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Refreshing Mango, Celery, Cucumber Salad

3 Apr Celery, Cucumber, Mango Salad

I’ve been talking about my need for crunchy things left, right and centre, to the point that I cave and head for the chip aisle. This is where scenes like this one, with my friend Kendra, usually play out:

(Standing side by side, staring at the chips…)

Me: I just really want something crunchy. I mean, I could have celery.

Kendra: There’s celery.

Me: Oooor not…(as I grab ALL the chips and put them in the basket…)

My friend Tami calls it the “crunch factor” — all meals must include it or you’ll feel like something is missing; for me, this has definitely been the case recently. Obviously celery is the responsible HEALTHY choice when it comes to crunch factor. When I mentioned this to my friend Matt, he sent me this fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants salad recipe. It’s got celery for crunch, avocado for creaminess, mango for sweetness and I added red cabbage for colour, which all combine to make it quite satisfying and full of good-for-you vitamins, minerals and fibre. You can make enough for one or two days, just keep the mango and avocado separate to prevent sogginess.

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Poached Tilapia in Coconut Milk Curry

8 Feb

I’m so impressed with the way this last-minute, one-pan-meal came together. I’d spent the afternoon working up an appetite while volunteering for Growing Chefs at Whole Foods and did a quick run around the store to get a piece of tilapia before leaving. My first thought had been to throw together a stir-fry, but after perusing my fridge and finding leftover roasted squash and a bit of coconut milk, I decided to do a simple curry. SO glad I did.

I don’t actually own curry powder or paste. All it is is a mix of spices anyways, so I generally just put my own mix together. Use whole spices and grind them in a spice (read: coffee) grinder! You can use any vegetables you like in this recipe. I just used what was quick and easy.

Tilapia Fish Coconut Curry

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Miso Soup with Ginger & Garlic

24 Jan

I volunteered as a kitchen helper for a Rooted Nutrition cooking class a few days ago. The topic was fermentation, which was super fascinating. I came out of the class with a mason jar of saurkraut that’s doin’ its thang on my counter (will report back about its success…I’m a little wary at the moment…)

Andrea whipped up a soup similar to this one for lunch and topped it with her homemade ‘kraut and kimchi. I didn’t have either of those on hand for dinner tonight so instead just added a squeeze of lime juice right before eating. This is a new fav for sure. Super quick and satisfying. Yum!

Miso Soup

Miso Soup with Ginger & Garlic
1 L/4 cups water
1″ fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes, to taste (I used shandong pepper threads)
1 cooked chicken sausage or plain tofu, cubed
Noodles (I used buckwheat but you can use rice noodles too)
Kale, carrots, cucumber, celery, beet, shredded (really any other vegetable you can think of)
Avocado, sliced
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup miso paste

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Recipe Redux: No-Tomato Lasagna

4 Jan

I thought I’d repost this No-Tomato Lasagna recipe as it’s been the most popular post on my blog, EVER. It seems more and more people are realizing they’re sensitive to the group of plants called nightshades, which tomatoes are included in. I recently came across this article on nightshades and was further informed on some ways they affect our bodies. I’m not sure if I’ll be going nightshade-free anytime soon (I’m a potato-chip monster…) but it’s definitely something to think about. Now to find a good cheese replacement that isn’t 800 ingredients long… :)

—-

Suffering with food allergies and/or irritations can get very limiting when making traditional recipes like lasagna. My dad’s partner, Sue, has an extensive list of foods to avoid (there’s an actual document she maintains to send to friends and family), including soy, wheat, dairy (specifically lactose), peppers and tomatoes.

I know what you’re thinking: how do you make lasagna without tomatoes?! Fear not, there is a way!

I could have gone the béchamel sauce route, but the thought of trying to find all lactose-free dairy products got overwhelming…even for me! Not to mention béchamel isn’t the healthiest choice.

I came up with this recipe after Sue sent me a link for “Nomato Sauce”. It’s definitely not tomato sauce, but stands-in pretty well in this application.

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Asian-Inspired Squash, Kidney Bean & Buckwheat Burgers

17 Dec

I had a hankering for a good burger the other day. I find I’ve been cooking vegetarian and/or vegan mostly at home — though I do indulge in burgers of the meat variety every so often — and I just happened to have some red kidney beans soaking without a plan for them. Legumes are a staple in my diet recently because of a) being a student and b) being a student of holistic nutrition. I needed a dish for a potluck as part of a class I’m taking and thought veggie burgers would not only satisfy my burger craving but also the variety of eating styles that exist in most nutrition-related classes.

