Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Posted December 19th, 2013 in Gluten-Free Flours, Recipes by Rebecca Lane
Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

One of my vegetarian clients, Andrea, just sent me this delicious recipe for cookies that my family loves. I’m enjoying them right now with a cup of my favourite Bengal Spice tea! I wanted to share them with you so that you might be able to enjoy making them over the holidays. I have no idea where she found the recipe, so my apologies to the original creator.

1 14oz can organic chick peas (I used Eden Brand- drained)

¾ cup almond butter (if you use a 19oz can of chick peas, use 1 cup of nut butter)

3 tsp vanilla extract

Pinch sea salt

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup maple syrup (I used a little less and it was sweet enough for us)

In a food processor, blend all of these together until smooth. Then pulse in 1 cup of chocolate chips. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, drop a tablespoon of batter and flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until the cookies start to show little cracks. Enjoy immediately!

Merry Christmas to everyone – relax and enjoy your time off.
Love and laugh out loud.

Pork and Beef Meatloaf, with Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

Posted December 4th, 2013 in Paleo, Recipes, Vegetable Dishes by Rebecca Lane
Meatloaf with Carrots and Brussels Sprouts, and leftovers!

Meatloaf with Carrots and Brussels Sprouts, and leftovers!

As far as I’m concerned, Meatloaf is the perfect comfort food. Not only is it delicious on the first night, but the next day its fabulous crumbled into an omelette with some spinach.  For this meatloaf, I mixed ground beef with two of Copari Meat’s delicious mild pork sausages.

1 medium onion, chopped small

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 lb ground beef (I used 0.686 kg)

2 pork sausages (remove the casing)

2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 eggs

2 Tbsp butter (or coconut oil)

1 zucchini, grated

1 carrot, grated

1 stalk celery, chopped small

1 tsp each oregano, basil, parsley, salt, pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cook onion, garlic, zucchini, carrot, celery in butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, herbs.

In a separate bowl, combine the beef, sausages, eggs with hands. Add in the cooked vegetables and mix together well (use a spoon as it’s hot and I burned my hands!).

Pack mixture into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meatloaf registers 155 degrees F. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. (I found that there was a lot of fat in my meatloaf, so rather than adding any oil to my Carrots and Brussels Sprouts, I used this tasty fat – and it was good).

 

Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

Carrots and Brussels Sprouts

The combination of flavours and textures of these two vegetables work really well together.

3 Tbsps unsalted butter (or use the fat from the Meatloaf – I drained half-way through cooking time)

3 lg carrots, cut into ½ inch thick slices on the diagonal

1 lb Brussels Sprouts, washed and halved lengthwise

Pinch salt and pepper

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup water (not necessary if you use the fat from the Meatloaf as it has enough water in it)

In 2 Tbsp of butter, in a heavy skillet over medium heat cook the carrots and Brussels Sprouts with salt and pepper, stirring occasionally until vegetables begin to brown (3 to 4 minutes). Add water and cover skillet and steam vegetables until vegetables are tender (5 minutes). Stir in vinegar and remaining tbsp of butter.

Leftover mashed cauliflower, mashed with roasted squash.

Leftover mashed cauliflower, mashed with roasted squash.

Leftover Medley

I’ll be honest, I find the most delicious combinations when combining my leftovers! The night before we had the Meatloaf we had mashed cauliflower, and for lunch today I roasted some carrots and squash to have with my sprout and green salad. Neither was enough on its own, but mashed together the two were delicious! If I didn’t have leftovers, I probably would have added either some squash or turnip to round out the flavours of this meal – or if you wanted to have a rice-like texture, chop up steamed cauliflower and broccoli into small rice-sized pieces, and they would be perfect!

Sausage Meatballs with Onions and Peppers

Posted November 30th, 2013 in Meat in, Paleo, Recipes by Rebecca Lane

Dinner last night was so tasty that I have to share it with you!

Yesterday, I visited a new butcher (Copari Meats) in Newmarket with whom I had a great discussion about the difference in taste between grass-fed animals and those produced on large scale Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO).  For more information, I encourage you to watch the video American Meat available free online at http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/11/23/american-meat.aspx.

After our discussion, I picked up four of his mild pork sausages (as well as some venison dog food), and this is how I put dinner together.

Simmer gently to combine flavours for about 10 minutes.

Simmer gently to combine flavours for about 10 minutes.

