Saturday, June 12, 2010

Whole almonds vs. blanched almonds

From the who-knew-but-it-should-be-obvious file, Andy Bellatti of Smart Bites reports that almond skins are good for you. (The less processed, the better, right?) Apparently they are high in flavonoids.

Lesson learned: I'll be sticking to the whole almonds from now on.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Delicious healthy asparagus recipes

I love eating with the seasons, for a lot of reasons. It's partly because I like eating local foods and it just feels right to eat what's available right here and now. But also, it makes the whole year an exciting journey of exploration. You can't get tired of anything because it disappears so fast and you're on to the next thing.

Right now, the spring vegetables are all over the place, like asparagus. Asparagus is a vegetable that it's worth waiting for because the local stuff is so much more tender and flavourful. Here are some recipes to try.

Asparagus, Goat Cheese and Lemon Pasta
This recipe from Smitten Kitchen is super easy - the asparagus is blanched with the pasta then drained and tossed with goat cheese, lemon zest, tarragon and olive oil. It's a perfect spring weeknight dinner.

Simple Roasted Asparagus
For a simple side dish that's a change from your standard steamed asparagus, try this roasted version.

Creamy Asparagus Soup with Poached Egg on Toast
From Jamie Oliver, this blended asparagus soup is made into a full meal with the addition of toast and a poached egg. Yum!

Raw Asparagus Salad
Every food has a slightly different nutritional profile when it's cooked vs. raw. This salad recipe from Maria Rodale via the Huffington Post flavours the asparagus with fresh basil and mint.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Are you ready for Meatless Monday

Have you heard of Meatless Monday? It's a movement for people to eat less meat by designating Mondays as a meat-free day. The idea is that it will help people make healthier and more eco-friendly food choices by making it easy: don't worry about going vegetarian, just don't eat meat on Mondays.

I love this idea because it simplifies things. You don't have to count anything, measure percentages, figure out how much you're eating of this or that. Just cook vegetarian on Mondays. Easy.

Here are some of my favourite meatless recipes to help you get started:

Vegetarian Cassoulet
This is a Smitten Kitchen pick. Cassoulet is a French casserole that's traditionally very meat-heavy. This veggie version is super delish and on Tuesday, you can throw in some bacon or sausage if you like.

Warm Butternut Squash and Chickpea Salad
Another one from Smitten Kitchen, I love this because it's easy to pack for lunch. Make it as a Sunday-night side dish and then have it for your Meatless Monday lunch alongside a big green salad.

Quick Black Bean Soup
This one is super easy and makes a yummy soup. Try it - you won't miss the meat!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fresh Ginger Recipes: Cake, Cookies and Smoothies

I looove ginger, in both savoury and sweet dishes. So when I saw a ginger cake recipe in the Culinate newsletter I was excited to share some fresh ginger recipes with you.

First off, their recipe for gingery gingerbread cake, with fresh and dried ginger. I'm bookmarking this for an upcoming baking session – it looks divine!

Then there are these fresh ginger cookies from All Recipes. I never find ginger cookies gingery enough so maybe the fresh ginger will do it.

I also love to add fresh ginger to my smoothies. I used to grate it first but I've found that my blender can handle chunks - so I just peel and chop now. Pear and ginger is a great combination, or pineapple and ginger, or mango and ginger. I always use bananas too, and protein powder, and fresh nut milk (but you could use the milk option of your choice). Honey goes well with ginger in smoothies too.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How to eat local for cheap

Eating locally grown and produced foods (the "locavore" diet) is becoming more and more popular, but let's be realistic: a lot of local foods are kind of expensive. Doesn't mean that they're not worth the price, or that the other foods aren't artificially underpriced, but a dollar's a dollar, you know?

So I love this article from awesome food website Culinate on 8 ways to buy local on a budget. Save yourself some cash and eat better, too!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

5 fast and healthy dinner ideas

A classic problem is coming home after work, tired and hungry, and not feeling like cooking. Easier to get takeout or eat something out of a box than to cook something healthy, right?

Not so fast! Takeout takes longer than these quick meal ideas you can throw together in no time. Just think of how much better you'll feel after having a fast and healthy dinner.

Self magazine has some of my favourite healthy recipes, and this fast chicken salad is no exception. Chicken strips are coated in a cornmeal mixture and baked for 14 minutes, and added to a mixture of salad greens, avocado, roasted peppers and goat cheese - all topped with a grapefruit juice dressing. Yum.

Egg salad is one of my standbys for a quick meal - sometimes I just throw some together quickly, put it on toast and serve with a side salad of greens and vinaigrette. This version is a bit fancier, but still light on the veggies, so serve some on the side.

This is a super fast and easy way to cook salmon. While it's in the oven, throw together a side salad or heat up some soup.

Another hit from Smitten Kitchen, this one tastes best with the highest quality (homemade?) tomato sauce.

This one requires marinating the chicken for at least two hours - but you can do it in the morning or the night before.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Trying new restaurants across the country

Sorry for the delay in posting... it's been a very busy winter! But now it's spring and I'm ready to start blogging again.

One of my favorite things to read about in food magazines like Bon Appetit is the travel sections. I love to try new restaurants when I travel and to dream about new restaurants even when I don't have time to travel. I recently found this guide to the best farm-to-table restaurants in the country on and it's really inspiring. Unfortunately I'm not planning a trip to any of those cities in the near future... but if you are, enjoy your meal!