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.

 

Japanese-style Miso soup

Quick & delicious

Quick & delicious

 

When you have no time and no patience, you require quick and easy recipes that are filling and nutritious. This meal is a 30 minute marvel packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.

Ingredients: 

2 tbsp miso

3 tbsp tamari

4 cups homemade veggie broth

1/2 red pepper sliced

8 white mushrooms sliced

1 cup broccoli florets

2 stalks celery sliced

1/4 cup cilantro diced – set aside

4 hard boiled eggs, halved (optional)

4 large cloves garlic

3 tbsp seseame oil

1.5 tbsp rice vinegar

1 package black bean noodles (equivalent to 4 cups cooked noodles)

Salt & pepper to taste

Method: 

Bring eggs to a boil on stove top, set aside for 10  minutes. Rinse and soak (shell on) in icy water for a few minutes. Peel & set aside.

Saute garlic in oil for 3-5 minutes. Add all veggies and cook for 3-5 more minutes. Add broth, miso, vinegar and tamari & bring to a boil for. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

While soup is simmering cook noodles.

Add noodles to bowl, top with soup, garnish with egg and cilantro or try green onion & sriracha.

Serves 4 OR 2 very hungry people.

Welcome to the flungle

flu

Over the last few days at my office most employees seem to have picked up a sniffle, cough, hack or sneezing disease which I have been completely immune to. At this time of year I often wonder what it is exactly that gets people so run down that they inadvertently let sickness in. In the hopes that they would help themselves with a little help, I passed on some wisdom to them via email.

I am in the in-house health and nutrition consultant after all. Maybe you’ll let some of this work for you too!

” From the looks and sounds of it, we are under attack by some kind of virus or several viruses. There are a number of things you can do to prevent illness and speed up recovery.

Prevention:

  • Sleep – the body needs recovery time. There’s an article in the kitchen for you to read up on.
  • Exercise – don’t stagnate & stress out. Keep strong and purge physical and emotional toxins with movement. Any kind, 25 minutes per day.
  • Water – at least 1 litre per day to keep fluids moving and toxins with them. If you have trouble remembering, try this app: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/watango-daily-water-intake/id875850852?mt=8
  • Nutrition – you are what you eat. Fast food, lots of meat & dairy slow down your system and tax it heavily JUST to digest what you’re eating. If your gut spends its life digesting it’s taking a lot of energy away from your immune system. You’re also taking away precious recharge time with MORE digestion. Eat HIGH alkaline foods that are easily digested.
  • Things to avoid – alcohol, mass amounts of caffeine, drugs, late nights, stress, mass amounts of meat.
  • Hygiene – throw away old Kleenexes immediately after use, wash hands frequently, wipe down your workstations daily, use hand sanitizer, wash hands after shaking hands, opening doors and before you eat, cough/sneeze into your arm, wear a mask while contagious or out in public.

Recovery:

  • Sleep : your body needs rest. Put down the remote and have a nap, turn on the humidifier while you do!
  • Fluids : Warm water with lemon and honey. Hydrating and encourages mucus to take virus away. Also see prevention.
  • Nutrition : Warm soups like garlic or bone broths – clears sinuses and packed with nutrients. Try a “hot toddy”. Alcohol takes the medicinal qualities of foods/herbs directly to our bloodstream.
  • RECIPE: 1 oz brandy, ¾ cup hot water, 1 tsp honey, juice of ½ lemon – add ginger or licorice root or any other immunity boosting herb. Steep for 5-10 minutes and drink.
  • Herbs: Echinacea, ginseng, elderberry tea, ginger, turmeric, licorice root, garlic.

Maintenance:

Hygiene is the most important part of keeping healthy. If you keep clean it’s half the battle. The other half of the battle is staying healthy. I have an annual talk I used to give on influenza, in part of it I asked the audience:

“If you were given ONE car to drive for the rest of your life, how would you treat it?”

