Picture
Today’s healthy snack incorporates young soybeans, also called Edamame.  We learned in our discussion on Friday that soybeans are a good source of non-dairy calcium.  I’m not sure how long this dip would last in the fridge; it disappeared from my kitchen pretty rapidly (transported on fresh veggies and rice crackers).  If you exerted some self-control and kept it in an airtight container it would probably keep for a week.

Picture
Edamame Miso Dip
Adapted from a recipe from the NY Times July 2009

  • One 16-oz package frozen unshelled Edamame
  • 2 Tablespoons Miso paste
  • 2 Medium cloves garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3-4 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Pinch red pepper flakes

Cook edamame in boiling water for about 4 minutes, until tender and bright green.  Drain in a colander.

Place miso paste in a few tablespoons of warm water, whisk to dissolve.  Put miso mixture with all other ingredients in the bowl of a food processor.  Blend until smooth, add water or more rice vinegar if you want a thinner consistency.

Enjoy on fresh vegetables, crackers, or where ever else you see fit!

 
Today we'll discuss some of my favorite resources for healthy recipes.  As I've mentioned before, investing time in the kitchen is an important part of taking care of your health.  It’s always nice to get some fresh ideas for new dishes from the experts, especially when it comes to trying a new ingredient (for example dark leafy greens).  You may have already perused some of these, most are them are linked through my “Other awesome sites” page.  I wanted to give a brief description of each of them here so you know what you’re getting into!

101 Cookbooks

This is the recipe site of Heidi Swanson, the author of Super Natural Cooking and Super Natural Every Day.  Her recipes are all vegetarian, and I like that they rely heavily on veggies for flavor instead of sauces or condiments.  I’ve made this Raw Tuscan Kale Salad from her site several times before; it’s a good dish to bring to a picnic!

Cookus Interruptus

This is the website of Cynthia Lair, author of Feeding the Whole Family.  Cynthia was my Whole Foods Cooking instructor at Bastyr University.  This site is great because every recipe has a video that goes along with it, just in case you need a demonstration!

Golubka

This website has creative vegan and gluten-free recipes, along with really beautiful photography.  It also has a lot of raw recipes, but they are not all uncooked.  I have a lot of stone fruit right now, so I’m going to try these Roasted Plum and Rosemary Popsicles tonight!

Good Fish

This is the website of Becky Selengut, author of a cookbook by the same name as her site.  Becky is also a culinary instructor at Bastyr (I see a theme here).  If you’re intimidated by cooking or shopping for fish, get thee to this website.  Becky has videos on all sorts of cooking techniques for seafood; they go step by step and are entertaining!

Green Kitchen Stories

This vegetarian website is authored by a married couple.  They are coming out with their first cookbook in 2013.  Perhaps you could try these Cinnamon Roasted Vegetables if you’re interested in adding healthy spices to your diet.

My Global Kitchens

This is the website of my friend Marilyn Weissman.  She is a well-traveled lady who creates recipes inspired by her international travel.  For an easy breakfast check out her simple Frittata recipe.

My New Roots

This vegetarian recipe blog (I’m not vegetarian, I just like vegetables!) is authored by Sarah Britton, a holistic nutritionist and chef.  This is another great resource for recipes that are centered around fresh veggies.  Since we’re knee-deep in squash season, maybe you could try her Summer Stuffed Patty Pans.

Post Punk Kitchen

This vegan website is authored by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, a punky chef who was born and raised in Brooklyn (my former city of residence).  While her website does have a lot of dessert-focused baked goods, it also has a whole host of healthy main dishes and homemade condiments.

Roost

This gluten-free blog has a number of creative recipes that either use alternative grains or are totally grain-free.  The author of this site also has some instructive videos for her recipes like this one for cabbage salad.
 
Once again the idea for this snack came from Sara in the Human Nutrition Lab, I don’t know what I’m going to do for Healthy Snack Sunday when I don’t work there anymore!

Seaweed is a nutrient-rich food that is not often encountered in an American diet.  Sea vegetables are a great source of many minerals including iodine, calcium, and absorbable iron.  For more information on the health benefits of seaweed check out this page on The World’s Healthiest Foods.
Picture



I called this recipe “sloppy” sushi because it has all the elements of sushi, but I didn’t bother to roll it up it a neat little package.  You just scoop it all up in the nori, smoosh it into a little bundle and eat it!

How to make your brown rice sticky

The white rice that is traditionally used for sushi is sticky because it is high in a gluey kind of starch.  Brown rice sushi usually falls apart easily because the rice is much lower in sticky starch.  To make my rice sticky I added the traditional rice vinegar plus some ground up flax seeds.  Flax meal gets gooey when you add warm water to it, so I stirred it in when the rice was just about finished cooking but still had a lot of moisture in it.  I don’t have any specific measurements for you, it was around 1/3 cup of flax meal to 2 cups rice, plus a big splash of rice vinegar.  This also adds some healthy omega 3 fatty acids to your snack.

