Sardine and veggie bowl

Sardines

 

You need fat. Despite all the low-fat options you find in the grocery store, your body needs fat. Fat helps keep our hormones (including insulin) well regulated, it feeds our hungry brain (60% of it is fat!), and it keeps us feeling full longer. Not to mention that fat is delicious. Of course not all fat is created equal. For example, trans fats are horrible for us, but fatty fish like the sardines shown above are full of healthy omega 3 fatty acids that help our body run.

Some good fats are grass-fed butter, avocados, ghee, unrefined coconut oil, and unrefined olive oil. Basically, I take the same approach when choosing fats as I do with choosing my food; namely, is it as close to a whole food (not processed) as it gets and was it grown/raised in an ethical and sustainable way?  If the answer is yes, then I feel pretty comfortable eating it and giving it to my kid. If the answer is no, then I avoid it like the plague.

The recipe below is a great way to get in a bunch of good fat while having some veggies and a very filling meal.

Sardines and veggie bowl

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • one TBS coconut oil
  • one tin of skinless and boneless sardines packed in olive oil
  • a handful or two of chopped spinach or other green you like
  • one small leftover or freshly made roasted beets cut into bite sized pieces
  • half a cup of leftover quinoa
  • half a TBS olive oil
  • three tsp of balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Sautee the spinach in the coconut oil until bright green and wilted.
  2. Remove the spinach and add the sardines into the pan.
  3. Cook the sardines for a few minutes on either side. I like it to have a few nice crisp places before pulling it out of the pan.
  4. Assemble the quinoa, spinach, and beets into the bowl and then top it with the sardines.
  5. Mix the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
  6. Pour dressing over the bowl. Enjoy!

 

I was inspired to make this recipe by a dish my dear friend Leah made me. I hope this recipe inspires you to get in the kitchen and experiment with some yummy good fats!

Easy, quick, and yummy salmon salad

salmon

As I’ve stated before, I like to eat and I like to eat well. Somedays it’s easier than others to make that happen. If I’m on my game, I have lovely leftovers waiting in the fridge. But occasionally I don’t, and last week I had one of those days. Instead of opting for eating out, I decided to see what I could concoct in a matter of a few minutes using what I had on hand. As we know, necessity is the mother of all invention, and this time was no different. Enter the salmon salad. This delicious meal is chock-full of omega 3 and probiotics while being rich in flavor.

Salmon salad with dill and capers

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 can or 6 oz of wild Alaskan salmon*
  • 1/4 cup of full-fat greek yogurt
  • 2 tbs + chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tbs + capers
  • 1 tbs + lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

Directions

mix all ingredients, tasting and adding as you go to get the exact flavor you desire. Once the salad is to your liking you can serve it on anything that fits your individual dietary needs. I served mine on top of  zucchini noodles I had left over, but you could also serve it with leftover pasta or quinoa. If you don’t have leftovers, throw it on a green salad or pull out some hearty crackers. Just use what you have on hand, and I’m sure it will be perfect.

I hope this recipe inspires you to get in the kitchen and create some lovely and nutritious meals for you and your loved ones. Let me know how it goes!

Cauliflower Rice

mixmix

I have been having a hankering for Bibimbap, a Korean rice-based dish with vegetables and protein. Unfortunately, I don’t have stone bowls needed to make authentic bibimbap, but I’ve created something that is close enough to satisfy my cravings.  It’s a great meal for my family because it allows for so much flexibility. I prepare the vegetables and protein I want to get out of the fridge, and everyone tops their rice with their choices. Last night I sauteed shiitake mushrooms, bok choi, homemade kimchi (look for a post on fermented food soon); cut up some carrots; and washed a handful of mixed lettuce. The only  problem is that I wasn’t feeling like rice. In fact, over the last few weeks, I’ve been feeling that I’ve been eating a few too many grains. I do not think there is anything wrong with grains, I just know that from time to time I need a grain break. Enter cauliflower rice.

Cauliflower rice is exactly what it sounds like: cauliflower cut up into rice size pieces. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable* which means it supports our body’s detox process, provides antioxidants, and fights inflammation. It is also loaded with fiber that feeds all the healthy microbes in our guts, which is so important for our overall health.

To make your own cauliflower rice:

  • cauliflowerFirst, Cut the desired amount of cauliflower into smaller pieces. On this night, I used about a fourth of a large head of cauliflower, which produced roughly 1 1/2 cups worth of rice. That was enough for my meal and one serving for the next day.

 

 

 

 

  • Next, place florcauliflower riceets in a food processor and pulse until you get a rice-like consistency. At this point, your rice is done or you can add a little heat.  Those of us with thyroid disease or that just prefer warm rice proceed to the last step.

 

  • Finally, mix the cauliflower with about 1/2 to 1 TBS fat of your choice (ghee or coconut oil are my go-tos) and toss it in a pot with a little less than 1 TBS water. Lightly steam the rice for 5 to 10 minutes. Season and serve in place of  rice  in any dish your heart desires.

I really enjoyed my cauliflower rice. I won’t be having it all the time because I try to limit the number of cruciferous vegetables I eat in a week, but it’s a nice alternative when I’m feeling the need to de-grain.  I would love to hear this recipe worked out for you in the comments below.

*For those of us with thyroid disease, whether or not you should eat cruciferous vegetables can be a difficult choice. Some argue that, as a goitrogenic food, it should be completely removed from the diet as it inhibits iodine from being properly utilized by the thyroid. Others argue that consuming a normal amount of cooked cruciferous vegetables will not have a negative impact. Do your own research, speak to a trusted professional, and, as always, listen to your body and do what feels right for you.