Food Friday

Food Friday: Cauliflower and Butternut Thai Curry

 Photo courtesy of OhSheGlows.com - mine disappeared too quickly!

Photo courtesy of OhSheGlows.com - mine disappeared too quickly!

I have been needing some quick and easy meals to prep lately that are still full of flavour and for those reasons this one is a hit! I love curries that have a bit of a kick to them as well as hearty stews like this that pack a punch of nutrients in one bowl. This is a great meal to cook on the weekend for your week day lunches, especially with the winter weather we are having lately, or a quick meal to make in the evening after work for the family. Angela from OhSheGlows never disappoints! This dish is vegan but so delicious, so for those carnivores out there, I challenge you to give this a try (hint hint to my guy!).

I used swiss chard for this dish, which is very high is essential minerals such as magnesium, iron and potassium. It is also very high in vitamin K, A and C. Two thumbs up! Butternut squash (and other winter squash) is higher in carbohydrates than other veggies since it is a starchy vegetable, however “despite its high-carb nature, winter squash has recently been shown to help steady the release of sugar inside of our digestive tract after being eaten, and to lessen our overall glycemic response to meals.”(1) Another two thumbs up!

Without further ado, the recipe:

Ingredients:

Curry:

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 14 oz (398 mL) can coconut milk

  • 1 14 oz (398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices*

  • 2 cups chopped cauliflower florets, bite sized

  • 2 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash, bite sized

  • 1/2 cup uncooked red lentils

  • 2 tbsp red curry paste

  • 1 tsp dried flaked onion (or 1/2 diced onion cooked first)

  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

  • 3/4 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • Lots of freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • 2 cups packed stemmed and finely chopped swiss chard (or kale)

Other:

  • Cooked basmati or jasmine rice (or no grains)

  • Fresh chopped cilantro leaves

  • Fresh lime juice

Directions:

  • Add all of the curry ingredients except the swiss chard to a large pot, stir, and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes, adding the swiss chard during the last 10 minutes.

  • Cook until the veggies and lentils are tender. Stir the curry every 5 minutes while cooking, and reduce the heat if necessary to prevent it sticking to the pot. Adjust seasoning if needed.

  • Serve over rice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and a little lime juice (not necessary if you don’t have it).

  • Enjoy!

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen

(1) http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=63

Whole Foods Berry Smoothie

berry smoothie.jpg

Are you looking for a delicious smoothie filled with whole foods that will power you throughout the day? This is the perfect one! It has a focus on antioxidants with blueberries and cranberries, as well as healthy fats and protein to balance blood sugar and keep you full. I find smoothies are not enough for me on a busy morning even with protein powder, so I need to make sure I include some healthy fats such as avocado, coconut oil or nut butter to sustain me. This one can have all three! Weary of adding lemon rind to your smoothie? Try it! It adds a bit of a tangy refreshing flavour to your morning drink. Come winter I don’t crave really cold smoothies as much so this one is just right with less frozen fruit.

Ingredients:

  •  1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries

  • 1/2 cup frozen cranberries

  • 1/4 lemon with rind

  • 1 tbsp almond butter

  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 tbsp ground flax seeds

  • 2 walnuts

  • 1/4 avocado

  • 1/2 tbsp coconut butter (or coconut oil if you don’t have it)

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tbsp The Cultured Coconut Kefir (optional)

  • 1 scoop Sproos Collagen (optional)

  • 1 tbsp greens powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until smooth :)

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen

Food Friday: Grain-free Granola

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Fall is in the air! That calls for fall flavours in my morning meal of course :) To set your day off right, whether it is for better energy, weight loss and concentration, it is important to get protein for breakfast. Common breakfast choices like cereal, toast, pancakes and even oatmeal do not have any protein in them unless they are “tweaked” a little, leading to blood sugar spikes then energy crashes. Being a Naturopath with a busy day seeing patients, it is important for me for my mind to be clear and my energy to not crash so finding better breakfast options is always key. This recipe is an easy one for busy mornings or when you are craving something a little sweater. The spices can be adjusted depending on what you prefer and you can even mix up the seeds or add some nuts like almonds or cashews. So many options!

Some other protein packed breakfast options I enjoy are a smoothie with protein powder or almond butter, “paleo pancakes” with eggs and plantain and a breakfast hash. Yum!

Do you have a go-to granola recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds

  • 2 cups raw pumpkin seeds

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 1 tsp ground ginger

  • 1 tsp cardamom

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 3/4 cup dried currents

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F. Prep a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Place sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds in a food processor and pulse until you have a chunky, coarse meal.

  3. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

  4. Spread mixture out on the baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes, stirring once half way through.

  5. Remove from the oven and mix in dried currents, then let cool. Once cooled store in an airtight container.

  6. Mix with yogurt, almond milk or vanilla hemp milk :)

In health & happiness,
Dr. Karen

Food Friday: Stovetop Lemon Chicken

 Photo by Seasons and Suppers

Photo by Seasons and Suppers

A basic chicken breast or thighs have never been my favourite thing to cook for dinner. I usually prefer it pre-cooked added to a salad or wrap for lunch, in a saucy fajitas or a whole cooked chicken with all the juices. However, this recipe, by Seasons and Suppers, caught my eye and it will definitely be a go-to weeknight dinner option from now on (if only he liked capers…). It is great served with any green veggie of your choice, green beans are perfect. Or if you are craving something a little heavier serve it over gluten free pasta with a salad on the side.

The garlic and shallots in here are great immune boosters as we head into cold & flu season so don’t be shy about these and finally you all know my love for lemons.

Do you have a favourite chicken recipe you’d like to share?

Ingredients: (serves 5 people)

  • 2 small lemons cut into thin rounds

  • 1 1/2 tsp white sugar

  • 4 garlic cloves halved

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter or ghee DIVIDED

  • 1 tsp minced shallot

  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

  • 1 thyme sprig

  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or additional 1/2 cup chicken stock

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 tsp all-purpose flour (or sub gluten free flour)

  • 2 Tbsp capers

  • Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, add lemon slices and garlic halves. Sprinkle with sugar. Set aside.

  2. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. Add chicken to pan and cook for about 4 minutes on each side or until golden and cooked through. Remove chicken to a plate.

  3. Add a splash more oil to the pan if it is dry. Add lemon slice mixture to the pan (keeping bowl handy) and cook, turning occasionally, for about 1 minute or until lemon slices are lightly browned. Return lemon mixture to the bowl.

  4. Wipe pan with paper towel and heat over medium heat. Melt 1 1/2 tsp of butter in the pan, then add shallot, 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic and thyme sprig. Cook for 30 seconds or so, then add wine to pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil and cook for about 3 minutes or until liquid almost completely evaporates. Add chicken stock, and flour to the pan, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to about 2/3 cup.

  5. Remove pan from heat; discard thyme sprig. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and capers, stirring until butter melts. Taste sauce and add additional salt and pepper, as needed. Return chicken and any juices to pan and re-warm in sauce, turning to coat with sauce. Top chicken with lemon mixture and allow to warm with chicken slightly before serving. Garnish with parsley.

Enjoy!

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen