Tofu Fried Rice with Seitan, Broccolini, & Pickled Shallots

Tofu Fried Rice with Seitan, Broccolini, & Pickled Shallots

If you are looking for a vegetarian protein source that has a meaty texture, seitan might be right up your alley. 

Similar to tofu and tempeh, its flavor on its own is fairly lackluster.  However, if you marinate it, it will take on any flavors you add to it.

Personally, I suggest to stay away from flavored products, as they tend to have added sugars.  Using your own marinades gives you more control.

Knowing what goes into your food is one of the major components in taking charge of your own health.

When you can control what goes into your food, then you will be better equipped to make changes over time.

Cook and Prep Time: 40 minutes

Serves: 2

You Need:

  • ½ cup Brown Rice
  • 2 Eggs, beaten
  • 1 container Seitan, drained and cubed
  • 1 bunch Broccolini, chopped
  • 3 Shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup White Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 tbsp. Red Miso
  • 1 tbsp. Organic Hoisin
  • 1 Lime, juiced

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.  Bring the rice and 1 cup of water to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and cover until water has fully evaporated, 20 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix tamari, miso, hoisin sauce, and lime juice.  In another bowl, add the eggs and whisk until beaten.  Break the seitan into smaller pieces and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In another bowl, add the chopped shallots to a bowl and cover pour the white vinegar over them.  Set aside until ready to serve.
  4. In a large frying pan or wok, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and set to medium-high heat.  Add garlic stirring occasionally until garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds. 
  5. Add broccolini, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened.  Then, add seitan and cook for 3-4 minutes more. 
  6. Pour over half of the tamari-hoisin mixture and stir to combine.  Then, make a well in the middle of the pan or wok and add the beaten eggs.  Cook the eggs until firm and stir to combine.  Add the rest of the tamari-hoisin mixture and stir to combine for 1 minute more.
  7. Add the rice and stir to combine, and cook for 1-2 minutes more.  Then, distribute the fried rice evenly amongst serving plates.  Garnish with pickled shallots.  Enjoy!

New Podcast Coming in February!

Check out The Art of Eating here:

https://www.evokhealth.com/podcast

Very exciting news everyone! I’m excited to announce I will be launching a podcast in January 2019 titled “The Art of Eating: A Lifestyle-Based Guide to Healthy Living” with Dr.Kali Olsen!

Dr. Kali is a board-certified Naturopathic physician offering a holistic, lifestyle-based preventative medicine approach to health, including a focus in functional medical testing.

Dr. Kali completed her medical training at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine, one of only seven accredited medical programs for Naturopathic medicine in North America. She completed both the Biomedical Science Examination and Core Clinical Science Examinations of the NPLEX Licensing Board exams.

Additionally, Dr. Kali is studying for a Masters in Nutrition to be completed in Winter 2018 in order to have the most comprehensive knowledge of the science of “food as medicine.”

This has been something I have tried to put together for a long time now, and I really think you will enjoy some of the topics we discuss. 

If you’re interested in health tips or major health topics and want to know what you can do about it, this will be a great listen for you!

We will cover everything from gluten and dairy sensitivities, popular diet trends, our favorite foods and supplements that are best for certain conditions. 

We will also touch on the effects other lifestyle factors can have on our overall health, including exercise, sleep habits, stress levels, and more! 

I hope you will join us and take something you can use in your everyday life!

We are also looking to bring on experts in other areas to not only teach us, but give you, the listener, even more information down the road!

If you have any interesting health topics you would like us to discuss, feel free to reach out!  We will be more than happy to cover topic in future episodes!

Scallion-Tamari Pinto Beans with Roasted Sunchokes and Balsamic-Glazed Carrots and Green Beans

Cook and Prep Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 2

You Need:

