About Me

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I support people on their journey to wellness through nutrition and lifestyle coaching! I am passionate about teaching people how lifestyle choices can be fun, inspiring and positively affect all aspects of their lives. I love guiding people to wellness one meal at a time!! I am also a passionate mama, a yogi and I love to cook!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Boost Your Health with a Daily Dose of Green Juice!

If you follow my blog you know that I am a new mom to the cutest baby girl that ever was....lol!!! Doesn't ever mother feel that way about their baby?? 
This has meant that sleep and I haven't been great friends lately. I am up with my baby at least 2 times per night and up to 5 times. On top of no sleep I am breastfeeding which takes up a whole lotta energy.  I have to say all of that can take alot out of you. To ensure that I keep my body in tip top shape I have been giving myself a daily boost with green juice. And guess what?? I am feeling pretty great considering that I haven't had a good night sleep in months and I know that it is because I am making great food choices on a daily basis and powering up with a green juice. 
I have a juicer but not a very good one. I feel like I am wasting money every time I use it. The pulp is still so wet and i have to use a ton of produce to get 1 small glass of juice. So I have been using my blender and my nut milk bag (you can get a nut sack at one of my favourite fellow nutritionista’s website http://www.meghantelpner.com/product/nutsack/) . You can also use a fine strainer or cheese cloth. I find the nut milk bag works best...and then you can start making your own homemade nut milks...SO YUMMY!!!
See below for directions on how to make juice using this method. 

Simple Green Juice
1/2 pear or granny smith apple
1/2 juice of 1 lemon
4-6 leaves of chard, kale, collards, dandelion greens
1/2 of a large english cucumber or 2-3 celery stalks 
Optional - 1 small beet - makes this no longer a green juice as the intense red color takes over but adds a touch of sweetness.
Chop up the pear and blend with 1/4 cup of water and juice of 1/2 lemon.
Slowly add in greens and cucumber until well blended
Have large bowl or measuring cup ready. Pour liquid into nut milk bag over the bowl. Squeeze until you have removed all of the liquid. 
Enjoy in a large glass with ice - green juice always tastes better cold!
Serves 1-2 
  
Here are my top 5 reasons why you should consider juicing;
  1. You get the maximum absorption of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants - when you take out the fiber your body can easily absorb and assimilate the nutrients in the juice very quickly. It gives you a quick nutrition boost. Please note - as the juice sits the nutrients get oxidized so drink up quickly. If you are storing juice please store in a glass jar with a good seal on it.
  2. Green juices are alkaline. To learn more about the acid/alkaline balance, check out my post here - http://jamiesnourishingbites.blogspot.com/2010/09/finding-balance-ph-balance-that-is.html
  3. Green juices are a great way to add variety to your veggie consumption. For example, if you are not a big fan of kale (which is delicious and so versitile...but i guess not for everyone) you can always add it to your juice to get the amazing benefits. 
  4. Helps your body gently detoxify keeping your cells healthy and working efficiently
  5. Amazingly abundant energy. Who doesnt want more energy?? Try green juicing for 1 week and experience the energy boost for yourself :O)
Please share with me and my blog followers! Do you juice? What is your favorite combo?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

I love pumpkin...it is not a surprise to you if you have followed my blog for a while. 
Check out these past pumpkin lovin' posts. 
 Pumpkin is very low in starch and calories, is rich in fibre and has a whack of powerful antioxidants. This means that pumpkin is not only great for your waist line, it is also a health boosting superfood! 
Most often we see pumpkin in sugar laden rich desserts....making it not a health food anymore. Here and in my past pumpkin posts, I like to reduce the sugar and switch to wholesome sweeteners along with adding other super foods. 
I got inspiration for this recipe from a fellow blogger. Find the link below. I just decreased the honey a bit and added stevia to lower the sugar in this recipe. I also used coconut oil instead of olive oil because i thought it would taste better. And switched up the spice mix by making cinnamon the star here. This loaf is one of my new favourite pumpkin recipes! 
This recipe uses almond flour instead of a grain based flour. It is made by removing the skins of the almonds and grinding into a fine powder. Almond flour is low on the glycemic index, rich in vitamin e, maganese, magnesium, healthy fats and protein. 
Note: My favourite almond flour is by JK Gourmet. It is much better than any other brand I have tried. Contact your local health food store to see if they carry or purchase online HERE! You can also find almond flour at your local BULK BARN

