Monthly Archives: September 2012

Roasted zucchini lasagna

Picking up from last post I thought i’d share a new yummy meal made with mostly farmers market goods 🙂

Being gluten free I am often looking for substitutions that wont just please my gf palate but a gluten loving palate as well. Yesterday was just one of those days where I needed comfort food and was craving lasagna. I looked in my fridge and saw a full drawer of beautiful fresh zucchini and immediately knew I had to incorporate them into my dish.

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So I decided to use grilled zucchini slices to replace the noodles in the lasagna and it worked great.

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I do occasionally eat cheese and decided on a new to me cheese: part skim ricotta, I found I was able to get the creamy component without overdoing it on the cheese front.

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Grilled Zucchini lasagna, submitted to wellness weekend : about 1 pound of happy organic local ground beef, 1 small/medium onion, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil, 3 cups fresh tomato puree, 3 medium zucchini’s, 1/2-3/4 cup partly skim ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup fresh parm, 1/4-1/2 cup mozzarella… sauté the onion with the garlic in a little coconut oil (olive oil would work), add the beef and stir until cooked, add the chopped basil and tomato puree as well as a little salt and pepper, allow to simmer for up to an hour on low. While thats simmering on the stove, thinly slice zucchini up and grill about 2 minutes on each side (helps get rid of some excess moisture). Mix the ricotta and parm in a bowl and set aside. Once your sauce is done your ready to go, I started with a layer of sauce followed by zucchini, sauce, cheese, zucchini etc., until your finished with all ingredients. Sprinkle the top with a little mozzarella, cover with foil and pop in the oven at 375 for 45 minutes, then 10 minutes uncovered (to brown it up) and your done 🙂

Hope you enjoy as much as we did.

I have my first test tonight so i’ll keep this short, but i’ll be back later with some ‘what I learned at school’ info.

Have a great day!

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Farmers market love

Yesterday I got a call from my dad to join him for dinner with my older sister, brother in law and the 2 kiddos. I was asked to bring a dessert… At first I wasn’t sure what the heck to make but I figured a walk through the farmers market might give me the inspiration I needed.

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While I didn’t pick up any ingredients for dessert, I did manage to get some goodies for dinner as well as get a few ideas for dessert. Pumpkins and squashes were definitely at the forefront of the market which got me thinking a pumpkin chocolate chip cake of some kind would be delish.

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Not the prettiest loaf I’ve ever made but it turned out to be very yummy 🙂 this loaf would make a great addition to your morning cup of organic roasted coffee or herbal tea.
Pumpkin chocolate chip loaf:
2tbsp chia, 1/4cup warm water, 3/4 pumpkin (I used canned but fresh would be great), 1tsp vanilla, 1/2 coconut sugar, Zest of small orange, Juice of half orange , 1/3 coconut oil (melted), 2 tbsp apple sauce, 1 1/4 flour (I used a gluten free blend of brown rice, sorghum and tapioca starch), 1/4 tsp xanthan gum, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp salt, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp, fresh nutmeg, 1/4 tsp cloves, 1/2 chocolate chips, Stevia- 1 vial
Mix chia seeds and warm water, let sit. Whisk dry ingredients together put aside, mix wet ingredients plus chia gel together well and then add to dry, mix well . Stir in chocolate chips. Coat a loaf pan in coconut oil, pour mixture in. Bake at 350 for 35-40 mins, tooth pick check after 35.

One of my favourite things to do is walk through the weekly farmers markets, poke around and see what’s growing locally and chat with farmers. Its a great place to connect with your community as well as the gorgeous food that will bless your table. This weekend take a walk around your local market and become inspired by the beautiful fresh produce 🙂

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To yoyo or not… that is the question

Before I jump into class last night I thought i’d share my delish breakfast this morning, raw buckwheat porridge, submitted to wellness weekend and slightly indulgent Tuesday

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Doesn’t that look yummy! after first bite I knew it was going to become my newest food obsession.

raw buckwheat porridge: 1/2 cup raw buckwheat groats soaked over night, in the morning strain and rinse the buckwheat well. In your blender or food processor blend up 1/3 of the soaked groats with 1/4 cup almond milk a splash of vanilla, sprinkle of cinnamon and a glug of maple syrup. Once blended pour over the remaining groats, stir in chopped fruit and nuts of choice and your don, enjoy! 🙂

okay onto class

Last nights class was about blood sugar and seeing as diabetes is on the rise, I figured we could all use a little info.

How many people struggle with:

Confusion, moodiness, irritability, dizziness, exhaustion, shakiness, fatigue, clammy, cold sweats, cravings, anxiety, depression, headaches, anger, agitation, and indecisiveness, just to name a few? I’m guessing everyone has moments they feel some/all of the above symptoms, these are symptoms of low blood sugar. So what happens to your blood sugar when you eat?

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Well, basically if you eat a ‘happy’ healthy well rounded meal (like above), glucose (sugars) is released into your bloodstream which triggers your pancreas to release the hormone insulin to regulate your blood sugar, insulin signals the cells to ‘open up’ and take glucose in to use as immediate fuel, it signals the liver to convert the glucose into glycogen for short term storage, and signals the fat cells to store any excess glucose.  A little while later, when your blood sugar starts decreasing your pancreas will release the hormone glucagon which tells your liver to convert the stored glycogen into glucose to be released into the bloodstream as well as signals the fat cells to release its stored energy.

But how often do people eat healthy well-rounded meals? Unfortunately, not as often as they should, so what happens when you eat a more processed meal?

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(recipe coming soon :))

Basically, the high sugar processed food causes your blood sugar to rapidly rise, your pancreas panics and releases an excess in insulin causing your blood sugar to drop too low, your body gets stressed because your blood sugar is so low and your adrenal glands release cortisol to stimulate the release of glucose but, because you most likely regularly consume a processed diet, your body doesn’t respond to cortisol and you continue to be low, you start feeling all/any of the symptoms mentioned above and your cravings cause you to consume another processed meal and it all happens again. High Low High Low. This long-term cycle is what eventually causes type 2 diabetes or ‘insulin resistant’.

Although it’s healthy to consume the occasional ‘bad’ meal, if you experience the symptoms above on a regular basis you should maybe check in with yourself and your daily diet.

What a RAWsome night!

Seeing as it is still patio season here in beautiful Vancouver

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I thought i’d pop in with a yummy dinner I put together for friends a little while ago. I was going through a raw food trial phase and thought i’d be fun to try and put together a raw dinner for some good friends, turns out it was a huge hit!

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We started with raw zucchini hummus and veggies Image(oh just looking at the picture makes my mouth water)

For the main course we had raw tacos with a raw corn salad, avocado mango salsa, a fresh tomato salsa and a cashew cream sauce that was to die for.

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Hummus: 1 zucchini chopped, 1/2 cup raw sesame seeds (or sub 1/2 cup tahini), 1 clove of garlic, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp cumin and a little salt… blend it all up in a food processor

Raw taco meat: 2 cups raw walnuts, 1.5 tablespoons nama shoyu (if your not worried about being raw sub soy sauce or liquid aminos), 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 2 tsp cumin, and a little glug of olive oil to get it all moving… put it all in the food processor but just pulse because you don’t want to turn it into walnut butter

Mango Avocado Salsa: 1 mango diced, 1 avocado diced, 1 large tomato diced, juice from 1/2 lime, a little salt 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

cashew sour cream: 1 cup raw soaked cashews (soak overnight in water, drain and rinse before using), juice from 1 lemon, and about 1/2 cup water… blend up really well

Raw raspberry cheesecake (from My New Roots):

crust: prepare a cake pan with saran wrap, 1/2 cup raw almonds, 1/2 cup dates, pinch of salt… blend in food processor until little crumbs. Press crumb mixture into cake pan really well and place in freezer while preparing the rest of the cake

filling: 11/2 cups soaked cashews (overnight), Juice of 2 lemons, 1 tsp vanilla,1/3 cup coconut oil (melted) 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar, 1 cup raspberries (thawed if frozen… any berries would work)…warm coconut oil and honey, whisk to combine. In the most powerful food processor/blender you have (I invested in a vita mix-best investment ever!) place all filling ingredients, except berries, and blend on high until very smooth (this may take  few minutes). Pour about 2/3 rds of the mixture on the crust and smooth with spatula. Add the berries to the remaining filling and blend on high till smooth. Pour onto the first layer, smooth out and stick in freezer until solid.

To serve remove from freezer 30 mins before eating, I use a knife and hot water to cut into pieces.

MAKE THIS NOW! so so yummy 🙂

Too blessed to be stressed!

Last nights class was a continuation on the digestive system, although a very important topic and one I will definitely touch on again, there is something we briefly spoke about on the first day that I think is more important at this point.

Holistic nutrition is not just about nutrition; it is about a persons environmental, emotional, physical and spiritual components.

In today’s fast paced, rat race world stress rules our lives. Most people struggle to find just 5 minutes a day to slow down. It seems like its go go go from the moment your alarm goes off in the morning to the moment your head hits the pillow at night. All of this stress wreaks havoc on our bodies; stress is basically our bodies natural response to danger, also known as our ‘fight-or-flight’ mechanism. Stress can affect your digestion, sleep, mood, hormones and skin, just to name a few.

We need to realize that stress isn’t the actual situation itself; it is how we react to them, so how can we manage or reduce our stress? Well there isn’t a one-fits-all approach– it is very individualistic. Some people find relief through exercise, through yoga, through meditation, reading a good book, having a bubble bath, chatting with good friends, taking a few really good deep belly breaths, it can be anything that makes you feel grounded and allows you to just be in the moment and slow down. What would happen if we all took a few minutes a day to slow down and be more mindful of the moment? To be honest I don’t know, I’m just as much at fault as everyone else, I need to prioritize time to slow down and breath. So that is my homework for myself, I’m going to focus on finding more ‘me’ time and see how it makes me feel.

Sometimes we all just need to take a step back and realize we are too blessed to be stressed!

what are your de-stress methods? do you daily find time for yourself?

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