Iron for Vegetarians

There are over 10 million people in the United States alone who are iron deficient. That means that they don’t eat enough iron per day. When you think of iron you think of animal products; turkey, chicken, beef, etc. Of course to all my fellow vegetarians and vegans eating enough iron can be a problem, since in truth a lot of iron does come from other animals. Below are some vegetarian iron options. Eating these plant-based options don’t supply you with as much iron as chicken would, per say, but it’s been proven that if you do eat one of these options along with a food high in vitamin C, it can improve absorption of the iron.

  • Tofu. The ‘vegetarian chicken’ does contain iron. One idea is having it in a stir fry. Some vitamin C foods you could place along with the tofu in the stir fry include kale, broccoli, and green peppers.
  • Beans/chickpeas/lentils. All three of these contain a good amount of iron in them. I personally like placing these into soups. Some ideas include lentil soup or a minestrone soup with black or kidney beans. Yum!
  • Sesame/poppy seed/everything bagels. You wouldn’t normally think of seeded bagels as being high in iron but they are. They contain 30% of the daily recommended amount of iron in a normal size. So consider stopping by your local Brugger’s, at some point.
  • Dark chocolate. Definitely my favourite on this list. One ounce of dark chocolate (one square of chocolate) has 20% of your daily iron! The dark chocolate should be over 70% cacao.
  • Breakfast cereal. One cup of the right breakfast cereal can get you the recommend daily intake of iron in one meal. Some brands this works for include Total Whole Grain (3/4 of a cup), Raisin Bran, and Mini-Wheats.

I hope this list helps you come up with some ideas for your next meal/snack. Thanks for reading! Have a fantastic week! ūüôā

~ Mara

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Tofu Bowl: A Healthy Meal Step-by-Step

Hi! It’s Mara and today I have a blog post about one of the recent meals I made for a Girl Scout Badge. Hope you like the post!

 

For one of the badges as a Cadette, we need to make a recipe from a different part of the world, so I decided to make a tofu bowl which is from Southeast Asia. We used zucchinis, rainbow carrots, and Chinese Cabbage as our main¬†vegetables but you can also use other vegetables like cucumber and broccoli.¬†Here’s the recipe:

 

Prep:

Step 1) If you get store-bought tofu it’s almost always kept in water inside the package. So your first step is to pour out the water from the packaging. After all the water is drained out, take out the tofu and place it on a plate/cutting board. From there cut a vertical strip of the tofu off then. Cut that strip horizontally into tofu cubes.

Starting off with a chunk of tofu

 

Cut a vertical strip of the end

 

Cut that strip into cubes

Step 2) Cut the rest of the tofu this way. Then take out a plate and place a towel on top of it, then a paper towel on top of that. Place the cubes all onto the paper towel. From there take another paper towel and place on top of the tofu, then another towel. You do this to drain out all the water from the tofu. Then put a heavy pot or pan on top of the last tea towel, and put it in the fridge for 45 Р60 minutes.

Place the cubes on top of a paper towel

Step 3) Wash the zucchini in some water to remove any excess dirt or other debris. Cut off the top and bottom part of the zucchinis and then from there cut the rest of the zucchini into either coins or quarters.

Coin or quarter cuts

 

Place zucchinis in a bowl

 

Step 4)¬†You can place the zucchini aside for a while and pull out the rainbow carrots (you can also use normal carrots.) Wash the carrots very well since they’re usually pretty dirty. Then, use a peeler (my favorite kitchen appliance) to peel the outer skin of the carrots. Then cut the carrots into bigger pieces if you’re going to roast them in the oven or smaller pieces if you’re going to stir-fry them.

Before peeled

 

After peeled

 

Cutting the purple carrot

 

Put the carrots in a bowl

 

Step 5) Take out a head of cabbage. Wash it then cut it in half, since that is usually enough for at least 4 or so people. If you have more people you can use the whole thing, or if you have a bunch of cabbage lovers in your family. Cut thinly around the hard center part of the cabbage and place all the cabbage in a bowl.

 

The cut cabbage

Step 6) Make the sauce for the stir fry by zesting in some ginger and garlic (optional) then add some soy sauce.

Zesting in the ginger

 

Sauce once completed

 

Step 7) Pour some teriyaki sauce in a bowl. The teriyaki can be storebought or homemade. Then take your tofu out of the fridge and place it on a metal pan with some paper on top of it. Then take out a spoon or a basting brush to and brush the teriyaki onto the tofu cubes.

Painting on the teriyaki

The tofu once “painted”

 

Cooking

Step 1) Put the tofu in the oven for 30 or so minutes at 375. Every 10 or 15 minutes take out the tofu and paint them with a little more teriyaki sauce.

Step 2) Take out your cut carrots and roast them in the oven for 30 minutes as well. You can also stir fry the carrots if you prefer.

Step 3) Stir fry on together the zucchinis and cabbage, drizzling the sauce you made in Step 6 toward the end.

Stir-frying the zucchinis and cabbage

How To Eat:

For our meal, we had sort of a “Make Your Own Tofu Bowl.” We set out all the toppings along with some rice, and everyone made their own tofu bowl with all the toppings.

 

Thanks for reading this recipe everyone! It’s one of the more complicated ones I have made, so if you have any questions or comments about it feel free to ask below.

~ Mara