Archive for gluten 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

gluten free quinoa chocolate cake

Gluten Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake - nu roots nutrition

Hola amigos! For those of you who follow me on facebook and twitter you will know that I recently celebrated the end of my 20‘s, the big 3-0! Which, as someone pointed out, is my 4th decade…gulp. Scary as it sounds, I think it is going to be marvelous!

It was a really great week because it just so happens to coincide with my hubby’s bday and the end of our journey in the Netherlands. So, we had several excuses to meet up with many of our favorite people, and eat some of our favorite indulgences.

I came across this recipe years ago when the cookbook Quinoa 365 came out. I’ve altered a few of the ingredients to make it lower glycemic, less allergenic and holistic nutritionist approved. Not only is it gluten free, it is completely flour free, and can be made dairy free also.

She really is a beauty. I think you will enjoy it immensely.

Gluten Free Quinoa Chocolate Cake

Quinoa 365 – adapted by Samantha Peris, nu roots nutrition

Ingredients
•    2/3 c. (150 ml) white quinoa
•    1 1/3 c. (340 ml) water
•    1/3 c. (90 ml) milk substitute
•    4 large eggs
•    1 tsp. (5 ml) pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, scraped)
•    3/4 c. (170 g) butter, melted and cooled (or ghee or coconut oil)
•    1 1/2 c. (375 ml) coconut sugar (can use 1 cup if you dont want it too sweet)
•    1 c. (250 ml) raw cacao powder
•    1 1/2 tsp. (7.5 ml) baking powder
•    1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) baking soda
•    1/2 tsp. (2.5 ml) sea salt or himalayan rock salt

Directions

  1. Soak the quinoa for 10 minutes, then rinse in a fine wire strainer. Transfer to a pot and bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes (until the water is absorbed). Turn off the heat and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for another 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and allow the quinoa to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease two 8-inch (20-cm) round or square cake pans. (I’ve also cooked this in one larger pan, or in muffin tins for cupcakes).
  3. Combine the milk sub, eggs and vanilla in a blender or food processor. Add 2 cups (500 ml) of cooked quinoa and the butter and blend until smooth.
  4. Whisk together the coconut sugar, cacao, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add the contents of the blender and mix well.
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the 2 pans and bake on the centre oven rack for 40 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and cool in the pan before serving. Frost if desired (I use a chocolate avocado frosting…recipe to come). Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.

Serves 8 to 12.

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

quiche-wa

quiche-wa - a quinoa quiche : nu roots nutrition

Get it?…a quinoa (keen-wa) quiche, it’s is my best attempt at being cute & creative for today. Recently I stumbled across a delicious looking quinoa & egg dish baked in the cutest little muffin tins on Pinterest. However, I had to do my holistic nutritionist thing and I tweaked it a just touch to make it a little more wholesome and complete in my books. It was a hit at home, and even though I don’t have cute little muffin tins, nor I am by any means a photographer, I wanted to share it with you!

This dish could be breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack! It is great to have around the house when you are needing a good dose of high quality protein, which seems to be ALL the time when you are building a mini human.

First you are going to have to learn to cook quinoa, the most amazing whole, gluten-free grain ever. It it incredibly versatile, delicious and nutrition packed. It is the only grain that is a complete protein, plus it’s got anti-stress magnesium and happiness inducing tryptophan. Here’s what you do…

How to Cook Quinoa

  • 1 cup dry quinoa (white, red or black – or a combo of all 3)
  • 2 cups water (filtered or spring, ideally)

Soak the quinoa in water for 10 min (or overnight)*, then strain in a fine wire strainer and rinse thoroughly to remove the bitter outer coating. Add rinsed quinoa to pot. Add 2 cups water, cover (no need to stir) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 min, until all the water is absorbed and the quinoa is fluffy.

*Only do this if you have time, otherwise you can just rinse it well in a wire strainer to remove the bitter outer coating. Soaking increases quinoa’s digestibility, but is not 100% required if you are in a time crunch. One of the benefits of quinoa (over brown rice) is that it takes so little time to prepare so don’t let this discourage you.

Note: Golden quinoa cooks slightly differently, it is 1 cup rinsed golden quinoa to 1 cup water, and you let it simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.

And now, for the main event…

Quiche-wa

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa (you can cool it in the fridge or freezer to speed this up if you like)
  • 5 whole free range organic eggs, whisked
  • 1/4 cup milk substitute (or organic cow or goats milk, if well tolerated)
  • 3 cups diced veggies (any – I used broccoli, cauliflower, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms)
  • 2 small or 1 large onion, diced (I sautéed mine in 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil for extra flavour)
  • 1/2 cup shredded organic cheese (I used a herbed goat cheese, dairy free cheeses will also work for this recipe)
  • about 1/4 tsp each chili flakes and cayenne pepper (or to desired spiciness)
  • 1-2 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp each sea (or Himalayan rock) salt and fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

  • Pre-heat your oven to 350 F.
  • Place eggs in a bowl and whisk until blended.
  • Sauté your onions in 1 tbsp virgin coconut oil (if desired), or just leave them raw.
  • Stir in veggies, spices, cheese and quinoa (all other ingredients).
  • Grease a muffin tray, or pie dish with a touch of virgin coconut oil.
  • Scoop quiche-wa mixture evenly into muffin tins or pour the whole batch in your pie dish.
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 40-50 minutes. (Sorry! All the gauges for the dials on my oven are illegible…I guessed it to be about 350F. The original recipe called for 40 minutes, mine took about 50…)
  • Remove from oven and let cool in muffin tin or pie dish.
  • Using a knife, release the edges of the quiche-wa (slice if in pie dish) and remove.
  • Serve and enjoy! It is delicious on it’s own, or you can also add chopped cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado for extra yumminess.

PS – Do you pin? If so, follow me on Pinterest! What a fabulous way to organize all the great things you stumble across on the world wide web!

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

gluten free buckwheat crepes

IMG_7284

I know I have already posted the best ever weekend breakfast, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say this recipe was up there…perhaps even tied for best ever. My hubby and I discovered a fantastic crepe restaurant while he was studying in Gotland, Sweden last year. We drank red wine and pigged out on both savory and sweet buckwheat crepes, then rushed home to discover how we can make them on our own. The rest my visit, we must have made 6 or so batches of gluten free buckwheat crepes, we were obsessed! Crepes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert…these were (and still are) our favorite combos. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Crepes 



Ingredients:

  • 1 cup gluten-free buckwheat flour (you can grind it fresh in your vitamix with whole buckwheat or just buy ready made buckwheat flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups dairy free milk substitute (I use whatever is on hand, oat milk, almond milk, coconut milk etc.)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a non-stick ceramic or cast iron pan.
  2. Mix the rest of the ingredients in the blender, adding butter when melted, leave a little on the pan for the first crepe (you may need a little more to grease the pan later, but I found usually once is enough if you have a good pan).
  3. Make sure the pan is fairly hot before you pour the first crepe. Usually a medium temp will do.
  4. Each crepe will use about 1/4 cup of batter. Pour batter onto the hot pan, then pick up the pan and swirl it around, spreading it thin and evenly along the bottom of the pan. Cook each side for about 1 minute, until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate and repeat until you run out of batter. Should make about 8 crepes.

Note: You can freeze extra crepes for up to 2 months in a freezer bag.

Raw Chocolate Banana Breakfast (or Dessert) Crepes

Per crepe:

  • spread a thin layer of honey & sunflower seed butter (or any nut/seed butter) on to the crepe
  • 1/4 chopped raw banana
  • 2 tbsp chopped raw walnuts
  • a drizzle of simple raw chocolate sauce
  • Optional but highly recommended additions
    •    probiotic organic yogurt – I like sheep yogurt the best (for nutrition and digestion)
    •    other chopped fresh fruits – apples, pears, strawberries – whatever you have!
    •    hemp seeds

Simple Raw Chocolate Sauce

  • 3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp unpasteurized honey
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • Optional – splash of vanilla (or use 1/2 vanilla bean) and sprinkle of sea salt
  • melt ingredients together gently (super low temp) in a sauce pan

Poached Egg & Spinach Crepes

I use my leftover crepes for lunch. Simply add savory ingredients this time, these crepes work either way!