Your body is that vehicle and a reflection of who you are and what matters to you most – start with YOU. If you are healthy and happy and taken care of you can help your family and friends do the same for themselves.

Stay healthy over the holidays people!!

S “

 

Lentil stew – vegan

 

 

Perfect Winter Food

Perfect Winter Food

 

I couldn’t be more ecstatic to eat this dish than on a night like tonight – minus 25, snowing, cold as &*(%. Slow cookers are my savior when life gets hectic. I don’t often use them in the summer but they ARE great for sauces, dips and even desserts….hint: I may be expanding my vegan cooking empire this winter.

Ingredients are few but tasty. You should all enjoy this on a cold winter night. Maybe paired up with some homemade sourdough toast?

Ingredients:

1 cup lentils

3 medium russet potatoes cubed

3 stalks celery diced

2 medium carrots diced

2 small yellow onions

4 cloves garlic

4 cups water/veggie stock  or 1 cube organic veggie stock dissolved in water

1 tbsp curry

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp pepper

 

Method:

Saute onions and garlic in oil for 5-7 minutes in crock pot if possible, if not in small pan….add celery and carrots and saute for additional 3-4 minutes.

Add potatoes and remaining ingredients.

Cook on high for 2 hours. Turn onto low for 7 hours. Add water if necessary / lentils expand more than you expected.

Serves 6

 

Lentil Health Tips:

*Stabilize blood sugar

*Packed with fiber

*Iron rich

 

Body smart Instant Noodles

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This recipe is about the coolest new FAST food solution I have seen in a long time. Originally from “The Food Lab” blog, I made a few changes/personalized for Vegan/Vegetarian and voila! An “instant” success”.

Perfect for work, camping, kids….this recipe is so versatile, you can literally let your imagination go wild with ingredients and spices. Try this one on for size first!

Ingredients: 

1 box soba noodles

1/2 block cubed ORGANIC firm tofu

1.5 cups sliced mushrooms

2 cups packed spinach

3 small carrots julienne

3 green onions diced

Wet ingredients: 

3 tbsp tamari

1 tbsp tahini

1 tsp shredded ginger

3 tbsp miso

2 cloves garlic, diced

Method: 

Boil & drain noodles.

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Create a “flavour pack” in a small ziplock bag that contains: 1 clove garlic, green onions, 4 tbsp tofu, carrots. Empty of air and seal.

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In glass jar layer the following: 

– Wet ingredients

– tofu

– mushrooms

– spinach

– noodles

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Place flavour pack in top of jar and seal shut until ready to eat.

Once you are ready to eat, boil water, remove flavour pack and empty on top of all other ingredients. Add hot water to brim. Allow to sit 5-7 minutes.

Open, pour and enjoy!

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Tips: for even MORE flavour keep your wet ingredients out and mix with a bit of hot water to blend, pour over noodles, add hot water, wait and enjoy. If you’ve refrigerated yours noodles, allow to reach near room temp to make for faster heating. Top with Sriracha spice for a little immunity kick.

This recipe serves 2-3 for lunch.

The art of the juice cleanse

 

Melon Juice

Melon Juice

Many times have I committed to a juice cleanse and never have I managed to document any of the experience for clientele or the general public. Because I have embarked on yet another cleanse I feel that I had the time and space to do this – because I’m not leading a group cleanse or making juices myself.

This time, I decided to go with a commercially purchased cleanse. I looked at several options before taking the plunge and took several items into consideration:

– what was the company selling the cleanse all about

– where were they located

– price & value

– ease of starting/receiving juice

I had initially chosen a company out of Calgary as this would be a place to pick up from that was easily accessible and had nearly 0 carbon footprint. Unfortunately, they took more than forever to return emails (terrible, spoiled Albertan vendors with no idea of the rest of the worlds customer service initiatives *steam*, this province is so alienated by the oil and gas industry) and when then did, they were not helpful, or cheery, with getting a cleanse to me outside of their prescribed days and times – even though I said I would pick up.