  • 6 oz. Sunchokes, sliced thinly
  • 1 small can Pinto Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 oz. Carrots, chopped
  • 6 oz. Green Beans, ends removed
  • 1 bunch Scallions, sliced; greens and whites separated
  • 1 tbsp. Tamari
  • 1 tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly.  Preheat the oven to 400˚F.  In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and salt.  Stir to combine and set aside.
  2. Line 2 baking trays.  On one tray, add the sunchokes.  Season with salt & pepper, then drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil and toss to evenly coat.  Once the oven is hot, add tray to the oven.  Cook for 30 minutes, or until sunchokes are tender enough to be pierced by a fork.
  3. In the other baking tray, add the carrots and green beans.  Drizzle the balsamic mixture over and toss to evenly coat.  Add the baking tray and all the vegetables to roast for 20 minutes, until tender.
  4. In a pan set to medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil.  Once hot, add scallion whites.  Cook until softened, 2-3 minutes.  Then add pinto beans and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.  Once softened, add tamari and garlic powder, stir to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Distribute evenly the sunchokes, green beans & carrots, and pinto beans.  Enjoy!

4 Markers of Adrenal Fatigue: How to Spot It and What to Look to Improve

Do you have body aches all over?

Do you constantly feel tired?

Are you inexplicably losing weight?

Do you get lightheaded often?

Are you losing your hair?

If any of these sound familiar, it could be due to adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are the primary source of cortisol, the body’s main “stress” hormone.

When the adrenal glands are not functioning properly (which could be for a number of reasons), it can lead to some of those symptoms listed above.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at if you think you may have adrenal fatigue:

  1. 1. Morning Energy Levels

Typically, people with adrenal fatigue have low cortisol levels, particularly in the morning. Under normal circumstances, cortisol levels in the body should be cyclical.
They should be highest in the morning (which helps us wake up), and they lower throughout the day to and through bedtime. These levels then spike again in the morning to wake us up.

Those with adrenal fatigue however, do not have high cortisol levels in the morning, and tend to rely on coffee or other stimulants to get them going early in the day.
Certain supplements and practices can be used to get you back into the normal rhythm, and awaken with more energy.

2. Hypoglycemia

It is common for those with adrenal fatigue to have hypoglycemia (also commonly referred to as “reactive hypoglycemia”).

This means that 2-3 hours following a meal, your blood sugar levels fall dramatically. The natural response is to eat once again to reach those normal blood sugar levels. This may be the source of those cravings you constantly get.

What you will notice with improvement is less cravings between meals. This usually reaches somewhere between 4-5 hours.

Eliminating simple carbohydrates and processed foods can go a long way in helping alleviate some of the symptoms associated with adrenal fatigue. Incorporating more vegetables and complex carbohydrates will curb cravings and normalize this reaction.
Another thing you may experience and could improve is orthostatic hypertension. In a state of chronic stress or adrenal fatigue, you may experience lightheadedness when changing position.

3. Sex Drive

In those with adrenal fatigue or chronic stress, it is common to see a diminished sex drive.

This makes sense from an evolutionary perspective, though. Viewing through the lens of our ancestors it was more important to run away from a bear or tiger than have a high sex drive. Acute bursts of “stress” were necessary to keep us alive.

In chronic states of stress however, this drive can be diminished over long periods of time, and should improve when making improvements.

The precursor to sex hormones (like testosterone, estrogen, and others), DHEA, are shifted towards making cortisol.

As the adrenal function improves, the sex hormones will begin to be produced at normal levels and sex drive improves.

4. Cognitive Function

Brain fog, fatigue, and other symptoms are common in those with adrenal fatigue.

This can be due to many causes, and can commonly coincide with a gut issue, such as an infection or parasite, that steals the essential amino acids needed for proper brain function.

As you fix this issue, you should notice better focus and diminishing brain fog.

Adopting breathing exercises, getting proper amounts of sleep, and spending time outside are all ways to limit stress in your life. There are many others out there as well.
What is most important is you find what works best for you as an outlet. Try a few and see what works!

Disclaimer
Though based in research, personal, and clinical experience, the opinions in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Botanical medicine and nutraceuticals should be treated with the same caution and care as pharmaceuticals, as both have the potential for strong, potentially adverse effects and allergic reactions. Please consult a trained, licensed health care practitioner before proceeding.

Roasted Butternut Squash with Tamari-Glazed Broccoli and Escarole & Beans

Roasted Butternut Squash with Tamari-Glazed Broccoli and Escarole & Beans

Fall is here, and that means bring on the warm colors and flavors. Cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin, squash, and the like are all out and ready to be taken in.

The Fall is my favorite time of year.  The weather is generally great even here in the northeast. However, it is the food that really makes difference here.

