Place 1/4 cup of the creamy filling in the center and spread about an inch thick. Add some more spinach.

Roll the zucchini up to make “manicotti”. Place two manicotti on a plate and top with a few tablespoons of the tomato sauce. Garnish with a sprinkling of raw parmesan and/or chopped basil. I also sliced up some black olives. I love olives.

This is Christie, signing off… food coma.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: