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Next Level Wonderful Pistachios Crusted Salmon

Elaborate and sophisticated meals is not what I am known for at our house. I leave all the culinary heavy lifting to the Mister. Not quite sure why but the longer the list of ingredients I see in a recipe, the more intimidated I get. Probably because the more ingredients usually means more (preparation) time and more clean up at the end. Neither of which excite me. We made a pack at home to eat dinner together every night and in the kitchen not sitting on the couch in front the TV. I know it sounds a bit corny but I think it’s been integral to the success and strength of our relationship. With our work week hours being later than most, this sometimes becomes a challenge resulting to turning to quick fix dishes that can be on the table in 30 minutes or less.

Salmon is definitely a hit around here because it’s a super easy way to incorporate healthy Omega 3’s into our diets but let’s be real here, when you’re eating fish 1-2 times a week, you need to start getting a bit creative with your recipes. With salmon being so soft and fleshy I thought creating a pistachio crust using Wonderful Pistachios with a touch of honey and mustard would be a perfect juxtaposition of both taste and texture. Occurring to me while woofing down a handful of the brand’s addictive “Sweet & Salty” flavoured nuts. Sure there’s a few other nuts I could have chosen, so why Wonderful Pistachios? Besides tasting amazing, they are a source of vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and fibre, adding extra nutritional value to this ridiculously delicious protein option. Making this is pretty much fool proof for those of you who also get intimidated with Julia Childs-like recipes (trust me!) and literally goes well with almost anything.

PISTACHIO CRUSTED SALMON


Prep Time: 5 minutes     Cook Tim:e 20 minutes     Total Time: 25 minutes     Servings: 2


INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 salmon fillets (approx. 6 oz each, skin on)
  • half cup of crushed unsalted Wonderful Pistachios
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 tbsp course grain mustard (or Dijon)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp Panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp olive or canola oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Rinse salmon and pat dry with a paper towel. Arrange fillets on foil (or parchment paper) lined baking sheet, skin side down. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste
  3. In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, lemon zest, mustard and honey. Spoon mixture and spread evenly over top of each piece of fillet
  4. Coarsely chop pistachios in a food processor, coffee grinner or by hand and combine with Panko bread crumbs and oil. Spread pistachio mixture pressing lightly to adhere
  5. Bake until salmon is cooked through to your liking and nuts are golden for approximately 15-20 minutes. Let salmon rest for 5 minutes outside of the oven before serving. Pair with a side of your choice; salad, quuinoa or grilled veggies and enjoy!

This post is sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios®, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

Quinoa Salad with Pickles and Kale

Hey guys, Kristen Vander Hoeven here from the SoSasha.com team bringing you another quick and easy bowl recipe that you can quickly make at home this week. Quinoa, quinoa, quinoa…everyone’s obsessed with quinoa. It’s basically the perfect blank canvas for an infinity amount of recipes. You can turn it into anything you like and trick your mind and belly into thinking your eating a big delicious bowl of bad carbs. I’ve adjusted this recipe to compliment my salmon but as time passes I will add and modify different recipes on how I prepare this golden grain.

Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pickles

I added dill pickles this time to compliment the fish as well as bring that sour element to cut the flavour of the buttery salmon. I love added fermented food to almost anything I’m eating. It aids in digestion which helps to eliminate bloating. You can try different fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, kombucha, etc.

Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pickles

QUINOA SALAD WITH PICKLES & KALE

PREP: 25 min

COOKING: 30 min

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/2 vegetable bouillon cube (if you have home made stock use that instead)
  • 6-8 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 3 large dill pickle spears diced
  • 1 cup of kale loosely chopped
  • 1 green onion

DRESSING:

  • 6 tablespoons EVOO
  • 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of maple syrup
  • salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Quinoa Salad with Kale and Pickles

Add all of your ingredients and dressing to your quinoa. You can serve warm, cold, whatever you wish. NOTE: For the perfect fluffy quinoa, start by rinsing your quinoa in a mesh strainer. This helps take off a weird coating that the grain has which can lead to it being a bit bitter and unfluffy. Once rinsed, placed quinoa into a sauce pan with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toasting your quinoa before cooking brings out a nutty delicious flavour. After it’s all toasty and fragrant, add your water or cooking stock. Bring to a oil then turn your heat down and simmer with lid on for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat but leave on the lid and let sit for another 10 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork.

