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.
- 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
- 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
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
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
- 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
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
- 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
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.
By Dan McCash
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!
- 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
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
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!
- 1 bagette
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- some good ol’ S&P
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.
By Elizabeth Whalley RHN
As the conventional food industry is becoming more and a more globalized, I have opted for a more local diet, as I’m sure many of you have. I will continue to wait patiently for the first tomato of the season after a long winter of countless root vegetables. Eating local allows us to connect to the environmental changes going on around us, changes that are often as innate as the changing of the seasons.
Thus, you can understand my excitement in seeing the many varieties of peppers at the market last week after a long, pepper-less winter. All of the different shapes, sizes and colours were so alluring. If you’re lucky you’ll even get a history for your pepper varietal from your knowledgeable farmer. If you’re not so lucky (as I seem to have found myself), you’ll be led astray to the land of incredibly hot peppers. Not to worry, as possibilities for peppers are endless and roasting helps to mellow out those spicy peppers. Here is my homage to local market peppers of any shape, colour and size;
Basil Goat Cheese Stuffed Peppers
- A few pounds of your favourite peppers
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 small bunch basil
- 1 small bunch chives
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- 3 tablespoons goat cheese (I used feta, it added a great depth of flavour)
- 2 tablespoons quality olive oil
- Salt & pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Prepare the peppers for roasting; for smaller peppers chop off the top, for larger cut into quarters. Be sure to remove as much of the seeds and membrane as possible, after roasting hot peppers can actually be quite mild without them. Chop off a small portion of the top of the garlic cloves (this allows them to roast much better).
Arrange the peppers on a baking sheet, along with the garlic cloves. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil (reserving the remaining tablespoon for the filling), sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes.
While the peppers cool combine the remaining ingredients, along with the now roasted garlic in a food processor. Pulse until a smooth consistency is reached. Season to taste, I found with the feta no additional salt was needed.
Transfer the filling to a piping bag. If you don’t have one a zip lock bag with the tip cut off works in a pinch. Pipe the filling inside the peppers. Place tops on the peppers and return to a 375 degree oven for an additional 5 minutes. Serve warm with freshly cracked pepper and grated Parmesan or asiago cheese (optional).
The day is much cooler today so you might be thinking about using your oven again after our record breaking sunshine in July. Many of us picked up blueberries from the market yesterday, so why not treat ourselves, our family or our friends to a heart warming, classic comfort dessert made from these delicious berries. Jodi’s tip for this one is to add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the topping.
- 4 cups of fresh blueberries
- 1 Tbsp brown sugar
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 Tbsp of cornstarch
- 2/3 cup almond flour
- 1 cup oats or gluten-free oats
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 4 Tbsp cold, cubed, unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350º. Wash and pat the blueberries dry.
Mix blueberries, lemon juice, brown sugar and cornstarch and place mixture in a greased, ovenproof dish. In a separate bowl, rub together almond flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon and butter until mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle dry mixture over the berries. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until topping begins to brown and it smells too good to leave in any longer.
Enjoy with some heavy cream or ice cream to top it off.
- 2 pounds of potatoes, halved or cubed
- 6 boiled eggs
- 1 cup sliced radishes
- 1/2 -1 cup sliced green onion
- mayonnaise (to taste)
- mustard (to taste)
- salt an pepper to taste
- Boil potatoes and set aside to cool
- Boil eggs, cool and peel and chop
- Chop radishes and green onion
- Add potatoes, eggs, radishes and green onion to a boil
- Add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper
As the summer heat persists, two things should be on your mind; where is the closest beach and how am I going to stay hydrated today?
Hydration is so important to almost all of our body systems; it keeps your blood flowing, flushes your kidneys, gets your digestive system moving, keeps your skin looking fresh.. I could go on and on but you get the idea.
Your daily needs for water not only depend on your body type and activity level but also the type of environment you live in. As temperatures rise during the summer months, so do your hydration needs. Use this great hydration calculator to figure out your specific needs.
Along with how much to drink, finding the right type of water can always be confusing. We are fortunate in the Lower Mainland to have great quality water at the turn of a tap, with no need to worry about fluoridation and other environment toxins. However, the added chlorine posses a laundry list of health risks and in a city like New Westminster where you are more likely to have an older house with lead pipes. But bottled is not the answer. Plastic bottles are not only hard on the environment but they also leach toxins into your overpriced water. Not to worry, inexpensive filtering units are easy to install and can be easily found at your local hardware store. Better yet,chlorine dissipates from tap water left to stand for 30 minutes or more.
