Eating well. Between rushing out the door in the morning, that tempting doughnut in the break room at work, and the quick snack before getting the afternoon work out in, it can be hard! How many of us really take the time and energy to plan every meal? Even those that make it to the farmer’s market twice per week and pack a great lunch most every day might find themselves getting the Blue Box Blues (TM) every now and then. So, how can these depressing meals be made just a little better? How about throwing in a little something extra that happens to be nutrient dense! Between quinoa, kale, or various seeds, there is always something that can be thrown in. They’ve all become popular ingredients for packaged health foods but you don’t need to throw your money at Kellogg’s or the like to get at the good stuff.
QUINOA: You probably know the drill here. It’s a grain with complete protein, fiber, and micronutrients. It cooks well in a rice cooker and can then be kept in the refrigerator for an extended period of time. This is a great lunch and dinner “throw in”. Put it in a salad, in a taco, on a sandwich, or on a pizza. Or throw in some siracha and eat it as a stand alone. Quinoa is a bit expensive at the moment but with increased domestic production expected, prices should come down in the near future. If you have the time to whip up a recipe, quinoa corn fritters can be made exclusively with items that don’t “go bad” and can be stocked in your kitchen (OK, OK, onions are kinda sorta perishable but you can leave the chives out and you won’t miss them too much).
KALE: You’ve likely seen this one around as well. But why? It’s because it shares the top spot on the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) with Swiss chard and watercress. However, kale isn’t too tough to eat raw like Swiss chard and is easier to grow, and therefore easier to buy, than watercress. It also has a much longer storage life as kale will last in the fridge up to two weeks while its rivals only last a few days. So, we’ve got raw kale sitting in the fridge, now what do we do with it? It can be thrown in a smoothie, a salad, a taco, a sandwich, a rice bowl. My personal favorite quick snack is pita with hummus and kale. When rolled up, it can even be put in a jersey pocket!
SEEDS: You’ve got a food item that could use a nutritional boost? Chances are there is a seed that will match it well and will add some nutritional value. Generally, seeds have an array of micronutrients, good fats, good protein, and some fiber. Chia seeds get along with many breakfast items including oatmeal, yogurt, and cereal. Sesame seeds go along well with asian noodles and sunflower seeds, likewise, with Italian pastas. You can even add those sunflower seeds to the “Italian pasta” coming from that blue box!
Eating Well presented by Mayur Kabab House is a monthly post that talks about awesome recipes, alternative foods, and some great ways to cook. This month’s installment is from Andrew Shelby. Team Bike Doctor is proud to have this regular feature supported by local D.C. restaurant Mayur Kabab House, which serves some of the area’s best Indo-Pak foods!