Saturday, 31 May 2014

Chickpea Flatbreads - Dinner on "C" Day

So it's dinner time on "C" day and I used CHICKPEAS

I made Chickpea Flatbreads. These are so nutritious and delicious with wholesome chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes and spinach. They make a filling and satisfying meal.




Servings: 8

Flatbread
2 cups warm water
2 tsp yeast
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp salt

Stuffing
1 onion, diced small
1 lb red potatoes (4-5 egg sized potatoes), diced
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated on a microplane
1/2 tsp cumin
2 - 3 tsp salt
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
10 oz baby spinach
1 - 2 tsp freshly ground pepper
lemon juice to taste



Prepare the Flatbread Dough
In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir in 4 1/2 cups of flour along with the salt to form a shaggy dough. Turn this dough out onto a work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until a smooth, tacky ball of dough is formed. If the dough is very sticky, add a little flour at a time to keep it from sticking. 

Clean your bowl and film it with a little olive oil. Transfer the dough to the bowl, cover, and let the dough rise for about 2 hours. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 days. (The dough is actually easier to work with when cool. No need to warm before shaping the flatbreads.)

Prepare the Stuffing

Warm a tbsp of oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions with a half tsp of salt until they begin to brown. If they pick up some charred edges, even better. Add the potatoes with another pinch of salt and continue cooking until the potatoes are almost cooked through but still hard in the very middle. Clear a little space in the middle of the pan and add the spices with 1 tsp of salt. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and then stir the spices into the onions and potatoes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring the stuffing to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Cook until the potatoes are completely soft and the sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir in the chickpeas, then stir in the spinach in two batches. Taste and add more salt, pepper, lemon juice and other seasonings as desired. If the stuffing looks soupy, let it simmer until thickened. 

Remove from heat. Stuffing can be made up to three days in advance.

Assemble and Bake Flatbreads

Sprinkle a little flour on your work surface and turn the dough out on top. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time, roll the dough into a circle roughly 7-8 inches in diameter and 1/4" thick. Place a few spoonfuls of stuffing on the lower half of the dough, smoothing it into a single layer with a half-inch border around the edge. Fold the top of the flatbread over and pinch the edges closed. 

Transfer the flatbread to a baking sheet and repeat until all the dough has been used. Leave the prepared flat breads uncovered so the top dries out a little. 

Prepare the flatbreads as described and arrange them a few inches apart on a baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Just before baking, poke holes in the tops of the breads and brush them with olive oil. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden brown (do not flip). Allow to cool slightly and serve. 




CHICKPEAS aka Garbanzo Beans

These beans/peas have long been valued for their fiber content. Just 2 cups provide the entire daily value! While containing small but valuable amounts of conventional antioxidant nutrients like Vit. C, Vit. E, and beta-carotene, chickpeas also contain more concentrated supplies of antioxidant phytonutrients. They also provide a concentrated source of protein that can be enjoyed year-round and are available either dried or canned. 

Canned vs. Non-canned Chickpeas
(canned chickpeas are already cooked, but lose some of their nutrient value when cooked. You would still have to cook them, but when buying fresh they still come out more nutritious when you buy them fresh)

NutrientNon-CannedCannedNon-Canned Result
Protein14.5 grams11.9 grams14% greater
Fiber12.5 grams10.6 grams15% greater
Magnesium79 milligrams70 milligrams11% greater
Iron4.74 milligrams3.24 milligrams32% greater
Zinc2.51 milligrams2.54 milligrams1% lower
Folate282 micrograms161 micrograms43% higher
Vitamin B60.228 milligrams1.135 milligrams80% lower
Pantothenic Acid0.469 milligrams0.718 milligrams35% lower
Vitamin B20.103 milligrams0.079 milligrams23% higher

1 cup, cooked

Molybdenum  273.3%
Manganese  84.5%
Folate  70.5%
Copper  64.4%
Fiber  49.8%
Phosphorus  39.3%
Protein  29%
Iron  26.3%
Zinc  22.8%

Are you eating Chickpeas?

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Chicken Noodle Soup - Lunch on "C" Day

Well for lunch on "C" day I used CHICKEN

I made Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. I just couldn't pass "C" day without making wholesome chicken noodle soup. Whenever you're feeling under the weather or craving a "warm comfort soup", this is it!