Quinoa Salad with Kale and PicklesPhotography by Jilly Botting

For more recipe inspiration and healthy meal ideas, follow me on Instagram using the handle @KristenVanderHoeven, xoxo

Kristen’s Summer Grilled Corn & Strawberry Radish Salad

Hey guys, Kristen Vander Hoeven here…it’s been a while but I am back in the kitchen with Sasha and excited to share some of my favourite summer recipes that you can easily duplicate at home. During a recent afternoon hanging out we both discovered that during the warmer months we prefer “low maintenance meals” – grilled veggies and salads paired with protein or fish. But sometimes we can get into a salad rut, prepping the same version of the classic side, which eventually just gets boring. I’ve created a delicious Grilled Corn & Strawberry Radish Salad that has been a hit with my cottage guests and followers over on my website SpooningNForking.comNot too surprising because who doesn’t love summer corn and fresh strawberries?

Grilled Corn and Strawberry Radish Salad

PREP: 20 MIN
COOKING: 5 MIN

INGREDIENTS DIRECTIONS
3 cobs of corn
1 cup of sliced strawberries
4 radishes sliced (I used a mandolin)
1 handful of basil roughly chopped
2 tbsp of diced chives

DRESSING
3 tbsp of sherry vinegar
6 tbsp of Evoo
1/2 tbsp on maple syrup
1tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of ground pepper


Turn on your grill to medium heat.  Remove your corn from the husk and place on grill rotating every 3-5 min.  You want to char your corn but not kill it!! See note below if you do not have a grill.

  1. While your corn is cooking (and you are keeping and eye on it) slice your strawberries, radish a prepare your herbs.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl combine all of your dressing ingredients.
  3. Once your corn is cooked, let cool slightly until you can handle it comfortably.  Stand your corn on your cutting board, then with a sharp knife, slice down along the cob.  Not going to lie…this is messy AF…but worth it…so don’t use canned corn!!!!!
  4. Combine all your ingredients into your salad bowl, add dressing and toss.
  5. Try not to eat all at once 😉

NOTE: If you do not have a grill of some sort, you can do this in a large skillet on high heat or directly on top of a gas burner.

Grilled Corn & Strawberry Radish Salad

Grilled Corn & Strawberry Radish Salad

Grilled Corn & Strawberry Radish Salad

Quick and Clean Post Workout Fuel

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It’s shocking how many people overlook the importance of nutrition when it comes to overall wellness and weight loss. Truth be told, what we put in our mouths is more crucial than the time we put in the gym. One of the most common questions I get asked is, “what should I eat post workout that won’t cancel out the calories I just burned?”. Actually, this may be the best news you will hear this month but you you can’t cancel out calories you just burned off during a workout. When you work out, your body burns fat to be used as energy. If you eat right after your workout, those calories won’t be used to replace the burned body fat. Truth be told, your body only stores food as body fat when it doesn’t have anything else to do with the extra calories you eat. Post workout, your body needs to start restoring and repairing itself from your training, so in other words, it needs the calories.

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Your body uses the protein you intake to repair and build the muscles that were broken down during your tough workouts. Eating immediately post workout has a few other benefits. The calories you ingest will be used by your body automatically instead of being stored as fat. Eating after a workout can also increase your body’s insulin sensitivity or its ability to use carbohydrates, which is super important for weight loss.

What I eat after I workout depends on how vigorous the exercise was and at what time of the day. Sometimes, if it’s very early in the morning I may not have a huge appetite, where a protein packed shake and a cold pressed juice will do the trick or if it’s later into the day or evening, my body craves something a bit heavier. Here’s some easy options you may want to incorporate into your post workout routine.

The Go-To Salad: Belmonte Raw’s Moroccan Kale Salad

HBNewYouThe above shot at Belmonte Raw for Hudson’s Bay by David A. Pike. Wearing Lole Women

When my time is limited post workout, I have several options close to Equinox located in “The Path” (or what I refer to as Toronto’s underground city). It’s kind of the best. Retail shops, liquor stores, restaurants, everything you could ever need and want without ever having to go outside into the freezing cold. My friends at Belmonte Raw recently opened a location there that services the Financial District and within 5 minutes I can scoop up one of my fave salads to go without skipping a beat. But when I have a little more time, I like to prepare something at home where I can also have the option of adding some sort of protein to the salad; tuna, salmon, chicken or steak; like this colourful Rainbow Chopped Salad (shown here without protein).

