Kale, Broccoli and Minted Pea Detox Soup

Photo 2014-06-25, 3 31 26 AMWith those cold wintery nights behind us, it is nice to finally steer clear or warm oatmeal, pastas and other comforting starchy dishes. Although most people would add hot soup to that list, I on the other hand love a soup in the summer. Of course I’m not making soups loaded with pastas, potatoes and other warming ingredients, rather I am making soups that can be eaten hot, room temperature or even cold. Minestrone loaded with tons of veggies is a great way to go (will be sharing that soon) but these days I have been eating up my kale and broccoli in my soup!

Yup. This kale, broccoli and minted pea soup is insanely detoxifying and loaded with good-for-you ingredients. We know how great those green veggies are, plus I have added apple cider vinegar, ginger, lemon, onion, cayenne, garlic, and turmeric for added anti-inflammatory, metabolism boosting, antioxidant and cancer prevention benefits.

I have eaten this soup at all temperatures and have been adding a light swig of tasty extra virgin olive oil and my turmeric crunchy chickpeas as croutons for added texture. This soup was so popular amongst friends and family that I have now made 3 batches of this soup and the croutons in this week alone! It is the perfect light summer lunch or appetizer for dinner. If you had a day where you didn’t eat your best, you will feel WONDERFUL about yourself if you make this for dinner! It is incredibly flavourful (a little kick of heat in there) and creamy with perfect crunch from the chickpeas. If chickpeas aren’t your favourite add some dried cranberries or pumpkin seeds on top! As always, this recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free (this one is vegan too) and it is a perfect addition to any detox plan. Bon appetit!

Photo 2014-06-25, 2 54 53 AM

Photo 2014-06-25, 2 58 51 AM

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Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling
• 1 tsp salt (kosher, himalayan or sea)
• 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
• 1/2 tsp ground ginger
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
• 1 yellow onion (chopped)
• 3 garlic cloves (chopped)
• 2 cups raw broccoli (stems trimmed)
• 1 1/2 cups peas (fresh or frozen)
• 3 cups kale (packed)
• zest of 1 lemon
• juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
• 6 cups or 1 quart vegetable stock (homemade or organic, low sodium)
• leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh mint (or to taste, more for garnish)
roasted chickpeas (for garnish)

Directions:

1. In a big stock pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.Add chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then, stir in garlic, ginger, turmeric, cayenne, freshly ground pepper and cook for 1 minute.

2. Add broccoli and vegetable stock. Then cover and allow to steam for 5-7 minutes or until the broccoli is soft.

3. Add kale and peas and allow to steam until wilted and peas turn bright green (about 2 minutes). Then add, the fresh mint, apple cider vinegar and lemon juice.

4.If you have a great blender, you can carefully (its hot!) ladle the soup into your blender in parts. If your blender would have trouble with the broccoli you can blend the soup in two parts. First, use a hand blender or food processor to start the blending process of soup and mint. Second, ladle into your blender and process until smooth and creamy. There should be no chunks in your soup!

5. Taste the soup and make sure to season with more salt or pepper if necessary. Ladle into bowls and serve with a drizzle of olive oil, crunchy chickpeas and some more fresh mint if desired. Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Photo 2014-06-25, 3 32 47 AM
Photo 2014-06-25, 3 31 32 AM

Even Lucy likes it!

Even Lucy likes it!

Blood Orange and Avocado Salad

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This salad is a beautiful appetizer for a spring dinner or as a light lunch. The sweet citrusy flavour from the blood orange combines so nicely with the creamy avocado and crunchy sunflower seeds. These beautiful olives have the perfect amount of saltiness to counter the sweet dressing made of the orange juice and raw honey and the peppery arugula. These bright green olives are a lot less salty than the ones from the grocery store and they truly are my absolute favourite. Once you get started on a container of those bad boys, its really hard to stop. You can usually find them at your local market or at speciality stores. This salad was so easy to put together, and looks beautiful on the plate. If your not watching your dairy intake, pecorino cheese would taste amazing with this!

Heres a little nutrition info: blood oranges are “bloody” from a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is reported to have many health benefits as it is a powerful antioxidant (helping slow or prevent cancer cells). Blood oranges also contain high amounts of Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, and even fiber.

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Serves 4

Salad Ingredients:

• 2-3 blood oranges (sliced and peeled)
• 1 bunch arugula
• 1 avocado (chopped)
• 6-7 olives
• 3 tbsp toasted pumpkin seeds
• Sea salt and pepper (to taste)
• dairy option:pecorino cheese

Dressing Ingredients:

• 1 tsp honey
• juice of half an orange
• juice of half a lemon
• 1 tsp finely chopped shallots
• 1/2 tsp garlic finely chopped
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Place all prepared salad ingredients in a large bowl. (If your pumpkin seeds are raw, roast in the oven on 350 for 10 minutes).

2. For the dressing, combine all ingredients besides for olive oil. Slowly whisk in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss and serve.

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Rosemary Poppy Seed Crackers

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Its a lot easier to crack open a box of crackers and get snacking however, homemade crackers are an impressive fancy treat. These rosemary poppy seed crackers are an incredible addition to your table if you are having guests over. Instead of that predictable bottle of wine you bring to your friends, why not stack these up in a mason jar, or wrap in parchment paper with some twine. Gluten free, Paleo friendly and low carb, these almond and coconut flour crackers are tasty and filling. These crackers really call for a nice dip. I used my homemade hummus, but salsa and guacamole would be killer.

The biggest struggle I faced in making these crackers was pressing out the dough. The lack of gluten made the dough slightly crumbly (adding more water helps) and I couldn’t roll it out with my rolling pin. I left the dough in the fridge overnight which made it much easier to press out. I found my fingers were the best tool for pressing. Wet your fingers with ice cold water and press away until it is as thin as you can get them. If you prefer the crackers a bit softer (more like a bread) then leave the dough on the thicker side. If thats the case then you can also make this into a flatbread or pizza crust. Very versatile, enjoy everyone!
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Ingredients:

•1 1/2 cup almond meal
•1/2 cup coconut flour or all purpose gluten free flour
•1/4 cup nutritional yeast or parmesan (optional)
•2 eggs
•2 tbsp olive or coconut oil (liquid/melted)
•1 tsp sea salt
•2 tbsp dried rosemary
•4 tbsp poppy seeds
•4 tbsp water

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line and grease a baking sheet (large or 2 medium) with parchment paper.

2. Combine all ingredients except the water then slowly add the water until you have a firm dough.

3. Place in the fridge for at least one hour or overnight.

4. Smooth dough onto a baking sheet using a spatula or your hands (dip hands in ice cold water to prevent sticking.)

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven. You want them to be a golden brown with crispy edges. Check on them at the 10 minute mark and then bake for longer if necessary. It took the full 15 minutes for mine. I cut mine into squares right from the oven and then let them cool. Once they cooled I broke them into crackers. For a more rustic look, let the crackers cool completely then break apart with your hands. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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