Sunday, April 1, 2012

charred corn, black bean and toasted barley salad.

spring is trying its hardest to come our way:
- once a week the sun comes out to play for a few hours
- cherry blossoms are starting to bloom
- mangoes went on sale at the grocery store

this salad reminds me of summer. cool, grainy salads full of fresh veggies bursting with flavor.

I decided to make this salad on a day when the sun was shining.
I pretended that I bbq'd corn on the cob rather than toasting the kernels on the stovetop.
I pretended that I picked the tomatoes straight from the vine on my parents' porch.

the sunshine only lasted for one afternoon. 
thankfully, the leftovers lasted longer, and I could play make believe as I enjoyed it during my lunch break on they grey, gloomy days to follow.

spring into summer a little early with this delicious salad!

charred corn, black bean and toasted barley salad

source: spilling the beans

the goodies:
- 1/2 c. pearl or pot barley, uncooked
- 1.5 c. chicken or vegetable broth or water
- 1 tsp. canola oil
- 1 c. fresh, frozen or canned corn kernels
- 1 c. black beans
- 1/2 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 small tomato, diced
- 1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
- 1/4 purple onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 to 1/2 c. chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)

- 1/3 c. canola oil
- 1/4 c. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 garlic clove, minced

the fun part:
1. in a medium saucepan, toast the dry barley over medium-high heat for a few minutes, or until golden and toasty-smelling. pour the the stock or water, bring to a boil, turn the heat down, cover and cook for 40 minutes, until tender.  transfer to a bowl to cool completely.
2. in a heavy skillet, heat the 1 tsp of canola oil over medium-high heat.  saute the kernels of corn for 5 minutes, or until starting to turn golden. set aside to cool.
3. in a small bowl or jar, combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk or shape to combine.
4. in a large bowl, toss together the cooled barley, corn, beans, pepper, tomato, mango, onion and parsley (if using). drizzle with dressing and toss to coat.
5. serve immediately or refrigerate for up to a few hours before serving.

what your body will like:
per serving: 351 calories - 38 g carbs - 20 g fat - 9 g protein - 6 g fiber

Saturday, March 17, 2012

shamrock shake.

holidays are a blogger's dream...

 ... they are the one day a year when food can magically transform from 
gross looking to festive!

truth be told, I've been drinking green smoothies for awhile, but I had to wait long and hard for today so that my delicious concoction might actually appeal to the masses. 

I mean, if you'll drink green beer, why not drink a green smoothie?

I believe at the end of every rainbow there are cauldrons filled with this creamy minty delight and little leprechauns are sipping from it merrily.

for the record
the spinach contributes two things, and two things only:
1.) color (how festive!)
2.) nutrients (helllooo vitamin k, vitamin a and iron!)

what the spinach does NOT contribute is taste. 
I promise you the only things you'll be tasting are 
creamy vanilla and fresh mint.  

because of the protein powder, this  shake has some 
serious staying power. 
it will keep you full and satisfied, and is perfect for 
breakfast, or post workout.

a similar smoothie was originally created by angela at oh she glows, and you can find her recipe and other variations of her green monster here.

seriously though.  it's just a mint milkshake.

shamrock shake.

serves: 1 

the goodies:
- 1 mint tea bag
- 1/2 c. boiling water
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- pinch of xantham gum*

the fun part:
1.) add tea bag to boiling water. allow to steep, and then place in freezer while you prep the rest of your ingredients.
2.) when cool, remove the tea bag from the water, squeezing out any extra liquid (and flavour!). discard tea bag. add cooled tea and remaining ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth.
3.) happy st. patrick's day!

*xantham gum is a used to thicken the smoothie, and it can be found in the bulk or baking section of health food stores.  a little goes a long way! (because it's used for thickening, an alternative could be to add ice. however, since I haven't done this myself, I can't vouch for it.  give it a try and comment below telling me how it goes!)

what your body will like:
per serving: 286 calories - carbs: 18 g - protein  37 g - fat 5 g

Sunday, February 26, 2012

kamut greek salad.

as a dietitian-to-be I am in full support of finding ways to incorporate whole grains into our diets.

kamut is NOT a scary ancient grain.

kamut IS:
a.) high in fiber
b.) relatively high in protein
c.) low glycemic index
d.) delicious in this salad

**amendment amendment!!!**
kamut is NOT gluten free.
apologies to all my gluten intolerant, celiac friends!

whole grains include fiber, and fiber rich products play an important role in healthy weight maintenance.  not only do they take you longer to chew, but the bulk makes you feel fuller for longer. 

glycemic index refers to how much a carbohydrate-containing food is likely to raise a person's blood sugar.  
the lower a food ranks on the glycemic index, the more control you have over blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. 
no, no, no type II diabetes!

mixing kamut into a familiar and tasty greek salad is a a great way to introduce this mighty grain to hesitant first-timers!

