Monday, September 28, 2015

Meatless Monday: Crunchy Quinoa Salad

Tough to pronounce.
Amazing for your health!
Quinoa is an ancient grain that strengthens the kidneys, heart and lungs - perfect for the upcoming cooler temps.
Unlike carbs like white bread, baked goods and packaged foods, quinoa is a whole food.
A GOOD carb!
One that is full of protein, B vitamins, zinc, potassium and vitamin E.
It is gluten free and easy to digest.
It keeps you full longer due to its high protein content.
This Crunchy Quinoa Salad is honestly my new fav! The mix of cooked quinoa and crunchy toasted quinoa is fabulous. The beans add extra protein, fibre and antioxidants.
This is truly a clean, delicious, whole food meal!

Crunchy Quinoa Salad
2 cups quinoa, cooked and chilled or room temp
1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked, rinsed and drained
1 cup aduki beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups arugula
1/4 cup red onion
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp Herbamare*
1/2 tsp coconut sugar
fresh ground pepper

*Herbamare is a seasoned salt you can find at almost any health food or grocery store. You can always substitute fresh sea salt if you don't' have any - I do recommend picking it up - its a delicious seasoning on veggies and grains.

Toast the 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa but placing it in a sauté or fry pan on the stove on medium heat. Move it around with a wire whisk until it begins to toast - it will become lightly crispy and have a nutty aroma. Once toasted, remove from pan and place in a bowl to cool.

Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, Herbamare, coconut sugar and pepper.

Combine the cooked quinoa, toasted quinoa, onion, beans and arugula and mix with the dressing from the above step until well combined.

Sending you sunshine, happiness and quinoa love,

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Meatless Monday: Classic Stir Fry with Green Tea Rice

Sometimes it can be tough to get a wide variety of veggies in your day.

A great way to get a whole bunch in one sitting is to make a classic stir fry and the icing on the cake is this dish is full of calcium. Yes. Calcium!

Both the bok choy and sesame seeds are full of bone strengthening, easily absorbed calcium.

Stir fry is the perfect meal to make when you have left over veggies in the fridge. The recipe below has a great variety of vegetables but you can always substitute with what you have on hand.

Its also a good dish to make extra of so you can use it to fill a whole what or gluten free wrap for lunch the next day.

This recipe uses coconut oil to cook the veggies and green tea to cook the rice. Using coconut oil to stir fry the veggies is a great choice - it is perfect for high heat cooking and is full of heart healthy fats. It also gives the veg a crisp, sweet taste. Cooking the rice with green tea instead of water gives the rice a subtle nice flavour along with lots of antioxidants.

Classic Stir Fry with Green Tea Rice
serves 4

4 pieces of bok choy, chopped in large pieces
1/2 large crown of broccoli, cut in 1" trees
1/2 red pepper, cut in ribbons
1/2 yellow pepper, cut in ribbons
4 carrots, cut in ribbons
5 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 white onion
1 tbsp organic coconut oil
2 cups brown or wild rice
2 organic green tea bag (or 2 tsp loose leaf)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsb tamari or soy sauce
1/4 cup brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp grated or ground ginger (optional)

To make the rice, boil 3.5 cups of water in a kettle. Pour it in a glass or ceramic bowl with the two green tea bags or loose leaf tea and let steep for 5 minutes. Once steeped, remove the tea bags or leaves and put the tea water in a pot with a tight fitting lid and add the 2 cups of rice and 1/2 tsp of garlic. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 35-40 minutes or until all the water is dissolved. Let the rice rest off the heat for an additional 10 minutes.

While the rice is cooking make a sauce by combining the tamari (or soy sauce), rice vinegar, olive oil, garlic clove, sesame seeds and ginger in a mixing bowl and mix well with a whisk. Set aside.

In a large sauté pan cook the onion in the coconut oil on medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the carrots and cook for another 5-10 minutes, add the peppers and broccoli and cook for another 5 minutes, finally add the mushrooms and bok choy and cook for an additional 5 minutes until the veggies are cooked but still crisp. Add the sauce you made in the previous step and stir it gently in with the vegetables and cook for another 2 minutes.

Serve the vegetable on top of rice and garnish with additional sesame seeds if you like.


Sending you sunshine, happiness and stir fry love,

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Monday, September 7, 2015

Meatless Monday: Black Bean Stuffed Avocados

Happy Long Weekend!
Hope you are enjoying these lazy, hazy, wonderful days of summer! 
Make sure to take some time to relax, take care of yourself and eat well - it is good for the soul. 
On the topic of eating well - its no secret that I love avocados - and for good reasons...
  1. They taste delicious
  2. They are versatile - I use them as a spread on toast or sandwiches, diced up in salad, mixed with tomatoes and onions for guacamole, blended to make salad dressing and even throw them in my green smothie. 
  3. They are quite possibly the healthiest food on earth!  The heart healthy fats in avocados help break down vitamins from other foods in your body so they are better absorbed. They are full of Fibre, B vitamins that metabolize fat and give you energy and Folate which is a key nutrient in disease prevention and a healthy brain and nervous system. 
My new favourite thing to do with avocados is to stuff them (the shell makes a perfect little bowl). These Black Bean Stuffed Avocados are perfect as an appetizer, a side to vegan fajitas, tacos or your fav veggie burger or just eat them on their own. The back beans add antioxidants, fibre and protein and the hemp seeds are full of magnesium and omega 3's. These are true superfood bowls of love! I couldn't decide whether to eat them with a fork or with tortilla chips - they were equally delish both ways! 

Black Bean Stuffed Avocados
makes 4 stuffed shells

4 just ripe avocados, cut in half and pit removed
1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp hemp hearts
1 small cucumber, diced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cumin
juice from 1/2 a lemon
fresh sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Use a large spoon to scoop out the avocados so you are left with an empty shell. Place the shells on a plate. Cut the avocado flesh you removed from the shells into small cubes. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the avocado cubes, black beans, hemp seeds and cucumber.  Dress with the apple cider vinegar, garlic, cumin and salt and pepper. Stir gently until well dressed. 

Scoop out the avocado black bean mixture equally into each of the empty shells. Use the bottom of the spoon to really fill the shells so you can fit the entire mixture in. 

Top each shell mixture with lemon juice so the avocados don't oxidize and turn brown. 

Sending you sunshine, happiness and stuffed avocado love,

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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Peaches & Greens Smoothie

I love a good green smoothie!

It gives me tons of energy and I know it is doing so much good stuff to my cells inside - like fighting cancer, improving my immune function, using antioxidants to fight free radicals and giving me the fibre and protein I need to be productive and focussed.

Since it is peach season I thought what better way to sweeten up my greens than with one of these fuzzy little fruits.

I have found the best way to use them in a smoothie is to freeze them. Its great to stock up on peaches now, since they are in season, and freeze them so that you always have them later in the year when they aren't as readily available and not as delicious!

I like to use organic peaches as they are really high up on the "dirty dozen" list. If you don't have access to organic, make sure to really wash them well or even peel them before freezing.

If you want this smoothie now! and don't have a peach in the freezer - no problem - just add a couple more ice cubes...


Peaches & Greens Smoothie
5 large kale leaves washed and torn (organic if possible)
1 frozen organic peach
5 ice cubes
1 scoop vanilla brown rice protein powder ( I use Sun Warrior brand)
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 cups unsweetened almond milk

Blend it all in a blender until it is well mixed.

Sending you sunshine, happiness and green smoothie love,

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