New Years Resolution

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New Years Resolution

Here we are! At the end of 2018, with one more day to go... and we are all thinking of what we will change in 2019!!!

We have either been on holiday or partying, entertaining or entertained.  Either with drinks...  

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Or with food...

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And after this month, we are all tired and ready for some kind of detox! Let’s be honest, most of us, at some point on our list for next year, we have the loosing weight bullet point!  “This year, I’m going to be healthier!”  “I’m going paleo!”  “This year I’m going vegan!” 

Well... we can decide to ‘go’ whatever we want! It one thing for sure... the best way to success is to start with the first step!

Having been on a diet my whole life, I can tell you that for me personally, the going cold turkey never worked. I always ended up eventually going back to my old ways... usually one to two weeks in!  

What always works for me, however, is coming home and prepping my fridge for a good healthy return! Filling my freezer with clean greens for smoothies, stocking my house with fruit (because, yes, fruit has sugar, but after what we have had for the past month, the sugar in the fruit is a great way to get off that refined sugar addiction that crept up on us so fast!)

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Starting your day with a nice, nutrition packed smoothie... 

I know that smoothies although easy are always overwhelming for many, so here is a few things that will help  

1. Get the freshest, cleanest vegetables and fruit you can find! In Shanghai I always choose BIOFarm!  

2. Always wash and cut veggies and separate in bags and place in the freezer. 

3. Keep your house stocked with flax, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds as well as almonds and cashews to give yourself a nice protein packed ingredient with healthy fats.  Making your smoothie satisfying and keeping you fuller for longer. 

4. Don’t give up if it’s not perfect the first time, it will be, but it takes time, it has to taste good for you, so make it yours! Add bananas or dates for sweetness, put in berries for detox, make sure you pack it with greens for nutrition, and add some kind of nut milk, coconut, almond or coconut water. 

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Good luck! Let me know how it goes, and if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to write below! 

Wishing you a Happy Healthy New Year!

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Salsa al pomodoro (Tomato sauce)

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Salsa al pomodoro (Tomato sauce)

This is my ULTIMATE go to recipe! It might seem crazy to you, because at the end… what is in a tomato sauce??? But actually It is full of nutrients! My whole family loves it, and when I make it, the whole house just smells of Italy!

These tomatoes came form biofarm (my favorite organic farm in Shanghai), they are organic, that’s why some of you might say they are “ugly” but MOTHER nature works in mysterious ways, and sometimes the “ugliest” vegetables are the ones with the most flavor… something for us to learn from maybe?

These tomatoes came form biofarm (my favorite organic farm in Shanghai), they are organic, that’s why some of you might say they are “ugly” but MOTHER nature works in mysterious ways, and sometimes the “ugliest” vegetables are the ones with the most flavor… something for us to learn from maybe?

In this recipe I used fresh tomatoes, I try to always use fresh, however sometimes, it happens that I don’t have any, so I use canned (I’m very particular about my canned tomatoes, I ALWAYS choose Italian ones, and I always make sure there in nothing else in there, no spices, herbs or special recipes (yuck!)

Tomatoes are filled with vitamin C and K1 and have potassium, they are great for cell function, blood pressure regulation and here starts our journey down the nutrition part of our meal!

I say this all the time, our meals are not meant to just fill you up, but nourish you and nourish (some would say even heal you) from the inside out, and food (when well prepared with the right ingredients can do so much for us! Something as simple as this tomato sauce, with onion and garlic and basil and olive oil give us so much!

Always try to get the healthiest best quality ingredients you can get, whether organic or clean, I know it’s not easy, and in many places not cheap, however it is much better to get fresh ingredients whether organic or not, than to buy canned already made sauce… it is not the same, it is not made with the same ingredients and it does not taste the same.

Not to mention that when it is made with your love and your energy inside it, it is a completely different outcome.