Ingredients
  • 1 heaping cup of pumpkin puree*
  • 3/4 cup of honey
  • 10 drops of liquid stevia
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil 
  • 2  omega 3 free range eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 heaping tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups of almond flour
Method
  1. Preheat your oven to 325F
  2. Combine all the ingredients in your high powered blender or food processor (in the order listed)
  3. Bake in a bread pan for 60 minutes or until the outside is very brown. Do the toothpick test to see if it is done! It should come out dry. The timing really depends on how moist your pumpkin puree is. 
*Try roasting your own pumpkin. It is so easy. Cut the top of the pumpkin like you would to carve. Scoop out seeds. Place the top back on pumpkin. Roast at 350 for about an hour, depending on size of pumpkin. I then remove peal, puree and store in the fridge for my favorite pumpkin recipes. Here are a few more of my fave’s.
*RECIPE NOTE - If using canned pumpkin, make sure it is just pure pumpkin

Find some more pumpkin loving goodness from some of my favourite blogs;
Pumpkin Pie Muffins from Elana's Pantry

Monday, October 17, 2011

Creamy Fall Harvest Soup

This soup has it all, not only is it super healthy it also is a crowd pleaser. It is so creamy and delicious. It is a great soup to enjoy this time of year when you can get all of the local goods! 

Here are some of the soup’s highlights; 
Turmeric - powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant 

Butternut squash - high in vitamins A and C, high fiber and a whack of antioxidants. Great source of slow digesting carbs for optimal fuel!

Pumpkin - low in calories and high in fiber. Great source of vitamins A and C. Fresh pumpkin is also notably high in carotenoids which are powerful antioxidants

Red Lentils - Lentils are a great source of folate; important for cell division - especially critical for pregnant ladies or those trying to conceive. They are also a great source of vegetarian protein and have a whole lotta dietary fiber to keep your bowels happy 

Ingredients 
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil 
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 small garlic cloves 
  • 2 cups of roasted butternut squash (or 1/2 of a large squash)
  • 1 cup pumpkin (i used fresh roasted but canned will work well)
  • 10 cups of water
  • 1 tsp of turmeric 
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • Sea salt to taste 

Optional - top with a few lightly toasted pumpkin seeds 

To Roasted Butternut Squash
1. Cut squash in half.
2. Remove seeds (as seen in picture below)
3. Place face down on a cookie sheet
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F for about an hour or until cooked. 


Soup Preparation 
1. Over medium heat, add onions and olive oil to your pot and cook for about 5 minutes until onions are softened. 
2. Add garlic (I love to use the fine grater in the picture below to make garlic into a paste which helps to evenly disperse garlic flavour! It is one of my favourite kitchen tools...also great for making lemon zest) and cook for 1 more minute
3. Add red lentils, turmeric, water (or broth), sea salt, pumpkin and squash. 
4. Bring to a soft boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked. 
5. Ladle soup into your high powered blender or food processor and process until smooth!
6. Enjoy with lightly toasted pumpkin seeds on top!

Please share: What are your favourite fall harvest veggies?? And how do you like to enjoy?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

I'M BAAAAACK!

It has been quite awhile since I have posted on this blog. I have been busy with my new bundle of joy. Sophia (we call her Sophie) Anne was born July 14 at 12:49am. Her father and I have been enjoying every moment with her. Here are some of my favourite pictures!!

 This picture was taken seconds after she was born. The best moment of my life! 
 This is Sophie and her daddy! I love this picture! It shows just how much they both love each other!
 This is her favorite spot. She likes to hang out up on your shoulder (in particular her daddy's) and she always has the arm over just like that! :O) 
 I just love this picture of her!!
 Sophie and her mommy! This was a self taken shot with my iPhone. 
This was taken this past thanksgiving weekend. It is amazing how much she has changed already. At only 13 weeks old, I already feel like my little girl is growing so quickly, lol ;o) 
Come back on Monday for a brand spanking new fall harvest soup recipe...long overdue! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Banana Cherry Bomb Smoothie

I love starting my day with a refreshing smoothie when the weather is warmer. I use frozen fruit and enjoy a cooling drink that contains a ton of nutrition. For those of you who follow my blog and my fan page on FACEBOOK you know that I am a big fan of green smoothies. I add veggies such as kale, chard, spinach and zucchini to name a few to my smoothies often. I know it may sound crazy but as long as you have some fruit in there you don’t taste the veggies and it is a great way to boost health





There are sometimes that I just want a simple smooothie (still super nourishing though) and today was one of those mornings. That and I didn’t have any fresh greens on hand. Last summer I posted a recipe for cherry bomb ice cream (take frozen bananas and cherries and puree in a food processor until smooth..yes it is that simple) that is amazing so I decided to make a smoothie with similar flavour. Let me tell you this smoothie won’t disappoint.


