Effortless & Wholesome Grains, Part 3: Quinoa

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has become famous in the last decade as a superfood, because of its high levels of protein and dense nutrition. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 8 grams of protein, more than any other grain. Technically its actually not a grain, but a tiny seed from South America, where it has been cultivated for thousands of years. To the Incas, quinoa was a sacred food they called it the “mother of all grains.”

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Essential Protein: Tofu Scramble Recipe

This simple tofu scramble recipe is one of our favorite (and fastest) ways to prepare a protein-rich vegetarian dish. I was first inspired to make this dish after tasting a similar preparation at Bloodroot, our local vegan and vegetarian restaurant in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

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Green Goodness Part 2: Healthy Stir-Fried Bok Choy

Bok choy is one of my favorite greens to stir fry. Not only do I love the taste of bok choy, but it’s also a very nostalgic food for me. Growing up in Shanghai, my family would buy the freshest bok choy at the daily farmer’s markets. My mother made bok choy almost every other day, and I never got tired of it. Now when I see bok choy at the farmer’s markets in Westport and Black Rock I get as many heads as I can. People always ask me what I do with all that bok choy, so here is my simple recipe for healthy stir-fried bok choy, inspired by my mother’s recipe.

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Effortless & Wholesome Grains, Part 2: Bulgur

Bulgur is one of those whole grains that you’ve probably tried in Middle Eastern dishes like tabbouleh, and you’ve also most likely scanned right over it in the bulk bins of your health food store. It’s a nutty, rustic and delicious grain that somehow hasn’t gotten as much press as quinoa and brown rice, so for many it is still a novelty. Though it may be somewhat more mysterious than other whole grains, don’t let that scare you off. It’s actually one of the easiest hearty grains to prepare – you don’t even need to really cook it! Though you can boil and simmer bulgur like most grains, the easiest way to make it is to simply pour boiling water or broth right over the grains and let them steep for about 20-30 minutes (see recipe below).

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Green Goodness Part 1: Steamed Kale

No matter what I’m cooking, or packing for my lunch, my plate and tupperware just don’t feel complete until there is a mound of green goodness to go along with the rest of my meal. Eating greens everyday, even at breakfast, is a superb way to make sure to keep your body’s chemistry on the alkaline side of the spectrum. Leafy greens also provide loads of vitamins A & K, calcium, and antioxidants.

I’m a fan of easy, healthy cooking,

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Wild Salmon 101

Through active experimentation, I have found that my body is best nourished by maintaining a diet rich in nourishing vegetables, wholesome grains and lean protein, including consciously sourced meat and fish. Consuming ample amounts of high-quality protein has also been of unprecedented importance to me this year as I’ve been eating for 2. My husband and I are due to welcome our first baby into the world in about one month’s time. One power protein that I have relied on during my pregnancy and before is wild salmon from the Pacific Northwest, most notably Alaska.

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Effortless & Wholesome Grains Part 1: Brown Rice

Brown rice is one of my favorite grains. It’s chewy, nutty, wholesome and delicious. It makes a healthful base for any meal, and preparing it at home is easy. I usually put a pot of brown rice on the stove before I do anything else in the kitchen, and by the time I’m done preparing the rest of the meal, the rice is ready! When I cook grains, I like to make enough for the meal I’m cooking with extra for lunch the next day.

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Lemon Garlic Dressing

Inspired by a delicious dressing at one of my favorite lunch spots in Westport, CT, I set out to make my own version of lemon garlic dressing. I love this dressing because it transforms a simple meal into something with bold character. I make a mason jar full of it and keep it in the fridge so I can easily add it to whatever I’m cooking, be it salads, sandwiches, grilled or roasted vegetables, tofu or roasted chicken. This recipe is simple and easy to make.

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Fennel Fronds Pesto

I love fennel, a nutritious flowering perennial herb that has a subtle anise aroma and flavor. Like many members of the carrot family, every part of the fennel plant is edible. This includes the crunchy and slightly sweet bulb, the green stems (which tend to be tougher in texture), and the herb’s thin and delicate leaves.

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