Recipes, Soups & Stews

Fully Loaded Veggie Chili

#Gluten-free, #Vegan, #madewithlove

This recipe was requested from someone who attended one of my workshops the other day. Perfect timing, because I always crave this recipe when the weather is rainy and dreary – like today!

I love using chopped cauliflower to bulk up a recipe! Even though I absolutely love cauliflower, you can’t really taste it in this chili…which is good if you’re trying to get the kiddos to eat more veggies!

Not only is this recipe loaded with fiber and anti-oxidants, cauliflower, which is a cruciferous vegetable has protective effects on the liver! This is due to the high content of isothiocyanates, specifically indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane.

These compounds dramatically improve the body’s ability to eliminate numerous carcinogens while enhancing both phase 1 and phase 2 detoxification pathways in the liver. That’s super exiting to a nutrition nerd like me! But never mind that, it just tastes really good!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of crushed tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans. If you’re using canned, a good BPA-free brand to try is Eden Organic.
  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic (or 1 tsp. garlic powder)
  • 1 bunch of spinach, lightly chopped
  • 2 zucchini, cubed
  • 1 cup organic salsaSpices
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. Himalayan pink salt* Or on a lazy day when I don’t have time to measure out my spices I use this spice mixture by Simply Organic

Method:

  1. In a large pot, sauté the onions and garlic in a tiny amount (1/4 cup) of water or vegetable stock for 3 to 5 minutes on medium/high heat, until onions soften.
  2. Add the chopped cauliflower, tomatoes, and salsa and simmer for 5 minutes on low/medium heat.
  3. Add the spinach to the pot, stirring well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. When the vegetables have softened, add the zucchini and beans and simmer for another 5 minutes until the zucchini softens.
  5. Spoon into a bowl and serve with a dollop of cashew sour cream and enjoy!* Topped with Cashew Sour Cream and parsley.

    Cashew Sour Cream

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews, soaked for 20 minutes
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
  1. Place cashews in a bowl and cover with water. Soak for 20 minutes, then drain and discard the water.
  2. Place the drained cashews in a blender. Add 3/4 cups of fresh the water, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt.
  3.  Process until smooth. Add more water, if needed to reach desired consistancy. Pour into a glass, air-tight container and store in the fridge until needed.
    Cashew sour cream will keep in the fridge for about 1 week.
Living with MS, Recipes, Soups & Stews

This Soup Can Help Get Rid of Inflammation Fast

Last week I did another talk for the Multiple Sclerosis Society and I mentioned this delicious anti-inflammatory soup that I use to help reduce inflammation in my body whenever I start to feel an MS flare-up coming on. * Knock on wood* no major relapse in 9 years now! You can read that story here.

Even when I suffer a minor hiccup (that’s what I call little random symptoms I might experience when I stray a little too far away from my healthy diet or experience a lot of stress), I’ve been able to avoid a relapse all these years by eating, living and thinking in a certain way.

Of course, there are often several factors that contribute to imbalances and inflammation in the body such as food intolerances, an inflammatory diet, overconsumption of sugar and refined grains, lack of good gut bacteria, poor sleep quality and chronic stress. Even though it’s always best to address the root cause of inflammation, adding anti-inflammatory foods and spices to your diet can help dampen some of the flames of inflammation.

This recipe uses many anti-inflammatory spices, including turmeric, which helps reduce pain and inflammation throughout the entire body. The beta-carotene in the butternut squash is also extremely healing and loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. I’ve even used this soup to help get over colds faster, due to the antibacterial properties in the purple onions and garlic.

Anti-inflammatory Butternut Squash Soup

  • 3 cups of vegetable stock
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1/2 purple onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. curry power
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • Dash of ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan pink salt
  • Dash of black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Wash the butternut squash thoroughly and poke several holes in it using a sharp knife, then place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  3. Roast squash for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and set a side until cool. When the squash is cool enough to handle, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and cut squash into cubes.
  4. While squash is cooling, dice the onions and garlic and sauté in half a cup of vegetable stock.
  5. Add the squash, remaining vegetable stock and spices to a pot with the onions and garlic.
  6. Gently simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  7. Puree until smooth. Add the coconut milk, stirring well and gently simmer on low heat for another 10 minutes.

* Anti-inflammatory Cooking Tip: Vegetable stock can used as a substitution for cooking with oil. Refined oils not only adds empty calories to a meal but when heated, oxidizes and can contribute to inflammation.

