Smoothie Bowls!

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Smoothie bowls!  How hipster!  I’ve been seeing these pop up quite often over the past year or so in online blogs and in raw vegan restaurants.  I thought I better get into the trend and try one out!

No need to be scared….smoothie bowls are just a smoothie…in a bowl…with some toppings.

I don’t know where you live but where I live it’s been HOT!  I’ve not been in the mood for oatmeal the past few weeks…it’s definitely smoothie time.  Have fun, experiment and get in the kitchen!

Directions:

1. Take your favourite smoothie recipe.  Blend it up and pour it into a bowl.

2. Top it with more of your smoothie ingredients or different ones entirely.

Toppings like:

Seeds (hemp, flax, chia, sunflower or pumpkin)

Nuts (walnut, toasted pecans, cashews or a drizzle of almond butter)

Fresh berries

Sliced banana or other fruit

Dried berries (goji, dates, cranberry)

Granola

Raw buckwheat groats or quick oats

 

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Simple Fresh Pea Salad

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Ingredients:

3 cups fresh peas or unthawed frozen peas

1/2 cup sharp cheddar cubes

1/4 cup red pepper, minced

3 tbsp minced green onions

2 tbsp sour cream

1/4 cup mayonnaise, light

1 tbsp white vinegar

Dash of salt and pepper

2 tbsp fresh dill or 1 tsp dried dill

Directions:

1. Thaw or shell peas.  Mince the red pepper and green onions.  Add together in bowl.

2. Cube the cheddar cheese.

3. Mix together dressing ingredients in a separate bowl – sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, pepper and dill.  Gently stir into the peas until well combined.

Refrigerate for an hour at least before serving.  Makes for great leftovers!

Zucchini or Cucumber Hummus Rolls

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These little beauties are reminiscent of a tea sandwich but are made with yummy fresh vegetables instead of bread.

Simply use a vegetable peeler to make long “ribbons” with your cucumber or zucchini, spread a thin layer of hummus and pesto (if you’re feeling perky!), roll up gently from one end.  And voila!  A tasty and nutritious appetizer, snack or fancy meal accompaniment.

Nut Butter Apple-wich

Applewich

Here is another super quick and easy breakfast or snack idea to add to your routine.  So quick, easy and kid friendly!  Grab an apple, your favourite choice of nut butter and munch away! 🙂

Ingredients:

Apple cut horizontally into thick slices, remove any big core pieces

Nut or seed butter of your choice

Directions:

Slice, spread, devour!

 

 

Pesto Zoodles!

Pesto Pasta

Amy:

I’ve been into making simple meals these days. Life has been super busy with a Hawaiian vacation, crazy work schedule and the purchase of a new house! This means lots of quick, simple meals!

The other day in the grocery store I picked up some pesto and read  the recipe idea on the label (you get some great ideas that way!).  It said to stir in 1-2 tbsp of pesto per serving of pasta…sounds simple enough!  I decided to use zucchini noodles since I bought a big bag at costco and wanted something light and “springy”!

Feel free to leave them raw or sauté them gently in a pan before adding the pesto.

Ingredients

– 3 medium-sized zucchini, made into zoodles

– 2-3 tbsp pesto (I didn’t make my own but bonus points if you do!)

Directions

1. Using a spiralizer, make zoodles from the zucchini.  I have a hand-held one but you can also make “fettuccine” ribbons using a standard vegetable peeler too!

2. Either saute the zoodles in a pan to soften or serve them raw.  Mix pesto into the noodles and let them sit for about 5 minutes to absorb the flavour!

Happy Spring!

Afternoon Snacks at Work

Tabitha:

Did you know that March is Nutrition Month in Canada?  This year – the theme is “Eating 9 to 5” – which addresses eating at the workplace.  Most Canadians admit that eating at work can be a challenge.  Yesterday – to celebrate National Dietitians Day – my colleague and I created a taste test of some healthy snacks for our work mates.  Of course it went over well – who doesn’t like free food?  But the point was to offer some suggestions for alternatives to typical unhealthy snacks.