want whole grains, but maybe not greek salad? check out these other whole grain recipes!


kamut greek salad

This recipe has the distinctive tastes of a classic Greek Salad.  The variety of crisp vegetables provide a fresh crunch, which are nicely contrasted by the nutty chew of the al dente kamut.  The crumbled feta add a creamy texture to each bite, as well as a level of complexity with its tangy flavor.  The simple vinaigrette didn’t overpower the flavors of the fresh vegetables, and the dried oregano lent a subtle aromatic flavor, which is characteristic of Mediterranean cuisine.  The acidity from the lemon, and the smoothness of the olive oil nicely complemented one another, without making the salad overly greasy.  

source: dietitians of canada: simply great food
serves: 8

the goodies:
- 1 c. kamut 
- 2 c. water      
- 2 green onions, chopped         
- 1 small carrot, grated
- ½ red bell pepper         
- ½ c. finely diced English cucumber
- ¼ c. freshly chopped parsley
- ¼ c. finely chopped black olives
- ¼ c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dried oregano    
- ½ c. crumbled feta

the fun part:

  1. Rinse kamut and then place in small saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and cook until kamut is soft, about 1 hour. Drain and rinse under cold water to cool kamut. Drain well. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare your remaining ingredients.  
  3. In a large bowl, combine cooled kamut, green onions, carrot, red pepper, cucumber, parsley, olives, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with crumbled feta.
  4. Think about how easy this recipe was, and enjoy!
what your body will like:
- per serving: calories: 152 - carbs: 20 g - protein: 5 g - fat: 6 g
- all of the fantastic fun facts I have listed above!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

white chocolate and cranberry scones.

I love breakfast. 

I love pink.

I love love.

one day a year all my favorite things collide: valentine's day.

{breakfast + pink + love = heart shaped scones.}

white chocolate chip and cranberry scones.  

the goodies:
- 3 c. flour
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1.5 tbsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 lb butter, cold
- 2/3 c. fresh cranberries
- 1/3 c. white chocolate, chopped or chips
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 c. whipping cream + 2 tbsp. 

the fun part:
1.) preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.) mix the dry ingredients in food processor. add the cut up butter, and pulse.
3.) transfer flour/butter mixture into a bowl and add cranberries and white chocolate.
4.) combine eggs and cream in a separate bowl.
5.) make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the cream/egg mixture in. stir slightly, but do not overmix.  it will be shaggy.
6.) turn out the dough on a floured surface. gather the dough, pile it up and use the heel of your hand to smear it away from you. fold it together gently and smear again. continue until it becomes cohesive, but do no overwork.
7.) pat the dough into a circle, brush with remaining whipping cream, and strategically cut out heart shaped scones with cookie cutter.  (ps, if you're hoping to make these on any day other than february 14th, you can cut the circle into 8 wedges instead.)
8.) transfer to baking sheet and baking for 15-20 minutes.

what your body will like:

speaking of love, everyone lovvved picnics and pantries valentine's day last year.  click here to see the most popular picnics and pantries post of all time!

Friday, February 3, 2012

brussels sprouts with cranberries and farro.

I am a creature of habit.  
I get it from my papa.  

I like cooking my oatmeal the same way every night before bed.  
I have a running route I like, and I stick to it. 
I like to grocery shop on sundays and do laundry on mondays.
I have the gym class scheduled memorized.  

lentils, squash and kale?  
they became a habit.  every day.
delicious, but two problems:
1. my body turned orange from the beta carotene (no, not really)
2. I had nothing new to blog about

but remember, there are no problems, only solutions! 

thanks to a visit from mama this past week, and the introduction of some new ingredients to my pantry, things are getting exciting again.

this recipe caught my eye immediately, and I have fallen in love with a brand new cyber recipe box at cookie and kate.  
I give her full credit for this delicious recipe, and would have followed it, had I the appropriate ingredients on hand.  instead, I strayed where needed and came up with this (delicious!) variation.  I would recommend checking her recipe out if you're interested in trying it yourself, but if you too don't have all the ingredients hiding in your kitchen, this version is tasty as well.

brussels sprouts with cranberries and farro.

