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Chili-Lime Jicama with Muscular Guacamole

Have you ever moved the guacamole to the other room, just to get people out of the kitchen? It works, doesn’t it? Because everyone loves guacamole (even more than sitting at the kitchen bar asking you questions). It is one of the healthiest and easiest to make snacks out there. It’s also really, really delicious. Guacamole even has power over those of us who plug our ears when health food convos come up. It’s that good.

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This makes it the perfect vessel for some muscular activity. I am not trying to change the classic guacamole with this recipe, I am just trying to gently point out a few super-food opportunities. As it turns out, guacamole is one of the easiest places to add some cancer-fighting beasts, and here is a little hint: you’re probably already adding most of them. Now you just need to consciously add them every time you make it, perhaps in greater volume and possibly with a little more variety. Do you add cilantro to your guac? Add twice as much. You don’t like cilantro? (I’ve heard about you!) add some Italian parsley instead. Or maybe some kale, sliced very thin as though it was a herb. Or maybe both cilantro/parsley and kale.

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Do you already add a bit of onion or garlic to your guac? Try adding both. Or if raw garlic doesn’t fly with you, add some roasted garlic. And dice up some red onion (pigment power) and green onion. Same but different, and complimentary. And what about turmeric? I know, I sound like a broken record, but it is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It’s not that I want your whole life to be yellow-spiced, I just want to point out places where it could work. I think it works in guacamole, that’s all. Not your morning millet porridge with blueberries or your tomato and basil salad with almond cheese. I promise not to talk about turmeric in those posts.

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Beet Salad with Herbed (Macadamia Nut) Ricotta

I remember a time when beets were scary. They were vac-packed and soggy in the produce section of the grocery store, or sliced up in a can, which rarely equals delicious. Despite their endearing colour (purple, you guys!), they fell flat and tasted like dirt.

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Luckily, sooo much has changed. It is now much easier to get beets that recently grew in the ground, often with their greens still intact, meaning their dirt-living life wasn’t too long ago. It’s natural that their earthy flavour still lingers, but that natural sweetness that comes from a freshly dug-up beet is undeniable, and their texture, both when raw or cooked, is something to celebrate too. Oh yeah, and they’re good for you.

They are full of phytonutrients that vary based on the colour of your beets, so by eating a variety of colours (just like all foods) you will get a broader range. They also boast anti-inflammatory super powers, are full of anti-oxidants and aid in detoxification.

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Buying beets with their greens intact is usually the freshest option. The leafy beet greens and stems deserve a blog post all to themselves, so I’m not going to get too into it here, but keep them and juice them or sauté them with some garlic. They are packed with anti-cancer and they taste good too. For this recipe, for me, it was a little bit too beet on beet to use them as well as the roots, but this way you get two meals out of one veg. Bonus.

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Grain-free Falafel

Having just spent a couple of weeks in parts of Europe where the food, is smooth, rich, mild, and temperate, I need a change of (flavour) scene. It was all so delicious, but now I crave spices, herbs, bitter, tart, and a little bit of aggression. I hope you do too.

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Hello falafel! I indulged in a couple of Maoz moments while I was away, to counter some of the delicious but rich and thematic everyday fare (Maoz -a veggie falafel stand that has a tendancy to pop up exactly when you need it, all over Europe). This is where the inspiration is coming from this week (in part, because I couldn’t wrap my head around Crushing Cancer Croissants. Yet.)

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The healthier, Crushing Cancer version of the falafel is baked at a low temperature instead of fried, refined oil-free (all of the fats are whole fats, derived from nuts and seeds), and gluten and bean-free. Everything on my site is naturally gluten-free, (we are looking to lower inflammation, not cause it, right?) and the lack of beans in this recipe is good news if you have trouble digesting them, but the culinary reason that I am using almonds, pumpkin seeds and flax in place of the mighty chickpea is that they create a firmer texture with a bit of crunch (we are looking for crunch from somewhere other than the deep fryer).

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Avocado Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons

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This post is about a recipe that has been a bit of a game changer for me. I feel like invented it, although I’m (quite) sure I wasn’t the first. It came to me when I was thinking about where I used the most refined fats in my cooking. When they are extra virgin and super fresh, oils can be healthy, but more often than not, they sit on your counter instead of your fridge, and can be rancid before they even get to your grocery cart.

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Although I do use some oils (mostly extra virgin coconut or olive oil), I try to use whole-food fats in their place whenever I can (avocados, coconut, nuts, seeds). It’s not always possible, but often it is (especially if you are not deep frying), it just takes a little more creativity. The first time I tried making salad dressing with avocado in place of any oil, almost everybody within texting (also whatsapp) distance got to hear about it. To be fair, it was that exciting. It opened up a whole new world of even healthier fat, enzyme-rich, oil-free, salad experimenting.

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