Jicama & Mango Salad

Dave and I had dinner at my cousin Karen and her husband Shaun’s place a few weeks ago in Vancouver. They prepared an unbelievable dinner for us including this light crunchy tangy sweet salad. Who knew 4 ingredients could make such a delightful dish! Make it as a side dish or throw in some chicken, shrimp or fish and make it a meal.

Dave and I were even thinking it’d even make a great popcorn substitute if we cut the jicama and mango a little larger, and if we ever get around to watching a movie…

I had never cooked with jicama (a.k.a. yambean) before and I’m really sorry I’ve been missing out! This stuff is awesome! I’d call the texture a cross between a raw potato and an apple – though more like an apple in terms of water content. It’s ever so slightly sweet and PACKED with fibre. Here’s how it stacks up to 120g each of apples and potatoes:

Jicama   Apple       Potato

Calories                  46             62             83

Carbs                   10.6g       17.2g       18.9g

Sugars                   2.2g        13.3g         1.2g

Fibre                      5.9g          3.9g         2.0g

Protein                  0.9g             0g          2.2g

Most people have trouble getting enough fibre into their diets, but this salad contains nearly all of your recommended daily intake (25 g in a 2,000 calorie diet) in one serving. For sure a new staple in my house!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 mangos, julienned
  • 2 large jicama, julienned
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

DIRECTIONS

  • Mix in a large salad bowl, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 203 calories, 48 g carbs, 1 g fat, 3 g protein, 21 g fibre

Broccoli Apple Grapefruit Salad

I wanted a super light and juicy salad to accompany the dense savoury crispy garlic mint pressed tofu I made for dinner tonight. This salad worked great, beautifully contrasting the garlic and mint flavour with one of dill and mustard.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups broccoli, bite-size pieces
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1 grapefruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy dijon mustard
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh chopped dill

DIRECTIONS

  • Microwave broccoli on high for 3 minutes. Chill in refrigerator for at least half an hour.
  • Combine olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and dill. Mix well.
  • Toss broccoli, apple and grapefruit in dressing.
  • Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION 

Makes 2 large servings.

Per serving: 202 calories, 30 g carbs, 10 g fat, 5 g protein, 7 g fibre

Crispy Garlic Mint Pressed Tofu

This was my first time pressing tofu, and wow, am I glad I did! It’s a keeper and has a solid place in my repertoire for when vegetarian friends come for dinner. I know some people aren’t a big fan of tofu’s spongy wet texture, so this is a great way to get away from that while still being able to enjoy the benefits of this inexpensive and lean source of protein. I’d almost describe the pressed tofu as having a chicken texture, in fact it quite looks like a thin strip of chicken when you cut into it.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package firm tofu
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 lemon, zested
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup packed chopped fresh mint

DIRECTIONS

  • Cut tofu crosswise into 4 slabs. Firmly blot each slab between paper towel to remove excess water.
  • To make marinade, combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Cover tofu on all sides with marinade and place on a plate. Cover with plastic and let sit for at least 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.
  • Heat large frying pan on medium-high heat.
  • Remove tofu from marinade and press off excess liquid with paper towels. Reserve marinade.
  • Arrange tofu flat in frying pan. Cover tofu with another frying pan, weighing upper pan down with a full kettle or large can of tomato sauce or beans.
  • Cook for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium and cook for another 5 until well browned.
  • Flip tofu, press and cook until browned, about 7 minutes.
  • Place tofu on serving dish. Pour remaining marinade into pan, heat briefly and use it to garnish tofu.
  • Serve over rice, quinoa or another grain and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 330 calories, 6 g carbs (1 g sugar), 26 g fat (4 g saturated), 22 g protein, 1 g fibre

Nut-Free Vegan Pesto Sauce

I happened across nutritional yeast at the grocery store over the weekend and remembered seeing it featured in a recent Women’s Health Magazine article. So I grabbed it, did a quick Wikipedia search and decided to give it a whirl as a parmesan and pine nut substitue in pesto sauce! I absolutely love pesto sauce and though it is nutritious it is quite high in calories. Nutritional yeast sports a cheesy and nutty flavour making it the perfect substituting for parmesan and pine nuts, slashing the pesto’s calories and fat.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

DIRECTIONS

  • Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend into a smooth paste.
  • Throw it over pasta, pizza dough or on a sandwich and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 1 cup.

Per tbsp: 37 calories, 1 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 3 g fat, 1 g protein, 0 g fibre

Chili Lime Tofu Stir-Fry

Yesterday was National Pita Day according to Extreme Pita (half price pitas all day with proceeds going towards the Heart & Stroke Foundation) so Dave and I resolved to eat pitas for all three of our meals. Sadly our plan was foiled as upon arrival for the final pita of the day we are greeted by a glowing neon “CLOSED” sign. Still hungry and not willing to sink to Subway for dinner, I had to improvise with what little was left in the fridge at home… and it turned out great!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 inch ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, sliced
  • 1 package (350 g) extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

DIRECTIONS

  • Heat oil over medium heat. Sauté garlic, ginger, onion for 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, peppers and cabbage and cook until peppers and cabbage soften.
  • Add tofu, quinoa, chili flakes, lime juice and soy sauce and stir for 3 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, serve and enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving:

Calories 245

Carbs 25 g

Sugars 6 g

Fat 11 g

Protein 16 g

Fibre 5 g