Lunch at Work: Mung Bean Wraps

8 04 2013

Mung beans make an appearance at lunch very often for me. Especially in the winter when lunch consists of Cleansing Kitchery or Bean Soup. Lately, I’ve been making a version of Moroccan Goodness using mung beans. They are just so easy to use, full of goodness and if you soak them overnight, they cook up fast.

Two things I look forward to in the foodie world are 1) the monthly Alive magazine and 2) the bi-monthly City Palate. I picked up both new issues two weekends ago and spent some lazy moments this weekend flipping through them. Beans are on the menu in Alive this month which was perfect timing because even I get tired of the same thing for lunch now and then. It was time for a change and time to experiment in the kitchen. Eating monotony often means I’ve also been lacking in kitchen adventures which results in little to no blogging. Newly inspired, I tried the Mung Bean Pate Wraps. I had to alter the recipe because I found it bland. I can’t blame the recipe because I made mine without garlic and shallots, which is where a lot of the flavour would come from. However, I don’t like it when recipes depend on these ingredients for flavour. Even with onions and garlic, I don’t think the tomato flavour would have come through. So here is my more sattvic, pumped up version. Of course, add a bit of garlic and shallot or onion if you’d like.

  • 2/3 cups dried Mung Beans
  • 1/3 cups Walnuts
  • 1 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes packed in oil
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1/4 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Water
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Soak the mung beans overnight or for several hours, the more you soak the quicker they cook. Rinse them off and bring to boil in about 3 cups of water and then simmer. If you soaked them overnight, they’ll be soft in 15-20 min, if you didn’t soak them, cover them and check them every 10 minutes until they are soft. Rinse them off in cold water. In a food processor blend the mung beans and the rest of the ingredients together. Blend until smooth. Add a tablespoon or more of water if you find it too thick. I buy a big jar of sun dried tomatoes at Costco, one of the few vegetable things that aren’t organic in our house, but you know, how can you resist the price and the amount you get!

Sun Dried Tomatoes

I smeared the pate on a spelt wrap, added some goats cheese and sliced yellow peppers for lunch. Delicious. Easy to pack to work, I just rolled up one of the wraps in plastic wrap so it wouldn’t dry out. I put the pate and cheese into a small container the peppers in another container. Sliced cucumber and other veg like carrots on the side. Lunch is served (and had my colleagues saying ‘that looks yummy’ today at lunch).

Mung Bean Pate

Have you tried mung beans yet? What’s your favourite way to use them?

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Top it with Tahini

9 04 2012

I just ate this and I don’t think I was breathing while doing it:

It was good while it lasted but I think I am having heart palpitations now. Have you read the recent articles on sugar addiction. 😉 No joke.

Good thing we have healthy recipes to bring us back to life. A popular recipe on this blog is the Tahini dip/dressing, go here to read again. It is so good on so many things. My last post was about an experiment with sea kelp noodles, go here to check it out. If you made that recipe (or used brown rice instead to make that yummy bowl of veg and tofu), you should have had tofu left over. What to do with it? Grill it up and serve over a chopped salad and drizzle with tahini dressing.

Make enough tahini dressing to use again. Next day, make or buy some falafel’s and warm them up, throw them onto a salad with tahini dressing and fresh cracked pepper.

And another way to use the tahini, spread it on a whole grain wrap, add veggies and tofu (these are the tofu snacks from Planet Organic) and roll up and press in a Panini press or warm it on a stove top grill pan. Its a good quick lunch. Finally, here is another tahini recipe from 2010. So many ways with tahini…what’s yours?

3 tbsp Tahini
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Maple or Agave Syrup (or jaggery if you have it, asian sugar cane)
2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil (or olive oil if you don’t have it)

Hope you had a nice long weekend,

Eat well, Be well & Aloha (more on that later),

Nat





Citrus Salad and Merry Christmas (again)

7 01 2012

Merry Christmas (again). If you are Ukrainian, you still have your Christmas tree up and the lights on for the last days of the season. Today is Ukrainian Christmas and the big feast was last night, Christmas Eve, based on the Julian calendar (today we use the Gregorian calendar which lines up the solstice’s or solar seasons more accurately, so Wikipedia says). My first post on this blog was a celebration of my Food Spark and the traditions of my family, including Ukrainian Christmas, which we celebrate on Dec 24. Growing up January 7 was recognized in some way, mom would make Latke’s or we’d have a mini Ukrainian feast again.

