A New Yummier Healthier Coleslaw

Since cabbage is so good for you, I’ve been looking for new ways to eat it.  Since it’s not one of my favourites, this was a bit of a tough task.  But I modified a coleslaw recipe to make, what I think, is a lighter version of coleslaw that is tasty and great for you!  No mayo in this one!

Here are some of the main reasons to eat more cabbage:

cancer-fighting capabilities

vitamin C



low in fat and calories

and many more…

Here’s the recipe:

1/2 small head of cabbage, green or red

3 stalks broccoli, crowns removed

1 stalk celery

2-3 carrots

1/4 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds

1/3 cup raisins

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons olive or flax oil

3 tablespoons lemon or lime juice

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper

What you do:

1.  Chop the cabbage finely.

2.  Peel and then grate the carrots.

3.  Peel and chop the broccoli stalks into disks.

4.  Slice celery thinly.

5.  Mix all dressing ingredients together, then mix it in with the chopped veggies in a large bowl.  Add the raisins and sunflowers.

6.  Let it sit for at least an hour before you eat it so the flavours can mingle.  It keeps well in the fridge, thus making it great for leftovers!

Kamut Salad

This kamut salad is delicious and high in protein.  I cooked the kamut and made the dressing, then just made up half the recipe for dinner, serving the kamut hot with the fresh veggies and chickpeas.  I used the leftovers for lunches by cutting up fresh veggies and mixing them with the dressing and cold kamut and chickpeas.

For the kamut:

3 cups water

1 cup kamut

Bring the water to a boil, then add the kamut.  Reduce the heat, put a lid on it, and let it simmer for 1 & 1/4 hours.  Then take the lid off and let it simmer until the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes.

For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lemon or lime

1 tablespoon flax or olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Mix it all together with the following ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained

1-2 cups cherry tomatoes

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 bunch scallion, sliced thinly

1 cup chopped mini cucumber

1/4 cup parsley, chopped


Tofu Ricotta Pasta Filling – Dairy free

This dairy-free faux ricotta can be used in many pasta dishes – homemade tortellini, lasanga, stuffed shells… great to experiment with!   It’s a treat for people who can’t eat dairy, but I’ve also served it to the lactose tolerant to rave reviews.

What you need:

350 grams extra-firm tofu

3 cloves garlic, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 bunch fresh/box frozen spinach

2 tablespoons bread crumbs

1/4 cup vegan parmesan (or lactose free)

1/4 teaspoon pepper

What you do:

1.  Combine tofu, garlic, olive oil, chopped garlic, and salt in food processor and blend until the tofu is finely ground.

2.  If you are using fresh spinach, you can wilt it in a frying pan, let it cool, and squeeze out the excess moisture.  If you are using frozen it should be thawed, and then you can squeeze the moisture out.

3.  Add parmesan, bread crumbs and pepper to the tofu mixture, and mix in well.

4.  Add spinach and mix in well.

5.  Now you can adjust the seasonings to taste, and use it to fill your pasta.

I have used this to:

-fill large brown rice pasta shells, then cover with tomato sauce and bake

-use as a layer in a lasagna with tomato sauce and vegan pesto

-fill homemade tortellini and top with either parmesan or tomato sauce

-you can also use this recipe without the spinach, bread crumbs and cheese as a substitute for ricotta

Here’s what it look like if you puree the spinach rather than mixing it in at the end:

Roasted Vegetables and Spaghetti Squash

This delicious recipe is great if you’re looking to increase your vegetable intake.  You could substitute pasta for the squash, but this is quite filling on its own.  If you want a bit of meat you could add a little hot italian sausage.

The sesame seeds are ground so they are easily digested and you can utilize their calcium and iron.

You need:

1 spaghetti squash

For the tomato sauce:

1 small onion, chopped

2-4 cloves, sliced

1 –  796 mL can crushed tomatoes

1/4 cup tomato paste

oregano – 1 teaspoon fresh or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/4 cup fresh chopped basil – only fresh will do! *

1 tsp brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

For the roasted vegetables:

1 onion, chopped in large pieces

2 red, orange or yellow peppers, chopped in large pieces

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets

1 zucchini, sliced about 2 cm

3-4 cloves garlic, cut in half

2 tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons FRESH dill*

1/2 cup ground sesame seeds

salt and pepper

What you do:

1.  Start with the sauce.  While this cooks you will have lots of time to do the rest.  Chop onions, cook in a pot with a little olive oil, stirring occasionally for a few minutes.  Add garlic and cook until it has a hint of brown.  Add oregano, tomato paste and crushed tomatoes.  Give this a stir every now and then while you work on the rest of the recipe.

