Nutrition secrets from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady

By Maria Allen

Healthy living is hip. From fitness videos that pop up on social media newsfeeds to the abundance of gluten-free products found on grocery store shelves, it seems like everyone in America is aiming to exercise more and eat healthier. So when the GOAT (greatest of all time) New England Patriots player Tom Brady started recommending recipes and wellness tips earlier this year, people really started to take notice.

Back in March, Brady and his TB12 partnered with Purple Carrot, a Boston-based meal subscription service to launch a 100 percent plant-based meal program. TB12 Performance Meals are packed with protein, low in refined sugar and gluten-free. Perfectly portioned raw ingredients and step-by-step instructions are delivered to the customer’s door, so there’s no room for excuses. The recipes are designed to help athletes and active individuals stay at their peak while adhering to the TB12 nutritional philosophy. Brady recently released a hardcover book that explains his wellness philosophy in great detail (see sidebar).

The TB12 Performance meal service costs $78 per week and contains the components of three meals, which are each designed to feed two people. While it may not fit into everyone’s budget, it certainly makes meal planning a breeze. If you’re curious how these healthy dishes would taste, try out one of these sample recipes. For more information, visit purplecarrot.com.

Lemongrass Curry with Brazil Nuts and Roasted Sweets

Ingredients

1 sweet potato
¾ cup white quinoa
1 stalk lemongrass
¼ cup cashews
¼ cup Brazil nuts
1 lime
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon curry powder
3 ounces broccoli florets
3 ounces Lacinato kale
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse and dry the produce. Cut the sweet potato into large wedges. Add the wedges to a baking sheet and toss with 2 tsp vegetable oil and a pinch of salt. Roast until browned in places, about 25 to 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, combine the white quinoa, 1½ cups water, and a pinch of salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the quinoa is tender, about 12 to 14 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, until it’s time to plate.
Bend the lemongrass in your hands to release some of the flavor. Add the lemongrass, cashews, brazil nuts, and 1 cup water to small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil for about 5 minutes. Remove the lemongrass, discard, and add the water and nuts to a blender. Add the juice of the lime, rice vinegar, and curry powder. Blend until smooth and season with salt.
Thinly slice the broccoli florets. Destem the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Peel and mince the garlic.
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tsp vegetable oil. Once hot, add the broccoli and cook until bright green and tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and 2 tablespoons of water to create a bit of steam. Cook until kale is slightly wilted, stirring frequently, about 1 minute.
Divide the cooked quinoa between your bowls. Top with sweet potato wedges, broccoli, and kale. Drizzle with lemongrass curry sauce and serve any extra sauce on the side.

Rotini Aglio Olio with Kale and Toasted Hazelnuts

Ingredients

1 box Banza rotini
8 ounces curly kale
8 ounces of carrot, peeled into ribbons
4 garlic cloves
Fresh parsley
⅓ cup hazelnuts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ cup Follow Your Heart vegan parmesan
Salt and pepper

Directions

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the Banza rotini, stir, and cook until al dente, about 4 to 5 minutes. Reserve ¾ cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta in a colander.
Destem the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Peel the carrot and then continue to peel lengthwise to create “noodles” with your peeler. Mince the garlic. Finely chop the parsley leaves.
Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the hazelnuts. Cook until fragrant and toasted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer nuts to a cutting board, let cool, and roughly chop.
Return the skillet to medium heat and add the coconut oil. Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the chopped kale and carrot ribbons and cook until kale is bright green and slightly softened; 2 to 4 minutes.
Add the reserved cooking water and rotini to the skillet. Bring pasta to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and add the hazelnuts, parsley, and half of the Follow Your Heart vegan parmesan. Season rotini with salt and pepper and stir to combine.

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