Nutritious Memories

A slice of nutrition, food, photos, music, life and unforgettable memories


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Honey Sesame Tempeh and Spicy quinoa Salad

If you are looking for a dish that looks good, taste good and that can be prepared in 30 minutes, then CONTINUE TO READ THIS POST.

In all honesty, Monday was one of those days where I just didn’t feel like cooking (GASP). I just wanted to quickly make something rather than ordering Dominos (which I knew I was going to regret eventually If I ate the whole pizza to myself) .Nevertheless, I remembered that I bought tempeh specifically for this recipe and thought to myself. “Well, why not give it a try” and thank goodness I did.

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Personally, I think the way how food is presented can be an important indicator in regards to how food is perceived and accepted, especially in children. However, there are some foods no matter how you present mashed lentils it would look hideous, but would still taste great nonetheless.

This recipe was adapted from the website Eating Well. In this recipe, I tried adding zucchini and red capsicum which turned out great as it appealing colours to the dish.

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The texture of tempeh is similar to meat, so this dish could be a great alternative if you are looking for a vegetarian meal. While my brother does not like tofu or soybeans at ALL!!  he thought the tempeh was pork before eating and  finished the salad with no complaints!!!! (even though he knew it was tempeh).

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One of the best parts of making this salad was plating it up.

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First the quinoa

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Then the carrots and zucchini

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The honey sesame tempeh

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Spring Onions (scallion)

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Last but not least, red Capsicum and Chilli. It looked too good to be mixed. However, another great part of this salad was mixing all of the flavours together. 🙂 Something tells me that this will be definitely be made again this week :).

For the recipe, please check out my second blog: Honey Sesame Tempeh and Spicy quinoa Salad

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Pear, grape rocket salad with wholegrain honey mustard vinaigrette

I have been on a roll on posting food blog recipes. That may be due to the 6 six drafts that I still have to go and I still need to post about my day trip and holiday in Canberra so stay tuned to next weeks post. But for now, let us talk about FOOD!! 🙂

Sometimes looks can be very deceiving. This was especially the case when I saw this as a side dish for lunch with the kids. Despite this weird looking salad, it is always recommended by Lena to try every food that is presented during lunch so that the children will also be encouraged to try meals with vegetables. So I really encouraged the kids “Just try ONE bite and you’ll never see it the same again” I told them. I know I did 🙂

I Just love the look of this salad :)

You should have seen their expressions on their faces “WE WANT MORE!!!!!! All of their plates were completely empty. The salad of imagination was a complete success once again 🙂 and made washing a whole lot easier 🙂

Go to the Austrlian Pears Facebook page

For many years, I never used to eat pears. However, I fell in love with this dish as soon as I took my first bite. Now I use pears in various types of foods from oat bran topping for brekkie to even on pizzas (thanks to the free book I received from Woolworths). The good news is that pears are still in season in Melbourne. So I like to buy my pears at my local fruit store since they are cheap and fresh from the farms in Melbourne.

This recipe is slightly modified from the original recipe. I have added walnuts and used wholegrain mustard combined with honey to make honey mustard dressing. Overall this salad has a sweet and savoury taste to it and this paring goes incredibly well with my home country dish Jollof rice (which I should post the recipe soon) or I like to eat a LARGE bowl of this salad.

For the recipe, please check out my second blog: Pear, grape rocket salad with wholegrain honey mustard vinaigrette 


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Kale and Mint Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower seeds

One thing that I have learnt which I supervise the children in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden is that salads come in different shapes, colours, sizes (and nutrients too). More importantly, salad is not only limited to the so-called basic salad (lettuce, tomato). After a few classes of ‘salad of imagination’, the possibility of inventing your own salad becomes endless and making salads as a side dish to eat never becomes boring, in fact, it’s my favourite part of the meal most of the times.

Fallen Dried Cranberries 0_o

For this recipe, I love the hint of sweetness that comes from the dried cranberries that are buried within the salad.

