SIMPLE & SPEEDERIFIC
WHOLE FOODS ON THE MOoVE RECIPES
I came up with these recipes while living in Tokyo...they're in this form cause a Japanese doctor friend asked me to put together a booklet for his patients...great for the perennially busy, bachelors, people who are always on the go and staying hotels, even those who go away a lot on business trips...basically, anyone who wants to eat healthier but can't be bothered to spend the time it takes to make it so...
LUNCH AND DINNER IDEAS
EASY EAT-ON-THE-MOVE MEALS
First off, always stock your kitchen with good basic combining ingredients, for breakfast these include all kinds of dried fruit (such as raisins, apples, apricots, figs, sweet potatoes, etc.), nuts (almonds, walnuts, cashews, brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, soy nuts, etc.), seeds (poppy, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, flax, hemp---best to grind these in a coffee grinder as they digest better, and store in an airtight container in the fridge), fruit only jam (usually at least three flavors, such as strawberry, orange marmalade, and blueberry), toasted buckwheat (very simple, just brown in a dry frying pan over medium heat, stirring regularly to prevent burning), coconut, sesame seeds, molasses, and grains, grains, grains (for example, brown rice, black rice, red rice, wild rice, millet, amaranth, quinoa, buckwheat, and cornmeal if you are gluten-free and if wheat is not a problem for you, you can add in spelt, barley, rye, and oats, which all contain gluten).
1) Stuffed mochi's---bake mochies (pounded glutenous brown rice sheets, cut into squares, available at healthfood stores in the refridg section) until they start to rise, then remove from the oven. Cut a slit across the top of each and fill with a mixture of chopped nuts and dried fruit (for example, raisins and peanuts, mangos and cashews, figs and walnuts, apples and almonds - anything). Then return them to the oven and finish baking.
Variations: instead, fill mochies with fresh fruit or fruit only jam and sesame seeds, your favorite nut butter (bananas and cashew butter is a decadent combination), or applesauce (with cinnamon and raisins!).
2) Homemade muesli---combine equal parts organic rolled quinoa flakes, toasted buckwheat, your favorite natural cereal (such as organic corn flakes, blue corn flakes, etc.), sesame seeds, raisins (or small pieces of any other dried fruit you like), and chopped nuts. Mix and serve with easy to make do it yourself (and much better for you than boxed non-dairy alternatives) almond milk (click link for recipe) or 100% fruit juice
3) Toasted rice crackers---rice cracker with fruit only jam, sprinkle with muesli mix or sesame seeds (or both) and toast in toaster oven or broiler until the jam starts to bubble and the topping becomes a light brown.
Variations: instead, spread cracker with nut butter and bananas sliced lengthwise, then top with raisins or coconut before toasting. These also make great after dinner cookies.
4) Morning porridge---combine a handful of raisins and 1 cup quinoa flakes, millet (best to brown first - done the same way as the buckwheat), cornmeal, muesli mix, or barley (whichever you prefer, I alternate to add variety) with 2 cups of water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce and simmer until you have a porridge consistency (sometimes you'll need to add more water, or less if you like it thicker). Remove from heat and add 1/2 cup of toasted barley, a small handful of chopped nuts, and 2 Tbsp of fruit only jam. Stir and serve hot. (makes two servings)
Variations: instead of cooking your grains on the spot every morning, you can used already cooked brown rice (last night's leftovers) as your base grain. Also you can flavor with sesame seeds, substitute fruit only jam with honey, molasses (very high in iron and great for vegans to build strong blood) or fresh fruit (strawberries, bananas, or apples work best) and/or coconut before or after cooking, etc.
5) Easy fruit salad ---cut up bit sized pieces of your favorite fruits, such as apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, grapefruit, melon, kiwi, strawberries, etc. and combine with muesli mix or toasted barley, raisins, and nuts.
Variations: in the winter, you can make a warm compote. Put the fruit mix, raisins, a few sprinkles of cinnamon, and enough water to keep the fruit from burning (more if you want to drink a delicious hot fruit cider with your breakfast) in a small saucepan, cover and cook over low to medium heat until warm. Drain out the excess juice and stir in toasted barley before serving.
LUNCH AND DINNER IDEAS
Like breakfast, a well stocked kitchen means that you'll only need a few vegetables, tempeh, tofu, and a little imagination to create healthy, hassle free feasts. So, try to always have a good selection of staple ingredients, such as fresh spices (curry, ginger, garlic, red pepper, basil, black pepper, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, tumeric, cloves, cardamom), mustard (make sure it doesn't have sugar), miso, nori and other sea vegetables, braggs or wheat free tamari (like soy sauce), organic tomato paste, organic tomato salsa, raw tahini, raw almond butter, sesame seeds (a few different varieties, including ground), umeboshi leaves, dried fish, nuts, beans, soba (buckwheat noodles), mochi, healthy store bought crackers (for example, brown rice; read the ingredients and look for crackers that are grain and salt only....be careful because many crakers contain lots of oil and sugar and unhealthy fat) and the grains outlined above.
1) Open faced tempeh apple sandwich ---Toast two slices of gluten-free bread or three crackers, arrange face up with thinly sliced apple, tofu, and tomato, then sprinkle with toasted buckwheat and sesame seeds. Enjoy.
2) Easy miso soup ---fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil, reduce heat an add wakami, a few spinach leaves, 1/4 cup chopped broccoli, 1/4 cup chopped cauliflower, 1 grated carrot, and cubed tofu. When thoroughly heated, bring again to a quick boil, turn off heat and whisk in 2 Tbsp miso. Serve with whole grain. Serves 1 or 2.
Variations: change the vegetable combination, add soba noodles, mochi or brown
3) Quick cheese-less pizza ---use soft gluten free bread (amy's makes gluten free pizza crusts if you don't want to make it from scratch) or brown rice crackers, spread thickly with tomato paste (mixed with pressed and finely chopped garlic), thinly sliced mushrooms, onions and tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil and broil or toast in toaster oven until hot and bubbly.
Variations: experiment with toppings and create your own favorite combination.
4) Summer rice salad ---very easy, just lightly fried tofu, raw vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, shredded cabbage, spinach, and tomatoes), brown rice, and dressing, such as shoyu, a squeeze of fresh lemon, umeboshi or rice vinegar, and a dash of sesame oil. Sprinkle with black or toasted sesame seeds, and umeboshi leaves.
5) Cold Thai soba noodle salad ---Dice 2 red peppers, 2 carrots, and 1 large cucumber, set aside. Cook enough soba for four people and while cooling, make almond dressing by combining 1/2 jar of organic almond butter, water, tabasco, 1/2 - 1 cup spring onions, and the juice of 1 lemon. Cook over low heat, stirring regularly, until the mixture becomes thin and creamy. Next dice red pepper, carrots, and cucumber. Combine soba, dressing, and vegetables. Refrigerate. Serves 4.
6) Vegetable & fruit salad ---in a large bowl combine shredded cabbage, nori, spinach, alfalfa sprouts, chopped apples, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and soy beans. Prepare your favorite dressing or combine mustard, braggs, apple cider vinegar, and sesame seeds and toss onto the salad. Sprinkle with toasted buckwheat, bean sprouts, ground seeds, and raisins or cranberries before serving.
7) Hot spinach salad ---in a large skillet lightly fry 1-2 cloves of diced garlic in sesame oil, then fill the bottom of the skillet with water and tamari. Add 1-2 chopped tomatoes and 1 bunch of chopped spinach, cover, and steam for only a few minutes. Sprinkle generously with ground sesame before serving. Serves 2.
8) Sweet potato chili ---soak and cook 1 250gram pkg. of black beans (about 40 minutes - see directions below). Chop two large sweet potatoes and steam until they turn bright yellow but are still hard in the middle. In a separate pan, cook 1 1/2 cups of cornmeal in 3 cups of water until creamy. In the larger saucepan, combine beans, sweet potato, and cornmeal, adding water if the consistency seems too thick. Next chop 1 cup spring onions and 2-3 large tomatoes, cut off kernels from 1-2 ears of fresh corn, and mix all into the large saucepan. Add tabasco, chili pepper, garlic, cumin, coriander, black pepper and fresh cilantro to taste. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or longer. Serve with organic corn tortillas. Serves 4-6.
9) Pumpkin and chick pea soup --- soak overnight then cook 1 250gram package of chickpeas until soft (about 1 hour). Chop one large pumpkin and steam until soft. Then, use a blender to cream 3/4 of the cooked chickpeas and 3/4 of the steamed pumpkin (add water to make this easier), setting the rest aside for later. Once creamed pour into a large saucepan and add 3 cups of water and 1 1/2 cups of millet, plus the remaining Tabasco and chickpeas. Next saute garlic, onions, and leeks and add to the soup. Sprinkle with nutmeg, ginger, and curry spice. Stir and simmer for 1 hour or longer. Serves 4-6.
