Tag Archives: cook

Goodie A

Oh my many goals.  I feel a little like a soccer player constantly talking and thinking about my goals.http://aeryssports.com/soccer-stories/talking-college-soccer-with-brandi-chastain/  Moving out felt like one big goal to me and the nice thing about my goals is that they’re never done.  Say what?  That’s right.  My goals are never-ending.  That’s what is so great about them.  Why would I ever stop trying to meet new people and find new friends?  I’d be so stale.  Why would I stop reading?  I can’t even fathom that.  Why would I stop finding new recipes to make?  That would be tasteless (ba-da-ching!).

Another goal that my mom would probably smack me upside the head and scream “I’ve been trying to tell you this for years!” is learning about the vitamins and goodies my body needs to be at its best.  Classic me would try to jump full-force into this one and try to learn everything I need to know in one night.  In fact, classic me did try it that way.  And then new, lesser-type-A me realized that taking it one step at a time would be more beneficial.  Pick a goodie, learn about the goodie, and incorporate the goodie.  Once I’ve mastered goodie A, I’ll move on to goodie B.  I don’t have a set time for when I will learn a new goodie.  Once I’m comfortable with the one or two I’m focusing on, I’ll move on.  Nor is there any rhyme or reason to how I pick the goodie.  I’ll also focus on a particular food that is packed with goodies and learn new ways to cook that and with that food.  This first Goodie was inspired by my vegan friend Lindsay when she wrote about what vitamins she takes and why.   And so Goodie A is, weirdly, vitamin B12 (maybe it should be Goodie B, but it’s not; it’s Goodie A).

(Please do remember that anything I write about these Goodies is the result of my research that wasn’t always the most extensive and was done to serve my needs, and no one else’s.  If I’m wrong about any of my findings, I welcome polite correction!)

Vitamin B12


The way I broke this little vitamin down is that it is in meat and if you don’t eat a lot of meat you aren’t getting much Vitamin B12.  As I said, Lindsay turned me on to this bad boy.  Previous to Lindsay’s post I didn’t know what goodies I was missing out on by not eating as much meat as I used to.  I wasn’t no fool, I knew I was missing things I just didn’t know what and Lindsay’s post decided for me that Vitamin B12 would be Goodie A.

I don’t need to know every single detail about what goodies do for me but what I do like to know is what will happen if I’m not getting enough.  Vitamin B12 is responsible for red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis (snooze-fest) (source).  A deficiency can result in fatigue, memory loss, confusion, and tingling feelings in the arms and legs.  Constipation (uh oh!) and appetite loss have also been associated with a B12 deficiency ( source).  Most of these effects are the result of a serious and prolonged deficiency mostly, something I don’t have to worry about right now.

So where can we get this goodie?  B12 is naturally found in animal products, particularly red meat.  It is not found in plant foods which is why it is super important for vegetarians, vegans, and quesitarians (my name for what I am) to get this goodie in other forms.  Fortified cereals now come packed with B12 (if you eat cereal… I do but I’m trying so hard not to).  Another source is nutritional yeast.  The Fitnessista loves incorporating nutritional yeast and taught me to love it on eggs and popcorn.  And I just discovered that Lindsay is also intro nutritional yeast… it’s getting a following people!  Jump on the bandwagon!!  I got my nutritional yeast for a few dollars at Wegmans (it was kind of hard to find and I had to ask for help but the lady knew right where it was).  I found this handy chart that shows the sources of B12.


Food Micrograms (mcg)
per serving
Percent DV*
Liver, beef, braised, 1 slice 48.0 800
Clams, cooked, breaded and fried, 3 ounces 34.2 570
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for vitamin B12, 1 serving 6.0 100
Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked, 3 ounces 5.4 90
Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces 4.8 80
Trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces 3.5 58
Cheeseburger, double patty and bun, 1 sandwich 2.1 35
Haddock, cooked, 3 ounces 1.8 30
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25% of the DV for vitamin B12, 1 serving 1.5 25
Yogurt, plain, 1 cup 1.4 23
Beef, top sirloin, broiled, 3 ounces 1.4 23
Tuna, white, 3 ounces 1.0 17
Milk, 1 cup 0.9 15
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 0.9 15
Beef taco, 1 taco 0.8 13
Ham, cured, roasted, 3 ounces 0.6 10
Egg, large, 1 whole 0.6 10
Chicken, roasted, ½ breast 0.3 5

So my first supplement purchase was B12 and I have to say I’ve been quite proud of myself in remembering to take it.  I’m not very good at remembering to take anything on a regular basis.  If you’re not good at remembering to take a supplement and are open to a new taste and texture, nutritional yeast is a good option.  A 2 tablespoon serving has 8 mcg of B12!  That’s nearly four times the recommended dietary allowance of B12.  The RDA for B12 is







0-6 months*

0.4 mcg

0.4 mcg

7-12 months*

0.5 mcg

0.5 mcg

1-3 years

0.9 mcg

0.9 mcg

4-8 years

1.2 mcg

1.2 mcg

9-13 years

1.8 mcg

1.8 mcg

14+ years

2.4 mcg

2.4 mcg

2.6 mcg

2.8 mcg

So if you’re like me and finding yourself not eating as much meat you might want to look into ways to incorporate B12 back into your diet through a supplement, fortified cereals, or nutritional yeast.

What other ways have you found to incorporate this vitamin?


Cashew, Tofu, and Broccoli Stir-Fry

One of my favorite cookbooks is the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook.  The idea behind it is healthy, delicious, easy-to-prepare meals, that follow their flat belly diet plan.  While I don’t follow the FBD plan I do like that every meal includes a MUFA.  What is a MUFA you ask?

MUFAs (pronounced moo-fah) are monounsaturated fatty acids, plant-based fats found in some of the world’s most delicious foods–avocado, nuts and seeds, oils, olives, and dark chocolate! Studies show that these good-for-you fats enhance heart health and protect against chronic disease. And now the latest research shows that these dietary superstars may even target fat where it’s hardest to lose–in your belly! (source)

The MUFA’s are also what helps us feel full after eating which is awesome for me because I am always hungry an hour after eating.  If I eat a MUFA meal, the hunger isn’t there as much.  Most of the meals I make come from the FBDCookbook and now they came out with a new cookbook, the Flat Bell Diet Family Cookbook.  I love that there are new recipes for me to try and they are geared towards getting everyone in your family to eat healthy.  Although I don’t have a family of my own, it is hard to cook for my parents when my dad needs meat with every meal and I try not to eat meat.  The first meal I made from the new cookbook is the Cashew, Tofu, and Broccoli Stir-Fry.  DELICIOUS!  It was approved by my Mom (but she approves anything that anyone makes for her) and would have been approved by my dad had it been made with chicken instead of tofu.  The recipe can be found here and below.

  • 1 container (14 ounces) firm light tofu
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch add to shopping list
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice

I like to chop all of my vegetables for cooking so that everything is prepared and ready to go!

  1. Drain your tofu by placing the tofu on a paper towel on a dinner plate, then put another paper towel or two on top, another dinner plate on top of that, and stack heavy objects on the very top.  I like to use giant tomato sauce cans.  Leave it to press for 20 minute.
  2. In the meantime, start your brown rice cooking.  Start a pot of boiling water for the broccoli. Combine the soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  3. Add the broccoli to the boiling water, return to a boil, and cook for 1 minute, or until bright green. Drain and set aside.
  4. Transfer the tofu to a cutting board and cut into 1/2″ to 3/4″ cubes. Heat 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly golden. Transfer the tofu to a plate and set aside.
  5. Heat the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the skillet. Add the pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Stir in the broccoli and tofu, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes, or until hot. Stir the soy sauce mixture to recombine and add to the skillet along with the cashews. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallions. Serve over the rice.