Spring (10 minute) veggie soup 

 

Tired of salad, still on a training plan…enter Zuppa.

Yesterday felt cold, really cold and blustery. I think that during this point of my training, when I’m burning off all my body fat, I just tend to be more cold. Plus, we live in the woods in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies so….we still have knee-deep snow in places that I’m sure adds to this fact.

This soup wasn’t as satiating as I would normally make it because I had measured my protein and placed it in the bottom of the bowl instead of just going for it like i usually would. If you’re watching calories, this one is very very low on carbs, good amount of fiber and if you measure out your protein, it’ll balance out quite well for an evening meal.

In the bottom of this bowl is 4oz of firm organic Tofu. In Jeff’s bowl was 6oz of Tofurky Lightly Seasoned “Chicken”. So jealous of his “meat”…hee hee.

Ingredients: 

4 cups veggie stock – try my homemade recipe HERE

2 cups hot water

2 medium carrots chopped

2 cups cauliflower chopped

2 cups broccoli chopped

1 medium yellow onion diced

3 cloves garlic diced

3 cups white mushrooms sliced

1 cup shelled peas

1 heaping TBSP Mugi Miso

Coconut oil (spray) or 1/2 tsp

1 tsp salt

** I use sriracha on EVERYTHING including this soup. Add to your desired heat.

Method: 

In a large pot saute onions, garlic and carrots in coconut oil for 5 minutes on medium heat to soften and release flavour.

Next, add in cauliflower and broccoli and saute for another 3-4 minutes.

Add remainder of ingredients starting with your veggie broth then your water. Bring to a boil for 1 minute then reduce and simmer for 30 minutes or so.

You can either add protein directly to the soup OR place it in the bottom of a bowl before serving. If you do this when your protein is cold, it will cool off the soup while heating up.

Serves 4.

Pity Party Pizza – Vegan

 

Walnut and Brussels Sprout “Zaa”

 

46 days into prep without a re-feed meal and I was starting to feel like my next check-in email would be responded to with a “guess what? You get a re-feed”….instead, I was told that I looked like I’m retaining water which upped my cardio to an insane level AND changed my overall diet plan again.

This did not sit well with me, Jeff suggested we go for pizza. I had enough will to NOT cave and head for legit dangerous territory but I did need to pretend I ate pizza in order to survive.

I birthed a couple of recipes I hope you can find some enjoyment in.

Water retention. Pfft.

 

Without having anything tomatoey, I needed to build a base. I was originally going for a Thai flavour but it ended up being something…else.

 

I utilized my usual vegan prep food for these recipes…but not the asparagus as I am mad at asparagus right now and don’t want to taste it on anything remotely delicious. Stupid, plain, boring and never ending asparagus.
Base:

Ezekiel wraps

1 tbsp sun butter

1/4 cup rehydrated sundried tomatoes (let sit in really warm water for 10-15 mins)

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup water
Cheese:

4 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/8 cup water

1 tbsp chia seeds

*Mix all ingredients in small dish with fork and allow to sit for 10 minutes to thicken* voila “cheeze” 

Pizza toppings: 

Roasted brussels sprouts

Roasted broccoli

Chopped tomato

Cubed Tofu

Walnuts

Yellow onions

Maple Syrup

Method: 

Pre-heat oven to 425.

Slather on base, then add ingredients as desired. Bake for 10-12 minutes checking back to ensure you aren’t burning the “crust”. On my second effort I sprayed the bottom of the “pizza” with coconut oil. 

Pizza #1 was: 

Base, slivered yellow onion, brussels, tomato, walnuts & drizzle of maple syrup.

Pizza #2 was: 

Base, broccoli, tomato, tofu (measured per my diet plan), “cheeze”.

Chili Chickpea Caesar – Vegan

Another one for the salad vaults – and yes there have been a tonne of them lately. Why? Well, because I am cooking mostly only 1 creative meal per day and that is at dinnertime when I can spare the minutes of my life to do this. To add, I’m in contest prep currently and salad-type meals are the best for my waistline at this point – yours too!

This heart healthy salad took about 10 minutes to put together….less waiting for your chickpeas to firm up. In total you’ll need about 45 minutes to get this done so may I suggest this tempo:

Get home, preheat your oven then slip into something more comfortable…….put on some tunes, crack a bottle of Perrier with a slice of lime and romance this one together. You’ll need to get your kissing on before you eat this one…she’s a garlic-y doozer which I used to my advantage trying to overcome this poorly timed flu.

Dressing Ingredients: 

2 tbsp Vegenaise or any other type of vegan mayo.

