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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Squash and Carrot Soup with Spicy Cilantro Corn and Pumpkin Seeds

Photo 2014-09-16, 2 19 52 AM
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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Turmeric Roasted Crunchy Chickpeas

Photo 2014-07-03, 3 37 33 AMI’ve been making these oven roasted chickpeas for years now. They are the perfect fix for that crunchy salty craving that will allow you to keep your kitchen chip, popcorn and salted peanut free (although who can resist baked kettle chips once in a while). They take on any flavour you want whether it be spicy or sweet and a great for noshing on the go. For this recipe, I’ve coated the chickpeas in insanely good for you turmeric, nutritional yeast (aka nooch, very high in vitamin b12), a touch of cayenne (a good metabolism boost), and some good quality extra virgin olive oil and then slowly roasted them in the oven. They have a cheesy spicy flavour (almost like ranch) without any dairy or loads of salt!  They’ll keep you full for hours with their high content of  protein, fiber, good carbs and loads of vitamins and anti-inflammatory properties from the seasoning.

Turmeric is gaining lots of popularity these days for its long list of benefits. You can drink it in tea or add it to a variety of dishes for its beautiful yellow colour and its mild flavour. It is a main spice in many indian curries or good quality mustards but the root of the spice is often used to make medicine. The raw material in the turmeric called curcumin can help beat stress, depression, sleep deprivation and fight off infections.You can take turmeric supplement or add the spice to your stir-frys, stews and curries; or just make these chickpeas!

Some use turmeric to help heal:

• arthritis
• heartburn
• stomach pain, diarrhea, intestinal gas, stomach bloating, loss of appetite
• jaundice
• liver problems
• gallbladder disorders
• headaches
• bronchitis, colds
• lung infections
• fibromyalgia
• menstrual problems
• water retention

One word of advice, use a spoon while mixing the turmeric onto the chickpeas. I used my hands and I looked like Marge Simpson for two days and ruined a perfectly good manicure. You even have to be a little careful when eating them by the handful, I highly recommend a spoon! Although these are perfect on their own, stay tuned for some other Clean Eating Goddess recipes featuring these little crunchy guys. As always, this recipe is gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. It is also vegan! Bon appetit!
Chickpeas
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Ingredients:

• 2 cans or 3 cups chickpeas (rinsed well, pat dry with paper towel)
• 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp sea or himalayan salt
• 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tbsp turmeric
• 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
• pinch of cayenne (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place chickpeas in a medium sized bowl and pat dry with paper towel.
2. Season with salt, pepper, turmeric, nutritional yeast, cayenne and olive oil. Toss well until chickpeas are well coated.
3. Spread chickpeas on a cookie sheet. Bake for about an hour, tossing every 15 minutes until chickpeas are crunchy! (Note: Depending on your oven, you may need to reduce heat to 350 degrees F halfway through because spices will start to burn before the chickpeas have a chance to completely dehydrate. I also keep the fan on during baking. If you don’t have a fan, bake on conventional or you may need to keep the chickpeas in for longer. I find that the crunch factor really depends on the oven. Keep an eye out when you go to toss!)

4. Remove from sheet pan and put in a bowl for serving!

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Tumeric Chickpeas