Archive | Entree

kale, apple + sunflower seed salad

It’s easy to over-complicate things…our relationships, our health, our priorities…life. All of these things can be made simpler with some hard work but perhaps the first place to start is with food. It’s often the simplest meals that are the most delicious, maybe it’s because we take less time preparing and more time enjoying. Salads are an easy meal – throw a bunch of food into a bowl, cover with dressing and eat.

We over-complicate this by adding lots of unnecessary ingredients, additives etc. This salad brings things back to basics – simple, clean and full of nutrients. It takes minutes to make, deliciously crunchy as well as being detoxifying.

kale apple sunflower seed salad

KALE, APPLE +SUNFLOWER SEED SALAD

2 bunches of kale, small chiffonade (or use baby kale)
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 apple, chopped
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
splash of apple cider vinegar
1 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
sea salt, to taste

Massage kale with lemon juice using your hands for a few minutes to break it down. In a smaller bowl, combine mustard, honey, apple cider vinegar and sea salt. While whisking mixture vigorously, add the organic olive oil slowly in a thin stream. Mix dressing with kale and top with sunflower seeds, raisins and apple.

 

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roasted asparagus

Fact: Asparagus contains mercaptan, a sulphurous compound when broken down by the digestive system creates by-products that cause urine to smell funny. It is your genetic makeup that determines whether you can smell this funky smell or not. Only some people appear to have the gene for the enzyme that breaks down mercaptan into its more pungent parts.1

Asparagus has many health benefits, including:

1. A rich source of glutathione, a detoxifying compound that helps break down carcinogens and other harmful compounds like free radicals.2

2. Contains Vitamin K, excellent for healthy blood clotting and strengthening bones.

3. Has a significant amount of the nutrient inulin, a “prebiotic.” Inulin passes undigested all the way to the large intestine and becomes an ideal food source for certain types of bacteria (like Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli) that are associated with better nutrient absorption, lower risk of allergy, and lower risk of colon cancer.3

roasted asparagus

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Himalayan salt, pinch
Black pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Preheat oven to 375F. Rinse clean the asparagus. Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard. Lay the asparagus spears out in a layer in a baking dish or a foil-covered roasting pan. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the spears and roll the asparagus back and forth until they are all covered with a thin layer of oil. Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Place pan in oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes. Drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice before serving.

References
1. Guardian.co.uk
2. Forberg, Cheryl. 5 Powerful health benefits of asparagus you probably didn’t know. Eating Well. 11 Apr 2011. <http://www.eatingwell.com/blogs/health_blog/5_powerful_health_benefits_of_asparagus_you_probably_didn_t_know>
3. Asparagus. The World’s Healthiest Foods. <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=12>

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thai mango salad

As a representative of the plant-based, healthy eating community, I feel a sense of duty to show up to parties with delicious, cruelty-free food. It’s important for others to know that a) healthy food is delicious, b) healthy food is not boring and c) healthy food is not difficult to prepare. I like bringing this Thai Mango Salad because it is gorgeous and colourful while being the easiest meal in the world to make, one bowl is all you need. It takes 30-minutes for prep time then it’s ready to go.

thai mango salad

Thai Mango Salad

2 mangoes, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced
handful of parsley or cilantro, chopped
chili pepper, choppped *optional (will make your salad hot!)
juice from 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
cashews or peanuts, crushed to garnish

Prepare and combine mangoes, red pepper, green pepper, green onions, red onion and parsley. Mix lime juice, salt and pepper in separate bowl and pour over veggie mixture. Chill for 1 hour and let marinade.  Garnish with nuts and serve.

This salad is part of the Sensational YOU Summer Detox program. Group detox begins July 17, 2013. Available here for only $10 until July 10, 2013.

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black bean – sweet potato quesadillas

Last week while grocery shopping, I put brown rice wraps, a green pepper, a sweet potato and a can of Eden black beans into my basket and was determined to create something delicious.

Presenting…

black bean sweet potato quesadillas

Black Bean – Sweet Potato Quesadillas

1 large sweet potato, chopped + steamed
1 green pepper, diced
handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can black beans (I like Eden Organics)
1 tsp cumin
salt + pepper to taste
4 brown rice wraps
Daiya *optional

Preheat oven to 350F. While sweet potato is steaming, heat up a pan with coconut oil on medium heat and add green pepper and tomato. Stir until tomato is broken down. Add black beans and mix everything together. Remove from heat. Once the sweet potato has steamed, place the pieces into a bowl and mash. Add black bean and veggie mixture, cumin, salt and pepper and mix. Scoop this mixture out onto half of each brown rice wrap. Top with Daiya, fold and bake for 10-15 minutes (depending on your oven) Serve with avocado and salsa.

There are a few steps to this process, so it does require some multi-tasking but it is well worth the effort!

About sweet potatoes…

I would rate the sweet potato as one of my favourite foods.  Whether steamed, baked, raw, juiced, french fried, I love it.  The sweet potato is one of nature’s richest sources of beta-carotene.  To get the full benefits of beta-carotene, it is important to combine it with a healthy fat ie. coconut oil, organic butter or extra virgin olive oil.

The sweet potato is a good source of fibre and carries a low glycemic index rating making it a good food for regulating and helping to stabilize the body’s blood sugar levels.

About Daiya…

Have you tried Daiya? If not, do it! This Canadian-based brand offers dairy-free, vegan-friendly cheeses that are allergen and nut free (including soy). What makes this so great? Well, it tastes good! Many dairy-free cheeses are soy-based and taste…not so good. Daiya is a great alternative to dairy and can be subbed for any meal containing dairy cheese. Its popularity has increased significantly and is now offered at many grocery stores.

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spaghetti squash magic

With a shared love of food, photography and taking photos of the food we make, when the Enlightened Boyfriend and I are together, magic can happen. The below dinner was absolutely an example of this, with many of my favourite foods captured in a photo.

spaghetti squash

The Enlightened Boyfriend likes pasta but I don’t. Due to an overload of penne pasta in my youth, even the thought of cooking pasta is unappealing. I have both an aversion and a wheat sensitivity (I will fall asleep about 30 minutes after consuming wheat) to it, but substituting in spaghetti squash is a great way for pasta lovers and vegetable fans to meet in the middle.

If you’ve never had spaghetti squash, please pick one up, they are so darn good. Not to mention easy to cook and is a source of B vitamins and beta carotene which is is helpful in protecting our cells from damage.

spaghetti squash magic

Spaghetti Squash Magic

1 spaghetti squash
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint of organic grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 can of white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
handful of basil, chiffonade
salt and pepper to taste
coconut oil

Baking the spaghetti squash: Preheat over to 375F. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Drizzle open flesh with a bit of coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil. Place squash face down (flesh-side down) on a parchment lined baking sheet. With a fork, poke a few holes in the skin to let the steam out. Cook for approx. 30 minutes. Once cooked, remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 mins. Then turn squash over and with a fork, scoop out the squash. This will resemble stringy spaghetti and is delicious.

While the squash is baking: In a medium-sized pot, heat up coconut oil on medium to heat-high. Add in minced garlic and turn down heat to medium. Stir for 2 mins and add in grape tomatoes. Stir tomatoes and let them soften and start to break down. Turn heat to low and add in white cannellini beans, basil, salt and pepper. Continue to stir and let warm for a few minutes. Once squash is ready, serve overtop and enjoy.

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