Makes about 1.5L (or 2 almost full 750ml mason jars) of soup.

1 Celeriac root

1 Head of cauliflower, medium sized

3 Carrots, medium sized

6 Stalks of celery, medium sized

1/2 Spanish onion

2 clovers Garlic

4 cups Vegetable broth, unsalted

2 tsp Sea salt (may need more, to taste)

10 Sprigs of fresh thyme, stems removed

1 tsp Sage, dried (powder)

1/2 tsp Fennel, ground

2 tbsp Apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp Grapeseed oil

 

Roughly chop all vegetables. Cut the onion, carrot and celery into smaller (1-2 cm pieces). The cauliflower and celeriac can be larger. In a large pot add oil. Over med-low heat the onions, carrots and celery and salt for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to burn the onions. Crush garlic clove under a knife (use the flat side of the knife and a cutting board (check out this handy youtube video if you don’t know what I mean). Add smashed garlic to pot. Cook for another minute until you can smell the garlic, again be careful not to burn it. Keep the temp low.

Add celeriac and cauliflower. Stir to combine and heat over medium heat for another couple minutes. Add broth. Vegetables should be submerged in broth. If you need more broth, add more, this recipe is very forgiving. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Simmer until carrots and celeriac are soft (they’ll cook the slowest). Once all veg are soft turn off heat. Blend until smooth with a submersion blender. You can also pour into a stand-up blender and puree that way.

Add seasoning and vinegar. Mix well. Enjoy!

Mine is pretty thick but I prefer it that way. You can add more broth to thin it out.

soup

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The art of chewing

In today’s fast paced, on the run, no time to chew society it’s not a surprise that more and more people are reporting digestive complaints or disorders.

I have struggled with this as well. Working in the restaurant industry for over 10 years has left me with the habit of standing at my counter to inhale my food while doing 10 other things at the same time. It’s a hard habit to break but totally necessary.

Here’s why:

Digestion begins in your mouth. Saliva is the first phase of digestion. If your food doesn’t stay in your mouth long enough the digestive process is already compromised not to mention that chewing properly is vital for the proper breakdown of foods. Your stomach does not have teeth. If you swallow a piece of food prior to it being chewed to a liquid your stomach has to go into overdrive to break it down.

Ok, so let’s go into a little more detail…

Carbohydrates, protein and fat are all broken down, digested and absorbed by the use of different enzymes, organs, etc.

Carbs begin to be broken down in the mouth by saliva then are absorbed in the small intestines. Protein is manually broken down by the teeth (chewing) followed by the chemical breakdown in the stomach by use of pepsin and hydrochloric acid. In the small intestines the broken down protein (amino acids) are absorbed into the body. Fats begin digestion in the mouth and are then emulsified and absorbed with the help of bile from the liver/gallbladder in the intestines.

Picture this: You’re eating your delicious organic chicken breast and potatoes in a hurry. You swallow without properly chewing (ie: all food should become a saliva filled liquid/paste before swallowing -sounds yummy, right?). Your stomach begins to produce hydrochloric acid & pepsin to break down the chicken. The larger the food particles the longer this process takes. Improperly digested food begins to putrefy in your digestive tract causing bloating, gas and pain.

If the food particles cannot be broken down enough in the stomach and intestines you’re meal transitions from a source of vital nutrients to become a digestive nightmare.

In addition to slowing the digestive process leading to food putrefication, the intestines, not knowing what to do with these large food particles, send up red flags causing an inflammatory response.

Now, if you were only eating in a rush once your amazingly resilient body would recover like it never happened.
The problem arises when this assault on the digestive system happens day in and day out as is the case with most speed – eaters.

Over time the inflammation in the intestines can allow these large, undigested food particles to enter the blood stream. Once in the blood stream, white blood cells attack them as foreign invaders. More inflammation. Inflammation that is now being carried throughout your body via the blood stream. What started as digestive discomfort has the potential to blossom into so many other ailments- allergies, muscle and joint pain, arthritis, and even cancer.

So what’s the answer?

CHEW YOUR DAMN FOOD!
🙂

Additional benefits of chewing:

The longer you chew the less you eat. You will feel satisfied sooner which will lead to better portion control, decreased caloric consumption all leading to proper weight management.

Better digestion leads to increased nutrient absorption. You’re paying for your food and/or spending time cooking it. Don’t cheat your body and your wallet by not getting the most out of your food.

Chewing increases saliva production. Saliva naturally washes away bacteria in the mouth helping to prevent tooth decay.

Chewing triggers the rest of the digestive process. It sends signals to the stomach and the pancreas so they can be prepared once the food is swallowed.

Savour the flavour! Take the time to enjoy your food.

Mahatma Ghandi says “Chew your drink and drink your food.” If you’re not going to listen to me you probably should listen to him.

Big Salad Day 15 +1

image

Ingredients :

1/2 cup wild rice
1/4 cup corn, organic and non-GMO
1 tomato, diced
1/2 jalapeño, seeds discarded
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 green onion, diced
a few sprigs of cilantro, stems removed, leaves finely chopped
1 head of belgian endive
1/2 avocado, cubed
1/2 cup ground turkey
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Cook rice and allow to cool. In a sauté pan cook turkey with the garlic. Drain any grease or liquid from pan. Add corn, jalapeños, paprika, nutritional yeast and salt to pan. Cook until corn is warmed through. Remove from heat.

In a large bowl mix tomatoes, peppers, cilantro and green onion. Combine with the rice and turkey mixture. Toss well.

Spoon a heaping portion onto each endive leaf using the leaves as a “taco” shell. Top with a couple cubes of avocado.

Dig in!

Big Salad Day 15

Creamy Caesar Salad

image

Ingredients:
1 cup romaine
1/2 cup arugula
1 tbsp hemp hearts
2 hard boiled eggs

Dressing:
1/4 very ripe avocado
1 tsp cashew butter
Juice of half a lemon
1/2 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp dijon mustard

In a small bowl or blender mix dressing ingredients very well. If it is too thick you can add a tiny bit of non dairy milk or water to desired consistency is reached.

Directions:

Chop eggs. Add all ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine.

Big Salad Day 14

Ingredients:

1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1 cup baby spinach
1 tbsp dried cranberries
1 tbsp diced red onion
1 oz goat cheese
1-2 tbsp chopped walnuts

Dressing:
1 tsp tahini
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp water
1 tsp coconut aminos or tamari

Directions:

Shake all dressing ingredients very well. Combine all salad ingredients. Add dressing and toss to combine.

Big Salad Day 13

Ingredients:

2 – 3 cups arugula
1/4 cup fresh raspberries
A few thinly sliced Vidalia onions
2 tsp pumpkin seeds
3-4 oz grilled chicken

Dressing:

1/2 tsp fesh lemon juice
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1.5 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
A pinch of salt

Big Salad Day 12

image

Ingredients:

Arugula
Boiled beets
Roasted squash seeds
Roasted squash
Red and black quinoa, cooked
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Directions:

Roast squash and seeds as directed in Day 11’s post. Cut up squash into bite size pieces. Cook quinoa (1:2 quinoa to water, boil uncovered until water absorbs). Peel beets and chop into bite size pieces. Rapidly boil in salted water until beets can be easily pierced with a knife. Drain and allow to cool. Toss all ingredients together with a drizzle of vinegar and olive oil. Add a few cracks of fresh pepper and a sprinkle of salt.

Enjoy.

Big Salad Day 11

So this past weekend was Thanksgiving and I have to confess that I totally dropped the ball on my daily posts. My family was together at my mom’s home on the St. Lawrence River and it was just too beautiful out to be typing away on my computer.

