Alfalfa sprouts: the easiest “lettuce” to make at home!

Last Tuesday was officially the first day of Fall of 2014, or the Autumnal Equinox and we can definitely feel it here in Canada. The trees are putting another awesome spectacle of colours up here in Fort McMurray. Such a variety of earthy warm colours out there!!  Even-though I know winter is coming and I am not a fan of it, these short Fall weeks ahead, are not only beautiful, but they also give me a “romantic” kind of feeling.  A good thing about this small northern community of Fort McMurray is that we get to see such a wide array of tree types, leaves forms, colours and landscapes that include the Athabasca River in the portrait. No picture can actually portray the beauty and the peaceful feeling that being surrounded by these living things give you.

20140922_143939

20140924_170105

I started my 5 day juice and raw detox yesterday. I am mostly drinking lots of liquids and veggie juices. Also, I wake up to drink a tall glass of water along with physillum husks and bentonyte clay, then a warm lemon water and then I drink a cup of green tea. Normally, one should not drink any caffeine during the detox (because caffeine is a stimulant drug for the nervous system mainly), yet I need to wean off of coffee little by little. Literally one day at the time, otherwise I get massive migraines that won’t let me live until I drink an Advil or something of the sort. So doing this would completely defeat the purpose of my detox. Sometimes “you have to chose your battles” they say, so I chose to drop my caffeine intake to one cup a day only and at the end I hope to only drink Expressos haha!

I LOVE coffee. I love the entire ambiance fresh ground coffee brings into the kitchen. I love it’s smell, love it’s taste and love the company it brings along. But, in my case I do know that I need to give it up until I get completely back in shape; until I feel that my body will gladly have it again without turning my inners into an acid environment. Remember, with a detox we are aiming at become as alkaline as possible. Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline environment. Green vegetables as well as most fruit, beans, peas, seeds and nuts are the most alkaline forming foods one can consume. That’s why in my detox I do not hesitate on including for lunch great big hearty raw salads supercharged with the nutrients that only sprouts can give us.

20140924_190937

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE SPROUTS based solely on their tiny size and modest-fragile look. Sprouts are a powerhouse full of vitamins, minerals, proteins and enzymes that provide our bodies with the necessary ingredients to function optimally. Sprouting is an great convenient-economical way to constantly have fresh vegetables for salads, and most important of all for us northern seasonal depending people, sprouts can be germinated all year long -yes! WINTER SALADS- at home! You can also buy them at the supermarket but you end up paying for a package that will also eventually end up either in the recycling bin or the garbage.

20140924_133445

We can do this at home! Honestly, it is easy, quick and I can say safe too. I need to say safe too because, unless you are not hygienic at home and you keep your dishes and hands clean, there is no serious risk of getting a bacterial infection.  Commercially grown sprouts have been associated with multiple outbreaks of harmful bacteria, including salmonella and E-coli. These are a result of unhygienic production practices and manufacturing.

20140924_133107

So actually, by doing this at home yourself, it will be the safest and cheapest way to provide you and your family with a salad packed with nutrients like Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Potassium and Calcium. Alfalfa also has small amounts of magnesium, iron, folate and Vitamin A. You only need seeds, potable water, a jar (or other resources as you can see down here), cheesecloth and 3-6 days patience and love.

20140924_13262720140924_13271120140924_132736

 

INGREDIENTS for a big size Ziplock baggy full of Alfalfa:20140924_132923

  • 2 TBSP of Alfalfa seeds
  • Fresh potable water
  • A Mason Jar or wide mouth glass jar
  • Some screen or netting or cheesecloth and a rubber band
  • A bowl of the right size and weight to prop up the jar

OR

  • commercially bought sprouter (follow instructions)

METHOD:

