Archive for dairy free

creamy dairy free leek & potato soup

Creamy Dairy Free Leek and Potato Soup - nu roots nutrition

Hola mis amigos! Long time…yet again. Part of me feels the need to apologize for dropping off the face of the planet and yet somehow I’m proud of the fact that I have been able to devote most of my time and energy into learning how to be a mama. Alas, it is time to get back to work, so I’m going to try and jump right in. Any mama of a toddler knows time must be used wisely.

Leek and potato soup has always been one of my faves, but dairy and I are ‘friends off’. It doesn’t agree with me or my son, so despite my love for (organic, grass-fed) butter, cheese and cream, it’s currently no go in our house.

It’s been a lot of trial and error to get the right level of creaminess in my leek and potato soup, and my friends I think I’ve found the missing link….macadamia nuts!

I love macadamia nuts! What’s not to love? They contain:

  • Vitamin E: boosts fertility and protects essential fats
  • Selenium: anti-cancer miracle mineral
  • Monounsaturated fats: “good” fat
  • Fibre: get the bowels moving
  • Protein: sustain your appetite, repair muscles

Creamy Dairy Free Leek & Potato Soup Recipe

Ingredients

as always choose organic if possible

  • 2 leeks
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • water or broth (vegetable or bone broth)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nuts
  • sea or rock salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Wash the leeks well and slice down the middle, lengthwise. Then chop in 1/4″ slices using the white and light green portions only.
  • Gently heat coconut oil on the stove (med low) in a sauce pan, when warm add leeks and saute until soft (a few minutes).
  • Wash and chop the potatoes in 1″ cubes. You can leave the skins on if they are organic. Add them to the pot when the leeks are nice and soft.
  • Add water or broth to the pot, just enough to cover the potatoes, or slightly less if you like a thicker soup. Please do not use commercial bouillon cubes, they are usually full of hydrogenated fats and MSG (which can be hidden under other names). If you want to use a bouillon cube buy it at a health foods store, make sure it’s organic and has no funky ingredients. Alternatively you can make your own vegetable or bone broth (bone broths are incredibly nutrient dense and super healthy for joint health). Or feel free to just use water and add extra seasonings (herbamare or other sea salt & herb blends).
  • Once everything is thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes, remove from heat.
  • In a blender, blend almond milk and macadamia nuts to form a nut “cream”.
  • Add the soup to the blender, and blend (you may do this in batches if you have a small blender), alternatively you can use an immersion blender and just add the cream to the sauce pan.
  • Season as you wish with salt and pepper, then serve.

no bloat spaghetti boat

Spaghetti squash and kale pesto . www.nu-roots.com

Spaghetti squash is perhaps one of the best pasta subs out there. Not only is it gluten free, but this recipe is entirely grain free! The beauty of a grain free pasta is the zero bloat and no heavy feeling post consumption. Feel free to sport your extra skinny jeans during this meal, you wont even have to undo the top button!

Now the long list of ingredients and lengthy looking recipe below is deceiving, do not be intimidated! Just pop the squash in the oven and get the food processor out. The kale pesto is ready in minutes and you can sit back, relax and wait for the squash. This is not a difficult dish whatsoever, I’m by no means an extravagant cook!

Step 1. Cook Spaghetti Squash

  • Spaghetti squash, 1/2 per adult
  • 1 tsp coconut oil per ½ squash

Preheat the oven to 350 F

Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Rub a tsp of coconut oil on each ½ squash. Place face down on a cookie sheet and bake for about 45 minutes or until soft. You can add some water to the cookie sheet to steam it up a bit faster, just be careful not to spill the water and burn yourself!

Step 2. Prep Kale Pesto

  • ½ bunch kale (washed and off the spine)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or hemp, walnut, flax oil)
  • ½ cup hemp seeds (or pine nuts, or cashews)
  • 1 tbsp dry basil (or 3 tbsp fresh)
  • 1 tsp dry oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh)
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Optional – but extra delish

  • 2 tsp        bragg soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup    nutritional yeast (a Parmesan cheese substitute)

Place all ingredients in a food processor and mix until smooth.