I also added a dash of toasted sesame oil to my rice for flavor.

Sloppy sushi
  •   3 sheets toasted sushi nori
  •   ½ cup cooked sticky brown rice
  •   A smattering of veggies of your choice

Nori usually comes in larger sheets, so cut yours down into a piece you can comfortably hold in your hand.  I cut mine into fourths.

Scoop a Tablespoon or two of rice into your nori, then top with vegetables.  Smoosh it all up into a little ball and put directly in your mouth!

For my vegetables I used radishes mixed with some pickled ginger, and it turned out great.

If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you can get locally harvested nori from Sound Sea Vegetables.
 
Picture
Many grain-free diet plans claim that you can drop pounds fast, perform better athletically, and feel more energetic if you just cut grains out of your diet.  Like most foods, grains can help or harm your health- depending on how you use them!

Grains are not evil, but…

1.  A healthy diet is not centered on grains.

Grains are much more calorie-dense than most vegetables.  1 cup of cooked spaghetti has 221 calories.  1 cup of cooked broccoli has 54 calories.  Try turning down the volume on your grain portion and pumping up the volume on the veggies.

A good way to build a wholesome meal is to start with several brightly colored vegetables that are fresh and in season.  Make something delicious out of them and fill us at least half of your plate with it.  Next add a protein source, either vegetarian or meaty.  Whole grains could play a role in this meal, but it’s a supporting role.  You could use a corn tortilla to wrap everything up or a layer of brown rice to soak up some sauce, but keep your portions reasonable.


2.  Just like other foods, eating a variety of grains is better than overloading on one.

All of us have eaten enough wheat to last a lifetime, let’s give some other grains a chance!  There’s a whole world of other things for you to try.  Each one offers different nutrients your body needs, as well as a different taste.  For a list and description of some alterna-grains, check out this article from the Gluten Free Network.

3.  Whole grains have good stuff in them, refined grains do not.

Grains that have not been processed very much are a great source of protein, fiber, and minerals.  Refined white grains have had all the good stuff pulverized out of them.  The Whole Grains Council has a nice list of whole grains here, and a good guide to ingredient label interpretation here.

Try going grain-free for a day and see how creative you can get in the kitchen.  Try going wheat-free for a week and experiment with other whole grains like millet, amaranth, or quinoa.  To get some ideas check out this almond meal pancake recipe from Roost Blog.

 
Picture
Warning!  This popcorn is addictive.  It’s got all those perfect snack qualities: crunchy, spicy, and salty.  The good news is plain air-popped popcorn rings in at 31 calories per cup, so there’s some room for indiscretion.

This recipe contains nutritional yeast, a deactivated yeast that can be added to any food.  It has a nice savory flavor and is a good source of protein, B vitamins, and several minerals.  It is usually sold in the nutritional supplements section of stores.

If you’ve never made popcorn on the stovetop before, it is incredibly easy.  There are some really nice instructions with pictures on Recipe Girl’s site.  Popcorn kernels can be purchased in the bulk section very inexpensively and they store for a long time.  Keep some in your pantry for the next time you’re feeling snacky!

Spicy Popcorn
  • 1 cup popcorn kernels
  • Enough *high heat oil to coat the bottom of you pan
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Tamari
  • Hot sauce

*Refined safflower, sunflower, or canola oils are all appropriate


Pop the popcorn, remove from heat.  I have no quantities for any of the other ingredients because it’ll depend on your personal preference.  I add enough of everything that the kernels are coated, but not overwhelmingly so.  It’s best to start moderately, then taste and add more to avoid over-seasoning.  Stir well throughout the seasoning process, then store in airtight containers in the fridge when you’re done (I use gallon zip baggies).  Oh but don’t store it until you’ve taken out a nice hearty portion size for you to enjoy!

 
Today’s snack is on the sweet side if you’re looking for something to settle a sugar craving.  This is less so a recipe and more of an assemblage- it really just involves putting a couple of simple things together.  Kids can do it too!

Ingredients
  • 1 medium banana, ripe but firm enough for nut butter spreading
  • 2 Tablespoons nut butter (peanut, almond, sunflower seed, etc.)
  • ¼ cup granola or puffed brown rice cereal

Peel banana and slice into ½” thick medallions.  Top each slice with nut butter.  Sprinkle granola or cereal on top.  Enjoy!


If you really want to make this a dessert you could also throw some chocolate chips on top, but you didn’t hear that from me!

Notice that this recipe conveniently contains all the elements of a satisfying snack that we discussed yesterday:
  • Protein source: nut butter, as well as a little in the banana
  • Fat source: nut butter
  • Fiber-rich carbohydrates: banana and cereal