EASY EAT ON THE MOVE IDEAS
No time to cook during the week, no problem, make everything on Sunday. It's easy, and by adding variety with different spices and dressings (some suggestions follow), you won't get bored by Friday. True, you'll be eating your food cold, but then again, unless you opt for fast food or can afford the price of restaurants, most of your convenience store options will be cold anyway.
So, cook 2-3 cups of either brown rice, millet, quinoa etc. (depending on how much you think you can eat) soak a 250 gram bag of beans overnight (azuki, black, chickpea, crandberry, black, lentil or whatever you prefer) when ready, place them on the stove (with plenty of water) and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer until the beans have absorbed most of the water, usually between twenty minutes to one hour depending on the bean, but until you get used to cooking them, it's best to check the beans periodically.
Clean, cut, and steam a seasonal sampling of vegetables (preferably organic), including, fresh ginger (sliced very thin otherwise the taste will be too strong), carrots, potatoes, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin plus any others you might fancy, such as cauliflower, eggplant, spinach, sweet potatoes, daikon, leeks, etc. Steam each vegetable separately since most cook at different rates. Check them often and remove when still crisp. Be careful not to over steam them since this will cook away many valuable nutrients.
That's it, these are your staples. Place each in a separate container and combine as you go. It may seem less efficient, but this way you'll be left with more than beans by Friday. Now, for the fun part, the recipes:
Of course, any of the breakfasts outlined in the section above will work, only they take more time to prepare, so I usually save them for weekend or times when I have plenty of time, instead try:
Morning porridge --- if you're like me and you eat all your meals on the run, its best to make extra brown rice and use it for breakfast as well (follow the morning porridge recipe except don't heat the rice). It tastes great cold and it takes less time than preparing a to go version of the morning porridge listed above (although if you don't mind taking the time, all of the grain variations, with the exception of cornmeal taste good cold too).
Toasted nut butter and jam sandwich --- toast 2 slices of your favorite gluten-free bread, spread with nut butter and jam, and put in a plastic bag. If you make it the night before, it gets a little soggy, but some actually prefer it that way.
Muesli and fruit --- if you don't mind dry cereal, this is as simple as a serving sized bag of homemade muesli and a piece of fruit. If you can't eat your cereal dry, put it in a tupperware bowl (don't forget a spoon), buy a small carton of fruit juice or rice milk, pour it over the cereal, and enjoy.
LUNCH: This is the easiest, since many restaurants offer healthy lunch options, but if you prefer to carry, pack along one or more of the following:
Genmai onigri --- the usual method, just use your pre-made brown rice, make a ball and fill with umeboshi, roccoli, dried fish, tofu (anything that sounds good), and wrap with nori. It's a crude process, and may look less appealing than the usual version, but it's healthier and tastes just as good.
Tofu or Tempeh sandwich --- toast 2 slices of gluten free bread or rice cakes, spread thickly with tahini, hummos or almond butter, coat each side of the bread with spinach (protects against soggy bread), then add tempe or tofu, sprouts, sunflower seeds, and grated carrot. If you like tomato, slice it before hand and wait to add it until lunchtime.
Bird lunch --- a bag of healthy crackers, popcorn, or wheat free bread bread, sliced vegis, carrots, fruit or vegetable juice, and an apple
DINNER: All the combinations bellow are made with Sunday's staples. When carrying your dinner, make sure you have a strong tupperware bowl. To protect against stained documents and books, I find it's best to wrap it in a plastic shopping bag (I use the same one as long as I can) since every once in a while your container may decide to leak.
Middle Eastern style --- combine vegetables, beans (best with chickpeas), and rice and dress with tahini (watered down with hot water first), curry spices, garlic, paprika, raisins, and chopped cashews (can also add coconut)
Variation: substitute soba or millet for brown rice
Japanese style --- combine vegetables, beans, and rice and dress with tamari, black sesame seeds, nori, and umeboshi leaves.
Variation: substitute soba for brown rice, or tofu for beans.
Mexican style --- combine vegetables, beans (best with pinto, kidney, or black), and rice and dress with organic tomato salsa (available at Kinokunya, National Azabu, Media-ya, etc.), tabasco (only a dash), and grated onion.
Variation: substitute cornmeal for brown rice
Italian style --- combine vegetables, beans, and rice and dress with tomato paste (mixed with pressed garlic and a little water - or buy pre-made organic pasta sauce), oregano, basil, and black pepper.
Variation: substitute wholewheat or corn pasta for brown rice
DESSERT: If you have a sweet tooth, also bring along 3-5 pieces of dried fruit and a few nuts, organic wheat free cookies, raisins or fresh fruit to give you a healthy post-meal treat.
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