INGREDIENTS

5 tomatoes (peeled and cut) (or 2 cans of tomatoes)

1 onion cut in big pieces

2 cloves of garlic

3-4 basil leaves

4 Tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

INSTRUCTIONS

Place all the ingredients in a pot starting with the olive oil followed by the rest

Don’t worry too much about cutting them perfectly, we will blend them later anyway

Place on the stove on medium heat and let it cook for about 40 minutes after it started to bubble

(fresh tomatoes have more water so it might take a little extra time for it to turn into a sauce

After about 40 minutes blend it (I used a hand blender and make sure it is completely blended) if you see it is too liquid, put it back on the stove for a little bit.

This sauce is great not only for normal pasta or gluten free pasta, not to mention zoodles, but it is also amazing in a risotto, or on top of any grain.

Try it out, and let me know what you think.


Enjoy!


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Minestrone alla Milanese

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Minestrone alla Milanese

This is an awesome recipe, in Italy we eat it a lot! We eat it hot in the winter, and room temperature in the spring and summer!

The beans make it a complete meal with all the protein! If you want to put in different kind of beans please do so, it’s totally up to you, if you don’t like one kind use another one! Peas are also a great addition here!

The best thing about this is that its an awesome way to make your children’s lunch box the next day! Just heat it up and then and send it! a good thing is to add hot rice or pasta to it (but make sure you place enough liquid in it, so it doesn’t get dry!

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I don’t have to much to say about this recipe, it seems hard because there are so many ingredients, but actually…. easy peasy, just a little chopping!

Ingredients

3 tbsp EVOO 

1 garlic clove

1/2 Onion

300g Zucchini

200g Carrots

3 stalks Celery

150g Potato

50g Borlotti beans (soaked overnight or use the canned ones if it makes your life easier)

1 Tomato

150g Swiss Chard

1 Tbsp canned tomato

Italian Arborio rice 100gr (this is optional, you can also put some pasta or add white rice later)

Salt and pepper to taste

water

Fresh basil leaves if you have some

a little more olive oil for the sauce

Parmigiano cheese (grated)

Instructions

Soak Beans over night for 12 hours

Peel and cut all vegetables into cubes except the swiss chard

Start with heating the oil, add the garlic.

When the aroma of the garlic comes out, remove the garlic

Add the onion and cook until transparent

Then slowly add zucchini, carrot, celery, Potato (all chopped up in squares), then the beans

Add the tomato and the and salt, mix well  and add water (not too much water, just enough to cover the veggies and a little more)

Cover and let it cook for 40 minutes

After 40 minutes check the beans, if they are almost ready add the rice and the swiss chard if not wait a bit

Add a few leaves of fresh basil (don’t use dry)

Let cook for another 20 minutes (if it is too dense add a little water)

Once the rice is ready you are done

Serve in individual bowls with a nice spoonful of grated parmigiano cheese

OH! one more things, I have one child that likes the chunks and the other two, that like it blended, so i do both, i blend some and keep some! Thats also why sometimes I don’t put the rice to cook inside and i make it on the side… then I add it after I blended it!


Enjoy!



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Pasta Al Pomodoro Fresco

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Pasta Al Pomodoro Fresco

This one right here is probably the fastest easiest way to prepare lunch, dinner or your kids lunch box! I grew up on this! My mother used to make it for us all the time and it became a comfort food!

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This pasta is not only great in flavor, the kids love it’s simplicity, but also great for a picnic and or a potluck. It can be made in advance, so you dont have to worry about bringing it or serving it hot!

ok, I’m not a big fan of long explanations of recipes, in fact it drives me crazy to scroll forever to get to the “dunque” (matter at hand) as we say in italian.

Check out the recipe…

Ingredients

500 gr cherry tomatoes (cut in half)

20 olives (optional) (cut in half)

garlic (optional)

3-4 tbsp EVOO

basil leaves (to taste)

Penne, fusilli or bow ties (gluten free pasta works just as well here if you can find it!)