Sausage Meatballs with Onions and Peppers

4 Mild Sausages, cut up into 1 inch slices

1 Onion, diced

1 Bell Pepper, chopped in chunks (I actually used 2 half peppers for colour – orange and red)

1 can (398ml) Eden Organic Diced Tomatoes with Roasted Onion

Pinch salt, basil, oregano, parsley, chevril – I’m not exact, but about ½ tsp of each

Over medium heat, gently brown the sausages. Add in the onions and cook in the oil from the sausages. Once the onions are softened and fragrant, add in the peppers and stir into the onions and sausage. Sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add in the tomatoes and spices and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Steam the cauliflower until fork tender

Steam the cauliflower until fork tender

Mashed Cauliflower

½ cauliflower, cut into florets

2 Tbsp butter

Pinch salt, parsley

Steam the cauliflower until fork tender – about 10 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower into a food processor with butter and spices and puree until the consistency of mashed potatoes.

Wash, then cut off stems and chop into 1.5" chunks.

Wash, then cut off stems and chop into 1.5″ chunks.

Cover and steam for 5 minutes - should be bright green colour.

Cover and steam for 5 minutes – should be bright green colour.

Rapini

1 bunch of rapini, stems cut off and chopped into 1.5 inch sections

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp butter or coconut oil

¼ cup water or vegetable stock

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) to drizzle over the top

Over medium heat, warm a cast-iron pan until the butter melts. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant but not brown – 2 – 3 minutes. Toss in the rapini, and the stock or water and allow to come to boil. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp of EVOO and serve while still bright green in colour.

Sausage Meatballs with Mashed Cauliflower and Rapini

Sausage Meatballs with Mashed Cauliflower and Rapini

Serving this on a plate, I put the mashed cauliflower down first, topped with the sausage meatballs. Then the other 1/2 of the plate I filled with the rapini. If you are not a fan of rapini, you could replace it with collard greens, kale, spinach, swiss chard – all cooked the same way. Or if you prefer, a salad would be a great accompaniment too!

Comments from my teenage son – best dinner ever Mom! He ate 4 helpings.

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Spicy Peanut Noodles with Mint and Shredded Vegetables

Posted May 1st, 2012 in Gluten-Free Flours, Meat in, Recipes, Vegetable Dishes by Rebecca Lane

Just made the most delicious dinner from Fine Cooking magazine (p 12 of Cookfresh Spring 2012 issue). Grated carrots, zucchini, mint and lime with spicy peanut noodles – what a tasty meal. Serves 4 easily (actually could serve 6).

1/2 lb. dried 1/4-inch-wide rice noodles (try and find brown rice noodles for more fibre)
2 tsp. coconut oil
3/4 lb. ground turkey (you could easily forget the meat)
1 Tbsp tamari

Sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter (no added sugar)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 1/2 Tbs. fish sauce
3 Tbs. warm water

1 or 2 fresh jalapenos, finely chopped (seeded if you like)
2 medium carrots, grated
2 small zucchini, grated
2/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
juice of 1/2 lime

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rice noodles and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water, leave to drain in colander.

Meanwhile grate the carrots and zucchini and chop the mint and peppers. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, vinegar, fish sauce and 3 Tbs. warm water until smooth. Set aside.

In a large skillet, cook the turkey in the coconut oil over medium-low heat. When just cooked through (about 6 – 8 minutes) add the tamari. Then stir in the rice noodles, sauce and vegetables. Add the juice of 1/2 lime and serve.

Garnish with lime wedges (from the other 1/2 of the lime!).

This was delicious served with a mango salad.

Nutritional Considerations for Lymphedema

Posted April 19th, 2012 in Breast Cancer, Cancer Surgery, Recipes by Rebecca Lane

The function of a healthy lymphatic system is to collect
excess fluid, proteins, fats, inorganics and organics from the tissues, filter
it and return it to the bloodstream. Through its capacity as a filter, it protects
our body against disease and illness.

With lymphedema, excess protein-rich fluid leaks from the
lymph causing swelling, which decreases the oxygenation of tissues and
interferes with normal cell function. If the lymph stagnates, there is
potential for infection to occur (since the lymph contains bacteria) and excess
protein which remains in the tissues can begin to align and cause fibrosis.

Nutritional considerations for lymphedema include the
following key factors:

CALCIUM

The healthy flow of lymph is dependent on the presence of free calcium for good peristaltic action of the smooth muscles.  We have a tendency to look to milk as a good source of calcium (Ca), however milk contains too much protein to be an adequate supply of Ca. In fact, one of the key factors influencing Ca loss is high protein intake since protein creates an acidic environment in the body (the body constantly seeks to maintain blood pH at about 7.35). When the blood becomes too acidic it takes calcium from the bones and pulls it into the bloodstream where it acts to restore the proper balance.

