Sunday, April 13, 2014

Get Protein In Every Meal

How much protein do we need daily? USDA recommends 0.8 gm per kg of body weight per day. Getting recommended daily % of protein might be easy for meat eaters. But for vegetarians it seems like a daunting task.

Research has shown that plant based protein is better than animal protein. Animal protein not only puts you at risk of too much protein but is an acid producing form which can create imbalance in your body. Also, look around the earth for strongest animals - elephant, hippos, gorillas - all plant eaters. 

  • A whole wheat toast with nut butter and a glass of milk will start off your day with 20 gm of protein. 
  • Only 1/2 cup of dry roasted edamame will give you 28 gm of protein as a snack.
  • A bowl of lentil soup will quickly provide around 20 gm of protein.

There are easy and tasty ways to add protein in every meal.

Oats - 1 cup cooked in water 6 gm of protein
Almonds - 1 oz (23 whole kernels) 6 gm of protein
Milk - 1 cup 8 gm of protein
Nut Butter - 2 Tbsp 8 gm of protein
Whole Wheat Bread - 70 cal slice 4 gm of protein

Dry Roasted Edamame - 1/4 cup 14 gm of protein
Roasted Sunflower/Pumpkin seeds - 1 oz 5 gm of protein
Greek Yogurt - 6 oz 15 gm of protein

Chickpeas - 1 cup boiled 15 gm of protein
Lentils - 1 cup boiled 18 gm of protein
Beans - 1 cup boiled 15 gm of protein
Spinach - 1 serving 13 gm of protein
Quinoa - 1 cup cooked 8 gm of protein
Tofu - 1 cup 20 gm of protein
Whole Wheat Pasta - 2 oz dry 8~10 gm protein
Peas - 1 cup 8 gm of protein
Potatoes - 1 medium 5 gm of protein
Corn - 1 cup 5 gm of protein
Broccoli - 1 stalk 4 gm of protein

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Kale and Sun-dried Tomatoes Quinoa

Do I need to say more about this healthy super quick lunch? The ingredients say it all. And all you would need is one pan and 3 ingredients - Kale, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Quinoa. For the portion shown in the picture I used -

1/2 cup cooked quinoa -111 calories, 4 gm protein, 5 gm fiber
1 cup kale chopped - 34 cal, 2 gm protein, 684% Vitamin K, 206% Vitamin A, 134% Vitamin C
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes - 35 cal, 2 gm protein, 35 % vitamin C

It took me a little while to perfect the texture of quinoa. After cooking I could not fluff it with the fork how the chefs showed on TV or videos. But that is now past. In fact, I cook my quinoa ahead of time and store it an air tight container to use it over 2-3 days. I have found the best way to quick quinoa is 1:2 quinoa and water for 15 mins, covered and on low heat. Once done, remove the lid and let it cool for 20-30 min. Then fluff with the fork.

serves 1
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup kale, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp oregano
2 tsp oil
salt to taste

  • Heat oil in a pan and add chopped garlic. Saute for 1-2 min.
  • Add kale and saute for 2 mins. Cover and cook for 2-3 mins.
  • Remove from heat. Add cooked quinoa, sundried tomatoes, oregano and salt
This single serve portion leaves you feeling full for a long time and with a great feeling of eating healthy

Monday, April 7, 2014

Homemade Baked Corn Tortillas Chips

Dip & Crunch! Isn't it the most enjoyed way to snack. It is timeless. Also a bag of nachos is never as satisfying as the fresh basket of chips served in a restaurant. Freshness speak for itself. So since I started making homemade baked chips, I never feel like going back to a pre packed bag. Its a great way of moderation too and lets you indulge just enough. And they are baked. Way to go!

Just beware...its so simple and quick to make that you gotta resist yourself from doing it too often.

Baked Tortilla Chips Recipe
4 medium corn tortillas
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp salt

  • Preheat oven at 350 deg C
  • Cut each tortillas in 8 wedges.
  • In a bowl mix oil, cayenne pepper, salt and cumin powder. Throw in the cut wedges and fold well to lightly coat the wedges.
  • In a large or two small cookie sheet pans, line the wedges in a single layer and leave 1 inch of space between them.
  • Bake for 12-14 min

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Oats Poha Breakfast

Poha or Flattened Rice, soaked and then lightly fried with vegetables is a staple breakfast in many Indian homes. This form of raw rice is easily digestible. Back in the days, when human lifestyle involved less sedentary jobs, a quick n easy breakfast giving good portion of carbs to start off the day made full sense.But probably not today. It is difficult to completely give up on old favorites recipes. But to fit them in today's lifestyle can be easy with little modifications.

I made this Oats Poha and simply loved it as it did not alter the authentic taste instead added all the nutrition from oats.

serves 4-6
1 cup Poha, do not prefer thin
1 cup old fashion oats
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 tsp black mustard seeds(rai)
2 green chilies
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste
2 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sugar

  • Wash oats and poha in luke warm water 2-3 times so they soften. Drain and let it air dry in strainer. This takes around 20-30 min.
  • When the above mixture is well dry, add the turmeric and salt.
  • In a pan heat 1 Tbsp of oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chilies to splatter.
  • Now add onions and peas and cook until onions are translucent.
  • Lower the heat and add the oats and poha mixture. Mix well as if you are folding it in. So they soft oats and beaten rice do not break.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add sugar, lime juice and chopped cilantro for garnishing.

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