(Psst... Recipe is at the end ;-)
A Very Potent Love Potion
My Happy V-Day to you ~ Very Potent Love Raw Chocolate Potion Mayan Style.
(Psst... Recipe is at the end ;-)
Chocolate: One of the Secrets of the French Paradox?
A perfect treat for the holidays that is quick, easy and affordable to make for holiday parties and family events. This is the type of recipe you can enjoy that will help to keep you feeling fabulous, stay fit and GLOWing this holiday season.
Rich sugar laden food like pastries and chocolates are everywhere in France. Yet you rarely see overweight people and they have some of the lowest rates of heart disease. I had the privilege of living in the land of everyday best food and wine you'll ever taste, for a whole 9 months (where my culinary passion began :-) While in living in France, I noticed that a big part of French food culture is including small amounts of very delicious rich foods, like chocolate after meals to satiate appetite.
Whereas in North America, most people have a habit of eating large amounts of tasteless fast food junk food like frozen pizzas, cookies, chips that leave you mentally hungry for more. So in my books, including rich tasting healthy treats that satiates, in moderation and consumed with mindfulness are a very very important of my whole foods lifestyle.
Above: One of my favourite raw chocolate recipes yum!
Recipe for Easy End of Summer Corn and Black Bean Salad
I have recently made a quick and delicious corn and black bean salad to last a few days to cut down my kitchen prep-time. I am heading back to school
today at the Canadian Schoo of Natural Nutrition, and I have less time for food prep. (1 year left! :-) Whether you or your family are going back to school or working here are some tips to make everyday healthy more practical.
Tip #3 - Love RedLentils
This past Spring, I have been exploring how to incorporate whole plant based spring liver loving foods like bitter dark greens into the everyday. Why? Spring is the time for liver cleansing. A healthy liver means we can GLOW on the inside and out with healthy looking skin and feeling good through our ability to better detoxify. Click here for more info about all the benefits from loving your liver!
Yeah yeah..you may be saying. Many of us may know about all the amazing benefits to eating a whole foods diet and lots of greens. Sounds great in theory, but how can we actually we make a seasonal whole foods lifestyle practical and delicious?
So I set out to see if the "impossible" could be possible :-) This is the kind of challenge that I LOVE! Using the 5 Secrets to Everyday Healthy, I explored ways to make whole plant-based Spring cuisine convenient, easy, quick, affordable and delicious.
Above: Produce Items from the Spring Produce Shopping List. Photo compliments of Richard Giordano Photography
After much experiment delicious successes and some disasters ~ these are a necessary part of any creative process, I have developed quick and delicious recipes from for your everyday from the Everyday Pantry Shopping List and Spring Produce Shopping List. Over the next few days, I will share with you my top three tips for making Spring into Summer Cuisine practical AND delicious to give you GLOW on the inside and out. The first is LOVE red lentils.
Red Lentils Give you GLOW
Why? Red Lentils cook in 20 minutes or sometimes less, and are easy to make delicious. This means that when all else fails ~ aka you have no meals planned, you are starving, don't feel like cooking, yet want to enjoy a delicious whole foods meal to maintain your GLOW ~ red lentils will save the day. Red lentils can be made delicious very quickly with the help of a high quality soup stock, herbs or spices from the Everyday Pantry Shopping List ~ Then voila! You got yourself a quick and delicious tasting meal without a hassle.
Not only are red lentils practical, that they give you inner GLOW. Red lentils are high in an amino acid (building blocks for protein) called tryptophan which is a precursor to serotonin ~ the happy neurotransmitter. In order to feel good we need to get the nutritional building blocks from foods so that our physical bodies can feel positive emotions.
To celebrate the coming of warm weather, red lentils got spring makeover with the addition of affordable organic canned tomatoes, fresh ginger, cumin and swiss chard. Ginger is a powerful herb for cleansing liver and boosting immune system. Cumin, one of my fav versatile spices, helps your body to properly digest legumes to give you optimal energy.
Recipe for Spring RedLentilDelicious Soup
Campaign for Positive Change
I am delighted to have been asked to take part in a special blog event happening place today across the US and Canada for FARM Animal Right's Great American Meatout, a campaign with a goal to expose 20,000 new people to plant-based foods. They are almost at 18,500!