Good food sources:

  • Green vegetables – spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, kale, romaine lettuce,
    celery, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus
  • Citrus fruits
  • Herbs – basil, cinnamon, rosemary, garlic, mustard seeds
  • Nuts and seeds – steel cut oats, sesame seeds, almond
  • Sea vegetables

PROTEIN

Lymphedema is associated with the accumulation of protein in
the interstitial spaces. At the same time, protein is essential for repairing
and replacing tissues and muscles and building hormones, chemical messengers
and antibodies (to name only a few roles) in your body. Your body requires
protein with every meal.

Consider:

  • Choose healthy lean meat and fish protein – just one serving per day.
  • Use nuts, seeds, and legumes as alternative protein sources. Add them to
    salads, whole grains and steamed veggies for new taste options.

WATER

Water is an important component of lymph and is the
transport medium of the lymph system. It is very important to stay well
hydrated when dealing with lymphedema. Cutting back on fluid intake in an
effort to reduce the swelling can actually increase the swelling.

Consider:

  • Here’s a good rule of thumb to determine proper hydration levels: Drink enough water to turn your urine
    a light-coloured yellow
    – no odour and very little colour!
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol which are mild diuretics. You can enjoy 1 to 2 cups
    of green tea which is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory
    compounds.

FATS

Since the lymph is also responsible for removing fats from the tissues and bloodstream, it is important to choose your fats wisely. Reduce the amount of saturated fat (from animal
protein), polyunsaturated fats and completely eliminate hydrogenated and trans fats from your diet (found in margarine and fried foods).

Choose good fats:

  • All of the hype about omega-3 fatty acids is completely valid. You need these
    essential oils for healthy cell membranes and brain health. They are found
    in fish oils, flax oil, hemp oil, walnut oil. I supplement my fish intake
    with EPA/DHA capsules, then use the nut and seed oils as dressing for
    salads, and steamed vegetables. They cannot be heated without going
    rancid.
  • For low heat cooking (less than 350 degrees F) you can use olive oil combined
    with vegetable or chicken stock to keep it cool – for steaming vegetables
    and light sautéing. For higher heat cooking used small amounts of coconut
    oil or butter.

SODIUM

Excess salt intake can increase the swelling of lymphedema as well as cause other health issues within the
body. High intake of sodium can lead to dehydration and is linked to high blood
pressure and heart disease. At the same time, sodium is an important mineral
necessary for the regulation of blood pressure and fluid volume to name just a
few of its roles.

Consider:

  • Consume no more than 1,500 milligrams of salt per day.
  • Take the salt shaker off the table, instead flavour with herbs, spices, seaweed
    and lemon juice
  • Limit the amount of processed foods you eat. When you do, read food labels
    carefully to determine the amounts of sodium and learn to recognize
    ingredients that contain sodium: a food with salt, soy sauce, salt brine,
    or any ingredient with sodium, such as monosodium glutamate, or baking
    soda (sodium bicarbonate).
  • In reading menus, look for words that signal a high sodium content, such as
    barbecued, broth, marinated, pickled, smoked and tomato base.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruits are a good source of appropriate amounts of sodium.

BODY WEIGHT

Excess body mass creates more work for the lymphatic system,
further with excess weight can come limited mobility, which reduces the
movement of the lymph and leads to stagnation and more swelling.

Consider:

  • Maintain a healthy, active body weight
  • Eat a balanced, healthy diet.  We strongly
    recommend eating 6 to 9 cups of vegetables and fruits per day, one to two
    servings of whole grains, and only one serving of animal protein per day –
    make that fish two to three times each week.
  • Make exercise an important part of your everyday routine. Whether walking,
    dancing, visiting the gym or enjoying fitness classes – find time to move
    and sweat every day.

Herbal Salt Substitute Recipe

Source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Herbal-Salt-Substitute

1 tablespoon dried basil

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I use less – my family finds this a little too picante!)

1 teaspoon paprika

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool
dry place for up to 1 year. Yield: 1/2 cup.

I also use Dulse or Kelp flakes instead of salt – or add large pieces of seaweed (Nori) to cooking water of soups, stews, and to flavour
pasta and rice.