Our Ukrainian Christmas Table

This time of year oranges of all sorts are abundant. T just brought home a box of juicy california oranges. What to make? A salad. I recently made this super simple dressing and salad. I love this dressing, it is light, healthy and if you are vegan, you can replace the yogurt for your favourite non-dairy replacement.

In a bowl mix together;

  • 1 small to medium head of Romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces
  • 1 large navel Orange, segmented and chopped (google how to segment an orange, easy and tastier way of adding citrus to a dish)
  • 1 Avocado, scoop the flesh out into bit size chunks
  • 1 small Cucumber, chopped

Shake together the dressing ingredients. This makes more than you need, so store it in the fridge to use on a couple more salads;

  • 1/4 tsp Tarragon (dry)
  • 1/2 tsp Basil (dry)
  • 1/8 tsp fresh cracked Pepper
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Maple Syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1/2 cup non-fat plain Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/8 cup Olive Oil

Mix about a 1/4 -1/3 of the dressing and salad ingredients together. Top with more fresh cracked pepper.

Citrus Salad

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Winnipeg, Yum!

6 09 2011

Summer, boy how time flies. I have nothing but outings to share with you these days because I feel like I haven’t been in the kitchen for weeks (well, to experiment and cook up new and wondrous things that is…I have plans though). This past weekend took us to Winnipeg for a lovely wedding. My pal Lenore and her man Jack got hitched at the Hitch’n Post in Grosse Isle, Manitoba. What a great spot and if you knew these two, you’d say the location was perfect. The wedding was outside nestled among the trees, you could hear birds chirping and a friend strummed a guitar as Lenore walked down the aisle. Lovely. Outside, all around and inside on walls and in the rafters were relics from days gone past. From old trucks to chainsaws.

The Happy Couple

L is a very clever-crafty-stylish gal that blogs at Lather.Write.Repeat. If you haven’t already made your way through my links section, do check out her blog and if you are ever in Winnipeg (with car) you might want to pick up a piece of vintage furniture she has freshened up to bring home. Her sense of style landed her a page in Style at Home magazine recently (September issue, at the back, spotlight on Winnipeg), and in it she shares some of her favourite picks in her home town. T and I decided the best way to see Winnipeg is follow the advice of a friend, so we spent a day doing just that. Here is our tour of Winnipeg.

We stayed at the Inn at the Forks, which is near the Forks Market. A public park along the Assiniboine River with restaurants and shops where we met the new bride for tea. You know me and my thoughts on sugar…if I am going to have it make it worth it, like a cupcake. Well I made it worth it with the best Cinnamon bun I have ever had from Tall Grass Prairie Bread Company. It was whole wheat, not that sweet actually, full of cinnamon and no gross icing. It was warm out of the oven. I washed it down with a tea from Human Bean Coffee and Tea Shop. T and I ventured out to hit up three areas of Winnipeg; The Exchange District, Osbourne and Corydon.

Tea Time Treat

I put together a sweet necklace at Silver Lotus jewelry shop. L bought me earrings and T cufflinks from there for our wedding.

T is for Tony

We picked up more sweets at Baked Expectations for dessert (holidays are for indulging right?). I chose the caramel pecan cheesecake, T picked the Key Lime Pie. More on this later. We headed to the Fort Garry Hotel to check it out. We heard from wedding guest Kelly that it was said to be haunted. Darn, didn’t see any ghosts. Before our flight home we settled in for an early dinner at Bonfire Bistro. This was the perfect spot. Ingredients of the season, modern Italian menu, nice glass of wine (I need a cleanse now). I know some of you LOVED that watermelon salad I posted a few weeks ago, here is another version. Try cubed watermelon, shelled edamame beans, cubed cucumber, thinly shaved radish with an avocado creme dressing (or dressing of your choice) and a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds. I have an avocado creme dressing somewhere…i’ll have to share that one day.

Watermelon Edamame Salad

I have to say, I wish we had more time than the afternoon to see the museums. A new Canadian Museum of Human Rights is being built right by The Forks and I plan on visiting that one day.

We got back to the airport with plenty of time to catch our flight and of course it was delayed, grrr. We had planned on eating our dessert on the plane, but the terminal would have to do. I love the box.

Baked Expectations

Now it is September, the harvest is among us (although I am patiently awaiting the redness of our tomatoes…wait, I see red!!!) and hopefully you are able to enjoy the extended summer if you are in Calgary. We might just get a ‘fall’ this year!