The flavors are fantastic.  The colors are vibrant. The food is warm.  Let’s highlight some of those flavors here:

You Need:

• 2 Butternut Squashes, cut into ½ inch cubes
• 2 stalks Broccoli, florets chopped
• 2 heads Escarole, chopped
• 1 large can Cannellini Beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 White Onion, diced
• 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
• Olive Oil
• 1 tbsp. Tamari
• Salt, to taste
• Black Pepper, taste
• 1 ½ tbsp. Cinnamon
• 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Rinse and chop produce accordingly. Line 2 baking trays.

2. To 1 baking tray, add butternut squash. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and smoked paprika. Mix well until fully coated. Once the oven is warm, add tray to the oven a roast for 20 minutes, or until tender. Halfway through the cooking process, removed to toss, then place the tray back in the oven.

3. On the other baking tray, add broccoli and 1 clove garlic. Add tamari, 1 tbsp. olive oil, and black pepper. Mix well until fully coated. Once the over is warm, add tray to the oven a roast for 20 minutes, or until tender. Halfway through the cooking process, removed to toss, then place the tray back in the oven.

4. In a large pan set to medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Once warm, add 2 cloves garlic and onion. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Cook until onion is softened, 3-4 minutes.

5. Begin to add escarole to the pan with garlic and onion. This may need to be done in batches as the escarole wilts, 5-8 minutes. Once escarole is wilted, add beans and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, and cook for 1-2 minutes, until beans are warmed through.

6. To each serving dish, distribute evenly the butternut squash, broccoli, and escarole & beans. Enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pink Beans and Couscous

When you’re strapped for time or want to put together a quick dinner, sometimes it is best to throw a bunch of simple ingredients together and seeing what happens.

That’s basically what happened here. I was running low on food in the fridge, and I needed to clear it out before I was going shopping the following the day.

The sprouts were going to go bad if I didn’t use them at this point, and I need a vehicle to bring together mushrooms, green beans, and pink beans (which I have never used before).

Luckily, I found some couscous and thought it was a great idea!

Turns out, it all ended up working out for a pretty solid, balanced, and well-rounded dinner.

Give this a shot and let me know what you think!

Serves: 2

You Need:
• ½ Cup Israeli Couscous
• 1 small can Pink Beans, rinsed and drained
• 10 oz. Green Beans, ends removed & halved
• 5 oz. Mushrooms, chopped
• 1 Yellow Onion, diced
• 12 oz. Brussels Sprouts, halved
• Olive Oil
• Salt, to taste
• Black Pepper, to taste
• 1 tbsp. Garlic Powder
• 1 tbsp. Chipotle Pepper Powder

DIRECTIONS

1.Rinse and chop the produce accordingly. Preheat an oven to 450˚F. Line 1 baking tray.

2.In a small pot, add 1 tbsp. olive oil set to medium heat. Once hot, add onion, and cook until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Then, add green beans and mushrooms, and cook until softened slightly, 3-4 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper.

3.Add couscous to pot with green beans, mushrooms, and onion. Add 1 ¼ cup water and bring mixture to a boil. Once boiled, reduce heat to a simmer and cover until water has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

4.Meanwhile, add brussels sprouts to baking tray. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Drizzle 1 tbsp. olive oil and toss to combine. Place in the heated oven and allow to roast for 20-25 minutes, until slightly browned. Then, remove until ready to serve.

5.In a pan set to medium-high heat, add 1 tbsp. olive oil. Once hot, add pink beans. Season with salt, pepper, and chipotle pepper powder. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until fully combined and set aside until ready to serve.

6.Plate couscous, and top with pink beans. Serve with a side of brussels sprouts. Enjoy!

What’s the Deal with Antioxidants?

Acai bowls are all the rage nowadays. I love them myself. While walking down the street, I’m sure you’ve noticed signs claiming their acai bowls are “packed with antioxidants” or “nutrient-dense.”

But what does that actually mean?

Antioxidants are substances that protect our cells from free radical (or oxidant) damage. Free radicals (also known as reactive oxygen species) can occur from exposure to smoking, chemicals, pollution, tissue trauma (injury), ozone exposure, radiation, foods, and even as a byproduct of normal body metabolism.

