Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

We are in love with this salad.  It's tough to eat cold, raw veggies in the winter when it's cold.  Eating with the seasons, our bodies crave warm, comforting foods that will both physically and energetically get our digestive fire going.  However, there's something about salads that is always so refreshing and uplifting and just makes use feel healthy.  That's where balance comes in.  There is a way to enjoy salad in the winter, with a little bit of extra care and creativity. 

To do this, we combine some cooked veggies with some raw veggies, so there's a little bit of fresh, vibrance mixed with comfort and warmth.

In this salad we use roasted cauliflower and roasted beets.  It's optional to lightly saute the kale and brussels sprouts.  If you prefer, you can keep these raw.  We like to add in some freshly slivered radishes to provide that crisp bite.  And, lastly, adding in some refreshing grapefruit and orange really rounds out the salad and adds some beautiful colour!

This recipe is actually ideal to make with leftovers.  If you roast some cauliflower and beets the day or two before you make this salad, then you can eat some of them for another meal and then use the rest in this salad recipe.

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Cauliflower and Beets

1 small bunch kale, chopped
2 cups brussels sprouts, slivered finely
2 beets, roasted and sliced into thin pieces
2 cups cauliflower florets, roasted
2 radishes, sliced in thin slivers
1/2 of a cara cara orange, sliced in thin segments
1/2 of a grapefruit, sliced in thin segments
2 to 3 Tbsp hempseeds

Lemon Vinaigrette:
1/2 a lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 of a small garlic clove, minced
sea salt and pepper

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

Directions:

1. If you have leftover roasted cauliflower and beets, yay!  If you don't have them ready yet, then chop the cauliflower into florets.  Spread out on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and sea salt.  Roast at 375 for 30 minutes, or until beginning to crisp on edges.  If you need to roast the beets, rinse them well and cut away any dirty parts.  Wrap up in some tin foil with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  Roast for 1 hour, or until the beets are soft.  Then the skin will peel off easily.  Slice into thin pieces.

2. Rinse off the kale and dry well.  Chop into smaller pieces.

3. Sliver the brussels sprouts as thinly as you can.

4. Optional: If you prefer that the kale and brussels sprouts are cooked, lightly saute them in some extra virgin olive oil with sea salt.  It's best to saute them separately and then toss together after.

5. Chop the radishes in slivers.  Slice the cara cara orange and grapefruit into thin segmets

6. Combine all the veggies and toss together.

7. Make vinaigrette and drizzle on top.

Wilted Kale Winter Salad with Brussels Sprouts, Beets & Cauliflower

Carrot Ginger Soup

carrot ginger soup, vegan, ginger carrot soup, creamy ginger carrot soup

When you only have 5 to 10 minutes to prep a recipe, this one really does the trick!  But you would never know, because it tastes so full and rich, creamy and thick, with the perfect balance of sweet and earthy flavours.  This time of year we love warming, cozy soups.  This Carrot Ginger soup is especially good if you are sick because the ginger, onions and garlic will support your immune system.  You'll find that this soup is easy to swallow but has lots of body to it, the complete opposite of a thin, watery soup.  In fact, if you find that it's too thick, you can add some extra broth to thin it out. 

 

carrot ginger soup, ginger carrot soup, creamy ginger carrot soup, creamy ginger carrot soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

1 lb. carrots, chopped (peel if they are dirty and/or not organic)
2 ribs of celery, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger root, chopped roughly
4 cup veggie broth
sea salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

Directions:

1. Heat a spoonful of olive oil in a pot and saute the onions, garlic and ginger root for around 5 minutes, until translucent. 

2. Add the carrots, celery, veggie broth and sea salt and pepper to the pot.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes, until the carrots are soft.

