chicory, grapefruit + avocado salad

appetizer, mains, recipes, salads

Traveling. Dinner parties. Weddings. Goodbye drinks. Summer treats.

It is this time of year and just after Christmas that I tend to feel a bit haggard + like I am going through life in sand. Things like so-so sleep and a bit of overindulging… it happens. But I know I can feel better.

We try and ‘detox’ a couple times a year. I have looong been suspicious of the stereotypical juice-based detoxes, lemonade-chili powder ‘Beyonce detoxes’ and spending a ton of money on supplements and such. Instead, I would rather eat nutritionally dense foods that are kind and cleansing for my liver and body.

I have been reading up on toxins. So crazy that every day we are exposed to so many things in our food and environment that accumulate in our bodies. Detoxing can be such a powerful tool to restore our glow + toward feeling more revitalized.

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The result of my nerding out on detoxifying foods is this super antioxidant salad. It is loaded with texture, good-for-your-tummy-ingredients, and bursting with fresh summer flavors! I like to think that this Chicory, Grapefruit + Avocado Salad is the ultimate detox meal. I find that simply eating a big salad containing detoxifying ingredients a few times a week makes me feel more clear, focused and energetic.

This salad can be thrown together in minutes and is a great meal to eat when you want to lighten things up. There are no isolated oils, only the fat from the seeds and the avocado, which make it much easier to digest and less processed. This bright salad features sweet-tart grapefruit (hello cellulite fighter and blood sugar stabiliser) and slightly bitter chicory (hello immune booster and liver detoxifier)! It will makes a refreshing addition to your summer dinner repertoire.

 

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Ingredients

2 mains : 4 sides 

  • 1 large ruby red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • 2 head chicory, pull off leaves
  • 1 medium beetroot, washed and cut julienne
  • 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 4-5 cups mixed salad mix, go for darker leaves
  • 4 tbs pumpkin seeds, ideally sprouted
  • balsamic vinegar, to drizzle
  1. Using a serrated knife, half your grapefruit. Slice along membranes + peel away segments (do this over a bowl to catch extra juices)
  2. Place chicory/endive and mixed leaves in a serving bowl
  3. Add sliced avocado and beetroot to salad + sprinkle pumpkin seeds
  4. Drizzle balsamic and leftover grapefruit juice as dressing over salad
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste, toss to combine
  6. Share and enjoy with your people!

 

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Notes

  • For a nice, hearty addition, add quinoa or brown rice if you have it on hand
  • For more detoxifiers, try fresh cilantro and parsley. They are both heavy metal detoxifiers which aid in removing heavy metals from our bodies

 

Here is to a wonderful, healthy you and to feeling our best. I hope you enjoy this recipe and that you have a delicious end to your week!

 

x

roasted garlic cauliflower hummus

appetizer, dips, recipes

Before going paleo, we were vegetarians. I know, quite a transition…

For a long time, beans were our go-to. Oh how I still sometimes long for a pack of falafel, a hearty black bean burger, or a creamy bowl of lentil soup. It has surprised me, but one of the hardest cravings is for hummus! I love a good dip with something crunchy.

This roasted garlic hummus ticks all the boxes.
It is bean-free and AIP compliant.
I am loving the texture. flavour. simplicity. creaminess.
It is quick. healthy. deliciously snacky.

Ingredients

  • 1 head of garlic
  • ½ tsp coconut oil
  • 1 head of cauliflower, roasted
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • fresh parsley or preferred mixed herbs

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Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F / 200 °C
  2. Cut the very top off of the head of garlic, making sure to expose the tip of every clove.
  3. Cut the stalk from the head of cauliflower.
  4. Place the coconut oil on the top of the garlic and cauliflower. Wrap each separately in foil.
  5. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned.
  6. When both are finished roasting, remove the cloves and sections of the cauliflower and place in a food processor with the olive oil, lemon juice, water, and sea salt.
  7. Pulse for a minute or two, until a thick puree forms.
  8. Top with fresh or mixed dried herbs
  9. Share with your people and enjoy!

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Notes

-Try experimenting with a garlic or lemon infused oil: check your labels

-Turn it into a salad dressing. Simply, thin it out with a little extra lemon juice + avocado oil.

-Take a generous scoop over a salad, top grilled chicken or layer it in a lettuce wrap burger. My all-time favourite is alongside homemade plantain chips! Options are endless, really.

