Vegetarian Pasta Fagioli

Pasta FagioliThis recipe was a lot of fun to make. It’s a wonderfully healthy and flavourful recipe. I love the colours and how everything mixes so well together. It’s not just tasty but so pretty to look at. This makes a nice, warm comfort food for those cold fall and winter days.

Pasta Fagioli is vegetarian, vegan and can be gluten free if needed.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
Half an onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 zucchini, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
780 gram can (28 oz) of whole tomatoes
570 gram jar (20 oz) of white beans
125 grams (4.5 oz) baby spinach
1 cup vegetable stock
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper, to taste
200 grams (7 oz) short pasta (I used GF pasta)

Directions:

1) Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil, onion, carrot and celery. Fry for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and transparent.
2) Add the garlic and fry until soft, then add the zucchini and basil. Fry for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the tomatoes and their juice and use your spoon to break them into smaller pieces.
3) Add the beans and their liquid, spinach, vegetable stock, parsley, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes.
4) Meanwhile in a separate pot, cook the the pasta until al dente. Drain and add the pasta to the soup. Serve immediately.

Enjoy!

Adapted from: cilantroandcitronella.com

Quinoa Veggie Salad (Cleanse)

I’ve been feeling the need to purge lately.

Over the past six months I have tried to eat as healthy as possible under my circumstances. My husband, who has been doing all of the cooking has been pretty good about making me healthy meals. We’re not quite on the same page all the time when it comes to food, but he knows how important it is to me. It’s certainly been a challenge not being able to cook for myself due to my temporary situation and that, in combination with my complete lack of movement has led to some weight gain and muscle loss.

This however, is starting to change. I am more and more able to move, make my own meals and help out in the kitchen. And I gotta tell you it feels absolutely amazing!!

So now with my increased movement (physio, walking and I tried a yoga class this morning, yay me!) I have decided it’s time to get myself back on track. Although I am not a fan of harsh detoxes and cleanses I do believe that gentle cleanses are important. So what I did this week was stop ingesting processed sugar as much as possible (it’s really a sneaky ingredient). I also stopped drinking coffee and switched to water and loose leaf tea. I also stayed away from dairy which wasn’t hard since I don’t consume dairy other than a small amount of cheese and once in a while I may have a little yogurt or cottage cheese.

With that, I made a wonderful Quinoa Veggie Salad which is full of vitamins, minerals and ingredients that are helpful in cleansing the system.

You can, of course enjoy this salad while still enjoying your regular healthy diet. I don’t recommend a lot of restrictions as a rule. I find that strict cleanses and detoxes are too hard on the body.  That being said, it is important to rid the body of excess toxins and harmful ingredients while also including foods that will help heal and cleanse on a regular basis.

The most important thing to remember with this recipe or any recipe that is meant to cleanse and rid the body of toxins it is very important to use ingredients that are pure, unprocessed and / or organic. The purpose after all is to rid the body of toxins not replace them with something else.

Ingredients

Salad

1 cup cooked quinoa, rinsed and strained (I used the red variety, but you can use the white also)
1/2 cucumber, peeled and cut into quarters
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
Quinoa Veggie Salad1 avocado, diced (optional, but I highly recommend it for its healthy fats)
1 handful of cilantro (I find cilantro overpowering so I use it sparingly. It is great for cleansing heavy metals from the body)
1 handful spinach, diced
1 handful kale, diced
Salt to taste

Note: You can add just about any other veggie or green that you want. Build it to your taste. When it comes to the greens add as much or as little at you prefer. I tend to measure by my handful.

Dressing

1/2 cup good quality olive oil
juice from 1/2 fresh lemon (NOT the stuff in the bottle!)
1 thumb of fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp pure honey (NOT store-bought) (Click the link for a great source of pure honey as well as apple cider vinegar)
3-4 garlic cloves, diced
1 tbsp good quality apple cider vinegar

Directions:

For the salad:

  • Rinse the quinoa overnight and when ready cook one cup quinoa to two cups of water. Cook on high until boiling and then simmer for 15 minutes. Rinse, drain and cool in the fridge.
  • In a large bowl combine the rest of the salad ingredients.
  • When the quinoa is cooled off add to your bowl of veggies.

For the dressing:

  • Combine all ingredients and let sit 5 minutes so the flavors will intermingle with each other.
  • Pour over the quinoa salad and mix together. Allow to sit for another 10-15 minutes so the flavors with continue to mingle.
  • When ready pour into a bowl and enjoy!