Salad ready to be mixed

Another great aspect of this salad is the minty aromatic smell from the fresh mint along with the light dressing which does not overpower the overall flavour of the dish.Sunflowers seeds are rich in Vitamin E, and I love sprinkling them into salads when I don’t have any other nuts or chicken available in the kitchen since I keep a bulk supply of sunflower seeds.

The highlight of this dish is allowing the flavours to combine and the kale leaves also softens after its being massaged with the other ingredients.

Yummy!!!!

This recipe was derived from Kemi’s raw kitchen: Kale and Mint Salad with Cranberries and Sunflower seeds. My next attempt in making this, I would like to try dried apricots :).

For the recipe, please check out my second blog Nutritious Living:


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Going Green: The Basics of making a salad

Greens and dark green leafy vegetables can be used in sandwiches, salads, as a side dish or even as a main meal. Despite their versatility, some people may have a somewhat aversion to the greens, or may find it challenging to incorporate these greeny leafy vegetables in their meals. Most answers that I usually hear are:

1.  I have the SAME tossed salad every time, so I don’t see the need to have it all the time.

2. I prefer food with more exotic flavors.

3. I’m not too sure how to prepare a salad that looks and tastes delicious.


Firstly I’d like to say that I have experienced all of the three categories that I mentioned above . However I also would like to point out that there are some alternatives  and ideas that you maybe overlooking, which may help make a salad a bit more interesting to eat.  First I am going to start with an analogy.  Cracking an egg and eating it raw does not sound too pleasant or tasty (Well at least in my case). Instead the egg can undergo different cooking procedures and with the right ingredients to make  scrambled eggs, poached eggs, french toast, or even omelette stuffed with your choice, which overall results in a fabulous meal. If you get this concept I’d like to use to this method with green leafy vegetables. A bowl of lettuce, with tomatoes and cucumber, really does not really sound pleasing to many people. People are aware and know that they are nutritious, but something still seems to be missing  . What I am trying to illustrate is that adding other ingredients (which I will discuss in this post) does helps make a difference. Before moving on  I would like to briefly discuss the common types of leafy green, where to find them, and their nutritional values.

Types of Leafy Greens

Cos & Baby cos hearts

Cos lettuce have long green leaves, which consists of a of a white rib, which runs along the center of the lettuce.  Cos lettuce leaves has a crisp and crunchy texture, along with a subtle sweet flavour.  As for Baby cos lettuce, they have a delicate flavor. These are generally available all year round. Cos lettuce is a suitable  leafy green to use in Caesars salads.

Iceberg

This is the most common and popular variety of lettuce, that most people would have comes across. Used in pretty everything from sandwiches to coleslaw.

Baby Spinach

Are soft tender in texture. They have a clean and mild flavor. They are perfect in sandwiches, salads, soups and pastas.

See: Different type of leafy greens for different types of  green leafy vegetables.

Nutritional Profile

Although the nutrition may differ in each leafy greens, generally they provide a good source of Vitamin B groups riboflavin, thiamine, niacin and B6 , C, E and K. As for minerals leafy greens are a good source of  folate, potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium and are also rich in antioxidants such as Beta- Carotene.

The iron in leafy greens is a non-heme iron from. The absorption of this form of iron is not as efficient as heme iron (which can found in meat, poultry and fish). To overcome this, drinking fruit juices rich in vitamin C does help increase the absorption of iron by converting  the non- heme iron into heme iron from, which can be readily absorbed thought the small intestine. This turns out be great (especially if you enjoy juice). But why not use it as an opportunity to add another serving of vegetables, as vegetables are also rich in vitamin C.  You’ll also receive a bonus of adding more antioxidants and nutrients that are so good for you.

The Basics of making a salad

If you feel like you don’t have the cooking skills or knowledge do not worry. Almost all salads preparations are suitable for even those who are beginners in the kitchen. Here are a few suggestions, which will help you enable to create a delicious salad.