Given that it was Thanksgiving there was A LOT of food (& wine) this weekend. We did eat fairly healthy but (confession #2) we didn’t have any big salad meals. My mom made a delicious soup for lunch one day and vegetarian (no one new it was veggie!) chili another day. We decided against making a turkey because we had done it the weekend before with my dad. Instead we had steak and lobster…not too shabby!

We are all human and time gets away from us at certain points. All that matters is that we get back on the wagon and don’t give up. I am back on my daily salad regime and it feels great.

steak salad

Steak & Squash Caesar

Ingredients:

1 small head of romaine, torn or chopped into bite size pieces

Thinly sliced red onion

1 tbsp Simply Natural Organic Caesar Dressing

 

1/4 of a small kabocha squash, skin and seeds removed

2 tbsp Squash seeds, cleaned

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1/4 tsp each of salt & pepper

 

3 oz beef tenderloin

1 tsp ghee

salt & pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Cut squash into wedges and toss in melted coconut oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a baking tray and roast for 20 minutes flipping once. Toss squash seeds on the same bowl you seasoned the raw squash in. The remaining oil on the bowl will be enough to lightly coat the seeds. Once the squash is done, place seeds on a baking tray and roast for 5 minutes. Shake the tray every minute or so to move the seeds around and prevent them from burning.

Season steak with salt and pepper (just a light sprinkle on both sides). Grill or pan-sear steak until preferred done-ness. I like my steak rare so it only take a couple minutes per side. It was raining last night so I decided to pan sear mine. I put 1 tsp of ghee in a frying pan and heated it on high. Cook the steak at high temp for anywhere from 3-6 minutes before flipping and repeating on the other side. Remove from heat an allow to sit before slicing into very thin strips.

While the steak is resting, toss lettuce in dressing. Slice steak and place on top of the bed of lettuce. You can cut the squash into smaller pieces or do as I did and just serve it as a wedge.  Sprinkle the seeds around the salad and serve immediately.

 

Big Salad Day 10

I had a tonne of leftovers and veggies that needed to be eaten today. I was also in a big rush to make my lunch because I spent over an hour (at 6am!) making a dairy,sugar and gluten free chocolate pie to serve at my family dinner this weekend.

I was a little wary that this salad was going to be a bust but it actually turned out pretty darn tasty.

salad day 10

Ingredients:

1 cup or so of Massaged kale (lightly dressing with olive oil and fresh lemon)

1/2 a cup or so of leftover (cooked but cold) red lentil rotini

1 yellow heirloom tomato

2 inch piece of zucchini, raw and sliced

1 mini red pepper, seeds removed, chopped

seeds from 1/2 pomegranate

1/2 avocado

a dollop of jalepeno sauce…I’m sure it’s obvious by now if you’ve read some of my recipes. I LOVE spicy food. This, of course, is optional.

 

The combo of sweet from the pomegranates and peppers, creamy from the avocoado, acidic from the lemony kale & tomato and spicy from the jalepenos made this salad bursting with flavour. The lentil rotini adds some protein and made this salad super filling.

Yes to cleaning out the fridge! Food wasting is seriously frowned upon in my house.

Big Salad Day 9

Today’s salad was actually a liquid salad.  Otherwise known as a green smoothie.

This is my go – to on early mornings when I know I’m going to be needing lots of energy to train my clients.

Ingredients:

2 – 3 cups baby spinach
1/2 cup curly parsley, with stems
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup beet juice (I buy a carton of organic beet juice rather than juicing my own but the latter is definitely better)
1/2 organic lemon, with peel
1 slice ginger root (I buy fresh ginger, peel it, slice it and freeze it)
1 tbsp hemp hearts
1 – 2 tsp chia seeds
1/2 to 3/4 cup water
3 or 4 ice cubes

Directions:

Blend well. If you don’t have a high powered blender you may need to take the peel off the lemon.

Add more or less water as required until it becomes a smooth consistency.

Pour in a large mason jar and sip slowly to avoid brain freeze.

Stephanie Sibbio

Helping new moms love their post-baby body

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