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Posts Tagged ‘protein

Last chance for a Recipe Friday this year! So… here it is! I made this yesterday, and it’s wonderfully warm comfort food. Healthy, too: lots of good-for you fiber, anti-inflammatory turmeric in the curry, and the peas are a great vegetarian protein source.

Now, I grew up with grandparents who loved their split pea soup… but that was back in the day when bean soups and split pea soups were merely a bacon or ham flavor delivery mechanism. I had a container of dried split peas, but not being a bacon fan (please don’t stop reading my blog, I promise I’m still cool) I wanted something different. I didn’t have to search far to find this yummy alternative.

Curried Split Pea Soup
based on Alton Brown’s recipe

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 c chopped onion
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 1/2 c split peas, rinsed and picked through
5 c vegetable or chicken broth
1 tbsp curry powder

1. Place the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and a large pinch of salt and saute for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and continue to saute another 1-2 minutes, making sure that neither onion nor garlic brown.

2. Add curry powder and saute for an additional minute to lightly toast the spices in the oil. Then add peas and broth. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until peas are tender and no longer hold their shape.

3. Using either an immersion blender or blending in batches in a regular blender, process soup until smooth. Adjust seasoning as desired.

This is such yummy comfort food… trust me on this one! Some cultures ring in the new year with black eyed peas for good luck… why not try split peas?

Start thinking about goals for the coming year! I’ll be back in a few days to talk more on that!

So it’s not Friday…. but I’m sugar-hungover from the not-surprise birthday party my friends had for me last night (long story… one of the group accidentally got phone numbers mixed up on the group text invite. All in good fun, though!) Since I knew all about it ahead of time, it meant I could try out these cookie cupcakes from Jessica’s blog. I think the cookie recipe will become my go-to chocolate chip recipe!

(I now have enough leftover frosting to frost an army. Anyone care to join my army??? Really. I’ve had it with sugar!)

To offset the OD on sweets, I tried something MAGICAL this past week. It’s a sauce that comes together in your food processor in less than 5 minutes. It’s vegan, it’s healthy, it’s a good source of B-12 if you are vegan… and it’s DELICIOUS. I swear to you, it’ll get you to eat mounds of veggies, so long as they’re covered in creamy, cheezy, lightly curried Mmmm Sauce.

I don’t want to steal Mama Pea’s thunder, so I’ll post the link to her blog right here:

Mmmm Sauce

So, what do you do with it?

Dip veggies. Dilute with a little water and use as salad dressing. Use its healthy goodness as a dip for fries. (I won’t tell.) It would probably make a great spread for sandwiches in place of mayo. Heck, the first batch I made went straight onto a whole bag of romaine! (sauce delivery mechanism.)

Caveat: do be sure to find and use nutritional yeast for this recipe. It’s an inactive form of yeast, and lends this (and other) recipe a nutty, cheesy flavor–while staying vegan. This is a relatively new ingredient in my world, and I’ve really enjoyed its flavor! Try looking for it in the bulk section of your health food store or Whole Paycheck.

Once you try this, there’s no turning back! It earned its name with good reason. I always have to have a batch of this sauce in my fridge. (And it’s savory, so it really counteracts all of the overly SUGARY from yesterday.) Make it, and tell me how you’ve used it! 🙂

How much protein do I need to eat? Do I need a protein supplement or a protein powder? So much confusion! Ack! Kinda makes you want to run into the corner and eat more turkey. (OK, maybe we’re not that desperate. Luckily, I avoided the turkey!)

For a long time, I’d read conflicting information: the general media told me that Americans ate too much protein, while fitness journals suggested that active people needed more (but never really quantified it to my satisfaction). But I finally found a satisfactory answer!

If you are inactive or lightly to moderately active (say, an hour of exercise 4 days a week), you should consume 0.8 gram of protein for each kilogram of body weight. If you are more active, increase this to 0.9 gram. If you are extremely active (4+ hours activity per day, every day), you probably need 1 gram per kg body weight.

Don’t freak out—the math is easy. To convert your weight in pounds to kg, simply divide your weight by 2.2. So, if you weigh 150 lbs, you would also weigh 150/2.2 = 68.2 kg. (Hey, isn’t that a better number? You might want to use that on a regular basis when people ask your weight.) So, then, this person would want to eat between 54.5 and 68.2 g of protein in a day, depending on their activity level—and you can always figure out the grams of protein in a particular item by reading a nutrition label, or by looking up a whole food (meat, beans, milk, etc) on the internet.

Your best bets as protein sources are whole foods rather than supplements, if at all possible. Go for meat, poultry, or fish for the highest nutrient density. If you’re vegetarian or vegan, the protein in soy has been found to be roughly equivalent quality to that from animals, whereas other legumes are slightly lower quality proteins. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t eat beans! Maybe choose some edamame over garbanzos if given the choice.

Hopefully this clarifies things a bit! A word of caution: it’s really easy to overeat your protein RDA if you’re not being careful! Not too long ago, I bought a sandwich from a take-out chain that contained both chicken and cheese. I looked up the nutrition info online, and was shocked that I’d eaten my day’s allotment of protein in one sandwich! (I tell ya, supplementation is often unnecessary!)

Enjoy the last day of November! Start thinking about your December goals!

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