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7 Meal Ideas to Help Fulfill Your New Year's Resolutions

(Another post developed in partnership with the wonderful Alexis Montoya of The Bronx Vegan)

As a new year begins, it’s important to challenge ourselves to be better than the last. At Loisa, we see food as more than just a great place to start - it has the power to help you work towards and achieve many popular resolutions. Let the Top 7 countdown begin!

~ #7 Learn a New Skill ~

Rolling up your sleeves and getting in the kitchen opens up a world of possibilities. There’s so much to learn about the culinary arts, so why not learn how to cook a new and unique recipe like this Latin-inspired Onigiri! While this dish only requires four ingredients, it is in the preparation that your creativity is put to the test.

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Begin by first heating up a ½ cup of vegetable oil on a medium flame.
  2. Microwave one package of Loisa Brown Rice & Quinoa.
  3. Next, prepare the plantains. Use a vegetable peeler to cut thin slices of the plantain from top to bottom.
  4. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface. You will use this to help piece together the onigiri.
  5. Layer slices of the raw plantain on the plastic wrap first, aiming to achieve a star-like pattern. Sprinkle Loisa Adobo on this layer.
  6. Next, place two handfuls of the rice and quinoa in the middle of the plantains.
  7. Using the plastic wrap, lift up all sides, enclosing the ingredients, and twist the wrap until the contents form a tight onigiri shape. Use your hands to gently mold the onigiri to your desired shape, making sure the plantain is secured to the rice.
  8. Place the onigiri enclosed in the plastic back to your flat surface and unravel. The onigiri should remain in place.
  9. Using the remaining plantain strips, cover any areas of the onigiri where the rice is exposed and repeat step 7.
  10. Carefully place the onigiri into the hot oil and fry on each side for about 5 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. When done, place on a paper towel to drain any oil and finish with another sprinkle of Loisa Adobo.

~ #6 Get Social & Make Some New Friends ~

Nothing unites people quite like food! If you’re determined to make some new friends in the new year, hosting or attending a potluck in your community is the best way to do it. Homemade food and networking are all it takes. For a low-effort but incredibly tasty potluck dish, try this Tostones y Guacamole recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 green plantains
  • 2 avocados
  • ½ of a red onion
  • 1 tablespoon of cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ tablespoon of Loisa Organic Adobo
  • ½ of a small lime

    Instructions:

    1. Start by heating ½ cup of vegetable oil on a medium-high flame.
    2. Next, prepare your plantains by peeling and slicing into thick round pieces. Fry those pieces in hot oil for two minutes on both sides then remove from the pot and put to the side.
    3. On a tostonera or another flattening tool, season the plantains with Loisa Adobo and flatten. Add the tostone back into the oil and cook for two minutes on each side or until golden brown.
    4. For the guacamole, begin by cutting and deseeding the avocado. Spoon out the contents of the avocado and mash with a fork in a bowl until a slightly chunky mixture is achieved.
    5. Finely dice the onion, garlic, and cilantro and add to the bowl. Juice the lime into the mixture and mix well, serving with tostones on the side.

    ~ #5 Read More ~

    Every meal has a rich history and if you’re looking to get some more reading done, why not learn more about the ingredients you love most? My favorite is plantain because it is so versatile and delicious. Something I learned is plantains are species of the genus Musa, which are indigenous to the tropical region of Southeast Asia. Enjoy one of my favorite ways to cook plantains, as Arañitas cooked in beans with sazón.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 can of pinto beans
    • 1 green plantain
    • 1 tablespoon of Loisa Organic Sazon
    • 1 small can of tomato sauce
    • 3 tablespoons of sofrito
    • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
    • 2-3 pieces of recao (optional)
    • 1 ½ cups of water

    Instructions:

    1. Heat up vegetable oil on a medium-low flame. Cook sofrito for 2-5 minutes or until mixture is a light green color.
    2. Add the tomato sauce, Loisa Sazon, water, and recao and stir to combine ingredients. Once mixed add pinto beans and continue to cook on a medium flame for 10 minutes.
    3. Prepare plantain by peeling and grating using a small grater size. Form the shredded plantain into small balls or aranitas and place into the pot. Once all the aranitas are in, gently stir the beans to submerge the aranitas without breaking its form. Allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the aranitas are fully cooked through.

