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By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN

Last week I could not believe my eyes when when I found a pantry staple I had written off as a “must buy imported” at the Red Barn Plants & Produce stall. Ken was offering up a Maple Ridge grown variety of my favourite rhizome… Ginger!

Ginger packs quite the nutritional punch for such a humble root. Not only does it boost powerful immune boosting properties, but it calms tummy troubles like nausea even that associated with motion or morning sickness. This rhizome also works as a potent anti-inflammatory and has been studied for its effectiveness in relieving the pain associated with arthritis to boot.

The pungent market root is so fresh that even the skin can be grated right into this recipe. Plus is its spicy flavour is the perfect compliment to October’s staple squash varietal: pumpkin. Ken from Red Barn suggests saving the shots in your freezer to add an extra zing to your next cup of tea. The fresher the ginger the more potent its effects, so be sure to stock up at the last market of the season because you can’t get any fresher!

Spiced Pumpkin Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup fresh pumpkin puree*
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, grated (approximately 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea or rock salt
  • 1 tsp aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • water, milk or nut milk
  • butter


METHOD:

In a medium bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, maple syrup, molasses, spices, baking powder and salt and whisk until pumpkin has reached a smooth consistency.

Add in spelt flour a
1/2 cup at a time, thinning with enough water to reach a consistency that will easily form pancake rounds in your frying pan (approximately 1 cup).

Heat 1/2 tbsp of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Spoon 1/4 cup portions of the batter into the hot pan. A spatula may come in handy for smoothing out the batter as it can be quite thick. Flip once the sheen from the batter has disappeared and the underside is gold brown and cook for another few minutes. Continue until all batter is cooked adding more butter if necessary.

Top off with butter, maple syrup and toasted pumpkin seeds and enjoy!

*For simple instructions on making puree from your market pumpkin check out Smitten Kitchen’s how to here.

QUICK TIP:

Double the batter when making your Sunday breakfast and store the extras in the freezer for convenient home-made toaster pancakes all week long!

 

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By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Yes, that’s right, peach season tops my list of best seasons of the year. Stone fruits like cherries, peaches and plums, are original BC superfoods, that unlike broccoli, you can actually get excited about eating. Their range of deep colours like brilliant reds and sunny oranges signify their antioxidant punch – simply put they help us too stay looking young and promote good health. Plums and their unique antioxidants especially, have been shown to help protect against memory decline. Stone fruits are also full of fibre : great for improving digestive health, and are super hydrating: essential for a midsummer heat wave.

Take full advantage of the peaches and other stone fruits popping up at almost every produce stall the market features with this quick recipe that makes the perfect breakfast, dessert or snack!

No-Bake Gluten Free Stone Fruit Crisp

INGREDIENTS:

Filling

  • 4 cups stone fruit of your choice (I used a mixture of cherries, apricots and peaches)
  • 1 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

Crisp Topping

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp room temperature butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp sea or rock salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 200⁰F. Place nuts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, shaking the tray every 5 minutes to avoid burning.

Wash and slice fruit in to bite-sized piece and mix together in a large bowl along with the honey. Spread evenly into a medium-sized casserole dish and set aside.

Combine all of the crisp topping ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until you have reached a very grainy consistency. Top off the fruit with the crisp topping, pressing the mixture down with a spatula to smooth it out evenly.

This dish works well as a sweet breakfast or a no bake dessert, but if a crumble hot from the oven is more appealing pop it into a 325⁰F oven for approximately 45 minutes and top off with extra thick strained yogurt.

 Adapted from ohsheglows.com

 

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By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN

Has the July heat got you sweating over the thought of turning on your oven? Beat the heat with this week with a fresh take on an ethnic classic: my twist on traditional Pad Thai that can easily be modified to suit any vegan pallet.

The unconventional use of smoked tofu in this recipe is a great way to satisfy any protein craving. Even if you’re not a tofu lover I suggest you seek some out and give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised. Worried about genetically modified soy? Go for organic soy as GM ingredients cannot be certified organic in Canada.

Opting for raw veggie noodles instead of the traditional rice noodles makes for a light, refreshing and super hydrating entrée – great for a supper on the patio or packed up for lunch!

