A week ago, I spent most of my Sunday cupcake testing and after consuming one too many cupcakes which resulted in a serious tummy ache, I figured it was time to revamp my eating habits a bit. My diet isn’t exactly horrible and I’m not the type who’s interested in dieting to lose weight; I’m actually pretty cool with my weight…whatever that may be, but every now and then I notice the mass amounts of sugar I’ve consumed creeping up on me, leaving me feeling crappy, with constant cravings and I figured I should make an effort to do something about it. Honestly, I’ve been meaning to alter my diet ever since Xmas, but for those of you who know me, you damn well know how stubborn I am and there was no way I was going to make any changes just because it was January 1st, this is the same reason I purposely waited until March to switch gyms, stubborn I tell ya.
Although I’m not making any significantly huge changes, I have made a few baby ones to get myself back on track.
First off, I’ve been seriously lacking in the greens department, which is weird since I actually love all my leafy comrades but they just don’t always make it onto my plate. So to make sure I’m getting some greens in my belly everyday, I’ve started drinking green smoothies every morning. I usually don’t have much of a problem in the summer, but I find it more difficult to drink smoothies in the winter, I am digging my combo of cherries, carob powder, dates and spinach though.
Secondly, I’ve stopped eating sugary treats after dinner. This is where those pesky cravings were kicking in; I was getting to the point where if I didn’t put a piece of cake or brownie in my mouth after dinner, I would get these horrible cravings. So obviously instead of dealing with them, I just gave in. It’s only been a short while, so I’m still getting after dinner cravings but I’ve replaced my evening cupcake with some fruit and maybe a little almond yogurt or low-sugar granola. I’m hoping that at some point I won’t crave anything after I’ve eaten dinner, but this seems to be doing the trick so far.
Third, I’m trying to do more meal planning. I’m pretty sure this has been a goal of mine since the beginning of time, it’s pretty much an ongoing battle for me, usually I do pretty good with it, but sometimes not so much. Every week, I’ve been trying to think of 2-3 healthy meals to make, spend most of Sunday cooking and then spend the rest of the week eating said healthy meals and not frozen burritos I happen to find in the bottom of the freezer. This doesn’t always work for me as I don’t always have the free time to do all this cooking, but even throwing together a quick stir-fry with lots of fresh veggies is better then scarfing down another Poppa John’s pizza. Speaking of stir-fry’s, does anyone have any recommendations for healthy simple go-to meals? I seem to have a lot of trouble coming up with any new ideas, and as much as I love a good stir-fry, it gets pretty boring after awhile.
Actually, I did find one new meal to add to my rotations. I was reading Ashley’s blog when I remembered one of my favourite tofu recipes; I’ve been making it ever since she posted it but hadn’t made it since I started the blog. For shame! How could I forget about such a tasty creation? Nice crispy outside, slightly chewy interior, with a mix of sweet and spicy flavours, so good! But I couldn’t eat tofu all by its lonesome, oh no, instead I found some other healthy ingredients to add to the mix. I jazzed up some quinoa by making a coconut variety and then sautéed some kale in some soy sauce with a little lime juice. Not only did everything come together quickly and is pretty kick ass nutrition wise but it actually tastes really good, gasp! What could be better then that? (this is totally rhetorical, so to anyone who’s planning on writing ‘warm brownies covered in coconut ice cream’, expect me to reach through the computer screen and give you a smack upside the head :P).
So what do you do to kick your healthy butt into gear? Any tips?
Sweet Chili Tofu with Steamed Kale & Coconut Quinoa
Sweet Chili Tofu
- 350g pkg extra firm tofu, drained
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
- 3/4 cup quinoa
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 4 cardamom pods, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch kale, middle veins removed, washed, roughly chopped
- 1-2 Tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon low sodium tamari
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry roasted almonds
For the quinoa, combine all the ingredients in a pot that has a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn off heat and move pot away from burner. Do not open lid. Let steam for 10 minutes before serving.
Pat tofu dry and cut the block into 8 rectangles widthwise, then each rectangle in half to make two squares per rectangle. Then cut each square diagonally to make four triangles per square.
In a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil and sauté the tofu until browned, flip the tofu over and brown the other side. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the garlic, ginger, and chili. Sauté for 5 minutes. Add the maple syrup, tamari, and lime juice. Cover and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
For the kale, heat a frying pan or wok over medium-high heat and add the chopped kale along with the water, tamari, and lime juice to the pan. Sauté the kale for about 3-4 minutes or until the kale softens and turns a bright green. Remove from heat.
For plating, arrange the kale over a bed of quinoa. Add tofu over the top, and sprinkle with green onions and toasted almonds. Garnish with lime slices.