These burgers turned out so great! Perfect chewy consistency with lots of flavour. I served them on top of raw shredded squash and cabbage with the dressing from my Edamame, Arame and Sweet Potato Salad. I also garnished with a little arame, cilantro and a drizzle of extra dressing. Make a double batch and freeze them before (or after) baking for easy lunches and dinners.

Kidney Bean Squash Buckwheat Burgers

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Mulligatawny Soup & The Million Dollar Question

29 Nov

One of the great things about being back in school is that there are many other people who are going through the same what-am-I-going-to-do-after-this-is-all-said-and-done phase as me. It was a big decision to up and move and almost as soon as I got here people were asking me what I was planning to do after school and if I wanted to stay in Vancouver or head back to Calgary. The answer is: I don’t know. All I do know is that I want to help people get back in touch with the kitchen and their food: I love sharing recipes, showing people how easy it is to make delicious and good-for-you meals, and giving nutrition/life/friendly advice when asked. But for now, I’m just along for the ride!

I made this Mulligatawny Soup for a potluck with some classmates on the weekend (yes, potlucks go hand-in-hand with nutrition school) and reminded myself how much I love it! This version is vegan-friendly, but traditionally it has chicken, beef or lamb in it. Either way, it’s one for keeps!

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Red Lentil & Black Barley Soup + Inaugural MNSC

14 Nov

Ever since I left Calgary I’ve been craving a gathering just like #yycMNSC that my friend Dan started. So after meeting Annie, a longtime Twitter friend, in-real-life, we decided to start it up here!

Ready for their close-ups.

Monday Night Supper Club is about trying new recipes and restaurants, going on excursions, connecting with food and the food industry in our city, and, of course, making new friends. The inaugural potluck was yesterday (yes, I know it was a Tuesday) at my tiny studio apartment and what a blast we had! Breanne brought a Pumpkin Cashew Dip that I swear you could use as a body mask; Celia brought Quinoa Falafel Cakes; Carissa brought Savoury Sausage & Cheese Muffins and Chocolate Avocado Pudding; Annie brought Homemade Bread & Garlic Bruschetta; and Erin brought Raw Chocolate Nut Clusters. A very delicious evening indeed!

Coffee Grinder + Spices = Spice Grinder

I modified this Lentil & Barley soup recipe from a favourite healthy-eats cookbook called Enlightened Eating (written by a fellow Canadian Holistic Nutritionist!) and it was a total hit with the group. I like to use whole spices wherever possible and grind them as I need them. Instead of using a mortar and pestel, I just use a coffee bean grinder (that’s never met a coffee bean!) As a general rule, I always double recipes when I’m making soup so I’ve got lots leftover to freeze. Yum!

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Kitchari & Lessons from nutrition school

1 Nov

Wowza, how time flies! Since my last post (June 29th!) a lot has happened. On somewhat of a whim I relocated to Vancouver, BC, in early August to complete a certificate in Ayurvedic Studies and in September I began the Diploma of Holistic Nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition.

Au revoir, Calgary!

Summer in Vancouver was beautiful and I got to spend a lot of time exploring the city and surrounding areas. The rain started a few weeks ago — as everyone warned me it would — so I’m staying on top of my vitamin D supplements and keeping myself busy with school and socializing (who doesn’t like making new friends!?)

Kitchari with seasoned chicken breast, mesclun, beet and cilantro.

The August Ayurveda intensive was perfectly suited to the information I’ve been searching for. Ayurveda has a very simple, logical (and ancient) approach to medicine where nutrition is one of the key elements. People are treated as individuals with lifestyle programs tailored to each person’s specific constitution or dosha. I learned so much about myself and have been putting all my knowledge to work, especially in the kitchen!

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Minestrone Soup You’ll Crave!

17 Feb

Photo by Steve Coutts

This is another of the recipes that I made for a photo shoot with my friend, Steve. It’s the perfect balance of flavours, packed full of vegetables and super yummy! I generally double or triple the recipe,  package in 250 ml containers, then freeze for easy lunch and dinner portions. Add any variety of vegetables, pasta (I actually don’t put it in all the time) and greens (I’ve been using kale). Most of the time I omit the leek and add more onion.

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Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce or Shakshuka

23 Jan

This egg dish is so simple to make and would be great for a big brunch where you didn’t want to spend a lot of time slaving over the oven. After posting this picture to Twitter/Instagram, I was informed that it’s called Shakshuka. I did a little research, and though this recipe isn’t the traditional form of the dish, it’s definitely along the same lines.

You can add whatever herbs and spices catch your fancy. Also, add any type of sausage, bacon or ham you like. I made a vegetarian version just by omitting the sausage and adding a few more whole tomatoes.

This was on the menu for the Interactive Monday Night dinner at Market 17 I hosted last week. Read about the Melt-In-Your-Mouth Cheese Biscuits I made for it too. So. Yummy.

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