Sweet Potato Chilli

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I don’t know whether this constitutes as chilli or a stew but either way it is one of the easiest, cheapest and most satisfying meals to eat when the cold weather comes around. I have been making this dish for about four years now and can basically do it with my eyes closed. It is such a staple in my household, it practically blends in with the fridge.  What is so great about any chilli or stew is that you can add just about anything and it will still taste pretty great so long as the spice is there. If you have vegetables or meat that are reaching their expiration date, you can throw them into the pot and extend their life for at least another week or two. Whats best is that this dish actually tastes better with age. Just like a homemade sauce, the flavours are more enhanced a day or two later and it can be enjoyed throughout the week.

I do not add meat to this chilli because it is already packed with enough protein from all of the beans, which makes it a great option for #meatlessmondays or for those trying to reduce their animal protein intake. And to be honest, you don’t really miss it. I normally make Zach a huge container to take to work to eat throughout the week. This kid loves his steak more than the average, and this chilli is one of his favourites!

Beans are high in antioxidants, fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Eating beans may decrease the risk of diabetes, heart disease, colorectal cancer, and can even help with weight management. Because they are rich in protein and carbohydrates you will be left feeling full and satisfied without any added fat. The sweet potato will give you lots of vitamin E and potassium. I even add a little turmeric to mine for added anti inflammatory benefits. Feel free to interchange the sweet potato with butternut squash (equally as delicious). Serve with a fresh salad for a complete meal or over some brown rice after a good cardio workout. My mom loves it over brown rice noodles or stuffed in a baked potato! Dee-lish. Bon appétit!
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Ingredients:

• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic (about 3 cloves)
• 1 yellow onion finely chopped
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp pepper
• 1 tsp turmeric
• 1 tsp chilli powder (you can add more if you like your chilli smokier)
• 1 tsp paprika
• 1 tbsp ground cumin
• about 1 lb chopped carrots (8-10 carrots, make sure they are bite sized!)
• 2 sweet potatoes chopped (can interchange with squash)
• 2 large cans of whole tomatoes (I buy San Marzano)
• 2 cups of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
• 1 cup cooked red kidney beans
• 1 cup cooked canellini beans
• 1 heaped tbsp of tomato paste
• 1 tbsp hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot) *optional
• 2-3 drops stevia (optional)
• bunch of fresh cilantro (for garnish)

Directions:

1. In a huge stock pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Sautée onion until translucent about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and spices. Sautée for another minute.
2. Add carrots and potatoes and cook for 5 minutes. If you find they are sticking to the pot, add more olive oil.
3. Add tomatoes and pierce using a wooden spoon. If you like tomato chunks, don’t break them down too much! Add tomato paste and hot sauce and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer uncovered and cook until you can pierce the potato and carrots easily with a fork (about 20-30 minutes).
4. Add your beans and allow to cook for another 10 minutes until the water from the tomatoes is mostly cooked down. If you are using canned beans, make sure to rinse them really well! Make sure to taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. If you like a sweet and spicy chilli, add a little bit of stevia!
5. Serve with fresh cilantro as a garnish!
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Creamy Coconut Avocado Lime Pie

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Theres nothing like the refreshing and creamy taste of a key lime pie. Back when I ate whatever was in front of me, this was my go-to dessert at any steak house. Although always light in taste and texture, key lime pie is heavy in dairy, gluten and refined sugars. But, have no fear, a clean version of this recipe has been surfacing all over the internet. No I am not the first one to make an avocado lime pie, but after making this about 4-5 times by now, I think I finally have got the flavour just right. With some coconut cream, avocado and lime juice this dessert would fool any sweets fan.

This pie in particular is not called ‘key lime’ pie because I could not find any key lime juice. Fun fact: most people just call their lime tarts and pies by the key lime name even though key lime juice is nowhere to be found. Key limes are actually a variety of the lime family, but can be quite difficult to find in grocery stores. I am sure however, this recipe would be just as delicious (maybe even more so) with some key lime juice.

In the ingredients, I give options for sweetening this dessert. If someone is watching their carb or sugar intake in your family you can replace the coconut sugar and maple syrup with stevia. My dad watches his carbs like a mad man and I have been making this for him on a weekly basis. One of the hardest parts of following a low carb diet or having an illness that restrains sugar intake is satisfying a sweet tooth. The low carb treats that are offered by the various diets (Atkins, South Beach) are full of chemicals, hydrogenated oils and artificial sweeteners. My dad is thrilled he can eat a dessert that has good for you fats and natural low glycemic sweeteners. There are always ways to meet the dietary needs of your family, friends and guests! With a few trips to your local health food stores, your pantry will eventually be filled with all the ingredients you need for an allergy/diet friendly home. I hope you enjoy this refreshing summer dessert!
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Crust Ingredients:

• 2 cups shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 egg whites)
• 1/3 cup coconut sugar or 1/2 tsp stevia
• pinch of salt
• 1 tsp vanilla

Filling Ingredients:

• juice of 4 limes (about 1/2 cup)
• zest of 2 limes
• 1 cup of organic coconut cream (**if you cannot find this in grocery stores, simply place two cans of full fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight and only use the thick white cream found at the top of the can)
• 3 ripe large avocados (about 2 cups scooped)
• 1/2 tsp stevia or 1/3 cup maple syrup
• dash of salt
• 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• fresh mint and lime slices for garnish (optional)

Crust Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and line tart pan.
2. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Press mixture into pan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Let cool.

Filling Directions:

1. Using a spoon, scoop out the avocado from its skin and place in a food processor.Process until smooth.
2. Add the coconut cream, stevia (or maple syrup), salt, vanilla, lime juice and lmd zest. Process until completely smooth.
3. Taste the filling! You may need to add more sweetener or lime juice depending on how you tart/sweet you like it best!
4. When the crust has cooled, pour the filling into the crust. Place this in the freezer for about 1 hour or until it becomes solid. To serve, simple remove the pie from the freezer 15-20 minutes before serving.
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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!

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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.

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Even Lucy likes it!

Even Lucy likes it!