Don’t you just love cherries?? They are one of my favourite fruits not only because they taste great, they also pack a whack of nutrition. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of cherries


• Low glycemic fruit – great fruit choice for diabetics, wont spike blood sugar
• Great source of vitamin C
• Anthocyanins – just a big fancy nutrition word for a powerful antioxidant that supports heart health
• Helps reduce pain and inflammation – studies show that the anthocyanins can help reduce inflammation in the body. Anthocyanins also promote muscle recovery post exercise by reducing inflammation and promoting healing of the muscle tissue. Therefore this smoothie would be a great post workout treat that will provide your body with optimal nourishment for muscle recovery.
• Very effective treatment for gout. If you are a gout sufferer talk to your health care practitioner about taking cherry extract in supplement form for optimal results to prevent attacks
• Contain 19 times more beta carotene than blueberries or strawberries
• Potassium, magnesium, folate, and iron are also found in cherries
• Ellagic Acid has antiproliferative and antioxidant properties. The antiproliferative properties of ellagic acid are due to its ability to directly inhibit the DNA binding of certain carcinogens = in simple words – it helps prevent many types of cancers.


Now don’t you just want to go and eat some cherries??? I bought some local Canadian frozen strawberries from my local market. Please note that cherries are on the dirty dozen list according to the Environmental Working Group, due to its pesticide residue; please purchase organic when possible.
Here is the simple, nourishing and delicious recipe!
½ banana, frozen
½ cup cherries, pitted and frozen
1 heaping tsp chia seeds
1 optional tsp of acai powder (Navitas Naturals)
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (homemade or store bought)
1 serving of high quality protein powder

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Herbed Avocado, Asparagus and Tomato Salad

This salad was inspired from a recipe i stumbled on from elanaspantry.com (http://www.elanaspantry.com/asparagus-basil-salad/). I was looking for new ways to use the beautiful local asparagus that I got from the local market by my house. Check out my blog post on asparagus to find out some interesting health facts on this amazing veggie - http://jamiesnourishingbites.blogspot.com/2010/06/asparagus.html.

I also have a huge supply of lemon balm (picture above) in my garden that I am always looking to use in creative ways. Lemon balm not only tastes great but is also known for its calming qualities. Traditionally, lemon balm has been used for indigestion, to help promote sleep and to reduce stress. Who doesn’t need help with those things? If you have some space in your garden, I highly recommend you plant some lemon balm. It is super easy to grow (if I can grow it anyone can :), tastes amazing and is great for you! I also like making tea with lemon balm, hot or cold.



Ingredients
½ juice of 1 fresh lemon
¼ cup olive oil
1 heaping tsp of Dijon mustard
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1 bunch of locally grown asparagus, cut into 1 bite size pieces
1 package of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 big handful of fresh basil and lemon balm (or whatever fresh herbs you have on hand or in your garden)

1. Steam asparagus for about 5 minutes, until tender with a fork.
2. Mix dressing ingredients together in the bottom of a large bowl.
3. Place all salad ingredients in bowl with the dressing and mix gently. You don’t want to avocado to get too mushy.
4. Enjoy!!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

Deliciously Fudgy (and of course healthed up) Brownies

These brownies are amazing....if I do say so myself. Not only are they made with the best quality ingredients making them a much healthier choice when it comes to brownies but they also taste amazing. Your family/friends wont be able to tell that these brownies are made with whole grain flour and are free of refined sugar.
The original recipe (I adapted it quite a bit) came from Gweneth Paltrows new cookbook "My Father's Daughter". I am surprised but so far I am really liking this cookbook. It is packed with great recipes made with fresh ingredients.



