Even up here in the mountains, spring has begun: tiny green shoots are poking out boldly from snow, our skis are being traded in for bikes, and my kids are pestering me for later bedtimes now that daylight stretches longer into the evening. While many health experts anoint New Year as the pivotal time to make changes to your diet or routine- I think spring is actually the perfect partner for the following reasons:
- With warmer days comes lighter clothing, a powerful motivator to slim down and tone up what's underneath.
- Farmers markets dotted with fragrant spring fruits and vegetables make healthy eating delicious, inspiring and easy.
- Days are longer (just ask my kids), so it's easier to get out side into the sunshine for some activity-for a natural serotonin boost- a neuro-transmitter that's directly linked to happiness.
Which brings me to soy. The perfect food to think about this time of year. Whether your goal is to spring clean your diet, lose weight, add more vegetarian meals to your life, do something green for Earth Day or get your family's diet back on track after all the heavy eating of winter, freshen your routine by adding these 2 delicious soy recipes I created below.
Why soy? Whole soy foods (as opposed to refined, processed soy isolates) are nutrient rich plant proteins which contain all 9 essential amino acids. And soy plant protein is a lean and green superfood- low in calories and with a smaller carbon footprint than meat, poultry or fish -especially if you choose USA grown, non GMO soy. Want to go a deeper shade of green for Earth Day? Go vegetarian 1 day a week (check out the Pinterest Meatless Mondays board for some serious mouth watering inspiration LINK). Science suggests that going vegetarian just one day a week creates a greater environmental saving for the planet than switching to an all local diet -that's good new for folks like me who still have snow in their yards, and some of the shortest growing seasons of anywhere in the country.
I hope you'll wake up your tastebuds with these delicious recipes that my whole family loved! Let me know what you think.
Yield: About 1 ½ cups
A great snack or appetizer, this protein-packed finger food features dukkah, an Egyptian mix of good-for-you ground roasted nuts and spices.
Ingredients: 1 14 oz. package frozen edamame in pods 1 ½ tbsp. olive oil 4 tbsp. dukkah (recipe below)
Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 375°F. 2) Place frozen edamame on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and 3 tbsp. dukkah, and mix to combine. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. dukkah on top. 3) Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edamame are roasted and fragrant. 4) Remove from oven and pour into serving dish. Enjoy immediately.
Dukkah Recipe: Makes about 1 ½ cups
Ingredients: 2/3 cup chopped hazelnuts 1/2 cup sesame seeds 2 tbsp. cumin seeds 2 tbsp. coriander seeds 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds 1 tsp. salt 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Directions: 1) Preheat oven to 375°F. 2) Place hazelnuts on a baking sheet and bake until fragrant and slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. 3) Using a spice grinder, grind hazelnuts into a powder (in batches if necessary). Pour in a medium bowl and set aside. 4) Place sesame seeds in a dry cast iron skillet over medium heat and toast until golden, stirring frequently, about 3-4 minutes. Add to ground hazelnuts. 5) Add cumin, coriander and fennel seeds to cast iron skillet and warm, stirring until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. 6) Using the spice grinder, grind cumin, coriander and fennel. Add to ground hazelnut mixture. 7) Add salt and pepper and stir until combined.
Yield: 2 servings
Inspired by Indian flavors, this easy breakfast is a fun protein-rich, vegan twist on scrambled eggs.
Ingredients: 1 carton silken tofu 2 scallions, finely chopped 1 tbsp. Canola oil 2 tsp. curry powder 1/8 tsp. onion powder 1/8 tsp. kosher salt 1 slice whole wheat bread 1 tsp. apricot preserves
Directions: 1) Gently break up tofu into large chunks, and place in a strainer over a bowl to drain. Place 2 paper towels on top, and weigh tofu down with a heavy item (such as a bowl). Allow to drain for 25 minutes. 2) Heat canola oil over medium heat in a medium-sized nonstick pan or cast iron skillet. Add scallions and sauté for 2 minutes. 3) Add curry powder and continue to sauté for 2 minutes, until well combined. 4) Add tofu, and gently fold the scallions into the tofu using a rubber spatula. Add onion powder and salt. 5) Heat mixture over medium heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes. To stir, gently shake the pan and fold tofu with a spatula. 6) Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. 7) Toast bread and spread with apricot preserves. Slice into 2 triangles. 8) To serve: Place 1/2 of the tofu on a plate with one of the apricot toast triangles.
For more info: Follow hashtag #FaceofClimate for Earth Day.