A Twist On Miso Soup

This soup is so fast to make, dinner will be ready in 15 mins! Miso is fermented soy beans.  The fermentation process makes it great for healing the gut and aiding in digestion. The fermented soy, despite tasting quite salty, doesn’t increase your blood pressure and in fact is very hearty healthy.  

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 10 mins

Ingredients: miso paste, nutritional yeast, onions, garlic, turmeric, black pepper, leafy greens, sprouted mung beans (a source of plant-based protein)  

You will have to taste this one to get it to your personal liking but I will give you the proportions I use for 2 people. 

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves chopped or crushed 
  • 1 tbsp turmeric + a dash of black pepper (you need the black pepper for the turmeric to be properly absorbed, you won’t even taste it in the soup) 
  • 2 tbsp miso paste
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast 

Directions: In your soup pot add about 1/8 cup of water. Fry the onions, garlic, turmeric and black pepper until the onions are clear. Add into the pot 2 heaping tbsp of miso paste, about 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast and 5 cups of water. Whisk until the miso paste is dissolved. Heat until boiling then simmer until you are ready to eat it. 

This time I added a load of fresh greens and my sprouted mung beans into the bowl and then poured the soup over top. In the past I’ve added rice, noodles, buckwheat, potatoes… Be creative and enjoy! 

TIP: If you add closer to 1 cup of nutritional yeast the soup takes on a cheesy flavour.  

I hope you enjoy energizing your body with these nutritious plant-based meals!

~~HAPPY CANADA DAY~~

I was thinking that to be patriotic I will post about some kind of red and white food… first thing that came to mind are beets! So I’ll just talk about red food because I’m not in the mood to yell at you about sugar (white) right now and although beets (red) and cauliflower (white) are both great for you they aren’t really in business together when it comes to the functions they serve.

Beets come in a range of colours from yellow to orange to red and into purple. They are beautiful, sweet, delicious and best of all nutritious! Nothing beats a beet when it comes to cleaning out your organs! Toxins get into our bodies every time we eat, drink and breath and we rely primarily on our liver and kidneys to filter them out and keep us clean but what keeps our liver and kidneys clean? BEETS! …and dandelion and milk thistle but that’s another post.

Beets are a great detox food and if eaten on a regular basis they work well to keep our liver and kidneys healthy and functioning at the top of their game, not to mention giving us great skin and healthier arteries. There are a variety of ways to eat beets: boiled; steamed; pickled; fried; baked; grilled; in soup; in a drink; and any other way you might want to try! Of course some methods of preparing them are healthier than others but definitely eating them is healthier than not eating them 🙂

Beets and Carrots

So at your Canada Day socially distanced family BBQ don’t forget your beets on the side of whatever celebratory choices you are making today!

Heart Healthy Stuffed Portobello

Cooking a heart healthy meal means NO OIL! Prevention is always the best medicine but often times it takes a fairly serious health scare to grab your attention. Once you have suffered a cardiac event the time for moderation is over, the time for limiting, calculating and finding balance has passed you by. Now it’s time for you to be ALL IN!

Using food as medicine is the BEST way to improve your quality of life and to extend it as well (not to mention keeping you from going under the knife). Fat is an essential part of our diet but once you have spent a lifetime over consuming fats you have to eliminate them as much as possible in order to stop the progression and reverse your heart disease.

Below is a recipe to begin the healing process, basically if you are cooking whole foods without oil, eliminating nuts, seeds and avocado, and you aren’t eating anything with a mother or a face you are on the healing path.

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms & Greens
  • Wild rice
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Beans
  • Italian parsley
  • Mango (optional)
  • Stuffed in a portobello mushroom
  • Bake for 15-20 mins at 400℉
  • Broccoli with nutritional yeast (balsamic vinegar)

Taco Night!

Ok, ok, so I know that I have posted about Taco’s before but it was over a year ago so I thought they deserve some spotlight again!

Besides, they look and taste different every time I make them. This is one of the things I love about it!

Jerk sweet pepper tacos with garden greens!

See! How could I keep that beautiful taco pic to myself?? (yup I said it, you can giggle)

I learned to make these delicious homemade tortillas at a ladies night hosted by a friend originally from Mexico. Of course I had to ask, “what is in an authentic Mexican taco?” The answer was music to my ears, “you can put anything in a taco!” she said! YES!!! I love this so much because dish gives my husband and I an opportunity to eat some spicy food that is otherwise tricky to fit into the cooking rotation with kids.

a little of everything

Having all of the options separated makes it not only a fun, “build your own” kind of meal but also lets us enjoy the individual flavours we all like.

(Of course I am bossy pants mom and make them have at least two with the rice and lentil mix…but it always works out because then they realize that even though it’s mushy and brownish in colour it actually tastes delicious)

Get creative, or ask your kids what they might like to have and enjoy some tiny tacos! …my youngest even finished up the shells with peanut butter and jam as a late night snack 🙂

Sauerkraut Salad

Spring is in the air and fresh food is on the mind…

It may surprise you to hear that my plant-based family rarely eats salad. Salad was something that very often accompanied the more traditional meat and potato meals of my childhood – but always with dressing. When we first started eating plant-based we bought some of the vegan alternative caesar dressings and vinaigrette mixes. But as we started eating more and more whole food plant-based and using less processed foods in our meals our tastebuds changed. Currently when we eat salad we like to load it up with delicious flavours like ripe tomato, green onions, pumpkin seeds, cucumber, raisins, and fermented sauerkraut! These flavours are better than any dressing. A squirt of lemon or lime, or a splash of pickle juice gives just enough acid to make a salad like this salad mouth watering.

