Category Archives: vegetarian

No-Cream of Mushroom Soup

mushroom soup 2

Back to the grind… It’s been about 5 months since I’ve posted on the blog, that’s 2365 years in the blog world. With school, moving, bad lighting and now moving again, I haven’t been making blogging a priority. But my life has slowed down and I now have more time to do so which means yummy, delicious taste testing ’til I cant eat no more. Which is perfect on a day like today, as I am hiding out from the snow storm here in Toronto.

So I posted this vegan, dairy-free soup on social media a few months back  with the promise of including my recipe and it is finally that time.

Do you remember eating those canned cream of mushroom soups back in the day…like waaaaay back….in the ’90’s. Adding it to pasta dishes, baked chicken or just downing it as  soup. (I’m cringing and I hope you don’t use it anymore!!!)  Well little did you know it contained a slew of ingredients that was harmful for your health. Here are the actual ingredients: Water, mushrooms, vegetable oil (corn, cotton, canola and or soybean oil) modified food starch, wheat flour, contains less that 2% of: salt, monosodium glutamate, soy protein concentrate, dehydrated cream (cream, Milk, soy lecithin) yeast extract, flavouring, dehydrated garlic.  So let’s see here, we’ve got toxic genetically modified and highly chemically sprayed oils that are extremely inflammatory. ” Flavouring”  which could contain about anything. Monosodium Glutamate or MSG is used as a “flavour enhancer”  that tricks your brain into thinking a food tastes good and makes you want more. It’s an excitotoxin which means it overexcites your brain cells to the point of damage or death. Triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s. Not to mention immediate responses after consuming it like headaches, nausea, numbness, tingling, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, weakness and so on.  The worst part is MSG is not only labelled as monosodium glutamate, it is hidden in ingredients such as: soy or whey protein, yeast extract, gelatin,  flavouring and the list goes on. The sure fire  way of avoiding it is to eliminate processed foods all together. Always read the label when grocery shopping, and if there is an ingredient that you don’t recognize then its best not to pick it up. ( back to my first point about eliminating processed foods, sorry don’t hate me.. keep reading :))

Mushroom Soup

Enough about that lets get to all the good stuff that is in this soup.

Mushrooms – The almighty immune system boosting powerhouses. Perfect for this time of year. (especially today as I am currently hiding out from a snow,ice,freezing rain storm) Mushrooms have been known for their polysaccharide and beta glucan components that have anti cancer properties and strengthen the immune system.  They are also full of minerals, including selenium, copper, potassium, and zinc. Also great sources of many B vitamins which keep our bodies running in tip top shape and full of energy.

Cauliflower – Part of the cruciferous family and contains antioxidant and sulfur containing nutrients to help the liver with detoxification support. Not to mention it adds the creaminess factor to this soup.


No cream of Mushroom Soup

Ingredients:

1 large onion

3 cloves of garlic

1 medium cauliflower ( chopped into florets)

8 cups of filtered water  (or just enough to cover the cauliflower and onion in the pot)

6 cups of chopped mushrooms  (I used shiitake, king oyster, cremini and button)

A few sprigs of thyme

Himalayan salt to taste

 

1. In a large pot add a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Sauté garlic and onions for 5 minutes.

2. Add cauliflower to pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 20 mins. Add salt throughout cooking adjusting to taste.

3. After 20 min add 4 cups of chopped mushrooms into pot. Simmer for 5-7 mins.

4. Take pot off heat and use immersion blender and blend soup until creamy. Once it has all been blended, add remaining 2 cups of mushrooms and slightly blend leaving some mushrooms in tiny pieces.

5. Take thyme off sprigs and sprinkle into soup. ( I added about 12 sprigs worth , thyme lover) Enjoy.

* optional- Add a little bit of full fat coconut milk to up the creaminess factor.


 

 

Zoodles with Kale & Garlic Scape Pesto


Kale & Garlic Scape pesto

Finally summer vacay has arrived. I’ve been super busy with school lately, these assignments really took up all of my time, which is why I haven’t posted anything in a while. I’ve also been running around preparing for my trip. I’m more than ready to get outta here! When this post goes up on the blog, I will be in Portugal enjoying some much needed R & R on the beach. So be Jealous ; )

Love me some zoodles and this dish! It’s so light and refreshing. Perfect for the summer, and it’s totally raw so there’s no cooking involved and it’s super quick! It’s been soooo hot these last few days in Toronto. What a scorcher. This dish will definitely cool you off.

Zucchini noodles are a great alternative to pasta and don’t have much of a taste, so creating a flavorful creamy sauce or pesto is key. Zoodles are so easy to prepare, all you need is a spiralizer and you’re set.

zucchini noodles

This pesto is full of nutritional goodness. I threw it together with some fresh kale and garlic scapes from the farmer’s market. I also added sunflower seeds to the party to amp up the protein.

