Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Creamy Dill Dressing

I was perusing a site called "No Meat Athlete" the other day when I came across a pretty good nugget of wisdom.  He (Matt Frazier) said that the way he sees it, you only have to eat healthy twice during the day.  Once is in the morning, when a big fat smoothie can set the tone for the day and act as a vehicle for the consumption of superfoods and supplements that you want to work into your diet.   The other is in the afternoon, when a big fat salad filled with greens, veggies, and nuts will fill you up and give you more veggies than most people eat all day.*  After that, it's less of a big deal if you screw up the other meals.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Balsamic Glazed Butternut Squash with Lentils and Kale

Hey folks.  This is a pretty simple dish that still-seems-fancy, covers all of your nutritional bases, and can be quite versatile.  It's comforting and hearty as a mid-winter meal, making use of winter squash and cold weather greens.   It would make a nice centrepiece for a party of 4 to 6, especially if accompanied by fresh (corn)bread and a light soup. It travels well to a potluck and most importantly - it makes great left overs.  I just made this big old batch so that Philippe and I will have something to eat for lunch for the next few days.  If you're single, or don't have the Herculean appetite of my husband, you could cut the amount of lentils in half and scale back slightly on the vegetables, or you could surprise another friend with a meal.

As it stands, if you divide this recipe into six servings, each one has 17 grams of protein, 35% of your daily iron, 154% of your daily C, 16% of your calcium, a whopping 389% of your daily recommendation for vitamin A, 19 grams of fiber, 340 calories, and about 8 grams of fat.  Not too shabby. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Puffed Amaranth Peanut Butter Balls

I got a little carried away talking about the nutritional benefits of amaranth the other day when I posted about Amaranth Breakfast Love, so I won't go into nutritional details here.  But did you know that you can pop amaranth like popcorn?  It takes very little time, no oil, and is lots of fun - especially if there are kids around.

For this recipe, start by popping amaranth in a hot hot, preferably covered, skillet.  I've had the best results by popping in very small batches - about a tablespoon at a time - as larger batches tend to burn.  In a super hot skillet, a tablespoon of seeds will pop almost instantaneously.  Then you just dump them in a bowl and keep going until you have a generous cup of popped seeds.

As to the sticky mixture.  I was looking for something quick that I wouldn't have to spend any time cooking down on the stove.  The result is sticky enough and met my requirements of fast and easy, but it's also un-sticky enough that you have to take some care in making the balls.  I recommend pressing the mixture tightly into a small bowl to compress everything, scooping portions out with a spoon or melon baller, then using cold, wet hands to shape each one.  It's still easy, but the cold, wet hands are key.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter Squash, Kale and Miso Stew

This is a great, one pot meal for the middle of winter.  Hearty, nourishing, and simple, it's high in fiber, manganese, vitamins A and C, and lots of cold-fighting antioxidant power.  It uses miso in place of vegetable broth, which is nice for a couple of reasons.  One, it's simple - you just throw in some miso at the end and voilĂ !  Flavour!  Two, miso is an enzyme rich food which is known to be excellent for replenishing good bacteria in the intestines, aiding in digestion and assimilation of nutrients.  When purchasing miso (it might seem a little expensive, but it will last forever and it goes a long way!) avoid buying pasteurized versions and go for the living, enzyme rich product.  Did I mention that miso is a complete protein AND high in B12?  Every health conscious eater's dream.  Let's get started. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Vegan Baked Apple Cinnamon Donuts

Alright people, these are not to be confused with health food. They contain white flour and brown sugar and they'll most likely spike your blood sugar. They're donuts.  Still, they're about as healthy as a donut can get while keeping their right to the name. They're baked, they're vegan, they're oil free and their sugar content, relative to the donut world at large, is reasonably low.  They only take about 10 minutes of prep time, 12 minutes of bake time, and they're sure to brighten up a wintery morning.

Enjoy!  And let me know how they work out.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Kale and Artichoke Flat Bread Pizza

This is just a little something different to do with Hot Creamy Kale Dip.  I used prepared flat bread to make a quick snack, but you could also get fancy and put it on home-made pizza crust.  Enjoy!

Hot Creamy Kale Dip

A person can never have too many hot dip recipes, right?  This very similar to my Hot Artichoke Dip, with a few changes and the addition of our buddy - Kale.  I included the nutritional profile below because I was blown away by how low calorie, high protein, and high vitamin this thing is.  It's also a bit high in sodium, so if you're watching your salt intake you might want to leave out the tamari.  Other than that, enjoy with reckless abandon!  Serves 4 - 6 as an appetizer.  If you're cooking for one, try dividing it into 4 small dishes.  Bake one at a time and make a meal out of it by adding a salad and your favourite crackers.

Brown Rice Crackers

This is a quick and easy recipe for crispy, herby, gluten free crackers.  They take about 10 minutes to prepare, 10 minutes to bake, and leave a lot of room for experimentation with seasoning and additions.  Enjoy!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Savoury Scones - GF Option

Bake these in the evening to accompany a simple soup or salad, then have them ready for breakfast on the go.  They'd be great with a tofu scramble, or as part of a biscuit sandwich.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lemony Avocado Kale

This is my favourite thing right now - I'm eating it every chance I get.  I just can't get over how delicious the combination of lemon, avocado and kale is.  Preparation takes only a few minutes and the final product is is loaded with iron, fiber, heart-healthy (un-saturated) fat,Vitamins C, A, and many of the B vitamins.  It also has a healthy dose of protein and lots of calcium.

The main ingredients you need are kale, lemon, avocado, salt, and nutritional yeast (which I suppose would be optional, but HIGHLY recommended).  Two things cause the magic:  1.  Massaging the salt and lemon juice into the kale leaves.  2.  Soft, buttery, vitamin packed avocado standing in for the oil.   From this basic recipe you can expand by adding bell pepper or tomato to juicy things up, croutons to add crunch, or nuts and sun-dried tomatoes for additional taste and texture.

Happy New Year, people!  May you enjoy vibrant health in 2013.  This salad is a good place to start.