Fresh mozzarella, capers, even canned tuna and black pepper (all optional)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Boil water

When water is boiling add the salt

Put your pasta inside and cook (make sure you read the box and see how long to cook it for, the last thing you want is an overcooked pasta) Pasta al dente not only tastes better, but it is harder to digest, making it healthier for you because it takes longer to enter your bloodstream and nourish you!

Meanwhile wash and cut cherry tomatoes in four

Place in a big bowl and add olive oil, basil and salt (here is where you add the optionals to taste if you think its too plain)

Taste it and see if you like it and if anything is missing!

When pasta is cooked drain and put in bowl with tomatoes.

 

Serve, does not have to be hot can be served at room temp!

Enjoy!

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Zucchini Tomato Sauce

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Zucchini Tomato Sauce

You could call this a sauce, or a main meal... it's up to you... what I know for sure is that it's 100% family approved!   

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In my kitchen my motto is keep it simple, if it's too complicated then I won't make it!  I love to eat good healthy food, and I love to cook it, but let's be honest who has time to sit there and cook for hours anymore?  

 

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INGREDIENTS

3 tbsp of EVOO

1/2 onion, blended

1 garlic clove, minced

3 zucchini, sliced

2 plump and juicy tomatoes, cut into cubes

 

DIRECTIONS

Start with taking a pot and simmering the oil the garlic and the onion till well cooked... about 6 minutes,

Add the zucchini, the tomato and some salt and pepper to taste.   

Cook for about 20-30 minutes and it is ready! 

if you want to make pasta with it, add some basil and blend it all together, kids will love it! 

If your kids like spicy food or if it's for the grown ups of the family, add some chili pepper when you put the oil in the pan. 

If you don't want to eat it with pasta, choose a grain or protein of choice and eat it together.

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This is one of those typical easy delicious meals that you can eat for a few days...  

Try it and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy! 

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Kale Strawberry Salad

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Kale Strawberry Salad

This is the easiest salad you will ever make!  It is fresh, light and amazing for the summer! Recently I have been having a lot of problems with coming up with new things to eat, and I will tell you why, I keep looking for healthy recipes and I always have the same problem, they are either incredibly boringly bland, or they are so complicated and with so many ingredients that  just the thought of cooking something that takes me that long to prep and then cook and then takes me the total of 10 minutes to eat.... is NOT WORTH IT!  No matter how good it can be! it is just too fast of a moment in my life that i will most likely not remember in 6 moths!

So I am always trying to come up with new things, this is one of them!  Today for lunch, after i finished giving a reiki treatment, it was lunch time, I was starving, and was NOT in the mood to cook!   Went into the kitchen, took out my ziplock bag of cleaned and dried kale and placed it in a bowl.  It was all imagination from there.  

Now as we all know, Kale has now become one of the top superfoods out there, but why?  Well first of all it is very high in fiber, which as we all know is great for our bowel regularity, it is an anti-inflammatory, it is high in iron, calcium, and if that is not enough for you it even contains omega-3 and 0mega-6 fatty acids!  Who would have every thought! This veggie is a win win win!

Now add the rest of the ingredients to that, and you have a super power salad, whether you eat it all alone at lunch like I did today, or you share it with your family and friends, this salad is one you need to make loads of, because you cannot get enough.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium bunches curly kale, stem removed 
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced strawberries (you can add more if you want too make it more fruity)
  • 1/2 thinly sliced avocado
  • 1tbsp nutritional yeas (it's hard to find in shanghai, it is great for vitaminB and has a light nutty cheese flavor, but if you can't find it, don't bother, it does not change the recipe enough to make a difference!)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Remove the stems from the kale and discard (the stems)
  • Wash the kale and spin dry. Place dried kale into a large bowl
  • For the dressing, add the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt in a bowl and mix together, add it to the kale and massage it well so that all the leaves are coated with it
  • Add the nutritional yeast and mix a little more
  • When you are ready to serve, add the strawberries and the avocado so you keep the fruit fresh and shiney.

ps.  if its not strawberry season, have no fear, you can put mango, peaches, or even apple! Its all good and most important, fast! 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

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Celery Salad

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This is one of those salads that you can make when you have guests for dinner, and then the next day you want to bring it to a potluck! It is one of those recipes that people ask you the recipe, and it's so easy you remember it by heart!

