Lately...or maybe for a while now without taking notice...I have come across a lot of people who say things like "That looks really healthy. I probably wouldn't try it." or something to that effect. How do those two sentences go together? Since when does healthy eating have a negative connotation?
Probably since the world put an insane focus on the "obesity epidemic" and made girls feel compelled to diet starting at age 8. Growing up in a world where everything is diet-focused makes health food no fun! Companies are shoving phrases like "low-fat", "low-carb", "multigrain", "zero-calorie", and "diet (insert product here)" down our throats.
I was trying to explain some tips for healthy eating to my roommate a few months back and when he returned almost everything had a reduced such-and-such label on it. We must get away from all this processed junk!
I think people may be "scared" of my food because they aren't familiar with an ingredient or they can't buy it in a neat little package at their local chain grocery store. I am trying to open your eyes to what the earth has provided us. There are so many incredible fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains we haven't even explored. These types of foods are so much more nutrient-dense...meaning you get more bang for your buck. Your body gains so many benefits (from much less calories if you want to take that angle) that cannot be achieved through processed foods.
None of us are perfect. I'm not saying you should swear off convenience foods or an indulgence every once in a while. Even in the vegan world there are processed meat, cheese, and other dairy substitutes. But try to make the main focus of your diet as close to sweet mother nature as possible. When you can't, buy organic packaged products. If you eat meat, opt for grass-fed animals.
I hope it is clear that this is not me convincing you to go vegan. This is a challenge to get closer to nature through food. Try to see how many products you can use that are still in a somewhat natural state. Items that aren't full of preservatives, artificial sweeteners, and other lovely things you wouldn't be able to pronounce.
Why is it people are afraid of "quinoa" and not "castoreum"? Look it up.
The majority of the foods I make would be considered healthy, however not in a America's "dieting" sense...more like a treat your heart, your head, and your whole body right mindset: the way health and wellness should be perceived.
Healthy eating is found when you strive for a diet low in cholesterol, saturated and trans fats, added sugar, and salt. You can also eat healthier by consuming 15-25% of your calories from protein, getting at least 25 g of fiber a day, and eating a great variety of foods in order to get all of your essential vitamins and minerals.
I would like to point out that my nutrition education is limited. If you have further questions, I can answer only to the extent of my knowledge; you may want to consult a Registered Dietician. Please note that RD's are the ONLY ones certified to give extensive, reliable nutrition information. A "nutritionist" is not a professional in this field.
Now finally, on to the good stuff!
So easy. So good. So good for you!
This meal has an incredible mix of flavors and an impressive nutrition profile. Definitely another success in the protein department.
It may not photograph well, but you'll forget all about that as soon as you taste it!
Pluuus, I love anything with a kick, don't you?!
Chipotle-Pomegranate Quinoa with Black Beans
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 cup pomegranate juice (I used POM)
juice from 1/2 lemon
3 chipotles peppers in adobo
2 tsp adobo sauce
2 tsp garlic, minced or crushed
1 tbs brown sugar
2 tbs unsulphured molasses
1 tsp spicy mustard
1/3 cup raw almonds
2 tsp olive oil
4 cups broccoli florets
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
Bring quinoa, a pinch of sea salt, and 2 cups water to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes. Prepare the sauce by putting pomegranate and lemon juice, peppers, adobo, garlic, sugar, molasses, mustard, and almonds in a blender. Blend until almonds are ground into fine pieces.
I would love to know your thoughts on this if you're interested in joining in on the conversation. Thanks!