  1. Place the 2 TBSP of seeds in the clean jar. Cover up well with water (about 1 1/2-2 cups) and let them soak for 4 to 6 hours. Cover the jar with screen or mesh and secure with the rubber band.              20140924_132848 This is the sprouter I use. I bought it in Montreal and the company’s name is Passion Santé, but as I show you, you can use any other method, results will be the same.
  2. After the soaking time, drain the water out of jar and refill with new fresh water, swirl and drain. Do this at least two times, to make sure we are “cleaning” well the seeds.   20140925_104539
  3. Rinse your seeds two times a day. Three times a day if it is summertime just to be on the safe side. Rinse your seeds by refilling the jar with water and gently swirling. Drain the water, invert and prop up the jar at an angle in the sink or bowl. Make sure there is space for air flow in the jar.  20140925_104723
  4. Keep them out of direct sunlight either by placing a cloth over the jar or away from a window. 20140925_104901
  5. Repeat this rinsing step until your alfalfa is ready. I normally have it ready in 5 days.
  6. The hulls are edible, but they are very hard. So, what I do is I take the sprout bunch out of the jar and sink it in a bowl and let the hulls float and then catch them with a spoon. DRAIN your sprouts VERY WELL  after separating them from their hulls. I leave them upside down for a couple of hours, letting them air dry and then put them in plastic ziplock bag or glass container padded with some paper towels just to make sure no dampness is in there.

alfalfa sprouts sink

And there you have it! Easy, cheap, 100% quality nutrients and in your own house, under your own hygienic watch. You can also try it out with mung beans, radish, clover, sunflower….options are various my friends.  Check out this tutorial from the Boulder Locavore http://boulderlocavore.com/2013/06/sprouting-101-homemade-sprouting-jars-tutorial-diy-mason-jars-giveaway.html   Can it get more local than growing them in your own house??

I hope you do try this out because it is extremely easy and you’ll reap enormous health benefits from it. If you have questions or doubts, please don’t hesitate on writing back.

If it’s good for the gut, it’s good for the soul!

Song of the day: Bole to Harlem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHs6lF7Ojd8

 

Easy quick cosy vegan Corn Chowder with coconut milk

Good day my friends!

Warmer food is on the way to comfort us in these cooler fall days of ours in Northern Alberta. Taking advantage of our bi-weekly Urban Market here in Fort McMurray we decided to prepare Corn Chowder goodness. First time I make Corn chowder since I became vegan and fortunately for us, we are not sacrificing nor missing any flavour.

20140901_180824

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP. of coconut or olive oil
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 cups of fresh corns kernels or 3 cans of unsalted corn kernels
  • 4 medium red or russet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1″ cubes
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 can of full fat or light coconut milk, preferably organic
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish (optional): Chives, lime juice, sliced basil, radish, avocado, freshly grind pepper

20140901_180754

Method:

  1. Heat a large pot adding the coconut or olive oil. Add the onions in a low-medium heat and sauté them until they are kind of glassy looking, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and pepper flakes and sauté them for another 2 minutes.
  2. Add the carrots, potatoes and corn and cook for 3-4 minutes. Pay close attention so nothing burns. Add the vegetable broth and let it simmer for about 15-min or until vegetables are soft enough to be mashed with an immersion blender or a simple masher. Mash the soup to your desired consistency.
  3. Add the can of coconut milk and salt and pepper to the soup and let simmer in low heat for another 5-7 minutes.
  4. Garnish and serve! Lime juice and avocado are a must in my opinion, as well as some good whole wheat baguette, yet everyone has it’s own way to enjoy these thick warmy soups right?

Coconut milk comes to the rescue when we are craving those great thick soups, creams and chowders that we used to make while eating an animal-based diet. If you haven’t tried out this milk yet, I am sure that once you do, you’ll know that becoming dairy-free for a bunch of recipes is totally doable without having to give up any of the rich thick goodness. Plus, coconut milk will not clog your arteries as cow’s milk will. Bonus!

20140901_180729

Let me know what you thought of this chowder! How did you like it? Did you enjoy the texture? Were you missing the “real” milk? These are all important things a lot people are not ready to give up when thinking of switching to a non-dairy lifestyle. Changing diets can be scary, but honestly, mother nature gave us everything to enjoy all kinds of foods without killing or harming any animals, so why not try it?

Coconut in all it’s forms is good for our bodies. And if it’s good for the Gut, it’s good for the Soul!

Song of the day:  Tripped and fell in love- By YATCH

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zusyB5eDKNo

Berry good breakfast oatmeal and Tofu-veggie spring rolls

Hello everyone!

Little by little I’m starting to sit down a bit more and write you guys the recipes for the food we eat. I take advantage of the time when our new puppy Mikko sleeps. I do not have any kids (yet) but I am glad to have started by adopting this little guy. He is helping me develop the virtues of sacrifice and responsibility and teaching me the art of patience and love at another level. It is fun to have another beautiful, playful and always happy living being around the house!

It is only the beginning of September and out here in northern Alberta we have been waking up to coolish temperatures already. This morning it was 1ºC when I took Mikko outside for his business and frost was covering the ground. Days are getting shorter, kids are back in school, leaves are turning and falling and more and more I am thinking of warmer meals to prepare. So in this post you will find a recipe to prepare a great warm oatmeal breakfast and to continue with the summer energy, I prepared my awesome Tofu spring rolls.  I hope you enjoy!

OATMEAL  (serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. of oats (I try to buy it organic, so when I have the opportunity, I buy them bulk)
  • 2 c. of water20140816_110117
  • 1 tsp. of coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt

Toppings:

  • 1/4 c. each of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries (or any other berries you have that are in season; BTW, I wish I had the opportunity to try out those Saskatoon berries, they look delicious! http://globalnews.ca/news/1526393/saskatoon-berry-found-under-different-name-in-usa/ )
  • 1/4 c. raisins
  • 1-2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup OR 1-2 Tbsp. Coconut sugar OR 2 pitted dates soaked in warm water for at least 10 minutes.
  • 1/4 c. shredded coconut
  • 2 Tbsp. Goji Berries
  • 1-2 Tbsp. of raw cacao nibs
  • 1/2-1 C. of Dairy-free milk of your choice (I normally use either homemade almond or Brazil nut milk, although I have also used Canned full fat coconut milk and it was delicious too)

Method:

  1. In a covered saucepan bring the 2 c. of water, the pinch of salt and the cup of oats together to a boil. As soon as it starts to boil, turn the heat down to medium-low simmer, add the coconut oil and cook for another 2-3 minutes until the majority of the water is absorbed by the oats.
  2. Immediately serve in a deep bowl, add toppings, milk and ENJOY!!  Whole grain oat helps reduce cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease; plus a 1/2 cup of oat grains provides 45% of the daily amount of fibres shown to help reduce cholesterol.

20140816_110109

Here in northern Canada I will be having this for breakfast from Autumn right up until the spring thaw, so until sometime in April. Oatmeal is a great breakfast choice. Play with the toppings and enjoy a warm hearty morning meal that will keep you satisfied until lunch time.

20140825_115230


Tofu-veggie Spring rolls

Ingredients:

Dipping sauce

  • 1/4 c. of tahini, peanut or almond butter
  • 2 tbsp. Braggs soy sauce alternative GF
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced and crushed
  • 1 thai chilli pepper (optional), extremely finely minced or 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. of maple syrup or brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. of warm water to thin the sauce to desired consistency

20140828_174752

Mix all the ingredients well. I put them in my nutribullet and pulse a couple of times, but you can definitely do it by hand. I recommend mixing up the sauce first, so while you are building your rolls, the flavours blend together. Trust me, it just tastes better after sitting for a while.

Spring-rolls fillings

  • 8-10 Rice spring-roll papers20140828_165842
  • 1/2 c. each of julienned carrots, zucchini, bell pepper
  • 1/2 head of iceberg lettuce or any other broad leaf green
  • 1 avocado, sliced in slim strips
  • 1/4 of a bunch of Cilantro or Coriander sprigs
  • 1/2 pack of thin vermicelli rice noodles
  • 1 pack of smoked tofu
  • 1 tsp. of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. Braggs Soy sauce alternative GF
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame seeds (toasted or not, mine weren’t)
  • Other options: Any kind of sprouts you like, cooked Quinoa, Mint, Cucumbers, radishes, purple cabbage, Basil, etc. Use what you like!!