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The most important thing you need to know about my celery salad after knowing how delicious it is, is that it is beautiful, healthy, very healthy and easy... really truly 5 minutes easy...  so keep these ingredients at home for a last minute emergency "I don't know what to bring!" night...

 

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 1 celery stalk 
  • 1 handful of roasted peanuts
  • 1 handful of dried cranberries  
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

Directions:

    Remove the outer stalks (the tough ones) of the celery stalk. Wash the celery and then cut it into thin slices, all of it including the leaves, those add so much to this salad.  
    You can't use chinese celery for this salad it is too tough... so stick to the regular one. 
    In a bowl place the celery, the peanuts, and the cranberries in a bowl.
    In a small bowl place all the liquid ingredients, adjust it based on your preferences... 
    Place the dressing on the salad and mix well... serve chilled!
     
    Let me know if you like it and what you think!
    Enjoy! 
     

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Home Made Nutella (but better!)

My son loves Nutella, being in a household with an Italian mom with an Italian upbringing doesnt help!  We didn't have it daily but it was our special treat!!

The truth however is that it is not that good for you... look at the ingredient: sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor.

And since I try to limit as much sugar intake and packaged food as much as possible.  This was the obvious answer!  When I started making this... I never dreamed it was going to be this easy!  There is one very important thing to say here though.... you absolutely cannot make this unless you have a food processor!  I have tried with different machines, this is the only one that has worked for me!  I personally use Robot Magimix 5200XL.  I love it, it does not mean that you have to buy that one, its just a good one that after a long time searching, I find I am very happy with and highly recommend it!

I tried a few different recipes, there are some that tell you to add oil, some add milk, (I want dairy free)  some add other sugars, I don't know... this one is easy fast and had 4 ingredients... what more can you ask for, and you can make it in the morning while you are getting read to get kids to school its so easy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 150 grams of hazelnuts (very fresh)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (I use canadian, its yummy and makes my hubby proud!)
  • 2 heaping tbsp of pure real cacao powder

Directions:

In your mixer place your nuts and start mixing till it turns into a paste.  I know, you start and it turns into a flour, then with patience you keep letting it run, it turns into a ball of dough... keep going, don't give up now, it is about to release all its oils and become a delicious hazelnut butter!

By the way, if you want to stop here and put this on your toast or crackers or just eat it... i totally understand, but trust me, its worth the wait!

While it is running, add the vanilla, then the cocoa, and then add the maple syrup... blend it all in, add a little syrup if you need it sweeter, and as soon as it mixes together turn the mixer off!

I hope you like this recipe, make a bunch, put it in your refrigerator, and you can have a spoonful, once in a while, when you need that energy burst!!! Or at 3pm when you need something sweet!  You can also share it with your friends, they will love you for it!

Try it and let me know what you think below... 

Enjoy!

 

 

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Ferrero Roche Energy Balls

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Ferrero Roche Energy Balls

This is the perfect MOMMY i want a chocolate solution! its very sweet and delicious and tastes a lot like Nutella!  And its the perfect pick me up for that 3 o’clock slump before your kids will be coming home! sit down have a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup of hazelnuts
  • 3/4 cup of pitted dates
  • 2TBSP of high quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup of raw honey (this is to taste)

Instructions

  • Place the cashews and hazelnuts in the food processor and pulse for 10 seconds
  • Remove nuts and add dates and mix well, about 20-30 seconds
  • Add all ingredients together and mix till it looks like a dough
  • Form the dough into 2 inch balls and place in a Tupperware, not too close to each other so they don't stick together! (if you really want to make it seem like a ferrero roche, place a hazelnut inside the energy ball!)
  • To make them more truffle like, roll themin coconut or in some cocoa powder
  • Place them in the freezer, they can stay up to 3 months
  • Take them out 5-10 minutes before serving!