Zucchini Pad Thai

Ingredients:

  • 1 Medium Zucchini
  • 1 cup Bean Sprouts
  • 2 Medium Carrots
  • ½ Red Pepper, sliced
  • ½ Smoked Organic Tofu, cubed*
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Thai Basil, chopped
  • 1-2 Spring Onions, sliced on the diagonal
  • ¼ cup Roasted Peanuts
  • ½ Lime, reserve the other ½ for the sauce

*Option: substitute tofu with 2 eggs beaten with 3 drops of tamari & 3 drops sesame oil and cook like an omelette over medium heat, slide on to your cutting board and slice into thin strips.

Satay Sauce:

  • 3 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Tamari
  • 1 Tbsp Fish Sauce (if vegan use 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar instead)
  •  juice of ½ Lime
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed
  • 1 inch Ginger, thickly sliced
  • For an extra kick: 1 tsp Thai Red Curry Paste or Sriracha Sauce

Method:

Start by preparing the dressing to allow the flavours to develop. Combine all ingredients in a jar and shake vigorously. Because of the consistency of the peanut butter and curry paste a little hand whisking may be necessary to make a smooth dressing. Keep the ginger and garlic in large pieces, so they can easily be retrieved after they have infused their flavour. In the event that you love the bite of raw garlic and ginger chop it up finely and bring on the heat!

Use a mandoline with a grater attachment to grate the zucchini into “noodles”. If you don’t have a mandoline you can simply chop the zucchini lengthwise into thin slices and then cut those slices again into thin strips that resemble noodles.

Place the “noodles” in a medium sized bowl and begin to layer the remaining ingredients on top; bean sprouts, sliced pepper, grated or mandolined carrots, tofu (or egg), basil, cilantro, spring onion and peanuts. Drizzle with satay sauce, serve with a lime wedge and enjoy!

Serves 2.

 

By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN

Enough can never really be said about the vegetables in the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family. They are often touted as being nutrition powerhouses that work to fight cancer. The phytonutrient responsible for this nutritional clout is called indol-3 carbinol – a special chemical found in cruciferous vegetables that help the liver in detoxifying carcinogens (cancer causing compounds) found in our diets and environment. They have also been established to reduce the growth of breast cancer cells and to prevent the spread of various types of cancers . Eating a serving of these magnificent vegetables has been proven to not only reduce your risk of cancer but their high vitamin and mineral content, like vitamin K and C as well as folate has been associated with a reduction in macular degeneration.- making them quite capable at keeping your eyes healthy and keeping you looking young and radiant!

This recipe is my take on a traditional Irish side dish, calcannon, that is sure to satisfy your cruciferous cravings! Try it hot, cold, as a main or as a side dish. The featured flavours are so versatile they will  perfectly compliment any protein.

Cruciferous Calcannon 

Ingredients:

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  • 6 yellow fleshed potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 green cabbage, chopped
  • 3 leaves kale, minced
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Boil the chopped potatoes in salted water until fork tender, strain and set aside.

In the same pot, melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium high heat. Add garlic, onion and cabbage and saute until translucent.

Remove from heat and add reaming butter, kale and cooked potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mash until potatoes are smooth.

Serve.

Reference whfoods.com

 

Frittata

By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN

This is a great recipe for the end of the week when your vegetable drawer is full of those last few veggies that are past their prime. In my frittatta, I used lots of winter market staples like potatoes and carrots, however this recipe is so versatile that almost any veggie combo could work. This recipe’s flexibility goes beyond its ingredients; transform those veggies headed for the bin into a quick weeknight dinner, weekend breakfast or even serve it cold for lunch. Fritattas work well served with a salad or even on toast.

My heart breaks every time I see an egg white omelette on a brunch menu, somehow egg yolks have gotten a bad rap! Perhaps in the wake of the low fat diet craze or in an effort to avoid high cholesterol foods. I want to shed some light on these misconceptions. The simple facts are that our bodies needs some good quality fat, like that which is found in egg yolks, to function properly and eating high cholesterol foods do not increase our bodies’ cholesterol. Egg yolks are a great source of vitamins A, E and K as well as omega-3 fats and a whole host of other nutritious minerals. Most of the an eggs selenium, a powerful antioxidant hard to find in today’s food supply, is found in the yolk.  The better part of the nutrition in a egg is in fact packed inside the yolk. So make whole eggs part of your regular routine and reap all the benefits!

