Maple Roasted Vegetables

This recipe is by far my favourite vegetable side dish, and is always a hit with company especially kids! For this recipe I kept it simple, local, and seasonal with the vegetables I chose which were sweet potato and brussels sprouts. Not a fan of brussels sprouts? I dare you to give this recipe a try they will win you over! Cauliflower is another vegetable I often use with this particular combination I just didn’t have any on hand at the time.

Other vegetables that can be used for this dish:
- Cauliflower
- SQUASH! Acorn, butternut, buttercup, whatever you’d like
- Parsnips
- Zucchini
- Broccoli
- Green Beans
- Asparagus
- Potatoes of any kind
- Turnip
- Onions
Note: Keep it simple, I’d use a combination of 3 vegetables max for this dish.

Ingredients
- 4-5 cups of assorted vegetables of your choice
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup local maple syrup
- REAL Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Warm the olive oil and garlic on the stove for about 20 mins on low heat, once that’s started preheat oven to 400F.

Toss veggies in a large bowl, with garlic olive oil, maple syrup and generously salt and pepper to taste.

Place veggies on baking sheet in a single layer (if you discover your veggies won’t fit on one baking sheet, pull out a second baking sheet, and prep it the same way you did the first).

Place baking sheet(s) in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Check veggies 1/2 way through and see if they are browning and need to be turned. If they look dry, add a little water to the pan so they stay nice and moist. Check again in another 10 minutes and cook until fork tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately!

End result….

Your Diet Influences How Well You Sleep

Caffeine is a common culprit for poor sleep patterns and most people are surprised to hear this stimulant drug can linger in the human body for up to 14 hours! So if you have trouble sleeping and can’t go without your morning cup of java, stick to the 1 cup in the morning and see if you see a difference in your sleep quality.

Do you have a little one you’re nursing? Do you struggle getting your little one down for naps or does your baby wake up frequently throughout the night? Caffeine could be part of the problem since it can be ingested by the baby via breast milk.

Some surprising sources of caffeine that you could cut out of your diet are:
- decaffeinated coffee
- soda/diet soda
- chocolate
- pain relievers
- energy drinks

Zesty Quinoa Salad

YUM. This recipe is TO. DIE. FOR.

This dish is packed with non animal protein and fiber, is gluten free, and is super duper easy to make. It is now my go to dish for BBQs and gatherings of any kind not to mention having it handy in the fridge for when I need something quick to shovel in my mouth when I am on the go. The colourful ingredients will intrigue any child to give it a try; even my 10 month old son LOVES this dish!

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil (I love The Pristine Olive company, see http://www.thepristineolive.ca/)
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon REAL Salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups halved organic cherry tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can no sodium added black beans, drained and rinsed
5 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
REAL Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.

Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat.

Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.

ENJOY :)

http://mallrecipes.com/recipe/229156/zesty-quinoa-salad

Almond Milk Latte

Addicted to coffee? Me too…

Shame on me, it took me a year to quit my caffeine addiction years ago but have since fallen off the wagon. I thought I knew what feeling tired was like until I become a mother late last year, so I needed a pick me up for the constant company we had celebrating the arrival of our new little man.

So like anything else, when you can’t kick a bad habit you need to at least adopt a healthier version. Instead of running to Starbucks every day I purchased myself the Verismo machine, the espresso pods and a hand milk frother to make myself a latte from home. This allows me to:

1) Cut the caffeine, 75mg/shot of espresso versus 260mg in the standard tall cup of coffee. This is important to me as it is in the best interest of my baby while nursing
2) Cut the dairy and soy, the only 2 options you have at Starbucks. My personal preference is to use almond to give it extra flavour
3) Cut the sugar and added chemicals

1 cup of hot unsweetened almond milk
1-2 espresso shots
1 tsp xylitol

Vegetable and Fruit Preparation

Organic fruits and vegetables are not always available to us at our local grocery store, so be sure to use a good quality wash designed specifically for the removal of surface pesticides, chemicals, bacteria, wax and dirt.

I find it’s most convenient to wash all fruits and vegetables at once after arriving home from the grocery store. I throw everything in my sink (as seen below), add a few pumps of the wash and fill with water until all produce is covered. I’ll then let them soak for about 10 minutes. ALL of my produce is thrown in, organic or not. You can also keep a spray bottle of a 1:4 ratio of produce wash:water and clean each piece individually, as needed.

“Canadian safety standards are some of the weakest, in part because they allow the continued use of dozens of weed, bug and fungus killers banned elsewhere.”

Martin Mittelstaedt, Environment Reporter
The Globe and Mail, October 5, 2006

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

Always a hit in my house even for those meat eaters! Each servings provides you with over 20g of protein, and even more if you decide to add 1lb of organic, free run lean ground turkey…

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili
2 (15 oz) can black beans – drained and rinsed
2 (15oz) can chickpeas drained and rinsed
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can tomato paste
2 cups celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 green peppers
1-2 cups of chopped portobello mushrooms
1 medium red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
½ – 1 can of chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce, optional for spiciness)
2 T ground cumin
4 T chili powder

Directions
Add the tomatoes and tomato paste to the crock pot on high heat.

I finely chop the chipotle peppers, mushrooms, onion and garlic in my food processor and add this mixture into the crock pot along with all the spices and add it to the tomatoes cooking in the food processor to get everything going before I start to chop the remaining vegetables. Note, if you chose to add 1lb of organic free run turkey, brown in a pan beforehand until cooked and add at this point as well as seen below…

Once the remaining ingredients are prepared, add everything in the crock pot including the beans and stir. I like to let it cook for no more than 3 hours so that the vegetable are not over cooked.

