Hi. This is Ally, and I love myself. Especially because right now, today, it’s Women’s Day. I make my own money, have my own driver’s license, went to university, and I can vote! I am so grateful!
I want to share a couple of things with you. One is a way to up your nutrient-ante everyday, and the next a ‘loose’ recipe. That is, a recipe where measurements are to taste, appetite and number of mouths to feed, and can feature whatever you’ve got on hand (what is seasonally available, and hence, cheaper!). Just make sure the star ingredient is a leafy green. Then swap like for like as you see fit! Just keep in mind that different vegetables have different cooking times, so chop things smaller or bigger as needed!
Superfood Condiment Strategy
Quite simply, a superfood condiment strategy is a way of using superfoods as condiments to get your Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) at every meal. I devised this approach a few years ago when sharing living quarters with a very special man named Karlis, whose specialty is the self-seasoned one-pot-meal. Savoury stews filled with garden veggies, ladled onto a bed of soba noodles in a large bowl, and seasoned at the table with nutritional yeast, high-quality Italian olive oil, tamari, and black sesame seeds. Comfort food of East Vancouver, British Columbia. Today we’re going to prepare a *green* brown rice and black bean bowl to season with our superfood condiments: chia seed oil (rich in omega-3s) and raw organic wild-collected honey (alkaline-forming with potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties beneficial to your digestive tract and overall health). Adding a tablespoon of omega rich oil to one meal a day means you don’t have to mess with capsules or drink it by the spoonful (yuck!)—just remember it’s fragile, so you always need to add it after cooking.
Then a word on beans…
As far as beans are concerned, if you can’t cook them from scratch (see step-by-step guide here), a can will have to do. I like to advise readers about BPA in the linings of cans because of its link to obesity, lower sperm counts, and pre-cancerous changes in the body (even the alternative in BPA-free cans isn’t entirely safe). But I also like to think in terms of moderation and honouring the now. If all I’ve got is a can, it’s not going to hurt today, or every now and then. Work with what you’ve got but be aware. I think Terrance Mckenna said it best:
“You don’t want to become so open-minded that the wind can whistle between your ears.”
Be flexible. But always ask questions!
Again, this recipe is pretty loose (though to be sure I’ve tested the recipe according to the measurements presented). In this instance it’s for one, but easily doubles and quadruples. Think of the measurements as per person. Two people = 8-10 cups (9 oz. bag) spinach, 1-1.5 cups rice, 1.5 cups black beans, etc. On different days I’ve substituted 1/2 cup organic broccoli florets for the mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds for 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, and left out the zucchini altogether. Also, try mashed sweet potato instead of squash.
Finally, the best thing about this meal, is that it’s made from leftovers! I already had leftover roasted squash from yesterday’s soup, cooked brown rice from veggie burgers the day before, and lots of beans from a batch I made this morning to freeze.
If you’ve never roasted squash before, see this guide on my site.
The Daily Green Bowl
Use organic ingredients where possible. If produce is noted organic, that means it’s one of the dirty dozen, and its conventional counterpart should be avoided.
Prepare what you’ll need: 4.5 cups of clean baby organic spinach, 1/2 cup brown mushrooms (sliced), 1/2 cup zucchini (grated), 1/2 cup cooked organic brown rice, 3/4 cup cooked organic black beans, 1/2 tsp. turmeric, 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 tsp. mugi (barley) miso, 1/2 cup roasted squash, raw honey + chia seed oil + sesame seeds to serve.
In a stainless steel pan or medium (9″) iron skillet, sautee 1 tsp. cumin seeds in a little (~1 tsp.) coconut oil over medium heat. About 1 minute, until fragrant, brown and/or ’til one pops!
Add 1/2 cup each of zucchini and sliced brown mushrooms. Sautee until mushrooms release their moisture and shrink a little.
Add 4-5 cups of spinach! Depending on how many you’re serving add it in bunches, allowing the first bit to wilt and make more room for the next. This should only take a minute.
Slide your veg to one side and add 3/4 cup of beans and 1/2 cup of brown rice. You will need to use a separate/larger pan(s) if serving two or more people… but if not this makes it much less messy and also allows the rice/beans to deglaze the pan and grab some flavour from the veg.
Mix 1/2 tsp. organic dry ground turmeric into the veg. Antioxidant, free-radical fighting, immune-boosting East Indian plant medicine at its finest!
Looks about right, yeah? We’re going for a little more beans than grains here to boost nutrient density.
Mash about 1 tsp. of miso into your roasted squash.
Add by layer to serve. First beans and rice, then veg, then miso squash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to garnish et voila! Beauty in simplicity. Allow everyone to season to their taste by including chia seed oil, raw honey, and himalayan salt on the table. The Superfood Condiment Strategy!
Always eat with reverence. Place your palms above your plate or on the sides, close your eyes, and take three deep full breaths in gratitude for the abundance you enjoy.
- 4-5 cups (4.5 oz) organic baby spinach
- 1/2 cup brown mushroom, sliced
- 1/2 cup zucchini (or carrot, or beet!), grated
- 1/2 cup (6 oz.) roasted butternut squash, mashed
- 3/4 cup cooked black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 cup brown rice (or other grain, like amaranth!)
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds (or anise!)
- 1 tsp. unpasteurized mugi (barley) miso, more or less to taste
- 1 tsp. coconut oil, for sautéing
- Prep your veggies. Slice brown mushrooms, grate zucchini (peel if not organic!), and measure amount of spinach needed.
- In a stainless steel pan or medium (9″) iron skillet, sauté 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds in coconut oil over medium heat. About 1 minute, until fragrant, brown and/or ’til one pops!
- Add veg (not spinach!): grated zucchini and sliced brown mushrooms. Sautee until mushrooms release their moisture and shrink a little. About 5 minutes.
- Now add spinach! Depending on how many you’re serving, add it in bunches, allowing the first bit to wilt and to make more room for the next! This should only take a minute or two.
- Lower the heat a little and mix in turmeric. Slide your veg to one side and add cooked beans and rice. You will need to use a separate/larger pan(s) if serving 2 or more people… but if not one pan makes it much less messy and also allows the rice/beans to deglaze the pan and grab some flavour from the vegetables.
- Let rice and beans heat through for a few minutes. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Mash miso into the roasted squash.
- Serve layered in large shallow bowls or plates. First layer is beans and rice, spread it out good! Then pile the veg on top leaving a little rice/beans peeking out, then a nice mound of miso squash on the top center. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to garnish et voila! Beauty in simplicity.
Finally, Superfood Condiments!
Allow everyone to season to their taste by including chia seed oil (rich in omega-3s), raw honey (alkaline-forming with potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties beneficial to your digestive tract and overall health) and himalayan salt on the table.