Stone Soup (Click to read…A Tale of the Stone Soup)
Ingredients: olive oil, onions (chopped), vegetable bouillon cube, vegetables, 2 small river stones
Instructions: in the bottom of a soup pot, saute the onions in olive oil. Add several inches of water to the pot and bring to a boil. Add the bouillon cube. Chop and add the vegetables to the pot, adding more water if necessary to cover the vegetables. Simmer until tender. Just before serving, add the stones to the soup…don’t forget to save the stones for another day!
From The Waldorf School Book of Soups
Lunchbox Gingerbread Snack
1 Tablespoon maple syrup 3/4 cup pitted dates
1/3 cup coconut oil 1 1/2 cups milk (soy, almond, rice, dairy)
1 1/2 cup spelt flour 2/3 cup brown rice flour
1/4 tsp baking soda 1 1/2 tsp baking powder (aluminum-free)
1 tablespoon cinnamon 1 tablespoon grated ginger
Blend syrup, dates, oil and milk in a blender or processor until smooth and set aside. Sift dry ingredients in a large bowl. Pour wet mix in to a well in the dry ingredients. Whisk eggs and add to bowl. Pour into 9×9 inch pan. Bake at 375F for about 30 minutes.
Crispy Sesame Tofu
-3 tablespoons olive oil -8 cloves minced garlic
-3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce -1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
-3 grated ginger -1 pound extra firm tofu
-3 tablespoons sesame seeds
Combine all ingredients (except tofu and sesame seeds) in a bowl to make a marinade and mix well. Slice tofu into 1/2 inch strips and place in baking dish, pour marinade on top and leave for one hour in the refrigerator, turning once. Preheat oven to 400oF. Press sesame seeds into tofu, bake uncovered for 25 minutes (longer for crispier tofu), turning once. Serves 4.
Makes a great lunch when used as a filling in pita bread or tortilla, with lettuce, avocado and sliced tomatoes. Also goes well with spinach salad with miso dressing and red onion slices with sprouts.
From Grailsprings Detox
Recipes for Heart Health
Eating for Health – By Carolyn Barber, Registered Dietitian and Certified Nutritional Practitioner
What’s the healthiest cooking oil? ……..choosing healthy fats for holiday cooking
Is olive oil always the best? Is it okay to use butter? As the holiday season approaches and we plan special dishes to make for guests, these concerns can be confusing.
Cooking oils and fats can add essential nutrients as well as taste to your meals if you choose wisely. But the best choice is not always olive oil – it depends on what dish you are preparing. Improper storage and overheating can change the composition of fats and actually damage your health. This article will give you some information about which cooking fats to buy and how to use them in a healthy way.
Yes, fat can be a healthy part of your diet. Aim for about 30% of your calories as fat. It’s the type of fat that matters. Fats come in two chemical forms – saturated and unsaturated (either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated).
Saturated fat: Health professionals agree that most of us eat too much saturated fat, mainly from red meat, dairy products, butter, and palm oil. Too much causes inflammation in the body and can result in clogged arteries and lowered resistance to infections.
An exception to this is coconut oil, a saturated fat that contains shorter forms that are readily absorbed, kind to the liver, and known to increase HDL, the good cholesterol. So feel free to use coconut oil in moderation. Butter has some benefits too, including exceptional flavour and minimal processing. But because butter is high in saturates, use it for special dishes and in moderation. It’s not ideal for frying because it burns easily.
Most liquid cooking oils contain mainly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The monounsaturated fats have many health benefits including raising good cholesterol, lowering bad cholesterol, and improving blood sugar control.
Monounsaturated fats: are found in olive, canola, peanut, avocado and almond oils. Olive oil is among the richest source at 77% monounsaturates. Olive oil also contains phytochemicals that have special antioxidant qualities that assist in normal blood clotting, immunity, blood pressure and preventing inflammation.
To get these special health benefits, you must choose virgin or extra virgin olive oil that is cold pressed. Avoid labels that say only “pure olive oil” or “light olive oil” as these indicate that the natural phytochemicals have been removed by processing, along with natural taste and colour.
The other monounsaturated oils mentioned previously, including canola, are more heavily processed, containing less of the beneficial nutrients. Canola is also a genetically modified food, whose effects are still unknown and this is an important consideration in deciding whether to use this product.
Polyunsaturated oils: provide other special benefits, as they are rich in the essential fatty acids, omega 3 and 6. But research shows that Canadians already get too many omega 6 fats (linoleic acid), since they are found in the soybean and corn oils used in many processed foods, as well as in meat. On the contrary, our diets are deficient in the omega 3’s (alpha linolenic acid or ALA). This imbalance is thought to promote the development of cancer, heart disease and autoimmune diseases, all associated with inflammation in the body.
