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Eating more salad? Make sure you eat this one!

Roasted Brussels sprout and beet salad with poppy seed dressing

It’s January, which means a lot of people are looking to amp up the veggie content in their diets. If you happen to be eating more salads right now, make sure to put this one in your rotation.

This salad was inspired by one we had at a family dinner at Boston Pizza over the holidays. Their salad had roasted Brussels sprouts and kale and was quite good. But I always want to improve on sodium and fats from vegetable oils so the food you’re eating at home offers the most bang for your nutritional buck.

Don’t be dismayed by having to roast the Brussels sprouts, get them going first and by the time the rest of your veggies are prepped and in the bowl, they’ll be done! Try for organic vegetables if possible and opt for raw, rather than roasted seeds.

salad, recipe, roasted, brussels sprout, beet, vegan

Roasted Brussles sprout and beet salad

Roasted Brussels sprout and beet salad with poppy seed dressing
20-25 Brussels sprouts, chopped and roasted
1 shallot, sliced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 beet, peeled and grated
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
2 heads romaine, washed and chopped
3 radishes, chopped
One handful raw sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries

Method:
Preheat your oven at 400℃. Remove outer leaves and brown stem bottom from your sprouts. Chop into pieces (almost like large shreds) and combine with olive oil, freshly ground pepper and shallot. Spread flat on parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes till the smallest pieces begin to brown. While they’re cooking prep your other veggies and toss in a large mixing bowl. Once the Brussels sprouts are done, toss them into the bowl, add dressing and throw on your seeds and cranberries.

mayo

Chosen Foods avocado oil mayo

Poppy seed salad dressing
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, finely grated
1/8 C rice wine vinegar
1/8 C apple cider vinegar
1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsp mustard
2 tsp mayonnaise

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar and whisk to combine.

I shopped at Save-On-Foods, should you?

organic, save-on-foods, produce

Grocery shopping is one of my favourite things.

So when Save-On-Foods opened up three stores over the weekend, I was curious to see if they could simplify my normally complicated shopping routine of hitting three different stores to find everything on my list.

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I headed out the the location in Bridgwater Forest, fully expecting to stop at the Bison Drive Superstore on my way home.

The organic dairy section.

The organic dairy section.

Walking in, the store aisles will feel a bit narrow if you’re used to shopping at Costco or Superstore, but I was pleased to find a natural foods aisle right next to the produce.

There were some good prices on typically pricey items like tart cherry and pure cranberry juice and a reasonable selection of organic yogurt. There was also a fairly good range of organic spices.

Unlike a lot of other stores, the organic foods aren’t limited to the natural aisle so if you’re shopping for organic cow or non-dairy milk you’ll have to head over the the regular dairy section at the end of the store.

Pro tip: This is the only store in the city where I’ve seen a 4L jug of almond milk. 

Silver Hills, sprouted, grain, bread, bakery

Silver Hills sprouted bread.

Specialty items are scattered throughout the store as well, so if you’re looking for Silver Hills bread, it’s in the regular bakery aisle. Vegetarian meat alternatives are in the produce and regular frozen section too.

I was pleased to see the range of organic fruits and veggies, the quality was very good and the organic Ambrosia apples were gigantic.

I expect what will attract a lot of people to this chain is the range of readily prepared foods. There is a large section with fresh sushi, a bakery, made-to-order pizza, cold salads, meats and soups. I didn’t spend much time here but did take a peek at the chicken quinoa soup which looked pretty good but with no ingredient listing anywhere I wasn’t tempted to pick up a ladle.

There’s also a frozen yogurt bar next to the Starbucks and a Jones soda fountain.

After grabbing organic potatoes, bananas, spinach, carrots, mushrooms some regular zucchini and marvelling at the giant bag of organic juicer carrots, I headed to the meat section, curious is there were any organic items to be found.

Wendel's True Foods, allergy, friendly, baking

Wendel’s True Foods allergy-friendly products.

If there were, I didn’t find them. But after posting this, I heard from another shopper that organic meat was on the shelves at the St. James location.

Next I headed to the bulk section where there is a great range of Anita’s Organic Mill products.

The regular freezer section is home to the usual products but at one end there is a section of allergy-friendly baking. Breads from Little Northern Bakehouse are alongside treats from Wendel’s True Foods, a company based in Langley, B.C.

Northern Bakehouse gluten-free breads.

Northern Bakehouse gluten-free breads.

I found a not from concentrate orange juice with a very limited ingredient list. Seriously, read orange juice labels next time, some of them have a lot more than just oranges.

Overall I enjoyed shopping at Save-On-Foods. On this occasion I got everything on my list at the store and didn’t have to make any extra stops on the way home.

That said, there are a few things I’d love to see them add if demand for more natural products grows.

 

  1. KeVita drinks - They are well-stocked in kombucha but have zip in the kefir water department. 
  2. Organic meats – I have yet to find a mainstream grocery store in this city that has an organic meat selection of any kind.
  3. Dairy-free yogurt – Unless I missed them, Greek-style coconut yogurt would be a great addition.
  4. Bone broth – Several soup companies make bone broth but none of them have turned up in the city yet.

 

 

 

 

 

Pasta night: Farfalle with garlic oil, asparagus and chard

pasta, dinner, recipe, garlic, oil, chard, veggies, asparagus, parmesan, hemp hearts, manitoba harvest

Happy harvest season!!!

I hope your garden, CSA or local market is offering you some lovely, local produce. I’m knee-deep in cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes and am patiently waiting for my peppers to get a bit bigger.

The chard is still coming up and I’m hoping it keeps growing into October because I absolutely adore this pasta dish. It’s a vegetarian dinner but a little barbecued chicken served on top would be a fine addition.

Farfalle with garlic oil, asparagus and chardpasta, dinner, recipe, winnipeg, anna lazowski
4 C farfalle (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp organic butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
zest from one organic lemon
salt and freshly ground pepper
10-15 chard leaves
1 bunch asparagus
freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts

Method: 

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta, cook just till al dente. Drain and set aside, reserving about 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

While pasta is cooking, strip the leaves off the washed chard and chop the stems into pieces. Wash and chop asparagus into bite-sized pieces.

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil, butter, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes over low-medium heat till garlic turns golden - about eight minutes. Add chard stems for last five minutes of cooking time.

Add shredded chard leaves to mixture and stir to wilt. Add lemon zest. Scrape the oil and chard mixture into pasta with the cooking liquid, stir, cover and set aside.

Using the same pan with a bit of oil still at the bottom, heat asparagus over low-medium heat, mixing occasionally till it browns – about seven minutes.

Add asparagus to pasta mixture, stir to combine.

Serve topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and hemp hearts.

Barbecued corn + black beans = the perfect picnic food

recipe, vegan, black bean, corn, salad, summer, picnic

I’m on holidays for a few weeks but I’m actually spending less time in the kitchen than usual. We’re spending more time outside and throwing together simple, picnic style dinners.

The other night we barbecued four cobs of corn but only ate two. The next day, the leftover cobs were sitting in the fridge waiting to be reinvented.

So I grabbed a few items from my pantry, a few veggies from the garden and threw together a quick salad. It was so good we’ve already barbecued more corn and are making it again tomorrow!

So toss together this simple salad for lunch or pair it up with some crusty bread for a lovely, light, summery dinner. The beauty of this one is that it’s ready to eat right away and doesn’t need to sit.

If you’re wondering where that glorious looking bread came from, we’d taken the kids to check out a Pokestop at a local bakery here in Winnipeg called La Belle Baguette so we had some of their French bread with grassfed Kerrygold butter. Sooooo good!!!!

Barbecued corn and black bean salad
Dressing:
1/4 C extra virgin olive oil
juice of a freshly squeezed lime
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 clove of garlic, grated

Salad:
2 cold, barbecued corn cobs, corn sliced off
2 green onions, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 can Eden black beans, rinsed

Method:
In a small glass jar, combine dressing ingredients. Shake and set aside.
Combine salad ingredients in a large bowl and mix. Pour dressing over top and mix well. Serve.

10-minute hot and sour soup

soup, recipe, healthy, vegetarian

Despite the lovely hot temperatures, I’ve been eating hot and sour soup for lunch this week. It’s a great dish to whip up if you’re fighting a cold or are craving something really delicious, but not too heavy.

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10 Minute Hot and Sour Soup
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 shallot, chopped (or small white onion)
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
1 tsp chili paste
salt and pepper
4 Tbsp coconut seasoning sauce (or use soy sauce)
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp raw honey (use coconut sugar to veganize)
2 L organic vegetable or chicken stock
2 green onions, diced
2 orange bell peppers, diced
5 white or cremini mushrooms, chopped
5 large handfuls of cleaned baby bok choy leaves (or other greens)
2 blocks Lotus Foods rice ramen noodles
juice of a freshly squeezed lime

Method: 

In a small bowl, combine coconut seasoning sauce, rice wine vinegar and raw honey. Set aside. (Though if you just hurl all these in the pot later and separately, it will still work out just fine).

Heat oil in stock pot over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook for one minute. Add salt, pepper and ginger and stir to heat through. Add chili paste and heat. Add assembled sauce and stir to combine. Heat briefly.

Add stock, mushrooms, peppers and noodles, briefly bring to a boil, return to simmer till noodles are cooked. Throw in bok choy and green onions, heat till greens are wilted. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice Serve.

Feel free to add leftover cooked chicken or a few tablespoons of hemp seeds to boost your protein content.

Pro tip: The cheapest place I’ve found to get these ramen noodles is at Costco.

5 tips to stop digestive discomfort

tummy troubles, digestive, problems, ibs, gas, pain after eating, tips, strategies

It’s something a lot of people are embarrassed to talk about.

Gas pain, burping after meals, bloating and cramping. Digestive discomfort is a common complaint for many of my clients, so I’ve put together five things you can try now to alleviate those uncomfortable symptoms.

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lemon water, daily, digestion

Lemon can do wonders for digestion.

1. Start your day with freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Before you drink coffee or even brush your teeth, drink a glass of filtered, room temperature water with half a freshly squeezed lemon. This will stimulate your digestive juices, provide your immune system with a boost of vitamin C, act as a gentle cleanser and detoxifier. And although lemon is acidic, it acts as an alkalizer in your body, helping to calm inflammation. To minimize any acidic damage to your teeth, drink with a reusable straw and brush your teeth afterwards.

 

antibiotic, probiotic, genestra, seroyal

A probiotic designed for use after antibiotic treatment.

2. Take a good quality probiotic
You’ve probably heard a lot about probiotic supplements and foods. But not all of them are created equally. You can get beneficial bacteria from fermented food sources like kefir, miso, tempeh, kombucha and kefir water or properly prepared pickles and sauerkraut. Good bacteria is essential to a healthy, functioning digestive system.

If you’re not eating enough probiotic foods or have taken prescription medication that destroys healthy gut bacteria (like antibiotics, acid blockers, birth control) you should be supplementing with a high quality probiotic. I recommend Metagenics and Genestra brands to get more health-promoting bacteria into your system.

3. Chew your food
I realize this sounds obvious, but if you’re eating at your desk while working, in your car driving to work or standing up in your kitchen, you’re not slowing down enough to properly chew (or even taste!) your food. Digestion begins in your mouth, as your saliva starts to break down what you’re chewing. If you typically chew once or twice and gulp things down mostly whole, you’re making a lot more work for your body to break that food down enough to process.

And here’s a pro tip: If you’e seeing undigested food in your stool that’s not designed to pass through your system whole (like corn) you aren’t properly digesting your meals. And if you’re not digesting things properly, you’re also not absorbing the nutrients in the food you are eating.

watermelon, transit time, gut health, fibre

Watermelon is high in water and fibre.