20140828_165847

Method:

  1. I start by boiling 3 cups of water, place the noodles in a bowl and completely submerge the noodles with the water. Leave them there for 15 min, then strain the, return them to the bowl and add the sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Move them around enough to smother the noodles with oil and seeds.  Leave them there until we build the rolls.  20140828_165857
  2. Cut tofu into strips and pan-fry it for 5 minutes. Set aside.     20140828_171010
  3. Now to assemble rolls, place a cup of hot water in a shallow bowl and immerse rice paper for 10 sec. to soften them a bit (Don’t over soak them). Then transfer them to a wooden cutting board. (Some like to dampen the board, It makes it easier to peel-off the paper if you got it TOO soaked.)  20140828_171022
  4. Place in the bottom part of the paper your fillings: Start by putting some iceberg lettuce, then place on top of it the “hardest” pieces of food that could pierce the paper, like carrots, cooked tofu, avocado, peppers, herbs, and I finished by adding the noodles and covering again with a small piece of lettuce.
  5. Carefully fold over once, tuck in the edges and continue rolling until it seems closed. Transfer them to a serving platter and cover with a damp towel, to prevent the rice paper to dry off and so the towel doesn’t stick to the paper.   Repeat the process until your fillings are finished.

Depending on your rolling skills, you want to put in it only a small amount of food to prevent it from being broken. DO NOT get DISCOURAGED if some of your rolls get pierced, or the roll doesn’t look like a roll and it ends up looking more like a taco. It doesn’t matter. It will all taste amazing and it will all end up in the same place: your belly.  It all takes practice. I am sure that by the 6th or 7th roll you make, they will be tighter, chubbier and your technique will have improved dramatically. You can store them in the fridge for a day individually wrapped in plastic film.

20140828_174607

I hope you enjoy these ideas. I get inspiration from many sources, vegan and non vegan as well. I just then adapt them to my life style and my taste.  That is what is all about: trying, adjusting, adapting and perfecting to your taste and beliefs.

May these recipes serve you well in your continuous path of a healthier, happier life path.

Love and health to you all. And remember, If it’s good for the Gut, it’s good for the Soul.

Song of the day: What I got- By AWESOME Cali Band (Badly missing my sandy, warm weather beach lifestyle in Mexico when listening to Sublime)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Uc3ZrmhDN4

 

Super moist Coconut-blueberry muffins.

20140721_123231

Who doesn’t like blueberries? and how many of you do not like muffins? Now make give it some coconut love and eat them on a cool morning…man these were good!

I am still fortunate enough to be able to buy British Columbia grown blueberries, a fresher and more flavourful version of the California blueberries that we usually get. Nothing against USA produce but the closer food comes from, the more fresh, the more flavourful and the more nutritious it will be. SO whenever you can or you have the option between something grown thousands of kilometres away VS. something grown in your country or in your province or grown in your municipality, THE BETTER!! Buying as LOCAL as one can is the best option. Yes, organic is important, but we have to think twice when we go out there and buy our food. Our purchases are like votes. We vote to buy something that is grown near to us and grown by our fellow farmers or grown elsewhere. We vote when we decide to buy at a grocery store or at the local market. If the option is available of buying something grown in our own territory AND it is organic, well “that’s a BINGO!” Can’t get better than that!

Right now blueberries seem to wave at me whenever I’m at the City Centre Fort McMurray Urban Market.  At this one and only farmer’s market in our town one can find locally grown veggies from Dunvegan Gardens, fresh berries and seasonal fruits from B.C. and other baked goods, handcrafted items and other fun activities for the kids. MY favourite activity consists on buying the fresher good-looking fruits and veggies I can possibly find and talking to the producers. Can’t deny it, I am one chatty cookie and passionate urban farmer as well.

