It’s a lazy Sunday, I have had a buckwheat pancake brunch, and now have to face the fact that I am horrible at posting on this blog regularly! I will try harder, but since today is Sunday, and food is on my mind, I’ll tell you about my five favorite foods.
I am modeling this after the “Vegetarian Food for Thought” podcast called, you guessed it, five favorite foods. Using the criteria of foods I eat almost every day, I have compiled my own personal list of favorites, what I do with them, and what’s so great about them. What’s the appeal for you? Well, for me, apart from loving to make lists, I hope you gleam some information from this.
#1 Bananas. I love bananas. I eat at least one, if not two or three, bananas every day. They contain lots of different vitamins and all 8 amino acids our body cannot produce itself. They’re also high in potassium, vitamin c, and vitamin B6. Bananas also have fiber (duh!), which is good for healthy bowl movement. Fiber also gives you a full feeling, even though the banana has no fat!
My favorite way to eat a banana is to:
(a) Slice it onto my breakfast, weather it be cold or hot.
(b) Snack on one to “hold me off” until my next meal, normally accompanied with a couple nuts and some dried fruit.
(c) In a fruit smoothie, yummmmmmmy……
(d) In a baked good. Banana bread is good!
#2 Carrots. Though it may seem a simple and obvious food, carrots are just so amazing! There is so much you can do them, and they have a huge health benefit. Their orange color should clue you in to the fact that carrots are high in beta-carotene (vitamin A), in addition to vitamins C, D, E, K, B1, and B6. they are also rich with in potassium, biotin, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, including lots of phytonutrients. And, of course, they are high in fiber.
Carrots are good….
(a) Shredded raw on salads,
(b) Cooked in tofu scramble and beans
(c) Heavenly when steamed in an oven roast (with potatoes, tofu, pumpkin, and onions)
(d) Juiced. We recently picked up a used juicer, and the only time we’ve used it so far was for an apple carrot juice. It was great!
#3 Tofu. I am so glad I’m not allergic to soy, because if I were, I wouldn’t be able to eat tofu. The soybean is so nutritious, and is most notable for it’s high protein content. Tofu is so delicious just crumbled up and eaten plain, but I love to do other things with. Here are some things you can try with tofu:
(a) Crumble it up plain on a salad or a bowl of rice.
(b) Slice it and fry it until it’s really crispy, and eat it in a sandwich.
(c) Tofu scramble!!
(d) Use it in a stir fry
(e) Grill it! (Especially on 4th of July)
#4 Rice. Rice rocks. It is one of my favorite grains. When I first became vegan, I practically lived on rice, but have now expanded my love to millet and kasha. Oh, and buckwheat (despite the name, their is no wheat in buckwheat. It is kasha in it’s not-toasted form, and is delicious in pancakes). After all this, my love for rice still persists. Brown rice is preferable to white rice, since it is a whole grain, and has all it’s nutrients and fiber will intact. However, white rice will do in a pinch.
To cook brown rice, heat up your water in the appropriate sized pot, and meanwhile wash your rice. The ratio is 1 cup of uncooked brown rice to 1 1/2 cups of water. If you are using basmati brown rice, let the water come to a boil, then dump in the rice, turn the heat down to low and close the lid for an hour, or until rice is sticking to the bottom of the pot. For all other varieties of brown rice, use the same procedures, but it doesn’t matter if you heat the water with the rice, or dump it in afterward.
When your rice is finished cooking, your can eat in in many ways:
(a) Serve it with beans, tofu, salad, or any other dish dish that needs some grain with it
(b) Make a rice pilaf! You would just cook the rice with all the ingredients and flavors.
(c) Re-heat it with non-dairy milk, nuts, fruit, and spices for a tasty, hearty breakfast
(d) Use it in a stir fry
(e) Serve it with soup, as a replacement for bread
(f) Use it for a rice pudding
#5 Almonds. Almonds are so healthful, and have a fantastic taste. They contains all the “good fats” that our body needs, protein, can help prevent diseases, and much more. Check out this page for more nutrition information.
My favorite way to eat almonds? Well…..
(a) Eat ’em straight up! They taste so great, why not?
(b) Chop them up and put on hot cereals, along with some sliced fruit.
(c) Use them in baked goods. Muffins, scones, cakes, cookies, the possibilities are endless! pssst– add some almonds to my banana bread. Talk about tasty!
(d) Use them in a stir fry. Frankly, all nuts taste wonderful in stir fries.
(e) Make marzipan. I have not yet mastered a marzipan, well, my first and only try flopped miserably, but I’ll get there!
(f) Make trail mix. Throw some almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, raisins (or whatever dried fruit you have on hand), and chocolate chips together and, voila!, you have a scrumptious trail mix! It’s a great on-the-go snack, and very filling.
(h) Make almond milk, here is my basic recipe:
5 cups water
If you want to get more milk out of the grits, toss them in the blender with a couple more cups of water, and blend. Strain the liquid and mix it with the first batch of almond milk. Note that this milk will be more watery. Store milk in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Pour over cereal, or drink straight up with a cookie!
Yields 5-7 cups of almond milk