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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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Steamed Artichokes

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Chocolate bunnies and matching Esprit dresses are the first thing I think about when the smell of steaming artichokes fills the house. They were the ultimate comfort food for my sisters and I growing up, and a special treat that only popped up around Easter. This is why I was surprised when later in life I realized that not only had many people I knew not tried a fresh artichoke before, but that it was an intimidating culinary prospect. It’s true, they are relatively unattractive (once cooked), higher maintenance than most vegetables and have spikes, but they have the best personality. If you know how to prepare a squash for roasting, you can do this.

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On top of being complexly flavoured, with a sweet and creamy texture, and leaves that were meant for scooping, artichokes are actually very good for you. Cancer hates the artichoke (especially the leaves) due to its high levels of antioxidants, fiber and it’s ability to support and protect the liver. It is also anti-inflammatory, has shown to inhibit cancer-related angiogenesis. What a pleasant surprise. (more…)