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What are your favourite healthy snack recipes? Any suggestions for modifying your favourites on the AIP?

Have a delicious weekend!

x

toasted coconut + persimmon salad with cranberries

appetizer, dressing, mains, recipes, salads

Weekends are the best.

Weekends for us mean that we get to slow down. We look forward to long brunches and multiple cups of coffee. I like getting my apron a little messy and experimenting with new recipes. There are a gazillion more reasons that I love weekends, but high up on the list is just being in the kitchen.

After a long and wonderful holiday visit in the States, let’s just say that my body has been craving/demanding/needing some very colourful and nutrient dense food as we indulged/celebrated/feasted on all the delicious comforts from home.

This recipe was not on my meal plan for the week. It came together, because I just started grabbing for things I had on hand. I felt like a true (salad) artist. A little bit of this… a little bit of that… mixing in this…I even had to google if it was okay to eat raw cranberries. Have you ever had a raw cranberry?!

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Alone, a raw cranberry is super tart. I definitely made a baby eating a lemon face, for sure. But… I tried it and I liked it. I liked it even more after reading about all the health benefits: an antioxidant powerhouse, a low-calorie flavour booster, UTI preventer, full of vitamin C, high in fiber and loaded with phytonutrients!  I was so pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the combination of flavours when I topped them on the salad.

Coconut is also all the rage in the paleo world. It adds a healthy fat and nice crunch along with a good dose of fiber. The dark leafy greens have loads of vitamins and minerals and paired with healthy fats from the dressing your body will actually absorb more of their nutrients.

In addition to the cranberries, the persimmon gives this salad the most amazing flavour explosion on your tastebuds. Persimmon, also known as sharon fruit, are a winter fruit and in season October – February. They are the perfect way to boost the immune system and aid in digestion.

My love for salads is intense, as you probably know by now, and I love how much there is going on in this bowl.

tart + sweet
filling + flavourful
super healthy + crunchy
loaded with super foods+ fiber

The dressing is simple: apple cider vinegar, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, and any sweetener of your choice with a little sea salt….simple, but oh so delicious.

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Toasted Coconut + Persimmon Salad with Cranberries

Prep time: 15 minutes // Serves: 2 mains // 4 sides 

Salad Ingredients

  • 6 cups mixed greens, I also through in some kale
  • 2 persimmons, quartered and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup organic dried coconut chips
  • Optional protein: grilled chicken breast, green lentils, tofu/tempeh

Dressing Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar (Go with Braggs!)
  • 1/2 cup quality olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • sea salt to taste
  • Optional sweetener: honey, coconut crystals or agave nectar

You can serve this salad cold or at room temperature, but I really enjoyed the greens and persimmons cold and everything else warm. It is oddly the perfect balance.

This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you are craving something quick and healthy. Bonus? I think this would please vegans and non-vegans alike as it is easy to toss some lean protein on board and the leftovers make a great lunch for the next day.

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What recipes have you accidentally made and loved? Do you have any advice for unique flavour combos?

Have a delicious week! x

roasted beet + blackberry salad with balsamic dressing

appetizer, dressing, mains, salads

 

I have a wildly delicious food spectrum this time of year.

My favourite thing to eat is a big, warm, bowl of comfort food from the slow cooker. My second favourite, on the other end of the spectrum, is a huge fall harvest salad.

Harvest salads are full of foods that are sweet and earthy, like beets, mushrooms, varieties of squash, pumpkin and root vegetables… If you are not a beet fan, I think that this salad could possibly change your mind. Roasting beets brings out their stunning colour and a natural sweetness that is hard to resist.

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What I love about this recipe is the mix of earthy beetroot with sweet blackberries – a flavour pairing that is gorgeous, not just visually (look at those deep gemlike colours!) but also in the way they balance each other. There is a lot of room for texture pairing here as well. A crunchy seed or nut with the softness of crumbled cheese or the soft roasted beets tastes right on.

But really, the fusion of blackberry and the balsamic dressing is truly where the tastebud disco takes place.  This dressing is so easy and we always keep a jar of it handy.

As I become more passionate about eating seasonally, we save money and it makes meal planning easier because I know what produce to expect at the store, and they’re usually on sale (one of the beautiful things about buying seasonal/local is that the item is usually in surplus!)