20140721_123355

It is from these activities that I get my inspiration from. It is from speaking to the farmers and the dedicated bakers and creative vendors that bring us their good hearted products straight from their kitchens or their gardens full with their good energy and love. I am wishing that soon this and more markets will sprout in and around town and stay with us year round. Access to fresh and nutritious produce is our right and local farmers are here to bring us everything we want, we just need to create the DEMAND for it. So visit as much as you can your local markets, stop by ad say hi to your veggie grower and get cooking my friend!

Makes aprox. 12 muffins

Ingredients:

– 1 1/2 C. whole wheat flour (I used pastry flour, you can also use Gluten-free flour)

– 1/2 C.  granulated sugar (I have used raw sugar and coconut sugar too, turned out yummy just a tiny bit less sweet)

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 2 tsp. Baking Powder

– 1/4 C. coconut oil, melted and cooled to room temperature

– 1 TBSP. Flaxseed meal with 3 TBSP of water, mix and let stand fro 10 minutes

– 3/4 C. Full fat coconut milk (or light version of can coconut milk)

– 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

– 1/2 C. sweetened shredded coconut (I have also used unsweetened coconut shreds and it was awesome as well)

– 1 C. fresh or frozen blueberries (I had a huge box of fresh blueberries so I used those)

20140823_161703

Method:

1.- Preheat oven at 350º. grease or line muffins pan. Set aside.20140823_160811

2.- In a medium bowl whisk DRY ingredients:  flour, sugar, salt and baking powder.

3.- In a big bowl mix WET ingredients: oil, egg, milk, vanilla.

4.- Add WET to DRY, stirring just whats necessary to combine the ingredients.

5.- Gently fold in the coconut shreds and the blueberries.

6.- Divide batter among the prepared muffins pan cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

20140823_161019

 These didn’t last long out here let me tell you… they are awesome!

Song of the day:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4hU3F_QIda0

Ben Miller Band, LOVING their sound!

Creamy nut milk for coffee…yum!

Hello there!

Sorry for having been absent all this time. Life happened and my dad passed away at the beginning of June. He lived all his life in Acapulco, Mexico and as he always said, he’d died there too. In his beautiful Acapulco Bay. My dad had diabetes and died from a heart attack. Nevertheless, he had a great attitude towards this disease and at the end he lived his life the way he wanted to.

P1000830

Life I believe is a choosing game. Every choice being a step towards the person you become; constantly changing, constantly making decisions and making choices. So if you feel that you are on the wrong path or that your life could be better and you could be happier, guess what? YOU can change that! Only you! I think the key is to take it one step at a time. Change one thing, one ingredient, one recipe, one habit at a time. It does not matter if you are 60 years old or 20. We are responsible and the writers of our own lives. WE decide how to spend our time in this reality. And let me tell you that I couldn’t see this simple way of looking at life until my dad was suddenly just not with us anymore. He did just that. It was the “today” that counted, not yesterday nor tomorrow. Think about it, 2 minutes ago are gone… nothing can change the past, so no need for regrets. And as for tomorrow, well….we don’t even know if we will wake up or if our hearts will still be beating. What makes you think that your body and its many trillions of little workers will still be doing their job of keeping you in good health -everyday-? That’s right! You just don’t know, so lets get busy on the stuff we can take care of TODAY and stop worrying so much. Sure we can plan ahead and get an idea of what we want to do tomorrow but don’t forget to relish the moments that you are living today, savour the things you achieved and the projects you are working on. We are harsh on ourselves. We have been bombarded with the idea that in order to be a successful person one needs to be “productive” and “efficient” all the time, regardless of our human and animal priorities as living beings. We need love above and before anything else. We need good thoughts in our heads and good food in our bodies. Once these are met, I believe we are capable to make the best decisions for our lives and we are clear enough to see the important things in life.

