“Meatless” Series Week 1

Week 1 is here! Let’s do this! We are going to start off real simple: Avocado toast, Caesar Salad, and Tacos! Before each recipe is a little blurb explaining the benefits of each recipe.


Breakfast

Avocado toast with eggs and fruit 

Let’s start with breakfast. This quick, simple breakfast packs a nutritional punch from start to finish. In the avocado toast recipe, I used sprouted grain bread to build my meal. Sprouted grain bread is made from the kernel or seed of the grain plant that has barely sprouted. Whole grain bread is a fully sprouted seed but uses the entire grain, the bran, endosperm, and germ. It is just fine to use regular whole grain bread. Just remember: the recommended amount of fiber for a general, healthful diet is 25-30 g/day. The avocado brings healthy fats to this recipe, specifically monounsaturated fat (the good fat). Eggs, which contain approximately 6 grams of protein per medium-sized egg, are a complete protein. In order for a food to be considered a complete protein, it must have all 20 amino acids. Animal based foods are the most common complete proteins. However, plant based foods can be strategically combined to create a vegetarian meal consisting of a complete protein. If you have more questions on this, please feel free to contact me.

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Ingredients

  • 2 slices Ezekial sprouted grain bread, toasted
  • 2 eggs cooked any way you prefer
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup fresh fruit

Directions

  1. Divide the avocado evenly across both slices of toast. Using a fork, smash the avocado and spread on the toast.
  2. Place cooked eggs on pieces of toast. Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings (I prefer cayenne and black pepper with some sriracha sauce).
  3. Serve with a side of fruit.

Vegan option – omit the eggs and top with scrambled tofu instead.


Lunch

Kale Caesar Salad with Tofu

In case you haven’t noticed, kale is my favorite leafy green vegetable. It is packed with nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Potassium, and Folate. It’s perfect for salads because it doesn’t get soggy very easily. Tofu is an excellent source of lean plant-based protein. It can be a little tricky to prepare sometimes but I usually buy the extra-firm tofu because it provides the texture I’m looking for. Note – I DID use real Caesar vinaigrette dressing from Trader Joe’s. Remember – moderation is our game, right? So what I like to do is mix a tablespoon of dressing with the juice from 1/2 a lemon. It makes my dressing go a little further and  Salad dressing has good fats (re: poly and monounsaturated) so I don’t want to miss out on that. Feel free to use another type of dressing if you prefer to go completely vegan. And I did use Parmesan cheese on top but you can leave that off.

Let’s say you’re not a big fan of tofu. This recipe can easily be turned into a southwest Caesar salad by throwing some black beans on top. Or go the more Mediterranean route and use chickpeas.  ENDLESS OPTIONS.

 

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups kale
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu
  • shredded parmesan cheese (omit for vegan modification)
  •  1/4 cup Caesar dressing vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp each: paprika, black pepper, cumin

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Shred kale using fingers or cooking scissors. Wash and dry kale thoroughly. Set in large bowl.
  3. In a small separate bowl, mix dressing with lemon juice. Pour over kale and massage kale using hands. Make sure to coat each piece of kale and really work the dressing into each leaf. Don’t skip this step. Spend some time here and really get in there. Set aside.
  4. Remove tofu from packaging and drain. Pat dry using paper towels. Cut into 1′ cubes.
  5. Add to a separate small bowl than the one used for the dressing. Drizzle olive oil, paprika, black pepper, and cumin. Lay flat on baking sheet and place in oven for 20 minutes. Flip and place back in oven for another 10 minutes.
  6. Top kale leaves with baked tofu, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if using) and enjoy.

Like I said, tofu can be a little tricky to cook. If you want your tofu to be crispy, try sauteing it lightly in a pan after baking. 


Dinner

Tacos! Tacos! Tacos!

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These are super easy to make and probably don’t need a recipe to explain this one, but I’ll write one anyway. You can alter this any way you’d like to make it fit in to your vegetarian diet. In the picture above, I used grilled tilapia, which is a good source of protein, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12. I kept this one simple and added tons of fresh fruits and vegetables and then topped it off with crumbled queso fresco. Use this recipe below as more a guideline for building your own tacos.

Ingredients

  • 2 tortillas (I recommend the corn and whole wheat flour blend tortillas from Trader Joes)
  • 1/2 cup grilled vegetables (red peppers, green peppers, and onions)
  • 1/2 cup protein (examples – grilled fish, ground soy chorizo, tofu, or black beans)
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • favorite salsa
  • lime wedges (optional)
  • chopped mango or pineapple toppings (optional)
  • 0% fat greek yogurt (omit if vegan)

Directions

  1. Cook desired vegetables in a cast iron skillet (if you don’t have one, you can line them on a cooking tray, sprinkle with oil and place in oven for 30 minutes at 350°F).  Use this time to warm the tortillas in the oven, briefly.
  2. Prepare protein as desired. Personally, I like to use soy chorizo from Trader Joe’s. It’s already seasoned and just needs to be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  3. Place all ingredients on the tortillas and enjoy!

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Credit: Featured Photo by Brenda Godinez on Unsplash

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