Rainbow Chopped Salad

Ingredients: 

1 large head romaine lettuce, cored and chopped

1 head red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 handful of parsley, stemmed and finely chopped

1 apple, chopped into cubes

1 asian pear, chopped into cubes

1/4 cup wakame soaked for 15 minutes, rinsed and drained

1 sheet nori, cut into thin strips

1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets

1 cup of pomegranate seeds

1 avocado, peeled and sliced into cubes

1/2 cup of dried apricots diced finely

1.2 cup of sunflower seeds (optional)

3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper and your choice of protein (fish, chicken or steak) to taste

*Yields 4-6 servings 

Directions: Don’t feel you have to use this exact recipe. Feel free to remove or add ingredients as you see fit. You can think of this as the ultimate bowl of nutrient dense goodness. Add the simple vinaigrette or your choice of dressing, toss everything together and let marinate for at least 15 minutes before eating. SSFitTip: Make before your workout so you can devour right after your sweat sesh.

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I don’t think I’ve met a smoothie I didn’t like. I mean, what’s not to love right? Quick to make, you can pack in tons of nutrients, usually on the sweeter tasting side, making it enjoyable to drink. It’s almost impossible to get the recommended amount of folic acid from greens, so blending and juicing dark leafy green veggies like kale and spinach makes things a bit easier. Even those who don’t like the taste of green based smoothies, will love this Stevia-Sweetened Green Tropical Smoothie.

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Ingredients:

1/2 frozen banana

1 medium tangerine, peeled

1.5-2 cups of coconut water, preferably from young coconuts but bottled is fine

2 cups of kale, chopped

1.2 cup of frozen pineapple

8-10 drops of Sweet Leaf tangerine stevia

*Makes 1-2 large drinks

Directions: Mix all of the ingredients in a high speed blender, like a Vitamix, until smooth.

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If it wasn’t considered to be ridiculous, I could easily eat breakfast food for every single meal. There’s always been a special place in my heart for pancakes, crepes and french toast, but for the most part when you eat them at restaurants they aren’t the healthiest. I have come determined to find or create healthy versions of my favourite meals this year and these Red Quinoa Pancakes are pretty delish.

Ingredients:

2 organic, free ranged eggs

2 cups of coconut or almond milk

1.5 teaspoons of lemon juice

4 tablespoons of coconut oil

1.5 cups of flour (I prefer to use unbleached wheat or spelt flour as a healthier alternative)

1 tablespoon coconut palm sugar

2 teaspoons of baking soda

1 teaspoon of sea salt

2 cups of red quinoa, cooked

*Makes 20-24 pancakes

Directions: Place milk in a small bowl and pour in the lemon juice. Stir once and let sit for 5 minutes. Place flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix together. Place eggs in a mixing bowl and beat with a wire whisk. Add the coconut oil, dry ingredients and milk to the eggs and mix until combined. Add the quinoa to the batter and mix until combined (make sure to not over mix). Head griddle to medium-medium/high and grease with coconut oil. Pour batter onto the hot griddle (roughly 1/4 cup per pancake) and allow to cook for a minute or so, or until the top of the pancake has bubbled and the sides are cooked. Flip pancake over and finish cooking on the other side for another 30 seconds. Add desired fruit or other toppings and your fave syrup.

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When I workout later into the day, specifically in the evening, I finish feeling absolutely famished. If I don’t find something healthy and filling right away, it can lead to danger. I like to eat my dinner early so I need something that’s healthy and that will keep me satisfied until the next morning.Whether your a vegan or not, you must try this Green, Clean Lasagna with Kale Marinara Sauce.

