The Will to Win Means Nothing Without the Will to Prepare
-Juma Ikangaa, Tanzanian winner of the NYC Marathon in 1989 running 2:08-
The Will to Eat Healthy Means Nothing Without the Will to Prepare
-The Healthy Librarian-
Every class is like an adventure to a foreign land, a climb up Mount Everest with Sir Edmund Hillary, a race across the Antarctic with Roald Amundsen, or an historic NYC Marathon. That's how I found out about Juma Ikangaa. His words carry weight and apply to just about everything.
If you want to be healthy, fit, or strong, it's all about the preparation. And when it comes to eating healthy, it's all about the preparation. And as we all know--it takes a lot of time.
- Time to plan the week's meals
- Time to shop for fresh ingredients
- Time to cook the meals.
- Green Smoothies for breakfast--portable--can be made ahead. I add a Larabar if I'm still hungry.
- Hearty Soups like Obama's Kenyan Vegetable Peanut Soup & raw veggies or fruit for lunch.
- Big salads & one bowl suppers like Veganomicon's Quinoa Salad with Black Beans & Mango, or Rice Salad with Roasted Red Peppers, Chick Peas & Feta Cheese.
I used to be a-cereal-for-breakfast & a-sandwich-for-lunch girl. I still do eat those sometimes--but when you look at how much more nutrition you can pack into a SMOOTHIE-SOUP-SALAD-SINGLE-BOWL-SUPPER, compared to cereal & a sandwich---well there's just no comparison. SSSSBS takes the nutrition prize hands down.
- On December 12, 2008 over at the NYT Well Blog, there was an article on the Best Blogs for Foodies.
- You should definitely check out the recommendations. My personal favorite was for a decidedly not-so-healthy one called: The Smitten Kitchen. The photography is mouth-watering & I hear that all the recipes are winners.
- I picked out two that looked fairly healthy with a few tweaks here & there, and since I never post a recipe without first trying them out, I just had to whip these up. One was for Black Bean Pumpkin Soup, and the other was for Peanut Sesame Noodles. Both fit perfectly into my Soup & Single Dish Supper menus.
- My husband, who is probably too easy to please, loved them both. It's finally dawning on me that he keeps saying this so I'll keep on cooking.
- I took the soup to work and taste-tested it on 3 different age & ethnic groups. Everyone gave it a big thumbs up---but the 20 year old I'm sure was just being polite. Black Bean Pumpkin Soup isn't exactly her typical fare.
- And as for me--I liked them both a lot--and will definitely add them to the cooking rotation.
Black Bean Pumpkin Soup
Gourmet, November 1996
Yield: 9 cups (8 servings of 1.125 cups)
Three 15 1/2 ounce cans black beans (about 4 1/2 cups), rinsed and drained
1 cup drained canned tomatoes, chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup minced shallot
4 garlic cloves minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter (I substituted 1/4 cup of canola oil)
4 cups beef broth (I substituted 4 cups of Imagine Organic No-Chicken Broth-vegetarian)
a 16-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup dry Sherry
1/2 pound cooked ham, cut into 1/8-inch dice (I substituted 6 slices of browned-up Tempeh Fakin Bacon, but SoyBoy Smoked Tofu would work fine--or it would taste great without any add-ins)
3 to 4 tablespoons Sherry vinegar (I used 3 tbs)
Garnish: sour cream and coarsely chopped lightly toasted pumpkin seeds (I left out both of these)
In a food processor coarsely puree beans and tomatoes.
In a 6-quart heavy kettle cook onion, shallot, garlic, cumin, salt, and pepper in (Canola oil) butter over moderate heat, stirring, until onion is softened and beginning to brown. Stir in bean puree. Stir in broth, pumpkin, and Sherry until combined and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes, or until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Just before serving, add ham (tempeh, tofu or nothing) and vinegar and simmer soup, stirring, until heated through. Season soup with salt and pepper.
Serve soup garnished (or not) with sour cream and toasted pumpkin seeds.
Peanut Sesame Noodles
Adapted from Gourmet, June 2002
Servings: Makes 6 side-dish or 4 vegetarian main-course servings. (With a salad this made 8 main-course servings)
For peanut dressing
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (all natural)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes or a splash of the hot sauce or chili paste of your choice
3/4 lb dried soba nooodles (dried linguine fini or spaghetti will work in a pinch) (I recommend using Eden brand 100% whole Buckwheat Soba noodles--better taste & more nutritious)
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/8-inch-thick strips
Half a seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1 cup firm or extra-firm tofu, cubed (I used SoyBoy Tofu Lin--an Asian flavor)
3 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted (I didn't bother with these)
Puree dressing ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 2 minutes, then transfer to a large bowl.
Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander, then rinse well under cold water. (Soba noodles tend to clump while cooking, so be sure to separate them well while they boil)
Add pasta, scallions, bell peppers, cucumber and tofu to dressing, tossing to combine. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.
I would rate this one fast, easy & delicious!