If free radicals cannot be processed and removed efficiently from the body, it can result in what is known as oxidative stress. This can harm cells and alter proper function.

Oxidative stress has been linked to heart disease, cancer, arthritis, stroke, respiratory diseases, immune deficiency, emphysema, Parkinson’s disease, and other inflammatory or ischemic conditions.

Antioxidants play a role by neutralizing the damage caused by oxidative stress. But how exactly does this work?

One study states, “Antioxidants act as radical scavenger, hydrogen donor, electron donor, peroxide decomposer, singlet oxygen quencher, enzyme inhibitor, synergist, and metal-chelating agents.”

In other words, antioxidants donate electrons to free radicals, which neutralizes them and stops them from causing us harm.

Antioxidant vitamins and minerals include vitamins A (and carotenoids), C, and E, as well as selenium, manganese, and phytochemicals like lutein, quercetin, and lycopene.

These antioxidants might be found in many of the foods you are already eating. The best sources of antioxidants are found in plant-based foods. They are most highly concentrated in vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains.

Consuming antioxidant-rich foods are good for the overall health of you heart, as well as lower your risk for infections and even some forms of cancer!

Each antioxidant serves a specific role, so it is important to consume a varied diet to get all your antioxidants!

Foods high in antioxidants include: apples, blueberries, broccoli, spinach, lentils, and big leafy greens. The more vibrantly-colored foods tend to have higher levels of antioxidants, as a general rule.

Bottom line: free radical damage can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and loss of vision.

There is an abundance of evidence suggesting eating mostly whole foods, including large amounts of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains (all having some antioxidant benefits) will provide protection against many of the chronic diseases we see today.

So go grab yourself an acai bowl. Or better yet, make it yourself!

Disclaimer
Though based in research, personal, and clinical experience, the opinions in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Botanical medicine and nutraceuticals should be treated with the same caution and care as pharmaceuticals, as both have the potential for strong, potentially adverse effects and allergic reactions. Please consult a trained, licensed health care practitioner before proceeding.

Arugula Salad with Toasted Chickpeas, Roasted Sunchokes, Almonds, and Tahini Dressing

Salads can be tricky.

Many people associate eating a salad with eating healthy.  If you’re getting the right ingredients and adding a lot of color to your salads, you are probably right!

But inevitably, it gets to the point where people feel stuck because they end up eating the same salad with the same boring dressing.  This leads to giving up due to a lack of variety.

This is why I find salads a challenge.  If you are going to make an unforgettable salad you actually WANT as a meal, you need to get creative.  You have to add texture, different temperatures, and creative dressings.

I think this salad is a good example of bringing those principles together to make a delicious dish you can go back to again and again.

Serves: 2

You Need:

  • 1 5 oz. container Arugula
  • 1 small can Chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 5 oz. Sunchokes, chopped
  • 1 handful Almonds, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Turmeric
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste

For the Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. Tahini
  • ½ tbsp. Honey
  • 1 tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black Pepper, to taste
  • Water (for consistency if necessary)

DIRECTIONS                      

  1. 1. Rinse and chop the produce accordingly. Rinse the arugula and set aside in a bowl until ready to serve. Chop the almonds.
  2. 2. Preheat an oven to 450˚ Line 1 baking tray.
  3. 3. Add sunchokes to baking tray, and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. olive oil, and toss to combine.  Once the oven is warm. Add sunchokes, and allow them to roast for 20-30 minutes, until tender enough to be pierced with a fork.

The Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is particularly interesting because it is used in virtually all cuisines worldwide.  In some form or fashion, it makes its way into a variety dishes, often unnoticed visually but distinct in taste.

 

Personally, I find it absolutely delicious and useful in almost any cooking situation. But as ubiquitous as garlic is, do you know about it amazing health benefits?

 

Garlic contains two substances, known as allicin and alliin.  Both of these are sulfur-containing compounds that have anti-biotic properties.

 

In addition to this, other studies have shown garlic has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-yeast properties as well.

 

To get the most of these effects, its best to consume your garlic raw.

 

Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “raw garlic is gross, how can someone eat that?!”  Well, there’s a few ways you can do this fairly easily.

 

First off, you can add fresh garlic to dressings and marinades.  Simply chopping up a clove or two into your homemade salad dressing is an easy way to add garlic to what you are eating.

 

In a similar fashion, you can blend garlic up with other ingredients when you prepare your favorite sauces or marinades.

 

Removing the skin from garlic can sometimes be tricky.  One easy trick is to blanch the garlic in hot water for 30 seconds, then drain and let cool.  You can then slice of the end with the root, and the skin will come off.

 

If you are trying to get the covering off each individual clove, you can use the flat side of a knife and mash each clove slightly, the skin will come off easily.

 

Garlic can be chopped, mashed (to release its oils), or minced.  When you chop garlic, it releases enzymes that convert the sulfur-containing compounds to diallyl disulfide, ammonia, and pyruvic acid.

 

If you were to cook garlic, the diallyl disulfide is destroyed, giving cooked garlic a much milder taste.

 

Some studies suggest garlic can be protective against certain forms of cancer.

 

Alliin and allicin are thought to prevent the formation of carcinogens in the body or by blocking carcinogens from reaching sensitive areas of the body.

 

Another proposed mechanism is that these two substances inhibit the transformation of healthy cells into cancerous cells.

 

Garlic has also shown the ability to lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels.

 

LDL particles cholesterol bring fats into your arteries to transport for storage in the body, while HDL particles ship them out.

 

One year-long study on aged garlic (or garlic that has been fermented) showed it can reduce plaque buildup in arteries and also lower levels of homocysteine, which, according to the American Heart Association, is an independent risk factor for heart disease.

 

Garlic is great-tasting and provides a plethora of health benefits for a variety of different people.  It can be especially for helpful for those with heart problems or people who have trouble losing weight.

 

Why not try it for yourself and add it to your home cooking?

 

Disclaimer

Though based in research, personal, and clinical experience, the opinions in this article should not be taken as medical advice. Botanical medicine and nutraceuticals should be treated with the same caution and care as pharmaceuticals, as both have the potential for strong, potentially adverse effects and allergic reactions. Please consult a trained, licensed health care practitioner before proceeding.

Cauliflower “Fried Rice” With Chicken, Kholrabi, Carrots, and Peas

There are always those days where you are running low on time and want to spend as little of it in the kitchen as possible.

There are also those days where you are trying to get rid of the scraps of food you have left in your fridge.

Enter: cauliflower fried rice. This is made in a very similar fashion to a traditional fried rice, with cauliflower substituting for your traditional day-old rice.

Simply dice all your veggies and follow the steps below.

Cook and Prep Time: 30 minutes

You Need:
• 2 heads Cauliflower, riced
• 1 White Onion, diced
• 2 cloves Garlic, minced
• 1 small can Peas, rinsed and drained
• 1 lb. Chicken Breasts, cut into ½ inch pieces
• 1 bunch Scallions, thinly chopped; whites and dark parts separated
• 2 Carrots, thinly chopped
• 2 Kholrabi, skin removed and chopped into ½ inch pieces
• 1 tbsp. Rice Wine Vinegar
• 2 tbsp. Tamari
• 1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
• 2 Eggs
• 1 Lime, chopped into quarters
• Salt, to taste
• Black Pepper, to taste
• Olive Oil

DIRECTIONS
1.Rinse and chop your produce accordingly. In a large bowl, add your riced cauliflower and set aside until ready for use. In a small bowl, mix tamari, rice vinegar, and sesame oil. In another bowl, add the eggs and whisk until beaten. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

2.In a large frying pan or wok, add 1 tbsp. olive oil and set to medium-high heat. Add garlic, scallion whites, and onion, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, until onion is softened, 3-4 minutes.

3.In a separate pan, add 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Once warm, add chicken, and cook until no longer pink, stirring occasionally, 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside until step 6.

4.Once the onions have softened, add kohlrabi and carrots to the garlic and onions. Cook until slightly softened, 4-5 minutes and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

5.Then, add riced cauliflower and peas to the vegetables, and stir to combine. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes.

6.Then, make a well in the center of the pan. Add eggs, and scramble until fully cooked, 1-2 minutes. Add chicken and tamari mixture to pan, stirring to coat complete, 1 additional minute.

7.Distribute “fried rice” evenly among plates. Garnish each plate with lime wedge and scallion greens. Enjoy!