Heart Shaped Tomato

tomato

I just had to share this pretty pic that I snapped while assembling a Quesadilla I made this weekend.  I’ve never seen a lovelier tomato.  Wouldn’t you agree?

Irregular shaped tomatoes are common with garden grown or heirloom tomatoes.  This time of year I don’t eat a lot of tomatoes because they are not in season but when I find a nice looking heirloom tomato at the grocery store, I can’t pass it up.

I have to admit…I was smitten with this one.  xo

 

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Avocado Tomato Sandwich

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Version 1 with Mashed Avocado … Yum!

 

I’m on a roll with my sandwich posts! 😉

This is one of my absolute favourite sandwiches!  There’s something about this sandwich that reminds me of summer.  It must be it’s cool, easy nature and delightful flavours.

This vegan sandwich is packed with nutrition and sure to hit the spot.

Here it is…

AVOCADO TOMATO SANDWICH

2 pieces of toasted Spouted Grain Bread (I used Sprouted Grain English Muffins for the pictures)

1 slice of heirloom tomato

a few slices of avocado

hummus

salt + pepper

Assembly: Coat insides of toast with hummus. Layer tomato slice and avocado slices…or alternatively…mash up avocado and add a dollop on top.  Season with salt and pepper.  Leave open faced, or put top toast on, and enjoy!

Taco Salad 2.0 ;)

 

salad tossed

Hi Everyone!  This recipe snuck out last week!!!

For those seeing it for the second time… I present the 2.0 version of this post… updated with…GRAPHICS!!!  Your excitement is palpable.  lol.  (The Backstory: this lush photo of the finished recipe wasn’t in last week’s post that went out early.)

…But I digress… For those of you who didn’t try it yet, I highly recommend!

Taco salad usually involves greens, ground meat, shredded cheese and a tummy ache.  😉  But the classic recipe can be used as inspiration to make it fresh, wholesome, tasty and satisfying.  With my version you won’t even miss the meat or the cheese.

There is something really balanced about all the elements in this recipe.  This recipe combines greens, fiber, protein, carbohydrates and good fats.  It’s also super tasty.

Here’s how you can easily throw this salad together…

salad raw

Mix a combination of these ingredients:

– Lettuce of your choice (e.g. romaine, spinach, kale, red or green leaf… I snagged this shredded greens mix at Costco that had kale, cabbage, shredded Brussel sprouts (!!!), swiss chard and other greens… pure awesomeness.)

– Avocado slices or cubes

– Cooked corn (non-GMO)

– Chopped tomato

– Black Olives

– Black Beans, or beans of choice (e.g. Chick peas, Kidney beans)

– Sliced Red Onion

– Chopped Bell Pepper

– Chopped raw broccoli (*optional)

Top with slices of toasted strips of Ezekiel tortilla.  These turn out crunchy like corn chips, and a baked sprouted grain tortilla is healthier for you than chips.

Add a dollop of Salsa.

Dress with a Lime Vinaigrette.

– 1 part lime juice, 2 parts olive oil, a little sea salt and pepper to taste

And… you’re done!

Enjoy this flavourful, nutrient dense salad as a meal or a side dish!  🙂

Balsamic Glazed Mushrooms

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Here’s a quick little recipe that I tested this weekend.  I was thinking that it had been a while since I made a mushroom side dish.  I took to Pinterest to find this dandy little recipe: Paleo Sauteed Mushrooms.

I thought this was a quick and easy recipe that seemed flavourful… what’s not to love about balsamic vinegar?  However, I had a chuckle when I saw it called for bacon fat.  I know, I know… everything is better with bacon.  But this is a health blog, for goodness sake!  lol.  And truly… and there is an easy and healthy substitution for bacon fat for this particular recipe: vegetable or chicken stock.  Stock offers tons of flavour while helping the cooking process.

Here’s my version:

– 3 packs of sliced cremini mushrooms (or about 3 cups of chopped whole mushrooms of your choice)

– 1/2 cup Veggie Stock

– 1 tbsp olive oil

– 1 onion, chopped

– 1 garlic clove, minced (or more if you love garlic)

– Sprinkle of sea salt

– 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

 

I started out by sautéing the onions and garlic in the olive oil and a little veggie stock.  Once the onions and garlic are nice a brown I added the mushrooms and a little more veggie stock to prevent everything from sticking to the pan.  As the stock reduced I kept adding a little bit until the mushrooms were cooked down and tender.  At the end I added the balsamic vinegar and stirred it all together to combine it well.  Then I tasted it and added a little sea salt to taste.