1 cup spelt flour
1 cup of high quality (preferably organic) cocoa powder
11/2 tbsp baking powder
Pinch of fine sea salt
1/2 cup of melted coconut oil (you could also use grapeseed oil)
1 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup agave syrup or liquid honey or brown rice syrup
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (homemade is always best but you can also use store bought)
1 tbsp vanilla powder or vanilla extract
1 cup of 70% dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a brownie pan with some coconut oil.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together into a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix all of the wet ingredients together.
Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and mix just until combined. Do not over mix of you will get a tougher brownie.
Mix in 1/2 the chocolate chips.
Add batter to the brownie pan. Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.
Bake for about 30 minutes depending of your oven and the thickness of the pan.
ENJOY!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

PREGNANCY CRAVINGS AND ANCHOVIES :o)

A common question that I have been getting, especially from my clients, is if I am having any pregnancy cravings. And the answer is, not often. There has only been a few times where I really feel like eating a particular food. The great thing is that the cravings that I have been having are healthy and nourishing my growing baby.
One food that has had me wanting more during my pregnancy is anchovies. Not by themselves......I would really have a hard time eating them whole. They look kinda disgusting if you ask me. But I am loving salad dressings with the amazing taste and nutritional power of anchovies. Not only do they add an amazing flavour, they also pack a whack of amazing health benefits for me and my little one....who is kicking up a storm by the way :O)

Here are some of the nutritional highlights of my friend the anchovy;
  • Omega 3's - many of us have heard about the importance of omega 3's but did you know that it is essential for brain development. When women are not getting enough omega 3's during pregnancy the baby will rob you of your stores and can set up the stage for postpartum. Taking omega 3's and eating omega 3 rich foods during pregnancy is one of the most powerful things that a mom can do during pregnancy for her health and the health of baby!Click here for some more info on omega 3's and pregancy
  • Low mercury and PCB's - another thing that we pregnant women have to worry about is environmental toxins in the fish that we consume. With fish being the best source of omega 3's that can make it difficult to get adequate amounts of this critical fat. Anchovies are very low in these environmental contaminants making them a great choice for pregnant women. I also recommend that all pregnant women talk to their health care providers about taking a high quality fish oil during pregnancy.
  • Selenium - this critical trace mineral is a bit hard to find in our diets. Selenium is a critical mineral for cancer prevention.
  • Calcium - I think we all know and understand the importance of calcium for bone health. Calcium, along with magnesium, is also essential for our muscles to contract and is key nutrient for our nervous systems.
  • Protein - anchovies are an excellent source of high quality protein. Five anchovies have nine grams of protein and only fifty-five calories
Now that we all understand the health benefits of anchovies, let getting eating them.
My favorite way to enjoy these nutritional powerhouses is in a salad dressing. Here is a simple salad dressing that I adapted from Gweneth Paltrow's new cookbook My Father's Daughter. This cookbook has some great recipes that are healthful and delicious. Who new that Gweneth Paltrow could cook??? 

Two Minute Anchovy Vinaigrette

Ingredients
  • 6 anchovies packed in olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard (I use Dijon from the health food store without sulfates)
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar (could also use lemon juice or another vinegar)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Place the anchovies, mustard and vinegar in a small food processor. Make sure the anchovies are completely pureed. Add the olive oil and pulse a few more times until well combined.
Serve over seasonal mixed greens! Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Creamy Broccoli Soup

This soup not only tastes amazing, it is also a nutritional powerhouse. Broccoli is an amazing food for our health and should be a staple in our kitchens. It sure is in my house. This creamy soup is my new favourite way to enjoy broccoli.



The following are some interesting facts on my favourite super powered vegetable Broccoli;
• Broccoli is extremely low in calories (1 cup of chopped broccoli contains about 35 calories) yet one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Therefore you get the most bang for your nutritional buck without impacting your waist line.
• Sulforaphane and Indole-3-Carbinols are two very important phyto-nutrients in broccoli that are known for their ability to prevent many types of cancers including breast and prostate cancer.
• Great source of dietary fibre.
• High in vitamin C, K and A as well as folic acid (critical for pregnant ladies like myself)
• Broccoli is also a great source of lutein which is an important phytonutrient that is helpful in preventing age-related macular degeneration



1 large head of broccoli, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp nutmeg
Enough water to cover veggies
2 tbsp of almond butter
1-2 tbsp of miso paste (to taste)
1/2 lemon, juiced


Sauté onions in olive oil until softened. Add broccoli, thyme, nutmeg. Sauté for another 2 minutes. Add enough water to cover the veggies. Bring to a boil and then simmer until broccoli is softened.


Transfer into a blender. Add almond butter, miso paste and lemon juice. Blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.


Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Mango and Goji Berry Smoothie

I first would like to thank you all for your kind words through email, facebook and my blog. I have the best clients and blog followers ever. I look forward to keeping you updated through one of the most important times of my life. As I said in my previous post, I am truly thrilled (and truthfully a bit nervous....but more excited) about being a Mom.

My partner Todd and I felt the baby kicking for the 1st time on Friday night. What an amazing experience!

Now back to food;


This smoothie has it all; it is a great source of antioxidants, protein and tastes good too. Mangos, goji berries and acai berries are full of antioxidants that keep our bodies healthy.


Goji berries in particular are nutritional powerhouses; containing 21 or more trace minerals (including zinc, iron, copper, calcium, geranium and selenium to name a few) as well as vitamins B1, B2, B6, and vitamin E. Many of us know blueberries are a great source of antioxidants and they are, however goji berries contain 2-4 times the antioxidants as blueberries. Enjoy this amazingly tasty smoothie and your cells will thank you!

 Ingredients

• 1 cup mango (I used frozen)
• 2 tbsp dried goji berries
• 1 tsp acai berry powder (totally optional)
• 1 tsp of chia seeds
• 1 cup almond milk (homemade or Blue Diamond Vanilla Unsweetened)
• 1 serving of high quality vanilla protein powder


Place mango, goji berries, acai powder, chia seeds and almond milk in a blender and blend until smooth. Stop blender and add protein powder and pulse to combine! Enjoy!

SHARE WITH ME!
What are your favorite smoothie ingredients that  are not that common??

Thursday, February 10, 2011

EXCITING NEWS!

Good morning to all of my amazing blog followers. I am writing this post to share some exciting news with all of you! I AM PREGNANT!! I will be 19 weeks tomorrow. My partner Todd and I are super excited!
This is from my 1st ultrasound at about 11 weeks. I will be going for my 2nd one this Friday. Am very excited to see my growing baby again :O)
Seeing the heartbeat was probably the most exciting moment so far!

Has anyone had any experience with Hypnobirthing?? I am thinking about signing up for the course and would love feedback from anyone who has experience with it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Raw sushi

I love sushi. However, not just any sushi. I love my homemade sushi. I often boil up some short grain rice (that becomes sticky when cooked; like sushi rice) and season it with some rice vinegar, a touch of honey or agave syrup and some tamari, then roll it up with some of my favorite veggies and a slice of avocado of course. I love the fact that I can be so creative with it and add whatever I have on hand. I also like that I can adjust the seasoning to how I like it.
This sushi recipe is a much different take on traditional sushi but still a personal favorite. It has such great flavour and interesting textures. Enjoy!



All ingredients are optional, use what you have on hand;
Carrots, julienne sliced
Red peppers, julienne sliced
Cucumber, julienne sliced
Green onions, julienne sliced
2 nori wraps
½ cup or so of the veggie pate or hummus or any other bean (although it would not longer be raw) or nut dip
Other ideas include; grated beets, avocados, asparagus, etc.


1. Spread a couple spoonfuls of the pate on the nori sheet, leaving about ¾ inch at the edges closest and furthest from you.
2. Place a small amount of the veggies in a line close to the bottom of the sheet.
3. Using a sushi mat, or by hand, roll the sushi from the bottom edge. Try to keep it as tight as even as possible. Moisten the edge of the nori to seal, if needed
4. Cut each roll about 2cm think with a serrated knife (or a sushi knife if you have one....what a great tool).
5. Enjoy! Serve with all the fixens you normally like with sushi such as soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger, etc.


Veggie Pate
Slightly adapted from Caroline Duponts, Enlightened Eating


1 cup of sunflower seeds, soaked overnight and then rinsed

1 medium carrot
1 medium celery stalk
½ lemon, juiced + zest
1 tbsp mellow miso
1 garlic clove
Handful of fresh basil

Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. You will need to stop a few times and scrape down sides with a spatula.
This pate is great for raw sushi, served with whole grain crackers or raw veggies.




Share with me!
What are your favorite sushi ingredients or toppings???

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winging it Soup Style

Well, it is Thursday afternoon and let me tell ya, I have been cooking up a storm today. I have many recipes to come, so stay tuned :O) Since the weather is pretty chilly out there I will share my warming soup today.



