Superfoods for a Super YOU! by Elizabeth Brown, MS, RD


While most articles define “superfoods” as those foods with the highest antioxidant activity, I choose my favorite “superfoods” based antioxidants AND the ability to perform multiple tasks in the diet and in the body.

Pomegranates, acai and gojis are great, but they have limited uses when compared to this list of superfoods: flax seeds, nutritional yeast flakes, eggs, grass-fed beef, canned salmon, tofu, lentils, quinoa, brown rice, spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, sunflower and pumpkin seeds, strawberries, parsley, basil and cinnamon.

What makes these foods so super is their nutrient density. They provide a lot of nutrients or a great deal of one particular nutrient relative to their calorie content. Eggs, salmon and quinoa have been dissected in previous articles. Each week I will discuss the other ingredients and tell you exactly why these foods are so “super.” For now, here is a day’s worth of SUPERFOODS.

Strawberry Smoothie

1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
4 ounces silken soft tofu
1 Tablespoon sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons honey
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon or more to taste

Put everything in a blender and blend. Add water as needed to reach desired consistency.

Flax Bar

Need a food processor.
Throw in:
3/4 cup almond butter
1 cup Scottish oats (Gluten-free, made in a facility that only processes oats)
1 cup wheat germ (Gluten-free: replace with Quinoa flakes)
1 cup raisins or any combination of chopped dried fruit
1/2 cup prunes or dates
2 Tbsp Honey
1 cup Flax seeds (measure whole, then grind in coffee grinder before adding to food processor)

Process on high speed until everything is mixed together. Place a sheet of wax paper across the bottom of a casserole pan or cookie sheet. Put the mixture onto the wax paper. Place another sheet of wax paper on top and press firmly to evenly distribute the mixture. Place in refrigerator for 2 or more hours to allow to firm. Slice into 20 even pieces. Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. Per serving: 155 calories, 8g fat (1.5g Omega-3 fats from ALA), 5g protein, 17g carbohydrates, 4g fiber

Salmon Salad (divide into two servings)
6 ounce can wild salmon, drained and mixed with two tablespoons yogurt or vegan mayo plus one teaspoon Dijon mustard, one teaspoon horseradish, one teaspoon fresh chopped parsley and the juice of one half lemon. Mix with a fork and serve on top of a bed of spinach with chopped shiitake or mitake mushrooms.

Pumpkin Seed Pesto on quinoa and lentils
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
2 cups fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
Mix 1 Tablespoon pesto with 1/2 cup rice and lentils

Marinated Beef & Vegetables with Savory sauce on a bed of brown rice

8-12 ounces lean beef (free range, grass fed, organic) cut into two inch pieces or tempeh for vegans
4 cups chopped vegetables your choice: Broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, leafy green such as collards and cabbage, onions and minced garlic.

All Purpose Marinade
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup tamari
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne

Blender everything in a blender. Pour some marinade in the bottom of a baking dish or container. Place the meat, poultry, fish or tofu in the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator for two to 24 hours.

While meat is marinating, make savory sauce & chop vegetables

Savory Sauce
1/2 cup olive or canola oil
1/4 cup Tamari
2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz package firm tofu
Juice of one lemon
1/4 to 1/2 cup water to reach desired consistency
Place all ingredients in a blender & blend well. Should be like a thick, creamy dressing. Store in a jar, label & date. Good for up to 10 days

Use a large skillet to cook the meat in the marinade liquid. Cook until no longer pink in the middle. Remove meat from pan. Add the chopped vegetables and steam sauté in the marinade until the vegetables are crisp tender. Serve the meat and vegetables on a small bed of brown rice or quinoa. Top with savory sauce.