Recipes, Soups & Stews

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Homemade Croutons (Dairy-free)

cauliflower soup

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower, roasted
1 small onion, roasted
3 cloves of garlic, roasted
4 cups, vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 400 ml can coconut milk
3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground clove
2 tsp. olive oil (for roasting the garlic)

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Cut the onion in half. Slice the top of the garlic bulb off and drizzle with olive oil.
3. In a large roasting pan or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, place the onion cut face down along with the garlic and cauliflower. Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the cauliflower begins to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
4. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle, chop the cauliflower into small pieces and chop the onion. Slip the garlic out of its skin and mash with the back of a fork.
5. Place the vegetables in a large soup pot with the broth and bring to a boil.
6. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and carefully add contents to a blender and process until smooth. Return soup to the pot.
8. In a small saucepan, bring the coconut milk, nutritional yeast and nutmeg to a light boil and whisk well. Add this mixture to the cauliflower soup puree and simmer for another 10 minutes before serving.
9. Top with cashew parmesan and homemade rustic croutons.

Rustic Homemade Croutons
6 pieces of high quality gluten-free bread
2 Tbsp. * Italian seasoning
3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

* Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/8 tsp. dried sage
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. ** cashew parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Add the Italian seasoning to a bowl and mix in the coconut oil.
3. Tear bread into ½ inch irregular pieces and add to the bowl with the spices and oil, coat well.
4. Spread evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until desired crispness, stirring occasionally.
5. Use right away, or store in an air tight container for up to 5 days.

Croutons can also be frozen in a lip lock bag. To use, simply put them in the oven for 3-5 minutes.

** Cashew Parmesan
1 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder

Add all ingredients to a food processor, and process until crumbly.
Store in a sealed, airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.

Recipes, Soups & Stews

The Ultimate Cold/Flu Busting Soup

Flu busting soup

Broccoli, Carrot, Purple Potato Soup

You will need:
• 1 head of broccoli
• 4 carrots (1 chopped, 3 shredded)
• ½ purple onion, chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 purple potatoes
• 1 L low sodium vegetable broth
• ½ tsp. garlic powder
• ½ tsp. onion powder
• 1 Tbsp. honey mustard (optional)
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
• 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
• ¼ tsp. Himalayan pink salt
• Pinch of black pepper
• Hormone/antibiotic free, free-range skinless boneless chicken breast (optional)

1. In a large pot, warm the coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic for about 6 minutes.

2. When the onions begin to soften, add the vegetable stock and bring to boil. For this recipe, I used the entire broccoli, stem and all. Peel and chop the broccoli stem and add to the pot first, while you wash, chop and prepare the rest of the broccoli and carrots.

3. Reduce heat and add the chopped broccoli and one chopped carrot. Gently simmer for roughly 6-8 minutes, or until the stalks begin to soften.

4. While the broccoli is cooking, wash the potatoes and boil for 10 minutes, or until tender. When ready, remove from water and peel while still warm. The skins will slide off easily.  Chop and add them to the soup at the end.
*Cooking the potatoes whole will preserve their colour and nutritional value.

5. When the broccoli begins to soften (be careful not to overcook), remove from heat and let it slightly cool before adding to a blender. Pulse a few times in the blender. You want to break up the large pieces, but be careful not to completely liquefy it.

6. Pour the soup back to the pot and add the shredded carrots and chopped potatoes. Gently simmer for another 5 minutes.

If adding chicken:
Fill a small/medium sized pot with water or vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and boil until cooked all the way through. Remove from water and let cool. When cool enough to handle, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the soup at the end.

Cold and flu got you blue? For my best cold and flu recover tips, see this post >> Cold and Flu Recovery Guide

Recipes, Soups & Stews

Quinoa Vegetable Soup

Quinoa Vegetable Soup

Has anyone tried the Quinoa Vegetable Soup from Day 7 of the 30 Day Whole Food Challenge?
After one bowl I’m so stuffed! The great thing about these recipes is you can play around with them. Instead of adding the cabbage from the original recipe, I added 3 diced purple potatoes.

After adding up my grocery receipt, I calculated the entire pot cost me $8.75 to make (not including the spices I already had). Since this recipe makes approx. 5 servings, that equals about $1.75 per serving. Not bad.

