Ahh I can almost taste Friday. I am very excited to say the least. I have the weekend off AND it’s my dad’s birthday. Cake anyone?
First I just want to say thank you for all the well-wishers out there! I feel much better now :)
Before I get into my recipe for today, I just wanted to take a second to mention that it’s World Water Day today! The theme of this years campaign is water and food security which definitely resonates with me and represents one of the reasons I choose to eat the way I do. It’s very refreshing (pardon the pun ;) ) to have the spotlight put on how our food choices have a real impact on the environment, and in this case, our water supply. They even have a game where you can make up a meal on your plate and see how much water it would take to bring you those foods. Go play it now! It’s what all the cool kids are doing :) Check out what happens when you add a piece of steak to the plate. Scary eh? I hope this campaign acts to shed light on this important issue and that people will actually hear the message!
Now, as promised, I wanted to share the recipe for the dinner I had on Tuesday that was particularly good for upset, sensitive stomachs. It is full of ingredients that will help soothe your belly and that are easily digestible. Now it is nothing revolutionary or particularly fancy but if you have digestive issues yourself, definitely give it a try, or at least your own version of it!
Main ingredients to avoid when experiencing bloating/cramps, etc.:
- Salt- will just make your body retain water, worsening any bloat
- Refined carbs and excess grains- carbs are stored along with water leading to the same problem as above. In addition to this, gluten-containing grains are difficult to digest, regardless of whether you have an intolerance to them or not.
- Gassy foods- beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, etc. can all lead to an uncomfortable state in your GI tract
- Fried and spicy foods- fried foods are digested slower (leading to heavy feeling) and spicy foods lead to increase stomach acid which can irritate an upset stomach
In addition to this, I wanted to avoid any sugar or sweetener, garlic and onions. I am currently toying with the idea that I have a form of IBS and a difficulty absorbing fructose (fructose malabsorption- see the blog Hungry Hungry Hippie for Elise’s journey in dealing with this problem). So I wanted to avoid trigger foods for these conditions.
Now let’s take a look at the ingredients I DID incorporate!
- Quinoa- a psuedograin, it is actually a seed! It’s gluten-free and is a complete protein making it both easy to digest and a good source of nutrition
- Collard greens- lots of phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals
- Asparagus- known to contain compounds that actually promote the growth of good bacteria in your stomach meaning a reduction in bloat!
- Kelp- sea vegetable are very high in important minerals such as iodine and have a salty taste while being low in actual sodium content. This provides flavour to the dish without creating a salt overload
- Lime- while the juice itself is acidic it actually has an alkalizing effect on the body and promotes digestion
- Hemp seeds- easily digestible protein :)
All in all this is a very comforting bowl that is tasty and nutritious and won’t aggravate any digestive issues. Of course, try it even if you are feeling just fine! It is a nice light meal, perfect for the warm weather we have been getting.
“Easy on the Tummy” Bowl (Vegan, Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free)
Makes 4 bowls.
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
- 1/2 bunch asparagus, cut into inch-long segments
- 1 cup chopped collard greens (or any other green you have around)
- 1 tbsp kelp granules (I use thisbrand)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
- juice of 1 lime
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- tahini, for drizzling
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
Start by cooking the quinoa. Rinse it well and then put it in a pot with 2 cups water, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 15-25 min (I’ve found different brands have varying cooking times). You want the quinoa to be cooked but still be wet so the other ingredients mix in well and can coat the quinoa. If your quinoa gets too dry, just add in a little water, no harm done!
While the quinoa is cooking steam the asparagus. You want to cut off the the really tough bits of the asparagus stalk*, discard those and then cut the remaining stalk into 1-inch long pieces. Place in a steaming basket above boiling water and steam for about 10 min, or until tender.
*A good trick I learned for this is to hold the asparagus in both hands and gently bend it. The asparagus will snap in the place where it begins to get tough! No guess work!
Next, in a coffee grinder, combine the nutritional yeast and hemp seeds until the consistency of parmesan and set aside.
When the quinoa is done remove from heat and stir in the collard greens, steamed asparagus, nutritional yeast/hemp seed parmesan, kelp granules, lime juice and cilantro. Scoop some into your bowl, top with a drizzle of tahini and chopped avocado and tomato. Finish with fresh ground pepper if desired. Time to eat!
This is definitely a comfort food bowl: the flavour of is slightly cheesy and the tahini and avocado give it a slight creaminess. The tomato adds a subtle sweetness without the use of sugar. The nutritional yeast and the kelp combine to pack a huge flavour punch without the use of large amounts of salt and the lime and coriander help to freshen things up! So comforting yet light (therefore easy on the stomach).
It also eats well cold. I took it to work without the tahini and it was still delicious!
Now I’m off to enjoy more of this beautiful weather before it’s gone again. I hear it’s going to get cold again….