We will have to remember to put it into rotation more often 😉

Shiitake Ramen

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If you follow my Instagram @plantbasedjenny you know that Ramen is an obsession!

This one was so easy and delicious:

Recipe:

  • 1 large pot of water
  • 1 tbsp of miso
  • 1 tbsp of low sodium vegetable bouillon
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • as many shiitake mushrooms as you feel the need for 🙂
  • ramen noodles – I buy the organic rice ramen from Costco

Boil everything except the ramen noodles until the garlic is mush and the onions are perfectly clear, soft and sweet.  Then add the ramen noodles, they will cook quickly so you are now just minutes away from your delicious soup!

ENJOY boosting your immune system, tantalizing your taste buds and benefiting your microbiome all in one simple soup!  …let’s not forget the powerful blood pressure lowering effects of mushrooms.  Your arteries will thank you 🙂

Brownies… again

Ok so here I am again posting about brownies… a window into my life 🙂

An accidentally cool swirl!

My littlest is doing her best to live off of chocolate… getting it into as many meals a day as possible and will use tears as a weapon if necessary. Obviously this is every mom’s dream come true and even better if you are a nutritionist right! LOL

I do wonder if I am losing the 80/20 balance that I strive for with her and her chocolate obsession. I try to incorporate healthy chocolate recipes into her life as much as possible… also she likes to cook and bake and with me, so who doesn’t love a helper 🙂

Yes these brownies contain chocolate chips (non-dairy of course) and yes these brownies contain maple syrup which is basically just liquid sugar BUT for the balancing act they also contain black beans, dates, ground flax and peanut butter!

I’m calling this a win, she will eat some fibre, she will eat some healthy fat, she will eat some protein and she will eat some chocolate.

Bean Burgers/Falafel

Pulled this one out of the archives! I should apologize for not posting it earlier because this is great for burgers or “meatballs”, meal prepping since they freeze so well and even kids lunches if you have that need.

2018 – I finally made some awesome bean burgers! …and it was so easy I will be making them again and again 🙂

RECIPIE:

  • 1 can chick peas
  • 1 can black beans
  • About 3 tbsp corn (optional)
  • Fried shiitake mushrooms with onions, garlic, basil, S&P, oregano
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • Handful of parsley
  • Handful of cilantro
  • Handful of dill
  • Green onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 cup oats
  • S&P to taste


I blended it all together, covered my hands in avocado oil, made patties, dipped them in more nutritional yeast and fried them on a dry frying pan. Basically any spices and flavours that you enjoy when you make a beef burger you can add to this…a couple drops of liquid smoke would give it that familiar BBQ flavour (or a blob of BBQ sauce)!

Brussels

A lesson in freshness…or maybe size really does matter!

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Recipe:

  • brussel sprouts cut into quarters
  • avocado or olive oil (just a sprinkle)
  • tbsp seedy mustard
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • a little sea salt
  • I made these for the family so on the adult side I sprinkled some chili powder

I roasted them at about 350ºF until wrinkly and golden…not more than 10 minutes!

Confession:

They were bitter and awful!  But it’s not the recipe that failed me it was the actual veggies. I have made this before and they usually come out buttery and delicious. I think where things went wrong was I purchased a prepackaged bag of local but probably not fresh brussel sprouts. I was also given some helpful tips from fellow cooking enthusiasts that choosing the smaller sprouts is the key to avoiding the bitterness. 

You can’t win them all!

…we will try again 🙂

Plant-based comfort food

At the beginning of the year the Canada Food Guide released some new recommendations to give Canadians the best chance of staying healthy and disease free. One major change that became a hot topic for discussion was the recommendation that “among protein foods, consume plant-based protein more often”.  Well this is a little vague for most of us since the media has taught us that the word ‘protein’ is synonymous with ‘meat’. So what exactly does “plant-based protein” look like on the dinner table? Below is a family favourite that include plenty of plant-based protein.    

chickpea spaghetti

I chose this recipe to share because it’s important to make familiar yet nutritious food for not only the kids but also adults that are interested in making some changes.  Making dietary changes to improve your health and the health of your loved ones doesn’t need to take away the comfort of food. This meal contains leafy greens to provide the valuable vitamins and minerals that we need, chickpeas are an excellent source of protein and the onions, garlic and nutritional yeast not only create anti-inflammatory reactions within the body but are also a great boost to your immune system.  

 

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins

Ingredients: tomato sauce, spices (oregano, thyme, basil, nutritional yeast, chilli peppers, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, cinnamon, clove), garlic, onions, red peppers, canned chickpeas (drained and rinsed), fresh parsley, spaghetti 

Directions: Boil the spaghetti in water with about 3 bay leafs to give the pasta nice flavour – I also put about a tablespoon of a basil, thyme, oregano spice mix into the water – while the pasta is boiling. Between boiling water and waiting for pasta to cook this should be enough time to make your sauce.

Sauce – chop onions and garlic and start frying them on low heat, add a small splash of water and then add your spices:

  • a healthy tbsp each of oregano, thyme, basil, turmeric and paprika
  • a dash of black pepper (you only need about 1/8 of a tsp to ensure proper absorption of the turmeric) 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp clove

Let these fry up over low heat until you see the onions starting to become clear, add your sliced red peppers, tomato sauce and chickpeas.  These should have time to simmer together while the pasta cooks.

Taste it – if you like your pasta sauce a bit on the sweet side I recommend a splash of maple syrup! 

Serve it with some fresh parsley (or herbs of your choice) and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast on top (like parmesan!)