Per crepe:

  • a thin layer of mustard
  • 1-2 tbsp salsa (or sub olive oil and apple cider vinegar for a dressing)
  • 1/2 cup chopped spinach
  • 4 grape tomatoes sliced
  • 1/8th avocado sliced
  • 1 poached egg (boil hot water, drop eggs into boiling water, cook approx. 4 mins – depending on how hard or runny you like your eggs, remove with a slotted spoon and place on top of spinach)
  •  top with sea salt, pepper, chili flakes or hot sauce
  • optional – 2 small slices herb goat cheese or a sprinkle of nutritional yeast

Bust open your delicious poached egg before wrapping the crepe, then dive in and enjoy immensely!!

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!!

convenience veg + a protein packed lunch

convenience kale

Every time I go to a new country I am always curious to see how the grocery stores are different from back home. One of the biggest differences here in the Netherlands is the size of the produce department in comparison to the rest of the grocery store. More accurately – there are less processed food aisles. You all know the rule right? Shop only on the perimeter of the grocery store! (Check this video from Michael Pollan).

Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a fair share of junky fast foods in the Netherlands…(um have you heard about fast food from the wall?). Yeah…don’t ask, don’t try…I made that mistake 5 years ago on my first visit to the Netherlands (before I knew anything about healthy food).One of the main things I noticed in the relatively large produce departments is that a significant section is dedicated to what I call “convenience vegetables”. You know, pre-washed greens, pre-chopped broccoli, mini carrots, those kinds of things. In fact, it is rare to buy kale here in it’s whole big leaves, thick stem “normal” form. Occasionally they offer it this way at the farmers market, but most often it comes pre-washed, de-veined, chopped into tiny little bits, and ready to eat. I am most definitely not complaining, I do believe whole and as natural as possible is best, but since discovering ‘convenience kale’ I have to say my consumption has at least doubled. I kid you not, I have been scarfing that stuff straight from the bag…and it is damn good (for real). I must add that kale is an incredible source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and fibre…it’s basically every nutritionist’s favorite leafy green. (Have you seen “Shit Nutritionists Say”?)

Making your own convenience veggies is something I have always recommended to my clients. Buy fresh, local, organic produce (whenever possible), bring it home, wash and chop it so that it is ready to eat when you are hungry. If you come home starving and making a salad means you wont be eating for 15-20 minutes, then chips and dip are going to be all that much more appealing. On the other hand, if you have veggies and convenience kale all ready to go, your salad is in your mouth within minutes. Or you can dip your convenience veggies into hummus, or kale pesto (recipe coming). This makes achieving the seemingly unachievable 5-10 cups of veggies a day a breeze.

Now, don’t go whining about how your veggies aren’t going to last. Buy what you need for a few days, eat them fast (and you will if they are ready to go!), then go back to the grocery store to re-stock.

Marinated Tempeh & Portobello Mushrooms Salad

Now here is one of my favorite convenience kale recipes for your eating pleasure. Ever since I taught a raw pie making class with the lovely Lindsey from Tasty Living, I have fallen in love with a new snack – marinated portobello mushrooms (it was a raw pizza pie – ew can you imagine them in a dessert pie?). I have since turned this snack and my oh so handy dandy convenience veggies, into one of my favorite high protein lunches.

Tempeh is a fermented soybean product, I want to say “like tofu” but it is really much different, actually better, in consistency, taste, texture and nutritional profile (personally, I am not a big fan of tofu – I much prefer superior fermented soy). To find tempeh you will likely have to visit your local health foods store. You must marinate tempeh, like you would meat, and it will be incredible (cooked or raw). If not, you probably aren’t going to like it. The marinade below is so quick, easy, and delicious.

Fermented soy, like miso and tempeh, has the added benefit of adding good bacteria to your gut, it is higher in protein than non fermented soy, and is easier to digest. Remember, soy is often genetically modified, so you must buy it organic!

Marinated Portobello Mushrooms & Tempeh

1 block tempeh, chopped into 1-2 cm cubes
2 portobello mushrooms
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (acv)
2 tbsp GF tamari (or Bragg – but I cant find it in the Netherlands :( )
1 – 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
2 tsp dried basil
1-2 cloves raw garlic, chopped (optional but delightful and bad bacteria killing)

Mix together in a stainless steel or glass bowl and let sit for 8-12 hours.

….and the rest of the salad

1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 red or other bell pepper, chopped
2-4 cups kale – or “convenience kale”

Add the rest of the ingredients, toss and use the left over marinade as a dressing (add more evoo, acv, and tamari if needed).