First I have to fill you in on what inspired this lovely soup. Last week I headed off to St Lucia on a yoga/wellness retreat hosted by the lovely Meghan Telpner. It was a trip I will never forget. I went by myself knowing that there would be 10 other like minded people there to meet. It was wonderful. The host Meghan, is a delightful and passionate colleague of mine, the guests were a bunch of strong dynamic women, the place was beautiful, the weather was hot and the food was amazing......and healthy too. Having food allergies it can make eating a bit of a challenge on vacation. This was the first vacation that I have been on where food was a non-issue and I enjoyed every bite of everything that past my lips. For more information on the retreat go to www.meghantelpner.com. If you are looking to nourish yourself in every way, you might was to consider this for next year.
Beautful picture of one of the many beaches we went to.
Now back to the soup.....


Here is what I started out with. I didn't end up putting the shittake mushrooms in the soup.

There are really only 2 vegetables that I can say I don’t enjoy that much. I will still eat them but they are just not my favourite. They are mustard greens and okra. While enjoying a beautiful dinner with the amazing ladies in St Lucia, we were served a soup with the main star being okra and guess what....It was delicious. I loved it. And I was not the only lady around the table who was not in love with this nourishing vegetable to begin with but loved the soup.


So now I have been back in town for a few days now and I decided I had to take a stab at making a soup with okra. Not having a recipe, I was winging it soup style this morning. So here is what I came up with;


1 onion
2 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 cup of chopped okra
½ large or 1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped
6 garlic cloves
1-2 tbsp of tamari
1 tsp sage
1 cup of green lentils
8 cups of H2O
3-4 handfuls of spinach
½ cup coconut milk (optional)
1 tsp fish sauce (optional)
1-2 tbsp of fresh lemon juice (optional)


Sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened. Add in carrots, celery, okra, sweet potato, garlic, tamari green lentils and sage. Sauté for another 5 minutes. Then add H2O.
Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes or so. Until lentils and vegetables are softened.
Before serving add spinach, coconut milk, fish sauce and lemon juice. Turn heat off and cover for about 5 minutes. Enjoy!

NOTE: the coconut milk, fish sauce and lemon juice are 100% optional. The soup tasted great before the additions. These ingredients just add a bit more depth to the broth.


Here are a few of the amazing health benefits of okra:


• Great source of vitamin C, a well known antioxidant. Critical for a healthy immune system.


• The fiber in okra aids in blood sugar regulation by slowing down sugar absorption. Keeping your energy levels high and consistent.


• If you have ever cooked with okra you see how slimy it is. Well guess what?? That slimy part is great for the digestive system. It promotes healthy bowel movements.


• Okra is a superstar vegetable for those who need to reduce cholesterol levels. The fiber in okra binds to cholesterol and pulls it out your body via your stools.


• The unique fiber in okra promotes healthy bacteria in your gut. The healthy bacteria in your gut is important for a healthy immune system, is responsible for the production of important vitamins and keeps our digestive system happy.
 


P.S. Still working on the mustard greens. Any ideas??

Share with me....
What are your least favourite veggies?? And have you found ways to prepare them that makes you like them??



The coconut milk gives the broth a slightly odd color but it sure does make it taste great.



Thursday, January 20, 2011

Super Easy Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cookies

So, last post I promised to share my delicious cookie recipe that I made with my nephew on the weekend. Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter (organic of course) Cookies. Let me be the first to tell ya, they were delish and super easy to make. My nephew was a huge fan.
I don't often have my nephew over for sleepovers, so when I do I like to get cooking with him. It is so much fun to get his little hands involved. And the best part is that he really enjoys it.
These cookies are the easiest cookies I have ever made. Here is the super easy recipe;

1 cup of Maranatha Organic Peanut Butter
1 cup of organic coconut sugar (can now be found at the Bulk Barn, I purchased mine from the health food store)
1 organic or free range omega 3 egg 
1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1 dark chocolate bar with 80% cacao

Preheat oven to 350F.
Place first four ingredients into a bowl. Mix well......or get your 5 year old nephew to mix well :O)
Then mix in the chopped up chocolate
Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Using a tbsp measurement, place the cookie dough on the cookie sheet. I used a fork to press down...totally optional, just makes them look the way I always remember peanut butter cookies. 
Bake in the oven for about 12-15 minutes until done. 
Let cool and enjoy with a nice cup of tea, almond milk or any other milk you like to enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sneaky tomato sauce with organic chicken meatballs

This weekend I had my five year old nephew over. It was supposed to be only Friday night but we were having so much fun that it ended up being 2 nights.