    ~ #4 Focus on Self-Care ~

    Mindful eating is giving your full attention to your meal so as to appreciate the flavors, textures, and your reactions to it. By practicing mindful eating, you’re giving consideration to your eating habits and the quality of your meal. With frequent practice, you’ll being to learn what meals make you feel great and why. Picking a flavorful and nourishing dish like this Chickpea Adobo Curry is the best way to practice.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 can of chickpeas
    • 1 can of coconut milk
    • 1 tablespoon of garam masala
    • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
    • 1 teaspoon of chili powder
    • ½ tablespoon of Loisa Organic Adobo
    • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
    • 1 small can of tomato sauce
    • 1 small yellow onion
    • 3 garlic cloves
    • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

    Instructions:

    1. Heat up vegetable oil on a medium-low flame and add diced onion and garlic. Cook until slightly brown.
    2. Next, add the coconut milk and tomato sauce into the pot and stir to combine. Add the garam masala, curry powder, Loisa Adobo, chili powder, and ginger powder to the pot and stir well to combine all ingredients together.
    3. Add chickpeas to the pot and allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve with a side of Loisa Rice and Quinoa for a deliciously filling meal.

     

    ~ #3 Save Money ~

    If you’re looking to save a little more green, consider meal-prepping every week. Dedicating one day to prepping your meals saves you from needing to purchase meals elsewhere. This is especially helpful for work or school! One of my favorite dishes to prepare in advance is this Buddha Bowl filled with kale, sweet potato, corn, Loisa Brown Rice and Quinoa, and tahini.

    Ingredients (for one serving):

    Instructions:

    1. Microwave one pack of Loisa Brown Rice and Quinoa.
    2. Prep the kale, sweet potato, and corn by peeling and cutting into small, bite-size pieces. Place all the ingredients in a steamer and allow to cook for 15 to 30 minutes or until tender.
    3. To assemble, place Loisa Brown Rice and Quinoa in a container and top with the steamed vegetables. Next, drizzle the tahini sauce over the vegetables, adding as much or as little as you’d like.

    ~ #2 Get More Exercise ~

    While coffee or tea might be your go-to booster for the morning, consider the energy that comes from incorporating a short exercise in the morning. Anything from a quick jog to a short yoga session will get you going, we promise. Most importantly, at the end of each workout, make sure to nourish your body with a nutritious dish like this Savory Oatmeal (trust us, it's delish, even in the AM).

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup of Oatmeal
    • 1 can of coconut milk
    • ½ tablespoon of Loisa Organic Adobo
    • Turmeric
    • 1 cup of kale
    • 1 small avocado
    • 2 tablespoons of tahini
    • ½ of a package of tofu
    • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper

    Instructions:

    1. Start by cooking the coconut milk on a medium-low flame until it starts to simmer. Add Loisa Adobo and a sprinkle of turmeric and stir to combine. Next, add the oatmeal and stir to combine. When the oatmeal has thickened, remove from the heat and set aside.
    2. On a medium-low flame, heat up vegetable oil and when hot, add the kale and tofu. You want to give these ingredients a slight crunch, so allow them to cook for 5 minutes until the tofu is a light brown on all sides and the kale has slightly shrunk in size.
    3. Assemble the dish by first placing the oatmeal in a bowl and then topping it with the kale, tofu, and smashed avocado. Drizzle the tahini on top. Add salt and pepper to your liking.

    ~ #1 Eat Healthier (our favorite!) ~

    A plant-based vegan lifestyle might seem intimidating for some, especially if you’re a big meat eater. If you’re interested but don’t know where to start, try Meatless Mondays. It’s a popular concept where you simply don’t eat meat for one day. Maybe this might help you transition to vegan-ism or maybe it’ll help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. Get to know the Vegan Tofu Steak which, amongst many meat alternatives, is a surprisingly tasty meal that’ll win anyone over.

    Ingredients:

    Instructions:

    1. Begin by getting the excess water out of the tofu by wrapping the block in a towel and place on a flat surface. Add extra weight on top of the tofu to aid in this process. Allow this to sit for 10 to 15 minutes.
    2. Add the balsamic vinaigrette, soy sauce, tahini, liquid smoke, Loisa Sazon, and water to a bowl and mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. This will be the marinade for the tofu.
    3. Unwrap the tofu and slice into 4 to 5 thick strips. Place the strips in a plastic container and pour the marinade on top. Spread the marinade enough to cover the entire slice of tofu. Cover and refrigerate overnight or minimum 3 hours.
    4. Heat up 4 tablespoons of oil in a skillet. Cook the tofu steaks on a medium-high flame for 5 to 10 minutes on both sides or until the tofu has become crispy and brown.
    5. Remove the tofu from the skillet and allow the oil to drain on a paper towel. Move the tofu to a plate and cover in A1 Steak Sauce to your liking. Serve with a side of Loisa Brown Rice and Black Beans and avocado for a fulfilling meal.

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