Meatless Skillet Lasagne

Meatless Skillet Lasagne

I haven’t shared recipes using meat substitutes because I don’t want to convey that meat eaters won’t miss meat by using a  substitute. My goal is to always provide a healthy alternative to meat dishes and show you ways to incorporate more fruit and vegetables in your diet.  I’ve found that when you introduce meat substitutes to the carnivore community, there is a lot of noise about how hypocritical it is to even mention the word ‘meat’ as a vegetarian.  I don’t argue that meat doesn’t taste good. I ate meat off and on over the years and at one point increased it to help with my anemia.   I became a vegetarian four years ago to assist with an overall holistic wellness plan to combat an issue I had  and it worked.  Since then, there is a noticeable change in my wellness and I attribute it (in addition to regular exercise), to removing meat and hormones from my diet.

I’m not going to tell you that a meat substitute is a 1:1 comparison for meat but it does taste good when well prepared and you desire the texture of meat.  WP_20151027_06_32_12_Pro 1Perhaps it is the brand that I use and that’s why it’s enjoyable.  If you try this recipe or are looking for a ground beef substitute try Lightlife ‘Smart Ground’ crumbles.  It is really easy to incorporate in a dish, even easier than regular ground beef because it is already prepared.

I like the idea of a one pan dish for simplicity.  Skillet lasagna seems like a lazy excuse for lasagna but have you ever had a ‘free form’ lasagna at a restaurant?  This is very similar. Just get a few additional ingredients along with the protein crumbles and you will have this in very little time. WP_20151027_06_53_38_Pro 1 What’s great is that you can use no boil lasagna noodles and prepared marinara to speed up the timing without losing the overall look and taste.  I found a great organic whole wheat no boil lasagna noodle named Delallo.

My favorite prepared marinara sauce is Rao’s – highly recommended for its robust taste in this dish.  I never miss an opportunity to add vegetables in a recipe so this has baby spinach in the sauce.  I also added capers to my sauce which is not a typical lasagna ingredient.  My paternal grandmother was an amazing cook and one of my favorite dishes she would make was lasagna.  She traveled all around the world so I’m not sure where she learned the use of capers in her sauce but WOW, what a nice addition.

Feed the wellness in you!

Meatless Skillet Lasagne

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg of Protein Crumbles
  • 1-25 oz jar of Marinara Sauce
  • 8-10 sheets of no cook lasagna noodles
  • 1-5 oz bag of baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 8 oz fat free Ricotta Cheese
  • 1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 tbl oregano
  • 1 tbl basil
  • 1 tbl thyme
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl fresh chopped garlic
  • 3 tbl capers

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet or dutch pan, sautee the fresh garlic in 1 tbl of EVOO on a medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add another tbl of EVOO and add the protein crumbles and turn the heat to low. Break up the protein crumbles and lightly brown for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Pour in the marinara sauce and mix well.
  4. Add the dried seasonings (oregano, basil, thyme, onion powder), then place spinach on top of mixture.
  5. Cover and let it cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
  6. Mix the spinach in with the sauce then add the capers and Ricotta Cheese. Stir well.
  7. Add the 8-10 sheets of no cook lasagna noodles. You will be placing them individually and pouring the sauce over each noodle so all are coated.
  8. The noodles should cook in 20-25 minutes(per the directions on the box) so cover the pan and cook on low heat for that period of time.
  9. Uncover after 25 minutes to stir lightly confirming the noodles are cooked and well integrated in the sauce.
  10. Top with the shredded parmesan cheese and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/meatless-skillet-lasagne/

My Frozen and Prepared Favorites Part 1

I believe in eating ‘whole foods’ all the time, but it is helpful to have some ‘go to’ items that are healthy and can be prepared within minutes. Here are just a few of my favorites:

This Organic Spinach and Cheese Ravioli can be found at Costco. I usually top with a little marinara (note:  my favorite brand is Rao’s).  The Ricotta and Spinach filled Ravioli is from Trader Joe’s.  Both low in calories per serving and delicious.  Add a salad on the side and you have a great meal.

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These already washed and chopped salads are fantastic!  The combination of veggies and toppings in each are wonderful compliments but I forego the toppings and dressing and use balsamic vinegar.  Both can be found at Costco.

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Trader Joe’s has a wonderful variety of cuisines in their frozen section.  As a person that cooks and is discerning when it comes to flavor, they nail it for me in these dishes.  They taste like home cooked meals and I love that they are bold with their combinations.