 

Thanks to the following resources:

http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/prevent/sodium/tips.htm

http://lymphalexa.com/2011/03/08/nutrition-lymphedema/

http://whfoods.org

The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods by Michael Murray, ND pp. 27-28

Lymphedema: Finding the Holistic Approach by Phillip J. Pollot, LMT

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Simple Ways to Bring Greens into your Life

Posted April 11th, 2012 in Cooking classes, Drinks, Nutrition Articles, Recipes, Salads by Rebecca Lane

Life is much easier if I plan out the meals for the week ahead of time. Now life doesn’t always go the way I planned it, so I allow for a couple of meals where I only have 15 to 20 minutes from the time I get home until the time food is on the table. It’s all about the preparation.

When I sit down to plan, I often choose a couple of new recipes to try. Nothing too complicated because I’m usually tired by the time supper rolls around. I have several favourite web sites: whfoods.org (really easy, fast and healthy recipes), 101cookbooks.com (these are a little more challenging, but always delicious), nourishingmeals.com, domesticaffair.blogspot.ca – and several favourite cookbooks: Get it Ripe by jae steele, Enlightened Eating by Caroline Dupont and refresh by Ruth Tal are my top three at the moment.

From these recipes write out all of the ingredients – and make a list of what you need to get! The easiest way to go grocery shopping and not forget half of what you need is to create a list – checking it against what you already have in the pantry. I find if I have a list, I’m more focussed and not as easily swayed by tempting prepared foods and treats.

Coming home from the store

Unpack everything and put the dry goods away. If you buy in bulk, transfer to mason jars for ease of use. I keep all of my flours, grains, nuts and seeds right where I do my food preparation so I have them right at hand. I put most of the bread in the freezer, taking out only what we will eat in three days. That way it doesn’t get wasted.

Right away, I get my veggies ready to use for the next couple of days. That way I don’t have to chop, grate and wash every night – it’s already done! Here are some suggestions:

  • Greens – wash and tear what you are going to be using for salads in the next couple of days. I usually put them in the salad spinner and spin them just once, leave the water in the container and put the whole thing in the fridge. My family uses more than a spinner full per day so I put the separate greens in a vented bag because they take up less space. If they are going to be there for more than a day, wrap them in wet towels.
  • Carrots – I usually wash and chop in large coins about 4 carrots, cut some into snack-sized pieces and grate 4 carrots in the food processor. I put them in separate containers and store in the fridge.
  • Sweet peppers – wash and chop half at a time into small enough pieces to throw into an omelette or salad at a moments notice. Cut the other half into snack-sized pieces for dipping.
  • Celery – wash, chop into snack-sized pieces, dry and place in a container.
  • Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, etc) – chop into serving sizes, wash, dry and store in container.
  • Beets – I love beets and they are delicious grated in a salad, or throw a handful into your green smoothie. Grate some up after you’ve done your carrots and put them in a separate container.
  • Squash, turnip – I put off these until the last because I find them so hard to work with but peel them, cube them and store in container. Do it now or you won’t later!
  • Asparagus – wash, snap stems wherever they break and store upright in a glass of water. Somehow these always get knocked over in my fridge so push them to the back where they are out of the way but not out of mind!
  • Fresh herbs – make sure they are dry before you put them away, then wash only when you are about to use them. They don’t like to be prep’d ahead of time.
  • Parsley/cilantro – wash them, dry them, cut off the tips of the stems and store upright in water, lots of water.
  • Garlic – press a whole bulb at a time, that way you’ve always got it ready. Store in a jar.
  • Sprouts – I usually leave them in the carton they come in. They are so easy to make yourself and the kids enjoy watching them grow.

So now that you’ve got everything ready to go, adding vegetables to your meals will be easy and quick. I came across a great resource – The Periodic Table of Produce from Simple Life, Fall 2006 and here’s a link where you can print it out: http://www.slashfood.com/2006/09/22/periodic-table-of-storing-produce/. Slashfood is also a great recipe resource, just beware of the sugar content in some of the recipes!

Building a salad

Fresh greens Sulfur veggies Bright colours Herbs Toppings
Start with a bed of fresh greens (about 2 cups per serving). Choose organic if possible, I like a mix of spinach, arugula, romaine, red lettuce, radicchio. Kale, swiss chard, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage (red and green) Brighly coloured veggies and fruit add lots of phytonutrients to the mix. Try cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, beets, celery, fennel, fresh berries Full of nutrients and vitamins: fresh mint, basil, parsley, chives, dill, cilantro, dandelion greens Top off your salad with sprouts – like broccoli, mung bean, alfalfa, sunflower – and nuts and seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pine nuts)

Don’t forget the dressing

 A great way to get your daily dose of essential fatty acids (EFAs) for healthy cell membranes and immune function (among other things) is with a tasty dressing to pull all the flavours together. Here are a couple of quick and easy recipes.