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ROASTED BEET + BLACKBERRY SALAD WITH BALSAMIC DRESSING

Ingredients

Serves 2 Main or 4 sides | Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 50 minutes

For the salad:

  • 6 cups of fresh greens (your pick, I had kale and spinach on hand)
  • 2 shredded fennel (watch this YouTube clip)
  • 1 1/2 cups roasted beets (approx 4 large)
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 4 tablespoons crumbled cheese (if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, or toasted seeds

For the dressing:

  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoon honey
  • Pinch of sea salt

 

Instructions

1. Roast the beets: Preheat your oven to 425°F /220 °C. With a sharp vegetable peeler, remove the skin from the beets and chop them into small pieces, about 1/2 inch in size. In an oven safe dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast them in their packet for 45-60 minutes, or until soft. Allow the beets to cool.

2. While the beets are cooking prepare the fennel. I found this YouTube video most helpful because this was the first time I cooked fennel. Be sure you put the ‘furry stuff’, aka dill, to the side, you can garnish your salad with it.

3. The dressing is super easy.  In a small jar, or other glass container, whisk all the ingredients together. Tighten lid + shake the dressing together.

4.The presentation and assembly of your salad- my favorite part. Divide the greens between two plates. Sprinkle each plate with half the beets, half the blueberries, half the fennel, half the cheese (if you are going for it), and top with half the crunchy seeds or nut. Drizzle the salad with the dressing or serve on the side.

5. Enjoy the tastebud disco!

As always, I hope you have a delicious week. Let me know if you try the salad and what your favourite fall recipes are! x

 

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warm mushroom + toasted hazelnut salad

appetizer, dressing, mains, recipes, salads

Most of us know that our tastebuds react to four tastes – sweet, sour, bitter and salty. But did you know there’s a fifth taste called ‘umami’?  Uuuuumami! (That’s oo-ma-mee.)

Umami has been translated from Japanese as ‘yummy, deliciousness’ or a ‘pleasant savoury taste’. It is the taste sensation we often associate with food items that are ‘meaty’ and have a slow-cooked taste. This is why Black Bean Burgers, Lentil Meatballs and Portobello Mushroom Pizzas exist and make perfect vegetarian and vegan alternatives- it’s the umami! Again, this is the stuff I nerd out on. Very interesting TED talk on the topic and all you have to do is google ‘what is umami?’ and you can go down my same rabbit trail.

I enjoy this mushroom salad because it’s warm, colourful, nutty, packed with flavour from the vinaigrette and makes a great light dinner option that is quick and inexpensive to make.

Ingredients

Serves 2-3

For the salad:

1/2 cup hazelnuts (or preferred nut)
2 tablespoons finely diced shallots

2 handfuls of small cherry tomatoes
2 pounds mushrooms (chestnut or button are delicious, cleaned and sliced)
6 ounces salad greens (kale, arugula, spinach or a mix of your choice)
1 cup mix of fresh herbs (optional) such as chives, tarragon

2 tbs coconut oil

 

For the dressing: 

3 tbs white wine vinegar or balsamic

9tbs extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp fresh thyme + rosemary

salt+ pepper

 

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Method

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190C. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes, rolling them around once or twice to make sure they toast evenly.

Chop the hazelnuts and mushrooms coarsely in a small food processor.

Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons coconut oil, add the mushrooms, thyme, salt + pepper.

Sauté the mushroom mix for about 5 minutes, softened but not limp (your cooking time will depend on the type of mushrooms you used). Add tomatoes, cook till soft not mushy.

Spread salad greens on a plate. Sprinkle fresh herbs on top. Spoon hot mushrooms + tomatoes over the salad greens.

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For the dressing: whisk the shallots, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon salt together in a bowl and let sit for five minutes (this will soften and almost pickle the shallots), before whisking in 5 tablespoons olive oil. Drizzle dressing over salad  and toss

Adjust to taste — you may need more salt, pepper, vinaigrette or even more vinegar.

Share with your people. x

 Notes

  • If you tolerate dairy, add some freshly grated parmesan or crumbled goat cheese
  • Not a hazelnut fan? Use almonds or pumpkin seeds for a crunch
  • To be AIP compliant, omit nuts/seeds, dairy + tomato. Can substitute a roasted vegetable of your choice. Toasted shredded sweet potato or parsnip perhaps?