4. Check your transit time
This is always a fun game. Eat some roasted beets or grate half a raw one into a salad… then wait. Food you eat should move through your system in 12-24 hours. When you see stool with a red or pinkish hue, count back on the clock to see how quickly things are moving through your system. If it’s too fast you’re not absorbing nutrients well and if it’s too slow you’re constipated and need to boost your intake of water and fibre-rich foods like chia seeds, pears, avocado and watermelon.

digestion, bitters

Digestive bitters stimulate your system.

5. Add digestive bitters
There are a lot of supplements you can take to aid digestion and tests you can do at home to determine if you have low stomach acid. But if you want to try something right away, I always start by adding digestive bitters.

Simply add 1 mL to some water and drink it about 10 minutes before every meal. Designed to relieve digestive upset and stimulate digestion, a little shot of bitters can help you break down your food while relieving discomfort from gas, bloating and burping. You can buy my preferred brand with a 10% discount in my virtual dispensary. 

 

This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read online.  Photo licence

5 ingredient Caesar salad dressing

caesar 680

Everyone in my family loves garlic and lemon. Which is lucky, because you don’t want there to be one person who doesn’t love garlic…

As you can imagine, Caesar salads are really popular at my house at dinnertime, either served on the side or topped with protein as the main dish.

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But have you ever looked at what’s in a bottle of commercially prepared Caesar salad dressing? One of the biggest producers has nearly 40 ingredients in theirs, including delicious little morsels like hydrolyzed soy protein, dried corn syrup, soy oil, yellow #5 and more.

But what if I told you that in only 5 minutes – and with 5 ingredients – you could have a fresh Caesar dressing full of things you probably have in your kitchen right now?

My mayo-free recipe keeps things simple, combining healthy oil and a dash or protein with fresh raw garlic to help keep your immune system ready for battle and lots and lots of lemon!

I happen to have a Frescolio right around the corner from my house and have used several of their oils to make this dressing. At the moment, I’m using their Picual extra virgin olive oil which has a hint of grassiness that I really like.

5 ingredient Caesar salad dressing

1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt (at least 2%)
2 minced or grated garlic cloves
5 dashes Worcestershire (or gluten-free/vegan alternative)
Zest and juice from one lemon
Add a shake of sea salt and some freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a glass storage container and store in the fridge. Try to make it ahead of time so the dressing can sit for a few hours, allowing the flavours to set.

Toss with washed organic romaine lettuce and garnish with sourdough or gluten-free croutons. As a main meal, top with cooked chicken, nitrate-free bacon or tempeh strips.

Granola that’s better than a cinnamon bun

granola unbaked 680

We go through a lot of granola, and even if you buy a good quality one, it’s an expensive habit that will add a lot of sugar and vegetable oil to your breakfast routine.

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This vegan, gluten and refined sugar free granola will be the best smelling thing you’ve ever made in your house. It’s that good. You can also use this recipe as a jumping off point and vary the nuts, add dried fruit, chia seeds or whatever else you happen to have in your cupboards.

You can use gluten-free oats, I like to use local oats from Adagio Acres.

And it’s easy too.

Prepped dry ingredients

Prepped dry ingredients

Dry ingredients
4 cups oats
1 cup buckwheat groats
1 cup chopped raw almonds
1 cup unsulphured shredded coconut
4 Tbsp organic cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Wet ingredients
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup pitted dates
5 Tbsp melted coconut oil
4 Tbsp water
4 tsp vanilla extract

Note: Organic cinnamon (available at Vita Health) is essential for this recipe. Conventional cinnamon will make your granola a very dusty, dark brown and it won’t have the gorgeous aroma or great flavour.

Combine all your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Then put all your wet ingredients in a blender and blend into a sauce. Pour the sauce over the dry ingredients and mix to combine.

Spread a thin layer on a baking sheet and pop into a 300 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes. Mix every 10 minutes.

Allow to cool then store in an airtight container or in your fridge.

Tomato-free pasta sauce that’s fresh and delicious

no tomato sauce, cauliflower, pasta, primavera, noodles

On my way back from meeting a client today, my back tire spun on a small ice patch at a stop sign.

Sigh.

With cooler temperatures come cravings for soup, stew and quite often, a big bowl of pasta.