Enjoy!

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Strawberry Spinach Salad

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Strawberry Spinach Salad

Shanghai strawberry season is here!!!!  And although it’s winter and maybe a salad might not seem exactly what you are looking for… trust me… this is exactly what we need at all times.

It is sweet tart and crunchy all at the same time.  

Now i know that many of us here in China are scared of the strawberries, the pesticides, are they safe???

I personally order mine from Biofarm, they are organic and clean and when we have time I love to take the kids on the weekends and pick our own strawberries!  

We then eat most of them, and save some for home made strawberry jam…! 

Now R, my husband loves, LOVES spinach salad, so this is a whole family pleaser!   I don't have a problem to make the kids eat their veggies, i started when they were very little… but with this salad, I literally cannot keep it on the table long enough!

Ingredients

  • Ingredients for the salad:
  • about 20 strawberries (sliced)
  • 500 grams of spinach (stemmed and washed well)
  • 80 grams of slithered almonds (if you roast them slightly they taste even better
  • sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • avocado in cubes also another great addition

Dressing

  • 4 tbsp of EVOO
  • 2 tbsp lemon
  • 1tbsp of thick balsamic vinegar (if you have a very good thick balsamic vinegar… treat yourself and put some on a strawberry!!!! try it… you will never go back)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • First place the spinach on the bottom of the bowl then the strawberries and the rest of the ingredients…
  • For the dressing, mix it in a jar or a bowl and then serve over the salad… always check to see if its just right (with a piece of spinach) before putting it inside the salad

Enjoy!

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White Bean Tuscan Kale Soup

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White Bean Tuscan Kale Soup

My husband calls me this morning and tells me: honey, we are having guests tonight for dinner. “No problem”, I answered. That was before I found out that our usual dinner of 5 turned into 16 people! I had just landed from Thailand and my fridge back home was empty. I panicked. What was I going to do?

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Then I remembered that a box of veggies was to be delivered to my front door this morning from my Biofarm. In that box I would have tuscan kale and potatoes. So looking through my pantry I came up with an amazing recipe. Something that would be filling, have all the natural vitamins and nutrients from a gourmet meal and easy to prepare. I would make a Tuscan Kale White bean Soup!

This White Bean Tuscan soup is so so easy…. and had so much success that I HIGHLY recommend it for your dinner, no matter whether you have guests or not…. its easy, fast and you can add a baguette and some cheese and you are set for a very yummy meal!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 tbsp of EVOO
  • 1 onion chopped (not too fine it doesn't matter)
  • 1 stem of leek sliced
  • 3 white potatoes (cut in cubes)
  • 3 cans of white beans (drained)
  • 1 liter or more of vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch of Tuscan Kale (sliced in not too thin slithers)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • In a heavy soup pot add the oil, onion, and leek and let simmer for 5 minutes
  • Add the potatoes, the beans the vegetable stock and the salt and pepper to taste… let simmer for about 30 minutes!
  • When the potatoes are soft puree with a hand blender, then add the kale and let simmer until it becomes a nice velute (puree)

Enjoy!

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Homemade Chips

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Homemade Chips

Homemade Healthy Chips

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled (you can use as many as you want really and this recipe works very well with sweet potato too, it just depends on how much time you have)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Additional seasonings (see below)

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Slice potatoes very thin with a mandolin (link to blog of the gadgets) and toss with the oil. Brush a baking sheet lightly with the oil and lay the potato slices out in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and any additional seasonings, and bake at 200 degrees C for about 20 minutes, or until potatoes have browned and are crisp. Because there are hot spots in ovens, check frequently and pull off any that are already browned. Use a metal spatula to transfer the potato chips to a paper towel to cool, then to a serving dish.

