Drink…Green!

For a refreshing summer cooler and even flow of metabolism-boosting energy —-green ‘smoothies’ can’t be beat. Here’s a quick and easy green beverage with nutrients that provides a daily ‘cleanse’ for your liver (first thing in the morning or before bedtime), or makes a great ‘pick me up’ anytime! Use a juicer or to keep it really simple with easy clean up, choose a small 12 ounce blender with a pour spout. Always choose the freshest veggies you can find, (organic if available/affordable for you).

METHOD: In a small 12 ounce ‘bullet’-style blender, add one stalk of chopped organic celery, one small sliced garden or hothouse cucumber, a sprig of fresh mint, and one teaspoon-sized chunk of fresh ginger (peeled). Add a dash of cayenne pepper and Stevia™ sweetener. Pour in 1/2 c. of hand brewed tonic water (I like Fentiman’s brand and their flavoured tonics from the UK). Quinine in tonic water is an “old time” ‘fix’ that can help ward off a summer cold or virus. Add one TBSP of organic apple cider vinegar, a dash of fresh lemon juice, and cover the veggies with cold spring water. Blend well or for about a minute until veggies are finely chopped. Pour through the ‘sipper’ or spout of the blender container (to fill 8 -12 ounce glass), and allow the pulp to remain in the blender as you pour. Serve over ice or enjoy at room temperature.

For an extra clear juice without pulp, strain the drink into your glass with a small sieve or cheese cloth. I like to keep the pulp and use it fresh the same day (it won’t keep for more than a day). Add the pulp to a soup stock, mix with mayo and chunk white tuna for an easy tasty snack on a brown rice cracker, or try it on a mini-pizza — just sprinkle the well-drained veggie pulp onto a brown rice wrap, add fresh spinach leaves, cover with crumbled low fat feta cheese, and bake in a toaster oven at 300′ F until the cheese melts.

 

image: ehealthiq.com

Indie Seasonal Salsa

Winter’s ice cold days calls for adding plenty of bright fresh foods that bring a little extra oomph and colour to your table and will help chase away the same-old menu blues. I was happy to come across a recipe for fresh fig and mango salsa, recently, as I enjoy using in-season fruit. I instantly went ‘Indie’ by adapting the recipe and by adding fresh seasonal anils of pomegranate,  a hint of turmeric and hot sweet chili paste,  cilantro and lemon honey. I totally loved the results! This salsa will be worth making more than once over the holidays.  Not only will this salsa with a twist add a fresh burst of fruity flavour without being overpowering, it’s a lovely chutney served with roast turkey, or makes for a fabulous brunch idea, (top it on french bread for a bold bruschetta, with melted provolone). Alternatively, simply chow down this sizzle of a salsa ‘as is’ with your preferred winter spicy Indian meal as I enjoyed doing last week. Since this recipe goes great with just about anything, give it a whirl, and let me know what you think.

Ingredients:  3 medium sized organic tomatoes, diced; 1 ripe mango, diced; 1 lb. fresh figs, washed and diced; 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate anils; 1/2 cup chopped spring/green onion; 1/2 c. chopped cilantro; 1/2 tsp. pressed garlic or garlic paste; 1/2 tsp. turmeric paste, 1 Tbsp. sweet chili paste (or ‘to taste’); 1 tsp. coconut vinegar; 1 tsp. lemon or ginger liquid honey; Fresh ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together well. Serve fresh or heated. Serves – 4 – 6.

Image: all4desktop.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spice it up!

chiliDamp weather and cooler temperatures…snow’s just around the corner in Canada’s mid-west. No better time to focus on preparing homey comfort foods, stews, and broths. As you do so, think about adding spicy elements to meals to boost and strengthen your immune system. I love brightening up a rainy fall day with a hearty bowl of chicken soup. If you’re on the go and can’t find time to make broth, there are plenty of great low-salt brands available, packaged or in tetra packs. I add steamed veggies and a  peppery chili or “chilli” paste or lemongrass paste just before removing hot soup from the stove.

Both chili paste or lemongrass add warmth and extra flavour while providing a boost to your immune system. My favourite brand is Gourmet Garden. Browse the company’s website by herb or spice for recipes. These amazing Aussie products are available in many fresh produce and grocery aisles across North America — a fabulous import from Down Under…

I also cannot say enough about the importance of investing in your wellness by choosing quality nutritionals. Vitamins C and D are a must during fall and winter, especially in northern climes. I recommend Proflavanol®C-100 or Proglucamune® from Usana. The benefits of cellular science are many and will help keep your body primed to ward off nasty colds, flus and virus strains.

Enjoy a bright new season of wellness…warmth…and all things good

Image: openwalls.com

You say, tom-ay-to…

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I say ‘tomat-oh’…
No matter, because any way you say it, autumn’s ‘the’ season for red and bright coloured foods, and for me nothing adds zest and comfort to life and this time of year quite like the inestimable tomato.

I’ve heard of late that certain ‘wellness gurus’ claim tomatoes are no longer a ‘good’ or even a healthy food. We’ve heard this about all kinds of things, so I  won’t even ‘go there’.  Instead, I will say that I love the health benefits and low calorie rich fibre benefits of tomatoes. My favorites are vine-ripened, (garden/organic) and bright-tasting bite-size romas, cherry tomatoes, etc.  I like to make homemade tomato soup this time of year, and I will continue to judge the goodness of tomatoes not by the latest ‘good for you, bad for you’ reports out there, but by how much this amazing fruit that dresses up as a vegetable continues to pack a load of lycopene, (an important antioxidant) and other positive benefits. Discover 11 good things about tomatoes at organicfacts.net  and if you have a favorite tomato soup recipe, let me know. Here’s one I love from AllRecipes.com

Keep loving good eats!

Image: feelgrafix.com

go, go, GO…

gogo-quinoawelcome to foodie wellnessAs a lover of all food, I often adapt recipes to include a ton of veggies, pulses, legumes and super grains in my meal plans. A highly-energizing super-grain dish to prepare in under 30 minutes is falafel (croquettes) using organic quinoa and amaranth flours. Btw — these falafel store great in the refrigerator for 2-3 days & may freeze well too (but I have yet to keep them on hand to find out).

To prepare from scratch, select finely-ground organic quinoa and amaranth flours, (3 parts to one) and add turmeric, garlic powder, garlic scape/sea salt blend, and other seasonings to taste. For convenience, I prefer using an excellent ‘on the go’ ready-blend — ‘Go Go Quinoa Burger Mix’.  (available in both US and Canada). Go-Go’s a fair trade company with super grains directly sourced from Bolivia. Their website features incredible recipes, including desserts and monthly features like a Mediterranean Falafel Bowl.  To prepare from mix, follow package directions, adding warm water. Flour should be just moist enough to easily form golf-ball-sized falafel. Fry for 3-5 minutes in a ceramic non-stick pan (I never deep-fry), using 3 – 5 TBSP coconut or olive oil. Turn and remove from heat when golden brown. Before falafel are done try some spice and sizzle by adding a dash of coconut aminos (instead of soy sauce), green chili Tabasco and red chili paste. And…you’re ready to… go, go, GO. Keep loving & enjoying great food.

image (GoGoQuinoa.com)