Chicken Soup

Tis the season for colds and chicken soup. Ginger gives this recipe a spicy sweet tangy kick.

I used:
-Two 32oz containers organic free range chicken broth (subs for veggie broth for vegan)
-1 large sweet potato chopped
-1/2 onion
-mushrooms, sliced
-1/2 can chick peas
-large handful baby carrots chopped
-3 stalks celery chopped
-4-6 cloves garlic halved
-2tbs grated ginger
-crushed red pepper
-black pepper
-oregano
-1/2 lemon
-sprig cilantro

This was the easy/lazy way, as I was not feeling well, but the “real” way would be to use a whole chicken to make the broth. Mine had no actual chicken in it, thus the chick peas for added protein. So comforting though.

Sauté the onions, garlic and ginger for 3-5 min over medium heat in a large pot/saucepan. Add the broth, then the chopped veggies and spices to taste, and simmer for 20min until desired softness of the veggies. Add chick peas towards the end to heat. Garnish with fresh lemon and cilantro. Enjoy!

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Sweet/Spicy/Creamy Salad Vinaigrette

I’ve been trying to eat more veggies lately. Namely raw organic veggies. Have you noticed how vegetables are like a garnish in a lot of american food? How backwards we are, how unhealthy! The wealth of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, NUTRIENTS in raw veggies is unparalleled, and there is SO much variety out there! I haven’t gotten too creative yet, but I plan to make some salads using vegetables and ingredients I have never had before, just to give them a try! Exciting stuff. Part of this journey will be making my own healthy salad dressings. I love a simple olive oil and balsamic, but what I don’t love is processed junk in commercial salad dressings. Read the ingredients. Less is more. Ok this recipe uses a trader joe’s vinegar, but the ingredient list is short and sweet. Low in calories as well, but high in flavor! Experiment and make your own dressings!

-2Tbs plain greek yogurt
-1tsp tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
-1tbs Orange Muscat Vinegar (from trader joe’s; you could use any vinegar, but this one has an amazing sweet flavor!)
-1/4 lemon juice
-1/8tsp oregano
-1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you like spicy)

Blend all ingredients, pour over an awesome salad.

Pictured is a salad of arugula/kale/spinach topped with beets, sunflower seeds, broccoli, yellow bell pepper, cucumber, and avocado. Drizzle dressing over the top and you could be done right here. Or add a big scoop of Savory Tuna Salad for a hearty meal.

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Savory Tuna Salad

So simple. Mix all of the following. Top on crackers with avocado or in an amazing big salad! (the image with the muscat vinegar is for the next recipe for vinaigrette! It’s for that amazing big salad I mentioned…)

-1 can tuna
-1/2 can garbanzo beans
-1/2 cup 0% greek yogurt
-3 stalks celery chopped
-1/4 red onion chopped
-black pepper to taste
-oregano to taste
-2tbs fresh italian parsley
-2tbs fresh cilantro

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Pumpkin Berry Oat Bars

MMM pumpkin and blueberries make these chewy and sweet! Some seeds give it a crunch, and you have some healthy comfort food bars! Texture is key, and these taste so fresh.

-1 banana, very ripe
-1/2 cup pureed pumpkin
-1 scoop protein powder
-1/2 cup gluten-free oats
– about1/3 cup assorted seeds (pumpkin, hemp, flax, chia for me)
– handful crushed walnuts/pecans
-1tsp vanilla
-1tsp pumpkin pie spice
-handful dried cranberries
-handful organic fresh blueberries
-1/8 88%dark chocolate bar, crushed into little pieces
-cinnamon

Mix all (except chocolate) ingredients together in a bowl, turn into a greased casserole dish. Top with the crumbles of chocolate and sprinkle cinnamon on top to taste.

Bake at 35 for about 20min until edges brown. Cut into squares and enjoy! I store in a tupperware in the fridge with wax paper between layers to prevent sticking. You can pull them out for an anytime snack.

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Spicy Thai Shredded Salad

This was good, had my lips burning 🙂 I love spicy food and I love peanuts! But if you cannot eat peanuts, first of all, I’m so sorry. Secondly, you can substitute sunbutter for peanut butter and try sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds in place of peanuts!

Get your fresh produce, a big bowl, and get to chopping!