Step 3 – Additional goodies per 1/2 squash

  • 1/4 cup cannellini beans (cooked or canned), rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chopped kalamata olives (press with the palm of your hand to get the pit out)
  • 4  chopped grape tomatoes

Step 4 – put it all together

Place the cannellini beans into the bowl of the squash. Add a couple of scoops of kale pesto (to your taste), and top with grape tomatoes and kalamata olives.

Step 5 – eat to your hearts content!

Scrape the sides of the squash with your fork to pull the spaghetti squash from the skin. We found it quite filling, with lots of leftovers.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! Even my 10 month old got in on the action.

On another note, we are finally getting settled into our new Oakville life and I am keen to get the biz up and rocking once again. If you have any recommendations on what you’d like to see online or in town (if you’re in Oakville), please comment below or feel free to send me an email!

Much love,

Sam

new recipe september

quinoa lentil soup - nu roots nutrition

September is here! The month I have been patiently awaiting since my arrival in the Netherlands. The month that changes my life forever, it’s the month when I become a mama. With less than three weeks until my due date my nesting instincts have begun to kick in. I must make sure the house is spotless, baby’s clothes are washed and ready to wear, and to stock my freezer full of healthy soups and stews so that I don’t have to worry about cooking when the little one arrives.

Since I imagine it will be a rather busy month, I figured this was the perfect timing to introduce many of my clients favorite recommendation, one new recipe per week, an incredibly manageable request for even the busiest of people.

Changing over to a whole foods diet can be overwhelming, especially if you are just learning to cook, and trying to make every meal and snack from scratch. My advice is to start slow and integrate these changes into your life at a manageable pace.

If you’ve been following my blog this year, you’ll know we’ve been taking on a challenge (or resolution rather) every month. So this month your challenge is simple:

Make one new *healthy* whole food recipe (that you’ve never tried before) per week.

This challenge is great for those of you who are just getting into a whole foods diet, or anyone who is just stuck in a rut making the same meals over and over…which is kind of where I am at these days. Even those of us that love to cook can get in the occasional rut (perhaps it’s because my mind is all baby, all the time). It’s time to add some excitement to my kitchen, I hope you join me!

I will do my best at sharing the new recipes I try via Facebook, Twitter, or right here on my blog.

I’m going to start you off with the one I tried this week. It was inspired by a Barley Lentil Soup, but I needed to make it gluten free. It turned out awesome and is on it’s way to the freezer to await babe’s arrival.

Quinoa Lentil Soup

1 cup quinoa
2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
6 cups soup stock (ideally homemade chicken or vegetable stock, or you can just use water)
1 cup green lentils
1 cup broccoli, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp tamari  (gluten free if needed)
3 celery stalks, diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon each: basil, oregano, thyme, sea salt
1/4 cup fresh dill
1/4 tsp cayenne (or more if you like extra spicy)

Directions

  • Soak quinoa for at least 15 minutes in a glass bowl
  • Soak lentils for at least 15 minutes in a separate glass bowl
  • In a large pot, heat coconut oil over low heat. Add onion, saute until translucent
  • Add stock and bring to a boil
  • Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, add them to the pot
  • Strain and rinse lentils, add them to the pot
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes
  • Once quinoa and lentils are cooked, add the vegetables, herbs and spices and simmer for an additional 10 minutes
  • Add more water if needed to thin soup
  • Freezes well

All the best,

from the extremely excited (superfood) mama to be :)

banana baked oatmeal

banana baked oatmeal - nu roots nutrition

Today’s post is going to be short and sweet, literally. I’m guessing many of you are out of the warm breakfast season, but I still love a great bowl of oats for breaky, no matter the season. Plus, I even eat the leftovers of this recipe cold, and it is still super yum!

