Go Friggin’ Nuts!
Hello “mes amis” (“my friends”, for my non-Canadian followers). Welcome to Week 4 of the Meatless Monday Challenge! Congratulations for making it this far in taking baby-steps towards healthier, plant-based eating. (And for those of you who dropped out….REALLY? You could not go one measly day without meat????) This week my theme is: Go Friggin’ Nuts!
My personal healthy eating guru, Susan, in her post “Grab Your Nuts…And Go!” says: “Nuts are seeds that are covered in a hard shell. They are an excellent source of protein, fiber and healthy fats. They are tasty and are great “on-the-go”. If you are cutting down on your animal sourced foods, nuts are a great way to ensure that you get enough of these nutrients. The food guide pyramid counts 1/3 cup of nuts as the equivalent of 1 oz meat.”
Since I switched to a plant-based, cancer-fighting diet, nuts and seeds have become a staple in my everyday menus. Here are some of the ways I make use of them:
Oatmeal topped with honeyed pecans
-Prepare one serving of oats as per the directions on the package.
-Top with 5 or 6 whole pecans, and drizzle one teaspoon of honey over the top.
-Sprinkle with cinnamon, and add about 1/3 cup of almond milk (or your favorite plant based milk)
It’s a stick-to-your-ribs, satisfying breakfast!
* A word about pecans: Pecans are rich in beta-sitosterol, a type of plant sterol found to lower cholesterol, and aid in prostate health as well as fight cancers. 19 halves contains 196 calories.
According to legend, the first Waldorf Salad was created in New York City in 1893 and served at the famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel. It is a little known fact however, that the first salad did not contain the chopped walnuts, which are now considered the signature ingredient of this classic salad!
½ cup chopped, slightly toasted walnuts
½ cup celery, thinly sliced
¼ cup raisins
1 sweet apple, cored and chopped
3 Tbsp. mayonnaise (or vegan mayo if you are avoiding all animal products)
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1 bunch green, leafy lettuce
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the mayo and lemon juice. Add ½ teaspoon sea salt (or regular salt) and ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. Mix in the apple, celery, raisins and walnuts. Serve over a bed of fresh lettuce.
*A word about walnuts: This is the only nut to be high in Omega-3’s which have recently been linked to lower rates of cancer. (See here for more information) This type of Omega 3 fatty acid is high in alpha-linolenic which has brain boosting power that help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s. 14 walnut halves contains 185 calories.
Stir fried veggies with cashews
When I first considered making the final move into plant-based eating, all I could envision in my future was fruits and vegetables. “Oh no”, I thought, “I will surely perish if I have to live on salads and meatless soups!” Then one evening, while making my favorite “chickenless” chicken stir fry, I decided to throw in a handful of cashews. VOILA! It gave the meal the meatiness I was craving.
1 red onion sliced
1 red pepper , sliced
200g mushrooms , sliced
4 sticks of bok choy , cut into quarters
1 garlic clove , crushed
soy sauce , sesame oil, chilli oil to drizzle (optional)
Method: Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a wok or large pan. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add the red pepper and mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the bok choy and garlic, mix well and cook for 2 more minutes. Finally, add the cashew nuts, mix and serve with a drizzle of soy, sesame oil or chilli sauce if you like.
Per serving: 457 calories, protein 14.6g, carbohydrate 19.9g, fat 36.1 g, saturated fat 4g, fibre 0g, salt 0.59 g
*A word about cashews: You can get 10% of your daily RDA of iron (1.9 mg) in 1 serving. Cashews are also a great source of folate (cancer fighter) and vitamin K (helps blood to clot normally). 18 nuts contain 163 calories.
*Thanks to my nutty friend, Susan, for sharing these nutty facts with me!
So there you have it, oh meatless ones, three delicious and satisfying recipes. And the best part is, no animals were harmed in the making of these meals.