You need:
About 1/2 cabbage sliced thinly
1stalk broccoli chopped fine
1/2 red bell pepper sliced thinly
I carrot chopped onto thin strips
Handful fresh cilantro and parsley
Handful pomegranate pearls
1/4 red onion chopped
About a cup of chopped pineapple
Handful slivered almonds
Handful of peanuts to garnish
1/2 avocado to garnish

Dressing:
2tsp tahini
2tsp peanut butter
1/2 lemon
1tbs Muscat Vinegar (any vinegar but I recommend trader joes orange Muscat vinegar)
Crushed red pepper to taste (I used several liberal shakes)
Tbs water
Dash oregano

Mix dressing and drizzle over salad. Toss and enjoy!

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Comfort Lentil Soup

Can also be made with split peas for a prettier green color! (Because green is slightly prettier than brown…)

This is another favorite modified from my More With Less Cookbook. This recipe can easily be vegan, or carnivored up by chopping and sautéing bacon and then using this as your oil in which to saute your veggies. I usually eat it vegan, because it is flavorful and full of protein already!

In the past I have made this with split peas and blended it at the end, yielding a creamy green soup, but at the moment I have green lentils and no blender. So a heartier chunky soup, but so tasty. Warms you up from the inside out! To me this soup is the ultimate comfort food, and it is so nutritious!

Combine in a large saucepan:
about 4 cups dried lentils or split peas
about 4-5 cups broth of choice (vegetable or chicken)
about 4 cups water
1tbs tumeric

If using split peas, heat to boiling, turn off, cover and stand x1 hour. If using lentils, go ahead a skip ahead to this next step. Heat contents of pot to boiling and simmer low for 45minutes.

In a separate skillet, stir fry with 1-2tbs oil/butter of choice on medium for about 7min:
-1/2 chopped onion
-1 chopped shallot
-several cloves of garlic chopped
-about 2 chopped stalks celery
-1.5 Tbs curry powder
-1.5 tsp coriander powder
-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (i like more than that…)
-1tsp salt

Stir this mixture into the split peas or lentils, cover and simmer for about 20minutes. That is all! Recommended toppings include toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds 🙂

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Savory Carrot Casserole

Ah, now on to the good stuff, what I really like to cook: VEGGIES 🙂

This is one of my favorite recipes, or one iteration of my favorite recipe. This is near and dear to my heart. Modified from the More With Less Cookbook, an ancient Mennonite cookbook (if 1976 is ancient…), gifted to me by my dear Aunt Cheryl, back in 2003.

This is my favorite thing to bring to “Friendsgiving” as I have not been home for Thanksgiving in 9-10 years (BUT I AM GOING HOME THIS YEAR!!) 🙂

Everyone can keep their disturbingly sugary sweet potato casseroles, give me savory carrot casserole any day! (unless it is creole/cajun style sweet potato casserole…)

For this recipe you need:
-about 4 cups of carrots cooked and mashed (i’m obsessed with TJs organic carrots of many colors; i also threw in one purple new potato just because…)
-1/2 to 3/4 cup egg whites (or 3 eggs)
-1cup plain almond milk
-about 4-5 TBS 0% plain greek yogurt
-1tsp sea salt
-dash of black pepper
-about 3 oz of shredded cheddar cheese (i used light cheddar cheese sticks from TJs, 3 sticks, shredded up)
-Fresh parsley washed and chopped (about 4-5tbs)
-crushed red pepper flakes
-handful of shredded mozzarella (optional)
-1/2 cup almond flour
-handful of crackers of choice to crumble on top (i recommend about 10 Mary’s Gone Crackers)

Begin by peeling your carrots/potato. Once done, I actually use my peeler to shred the carrots into little strips, this makes them easy to cook! I put them in my ceramic casserole dish and microwave steamed them for about 4-6 minutes until soft, with a sprinkle of water. Then preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once carrots are soft, put in a bowl.

Mix in all ingredients into the bowl with the carrots, except the crackers and a handful of cheese saved for the end. Spray your casserole dish with non-stick spray. Turn mixture into dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese and crumbled crackers on top.

Bake for about 30-35min, then do 1minute on broil at the end to get that cheese bubbling!

ENJOY that beta carotene 🙂

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Seared Tuna Steaks

Well, I did not take too many pics of this one, raw meat is gross to me, and well, this wasn’t the prettiest thing I’ve ever made. I don’t eat much meat of any kind, and am very clueless about preparing it, but my guy is a carnivore. Fish is one meat we can agree on, so here I started. We had 2 frozen tuna steaks, nearly an inch thick!! Difficult to cook through being so thick! Since this wasn’t fresh sushi grade, I wasn’t comfortable leaving the middle rare, so this recipe is to cook it through, without it becoming dry and tough!!

