Delightfully Healthy: Healthy New Year!

Tasting Friday, 1/11, 6:00 – 7:30pm

  • Kale Salad with Fried Tofu & Lemon Ginger Dressing
  • Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado

Happy New Year co-op shoppers! This week we are highlighting some healthy whole food choices to start 2019 off right. This week at the co-op there are sales on kale, sweet potatoes, avocados, firm tofu, and lemons. These are very versatile whole foods that can be used in many healthy recipes. Stop by the co-op on Friday, January 11 at 6 pm to try our recipes.

These healthy recipes contain ingredients rich in vital nutrients that offer many potential benefits.  We invite you to come try our recipes this week and purchase the ingredients to recreate them at home!

Nutrients & Vitamins

Our Kale Salad with Fried Tofu and Lemon Ginger Dressing contains a variety of nutrients and vitamins. Kale is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in fiber, iron, vitamins such as vitamin C, K, A, and folate. It is rich in essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Fiber can help improve your health by reducing the risks of heart disease, lowering cholesterol levels, helping to control blood sugar levels, preventing constipation, and other benefits.

Vitamins A and C are antioxidants that help boost your immune system and may prevent cancers. In addition to that, tofu has a high amount of protein and iron. Protein provides the amino acids that your body needs to build up muscle mass. Iron is a vital component of hemoglobin that is needed to transfer oxygen from the lungs to body organs. Its shortage causes some problems such as iron deficiency anemia. This recipe has a good amount of Vitamin C which helps your body to absorb the iron efficiently.

In our delicious recipe for Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, we are showcasing sweet potatoes and avocados. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin A which is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are powerful vitamins that prevent damage to the cells of the body and boost your immune system. Sweet potatoes also contain other important vitamins such as vitamin C and B6.

Avocados are a rich source of healthy fats and other nutrients. They contain special types of fat called monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Both of these healthy fluid types of fat have been shown to improve blood cholesterol levels by decreasing bad LDL cholesterol. This is beneficial when incorporated into your diet instead of unhealthy heavier fats like saturated or trans fats. Avocados are also a good source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 does many things for the body. It helps the body process proteins and helps brain function. Avocados also contain potassium which is an important electrolyte and helps you move your muscles.

RECIPES

Kale Salad with Fried Tofu & Lemon Ginger Dressing

Adapted from healthynibblesnadbits.com

Total time: 30 minutes

Serves 2-4

Ingredients (Salad)

1 bunch of Lacinato kale, stemmed and chopped
½ large avocado, mashed
1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
1 cup sliced red cabbage
1 medium red pepper, sliced
2 green onions, chopped
sesame seeds for garnish (optional)

Ingredients (Dressing)

3 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup rice vinegar
Lemon juice (2 lemons)
1½ tablespoons coconut aminos (low-sodium soy sauce or tamari works also)
½ tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
1½ teaspoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon freshly grated ginger
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic (or a minced clove of garlic)
salt to taste

Ingredients (Tofu)

12 to 14-ounce package of firm or extra-firm tofu
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Open the container of tofu and drain out the water. Wrap tofu block with two layers of paper towels and place it on a plate. Press the tofu by positioning a pot on top or another plate with something heavy in it (a bag of sugar or flour works well). Let it stand for 15 minutes.

2. Place chopped kale in a bowl and sprinkle a pinch of salt. Massage the kale by grabbing a handful of it and giving it a quick squeeze. Continue doing this until the kale leaves turn into a slightly darker shade of green (no more than 30 seconds). Set aside.

3. Whisk the lemon ginger dressing ingredients together. Set aside.

4. Chop the tofu block into cubes. I sliced the block into 6 sections along the length of the tofu block and 5 slices along the width. You should end up with 6 smaller rectangular sections. Slice each section in half so that you get square tofu pieces, but don’t break the tofu apart. It will be easier to fry the tofu in the larger rectangular sections instead of smaller individual cubes.

5. Heat a large pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the 6 rectangular tofu sections into the pan. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the tofu. Fry it for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the tofu is a nice golden brown. Flip tofu, sprinkle more salt and pepper and fry it for another 3 minutes. You can fry the remaining 2 sides of the tofu sections if you like. Dish tofu onto a plate lined with a paper towel. Let tofu sections cool for at least 5 minutes before breaking it up into cubes.

6. Toss all the salad ingredients, fried tofu, and dressing together. You probably won’t need all of the dressing. I used about half and refrigerated the rest for another salad. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top of the salad if you like. Serve immediately.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado

Adapted from dailyburn.com

Serves 3

Ingredients

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 sweet potatoes
1 avocado
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1 can organic, plain lentils

Toppings

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
½ cup goat cheese
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon chili flakes
½ lemon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400° F.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly grease it with olive oil. Place the potatoes on the sheet, and poke a few holes into each potato with a fork.

3. Place the baking sheet in the oven, and bake the sweet potatoes for 45-60 minutes, or until they’re soft. Use a fork to pierce the potatoes. If it’s difficult to fork the potatoes, they need more time.

4. In a separate bowl, mash the avocado and sprinkle it with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.

5. Drain and rinse lentils from the can.

6. Once the sweet potatoes are cooked, remove them from oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Cut the potatoes open lengthwise, and scoop out some of the inside flesh. You can save it for later to make a sweet potato mash.

7. Drizzle some olive oil over each potato. Fill the potatoes with equal portions of the lentils and mashed avocado. Top them with crumbled goat cheese, cilantro, chili flakes and a squeeze of lemon juice.

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