Monday, June 29, 2015

Meatless Monday: Fabulous Fajitas

These fabulous vegan fajitas are delicious as well as super healthy!

Black beans alone are an amazing superfood full of protein, iron and fibre and once mixed with rice you have a complete protein.

The peppers are bursting with juicy vitamin C, the mushrooms rich with vitamin D and the kale - well we all know about the kale - it needs no introduction to its vast array of health benefits.

Mix up all these awesome foods with a little spice and bundle them up with your choice of wrap - whole wheat, Ezekiel sprouted grain, spinach or gluten free and you have a filling, fabulous meat free meal.

Fabulous Fajitas
Serves 4

1/2 large white onion, sliced into ribbons
1/2 large red pepper, sliced into ribbons
1/2 large yellow pepper, sliced into ribbons
10 kale leaves, torn
2 crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 15oz can of organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup brown rice (I often use frozen rice for this recipe when I don't have a lot of time)
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
salt and pepper to taste (I use quite a bit of pepper)
4 wraps of your choice (whole wheat, gluten free, spinach…)
Sliced avocado (optional)

If using regular brown rice, cook according to package directions.

If using frozen rice, put it in a bowl on the counter to thaw.

Cover wraps in foil and place them in the oven at 200 to warm while you are cooking.

While the rice is cooking, sauté onions and peppers in olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat for 5-7 minutes until onions are tender.

Sprinkle with all spices and add kale and mushrooms. Cook for another 5 minutes mixing spices in with the veggies.

Add black beans and cooked or thawed rice and mix together with the veggies. Cook for another 10 minutes.

Remove the wraps from the oven and fill with the fajita mixture. Top with a few slices of avocado (optional).

This recipe severs beautifully with Flavio's Guacamole and some black bean chips. Get the guacamole recipe here!

Sending you sunshine, happiness and fabulous fajita love,

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Monday, June 22, 2015

Meatless Monday: Lemony Asparagus Risotto

Lemon and Asparagus - two fabulous summer flavors. They come together beautifully in this buttery, light risotto.

With a plant based diet, you would think "creamy" dishes would be a thing of the past - but fear not! This risotto will satisfy all your "creamy" cravings without any inflammatory dairy!

Plus you get vitamin D from the mushrooms, vitamin A and fibre from the asparagus and some iron from the rice. Comforting, creamy and healthy with a little taste of summer…enjoy.

Lemony Asparagus Risotto
Serves 4

4 cups of vegetable broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 large white onion, chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (plus more for drinking!)
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed, stalks cut into 2 inch lengths (about 16 stalks)
3 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer.

In a different, large saucepan, cook onion with olive oil and garlic powder on medium heat until they are tender. Add rice and stir until the edges are translucent. Add in the wine and cook until it is just absorbed.

Begin adding 1/2 a cup of the warm stock at a time to the rice. Stir each 1/2 cup until it is almost absorbed then add the next 1/2 cup.

At about the halfway point of adding the broth, stir in the asparagus and the mushrooms and continue to  add the remaining broth one 1/2 cup at a time until the sauce is creamy and the rice is cooked. (You may not use all the broth).

Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sending you sunshine, happiness and lemony asparagus love,

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Monday, June 15, 2015

Mint Iced Tea - my go to summer drink

I am totally loving these warm, sunny June days.
Loving it!
Working outside, doing yoga outside, golfing…
However there is a definite need to stay hydrated and although I'm an avid water drinker - I am often looking for something with a little more flavour…
Cue the Mint Iced Tea!
Super easy to make - I boil a litre of water, and use a loose leaf steeping tea pot like the one pictured below - I actually got that one at IKEA and am very happy with it. I fill the mesh basket with two organic peppermint tea bags (strings and tags removed) and about 10 fresh mint leaves from the garden. Add the boiled water and let steep for about 10 minutes and cool to about room temperature. Then I just fill a glass with ice and poor it on top. It is a bit of a concentrate so if you would like the tea weaker add more ice and maybe even some filtered water - if you like it strong then less ice. You can keep the concentrate in the fridge for two days.

So easy and delicious! Plus super healthy - it is caffeine free so it is keeping you hydrated, along with soothing and aiding your digestive system, boosting your immunity and relieving stress.
Drink up baby!

Sending you sunshine, happiness and refreshing mint iced tea love,

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Parsley - so much more than a garnish...

Oh parsley - the pretty herb everyone loves to use as a garnish…

Yes, it does make any dish look like it came from a gourmet restaurant but its beauty is so much more than skin deep!

1/2 a cup has more health benefits than you could ever imagine:

554% of your recommended vitamin K
(keeps blood healthy, maintains bone density, antioxidant)

54% of your recommended vitamin C (who knew!)
(enhances iron absorption, antioxidant - especially for skin)

14% of your recommended vitamin A
(healthy vision, immune booster, anti-inflammatory)

It is also a good source of folate and iron. 

Along with all these vitamins and mineral parsley also contains two components for optimal health - volatile oils which keep healthy cells healthy and inhibit tumor formation and flavonoids which act as antioxidants. Both are big on disease prevention - sweet!

So - now that you are equipped with all this new info on parsley and how awesome it is - its time to start incorporating it into your meals - not just a little sprig on top of your hummus! Add half a cup to your salad - it adds a delicious flavor with the lettuces. Mix it in with quinoa, lentil and rice dishes - especially since it has lots of vitamin c which helps you better absorb those iron rich foods.  Even try it in your green smoothie or in soup. Plant some in your garden or even in a little pot in your kitchen so you always have it available.

Sending you sunshine, happiness and parsley love,

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Six Seeds Your Body Needs

They say good things come in small packages…
and if "they" are talking about healthy foods well then they got it right!

Seeds are some of the healthiest foods you can eat and they are so easy to fit into your day.

Here are the 6 best seeds and the reasons why you need all the awesome health benefits these little guys have to offer…

Who: FLAX seeds
What: tons of fibre and omega 3 fatty acids
Why: contribute to a healthy heart, lower blood sugar levels, keep the digestive system happy
Where: use grounds flax seeds in smoothies, baked goods and on top of your oatmeal

Who: PUMPKIN seeds
What: full of protein and zinc
Why: keep you full, keep your muscles strong and make your skin beautiful
Where: snack on a handful of raw pumpkin seeds as is, sprinkle on salads, garnish soup or use them to replace nuts in any baking dish

Who: SESAME seeds
What: an excellent source of calcium, minerals and iron
Why: keep your bones strong and healthy, maintain healthy iron levels
Where: sprinkle into hummus, add into rice and quinoa dishes

Who: CHIA seeds
What: loaded with antioxidants, protein and fibre
Why: aid in disease prevention, keep your digestive system healthy, keep you feeling full
Where: add to smoothies, oatmeal, salads, or mash some up with berries to make "jam"

Who: SUNFLOWER seeds
What: high in B vitamins and vitamin E
Why: anti-inflamatory, reduces risk of cardiovascular disease, lowers cholesterol
Where: add them to stir fry's, buddah bowls, salads, or a healthy trail mix

Who: HEMP seeds
What: tons of magnesium, protein from all 20 amino acids, omegas
Why: aid in digestion of protein, healthy sleep, improved immune function
Where: use them in baked goods, smoothies, quinoa and oatmeal

Sending you sunshine, happiness and seed love,

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