Slow-Cooked Bone Broth


REMEDY:

Common Cold
Bone Broth is excellent for healing + recuperation from illness. The warming liquid will soothe your throat, while supporting your injured immune system with an array of amino acids specifically, glutamine, glutamate + arginine. Essential for immune strength.

Digestive Discomfort
Coating your irritated or inflamed digestive system is key for a healthy digestion. Bone Broth contains cartilage in the form of collagen, elastin + gelatin. All repairing to the gut lining.

Post-Partum
Two years after childbirth is considered post-partum. Bone Broth has an amazing healing effect for women recovering + as well during pregnancy. Healthy hydration containing minerals like calcium, phosphorous + magnesium all that which will be in great demand for nursing Mothers. 
 

RECIPE:

Sprouted Three Bean Tomato Stew

Beans are packed with loads of fiber and vitamin B6 - great for balancing hormonal levels. Soaking the beans overnight increases the digestibility.This process is cheap, easy and helps your body absorb all the goodness beans have to offer. 

Sprouted three bean tomato stew
sprouting beans

YEILDS: three 32oz jars

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 1.5 hours

 

1/2 cup each black, kidney and chickpeas 

1 strip of kombu or seaweed

 

In a glass bowl cover beans with water (make sure they stay covered with water).

In the am, drain and fold into a tea towel over a colander in the sink. 

Rinse with water many times as you can throughout the next 24-36 hours.

Once sprouted, transfer to a pot add the seaweed, cover with water and bring to a boil.

Boil for 10 minutes, remove seaweed, strain and set aside.

 

Three Bean Chili  

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

sprouted bean mixture

8 small tomatoes, chopped

1/2 bunch spinach, chopped

1 jalapeno, diced seeds removed

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

2 cups vegetable stock (or more if needed)

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 jar tomatoe paste

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 lime, juiced

season with sea salt and pepper

 

In a large stainless steel pot, add the first 4 ingredients, saute until soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients except lime, salt and pepper.

Bring to a slight boil and then turn to a slow simmer for 20 minutes.

Taste for flavour and season with lime, salt and pepper. 

Summer slaw, vegetable oils and alternatives

purple cabbage slaw w paleo mayo

I'm all too aware of how our food can have effect on our physiology now as a therapeutic chef. My hubba has been know to say I'm an extremist, which is kind - let's break it down, I'm more like a control freak. Really though, I do try to keep grounded and take things with a grain of salt, sea salt of course:P

However, there are some things that I will not compromise on. One food type in particular, are industrial seed oils. These are found in almost all packaged foods and used in many restaurants, which can add up in your diet - day in and day out. These oils are high in omega-6 fats and unlike omega-3 fats, which give you that lovely good morning glow - the 6’s in excess and from poor sources like the list below, are bad news. They have a shitty rap known to induce inflammatory diseases like heart, diabetes, asthma, cancer and other nasty auto-immune imbalances. Better alternatives for salad making are olive, hemp and avocado.

I’ve avoided buying mayonnaise since the majority of store-bought versions are made with soy bean, safflower or canola. And yes, I could just make my own, but please excuse me while I take a break - I make so many other things from scratch and with baby L - my time is limited as you could only just imagine.

But hold the press! I was flipping through a Paleo magazine a few months ago and found an organic mayo that's made from avocado oil. Yes! Too good to be true. Avocados are great, similar to it's cousin olive, it's nearly 70% mono-saturated fatty acid. Which is good, real good. Amoung other superb attributes like high in potassium, anti-oxidants annnd, it's made already! 

L allowed me some time to make up a seasonal purple cabbage with black radish slaw. Obviously you can use it for so many other recipes; burgers, tuna and potato salad etc, the list goes on, but I love the color of the purple cabbage and I've been trying to increase my fiber and decrease the amount of protein I eat.

I hope you test out the recipe, I enjoyed it while having some peace of mind.

ingredients

Tangy summer purple cabbage slaw with black radish and cilantro


1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1 Tbsp siracha sauce 

1-2 tsp sea salt

freshly ground pepper to taste

1 head purple cabbage, chopped thinly

1 carrot, grated

1 zucchini, grated

2 or 3 black radishes, grated

1/2 red onion, diced 

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

 

Prepare the vegetables

Toss the vegetable ingredients to mix well

Prepare the dressing

Fold the dressing into the tossed vegetables and refrigerate

Toss occasionally to keep the dressing distributed over the vegetables

Will keep for up to 2 days in the fridge

Easy peasy Ghee

As the winter months come to an end, spring is beginning to bloom. Leaving behind the warming stews and soups and cozy days with hot teas till next season. Time slows down and the days stretch long with the sun, loving (almost) every moment with our growing baby boy, inch by inch every day, week, month.

