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

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Just Eat It: Sprouted Quinoa Breakfast

17 05 2010

May seems to be a sprouting month, with the sun shining in Calgary and gardeners anxiously awaiting the May long weekend to get their pots and gardens growing. We are included in that group and ready to dig the garden. This past weekend we spent doing the spring clean up, getting the pots out, cleaning off the lawn furniture and cutting the bit of lawn we have. I am excited to see how the perennial bed turns out as we moved things around late last year. We spent the weekend in the midst of the plum tree in full bloom and the smell kept us smiling. The Nanking Cherry’s are blooming and buzzing with bees. Our white peonies are already 2.5 feet tall, flower buds are forming and ready for a June premier. Peonies are my favourite and although they bloom for short time they signal summer is here. When they bloom I’ll be sure to share!

Back to sprouting. This month’s Yoga Shala Just Eat It recipe is Sprouted Quinoa Breakfast. Sprouting quinoa, legumes, grains and seeds is easy. The best thing about sprouting is that you have healthy food ready to eat with no additional cooking or preparation. You just need a little patience and that’s exactly what us yogis are working on everyday :). This breakfast is easy, it can be made ahead and ready to eat after your morning practice.

To sprout the quinoa, use a glass jar and replace the lid with cheesecloth and an elastic band. Place 1 cup or more of quinoa in the jar and cover with filtered water. Let soak for 4-8 hours, you’ll see sprouts start to grow in just four hours. Rinse it once or twice by pouring out the water through the cheesecloth and adding fresh filtered water. After soaking, drain and place in the fridge, it will keep for 3-4 days. If you really like sprouting buy a sprouting jar like this one. It makes sprouting super easy. (See previous blog entry on sprouting.)

On top of 1/3 cup of sprouted quinoa, add diced apple, banana, orange and pear and a 1/4 of diced avocado. Sprinkle with a variety of sprouted, raw or lightly toasted seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, flax and nuts like almonds, walnuts and cashews. Don’t have a lot of quinoa, use the left over brown or wild rice, mix it together. Eat it.

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





More Sprouts

14 05 2010

Here is a great lunch that includes sprouts, so easy to throw on whatever you like. I had 1/2 cup of brown rice left over, warmed that up and placed into a bowl. I warmed up Lemon Tahini dip, mixed it with some chickpeas and added that to the rice bowl (can’t see them in the picture but they are under the veggies). Over the stove I steamed  carrots, broccoli and curly kale and added that to the bowl. Sliced up a few black olives and sprinkled the whole thing with sprouts (those are the Spring Salad Mix), sesame seeds and fresh ground pepper. You could give the bowl a squeeze of lemon if you’d like and Voila! Healthful lunch on the fly.

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Sprouting, what fun!

13 05 2010

I bought a sprouting dish at Planet Organic years ago and started using it finally last year. Again, something so easy I didn’t do it. Well, now I am addicted and we have sprouts growing at all times in our kitchen. I have experimented with a bunch of different seeds, legumes and grains. I believe that Community Health sells sprouting trays and I recommend picking one up. You can buy the seeds/grains/legumes bulk or buy packages of them. Mum’s Sprouting Seeds sells a bunch of seed options on their website and has a bunch of info to sprout on your own. You can buy the packaged ones at Planet and Community. I recommend buying their Easy Sprout, which I love for sprouting quinoa. A fellow health food junkie Trina introduced me to this fantastic little sprouting buddy. I now have quinoa ready for eating in the fridge all the time.

Now, you don’t need these special tools to sprout, you can use a jar. Put cheese cloth over the opening, secure with an elastic. Add the seeds/grains/legumes to the jar, cover with filtered water, you need to soak the sprouts for 2-8 hours, depending on what they are. Just think quinoa, small, less dense 2-4 hours. You’ll see them sprout in 2 hours. Wheat berries 4-6 hours, larger and more dense. Rinse them a couple of times, draining water through cheese cloth, replace with fresh filtered water. When they are finished soaking rinse really well, leave in jar, no water, cheese cloth on top for air circulation. Leave in fridge or counter and watch them sprout, rinsing once or twice a day (not all need this though). I think they sprout faster on the counter, but then I refrigerate them. There are so many options and it is fun to experiment. When you order an Easy Sprout you can order a sprouting chart or google sprouting charts, there are lots of references. We have tried the Mum’s Wheat Berries (long greens, sweet and crunchy, pictured in the bottom tray below), Spring Salad (small, nutty-spicy sprouts), Red Daikon Radish (bright red and spicy), Crunchy Bean Mix (packed with protein rich legumes, pictured in first picture below when first placed in tray) and my favourite at the moment, Ancient Eastern Blend (mix of fenugreek, lentils, kamut and adzuki beans, pictured on top tray below).

Update to this blog: What do you do with the sprouts after you had fun growing them? (why I shouldn’t blog after 8PM)

I add them to salads, smoothies, rice, quinoa, wraps, to toast, anything really. Find ways to incorporate them. Sprouts are packed and concentrated with vitamins. Enjoy!

Eat well, Be well,

Nat






Veggie Pate

30 04 2010

Have I found the most versatile fridge companion, Veggie Pate. I have made this twice this past week because it worked so well bringing it to a potluck and people seemed to like it. Serve it with crackers and cut up veggies like cucumber. Wrap it in some lettuce for a fun lettuce wrap, or use nori rolls. Wrap it in sandwich wrap with other veggies or mix it with quinoa (I tried it with sprouted quinoa), add some other veggies, sprouts, avocado and lunch is served.

I got this recipe from Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen cookbook. I am trying to be careful about copyright infringement. You can find this recipe on her site though, link above. The recipe in her cookbook is a little different

1 cup Almonds, dry (I use dry almond meal)

1 tbsp Grated Ginger

1 tsp Sea Salt

3 Carrots, chopped

2 Stalks Celery, chopped

1/4 cup Yellow Onion, chopped (optional to yogi’s)

2 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp fresh Lemon Juice

1/2 cup Raisins

How I have made it: Process the almonds or almond meal in a food processor until rough powder, put aside. Back in the food processor add the carrots, celery, ginger, onion, salt, process until small pieces. Add the raisins, almonds, lemon juice and olive oil, process until all ingredients incorporated and smooth. I pressed it into a bowl and sprinkled with Paprika. Ready to serve on whatever you like.

Eat Well, Be Well

Nat