Healthy foods are no longer anywhere near as hard to find today – thankfully – as they were just twenty or thirty years ago. Here in Silicon Valley, we’re blessed with farmer’s markets, ethnic markets, multiple Whole Foods, and many small health food stores.
If you can’t be bothered preparing your own meals, nowadays you’ll probably even be able to find ready-made or partially prepared healthy food in the major supermarket chain stores.
Be prepared, though – this time I’m writing for those who enjoy taking a hands-on approach to preparing their own food, but who might not have all the time in the world, and are looking for fresh ideas for quick meals.
I’ll start with basic kitchen hardware. Our favorite device for preparing healthy vegetarian meals quickly is a Cuisinart with Spiralizer.
IF, LIKE US, YOU TEND TO BUY MORE ZUCCHINI than you end up needing (and you’ve exhausted your taste for zucchini bread and squash soup), try this tasty warm dish from the Cuisinart cookbook.
Warm Zoodle Salad
Spiralize 2 medium zucchini and 1 large carrot with the Spaghetti Cut Disc.
Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 smashed garlic cloves and ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes over medium high heat until fragrant.
Add 1 pint of halved grape tomatoes, and cook until they are blistered and starting to pop.
Remove from heat. Remove garlic cloves. Stir in zucchini, carrot, and ¼ cup thinly sliced basil leaves.
TIRED OF STORE-BOUGHT VEGGIE BURGERS with questionable ingredients? Use the Cuisinart to pulverize raw sunflower seeds, and try this recipe from Crystal Clarity Publishers’ Vegetarian Cooking for Starters.
Grind raw sunflower seeds in food processor to a fine meal to measure 1.5 cups.
Mix in ½ cup grated carrots, ½ cup finely chopped celery, 6 Tbs minced onions, 2 tsp minced fresh parsley, 2 eggs, 1 tsp basil, 2 Tbs tamari, 2 Tbs melted butter, 1 tsp garlic powder.
Mix well. Form 7 patties and place on well-oiled baking sheet. Bake to golden brown at 375 degrees for 20 minutes on one side, then 10-15 minutes on the other side.
TO COMPLETE YOUR SUMMER MEAL, use the Cusinart to make a healthful herbal sauce to substitute for catsup on the sunburgers you just made. Looking for a creative and flavorful sauce (or other recipes)? Milk Street Magazine is a fabulous, fun resource. Most segments begin with the story of a culture and its cuisine, concluding with a recipe that rarely fails.
THE FOLLOWING IS MILK STREET’S RECIPE FOR BASBAAS, a Somalian yogurt-based hot sauce which they suggest serving over whole roasted cauliflower, but that is equally delicious on just about anything.
Puree ½ cup whole-milk Greek yogurt, ½ cup packed cilantro leaves, ¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar, 3 stemmed and seeded Serrano chilies, 1 smashed garlic clove and ¼ tsp kosher salt.
And for desert? Let your imagination be your guide, as you prepare fresh fruit on its own, fresh fruit salads, or strawberries dipped in dark chocolate.
Preparing your own food is satisfying on so many levels, and it becomes easier and faster the more you do it. With the right tools and recipes, home food prep is a viable option even for busy professionals.
To learn about Dr. Connie’s work, follow the link to her Naturopathic Health Consultations website.