source: cookie and kate
serves: 4 sides, 2 full servings

the goodies:
- 1 lb brussels sprouts, ends trimmed + cut in half length wise
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 2/3 c. fresh cranberries
- 1/3 c. walnuts, chopped and toasted
- 1/3 c. parmesan cheese, shaved
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp. maple syrup
- 1.5 c. farro (or barley, quinoa, or brown rice), cooked

the fun part:
1. if you do not have any left over grains to heat up, start to cook these now.
1 c. farro + 2.5 c. water + bring to boil, cover on low heat for 30 minutes
1 c. quinoa + 2 c. water + bring to boil, cover on low heat for 15 minutes
1 c. rice + 2 c. water + bring to boil, cover on low heat for 45 minutes
2. preheat your broiler.
3. set a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat on the stove.  let it heat up for 2-3 minutes.  it should be so hot that a few drops of water sizzle and quickly disappear after contact
4. in a medium sized bow, toss the prepared brussels sprouts with olive oil and salt and pepper.  toss well so that the sprouts are evening coated in a thin layer of oil
5.  once the pan is hot, dump the sprouts into the pan and quickly rearrange them so that the flat sides are face down.  let them cook for 2 minutes.
6. toss the fresh cranberries into the pan and transfer the pan to your broiler.  the pan will be heavy and hot so use oven mitts and be careful!  let the brussels broil for about 2 minutes.  check the sprouts for doneness - their tops should be a little browned and the bottoms caramelized.  how long you leave them there depends on your preferences and your oven.  the cranberries should have started popping by now.
7. toss the warm farro, sprouts, cranberries, cheese and nuts in a bowl and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup.  season with salt and pepper, if you choose.

{bon appetit!}

what your body will like:
per serving: 243 calories - 36 g carbs - 11 g fat - 9 g protein - 8 g fiber

Monday, January 23, 2012

squash curry stew.

how many of you made new year's resolutions to:
a.) eat healthier
b.) stop buying lunch
c.) be more organized
d.) all of the above

for those of you who circled 'd', I have the one dish wonder that will keep your resolutions going strong... well beyond january.  

this is my go-to sunday stew, which I prep and portion out into tupperware at the beginning of the week.
when time is tight, these pre-portioned goodies go straight from the freezer into my bag and are thawed by lunch.  

it's delicious.  it's healthy. 
it's convenient.  it will save you money.  
squash curry stew

servings: 4
source: slightly adapted from oh she glows

the goodies:
- medium kabocha squash (japanese pumpkin squash) ~ 500 g
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper *optional
- 1/2 tbsp. chili powder *optional
- 1 c. red lentils
- 1 carton low sodium broth
- 2 cups of greens, chopped (I use kale, de-stemmed)
- freshly grated ginger, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste

the fun part:
1.) preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  cut the squash into 1 inch pieces, arrange on foil lined baking sheet and bake until tender, and browned slightly.  approximately 30 minutes.
2.) meanwhile, in a large pot, heat extra virgin olive oil.  add chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes over low-medium heat.
3.) stir in curry powder, cayenne and chili powder and continue to stir to prevent burning.  after a couple of minutes, add lentils and broth and bring to a boil.  reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.
4.) stir in cooked squash and greens. cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes.  season with salt, pepper and freshly grated ginger.

what your body will like:
1 serving = 1.5 cups
per serving: 340 calories - 49 g carbs - 3 g fat - 23 g protein - 18 g fiber

for a vegetarian dish, this is PACKED with PROTEIN! as we've discussed before, it is the winning combination of protein and fiber that will keep you fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

lemon blueberry muffins.

In my first year of university I was the girl in the chemistry lab who would spill test tubes of chemicals, break beakers full of boiling solution and drop perfectly formed crystals moments before weighing her final product.

Science doesn't make sense when it's fancy structures and big long words in lab manuals.  

Fast forward a few years, and I am still enrolled in lab courses.
I've traded my lab coat for an apron, and acetylsalicylic acid for flour, butter and sugar.  

Science makes sense when it's delicious ingredients in recipe books.  

 I get to see how eggs contribute leavening, binding and structure.  I get to see how you can trade sugars and flours and still have delicious baked goods.  Now cooking and baking is not only for fun, but it is for credit.  

this week?  eggs and dairy.  
next week? flours and baked goods.  
see... I'm so keen than I read ahead!


lemon and blueberry muffins.

These muffins were incredibly tasty, especially warm out of the oven.  The lemon lent a tart edge to the rich and buttery taste of the sweet muffin.  The sour cream complemented this combination by contributing a smooth, tangy flavor. The muffin was moist and tender, and the quinoa provided hints of nutty, chewiness throughout. The proportion of blueberries was excellent, as they added a juicy sweetness with every bite.   

yield: 12 muffins
source: quinoa 365

the goodies:

- 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
- 1 c. water
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1.5 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice (~ 1 lemon)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. frozen blueberries (not thawed)

the fun part:

  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Reduce to a summer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 15 minutes to allow the quinoa to cook longer and become plumper.  Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Stir in the lemon zest and 1 ¼ cups (310 mL) of the cooked quinoa, breaking up any clumps.
  4. Whisk the sugar and oil in a large bowl, then add the sour cream, egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
  5. Toss the frozen blueberries in the flour mixture.  Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.
  6. Drop the batter by large spoonfuls into the muffin cups. Bake on the center oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan.

what your body will like:

1 serving = 1 muffin:
185 calories - 28 g carbs = 7 g fat - 3 g protein - 2 g fiber