Though there is no words to explain how exhausting and challenging being a new parent is. Having committed solely to nursing for the first 6 months, definitely challenged me more than anything I’ve ever done before. Going at it day by day without family nearby, is I’m sure what some would think is a wild attempt. And it is, I don’t advise. Thank goodness for J, he is my hero and the cog that keeps the wheel moving. It’s times like these, where things can seem overwhelming, I bare down and focus so not to get lost in the chaos that life can drum up, (mostly in the mind that is). And look for inspiration in my amazing friends who are working it, hard, every day and focusing on ever-changing goals and ambitions. Love. These. People. 

I trust, there will again, be an opportunity to indulge in the creative possibilities food and nutrition pull me towards. It will come, in due time. Until then, here’s another dose of nutrition and buttery goodness to slather on your steamed or roasted vegetables. I’ve been getting into the routine of making our own ghee lately. Not in the traditional ancient India way (with raw milk and curds). But just with plain old grass-fed organic butter. Since my little boy is now mowing down real food, I like adding the ghee to vegetables which improves nutrient absorption dramatically. And of course loads of flavour! 

Making ghee removes the dairy solids and evaporates water from the butter, making it easy to digest and a highly nutritious saturated fat. Chalked full of vitamins a, d, e and k (the fat soluble vitamins). With a high smoke point suitable for roasting and frying, used as well therapeutically in Ayurvedic cooking or for your own cast iron pan!

p.s. welcome to my new digs! Squarespace has graciously supplied me with a beautiful platform. A work in progress - in the meantime, eat it up!

 

Yield: 2 cups

1LB UNSALTED BUTTEr

In a saucepan, cook the butter on high heat until it boils.

Turn down to low heat, removing foam from the top as it collects.

Let the fat deposits turn a tan golden color. When all the fat deposits have sunk to the bottom and you can see clear through the ghee, you are done. Turn off the heat.

Let sit until just warm and strain through muslin or several layers of cheese cloth.

Store in a glass container in a cool place.

 

Source: Bauman College Recipe Book

Top 5 Food Sources for Boosting Immunity

  1. Fermented and cultures foods, rich in probiotics, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. All which support a healthy gut flora and immune system. Great sources are yogurt without added sugar, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut or fermented vegetables and kimchi.

  2. Vitamin D3 the first line of defense for most types of infection: Found in pasture-raised eggs, salmon, sardines, cod liver oil and pasture-raised beef.

  3. Shiitake mushrooms, referred to as the “medicinal mushroom” active compound lentinan powers up the immune system, fighting infection and disease. High in selenium, vitamin b2, zinc. Great in soups, sauteéd with caramelized onions and garlic or in a frittata.

  4. Vitamin C best known as an antioxidant found hugely in parsley, oranges, grapefruit, red bell pepper, leafy green vegetables and broccoli amoung many other plant foods. Consuming fruits in the morning on an empty stomach allows for the most absorbtion and assimilation. Blending up an orange, some spinach and a frozen banana is a great way to get in good dose of vitamin C when you wake up in the morning.

  5. Garlic a member of the allium family, garlic has many therapeutic properties. An excellent source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Anti-everything - bacterial and viral, controlling infection from viruses and bad bacteria. When roasting use a lower temperture to preserve the health-protective compounds and well as allowing the chopped garlic to sit for 10 minutes before use will also protect it’s health benefits.

Second & Third Trimesters: Fats and Fiber

Swisschard

New year and new days ahead with my growing baby boy in tow. I really wanted to share the final segment of my experience during the last few trimesters. Aside from carrying an extra 20lb’s, I enjoyed the remainder of my pregnancy with nutrient-dense methods to nourish my body, the baby’s growth and to support my immune system.

In the last 196 days of pregnancy (or for myself it was 191 days), there are - as you can imagine, many nutrients required from your diet to not only help your baby develop but also maintain your levels so you don’t become deficient on behalf of being pregnant. As with anything, being in touch with what you and your body needs is different than anyone else, everyone is individual, (this is just what worked for myself.) There are so many I can’t list them all, but below are a few important ones I read about that were pretty crucial.

First comes the FAT! Yes! The stuff food companies have been trying to have you avoid. I’m talking, good fats, omega-3 fatty acids or most importantly, DHA which is vital to baby’s brain, organ and eye development - especially in the last trimester and beyond. 1 (Fallon, 2013). It’s alo very important for prevention of post-partum depression, the baby sucks you dry of this stuff! Sources are, pasture-raised eggs, grass-fed organic animal fats, fatty fish like wild caught salmon or organ meats like liver.

