How I love a bad play on words! As my journey nears it's eleven month mark, these items have emerged as a few of my favorite things:
Wheat Berries: By far my favorite discovery in the whole grains department. Wheat berries are nutty little bursts of grain and make such a delightful alternative to plain brown rice (zzzzzzz). They are similar to the texture of corn kernels. Wheat berries are the whole grain that is ground to give us whole wheat flour. I get my wheat berries from the bulk bins at Whole Foods (hard red wheat berries), and they aren’t very expensive. Like with many grains, a little goes a long way. They are a delight on their own with a little Earth Balance butter and sea salt, or dressed up with fresh herbs and spices. Throw in some raisins or dried cranberries and get ready to freak out!
Earth Balance Buttery Spread: I was turned on to Earth Balance a while ago after reading Skinny Bitch. It is a soy based, dairy free butter alternative, and it is truly amazing. I can’t taste the difference from real butter. Like dairy butter, it still has calories so you shouldn’t go overboard, but oh how it brings food to life! My husband loves his dairy, but even he enjoys Earth Balance. Now that I am microwave popcorn free- we’ve been making our own popcorn and I melt some Earth Balance with some Tony Cashere’s Original Creole Seasoning and mix it in (we have a perfect tag team method of one pourer and one shaker.) Y-U-M!
Edamame Hummus: I love hummus in general. I love it's creamy texture, I love it's protein, I love making my own. It’s great to pair with carrots for a snack, great for a protein kick on morning toast, and heck, great on a spoon! BUT praise be to my cast mate who came to rehearsal one day with a tub of Trader Joe’s Edamame Hummus. She gave me a taste and my world changed! It is so flippin’ delicious. Run to your nearest Trader Joe’s and get some today. If you do not live near a Trader Joe’s: 1) I'm so sorry and I’ll go get some for you and eat it on your behalf :) 2) Here is a recipe from The Delicious Life that echoes my enthusiasm over how good edamame hummus is! I’m glad to know there are others out there who share my passion for legume puree. Edamame Hummus Recipe.
Red and Green Chard: Bored of spinach? Sautee up some chard and feel the nutrient rush! (But we still love you spinach and all of your healthy irony goodness!) Chard is full of all kinds of wonderful vitamins and minerals. Accoridng to the folks at http://everynutrient.com/ we score vitamins C, E, and K, potassium, magnesium, iron, and more from eating chard! What I love about good clean whole foods is that they can be so savory on their own but can be dressed up in so many ways! Simple: I give a pan a spritz of heart healthy olive oil, and heat it up with a little Earth Balance, add thoroughly washed and chopped up chard with sea salt and pepper to taste, let it heat for a minute or two, then cover it with the lid, and turn off the heat while you create the rest of your dinner. You’ll have perfectly wilted and delicious chard in no time. Dressed up: Sautee up some red and/or yellow onion and mushrooms first, add chard, then add a splash of lemon juice and/or balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar can work too-remember, a little goes a looong way with vinegar). Throw in some pine nuts and/or raisins if you want to be extra dazzly (and you want me to show up at your door!) So easy! So enjoyable! And if you find the right farmer’s market or produce store (I’m blessed with Stanley’s in Chicago), then it’s very inexpensive!
Olive Oil Sprayer: I mentioned this one long ago, but it is seriously a staple of cooking healthy meals. Before we got our Misto over a year ago, my husband and I went through at least a bottle and half of extra virgin olive oil each month. Now, we buy it maybe once every two months. This is with both of us cooking dinner almost everyday (remember, we cook separate meals from each other so that is two dinners most nights), plus he cooks his breakfast four days a week as well (I usually eat high protein Kashi cereal). Talk about reduction!!! Our meals taste every bit as good, and I maintain that spraying your olive oil gets a better overall coating. You also drastically reduce your calorie consumption! Make the switch!
What are your favorite healthy things?