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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Kale and Broccoli Bowl 2

Take it easy. Relax. Don’t worry about it. Chill out. Loosen up.

We’ve all heard these phrases before when we’re feeling stressed or anxious; however, the ability to unwind is easier said than done.

If you’ve got stress in your life, you’re definitely not alone. In Canada, where I live, nearly one in four Canadians reported feeling ‘extremely stressed’ in 2011. South of the border in the US, 44% of Americans say their stress levels have increased during the last five years.

Whether you’re worried about family, relationships, work or finances, stress isn’t all in your head. It migrates to your body, too. Relieving stress involves more than simply changing your mindset, since stress reaches beyond our brains and has a very real effect on our bodies.

Fortunately, there’s a lot that you can do to cope with the stress in your life. Stress management is most effective when we use a holistic approach, taking factors like diet, exercise, lifestyle, relationships and work into account.

In my new e-book, Stress-Free Eating, you’ll find plenty of information to help you understand how stress impacts your body and how you can use nutrition to support yourself in times of pressure.

Here’s what you’ll learn about:

  • How daily stress impacts your body
  • Stress-busting foods and how to manage stress using nutrition
  • Helpful herbs and superfoods
  • Calming lifestyle tips
  • Strategies to help you conquer emotional eating
  • How to identify foods that increase stress
  • Over 50 stress-supportive recipes that are plant-based, gluten-free and dairy-free

You can buy Stress-Free Eating for the Kindle and in PDF form.

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Red Pepper Dip 1

I adore hummus as much as the next person, but chickpeas (as well as other beans and legumes) can be difficult to digest because of their high content of protein and complex carbohydrates.

While there are numerous ways to eat more beans and toot less, I wanted to create a creamy, hummus-like dip without the chickpeas.

This roasted red pepper and carrot dip is full of robust, fruity flavour, and is a freaking powerhouse of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. Might as well call this anti-cancer dip, my friends.

What is your favourite bean-less dip or spread?

Roasted Red Pepper and Carrot Dip
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, five ingredients or less

3 bell peppers (I used a mix of red and orange), roasted
2 1/2 cups carrots, steamed
1/2 tsp cumin
4 tsp lemon juice
1 small clove of garlic, minced or pressed
1/4 tsp salt, or more to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut your bell peppers in half and lay them cut-side down on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the skins are shrivelled and slightly blackened. When the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove the skins.

Meanwhile, steam your carrots until soft.

In a food processor, blend the peppers, carrots, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Process until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Serve warm or cold. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

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Yam Falafel 1

Are you sick of sweet potato recipes yet?

I’m not. There really are endless ways to use those babies.

Apparently February is sweet potato month, and I had no clue. Good thing I’ve already been celebrating them all month long, like with this crust and yummy pie.

This play on falafel is smoky and sweet, with a very creamy texture. They won’t get as firm on the inside as traditional falafel, though you could certainly leave them in the oven for longer to firm them up.

Serve these atop a salad, alongside roasted veggies or in a gluten-free tortilla. I wrapped mine up in an organic blue corn tortilla with tomato slices and this incredible herbed vegan cream cheese – and let me tell you, it was a very satisfying lunch.

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

Sweet Potato Falafel
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, five ingredients or less

1 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup mashed yams or sweet potatoes
2 tbsp tahini
1/2 tsp cumin
1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Add the cooked chickpeas, sweet potatoes, tahini, cumin, garlic and salt to a food processor. Pulse a few times so everything gets chopped, then blend the ingredients together. You can make these as smooth or chunky as you want.

Put the mixture in the fridge for 15 minutes or so to firm up – this will make the patties easier to shape.

Line a baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper. With wet hands, grab about two heaping tablespoons of the mixture, roll it into a ball and flatten to about 1/2-inch thick. Repeat with remaining mixture.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until the patties are dry and slightly cracked on top. You can bake them for longer if you want them firmer on the inside.

Makes 10-12, depending on how big you make your patties.

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Lentil Crepes 1

Remember the gorgeous flatbread I created a few weeks ago? I’ve made it a few times since, and had a hunch that I could adapt it slightly to make a simple crepe batter.

Mission accomplished.

Now you have this tasty, easy and versatile wrap you can cram with whatever strikes your fancy. I packed mine with lightly cooked spinach and avocado slices, then topped it with salsa. I’ve got some more ideas below – what would you add to the list?

This crepe is gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, soy-free, nut-free and egg-free. Plus, it’s flexible enough that you could spread it thinly with something like hummus, lentil pecan paté or pesto, roll it up tightly and munch on it as a snack.

What? I’m awesome? Aw, shucks (blushing).

* Spice combos: cumin, coriander and cayenne; onion and garlic powder; basil, oregano and parsley; fenugreek and onion powder.

* Filling ideas: Sautéed onions and mushrooms; pesto and arugula; sautéed kale and garlic; salsa, guacamole and chopped cucumber; roasted red pepper and hummus, shredded carrots and raisins; lentil pecan paté; roasted butternut squash and sweet potato; kale and olive tapenade.