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Goddess Dressing

6 07 2011

So I planned on just doing a quick post on a simple salad I made…nothing ever turns out simple though AND I learned something of course :). Most nights after work we eat a big salad. I think I have mentioned before that I eat lots through the day and wind it down at night. I sleep better when I don’t eat complex carbs after 4PM (complex carbs = flour, potatoes, grains etc). This is important when you are going to bed early and getting up early for physical activity, in my case ashtanga yoga. Eating lightly at night lets the system rest and not spend the night with a slow metabolism trying to crank through a big bowl of pasta. If you are one of those that can do that (aka my husband) good on you, I can’t. I eat my whole grains, the more the better, veggies and such through the day and finish the day with a bit of protein and a salad.

Salad dressings around here are quite simple. The kind you throw many ingredients into a jar and shake. We use a lot of olive oil and different vinegar’s, apple cider being a favourite. Piri Piri olive oil, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper is a staple too. Sometimes I make blended dressings, made with cucumbers, avocados and a variety of nuts. For a treat and a quick go to dressing I grab Simply Natural’s Goddess Dressing. In writing this blog entry, I of course googled it to find a picture and fell upon a gaggle of goddess type dressings. Apparently ‘green goddess dressing’ was a big trend in the late 70’s. It is a mayo, anchovy and herb dressing. Some include avocado, others have dropped the anchovy and all of them include a different variety of herbs, giving it a green hue. Huh.

Anyhow, in a snap, Simply Organic’s Goddess Dressing makes any salad a big yum. The other day I threw together a bunch of veggies I had in the refrigerator like shredded red cabbage, chopped cucumber, shredded carrot, diced red pepper, sliced avocado, a radish from the garden and a diced tomato. I warmed up some falafel’s and threw them on there with some Goddess Dressing. The dressing has tahini in it so it is perfect with falafel’s. I get mine at Planet Organic, and I am sure you can find it near you in an organic section.

Eat Well, Be Well,

Nat





Lunch at Work v.1

17 07 2010

At work, not sure what to eat? I have said before that buying lunch while working is more of a treat then a necessity, at least that is how I approach it. I am not a fan of buying lunch every day especially if the choices are less than desirable and unhealthy. I do my best to pack food to work where ever I go. I eat a lot in the day and not so much at night, and this helps with sleep, digestion and getting up to practice.

I got a comment (thanks Heather) for ideas for packing lunch to work. For this I am going to start a blog series called Lunch at Work, with new versions as they come to mind. I eat a fairly ‘mono-diet’ so it might be awhile before the next one. The recipe i’ll share today can be changed so many ways so experiment! I started a new contract assignment two weeks ago and between friends in town, yoga workshops, Stampede and adjusting everything else I was doing and adding in an additional 8 hours of work a day, lunch preparations were tough, but I made it through. Here’s the low down on surviving a crazy two weeks and an idea for lunch.

Breakfast: This stayed consistent, green smoothie packed with me. 1 banana, 1 pear+1/2 cup of ice or 3/4 cup frozen berries, 2-3 cups of raw spinach or kale. Blend together until smooth, go.

Second breakfast (lately, sometimes eaten at lunch): 1/2 cup sprouted oat groats or kamut, cooked with a bit of cinnamon. 2 tbsp toasted nuts, drizzle of agave syrup. See previous post Kamut for Breakfast. I make two portions at a time, ready in the fridge, eaten cold, no need to stop and make oatmeal.

Lunch: The best thing I brought to lunch was a rice salad. I did buy lunch a couple of times. The deli/cafe at my client is really good. They have lots of healthy selections and soup options.

Rice Salad: Cook 1 cup of whole grain, brown or mixed rice. I love this one from Planet Organic bulk, it takes about 45 min to cook. You can keep the cooked rice in the fridge and make a fresh salad each night, or even add with some dinner left overs. It’s important to eat whole grains through the day, it is long-lasting energy and high in fibre = better metabolism.

To 1/2 cup of cooked rice I added 1/3 cup mixed beans (canned or pick up your favourite mixed bean salad from a deli, planet has a few good ones), diced veggies like carrots, red/yellow pepper, cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, cilantro and sprouts. I had a few olives left over so I added those one day. Another day I added cubed goat gouda I had in the fridge. Toasted pine nuts left from a bean dish I made tasted yummy. For dressing, make it simple, olive oil and apple cider vinegar, fresh cracked pepper. Eat cold on the go.

Afternoon: Always, always, an apple. I love apples and I can’t wait to start buying delicious organic apples from BC this summer. As well I pack a ‘power cookie’. I make dozens at a time and keep in the freezer and in a jar on the counter. That recipe another time.

Eat well, be well,

Nat