Here is what we served:

Instead of coffee – Lime and Cucumber infused water

Instead of fat and sugar filled muffins – Pumpkin, Cranberry, Oatmeal cookies

Energy boosting snacks: Greek Salad on a Stick and Fruit and Cheese Kabobs

Fibre boosting snack: Black Bean Salsa

 

Healthy afternoon snacks
Healthy afternoon snacks

The water is simple to make – simply add slices of lime and cucumber to your water bottle for a fresh twist. Dehydration can cause you to be sluggish in the afternoon and can sometimes be mistaken as hunger.

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The kabobs were also very simple.

Greek salad on a stick – we put a cherry tomato, piece of feta cheese, a slice of cucumber and a black pitted olive.  Add a drizzle of Greek salad dressing if you desire.

Fruit and cheese kabobs – we put pineapple, cheddar cheese, raspberry and a red and green grape on a skewer.  The colours looked very appealing!

I will add the recipe for black bean salsa and the cookies in a following post.

Orange Ginger Chia Pudding

Orange Ginger Chia Pudding

Well here goes my experimentation with my new found cashew milk!  Chia pudding is a pretty fun recipe.  All you have to do is stir in 1/4 cup of chia seeds to the 1 cup of fluid….add your flavour of choice and VOILA!

These omega-3, energy filled and fibre filled seeds are going to keep you full for a while.  Know why?

These little beauties can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water!  That means in your stomach they expand even more to make you feel full and satisfied for longer. Plus they do not have to be ground up in order to digest them as is the case with flax seed.

Ingredients:

– 1 cup of cashew milk or milk of your choice (including cow’s milk or even juice)

– 1/4 cup chia seeds

– 1-2 tbsp maple syrup or sugar

– 1/2 tsp ginger dry or freshly grated

– 1/2 orange, peeled and diced

Directions:

1. Mix the milk, chia, maple syrup and spices in a cup or bowl.

2. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.  The chia will have swelled up and absorbed all the fluid to make a pudding!

3. Top with diced oranges.

 

Chocolate Avocado Pudding

Tabitha: I am always looking for ways to sneak veggies in my desserts. Avocado is naturally creamy and mild tasting so it blends easily into this “healthified” dessert.

But remember, just because it is a healthier version of dessert doesn’t mean you should eat it all in one serving! Avocados, though high in healthy monounsaturated fat, are high in calories and should be portion controlled.
A serving size is 1/2 a cup.

This recipe uses chia seeds to thicken it to a “pudding”. These seeds form a gel when they sit. If you don’t have chia seeds, you can omit them and enjoy a more liquid smoothie-like dessert.

I based this recipe from this source: http://www.thesocial.ca/wellness/health/strategies-to-help-curb-cravings

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Chocolate Chia Avocado Pudding
Makes about 4 cups

Ingredients
2 cups almond milk, cow’s milk, or coconut milk
1 ripe avocado, skin & seed removed
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup whole (or ground) Chia seeds

Instructions
1. In a blender, add milk, avocado, maple syrup, cocoa, vanilla and chia seeds.
2. Puree on high for 60 seconds until smooth and creamy.
3. Remove from blender and divide into 8 ramekins or jars.
4. Pudding can be eaten right away, but is better chilled. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Can store 1 to 2 days.
5. To serve top each pudding cup with ¼ cup of fresh raspberries.

Butternut Squash and Red Pepper Soup

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Photo credit: http://www.meanmissmustard.com/
Amy:

Mmmmmh squash.  Not only highly nutritious but highly satisfying on a cool autumn evening!

My co-worker gave me this wonderful butternut squash soup recipe!  I love it for a number of reasons, but especially because  it’s dairy free and relies on good ol’ squash to make it smooth and rich.  It’s also coincidentally completely vegan and gluten free making it fit for almost any guest that you may be feeding.  I decided to roast the squash before adding it into the soup pot.  Another dietitian friend of mine taught me this trick a few years ago as it caramelizes the squash and gives it a wonderful rich flavour!butternut-squash

Ingredients:

1 L vegetable broth (gluten free if necessary like Kitchen Basics)

1 large butternut squash (or about 4-5 cups of squash cubes)

2 red peppers, seeded and chopped

1 onion, chopped

1-2 tbsp curry powder (based on taste preference)

2 tsp olive oil

Directions:

1. Peel and remove seeds and strings from the squash.  Dice squash and place on well oiled or parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Roast at 425F for about 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through and until nicely caramelized/browned.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pot.  Add curry powder and stir for 1 minutes until fragrant.

3. Add the remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

4. Puree with immersion blend until smooth.