I've never been a light eater.
The term moderation doesn't do well with me.
And sure, I am good at taking a bite here and there of delicious sinful foods...but if I have a plate full in front of me..
I finish the entire plate. And even get seconds.
But finishing the entire plate is different for me now, then it used to me way back when...
In highschool, my friends and I hit up the local Chipotle every thursday. Steak burrito, black beans, sour cream, lots a cheese, pico de gallo, and corn...(I remember) Did I eat the whole thing. Heck ya!
Was I full?!? Umm let's just say I could barely walk. I had this impression that if I wasn't stuffed to the brim like I had just partaken in a Thanksgiving feast, then I had to eat more. I needed to be to the point where I couldn't move, and to the point where I felt I needed to go hibernate for the rest of the winter.
I would make myself sick.
And it didn't stop after burrito lunches. It continued to dinner, and snacks, and breakfast.
I LOOOVED food! (And still do)
But as years went by, I grew up, and so did my willingness to give my body a break. To realize the "true" meaning of full...No matter how tempting that all you can eat basket of chips & salsa are at a restaurant. (Seriously those will be the death of me!) I learned to really listen to my body when I was full, instead of waiting for a plate to tell me.
Although, let me add this. I continue to usually eat everything that's on my plate. But my plate looks alot different then they did 5 years ago. A whole burrito and a bag of chips is going to be WAY more filling than a plate full of veggies and beans.
And now here is the point where I am going to be honest. Since I have began to cut alot of meat out of my diet, I am constantly hungry. Being a new mamma,with a clingy baby :), and a hubby who is gone all day and busy all night with studying, I don't have a lot of time to prepare meals, especially ones that include the necessary nutrition I need since I don't eat alot of meat/dairy. I was beginning to feel like I was missing things in my diet. I needed things that would hold me over, and keep me full. I knew I was lacking on essential nutrients. Vegetables are great, but I needed more.
I need to include more proteins and healthier grains. It's easy for me to whip up a salad, or blend a smoothie, but harder for me to cook something. So this week that has been my goal. I have been researching lots of recipes, and ways to make my lifestyle healthy and substantial. I really want to give my body everything it needs. I have been scared to try certain foods only because they are "new" to me, and I am unsure the taste. But I am branching out. It's best for my body, and needs to be done.
Which is why I am EXTREMELY excited to share these two new recipes!
What the heck is Tempeh? It's cooked and slighty fermented soybeans smashed into a patty. Sounds delicious huh?! Not so much. I wasn't really interested in trying it because it didn't sound..tasty, but it's nutritional information is what got me.
It's got about 18 grams of protein for starters! That is incredible! It also has amazing source of calcium as well as iron, BOTH of which I need to include in my diet.
The taste is kind of nutty, as well as textured. Nothing like tofu! It definitely doesn't have a strong taste of anything.
SO, as I was looking for a beginners Tempeh recipe to try, since I have never even tried it before, I found out that Ashley had a recipe. It was breaded tempeh, and sounded delicious!
So I tried it, and fell in love.
If you want the recipe, just click HERE. The only thing I did different was add more seasonings to the bread crumbs. I added garlic, paprika, cumin, and corriander.
It was just what I needed. I dipped it in a Thai Peanut dipping sauce, and was in HEAVEN! My father in law-who is a REAL meat and potatoes guy even said it was amazing, as well as the hubby..Who took too many bites, and left little for me! :)
I definitely felt like I had eaten something substantial. I was full and OH SO HAPPY! I will definitely be experimenting with tempeh alot more often. Also, if you have any tempeh recipes you want to share... :)
Next we have a different take on a Chicken salad sandwhich..
This time made with Chickpeas!
Chickpea Salad Sandwhich
(If you want to use chicken go right ahead! It works just the same!)
3/4-1 cup cooked chickpeas
1-2 TB diced walnuts
2 TB diced fresh basil
1/4 cup + 1 heaping TB of hummus (I used garlic artichoke)
1 1/2 tsp. Nutritional Yeast
salt & pepper (to taste)
1. In a bowl, mash chickpeas a little bit so they are somewhat chunky and mooshed :)
2. Then add tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, raisins, walnuts to the chickpeas. (These ingredients are what I had on hand. Throw whatever you like into your normal "chicken" salad sandwiches.)
3. Then add hummus and spices and stir until desired consistency is reached. Adjust spices to taste preference.
I love this!
Chickpeas are SOO versatile. It was quick to make, and I had leftovers, so I saved some in the fridge for next time I need a quick snack!
I also always use hummus in replace for mayo. It works just the same, and taste alot better..to me any ways..
I am really excited about branching out with different foods, styles, and flavors. I hope that I find a few good ones to share with you along the way!
Have you ever or are you currently branching out with your cooking? How so? Do tell :)