Friday, August 10, 2012
Grabbing a block of tofu and a few vegetables, I quickly chopped them up. As the oil was heating in the pan I grabbed a few spices. Normally I would saute some garlic but I was all out - gasp! (That rarely happens in my house!) Thankfully I keep non-irradiated, organic garlic powder from Frontier Herbs in my cupboard. The veggies and tofu went in followed by the spices & tamari sauce.
Within twenty minutes total, I had a delicious and nutritious meal. Who needs pizza delivery??
Checkout the recipe below:
Simple Tofu Stirfry
1 block tofu, extra-firm, chopped into 1/2" cubes
1 medium carrot, sliced on the diagonal
1 large stalk celery, sliced on the diagonal
1/3 green pepper, chopped
1/3 red pepper, chopped
2 large mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. wheat-free tamari sauce (can substitute Bragg's)
3 tbsp. grapeseed oil (can substitute olive oil or coconut oil)
1/4 cup water
Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add carrots and tofu. Stir, then add garlic powder, tamari, and water. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Let sit for 2 minutes. Uncover, turn heat back to medium-high, then add celery. Stir for 2 minutes. Add green and red peppers. Stir for 1 minute. Add mushrooms. Stir for 2 minutes (or until all vegetables have reached desired tenderness - I like mine a bit crunchy). Remove from heat and serve as is.
Or, if you're feeding additional people or perhaps want some leftovers, make a side of rice or some rice noodles and serve a smaller portion of the stirfry as a topping.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
All you need is a blender and a juicer. There are many fantastic juicers on the market that go for exorbitant prices - and believe me, they are worth every penny. But if you're on a budget, you can get a juicer for around $50, such as the Hamilton Beach Health Smart juicer (featured in the picture).
A juicer comes in handy when trying to juice "hard" vegetables, such as carrots and beets, as well as vegetables with a lot of cellulose (an indigestible fibre) such as celery. But even if you're not ready to take the step and purchase a juicer, you can still reap the benefits of raw fruits and veggies through your blender. It just means you'll need to focus on more leafy green ingredients and fruits.
Why should I juice or make smoothies?
We need a tonne of raw fruits and vegetables in our diet, and for most of us, it's very difficult to consume the optimal amount on a daily basis. By juicing or making smoothies, you're taking a large quantity of fruits and vegetables and compacting it into an easily digestible form. Also, it's important to remember that most of the nutrients within a plant are found within the plant's cells. We need to break open these cells to access the nutrients. This takes A LOT of chewing if we were to eat them! Juicing and blending speeds up the process for us by breaking open the cell walls of the plant - this is also why it's important to consume juices/smoothies within a few hours of making them.
There are many fantastic recipes for juicing and smoothies, but the great thing about juicing and smoothies is that it is really hard to go wrong! And even if the end product is not quite the way you'd like it to taste, there's always a way to fix it by adding in another ingredient. Case in point: this morning I opened my fridge to see what I had available to juice. The choices were slim but I threw in some carrots, cucumber, kale, a banana, and a peach. I also squeezed a lemon on top for good measure. Served in a wine glass no less.
Every morning I drink a smoothie or I juice. It's part of my daily routine and it really is EASY! Even if I don't have the time or the ingredients to juice, I will throw a few fruits and some leafy greens into the blender with some almond milk or water. Within a few days you will start to feel a difference in your energy, sleeping habits, mood, and overall sense of well-being.
I highly recommend that you get out there - juice, blend, and feel amazing! Feel free to contact me if you are interested in some smoothie / juicing recipes to get you started.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2012
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Get Ready to RAWk!
RAW Food Isn't Just for Rabbits
Friday, May 11, 2012
Another type of fat found in hemp seeds is an omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA) which helps with cardiovascular issues, healthy cholesterol levels, and hormonal balance.
Hemp is also rich in iron, vitamin B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), folate, magnesium, and zinc. All of these vitamins and minerals play various roles in helping our body maintain healthy digestion, energy levels, muscular functioning, and boosting our immunity.
The best thing about hemp is that it is so easy to incorporate into your daily diet! You can find hemp seed butter, hemp seed protein powders, hemp seed trail mixes, and so much more in local health food and grocery stores.
Even simple hemp seeds can be "hidden" into your daily eating patterns. Just one bag of hemp seeds will go a long way to improving your health: sprinkle them on your toast, cereal, salads, pastas, rice-dishes. Add a handful into your muffins mixes. Stir them into your soups or sauces. Throw them on top of a pizza. I add a few tablespoons into an omelet instead of cheese, because they provide a really creamy texture. Toss a bit into a shake or smoothie for added creaminess.
Hemp seeds are versatile, and even though I use them in so many different ways, I have to admit that my absolute favourite way of using them is in a pesto recipe, where the hemp seeds replace pine nuts. Not only is this more cost-effective - it actually tastes better, and is more nutritious!
This pesto recipe is thick and creamy. I put it on top of pastas, use it as a sandwich spread, dip veggies in it, spread it over baked chicken - it is incredibly versatile.
Enjoy this hemp pesto recipe! Feel free to add in even more basil than what the recipe calls for - not only is it delicious, it is also a digestive, an anti-bacterial agent, high in chlorophyll and high in anti-oxidants.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Sunday, June 26, 2011
I was hosting a dinner party last week and bought two mangoes with the idea of using them as a topping on the salad that I was serving. The salad was great – tart and sweet at the same time – but I only ended up using one mango. I thus found myself in a predicament: what to do with the other mango?
I must be honest: I am not a huge fan of eating mangoes on their own, so simply munching on my mango was out of the question. Throwing it in the compost bin was also out of the question, for those who know me know that I absolutely abhor food waste.
Alas, it seemed that my lonely mango was destined to end up in the “fruit bag” – the large bag in my freezer that receives all the peaches, pears, apples, and bananas that are on the verge of going bad. Periodically I defrost the bag, puree, and create a batch of spelt/kamut muffins sweetened only with these fruits. However, I wasn’t convinced that the intoxicating
ly sweet and exotically flavourful mango would pair well with the rest of the fruits in the “fruit bag.” Surely there must be something I could do with the mango?
The answer came to me the following evening. Roasting, sweltering, positively melting in my un-air conditioned house, I had visions of freezies, popsicles, and ice-cream dancing in my head. However, freezies and popsicles contain refined sugars and food-colouring, while ice-cream is dairy-based – all no-no’s in my household and thus all absent from my freezer.
Rather quickly, an idea began to form in my head – why can’t I make my own popsicle using my lonely mango and some other healthy ingredients? I threw open my fridge door and I assessed the ingredients available. A little of this and a little that (recipe to follow!) went into my VitaMix and I yielded a thick, creamy, and sweet concoction that settled itself quite neatly into six popsicle moulds.
As the popsicles were freezing, I began to research mangoes and was quite intrigued by what I learned. Mangoes have been used in South Asia for several thousand years, and were only later exported eastward to East Asia and westward to India, Africa, Spain, Brazil, and Mexico. Not only is their cultivation vast, but their use in cuisine is vast too!
Unripe and sour mangoes are often used in chutneys, while ripe mangoes are typically eaten fresh. Ripe mangoes have additional uses in many cuisines such as South Asian “mango lassi” (ripe mangoes mixed with yogurt and sugar) and curries. Mangoes are also a popular additional to ice creams, sorbets, gelatos, and many other non-frozen desserts. Mangoes also mix well with tomatoes, onions, mint, chilli peppers and a bit of olive oil to create a sweet and spicy salsa.
Something that tastes so good must be unhealthy, right? Wrong! Mangoes are rich in a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients. The fruit is rich in pre-biotic fiber, vitamins A, B6, C, E, & K, polyphenols, carotenoids, quercetin, potassium, copper, pro-vitamin A and several amino acids. These are just to name a few!
While mangoes are a power-house of nutrients, those who are on a restricted-sugar diet should enjoy mangoes in moderation. Despite the immensity of nutrients, the sugar content of mangoes is quite high. Like all fruits, the sugar content in mangoes is fructose, which is far better that refined sucrose. Yet fructose, like all sugars, should be consumed in moderation. Eating mangoes with a bit of low-fat plain yogurt will give the flavourful taste of mangoes, while balancing the sugar with a bit of carbohydrate and fat. By doing so, we won’t cause such a huge spike to our blood sugar levels.
Prior to this little experiment of mine, mangoes were never on my priority list at the grocery store. However, the more research I did, the more I came to realize not only the nutrient value but also the diverse uses of this fantastic fruit. My family will certainly be enjoying m
uch more mangoes in the future!
Creamy Mango Popsicles
1 ripe mango, peeled & diced
2 cups coconut milk (I use So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk, not the kind from the can; if you are using canned coconut milk, use 1 cup coconut milk & 1 cup water)
2 tbsp. raw agave nectar
2 tbsp. chia seeds
Add all ingredients to a high-powered blender. Puree. Taste, and add additional agave or coconut milk to taste. Pour into popsicle moulds. Freeze, and enjoy! (Note: If there is any left over after all moulds have been filled, throw a few ice cubes into the blender and enjoy as a smoothie).