Also, more accessible and so important, fiber. Specifically from plant-based sources like vegetables, dark leafy greens and fruits. These help regulate blood sugar levels, which promotes healthy hormonal balances and strengthens the immune system. I love throwing some swiss chard or spinach into my scrambled eggs or stews. Anywhere I could add it in I would! Along the same lines, the one very crucial mineral I seemed to crave for was calcium. With osteporosis running in my family, I saw how important it is to have more the recommended daily value, since the baby needs so much to develop. If I wasn’t consuming loads of foods like sesame seeds, almonds, raw dairy goods and leafy greens, my body would take the calcium from my own bones. Yikes! As well as balanced foods a regular yoga practice, or other strength training helps maintain bone density, which is also significant for bone health. So fingers crossed, these little efforts help myself and you, if you find yourself with a bun in the oven!

First Trimester: Spiced applesauce with sweet potatoes

applesauce with sweet potaoes

Ah yeah, the first trimester, it was the best of times and it was the worst of times. It was also a time when I couldn’t really taste most of the food I was consuming much less enjoy it! Really though, I can’t complain too much other than a bit of nausea (no puking;) I had a pretty seamless first 84 days in comparison to the horror stories you hear.

For myself, there were a few go to snacks I found easier to consume and that were pretty important for organ and brain development. While eggs (pasture-raised) got me by earlier, after awhile I had to take a step back, since the smell drove me bonkers! Organic avocados are packed full of anti-inflammatory monosaturated fat in the form of omega 3, as well a heathy source of carbohydrates. Amoung other vital nutrients they contain the ever popular folate, for boosting growth and decreasing the risk of birth defects.

So my pick for what I thought was a nutritious-dense snack and that I was able to get down (especially for those with morning sickness), was this spiced applesauce with added sweet potato. I left the skin on the apples, which were red, (apparently contain the greatest amount of flavonoids), for a boost of antioxidants to support a fragile immune system. After pureéing it you can’t even tell the skin was left on! Just be sure to buy organic, apples are on the top of the list for highest containing pesticides!

At the end of the day, I looked at it as though if I weren’t putting this good stuff in my body for replenishment, the baby was going to take it from my stores anyhow! The nutritional deficencies of me would predict how healthy the babe will be. Eating for 2 isn’t exactly accurate in the sense that most believe, really most women only need an extra 300 calories. Increasing the quality was the importance I based it on, being concious of where I ate out at and if the meat served was not injected with hormones or gmo feed and only organic produce to avoid all those nasty chemical pesticides. Even if you’re not pregnant or trying to conceive, these are important factors to be aware of when purchasing your foods.

yields: two 32oz jars

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 1 hour

Prep

  • 14 organic red apples, cored and chopped
  • three sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp
  • sea salt
  • two cinnamon sticks
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • water or pure apple juice, enough to cover apples and potatoes

Method

  1. In a large stainless steel pot, add all the ingredients including the liquid and cover.
  2. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for about an hour covered. Stirring occasionally until apples and potatoes are very soft.
  3. Remove cinnamon sticks and with an immersion blender, pureé the applesauce until desired consistency.

Sources:
http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1843/2http://lifehacker.com/the-most-nutritious-types-of-apples-ranked-by-antioxid-1556951427

http://chriskresser.com/growing-a-healthy-baby-nutrition-for-conception-pregnancy-breastfeeding

The adjustments of becoming pregnant and starting a newish career/job has kept me away from this wonderful outlet of sharing all the good food, well-being and nutrition that inspires me to live a heathy life. This preggo thing wasn’t a planned venture, (though super pumped!) I have some ideas of how I think it did come as a surprise - as for some, I know it does not. I hope to provide a little insight I’ve learned along the way that you can apply to begin housing a little being.

As well, I’ve been busy in the kitchen coming up with specific nutrient-dense recipes whilst being in this prenatal phase (and preparing for the postnatal - that will be in another post!). Foods and beverages that have worked for me to maintain a healthy weight gain, but also supply the proper nutrients my growing babe needs before coming into this mad world!

Anyone who’s been pregnant knows how awkwardly uncomfortable this last stage is, 38+ weeks to be exact! Finding a comfortable position to even write this is challenging! But like my yoga teacher said this morning, it’s the perfect place for baby until it’s ready to make an appearance. So until then, I’m hanging in!

