Archive | March, 2014

Wintery Spring Salad

Spring is a funny time of year for food. We start to crave fresher flavours – salads, smoothies and more raw food, even if Mother Nature is telling us not to put away our winter clothes just yet. This salad speaks well to this awkward time of year. It is fresh yet hearty and full of raw, lush winter vegetables, allowing us to curb those spring time cravings and still eat locally.

This combination of vegetables could be thinly sliced or grated to create more of a traditional coleslaw, but I like the chunkier dice and slice, which really makes for a juicier salad (I’m looking at you cabbage!). My Mom was actually the first person I saw do it this way, no kale massage, no small slices or dices, no apologies, just bold, beautiful vegetables, embracing their voluptuous fibers. You can taste the confidence. Not pictured – a sweet bartlett pear to bring out the sweetness in the vegetables, just dice it up and toss it in with the rest.

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These vegetables vary in colour and pigment, which means that we are getting a large variety of antioxidants from this salad. On top of that, we have the kale and cabbage, both being from the powerful cruciferous family, offering up their mighty I3c (Indole-3-carbinol), crushing cancer like it’s their job.

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It needs to be properly dressed to come together. This dressing is tart and rich, and it compliments this salad very well. It’s creaminess comes from avocado and soaked cashews (instead of mayo/yoghurt), and it is where the fat comes from too, no need for refined oils (we are all about whole fats whenever possible). Add as much garlic as you are comfortable with, if too much raw garlic makes you feel hung-over (anyone?), just add one small clove and some extra green onions. (more…)

Nut Milk – the basics

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The first time I tasted homemade almond milk, I was surprised on so many levels. I couldn’t believe how pleasantly rich it was or how much it tasted like actual almonds (not sure what I thought it would taste like). I still can’t believe how easy it is to make, and how many different nuts and seeds can be made into rich and nutritious milk-resembling substances. Besides its awesome nutrition specs, it is vegan, free of the additives found in the store-bought versions, a functional cow’s milk replacement and delicious in its own right.

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Other nuts make great nut milks too, so be creative and mix it up in order to change up the different nutrients you are getting. The fattier the nut, the fattier the milk (walnuts, pecans, cashews), although you can thin it out with extra water. (more…)

Veggie-Packed Veggie Burgers

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It’s time for the veggie burger. Not the weird, brown, ‘this tastes like meat’ veggie burger, made with every scary, processed thing except meat. I’m talking about the veggie burger made with LOTS of fresh vegetables, seeds/nuts, rolled oats and spices. The ingredients could make up a hearty salad, but we’re not feeling salad-y today, we want burgers. And, although veggie-packed, these burgers will not taste like salad. You are going to love them, your friends and family are going to love them and even your meat-eating, terrified-you-might-make-them-eat-something-healthy-and-change-their-life friends and family will.

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The seeds in this burger help it to retain the crunchiness once baked, while the sweet and rich beets and carrots, sharp onions, fresh herbs and green onions, all work together to add punches of fresh flavour. You have to trust me on this, because if you taste the mixture before the baking happens, there won’t be a lot of magic just yet. The ingredients get to know each other much better during the baking process, resulting in enhanced flavour and texture. (more…)

Dandelion Greens

By now, everybody has heard about the importance of eating your greens. Green smoothies, green pasta, green moustaches all over the place, it seems as though greens are taking over the culinary world. Which is awesome. Now that we are getting so used to inviting our leafy greens to the party, we should be looking at variety and rotation.

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Enter dandelion greens, a particularly nutrient-dense green, PACKED full of anti-oxidants, and often overlooked. They taste fresh, green and bitter (is this why we forget about them?), and bitter vegetables are generally celebrated for their support of the liver. Culinarily speaking, you will mostly find them in Mediterranean cuisine, often spending time with sweet foods such as balsamic vinegar, caramelized onions, garlic or dried fruits to balance out some of the bitter. If you have yet to warmly embrace the natural bitterness found in some foods, this is a really good way to get your feet wet.

The cancer thriver needs to be a little more careful of their sweet food intake, so it is best to pair dandelion greens with something that came out of the ground already sweet. Without going straight to the fruit-volumes of sweet, think root vegetables, winter squash, onions, ripe tomatoes or peppers.

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A dandelion green pesto can be a very versatile condiment to have on hand to add to various dishes, a green, liver-loving punch. A simple, clean recipe would include a half of a bunch of greens, some garlic, a handful of raw and preferably, soaked nuts or seeds (I used pumpkin seeds -hello zinc for your immune system and plant-sourced omega-3s), a splash of e.v. olive oil, lemon (zest and juice) and some dulse (natural minerals, remember? Not enough to really taste it) and enough water to bring it all together in a in a blender or food processor.

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