Amazing Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil & Avocado, Tah Tsai (Tatsoi) with Fried Bacon, and Quinoa Polenta

 IMG_4101 Brunch is by far my favorite meal of the week. You can do anything you want, go breakfast, go lunch, add a twist, add a bit of booze and you literally have the perfect setting to go crazy creative with your food.  I was inspired on a recent weekend by what I had in my house, mostly in season, very colorful, a nice mix of veggies, protein, fats and carbohydrates to give me energy early. On the menu:

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Amazing Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil and Avocado 

Eating tomatoes will benefit you in a myriad of ways including cardiovascular support, anti-cancer benefits and bone health. Tomatoes are a fantastic source of lycopene and other antioxidants. Lycopene has been found to play a part in bone health and antioxidants in general help fight disease by reducing inflammation. Some studies also suggest that different types of tomatoes include different nutrient properties so it’s a good idea to add tomato variety in your tomato salad, like I did here, to get maximum antioxidant benefit. Tomatoes benefit heart health, fresh tomatoes have also been shown to lower cholesterol including bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

Basil is pretty awesome itself, it protects against cellular damage and has anti-bacterial properties as well as anti-inflammatory properties.

Avocados are high in heart healthy fats, contain awesome anti-inflammatory properties and aid in the optimal absorption of carotenoids. Avocados also help regulate blood sugar balance and studies have shown anti-cancer benefits.

Not to mention how fantastic these all taste together!

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Tah Tsai (Tatsoi) with Fried Bacon

Get your greens in and make it fun! Tah Tsai has many names including Japanese spinach and is a relative of bok choy, high in both vitamins A and C, a cup of this stuff meets your vitamin A needs for the whole day! Plus it’s high in folate, so if you are pregnant, or looking to become pregnant, eat up!

The bacon? Well, that’s just delicious and contains fat and protein to help keep you fueled for hours!

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Quinoa Polenta

Quinoa is such a wonderful food! It’s high in antioxidants and phytonutrients and it serves as a complete protein unlike many other grains (quinoa is actually a seed not a grain). Most grains are low in amino acids  but quinoa is high in the amino acids lysine and isoleucine. Quinoa also has healthy fats that support heart health including oleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid. Interestingly enough quinoa contains a much higher amount of calcium than most grains (it’s 2 to 1 in comparison to whole wheat). Quinoa is also gluten free so it’s a phenomenal pick if you have gluten intolerance or celiac disease.

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Did you notice a pattern? So many of the foods I eat are absolute powerhouses in the nutritional world. Enjoy all these veggies found in this creative take on brunch!