Ingredients: 

olive oil cooking spray (for the baking dish)

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 yellow onion finely chopped

4 cups of sliced cremini mushrooms

2 cups of shredded lacinato kale leaves

2 cups part skim-ricotta cheese

3 cups of homemade kale marinara (recipe below)

6 no boil lasagna sheet noodles

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 ̊F. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with olive oil cooking spray and set aside. In a large sauté pan, warm the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the mushrooms and shredded kale, and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Put the ricotta cheese in a large bowl, and, using a spatula, gently fold in the cooled mushroom-kale mixture until completely incorporated. Assemble the lasagna

Using the prepared baking dish, assemble the lasagna in six layers as follows: 1 cup Homemade Kale Marinara, spread evenly; 3 lasagna noodle sheets (arranged in a single layer); 3⁄4 cup of the kale-mushroom-and ricotta mixture, spread evenly. Repeat the layering a second time, then top with the remaining kale-mushroom-and ricotta mixture, and finish with the grated Pecorino or Romano on top. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven, on the middle rack, for about 25 minutes.

After 20 minutes have passed, remove the foil from the baking dish and move the baking dish to the top rack. To finish, bake, uncovered, for another 5 to 10 minutes, depending on how you love your lasagna finished. Remove the lasagna from the oven and cool for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Ingredients for Kale Marinara Sauce:

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped finely

5 garlic cloves, finely minced

Two 28-ounce cans of unsalted organic crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup of fresh oregano

1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

1 cup of finely julienned lacinato kale

Directions:

In a large stockpot, warm the extra-virgin olive oil over low heat. Add the diced onion and cook for about 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes on low heat. Add the crushed tomatoes and fresh oregano leaves and give the sauce a good stir. Cook on low for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When the sauce has reduced and thickened, finish with the sea salt, balsamic vinegar, and julienned kale. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes and serve or use in recipes as needed.

HBNewYouELXR Juice Photography by Danielle Reynolds

Cold pressed juices post workout can help your training through assisting you to stay hydrated and also offers essential nutrients to support muscle development, strength, and provides nutrients which can help reduce oxidation and inflammation due to strenuous exercise. Juicing is also ideal to alkalize your body after a heavy workout. The most significant thing to remember after a workout is that you have to get the vital nutrients back into your body in the easiest and fastest way possible. Then afterwards, have a meal which has fiber. I always turn to ELXR Juice Lab to nourish me with their cold pressed juices.

Post workout, my go-to’s are usually the Pina Vida). This refreshing blend assists with muscle recovery, it’s also an anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidizing while providing an energy boost. Other faves is the brand’s Second Base; packed with tons of vitamins and minerals, Beta Rush because of it’s energizing properties that give me the extra push to get through the rest of my day and Support Group for it’s ability to stabilize blood sugar levels.

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There’s no better time like now to cleanse and detox. Want to start your new year with a 1, 3, or 5 day juice cleanse? Use my promo code “So Sasha” when you order your cleanse package from ELXRJuiceLab.com to receive 15% off your order.

For more lifestyle tips and style inspiration, make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on Instagram and Twitter or use the hashtag #HBNewYou for more of our wellness collaboration.

American Express Platinum Dining Experience with Nigella Lawson

Amex Platinum Dining Experience

There is a reason why we have a strong connection to food. It is the only thing that engages all five of our senses; sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. A good meal can make you feel as if you’ve been transported to another place in the world. It can evoke emotion and is usually how we celebrate big moments, entertain or even conduct business deals. American Express has developed an expertise in providing its Cardmembers with access to some of the most exclusive fashion, live music, sports and culinary experiences across the globe and its Platinum Dining experiences have quickly become one of my favourite perks.

Amex Platinum Dining Experience

Amex Platinum Dining Experience

With an American Express Platinum Card, the world is your oyster. It gives you first class access to phenomenal dining, travel and entertainment benefits, while allowing you to unlock memorable moments to the most exclusive experiences. Another benefit of the Card is access to the Platinum Concierge. Cardmembers can take advantage of the global network of concierge teams to help with any request, big or small, like dinner reservations or travel suggestions. If you’re a self-proclaimed savvy traveller and enjoy food as much as I do, this service makes owning the Card completely worth it. No matter where you are in the world, the Platinum Concierge can help create an itinerary completely based around your interests, in addition to making dining recommendations and suggestions for planning an unforgettable experience wherever you are in the world.

