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Kale Chips

Kale chips last about as long as it takes them to cool down in my house.  It’s an incredibly effective way to eat a LOT of greens all at once! They are pretty comparable to regular chips in terms of tastiness and ‘you can’t eat just one-ness’, but you get to control how much salt goes on them and anything else you can think of.

Serves 2-3 (or 1 if you’re me)

2 bunches of kale washed and dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Ripe kale off the spines so that you have bite sized ‘chips’.

2. Place the chips on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt.

3. Put into oven and set timer for about 12-15 minutes, checking to make sure they’re not burning. They should be crisp and a little brown on the edges.

4. Remove from oven and enjoy.

Chickpea Pancakes with White Bean and Basil Tapenade

Chickpea Pancakes with White Bean and Basil Tapenade

This recipe is very easy to prepare and the chickpea pancake is a nice break from the regular cracker or pita that is normally served with bean dips. This would go great as a starter to a Greek or Mexican meal, or on it`s own as a light meal.

Serves 8

1 cup chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour)
5 tbsp olive oil
1 cup canned or cooked cannellini beans or white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp chpped fresh basil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt, plus additional to taste
fresh ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 450°
2. Prepare pancake: pour 1 1/3 cups water into a medium bowl. Add flour to bowl slowly, whisking in until smooth. Allow mixture to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. When hour is complete, stir in 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt.
3. Heat a 10 inch cast iron or oven-safe heavy skillet on medium-high. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, pour in vatter and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the edges of the pancake begin to turn golden brown. Do not flip. Place skillet in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, until crisp around edges and light golden brown. Slide pancake onto a cutting board and slice into 8 wedges.
4. Prepare tapenade by placing white beans, remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, 3 tbsp water, basil, and garlic in a food processor and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Scrape mixture into a sealable container, and set aside until needed, or dollop directly onto chickpea pancakes and enjoy.

This recipe is from Clean Eating magazine.

Wild Rice Salad with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

Wild Rice Salad with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

This delicous recipe comes from my mother-in-law Vivian who is an excellent cook.  She excels at finding and executing tasty recipes like this one.  This was passed to her via a friend.

Balsamic-Raspberry Dressing;
3tbsp balsamic vinegar
3tbsp raspberry vinegar
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

The Salad:
1 cup wild rice
4 cups water
1 cup pecan halves
1 yellow pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup minced parsley
4 scallions (or onions, or leeks)

1. Blend all ingredients for the dressing with a hand mixer, food processor or blender, until smooth.
2. Place wild rice and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cover the rice, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 45 minutes or until the rice is tender.  Drain the rice and chill it completely for at least one hour.  Place the cooked rice in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the remaining ingredients and salad dressing and mix well.
4. This is a very carb-rich salad due to the rice.  It works great as a main dish in the summer with veggies on the side, or as a substantial side dish next to a protein and veggies.

A crowd pleaser at parties and potlucks.

Sunny Sunflower Seed Burgers

Makes 6-8 burgers

1 cup uncooked short grain brown rice
2 cups water
pinch sea salt

2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp Herbamare
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
small handful of fresh parsley
extra virgin olive oil for cooking

  1. Place rice into a small pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add water and sea salt, cover and bring to a boil. Turn heat to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, place the sunflower seeds, garlic powder, thyme, oregano, cumin, and Herbamare and process until finely ground. Add the chopped carrots and parsley and pulse a few times. Then add the rice and pulse a few times to combine all of the other ingredients. Be sure not to over process the mixture or it will get very gooey.
  3. Form mixture into patties. Uncooked patties can be sotred in a glass container in between pieces of waxed paper in the refrigerator for up to a week.
  4. When ready to cook, heat a skillet over medium heat and add about one tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add burger and cook on both sides for 3-5 minutes.
  5. I recommend enjoying these burgers on Ezekiel hamburger buns (available frozen at most health food stores) with your favourite toppings.

Taken from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook 2nd edition by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Crispy Tofu Nuggets

Tofu is unfortunetly not without it’s faults as a potential health food. It is however a very good source of protein and relatively fast to prepare. I keep it on hand for the occasional quick dinner. Like anything else that isn’t completely healthy, use this food in moderation.

Serves 4

1 package (440g) firm or extra firm tofu
2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp thai sweet chili sauce
1 tbsp arrowroot powder
1 tbsp water
1/3 cup sesame seeds (untoasted)
or 1/3 cup panko or other dry breadcrumbs
2 tbsp vegetable oil for frying

1. Slice tofu into 15 rectangular pieces. Put the pieces on the bottom of a glass baking dish.
2. Mix soy sauce or tamari with sesame oil, rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce; pour this over the tofu turning the pieces over to coat. Marinade for about an hour (or longer) turning the tofu over a couple of times.
3. Mix the arrowroot powder and water together in a small bowl. Put the sesame seeds or panko bread crumbs in another bowl.
4. Remove the tofu from the marinade, (most likely, it will be all absorbed to the tofu) and dip each piece first into the arrowroot mixture and then the seeds or crumbs, pressing quite firmly to get them to stick.
5. Heat a saute pan to medium and add the vegetable oil.
6. Add the tofu nuggets to the hot pan and saute for a minute or 2 on each side until they are golden brown. Don’t try to fitr too many in the pan at one time or you’ll have trouble flipping them around.
7. Remove from the pan and set onto paper towel to soak up any extra oil, then serve right away with your favorite dipping sauces.

