Tag Archives: Stir fry

A surprising ingredient…

Three days off of working out, loads of vitamin C, and a pot of Tom Yum later, I am no longer sick! Getting back into the swing of things was harder than anticipated though. I felt so weak back at the gym and had to remove weight from several lifts, though I don’t think that too much of that was due to actual strength loss. When sick, I try to get in plenty of calories and extra protein, to give the body what it needs to fight the infection and prevent muscle loss. Did you know that when you have a fever, for every 1 degree above ~98.6 you are, your basal metabolic rate is increased by 8%? Your body has to synthesize all the antibodies, B cells, and T cells, to fight off whatever it is – and those are all made from protein!

Since veggies are the least appealing when sick, I made a huge stirfry once I felt better. I tossed everything in a peanut-coconut sauce. I swear that combo can do no wrong. Coconut milk + peanut butter = gold. Howeverrr, I did something a little cray and used vanilla coconut milk for the sauce – and it was out of this world. You must try it!

Chicken and vegetables in a vanilla-coconut peanut sauce

Recipe: Serves 2

  • 2 chicken breasts, cooked
  • 1 cup quinoa or brown rice, cooked
  • cilantro, for garnish

For the stir fry -

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 baby bok choy
  • 2 handfuls brocoli florets
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 5 green onions
  • 6 stalks dino kale
  • 1 tsp chopped chili pepper (or pinch cayenne pepper)

For the sauce -

  • 2 tbsp chunky peanut butter
  • 3-4 tbsp So Delicious Sugar Free Vanilla Coconut Milk beverage (or sub in coconut milk and add 4 drops vanilla extract)
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cooked winter squash (or sub canned pumpkin or cooked sweet potato)

Directions – Place a pan on the stove on medium heat. Add the oil, garlic and ginger and let cook until fragrant, a minute or two. Chop all the vegetables and pull the kale leaves from the stalks and shred. Add all of the veggies to the pan except the kale and stir fry. Once they are about a minute from being soft to your preference, add the kale. Once the kale has wilted, remove from heat.

Slice the cooked chicken breasts into small strips. Combine the chicken and veggies in a bowl. Prepare the sauce by mixing the PB, coconut milk, tamari, and squash in a little bowl. Stir until homogenous. Pour the sauce over the veggies and chicken and toss until coated. Serve with grains.

Benefits:

Peanuts * a great source of manganese, Vitamin E, tryptophan (calming!), niacin, folate, and copper! Peanuts also contain lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants! They have been linked to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and have been shown to significantly lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer.

Chilies * filled with capsaicin which can help fight inflammation. They have also been shown to reduce cholesterol and blood triglycerides, and thus can be considered heart healthy. The heat that you feel after eating chili peppers has to come from somewhere – that would be your metabolism! Also, a recent study showed that eating just a little chili pepper a day helped participants sleep better that night.

Garlic * packed with antioxidants that fight aging, cancer, and heart disease. Garlic can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and eliminate free radicals (which cause cellular damage). It is also used to treat asthma and certain unpleasant infections.

Bell peppers * an extremely potent source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and antioxidants. They also contain fiber, B6, folate, and vitamin K.

Coconut * coconut gets a bad rap because of its saturated fat content, but its fatty acids are mainly medium-chain triglycerides, not long-chain. The long-chain triglycerides are bad for our cholesterol levels, but coconut has been shown to improve cholesterol levels. Animal studies suggest that medium-chain triglycerides can increase metabolism.

4 Foods That Tricked Me!

While I was in Tibet, I traveled with an incredible group of 14 people. There was a teacher, an acupuncturist, an Eastern medicine doctor, several authors, business owners, and a health food store founder! I learned so much from them, especially about food and the myths surrounding it.

1. Canola Oil

If you have been following my blog for any amount of time at all, you know that I put canola oil in everything.

This morning, I smashed the bottle. I’m angry. Canola oil is such a health impostor! Originally, canola oil was rapeseed oil. Then the rapeseed was genetically engineered to have a higher ratio of good fats to bad fats. In order to make canola oil, extremely high temperatures and hexane are used to extract the oil which is then bleached, degummed, deodorized, and refined. Basically, it is an extremely processed sham of a health food.

I will be deleting canola oil from all of my blog recipes. Instead, we should bake with real butter or grapeseed oil, saute with coconut oil, and use Extra Virgin olive oil (cold pressed) for everything else! (One particularly useful source.)

