Making Monday Mornings Less Painful
Does Monday morning come too soon? Ever feel like there’s not enough coffee in the pot to get you going or that even though you’re up and moving, your brain is still back in bed snoozing?
I often teach early morning classes which means I need to be fully awake and energized when I head out the door. Though I love my morning cup of tea or coffee, it’s not what’s going to get me through. So more and more, I’m looking to my diet and asking questions. . .
On mornings when I easily bounce out of bed - "What did I eat/drink the day before?"
On mornings when I find myself hitting the snooze button over and over, "What did I consume the day before?"
Food as Fuel
What I find is that the more plants, particularly vegetables that I eat, the better my digestion, sleep and focus become.
The more meat (even “healthy” meat like chicken or turkey), dairy and sugar I eat, the more upset my digestion becomes, my sleep is restless and my brain feels foggy.
So more and more, I’m looking for easy to prepare, low cost, delicious meals I can make, not just to fill my belly but to fuel my mind and body.
Healthy Eats Inspiration: Garbanzo Sea Salad
Reminiscent of a tuna salad yet completely vegan, the chickpea salad had just the right tang and balance of herbs and creaminess to be completely delicious (had the plate not been paper, I may have been tempted to lick it) and super filling without feeling like a lead weight in my stomach.
Since I don't get down that way too often (and I can't afford a $15 salad as often as I would like to eat it), I decided I'd play around on my own and see what I could come up with.
The "Recipe": Vegan Garbanzo Sea Salad
You'll notice there's no measurements of many ingredients. Every time I make this, I tweak it a little bit and taste along the way. I invite you to try the same. Love celery? Add a little more. Don't like sea weed? Leave it out. Make it yours. Would love to hear what you come up with.
This makes enough to last me for 3-4 big salads during the week. Once the Garbanzo bean salad is made up, it only gets better the next day as it marinates in the fridge and is great for quick assembly meal.
GARBANZO BEAN SALAD
- Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas (2 x 15.5 oz cans drained)
- Celery (2-4 stalks finely diced)
- Red Bell Pepper (1/2 finely diced - the rest will be used for the salad base)
- Onion (1/2 finely diced)
- Parsley (about a 1/4 cup chopped)
As a time saver, I've used a food processor to finely chop the onion, celery and red bell pepper but find this also makes the salad very wet. If you do this, drain the mixture before adding the chickpeas and other ingredients or it will be too runny.
For a more rustic salad, finely chop those ingredients by hand)
- Lemon juice (from 2 fresh wedges)
- Veganaise (approx. 1/4 cup)
- Miso Paste (approx. 2-3 Tablespoons)
- Nutritional Yeast (approx. 2 Tablespoons)
- Dill (fresh is best but to avoid buying a bunch of herbs that I'll only use a smidge of, I sub dried dill flakes) (approx. 1-2 Tablespoons dry (P.S. I like the flavor of dill. If you dont, use less)
- Dulse (sea weed granules) (approx. 1 Tablespoon)
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- Pickles (optional - finely diced, approx. 1/4 cup)
- Baby Spinach
- Carrots (thinly sliced)
- Red Bell Peppers (sliced into wedges)
- Cucumbers (sliced)
Mix the diced onion, celery, red bell pepper and chopped parsley with the garbanzo beans.
Squirt the mixture with 2 lemon wedges then mix in the Veganaise and Miso Paste. If using pickles, blend them into the mixture.
Sprinkle the Nutritional Yeast, Dill, and Dulse over the mixture and stir in. Taste before adding salt and pepper (the miso and pulse add a salty flavor so you may not care to add more).
Salad should be the consistency of a tuna salad - moist but not runny.
Make a layer of baby spinach on a plate.
Add the sliced cucumbers, bell peppers and carrots on the side (these are all delicious ways to scoop up the Garbanzo salad).
Scoop a hearty mound of the Garbanzo salad in the middle.