1.Visit your local supermarket/ fruit or vegetable shop/ farmer’s market.

They usually have small brochures with description of leafy greens and how to use them. If in doubt the people work in the fresh food section would be more than happy to assist.

2. Try adding fruit to salad

Strawberries, grapes, and nectarines are good choices, especially mangoes .This can be your chance to experiment since mangoes are in season now. A mango salad mixed with leafy greens, baby spinach leaves, cucumber along with a light lime dressing is quite refreshing and delicious. (I’ll post a link for a few recipes under the resources section).

3. Try adding nuts 

Most people would probably say  that they are a bit high in fat (stay clear from the fats!!!). Yes that true nuts are quite energy dense. However the types of fats found in nuts are considered to be the  healthy fats, which I have mentioned in a previous post 101 on dietary fats .  Many studies show that consuming nuts a few times a week helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but here’s the important point, portion control is crucial, the Heart Foundation suggests a  small handful (around 30 grams) of nuts. Nuts are also a great source of protein (suitable for vegetarians), fiber, minerals and also have antioxidants (Yes I know I’m always talking about the antioxidants, but you’ll get more benefits if you get antixodiants from various kinds of foods).

Try making your own dressing.

It’s very easy and interesting to make and is convenient, as you are in control of how much dressing you want to make. This is where exotic and unique flavors comes into play, as different cuisines (from the Mediterranean to Asians salads) have different ways creating  dressing and vinaigrette’s. Ever since I learned how to make different types of vinaigrette’s I can’t go back to the ones in the stores. It’s not that there all bad. Sometimes I think some dressings are a bit salty or overpowering. I believe it’s a manner of personal preference, just make sure if you do choose to buy ones in the stores watch for the sodium, especially the ones that are labeled fat-free. ( I’ll post a link that shows how to make a salad dressing, by my favorite nutritionist Nutrition Diva!!!!).

5. Consider adding some herbs.

Fresh herbs smell great and are like the finishing touches in many meals. Dietitian Karen Inges suggests that adding some herbs is an excellent way of boosting daily antioxidant intake and also aids in building the body’s defenses.

6. consider adding another serving of vegetables . Even mushrooms are perfect alternatives, or eggs.

Preparation and Storage

When buying salad greens in the store, try to look for crisp leaves, that have no traces of  discoloration, slime, or wilting. Always wash salad greens before using them to remove unwanted materials. Try to use them within a day or two in order to get the full flavor and freshness.

Hopefully when you feel comfortable in making salad try to incorporate this in most of your meals. I challenge you to try a new leafy green vegetable to make a salad,  instead of  buying pre-packaged salad, try going for the self- serve . The prices usually ranges $15.00 -18.99 kg, however  I usually get enough for 2 cups for 1 meal and it ranges from $.50 to $1.50. I find this cheaper and a great way of mixing other leafy greens. Don’t forget that 1 cup of leafy greens counts as 1 serving of vegetable intake.

Resources

http://www.woolworths.com.au/wps/wcm/connect/website/woolworths/Search+Results/ (Types of leafy greens)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15ueE89dbXM (How to Make the Perfect Salad Dressing )

http://www.taste.com.au/recipes/21250/lettuce+avocado+and+mango+salad (Mango Salad)

http://suburbantomato.com/2011/05/lettuce-sing/ ( Kitchen gardening Blog ).

http://www.burkesbackyard.com.au/factsheets/Food-Health-and-Nutrition/2UE-salad-greens-growing-tips-and-recipes/6017 ( Recipes: Dressing and Vinaigrette).

http://healthyblenderrecipes.com/recipes/basic_green_vinaigrette_dressing/ ( Recipes: Dressing and Vinaigrette).

http://www.healthyfoodguide.com.au/articles/2005/april/edible-garden-salad-greens ( How to start a small garden).