Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Rolled Oat with Almond Butter



As a lot of you know based on my previous blog post when it comes to breakfast I tend to be the most boring person ever. When I find something I like I stick with it and try as much as possible not to change it. As a result of this mundane outlook my breakfast has been the same for the last two to threes years with little departure every now and then
Given my love and strong obsession with oatmeal as a fuel to start the day I found a way to make it less dull and tasteless by adding my favorite fruits. This has resulted in the most amazing breakfast. I read somewhere that one way to make yourself wake up early was to have to plan an awesome breakfast that you could have the next morning. This allows you to have something to look forward to the next day but also acts a good motivation to get up either 5am or 6 am. This awesome breakfast has been my motivation for those days when I had work 6 am and I had to wake up by 5 am.
This almond butter oatmeal is full of nutritious you need to start the day, starting with fig which is a great source of fiber and full of vitamins and mineral. For those who have sweet tooth fig is not only a healthy and versatile ingredient but it can add a burst of sweetness. To top it with walnut which is known to be a great source of antioxidants and an excellent brain food.

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup rolled oats (Option: gluten free, or ancient grain organic oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk 
  • 2 tablespoon Almond butter (creamy or crunchy)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup (or sub coconut sugar, organic brown sugar, or stevia to taste)

Toppings

  • Fig, mango, pepitas seeds, dried cherries, and walnut 
  • Granola

 Direction:

  • Stovetop: Bring the water, add the rolled oats, reduce heat, and cook 10-20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Cover and remove from heat and let stand a few minutes. 
  • Microwave: In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup rolled oats and 1/1 cup of unsweetened almond milk. Microwave for one minute and 30 seconds. Stir oats and microwave another 30 seconds. Cover and let stand 3 minutes.
  •  Sprinkle honey and decorate with your choice of toppings. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Almond Milk Millet with Strawberry


Continuing with the breakfast theme for this month, exploring different types of breakfast aside from plain old oatmeal. With the cold season hot grainy breakfast is the perfect morning meal.  So this week I am experimenting with millet seeds. This grainy seeds is more than just an interesting alternative to the more common grains, or bird food. Millet is a delicious grain that can accompany many types of food and bean excellent source for breakfast. On its own, millet is a little mundane and it's a little nutty, but easily takes on the flavor of whatever you decided to top it with. The topping can make a significant difference. The topping is full of sweetness to enhance the millet and you’re left with a sweet and hearty breakfast




Ingredients: 
  • ½ cup dry millet 
  • 1 cup of chia seeds 
  • ½ cupof light brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoon of cinnamon 
  • ½ tablespoon of lemon juice 
  • ½ tablespoon of fresh lemon zest 
  • ½ cup of almond or soymilk 
  • 1 tablespoon of honey, and additional for serving 
  • 1-2 strawberry – chopped
Additional Topping: 
  • Fruits Coconut Milk 
  • Cherry Compote 
  • Coconut flakes 
  • Linseeds 
  • Pistachios 



Instructions: 

  1. Rinse millet in a small strainer until water runs clear. In a medium pot place millet and add 1 cups of water. Set the millet to medium high heat and when it starts boiling turn the heat down to low and cover the pot. 
  2. After 10-15 minute all the water should be absorbed and the millet will be cooked
  3. Meanwhile chop strawberry and set it aside 
  4. To Serve, spoon millet into a large bowl, add brown sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest and milk (soy, coconut or almond). Mix everything together. Top with fresh  strawberry, honey and fresh mint. 



Thursday, February 18, 2016

Morning Routine


I believe that every morning has so much potential; early morning is a powerful and sacred time for personal ritual and practice that can carry you through your whole day. But also, a good nigh sleep makes for the best mornings; when I am well rested I feel that I am more in tuned with the start of the day, more grounded and connected. 
Establishing a morning ritual, or routine can make each morning less unpleasant and more exciting, over time and slowly these practices can become ingrain. Every morning I like to dedicate at least 6 10 minutes to yoga, depending on the day I am leaving the house be it at 5:30 am or 7am, I modify the sequence to accommodate for the day. On days where my morning starts at 4:50 am I dedicate at least 5-6 minutes of morning to a Surya Namaskara A and B, or a simple flow that integrates it simple sun salutation. Whereas, on days where I have leave late in the morning I dedicate at least 20 to 30 of my morning to simple flow. 
So here is my go to routine that only takes 6 minutes of my morning, this routine is great for the morning to start to open up your whole body, from your spine to hamstring. I love doing this routine especially when it’s freezing cold because it allows me to build up heat in my body. A simple sun salutation or sequences of asanas can open the chest, and throat and remove congestion in the respiratory organs. As always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program, regardless of the intensity of the practice.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Vegan French Toast



I’ve recently had a conversation with a friend, which then turned into a conversation about breakfast, I don't know how, but  reflecting on the conversation later I realize how dull my daily breakfast is. When I find something I like I tend to stick with it, hence my breakfasts have been very simple and I’ve been having the same things for the last years without ever changing it. The usual breakfasts are, yogurt with different topping such as, granola, fruits, and chia seeds sided with a green smoothie, and tea or lemon or water. My other go to breakfast is simple oatmeal; I can eat oatmeal for the rest of my life and be completely content. But then again I am creature of habit, I have strict routine that I follow and have difficulty with challenging them. Following my conversation with my friend I thought perhaps I should change things up a little and try something new. So today I’ve decided to make my favourite breakfast, which I haven’t had in years now, French toast. As I am trying to keep everything that I eat dairy free as much as possible I’ve decided to make my own variation of the classical French toast by making vegan.





This recipe is a very simple and healthy that doesn't take a lot of time, with little cinnamon and vanilla, topped with my favourite fruits and maple syrup. As a substitute for eggs I’ve used flaxseeds, which is a great substitution for eggs and has similar nutrition value. Above all, it's a great source of protein and with just 37 calories - (How to make Flax eggs). I like making my breakfast as a technology free zone, or more correctly social media free zone. So, instead of checking up on social media (twitter, Facebook, instagram, etc..) I like reading my favourite magazine, or a book. This month on the reading list is Kinfolk Issue Eighteen: The Design Issue and the Development as Freedom by Amartya Sen. On the days I don't have the time to read I like listening to either my favourite podcast or radio, yes the radio I know.




Ingredient:

  • 4 slices day seedy kamut bread or ciabatta bread 
  • 1 cup Almond milk (Silk Almond Milk)
  • 1-tablespoon maple syrup, plus more for serving 
  • 2- tablespoon whole-wheat flour 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg 
  • 2 tablespoon vanilla 
  • 2 tablespoon flax seeds (ground raw flaxseeds)
  • 2 1/3 tablespoon water 
  • Pinch of salt

Topping: 

  • Maple Syrup 
  • Chia Seeds
  • Fresh fruits (banana, kiwi)



Instructions: 

  1. In a small mixing bowl whisk together flaxseeds meal and water. Set it aside for 5-10 minutes to thicken. 
  2. In a shallow dish mix the almond milk, flaxseeds eggs, vanilla, maple syrup, flour and nutmeg. 
  3. Place the break in a shallow dish, makes sure that it holds the entire bread. Pour the mixture over the break, and then flip the break over to make sure both sides are evenly coated.
  4. Using a large skillet, drizzle coconut oil over medium heat. Add the bread slices and cook for few minutes per side until golden brown on both sides
  5. Top with desired toppings; I went with banana, kiwi, chia seeds and maple syrup

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Leek and Sweet Pea Soup


There is nothing like a hot soup on a rainy or snowy day. A simple bright soup can make a significant difference in one’s mood. As the weather changes from sunny  and chilly having a soup seems like a logical answer to everything. One of my favorite thing during the winter is coming home and having a hot soup. I love making soups because I personally believe that it is the one thing that anyone can cook, there is little to no chance of messing up a simple soup, but also you can personalize it as much as possible to meet your personality or what you love. In other words there is no way of going wrong when making a simple soup. This soup recipe is from one of my favorite blogger and now author Sara Forte. This is my own take of her version of Herby Leek Pea Soup. As always my modification is made in a way to make it not only healthy, but also vegan friendly. But if you prefer the original recipe you could either get it from her site (sproutedkitchen.com) or from the book: The Sprouted Kitchen Bowl and Spoon: Simple and Inspired Wholes Food Recipe to Savor and Share.



Ingredients:
  • 1 Large Leek, clean, dark green part removed (Use the green part in a salad or another soup stew)
  • 1 can or 2 cups of shelled sweet peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of curry powder
  • ½ tablespoon of hot curry Powder
  • ½ Tablespoon of grounded cumin
  • ½ tablespoon of coriander
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of cardamom
  • ½ tablespoon of Chinese 5 spices
  • ½ tablespoon of cloves
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Topping:
  • Parsley
  • Grated vegan Cheese (buy from local Wholes Food) 

Direction:
  1. In a large cooking pot heat olive oil over medium heat, and sliced leek and Let it saute for 5 minutes until translucent.  Once it is tender add all spices (Curry, cumin, coriander, cardamom, Chinese 5 spices, cloves,salt and pepper). Mix the spice and add vegetable broth. Once you’ve added the vegetable broth let the leek and broth bring it to boil and let it cook for another 10 minutes.
  2. After 10 minutes turn the heat off, let the soup to cool off a little before blending it.
  3. Working in batches, puree soup in a blender. Let it blend until it reache the perfect texture or consistency. Return soup into the pot, season again with either salt and pepper, or other spices as desired. Bring to simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary.
  4. Ladle soup into bowl, sprinkly with parsley, grated cheese and croutons.




Sunday, January 3, 2016

Arugula Spiced Lentil Salad







Happy New Year,
so I am sure everyone has already began living up to their New Year Resolution. The most common resolutions are  of course exercising more, losing weight, getting fit, and last but not least is eating healthy and dieting. 
But lets be honest most people give up on those resolutions within weeks. Most resolutions fail because of many reasons among them being we make too many resolutions at one time. We don’t get started right away, unwillingness to fail when trying to achieve them, and last we quit before the finish line. But this shouldn’t discourage one from making them, rather then not making any, one should set goals, and not resolutions. Goals that are achievable and above all make one or two goals rather than making a list of things you hope to achieve. Having one or two goals allows one to really focus on it and provide the goal the attention it needs. So if you made a list of resolutions for 2016 I strongly recommend reassessing these resolutions by focusing only the ones that you know you can achieve. 
That being said, for those whose New Years resolution is eating healthy or becoming vegetarian or vegan here is a simple green recipe that requires no cooking skills, gluten free and organic. 




    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup whole brown lentils
    • 1 cup of organic 
    • 1 cup of baby arugula 
    • 1 cup of organic spring pea mix 
    • 1 large green apples
    • Half cup of cashew and dried cranberry
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • 1-2 lemons
    • 3-4 tbsp spices (Cumin,coriander,cloves, cardamom, Chinese 5 spices)
    • salt + pepper to taste





    Direction

    • In a cooking pot add 2 cups of water and and bring it to boiling. Add salt and olive oil. Once the water is boiling add lentil and reduce heat down to a strong simmer for 30-35 minutes.
    • In another cooking pot bring quinoa and water to boil. Rescue heat to low, cover and summer until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Fluff wth a fork. 
    • While the lentils and quinoa are cooking, prepare your green leaves (Arugula and spring pea mix), in a small bowl place a handful of baby arugula and spring pea mix, add salt olive oil  and juice of 2 lemons. 
    • Check lentils tenderness periodically, remove form heat and drain when they are tender but still hold shape and have not split yet. once drained, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt, pepper, and remaining tbsp spices (adding more to taste)
    • slice the apple finely.
    • In a cooking pan add little of olive oil and cashew, let it roast until golden brown.  
    • Combine seasoned arugula and spring pea mix, cashew, apples, with juice of 2 lemons. Add the lentils and quinoa. 






    Sunday, November 22, 2015

    Roasted Butternut Squash Soup




    “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” John Steinbeck

    With winter just around the corner it is time for butternut squash, any soup is perfect for the winter season especially on a cold or snowy day. While winter hasn’t arrived here yet I can’t help but feel the need to make squash soup. So here is my favorite roasted butternut squash soup. I know how challenging it can be sometimes to cut raw squash so here is a link on how-to Peel and Cut a Butternut Squash



    Ingredients 
    • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
    • 1 large butternut squash (about 3 1/2 lbs)
    • 1 red onion, diced
    • ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
    • ¼ Curry powder
    • 1 ¼ Grounded cumin
    • 4-5 cups low sodium vegetable broth, or water
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    Serving options: 

    • A drizzle of olive oil 
    • Roasted squash seeds, or pepitas seeds 
    Direction:
    • Preheat oven to 375°F. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
    • Place diced squash on the baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, turmeric, cumin and curry, bake for 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender. Remove from Oven and let it cool off.
    • While the squash is baking or cooling off in a large cooking pot heat the oil over medium high heat, mix in onion season with cumin, turmeric and curry. Let it cook for about 10-20 minutes until the onion is tender or golden brown.
    • After 20 minutes add the squash and vegetable broth and bring to boil. Let it cook
    • Oil baking sheet. Place squash, cut side down, on baking sheet. Bake until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. Using paring knife, remove peel from squash; discard peel. Cut squash into 2-inch pieces. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-low heat. Mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon. Cover pot and cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. Add squash and 5 cups chicken broth. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Discard cinnamon.
    • Working in batches, purée soup in blender. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover and refrigerate.) Return soup to pot. Season soup with salt and pepper. Bring to simmer, thinning soup with more broth if necessary. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


    Sunday, November 8, 2015

    Linguine with Caramelized Onions, Spinach and Brussels Sprouts











































    There is something about reading a GOOD book and having to think and analyze certain points or even a simple quote in the book. I am currently on my way to finishing John Steinbeck’s East of Eden, and this morning I was once again awed by the beauty of his writing. The First book I read of Steinbeck was Of Mice and Men, while it was five or six years ago I can still remember certain quotes in the book and still find myself awed at his writing. While I was writing this morning I was embraced by this beautiful quote which I think a lot of us forget sometimes, the fact that we always have a choice; the notion of free choice over evil, a symbolic of optimism that is central to the human condition that we overlook by rendering ourselves as being powerless or lacking a choice.
    “But the Hebrew word, the word timshel ‘thou mayest – that gives a choice. It might be the most important word in the world. That says the way is open …….I have no bent toward gods. But I have a new love for that glittering instrument, the human soul. It is lovely and unique thing in the universe. It is always attacked and never destroyed – because ‘thou mayest.”’
    This quote made my morning and probably my day; we always have a choice regardless of where you are in life you always have a choice, the choice to do evil or to do good. As Hannah Arendt once wrote no one is completely powerless, which is another central aspect of the human condition, we are never powerless regardless of how powerless or out of control we sometimes feel. 
    Getting off that Steinbeck cloud I had a chance today after work to make this quick pasta recipe that only took 45 minutes. This is a simple and quick recipe that anyone can make, the ingredients are simple and health, above all you can either make it vegan or not given the simplicity and flexibility of the recipe 

    Ingredients
    • 8 oz fresh Linguine
    • 2 handful of baby Spinach
    • 2 cups of Brussels Sprouts 
    • 1/2 cup parmasean cheese + additional for serving
    • 2 medium red onion, chopped
    • 2 tbs olive oil, divided
    • 1 tablespoon of garlic powder
    • 2 tablespoon of rosemary 
    • salt and pepper 
    • Red wine 




    Direction: 

    1. In a large pot add water, oil and salt. Bring it to boil, add pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. 20-25 minutes. 
    2. In a skillet over medium hear warm 1 tbs olive oil, addd onions, and garlic powder, let it cook for 20 minutes. Stir onion evert now and then for, add little of red wine and water. Let it cook until blonde in colour. Set it aside. 
    3. In another skillet over medium heat add 1 tbs olive oil, add Brussels Sprouts season with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic powder. Let it cook for 20 - 25 minutes until golden brown. Once done set it aside. 
    4. In another skillet, add olive oil, when hot add baby spinach, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Sauté spinach until wilted, about 6 minutes. 
    5.  Add the cooked past, Caramelized onion and Brussels Sprout with the baby spinach. Add parmesan cheese until cheese is melted ad the sauce coats the pasta and spinach 

    Serve with either white or red wine