It was time for a switch up of my regular routine so I decided to give baked oatmeal a try. I like how the eggs boost up the protein content a touch, and to me there is no greater smell than bananas baking in the oven, so this recipe was a winner in my books!

banana baked oatmeal

base ingredients

4 cups old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if needed)
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup unpastuerized honey
2-3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch himalayan rock salt, or sea salt

wet ingredients

2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups milk substitute

toppings

2 chopped bananas
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 cup coconut flakes or ribbons

before

directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • In a bowl mix together the base ingredients
  • Line a large baking dish with parchment paper
  • Pour the base ingredients into the baking dish and distribute evenly
  • In a bowl, mix together the wet ingredients
  • Pour the wet ingredients over the base ingredients in the baking dish and distribute evenly
  • Give the baking dish a light shake from side to side to help distribute the wet ingredients
  • Finish off the dish with the toppings, sprinkled or placed evenly throughout
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes
  • Serve slices warm in a bowl on it’s own or with a splash of milk substitute if you desire

Feel free to get creative and change up the fruit and nuts to your liking, Personally, I think a blueberry and macadamia nut combo would be killer as well.

after

coco-choco-chia pudding

Choco-coco-banana-chia-goji Pudding - nu roots nutrition

One of the many fabulous things about pregnancy (yes, it really can be FABULOUS) is that crazy late night cravings inspire creativity in the kitchen. Especially if you live in a city where all the stores are closed at 7pm and as much as you want to send your husband out on a wild goose chase around town looking for your favorite chocolate bar, it really won’t do you any good.

The solution; keep deliciously healthy superfoods well stocked in the house and use a little common sense to combine flavors you think would taste incredible together!

I make no attempt to hide my love and desire for dark chocolate (especially of the raw variety). It has been a staple superfood in my diet for the past 5 years or so. It should come as no surprise that it has been one of my most prominent pregnancy cravings, and I do admit, I indulge from time to time…or all the time, whatever.

My inspiration for this creation: Commercial Chocolate Pudding – healthy styles (of course!)

Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding

  • 1/2 cup organic coconut milk (full fat is where it’s at)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 large banana
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder (organic, fair trade and raw if possible)
  • 2 tsp unpastuerized honey (or pure maple syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla or 1/2 whole vanilla bean – slice along one side and scrape out the beans
  • garnish with raw cacao nibs & goji berries (optional)

Place all ingredients (except garnish) in a personal blender (Magic Bullet type) or regular blender and blend until smooth. Use a spatula to make sure all the chia seeds don’t stick to the sides of the blender. Pour into small bowls or wine glasses and set in the fridge to thicken for at least half an hour. Garnish with goji berries and raw cacao nibs. Serves dessert for two.

In the fridge, the chia seeds will gelatinize and create a pudding-like consistency. This is due to the high water soluble fiber content in chia seeds, which will fill you up faster, ensure your blood sugar does not go soaring, pull toxins out of your body and help keep you regular.

Now let’s compare this to the “real deal”. I use this term sarcastically as obviously the above (my delicious recipe) is created using real food, and this “readily available commercial chocolate pudding”…well I’m not so sure there is any food in it at all.

Actual Commercial Chocolate Pudding…without naming names…

Ingredients: SUGAR, MODIFIED CORNSTARCH, COCOA PROCESSED WITH ALKALI, DISODIUM PHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, SALT, TETRASODIUM PYROPHOSPHATE (FOR THICKENING), MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES (PREVENT FOAMING), RED 40, YELLOW 5, BLUE 1, ARTIFICIAL COLOR, BHA (PRESERVATIVE)

Personally, this ingredient list makes me want to vomit, especially when I think of copious amounts of children downing this stuff daily. Notice how my recipe did not require any refined sugar, GMO’s (corn is often genetically modified), artificial colors, flavors, preservatives or anti-foaming agents?

