If you were at the Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair this past weekend and you saw my cooking demo, then you would know exactly what I am talking about. If not, I will tell you anyways. It is always so much fun to get up in front of people and teach them about how easy it can be to make whole foods apart of your everyday life! That was the goal at my demo, to educate people on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious which will ultimately lead towards a path of optimal happiness, health and healing!
I am going to provide you with a brief overview how you can Stock Your Cupboards Full of the Best Quality Ingredients!
Choose whole, fresh foods!
- Raw, living and sprouted foods
- Fresh organic vegetables and fruits
- Nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, walnuts)
- High quality vegetarian protein (tofu, tempeh, beans, nuts, seeds and greens)
- Whole and gluten free grains (spelt, quinoa, millet, brown rice)
- High quality fats (fresh pressed oils: olive, coconut, sesame) nuts, seeds and avocado
Choose organic, bio-dynamic and local foods as much as possible
- Organic foods have few or no chemicals, they have more minerals, nutrients and energy
- They support local family farms, increase agricultural diversity, and reduce the need for transportation of imported foods (less pollution!)
- They taste better and promote eating food in season
Choose a variety of foods everyday
- Rotate your foods and get the most out of whole grains, vegetables, fruit, nuts and seeds
- When planning your meals or creating recipes – get a balance of flavours whether it is sweet, sour, salty, bitter and astringent, pungent.
- Sweet: grains like rice, sweet fruit, carrots, beets, nuts, honey and other sweeteners
- Sour: lemons, tomatoes, grapes, plums, vinegar
- Salty: seaweed, celery, leafy greens, some cheeses (feta)
- Bitter: green leafy greens, endive, chicory, parsley, coriander, coffee
- Pungent: cayenne, chili peppers, ginger, garlic, leeks, radishes
- Astringent: beans, lentils, apples, pears, cabbage, broccoli, potatoes
For overall balance and diversity:
- Be sure to use different colours (taste the rainbow) textures (crunchy, soft, chewy, crispy), shapes (get creative when cutting fruits and veggies)
To go along with this I have some videos of the recipes I covered (along with the recipes of course!)
White Bean Dip with Dill
A delicious spread to enjoy with flatbread, crackers or served with crunchy raw veggies!
1 cup soaked or 1 can of navy beans
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp – ¼ cup tahini
1 bunch of fresh dill or basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
(Add water if a thinner consistency is desired)
- Cook soaked beans in large pot for 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- Place garlic, lemon juice, and half of the beans into blender or food processor and blend well.
- Add the remaining beans, tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until smooth (add water if necessary).
- Transfer spread to bowl and stir in the fresh herbs.
Citrus Cranberry Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
½ teaspoon salt
½ cups hazelnuts
½ cup cranberries
½ cup orange juice
¼ tsp ground fennel seeds or Chinese 5 spice powder
½ cup orange segments
1 cup of broccoli florets
Zest of one orange
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon + 1 tsp lemon juice
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup olive oil
- Rinse and drain quinoa. Add 2 cups of water and salt and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, until grains have burst and are tender but still chewy (about 12-15 minutes). Drain and set aside in medium bowl.
- Preheat oven to 325 F. Toast hazel nuts in oven until center are golden, about 5 -10 minutes. Let cool and rub in towel to remove as much of the skins as possible. (Or you can purchase organic dry roasted hazelnuts!)
- Soak Cranberries in orange juice for 5-10 minutes.
- Cut broccoli into small florets and blanch (place in boiling water for 1-2 minutes) and set aside.
- Add the soaked cranberries and the 5 spice to the warm rice. Toss with Vinaigrette.
- Just before serving, combine hazelnuts and cranberries and broccoli with quinoa. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with orange segments.
Chocolate Avocado Pudding
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 Medjool dates (soaked overnight or boiling water for 20-30 minutes)
1 tbsp of pure unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp almond butter or 1/2 cup raw almonds (soaked in water overnight for 8 hrs.)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 ripe banana (optional) for extra flavour!
- Combine the ingredients in a blender and whirl on high until well blended into a thick creamy pudding.
- Divide the pudding into 2 servings