So, as it has been going lately, I decided to look out of province. Why? Well, their markets aren’t as inflated and their vendors generally care about having paying customers.

Enter “Raw Raw” Cleanse: http://www.rawrawcleanse.com.

It took me just 2 days and $200 per person for a 6 day cleanse to arrive via courier to my office. Tina, the proprietor was very helpful. We had a bit of a hiccup with juice types and after sending an email, I was assured the additional juice would arrive next-day (today hopefully) to get the sequencing of juices done right. Wow.

If you are interested in the juices I have been drinking you can find them HERE. 

 

DAY 1

The juice arrived at 10 am to our offices. It came packaged in a styrofoam cooler with cooling gel packs above and below the juice. The package also contained a juicing reusable bag, a note on the expiry, a 25% off coupon and a quick reference card for consuming the juices in the right order.

 

3 day juice cleansing

3 day juice cleansing

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The "how to"

Because I was ravenous, I opened up the cooler and immediately (took pics for all of you) then shook and guzzled my first “Clean Greens”. I’ll just put it out there, green smoothies are NOT my favourite, never will be. I understand their vital importance in balancing our vitamins and minerals, but they are sour, and so was this one.

Next, on my way to a meeting I grabbed the ginger berry. WAY more my style and super easy to drink with a lovely ginger taste – can’t complain.

I did a couple random circles around the office looking at trail mix and bananas, but I did not partake. Win. Next, Cool melon. This is where I learned I didn’t have any cool melon but double the almond milk variety. So I drank an almond milk one…it was great – a little extra nut fiber in there, but it was good. Cool melon – for real – on the way home I snaked a cool melon out of my boyfriends order. Simple, sweet and minty – I actually use the same recipe for watermelon martinis in the summer.

On the way home, I was feeling like I needed a nap. By the time I got home, I completely thought I would have one – except work got in the way a bit. I felt SUPER agro for about 1 hour, so I ate a handful of cashew nuts – raw ones. By the time I walked the dogs and puttered around with small chores, I realized I might as well just get on with it and do my day 8 of 21 Day HIIT challenge. During this 20 minute super workout I felt like I had OK energy and could cope with all the exercises without utter exhaustion.

I then used the next Clean Greens as a post-workout drink – it still tasted bad. I was in bed reading by 8:30pm and sipped away at the final Citrus beverage until I fell asleep. I LOVE this one. Spicy, citrus-y, deliciousness. At this point, I was feeling full and so far haven’t felt starving. I don’t think Jeff can say the same.

I fell asleep and was probably up around 3am. Not sure if the lack of sleep ability was the dogs or what, but it was a tough night.

DAY 2

Waking up was a bit hellish. I managed to get back to sleep by 6 am and slept until about 7:45.

Got out of bed, guzzled some water and had my first Clean Greens. I didn’t feel hungry at all, and I still don’t.

As I sit and write this I miss coffee. The smell, the taste and the buzz. Hoping that getting through my errands and a big dog walk will pull me into the land of the living by 11 am.

Stay tuned……………………….

I headed out of the house just after 10 am with my second (and favourite) juice in-hand to have a scoot through the country with my pups.  I took the dogs out for a walk in the woods and nearly left them there – woah nelly, settle down. A little bit more easily aggravated these days I have to admit. Hangry. By 1130 am I was still tired and now annoyed at my dogs.  Again, I drove home and thought I was going to crash heavily, and didn’t. Instead, I had a handful of cashews, brewed up an herbal peppermint tea and hunkered down to watch a very disturbing movie on Netflix. I hopped up for one of the many million pee’s during the movie and grabbed by third juice of the day for “lunch”. I have just taken the dogs out for another walk, wrote a letter and am now going to attempt my HIIT for the day: WORK OUT .

It is currently 7 pm. I made it through a HIIT and 12 minutes of a 20 minute spin – legs were far too tired – I also managed a bit of Yoga without issue.

