Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Nut, Seed & Quinoa Kale Salad

In the spirit of the holidays I wanted to prepare a salad that had some warming spices, some crunch but was also cleansing and tasty!

Nut, Seed & Quinoa Salad:

Baby Kale or Chopped Kale
Red Quinoa
Black Beans
1 Avocado
Nut & Seed Mix I made: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, dried cranberries, raisins, slivered almonds and hemp seeds (great for adding to any salad, breakfast, side dish hot or cold)
EVOO and black pepper

I cooked 1 cup of quinoa in 2 tbsp of cumin to give it a bit of flavour. Made the kale the base of the salad, added the quinoa and then assembled the rest of the ingredients on top - portions are up to you!

Drizzle with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), fresh lemon and pepper!

Don't be fooled - there is lots of protein, flavour and healthy greens in this salad! 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Spicy Autumn Lentil Soup

I love making soups in the fall and winter because they are filling, warm and leave me feeling so satisfied. I picked up this great lentil mix from Whole Foods - very well-priced by the way - and couldn't resist making a soup with it because of the beautiful colours!

The lentil mix was called Autumn and consisted of red, brown, yellow, black and green lentils. I'm sad I didn't get a picture of the dried lentils because the colour contrast was so amazing.

Anyway, I made this soup up with the few ingredients I had at the house - and it still turned out pretty amazing!

Spicy Autumn Lentil Soup

2 cups of dried lentils
3 large carrots
1 large yellow onion
4 Collard leaves
2 tsbp Chile Flakes
2 tbsp Grapeseed oil
2 cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp Turmeric
Dash of Curry Powder
3 Bay leaves
Black Pepper

• Soak the lentils overnight in a pot of water. Drain and rinse well.

• Saute chopped onion and garlic in grapeseed oil over medium heat for 5 minutes

• Add 2 cups of veggie stock and 1 cup of water along with chopped carrots, bay leaves, chile flakes turmeric and black pepper – bring to a boil

• Once boiling, bring down to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes

• Add in chopped collards for 5 minutes at the end

• Sprinkle black pepper and extra chiles if desired when serving

This soup is hearty, healthy and delicious with a bit of spice! 

If you want to plan ahead extra ingredients you could include:
- Parsnip
- Celery or Celery Root
- Zucchini

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Crunchy Tuna Collard Wraps

My husband claims that I make the best tuna sandwiches ever - he's so kind. I love making them because I add a variety of ingredients to make the tuna salad crunchy, spicy and delicious. Canned tuna really isn't something I eat often however, once in awhile it's a comfort food in our home.

For dinner a few nights ago we decided to use Collard Green wraps instead of bread because I'm off the gluten and my husband wanted to try a lighter version as well. We always use avocado instead of mayo because it is SO delicious and SO much healthier!

Crunchy Tuna Collard Wraps:

1 Can of white flaked tuna
1 Collard Green Leaf
1 Avocado - (to replace the mayo)
3 Dill pickles chopped into tiny pieces
1 Stick of celery chopped into tiny pieces
1 Green onion - (I threw in the chives as well)
Black Pepper
Sprouts - (I had a mix of lentil and alfalfa from whole foods)
Walnuts - (secret crunch ingredient)
1/2 lemon freshly squeezed

Mix all ingredients together - mix the avocado first - to desire consistency and I always add the lemon and black pepper last.

Wash the Collard green leaf and dry it before putting the tuna salad mix on top. Spoon tuna salad onto the leaf, add toppings - sprouts, tomatoes, pickles etc - and then wrap as if you're wrapping a burrito.

Use your own discretion on whether or not you have filled it too much, or need to rip some of the leaf off. We added the sprouts, extra pickles, kale and tomato to the wraps but you could also add bell peppers, carrots, onion and cheese too!

We had them with a side of veggie chips - beet and sweet potato!

It's too bad with this first picture all you can see are the sprouts!

Spicy Chickpea Snack

I love chickpeas - not only because they make great hummus haha, but they're great on salad, in curry dishes and veggie stews!

But sometimes I like to have them as snacks too! So here is my simple and easy recipe:

Spicy Chickpea Snack (also great as a salad topper)

1 cup of chick peas (if canned, rinse very well before, if dried then soak overnight, if sprouted...well plan ahead haha)
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Chile Powder

I combine all of the chickpeas in a large bowl with a VERY light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle some celtic sea salt, black pepper, and all other spices. Mix around very well and then spread out on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 min at 400 degrees.

They are super crunchy, super tasty and easy to make for a healthy snack or addition to any dish! Also perfect for a little appetizer when you have guests over!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tomatoes...with love

So today was my Tomatoes day - although it can be all nightshades if I so desire. So the point of doing this is after the elimination diet you want to see what foods cause a reaction, so every 3-4 days you add in another food you eliminated for the 3-4 weeks and see what happens to your body.

Because the point of my elimination diet was to calm down inflammation, night-shade vegetables were not allowed. I honestly didn't think I would miss peppers or potatoes or tomatoes at all, but oh did I ever miss tomatoes!

So, this morning I had a full tomato sliced with hummus on Mary's crackers - seemed ok, a bit of a burning tummy but was fine.

For lunch I had black quinoa and salmon leftover from last night, with a side of kale, avocado and some pumpkin seeds. I covered the salmon in fresh salsa, some tomatoes and hot sauce - mmmmm!

We will see if I have any type of reaction, and if not....tomatoes, along with coffee and wine are good to go!!!

For dinner we're having quinoa spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and a greek salad minus the feta so I will definitely have my fill of nightshades today!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Quick Mexican Quinoa Bowl

I call this bowl "quick" because it is very easy to assemble, especially if you pre-make your chicken and quinoa. It is healthy, filling and honestly so delicious you won't be able to keep the leftovers - although it's awesome to make a lot and eat it for lunch the next day!

The quantities are up to you - I just make enough quinoa for the week and save the black beans the salsa so that I can just reach into the fridge, pull out all of the ingredients, warm up and dig in!

Quick Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Cooked Quinoa (I use a mix of white, black and red)
Black Beans (I use low-sodium) - sometimes I warm them up in a pot on the stove
Salsa of choice (this one is pineapple, mango, cilantro, red onion and lime juice)
1 Avocado
Chicken Breast (pulled into pieces, marinated after being cooked in fresh lime juice - 2 limes, chile flakes and black pepper)

Top with your choice of cheese (although I didn't use any), lime, hot sauce, black pepper.

Mix it all up together and enjoy! I love having the salsa on top of the chicken which is on top of the black-beans and quinoa - then the avocado you can mix in at the end - or sprinkle some cheese and hot sauce on the top!