While most articles define superfoods as those foods with the highest antioxidant activity, I choose my favorite superfoods based on 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.

But first I must add the almond sauce recipe which was missing from last week’s spring roll recipe. It really makes the dish. Enjoy!

Almond Sauce

2 inches ginger root, peeled and chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 cup almond butter

1/2 cup tamari

1/3 cup Honey

1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 lime, juiced

1/4 – 1/2 cup water (add gradually)

Blend in a blender

BREAKFAST

Strawberry Smoothie

1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup frozen strawberries

4 ounces silken soft tofu

1 tbs. sunflower seeds

2 tsp. honey

1/8 tsp. cinnamon or more to taste

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

SNACK

Flax Bar

Need a food processor.

Throw in:

3/4 cup almond butter

1 cup Scottish oats

1 cup wheat germ

1 cup raisins or any combination of chopped dried fruit

1/2 cup prunes or dates

2 tbs. 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

LUNCH

Salmon Salad (divide into two servings)

Six ounce can wild salmon, drained and mixed with 2 tbs. yogurt or vegan mayo plus 1 tsp. Dijon mustard, 1 tsp. horseradish, 1 tsp. 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 tbs. nutritional yeast flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

Mix 1 tbs. pesto with 1/2 cup rice and lentils

DINNER

Marinated Beef & Vegetables

8-12 ounces lean beef (free range, grass fed, organic) cut into 2-inch pieces or tempeh for vegans

4 cups chopped vegetables of your choice

All Purpose Marinade

1/3 cup canola oil

1/2 cup tamari

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tbs. minced garlic

2 tbs. paprika

1 tbs. chili powder

1 tbs. dried thyme

1 tbs. ground cumin

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. 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 tbs. nutritional yeast flakes

1/4 tsp. dried basil

1/4 tsp. 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.

Elizabeth Brown is a registered dietitian and certified holistic chef specializing in weight management, sports nutrition, disease prevention and optimal health through whole foods. She can be reached at eat2liv@earthlink.net.