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Thanksgiving: herb roasted root vegetables

appetizer, holidays, mains, recipes, sides

It is time to celebrate our second Scottish Friendsgiving.

Thanksgiving is less than one week away and we are grateful to have friends to share the occasion with in Scotland. This time of year, many people find it impossible to eat healthy. This side dish is seasonal, festive, mouth-watering and it won’t break the bank or increase the waistline. This recipe is great for a crowd because you can easily double the quantity and roast baking sheets full of veggies.

This year I am contributing these delicious herb roasted root vegetables. The mix is a wonderfully colourful and comforting mix of roasted parsnip, butternut squash and sweet potato. You can use any combination of root veggies you like. If you don’t like sweet potato, you can substitute white or red potatoes. Not a fan of parsnip? Use carrots instead. It’s a great way to clear out your produce drawer, and the process could not be easier.

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Ingredients

Serves 4

1 large butternut squash, halved, seeded and cubed
3 large sweet potatoes/ yams, scrubbed and cubed
1 medium yellow onion
3 large parsnip, cubed
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (or coconut oil), plus more for drizzling
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, chopped garlic, mixed herbs + thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
Top with 2 handfuls of pumpkin seeds

* Dairy options in notes below

Method

Place 2 baking sheets in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees F or 220 C/Gas Mark 7.

Cut all the vegetables into 1 1/2-inch pieces or cubes. Cut the onions through the base core to keep some of the layers in chunky pieces. Toss all the vegetables with garlic, oil, seasoning and salt in large bowl. Season generously with pepper.

Carefully remove the heated baking sheets from the oven, brush or drizzle with olive oil. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 2 pans, spreading them out to assure they don’t steam while roasting. Roast the vegetables until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Notes
-If you tolerate dairy, some sprinkled feta, parmesan, or crumbled goat cheese would be a nice addition.
– Best to keep seasoning simple in this recipe.  Root veggies have such earthy and wonderful flavors. For more flavor, you could sprinkle them with rosemary, oregano, a little cumin, or fresh chopped parsley. Be creative as you want.

-If you use red beets in this recipe, keep in mind that the roasting will release a pinkish juice that will color the other vegetables. If you’d rather not have pinkish veggies, use golden beets or omit the beets completely.

For more inspiration click here to see several healthy vegetarian side dishes for Thanksgiving from Food Network and Delish.

What do you plan to cook this Thanksgiving? I hope your day is a special and delicious time with family, friends and the ones you hold dear. May peace and grace be yours abundantly!

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

pea + mint hummus

appetizer, dips, snacks

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Me and a delicious snack are two peas in a pod.

There is no better place to get some snackspiration than at Earthy Café. On a recent visit, I indulged in some serious snack samples of homemade dips and spreads. Unique recipes like Lemon Hummus with Harissa, White Bean and Basil and Pistachio Hummus with Feta were all on point. After all of this sampling, I was inspired to try making our own using something in season and a bit unusual.

Pea + mint is not a new concept, it is a classic flavour combination but a bit out of the ordinary for me. However, this summer I had my first bowl of pea and mint soup and… wowza, loved it. Loved it so much I wanted it in dip form.

This dip is a simple, fresh and healthy way to snack. Peas might be small but they are packed with nutrients. A cup of peas contains about 115 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 14 grams of net carbs. Peas are an excellent source of folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin K and also rich in calcium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese.

I hope you enjoy this twist on hummus and the flavours that it brings with it! Who knows, you too might be in for a surprise.

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INGREDIENTS

serves 4-6

1/2 pound frozen green peas, thawed

1/2 tin chickpeas

1 clove fresh garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

1/4 red onion, diced

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tbs tahini

1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (about 3 to 4 sprigs), chopped

1/2 tsp black pepper

Juice of one lemon

Sea salt, according to taste

METHOD

1 In a small pan over medium heat, sauté chopped onion and garlic until soft and translucent, but not browned, about 4-5 minutes.

2 Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and well combined. Serve chilled. Easy peasy.

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NOTES
As with all hummus, there are countless ways to serve it up!
  • Enjoy as a dip for veggies- cut up carrot, cucumber, pepper or courgette
  • Enjoy as a spread over your favourite crunch – slices of whole grain pita, warm toast, or oatcakes
  • Top it up with grated feta, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds or reserved green peas
Enjoy!
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