This recipe took me less than 10 minutes to make!  So fast and so tasty!  We really enjoyed this recipe and I felt it was a definite keeper.

Roasted Veggies and Chickpeas

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I love this simple and easy recipe posted by Herbivore Meets Omnivore.  It makes a hearty side dish that is perfect for this time of year.

I have often roasted vegetables and I have often roasted chickpeas, but I have never thought of roasting them together!  I think adding chickpeas to a medley of roasted veggies is great because it adds more nutrient density to this side dish to make it a whole lot more satisfying.  And besides… how can you go wrong by adding chickpeas?

Check out Herbivore Meets Omnivore’s great recipe here: Rosemary Roasted Winter Vegetables + Chickpeas.

 

 

 

Special Mushrooms!

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The summer season isn’t only great for the fruit I keep posting about… but there is also a great selection of vegetables, too!  I came across some really healthy looking shitake mushrooms and enoki mushrooms.  These just looked exceptionally good… and I had to pick some up to add to our dinner-time stir-fry.

I love shitake mushrooms because they are very meaty and give great substance to a stir-fry.  Shitake mushrooms also have a long historical use in Traditional Chinese Medicine for immune support.  The enoki mushrooms are more on the delicate side and although they don’t have any major health properties, they are  just really pretty to add. 🙂

The produce quality is so much better this time of year.  It’s such a treat to enjoy so much variety!  Let’s make the most of it while we can!

Dal Makhani

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This is the pic from the recipe that inspired me from An Edible Mosaic. The Guru’s Dal Makhani looks just like this. Mine did, too, when it was done, but my picture quality wasn’t the greatest!

Just like with my Mexican food posts, I have just one more Indian food dish that I want to share with you…for now.  🙂  I love these types of dishes during the colder months because they are comforting, hearty and warming.  It’s a bonus that this is a one pot meal that everyone will enjoy! (We’ll be moving on to more spring-tastic recipes next week…yay!)

I think my most favourite Indian food dish is Dal Makhani.  My most favourite Indian restaurant in the city is The Guru.  They make the best Dal Makhani.  I’ve been searching a long time for a great recipe for this dish.  Like always, I was looking for one that was practical by way of the ingredients used.

I finally found a great recipe online from An Edible Mosaic.  Check it out here: Dal Mkahani (Indian Butter Lentils).  I used this as something to go on.  As always, I tweaked it.  I used dried lentils but forgot to soak them!  I didn’t use dried kidney beans. My version is dairy free. And I didn’t have a couple of the spices that were called for in the recipe.  Ok… with that confessional in the clear… mine version turned out really well!!  See recipe below.

This recipe had the flavour and the rich texture as my Guru fav.  And… I was delighted to see the hubby and kiddies gobble it up.  That’s always a good sign! 😉

Dal Makhani

1 cup dried brown lentils

1/2 cup kidney beans from the can, rinsed and drained

8 cups vegetable stock

3 tbsp coconut butter

2 onions, chopped

6 cloves garlic, minced or grated on a microplane

1 inch piece of fresh ginger grated

1 bay leaf

1/2 tsp cinnamon

2 whole cloves

1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional – i left this out of mine knowing I was going to serve it to my kids…but if it was just me, I would have added this)

1.5 tbsp garam masala

3/4 tsp of each: cumin, chilli powder, paprika

1/4 tsp black pepper

1 cup diced tomato, or can use 1 4oz (400mg) can of diced tomato

1 6oz can tomato paste

1 cup coconut milk

Preparation:

Add the dried lentils to a large pot with the vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, cover the pot then turn the heat down. Simmer 1 hour.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and sautee the onions until golden brown.  Then add the garlic and ginger and cook together for about a minute.

Add all the dried spices to the onion and cook over heat for about 30 seconds to release the flavours.

Once the lentils have cooked for about an hour, add the onion mixture, kidney beans, diced tomato and tomato paste.  Stir everything together to ensure well combined.

Simmer gently (without a lid) for about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking/burning on the bottom of the pot.  Add water to mixture if you find it’s thickening.  The mixture should be a little soupy.

Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk.  Stir in well.

Serve over rice, quinoa, millet or with Naan bread.  This dish is even great on its own with out the grains!

dahl

Here’s my pic the day I made it… the picture really doesn’t do it justice. I couldn’t believe how much it resembled the Guru’s Dal. Thanks to An Edible Mosaic for the inspiration!