Deconstructed Healthy Sushi Bowl

Healthy Sushi Rice
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! I know that many of you have made some of your New Years goals- which likely include losing weight. I am not one to preach about how you should be living your life, but I did want to share some of my thoughts on resolutions. As we reach a birthday, new year or other milestone that is meaningful in some way, we often set different goals. It is great to check in and assess our lives to take note of what we need to improve upon or perhaps to reward ourselves on what has been achieved.

This year, instead of setting that familiar measurable goal of losing weight, consider altering your entire lifestyle. Healthy eating, exercise, etc..is my lifestyle. It is not an obsession nor is it a means of looking my physical best. My lifestyle is one that makes me feel great both physically and mentally. Do I eat junk sometimes? YES. Do I drink sometimes? Yes. Do I skip workouts? Hell yes! But I do all of these things in moderation. Balance is key. Too much of anything is never a good thing and that sometimes includes an obsession with a healthy living. I understand that might sound silly to many of you, but if eating a few Doritos sends you down a downward hill of self-hate, guilt, and obsessive exercise.. there is something unhealthy about that too. Life is about finding the balance in everything (this also includes work and relationships).

Now onto the recipe! I love this recipe for many reasons…

1. I don’t have to waste my money ordering sushi anymore.
2. The possibilities to make it your own are endless.
3. Makes a delicious side dish for any protein (think tofu, raw or cooked salmon, chicken, chickpeas etc…)
4. It is so easy to make and super cheap!

Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Here’s how you make it!

Ingredients:

• 2 cups uncooked brown rice or about 4 cups cooked ***(see notes, follow directions on the bag)
• 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
• 3-4 tbsp tamari or gluten free soya sauce (or to taste)
• 3 tbsp honey
• 1 tsp wasabi paste (optional, more if you like it hot!)
• 1/4 cup chopped pickled ginger
• 1 sheet of nori (dried seaweed) cut into thin strips
• 3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup seeded and chopped cucumber
• 1 avocado diced

Directions:

1. Cook rice according to directions. See note below.

2. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, whisk rice wine vinegar, tamari, honey and wasabi until combined. Pour mixture evenly over rice and stir until well coated. Taste and adjust seasonings to your taste.

saltier= more tamari
tangier= more vinegar
spicier = more wasabi
sweeter= more honey

3. Mix in pickled ginger, nori, cucumber, avocado and sesame seeds.

4. Serve alone or with protein of choice.

***I love this brand of short grain brown rice for this recipe. It mimics the texture of white sushi rice. I cook mine with splash of avocado oil and salt. It comes out sticky and fluffy- perfect for sushi rice! Cook according to bag directions.
Deconstructed Sushi Bowl

Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsI bought puffed buckwheat and quinoa recently to eat as a cereal for breakfast. I don’t know if any of you have tried this stuff, but it pretty much tastes like air. Out of frustration of wasting money on these products I decided to incorporate them into a granola-type bar.Just in this case, I swapped the ‘granola’ for puffed buckwheat- and I’m so glad I did. These bars make a perfect breakfast or snack as they aren’t overly sweet but leave you satisfied. The addition of sesame and ginger play on the savoury side of things so I highly recommend these to those absolutely crazy ‘non-dessert’ people out there. These come together super quick and stay nicely in the fridge or freezer. Hope you love them!

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsSesame Peanut Chewy Bars
Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Ingredients:

• 1/2 cup pitted dates
• 2 tbsp honey or maple syrup
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (all natural)
• 1/2 cup water (or more) to thin out peanut butter mixture
•1 tsp freshly grated ginger (optional)
• 2 cups puffed buckwheat (or your favourite gluten free cereal)
• 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
• 1/2 cup toasted sesame seeds
• 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
• 1/2 cup 70% dairy free chocolate, melted
• pinch of sea salt

Directions:

1. Line an 8 x 10 inch or 5 x 20 cm baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Process dates in a food processor until a paste forms.

3. Melt coconut oil, peanut butter, sweetener of choice, and ginger in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk until combined.

4. Once combined, whisk in your date paste. Use hot water as needed to thin out the mixture. It should almost look like caramel.

5. Remove from heat. Fold in your peanuts, puffed cereal, sesame seeds and coconut.

6. Press your mixture into baking dish and allow to firm up in the fridge or freezer for at least an hour. Remove from the cold, and drizzle on melted chocolate then sprinkle with sea salt. ENJOY!

Sesame Peanut Chewy BarsSesame Peanut Chewy BarsFullSizeRender

Sesame Peanut Chewy Bars

Squash and Carrot Soup with Spicy Cilantro Corn and Pumpkin Seeds

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Todays post will be a short one as I have had a super busy week and am quite exhausted! Lots of teaching, tutoring, cooking and catering and I have barely any steam left. But, I don’t want to leave you with no post this week so this one mostly be recipe.

One of the best parts about the cooler weather is cozy sweaters and comforting food (although we are getting one hell of an indian summer here in Montreal). I love making hot soups that both fill and heat you up. I love most soups, but squash and carrot soups are two of my favourite. I had both options in my pantry so I figured why not combine the two? I have started ordering produce from any amazing farm here in Montreal called Lufa Farms.  The produce is beautiful and always in season. It has actually helped inspire me to use ingredients I don’t normally buy and combine ingredients I hadn’t thought of before.

For this soup, I spiced it up with fresh ginger, turmeric, cumin chilli flakes, garlic and creamy coconut milk. I love different textures in my food so I topped my soup with fresh corn sautéed with cumin and fresh cilantro and some toasted pumpkin seeds. This soup is a meal in itself as it gives you loads of vitamins, good carbs, protein and healthy fats. Have a great weekend! Bon appetit!
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Soup Ingredients:

• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
• 2 leeks (chopped)
• 1 sweet onion (chopped)
• 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• 1 inch knob of fresh ginger
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 tbsp cumin
• 1/2 tsp dried oregano
• 1 tbsp paprika
• 1 acorn or butternut squash (chopped)
• 1 lb carrots
• 1 quart vegetable or chicken stock (preferably homemade or low sodium organic)
• 1 can coconut cream

Topping Ingredients:

• 3-5 ears of corn (kernels cut off the knob)
• 1 tsp cumin
• 1.5 tbsp freshly chopped cilantro
• 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
• a few drops stevia (optional)
• 1/2 tsp chopped fresh garlic or garlic powder
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

Directions:

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add leeks and onions, sautée until tender and translucent. Add your garlic, ginger and spices. Cook for 1 minute.
2. Add your squash and carrots. Allow to cook in the spices for 5 minutes. Add your stock and allow to come to a boil. Reduce heat and cook with the cover on for about 25-30 minutes. You want the squash and carrots to be super tender and easily pierced with a fork.
3. Add your coconut cream and taste. Adjust any seasonings and then carefully transfer the soup into your blender with a ladle. (Make sure to hold the top of the blender with a dishtowel to save yourself from being burned!) Puree until reached desired consistency.
4. For the topping: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan on high heat. Add your corn, cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, stevia and chilli flakes. Allow to sit on one side for about 5 minutes to add colour to the corn. Sautee until golden brown. Turn off the heat and add freshly chopped cilantro.
5. To serve the soup: ladle one scoop of soup into a bowl. Sprinkle about one tbsp of the corn and 1 tbsp of toasted pumpkin seeds. Enjoy!
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