Prawns and Mango Salsa in Butter Lettuce Cups

My brother loves to tease me that lettuce cups are just a salad in a salad. But they are light and refreshing and do feel slightly different than just eating a large salad; I prefer to think of them as extra healthy tacos. For the base here I used butter lettuce, its soft texture and delicate taste earn its name, it is almost buttery. It is tender enough to easily bite into but when doubled up it is sturdy enough to not fall apart, creating an ideal base for these cups. Continue Reading →

Hummus Avocado Potato Bites

These are a simple appetizer, side dish or snack based loosely on potato skins. They feature small potatoes with thin skins so the flesh doesn’t need to be removed, they are a good finger food size already. This makes them easier to prepare, plus their toppings make for a much healthier option that still has lots of flavour and feels like comfort food. Continue Reading →

Creamy Carrot Chickpea Cashew Salad

Creamy Carrot Chickpea Cashew SaladI love a creamy salad on a hot day and adding in heavier ingredients like carrots, legumes and nuts makes it into a fulling meal. I founds some purple carrots at a local market so I used those for a bit of a change from the regular orange ones. They are similar in flavour, but I do find them a bit earthier and less sweet. Nutritionally, they are comparably high in fiber and vitamins A and C but they have the addition of high levels of the antioxidant compound called anthocyanin, which are responsible for giving blueberries their deep hue. These antioxidants can be particularly helpful for fighting cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease, two worldwide leading causes of death, and for maintaining a strong nervous system, especially in keeping the brain sharp. Continue Reading →

Roasted Tomatoes

Roasted TomatoesRoasting tomatoes maximizes flavour even when the tomatoes used are more on the bland side. It may not be the most practical way to prepare them, the roasting takes a while and the volume is severely decreased, but oh they are delicious. For such a simple vegetable dish it really packs a lot of flavour and can bring something special to a whole range of meals. It is great on toasted crusty bread or english muffins, perhaps with some avocado or some freshly grated parmesan. It can also liven up pasta and eggs or create a base for sauces, soups or stews. Extras can be portioned out and frozen for easy access. Continue Reading →

Quinoa Greek Salad

Quinoa Greek SaladQuinoa is, like most whole grains, a great source of several minerals and B vitamins and fiber but what makes it special and unique is the type of protein it contains. Protein is made up of building blocks called amino acids and there are 8 which we must obtain through food (our bodies can make the other ones on their own as needed). I like to think of each as a different colour of lego and most plant foods are missing one or two colours. Quinoa, an ancient grain prized since ancient times is technically a seed and it contains all 8 amino acids needed- making it a “complete protein”. Continue Reading →

Japanese Sweet Potato Fries

Japanese Sweet Potato FriesJapanese sweet potatoes are the newest addition to my list of vegetables that actually taste really good. I always assumed that their pale coloured flesh was indicative of less flavour than vibrantly orange yams but if anything they are a bit sweeter. They are also a bit drier, which is a nice attribute for baking or roasting and they taste very, very similar to roasted chestnuts. Continue Reading →

Pancetta Pecorino Wild Rice Stuffed Portobellos

Pancetta Pecorino Wild Rice Stuffed PortobellosPortobello mushrooms have a meaty flesh, deep earthy flavour and their large, round shape makes them an ideal base for piling on with other ingredients. Wild rice, a black coloured and richly nutty tasting food with a deceiving name forms the base of this stuffing. While we call it rice it is actually the seed of an aquatic grass that thrives in the cold water rivers and lakes. It is rich in protein, fiber and antioxidants, plus unlike most true grains that are slightly acidic it is alkaline. Continue Reading →

Cranberry Plum Sauce

Cranberry Plum SauceCranberry sauce is usually an afterthought at our family turkey dinners- we’re lucky if our mom mashes it up enough to remove the ribbing from the interior of the can it came from. I wanted to mix things up a little for Thanksgiving this year but changing the stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes or turkey itself would probably get me disowned, so to the condiments I go. This version adds in some balsamic vinegar for depth as well as orange juice and plums for natural sweetness. Along with maple syrup the extra fruits tone down the tartness of the cranberries without having to dump in cups of refined sugar. Continue Reading →