2.  Preheat oven to 425F.

3.  Cut squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place face down on a baking pan.

4.  Chop veggies and lay out evenly on another baking pan.

5.  Drizzle olive oil over veggies, then pour lemon juice all over them.  Sprinkle  sesame seeds over top.   Season with a little salt and pepper, and top with chopped dill.

6.  Pop the veggies and squash into the oven.  Take the veggies out about half way through and give them a little toss.  They are done when they get a little brown.  The squash is done when you can run a  fork through it and it makes those spaghetti-like strings.

7.  Just before serving, stir the basil, salt and pepper, and brown sugar into the sauce.  Adjust to taste.

8.  To serve, place some spaghetti squash on the plate, top with some sauce, then top with some veggies.  Yum!

*Some herbs taste completely different when they are dried.  Dill and basil are two of those.  When I find some great fresh basil or dill I put them in the freezer.  They are great to use in cooking – frozen basil not really great for using as a garnish or in something uncooked because it doesn’t look fresh any more, but great for sauces. Continue reading Roasted Vegetables and Spaghetti Squash

Guest Recipe: John’s Kung Pao Chicken

Mmmm.  Delicious.  If you’re averse to spice you can cut down on the peppers, but if you like it hot, then this one’s for you!

What you need:

1 & 1/2 boneless & skinless chicken breasts

3 tablespoons roasted peanuts

8-12 dried red chilies, deseeded and cut into halves (it was quite hot with 9 chilies, so you can experiment with the number that’s right for you)

3 tablespoons cooking oil

5 thin slices peeled fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic, sliced

1 stalk scallion

For the marinade:

1 tablespoon corn starch

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or other rice wine)

1 teaspoon oil

For the sauce:

1 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon black vinegar

2 tablespoons water

1 teaspoon corn starch

What you do:

1. Cut the chicken into small cubes, combine marinade ingredients and let the chicken marinate in it for about 30 minutes.

2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

3. Heat the wok or large frying pan with one tablespoon cooking oil and stir-fry the marinated chicken until it is 70% cooked. Remove chicken and set aside.

4.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to wok and heat until it smokes.

5. Add in the ginger and garlic slices and stir quickly before adding the dried red chilies.

6. Stir fry the dried red chilies until aromatic, then stir in the partially cooked chicken.

7. Add the roasted peanuts and continue to stir a few times.

8. Add the sauce and stir continuously until the chicken meat is nicely coated with the sauce.

9. Stir in the scallions, then dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.

This recipe serves three to four people with some side dishes.  We had steamed baby bok choy with a drizzle of oyster sauce.

All of these ingredients were found in Vancouver’s China Town.

Fresh and Healthy Quinoa Salad

This is a simple and healthy salad that works great for a lunch or picnic food.

Quinoa is a supergrain, originating in South America.  It is an excellent source of iron and fibre, and is a complete protein.  It is also gluten-free.

You need:

1 cup quinoa

1 can corn

1/4 red onion

1 jalapeno pepper

1 red pepper

1 orange pepper

juice of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup cilantro or parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

What you do:

1.  Rinse the quinoa – this is important to rinse off the slightly bitter coating.  Place in a pot with 1 & 1/2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes.  Take the pot off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool.

2.  Dice onions and peppers and chop cilantro.  Chop jalapeno, removing the seeds if you don’t like it very spicy.  

3.  Mix the veggies in with the cooled quinoa,  along with lemon and lime juices, salt and hot sauce.  You can add the juice along with the canned corn. 

4.  Mix it all up and it’s ready to go, but I like it after a few hours, as the flavours come together and the onion mellows a bit.

Prosciutto-wrapped Apple

I love entertaining, but sometimes I plan a dinner at a time that ends up being too busy, and I don’t have time to make something complicated.  This is a great recipe for those times when you’re really busy, so if you’re looking for a simple appetizer recipe to satisfy the sweet and salty cravings, then this one is for you!

Just head to the grocery store and pick up:

8 slices of prosciutto

one sweet-tart apple (I used a Jazz apple)

Now just cut the apple into 8 slices, peel off the skin, and wrap each slice with the prosciutto.  Place them on your favourite plate, and impress your friends!