Inspiration for New Whole Plant Enthusiasts for FARM
A few weeks ago, I received a message from Oddin Helgason, who attended one of my classes with his girlfriend Erin approximately a year ago. When they walked in, they asked me what type of fish we would be making. When I found out Odinn is a well experienced hobby chef that loved to cook with meat and cheese, I was not sure if they would enjoy my whole plant approach. To my surprise, they were more than enthusiastic and even went out half way through the class to bring back some wine.
Above: A picture of one of Odinn's favourite plant-based recipes, Mock Tuna Salad. Recipe below.
Raw Chocolate LOVES...Figs and Genny
Thank you to Genny Bourdages, who writes a blog called Blowing Up My Kitchen, for contributing a very easy and quick. I have not had the chance to try it yet since I can't find fresh figs. As I am writing this..I realized that I have dried figs in my pantry so I am considering try to reconstitute them in water and then giving this recipe a whirl. It is a great recipe to keep in your raw chocolate repetoire for the end of summer when fresh figs are in season.
Annika, founder of Social Bites, has asked me to share some of my recipes from last week's competition. You can find my recipe for Flax Buckwheat Crostini, inspired by Ani Phyo, in a previous blog post "Flax Buckwheat Crostini: An Everyday Staple Worth the Small Time Investment". You can also click here for award winning recipes from Michael Robertson, who writes for the blog Sustenance for Granville Online Click here for delicious recipes for root vegetable ravioli with tapenades and mushroom cream from Malloreigh and Kaylie from Vegan Mischief.
Above: Julie's Apricot Water Lemon Kefir, picture compliments of Richard Giordano
Recipe for Raw Chocolate Ganache Tart - Compliments of Andrea Potter
One of my favourite parts of my job is learning! I make a point of regularly volunteering for my friend Andrea Potter's cooking classes. Andrea is a professionally trained chef, Registered Holistic Nutritionist and was the head chef at Radha Yoga and Eatery before she launched her own business Rooted Nutrition.
I had the pleasure to assist Andrea with her Valentine's Day Cooking Class at Radha Eatery and everything was incredibly delicious. I was delighted that she chose to make a Raw Chocolate Ganache Tart. I have never made one before and was excited to add this delicious delicacy to my repertoire of raw chocolate recipes. While I wouldn't say this tart everyday fare, it is fairly easy to make and uses ingredients from my Everyday Pantry Shopping List. This means Raw Chocolate Ganache is convenient if you have your basic and versatile staples on hand.
Andrea was kind enough to allow me to share her recipe with you. The Raw Chocolate Ganache recipe will soon be featured in the Vancouver Sun along with other items on her Valentine's Day Vegan menu like Lentil Shepard's Pie, Miso Gravy, Roasted Marinated Mediterranean Veggies, Polenta and Baked Apple Turnovers. Luck for you, you get a sneak preview :-)
Get your Greens from Crackers
Here is a new recipe for Buckwheat Flax Crostini that I served guests at Social Bites this weekend. It was inspired by one of my favourite raw food chefs, Any Phyo with a few changes to make more affordable and add some more flavour.
Above: Buckwheat Flax Crostini got dressed up with 5 minute orange cinnamon fig jam, basil ricotta cheeze, maple glazed walnuts, fresh basil and a balsamic maple reduction. Photo compliments of Richard Giordano.
Social Bites a la Vegan
This past weekend I had the privilege to participate in Social Bite's first ever vegan event! Social Bites, started by Annika Reinhardt, is a dinner party event where hobby chefs open up their homes to two rounds of guests for a sampling of their creations. Guests spend one hour at each home, sampling food, drinking wine and socializing then rate their experience based on taste, presentation and hostessing.
Each event features 4 teams of hobby chefs and their sous chef. At the end of the night everyone gathers for desserts, the votes are tallied and the winner is announced.
Above: Basil infused Zhugetti and Lemon Thyme Sun Dried Tomato Sauce. Picture compliment of Richard Giordano.