Amex Platinum Dining Experience

Nigella Lawson - AMEX - Photo Op 61-2

Amex Platinum Dining Experience

Last week, I was lucky enough to partake in an American Express Platinum Dining event at Jump, Oliver & Bonacini’s globally inspired American restaurant, located in Toronto’s financial district. For $155 per person, guests of this dining experience were treated to a customized menu by Chef Ben McNally, wine pairings, and a meet and greet with renowned British Chef, Nigella Lawson. Popular across the pond in the UK for her delectable cookbook recipes and popular cooking shows, the former journalist chatted all things food and entertaining with the privileged diners in attendance. Later that evening, we got to nosh on four delicious courses, all from Lawson’s most recent cookbook, “Simply Nigella”.

Nigella Lawson - AMEX - Event 5

Amex Platinum Dining Experience

Throughout the course of the evening, Nigella shared a bit about what’s happening currently in the London food scene – apparently East London is where it’s at these days. She expressed the one thing that all restaurant patrons are looking for from a dining experience, which is to feel and be treated as they are a regular, even if it’s their first time there. “This will no doubt give restaurants repeat customers,” she said. My first impression of Nigella is that for one, she is strikingly beautiful and has that great British wit about her. As posh and refined as she is, she is also down to earth and relatable. It was interesting to hear the basic kitchen items she can’t live without, which she listed as lemons, fresh ginger, sea salt flakes, English mustard, good bread, cottage cheese, blue cheese and as she claims, “I have a real thing for chick peas.”

Amex Platinum Dining Experience

Amex Platinum Dining Experience

The menu read as simple and understated but the flavours in each course were anything but. During the cocktail hour, we started with passed canapés of Broccomole on Tortilla, Brazilian cheese bread and an unforgettable oxtail on Sourdough toast appetizer that had people talking about for the remainder of the evening. To top it off, it was paired with Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne. This was followed by a feta and avocado salad and red-cooked chicken with Cuban black beans and steamed rice as the main; paired with a 2006 Stratus “Red”. To round out the four courses, we ended with Nigella’s infamous Lemon Pavlova, also paired with the champers, which I consumed in micro bites, hoping that it would never end.

Amex Platinum Dining Experience Photography by Danielle Reynolds and Ryan Emberly

Platinum Cardmembers can take advantage of the Card’s relationships with over 1,000 highly acclaimed restaurants both in North America and abroad. Would you like to receive a menu and wine list review before choosing a restaurant to dine in? Directions to where you will be eating? Not to worry, American Express has you covered. And it doesn’t stop there. After making a reservation at one of their restaurant partners, you can receive additional perks such as: glasses of champagne, complimentary appetizers and much more.

 The current directory of restos in Toronto that have partnered with the program are the best of the best: Byblos, Blowfish, La Societe, Momofuko, Montecito, Patria, The Chase, Weslodge, Café Boulud, Canoe, and Harbour Sixty. For more information on American Express and its Platinum Dining Program, head to AmericanExpress.ca. If you’re already a Cardmember and would like to take advantage of these amazing benefits, call Platinum Card Concierge at 1-866-323-6979 or log onto the Platinum Card Website.

Adams Natural Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

Adams Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

In my household peanut butter reigns supreme. Consumed on spelt toast, alongside fruits & veggies and now even in my smoothies, I rarely go a day without it. In my effort to maintain a clean and well balanced diet, I choose to use natural products where possible and my peanut butter is no exception. My PB of choice lately has been Adams peanut butter. What’s the upside to using a natural peanut butter like Adams? Besides it’s rich and creamy delicious taste, the peanuts are not coated with pesticides and is also free of trans fats, preservatives, hydrogenated fats, stabilizers and sugar. Believe it or not, with Adams peanut butter, what you see is what you get – so basically just peanuts with a dash of salt, which makes it an ideal ingredient to use when you’re cooking/baking or eating it straight from the jar (if you’re a real PB aficionado).

Adams Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

I am completely obsessed with making smoothies. Besides being an easy way to jam pack nutrients from a variety of fruits and veggies, they just generally taste great. With my super busy lifestyle, it’s also a seamless way for me to consume on the go and eliminates the risk of me missing meals. Perfect before my early morning workouts and runs. A smoothie recipe that has been on repeat at home is this healthy and filling Peanut Butter and Banana recipe with Adams creamy peanut butter.