Servings: 8

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup diced celery
1 pinch salt
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (use fresh, not dried)
2 quarts roasted chicken broth (see broth recipe below)
4 oz uncooked wide egg noodles
2 cooked boneless chicken breast halves, cubed
1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pinch ground black pepper (to taste)

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in carrot, onion, celery, salt, and fresh thyme. Cook until onions turn soft and translucent, 5 - 6 minutes. 

2. Stir in roasted chicken broth and bring to a boil.

3. Season to taste with salt, if necessary; stir in egg noodles and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.

4. Stir in cooked chicken breast meat and simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper to taste. 

HOMEMADE CHICKEN BROTH

1 Rotisserie chicken (remove breast and reserve for soup)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 rib celery, cut in chunks
2 tsp salt
3 cloves garlic, lightly smashed
1 Tbsp ketchup (don't worry the soup doesn't taste ketchupy at all!)
2 quarts cold water, or more, as needed

Directions

Caramelize the onion, garlic and celery in a little olive oil in a large soup pot, 5 minutes or so. Add in the entire rotisserie chicken, bones, skin and all, (after removing the breasts to reserve for the soup). Add 2 quarts of water and the ketchup. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 2 - 3 hours. Occasionally skim off and remove any foam that rises to the surface. Remove and discard bones, meat and vegetables. Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve and voila, roasted chicken broth for chicken noodle soup!



Chicken

A part from being high in protein, chicken is also low in fat (when not using the skin) and is a far healthier choice of meat to cook with, vs. red meat. Chicken Soup has been the "go to" soup for colds and flu since at least as far back as the 12th century. It has been discovered that chicken soup contains the Amino acid "cysteine", which is similar to what doctors use for patients with bronchitis and other respiratory infections to help clear them.


Roasted, Pasture-Raised (4 oz) (%DV)

Vitamin B3  97.1%
Protein  70.3%
Selenium  56.9%
Vitamin B6  40%
Phosphorus  36.9%
Choline  22.7%
Pantothenic Acid  21.8%
Vitamin B12  16.2%


Give yourself a "feel good" health boost with Chicken Soup!


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Cranberry Quinoa - Breakfast on "C" day

So,

It's "C" day and for breakfast I used CRANBERRIES


I made Cranberry Quinoa with walnuts and honey. This is such a delicious, hearty and comforting meal on any morning, especially cold ones. Or you can eat this any time of the day. I have never thought of eating quinoa for breakfast before, till now.




Servings: 2


1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk (to your desired consistency)
2 tsp butter
2 tsp brown sugar (to your taste preference)
1/4 - 1/2 cup dried cranberries (check the nutritional info...more on this later)
honey, to taste

Directions


1. Rinse the quinoa in a bowl or fine strainer until the water runs clear. Fill a medium saucepan with water and salt. Bring to a boil, then stir in the quinoa. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook until the quinoa has absorbed almost all the water, about 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set the quinoa aside to steam and finish cooking.


2.  Meanwhile, heat the walnut pieces in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Toast, tossing the pan often, until they smell good and darken some in colour, 3 - 5 minutes. Remove them to a plate to cool.


3.  Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork. Then place the quinoa pan over medium low heat. Stir in the milk, butter and brown sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring often and adding more milk until it's as thick or thin as you like. Stir in the cranberries and the walnuts. Pour the quinoa into bowls and drizzle to taste with honey.





Tip: When purchasing dried cranberries, always check the nutritional info on the back, as there are so many brands that have loads of sugar and ZERO Vitamin C. I found these at my local health food store and they have No sugar added, they actually have Vitamin C and they're unsulphured. Sulphur dioxide is used by some manufacturers when drying fruit to lock in the colour of the fruit. The problem is that sulphur dioxide can trigger an asthma attack in some people with this condition. It is always best to buy unsulphured and unsweetened dried cranberries. And, NO, they are not sour at all, they are still sweet and super delicious!





CRANBERRIES

They are so rich in antioxidants and contain numerous substances that may offer protection from tooth cavities, urinary tract infections and inflammatory diseases. Drinking cranberry juice alone does not provide you with all the photo-nutrients, as they are mostly located in the fleshy skin of the berry.


