Diversity of plant foods on our plate is key in nourishing our cells. Anyone who has been to one of my classes has heard me talk about the Nutrition Rainbow. The diversity of colors on our plates provides our cells with a variety of phytonutrients to nourish our cells and feed our gut microbiome and immune system.
I’m out camping as I write this blog. So what is for breakfast? Normally, it is Old Fashion Oatmeal with Blueberries or Cherries, topped with ground flax seed and a handful of walnuts. But on a cold morning, I sometimes make a potato scramble or tofu scramble (my previous blog). As I make my scramble, I come back to the idea of diversity and color on my plate. Today, I added some kale and red/yellow peppers to my bland looking mixture of potatoes, tempeh sausage, and onions. It was delicious and nutritious.
Since going Whole Food Plant Based, there has been a huge shift in my mindset about what I eat. I think of my food more as fuel and nutrition for every cell in my body and my immune system which include the microbiome (gut microbes).
So why did I do this? To work on diversity of plants and colors on my plate. If you have been to any of my classes or seen me at the Payson Farmers Market, you have seen the beautiful Rainbow Poster by the Physicians Committee of Responsible Medicine (PCRM). This rainbow explores some of the nutrients that we get when we eat a wide diversity of plants. I try to remember to add color to every plate that I prepare. Below is a copy of the rainbow poster.
This past month, I spent a few weeks camping in Utah. Enjoying hiking above timberline and hiking into Bryce Canyon and absorbing the beauty of nature. Living in my little trailer - off-grid during this time, I did a lot of reading in the evenings. I totally enjoyed ‘In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan. His motto of this book is ‘Eat Food - Not Too Much - Mostly Plants.’ In this book he explores the concepts of retreating from processed food and going back to Whole Foods. Great Read. He also talks about the importance of diversity and I think of the Nutrition Rainbow as a beautiful way to look at and get this diversity.
So the next time you are creating a dish. Think what colors of veggies can I add to enhance the nutritional value of this dish and feel my body. And maybe consider a new version of Michael Pollan’s Quote ~Eat Food - Not Too Much - Mostly Plants - Lots of Color.
I also love to have Tempeh Sausage on hand. I make a double batch, cook them and then freeze them. They can be easily thawed out and added to tofu or potato scrambles. Here is the recipe from Chef Jeremy for Tempeh sausages. I tend to up the quantity of spice and also add a few drops of liquid smoke to mine. Always feel free to adjust and add other ingredients to any of the recipes to fit your flavor palette.
Tempeh Breakfast Sausage
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 30 min Servings: Servings: 10 Source: pbwithj.ca
8 ounces Tempeh (broken up)
2 tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 tablespoons Whole Wheat Flour (or all purpose gluten-free)
2 tablespoons Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
1 tablespoon Miso Paste
1 teaspoon Dried Sage (or poultry seasoning)
1/2 teaspoon Dried Rosemary
1/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
Preheat your oven to 400 F
Gather all your ingredients and toss them into a food processor. Seriously. It's that simple! Pulse until everything is well combined.
Using wet hands shape them into 10 similar sized balls and flatten them onto a silicon or parchment lined baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.These will keep well in the fridge for a few days or freezer for several months, so feel free to make a double or triple batch. Because if you just make one they’re going to disappear in your mouth!