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Cute Cucumber Sandwiches

Growing up I always loved to make cucumber sandwiches. They were so good and so refreshing.
Looking up lunch ideas I came across these cute cucumber sandwiches sans bread.
Here is my rendition of the cutest little lunch idea

Ingredients
One cucumber (thicker kind, Long English are too narrow)
1/2 avocado or Hummus
1Tbsp cream cheese (optional)
Alfalfa sprouts

Directions

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Take your cucumber and cut it in 3-4 pieces then cut in half.
Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and throw the seeds in your composter.

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Mash up avocado and optional cream cheese. I used hummus for my second batch.

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Scoop filling into both sides of cucumber and toss some sprouts on top. Put both sides together to make your sandwich.

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Here’s the finished product. As you can see I added some celery, it serves two purposes- snack and to help the sandwiches from not moving around.
You can certainly eat these whole but since I am the most ungraceful eater ill just eat them as halves.

Let me know how you like them!
Check out how they fit into my morning routine here—-> Successful morning routine

Cabbage rolls with carrot purée

These are not your typical cabbage rolls. If you are an avid reader of my blog you will know that I am recovering from a stomach ulcer. The ulcer friendly foods I was confined to were cabbage,carrots, zucchini, rice, etc…
These ingredients got old fast so I had to become creative. Traditional cabbage rolls slathered in tomato sauce is one of my favourite dishes. That being said it did not take me long to come up with cabbage rolls.
Without further adieu here is my adaptation:

Ingredients
Cabbage rolls
1cup cooked Rice
1Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 medium Carrots
1/2 zucchini
1 head green lettuce

carrot purée
5 carrots chopped
1cup of vegetable broth (preferably homemade)

Directions:

Start a pot of water to boil. Make sure this is big enough for your head of cabbage.
If you are planning in enjoying these right away preheat your oven to 350

Sweat your onion and garlic in your coconut oil. Dice up your carrots and zucchini to tiny pieces and add to your Pan with onions and garlic. Cook until the carrots turn bright orange. This only takes a few minutes. They will cook once more so be careful not to fully cook these yet.
Add this mixture to your cooked rice and set aside.

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Your pot of water should be almost ready. Fill a second bowl with cold water and ice cubes. Take your cabbage and peel back the first layer and cut out the core.
Place the whole head in the boiling water. You will notice that the leaves will separate from the head of cabbage. This is when I took then out and put into a cold bath. Do this until you have no cabbage left. I’m not sure how necessary the cold water bath was but I know it will stop the cooking process so they don’t over cook and I thought handling would be easier with them not burning hot.

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After that is done I put my carrots for my purée in a pot. I put some broth to just cover the carrots. I guesstimated my measurement because I actually did eyeball this one. Then bring this to a boil until carrots are soft

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As your carrots cook lets get to the rolling. To be honest I’ve never made cabbage rolls ever so I’m pretty proud about how I managed to make these work.
The rolling method is not complicated. Add your rice and veg mixture to the middle centre of your cabbage rolls. Roll the stem side in and under the rice. Fold both sides in and roll to the top. This picture is probably best to look at:

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Voila! Not too shabby if you ask me 🙂

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As you can see I just used a square baking dish to put the rolls in.

By now your carrots are probably ready. Transfer the whole pot into a blender. Set to purée mode and go to town. If its not blending add more broth a tablespoon at a time.

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Now your ready to slather this on your pro skill cabbage rolls.

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You can put this in your oven now or later. Make sure it’s 350 for about 30 min.
Enjoy

Fast veggie soup

Fast Veggie Soup
This recipe can be gluten free and it’s ulcer friendly.

Ingredients
this is rough as it can be adapted to suit your taste
1cup + 4 cupsHomemade (or low sodium organic) veggie broth.
1/2 cup rice (rinsed)
2cups Veggies of choice
Herbs of choice (optional)

Place 1cup of veggie broth in a pot with the rice. Bring to a boil then turn temperature to low to simmer for about 15min or until rice is almost cooked

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While rice is on simmer chop your veggies as you wish. I like a chunkier soup so I made my veggies bigger.

Once rice has parboiled and veggies are cut add 4 cups of veggie broth.
Bring temperature higher an bring to a light boil. Add veggies and simmer for 10 min.

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Your done!
Fast, easy, and Frugal

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Enjoy!

Soaking your Nuts? Why?

I never even thought that I should be soaking my nuts overnight. Here is an article Deidre (holistic nutritionist) sent to me.
Quite interesting. I find it brings out the almond flavor out more too 🙂

The Benefits of soaking nuts and seeds

By: Delicia Beaty and Sharon Foutch

Soaking nuts, grains, seeds, and legumes

Nature has set it up so that the nut, grain and seed may survive until proper growing conditions are present. Nature’s defense mechanism includes nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances that can be removed naturally when there is enough precipitation to sustain a new plant after the nut, grain or seed germinates. When it rains the nut, grain or seed gets wet and can then germinate to produce a plant. So we are mimicking nature when we soak our nuts, grains and seeds.

Nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances found in nuts grains and seed can be minimized or eliminated by soaking. These inhibitors and toxic substances are enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens.

What are Enzyme inhibitors?

There are digestive enzymes and metabolic enzymes. Digestive enzymes help break down food. Metabolic enzymes help every biological process the body does. Enzyme inhibitors will clog, warp or denature an active site of an enzyme. They may also bind to the enzyme, which will prevent the intended molecule from binding. “Once again, the habits of traditional peoples should serve as a guide. They understood instinctively that nuts are best soaked or partially sprouted before eaten. This is because nuts contain numerous enzyme inhibitors that can put a real strain on the digestive mechanism if consumed in excess.”