To get more omega 3 fats, eat more salmon, mackerel, herring and halibut, walnuts, flax and hemp seeds. The omega 3’s are anti-inflammatory, and known to aid in prevention of cancer, heart problems and most diseases.
Caring for cooking fats: Some of the healthiest oils can become unhealthy by improper care. For example, high heat destroys the essential fatty acids in oils. So when you sauté, choose oils that are low in essential fatty acids such as olive, coconut or peanut oil. Avoid using corn, safflower, canola, sesame, flaxseed and other specialty oils for this type of cooking. Instead add these oils just at the end of cooking of stirfries or other hot dishes. Even better, use them in salad dressing.
Don’t add your fat to a hot pan as it burns easily. Add the fat before you heat; and as soon as the onions and garlic start cooking, add a tablespoon or two of water to reduce the oil to a safer temperature without sacrificing taste. Oils can be safely used in baked products as the interior temperature does not go too high
How you store oils is also important. Keep opened bottles in the refrigerator for all oils except olive and coconut. Light, heat and air all cause chemical changes that turn oil rancid. Rancidity destroys the essential fatty acids and results in free radicals that actually damage our cells. Throw out old bottles of opened cooking oil if they have not been refrigerated.
Fats are essential and delicious: so use the fats best suited to the dish you are preparing. Keep oils fresh by storing them safely, and watch cooking temperatures when sautéing. With these simple guidelines, you can enjoy the tastes and smells of holiday cooking and give your guests the gift of health. Two recipes are attached that are low in fat, chock full of vegetables, and are delicious dishes to serve during the holiday season.
Easy Oven Beef and Vegetable Stew
A stew that requires no browning but is a winner with all of my clients because it’s a simple one-dish meal that is wonderful on a cold winter night. It includes lots of vegetables, small amounts of beef, and great taste.
1½ lb lean stewing beef, cut in bite size pieces
¼ c all purpose flour
6 small onions
2 large potatoes, cut in chunks
3 large carrots, cut in chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 c diced turnip, broccoli or cauliflower
3 c water
1 ¼ c beef stock or canned bouillon
1 7 ½ oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp each of dried thyme and oregano
¼ tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
½ tsp salt
1. In large casserole, toss beef with flour. Add all remaining ingredients; stir to mix.
2. Bake covered, in 325 degree oven for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. After 2 hours, remove lid, stir ingredients and cook for final hour. Remove bay leaf. Serves 5.
To shorten the cooking time of this dish, heat all ingredients to a simmer on top of the stove, then bake in the oven for at least 2 hours.
Moroccan Chickpea Stew
This delicious vegetarian dish can be served with crusty bread or rice, and a crisp salad.
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup (250 ml) sweet potato, cubed
½ cup (125 ml) celery, chopped
1 cup (250 ml) carrots, sliced
1 can (19 oz/540 ml) chickpeas, drained and rinsed)
1 can (28 oz/796 ml) diced tomatoes
¼ cup (50 ml) each of dried apricots and raisins
½ tsp (2 ml) each of ground ginger, turmeric, and nutmeg
1 bay leaf
In a large, skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes. Serve hot. 4 servings.
Prevent flu and colds with food:
Using vegetables and fruit to boost your immune system
By Carolyn Barber RD CNP
While flu and colds are a normal part of the fall season, your ability to prevent or reduce their symptoms depends on the health of your immune system. The biggest determinant of your immune status is simply the food you eat every day. By making gradual improvements to your diet, and especially by increasing your intake of vegetables and fruit, you have the power to dramatically improve your body’s resistance to illness.
Your immune system requires a variety of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. But among the most important nutrients are the antioxidants, including Vitamins A, C and E, quercetin, lutein and lycopene. The best foods to eat to get lots of antioxidants are vegetables and fruit, although nuts, seeds and legumes are also useful.
Here’s why antioxidants are so important. Every second, immune cells in your body are hit by a barrage of free radicals — harmful oxygen molecules that are created in enormous numbers every day. Since free radicals are missing an electron, they rush through the body like thieves, stealing electrons from healthy cells wherever they can find them. Each time these bandits steal an electron, another cell has been damaged. The antioxidants in foods literally come between free radicals and healthy immune cells, offering up their own electrons. This neutralizes the free radicals, stopping them from doing more harm. In the process, your body’s immune cells stay protected and strong.
A wealth of research shows that high vegetable and fruit intakes are protective against many major diseases, including cancer, heart disease, eye and memory diseases – to name only a few. Their high antioxidant content prevents cell damage and the ability of inflammation or viruses to take hold.
You need at least 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day for basic health. Yet research shows the majority of Canadians, especially children and teens, get nowhere near this level. This means they gradually become deficient in the nutrients required for a healthy immune system, and for protection from illness such as flu and colds.
