• Why Cruciferous Veggies Are Healthy & 2 Recipes to Help You Get More In!

    Cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and cabbage are an especially beneficial group of veggies to add to your daily diet. We're talking:

    • preventing DNA damage and metastatic cancer spread
    • activating defenses against pathogens and pollutants
    • helping to boost liver detox enzymes

    and so much more too!

    In Episode 35 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen we talk about why they're so helpful, as well as:

    🥦 cooking methods and food synergy tips that you can use to maximize their nutritional benefits
    🥦 preparation tips for avoiding the excess gas and bloating that some people get from these foods (and why they get them)
    🥦 we make 2 easy side dishes illustrating the points above
    🥦 AND I talk about a special serving trick that can help optimize the nutritional benefit you are getting from your cruciferous veggies

    LOTS of nutrition tips and healthy eating inspo in this one!
    Click here to watch now.

    Ready to get cooking? Check out the recipe ideas below.

    In Episode 35 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen I made 2 recipes. The first (pictured above) was a Simple Steamed Broccoli dish. To make it:

    1. Cut  a head of broccoli (or the amount you want for your meal) into florets. Once cut let them sit for 45 minutes to allow the sulforaphane to develop (see video if you don't know what this means).

    2. Bring a pot of water with a steamer to a boil and place the broccoli florets into the steamer. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, or until fork tender and bright green.

    3. Remove from the pot immediately and place in your serving vessel. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds (or other seeds), dulse flakes (optional but lovely) and a squeeze of lemon/lime.

    4. Serve immediately

    This side dish is lovely with pasta, casseroles, tofu scrambles, wraps, or just about anything. Delicious and simple!

    The second dish we made was Almond Roasted Cauliflower (pictured above), which as mentioned in the video is a Dreena Burton original, to which I have added a few tweaks and twists of my own.

    Here is Dreena's original recipe:
    https://dreenaburton.com/almond-roasted-cauliflower-and-evolving-taste-buds/

    My tweaks include (as described in the video):
    - I usually use equal parts almond flour and nutritional yeast
    - I love to top the dish with fresh herbs (this time I did a mix of parsley and oregano) for a nutritional boost, and some raw red cabbage, shredded, to provide the enzyme so that sulforaphane can develop (again, if you're not sure what I'm talking about be sure to watch this week's video!)

    I love serving this as a side dish to curries, tofu scrambles, I put them in wraps, top salads with them, or just eat them straight up! Yum!!

    AND FINALLY I promised to share one more cruciferous recipe with you:

    Purple Secret Smoothie

    • 1 cup non-dairy milk
    • 1 ripe banana
    • 1 large leaf of purple cabbage
    • ½ –¾ cup fresh or frozen blueberries
    • 2 dates, pitted
    • ¼ tsp amla berry powder (optional)
    • 2 tbsp white beans or chickpeas (optional)

    Blend and enjoy immediately.

    Are you adding more cruciferous to your daily diet? How? Have you tried these recipes? I'd love to hear your thoughts...


  • Squash Season (2 Kabocha Recipes For You!)

    I LOVE fall and all the delicious, comforting local produce it brings, so I am quite happy that the weather is cooling down a bit - we even saw a bit of rain this week in my next of the woods - and I was even happier to find the first squash of the season at my local farmgate! Woo hoo! Squash season is here!

    So it only made sense to do this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen on squash! In it I walk you through the process of cooking a WHOLE squash in the instant pot (goodbye awkward cutting), and demo my Kabocha Hummus with Sundried Tomatoes and Lime. It's my favourite way to cook squash these days, (and you can do it with any kind of squash). Note that the heavier the squash the more time you need to give it in the ipot -- I talk about how to figure out the time in the video.

    This recipe shouts fall to me - it's packed with flavour and healthy goodness too (antioxidants and fibre and minerals, oh my!)

    Check it out below:

    Kabocha Hummus with Sundried Tomatoes & Lime

    Ingredients:

    • 1 large clove garlic
    • 1 ½ cups chickpeas (1 can)
    • 1 tbsp tahini
    • ½ cup kabocha squash, roasted
    • 1/3 cup water
    • Juice of ½ a lime (about 1 tbsp)
    • 1-2 tsp thai chili sauce or hot sauce, to taste
    • Salt or salt alternative to taste
    • ¼ cup rehydrated sundried tomatoes

    Directions:

    1. Place garlic clove in food processor and mince.
    2. Place the rest of the ingredients except chili sauce, salt and sundried tomatoes in the food processor and process until everything is smooth and creamy (add more water if necessary to get the consistency you like).
    3. Add chili sauce and salt to taste. Adjust for lime juice at this point too.
    4. Add sundried tomatoes and pulse until tomatoes are broken but still a bit chunky
    5. Garnish with red chili flakes and lime wedges if desired.
    6. Serve with cut vegetables and/or a whole grain baguette. Or use in wraps, on toast or any other way you love hummus!

    And what about the soup?

    But that's not all! I promised to share a second recipe using Kabocha Squash so you can use the rest of that baby up! This is also an absolutely scrumptious recipe, full of smoky goodness.

    Smoky Kabocha Curry Soup

    5-6 servings 10-12 servings – can easily be doubled

    Ingredients:

    • 1 medium-large onion, diced
    • 3-4 bulbs garlic, minced
    • ½ medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
    • 1 tsp smoked paprika
    • 2 tsp mild curry powder
    • ½ medium-large kabocha squash, peeled and diced (approximately 4 cups)*
    • ½ cup red lentils, rinsed
    • 5 cups of vegetable stock
    • Salt and ground pepper to taste
    • Suggested garnishes: cashew cream and balsamic reduction

    Directions:

    1. Heat a soup pot over medium heat and when it’s hot add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cauliflower and mix well. Cook for a few minutes until the cauliflower starts to soften, adding a little water if the garlic starts to brown.
    2. Add the squash and the spices, mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
    3. Add lentils and vegetable stock and bring everything to a boil.
    4. Lower heat and cook for 20-25 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are cooked and falling apart. Now blend the whole thing up until smooth, either in your blender, or with a hand blender.
    5. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and drizzle with cashew cream and balsamic reduction to serve.

    *Another winter squash variety, such as acorn or butternut, could also be used in this recipe.

    NOTES:

    • If you have pre-cooked squash (e.g. if you have already cooked it whole in the ipot add it at the same time as your lentils and stock).
    • To cook this soup in the instant pot simply saute the onion and garlic until they are translucent, then add everything else to the pot and bring to pressure. Cook for 15 minutes, then allow the pressure to come down naturally. Blend and serve.

    To make the cashew cream:

    Ingredients:

    • ½ cup (heaping) cashews, soaked
    • ¼ cup water (+1-2 tbsp if needed)
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1-2 tsp lemon juice

    Directions: Place all the ingredients in a blender, starting with just ¼ cup water and 1 tsp lemon juice. Blend until smooth, adding more water and/or lemon juice and a second pinch of salt, to achieve the taste and consistency you like.


  • Let's Make N'Ice Cream (and talk sugar)

    It's HOT and the perfect week to make N'ICE Cream! Want a delicious, cool treat that you can also count as a healthy snack? Then you won't want to miss Episode 4 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen.



    This week I'm answering a question that came in from a viewer -- sugar and sugar-free dessert ideas. We cover:

    • some good-to-know facts about sugar and health

    • where sugar can be hiding in our modern diets, and why that's a concern

    • sugar and fruit/whole foods -- what's the difference?

    • tips for enjoying a naturally sweetened diet (be sure to check out the show notes for links to further resources and recipes)

    And I do a demo and provide some practical tips for making Blackberry Lime N'Ice Cream -- Here's the recipe (it's SO easy):

    Blackberry Lime N’Ice Cream

    (pictured above)

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup chopped frozen bananas

    • 1 ½ cup frozen blackberries, and fresh for serving (optional)

    • Zest of 1 lime

    • 1 tsp lime juice (or more to taste/as necessary)

    In a food processor blend bananas and blackberries until everything starts to come together. Add zest and lime juice and pulse just until everything is incorporated and smooth, being careful not to overprocess. Top with fresh berries if desired.

    Serve immediately!

    MIX IT UP -- some more recipe ideas for you!

    Another really nice version of the blackberry recipe above swaps the blackberries for strawberries and the lime for balsamic vinegar, omitting the lime zest. Delicious!

    One of the things I love about N'Ice Cream is how EASY it is to get creative and make different kinds. A basic template to start with looks like this:

    • 1 cup chopped frozen bananas (this is pretty standard since it makes the n'ice cream CREAMY - but don't worry, you won't taste the banana since frozen banana has a very mild taste)

    • 1 ½ cup frozen berries/cherries/other fruit

    • (optional) 1-2 tbsp special additions, like nuts/seeds (or nut butters), chocolate chips or cacao, dried fruit, coconut, fresh herbs such as mint, etc (get creative)

    • (optional) 1 tsp

    In a food processor blend bananas and other fruit until everything starts to come together, pushing down as necessary. Once creamy add additional ingredients and pulse just until everything is incorporated and smooth, being careful not to overprocess/overheat. Top with garnishes for an extra special touch.

    Here are a couple more recipe ideas to get you started:

    Mint Honeydew Sherbet with Lime

    • 1 cup sliced, frozen bananas
    • 2 cups chopped, frozen honeydew melon
    • 1-2 tbsp mint leaves
    • juice of 1 lime (or more, to taste)
    • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup, to taste (optional)
    Option:
    • add a few drops of peppermint essential oil (food grade only) for an extra minty flavour

    Mango Orange Sherbet

    • 1 cup sliced, frozen banana
    • 1 ½ cup frozen mango
    • 1 ½ cup frozen orange
    • 1-2 tbsp agave syrup (optional)
    Option:
    • add a few drops of food grade orange essential oil
    • pulse in some shredded coconut at the end
    What combinations are YOUR favourite? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Power Packed Smoothies

    In this week's episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen we're talking about smoothies!

    I talk about reasons to include them, tips for making them nutritious AND delicious, including suggestions for easy power-packed additions and more. AND I share the GO-TO Smoothie Recipe I use very often, based on Dr. Brooke Goldner's  green smoothie formula.

    Find the formula, more recipe ideas and some smoothie tips below:

    GO-TO Smoothie Formula:

    Fill your blender with

    • 75% leafy greens (power greens mix/kale/beet greens/spinach, etc) -- I used a mixture of beet greens, mint and a power green mix

    • fill to the top of greens with water (or you can use a chilled tea - I used green tea)

    • 1-2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (or you can use chia)

    • 25% frozen fruit (I used bananas and an orange)

    • my addition: 1 tsp of a power boost ingredient (I used shatavari powder)

    Blend it up well and sip throughout the day!

    Other smoothie ideas to get you started:

    Green Ginger Pear Joy (serves 2)

    2 cups water/coconut water/cooled green tea
    1 tbsp ginger, chopped fine
    2 oranges
    2 pitted dates
    2 cups frozen pear slices (or fresh with 2 ice cubes)
    4 cups spinach

    Green Morning Monster (serves 1)

    1 orange, peeled
    1 cup pure orange juice or water (oj makes it a little sweeter)
    1 stalk celery
    1 lime, peeled (but you can include a bit of the zest if you like)
    large handful spinach/kale (spinach is milder – so use it if you are not used to green yet)
    handful of fresh mint (optional)
    ¼ tsp turmeric
    3-4 ice cubes

    Pineapple Cucumber Mint Refresher (serves 2)

    2 cups coconut water
    1 cup pineapple
    1 cup mint leaves
    2 frozen bananas
    ½ cup frozen cucumber

    Simple Berry Smoothie (serves 2)

    2 cups almond milk
    a couple of leaves of purple cabbage OR a handful of spinach/other leafy greens
    1 frozen banana
    1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries/blackberries/mixed berries
    1 tbsp chia seeds
    1 tsp maca powder (optional)

    Breakfast Oatmeal Smoothie (serves 1-2)

    1 cup almond milk
    1-2 tbsp rolled oats
    ½ -1 frozen banana
    ¼ tsp cinnamon
    2 ice cubes
    1-2 dates
    1 tbsp hemp seeds
    1 tbsp almond butter
    1 tbsp molasses

    Melon Madness (serves 2)

    1 cup coconut water
    ½ small melon, skinned and cubed
    ½ cucumber
    1 handful spinach/kale
    4 ice cubes
    1 handful mint

    Skip the Flu Season Smoothie (serves 2)

    2 cups chilled green tea (de-caf if you like)/water/coconut water
    2 large handfuls chopped kale
    2 frozen bananas
    2 tbsp chia seeds OR 2 tbsp white beans
    2 cups blackberries

    GREAT SMOOTHIE ADDITIONS

    TO MAKE THEM MORE FILLING DO ONE OF THESE THINGS:

    • Add 1-2 tbsp nut/seed butter or raw, unsalted nuts/seeds – like peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter etc

    • Add 1 tbsp superfood seeds, such as ground flax, chia, hemp hearts

    • Add 1-2 tbsp uncooked oats

    • Add ¼ cup white beans or chickpeas

    NOTE: you may have to add more liquid if you do one of these things, so the smoothie is not too thick

    TO BOOST THE ANTIOXIDANT POWER ADD ONE OF THESE SUPERFOODS:

    • Add a tbsp of goji berries or a tsp of goji berry powder

    • Add 1 tsp amla powder

    • Add 1 tsp matcha powder

     


  • Whole Grain Tabouleh

    I've been making variations of this tabouleh recipe since I became vegan more than 20 years ago, and I never get tired of it. I particularly love grain salads in the summer because they are cool, light meals that you can make a big batch of and eat with a side of greens and other veggies, in a pita with hummus, or on rice crackers for a snack!'

    It is featured in this week's Episode of In My Plant-Based Kitchen - Citrus!

    Whole Grain Tabouleh

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup bulgur wheat OR quinoa*

    • 2 cups water*

    • 3-4 green onions, cut into small rounds

    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced (or less if you’re not a huge garlic fan)

    • 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)

    • 1 can black beans (rinsed and drained)

    • ½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped

    • 1-2 large, ripe roma tomato(s), diced

    Dressing:

    • 1 tbsp olive oil (or use aquafaba from the chickpeas to make it oil-free)

    • 1 ¼ tbsp vinegar

    • ¼ cup lemon juice

    • pinch of unrefined sugar or a splash of maple syrup (optional)

    • ½ tsp sea salt or salt alternative

    • ¼ tsp ground pepper

    Directions:

    1. Place bulgur in bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover with a clean tea towel and let stand for 15 minutes until all liquid has been absorbed.

    2. Prepare vegetables and dressing.

    3. Combine vegetables, bulgur and dressing in a large bowl, mixing well. Let stand about 1 hour before serving (or serve right away if you can’t wait). Taste and season with more dressing/lemon juice and/or salt and pepper if desired.

    4. Serve in a pita with lettuce/spinach and a few olives for a lovely lunch, or with some whole grain crackers as a delicious snack.

    Notes

    *Quinoa can be used in place of bulghur for a GF version. Use 1 cup of quinoa: 1 3/4 cups water (bring to a boil, and cook on low for about 15 minutes until all water has been absorbed; cool slightly before adding to the rest of the ingredients).

    REFRESHING THE DRESSING: After the first day you'll notice that the dressing is much more subtle as the grain and beans absorb the flavours - you can refresh the salad by simply adding a bit more dressing, or some additional lemon juice and/or salt and pepper.

    Enjoy!



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