Here are a few of the practices and pointers I found to helped guide me through this amazing transition and time in both our lives…

  • Detox The thing about detoxing is I think it can be taken to extremes, with crazy honey and lemon water only diets, fasting for days and those crazy kits you can buy (which I’ve done on numerous occasions). By detox, in this sense is in reference to what my natropath and other leading health professionals whom I follow taught me. There are many toxins in our environment that are out of our control, however the products and materials we use in our daily life are in our control.
  • While my intention was to soley rid our home of these toxic substances for our greater health and disease prevention, this can be a practice for those who are looking to release excess chemicals and endocrine disruptors that can adversley effect your chances of concieving. Here are a couple examples… all cosmetics or products you use on your skin that absorb into your blood stream, (this is a great site to help with these things) non-stick pans or aluminum and anything in plastic. I’ve always been a #hippyatheart so for me, I had already been using shampoos, deoderants, soaps and cosmetics with out all the junk for years. It was the plastic I found tricky to get around, mason jars are now my best friend!
  • Nutrition Now onto the good stuff, the real meat of being pregnant. Now that you’ve detoxified your home and powder room, move on up to your fridge and cupboards for an overhaul. As a Natural Therapuetic Chef, I’m more than ever aware of the issues with our food system. Being mindful is the first step to good nutrition, avoiding processed and packaged goods loaded with harmful preservatives and excess sugars and poor salts is a great start. Then the rest is just about eating local and seasonal, supporting your community butcher and going to the market for your produce. Sticking with nutrient-dense foods like leafy greens, colourful vegetables, high quality meats and healthy fats like avocados, nuts and seeds as well as coconut oil and grass-fed butter in moderation - of course organic whenever possible.
  • Yoga/Exercise For me, this is a must. I NEED to have a physical outlet for multiple reasons. But mainly as a meditative, stress and detoxification process it provides me with such a relief. In the first half of my pregnancy I ran in place of my practice of Bikram yoga, which was very difficult but for the health and growth of the wee one, I waited for the clearance from my midwife. Once I was, it felt great to be back stretching and sweating the toxins from my organs and tissues. It’s super important especially for an expecting mama like myself to properly hydrate in and out of the yoga room so tonnes of honey and lemon water or coconut water do the trick. Offsetting this more intense yoga with a prenatal form was a nice balance and a must for preparing my body for birth and quicker recovery.

That’s about it, I’m sure there’s more I could include but to keep within my scope of practice as a Natural Chef, I will continue in my next post with a couple of the recipes I think were great in each trimester. And if I don’t pop before too soon, I’ll try to squeeze in some of the post-natal recipes I’ve prepared for my recovery - super time-savers and packed with all a new mama (and papa) are in need of. Otherwise, I’ll see you on the flipside!

Ukrainian Red Beet Borscht

Thankfully, many years before my Grandmother passed away, I had the opportunity to watch her way of cooking this sweet, bright magenta soup first hand. Often cited as the Ukraine for it’s origin, (I think I’m bias ;) although it’s had it’s roots in most parts of eastern Europe. (no pun intended) Borscht, is slavic for borschevik or hogweed. What was originally used when making this hearty soup.

I commonly squished my face in disgust to this swampy looking vegetable soup as a child. This was before of course, I matured my palate and realized this stuff was pure goodness. 30 years of gathering with my Father’s large and ever-growing family on Christmas eve, at a dining room table (usually in an U or T shape to accommodate everyone). All this to enjoy and savor this once-a-year, 5-course Ukrainian meal. Two soups, a porridge, 2 varieties of cabbage rolls and perogies among other aperitifs and dessert treats. An experience to say the least, I think there’s butter in EVERY dish! A thick and fattening meal that leaves you wanting more while resenting what you already consumed!

The borscht soup I enjoyed cooking with my grandmother, is as authentic as she remembered learning from her mother - which I’m sure has been tweaked over the years. Her version contains a LOT of butter, oh and cream, lot’s of that as well! However, the authenticity and color of borscht is truly determined by the ingredients that go into making it. An true borscht recipe would ask for onions, beets, butter, carrots, beans, potatoes, dill, cream and lemon for balancing. Possibly cabbage and different varieties of meats are also commonly used.

Beets are a pure source of folic acid, fiber, iron, magnesium and potassium. Medicinally used for disorders of the liver - stimulating to the detoxification process. Betacyanin a cancer-flighting agent, gives them their bright pink pigment. (Murray,2005)


  • prep time

    25 minutes
  • cook time

    2-4 hours
  • yields

    five 16 oz. mason jars (maybe more depending on how long you cook it for)
  • inspired by

    My Grandmother’s traditional borscht
  • Night before

    Soak the dill weed by covering with the water and bring it to a boil before cooking.

Prep

  • one
    bunch dill (plus more for garnish)
  • two cups
    water for dill
  • five
    onions, or 6 cups diced and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups
    unsalted butter or ghee, divided
  • 1/2 cups
    olive oil
  • 3 tsp
    sea salt, divided
  • two
    large sweet potatoes, quartered
  • three
    beets, cleaned, peeled and quartered
  • one
    chili pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 tsp
    ground pepper
  • two
    carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 10 oz.
    green beans, chopped into 1” pieces (about 11/2 cups)
  • 2 cups
    vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cups
    lemon, juiced
  • 10 oz.
    cremé fraîche
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Method

  1. Add 1 cup of the butter, olive oil and 5 cups onions and 1 tsp salt to a large pot and sauté slowly on medium heat until clear 10 minutes. Turn down to medium-low for another 15 minutes, it will increase in liquid almost by half when finished - pour into a bowl and set aside.
  2. Food process each separately, sweet potatoes, beets then remaining onions.
  3. In another pot, add potatoes and cover with water by 1” - add 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat, turn off heat strain and reserve water.
  4. In the first large pot, add the remaining butter and the beets and salt and pepper. Stir to combine until the butter is melted.
  5. Add the potatoes and reserved potato water (add more water if neccessary), dill liquid, beans, carrots, chili pepper, stock, lemon juice and 1 cup of the reserved butter and onions mixture. Bring to a boil, very slowly over medium heat.
  6. Cover and turn down to a low simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occationally or until desired tenderness is reached on vegetables. They should be slightly squishy.
  7. To serve, remove from heat and stir in creme fraîche to create a bright pink hue. Garnish with a sprig of dill.

  • Sources: (1) Murray, Michael T., Joseph E. Pizzorno, and Lara Pizzorno. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York: Atria, 2005. 164-65. Print.
  • Lamb and sweet potato stew with lemon
    and garlic cauliflower mash

    In a lesson at cooking school a few weeks back, we made a stew with lamb - that’s a first for me! Since then I’ve been inspired to make more and more stews and experiment with different cuts of meat and vegetable combinations. They’re a hearty meal to prepare on the weekend, especially in these cooling months towards winter.
    Stews require a little prep - but after it gets a good simmer on, with a variety of nutrient-dense, fibrous vegetables and grass-fed meats, soaking up spices like cumin, coriander and curry. Makes for one delicious Sunday evening dinner with the family - big or small! And this recipe is exactly that! I wanted some spice, warmth and definitely immune-building nutrition. I think I need more practice with spice and herb combining, to get just the right mix.
    With this hearty stew, I served with it with a slice of gluten-free pumpernickel, herb butter and a cauliflower mash. Ultimate comfort foods with healthful additions makes for one wholesome meal.


    • yields

      Approximately 4 servings
    • prep time

      15 minutes
    • cook time

      1 hour 30 minutes

    Prep

    • 3 lbs
      grass-fed and pasture-raised lamb
    • salt and pepper for seasoning
    • 4Tbsp
      unsalted butter or ghee, divided
    • 1
      yellow onion, diced
    • 1
      celery stock, diced
    • 1
      medium sweet potato, diced
    • 4
      garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/2”
      ginger, minced
    • 1/4 tsp
      cayenne pepper
    • 1 tsp
      coriander
    • 1½ tsp
      cumin
    • 1½ tsp
      sea salt, plus more to taste
    • ¼ cup
      dry red wine
    • 1 tsp
      maple sugar or syrup
    • 14 oz can
      organic diced tomatoes
    • 3½ cups
      chicken stock
    • 1 cup
      collards, chopped

    • cauliflower mash

    • 1
      head organic cauliflower (food processed into small pea forms)
    • 2
      cloves garlic, minced
    • ¾ cup
      vegetable stock
    • ½ tsp
      sea salt
    • 2Tbsp
      butter or ghee
    • 1tsp
      lemon juice
    • 2Tbsp
      goat yogurt
    • 1
      shallot, minced

    1. Season the lamb pieces in salt and pepper. Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp of the butter. Brown each lamb piece, avoid crowding and then set aside.
    2. Add the remaining butter and add onions, sauté until translucent. Add celery, sweet potato, garlic, ginger, spices and salt. Stirring constantly until well combined and you can smell the spices begin to cook, about 4 minutes.
    3. With the red wine, deglaze the skillet, scraping bits off the bottom.
    4. Add maple sugar, tomatoes and chicken stock. Add back in the meat and bring to a light boil. Immediately turn down to a simmer on medium-low heat for 35 minutes.
    5. Remove lid and stir. Sauce should be slightly reduced and thicker. Continue to simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally to reduced liquid further.
    6. While the lamb is stewing, add the cauliflower to a pot with the stock, salt and garlic. Cover and cook on medium heat, for about 15 minutes or until almost all the stock is gone.
    7. Add the collards to the stew and stir to combine. Cook until greens are slightly wilted but still green about 10 minutes.
    8. Turn the heat off on the cauliflower and add in butter, lemon juice, yogurt and shallot. With an immersion blender, pureé in pot until smooth like whipped potatoes! Serve with stew and a fresh slice of gluten-free bread.

