As I mentioned before, I got the help of a real expert in choosing what foods to bring you this month. You met Dr Lopes in the "Food as medicine" chapter in our Eat Well Move Well Live Well book! I looked her up to help me with the best foods for energy and to inspire me to create some special recipes!
Here is what she said: "Make sure you include sesame seeds or tahini, plenty of protein, cacao, and foods that help digestion like pineapple, as well as fresh herbs and greens!"
She also mentioned adzuki beans and mung beans, but those are harder to find, so I thought I would mention them and count on YOUR creativity to make them a part of your menu.
As I got working, I was reminded of how often we make food so complicated, and how the simplest of recipes both make life easy (by saving energy) and add energy to life by being deeply nourishing.
This is our go-to dessert when we host. It's versatile and takes no time. It's important to remember that if you put it in the fridge it will harden and lose its mousse like qualities. We have also noticed that it's better to make it with an immersion blender or food processor instead of a Vitamix, as the Vitamix makes it too fine and flattens the texture. With all of this data at hand, let's get to it.
Makes 4 large or 8 small servings
12 oz semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips or the equivalent chocolate bar
2 large or 3 medium avocados
2 tbsp honey (if using dark chocolate, if semi-sweet, skip)
1 tsp vanilla extract or equivalent vanilla powder
Melt the chocolate. In a food processor, blend the avocado. Slowly add the melted chocolate and vanilla till you get a smooth and homogenous mix.
Lightly chill and serve soon after making or it will freeze and not be a mousse.
Zucchini with tahini
It's hard to make food that rhymes, yet here it is. Serve as a side dish, dip, or salad.
4 medium zucchini
2 tbsp tahini
4 tbsp greek yogurt or dairy free alternative
juice of 1/2 lemon
zest of 1/2 lemon
1 bunch parsley, dill, or mint or a combination
2 tbsp olive oil
Use a peeler to cut zucchini in thin strips. You can also spiralize them if you have the appropriate tool. Heat up the olive oil and cook them until they are soft. In some recipes you can fry the zucchini, but that's up to you, we prefer just to cook them gently until they are soft. If you do fly them, use a paper towel to drain off any excess fat.
In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, yogurt, juice of lemon and zest of lemon, the chopped up herbs, and salt. Mix well. Work the zucchini into that mixture, careful not to break them apart and keeping the length of the strips as much as possible.
Cool and serve cold. This is one of those dishes that tastes even better the next day!
Salmon with pineapple salsa
We love salmon and cook it many different ways. The three simplest ones: on the grill, pan "fried", and in parchment paper. Whatever your fast and easy way to make salmon is, let's then continue with creating a flavorful and exciting salsa. If you are eating carbs, serve with rice, and if you are lower carb, perhaps mashed cauliflower, or wilted spinach or baby greens, will make a great bed for your fish.
2 large or 4 small salmon fillets with skin
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups fresh pineapple
1 red bell pepper
2 tbsp cilantro
1 green onion
juice of 1/2 lime
salt to taste, black pepper to taste
To serve: rice, mashed cauliflower, spinach, or baby greens; maybe salmon pineapple tacos for the adventurous on Taco Tuesday :)
Heat up olive oil in a pan to medium heat. Season fillets on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the pan. Cover. Cook on both sides till fully cooked, perhaps 12-15 min depending on thickness (medium heat is key). While the salmon is cooking, make the salsa. Chop pineapple and bell pepper finely, add chopped cilantro and finely sliced green onion. Season with lime juice and a bit of salt. Set it aside.
As you serve your meal, place your carb or green or both under the fish, and serve generous salsa on top.
This salsa will keep in the fridge for 3 days if you close it tightly and it's lovely for fish, meat or as a salad topping. We hope you love it!