A Guide to Feeding our Future

Archive for the ‘One-Dish Meals’ Category

“Cheesy” Macaroni and Cauliflower

By: Alison Bigg, Chef – Victoria, BC

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Cheese sauce was the first culinary technique my mother taught me. It was my ‘job’ in the kitchen. It made me feel important and a part of the team. I eventually experimented with it by making it with blue cheese and adding Dijon for spark. This same sauce is also yummy on broccoli and in potato soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 2 TBSP chickpea flour
  • 2 TBSP butter or olive oil
  • 1 TBSP dijon mustard
  • 2 minced cloves garlic
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 cups milk or almond milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese *
  • penne pasta (ancient grains or your favorite gf version)
  • One head cauliflower
  • Salt and pepper

*for a vegan version, sub out the cheese for 2 extra TBSP of nutritional yeast and 2 TBSP of tahini paste.

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Directions:

  1. Get a big pot of salted water boiling.
  2. Heat a deep, wide saucepan to medium high. Heat yeast and flour in dry pan until you can smell it is toasted. Add butter or olive oil, bay leaf, garlic and Dijon. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Add milk slowly, whisking constantly until smooth. Get hot but not boiling, it will thicken by now.
  4. Add the grated cheese. Let your child be creative and add any combination of cheeses they might like. (cheddar, goat cheese, cream cheese, blue cheese, are all good choices)
  5. Meanwhile let your child chop the cauliflower into florettes. Show them first, then let them use a sharp but small knife — trust that they can do it! Blanche the cauliflower in the boiling water for about 5 minutes, don’t overcook. Pull the veg out of the water into a colander and put in the noodles.
  6. Once noodles are cooked, strain and add to sauce along with cauliflower. Let your child season with salt and pepper by tasting it first. Sprinkle with freshly chopped chives. Serve with grated parmesan if desired.

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MAY Feature Food: Stinging Nettle

Spring where I live in Victoria is bountiful! There is so much at our fingertips to forage here in N. America, if we know how. I strongly recommend looking for a foraging workshop in or around your area, if you are at all interested in doing any yourselves. There are plenty of invasive plants or what we call ‘weeds’ and many of us kill these off in our own yards with chemicals. Did you know that so many of those invasive plants are full of powerful nutrients and can be so healing? This month is Nettle. Yep! That pesky stinging nettle… Maybe I chose this one this month because I’m pregnant, and when you’re pregnant in my world you drink plenty of nettle tea for iron. It’s seeped into my blood stream so much so that I feel amazing and just can’t wait to share it’s benefits with all of you.

Stinging nettle is a bother when we’re out in the bush camping or hiking and we accidentally brush up against it. It stings! It burns! It itches! But it’s not dangerous. That’s because it contains formic acid. The formic acid ids a natural protector for the plant in nature, so that it can be left alone! Buuuut what we humans discovered is that if we wear gloves, long sleeved shirts, pants and covered shoes, we can harvest this amazing plant. Once we get it home and boil it for under 5 minutes, the sting is gone and it tastes like any other leafy green…I’d say, closest to a mustard green, which happens to be one of my faves!

boiling nettles
Like any other dark leafy green, nettle is really high in iron, Vitamin K and Vitamin C. If we cook it properly we can absorb these nutrients that help build and repair our blood. Nettle has been proven to be a super hero when it comes to healing any blood disorders, ie: anaemia, ITP, leukemia, Thrombocytopenia, low Vit B 12 or folate. Provides a very healthy amount of all of these nutrients, which all work together to support healthy clean running blood, capillaries and veins, creating vibrancy.

It contains natural anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties. It supports a healthy inflammatory response, which is great for helping us rid ourselves of toxicity. This may seem strange considering the effect it has on our skin when we come in contact. Although, after it’s been dehydrated for tea, made into a tincture or cooked down slightly, it’s properties change. It can be used internally or externally and when taken as a capsule or tea, can be very helpful for combating seasonal allergies. It’s great for supporting the immune system, and safe for anyone with an auto-immune disease. Nettle can also be used topically as an astringent or tea compress for cuts, bruises, strains and inflamed areas.

This great leafy green can also be used for detoxification. It’s a great kidney builder and liver cleanser. A good time to consider using nettle medicinally would be if you’re battling a UTI, or kidney stones, if you’re feeling toxic and are showing signs of needing to detoxify (ie: acne, poor bowel movements, skin conditions…) or if you have a hormonal condition, especially one related to the kidneys, like type 2 diabetes.

Being a whole food as it is, using nettle is a safe way to help heal. It’s safe during pregnancy, and that’s great for me and anyone else planning a babe, building a babe, or breastfeeding a babe. It contains a natural form of Folic acid (folate), which is the most recognized by our bodies therefore easily absorbed into out blood stream and won‘t likely cause constipation, like many of those pesky supplements out there.

