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Green Fed

a blog about a girl who decided eating plants was the way to go

Category Archives: dinner

I don’t have a gazillion dollars to spend on groceries (or anything else for that matter- SHUCKS!).  However, I’m still able to feed my family very well, and very healthily, just by going back to the basics:  DRIED BEANS.  Dried beans are incredibly healthy, packed full of protein and fiber, and they are so yummy and filling!

We love this 17 Bean & Barley Mix from trusty ol’ Trader Joes.  For those of you not in a TJ’s region, first item of business for you:  Petition with your local authorities to have them build one STAT!; OR just go to a store with a bulk items section and search for something similar you’re bound to find it! This entire bag will last our family of four for AT LEAST two dinners (if we don’t eat seconds or thirds the first night- it’s THAT yummy!).  The best part:  it cost under $2!  So, after adding a side salad of fruit and spinach, our family is able to eat dinner for less than $5.  Pretty amazing if you ask me!

Some of the health benefits you will get from including dried beans in your diet:

  • Rich in antioxidants. Beans, especially black beans, are loaded with antioxidants. They have 10 times more antioxidants than oranges and the equivalent amounts as grapes and cranberries.
  • Rich in fiber. Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar. The fiber in beans is beneficial for those with hypoglycemia and diabetes.
  • Rich in molybdenum. Molybdenum is a trace mineral that helps detoxify sulfites from your body. Sulfites are a preservative found in salads in restaurant salad bars. Some people are sensitive to sulfites. Symptoms like headache, disorientation or rapid heartbeat can occur after consuming salads with sulfites.
  • Rich in magnesium. Magnesium is essential for a healthy heart. When there is sufficient magnesium in the body, the vessels and veins are able to relax. This allows the blood, oxygen and nutrients to flow without resistance.
  • Rich in iron. Iron is needed for energy. Women benefit from the increased iron in their diet from beans, especially while they are menstruating. Pregnant and lactating women also have an increased need for iron, as well as children and adolescents.
  • Rich in protein. Beans provide plenty of protein. When combined with a healthy fat, a variety of vegetables and some soaked or fermented grains you will get a variety of nutrients in your diet.
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When we started our new eating lifestyle, we decided to omit white flour out of our diets. Of course, we have our occasional treat here and there, but that is done OUTSIDE of our home.  Sidenote:  One of the big rules we strive to live by (yes, we budged a little this Easter) is to never bring anything processed, non-plant-based, un-naturally sweetened, etc. into our home.  If we ever want to get a little treat, we have to go out to get it, that way we are not tempted to polish off an entire package of junk in one sitting.

Anyways, back to the direction I want this post to go… GRAINS.  We eat them sparingly, and the ones we do eat have a really high nutrient content.

My boys eat a 9 grain or steel cut oats in the morning for breakfast, and then have a sandwich on sprouted bread for lunch.  That’s pretty much all of the grains we consume in one day.  I purchase all of my grains from our local food Co-Op.  I’m able to get about 2.5 lbs of our breakfast cereal for under $3, and it will last us for 2 weeks.  It’s not only good for our bellies, but easy on the wallet.

One of our favorite grains is Quinoa.  The health benefits of Quinoa are astounding!  I prepare at least one meal a week with Quinoa.  One of our all-time favorite recipes is Pineapple Cashew Stir Fry (yet another fabulous recipe from Veganomicon!).  ***Make sure you soak your quinoa or rinse it really well (until there are no more bubbles while rinsing) before cooking… otherwise you will have some bitter-tasting quinoa!***

And we love this little snack, which I try to make once a week to munch on here and there:  Almond Quinoa Muffins (yep, you guessed it, from Veganomicon!)

I make a monster batch of this goodness every week, and it lasts us for a few days… if we’re lucky.  It’s that good!!!

Full of protein, sweetness and texture.

Corn and Edamame-Sesame Salad (adapted from Veganomicon)

Dressing:

2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp rice vinegar (or regular vinegar works, too)

2 tsp tamari or soy sauce (I use Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids in place of soy sauce in everything.  So much less sodium!)

Salad:

2 cups frozen, shelled edamame

1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)

2 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds (toast on Low in a skillet for about 10 mins, or until fragrant)

*Can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained well (this is my addition… we love it with the beans!)

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Meanwhile, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Boil the edamame for 3 minutes.  Add the corn and boil another 2 minutes.  Drain into a colander and run under cold water until cool enough to touch.  Add edamame, corn, and kidney beans to the dressing.  Toss to combine.  Add sesame seeds and toss again.  Cover and chill at least 15 minutes.

We love to put this over spinach or any other green that fits your fancy.  I also usually make a loaf of focaccia or another crusty bread to eat alongside this.  Add a bowl of fruit salad and you’ve got a perfectly balanced meal!