To see how well your own immune system is doing, count the number of servings of vegetables and fruit that you normally eat in a day. One serving equals: ½ cup raw or cooked vegetables; 1 cup salad greens; 1 cup fresh fruit; or ¼ cup dried fruit.
It’s not that hard to get enough of these important foods, but it does mean focussing on getting either vegetables or fruit at every meal in the day. For example:
Breakfast: Cereal with ½ banana 1 fruit
Lunch: Tuna sandwich; 1 raw carrot 1 vegetable
small glass V8 or apple juice 1 fruit
Snack: 1 apple 1 fruit
Dinner: Pasta with cheese & ½ cup tomato sauce 1 vegetable
Salad: 1 cup greens; ½ cup cuke slices 2 vegetables
Start gradually to change your family meals to include more vegetables and fruit, using them to replace fried foods and starches like bagels and pasta. At the same time you will reduce calories and prevent weight gain. Here are some simple tips:
· Set out a plate of carrot chunks and apple slices while you are making dinner, or for children after school;
· Start every dinner with a simple salad such as cherry tomatoes and sliced cucumbers, sliced avocado on crackers, or grated apple and carrot with a simple dressing. Salads don’t have to have tons of ingredients to be healthy;
· For vegetable haters, disguise vegetables by pureeing and adding to soups and pasta sauces;
· Add extra amounts and types of vegetables to soups and stews;
· Grill vegetables along with your meat eg. peppers, onions, sweet potatoes;
· Make scrambled eggs with added sautéed onions, green peppers and zucchini;
· Overcome your fear of spending money on vegetables and fruit because they go bad in your refrigerator;
· To avoid spoilage, cut fruit into chunks right away, and store in containers for easy reach. Take fresh vegetables out of plastic bags and store in large plastic containers that allow air circulation;
· Make at least one pot of vegetable soup every week;
· Have nutritious desserts that contain fruit – yoghurt with fresh berries or applesauce, sorbet with fresh fruit, pears poached in orange and lemon juice, fruit crisp and even carrot cake!
Of course, vegetables and fruits are not the only foods needed for disease protection. New research shows clearly that Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, is vital to the immune system, reducing risk of many illnesses including flu, cancer, heart disease, dementia and autism. During the winter months, a Vitamin D supplement is recommended: at least 1000 IU for adults and 400 IU for children.
Many other nutrients support the immune system, including protein, zinc and selenium. Make sure you get at least two servings of protein-rich foods daily such as meat, fish, poultry, legumes, eggs, or dairy. Zinc is found in oysters, seafood, red meat, poultry, yoghurt, wheat bran and germ and enriched breakfast cereals. Good sources of selenium are seafood, meat, wheat bran, whole grains, nuts (especially Brazil nuts), onion, garlic, mushrooms, Swiss chard and orange juice.
To strengthen your immune system with antioxidants, choose main dishes that include vegetables as well as protein. I hope you enjoy the recipes below.
Spicy Shrimp with lime and coconut milk
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive or canola oil
2 cups (500 ml) coarsely chopped veggies (red/green pepper, onion, green beans,
carrots, peppers, onions, frozen peas)
1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped (optional)
1-2 tsp (5-10 ml) jalapeno peppers, finely chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 fresh limes, washed well
½ cup (125 ml) coconut milk
1 lb (450 g) shrimp, raw fresh or frozen, thawed
salt to taste
Handful fresh coriander, chopped
1. Heat oil in large skillet on medium high heat, sauté vegetables until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Peel, rinse and devein shrimp while this is happening.
2. Add tomato, jalapeno (if using) and garlic. Sauté for one minute, then squeeze in juice of 1 lime. Scrape off some lime zest too, with hand grater or sharp knife, and stir in.
3. Add coconut milk and pinch of salt, turn heat to low-medium and cook uncovered 5 minutes, stirring occasionally till slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Add shrimp and cook till pink and white. Turn off heat, add juice from second lime and serve over rice. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.
Chicken or Tofu Stirfry with Snow Peas and Red Peppers
1 lb (450 g) boneless chicken, cut in strips; or firm tofu, cut in cubes
½ tsp (2 ml) each of dried sage and thyme leaves
½ tsp (2 ml) salt
1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups (450 ml) snow peas, halved
¼ cup (50 ml) chicken stock
1 tbsp (15 ml) low sodium soy sauce
1. In iron skillet, gently sauté chicken with sage, thyme, salt and pepper in oil until no longer pink. Remove to oven dish and keep warm. If using tofu, sauté for 5 minutes or lightly browned and remove to oven dish.
2. Return skillet to heat and sauté onions, garlic and red pepper for 5 minutes. Add snow peas, stock and soy sauce. Bring to boil, and cook for 1 minute.
Add cooked chicken or tofu to pan and heat through. Serve with rice or sweet potatoes.