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I cook channa (chick peas) often so it’s a big deal for me to even give a frozen version a chance.  This does not disappoint and helps in a pinch at only 180 calories per cup with lots of protein and fiber.

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Let me spell this out for you – white and red quinoa, sweet potato, and zucchini wonderfully seasoned and a little spice.  At only 220 calories per cup it is also packed with protein and fiber.

 

 

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I’m not even a big risotto fan but I like this combination.  Plus one cup is only 160 calories without missing the flavor.  This is a winner.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Curried Cabbage and Carrots

Curry Cabbage and Carrots

Several weeks ago I ordered take out from an Indian restaurant and thought that we would have enough left over the next evening for dinner. Have you ever looked at the left overs the next day and wondered what you were thinking the night before?  I was having one of those moments, scrambling to figure out what to prepare to accompany the left overs and pulled out some cabbage from the refrigerator. I had to make it in a way that was in sync with the other Indian food so of course I thought of a curry instead of a lightly seasoned dish.

I really love cabbage.  As a kid I despised it – it was prepared by boiling it, it had an odd smell, and the final result was this unappetizing lump of a mushy substance on my plate.  As an adult I love the variety of cabbages and like most green vegetables it’s a great source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  I enjoy it raw as well as cooked but only slightly – you don’t have to cook cabbage for more than 5-10 minutes to get it the right texture.  If you don’t already do this, try tossing shredded cabbage in your salad greens to get an extra boost of vitamins and crunch.  It soaks up any dressing you would use very nicely.

Back to the recipe…Since my first hurried attempt weeks ago, I’ve made this dish a few times now and each time I added ingredients until I got it ‘right’.  The first time I was rushing and used what I had on hand which was cabbage with curry, turmeric, cumin, garlic, a dash of cayenne and lemon juice.  I added ingredients the second time to include ginger, onions, and garam masala.  As they say, the third time is a charm because on the third attempt it truly became THE curry dish I would want to share with everyone.  The addition of the sweet carrots with the slightly crunchy cabbage was a great union; there are a lot of spices but they all complement each other yet you can taste them on their own; the black sesame seeds add a nice flavor and color balance; and the lemon juice adds just the right acidity and zest.

I’m not too happy with the picture I have alongside this recipe – I tried taking it a few times and the yellow of the curry and turmeric would not convey as I liked in most of the pictures so this was the best I could do.   I hope my description at least conveys that you should try it and that you will enjoy it!

Feed the wellness in you!

Curried Cabbage and Carrots

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Have all of your ingredients lined up and ready because you have to move fast in order to prevent the dry ingredients from sticking in the pan.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large head of cabbage, shredded
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 c red onions
  • 1 tbl chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2 tbl curry
  • 1 tbl turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper or cayenne
  • 1 tbl black sesame seeds
  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • Cilantro (optional)

Instructions

  1. Saute the carrots, red onions and garlic for 10 minutes on medium heat with 2 tbl of olive oil.
  2. Add your ginger, curry, turmeric, cumin, garam masala, and black sesame seeds with another tablespoon of olive oil. Mix quickly and add your shredded cabbage.
  3. Pour the lemon juice on top and stir well so the dry ingredients are integrated into the vegetables.
  4. Add your pepper and continue to mix. Turn to low heat and let cook for 5 minutes.
  5. Turn off the heat, stir and let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
  6. Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/curried-cabbage-and-carrots/

No Dressing Chopped Salad

 

No Dressing Chopped Salad

We’re seeing lots of creative salads on spring/summer menus and freshly made salad is the main concept for many of the newer ‘fresh’ casual eateries.  I like to make a batch of salad no matter what season it is that I can use throughout the week.  In order for the salad  to stay fresh all week you have to keep some ingredients separated from others to prevent the salad from becoming soggy.  It’s easy  to toss in the remaining ingredients when you’re ready to sit down for your meal.  Let’s face it, despite salad being a healthy option if we add creamy, sugar laden dressing on top you might as well be eating dessert.  Most of the time when I make a salad, the ingredients I use nullify the need for a dressing.  If I want dressing, I use balsamic vinegar alone hence the reason why I’ve added a little to this recipe.  I thought it would be helpful to share the way I create a salad with a variety of ingredients to minimize the need for heavy salad dressing.

I like a lot of crunch so instead of lettuces I use a coleslaw mix of cabbages and carrots along with chopped spinach.  When I thought about the salad I would make for the week, along with my ‘go to’ leafy greens as the base, these are some of the items I decided on while in Whole Foods and a few from my own pantry.

