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Nutritious Condiments to Dress Up Your Recipes

Last week you hopefully learned how to make quinoa and brown rice cakes, but I neglected to include some tasty ways to change the flavor of your new favorite food. Believe me, if they're not already, those quinoa and brown rice cakes will soon be a staple in your weekly food repertoire. Everyone I have ever taught to make them tells me so. The quinoa cakes also freeze well so you can eat some now and save some for later.

I am a big fan of condiments, particularly the ones you can make yourself out of fresh, whole foods that will add extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to your favorite recipes.

Below are three of my favorite condiments: guacamole, pesto and harissa. Most people have likely eaten guacamole and pesto but harissa was a new one for me which I learned about in culinary school. Harissa is a popular condiment which, according to Wikipedia, originated in Tunisia and is also popular in Lybia, Algeria and Morocco. Harissa can be made with hot or mild red peppers and spices such as cumin and coriander. Once you puree the ingredients in a blender or food processor, store your harissa in a jar and add enough olive oil to cover by one inch. Then label and date and keep in the fridge for up to one month.

Guacamole

Ready in 5 minutes, makes 9 servings

Cost per serving $0.08

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • Juice of one lime
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro leaves, chopped (~1 cup)
  • Dash sea salt & pepper

Instructions

Wash cilantro in a large bowl or clean sink full of cool water. I like to add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract (GSE) to the soaking water (GSE is believed to possess antiviral, antimicrobial and antifungal properties). Rinse off the cilantro and set in a colander. Remove the leaves and chop. Combine with mashed avocado, minced garlic, lime juice, sea salt & ground black pepper. Store in a container. Label & date & use within 4-7 days. I have always heard that you should add the avocado seed to prepared guacamole in order to slow the browning process, but I have never found this to be an effective method. Instead, I took half of the lime after I juiced it, and I added it to the guacamole. One week later the guac was still looking and tasting as fresh as the day I made it.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1/4 cup, 1.8oz/51g
Amount Per Serving
Calories
92
Calories from Fat
72

Total Fat
8 g

Sodium
43mg

Total Carbohydrates
4g

Fiber
2g

Sugars
1g
Protein
1g
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A 0% Copper 6%
Vitamin C 9% Vitamin B12 0%
Calcium 1% Vitamin B-6 7%
Riboflavin-B2 3% Iron 3%
Selenium 0% Pantothenic Acid 15%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin E 3%
Phosphorus 2% Potassium 9%
Magnesium 5% Manganese 6%
Folate 7% Zinc 1%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

For a complete meal, serve 1/4 cup guacamole with 1 free-range scrambled egg, 1/2 cup warmed black beans & 1/2 cup corn.

Cost per serving: $1.23

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
(1 1/2 cups, 9.50oz/269g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories
345
Calories from Fat
117

Total Fat
13g

Sodium
115mg

Total Carbohydrates
45g

Fiber
12g

Sugars
5g
Protein
18g
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A 16% Copper 17%
Vitamin C 20% Vitamin B12 0%
Calcium 6% Vitamin B-6 15%
Riboflavin-B2 25% Iron 19%
Selenium 25%
Vitamin D 7% Vitamin E 6%
Phosphorus 31% Potassium 24%
Magnesium 27% Manganese 34%
Folate 54% Zinc 14%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Basil & Flax Seed Pesto

Ready in 5 minutes, makes 10 servings

Cost per serving: $0.48

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, chopped (2 bunches basil leaves)
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast flakes
  • 2 Tbsp flax or olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions

Throw everything in a blender & blend to a smooth consistency. Label & date & use within 1 week or freeze in ice cube trays to use in recipes up to three months later.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
(1 1/2 cups, 9.50oz/269g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories
56
Calories from Fat
36

Total Fat
3g

Sodium
40mg

Total Carbohydrates
1.5g

Fiber
1.5g

Sugars
1g
Protein
1.5g
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A 3% Copper 2%
Vitamin C 2% Vitamin B12 12%
Calcium 2% Vitamin B-6 47%
Riboflavin-B2 54% Iron 2%
Selenium 3%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin E 1%
Phosphorus 2% Potassium 2%
Magnesium 3% Manganese 9%
Folate 8% Zinc 1%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

For a complete meal, serve with a 6oz red potato, diced & steamed (the potato should be the size you can hold in the palm of your hand), plus 2 oz tuna. Toss warm potatoes & tuna with 2 Tbsp pesto and place mixture on top of 2 cups of fresh spinach or mixed salad greens.

Cost per serving: $1.76


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
(1 1/2 cups, 9.50oz/269g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories
355
Calories from Fat
67.5

Total Fat
7.5g

Sodium
128mg

Total Carbohydrates
49g

Fiber
9g

Sugars
3g
Protein
23g
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A 37% Copper 35%
Vitamin C 71% Vitamin B12 53%
Calcium 21% Vitamin B-6 138%
Riboflavin-B2 120% Iron 31%
Selenium 73%
Vitamin D 23% Vitamin E 7%
Phosphorus 26% Potassium 39%
Magnesium 29% Manganese 69%
Folate 54% Zinc 12%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

Harissa

Ready in 5 minutes, makes 10 servings

Cost per serving: $0.30

Ingredients

  • 1 large (1/2 pound) red pepper, seeded & diced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • I didn't have any mint but if you want to use mint, use 1 Tbsp each of mint & rosemary)

  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
(2 Tbsp, 1oz/28g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories
53
Calories from Fat
45

Total Fat
5g

Sodium
28mg

Total Carbohydrates
1.6g

Fiber
0.6g

Sugars
1g
Protein
0.3g
% Daily Value*
Vitamin A 13% Copper 1%
Vitamin C 72% Vitamin B12 0%
Calcium 0% Vitamin B-6 3%
Riboflavin-B2 0% Iron 1%
Selenium 0%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin E 4%
Phosphorus 0% Potassium 1%
Magnesium 0% Manganese 2%
Folate 1% Zinc 0%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

I love reheated brown rice and harissa for breakfast, eaten about 90 minutes before a powerful workout. Then I can workout for at least two hours. Now that's fuel to burn.