Today Galter LifeCenter hosted it's 26th annual celebration of National Senior Health & Fitness Day. I had the privilege of hosting a nutrition talk with a great group of seniors this morning. I presented Easy Summertime Meals, demonstrating the preparation of four easy, plant-based, favorite recipes of mine. The talk was fun and well-received. After lots of positive feedback and running out of handouts of the printed copies of the recipes, I decided to post them here!
I started the presentation with breakfast, although one could argue that this could be good any time of day! If you pay attention when I talk (or write), you have probably heard of this one before. It's a repeat, but it is too good, healthy and quick to not mention AGAIN. Especially, as the weather warms up (soon? please?) and berries are fresh and plentiful. This recipe uses oats, which are a fabulous form of whole grains full of soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, and make you feel full. Rather than cooking the oats, you soak them overnight in milk (whatever kind you have... 1%, soy, almond, your choice) and yogurt with a little sweetener (honey, in this case). For the yogurt, which provides great probiotics to keep your gut flora healthy, you can use Greek for a bit more protein and less carbohydrate, but regular yogurt works too. I suggest plain (no added sugar) lowfat. The recipe calls for 3 Tbsp of honey, in my opinion you can use less if you add fresh berries in the morning. I also like to add 2 Tbsp of chia seeds for extra fiber, protein and texture. The nutrition information provided here is for one serving using the following ingredients:
1 cup oats, 1 cup 1% milk, 1 cup plain lowfat yogurt, 2 Tbsp chia seeds, 3 Tbsp honey. Click the link in the title for the full recipe/instructions to make the full 4 servings.
Calories: 220, 37g carb, 5g fat, 8g protein, 4g fiber, 70mg sodium.
Asian Quinoa Salad
This salad can be used as a side dish or the main event. It is really pretty, so it's great to take to a picnic or potluck! Quinoa is another great whole grain that is packed full of nutrition. It is high in fiber, gluten free, easy to cook and has one of the highest protein contents of any grain, allowing it to serve as the main course. This recipe also adds protein from edamame (soybeans) and tons of fresh veggies. Sesame oil and rice vinegar are the base for the dressing. If you want to keep the recipe gluten free, use tamari instead of soy sauce. I recommend using reduced sodium soy sauce, Trader Joe's has a great one that is only 460mg of sodium per tablespoon. The nutrition information on this recipe is provided by the author of the recipe, but if you skip adding any salt to the recipe at all (I don't think it is needed), and you use TJ reduced sodium soy sauce, the sodium per serving drops significantly, to under 500mg sodium per serving.
Avocado-White Bean Salad Wrap (Source: PlantPure Nation Cookbook)
This recipe was new to me, discovered in my search for healthy, plant-based recipes that were easy to demo in the Galter studio. Yum! I'm a huge fan of avocado thanks to its monounsaturated (read: heart healthy) fats, fiber, potassium and creaminess that make it a great addition to many recipes. This recipe combines mashed avocado with white cannellini beans, lots of fresh/chopped veggies, some lemon and orange juice and sunflower seeds for a little crunch. I also love that this recipe calls for nutritional yeast, which is an inactive/non-leavening yeast with a cheesy/nutty flavor. It can be used as a parmesan cheese substitute, and it provides a dose of vitamin B12, which is typically only found in animal products, so it is a must have for vegans! The recipe suggests serving this on a whole grain tortilla, and it is delicious this way. In the demo today, I served it on pieces of whole grain Stonefire Naan, just to make the demo easier. Therefore, the nutrient information listed here is just for the salad, and does not include the tortilla/naan/etc. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 180 calories, 27g carb, 7g fat, 8g protein, 11g fiber, 550mg sodium (although I rinsed my beans so maybe less?)
Chocolate Haystacks (Source: So Easy Cookbook, Ellie Krieger, RD)
These are the easiest, no-bake sweet treat for you chocoholics! Literally only two ingredients: dark chocolate and shredded wheat cereal. The Shredded Wheat offers a great crunch and fiber, and the dark chocolate offers antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties from the flavonoids. I alter the recipe by microwaving the chocolate (I use at least 60% dark chocolate chips, like Ghiradelli) for 60 seconds and stirring to smooth it out. Then I dump the crushed Shredded Wheat big biscuits (3 of them per 6 oz of chocolate) into the melted chocolate, stir, and scoop up little stacks into a tablespoon. I line a cookie sheet with wax paper, scoop the haystacks, and then freeze for about 20 minutes so they harden to keep their shape. Then they can sit at room temp until you serve! The nutrition information (only 140 calories and 3g fiber per two haystacks) is provided in the recipe.