2. All soy products.

One of the men on the trip, Daniel Ried, is the author of The Tao of Health, Sex, and Longevity and The Guide to Traditional Chinese Medicine. He’s brilliant and all that jazz, but the man can talk. When he feels passionately about something, he will not stop until he has you convinced. He literally spoke to us for over an hour over dinner about how NO ONE should eat ANY soy products. The only exception he would make was for straight up bean curd, unprocessed and non-GMO of course.

Tofu , soy burgers, soy milk, soy cheese, soy yogurt, and the hundreds of other soy products out there are not healthy. They are not even kind-of okay.  This is because they are so highly processed. If you want to eat soy, the only way to safely do so is with unprocessed, non-genetically modified soy beans. There are very few products out there where the soy beans aren’t so processed that they taste like something else! There are many detailed articles and studies out there explaining how the refining of soy turns the innocent little bean curd into a ball of health hazards, so if you are interested, get reading! Here is a nice little summary.

3. Agave Nectar

I was shocked when I heard this on the trip. I was thinking “No0o way! I can’t wait to blog about this!” But when I returned to the US of A, it seemed as though while I was away, everyone else learned about the agave nectar scandal. Once again, the reason why agave nectar is not the health food it is touted to be is because of howprocessed it is.

Agave syrup is heated for 36 hours at at least 140 degrees –> this increases the amount of fructose –> this makes it sweeter.

So why is it unhealthy? Agave nectar is 90% fructose and 10% glucose, which makes it a low GI food. Usually low GI is a good thing, but not in this case. Fructose interferes with copper metabolism, is hard on the liver (which must process it), increases the risk of diabetes by making us less sensitive to insulin, increases uric acid levels which are linked to heart disease, and can give you a little more cushioning (because it is converted to fat quicker and easier than glucose)!

A good source.

4. Raw Cashews

At first, I was horrified when I heard this! I eat raw cashews all the time! It is true that completely raw cashews have a natural preservative in them, urushiol, which is toxic. However, the “raw” cashews you find in health food stores are typically steamed, for the very purpose of removing the urushiol.

Food lately…

Plain kefir with blueberries, soaked nuts, coconut shreds, and oatmeal

Lentils with sauteed mushrooms, baby cauliflower, green onions, ginger, garlic & topped with coconut shreds

Brown rice noodles with stir fried veggies, onion, ginger, soy sauce, and a fried egg

Plyoburn!!!

This morning I got to attend my absolute favorite workout class! Its called Plyoburn and it can only be found at Castle Hill Fitness in Austin. The instructor, Amid, is intense, and plays really good music for working up a sweat. Its all hip hop :). I seriously dream about this class when I am away at school. Its a mix of plyometrics, lighter weights with high reps, and cardio. And it burnssssogood.

For lunch and dinner, Courtney and I went a little stir fry crazy. She is vegetarian, almost vegan and a good cook!

For lunch, we stir fried some eggplant, red bell pepper, onions, and bok choy with a little olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. We also threw some garbanzos in there. I wanted some carbz so I shoved the veggies to the side and stir fried 1/3 cup rolled oats with a bit more oil. To serve, I mixed it all together (…with a blob of almond butter).

After a day of shopping with zero successes, we decided to drop by HEB for groceries. HEB is a Texas grocery store chain and it is awesome. It is huge and has everything. But its not organic… it just as an organic section. Great prices though!

For dinner, we prepared red lentils by boiling them for 45 minutes and quinoa for 15 minutes. Then we stir fried some broccoli, egg plant, red bell pepper, onions, and bok choy with a little olive oil. To serve, we mixed it all together with Soyvay Teriyaki sauce. And I may have added a blob of almond butter to the quinoa… Delicious!

Get excited because tomorrow is Sweet Potato-Pecan-Quinoa Tamales!! I know I am.

PS… I miss Pace.

Quick n’ Fugly Stir Fry

This dish is coconut curry stir fry. It is a super healthy and delicious 5 minute dinner. And it involves liquid crack….


Recipe: Serves 1

Prepare whole grain of choice, like soba noodles (the best!) brown rice or bulgur.

Steam vegetables of choice. I used a bag of Whole Foods “Asian stir fry” veggies.

If you want to add a protein, I recommend adding scallops, shrimp, or grilled chicken.

Warm coconut butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Measure out 2 tbsps into a bowl. Mix with 1 tbsp warm milk, 1 tsp yellow curry powder, and a dash of cinnamon.

Toss all the elements in a bowl, and enjoy!