Forget-Me-Not Frittata

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 small potato
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 small bunch greens*
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

*I used Swiss chard in my frittata but any green would work depending on what you can find at the market or at the back of your fridge. Kale, collard greens, spinach, beet greens, ect.

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mandoline your potato into thin slices. Grease the bottom of a pie dish with 1 Tbsp butter and layer the potatoes along the bottom and sides of the dish. Pop the pie dish lined with potato into the oven while you prepare the vegetables.

Heat a pan over medium heat with the remaining butter. Dice the onion and carrot and sweat in the preheated pan. While your onion and carrot are sauteing chop your greens and beat your eggs in a small bowl. Add the greens in with the onions and carrots once they have become translucent and saute for a few minutes more. Season as desired.

Remove the pie dish from the oven and spread the cooked  vegetables evenly over the potatoes. Pour the beaten eggs over the top and spread them evenly with a rubber spatula if needed. Reduce of the oven to 325 degrees and bake the frittata for 25 minutes or until the egg is the centre has hardened.

Once baked flip over onto a cutting board and serve.

Serves 4-6

soup

By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN

Spread the love this February with this heart-y healthy soup, chock-full of winter market staples! Beets are not only high in fibre (essential for moving cholesterol out of your colon), but they are also a great source of potassium (a key mineral in maintaining a healthy blood pressure). This powerful heart-saver is paired with the incredible cholesterol fighting super powers of the humble cabbage.

My borscht has even more hearty flavour for your heart to enjoy with a few simple twists on tradition;

  • Forget the pesky peeler and leave the skins on for even more fibre
  • Add a dash of cayenne or red pepper flakes for a kick AND a great boost in circulation.
  • Swap your regular refined salt for a pink (Himalayan rock) or grey (unrefined sea) salt and reap the benefits from less sodium

Roasted Beet Borscht

Ingredients:

  • 3 large red beets
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 small head cabbage (I used a neat heirloom variety I found at the market; January King)
  • 1 1/2 – 2 litres of vegetable stock (or if your feeling particularly resourceful make your own veggie or chicken stock, the flavour is always unbeatable!)
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (a beautiful little gem you can pick up at the market!)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp fresh dill (1 Tbsp dried will work just fine this time of year)
  • Olive oil
  • Pepper and quality salt to taste
  • Cayenne powder or red pepper flakes to taste
  • Quality sour cream and extra dill for garnish

Method:

IMG_1432 (2)Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Scrub the beets well and chop into 1 inch cubes. Place the chopped beets on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pop them into the oven for about 20 minutes. No need to fuss over their tenderness, the beets can finish cooking in your soup pot.

While the beets are roasting, heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil on medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the diced carrots and onions and sweat until the onions become translucent. Then add your chopped head of cabbage, dill and bay and continue sweating for approximately 5 minutes. Add the stock, vinegar and roasted beets to the pot, turn the heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes.

Once the soup has simmered, blend with an immersion blender until the beets look as though they were grated.

Serve with a sprinkle of dill and a dollop of sour cream. This soup is great either hot or cold, especially as the veggies are in season almost all year round.

 

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Here are 5 fast facts about one of the most versatile superfoods; Quinoa:

  • Quinoa is not a member of the grass family, therefore it is not grain. It is in fact a seed.
  • Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that is a complete protein, meaning it is a source of all 8 essential proteins.
  • Quinoa is gluten free.
  • Unlike most grains, quinoa is very anti-inflammatory (simply put it supports good health) due to both its high levels of omega-3 fats and antioxidants.
  • Quinoa will make you happier! It is a good source of tryptotphan a precursor to serotonin; one of the feel good brain chemicals.

Savoury or sweet, quinoa is easy to slip into so many recipes. Try it today in my salad fit for any cold December day.

Warm Butternut Squash and Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 small Butternut Squash
  • 3/4 cups Quinoa
  • 1 small red onion
  • Small Bunch Kale
  • 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/3 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Dressing:

  • The juice of half a Lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Prepare squash: peel, remove seeds and cut into 1 1/2 cm cubes. Spread out on a baking pan, sprinkle with cumin and paprika and season to taste. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil. Roast in preheated oven for 20-30 minutes or until tender.

Rinse quinoa in warm water, until the water runs clear. Combine quinoa in a pot with 1 cup water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once the quinoa begins to boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes more.

Finley chop red onion and kale and place in a large bowl with the cranberries.