My first nights dinner was not much of a hit for the little guy. I made shish kebabs with a homemade teriyaki sauce served with roasted sweet potato. He was not a big fan but still eat it....it just took a really long time.

Before I knew it we were getting close to dinner #2 and I wanted it to be something that he enjoyed but was also packed full of good nutrition. So I made homemade organic meatballs in a veggie rich tomato sauce with kamut pasta. As we were eating he let me know that he like this meal better than the night before :O)

When we were finished dinner we decided to bake some cookies (something we do together almost every time he stays over). Our baking that we do is always made with the healthiest ingredients of course. One of his favourites is my Flourless Brownies but I decided to try something a bit different this time so we made super easy chocolate chunk peanut butter cookies made with 80% chocolate.


Sneaky tomato sauce

2 grated broccoli stalks (remove the fibrous outer part before grating)
1 large grated carrot
1 zucchini, chopped finely
½ red onion, finely diced
1 tbsp of olive oil
2 garlic cloves, mashed
1 bottle of high quality organic tomato sauce (or homemade is always great….just had some time restraints as we were really busy playing :)

Saute all the vegetables in olive oil over medium-low heat, except garlic (I always add in the last minute to avoid burning it) for 5 minutes or until softened.
Add garlic for another minute.
Place vegetables in a blender and add tomato sauce. Blend until you cannot tell that the sauce is so veggielicious!
Pour back into the pot and simmer for about 20-30 minutes on low heat!




Organic Chicken Meatballs

2 tsp olive oil
½ red onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
1 carrot grated
2-3 garlic cloves
½ cup of crushed brown rice crackers (or any other whole grain cracker)
1 package of organic ground chicken

Saute onions, celery and carrots in olive oil on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and sauté for another minute or two
Let this mixture cool.
Place ground crackers and chicken in a large bowl. Add vegetable mixture and mix together with your hands.
Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Roll meat mixture into balls.
Bake in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or until done. It will depend on the size of your meatballs.

Kamut (or other whole grain) Pasta
Cook according to package directions.

Place the cooked kamut pasta in a bowl, top with tomato sauce and add a few meatballs.
Enjoy!!
I served this with some cut up red peppers on the side!

Please stay tuned for the Chunky Chocolate Peanut butter Cookies!

SHARE WITH ME!! Do you have any tips or tricks to get more veggies into your kids or grandchildren or nieces and nephews?? Or just any ol’ kid in your life.

Would love to hear from you!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cleansing Greens...

Happy New Year to all of my lovely blog readers! Hope you all enjoyed a lovely holiday season with your friends and family!! I know I did. I am looking forward to getting back on track with my blog and bringing you a wealth of healthy information!!


I don’t know about you...but I might have had a few indulgences over the holidays. Yes, nutritionists indulge sometimes. I think the difference between my indulgences now and before I became a nutritionist is that now my treats tend to be on the healthy side. For example, my holiday treat is 80% dark chocolate which is jam packed full of antioxidants and a great source of magnesium. I love it. It is a staple in my diet but I have to say that this holiday season I might have had a few extra pieces and maybe an extra helping of sweet potatoes ;O)

So now that the holidays are past I am looking for lighter food that are cleansing. Greens are a great way to go. I made this recipe for my family over the holidays and I made them lovers of dark leafy greens when they thought they didn’t like greens. I can’t get enough of this recipe I have been making it at least a couple times per week.

Dark leafy greens are nutritional powerhouses. These low calorie vegetables are jam packed with an assortment of nutrients including vitamin A, C, E, K, folate (really important for women of child bearing years), calcium, magnesium and antioxidants, to name a few. Add them to your diet and you will reap the health benefits. Trust me! Types of leafy green vegetables include watercress, arugula, dandelion greens, kale, spinach, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, broccoli raab, bok choy, and swiss chard. My favorites are dinosaur kale, beet greens and swiss chard.

Here is the simple and tasty way to get those dark green veggies into your diet


2 shallots, diced
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 bunch of kale or collards or beet greens or chard
1 garlic clove, diced finely as possible
½ juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt to taste

Sauté shallots in olive oil for about 5 minutes on medium/low heat until slightly caramelized.
Add garlic and greens to the pan. Cover and let cook for about 2-3 minutes until greens are softened.
Finish with ½ juice of 1 lemon, freshly squeezed and sea salt to taste.
Enjoy!!

These greens are so yummy; I am known to eat the whole batch. I dare you to try!

Share with me....What did you indulge in this holiday season??