But – there’s NO fat in it! Well it’s time that the no (or low) fat paradigm is done away with for good! It makes me want to scream (or maybe that’s just the hormones). Usually these types products are high in sugar and artificial chemicals, none of which are there to serve your health.

On the other hand, good fats, such as those that come from coconut, are incredibly nutritious and are are vital to your health (future post on good fats to come…stay tuned). In the meantime, don’t be so scared of fat, just make sure you are eating the right kinds.

Have I sold you on the healthy homemade version yet? I sure hope so! This recipe is so quick and easy to make and you will not be disappointed when it comes to flavor and satisfaction. Enjoy!

In health and happiness,

Sam

superfood smoothie march

Superfood Smoothie

It’s a new month, which means time for a new resolution! February’s daily meditation proved to be a challenge for me, but one that has absolutely changed me for the better.

Half of the month was spent on vacation, 10 days in Mexico, and a week in my home town, Calgary. This made it particularly difficult to remember to take time out of my day to sit and be still, especially since coming home and running around like a mad woman. The most difficult of all was when I was so stuffed up from my cold that I couldn’t breathe through my nose. Open mouth meditation was odd, and unenjoyable, but I suffered through it :p

My most important lessons from February:

  • stop with the excuses
  • there is always time to meditate, even if it’s just a minute or two
  • meditation should not be looked at like a chore, but rather something that will enhance your day (and believe me, it did!)
  • you can meditate anywhere, in any comfortable position
  • use a little help if you need it – I loved the guided meditations on yogaglo, they helped me get into a deeper meditation then I can do on my own (I’m still a rookie)
  • most importantly – just do it!

If you still haven’t tried meditation I highly encourage you to give it a go! I certainly intend on continuing myself.

superfood smoothie marchI have decided to focus my march resolution on a nutrition goal, something I already love, and should be easily achievable for my followers. One superfood smoothie per day!

Superfood smoothies have been one of the single greatest additions to my diet since becoming a nutritionist. They were one of the first changes I integrated into my life, that made the biggest impact. If I get one superfood smoothie in every day I know that at least one meal a day was nutrient PACKED, and lets be honest, that would be a great start for many! I currently don’t always have one per day, so it will still be a “challenge” for me too!

When I first introduce clients to superfoods I tell them the easiest way to integrate them into their life is through a smoothie, now who doesn’t like a smoothie? They are quick, easy, and so tasty! There are many components that I feel are necessary in my superfood smoothies. They are:

  • 1/2 cup high antioxidant frozen (or fresh) fruits – like (organic of course) blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, any fruit really!
  • 1 banana for potassium, flavor and creaminess (or try 1/4 avocado)
  • 1 scoop (2 tbsp) protein – it’s not just for body builders! Failing to add protein to your smoothie may send your blood sugar soaring, which is followed by the inevitable crash. Protein will also help you feel full longer, making your smoothie more of a meal then a snack. Good choices include VEGA (Sport, Smoothie Infusion or ONE), Ruth’s Hemp Protein Powders (which can also be bought with superfoods already added, easy peasy!), AOR Advanced Whey (if you can do dairy), or Interactive Absolute Vegetarian.
  • 2 tbsp fiber – for so many reasons! It keeps you regular, balances blood sugar, pulls toxins out of the body, and if you use sources such as chia, hemp or flax seed, adds omega 3’s and lots of additional nutrition.
  • a handful of greens – why not?! You don’t taste them anyway, not with all the delicious fruit and yummy protein powder. I usually do either kale or spinach for extra folic acid and energy boosting B vitamins.
  • 1 cup liquid. It can be filtered water, unsweetened milk substitutes (I like almond, oat, hemp, or brown rice), you can even add freshly squeezed juice of your choice!
  • 1 tbsp omega 3 fats – usually in the form of a high quality flavored fish oil supplement, or you can try flax or hemp oil. We need more omega 3’s and putting them in a smoothie sure beats taking it off the spoon! I like Ascenta NutraSea or Seroyal
  • 1 tsp – 1 tbsp of any or all your favorite SUPERFOODS! Well we couldn’t call it a superfood smoothie without them right? If you want the biggest bang for your buck (nutrient wise) try spirulina and chlorella. A tsp to tbsp depending on how adventurous you are of either will suffice. Bee pollen, for more B vitamins, protein and allergy prevention, maca root powder for hormone balancing and libido, raw cacao powder for anti-stress magnesium, and don’t forget the high fibre seeds are omega 3 rich superfoods as well (chia, hemp and flax).
  • other optional ingredients include 1 tbsp black strap molasses for pregnant or nursing moms, it provides an extra iron boost. 1-2 tbsp non GMO soy lecithin is great for fat digestion (if the fish oil makes you burp) and elimination. 1/4 cup kefir (a fermented dairy beverage) is loaded with good bacteria and yeast for your gut.