I hope you’ll all get curious about Nettle, maybe find some on your next hike and try out a recipe. If you do get stung a helpful and easy way of relieving the pain is using vinegar, baking soda or mud on the affected area, to reduce the symptoms and speed the healing. Whichever you use, make sure you clean the area with good water first. If you use mud, scrub the mud into the area as much as you can handle and then rinse it away. If you use vinegar spray or hold it on the area with a cloth. If you use baking sods, make a paste and rub into the area like the mud, and rinse clean. You can repeat these processes as much as needed. Just make sure to dry it in the open air and not to bandage it up. If you’re in the bush and know what a dock plant is, grab a leaf and hold in over the wound, spore side down. Pure aloe can be applied afterwards to reduce the heat.

Nettle does not HAVE to be foraged by any means, it’s often available at produce markets, local farms and friendly neighbours. It can also be found dried, in the grocery store for the fall and winter months. So, keep your eyes peeled and enjoy this lovely nettle soup recipe:

Nettle Soup:

nettle soup
Ingredients:

1 large onion
1 head of garlic (pre-roasted is best)
2-3 medium sweet potatoes
2 large carrots
1 hot pepper (if desired)
1 bunch of herbs (cilantro, parsley, mint, chives…)
However many nettle leaves you have is just fine. Around the size of a head of lettuce when bunched together is perfect.
2 cups of soup stock
1 tsp salt
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Chop sweet potato, carrot and onion (garlic too, if not pre-roasted). Add to a pan at med temperature with ½ cup of stock. Cook until root veggies are soft enough to poke through with a fork.

Add the rest of the stock to the pan heat for 2 minutes.

Add to blender.

Bring a large pot of water to boil (about 1.5L)

USE GLOVES! Wash and trim your nettle, removing any thick stems and keeping the leaves.

Add nettle and 1 tsp salt to the pot.

Boil for 5 mins, strain and add to blender.
Add salt pepper, herbs and a hot pepper if desired to blender. Blend until a creamy puree.

For a creamier consistency add 1 cup of pre-soaked cashew, sunflower seeds or walnuts.

For a more liquid consistency add more water, coconut milk, hemp milk or stock.

Enjoy!

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN

Super Easy, Allergen-Free and Delicious Easter Dinner!

By: Susan Kingston, RHN – Montreal, QC

If you’re looking for something a little different than ham or turkey this Easter – and something that’s quick and super easy to prepare (not to mention delicious), this recipe is for you!

Roast Duck

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Directions:

  1. Place duck in roasting pan with mini potatoes or sweet potatoes, small whole onions, and sliced carrots.
  2. Sprinkle everything liberally with paprika, lime juice and Himalayan salt.
  3. Roast in oven for 50 minutes at 350F.
  4. After 50 minutes, spread ¼ C butter on duck, and put back in oven for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

JANUARY Feature Food: Millet

By: Suzanne Brett, RHN – Victoria, BC

In the cool month of January, we’re all ready to wind down after the holiday hustle and we’re in need of warming nourishing foods.  It’s that time when we tend to begin thinking about our health and energy levels after all those holiday meals and sweets.   Potatoes and other starchy foods might not be what we’re craving this time of year, but healthy whole grains are a great energy source and are one of those foods that are available to nourish us during the winter months.  So, without further ado, let me introduce millet as a restorative and healthy alternative to many other grains and starchy vegetables.

Millet-rainbow

Millet is usually a small, pale-yellow, ancient grain that looks similar to couscous or corn and is somewhere in between in size.  Although there are other varieties that are less common and are a more reddish-brown or black in colour.  This grain’s origin is primarily Africa where they harvest it, grind it into flour and make that delicious roti flat bread that helps us shovel yummy spicy curries into our mouths.  Mmmmm…

bajra roti

Millet is a great gluten-free alternative, it’s generally not a reactive food as it contains few oxalates and it contains many health promoting properties.  Millet is one of the few grains that is considered alkaline forming, meaning its PH level after digestion has a more alkaline effect on the body than acidic, as opposed to many other grains that show up on the acidic side of the chart.

Like many other grains, Millet is a great source of lignans.  Lignans are also found in berries, nuts, seeds, teas and many whole grains.  Lignans are known to be protective against hormone-related cancers, and heart disease.

This brilliant grain holds a significant amount of Magnesium, which is proven to be quite effective in regulating blood pressure and insulin/glucose levels for those with Type 2 diabetes.  Magnesium is also a co-factor in regulating metabolism and, along with the great amounts of copper in Millet, it helps create healthy cellular function, thus providing us with a lively energy that keeps our fires aflame for 2015!  Copper is also an anti-oxidant which can prove to be most useful this time of year when we need to begin thinking about detoxifying all those harmful holiday chemicals.