I thawed the steaks in the fridge overnight, then made up the marinade this morning. So they marinaded in the fridge for about 12 hours, but you could do much less.

Put the steaks in a gallon size ziplock bag.
Mix in a bowl:
-vinegar of choice (i used coconut vinegar) about 1/4cup
-soy sauce of choice (I used liquid aminos) about 1/4cup
– 1 tbs honey
-1/2 tbs siracha sauce
-1tsp olive oil

Pour this mixture over the steaks

Place into the bag:
-garlic to taste (I actually just threw in about 6 whole cloves of garlic)
-1inch of fresh ginger chopped
-1 whole shallot or about 1/4 onion chopped

Shake it around and marinate for 1-12 hours!

Time to cook them!

Turn your stove on medium/high heat. You want it pretty hot to sear the tuna. Place about 1-2 tbs pure sesame oil in skillet/pan and heat the oil until a flick of water would make it pop and sputter.

Then place the tuna steaks in the pan, moving them around briefly to make sure they don’t stick, the dump the marinade and veggies into the pan.

I seared them about 4 minutes on each side, careful not to burn them. IF you use sushi grade tuna, this is where you can stop, with a raw center! But what I did instead, is reduced the heat to low, added about 1/2cup water, covered my pan, and simmered low for about 15minutes. You want to check frequently enough to make sure it is just cooked and not overcooked. The fish will start to flake apart as it becomes cooked and you can peek inside to see how pink it remains.

I recommend serving over arugula or your favorite greens and eating some fresh avocado on the side! I also had black olives in my salad. Take out the ginger, but otherwise enjoy the cooked veggies from the pan with you salad-topped-with-tuna, the whole cloves of garlic became soft and buttery 🙂

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Roasted Pumpkin Soup

This was in combination with the roasting of many veggies! I bought a
“pie” pumpkin from trader joes, chopped it into 2-4in pieces, and baked at 350 for about 45 minutes until soft and the skin peels right off. With this one pumpkin you can do so much! Eat it as is, roast the pumpkin seeds (350 11min, seasoned with olive oil spray, salt/pepper/garlic/crushed red pepper/oregano), or make pumpkin soup!

To do so, I also roasted 1/2 yellow onion, 1/4 red onion, 1 shallot, 1in chunk of ginger chopped, 3 cloves garlic, some carrots (using organic carrots of many colors!), and broccoli. These roasted veggies took about 40 min at 350 with 1tsp olive oil. These too could be eaten as is, or some could be scooped into a pumpkin soup. *

If you have a blender/food processor, you can puree your soup into something creamy (which is prettier), but I left mine thick and chunky, hearty if you will, as I shop for a new blender. 😉

I used:
-about 2/3 small pie pumpkin, roasted, then peeled
– about 2-3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
-roasted veggies totaling about 1cup of cooked onions/shallots/garlic and some of the carrots
That’s it!

Put them all into a pot and simmer at low heat over the stove about 20 min until very soft and the flavors have all absorbed. I’d recommend taking out the chunks of ginger (i left the skin on to make this easy) unless you really like strong ginger flavor. Serve the sweet tangy soup with those savory crunchy pumpkin seeds on top as a garnish! The contrast in taste and texture is SO good!

Other toppings I tried were more of the purple carrots and broccoli with sunflower seeds. All were delicious 🙂

*With the veggies and pumpkin i did not put into a soup, i put them in a bowl with chunks of pumpkin around the sides of the bowl like a little pumpkin shell with the remainder of carrots and broccoli in the center. There are many ways to eat this combination of roasted veggies, and the veggies you can roast area endless! Just bear in mind that harder veggies need longer to roast than softer ones and keep an eye on them, can’t go wrong!

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Super Seed Energy Bites

Lots of protein, no added sugar, great for taking to work/on the go!
This was a bit of a throw-in-everything-in-the-pantry recipe, but turned out crunchy (due to the seeds), soft, and high in nutrients!

1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 scoop vega protein powder (i used vanilla chai about 3.4cup)
1/2 cup oats
Flax/chia seeds 1/2 cup
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds/ pepitas
3 bananas mashed
Dash of pumpkin pie spice
Cocoa powder 1/4 cup
Vanilla
Crushed pecan/walnuts handful
Dried cranberries/mangoes handful

Mix all together, drop on greased cookie sheet

Bake at 350 for 11min!

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