This recipe was taken from ‘Whitewater Cooks at home’ by Shelley Adams.

Sesame Miso Ginger Dressing

Sesame Miso Ginger Dressing

As a foodie and wannabe chef, I am super proud of this dressing.  It is a little labour intensive for a dressing, but well worth it. Read more

Warm Winter Kale Salad

This salad is a lovely way to enjoy a nutrient packed green.  Kale is high in Vitamins A and C, as well as beta-carotene, and minerals iron, manganese, calcium, and potassium. Serve this salad warm or cold, to company or for a Tuesday night dinner, and know that you’re feeding your cells as well as your taste buds.

Serves 4
2 bunches of Kale (any variety is fine)
2 red peppers
1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup marinated articoke hearts optional
Dressing: Sesame Miso dressing

1. Preheat oven to broil. Cut peppers in 2, removing stems and seeds.  Place on baking sheet with skin side up. Broil for about 10 minutes or until most of the skin is black.  Take out of the oven and put on plate with a metal bowl ontop, or into a ziplock baggie, as long as they are sealed in so that they can steam.  After peppers have cooled slightly (about 15-20minutes) skins should peel off easily.  Discard the skins and cut peppers into stripes.

2. Meanwhile, put pumpkin seeds on a baking sheet with oven at 350˚ and roast for 6 minutes.

3. Cut carrots into thin matchsticks (or just rounds if you’re short on time).

4. Wash kale and rip the leaves off stems into bite-sized pieces.  Place in steamer and steam for 3-5 minutes until kale is bright green.

5. Place peppers, pumpkin seeds, carrots, articoke hearts, and kale into a salad bowl and toss with one recipe of Sesame Miso Ginger dressing. Can be served cold, but is especially nice warm.

 

Scrambled Tofu

Scrambled Tofu

Tofu scrambles became a big part of my life after I left home and had to start cooking for myself.  My mom had always served tofu, so it was familiar, and I found that meat protein did not fit into my student budget quite as well. This is great for any meal of the day.  I will make it on weekends for a tasty brunch, or for lunch or dinner when I need something quick and tasty.  Serve with toast, brown rice, salad or quinoa for a complete protein packed meal. 

Serves 4-6

  • 1lb tofu
    2tbsp oil
    ½ cup chopped onion
    ½ cup chopped celery
    ½ cup grated or chopped carrots
    1/4cup slivered almonds (optional)
    1cup sliced mushrooms(optional)
    2tsp tamari (or 1 1/2tsp soy sauce)
    1tbsp parsley
    1/4tsp sage        
    1/4tsp turmeric
    pinch of marjoram
    1/4tsp black pepper
    1/2tsp sea salt
    1tbsp whole wheat, spelt, or kamut flour

1. Drain the tofu in the strainer, pressing it gently to release water, then mash it and set it aside.

2. Saute onions, celery, and almonds in oil, until veggies begin to soften and the almonds are slightly browned. 

3. Add the remaining ingredients except the whole wheat flour.  Continue cooking and stirring until the mushrooms are softened and the spices are well mixed. 

4. Sprinkle the flour over the mixture and stir until the veggies are coated and any liquid has thickened. 

5. Stir in the tofu, and cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes more. 

This recipe was adopted from an old favourite of mine, “Salt Spring Island Cooking; Vegetarian Recipes from the Salt Spring Centre” by Rodney Polden and Pamela Thornley.


Mochanana smoothie

Mochanana smoothie

I found this recipe watching a British show called,”you are what you eat”. This show features a dietitian by the name of Gillian McKeith transforming people’s lives by changing their horrendous diets.  Gillian created this recipe for a woman who was addicted to cafe lattes, and despite the fact that it’s caffeine-free, she loved it! You’ll love it too, even if you’re not a coffee-aholic. 

Makes 1 smoothie

         2 tsp cafe-lib or any coffee substitute
         1 tbsp boiled water
         1 ripe banana
         200 mls rice, soy, or almond milk

1. Put coffee substitute on a blender or food processor and add hot water and stir.  Add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  Enjoy!   

Mediterranean Chard

Mediterranean Chard

This lovely recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, “The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook” by Alissa Segersten and Tom Malterre.  This Naturopathic duo have created a super healthy cookbook that beats the pants off your tastebuds.  This recipe is no exception.  A great way to enjoy this nutritious green. 

         1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
         1/2 cup pine nuts
         4-5 cloves garlic
         2 bunches of chard
         1/2-1 lemon, juiced
         1/4-1/2 cup kalamata oilves, pitted and chopped
         1/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot or skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and saute until slightly golden, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds more.

2. Then add wet greens and saute until wilted and bright green, making sure all greens reach the heat, about 3-4 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and add half of the lemon juice (when I made this recipe recently, it was really lemony. I would add 1/2 the lemon juice, then taste before adding more), olives, and sea salt. Serve immediately.