Seasoning:  In my house we eat them plain with olive oil and salt, however i have used rosemary before (just some fresh rosemary tossed in the bowl when coating) or also smoked paprika works very well!

ps. this recipe can also be made with sweet potato, taro or even with lotus root! its delicious! and a very good way to have a healthy gluten free snack without anyone ever know it is healthy!;-)

let me know if you have tried any of these and put your comments below

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Vegetarian Chilli

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Vegetarian Chilli

Ingredients:

  • 3 TBSP EVOO
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 can of tinned tomatoes
  • 1 can of red beans (rinsed well)
  • 1 can of corn (make sure no added sugar in the corn
  • 1tsp cumin
  • some spicy chilly if you and your family like
  • (another good choice of spice is jalapeño! my favourite… delicious even if you get the jarred one and not fresh) 
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

  • start by sautéing the onion garlic and oil… when onions have sweated add the rest of the ingredients
  • add enough water to cover and let it cook for about 30 minutes on medium heat (this is not a soup so should not be too wet, but def not too dry!)
  • eat with some tortillas! (times grocery has the good corn tortillas, but if you prefer the normal ones, they are everywhere!)

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Zucchini Fritters

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Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups grated vegetables (zucchini, carrot or sweet potato, potato peeled)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 onion, finely grated
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying
  • Turmeric (anti inflammatory)
  • Sea salt and
  • Pepper to taste

 

Instructions:

  • Grate the zucchiniand the other vegetables with the skin on and add some salt. Let the mixture stand for a while you chop the onion.
  • Squeeze the veg with your hands and discard excess water, and then mix with the onion, the spices and the eggs until you have a thick pancake-like batter.
  • In a frypan, heat the oil and fry the batter in batches of 4 small pancake-size fritters for about 2 minutes on each side on medium heat, or until slightly brown.
  • Serve with a tossed green salad dressed with lemon and olive oil.

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Real Chocolat Milkshake

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Real Chocolat Milkshake

Ingredients:

  • 1 handfull of spinach or kale
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 teaspoon of all natural peanut butter (optional)
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup milk (nut milk, coconut milk or any other non dairy milk)
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 6 ice cubes (optional)

 

Instructions:

  • i like to make sure my smoothies are always packed with nutrients so i always add some spirulina, or some maca powder and some flax seed powder for the extra punch!
  • Blend all ingredients until smooth and frothy.

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Mango & Coconut Millet

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Mango & Coconut Millet

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup millet or your favorite whole grain (you can find this as sam’s club and carrefour)
  • 1 cup almond or nondairy milk of your choice
  • 12-ounce of coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup
  • 1 bean or teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen or fresh mango or peaches

 

Instructions:

  • Combine millet with nondairy milk, coconut milk, agave, and vanilla bean in a medium pot. (Note: Slice the vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Use the pod as well while cooking, but discard before serving.)
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes (or until the millet has absorbed most of the liquid), making sure to stir occasionally to avoid quick reduction or burning.
  • Add the frozen mango or peaches. Stir.
  • Cook on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove pot from heat and discard vanilla bean pod.

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Thai Coleslaw Salad

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Thai Coleslaw Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of cabbage (white or purple) shredded
  • 2 carrots (purple, orange, yellow) grated
  • 100g edamame
  • 1 green pepper (cut in thin strips)
  • 3 spring onions (thinly sliced)
  • small bunch of cilantro
  • 1 handful of toasted cashews
  • Grilled chicken (2 breasts ) optional (cut in slithers)

 

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp 100% maple syrup
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4/5 tbsp water

 

Instructions:

  • Place all vegetables in a larger bowl
  • Mix all of dressing ingredients in a bowl and add enough water to make it creamy and semi runny
  • Pour on top of the salad mix well (this is why i asked you to put itin a bigger bowl)
  • Place in a normal size bowl

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Lentil Soup

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Lentil Soup

As you all know, cooking for hours on end to eat for 15 minutes is not my thing!  
Eating healthy however, is!  I have been feeling a little tired lately, and decided that there is only one reason... What I put in my mouth!
Today I made an extra effort to make myself a super healthy soup full of nutrients!!!

