Three months into the new year is the perfect time to check in with your resolutions. Diet and exercise are always at the top of everyone’s list...so, as March 1st rolls around to mark the start of National Nutrition Month, now is an excellent opportunity to give your daily diet a facelift, or at least some careful examination.
If you haven’t heard about The Go Plant-Power! 14 Day Challenge, created by Registered Dietitian Sharon Palmer, Los Angeles writer/author of The Plant-Powered Diet, it’s the right time to get on board for a new beginning. By signing up for the challenge, you will be guided through 14 days of inspiring tips and daily recipes to assist you for maximum success. You’ll also be entered to win prizes including Palmer's book, a supply of Soy Joy bars, Clean Plates Cookbook, Barilla's whole grain pasta night gift basket, a whole grain breakfast package from Attune Foods and more.
Designed to give omnivores, vegetarians or vegans new tools to power up on plant-based foods, a plant-rich lifestyle shows you can cut your risk of everyday illnesses. By eating more greens, your body is better able to fight off diabetes, obesity, depression, mental decline, heart disease and even some cancers.
Recipes and more...
Think more than just greens. Plant nutrient-rich foods also include soy foods, tofu, edamame, chia, hemp, sesame, pumpkin seeds, flax, walnuts, grains like quinoa, barley and rye, lentils, chickpeas, beans, kale, spinach, mushrooms and of course, other fruits and veggies.
Palmer has created creative recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You’ll find her easy-to-prep dishes featuring vibrant flavors and textures.
Sunshine Tofu Scramble
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ small onion, diced
- 1 small yellow summer squash, sliced
- ½ yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 5 ounces extra firm tofu (1/2 package), cubed
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Black pepper and salt to taste
- -Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic, onion and squash and sauté for 3 minutes.
- -Add bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, tofu, oregano and seasonings. Saute for additional 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
Makes 2 servings. Serve the scramble with salsa and whole grain toast, avocado slices, and citrus wedges to round out your meal.
Savory Shitake and Kale Bowl
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon wasabi paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup sliced shitake mushrooms
- 7 ounces firm tofu (about half of a 16-ounce package), drained and cubed
- 4 cups packed chopped kale (about 1 bunch)
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the soy sauce, sesame seeds, wasabi paste, red pepper flakes, mushrooms, and tofu and stir well. Sauté them for an additional 5 minutes.
- Stir in remaining 1/3 c water and the kale and sauté until the kale is slightly wilted and crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.
- Spoon 1/2 cup cooked rice into each of four individual bowls and top with about 1-1/2 cups shitake-kale mixture
Makes 4 servings
"This crunchy bowl has umami - the fifth taste - written all over it, thanks to the savory flavors of shitake mushrooms, tofu, and soy sauce. And kale - rich in vitamins and more than 45 different flavonoid compounds - is a super green food everyone should eat more of," says Palmer.
Indio Date, Walnut, and Dark Chocolate Cookies
- 1/2 cup soft dairy-free margarine spread, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 cup “white” whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons egg replacer
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup diced dates
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or broken dark chocolate pieces
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- Mix together margarine, vanilla, and honey in a small bowl.
- Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, and egg replacer in a separate bowl.
- Add the flour mixture to the margarine mixture and mix well to form a crumbly dough.
- Stir in the walnuts, dates, and chocolate chips.
- Shape the dough into walnut-sized balls and place about 3 inches apart on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
Makes 20 cookies (122 calories per cookie). These cookies store very well in an airtight container in the freezer.