I lapped up half a clean green for a recovery drink, with a small handful of cashews.

Literally a handful of cashews.

Literally a handful of cashews.

Let me tell you , my stomach was grumbling, so I had another cup of herbal mint tea and did some laundry. I think I may pay heed to the recommendation of “moderate” exercise. I don’t even listen to my own good advice.

I currently have two juices left and am feeling quite alert. Not aggravated, that was definitely a morning thing. Though, I have been fantasizing about food for the last couple of hours. Poor Jeff, went to his grandmas and she ordered a pizza. Ruthless day for him.

I would call day 2 a success……nighty night until tomorrow!

DAY 3 

Day three arrived. My sleep wasn’t nearly as interrupted as last night however, I still woke up a little tired. Getting the ball rolling on the day seemed a little less painless and I had no desire to eat or any hunger.

The work day was 10 hours long with no breaks, a few times I had to run to Jeff’s office to scarf down some almonds & cashews. Probably ate at least 3/4 of a cup of each throughout the day.

I thought about food all day. When I wasn’t stressing about something, I literally only thought about food. I had to plan a luncheon for tomorrow and ordered about twice as much pizza for 15 people as I should have. I could taste it.

I think today was the hardest day by far. Knowing it’s nearly over and hearing a little voice inside your head say “c’mon, just have a snack”……I’ve been beating that voice back all day.

There is one more drink to go before bed. I know I can make it, I think Jeff has at least 5 meals prepared for us to eat tomorrow – which is SUCH a bad idea when you’re coming off of a cleanse. Honestly – ease into it with soup and salads….or suffer the wrath.

The dirty bits: bowel movements still occurring however, not at the mass and frequency expected. I didn’t go at all yesterday, no urge either. Jeff wont let me talk about his poops in public. Sissy.

Overall, today I felt the most spacey I have and the most weak. I opted for a longer walk with the dogs instead of exercising at full out capacity.

Ok, I lied. I'm a workout addict.

Ok, I lied. I’m a workout addict.

I will say that removing meals does remove a sense of community and that is one part of the human culture that I quite enjoy. There is a certain void left in a day where there is no communion with others, a sharp empty space that only cooking and enjoying a meal can fill. That, is what I truly craved most in this cleanse.

Oil infusions – insert extra dollar bills saved here

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I hadn’t made an infused oil in quite some time until I saw a “specialty” shop while cutting through a mall as well as on 17th Avenue here in Calgary. What sparked me to start up this easy process again wasn’t anything more than the fact that these oils were highly priced and in a lot of cases, of very poor quality.

I pride myself on knowing (as often as possible) where my food comes from and what businesses I am supporting with my money. In the case of two “chain” oil specialty stores, I could not apply this desire.

So, if you have some energy, ingredients and about 5 minutes, you’ll be infusing your own oils in no time.

This recipe is based on my last Spicy oil pictured.

Base oils I like to work with: 

Olive

Grapeseed

 

Additions: 

Dried or fresh spices/fruit – go wild. I used fresh hot Thai peppers in this one!

Ingredients:

-Glass receptacle
-Volume of oil for that will fill that receptacle (in this case 2 oz)
– Seranno peppers diced with seeds in (in this case 3)

Method:

Use whatever spices and oil you have. Place herbs/fruit in a GLASS receptacle only!!  Why? Plastic leaches toxins into the things it touches, don’t let that be your food.

Cover with oil.

Allow to sit for at least 30 days, out of the sun so that the oil will not turn acrid. I keep mine in my pantry.

Start to sample your oil in 3-4 weeks to see the level of flavour you like is achieved.

The hot peppers in this recipe release endorphins, boost your metabolism, relieves nerve pain if applied topically – try this spicy oil as a topical pain management treatment.

Try garlic, rosemary, basil – whatever you like! Strain or don’t strain, it’s all up to you!

Fear not the kitchen!!

Need tips? Comment below!