    Millet and Oat Spiced Pancakes

    My attempt to make pumpkin pancakes did not quite make it this time. Although, after a few test rounds, I ended up with a nice light batter, fluffy, filling and pumpkin-spiced. Pretty simple to make, now that I got the ingredients set! The millet gives them a sweet vanilla flavour, and is a source of magnesium and B vitamins. These are a great alternative compared to the traditional flapjacks that can be loaded with sugar and refinded white flour. I still have a full ziplock bag full of pumpkin wedges, pumpkin curry anyone?


    • yields

      2 servings (approximately 7-10 pancakes)
    • prep time

      5 minutes
    • cook time

      15 minutes

    Prep

    • 1/2 cup
      millet, ground into a flour
    • 1/2 cup
      out flour
    • 1/8 cup
      coconut sugar
    • 2 Tbs
      arrowroot flour
    • 3/4 tsp
      baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp
      cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp
      nutmeg
    • 1/4 tsp
      xantham powder (as a binder)
    • 1/4 tsp
      sea salt
    • 1 cup
      almond milk or other milk alternative
    • 3 Tbs
      melted coconut oil, divided
    • 1
      egg, lightly beaten
    • 1
      organic apple, grated
    • organic maple syrup and butter or ghee (for serving)
    • Method

    1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
    2. Then in another bowl, mix all the wet ingredients, reserving 1 Tbs of the oil.
    3. Pour the dry mixture into the wet bowl and whisk batter together lightly just until combined. Consistency should be thick but runny.
    4. In a cast iron or heavy bottom pan on medium-low heat, melt a couple drops of oil to coat bottom.
    5. With 1/3 measuring cup, pour batter in the center. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Repeat with remaining batter.
    6. Serve with the butter or ghee, grated apple and maple syrup if desired.

    Seasonal Leek & Cauliflower Soup

    I had a friend over the other night for dinner, we cooked up some fresh zucchinni salad with tender sweet pork ribs. Very tasty indeed! While we didn’t have any leftovers of that good stuff. She did leave a head of cauliflower. I thought it would be nice and nourishing in a soup with a leek I got at the market the other day. It was surprisingly good! I’ve made a cauliflower soup in the past that tasted “really” healthy, like dirt healthy. This one has much more flavor and a sweet and smooth texture. I love the soft yellow colour it has after being blended. Serve it up with a salad or thin crust pizza or just by itself for a light lunch.


    • yields

      Approximately two 16 oz Mason Jars
    • prep time

      15 minutes
    • cook time

      15 - 20 minutes

    Prep

    • one head
      cauliflower, chopped roughly
    • one
      leek, chopped
    • two stalks
      celery, chopped
    • 2 Tbs
      coconut oil
    • two
      bay leaves
    • 3 tsp
      dried thyme
    • 32 oz.
      organic vegetable stock
    • 3 cups
      water
    • one
    • sea salt & pepper to taste

    1. In a large ceramic pot, add coconut oil and heat for about 30 seconds.
    2. Add in leeks and celery. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.
    3. Add boullion cube, cauliflower, bay leaves, thyme and the vegetable stock (if I don’t have any homemade stock on hand, I’ve found Pacifico is reasonably priced and has a good balanced flavor - plus you can buy it organic).
    4. Bring this up to a boil, turn down to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
    5. Remove from heat and discard bay leaves.
    6. Using an immersion blender, set on low. Pureé soup until it has reached a consistency you like. Feel free to add a bit of water if you find it too thick.

    A Process of Elimination - Mega Veggie Sandwich

    prepare

    • 2 slices
      gluten-free bread
    • 2 spears
      romain lettuce
    • 2 slices
      plum tomato
    • 4 slices
      cucumber
    • 1 tbsp
      grated carrot
    • 1 tbsp
      almond butter
    • 2 tbsp
      hummus
    • 1 tbsp
      diced celery
    1. Toast bread and butter.
    2. Spread almond butter on 1 slice and hummus on the other.
    3. Place lettuce on the hummus, then cucumber, then carrots and celery, then tomatoes.
    4. Cover with other slice and serve.

