You know what’s great about making your own food? As long as you go shopping, and you have food in the fridge, you don’t need a recipe to follow. You can just throw whatever you already have together and make it delicious. How?
Condiments. This is a topic I discuss with my clients in my six-month health coaching program. It’s especially helpful for marriages or families where people have different tastes and/or eating habits. What I mean by this is if you collect a bunch of spices, sauces, vinegars, oils and dressings, each person at the dinner table can make a dish their own.
You start with simple ingredients, such as a few vegetables. For me today, this meant kale, mushrooms, onion, garlic and tomato. So I threw them into a steamer basket I have and steamed them on the stove for about five minutes. (You could also boil them, bake them, fry them, sauté them, microwave them, whatever.)
Then, you add protein, so you stay full and satisfied longer. Your protein could be a meat, seafood, poultry, soy product, bean, nut or seeds. Today, I chose leftover black beans I had in the fridge.
Once they were made, I added the flavors I felt like enjoying today. That meant tahini paste, which is ground sesame seeds, and umeboshi vinegar, which is a salty liquid with lots of nutritional benefits. Then I sprinkled black pepper and turmeric, an anti-inflammatory spice, on top.
Sometimes, it’s sesame oil and tamari soy sauce. Other times, it’s an Asian peanut sauce, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or just a whole bunch of spices, like basil and oregano, rosemary and garlic powder, or cumin and cayenne pepper.
It’s as simple as that. You could literally eat a bowl of vegetables and protein every day, and make it seem like an entirely different meal by adding different condiments. Or, it could be grains and veggies, like quinoa with kale. Or, it could be all three, like a stir fry.
Stop thinking that meals have to be complicated and exact! This recipe is what I made for lunch today. I included measurements, but honestly, you don’t have to follow them. Just throw some stuff together and see how it turns out. If you need more of something, you’ll know for next time.
This dish took me 15 minutes to make. How long did your dinner take to make?
Kale Black Bean Bowl
1 cup packed kale, chopped
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
2-3 Tablespoons tahini paste
1-2 Tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cupe cooked black beans
Fill a steamer bowl with all of the vegetables, except the tomato. Steam for 4 minutes. Add the tomato for the last minute.
Scoop the steamed veggies into a bowl. Add the heated black beans into the bowl and mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk tahini and umeboshi vinegar together. Pour mixture on top of veggies and mix together with a fork.
Sprinkle spices on top. Enjoy!