Red Lentil Crepes
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, grain-free, five ingredients or less

1/2 cup red lentils, soaked for a couple of hours
1 cup water
pinch of salt
olive oil, for the pan

Drain your lentils in a fine mesh strainer and rinse well, then add them to a blender with the water. Blend until smooth.

Lightly oil a non-stick pan and turn the heat to medium. When the pan is hot, spoon a half cup of batter into the pan and gently swirl it until the crepe is about six inches wide. Don’t make it too large, as that will make it more challenging to flip.

Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip the crepe and cook for 3-4 minutes on the other side.

Remove the crepe from the heat, then repeat the process with the remaining batter. I got four crepes, but that may vary depending on how large you make yours.

Heap the crepes with your choice of filling, then serve.

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Peppermint Patties 3

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. Probably because I’ve spent most of my life single and feeling grumpy about it.

Of course I always loved Valentine’s Day candy, especially the next day when it went on sale. My consumption was insane – we’re talking fistfuls of Hershey kisses and as many cinnamon hearts as my little mouth could handle.

Now that I have a valentine for the rest of my days, I’m still not into the holiday and care even less about the candy.

But I’m always on board with the opportunity to eat chocolate and treats I can feel good about.

Chocolate and mint is a classic combo, and these rich treats are no exception to that rule. You can shape the patties into hearts or other fun shapes, but I found it easier to pack the dough in one big lump and slice it later.

Are you a fan of Valentine’s Day? How did you celebrate it?

(Just a few days left to fill out my survey for a chance to win a gift certificate to Whole Foods. Give it a whirl, won’t you?)

Peppermint Patties
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, grain-free, five ingredients or less

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 drops peppermint oil (or peppermint extract to taste)
75 grams dark chocolate (about 3/4 cup), chopped

In a food processor, blend the coconut, coconut oil, maple syrup and one drop of the peppermint oil. Process the mixture until it sticks together easily, about 2 minutes or so. Don’t leave it for too long – or you’ll end up with coconut butter.

Press the mixture onto a plate lined with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper. Shape the dough into a small square about an inch thick. Stick the plate in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes to firm up.

Once the patties have hardened, slice them into squares.

Using a small pot or a double boiler, gently melt the chocolate and remaining drop of peppermint oil over low heat. When the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat.

Dip a square into the chocolate and flip it around until the entire thing is covered. Place the square back onto the parchment paper, then repeat with remaining squares.

When all the patties have been dipped, put them back in the fridge or freezer to harden.

Makes 14-16.

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Lentil Chili 2

I have a motley crew of mismatched glass jars in my pantry that are full of beans and legumes. I love using dried beans because they are way less expensive than canned, plus they don’t have that pesky toxic BPA.

Using dried beans also means planning and foresight. But what if you forget to soak them overnight, dislike the quick soak method (like I do) and want those beans right now?

Enter lentils. They cook up in about half an hour, plus they’re incredible for our hearts and digestive tracts. Amazing, right?

They work perfectly in this chili, which is a breeze to make, and is so hearty and satisfying. The perfect bowl of warmth for a cold winter’s day.

(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)

Lentil Tempeh Chili
gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, grain-free, egg-free

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils (about 1/2 cup dried)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup tempeh, crumbled (you could also substitute tofu, or more veggies)
1 1/4 cups crushed or diced tomatoes
3/4 tsp chili powder, or more/less to taste
salt to taste

In a medium-sized pot, sauté the onions and garlic for a few minutes, until they’re softened.

Add the carrots, tempeh, lentils, tomatoes, chili powder and salt. Cover the pot and let the chili gently simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are soft and the flavours have melded.

If the chili gets too dry while it’s cooking, add a few splashes of water or additional tomatoes.

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Red Rice Pilaf

Have you guys heard of Bhutanese red rice?

My rice awareness was essentially limited to the brown, wild and white varieties, until I read about the wide array of rice options in Alive Magazine.

If you’re so inclined, you can read further about red rice over at Lotus Foods, but here’s the Coles Notes version: it’s extremely high in potassium and magnesium, which are essential to stuff like muscle function, nerve function and blood pressure balance. It’s gluten-free. And it cooks it only 20 minutes. That means you can’t use ‘but white rice is faster’ as an excuse. Deal?

This simple pilaf is an utterly tasty mixture of sweetness from the rice and squash, tartness from the cranberries, and deliciously caramelized onion bits. Serve it as a side dish, or throw in some protein like chickpeas or lentils to create a substantial, satisfying meal.

Anyone else tried Bhutanese red rice before? What did you think of it, and what’s your favourite way to use it?

Red Rice Pilaf
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, five ingredients or less

3 cups cubed butternut squash
1/2 cup Bhutanese red rice
1 small onion, sliced into half moons
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large baking dish or pan, toss the squash cubes and onion with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork.

While the veggies are roasting, bring the rice and one cup of water to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

When the rice and veggies are done, stir them together, along with the cranberries and salt to taste.

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