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Another snow day here in Massachusetts. Along with the
challenge joys of having 4 kids at home comes the joys challenge of getting everything done and food on the table while keeping them happy, stimulated and…well…fed! Some may balk at the tasks at hand and run in sheer terror but not me. No, not me, I stepped up my game.
A snow day brings along that all-too-familiar craving for comfort food. But, those beloved comforts are not so great for our health. They promote inflammation, which is the precursor for many health issues, and help us to put on those unwelcome pounds. So today, we transformed a typical American dinner into something healthy and delicious.
We made homemade veggie burgers on sprouted bread, baked chick pea fries and a favourite in our house, kale chips.
This picture is proof that I am no food stylist but the meal was delicious! My most discerning customers (my four kids) all ate it and liked it! Here are the recipes…
¼ cup water
2tbsp ground chia seed
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cooking onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 ½ cups black beans
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
8 fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp cilantro
2 cups cooked or canned red kidney beans
¾ cup brown rice flour
Place water in a measuring cup and add ground chia. Set aside for 2-4 minutes. Preheat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Reserve 4 tbsp of olive oil. Add onions, garlic, black beans, cumin and salt and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Place basil, cilantro, beans and ½ cup flour, along with the water and flaxseed mixture and mixture from stove into a food processor and blend until the mixture is a paste. Reserve ¼ cup of brown rice flour. Take large handfuls of the puree and roll them into balls and flatten into burger shapes. Coat both sides of burgers in remaining flour. Place on broiling pan. Brush both sides of burger with remaining 4 tbsp of olive oil. Cook under broiler for 4-5 minutes on each side.
Baked Chick Pea Fries
2 cups cold water
1 cup chickpea flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dill
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs (optional)
olive oil for drizzling
Line an 8×8 square pan with parchment paper and set aside. Mix the cold water, chickpea flour, and spices in a medium sized pot with a whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil slowly over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil for 1 minute until it is the consistency of pudding. Spread the chickpea mixture into an even layer in the lined pan. Let cool for about 15 minutes, then cover loosely. Refrigerate for at least one hour, and up to a day (or put it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes like we did). Turn your solidified chickpea porridge over onto a cutting board and cut into little fingers about 4 inches long by 1/2 inch wide. Gently coat the little fingers with bread crumbs (optional) for a crispier outer crust. Place on an oiled cookie sheet and drizzle/spray with olive oil to make sure they get crispy. Bake at 450f for 25-30 min, flipping once (gently spray with oil once you have flipped).
We served ours with homemade garlic aioli.
Preheat oven to 375. Combine the debribbed kale, a drizzle of olive oil to coat and a sprinkle of sea salt in a bowl. Toss. Spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Put in oven for 15-20 minutes tossing half way through. You want these crispy, so don’t take them out to soon!
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In January 2013 I realized I needed to do something to improve my health. I spent 2012 on maternity leave and often neglected taking care of my own health (sleepless nights and caring for a tiny human will do that!). Not to mention the many years before that where health was at the bottom of my list of priorities. Luckily, I discovered Lisa's 30 day green smoothie challenge. The recipes were incredible and a green smoothie drinker was born! But I didn't stop there. Starting each day in such a healthy way led me to consult with a naturopath (it would have been Lisa if we were in the same city), do an elimination diet, and discover that I have sensitivities to wheat and milk. I changed to a whole foods-based diet (most of the time) and took up running. In the span of 8.5 months I went from being tired and sluggish on the couch (literally - I could run for one minute at a time before having to walk) to having enough energy to run the Detroit International Half Marathon. I actually RAN the whole thing! And I lost almost 60lbs along the way! Thank you, Lisa, for being my catalyst. Your challenge kept me interested in a new way of living and saved me! I continue to drink a green smoothie every day for breakfast. What a wonderful way to start each day!
Thank you thank you thank you!!!
Imogen Meloche Windsor, Ontario