3. Carefully pour the soup into a high speed blender and blend until the soup is smooth and creamy.

4. Taste and add more sea salt or pepper if needed.
 

Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing Salad

carrot miso ginger dressing, carrot miso ginger salad dressing

This time of year it's so chilly and grey, which often makes cooked veggies more appealing than raw ones, but we still do crave refreshing, crisp salads!  To find a balance, making the right type of salad dressing can make all the difference.  We like to use ingredients that have some heat to them, like fresh ginger root.  Blended in a salad dressing, the ginger root brings warmth and a slight kick that you can really feel in the back of your throat (perfect if you have a tickle, sore throat or cold).  Plus, ginger warms up your digestive fire. 

This salad dressing is inspired by one that is found in the cookbook It's All Good, with some of our own modifications.  We absolutely love using miso that is made from chickpeas (chickpea miso), instead of soy based miso.  This still provides you with all the gut loving bacteria of fermented foods but is safe for anyone who can't eat soy.

We absolutely love the bright orange colour of this dressing, that alone is so uplifting and makes us feel warm!  We hope that you will love this Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing as much as we do. 

miso carrot ginger dressing, miso carrot ginger salad dressing

Carrot Miso Ginger Dressing

 

1 Tbsp ginger root
1/2 heaping cup carrot, diced
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp chickpea miso
2 tsp raw honey
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp water
sea salt

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients in a high speed blender until it's all creamy and smooth.  This will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge.

Matcha Chia Pudding

matcha chia pudding

Smooth, creamy, sweet and yet kinda like earthy green tea at the same time...matcha lends a unique taste to this chia pudding.  Chia pudding is one of our favourite things to make for breakfast because it's so easy to prepare in advance (even days in advance) and then just grab it and go in the morning.  With this recipe, we even prepped all the fruit in advance and stored it in the same mason jar as the chia pudding. 

If you like green tea, then you'll love this special matcha treat. And, since matcha is made from whole ground up green tea leaves it's super rich in antioxidants.  Chia seeds are wonderful to support digestion and keep things moving regularly, plus they also contain protein and anti inflammatory omega 3 fat.

matcha chia pudding

Matcha Chia Pudding

2 1/4 cups dairy-free milk (we used 1 and 1/4 cups hemp milk and 1 cup  full fat coconut milk
1/3 cup chia seeds
2 tsp matcha
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Toppings:
raspberries
pomegranate (if it's in season)
green apple, slivererd

Directions:

1. The first thing you'll need to do is whisk the matcha into the milk.  Make sure there are no clumps. 

2. Then whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl.  You can taste it and add more maple syrup if you'd like it to be sweeter.

3. Pour into 2 mason jars (or 3, if you want smaller servings).  Cover and place the jars in the fridge over night.  The pudding will be thick in the morning.

4. Top with berries, pomegranate and apple slices.  To save time for another morning- add in the fruit in advance and seal up the jar, keep in the regrigerator.

matcha chia pudding

Pomegranate Blueberry 10-Minute Pancakes (gluten free, vegan)

blueberry pomegranate pancakes, gluten free, vegan

When you don't have a lot of time in the morning, breakfast usually comes last, and quickly.  We get pretty tired of toast, smoothies and granola though.  Pancakes are normally reserved for the weekend, on more leisurely days.  But, with this month being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we've been thinking about simple ways that we can incorporate more self care.  Self care doesn't have to be an hour long massage or a girls' night with friends (although we love those things and would love to bank some more hours there).  Self care can be simple.  And, we want to put our attention on those simple things.  Pancakes for breakfast is a form of self care.

Taking a moment to breathe deeply is self care.  Washing your face with a natural soap that you love, buying your favourite beautiful fruit to enjoy even if it's not on sale, curling up with your favourite blanket and good book for 15 minutes before bed...these are all moments of self care.  Although we are nutritionists and talk a lot about food and importance of eating nourishing things to support your health, self care and how you emotionally feel is just as important when it comes to preventing disease, managing illness and recovering and healing. 

Our Top 4 Self Care Tips for Breast Cancer Prevention

1. Skin brush.  Buy a skin brush and use it in the shower every day, or even once a week.  Just start out with using it occasionally, so that you can implement the practice and avoid getting overwhelmed. Skin brushing helps stimulate your lymph system and move toxins out of your body (the things that can get stagnant and lead to blockage and illness). Remember, always brush toward the direction of your heart when skin brushing.

2. Get outside in nature. Whether you live in the city or in a more rural area.  Walk in nature.  Walk in a park or nature reserve area if you live in the city.  Spend some time sitting on the earth.  Being in nature helps calm the mind, body and spirit.  Haven't heard of forest bathing? Check it out: Forest Bathing

3. Detox your home from toxins. Clean out your house of all the cleaning supplies, soaps, lotions, makeup, etc. that are made with chemicals.  Anything that has a really strong smell is a good sign that it's probably not the healthiest thing for you to keep around.  Instead, pick up some new cleaning supplies from the health food store that are made with natural and organic ingredients.  Choose soap and beauty products that are free of dangerous chemicals.  Need help?  Check out the Environmental Working Group's guide: Skin Deep Database

4. Make pancakes more! Take the time to prepare and eat the foods that you love.  A little self care and nourishment is easy to incorporate when you make recipes that use good quality ingredients. 

Pomegranate Blueberry 10-Minute Pancakes (gluten free, vegan)

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour (certified GF if needed)
2 tsp coconut sugar (omit if you don't want sweets)
tiny pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp powder
1 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 3 Tbsp water
1 cup dairy-free milk
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup wild blueberries (we use frozen)
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

additional coconut oil for cooking

Directions:
1. Combine the chia seeds and water in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl.
3. Create a well in the dry ingredients in the center of the bowl.  Add in the chia seeds and water, milk, and melted coconut oil.
3. Mix all together.  If the batter is too thick, you can add some more water or milk.
4. Then fold in the blueberries.
5. Heat a large skillet with some coconut oil.
6. Scoop out batter to form small pancakes.  Cook for about 4 minutes on the first side, then flip and cook on other side until center is firm and the edges are just beginning to crisp slightly.
7. Serve pomegranate seeds over top.  If you eat butter, add some on top of the pancakes (or use coconut oil), along with maple syrup or raw honey.

Smoothie Bowl (Banana Free) & Why Make Sugar Free Smoothies?

smoothie bowl, banana free smoothie bowl, smoothie bowl no banana, acai smoothie bowl

The question of whether or not to eat sugar comes up a lot for many of our clients, especially when it comes to cancer prevention.  This can be a challenge when it comes to making smoothies and clients ask us if it’s okay to put sweet fruit in them.

In honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, this October, we are going to be sharing some blog posts with important information for women...and the question about sugar is one of the things we’ll look at.   

If you don’t like bananas it can be tough to find a good smoothie.  We admit it, even we resort to using bananas as a key ingredients in smoothies most of the time.  But, we don’t all love bananas and we get bored of their strong, overpowering flavour that seems to take over the entire smoothie no matter what other delicious ingredients we add.  

Besides the flavour, there are a lot of reasons why many of our clients limit or avoid their intake of bananas.  It’s not that they aren’t healthy, in fact bananas are actually technically a low glycemic fruit.  On the Glycemic Index scale they are rated at 51, and foods below 55 are considered low glycemic (meaning, they won’t release carbohydrates rapidly and spike your blood sugar as quickly as high glycemic foods immediately after eating). Bananas are also infamously known for their high potassium content, which is an important mineral needed for electrolyte balance.  

 

So, why would you stop eating bananas?

Bananas are still sweet and contain sugar, just as all fruit does.  However, if you are managing or recovering from a health issue, limiting sugar intake is helpful for many reasons.  Whether you are dealing with blood sugar management, hormonal imbalance, digestive imbalance, or cancer, reducing your sugar intake supports the balance of good bacteria in your digestive tract.  Too many sweet foods fuel overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeast in the gut.  This in turn not only interferes with proper digestion and removal of waste, but can weaken the immune system.  70% of your immune system is found in the lining of the intestinal tract.  When the good bacteria is out of balance here, your body’s first line of defence is weakened.  

If you are dealing with insulin resistance or want to prevent that from happening, it’s a good idea to limit your intake of sweet foods (especially refined carbs like sugar, white flour, and processed foods). These foods trigger your pancreas to release insulin to help shuttle the carbohydrates into your cells.   However, if lots of sweets and simple carbohydrates are consumed the pancreas becomes taxed with producing so much insulin. And, your body’s cells can eventually stop responding to insulin (insulin resistance), which leaves glucose circulating in the blood stream. This elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance is linked with inflammation, which increases cancer risk.

 

What to do?

This doesn’t mean you have to stop eating fruit or whole grains and starchy vegetables.  Sweet potatoes and other root veggies, brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains, and so many fruits are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.  It just means that you want to eat these things as part of a balanced diet with lots of leafy greens, a rainbow of colourful veggies, clean proteins (beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, eggs, or organic animal protein if you’re omnivore), and healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil and omega-3 rich flax oil.  And, limit your intake of sweet foods and avoid refined products like white flour and sugar.

 

The Alternative to Banana in Smoothies

So, whether you are limiting your intake of sugar or just don’t like the taste of bananas, here’s what you can use instead to make a smoothie.  

Option 1: Pear
Pears are a bit lower on the glycemic index than bananas and taste less sweet. Add pear into your smoothies instead of bananas.  You can replace banana with the same amount of pear for a similar consistency.

Option 2: Avocado
If you’re  going completely sugar free, then avocado will provide the perfect creamy texture to your smoothie that banana normally does.  But, then you might be dealing with a smoothie that’s not sweet enough.  Berries are your best friend here.  They are low glycemic and the lowest sugar fruits. If you still need more sweet taste, then we recommend adding a few drops of stevia to the avocado based smoothie. Many healthy vegan protein powders are already sweetened with stevia, so if you add a scoop of that into the smoothie it can provide some sweetness.

 

Smoothie Bowl (Banana Free)

1 pear, chopped roughly
1 cup blueberries (or you can use raspberries and/or strawberries instead)
1 acai smoothie pack (we’ve been using this Acai Roots brand)
2 to 3 Tbsp hempseeds or protein powder of choice
½ cup unsweetened coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)

Toppings:
Shredded coconut
Caco nibs
Mulberries (or goji berries)
Strawberries
Raspberries

Directions:

  1. Place the pear, blueberries, and hempseeds (or protein powder) in the blender.

  2. Break the acai smoothie pack into a few smaller pieces and add to the blender.

  3. Add a little bit of the milk and blend everything together.  Add the milk gradually, as needed to get everything blending.  The smoothie bowl with be thicker with less liquid added.

  4. Once everything is creamy and smooth pour into a bowl.

  5. Top with your toppings of choice!

 

References:

Ben-Shmuel S, et.al. “Metabolic Syndrome, Type 2 Diabetes, and Cancer: Epidemiology and Potential Mechanisms.” Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology, April, 2015.

Brown, Kirsty, et al. “Diet-Induced Dysbiosis of the Intestinal Microbiota and the Effects on Immunity and Disease.” Nutrients, vol. 4, no. 8, 2012 Aug: pp. 1095–1119

Sears, Barry, and Mary Perry. “The Role of Fatty Acids in Insulin Resistance.” Lipids in Health and Disease 14 (2015): 121.

Simopoulos, Artemis P. “An Increase in the Omega-6/Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratio Increases the Risk for Obesity.” Nutrients 8.3 (2016): 128. PMC. Web. 27 Sept. 2017.

Vighi, G et al. “Allergy and the Gastrointestinal System.” Clinical and Experimental Immunology 153.Suppl 1 (2008): 3–6. PMC.


Wellen, Kathryn E., and Gökhan S. Hotamisligil. “Inflammation, Stress, and Diabetes.” Journal of Clinical Investigation 115.5 (2005): 1111–1119. PMC. Web. 27 Sept. 2017.