Counting your 8 glasses a day can get monotonous so why not look to the market stalls to add some sparkle to your water, naturally. I’ve created a simple recipe for flavoured water that will tickle your taste buds.
Savoury Summer Sipper
- 1 litre filtered water
- 1 inch cucumber, thinly sliced
- Handful of cilantro
- The juice of half a lemon
Combine all the ingredients in 2 to 8 hours. The long the fruit and/or herbs sit in the water the more intense the flavours will be.
You can experiments with all kinds of different flavours; berries, citrus, other fruit or herbs like; mint or thyme.
Why organic, is a question I get quite often but also one that I find myself asking. The answer isn’t as simple as you might have expected. Choosing organic over conventional means health benefits not only for you but for the environment; including the soil, water, air and other species of both plants and animals.
One of the most useful tools I use when trying to eat clean on a budget is The Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen. A list of the fruits and vegetables with the highest measured pesticide levels, those best to spend the extra on organic. Conversely, there is also the Clean Fifteen; a list of the safest fruits and vegetables to eat conventionally. You can access these lists here.
Aside from the obvious lack of a thick pesticide coating, organics actually happen to have more nutritional value. This difference was best described to me in Micheal Pollen’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma; simply put, pesticides allow plants to be lazy. Meaning they need to produce less of their own natural pest repellent; that’s phytonutrients to you and me. Many of which have been found to have anticancer properties; the well known lycopene in tomatoes for example. So yes, organic is not only better for the environment but better for you too!
Which leads me to this week’s recipe; strawberries have speckled many of the market’s produce stalls these past few weeks. Berries are listed high on the EWG’s Dirty Dozen, so buying them organic is a must. One of the greatest things about farmers markets is that you get to meet the face behind the food and ask them all of your burning questions. Not all the farms have their organic certifications and that’s just fine with me. Getting certified takes lots of time and money, both are better spent growing good local food in my opinion. Ask your farmers about their growing practices; whether they use herbicides, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, the list goes on and on.
STRAWBERRY CHIA SEED JAM
The PB&J staple gets a healthy twist in this recipe. Skip the gelatin and refined sweeteners and opt instead for fiber, omega-3s and minerals!
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled
- 1/2 water
- 2 Tbsp your sweetener of choice; I used brown rice syrup
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
Slice the berries into your desired size, I like whole strawberries in my jams so I left them that way. Plus, it cuts down on your prep time. In a small pot over medium heat combine the strawberries and water.
Simmer the berries until they have reduced down to a thick consistency, about 20 minutes. Add in the sweetener and simmer for 5 more minutes. Stir in chia seeds and transfer to jar. Let cool and then refrigerate over night.
In the morning, the jam should have a thicker consistency as the seeds have absorbed some of the water. They remind me of tapioca pearls.
I used my jam to test this strawberry margarita recipe; aside from being the healthiest looking margarita around, it was delicious!
By: Elizabeth Whalley R.H.N.
Do you smell that?
It’s the smell of fresh local tomatoes, coming soon to the Royal City Farmers Market! That’s right summer is just around the bend; bringing with it all the delicious harvests of the local farm. Get out your reusable shopping bags folks and experience all that Lower Mainland has to offer at the Summer Market!
I celebrate local summertime flavours in my take on this classic.
- 1/4 cup almonds (blanched or raw)
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- juice of half a lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4-5 kale leaves, stems removed
- 3 sprigs basil, stems removed
- pepper to taste
- 1″ square of Parmesan cheese (optional)
Soak almonds for four or more hours; this makes easy work for your food processor. I like to use almonds in this recipe but pine nuts also work well, no need to soak though.
Combine almonds, garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and salt in a food processor (if you’re using Parmesan add it in now and omit salt). Pulse until a finely minced consistency is reached, add more oil if needed.
Add in kale and basil, continue to pulse until desired consistency is reached (I like my pesto coarse with lots of big basil leaf chunks). Season to taste.
This pesto makes a lovely salad dressing with the addition of a little more oil and lemon juice. Or it is the perfect complement to any whole grain (and gluten free) pasta, hot or cold.
Personally, nothing says ‘summer’s on its way’ quite like a little pesto over a goat cheese and heirloom tomato salad.