The plant based nurse

My family's excellent adventure to better health!


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Microgreens: Powerhouses of Nutrition and Flavor!

Judy Rienzi

Date: Thursday, Feb 7th

Time: 6-7:15 p.m.

Place: The Greenhouse at Nay Aug Park, Scranton, PA

RSVP: By Email to empoweredeatingplants@gmail.com or Facebook event

Judy Rienzi joins us at The Greenhouse to share tips and tricks for growing microgreeens and her knowledge about how they can pack a nutritional punch to a healthy diet. She will profile a couple of microgreens, and demonstrate how you can grow them at home! Some of the delicious and beautiful microgreens you can grow that Judy has experience cultivating include broccoli, radish, pea, and sunflower. She will share techniques for growing microgreens hydroponically and in soil and share how to use them in dishes.

A 2012 study in The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry 
notes that, “Microgreens (seedlings of edible vegetables and herbs) have gained popularity as a new culinary trend over the past few years. Although small in size, microgreens can provide surprisingly intense flavors, vivid colors, and crisp textures and can be served as an edible garnish or a new salad ingredient.” The study found that, “In summary, the essential vitamin and carotenoid concentrations
of 25 commercially available microgreens varieties have
been determined. In general, microgreens contain considerably
higher concentrations of vitamins and carotenoids than their
mature plant counterparts, although large variations were found among the 25 species tested.”

Judy Rienzi holds a Master of Science degree in Community Health Education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. She is certified as a Holistic Health Practitioner, Integrative Imagery Practitioner, and has certificates in aromatherapy, plant-based nutrition, and vegan nutrition.

Suggested donation $5.00. The Greenhouse Project is located in the James Barrett McNulty Greenhouse, 200 Arthur Ave., Scranton, PA in Nay Aug Park. Please meter park on street or park adjacent to greenhouse and ask for a parking pass or in parking lots at Nay Aug Park. (Greenhouse is located southwest end of park across street and down from Geisinger CMC.)

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What’s in the fridge stir “fry” with baked sesame tofu

 

Last evening I was in the mood for a dish with tofu and I had time to drain it, marinate it, and chop the veggies for a stir “fry” which is one of my husband’s favorite things. I also had a bowl of fresh broccoli and broccoli greens that I had just cut from my garden. The greenhouse where I bought the broccoli plants told me that if I’m lucky, I may still be harvesting broccoli into January!

20161015_143633The next step was to drain the tofu. I always use extra firm tofu for this dish and after I drain off the water, I slice it in 1/2 lengthwise, lay it in a colander, cover it with paper towels, put my family flat iron on top and ignore it for the afternoon. When I’m in a hurry I only drain it for 30-60 min, but it absorbs the marinade so much better when it’s well drained and has so much more flavor.

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While the tofu is draining, I make the marinade:

1/2 c. low sodium veggie broth

1 TBS lower sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos

1 huge clove of garlic or 2-3 average sized cloves, minced

A 3 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced in a mini chopper or grated with a ceramic grater

1 tsp of sambal oelek or Sriracha sauce if you like some heat

Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl, cut the tofu into bite sized cubes and place into a shallow dish. Sprinkle Chinese Five Spice over the tofu and then pour the marinade over the tofu. Let the tofu marinate for at least 30 minutes.

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While the tofu is marinating, get your other ingredients lined up:

3 carrots, peeled and sliced thinly

1 onion, sliced thinly or several green onions, chopped (white and green parts)

1 red pepper, chopped

½-1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely

1 lime, cut into 6 wedges

1-2 TBS of fresh Thai basil or cilantro, chopped

Approximately 2-3 cups or more of broccoli, chopped along with the leaves if available.

If no broccoli leaves/greens available, add some chopped cabbage or bok choy

12-16 oz whole grain rice vermicelli or your favorite whole grain pasta (or cooked brown rice, approximately 3 cups)

1 TBS cornstarch mixed with 2-3 TBS water

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Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 450 degrees. If you don’t have the veggies in the ingredient list, use the ones you have in your fridge or garden! The possibilities are endless.

Place the tofu cubes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and bake for 30-40 min until they are nice and brown. You can turn them if you like, but I prefer to leave them alone. Save the marinade!

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Using a slotted spoon, remove the remaining ginger and garlic from the marinade and set aside. Add ½ c. veggie broth to reserved marinade.

While the tofu is baking, prepare your rice or pasta and keep warm.

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When the tofu is almost done, heat up your wok or a very large skillet.

Add a couple of TBS of veggie broth or water to your pan and when it is hot, and the onions, peppers, garlic, ginger, and cook for a couple of min at high heat until the veggies begin to soften.

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Add the carrots, broccoli, and greens and cook for a couple of minutes until they are done to your liking. Add more veggie broth as needed to keep the veggies from sticking and help them to steam.

When the veggies are done, move them to the sides of your wok or pan, and pour the reserved marinade into the center of the wok. Heat the marinade through and add the cornstarch that you mixed with water and let the broth thicken. Mix the sauce and veggies together. Add the Thai basil or cilantro.

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Place the rice or pasta in a large serving bowl, add the veggies, and top with the tofu.

Enjoy!

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Tips:

  1. Serve with extra chopped Thai basil or cilantro and the lime wedges. The fresh lime adds a wonderful brightness at the table.
  2. Add extra Sriracha sauce or sambal oelek at the table as desired for extra kick!
  3. If you don’t have heart disease, you can add a couple of tablespoons of peanut butter to the reserved marinade.
  4. Remember this is your dish. Feel free to make changes and substitutions to accommodate your preferences AND what you have in your fridge and your cupboard!
  5. To save time, use frozen veggies or chopped veggies from the produce section of the grocery store.

I hope you will love the Thai basil as much as we do. It’s aromatic, beautiful, and adds wonderful flavor to stir fry dishes. It also grows with little tending or care in the garden.

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Remember to have fun with your food and enjoy!

leftover-tofu-noodles


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Veggie garden is planted and a free giveaway from Veggie Republic!

In celebration of my veggie garden finally being planted this week, I’m giving away a free bracelet from Veggie Republic, make that three bracelets–one here on my blog, one on Instagram@theplantbasednurse and one on my Facebook page.

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We had a great chat last night on Engine2extra.com with Veggie Republic founder, Karen Komen. For every bracelet sold, Veggie Republic donates 5 lbs of fresh produce to people in need through food banks. The bracelet is a colorful reminder to eat more veggies, too!

FCS_Koman_0006_square__95609.1414423369.1280.1280For a chance to win here, enter a comment mentioning your favorite veggie. Contest will end on June 17th at 6 p.m. EST. If you win, you will be able to pick from one of the 7 colors available. Share with your friends who love their veggies!

My garden summer 2013

My garden summer 2013

Remember to have fun with your food and enjoy!