Toast pumpkin seeds in a frying pan over medium-high heat, until the seeds become slightly puffed and golden.

Pour the warm squash, quinoa and pumpkin seeds in to the large bowl the kale. The heat from these ingredients will work to slightly steam the kale. Cooked kale rather than raw is always a nice gift for your thyroid.

Combine the honey, lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk while adding the olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Even pre-dressed this salad keeps well in the fridge. Make a big batch and pack it for a quick and healthy lunch!

By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN

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By Elizabeth Whalley, RHN

My favourite breakfast classic gets a market makeover in this recipe. Centered around A Bread Affair’s Love at First Bite; a delicious loaf of bread that incorporates the flavours and ingredients of the Lower Mainland. Best of all the rest ingredients can be found at the market year round.

Hazelnut Crusted French Toast with Blueberry Compote

Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf Love at First Bite from A Bread Affair
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 cups blueberries (vendors often sell them frozen at the winter market)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • Butter or coconut oil

Method:

Place the blueberries in a small sauce pan and simmer over a medium heat for about 20 minutes.

While the blueberries simmer, slice the bread into 1 inch thick slices.

Chop the hazelnuts into a small pieces, place on a plate and set aside.

Combine eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon in a shallow bowl. Whisk until light and frothy.

Melt 1 tsp butter(or coconut oil) in a frying pan over medium high heat. Dip once slice at a time into the egg mixture, once on each side. Press one side into the chopped hazelnut and transfer to the hot frying pan. Continue until all of the bread slices have been coated and cooked. Add more butter between slices if necessary.

Turn the heat on the simmering blueberries down to low and add the maple syrup.

Serve the French Toast with the blueberry compote and dollop of strained yogurt, plus maple syrup if needed

Serves 6-8.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • about 12 ounces of fresh cranberries

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. and bring to a boil over medium to high heat.  Reduce to medium and cook for 10 to 12 minute or until cranberries pop.  Remove from heat and cool completely.  Serve chilled.  You can play around with the measurement for the spices depending on your own personal preference.

pesto and crostinis

By Dan McCash

Arugula Pesto

You don’t often need to read a recipe’s specific ingredient amounts like you’re translating Morse Code ( “2 Tbsps with 1 cup and ½ quart” does not equal “S.O.S.”)

Pesto is an exceptional recipe to flex your own personal taste buds by “approximating” the amount of each ingredient that’s combined and today we’re making it with arugula!

Ingredients

  • 2 or more big bunches of fresh Arugula, stem to leaf
    1 or two Tbsp of citrus juice
  • as MUCH raw garlic as you please (proportionally, probably about ¾ cup)
  • A cup of any nuts, toasted (toasted almonds are dynamite, giving this pungent sauce a very nutty undertone)
  • 1/3 cup of grated or powdered parmesan cheese (NO mac & cheese powder, yech!)
  • Dash of salt
    Olive oil – however much you can work with adding but appox. 1 cup

Directions

Pack arugula into your food processor (or a friend’s processor if you haven’t got one)

-blitz at the leaves to give an initial chop

-drizzle some olive oil into chopping leaves to help speed it up

Add all your garlic, nuts, and keep pouring in some oil as you go. Drop in some citrus juice and taste. Season to your liking. Keep blending and pour in parmesan cheese.

Once the recipe’s saucy and to your taste, pour in a jar, drizzle a thin layer of oil, seal and refrigerate

Crostinis

Cheese, jam, olives, tapenade, sauces: including basil & tomatoes, there’s a myriad of pantry items that will sit atop crostini crackers to make your dinner party into a tapas lounge for the night!

Ingredients

  • 1 bagette
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • some good ol’ S&P

Directions

With the baguette, cut 1/2 cm slices until you can cut no more. Lay slices on parchment-covered cookie sheet. Lightly brush them with olive oil and sprinkle your salt, pepper, and maybe there’s some herbs that you may fancy (ie- a pinch of rosemary is always a hit)

Lay another parchment over baguette tray and seal with a 2nd cookie sheet. Toast in the oven, preheated for 400 F for approx. 7 – 10 minutes.  Be sure to poke in to see how things are toasting–it’s a very short amount of time in the oven before Golden Brown skips to “Burnt Toast”

HINT: if your bread knife is dull, baguettes are much easier to slice when they’ve been in the freezer for an hour.