Thursday, December 30, 2010

Dinner in 20 minutes: Asian flavored Green Beans and Mushrooms over Quinoa

Breakfast for Dan was his favorite green smoothie which contained: kale, frozen banana, ground flaxseeds, walnuts, cinnamon, powdered ginger and a touch of stevia. Of course I added a little water so the Vitamix would turn it into a drink.

Breakfast for me was leftover miso and veggie soup with okara from last night. Like all soup this one had better flavor the next day.

Lunch was another taco salad, this one contained: baby spinach, cucumber and artichokes topped with black bean chili. I love dishes like this that are quick, healthy and delicious.

Dinner was a very simple 20 minute meal because you know I love those. Sorry for the picture but I realized this evening that somehow I hadn’t taken a photo last night. Thankfully there were leftovers in the refrigerator I could shot. How long have I been blogging? LOL, how could I forget to photograph my food? *rolls eyes* I didn’t measure every ingredient but I am fairly sure I know about how much I used (estimates noted) so here is what I did:

Asian flavored Green Beans and Mushrooms over Quinoa
Serves 3


½ red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups green beans, frozen organic ones from Costco
2 cups crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon water or veggie stock (I keep homemade veggie stock ice cubes in ziptop bags in the freezer to use in situations like this)
vegetarian oyster sauce which is actually mushroom based, to taste (I probably used 2 tablespoons)
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
black and white sesame seeds with dried ginger grains (I probably used ¼ teaspoon)


Combine the water and quinoa and start that cooking.

Slice the onion and garlic and set a timer for 10 minutes. Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of a heavy pan (I used enameled cast iron) add the green beans, mushrooms, veggies and at least a tablespoon of vegetarian oyster sauce to the pan. When the timer signals 10 minutes have elapsed turn the heat on and cover the pan. After 5 minutes check the texture on the green beans and the harshness of the onions and if those are right remove the lid to concentrate the sauce.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 288.05
Calories From Fat (12%) - 34.08

Total Fat - 3.81g
Saturated Fat - 0.46g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 318.79mg
Potassium - 790.83mg
Total Carbohydrates - 52.87g
Fiber - 8.48g
Sugar - 3.76g
Protein - 12.56g


This is a simple, quick and healthy dish. The vegetarian oyster sauce, which is mushroom based, works well with the mushrooms in the dish. I used quinoa instead of brown rice because it is faster and because it is a complete protein. Like always I added the mushrooms for their immunity boosting properties.

What constitutes real food?

This may seem like an odd topic to bring up but I hope it will make sense soon. Dan and I were talking about this Tuesday night after dinner which is why it was fresh on my mind. Someone he knows is experiencing low level chronic inflammation and the doctor recommended this person schedule an appointment with a nutritionist (I am sure he actually meant an RD). *rolls eyes* Anyway I was asking Dan what this person (since I don’t know them) usually eats. It was a lot of things we don’t eat beyond the obvious meat, dairy and sugar. I guess I was most surprised by the amount of processed food because we don’t eat that either.

I am of the opinion that is something won’t rot or sprout it probably isn’t good for anyone to consume. Most food today has been chemically manipulated and yet we think nothing of consuming it even though it practically has a nuclear shelf life. How can food possibly be nutritious when it can sit around for months and not go bad? The most obvious example for me was when I used to make bread. Homemade bread is good for maybe 3 days but the store bought stuff can sit around for weeks or longer. Why? Chemicals and preservatives are the reason why most food is now almost unable to spoil. *shudders*Additionally it is well known that the older food is the more vitamins and minerals have deteriorated. You have heard about how many vitamins are lost for each day that produce grows older and that is why flash frozen produce can be more nutritious than fresh right?

Fifty years ago our mothers and grandmothers made meals from fresh food but now we make food from chemically altered “food-like” substances. Even if you think the chemicals and preservatives are harmless the vitamin content has to be lower. I think it is something we should all think about the next time we are reaching for a bag or box of processed food, I know I think about it and that is why I don’t buy those things.

Happy Thoughts:

I have had a very busy week but a good one. Here are my happy thoughts today:

• Dan took Friday off to spend running around with me. We had a great day together as usual and had a lot of fun. I will tell you all about it tomorrow but I will warn you there is a lot of eating out since we left the house at 10am and didn’t get home until 9pm. Oh yeah and there was a little shopping too. Somehow more things for me managed to come home with us. I keep telling you I am spoiled and I am not joking. ;-)

• The weather has turned a little warmer and is much more seasonal. I am thankful to have more tepid temperatures for New Years Eve. With a little luck the rain will hold off and I will get to see the fireworks downtown tomorrow evening. *fingers crossed*

• We are had dinner tonight with our best buddy Louis which is always wonderful. Both Dan and I love spending time with Louis. The only down side is that the boys (Dan and Louis) gang up on me to see who can yank my chain more. I really will never understand men I have decided. But I love them both which means it is okay. ;-)

• Ian and Will did a wonderful job tonight making vegan food just for us since we gave them three days notice. Dan and I both thoroughly enjoyed everything and even Louis (a devout omnivore) thought it all looked good. In fact Louis even tried a bite of one dish and enjoyed it. I get very excited when Louis enjoys vegan food. Who knows maybe one day I will get him to come to the “dark side” with us, which is how I tease him about veganism. ;-)

• The gym reopens very soon and my knee has been completely without pain for two entire days. I am looking forward to getting back to my regular workouts. However this time I may start out a little slower so I don’t reinjure my knee. I need to work on that whole gung ho thing a little. ;-)

Signing out:

After being out all day it is wonderful to be home and have my feet up. At the moment I am sipping green tea, writing a post and relaxing. Who doesn’t like to relax before bed?

