I’m having a love affair with crunchy tofu

If you haven’t tried crunchy fried tofu, you are seriously missing out. Perhaps not the healthiest thing out there when all dressed up, as a vegetarian protein option it’s top of my list and it’s sooo easy!

There are countless blogs out there that explain how to get perfect crunchy tofu and different ways to dress it up. Most days, I simply dip mine in some corn starch and fry in a frying pan with some coconut oil until golden adding a little bit of seasoning. I find this great to add to stir-fry’s or wraps. You can also dip the corn starch powdered tofu in some nut milk and then into some panko to take it up a notch. Here are some of my other favorite ways to dress it up:

Hot for Food: Crispy Sweet and Sour Tofu 

Budget Bytes: Pan Fried Sesame Tofu with Broccoli

Omnivores Cookbook: General Tso Tofu

Olives for Dinner: Super- Versatile Crispy Tofu Cutlets

Soy and tofu tend to get a bad rap because it comes highly processed and most of it is genetically modified unless labelled otherwise. There are so many amazing benefits to soy though and the reality is the processed soy is in everything. I personally choose to eat soy in moderation and only select non-gmo and organic tofu. There are many health benefits to eating tofu including it’s protein content for vegans and vegetarians.

This article does a great job of breaking it down.

Quinoa & egg muffins + a modern take on an egg sandwich

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These two meal options were derived from this one recipe. The recipe is designed for toddlers but it’s great for anyone! It was a big hit in our household and I added some finely chopped swiss chard and nutritional yeast.


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped broccoli
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper

Courtesy of: ahealthysliceoflife.com 


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For my breakfast sandwich, I added butter, mayonnaise, additional cheese and some arugula with the mashed up egg muffin on rye bread. Easy peasy and full of nutrients!

Latest foodie obsession: sweet potato toast

At first, I thought this food trend was a little strange but, because I love sweet potato (yam) and I love toast, I thought I should give it a try!

It is super easy to make. Some people will tell you that you can put the sweet potato directly in your toaster but I prefer to bake in the oven with some coconut oil.

I slice some sweet potato or yam about half and inch thick and then brush with coconut oil and put into a 375 degree oven for about 25 minutes.

Once the toasts are done to your liking, you can put whatever you want on them! I have showcased some of my favourites below but there are many elaborate recipes! 

Pictured below: goat cheese with cinnamon and honey, avocado with feta cheese, roast zucchini with kale.

These recipes could work great as appetizers for a party, for breakfast, or even a nice healthy snack.

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Favourite foodie spots in Calgary

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So, I love food, I mean who doesn’t? Really? In recent years, Calgary or, yyc as it is now more readily referred to as, has become quite the culinary hub. There are so many fantastic places to eat and I thought that I would share a few of my favourites.

From top to bottom:

Village Ice Cream, a local ice cream shop with a great story and even better ice cream! It doesn’t get much better than this folks! I dream about their salted caramel flavour, pictured above. All of the flavours are extremely accurate and true and are perfectly presented in this creamy, locally made ice cream. They even have a great selection of sorbets! I highly recommend stopping in here whenever you get the chance!

Wild and Raw is a superfood and juice bar located in the inner city community of Kensginton. They have a jam-packed menu of superfood filled elixirs and smoothies. They also have healthy snacks and meals to go! Check out this article for more information on this awesome Calgary superfood stop! Pictured is the “chaggacino” – my personal favourite!

The Coup, an amazing vegetarian restaurant located in the heart of Calgary serves up healthy, mouth-watering vegetarian meals. Organic, ethical and locally sourced ingredients go into these amazing dishes and I challenge anyone to find a dish they don’t like, even if they are a carnivore. They also offer take-out! I have a few favourites here, including the tempeh shawarma (pictured above) or the bun-me Vietnamese inspired sub, but, everything is amazing!

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery  is absolute perfection. I can say nothing bad about this place, well, except the fact that it’s not in the same area of the city as me so I can’t eat it daily (probably a good thing). When I lived in Sunnyside, I was a regular customer. Every baked good from Sidewalk Citizen is to die for. My favourites have to be their cinnamon rolls and the cheese sticks! I also recently tried the pizza (you can order it!) and omg, I have dreams about how good this pizza was (pictured above). Like, I can’t even describe the goodness of these baked goods without my mouth salivating and my stomach rumbling. My inner glutton comes out when it comes to Sidewalk Citizen, and I think it would be hard for anyone to refrain from buying copious amounts of baked treats from this place!

Last but not least, Analog Coffee is on my list as one of the best coffee shops in Calgary. I could probably drink 10 of their lattes in a row because the coffee is that smooth. Their array of treats is also super tempting. If you are looking for a Starbucks alternative and want high-end specialty coffee, I highly recommend this place!

 

 

 

Recipe: probiotic smoothie

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I am always looking for quick and simple ways to add probiotics to my diet. Gut health is extremely important but people don’t always think about it. Also, recently, I have been trying to incorporate more dates into my life as they are supposed to help with duration and pain in labour by thinning the cervix and potentially strengthening the uterus. You’re supposed to eat around six per day in the last weeks of pregnancy so, I have found the easiest way to get them in is adding them to blended beverages.

I thought I would share this great smoothie recipe that I found recently. It incorporates kefir which is a great source of probiotics as well as helps me to get my allotted dates in.

Source: www.veggiesutra.com

Makes 2 glasses

Ingredients:
1 cup kefir (if store-bought, look for unsweetened plain kefir with live cultures)
1 cup water or unsweetened almond milk
Half an orange, peeled and cut in to sections
4-5 dates, pitted
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and sliced
1 Tbsp raw cacao powder

Method:
Throw all the ingredients in to the blender and blend till smooth.  If the consistency is too thick for you, add half a cup of water or almond milk and blend.

How do you get your probiotics in? 

Natural Cold and Flu Remedies

When I get sick, I find, it usually happens at one of two times. Either I finally have some down time to relax, or, it finds me at one of my busiest moments. Murphy’s law.

For this reason, and well, for the reason that no one likes to get sick anyway, I am always looking for new ways to boost my immune system and in my opinion, prevention is the best medicine. I have never been one to take cough medicine or to run out and get a flu shot and I think that there are many ways from nature that we can boost our immunity.

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Now, let me start by saying, I am no expert on these remedies, I just know that they have worked for me. I have come to these personal conclusions by way of research and by not getting sick often or being able to remedy a cold or flu as soon as I feel it. I do believe there is a place for medicine but I prefer to be as holistic as possible.

Here are some of my favourite ways to boost immunity to battle those winter germs:

  • Lemon water (in the morning, especially). I find it can help to fight a cold as soon as I feel a sore throat come on. It’s a great idea to drink it regularly as it helps to flush out toxins and will help your body to always be prepared when germs come to attack. Foodmatterstv.com cites 16 reasons to drink lemon water in their article: 16 Health Benefits of Drinking Warm Lemon Water.
  • Turmeric Tea. I love adding turmeric to my smoothies and juices but, turmeric is also great in a tea. Turmeric has many benefits and according to Meghan Telpner on meghantelpner.com, turmeric tea is “A natural preventative against flu viruses.” I will defer to North of Bloom for her great recipe!
  • Green Juice. There are so many great juice recipes out there and endless yummy combinations. One of my favourites and one that is great when I’m feeling a little under the weather is a combination of kale, half of a lemon, half of a cucumber, 3 apples, 2 stocks of celery, a bit of ginger. At the end, I like to add some powdered or grated turmeric.
  • Nettle tea with honey. I love nettle tea, especially this Pukka Cleanse tea with nettle, fennel and peppermint. According to wellnessmama.com, nettle tea can keep you hydrated  while removing toxins from the body.
  • Sometimes, I like to make a concoction of warm water, honey, cayenne pepper, garlic, ginger, lemon, sometimes apple cider vinegar, and turmeric. This magic potion of sorts has a nice kick to kick the germs from my body, while the honey can help to soothe any sore throat.
  • Vitamins. Cod liver oil, vitamin C and echinacea have always helped me when I am sick. It is important to look for the food grade, organic, non-gmo vitamins.

I do find that these can work for both immune boosting and cold or flu fighting. Let me know some of the ways you like boost immunity!

Healthy Chicken Pesto

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I seem to post about this pesto recipe a lot but, I can’t help it! I love how versatile it is and how you can change up a few ingredients depending on what is in your fridge. It’s so easy and it is seriously great for leftovers not to mention the nutrients that pack a punch.

The pesto itself is quite simple and is based off of Joyous Health’s recipe 

For mine I used about:

1/2 cup of walnuts

1 cup of spinach

1/2 cup of fresh parsley

1/4-1/2 cup of evoo

1 large clove of garlic

1 tbsp of hemp seeds

I boiled about 3-4 cups of spaghetti (whatever kind you would like)

Grill one large organic chicken breast just seasoned with salt and pepper

Once the spaghetti and chicken are cooked strain pasta and pour pesto mixture all over the warm spaghetti

To make it creamy I used one 4oz log of goat cheese

Stir until the mixture has fully coated all of the noodles

Cut chicken into strips

Dump spaghetti mixture into a large serving plate and place chicken on top

Optional – I like to add sautéed organic tomatoes on top along with salted pumpkin seeds and hemp hearts

Enjoy!