Being a dietitian is one of my favorite things and I’ve been missing it like something fierce lately (that and teaching yoga). I pretty much love having the ability to share nutrition and encourage more healthy eating habits, even if it’s just little bits at a time. So, enter Tuesday Tidbits. Every other Tuesday, I’ll be offering little blurbs of sound nutrition advice. It won’t be coated in all the detailed science stuff that I find so fascinating, but just straight to the point of some really important nutrition topics (or according to me 😉 ). If you have ideas for future blurbs, let me know! There’s soon going to be a nifty little subscription sign up on the right side of the blog that will keep you notified. I promise, I won’t go crazy posting stuff. Let’s be real, posting every other week will be a stretch considering my current posting rate!

…So this list came about after realizing most of the foods I eat on a regular basis are not part of the super cool/super food trend list, but rather solid choices that may be patiently waiting in the back of your cupboard/fridge/or other to get used up without much enthusiasm. But the truth is, these foods deserve more attention. They are economical (who says saving money isn’t sexy?!), widely available (no shopping at fancy overpriced ‘health food stores’), and a straight up nutrition bomb. If these foods aren’t in your regular line up, I suggest a substitution stat. Your health will thank you.

Tempeh – This Indonesian staple is high in protein, easily digestible, and packed with probiotics. In case you’re not sure what tempeh is, its fermented soybean that has a firm texture with a nutty taste. I really like to cut it into triangles to pan fry, marinate and sauté, or grill. I’ve developed quite the affection for the taste as is, but it will soak up whatever sauces you marinate it in or keep it simple with salt/pepper. If you have digestive issues, this is a low on the FODMAPs!

Tempeh Skewers + Tempeh in a delish sauce + bean cakes were all standard fare in Indonesia!

Tofu – Next to tempeh, there is soy’s sister, tofu. If you just crinkled your nose up, you’re not alone BUT I encourage you to give it a try, or even another try if you had it a couple times. It’s cholesterol free and low in fat while packed with protein and vitamins. There are lots of different textures for tofu and I encourage extra firm or firm. It will hold its shape the easiest (unless you’re crumbling it) and has a more appealing texture for the mass market. You’ll want to make sure you get all the liquid out before seasoning. I recommend using a clean dish cloth and placing the block of tofu in between the two sides and squeezing the heck out of it while maintaining the general shape. Easy prep: cut into cubes, season, and bake in oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30ish minutes and you’ll have a fab protein for your fried rice, stir fry, or on its own!

Extra firm tofu like this can be grilled too!

Beans (ALL of them) – They aren’t the most glamorous food, but now that it’s becoming easier to find no salt added canned varieties, they make week night meal cooking a breeze. Plus, they are loaded with fiber, protein, and vitamins. The possibilities are endless!

Carrots – Carrots have a reputation for being a sweet, high carbohydrate vegetable. Unless you’re eating a whole bag in one sitting, you’re fine. They keep for a while in the fridge (if you travel often or eat at home not so often for whatever reason), so you rarely have to worry about them going bad. On the nutrition front, they are loaded with vitamin A, fiber, and other B vitamins to name a few.

Popcorn – Usually popcorn is associated with mounds of butter and saturated in salt from a movie theater or chemically infused microwave bag varieties. Take those not so great elements out of the equation and popcorn is high in fiber as a complex carbohydrate and per volume, lower in carbohydrates compared to other snacks. Grocery store varieties like Boom Chicka Pop or Skinny Pop brands have the convenience + healthy food factor covered. Otherwise, take 2 tablespoons of popcorn seeds and place in a brown lunch bag (option to coat with oil). Microwave 1 ½ to 2 minutes (listen for it to stop popping) and boom, you’ve got yourself a treat! This will make about 2-3 cups of popped popcorn.

My favorite road snack at the moment!

So there you have it, underrated foods that I think you should probably be eating more often! Check back soon for more Tuesday Tidbits and let me know if there’s something nutritionally you’d like to hear about.

Happy Eating!

Top Underrated Foods and How to Use & Eat Them

10 thoughts on “Top Underrated Foods and How to Use & Eat Them

  • August 8, 2017 at 10:13 pm
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    This registered dietitian agrees with you….

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    • August 9, 2017 at 3:02 am
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      Awesome! I’m very happy to have your stamp of approval 🙂

      Reply
  • August 8, 2017 at 11:18 pm
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    I love Tuesday Tidbits!

    Question for you, Morgan… I’ve heard that consuming too much soybean or consuming it too frequently isn’t the best. Everything in moderation, I know! So if I have soymilk with breakfast, tofu for lunch, and tempeh for dinner, is that not recommended? Or would that be more applicable to a few days in a row of that pattern? … or is this myth busted?!

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    • August 9, 2017 at 3:31 am
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      Fantastic – LOVE the feedback! 🙂

      That is a superb question – what you’re saying is maybe “not soy fast?!” 🙂
      Here’s the deal – soy contains estrogen-mimicking compounds that operate in a mildly similar way to estrogen. People seem to have latched onto an idea that soy intake profoundly impacts hormone levels should be avoided. There is no strong evidence that shows the case. I still recommend organic soy products when available and opting for the not processed versions (like tofu/soy milk/edamame vs meat analogs) but 3-5 servings per day is still considered an appropriate amount. Check out this super short helpful video – https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-soy-is-too-much/

      Reply
  • August 9, 2017 at 1:56 am
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    All sounds delicious!! Not sure where to buy the first two? Thanks.

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  • August 9, 2017 at 1:58 am
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    Interesting, esp the popcorn idea. Not sure on the tufo though. I’ll just wait for you to make it for me sometime 😊

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    • August 9, 2017 at 3:32 am
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      I could do that – you might be surprised! 🙂 And yes, popcorn can be great!

      Reply
  • August 9, 2017 at 2:14 pm
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    Yum! I want to go back to Southeast Asia.

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    • August 9, 2017 at 2:15 pm
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      I know right?! You and me both! 😉

      Reply

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