Every Sunday I make a big pot of something delicious and healthy. I freeze half and use the other half for my lunches at work during the start of the week. This is a great technique for supporting mental health for a bunch of reasons:
1. Brains run on food. It’s impossible to have a healthy brain if you eat unhealthy.
2. Buying lunches everyday and wasting money on food that isn’t benefitting your health is going to put pressure on your money anxieties—I know you have them!
3. Being sustainably productive, creative, and energetic at a high-level requires steady energy. Lean proteins and whole grain carbohydrates keep you fuelled through the day at a consistent level. Eating meals high in simple sugars will send your blood sugar (and your mood) up and down. When you eat well, you’re far more capable of doing all of the things you enjoy doing without having to battle the ups and downs of being on that wild blood sugar roller coaster.
Here’s what I made a big pot of this week:
The Quinoa Kale Tofu Bean Bowl
- 2 cups quinoa
- 1 sweet red pepper
- 1 avocado
- 1 can of beans (I like black beans)
- 1 red onion
- a few cloves of garlic
- a couple handfuls of kale
- a block of tofu
- sesame oil
- sesame seeds
- water or vegetable broth (enough to cover the quinoa ~ 3 cups)
- Get the quinoa cooking. If you’ve never cooked quinoa, check out these handy instructions: http://lowfatveganchef.com/how-to-cook-quinoa-perfectly-every-time/
- Dice the garlic and onions and add them to the frying pan with some sesame oil at medium heat. Smell that delicious sesame oil—it reminds me of my childhood.
- Dice the tofu into cubes and throw it into the frying pan. Depending on how you like your tofu, turn up the heat a bit to brown the cubes.
- Dice the red pepper and add it to the frying pan.
- Rinse the kale leaves and then rip them up. Remove any tough white stems in the middle of the leaves. Your body will thank you for adding the kale.
- After the kale has shrunk a bit, dump in the beans and reduce the heat. Stir and let it simmer. Add in cumin to taste and also some chili peppers or chili powder if you like it spicy.
- By the time you’re done all of that, your quinoa should be ready. Fluff it with a fork. Admire the cute little curls that pop out of each seed.
- Put your quinoa in a bowl, your beans, kale, and tofu on that, sprinkle with some sesame seeds, and then lay some slices of avocado on top of that. And enjoy!