Kale is packed full of vitamin A, which helps prevent inflammation and promotes eye and skin health. Vitamin C  is needed for the immune system, helps thyroid hormone production and works as an antioxidant. Vitamin K, a much less talked about vitamin but also super important, is required for blood clotting and increases calcium absorption to promote bone building. Kale is also a great source of dietary fibre, iron and calcium. (just one cup contains 180mg of calcium)

Garlic Scapes are so delicious. All that garlicky flavour without that strong bite of a garlic clove. Heaven. These scapes pack the same nutritional value as the garlic that grows with it. Excellent source of B6 which breaks down glycogen for energy production. It’s involved in the formation of chemical transmitters in the nervous system and is critical in maintaining hormonal balance and proper immune function. It’s also a good source of minerals including phosphorus, calcium, potassium, iron and copper.

Sunflower seeds are rich in protein. High in copper, which is an important factor in the production of red blood cells. This trace mineral is also important in the formation of an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory enzyme called SOD ( superoxide dismutase). Yup, with a name like that you know it’s badass. Sod plays a role in reducing internal inflammation and reduces pain associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. Betcha didn’t think this little seed would be so powerful.

and cue my overworked little food processor…

kale and garlic scape pesto


Zoodles with Kale & Garlic Scape Pesto

Ingredients:

4 Small Zucchini

2 cups packed Kale

3 tbsp. Sunflower Seeds (raw and unsalted)

3 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/3 – 1/2 cup filtered water

1 ½ tbsp.  Lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

¼ cup Garlic Scapes (chopped)

Himalayan pink salt & Pepper to taste

1. Cut off ends of zucchini and spiralize your little heart out.

2.  Add kale, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, garlic scapes, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to food processor. Slowly add water until you reach the right consistency.( you may not need all of the water )

3. Mix with zucchini noodles and Enjoy!

* This pesto will also make a great dip for some raw veggies.


Peach & Avo Kale Salad


Peach & Avo Kale Salad

Summer is here and all my body seems to want are salads. Of course on a hot day like today I’m definitely going to listen.

So I was starting to wonder where all the humidity in Toronto went, although I really didn’t miss it, but it has arrived. Thankfully the humidity is actually tolerable today. I’m sure people who work outside, like my Mr., would beg to differ though.

Anyway I absolutely love this salad. I’ve made it 3 times in the past week. Its so light but filling and has just the right amount of sweetness to it. Its perfect for the summer.

Kaling me softly, don’t kale my vibe, what doesn’t kale you makes you stronger, kale yeah and that’s all I’ve got, but you get the point. Kale is the queen of the greens and one of my favourites. I know raw kale can be hard for some people to stomach but the trick is to massage it with an acid like lemon and/or vinegar to break down the fibers. This makes it easier to chew and less bitter. Some people should stay away from raw kale or any other raw cruciferous veggies. If you have a known or suspected thyroid problem then you need to cook all members of the cabbage and cruciferous families. They contain goitrogens that displaces iodine in the body which is needed for proper thyroid function. Lightly steaming or sauteeing them will deactivate these goitrogenic compounds making them safe to consume for everyone.

Peach & Avo Kale Salad

Kale has numerous health benefits and tons of nutrients including vitamins A,C and K. There are 45 different antioxidant flavonoids in kale that have the ability to protect our body from oxidative stress and also provide cancer preventative benefits. Kale has high amounts of vitamin K which regulates our body’s inflammatory processes, important in blood clotting and required for bone health. Vitamin A is important for growth and development. Maintaining healthy skin and vision. Sulfur and fibre content make this green a great detoxifier. Just one cup of kale (which is nothing especially when cooked), contains 180 mg of calcium and is a great source of iron. So eat, juice, blend, or cook up these gems and your body will thank you for it.

I used hemp oil in the dressing because I need to load up on essential fatty acids (omega 3 and omega 6). EFA’s cannot be made by the body so we need to get them through our diet. They are super important for brain function, required for insulin function, improves gut integrity, reduces symptoms of allergies, improves response to stress, required for liver and kidney function, and improve hormone function. They are also required for sperm formation, the female cycle and pregnancy. ( *cough cough * NKC crew) Omega 3 is a great anti-inflammatory. These are just a few highlights of these healthy fats. EFA’s are super healing and important for overall health.

Peach & Avo Salad


Peach & Avo Kale Salad

Ingredients

3 cups of packed Kale

1-2 peaches

½ of an avocado

2-3 tbsp. of pine nuts

1 tbsp. of hemp hearts

¼ of a red onion

pinch of salt

Peach Dressing

Ingredients

2 peaches

2 tbsp. of hemp oil

1½ tbsp. of apple cider vinegar

Splash of water

1. Blend 2 peaches (peeled) , hemp oil, apple cider vinegar and water together until creamy. Set aside.

2. Remove kale from rib and tear into pieces. Show the kale some love and massage 2 tbsp. of dressing onto it and place in the fridge until ready.

3. Slice peach (skin on) and broil in oven for 10-12 mins turning half way.

4. Take kale out of fridge and add sliced avocado, onion, salt and peaches.

5. Top with hemp seeds and pine nuts. Generously add as much dressing as you would like and Enjoy!