20140614_165651

And so, after a couple of stressful months and lots of reflection time, I finally can sit down again and continue to share ideas on how to change little by little our way of eating.  People always ask me if one would have to definitely stop eating something and never ingest it again, What would you recommend to cut out?  I say cow milk.  Hands down, drop the cow milk. Cow’s milk has this protein called casein which inhibits so many good nutrients to be fully absorbed by our bodies. Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s book “The China Study” is the only book of it’s kind where the effects of Casein protein, which composes 80% of Cow’s milk, are studied in depth. You’ll find amongst other valuable information, explanation on how Casein dramatically promotes liver cancer, breast cancer and little by little kills your immune system by inhibiting good food and its nutrients from truly nourishing our cells. “Casein  is the most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered” according to Dr. Campbell. Casein is used in cheeses, adhesives, water paints and for coating paper.  Excuse me, what??!!!?!?!?  paints and glue?!!

I highly recommend reading this book to all of you who are in the dilemma of cutting out of your diet all dairy products. You will be rewarded BIG TIME! It will be the best thing you’ve ever done for your health and towards long-lasting gut happiness. You honestly can feel a big difference once you are dairy free. Your skin gets clearer, your digestion becomes more regular and inevitably you’ll loose weight for good.

No more glue clogging ingredients in our bodies!

Here are the ingredients for the Brazil nut milk I make to put in my coffee.  I LOVE coffee! It still is one of my first thoughts in my head when I wake up. Yet I battle the urge and I drink at least 2 large glasses of water and a cup of warm lemon water before I drink coffee. It even tastes better after all that water passing through. This milk is nutty and creamy. It can be heated up too and it tastes great every the time.

image

Ingredients:
-2 cups of Raw Brazil nuts
-2 cups of filtered water + more for soaking nuts (around 2.5 cups)
-Mesh cloth, nylon bag, muslin bag, even a very fine mesh sieve would do the trick
-High speed blender or Nutribullet, even normal blender! just start with less water when you first grind it, like blending 1 cup of water with the 2 cups of nuts and THEN you add the rest for the called water.

image

Method:
– Cover nuts completely with filtered water overnight, (minimum 4 hours). After soaking, discard the water and rinse the nuts.
– Add rinsed nuts and the 2 cups of water to the blender, blend for 1:30-2:30 minutes, depending on how powerful your blender is.
– Pass the liquid through the strainer into a big bowl or jug. You might want to strain the liquid twice but I just do it once, I like the consistency like that.
– Optional: you can blend your milk with 1 or 2 dates to give some sweetness to the milk. I like it plain for my coffee but i’ve made it also with dates and it is sooooo good!!

And you have milk for your coffee!

Con you see how creamy this milk is?? I wish you could.

image

Now, if you want nut milk for cereal or just a more liquidy version, just add 1 to 3 cups of water at the time you put the soaked and rinsed nuts in the blender.

image

I would love to know how it turned out for you all later and if you guys liked it. It is definitely worth trying it out. And then, you can even try making other milks from other nuts, like Pecan, hazelnut, cashew, almond are really popular because they are so good too. Try mixing them up, don’t be afraid to play with the flavours and the textures.

STORAGE: You have to keep it in a hermetic container for up to 5 days. I normally store it in a big mason jar. It never fails to keep freshness in.

20140817_090800

MMMMMMM Coffee!!!!!!!

Song of the day by Kiesza, our fellow Canadian artist. Straight from Calgary, Alberta.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESXgJ9-H-2U

Have a beautiful day!

Fiddleheads season!

First time I ever saw these curious edible Fibonacci Spiral like veggies was when I was living in Québec City. My good friend and artist Nathalie Côté brought these green spirals one rainy summer day and quickly taught me how to cook them.  Accurately enough, they call them Têtes de Violon, which literally translates to Violin Heads.

Image

I will never forget the first time I tasted them. They taste kind of like Asparagus and the funny thing is that you can cook them just like you would cook Asparagus.  There is just one ***very important thing to do with fiddleheads***: you MUST cook them before eating them, you cannot eat them raw. They are toxic if they are not cooked for 12 minutes before frying, sautéing, or baking.  Fiddleheads are in reality the furled fronds of a young fern.  They are harvested to be used as a vegetable before the frond has opened and are only available through spring.  These beautiful young ferns have lots of antioxidants, considerable source of Omega 3, Omega 6 and they are high in iron and fibre. Why not give them a try??