1 large clove garlic

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

3 tbsp water

1/2 tsp Himalayan salt

1/2 tsp tri-colour pepper (freshly ground)

Salad Ingredients:

2 cans chickpeas

4 cups kale torn to small pieces

2 cups romaine lettuce chopped into small pieces

1 tsp Chili powder

1 tsp Garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp avocado oil

Method: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large mixing bowl add both cans of rinsed chickpeas with chili powder, garlic powder, salt and avocado oil. Mix well.

Spread over baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven & stir/mix and bake for another 12 minutes or until desired firmness is reached.

While these are baking combine all your dressing ingredients in a wide mouth mason jar and blend with a hand blender. If you do not have a hand blender simply ensure all your ingredients are minced as finely as possible and whisk in a deep vessel with a fork.

Toss greens in dressing and top salad with roasted chickpeas. You can even use these chickpeas as a simple appy to replace salty crackers or nuts.

Serves 2-4 people. 2 as a full meal, 4 as a side.

Nutritional Info: 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 725
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16 g 25 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 9 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 3 mg 1 %
Sodium 836 mg 35 %
Potassium 6209 mg 177 %
Total Carbohydrate 128 g 43 %
Dietary Fiber 57 g 229 %
Sugars 32 g
Protein 42 g 85 %
Vitamin A 4130 %
Vitamin C 237 %
Calcium 96 %
Iron 145 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

 

No peanut satay 

I drummed this recipe up while I was wondering what to do for yet ANOTHER dinner salad. In our house, most of the time but definitely during prep season our last meal of the day is a salad. We harness the most beneficial nutrients of all of the raw vegetable ingredients simply by not cooking them at all.

Flavours are crisp, clean and robust every time.

For this particular salad I was craving something a little Thai but didn’t want to use peanut butter as I have that as a staple at least a couple of times per day. I also wanted to avoid peanut butter so that this recipe could be accessed by folks who may have moderate to severe nut allergies.

The flavours at the end of the day are not 100% Thai Peanut sauce (obviously) but are a great second runner up in my books.

The bowl itself contained snap peas, spiralized zucchini noodles, red peppers and mushrooms. Macro-nutrient wise dinner was still on point for prep.

Ingredients: 

1 tablespoon Mugi miso

3 tablespoons Sun Butter

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon  hot pepper oil (this stuff is HOT so choose your own adventure)

3 tbsp hot water – add as needed to create smooth consistency

2 cloves raw garlic

1/4 tablespoon coconut manna / coconut butter

Method: 

Place all ingredients in wide mouth mason jar & blend with hand blender.

If you do not own a hand blender then simply ensure that you utilize a garlic press or dice the hell out of your garlic to ensure it’s all mixed up nicely.

I topped a great hot salad which included some new lightly seasoned Tofurky for a vegan protein option.

Nutritional Info: 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 4.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 317
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8 g 12 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 7 %
Monounsaturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 332 mg 14 %
Potassium 635 mg 18 %
Total Carbohydrate 54 g 18 %
Dietary Fiber 5 g 20 %
Sugars 3 g
Protein 13 g 25 %
Vitamin A 1 %
Vitamin C 80 %
Calcium 28 %
Iron 18 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

 

Low-cal “Stir-fry” – Vegan bodybuilding Series

Spring is {nearly} here and I am back on the training machine getting ready for 3 competitions in May! Yep, 3. I’m totally mental…but so hungry for the gold. 🙂

This recipe is simple and is great if you’re about my size and need a no-carb meal in your daily regime. This is my “Meal 2” right now. Breakfast was a protein shake. After this, will be my pre-workout which changes at the moment because I’m carb cycling actively.

10 minutes of your time is all it takes.

Ingredients: 

4 oz plain Tempeh

2 cups green beans

1/2 small ripe tomato diced

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp slivered yellow onion

1/8 tsp coconut oil

Himalayan salt to taste

Method: 

Over medium heat cook onion and garlic until slightly translucent.

Add beans and tempeh and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add tomato last and cook for one more minute just to add flavour.

Top with a bit of salt if needed and serve hot!

Nutritional Information: 

 

Nutrition Facts
Servings 1.0
Amount Per Serving
calories 363
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13 g 20 %
Saturated Fat 2 g 11 %
Monounsaturated Fat 0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
Sodium 3073 mg 128 %
Potassium 596 mg 17 %
Total Carbohydrate 39 g 13 %
Dietary Fiber 11 g 46 %
Sugars 13 g
Protein 29 g 58 %
Vitamin A 45 %
Vitamin C 72 %
Calcium 23 %
Iron 30 %
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.

White bean dip – Vegan

  

  

Filling, creamy and a great source of protein. A simple bean recipe can edge out dips and spreads with ease.

Try this simple 5 minute recipe on for size.

Ingredients:

1 large can of Cannelloni Beans with juice

3 cloves of garlic

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup water in case of dryness

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

Method: 

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth.

Serve with crackers or veggies for dip. Use as a great sandwich/pita/flat bread spread!

Kale Caesar 

I recently had a full house when my parents came to stay with us and help get our home renovations under way. When you’re cooking for more than one type of person on the fly it can be a daunting task and you may just try to opt for the easy way out – packaged or fast food.

While we did step out to eat (slow food) a few times we did eat at home in our new kitchen as well. On a particularly busy afternoon I managed to find 3 types of protein that worked for the vegan, pescetarian and omnivorous family of the house.

Making a great base and then adding protein afterward is a great way to stick to YOUR dietary needs without singling out anyone in the family or neglecting yourself or them all together.

I hope you enjoy this one. The base Caesar recipe serves 4, protein serving suggestions (per person) below.

Ingredients

3 (women/kids)or 6 oz of protein per serving – salmon/chicken/tempeh

2 bunches freshly washed & chopped curly kale

1 cup washed bean sprouts patted dry

Himalayan sea salt to taste

Fresh ground pepper to taste

Dressing: 

1 large clove elephant garlic diced

3 tbsp Veganaise

Juice of one lemon

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

Method: 

Place washed and dried kale & sprouts in large bowl, set aside.

I use a hand blender and it’s receptacle (Braun) to place in all the dressing ingredients and blend until creamy.

Pour mixture over greens. Toss and coat thoroughly.

Top with protein of choice.

 

 

 

Roasted Yams with carmelized onions -HOLIDAY SERIES

 

 

Holy tingle your mouth deliciousness. Why go the route of regular yams when you can have these little delights? Takes up about 1.5 hours of your life, but you’ll be happy for it.

This is something you can serve any night of the week, I decided to serve it for a holiday dinner with family.

Simple recipe full of flavour.

Ingredients: 

4 large Yams – washed, cubed, unpeeled

2 large Onions

4 large cloves Garlic

2 tbsp Coconut oil

1/2 cup green onion chopped

Salt & Pepper to taste

Method: 

Over medium heat melt  1/2 of your coconut oil. Add onions and garlic and saute for about 10-15 minutes or until translucent.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In large bowl toss yams with remainder of coconut oil and a bit of salt.

Bake in oven for approximately 1 hour turning constantly.

Add caramelized onion to yams and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until yams are slightly crispy.

Remove from oven, and toss on green onion.

 

Chickpea Curry – Vegan Bodybuilding Series

chickpea

Getting simple recipes down that make the cut when it comes to bodybuilding, well, isn’t an easy task. These quick recipes are meant to inspire anyone on a strict diet or preparing for a bodybuilding competition.

This meal in particular is great for pre-workout in the last 6 weeks or so of prep – for us gals in the bikini category anyway.

Ingredients: 

3 cups canned/soaked chickpeas KEEP THE LIQUID FROM THE BEANS – this is equal to 3 “meals”

1 tsp curry

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp onion powder

1/4 cup diced onion

2 large cloves garlic

1 tsp coconut oil ( I like the full flavour one here to sub for cream flavouring)

Method:

Heat oil in pan on medium heat, add onions and garlic. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Add powders and mix well.

Add beans WITH liquid. Stir well and cook covered for 7-10 minutes. There should be at least 1/2 cup of liquid in there. If not, add some water.

Remove from heat after most of the liquid is dissolved.

Top with my Sriracha Salt recipe on a bed (1/2 cup) of white basmati rice.

Enjoy!

Are you worth, your salt? – A recipe and a lesson…Lesscipe?

Spicy, sexy, salty.

Having a young child around is part of where I find my blog topics on food. This weekend Anastacia and I were preparing a meal together and I placed on our dinner table some sriracha salt. A wonderful mix of chilies, citrus zest and Himalayan sea salt – stick around for my recipe.

She began eating her meal and watched as I finished the preparation of my salad with this lovely salt. Timidly she asked if she could try some. “Of course you can!” I exclaimed, “salt is absolutely wonderful and this one is fabulous in the flavour department”. She looked up through sheepish eyes and admitted that at her moms house it is a banned substance because it’s “bad for you”.

Why salt has become the enemy for some folks floors me. With the information age we are far better off to do our own research than to buy into the latest fad food omission of the moment. Like fats, one day it’s great for you and the next it’s not.

Lets settle this with a bit of my opinion shall we?

In and around the time that low fat, low carb and low calorie diets were making their way on the scene (read: microwaveable lazy man food and the like) scientists and snake oil salesmen alike were ramping up to tear down salt.

Like any decade, there are food fashion “do’s” and “don’ts” and a host of crazed food police supporters touting the benefits of the diet of the day.