Adams Peanut Butter & Banana Smoothie

What You’ll Need

  • 2 frozen bananas sliced into small chunks
  • 1/4 cup of Adams natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of oats (I like to use “Simply Delicious Museli” by Dorset Cereals)
  • 2 cups of milk of any kind (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup of vanilla greek yogurt
  • 2 handfuls of ice cubes
  • 4 tbsp of raw cacao powder (Optional if you are a chocolate lover)
  • 1 tsp of spirulina powder (Optional. Great for blood sugar control)

Blend all the ingredients in a blender of Vitamix until there are no more chunks of frozen banana pieces (or until desired consistency). Garnish with a few fresh organic banana slices if desired. I always recommend that you use all organic produce and ingredients whenever possible. Also, make sure the bananas are frozen and in small chunks so that your blender can handle it. If you are looking for an extra smooth texture to your smoothie, you can thoroughly ground up the oats or muesli in your blender until powdery before putting in the rest of your ingredients for further blending.

*So Sasha Tips: When using Adams peanut butter products, ensure to flip it and store it upside down so it’s less messy and easier to use. for more information on Adams, the brand’s available variants and more recipe suggestions, head to adamspeanutbutter.ca

Designer Greens | The Kale Lagerfeld Salad

Kale Lagerfeld Salad

If you eat salads as much as I do, you understand that it’s easy to get bored having them several times a week. I rotate between spinach, kale, swiss chard, red cabbage, mescaline greens, and even regular Boston lettuce as a base and in terms of add on’s, trust me…I’ve tried everything. Or so I thought. I am determined to try creating and investigating new delicious recipes to help me stay on my path of clean eating this winter season and I will be sharing my fave ones with you. With a touch of champagne vinegar in the dressing, which I discovered on epicurious.com, crispy pears and pecans, this chic salad is so damn good, I had to give it a designer name; the Kale Lagerfeld Salad – a play on this dark leafy green and one of my favourite designers.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 bunches of kale, stems removed
  • 2 medium pears, cored and cut into slices (preferably asian pears)
  • 1/2 cup of pecans, rough chopped
  • 1/2 of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 1 small shallot
  • 2 tablespoons of dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons of champagne vinegar
  • juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 – 1 tablespoon of honey or maple syrup
  • 1 large clove of crushed garlic
  • coconut oil
  • sea salt and black cracked pepper

In a small mixing bowl, combine champagne vinegar, olive oil, shallot, garlic, lemon juice, mustard, honey or maple syrup and sea salt. Use some coconut oil to lightly coat a sauce pan. Cook the kale in batches over low medium heat until it turns bright green and gets a bit soft. Pile the kale onto the desired serving plate, top with sliced pears and pecans. Dress to your perfection, then sprinkle with sea salt and fresh paper to taste. Serve immediately.

Kale Lagerfeld Salad

Superfood Breakfast | The Antioxidant Rich Acai Bowl

Acai Berry Bowl Recipe

Although acai berries are nothing new, it seems as though the Acai Bowl was everyone’s obsession this summer – myself included. Acai (pronounced “Ah-Sigh-EE”) is a Brazilian super fruit berry that grows on palm trees in South and Central America and is known to have the highest content of antioxidants than any other food on earth. If you’ve been to Brazil, or even California because lets be real, LA is always on top of anything healthy, you can literally find them everywhere. Thankfully, Toronto now has options for when you crave this power packed treat, such as my fave go-to on Queen St West, Bolt Fresh Bar.

I found out this weekend that making acai bowls at home is surprisingly easy, all you’ll need to do is track down acai in the form of frozen puree, juice, dried or powdered form. Don’t waste your time trying to be a purist hunting down fresh or frozen acai berries, like I did, as they only exist in the amazons. I decided to use Sambazon Unsweetened Smoothie Packs, which you can find at your local health food store or Whole Foods, because I heard it’s the easiest to use. It’s a little piece of heaven that tastes a mix between bitter chocolate and blueberries. The perfect way to refuel after a workout, as breakfast or a late night snack!

What You’ll Need…

  • 4 packs of Acai berry puree
  • 2 cups of soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, or filtered water
  • 2 bananas (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries (or any other berry you like)
  • 2 tbsp of hemp protein powder (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor. If you prefer it chilled, place in the freezer for 20-30 minutes. I pimped my bowl with shaved coconut, chia seeds, bananas and diced almonds. Granola is also a tasty topping to add as well!

Easy Brunch Recipes: Poached Egg & Avocado Toast

Poached Egg and Avocado Toast

I have a slight addiction to Eggs Benedict and often told myself that I would eat it everyday if only I knew how to make them. For years I have often wondered how the heck these little perfect pillows containing yolk were made and just figured that recipes that called for poached eggs are reserved for real foodies or those skilled in the culinary arts. Over the summer months I have been hearing about little tips and tricks on how to make the process easier like; adding a teaspoon of white vinegar into the water to stop the eggs from falling apart (Thanks Steve D.) and using the outer rim of a mason jar covers to house each egg while poaching. Both tactics were used and if you ask me, the results were more than I could have asked for. I originally wanted to make a traditionally Eggs Benny but after being sick for the last several days, I thought ingesting a creamy, fatty hollandaise sauce probably wouldn’t have been a great idea – so I opted for this healthy Poached Eggs & Avocado Toast recipe.

What You Will Need

  • 2 organic, free-range eggs
  • slices of bread (whole grain, spelt or ezekiel bread)
  • 1/2 avocado – I actually LOVE avocados and used a whole one…1/2 on each slice of toast
  • 2 tablespoons of shaved parmesan cheese
  • fresh herbs finely chopped (parsley, thyme, or basil) for topping
  • quartered heirloom tomatoes for the side serving
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • *Recipe serves 1

Poached Eggs & Avocado Toast

Bring a pot of water to boil (you must use enough water to cover the eggs when they lay in the bottom). Drop the metal rims (outer rim only) of two mason jar lids into the pot so they are laying flat on the bottom. When the water has boiled, turn off the heat and carefully crack the eggs directly into each rim. Cover the pot and poach for 5 minutes max (4 for super soft, 4:30 for soft, 5 for more for semi-soft yolks).

While the eggs are cooking, toast the bread and smash the avow on each piece of toast. When eggs are finished, use a spatula to lift the eggs out of the water. Gently pull the rim off the eggs (I did it right on the spatula over the water) and place the poached eggs on top of the toast. Sprinkle with parmesan, salt, pepper and fresh herbs. Then serve with fresh quartered heirloom tomatoes. *Adding a teaspoon of white vinegar to the water before boiling helps the eggs stay together in the water!

poached-egg-toast-4Recipe found on Pinterest.com

Easy Summer Recipes | Pomegranate Mango Guacamole

Pomegranate Mango Guacamole

When it comes to Summer entertaining, there is nothing I love more than a really well made guacamole. It’s super easy to make, a tasty guilt-free snack, can be prepared tons of different ways based on your taste preferences and is always sure to be a hit at any gathering. I am beyond obsessed with avocados and could live off guacamole every day if I needed to. From time to time I like to put a little spin on the classic “guac” during the Summertime and substitute diced tomatoes with pomegranate and mangoes, which is a little trick I picked up from Pinterest. The sweet smoothness of the mangos and crunchiness of the pomegranate seeds work extremely well with the spicy avocado blend. And the colourful dish is pretty easy on the eyes as well! So delicious it can be eaten entirely on it’s own but I love to pair it with Lundberg Sea Salt chips or multigrain scoops.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 Serrano Chillies – stems removed, sliced into thin rings *I remove the seeds because I can’t handle the extra heat!
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic –  peeled and finely diced
  • 1 Medium White Onion – peeled and finely diced
  • 1/2 Cup of Chopped Cilantro Leaves
  • 4 Ripe Avocados
  • 3/4 Cup of Frozen or Fresh Mango – cut into small cubes
  • 3/4 Cup of Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1 Tsp. of Coarse Sea Salt
  • *Serves approximately 8-10

Pomegranate Mango Guacamole

It is best if you keep the aromatics together when creating this recipe, so place  the chillies, diced onion and garlic together and release the juices by pounding them in a motar and pestle. If you don’t have one at home, you can either use a food processor or simply toss the contents into a ziplock bag and beat with a rolling pin. Add in the cilantro and pound with the other aromatics.

Cut the avocados in half around the pit, remove the pit and scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh of two avocados into the motar and pestle and pound until smooth. Then cut the remaining two avocados into chunks 1/2 an inch big. Combine both the chunky and smooth avocados with the onion mix, stir in the mango cubes, pomegranate seeds and salt. Add more of the latter for taste if necessary and that’s it. Hope you enjoy!

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