Ingredients:

– 2lb of Fiddleheads

– 1/2 a litre of salted water (for boiling)

– 2 Key limes or 1 big lime

– Olive oil or coconut oil

– Sea salt & fresh ground pepper

Directions:

Trim brownish fiddlehead ends and those mushy parts you might find. Wash them throughly in cold water or soak them in veggie wash for 10 minutes and then rinse them well. You can either toss them directly in salted boiling water OR what I did is I used the butterfly steamer and steamed them for 15 minutes. Sprinkle some salt on top of them while they steam. Once tender they are ready.

Drizzle some olive or melted coconut oil, press the lime juice and pour on top, then add the salt and pepper to your taste. YUM!

Image

For some reason today that is sunny here in northern Alberta I can’t keep this song out of my head, maybe because it makes me think of tomorrows hockey game between the Canadians and the New York Rangers. Game 1, GO HABS GO all the way!!!!!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x63uzupzUQ

It’s avocado baby!

Hello everyone!

As a first posting I had to start with a dish that I cherish and keep near my heart. It brings me lots of good memories and it mostly reminds me to Mexico. I can’t help it!

Avocados are simply good for you. Apparently one can live only on avocados because this fruit (yes, it is a fruit) has numerous vitamins, healthy fats, plenty of antioxidants, minerals and yes, protein of the good kind. It is of popular belief that one should avoid avocados because of their high fat content. This is a huge MYTH that this fat is bad for us. The fat in avocados helps us absorb nutrients in other foods better. Avocados fat is monounsaturated, so it doesn’t clog your arteries and it helps speed up your metabolic rate.

I see avocado uses in everything, from a spicy guacamole to a raw cake. Todays recipe is to make a basic delicious guacamole Mexican style (my friends would say: “The right style” haha).  You can eat it alone with some organic tortilla chips (I normally use the Que Pasa kind, the purple ones we like the most, just for the colour, the flavour doesn’t vary) maybe throw some refried beans on the side and any kind of salsa you can get your hands on (Vegan of course, I use La Costeña red salsa) or some Pico de Gallo. Otherwise,  you can use your guacamole as a side dish or to spread in your sandwich or as an addition to your tacos. Possibilities are endless and the health benefits too!!

Ingredients for a medium bowl:

– 2 big ripe avocados or 3 medium ones, pitted

– 1/4 of medium yellow onion, chopped into little cubes

– 1 small garlic clove (do not mind my Elephant garlic in the picture)

– 1 big field or hothouse tomato, chopped into little cubes

– 1/2 a bunch of cilantro or a good handful of it, leaves only or leaves and stems very finely chopped

– 2-3 key limes or 2 normal big limes, juice only

– 1-2 thai red chilli peppers or 1 big serrano pepper, chopped and either you can keep the seeds or toss them out. I do keep them in my guaamole, I like it spicy

– 1/4 tsp sea salt

– 1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper

IMG_20140303_175604IMG_20140101_174358

Directions:

What I do first is I toss the diced tomatoes, onion, cilantro and chillies in a large bowl. Then I pit the avocados and cut them in cubes, toss them in the bowl along with the other ingredients, pour the lime juice in it, toss in the salt and pepper and then with a FORK slightly crush your avocado cubes. This way the mixture will be chunky, instead of getting a very “mashed” texture.

The secret is to use good quality ingredients. You should see the difference on the taste when you use sea salt or pink himalayan rock salt and fresh ground pepper than the pre-ground stuff. For the limes, I use Key limes because they taste like the ones we use in Mexico, they are smaller and somehow more citrusy tasting than the bigger ones. But hey, I think we should all work with what we have!

IMG_20140303_18341120140408_19153520140311_190254

 

For more information about avocados and their numerous health benefits here are some links you should checkout:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=5 

http://www.avocadocentral.com/nutrition/nutrients-in-avocado

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/22/avocado-health-facts-didnt-dont-know_n_3786419.html

Avocados are awesome, period. Remember, if it’s good for the gut, it’s good for the soul.