Near the end of the dish cooking, you can add brown rice flour if you prefer a thicker consistency and let cook for 10 mins.

ENJOY a bowl for lunch or dinner!

Number of Servings: 8
Note: 1 lb of turkey can easily be added to recipe

Jalapeno Hummus

Being a rich source of fiber, calcium and protein chick peas are a staple in any vegetarian or weight loss diet. Try this delicious hummus as a spread on a veggie sandwich or as a dip to your favourite vegetables as an afternoon snack.

Jalapeno Hummus
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2-4 jalapeno peppers seeded
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil or Flaxseed oil
2 Tablespoons Tahini
Juice of 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves
¼ tsp ground cumin
Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro or parsley (optional)

Puree ingredients in a food processor

Use as a dip to your favourite veggies or as a side to a small pita bread and salad for a healthy, delicious lunch!

Zucchini Turkey Meatballs

Zucchini is an excellent vegetable to include into your diet providing anti oxidants as well as a powerful weight loss tool due to its high water content. Substitute ground beef with lean ground turkey for your burgers and/or meatballs to dramatically decrease your saturated fat intake, while incorporating grated zucchini to bulk up your meal with vegetables which will help you feel fuller, longer.

Zucchini Turkey Meatballs/Burgers

1 package of ground extra lean ground turkey (local, hormone and anti-biotic free)
2 medium green or yellow zucchini, grated
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 one small onion
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce or 1 tsp chipotle chili pepper spice (optional, great for burgers or eating with salad)
1/4 brown rice bread crumbs

Set broiler on high, arranging rack so that burgers will be about 2 inches from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine grated zucchini, salt, onion, garlic, dried basil, oregano, pepper, bread crumbs and then turkey. Mix well and scoop out 12-14 portions.

Place burgers in oven and broil for 7 minutes. Carefully flip each burger and continue to broil for another 7 minutes on the other side. Depending how large your make your meatballs the time can be shorter or longer. Serve warm. Also can be made into turkey burgers!

End results, enjoy!

Ginger Quinoa Stir Fry

Need a healthy dinner idea packed with fiber and protein to keep you feeling full? Whether or not you chose to take the vegetarian route or not (shrimp being optional), check out this stir fry dish you and your family will love!

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
1 tbsp scallion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups Portobello (preferred for its meaty texture) or crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 cups of broccoli florets
1/3 cup purified water
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup hoisin sauce

Bring stock to boil, add quinoa and then simmer covered for 15 mins until the liquid is absorbed

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium to high heat, add the onion, ginger and scallion and cook for 10 mins on medium heat stirring frequently. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms and broccoli to the skillet and raise heat back to medium-high and cook stirring frequently for a few mins.

Add water, soy sauce, hoisin, and shrimp to the pan and cook stirring frequently for 5 mins and serve.

1 cup of jumbo shrimp, peeled and washed (optional)



FINISHED PRODUCT OMG SO SO SO GOOD!!!

Anti-Aging Smoothie: My Daily Breakfast

Why start off your day with a smoothie?

Well firstly, studies show that consuming fruit and greens in the morning will assist the body’s effort to detox (riding the body of chemicals and synthetic hormones from our environment, the food we eat, cosmetic products we use, the list goes on…) so that is one of my main purposes.

Studies have also shown that detoxifying the body of such carcinogens will assist in slowing down the aging process. So if you’re beginning to take an interest in detoxification/cleansing, introducing a breakfast smoothie is a GREAT place to get started.

Secondly, WEIGHT MANAGEMENT. More details on this further down…

MY ANTI-AGING SMOOTHIE RECIPE

1 ½ cup of fresh or frozen berries (assorted blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries)
2-6 tbsp of plain kefir or probiotic supplement
1 scoop of Pure Encapsulations Whey Protein Powder
1 scoop of Pure Encapsulations Pure Lean Fiber or 2 tbsp of ground flax seed
1 tsp of Pure Encapsulations liquid fish oil
2 handfuls of spinach
Splash of water or non sweetened juice, depending on your preference of consistency or taste

NOTE: You WILL NOT taste the spinach but if you are weary about it add a bit in at a time after it is blended and taste, continue to add a bit more each day until you reach your tolerance level. I personally add 3 cups no problem (that’s enough for 3 side salads at a restaurant)! If you want to step it up OR switch it up alternate between spinach and kale! This is VERY important, incorporate greens in your diet where ever you can!

It is these ingredients that really make this smoothie an excellent MEAL, and provides the following nutrients to assist with weight loss and keep you feeling full:

Whey Basics: 24g of protein from a CLEAN, grass fed cow. Studies show that consuming over 20g of highly absorbable protein in the morning increases your weight loss efforts significantly.
EPA/DHA Liquid: 1300mg of CLEAN omega 3 fats in the forms of DHA and EPA
Pure Lean Fiber: 3g of fiber, which will aid digestion and expand in your stomach to make you feel fuller for longer
Probiotic 5: If you don’t have kefir on hand or you just can’t handle the taste, adding a probiotic supplement is highly recommended to not only assist with digestion but it will also help decrease your intense sugar cravings.

The End Product:

YUMMMMMMMMMM!