Sesame Broccoli Portobello Stir Fry

Broccoli CAN be tasty when you dress it up right.  This simple recipe does the trick in the healthy way.  Mushrooms are good for you, but did you know they have been shown in lab studies to lower cholesterol and mediate the effects of saturated fats?  You probably know about sesame seeds, you might not have tried black sesame seeds – and you definitely should since they’ve been shown to lower blood pressure.  Walnuts have been attributed to slowing cancer growth and improving overall health factors, like blood pressure.  And broccoli – not only does it prevent cancer it’s healthy (see nutrition info. after the recipe)!

Sesame Broccoli Portobello

Ingredients:

4 Tbs Coconut Oil

2 Tbs Sesame Oil

Raw Broccoli

Raw Mushrooms

Raw, Unsalted, Unroasted Walnuts

Black Sesame Seeds

Shallots (or white/red onion)

Instructions:

In a saucepan, heat the oil.  While it is heating, dice the shallot very small and put into the pan once the oil is hot (low-medium heat).  Don’t worry about uniformity, we’ll be browning them and caramelizing them.

When your shallots are getting started, get chopping on your mushrooms and broccoli.  Cut into 1″ pieces.  When the shallots are still white, put the broccoli in.  Keep stirring and put the mushrooms in when the shallots are translucent.  Now add the 2 Tbs of sesame oil – if it seems like there is not enough oil, you can add more sesame oil and/or add more coconut oil.  Stir for a few minutes and watch to make sure nothing is burning.  If it seems like it’s burning or the oil is smoking, turn down the flame.  When the broccoli is starting to be cooked, add the black sesame seeds to taste and stir.  The picture below could be done for some, for me I kept cooking a bit more until the mushrooms shrunk a little.

Broccoli Nutrition (1 cup)

60 calories.  No fat.  Nearly no sodium.

12 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 2 g sugars and 2 g of protein.

Vitamin A – 48% daily needs

Vitamin C – 168% daily needs

Calcium – 6% daily needs

Iron – 6% daily needs

Stir Fry TIP: Sneak in leftovers.  For a bit of protein, I diced up and added 4-day old chicken that was a bit too dry and not so tasty.  I barely noticed it, but I’m sure my body appreciated the protein!

Apple Walnut Tahini Snack

Diet changes are hard!  When I switched to my new healthy way of eating, I felt so victorious that I could now eat 3 meals a day and not snack.  But I was dead wrong.  My mood started changing and every day around mid-morning and mid-afternoon I didn’t feel hungry, but I felt angry.

I spoke with my nutrition coach and she suggested I add snacks.  I was indignant – I finally learned to eat just the right amount, my weight goal was almost reached and now she wanted me to eat more?!  As a solution, I cut down the calories in my main meals and added some snacks whenever I felt upset for no reason.

Here is an easy snack.  It’s raw, fits in with most special diets and best of all it’s tasty!

Apple Walnut Tahini Snack

Ingredients:

1 Granny Smith (or other tart apple)

3 Tbsp. Tahini Paste

30 grams (1 oz) walnuts, raw, unsalted, not roasted

Instructions:

Peel and slice the apple as shown.  Since I don’t use organic apples all the time (don’t judge!) I prefer to peel them first.  Throw the apples on a plate once they’re peeled and sliced and spoon on some tahini paste.  Add walnuts and there you go!  Use the apple as a “chip” and the tahini as a “dip.”

Tahini TIP: The tahini paste is concentrated.  If you’re using it for spreading and snacks like this, that’s great.  If you want to use it as a dip, you should mix it with water, lemon juice and add some garlic.  Keep stirring until it gets a smooth texture – it takes a minute or two and looks stringy until it’s mixed right.

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Healthy and Homemade

Don’t ever buy canned condensed cream of mushroom again, use this recipe instead!  One staple in Americana food is the ubiquitous red can of gelatinous glob called condensed cream of mushroom. Whether it’s the Thanksgiving classic green bean casserole recipe or a broccoli stir fry, I used to have this can of goo in my pantry and then one day I just said enough. Here is my recipe for a condensed cream of mushroom substitute.  It’s hearty and thick like the condensed version and works well in its place.

Condensed Cream of Mushroom Substitute Recipe: Healthy & Homemade

Ingredients:

Butter or oil

1 Medium onion

1 basket + of mixed mushrooms

4 fl oz heavy cream, diluted with whole milk to taste

We cannot display this galleryInstructions:

Place a pot on the stove and cover the bottom with butter or oil and heat on medium low.  Dice an onion into small pieces and add to the pot when the oil is heated.  Cut the mushrooms into 1″ square pieces or leave whole if they are small and add to the pot when the onions are translucent.  Stir until the mushrooms are fully cooked.  Turn the heat down if the onions start to brown too much, they should caramelize, but not brown.

Once your onions are caramelized and your mushrooms are cooked, which is hopefully at the same time, you can add your “cream.”  I mean to say “cream” because the strength of the soup is really up to you.  Add the 4 fl oz of cream and add to it whatever milk you want.  I have made this for pasta sauces and added a lot of milk.  Other recipes like cauliflower mash, I didn’t use as much.  If you can learn this recipe, you can stop buying those awful cans.  It’s so easy for me to make this right now, considering how many cans of condensed soup I burned growing up it even seems easier.

“Cream of” TIP: I’m experimenting with not having dairy, but I haven’t tried this recipe yet with a non-dairy milk.  I like coconut milk in some dishes, but I don’t know if it would make a good substitute for “creamy” recipes where you would usually use cream of mushroom.  Please comment on your experience if you have tried creamy dishes with non-dairy milk:)

Puffed Quinoa Cereal

Cereal is so expensive.  Granola.  Puffs with fruit and nuts.  Guess what?  It’s all a giant scam!  Stop buying cereal now and start making your own.  It’s healthier, cheaper and you get to pick quality items – especially if you’re gluten free like me.

Puffed Quinoa DIY Breakfast Cereal

Ingredients: Puffed quinoa, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chia seeds, flax.

Instructions: Throw whatever is to your liking into the bowl, pour the milk of your choice and THAT’S IT!  No more store bought overpriced fruit & grain for you!

Nutrition TIP: The nutrition of puffed quinoa is great.  A typical serving of puffed quinoa is 50 grams (which is a more than your typical 30 gram cereal serving – you can always eat less) – here is the nutrition for the quinoa:

Values Per 50g
Calories 180 calories
Protein 6.5g
Carbohydrates 32g
Sugar 1.75g
Fat 7.1g
Saturated Fat 0.96g
Fiber 7g
Sodium Trace

Post Gym TIP: I sometimes use this as my after snack.  If I eat it after the gym, I omit the added flax because my naturopath says too much fiber isn’t good in an after gym snack.