I’ve always been a huge fan of variety. So much so, that when I was old enough to walk to school by myself, (which was about 10 years old!), I’d change my route around frequently just for fun. Hard to believe these days I could walk the New York City streets all by myself at that age… and this with my single mom leaning towards the over-protective side! Different times we were in then, that’s for sure. So, my desire for changeability remains the same decades later, and I readily apply it to cuisine too.
There are some people who eat the same meals on a daily basis. It boggles my mind how one could have the same food each day. Interestingly, there are over 20,000 species of edible plants in the world yet fewer than 20 species now provide 90% of our food. You are not alone if you don’t eat a diverse diet, between the government, big agri-business and the media, we’ve all been trained to go for what’s fast and convenient, not always healthiest options. I’m here to teach you how to have a bit more adventure in your eating healthy delicious foods.
The other night my friend, and oh-so-adventurous member of H.E.A.R.T., had me shop with her at Greenwise for support. (Greenwise is the equivalent of Whole Foods, for my out of state readers.) We had fun, maybe a wee bit more so for me, however, she is already diving in to make creative combinations with the ingredients on her own. Pretty inspiring I’d say! I’m super proud.
I’ll give you a run down of some different ways to combine a batch of fabulous ingredients for different meals as examples. I know some of you are antsy for recipes that involve foods that you’ve heard of.
Tuna Chickpea Salad
-Tuna fish (organic, solid, in water or oil, be sure to choose a brand that’s dolphin safe)
-Garbanzo beans (aka chick peas)
-Vidalia onion (you can use another type of onion, but these tend to be sweetest) or sub scallions, or yellow onion (if yellow, then soak)
-Red wine vinegar, or apple cider, or rice wine vinegar (balsamic is a bit strong but that can be used, just less of it).
-Oregano (dried is ok)
-Grainy mustard (optional)
-Garlic clove (optional)
First drain your can of tuna and place into a medium sized serving bowl. Drain your beans and rinse thoroughly if you’re using canned. If you’re cooking from dried beans, be sure to soak them overnight 12-24 hours before cooking. Add beans to the bowl.
Next, slice 1/4 of your medium sized vidalia onion – put it flat side down on your cutting board once you cut off 1/4 and slice into very paper thin slices. If using yellow onion, soak the slices in cold filtered water for 10-20 mins., it will make it milder.
Add the onion to the bowl. Separate 3-4 stalks of parsley. Remove the parsley leaves from the stems and chop parsley roughly, put aside. Now for the dressing.
In a separate bowl add 2 tbs of olive oil to 2 tbs of vinegar if you like it vinegery, (if you’re Vata constitution), and 1 to 1-1/2 if you’re Pita or Kapha. Add a 1/4 tsp. of grainy mustard, like a dijon if you’d like to the dressing, and a smashed garlic clove (smash with the side of your knife and remove the peel, then a pinch of dried oregano, 1-2 twists of black ground pepper, and a pinch of sea salt – Whisk all of these together with a fork until the mustard, oil and vinegar are combined well.
Pour over your bowl of beans, onions and chick peas, add the chopped parsley and toss. Voila!
*This can be eaten over mixed lettuces, with baby spinach, and arugula. Another possibility is combine with a whole grain pasta and eaten warm, with or without the greens, and the addition of other veggies.)