But whether you’re avoiding nightshades like tomatoes, or are tired of the same old spaghetti marinara, I’ve got a recipe that emphasizes veggies -without sacrificing flavour.

I came up with this dish during a three month period when my husband was off acidic food. Even though we don’t have any issues with tomato sauces now, this is still a happy addition to our repertoire.

And if you’re a fan of lemon, garlic and dill, you’ll probably like it too.

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This recipe takes time off from tomatoes by combining lemon, garlic and dill and is a great way to boost your daily vegetable intake.

Ingredients
1 Tbsp avocado oil
dill1 onion, chopped
2 (at least) garlic cloves, minced or finely grated
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 C dry white wine
1 1/2 C vegetable or chicken broth
1 lemon (juice and zest)
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped (or two teaspoons dried)
sea salt
cracked black pepper

Note: If you’re looking to eliminate all nightshade vegetables, swap thinly sliced carrots for the red pepper.

pasta, no tomato, sauce, lemon, garlic, cauliflowerHeat oil over medium heat in large soup or stock pot. Add onion, garlic and celery and cook, stirring frequently for about five minutes.

Add wine and cook till it reduces.

Add all remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and immediately reduce to low, cover and simmer till cauliflower is tender (about 7-10 minutes).

Serve over spaghetti, spaghetti squash or chicken breast. Garnish with parmesan (if desired) and freshly ground black pepper.

Peanut lime stir fry packed with veggies

recipe, holistic, nutrition, anna lazowski, stir fry, peanut, lime, vegan

Every week in sessions with clients, the question about how to eat more vegetables comes up. And let’s face it, most of us make the same few meals over and over again. And buy the same fruits and veggies week in and week out.

That’s why I came up with this recipe, it gets a whole pile of different coloured veggies on your plate at once and it is absolutely delicious. I tend to make a giant mountain of it, freeze some and take it for lunches a few times during the week.

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When I make this recipe, all the veggies but the onion and broccoli are organic. For a list of what you should choose from the organics section and what you can buy conventionally, check this helpful list. Now for the good stuff:

Peanut lime veggie stir fry
Ingredients

1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 onion, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 orange pepper, diced
2 C broccoli florets
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
2 C fresh spinach or mixed greens (chard/kale/spinach)
1 package tempeh, cubed (can replace with chicken)
sesame seeds (for garnish)
Homemade peanut sauce (see below, use full recipe)
Rice, udon, buckwheat noodles or whatever you’d like to serve it on

Method:
Heat oil in wok or very large pan. Cook onion and celery till onion begins to brown slightly. Add broccoli, cover and cook on low-medium heat for about five minutes, tossing occasionally. Add peppers, peanut sauce and tempeh. Cover and simmer for five more minutes, stirring occasionally.

If you’re using udon or buckwheat noodles (already cooked) add them next and stir to combine. If using cooked rice, you can top it with stir fry when serving.

Next add your shredded cabbage, mix and cover. Cook for several more minutes, stirring to make sure nothing is sticking. Once the cabbage begins to soften, stir in your spinach or mixed greens, cover and cook three more minutes. Turn off heat and leave covered until plating.

Garnish with sesame seeds.

Whatever you do, do not use bottled peanut sauce, the magic in this recipe is in the sauce. The kind I make is modified from one of my favourite cookbooks. If you like the sauce, get the cookbook!

Rebar peanut sauce (made soy free)
Ingredients

1/2 C organic, unsalted peanut butter
4 minced garlic cloves
2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
4 Tbsp honey (or brown sugar for vegans)
1/4 C fresh cilantro (optional)
2 limes, juiced
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp sambal oelek (cut by half to reduce the heat from the chiles)
1/2 C coconut marinade or seasoning (originally soy sauce)
4 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

Method:
Combine all ingredients in a large glass jar and mix with immersion blender or stir well with a spoon. Make a few hours before use so the flavours can mingle.

Is it s a fair amount of chopping and prep? Yes! But it will make a pile of stir fry and clean out most of the veggies from your fridge.