1 cup, whole, fresh


Fiber  9.2%

Manganese  9%
Vitamin C  8.8%
Vitamin E  4%
Copper 3.3%
Pantothenic Acid  3%  (Vitmain B5)
Vitamin K  2.8%


Are you eating Cranberries?




Saturday, 24 May 2014

Blueberry Muffins - Snack Time - "B" day

So I made a snack on "B" day and I used BLUEBERRIES

I made BLUEBERRY MUFFINS. I absolutely love these blueberry mini muffins. They are so cute and tasty, with every bite full of juicy blueberry goodness, it's hard to resist eating more than one at a time.


The baking time in this recipe for mini muffins is 18 minutes, but by all means go ahead and bake regular size muffins, by baking them for around 26 minutes.



Yields: 24 mini muffins

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 Tbsp for muffin tops
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/3 - 1/2 cup reduced fat (2%) milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon, plus 1 Tbsp for muffin tops
1 cup frozen wild blueberries (or fresh small ones)

Directions

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Then line (or spray with cooking oil), a 24 mini muffin tray pan.


Combine flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and the salt in a large bowl with a whisk. Whisk at least 10 times to make sure the baking powder and salt have evenly dispersed.

Next, add vegetable oil to a measuring jug that holds at least 1 cup. Add the egg then fill the jug to the 1 cup line with milk (this should be 1/3 to 1/2 cup of milk). Add vanilla extract and whisk until combined.

Add milk mixture to the bowl with flour and sugar then use a fork to combine. Do not over mix. (The muffin batter will be quite thick). Add blueberries and use a spatula or spoon to gently fold the blueberries into the muffin batter.

Lastly sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of each muffin before putting in the oven.

Place in oven for 18 minutes (with liners) and about 15 minutes (without liners).

Enjoy!



BLUEBERRIES


Blueberries are a Superstar Super Food and consist of 85% water. They contain potent antioxidants that can help with arthritis, age-related memory loss, and eyesight problems, among having many other hosts of vitamins and health benefits.


1 cup, fresh

Vitamin K  31.7%

Manganese  25%
Vitamin C  19.1%
Fiber  14.2%
Copper 8.8%


Are you eating blueberries?







Thursday, 22 May 2014

Beet Soup (Borscht) - Dinner on "B" day


Hi,

So it's time for dinner on "B" day and I used BEETS

I made Borscht, which is a Beet Soup. This soup is deliciously warm and soothing. Beets are paired with potatoes and onions to give and all around savoury and hearty dish. 



Servings: 4

3 Beets (or equivalent amount of 1 1/2 cups of diced, steamed Beets)
1 medium onion
1 Russet Potatoe (peeled and diced)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
500 ml (or more, to loosen to your liking) Beef Broth-Reduced Sodium (you could use vegetable or chicken to)
S & P to taste
2 tsp lemon juice
Parsley to garnish

Directions

Heat oil in large saucepan (pot) over medium heat. Add onion, and cook, stirring until lightly brown (4 minutes). Add broth, potato, salt and pepper, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook until potato is tender (8 minutes). Add beets and lemon juice, return to a boil. Cover and continue cooking until broth is deep red and the potato is very soft, 2 - 3 minutes more. 

Garnish with parsley, and enjoy!





BEETS

These SUPER FOOD red root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. 

What's most striking about beets is not the fact that they are rich in antioxidants. Beets demonstrate their antioxidant uniqueness by getting their red color primarily from betalain antioxidant pigments. The unique phytonutrients in beets provide antioxidant support in a different way than other antioxidant-rich vegetables. 

Tip: Don't steam beets for more than 15 minutes or they will lose some valuable nutrients.

1 cup, cooked (%DV)

folate  34%
manganese  27.5%
potassium  14.8%
copper 14.4%
fiber  13.6%
magnesium  9.7%
phosphorus  9.2%
vitamin C 8.1%
iron  7.4%
vitamin B6  6.4%

If you experience beeturia (red tinged urine) after eating beets, it might suggest you have a problem with iron deficiency, iron excess, or iron metabolism. About 5 - 15% of the general american population experience this. 

Have you eaten Beets lately? 



Black Bean Burritos - Lunch on "B" day


For lunch on "B" day I used BLACK BEANS

I made Black Bean Burritos. These burritos are so yummy with the zangy taste of lime in the background. You can pair black beans with almost anything, they are so versatile. You can make your burritos with whatever "add ins" you desire, but here is my recipe for these ones…


Servings: 4

2 (398 ml) cans of Black Beans (Drained and rinsed well under cold water)
1 small or 1/2 of an onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 - 1/2 cup of chicken stock or beef stock (your preference)
1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (or more to fill)
2 Tbsp Freshly squeezed Lime juice
1 - 2 tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp minced parsley
2 cups of Spinach (or about that, to fill in your burritos)
4 Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas

Directions

1. Heat pan on medium heat and add about 1 Tbs or less of olive oil. Add onion and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes, till just softened. Turn down heat to medium low and add the beans with the chicken stock. Simmer on low for around 5 - 10 minutes. You can now press and squish half the beans (if you like an even softer texture for your burritos) and leave half of them whole. Add 1/2 - 1 Tbsp of lime juice (to taste). Season with S & P to taste.

2. Remove Bean mixture to bowl and add cheddar cheese, mix to blend and melt cheese. 

3. Warm your tortilla for 20 seconds in the microwave. Add 1/2 - 1 Tbsp of lime juice to the diced tomatoes in a small bowl, and sprinkle with parsley. 

4. NOW ADD YOUR BEANS TO YOUR TORTILLA AND TOP WITH SPINACH, TOMATOES, MORE CHEDDAR CHEESE (IF YOU WANT) OR WHATEVER TOPPINGS YOU LIKE. 

Enjoy!



BLACK BEANS

1 cup 
15 grams of FIBRE - Wow!
Protein  30% 
Molybdenum  286%  (this helps metabolize fats and carbs. It also helps to move iron from the liver, which can prevent anemia)
Manganese 38%
Vitamin B1  35%
Magnesium  30%
Iron  20%
Copper 40%
Folate  64%
(All % are %DV) 

This is one SUPER food that packs a protein-plus-fiber punch!

     Are you eating Black Beans?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Banana Smoothies - Breakfast Time on "B" day


Hey,

We've arrived to "B" day and it's breakfast time! For breakfast I used the Super Food BANANA


Banana Smoothies

These are so refreshing and filling for a breakfast treat! They are packed with nutrients to keep you going throughout your morning. 




Servings: 2

1 Ripe Banana  
1 Tbsp of Honey
1 tsp Cinnamon 
2 cups of milk 
2 scoops of plain yogurt 
2 ice cubes
Blend it all together and enjoy!





Bananas are one of the best sources for Potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining blood pressure and heart function. When your body is depleted of electrolytes from sickness or exercise, eating a banana is one of the best ways to restore them. 
Bananas are also beneficial to prevent against stomach ulcers, as they have antacid effects. 


Next up is Lunch on "B" day…. Coming soon…



Monday, 19 May 2014

Artichoke and Spinach Lasagna - Dinner on "A" day


So for dinner on "A" day, I used  ARTICHOKES

I made Artichoke and Spinach Lasagna! The lasagna has no meat in it and yet is satisfying and filling, making a complete meal. Artichokes and spinach are an excellent pair together: add some noodles, pasta sauce, mozzarella and now you've got "Delish!"

This lasagna is super yummy and a great way to incorporate artichokes into your diet. 

Servings: 8

Ingredients

Cooking spray

9 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can vegetable broth
1 Tbsp chopped fresh Rosemary
1 (14 oz) can marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 0z) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained and squeezed dry (or fresh spinach, chopped slightly)
1 (28 oz) jar tomato paste sauce
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 (4 oz) package herb and garlic feta, crumbled

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degress F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente: drain.

3. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat on medium-high. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes, or until onion is tender-crisp. Stir in broth and rosemary; bring to a boil. Stir in artichoke hearts and spinach; reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pasta sauce.

4. Spread 1/4 of artichoke mixture in the bottom of the prepared baking dish (it will be like a soupy texture, at this point). Top with 3 cooked noodles. Sprinkle 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese over noodles. Repeat layers 2 more times, ending with artichoke mixture and mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle crumbled feta on top.

5. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.





       Good for: Energy




Artichokes are packed with magnesium, a mineral vital for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including generating energy. If you're not getting enough magnesium, your muscles have to work harder to react and you tire more quickly.

They are a great source of Fiber and protein (for a vegetable!)

There are much more super "A" foods, I could not include all in one day's worth of meals, so I will definitely be posting more of the "A" foods when I'm done the alphabet. I will be making additional add ons to letters, as need be.  