• ¼ cup of quinoa, uncooked
• 1 cup of water
• 2 cups of vegetable broth
• 2 carrots, peeled and diced
• 2 celery stalks, diced
• 1 small onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 3 tomatoes, chopped
• 1 zucchini, chopped
• 1 cup fresh green beans, cut into ¾ inch pieces
• 1 tsp. dried thyme
• 1 tsp. basil
• ¼ tsp. cumin
• Splash of apple cider vinegar
• Salt and black pepper, to taste

Cooking the quinoa
Rinse quinoa under cold water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear.
Cook quinoa in ½ water and ½ vegetable stock to enhance the flavor!
Add quinoa, water and stock to a pot. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Turn heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.

Heat ¼ cup of vegetable broth in a stockpot over medium low heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, cumin and celery, until onions are tender(about 5 minutes). Add the zucchini and green beans with another ½ cup of stock and continue to cook for 4 to 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the remaining vegetable broth, water, diced tomatoes, carrots, thyme and basil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender, approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in the cooked quinoa and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Recipes, Soups & Stews, Uncategorized

Curried Ginger Carrot Parsnip Soup

Curried Ginger Carrot Parsnip Soup

A warm and savoury, anti-inflammatory soup for a cool and rainy day!

Ingredients:
• 2.5 cups of vegetable stock
• 8 carrots, peeled and chopped
• 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
• 1 cup coconut milk
• 1 tsp. ground cumin
• 1 Tbsp. curry powder
• 1 tsp. turmeric
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
• 1″ piece of grated ginger
• 1 tsp. maple syrup
• 1 tsp. of cinnamon
• ½ tsp of ground cloves
• ½ tsp of nutmeg
• 1 tsp. of himalayan salt
• Pinch of pepper
• Pinch of dulse flake

1. Begin by warming ¼ cup of vegetable stock over medium/high heat in a medium sized pot.
2. Add the garlic, cumin, cloves, nutmeg and ginger and sauté for a few minutes to bring out the flavour in the spices, stirring continuously.
3. After a few moments, when the aroma of the spices become fragrant, slowly pour in the remaining stock and add the diced carrots and parsnips.
4. Bring to a light boil, reduce heat, cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes, or until carrots are tender.
5. When the carrots are soft enough to pierce with a fork, remove from heat and purée until smooth.
6.
Add the coconut milk, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, stirring well.  Allow to simmer for another 10 minutes. Garnish with cinnamon and enjoy!

Recipes, Soups & Stews

Dairy-Free Cream of Broccoli Soup

dairy free broccoli soup
I love being able to enjoy some of my favourite comfort foods that I grew up with, yet most of the time they don’t fit in with the anti-inflammatory, hypoallergenic diet that keeps me healthy. That’s why it thrills me to pieces to be able to adapt these kind of homemade family recipes, using ingredients on my safe list. The best part is that I can also share these meals with my loved ones, without fearing that I’ve sacrificed flavor. My dad used to make the BEST cream of broccoli soup. If only he was still around to try my version of this classic recipe! I think he’d like it.

I don’t usually keep vegetable stock in the pantry, but that’s no problem because my fridge is very well stocked with all the ingredients to make this quick and easy broth. There’s nothing better than completely fresh homemade soup, especially with the subzero temperatures that we’re having right now in Windsor, Ontario! brrr

You will need:

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, chopped
  • ½ fennel bulb, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots (1 chopped for the stock, 1 grated and added after stock is made)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tps black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups of water

Wash, peel and chop potatoes and boil for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes they won’t be completely cooked but that’s okay. We’re going to let them finish softening up in the soup. This way, they soak up some of the flavor without making the soup too starchy.

Start the stock!
Heat the coconut oil over medium heat and sauté the onions and garlic while you wash, chop and prepare the following ingredients for your stock.

Onions, garlic, celery, 1 carrot, fennel, broccoli stems, thyme, salt, pepper.
Add your stock ingredients with ¼ cup of water.  Place lid and sweat veggies for ten minutes.
Add about half of your broccoli florets and 1.5 cups of water and gently simmer for another 10 minutes, or until everything is soft enough to purée. Purée!
Slowly pour in the coconut milk, potatoes, shredded carrots, nutritional yeast and the remaining broccoli florets and gently simmer for another ten minutes or so. Since I love sesame seeds and actively try to add them to every dish I make, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy!