Nectarine, Tomato, Grilled Corn and Watercress Summer Salad with Pistachios in an Orange Mustard Vinaigrette

Nectarine, Watercress, Tomato Summer Salad  With Pistachios and a Cirtus Vinaigrette
With hot weather finally on its way in Montreal, were all looking for light meals that’ll keep us cool. Peaches and nectarines are SO delicious this time of year and have made their way into my breakfast, lunch and dinner! Although I often throw whatever vegetables I have in my fridge into my salads, it is really beautiful to serve a well composed salad for company (and of course, yourself!) This summer salad features ingredients that are in season, making it naturally delicious and very refreshing for the upcoming warm summer days. The tart peaches match perfectly with the sweet tomatoes, bitter greens, juicy corn and crunchy pistachios. Once its tossed in that orange mustard vinaigrette it brings out the flavour of every ingredient! It makes for a perfect light lunch, appetizer or base for any protein. Hope you love it!
IMG_8374Nectarine, Watercress, Tomato Summer Salad  With Pistachios and a Cirtus Vinaigrette
Serves 2-3

Salad Ingredients:

• 2 tomatoes (heirloom works great!), quartered
• 1 summer squash, cut at length
• 1 nectarine, cut in wedges
• 2 large handfuls watercress, washed and dried
• 2 ears of corn, niblets removed from core
• 3 tbsp shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
• 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
• 3-4 radishes, sliced
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• salt and pepper

Dressing Ingredients:

• the juice of 1/2 an orange
• 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
• 1 tsp whole grain mustard
• 1 tsp honey
• 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tbsp chopped chives
• salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Start by preparing the corn. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium/high in a small skillet. Add your corn niblets and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly charred.
2. For the dressing, add whole grain mustard, honey, freshly squeezed orange juice and apple cider vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk until combined. While whisking, slowly add your olive oil until the dressing is combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add chives. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
3. Once the corn has browned, remove from pan and set aside. In your hot pan, add your summer squash and lightly cook (2-3 minutes). You can of course leave it raw, but its nice to quickly sear off the squash for a nicer texture and flavour.
4. Remove the squash from the pan and set aside.
5. Begin to assemble your salad. On a large plate or in a bowl, add all salad ingredients and toss with citrus dressing. Garnish with pistachios, freshly cracked pepper, and more chives if you desire!

Nectarine, Watercress, Tomato Summer Salad  With Pistachios and a Cirtus Vinaigrette

Superfood Popcorn

Superfood PopcornThis Clean Eating Goddess is more of a crunchy, salt girl then a dessert one. Chips and french fries are probably my biggest weakness and I literally don’t think I could survive a month without having either. My man refers to me as a chip monster. Yes. MONSTER. Thank god there are some great healthy alternatives out there. I love any chip containing beans, non GMO corn or brown rice as one of the first ingredients. It is also an added bonus if they are baked in olive oil rather than deep fried. It is ok to indulge in these kinds of treats but always remember to keep an eye out on portions. From my experience, NEVER eat from the bag- especially in the car. I have come very close to finishing off an entire bag of chips all by myself. When your driving or doing other activities like watching tv or working on the computer you seem to lose control and become less mindful about what you are actually eating. On the other hand, I know its hard to just have 12 chips. 12 chips are a tease. Many people turn to popcorn because of its large portion for little calories and fat. I don’t count calories, but I know that having an entire bag of chips isn’t the best for my waistline, or my health.

I know that most of us go for that reduced fat microwave popcorn thinking we are doing ourselves good. But when something tastes like butter without butter being in it at all, logic tell us the product has its share of chemicals. So whats the solution, you ask? The old fashioned way- right on the stove top. I have to say, I was quite impressed with just how easy this was to make. I will never go back to microwave popcorn again. The best part is you have complete control of the taste and ingredients that go into your healthy snack. I added lots of superfoods into mine to make it salty, crunchy and also good for you. In this batch, I cooked the corn in anti viral coconut oil and coated the kernels in anti inflammatory turmeric, omega 3 rich chia seeds and vitamin rich maple syrup!
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Ingredients:

• 1 cup corn
• 4 tbsp coconut oil
• good pinch of pink himalayan salt (regular salt is fine)
• 1/2 tbsp turmeric
• 1 tbsp chia seeds
• 1/4 tbsp garlic powder
• 1/4 tbsp chilli flakes
• 2 tbsp maple syrup
• 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
• 1 tsp sumac
• pinch of pepper
• Add ins (optional): dried cherries, 70% dark chocolate, unsweetened coconut flakes, any nut etc…

Directions:

1.Add corn and coconut oil to a large stock pot. Turn on the heat to medium high. Add a good pinch of salt. Wait for the oil to simmer. When the first kernel pops, cover and allow to continue until the popping slows down. Once it begins to slow down. Remove from heat and pour popcorn unto a large baking sheet.

2.In a your food processor add a small pinch of a salt and pepper, turmeric, chia, garlic powder, chilli flakes, nutritional yeast and sumac. Pulse until a powder forms.

3.In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring your maple syrup to a simmer. Add your spice mixture and stir for 2 minutes to allow the spices to release their flavour.

4.Pour the spiced syrup over your popcorn and toss until evenly distributed. Be careful with your hands here- hot turmeric can stain your hands! (if your hands to get stained, scrub with hot soapy water)

5.Store in an airtight container. I added dark chocolate, dried cherries and coconut for a sweet and salty mix! Feel free to add nuts, dried fruit and other superfoods!Superfood Popcorn

Zucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger Frosting

Zucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingThere’s nothing better then having freshly baked muffins on a Sunday morning. Sometimes you need a sweet side to those scrambled eggs and that can always be especially difficult for someone who’s eating gluten free. Healthy, nutrient rich muffins are a fantastic breakfast idea for those who don’t make time for it. Even if you aren’t hungry right away, you can throw one in your bag and it’ll be ready when that mid morning hunger comes along.

Not only will get a good balance of whole grains, healthy fats and fiber, but you’ll also get a serving of veggies! Have no fear, the only way you’d know theres zucchini is by those green specks, otherwise you’d have no idea. These muffins are awesome on their own, but have added decadence from this vegan cashew ginger frosting. You can play them off as cupcakes for the little ones. As always this recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free… Have a great weekend!
Zucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger Frosting

Muffin Ingredients:

• 1 ripe banana
• 1 zucchini
• 3 eggs
• 1/4 cup coconut oil (add 3 more tbsp if you like a super moist muffin)
• 3 tbsp date syrup (maple syrup or honey will work too)
• 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp baking powder
• 1 tbsp cinnamon
• 1 cup gluten free oat flour
• 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
• 1/2 cup coconut sugar
• 5-6 medjool dates (chopped)
• lemon zest (optional, for serving)

Frosting Ingredients

• 1 cup cashews (soaked overnight)
• 1 inch piece of ginger (finely grated)
• 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (agave or stevia to taste will work too)
• 1 1/2 tbsp melted coconut oil
• 1 tbsp lemon juice
• pinch of salt
• 1 tsp alcohol free pure vanilla extract (or vanilla powder will work, or fresh vanilla beans from pod)
• almond milk as needed

Makes 12 muffins

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners. In a large bowl,mash your banana until no lumps remain. Process or grate your zucchini. Then whisk into your banana mixture. Once well combined add your eggs,coconut oil, date syrup and vanilla.
2. In another medium mixing bowl, sift together remaining ingredients dry ingredients (leave out the dates).
3. Slowly add your dry ingredients to the wet until well combined. Fold in your chopped dates.
4. Using two spoons, add batter to muffin liners until 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
5. While the muffins are baking, you can make your frosting. Add all ingredients up until almond milk into a food processor or high powered blender. Add almond milk until desired consistency is reached. Store in the fridge.
6. Once muffins have cooled, frost using a blunt knife or spatula. Finish with lemon zest! Frosted muffins have to be stored in the fridge.
Zucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger FrostingZucchini and Date Muffins with Cashew Ginger Frosting