I have been experimenting with side dishes lately… or to be honest, just something low-carb to go with my protein and veggies. Since I have omitted grains from my diet, I have learned a million ways to make sweet potatoes. And as much as I love sweet potatoes, (I even eat them as for breakfast, see photo below) last week I just couldn’t force myself to eat a single one.
Perfect Breakfast View 🙂
I started asking around and decided to try Lentils for my new side-of -choice. The thing I love about sweet potatoes is the blend of salty and sweet plus they are SO easy, and in my experience (which was limited) Lentils didn’t seem to fall into either of those categories. I solved this problem! One day at Trader Joe’ s I stumbled upon PRE-COOKED, Ready-to-eat Lentils!
GENIUS!! (Nutrition Facts: Serving size: 1/2 cup | Calories: 120 | Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 240mg | Carbohydrate: 20g | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 2g | Protein: 9g)
Genius! And then I had the brilliant idea of mixing them with a teriyaki sauce and some other goodies and sure enough, my “side” problem was solved! The recipe I’m posting is the most basic version. Since making this dish the first night I have played around by adding in more veggies (mushrooms, spinach, red peppers, asparagus…etc). This is basically a GREAT substitute for rice in a stir-fry or really as a base for any protein and could be put on top of a nice cold bed of greens to bulk up a salad. Lots of ways to play this one up. Hope you enjoy it!
- 1/2 package Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils (or roughly 2 Cups other cooked lentils)
- 1/2 yellow onion, Chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, Chopped
- 1 Cup shredded carrots
- 1/4 Soyaki Teriyaki Sauce
- 1 TBsp Coconut Oil (or Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
- Put oil in pan and heat, saute garlic and onions until a nice brown.
- Add in carrots, lentils and Sauce.
- Stir to break up and mix Lentils.
- Let simmer, for 5 minutes stirring as needed.
Taste and ENJOY!
THIS is AMAZING! While I was exploring my vegan side, almost a year ago now, I made up this bowl one night. At first glance its going to seem bland and boring. But let me tell you, this bowl is packed with deliciousness. Each bowl contains a full serving of whole grains, vegetables, healthy fats and protein. Give it a try and add in anything you want…If you like what end result let me know what you’ve added!
Super Delicious Protein Bowl
- 2 cups uncooked quinoa + 4 cups water 1 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chickpeas, canned
- 1 large sweet yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted if preferred
- 2 cups asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch segments
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds per bowl
- 1/4 cup Better Than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette, to taste
- Black pepper and sea salt, to taste
Directions: Cook 2 cups quinoa in 4 cups of water in a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce to low, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. While this is cooking you can sauté the chopped onion and minced garlic in a lightly oiled pan on medium heat. After a few minutes, add the chopped asparagus to the onion mixture and cook for another 5 minutes or so, or until lightly browned. Fluff cooked quinoa and pour on some Better Than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette– use as much or as little as you want. I probably used about 1/4 cup to lightly toss the quinoa and then I used a bit more of the dressing to pour over top of the bowl when I was ready to eat. Scoop quinoa as the base for the bowl and then start adding your toppings in each section- asparagus, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, chickpeas, and onions. Serve and enjoy the leftovers for days to come!
Better than Bottled Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 2.5 tablespoons balsamic, white, or red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard or regular mustard
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 minced clove of garlic (optional)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Toss all ingredients into a bowl and whisk! Makes about 1/2 cup of dressing.
As we have all been told for our entire lives, Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day! It sets the tone for your eating habits throughout the rest of the day. So, why not start the day on a great foot? Here is a version of one of my favorite breakfasts! Its easy and a little bit sweet and packed with the perfect combination of protein, carbs, and healthy fats!
Power Breakfast Granola
1Cup of your favorite whole grain granola or cereal (today I used Honey Bunches of Oats, not my usual)
1/2 Cup Blueberries (you can also use other berries or half of a banana sliced in small pieces)
2 tablespoons chia seeds (not sure what in the world these are? check this out)
3/4 Cup of Almond Milk (or lowfat milk of your choice)
1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder ( I use V-Core vanilla from my buddies at Complete Nutrition, this stuff is awesome and tastes GREAT!)
Place all ingredients in a bowl, mix it up until the protein is smooth and enjoy!
Oh its SO delicioso, AND you will have amazing energy to get you through the morning! Dont forget to pack a mid-morning snack so that you dont crash before lunch time!
Keep checking back, second part of the Summer Body series to come verrrry soon!