How to cook Millet:
millet-measuring cup

Millet is as easy to cook as any other grain.  It needs 2 cups of water to 1 cup of grains, just like rice or quinoa.  If you prefer to use it as a porridge in the morning, you could add 2 cups of fruit juice as well as the 2 cups of water to get a sweeter and more porridge-like consistency.  Millet takes about 20-30 minutes to cook.

millet-cooked

My favorite way of eating millet is to toast it in a dry pan on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until it begins to become golden and THEN transferring it into a pot or grain cooker with 1 cup water and 1 cup bone broth.   This fashion makes the grain taste a bit more nutty and toasty and adds more minerals and restorative nutrients from the broth for that winter comforting feeling.  I usually serve it with fried tempeh and steamed greens, drizzled with a tad of tamari, sesame oil and a few pumpkin seeds.  Very simple, quick and satiating.

I hope you enjoy your new-found love of Millet and kick your New Year off with an excellent start by making great healthy food choices and visiting us at the Educated Eater often for many more health and lifestyle tips.

“Anything Goes” Salad

By: Jennifer Kavander, RHN, ROHP – Vancouver, BC

“This is more of a formula than an actual recipe.  There are endless possibilities for the specific ingredients, allowing you to adapt it based on personal tastes, seasonality, and ingredients on hand.  Just follow the basic measurements for each food group listed below, experimenting with colours, textures, and flavours.  It’s a fantastic way to use up leftovers, and it makes a great lunch that’s easy to pack in a school bag or briefcase!”

Yields: 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • ½ – 1 cup cooked whole grains, legumes, or potatoes
  • 1 – 1½ cup raw or steamed veggies
  • 4 – 6 oz natural or organic protein
  • 1 TBSP chopped nuts, seeds, or olives

Dressing:        

  • 2 tsp healthy cold-pressed oil like flax, hemp, olive, avocado, or walnut
  • 1 TBSP organic mustard
  • ½ lemon or lime, juiced
  • pepper and herbs to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine first four ingredients in a bowl, tossing to combine.
  2. Whish together dressing ingredients, pour over salad, toss and serve.

Seasonal Inspiration: 

In the spring try…

Complex Carbohydrate: new potatoes
Veggies: shredded kale, shredded red cabbage, diced tomatoes, diced peppers, steamed asparagus, and pea shoots
Protein:  Sockeye salmon
Seeds: hemp seeds
Dressing:  Honey mustard with flax oil, lemon juice and minced garlic scapes

In the summer try…

Complex Carbohydrate: Kamut kernels
Veggies: roasted eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, and onion, yellow beans, shredded spinach
Protein: Albacore tuna, or organic tofu for a vegetarian option
Seeds: pumpkin seeds
Dressing: Dijon mustard, with avocado oil, lemon juice and fresh basil

In the fall try…

Complex Carbohydrate: black beans and brown rice
Veggies: broccoli, corn, peas, shredded green cabbage, red onion, roasted beets
Protein: grassfed bison steak
Seeds: chia seeds
Dressing: Grainy mustard, with olive oil, lime juice, and fresh cilantro

In the winter try…

Complex Carbohydrate: red quinoa and navy beans
Veggies: roasted squash, roasted tomatoes, shredded chard, steamed cauliflower
Protein: grilled chicken
Olives: sundried black olives
Dressing: Stone-ground mustard, with hemp oil, lemon juice, and oregano

Three Bean and Lentil Soup (slow cooker)

By: Marcy J. Leblanc, RHN – Moncton, NB

A complete meal that can cook while you work!

Yields: 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp mild curry paste
  • 1 TBSP minced gingerroot
  • 1 can tomatoes (28oz)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup red lentils
  • 1 can (19oz) each: chickpeas , kidney beans, and black beans – drained and rinsed

Garnishings:

  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh coriander or parsley
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Directions:

  1. In 4.5 -6L slow cooker, combine onions, garlic, curry paste, ginger, tomatoes, broth, 2 cups of water and lentils.
  2. Cover and slow cook on low about 8 hours.
  3. Stir in chickpeas and kidney and black beans.
  4. Cover and cook on high until hot, about 30 minutes
  5. Stir in coriander, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Lentil Chili

By: Kyle Jones, RHN – In Fond Rememberance – Moncton, NB

Looking for ways to decrease your meat consumption? Try this vegetarian chili – loaded with fibre and taste, you won’t miss the beef!

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP Olive oil or butter
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 bulb garlic, chopped
  • 1 package (16 oz) of dry lentils
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 quarts (8 cups) of water
  • 2 cups each: sliced carrots, celery, green pepper
  • 2 TBSP chili powder
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 dash paprika; pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil/butter in large pot over low heat.
  2. Stir in onion and garlic, cook until tender.
  3. Mix in lentils and tomato products. Pour in water. Season and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, simmer 30 min, stirring occasionally.
  5. Mix other vegetables into chili. Continue cooking for 20 minutes over low heat.