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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The Green Smoothie

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Green smoothies are in great abundance these days. They are as synonymous with healthy eating as bliss balls, almond butter, and kale chips. Green smoothies make healthy eating easier, and we would sure be sad without them. But let’s talk about making a modern version, that is lower glycemic and full of real, whole-food nutrition.

Choosing fruit that is lower glycemic and leaving the skin and seeds intact is a good way to start. This way we get the antioxidants from the fruit as well as the fiber, seeds and pectin from the whole fruit. This slows down the absorption of the sugar into your blood stream, and therefore keeps your blood sugar in check so that your cancer cells won’t be enjoying an all you can eat buffet. Berries and cherries are a great example of this (and those hand-staining pigments mean they are PACKED with antioxidants), so are kiwis, pears (blend smoother than apples too), and plums.

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Now for the vegetables. I like to use a combination that will add juiciness (cucumber, celery, Napa cabbage, broccoli stems, bok choy bottoms) and also the green plant-blood business (kale, spinach, collards, swiss chard, parsley, mustard greens, dandelion greens, bok choy tops). The watery vegetables tend to be milder in flavour so you can add more, while the green ones tend to be a little more intense and bossy, so you might want to add less.

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Zucchini Noodles

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It is hard to be told to cut something out of your diet to benefit your health. Especially if your health is stressing you out and the food is bringing you comfort. Refined flours, including pasta, are some of those sad cut-out comfort foods when it comes to cancer (and most health issues). If you love pasta in all of its refined flour glory, there is a quirky, fresh and brilliant alternative within your grasp, that I promise you, tastes better than you think it will. Zucchini noodles almost seamlessly swap out for traditional pasta noodles. Zucchini, not an overly inspired vegetable in most ways, was possibly put on this earth to create raw, whole-food, unrefined legitimately healthy noodles. Also to make rookie gardeners feel good about themselves.

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There are many ways to make these brilliant proxies come to be. A peeler is the easiest noodle-making tool for small batches (less cleaning). A regular vegetable peeler, used to peel the zucchini all the way down to nothing, will give you a pappardelle–style noodle (fat and flat).

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