I think tomorrow we will make a run to the Asian market. I was talking to Ian this evening and he gave me a general idea of how me makes his marinated mushrooms. Of course it is a until it tastes right sort of a formulation but we have had them so many times I am sure I can get that close. Since I found out Ian uses sweet soy sauce in his marinated mushrooms and I don’t have any of that we will need to pick some up. Dan and both love Ian’s mushrooms and are very happy he shared the methodology with me. Ian is such a good guy. Have I said recently how much we adore him? ;-)

Time for me to get back into the book I am trying to finish. I want to post a review for you in the next day or two.

I hope everyone is having a good week and has something fun planned for New Years Eve. Talk to you again tomorrow.


  1. i love it too when omnis like my vegan food:) walters really REALLY nto any mock meat that i make.the more visually appealing it is the better.

    sweet soy sauce(i jsut looked it up) will have honey or sugar in it. you might be better off making it using stevia or agave, although i know you dont use that much anymore. recently at the Asian food store i got mushroom flavored soy sauce, only three ingredients so i was really happy with that!!

  2. Hi Ali,
    Good luck easing back into gym life...take it slow :-)
    You remind me that I need to start including more mushrooms into my diet. The Asian market sounds like a good time. Have fun, my dear!

  3. Great news that your knee is feeling good!

    I've been meaning to ask you. Have you tried Maitake mushrooms? They are supposed to be good for you. I've picked them up from our small, local health food store and they are quite good! Here's some info:

  4. Michelle,

    What a good idea to look up sweet soy sauce. Why didn't I think of that? LOL, sometimes I miss the obvious. ;-) Ian doesn't use much soy since I can't even taste it in the mushrooms. I will probably just use liquid aminos and tiny amount of stevia. However the Asian market is still fun so we will most likely run by there today.

    Yay for 3 ingredient mushroom flavored soy sauce. I get excited when I find things with so few ingredients too.

    I am happy to hear Walter is eating more of your vegan food. Good job with that!

    Enjoy your NYE,

  5. Good Morning Aimee,

    I will have trouble easing back into the gym since I get too pumped about things for my own good. However I have been exercising at home just not cardio that would hurt my knee so maybe I can moderate at the gym too. ;-)

    I find that it helps to keep dried mushrooms on hand if you are going to be eating mushrooms often. The Asian markets usually have them at the best price.

    Have a wonderful NYE,

  6. JL,

    Thanks for thinking of us and sending the link we appreciate it. :-) We love Maitake mushrooms and I buy them whenever I see them fresh (usually at Wegman's). Maitakes were the first mushrooms I read about that had "cancer benefits". Our local Wegman's also sells dried Maitakes though I prefer them fresh. Hopefully our Asian market will have some today.

    Have you seen the dried ground mushrooms they sell in capsules? Paul Stamets is the one I call "the mushroom man" and has done some interesting research on mushrooms and cancer. He sells a product called "Fungi Perfect Host Defense". We buy the "My Community" which is a mushroom blend.

    Enjoy your NYE,

  7. It is really amazing how much processed foods people eat. I am so grateful my mother raised me with the whole food, vegetarian diet.. I think I would be doomed if I ate that type of food. I have been diagnosed with lupus in the past and thinking of how much worse my health would be if I didn't use food to help heal me..

    Your green bean dish looks great to me.

  8. Melo,

    I grew up on boxed, canned and frozen food because me mother has always hated to cook. You are very fortunate to have a mom who cooked. :-)

    Sorry to hear about the lupus. :-( I agree with you completely that food plays a big role in helping our bodies heal.

    Have a great NYE,

  9. Your green bean dish sounds amazing...I must try that!

    I found your "What Constitutes Real Food" interesting, because we have been talking about this same thing. Tony was told by the doctor the other night that he needed to be eating a high fiber diet from here on out. Why is it, when a doctor tells the husband something he listens instead of listening to his Anyway, the dr found a few divers on Tonys colon when they did a cat scan of his stomach the other night at the ER. He told him to eat a high fiber diet to help prevent it to turning into Diverticulitis. Needless to say, I am going to be doing research on that this weekend! He does not eat very well when I am around. I have got to come up with a plan for him to eat healthier.

    Happy New Years to you and Dan!
    Peace~Love~Happiness :o)

  10. Michelle,

    Sorry to hear about Tony's trip to the doc but it sounds like you have time to do something about it which is good. Beans are a wonderful source or fiber, so are most veggies. If you look at the nutrition stats on my dishes you will see most of the dishes are high in fiber. If you need some other ideas send me an email and I can send you links to read. It is usually easiest on someone's digestion to add fiber slowly otherwise it can result in a lot of bloating and gas.

    Have a wonderful holiday and a happy and healthy new year,

  11. That looks good! I still haven't tried cooking with miso. I mean, I've had miso soup, but that's it. It's been a while. What is the flavor like? Have you ever bought chickpea miso?

  12. Happy New Year, VE!
    Peace :)

    Thanks to you, we have started adding more mushrooms into our cooking too.

  13. I couldn't find any vegan oyster sauce. Did you make or buy yours? I used a ginger mushroom sauce. It was still great but it had a bit too much sugar in it.


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