A while ago my mother gave me her pressure cooker (you will soon learn that gadgets are the secret to my passion for cooking! But let's not tell my husband shhh!).  I kept it in the cupboards for at least two years because of the fear of it exploding in my face!  Past that fear I started making things in it and realized what an amazing gadget it is... I made risotto in 9 minutes! 

Fast foreword to today I wanted to eat something that was healthy and had protein but not meat, sometimes the body needs a break!  So I chose to make a quick lentil soup.

Lentils are tasty, high in nutrition and low in calories... On top of that they are very good for you,  they have a very high content of protein, they have a high level of soluble fiber, which help lower cholesterol, great source of folate and magnesium which helps reduce risk of heart disease.  Lentils are also great for the digestion thanks to to the high fiber content, they help increase energy, good source of iron and on to top it all off the help stabilize sugar! 

Such a little thing and so potent!   Needless to to say I made the right choice for my fatigue today!   

Writing long posts is not really my thing, since I don't like to read them... So without further ado... 

 

Recipe : Lentil Soup
Portions: 5/6
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: with pressure cooker 20 minutes

Without... One hour? Maybe more? But you just have to put it on and forget it! 

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 potato  
  • 1 piece of celery
  • 1/2 cup lentils (wash and soak if you have time)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt (to taste) 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Instructions: 

  • Take all the vegetable cut into small cubes (except the celery, if you don't like that then don't cut it, leave it whole for flavor and then remove before serving)  
  • Put all ingredients in a big cooking pot or pressure cooker fill with water. Until it covers it by 1 inch and cook till ready! With the pressure cooker it took 30 minutes max.... 
  • But to be honest if you don't have one of those.... Just put it in a pot, cover it and leave it till it's ready! 

My kids loved it! It was  their snack when they came home! For my little one I blended it and put some thin pasta noodles... And that was his dinner! My husband loved it too! It was hearty and flavourful! I hope you enjoy it... Let me know how it goes for you and share this simple healthy recipe with your friends! 

Spreading the love... 

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Farro Salad With Butternut Squash

I was perusing Trader Joes, throwing random ingredients into my cart, when this recipe came together in my head. So, I took some short cuts that I could only find at Trader Joes. Rather than using regular dried farro, which takes about an hour to cook, I picked up Trader Joe’s quick-cooking farro that’s done in 12 minutes. Instead of shredding my own brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage, I picked up a bag of Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Collection.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
  • 3 small red onions, peeled, halved, and cut into 3/4 inch slices
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Kosher salt & cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups quick-cooking farro (or regular farro)
  • 1/3 cup roasted & salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup roasted & salted pepitas
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 (10 oz) bag Trader Joe’s Cruciferous Crunch Collection (or 10 oz blend of shaved brussels sprouts, kale, green, and purple cabbage)
  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons) salted butter
  • 20 fresh sage leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Optional: 1 cup fresh shavings of Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Place the cubed butternut squash on one large baking sheet, and the sliced red onions on another. Drizzle both with olive oil & season with a generous sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Use your hands to toss the veggies to even coat with oil and seasonings.
  3. When the oven is done preheating, add the tray of butternut squash and the tray of onions to the oven. Cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally for even browning. The squash is done when it is fork-tender and light browned, and the onions are done when they are nicely caramelized and tender.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the farro & cook according to package instructions (either 12 minutes for quick cooking, or about 1 hour for regular farro).
  5. When the farro is tender, drain & place in a large serving bowl.
  6. When the squash and onions are done cooking, transfer to the large bowl with the farro. Toss to combine. Add the sunflower seeds, pepitas, cranberries, and cruciferous veggies, and toss again to combine.
  7. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sage leaves and cook, stirring continuously, until the melted butter is golden brown (but not burned). Turn off the heat & add the juice of 1 lemon. Stir, then pour over the farro salad. Toss to combine and serve right away, topped with freshly shaved Parmesan cheese if you want!

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