There are SO many opportunities to sneak in some extra veg – like this delicious smoothie. It features red cabbage (with some peaches, mangoes, strawberries and blueberries for good measure). I topped up the blender with almond milk, a few sunflower seeds, and some cinnamon, and we were all set.
2 c (500ml) chopped red cabbage
1 chopped carrot
1/3 c (80ml) raw cashews
1.5c (375ml) frozen strawberries
1t (5ml) pure vanilla extract
With enough unsweetened almond milk to fill the blender to the 4c (1L) mark.
Process until very smooth and creamy, and enjoy. I know I am, as I reflect on how grateful I am to have this special day with both my kids and their delightful partners.
Happy Mother’s Day, everyone!
Sometimes a sweet treat for breakfast hits the spot. This breakfast pudding, or smoothie bowl, in common parlance, is fast and delicious.
In a blender, combine two ripe bananas, a small avocado, 2 T (30 ml) good-quality cocoa, 1/2 c (125 ml) silken tofu, and 1/4 c (60 ml) unsweetened almond milk. Using ripe bananas gives lots of natural sweetness.
Blend until smooth, and top with chopped walnuts and grated coconut. Pumpkin seeds would look and taste fabulous as well!
People always ask why our hummus tastes so good. It’s mainly from using home-cooked chickpeas, which have no salt. This lets the real flavour shine through, and also making it in the food processor gives a light and fluffy result.
We make a big batch of chickpeas and freeze, then pull out a container a few hours before we want to make this, or make some straight away.
To cook the chickpeas:
Place dried chickpeas in a Dutch oven or casserole that is also stovetop safe. Why do extra dishes? They should fill no more than 1/3. Cover with 1-2″ water and soak overnight or all day while you are at work. How much water depends on how long the chickpeas have been hanging around, feeling parched.
Preheat oven to 250F
To cook, add more water to cover about an inch or the depth of the top segment of your thumb. Throw in a few peeled cloves of garlic, and a good shake of cumin. Bring to boil on top of the stove, cover, and put in the oven for 2-1/2 hours.
Cool and use or freeze with their cooking liquid, or aquafaba.
To make the lunch:
Buzz the zest of a lemon with 2 cloves garlic in a food processor. Add a couple of cups of chickpeas and liquid, the juice of the lemon, another good shake of cumin, and a tablespoon or so of tahini. Process until smooth and fluffy, adding a little water if necessary.
As the cold weather dissipates and we don’t just move to a different choice set of produce, but preparation tends to change, as well. If you’re inspired to move away from creamy soups and hearty stews, but there’s still a mix of winter and spring produce available, this may fit the bill.
Layer a handful of arugula, a handful of sliced cabbage, 1/4 of an English cucumber, and 1/2 an apple, sliced, on a plate. Drizzle with a mix of 10ml grainy Mustard, 10ml vinegar, and 10ml olive oil (Or use half Dijon/half Kozlik’s Triple Crunch, for the mustard as we did).
Crumble an ounce of Gorgonzola or smoked tofu on top. Enjoy!
While some ingredients aren’t local, we have tried to strike a balance.
In a large salad bowl, combine:
Zest and juice of one lemon
10ml/2t Dijon mustard
(Did you know Canada was a world-leading producer of mustard seeds?)
1l/4c washed mini greens and herbs (parsley in our case)
1 diced avocado
1 diced zucchini
2 cherry tomatoes
90g/3oz diced goat cheese
Toss lightly and enjoy!
We were in California this week, where roadside stands were selling avocados ten for a dollar. (Grapefruit, too!) With the skyrocketing price of produce here in Canada, this is hard to even imagine.
Friends know I am a keen “eat local, make it yourself” advocate. So I’m not going to buy a Brussels sprout that has travelled halfway across the continent when we grow them right here. On the other hand, I have no illusions that the world is going to give up coffee, tea, or spices. So today, I propose a delicious compromise.
On top of a slice of homemade wheat bread, toasted (Canada is a huge provider of wheat to the world), some locally-made Kozlik’s Old Smokey mustard. Then, an avocado (yes, even at $1.29 each, one makes two affordable breakfasts). Finally, local eggs, nicely poached.
That’s a compromise I can live with!
Weekends are a great time for a relaxing breakfast – but this easy oatmeal recipe takes so little effort, we often have it on weekdays, too.
Put in a microwaveable glass or ceramic casserole:
1 diced Apple
3/4 c large flake or steel cut oats
A sprinkle of cinnamon
1/2 c chopped nuts or seeds (we used hazelnuts and black sesame seeds for this version)
1-1/2 c water
No need to stir!
Microwave uncovered on high for 3 minutes, and on 50% power for 5 more minutes.
Stir and serve with maple syrup and some milk or nut milk.
One of the most important ways to contain your food costs is to never waste. This week, we bought local produce. Yes, the cheese is imported, but we could just have easily used a local variety, if we hadn’t had to use this kind up.
Here’s a link to the original recipe – although practically every ingredient is changed. For the turnip, we used its larger purple and yellow cousin, the rutabaga. We also swapped out the beans for kidney beans we had on hand – in our case cooked without salt and a little chili powder. Red cabbage was swapped for green, and pecorino for Manchego. Even the vinegar was subbed with our homemade wine vinegar.
The result? Every bit as delicious. Vegans can easily use soy cheese, and although the recipe suggested this as a side, it’s so good, full of fibre and colour that the two of us split it as a main.
We have half a leftover roast chicken in the fridge. (Learn to roast it yourself to avoid the excessive salt of the store’s rotisserie version). More on that another day. We also have some beef ragu, some chickpeas, and a selection of seasonal, local veg. This week I’ll post as we work through healthy easy ways to use it all up, and save money, too.
Although we aren’t vegetarians or vegans, I might add that a plant based diet is definitely healthier, IF WE MAKE GOOD CHOICES. So you’ll also see lots of meatless options.
Let’s start with lunch. Frozen whole wheat roti are warmed in the oven for 5 minutes, and stuffed with this mixture (for two):
1 diced tomato
1 chicken breast, diced, skin removed
1 T/15ml light mayo (not salad dressing, avoid added sugar)
1 T/15ml Dijon mustard
Serve with a glass of milk or nut milk.