The ingredients in this recipe are highly cleansing with anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As mentioned above it is important to use high-quality ingredients to get the benefits of this wonderful recipe.

This salad if combined with a healthy, clean diet while staying away from sugar, dairy, and caffeine for just a few days, will allow your body to release toxins and detox the body of chemicals you may be carrying in your system unknowingly. You may find your body starts to flush out what it has been holding onto for some time. You will find yourself feeling less bloated, more energetic and healthier all around.

Much Love,
Jennifer

 

Asian Noodle Salad

Well I’m slowly getting back up and around and able to do some small things around the house. Most of the time I still need help, but I have learned to accept it (something that has always been difficult for me). Delicious Asian Noodle Salad

I found this recipe online and wanted to give it a try so I asked my awesome hubby, who is always willing to give me a hand and we tag teamed it. I was really happy with how it turned out and with the picture as well. It really does this dish justice. Be warned this makes a huge batch so if you’re making it just for you, you may want to cut the ingredients. It was perfect for us because Paul’s willing to try almost anything and the boys wouldn’t touch it, which meant leftovers the next couple of days.

Ingredients:

1 box of thin spaghetti (We used half a box, but then had to add more.)
3-4 carrots, julienned
2 sweet peppers, sliced
1 4oz bag of bean sprouts (I didn’t have these on hand so I left them out)
1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced (The recipe called for 3, but I found that too much)
3 scallions, sliced (I would have like a bit more of these actually)
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, chopped (I find cilantro quite overpowering so I only used a very small handful)
1/2 head of napa cabbage, sliced ( didn’t have any of this either)
1/2 head or more purple cabbage, sliced
1/2 bunch kale, leaves torn off the stalks and shredded
2 cups peanuts, chopped *optional

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce or shrimp sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar (I subbed coconut sugar)
3 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger *Mmmmm
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped *To me more is better!

Directions:

For the salad: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the spaghetti to al dente according to the package directions. Drain, rinse and let cool.

Mix together the cooked spaghetti, carrots, peppers, bean sprouts, cucumbers, scallions, cilantro, napa cabbage, purple cabbage, and kale. Add peanuts if using and toss together.

For the dressing: Whisk together the olive oil, soy sauce, oyster or shrimp sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown or coconut sugar, ginger, sesame oil and garlic in a medium bowl.

Pour the dressing over the salad and mix together with tongs or your hands. If the salad seems a little dry, just mix up more of the wet ingredients of the dressing and throw it in.

As you can see it’s all a very organic process and fun to get in there and mix it all up. I love the colors and flavors of this salad. It’s very fresh, healthy and nourishing. Play around with it and make it your own. Tell me what you did, I’d love to hear from you!

Enjoy! xo

Adapted from: www.thepioneerwoman.com

Simple Sesame Noodles with Asian Dressing

This recipe is sooo easy and delicious! The recipe here calls for noodles, and I used chinese noodles. You can also use this dressing on salads as well.

Ingredients:
12 ounces, fluid thin noodles, cooked and drained
*I used chinese noodles, any thin noodle will do.
1/4 cup soy sauce (tamari for gluten free option)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp pure sesame oil
1/2 tsp hot chili oil or Sriracha
4 tbsp grape seed oil or extra virgin olive oil
4 whole green onions, sliced thin

Directions:

  • Whisk all ingredients (except noodles and green onions) together in a bowl.
  • Taste and adjust ingredients as needed.
  • Pour sauce over warm noodles and toss to coat.
  • Sprinkle with green onions.
  • Serve in a bowl with chopsticks.

Yummm!

Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

Quinoa Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes
Yields: 8 people

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup chopped radishes
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Directions: 
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well.

Notes: Garnish with cherry tomatoes and shredded garlic cloves and chill before serving.

Credit: IIN

Easy Granola Bars w/Chocolate Drizzle

Granola Bars
Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups oats
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup each: course chopped almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, ground flax, hemp hearts. (pretty much whatever you want.  Make sure they are unsalted)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pure vanilla
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2-3/4 cup raw honey

Directions:

  1. Mix everything together in a mixing bowl adding the honey 1/4 cup at a time until all the ingredients are coated.
  2. Pat onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze.

Chocolate Drizzle
Ingredients:
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup cocao powder
1/2 cup organic peanut butter
1/4 cup raw honey
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
Directions:
Mix it all up and drizzle over the bars.  Keep in freezer.