Are you eating Artichokes?


Sunday, 18 May 2014

Asparagus Soup - Lunch time letter "A"

It's time for Lunch…. on letter "A"

ASPARAGUS!

Asparagus Soup! This is a deliciously warm smooth soup with pairings of Asparagus and Spinach which make it a lucious green colour. 

I love Asparagus and have never thought about it as a soup before, but I have been missing out (till now) - it is oh sooo scrumptious!



Servings: 4

Ingredients

1Tbsp of butter or Olive Oil (divided)

350g asparagus spears, stalks chopped, woody ends discarded, tips reserved

3 shallots, finely sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 handfuls of spinach (stems removed)

700ml of Vegetable Stock

Rustic Bread, to serve 

Directions

1. Heat 1/2 Tbsp butter or oil in large saucepan. Fry the asparagus tips for a few minutes to soften and then set aside.

2. Add 1/2 Tsp of remainder oil/butter and add the shallots, asparagus stalks and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, until softened, but still bright in colour. Stir through the spinach and pour over the stock. Bring to a boil and then blitz with a hand blender or transfer to a blender to puree into a liquidy soup. 

3. Season, to taste, with S & P. Ladle into bowls and scatter asparagus tips over top of each. Serve with rustic bread, if you like.



ASPARAGUS  (% DV)

Total Fat 0.1 g0%
Saturated fat 0 g0%
Polyunsaturated fat 0 g
Monounsaturated fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg0%
Sodium 2 mg0%
Potassium 202 mg5%
Total Carbohydrate 3.9 g1%
Dietary fiber 2.1 g8%
Sugar 1.9 g
Protein 2.2 g4%
Vitamin A15%Vitamin C9%
Calcium2%Iron11%
Vitamin D0%Vitamin B-65%
Vitamin B-12


Dinner "A" next..

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Apple Muffins - Snack Time on Letter "A" Day

Ok, 

I made Apple Muffins for a snack on "A" day. You can't go through the super foods without using Apples!

 "An apple a day keeps the Doctor away!"     So true!

These are deliciously moist and full of appley goodness with a hint of cinnamon in the background. The raisins and walnuts don't overpower these one bit! When I  bake them again, I would even throw in another 1/2 tsp of cinnamon and thus need to increase cooking time to 1 minute more, checking continuously, of course.



I made these muffins into mini muffins, but you could bake regular muffins to, just bake for 8 - 13 minutes longer. (original recipe says 25 - 30 minutes)


Ingredients

Yield:
24  (32 chunky fat mini muffins)

4 cups peeled granny smith apples, ¼ inch dice (1 ½ lbs) (about 3 apples)
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
1/2 cup canola oil (I used Vegetable oil, that's what I had on hand…same thing basically) OR YOU COULD USE APPLESAUCE AND ADD TO THE APPLEY GOODNESS OF THESE MUFFINS!
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins (I used 3/4 cup)
1 cup chopped walnuts (I used 3/4 cup)
Directions:

1. In a large bowl toss together the apples and the sugar.
2. In a small bowl whisk together the eggs, the oil, and the vanilla.
3. In a third bowl stir together well with a fork the flour, the baking soda, the cinnamon and salt.
4. Stir the egg mixture into the apple mixture; add the flour andd stir the batter until just combined.
5. Batter will be stiff.
6. Stir in raisins and walnuts.
7. Divide the batter between 24 greased mini muffin tins.
8. Bake in a preheated 325 oven for 25-30 minutes. (18 - 19 minutes for Mini muffin version)



SOME APPLE FACTS:

There are several antioxidant benefits from apples. In particular is the strong ability of apples to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats. This is especially important in our cardiovascular system since oxidation of fat (called lipid peroxidation) in the membranes of cells that line our blood vessels is a primary risk factor for clogging of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and other cardiovascular problems. 



Nutrition Facts (Raw, with skin)

Serving Size 1 apple (large, 3-1/4" diameter (223 g)
Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories 116
Calories from Fat 0
Total Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 2mg0%
Potassium 238.61mg7%
Carbohydrates 30.8g10%
Dietary Fiber 5.4g22%
Sugars 23.2g
Protein 0g
Vitamin A 0% · Vitamin C 28%
Calcium 0% · Iron 6%