I don’t support the anti-salt campaign.

History

Salt used to be such a hot commodity that the Romans used it as a paycheque for some. The word salary is even derived from the word Sal, Salarium = Salt Money-fancy that!

Salt is mined in a lot of places. Here in Canada one of the largest mines in the world is located in Ontario. Globally, you can find salt mines in Poland, Germany, England, Morocco, Italy, Ireland, Pakistan and the USA.

This LINK shows traditional and newer mining sites. Check it out. Here’s a great shot of an amazing salt Mosque from the Wiki link:

Beautiful Salt Creations

Beautiful Salt Creations

Salt types

Before I get into the pros and cons of salt it’s a good idea for you to know about the types of salt that are available to you.

Himalayan Pink Salt – mined in the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan, 300kms from the HImalayas.

Sea Salt – produced from the evaporation of sea water.

Watch a video on how to make your own sea salt here: MAKE YOUR OWN SEA SALT

Kosher Salt – mined underground or from the sea and compressed to make larger granules

Celtic Salt – harvested from the sea of NW France and also known as grey salt there are no additives and its colour comes from clays found in the salt fields

Table Salt – mined above or below ground, processed and stripped of it’s beneficial minerals, talc and silica additives to name a few. Find a listing of all the chemical agents here.

Weeding out the enemy

Have you heard of the term Full or High Spectrum Salt? This term refers to salts that have been refined but NOT stripped of their valuable mineral content which makes salt extremely important.

The beneficial magical ingredients in GOOD salt are:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Iron – oxygen moving helper
  • Zinc
  • Iodine – healthy thyroid & body temp regulator
  • Sodium – regulates blood PH & stomach
  • Potassium
  • Manganese – bone development, metabolizing

Salt is also a natural electrolyte that helps to retain water in our bodies. Water retention is hugely important as it stimulates the thirst function and keeps our blood pressure stable.

Salt prevents muscle cramps and stimulates the adrenal glands. The latter leading us to better sleep patterns.

Salt creates hydrochloric acid in the body which helps us to digest food in the stomach. If you are sodium deficient, you can suffer from muscle cramps, nausea, dizziness and could even place yourself in a coma.

Why can’t some people eat salt?

People with high blood pressure cannot or shouldn’t consume salt. Why you ask? Well, the kidneys regulate sodium in the body, if they are over burdened with this process the body will nearly self destruct which leads to hardened arteries, heart attack or stroke.

It is uber important to know if you have blood pressure issues and if so – ditch the table salt immediately. Ditch it anyway.

Foods to avoid – BAD SALT

Processed foods high in sodium from table salt. This is the worst type of food you can put into your body. Not only is it made in a factory with old ingredients that are irradiated and dead, these meals are bad for our environment due to the type of production used to create them – I know I couldn’t sleep at night knowing my poor taste in food was damaging our fragile eco-system.

The avoid list:

  • Potato Chips
  • Pop
  • Pre-made microwave meals / kids pre-made luncheon meals
  • Fast Food – Fries/Burgers/Chicken mysteries
  • Packed Pizzas/Pastas/Pizza Pops etc…
  • Raisin Bran
  • Pre-made sauces Asian/Italian
  • Meat jerky, pre-cut/sliced meats of any kind
  • Conventional mix or pre-made pancakes / waffles / muffins
  • Traditional ketchup, pickles
  • Cheese slices, cottage cheese
  • Several types of pre-made veggie burgers (check the lable)
  • Several types of breads/buns/bagles that are pre-made
  • Clamato/tomato/vegetable juices – juice your own!!
  • Canned mushrooms, soups, veggies packed in salt
  • Pre-made salad dressings – make your own!!
  • “Just add water” dishes like rice/paella/pastas/noodles
  • Boxed desserts like cakes/pudding

I think the general lesson here is – learn to cook. I mean REALLY cook. For the love of all things healthy.

As with all things we consume, salt should be of the simplest and purest form as well as used in a somewhat civilized manner. When you’re looking to cook with salt ensure that you’re only using it as a “finisher” in dishes and not as part of an over-salted recipe.

If you will note in all of my recipes I rarely use salt for anything but “to taste”, or to use directly before consuming.

If you feel like a hero taking good salt off the table – you’re wrong. Check your kitchen, scrap the garbage and start eating good salt now. You owe your body and the bodies of the people who are in your care.

Sriracha Sea Salt Recipe

IMG_0534-1

Ingredients:

3 tbsp dried hot chilis

5 tbsp Himalayan Salt

1.5 tbsp Lemon zest

2 tbsp Dried diced garlic

Method:

Combine all ingredients and place into grinder.

If you do not have a grinder, place in a salt pig/vessel and sprinkle on salads, soups, pastas and meats.