This is just a rough recipe, get creative and remember recipes are only guidelines! Now it’s time to run out and buy smoothie ingredients for a month…come on you can do this one with me!!

the dark side of the moo

oat milk

Hello & Gelukkig Nieuwjaar (Happy New Year) from the Netherlands! Sorry, I have neglected my blog over the past month due to the big move overseas and Christmas…but don’t fret, I am now here to write on a regular basis. It’s been an adventure so far and I can’t wait to share all my new Euro food discoveries with you!

the dark side of the moo

Dairy allergies, sensitivities and lactose intolerances are becoming increasingly common. In the western diet, dairy is often consumed at 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, similar to what’s happening with gluten. Many people are turning to substitutes, whether allergic or not, just to get a little variety in their diets…or perhaps their holistic nutritionist recommended it. Another reason for using milk substitutes is that dairy can be congesting to the gut, mucous forming (avoid when sick), and constipating (especially cheese).

The dairy industry has done an excellent job making us believe milk is THE ONLY source of calcium in our diets. Well, this couldn’t be further from the truth! There are lots of fantastic sources of calcium, my favorites include sesame seed, dark leafy greens and seaweeds. Not to mention, there have now been numerous studies showing dairy consumption does not protect against osteoporosis. In fact, there is higher incidence of osteoporosis in countries where dairy consumption is higher, and likewise less osteoporosis where dairy is consumed less. To top it off, dairy may also increase our risks of ovarian and prostate cancers.

Click to enlarge: By John Robbins (Author of Diet for a New America), 2002.

That being said, total avoidance is not always necessary, as long as you dont have any allergies and are choosing high quality, organic dairy products. Just ease up a bit on your consumption.

the solution: make your own nut, seed or oat milk

This recipe is incredibly easy, and versatile! If you don’t like oat milk, use any nut or seed or a combination.

nut/seed/oat milk

  • 1 cup – nuts/seeds/whole oat groats/steel cut oats/old fashioned rolled oats of choice (try almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seed, Brazil nut or any combinations)
  • 4 cups – filtered or spring water

Soak nuts/seeds/oats overnight in a bowl with water & 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (or anything acidic – like apple cider vinegar) to break down enzyme inhibitors and make your milk easier to digest.

In the morning discard the soak water and rinse the nuts/seeds/oats. Place in a blender with just enough water to cover them so that the nuts are close to the blades, blend until creamy. Add the rest of the water (in general it’s 4:1 nuts:water) and continue to blend for a few minutes. Strain the mixture with a nut milk bag (you can buy one here) then add a little sweetener (optional) like unpasteurized honey, stevia or dates. Add vanilla if desired, or raw cacao powder for chocolate milk.

To make nut cream, use 2 cups of water instead of 4. This will have a thicker consistency and is great for nut milk tea lattes.

To make brown rice milk or quinoa milk, soak then cook the grains, then blend 1 cup cooked grain to 4 cups of water.

other stuff worth checking out: