Friday, December 30, 2011

Triple Berry Parfait

Festive and a snap to make, this was part of my Christmas dinner with my family.  I had forgotten that I had taken a photo of it until today when I was uploading photos for my other posts.   The combination of the antioxidents in the berries and the probiotics in the kefir make it a great immune-building dessert.  Who knew that dessert could be healthy?

1/2 cup frozen triple berry mixed fruit  (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries)
1 cup plain low-fat kefir

Partially thaw the frozen fruit mix.  Put the kefir into a blender and add the fruit, and puree to desired consistency.

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 1
Serving Size: Approx 1.25 cups
Calories: 209
Total Fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 10 mg
Sodium: 133 mg
Total Carbs: 34 g
Dietary Fiber: 5 g
Protein: 15 g

Kale, Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup

I am still all about "easy" today.  So I looked in the fridge, saw the left-over cauliflower and broccoli soup from yesterday and decided to add some chopped kale to it for extra potency and flavor, and cooked it in the microwave.  All hail kale! 

2 cups florets of cauliflower and broccoli, chopped
1 -2 cups water
onion powder, to desired taste
garlic powder, to desired taste
1/8 teaspoon Nature's Seasons
4 kale leaves, destemmed and chopped fine
(I prefer to use the Tuscany Kale.  It's lovely to behold!)

Place the chopped broccoli and cauliflower florets in a 4-cup glass measuring cup  Ad water to at least half the amount of vegetables, or more if a thinner soup is desired.  Ad onion powder, garlic powder, and Nature's Seasons.  Microwave at high power until the vegetables are tender.  Add the chopped kale and continue to cook at high power until the kale is tender.  Cool a bit, then puree with an immersion stick blender.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. 

Servings per recipe: 2
Serving Size: Approx. 1.25  cups
Calories: 46
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 131 mg
Total Carbs: 8 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 3

Wild Wood High Protein Tofu

On my recent post for Quick Cauliflower and Broccoli Soup,  I mentioned adding tofu to it.  I know that tofu is repulsive to some people, but not to me!  I loved it even before it became an important element in my diet. Maybe my love for it is because I was first introduced to extraordinarily good quality tofu in Japan in the early 1980's when I was there to teach English as a Second Language.  I was consistently eager to try all the foods offered to me, including tofu.   My favorite recollection of how it was served was as a simple small block with an indentation in the top of it filled with a mighty hot wasabi paste.  My nostrils were on fire but I ate it again and again.  It was also frequently served as small cubes in a simple yet delicious miso soup, or with stir-fried vegetables.  Oh, I do miss stir fried vegetables. But I am grateful that I can still enjoy tofu and find that it fits my requirements for soft protein.   But the spicy wasabi has to go. 

At the Duluth Whole Foods Co-op, I recently discovered a new type of tofu by Wild Wood Organic Foods that is higher in protein than most other types. An 85 gram portion of this tofu contains 14 grams of protein, which is more than double what most tofu of similar size contains.  Other nutritional information for this serving portion is listed below.   This tofu is super-firm, and quite different from the smooth Japanese type of tofu I was initially introduced to, but it tastes similar and is more amenable to being sauteed than the softer types.   Yet it is soft enough for my digestive system to handle without a problem. 

My husband reminds me that when buying tofu, it is critical to buy organic, since customary practices for growing soybeans uses high levels of pesticides.

The wonder of tofu is that it easily absorbs the flavors used with it.  One of my favorite marinades for cubed tofu is soy sauce (or Bragg Liquid Aminos) with curry powder, garlic powder, and sometimes I throw in a little bit of rice vinegar.  Then I saute it in coconut oil.   The other cool thing about this new type of tofu is that it is not packed in water, so it doesn't need to be pressed or drained, thus I don't need any additional prep time (or advance planning) to make it. 

Experiment and enjoy!

Sauteeing tofu
Nutritional Information for Wild Wood Organic Tofu:
Serving Size: 85 grams per serving   (each package contains 3 servings)
Calories: 130
Total Fat: 7 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 15 mg
Total Carbs: 3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 14 g