One of my favourite things I love to do for myself is spend 3 or 4 hours just browsing at my neighbourhood bookstore. Almost always on these outings, I usually find myself lost in the cookbook section. Being the main cook in the house sometimes gets a little tiresome trying to remember who likes what or doesn't like that, trying to come up with healthy family recipes that also taste good and keep everyone satisfied. So I am not ashamed to admit that I love a good cookbook. These are my expectations when choosing a new cookbook:
Here is my variation:
1 medium onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
2 leeks, chopped (Tip: slice the leeks in half lengthwise, then separate the layers to clean out the dirt that tends to be in between)
1/2 small cabbage, cored and shredded (or just do what I did and use the coleslaw mix already chopped and prepackaged)
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme (you can use fresh herbs if that's your choice, but I usually just stick with the dried variety)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 can of diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper
3 cups broth (the recipe calls for vegetable broth, but I usually just use chicken or beef broth as that is what I have on hand - I really don't worry about that unless I know I am cooking for a vegetarian)
3 cups water
3 cups canned cannellini (white kidney) beans with their liquid
3 cloves of garlic finely chopped
8 slices day-old rustic Italian bread (French baguettes work too)
In a large pot, cook onions, carrots, celery, and herbs in the oil over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden, about 10 minutes. Add the cabbage and tomatoes and stir well. Add about a teaspoon of salt, the broth, and water, and bring to a boil. Add the white kidney beans to the soup (including their liquid), season with pepper and garlic and let it simmer for about an hour (I keep the heat nice and low so I that I can have time to clean up or even just enjoy a glass of wine, no judgments here, right?)
When ready to serve, top each serving with a slice of the bread. Optional: drizzle with olive oil.
If making this in a slow cooker, combine all ingredients (minus the olive oil) and cook on low for about 6-7 hours. Add the bread when serving.
Much love and respect,
Ever clean out your refrigerator to find something that you barely remember buying? Of course you have. We've all done that. Yesterday was no exception when I was cleaning my fridge out and I found this 1.2 kg bag of ground flax seed, Costco special of course. I think I purchased this last summer in one of my attempts to include more healthy options in my nutrition and I think it was sort of forgotten. That being said, flax seed has so many nutritional benefits that include being a great source of protein, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and other vitamins and minerals. So I am not ready to give up on it just yet and I am determined to get creative and figure out where I can incorporate it before it expires on me.
One of the things I recently learned after being resourceful and googling different uses for flax seed is that you can use it as an egg substitute. I'm sure of I've heard of this before, maybe you have too, but when you combine 1 tablespoon ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water, that equals 1 egg! Naturally, I had to test this theory, so I decided to swap ingredients in my usual pancake recipe. It turned out pretty well. The pancake batter still had the same consistency and cooked up the same had I used eggs. The pancakes tasted just as good, if not better, and if I can get some added nutritional benefit from it...Bonus! Plus, I am not going through as many eggs this way and it's nice having an alternative available in case I am cooking/baking for someone with an egg allergy.
Here is my recipe:
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. sugar
2 tbsp. ground flax seed mixed with 6 tbsp. water (equivalent to 2 eggs)
1/4 cup hemp hearts (optional)
2 cups milk of your choice (I used half 1% milk and half unsweetened almond milk)
Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Heat fry pan on high and melt about 1 tbsp. of margarine or butter, coating pan evenly. Add melted butter to the batter and lower the heat - I find the pancakes cook more evenly when I get the pan nice and hot, then turn it to low when it's time to cook. Using a 1/4 cup measure, pour about 3 pancakes into the fry pan, flipping when it starts to bubble. Move to platter once cooked through. 1 serving = 2 small pancakes. Add your choice of fruit on the side.
Kind of looks a happy face, don't it?
Our family likes to top the pancakes with peanut butter and just a little bit of syrup (no deprivation here, it's all about balance).
Looks simple, but eating healthy does not have to be complicated or overly fancy.
Much love and respect,
In this journey of personal growth that I am on, evaluating how I fuel my body so that it can do all the things I need it to do is playing a big part in becoming who I want to become. Throughout my website, I will try my hardest to never use the word "diet." Instead, I will simply refer to it as my nutrition plan.
I'm a pretty simple girl. I don't like anything complicated or hard to remember. Some days my breakfasts might seem boring but as long as I am consciously incorporating balance into what I consume, then that is all that matters. On any given weekday, I usually strive to feed my kids a breakfast that includes 1 serving of grain, 1 serving of fruit, 1 serving of protein (usually a hard boiled egg or maybe yogurt), and a glass of milk. I also usually tend to feed myself the same thing as I decided long ago I am not a short-order cook in my own home. Though sometimes I need to have something a little different, something that is warm and sticks to my tummy like good old oatmeal, especially in this cold weather we've been getting, and because my kids are not always crazy about oatmeal (they like it but not as much as I do), it's one time I make the exception.
On a morning if I happen to have time, or if I make it on the weekend, I will make it using steel cut oats, but usually time on a weekday morning is pretty tight, so instead I choose to use quick cooking oats. I don't understand when or where or why quick cooking oats got such a bad rap. They taste just as good, and by the time you add all kinds of good stuff, you're still getting great nutritional benefit. One of the ingredients that I am kind of obsessed with is hemp hearts. They have kind of a nutty taste, and with so much protein (10 g for 3 tbsp) along with other vitamins and nutrients...it's a big win in my book and I am convinced they are playing a big part in how much better I feel.
Here is my recipe for a quick and easy weekday breakfast that is good for you and sure to start your day off right:
Ingredients (for 1 serving):
1/3 cup quick cooking oats
2/3 cups water
3 tbsp hemp hearts (I used Manitoba Harvest brand from Costco, though other stores do carry it in smaller packages)
2-3 tbsp chia seeds (again from Costco, I find buying the bigger bag a lot more economical)
1/2 cup of blueberries (or substitute for whatever fruit you like)
Combine oats and water in a microwaveable safe bowl and cook for about 2 minutes. Though it could take less as microwave temps vary. Once the oats appear cooked, add the hemp hearts, chia seeds, and fruit (my favourite way to add something sweet while cutting out sugar). Top with your milk or yogurt of choice and enjoy!
On days when I have time and/or I want to make a bigger batch for my family, I will cook over the stove using steel cut oats. When I do this on the weekend, another variation I like to do is to add chopped up apples (about 3 or 4) to the water, then add the oats once the water starts boiling. It's a great way for me to sneak in fruit for everyone.
Much love and respect,