    A Process of Elimination - Part 2 
    Foods, Challenges and Substitutions

    Here is a list of the foods and temptations. Some substitutions that fill the gap and are nutritious as well. p.s. the gf veggie sandwich is really good!


    • gluten

      Rye, wheat, barley (yep that means beer!)
    • dairy

      Anything from a cow or with casein.
    • sugar

      White, brown, cane, molasses, high-fructose corn syrup and honey.
    • coffee

      Espresso, lattes, cappuccinos and americanos.
    • challenges

      Eating in restaurants was the hardest. One because I wasn’t eating alone all of the time, secondly pizza and pastries are my nemesis. We are lucky enough to live in a health-conscious city. Even though I cook at home most of the time, when we go out Pho Vietnamese is quick and cheap. If you want to splurge The Plant is great and have gluten-free options.
    • substitutions

      These are some items I substituted in my pantry:
      • Stevia and Maple Syrup - Well the stevia went in my purse and the maple syrup went in the fridge. But those are the only 2 natural sweeteners (other than fruit) I used.

      Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread - This is awesome bread! For a gluten-free option is goes the distance. I love it spread it with some almond butter and sliced banana.

      • Granola - I thought I hit the jackpot once I found gluten-free oats. Took me a couple rounds to get the right flavor and crunch, but I landed on a nice recipe with maple syrup.

      • For snacking I chopped vegetables like celery, cucumber and carrots. Low-glycemic fruits such as berries, kiwis, cherries, pineapple and grapefruit. Choosing produce that is in season, local and organic whenever possible.Mary’s Grain-Free Crackers, Almond Butter store-bought or be brave like me and try to make it yourself. #patienceiskey Rice cakes, mixed seeds and nuts are a standard.

      • Gluten-Free Flour Mix - This is a must if you want to bake still. I tweaked an existing recipe and used it for zucchini banana bread and chocolate chip cookies.

      • If in the morning you have a habit like me of grabbing a steaming hot beverage with your breakfast. Finding a few tea blends that you can count on with solid flavor - go a long way. I’m now hooked on Breakfast Tea, Earl Grey and herbal teas such as Lavendar Chamomile and Green Tea with Jasmine. Steamed nut milk is also a good substitute for a fluffy latté.

      • Smooth Hummus - I wanted to try making hummus from raw chickpeas, I’ve heard before it can be healthier to soak your beans and legumes instead of using them in can form. Plus it’s less waste:) It produced a hummus with more flavor even though I hadn’t added garlic.

      • Gluten-Free Veggie Club - I was inspired by Mark Bittman’s recent book VB6. A diet of no meat before 6pm - or at the least use it as a baseline for your meat intake. It’s a tasty sandwich, even my actor-vegetarian brother approved!

      Now on to the food!

    Strawberry Shortcake Smoothie

    image

    I’ve started taking a high quality omega fatty acid DHA 3·6·9 Blend to improve memory and cognitive strength (I know I need that!). Although, I’m not a fan of the taste - adding it to this smoothie disguised the flavor entirely. Enjoy!
    Have some ice cubes prepared beforehand.


    • makes

      two full glasses
    • prep time

      15 minutes
    • cook time

      5 minutes
    • inspired by

      tara stiles

    measure out

    • two cups
      organic strawberries quartered
    • 1 cup
      ice
    • 1/2 cup
      oats
    • 1 cup
      cashews
    • 1 cup
      almond milk
    • 1/2 tsp
      cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp
      nutmeg
    • two tbsp
      maple syrup
    • 1/2 tsp
      vanilla
    1. Add almond milk in with the strawberries and ice into a blender.
    2. Pulse for a bit until it combines.
    3. Add in remaining ingredients and more milk if needed.
    4. Pour into two tall glasses and enjoy!

    Spiced Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins

    image

    I wanted to make a small batch of healthy whole wheat muffins for a morning or afternoon snack. My husband who doesn’t normally indulge in baked goods, clearly stated “these muffins are great!” - most likely because I cut the sugar in half. I preheated my oven pretty high so that they would rise really big, they came out light, fluffy and full of warming spices.

    Preheat your oven to 425 F 


    • makes

      six large muffins
    • prep time

      15 minutes
    • cook time

      20 minutes
    • inspired by

      lauren’s latest

    measure out

    • one cup
      whole wheat flour
    • 1/2 cup
      bread flour
    • 1 1/4 tsp
      baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp
      baking soda
    • 1/4 tsp
      sea salt
    • one tsp
      cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp
      ground cloves
    • 1/4 tsp
      nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup
      brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup
      light olive oil
    • two
      eggs
    • 1/2 cup
      unsweetened applesauce
    • 1 1/2 cups
      carrots grated
    1. Line a muffin tray with 6 muffin cups.
    2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
    3. Whisk together eggs, sugar and remaining ingredients.
    4. Fold in flour mixture and mix just until combined. Batter should be real thick.
    5. Fill lined muffin cups nearly full. Add a bit of water to any empty tins.
    6. Bake for about 10 min then turn down to 350 F and bake for another 10 min. Muffins are done when pressed they spring back.
    7. Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.

    Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

    image

    Even a health nut like myself needs a good chocolate chip cookie every now and again and these are by far the best I have ever made. A classic cookie recipe from reclaiming provincial. I especially like that they are made with nutrient-rich whole wheat flour. Chewy on the inside but crisp on the edges, with a warmed glass of milk - this is the ultimate comfort food.

    Preheat your oven to 350 F 


    measure

    • 1 1/2 cups
      whole wheat flour
    • 3/4 tsp
      baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp
      baking soda
    • 3/4 tsp
      sea salt
    • 1/2 cup
      unsalted butter cut into 1/2” pieces
    • 1/2 cup
      dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup
      cane sugar
    • one
      egg
    • one tsp
      vanilla extract
    • 2/3 cups
      bittersweet chocolate chips
    1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
    2. Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt in a bowl and set aside.
    3. Combine butter, sugars. Beat together until blended and add egg and vanilla.
    4. Add the dry ingredients and fold in chocolate chips. Mix until just combined.
    5. Place 2 inch scoops onto the parchment-lined cookie sheet, 2 inches apart at least.
    6. Bake for 16-20 minutes.
    7. Transfer to a cooling rack for a little bit before serving.

    Crock Pot Chicken Stock

    image

    I’ve tried making homemade stock in the past, but failed miserably. It was
    a vegetable version with celery root and I don’t think I cooked it long enough. I make soups quite often and hate store-bought broth cubes that can be full of preservatives and added sodium. This time I made a super flavor-packed organic chicken stock made in my crock pot. I used this recipe as a guideline. This makes a lot of stock but can be froze up to 4 months.

    measure

    • one
      4-5 pound organic chicken
    • one
      medium onion quartered
    • two
      carrots quartered
    • two
      celery stalks quartered
    • four
      cloves of garlic roasted
    • four
      dry bay leaves
    • four
      fresh thyme twigs
    • 1/2 tsp
      sea salt (you’ll probably need more)
    1. Clean chicken and place into the crock pot, season with salt.
    2. Fold in chopped vegetables, garlic and bay leaves.
    3. Fill crock pot with water until it covers the chicken entirely.
    4. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 6 hours.
    5. Skim fat off the top, remove meat and refrigerate.
    6. Give it a taste to see if it needs more sea salt - mine did. Place the bones back in the pot and add in thyme. Put cover back on for 2 hours on low.
    7. In a large bowl, put a colander inside and pour the stock and filter the solids from the broth. Discard solids.
    8. (This is the key to smooth, clean stock. I used a large pot and tied some cheesecloth to the handles.) Gradually pour stock into the pot.

    Let the stock cool (no longer than 1/2 hour) before transferring to jars. The stock can keep in the freezer for about 4 months.

    Warming Winter Aromas

    imageimage

    Freshly cut flowers and a bowl of sweet oranges are a few things I love to have out on the kitchen table - not just for their beauty but also their aromas. The Modern Ayurvedic cookbook, says using specific essential oils can calm nerves, uplift spirits and balance energy. I’ve been using them in a ceramic diffuser, these are my absolute favorites… sweet orange, atlas cedar, geranium rose and lavender. I’ve also been diluting them with a carrier oil like organic sesame and used them as bath oils. What essential oils help you keep balanced?

    Organic Almond Milk

    image

    I had no idea almond milk was so easy to prepare and 100% natural. I made mine with less water and more almonds so it had more flavor. I omitted the cane sugar - I’m trying to stay away from that stuff, pretty sure I have a cavity! It’s really nice warmed up with nutmeg and a cinnamon stick or over your morning oatmeal.

    • serves

      6 cups or 1.5 liters
    • prep time

      8 hours
    • cook time

      30 minutes
    • inspired by

      So Good and Tasty

    measure

    • 2 cups
      organic almonds
    • 4-6 cups
      water
    • 1 tsp
      vanilla
    1. Place almonds in a large bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight.
    2. The following morning combine all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
    3. Strain the milk through a cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer over a tall bowl.
    4. Press down to squeeze out the liquid from the pulp.
    5. Reserve the almond pulp for other recipes.
    6. Pour the milk into a seal glass container and store in the fridge up to 5 days.