House Dressing (from Get it Ripe by jae steele – this will quickly become your favourite!)

1 tbsp miso paste
1 tbsp nut butter
1 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp maple syrup
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
Freshly ground pepper
¾ cup flax seed oil (or olive oil, walnut oil – your choice)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 

Mix everything together in a jam jar. Stores in the fridge for up to one week.

Easy Balsamic Vinegar Dressing

6 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, pressed
Pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

 Mix everything together in a jam jar, then pour on salad!

Green Vegetable Smoothie (this smoothie is like having a salad in a glass – another easy and fast way to bring greens into your daily routine)

1 handful baby spinach leaves
10 stalks parsley
6 stalks celery
1 lemon, peeled
1 cucumber, whole
Pineapple juice 

Throw everything into a blender, in opposite order. You can use a sieve to remove most of the fibre, or leave some to help with digestion.

Stir-Fried Beef with Black Beans and Rice Noodles

Posted January 9th, 2012 in Meat in, Recipes, Vegetable Dishes by Rebecca Lane

Stir-Fried Beef with Black Beans and Rice Noodles

I find getting back into the swing of things difficult after taking time off! But today the kids are back at school, everything is getting back to normal around me, all the Christmas decorations are packed away, and I’m ready to start writing again.

While enjoying the holidays, we stopped by the LCBO for some wine and picked up the Food & Drink magazine (page 278 of Holiday 2011) – love this edition. In it I found several recipes that can easily be adjusted to a healthier version and I’m including the one I made on Saturday here for you. I’m making another one tonight, and if it works out, I’ll post it too.

We served this dish with lightly steamed bok-choy. In a deep cast-iron pan, I heated a tablespoon of coconut oil and added a minced clove of garlic. Once the garlic was smelling wonderful, I added about a cup of vegetable stock (or water would be fine too) then the coarsely chopped bok choy. I steamed it for about 5 minutes until it was bright green and fragrant, then took it out of the pan with a slotted spoon and squeezed lemon over top and sprinkled with sesame seeds. This is a delicious side dish packed with exceptional sources of iron, vitamins A and C, folic acid and anti-cancer compounds including glucosinolates.

Stir-Fried Beef with Black Beans and Rice Noodles

12 oz (375 g) flank steak
1 tsp honey
2 tsp flour (I used spelt, but arrowroot would also be good – to thicken the sauce)
1 Tbsp tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp water

Seasoning Sauce
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp honey
2 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp flour (again for thickening)
1 tsp olive oil

2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup vegetable stock

Noodles
1 small dried chili, chopped (I used chili flakes – 1/2 tsp)
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger – you could use more as this was just enough
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
3 Tbsp black beans, rinsed and mashed (you could just use the beans and leave out the flank steak for a vegetarian option)
1 cup snow peas, strings removed
1 red pepper, thinly sliced
8 oz (250 g) rice noodles, rinsed (if using dried noodles, just submerge them in boiling water to soften first – otherwise they can’t pick up the delicious sauce)

1 tsp sesame oil

1. Slice the flank steak against the grain into thin slices. In a medium bowl, combine the first set of ingredients and add to meat and marinate for 30 minutes.

2. In a small bowl, combine all seasoning sauce ingredients.

3. Heat wok over medium heat (I don’t have a wok, so used my Le Creuset pot). Add oil and stock. When hot, drain the meat from the marinate and stir-fry until browned (this doesn’t take long – about 30 sec to 1 minute depending on how thinly you cut the steak). Remove meat and reserve.

4. Stir in the chili, ginger, garlic and black beans. Add the vegetables and noodles. Stir-fry for about a minute until the pepper softens and the ginger and garlic become fragrant. Add in the seasoning sauce and bring to a boil, stirring. Return the meat and any juice and mix well. Before serving, add 1 tsp of sesame oil to the wok then pour contents onto a large serving platter.

5. Serve with bok choy for a delicious, nutritious dinner!

Serves 3 to 4 as a main course.
Source: Food & Drink, Holiday 2011, page 278

Quinoa, Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

Posted October 30th, 2011 in Grains, Recipes by Rebecca Lane

Quinoa, Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad - spring version!

This is my favourite salad – originally from Ricki’s Kitchen (http://www.dietdessertndogs.com/)- but I’ve made it so many times now that it has evolved (or devolved as the case may be). Anyway I found out that it wasn’t available on my site when I tried to find it for @SandiKrakowski a twitter friend. Imagine my embarrassment!

Quinoa, Roasted Beet and Walnut Salad

 The brilliant crimson of roasted beets lends a gorgeous hue to this mineral- and protein-rich salad. Roasting the beets brings out their true sweetness and tender texture in contrast to the chewy quinoa and crunchy walnuts.

3-4 medium beets, washed and trimmed (do not peel)
1 cup dry quinoa
2 cups water
½ cup walnuts, lightly roasted and cooled (or you can use the spicy pecan recipe here)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced or grated
Grated rind of one lemon
Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp. Maple syrup
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 425F. Wrap beets in foil and bake until extremely tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool, then slip off the skins and dice into 2 cm cubes. Set aside.
  2. Bring water to boil in a small heavy saucepan. Rinse quinoa well and add to water. Return to boil, then reduce heat to low and cover. Allow to simmer, untouched, for 25 minutes, then check to see if water has been absorbed. If not, continue simmering until all water is absorbed, then uncover and allow to cool. (If you are in a hurry, you can turn the hot quinoa into a glass bowl at this point and place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes).
  3. In a nonstick frypan, heat oil and add garlic and lemon rind. Cook and stir for 2 minutes, then add balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and maple syrup. Remove from heat.
  4. Add beets to cooled quinoa. Break walnuts into pieces and add to the bowl. Pour dressing over and toss well until quinoa becomes pink. Add cilantro and combine well. Season to taste with pepper. This salad is even better the second day, after flavours meld.

Serves 4

Friends and Carrot and Leek Soup

Posted October 18th, 2011 in Meatless, Recipes, Soups to warm you by Rebecca Lane

I should have taken a photo – but as usual I forgot! But on Saturday we had friends from highschool Natalie and Joe stop by for the night. I spent the morning preparing by shopping at the market! As usual, I got talking with everyone and was late getting back, so I quickly put together this delicious soup. Since I haven’t given any recipes for quite some time, here you go!

Carrot and Leek Soup

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 whole leek (clean, then slice all of the white and part of the green)
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into rounds
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
2 cups dried red lentils, rinsed
1 can (14oz) of diced tomatoes, organic
1 bay leaf (or 3 small pieces in this case!)
1 tsp chevril
Pinch of pepper

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots and garlic and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add broth, water, lentils, tomatoes, spices and stir. Cover pot and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes until lentils are soft. Discard bay leaf and serve.

Recipes from Caroline Dupont’s Retreat

Posted June 21st, 2011 in Recipes by Rebecca Lane

Hostas in the Garden - June 2011

I’m so sorry that I haven’t been writing lately. The call of the garden has been strong and I can’t seem to resist. I’ve reworked several of my planting areas this spring and bought lots of new hostas to brighten up my shade. Thank goodness that Bradford nursery had a hosta sale! Here’s a photo of one of the newly revamped areas.

However, while I have been working in the garden, it hasn’t stopped you from asking questions about food. Recently someone asked me about making nut milk – and in the attached recipes there is a recipe for hazelnut milk. Really making a nut milk is very simple. You just soak your chosen nut overnight, then in the morning blend it in a food processor until very smooth. You can add a little vanilla to the blend for flavouring but it isn’t necessary. You can drink it like that with all of the nut fibre (more of a smoothie than a milk) or you can choose to pour it into a nut milk bag and ‘milk’ the milk part from the fibre and drink it like that.

Here is the link to the pdf I made of the recipes we used at the retreat in June for Caroline Dupont. It was a cleansing retreat so the meals are all vegan, containing no flours and no hot oils. These recipes are written down on the fly so there may be some jigging that you need to do. I’ll keep trying to perfect them as I make them a couple of times.

Caroline has held this retreat several times now at the Loretto Maryholme Centre in Sutton – here’s the link. Although you can visit the web site to see photographs of the facilities, you need to experience the peace of this place to really see its beauty!

I made the rice and bean salad from Sunday lunch again, and added the juice of 1/2 a lemon to it to give it a little more zing. And Sherri made the chick pea patties as a loaf in a 9 x 11″ pan to serve more people. Faster and easier to put together than making the patties individually.

Click here for the cleansing retreat recipes. When you click in the areas outlined in green on the menu pages, you’ll jump right to the recipe.

If you make any of these dishes, please let us know if you made any changes and how they turned out!

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