What are Phytates?

“All grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran. Untreated phytic acid can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. This is why a diet high in unfermented whole grains may lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss. The modern misguided practice of consuming large amounts of unprocessed bran often improves colon transit time at first but may lead to irritable bowel syndrome and, in the long term, many other adverse effects.”

 

Why soak nuts, grains and seeds?

  • 1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
  • 2. To remove or reduce tannins.
  • 3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  • 4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
  • 5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
  • 6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
  • 7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  • 8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
  • 9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
  • 10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

“Soaking allows enzymes, lactobacilli and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. Soaking in warm water also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, present in all seeds, and encourages the production of numerous beneficial enzymes. The action of these enzymes also increases the amount of many vitamins, especially B vitamins. During the process of soaking and fermenting, gluten and other difficult-to-digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.”

What can be used to soak nuts, grains and seeds?

I have found many references to soaking nuts, grains, and seeds in water, salt water, or a warm water mixture with something acidic like yogurt, whey or lemon juice. It seems within 7 to 24 hours the enzyme inhibitors are neutralized and the anti-nutrients are broken down regardless of the method you choose. There is evidence that the process works when you see sprouting begin.

How long does the soaking process take?

“As little as seven hours of soaking in warm acidulated water will neutralize a large portion of phytic acid in grains. The simple practice of soaking cracked or rolled cereal grains overnight will vastly improve their nutritional benefits.” “Flour products should be soaked at room temperature for at least twelve hours but better results may be obtained with a twenty-four hour soaking.”

 

Are the nuts, grains and seeds used wet?

I have enjoyed almonds wet. If you choose to try consuming anything in the soaked state, make little batches and store them in the refrigerator. Usually everything that is soaked is dried in a dehydrator or oven on the lowest possible setting for 24 – 48 hours to remove all moisture.

Wheat berries can be soaked whole for 8 to 22 hours, then drained and rinsed. Some recipes use the whole berries while they are wet, such as cracker dough ground right in the food processor. You can also dry sprouted wheat berries in a low-temperature oven or dehydrator, and then grind them in your grain mill and use the flour in a variety of recipes. Nuts, grains, seeds and legumes can be ground up to use as flour in many recipes after they have been dried.

 

Any advice on what to do with legumes?

Maureen Diaz recommends soaking any beans or legumes in water and vinegar for at least twelve hours before cooking. Soaked and dried beans may be ground up and used as flour for thickening and baking. This is helpful for those on a gluten free diet.

One recommendation includes placing soaked kombu or kelp seaweed in the bottom of the pot when soaking legumes. Add one part seaweed to six or more parts legumes. This is for improved flavor and digestion, more nutrients, and faster cooking. “Soak legumes for twelve hours or overnight in four parts water to one part legume. For best results, change the water once or twice. Lentils and whole dried peas require shorter soaking, while soybeans and garbanzos need to soak longer. Soaking softens skins and begins the sprouting process, which eliminates phytic acid, thereby making more minerals available. Soaking also promotes faster cooking and improved digestibility, because the gas-causing enzymes and trisaccharides in legumes are released into the soak water. Be sure to discard the soak water. After bringing legumes to a boil, scoop off and discard foam. Continue to boil for twenty minutes without lid at beginning of cooking to let steam rise (breaks up and disperses indigestible enzymes).”

Rice Casserole- Ulcer Friendly

This rice casserole is meant for those recovering from an ulcer.
It contains the safest ulcer friendly foods.
If you do not have an ulcer feel free to add other veggies and spices/herbs as you wish.

2 tbsp Coconut Oil
2 Carrots diced
1 Small Zuchinni diced
1/4 Cabbage chopped
1 1/2 White Rice (gluten free) rinsed
2 cups Veggie stock

Heat oil in a deep pan or pot.
add carrots and sautee for a few min, until colour brightens
add zucchini and cabbage and saute for a min or so.
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Add the rice and the broth and bring to a light boil over Med heat.

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Turn heat on lo and simmer for 15 min or until rice is cooked.

enjoy

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So its Tuesday…

I am throughly enjoying sitting here writing this post on my phone. I sat down to do some choreography just in time for our reliable internet (through Telus) not to work….for the 3rd time in an hour.
F%+*ing Telus.
Does anyone else have this issue with them??

Sorry for the mild rant…

Today was pretty uneventful. I did a bit of packing this morning. Most of our life is in boxes at the moment. We have so much stuff!
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I felt like having a little spontaneity this morning. I had oatmeal with honey instead of my usual two ingredient pancake. *gasp*
I know right! Im living on the edge!
I also paired this with a coffee and some Girls Aloud.
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I was productive in the kitchen Continue reading

Monday…again

Yes the dreaded Monday has come…and gone by the time this will be up.
It was a cold one today. I woke up to snow! I hate the snow. Living 20 years in Ottawa I’ve had my fill.
Regardless of this cold and wet powder that attaches to everything I still had to get to work, today is a hairdressing day.
Ive got two pairs of rain boots I can wear in the snow. Magically both have the soles coming apart. On both pairs the upper portion has literally lifted off the sole to expose my poor little foot and make it all wet…and cold!
Did I mention I’m allergic to the cold? yes it actually is real! google it.
Continue reading