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I added a few more items after taking the picture but you get the gist.  A salad is free reign to be as creative as you want and the flavors are endless WITHOUT the dressing.  The main items that give this salad flavor is a little bit of balsamic vinegar, hearts of palm, a little parmesan cheese, your favorite items from an olive antipasti bar, and blueberries.  The items I included from the olive bar are minimal as you can see in this picture, but will add lots of flavor.

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Add a grilled protein of your choice, chop and mix well, and you will have a delicious, low fat salad complete with great protein, iron and fiber.

Feed the wellness in you!

No Dressing Chopped Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6

The first nine ingredients serve as the base of the salad and will yield 4-6 servings depending on the size of your servings. The remaining ingredients are added when you are ready to serve the salad. The prep time does not include the recommended 20-30 minutes for allowing the base salad to rest in its ingredients.

Ingredients

  • Whole Foods Organic Cole Slaw Mix
  • 1 pkg of Whole Foods Organic Baby Spinach
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas, chopped
  • 7.5 oz (1/2 can) of garbanzo beans
  • 7.5 oz (1/2 can) black eye peas
  • 1 can hearts of palm, chopped
  • Antipasti (items of your choice from olive bar of your choice) chopped - in this salad are 6 pitted olives, two tablespoons of sundried tomatoes, and about 6 gigantes (white beans)
  • 1/4 c blueberries
  • 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Mini seedless cucumber, chopped
  • 5-6 Grape tomatoes
  • 1 tbl Shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Crispy onions
  • Avocado (I use at least half but it is optional)
  • 1 tbl pumpkin seeds

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry your baby spinach, coleslaw mix and sugar snap peas. Make sure all vegetables are dry before proceeding as you don't want excess water. Water will make the salad soggy quicker after storing.
  2. Chop your baby spinach, coleslaw mix, sugar snap peas (remove ends) and put in a large bowl
  3. Add your garbanzo beans, black eye peas, hearts of palm, blueberries and antipasti; mix well with balsamic vinegar. Move to a tight lid container for storage. I like to let the salad sit for about 20-30 minutes before serving but it is not a prerequisite.
  4. To serve, place a serving of salad mixture on plate or bowl.
  5. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, parmesan cheese, crispy onions, avocado, pumpkin seeds and protein of your choice. Mix well and enjoy!
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/no-dressing-chopped-salad/

Quinoa Fried Rice

 

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This is a fried rice recipe…without the rice!  Trust me, it really does taste like fried rice – you won’t be disappointed. When I was considering a recipe to create this week I had Asian flavors in mind, but didn’t have a vision for what I wanted to see on a plate.  While in the grocery store I saw broccolini and started with that as a great vegetable to have, particularly because I haven’t used it in a recipe that I’ve shared yet.  Broccolini is a popular spring vegetable in Japan so I felt like I was on to something.   I’ve shared a stir fry recipe already so I wasn’t going down that route.  Along with the broccolini I picked up  snow peas, a bag of carrots, and slowly the idea of a fried rice recipe came to mind.  I’m so glad that it did!  Not only did it evolve into something delicious, but using quinoa as a rice substitute was perfection. Quinoa is so versatile and hearty, you won’t miss having rice AT ALL.  The word ‘fried’  in fried rice is deceiving in this dish – I didn’t have to use much oil.  Other than the quinoa substitute I tried to keep it pretty close to a fried ‘rice’ with a little more to bite into than traditional fried rice that has just carrots and peas – the tofu, broccolini, and snap peas really turn this into a delightful, diverse, and healthy dish.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Quinoa Fried Rice

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 4

Don't hesitate to use your favorite condiments - hot mustard, duck sauce, more soy sauce - whatever you generally enjoy with your fried rice!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 c chopped green onions
  • 1.5 c quinoa
  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 3/4 c finely chopped white onions
  • 3 tbl canola oil
  • 2 c broccolini crowns
  • 1 c snap peas
  • 1 c bean sprouts
  • 3/4 c lt soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 pkg extra firm tofu

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa and green onions in vegetable broth according to the directions.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Drain the tofu well and pat between paper towels until fairly dry. Cut the tofu in cubes and place in oven on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 30 minutes.
  4. In a wok or large frying pan, sautee the carrots in 2 tbl of canola oil on high heat for 5 minutes, then add the white onions. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 10 minutes until onions are slightly browned.
  5. Add the broccolini and snap peas to the carrots and onions. Reduce to low heat and mix well. Add the remaining tablespoon of canola oil if vegetables seems dry and are sticking to the pan. Leave on a simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Mix the 2 eggs and egg whites with 1 tsp light soy sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil. Scramble the eggs until they are dry.
  7. Add the quinoa, tofu and eggs to the frying pan with the vegetables. Turn to medium heat and mix well with the remaining light soy sauce for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  8. Add the bean sprouts on top and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quinoa-fried-rice/

Weekly Wellness Tip – BCAA Benefits

Amino Acids

My trainer recently advised me to start taking the supplement BCAA, Branched-Chain Amino Acids. I asked why this was necessary on top of all the other grueling stuff and he said it would help with muscle recovery and reduce soreness. I then asked “Well what is it??”  All he said was that it is protein and it would be helpful, particularly on a vegetarian diet .  In other words, trust me and just do it.  Without any further questioning I went to my local GNC and got it in pill form.  The daily consumption is 6 gigantic pills a day!  With such a commitment I needed to learn a bit more about this supplement to my daily routine.

Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and are needed to build the various proteins used in the growth, repair, and maintenance of body tissues. Eleven of the twenty amino acids can be made by the body itself, while the other nine (called essential amino acids) must come from the diet or supplements. The nine essential amino acids are isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Another amino acid, histidine, is considered semi-essential because the body does not always require dietary sources of it. The nonessential amino acids are arginine, alanine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamine, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. Foods of animal origin such as meat and poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products, are the richest dietary sources of the essential amino acids.

Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine are the  three essential amino acids in BCAA which play an important role in protein synthesis. These three amino acids are considered essential because the human body does not produce any of them and human beings cannot survive unless these amino acids are present in the diet.  In fact, BPAAs make up about 35% of all muscle tissue.  Amino acids from food travel first to the liver, where they’re broken down for use as fuel or assigned to muscle repair. BCAAs bypass the liver and go directly to the muscles for fueling, building and repairing.

There is inconsistent evidence about the effectiveness of branched-chain amino acids for athletic performance. Many studies suggest that taking branched-chain amino acids does not enhance exercise or athletic performance. However, other research suggests that it might reduce tiredness and muscle soreness associated with exercising.

My conclusion is that taking BCAA supplements are a good addition to my routine, which includes a healthy diet and exercise.  My goal of gaining more muscle can be achieved with the protein in my diet, additional protein with BCAAs and resistance training.   However, I will let make my doctor aware of the supplements suggested to get her feedback.

Feed the wellness in you!

Green Pea and Avocado Pesto Pasta

Fresh Pea and Avocado Pesto

Peas never got much love – at least not from me.  With all the other delicious vegetables and beans, peas (aka garden peas) don’t ever come to my mind to add to my meals.  However, since it’s spring and they are in season, I can’t help but to think I never gave them a fair chance.  They really deserve some credit given their many nutritional benefits.  They are sweet and starchy but are low in calories;  high in protein, fiber, antioxidants and nutrients, particularly phytonutrients known for disease prevention.    I decided to stop thinking of peas as a really cheap, bad excuse for a vegetarian option, and let them show up and show out in a recipe.

I kept this recipe fairly simple and paired the peas with some of my standards so there was no way I could fail!  Call it lazy, perhaps, but this is just ONE dish.  Rest assured I will use peas again, especially how pleased I am with the way they really ‘popped’ with every bite.  The peas along with roasted white asparagus, avocado and a little pesto were all perfect.  The peas could shine amongst everything else – they are mildly sweet, slightly crunchy – really delicious.  This recipe is all about the peas but I would be remiss if I didn’t emphasize how wonderful the use of the avocado with pesto is, leaving you no desire for cheese.  I used gemelli pasta but I would also suggest orecchiette or farfalle.

Shout out to all you seasoned, fresh garden pea lovers – I admire that you take the time to remove peas from the pea pods.  The pods are completely edible and good for you also!  They are full of folic acid, an essential B vitamin.  Frozen peas are recommended over canned peas, and of course, fresh peas are the best.  It’s your choice but use fresh or frozen for this dish to maximize the health benefits and taste.

Feed the wellness in you!

Green Pea and Avocado Pesto Pasta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

This dish must be served and eaten when prepared. The avocado is continually ripening so it will not be fresh if refrigerated and warmed for another day.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup white asparagus tips
  • 1 box Gemelli Pasta
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1.5 - 2 avocados depending on the size
  • 2 tbl pesto sauce
  • 1 tbl Mrs. Dash
  • Sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1 tbl oregano
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl fresh thyme

Instructions

  1. Cook the peas in 1.5 cups of vegetable stock for 12-15 minutes. Set aside. Do not drain.
  2. Sprinkle the white asparagus tips with olive oil, dash of sea salt and Mrs. Dash. Roast the white asparagus tips until they are crisp and tender, approx. 20 minutes.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the directions and drain.
  4. In a large pot mix the pasta with the peas (and remaining vegetable broth), asparagus, sea salt to taste, black pepper, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder.
  5. In a bowl, mix the avocado with the pesto and thyme.
  6. Mix in with the pasta and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/green-pea-and-avocado-pesto-pasta/

Weekly Wellness Tip – MIghty Omega-3s

Is the hype real folks?    What’s up with Omega-3 fortified milk? A lack of these nutrients has been linked with high blood pressure, depression, asthma, arthritis, and even more – type 2 diabetes, fatigue, dry/itchy skin, brittle hair and nails, and joint pain.   Yikes!

The three principal omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). The main sources of ALA in the U.S. diet are vegetable oils, particularly canola and soybean oils; flaxseed oil is richer in ALA than soybean and canola oils.  ALA can be converted, usually in small amounts, into EPA and DHA in the body. EPA and DHA are found in seafood, including fatty fish (e.g., salmon, tuna, and trout) and shellfish (e.g., crab, mussels, and oysters).

Commonly used dietary supplements that contain omega-3s include fish oil (which provides EPA and DHA) and flaxseed oil (which provides ALA). Algae oils are a vegetarian source of DHA.

Omega-3 fatty acids are important for a number of bodily functions, including muscle activity, blood clotting, digestion, fertility, and cell division and growth. DHA is important for brain development and function. ALA is an “essential” fatty acid, meaning that people must obtain it from food or supplements because the human body cannot manufacture it.

If you’re taking supplements or considering them for some other health claims, here is some key information from the NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health:

  • There has been a substantial amount of research on supplements of omega-3s, particularly those found in seafood and fish oil, and heart disease. The findings of individual studies have been inconsistent. In 2012, two combined analyses of the results of these studies did not find convincing evidence these omega-3s protect against heart disease.
  • A 2012 systematic review concluded that the types of omega-3s found in seafood and fish oil may be modestly helpful in relieving symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In the studies included in the review, many of the participants reported that when they were taking fish oil they had briefer morning stiffness, less joint swelling and pain, and less need for anti-inflammatory drugs to control their symptoms.
  • DHA plays important roles in the functioning of the brain and the eye. Research is being conducted on DHA and other omega-3 fatty acids and diseases of the brain and eye, but there is not enough evidence to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of omega-3s for these conditions.
  • Omega-3 supplements (primarily fish oil supplements) also have been studied for preventing or treating a variety of other conditions such as allergies, asthma, cachexia (severe weight loss) associated with advanced cancer, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, kidney disease, lupus, menstrual cramps, obesity, osteoporosis, and ulcerative colitis, as well as organ transplantation outcomes (e.g., decreasing the likelihood of rejection). No conclusions can be drawn about whether omega-3s are helpful for these conditions based on currently available evidence.

In summary, it’s ideal to get essential nutrients from whole foods, the way nature packaged them. If you don’t eat fish, flaxseeds and walnuts are other good sources of omega-3s. Tell all your health care providers about any complementary health approaches you use to ensure safe, coordinated health care.

Feed the wellness in you!

Vegetable Pasta with Mung Beans

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Vegetable Pasta with Mung Beans

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2-3 portabello mushrooms, cut lengthwise
  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard, cut lengthwise
  • 1 cup dried mung beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 c san marzano tomatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • 2 tbl sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4c red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 box Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the mung beans in 2 cups of vegetable broth for 45 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Using a peeler, shred your zucchini, carrots and yellow squash in long pieces, much like spaghetti. Wash and cook in vegetable broth (enough to cover the vegetables) for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
  3. In a large sauce pan, sautee the portabello mushrooms, Swiss chard with red onions and garlic for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Add the san marzano tomatoes, the leaves from the sprigs of thyme and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine all ingredients (the veggies along with vegetable broth) and stir well. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, before removing from heat.
  5. In another sauce pan, add the amount of pasta you desire with some of the sauce.
  6. Top with parmesan reggiano cheese if you wish and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/vegetable-pasta-with-mung-beans/
I’ll get straight to the point – Mung Beans.  I have been eyeing this caper-looking bean in the dried bulk section for quite some time. I consider myself to have a diverse palate but I had never seen or heard of it in any dish I have ever had.  I’m in the bulk section regularly so I finally I decided to satisfy my curiosity and purchased some.Mung Beans

Since I’m always looking for sources of protein I figured the mung bean  would serve its purpose, but needed to research it before creating a home for it in a meal.  I had to give it a warm welcome.

I was surprised to learn that mung beans have been around for thousands of years and originated in India, and later cultivated throughout Asia.  When the mung bean is germinated, it creates the bean sprout.  Who knew?  Like most beans it is low in calories, high in fiber, a good source of iron, and delivers vitamins B, C, and K.

I looked for how mung beans are used in recipes and naturally due to it’s Indian origin, I found recipes for curries and stews.  I will keep that in mind for the very near future, but in the interim I decided to go a bit lighter in flavor and add it to a vegetable pasta. Beans are a great addition to vegetables in pasta, and in my quest to deliver alternatives for a  balanced meal to your plate, I’m pleased that this provides vegetables, protein, and whole grains all in one dish.

The beans need to be washed and soaked overnight.  Cooking time for the beans was approximately 45 minutes.  I shredded all of my vegetables to simulate pasta and also included whole grain spaghetti but the ratio of vegetables to pasta was 2:1.  Once all of the vegetables and beans are prepped, it is very simple to combine the few herbs and spices to complete the dish. As with most pastas, if you desire a protein just toss it in.  Enjoy!

Feed the wellness in you!

Vegetable Pasta with Mung Beans

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2-3 portabello mushrooms, cut lengthwise
  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard, cut lengthwise
  • 1 cup dried mung beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 c san marzano tomatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • 2 tbl sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4c red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 box Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cook the mung beans in 2 cups of vegetable broth for 45 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Using a peeler, shred your zucchini, carrots and yellow squash in long pieces, much like spaghetti. Wash and cook in vegetable broth (enough to cover the vegetables) for 10 minutes on a medium heat.
  3. In a large sauce pan, sautee the portabello mushrooms, Swiss chard with red onions and garlic for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Add the san marzano tomatoes, the leaves from the sprigs of thyme and cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  4. Combine all ingredients (the veggies along with vegetable broth) and stir well. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, before removing from heat.
  5. In another sauce pan, add the amount of pasta you desire with some of the sauce.
  6. Top with parmesan reggiano cheese if you wish and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/vegetable-pasta-with-mung-beans/

Weekly Wellness Tip – Save Your Soles

Running shoes. Barefoot running shoes closeup. Female athlete ty

Spring Fever! You’ve dusted off those sneakers so you can walk or run during your spare time and that is fantastic. It is great to switch up your routine and take advantage of exercising outdoors. But before you hit the streets, let’s start by answering a few questions –

  • Do you own walking or running shoes?
  • If so, how old are they?
  • Did you get your shoes properly fit for your activity?

I could go on with some additional questions but instead, I will just quote the store ‘Fleet Feet DC’ where I got my first pair of running shoes.  A visit to a running shoe store is where you should start before embarking on your outdoor Spring activities AND you should get this level of attention and service in the store you choose –

“Being FIT in the right shoe is an important step to preventing injury and enhancing your FITness experience. Whether you are just beginning a walking program, training for your first marathon, or are on your feet all day and need some foot relief – we can help.We listen carefully to your FITness goals and interests, take into consideration any aches and pains, and evaluate your experience with your current footwear. We then measure your feet, assess your foot type and watch your gait cycle. Using all of this information, we utilize our training and experience to make individualized footwear recommendations.”

Getting properly fit will help you perform your activity comfortably and avoid injuries.  It is an investment that pays high dividends.  You won’t truly know if you have the right shoes for you until after you start using them.  Use them for a week and if they are uncomfortable or causing pain, return them for another pair.  After a few shoes you will know what brands work for you.

Fitness experts suggest replacing your shoes every 300-400 miles.  If you run or walk frequently, rotate between two pairs to extend the life of the shoes.  Also, while at the shoe store PLEASE get some new, cushioned socks!  They make a huge difference in your comfort.  Now find a good walking/running path and get to work!

Feed the wellness in you!