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One of the greatest cuisines of the world, in my opinion, is Moroccan.  The beautiful colours and spices of Moroccan food make their dishes both healthy and flavourful.  Moroccan cuisine tends to lean to whole food ingredients that is prepared fresh and that is often simmered for a period of time to allow all the flavours to marry.

Chickpeas is a staple in our household and to be honest a quick and nutritious ‘go-to’!  Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, are a legume high in protein and fibre and rich in dietary minerals such as iron, phosphorus and zinc.  Most people toss these legumes in a salad or make a hummus with no more than a second thought but chickpeas deserve more attention.  Most of the fibre in chickpeas is insoluble fibre making them highly digestible for those who seem to be sensitive to beans.   You will find these power-packed beans in many Moroccan dishes, spreads, soups and stews.

Ingredients

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans) rinsed and drained

3 garlic cloves minced

4 whole tomatoes cut into chunks

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1/2 cup dried apricots, sliced

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup cilantro

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 cup avocado oil

salt and black pepper to taste

1 cup cooked couscous

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute watching you don’t burn the garlic.  Add in the red onions until lightly browned
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir occasionally
  3. Add in the chickpeas, reduce heat and simmer for approximately 7-8 minutes
  4. Serve on top of cooked couscous

A fall favourite, butternut squash soup is both simple to make and even easier to eat!  Fall (and winter) is a time to cozy up to more warming foods.  When I speak about cooling and warming foods, I am referring to the thermal properties of the foods we eat.  Mother nature is brilliant in that she provides us with these choices depending on the season.  You will find that in the fall and winter months the seasonal choices are typically warming (squash, beets, Brussel sprouts, parsnips, etc.) while in the spring and summer months choices are typically cooling (arugula, asparagus, radish, berries, watermelon, etc.).

This easy butternut squash soup recipe is comfort in a bowl and requires minimal ingredients with maximum flavour!

Ingredients

2 Butternut squash

1 cup Vegetable Broth

2 tbsp olive oil

1 sprig of Rosemary

Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Fill a casserole dish ¾ with water
  2. Slice butternut squash, drizzle with olive oil, add herbs and place flesh down in water
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour or until soft
  4. Let squash cool then scrap out of skin, place in pot, add the water in the casserole dish as well as 1 cup vegetable broth and hand blend until smooth

Miso has been rated one of the world’s healthiest foods.  When looking at the health benefits of this paste we can see why!  It is packed with nutrients and incredible bacteria and enzymes.   Miso is a paste made from soybeans and fermented anywhere from three months to three years producing an enzyme-rich food.  Miso is a staple in the Chinese and Japanese diet.  In fact these cultures begin their day with a warm bowl of miso soup which is believed to stimulate digestion and provide energy to the body.  Try replacing your traditional breakfast with this warming and tasty soup and feel the energy benefits.

Ingredients

1 cup Brown Rice

2 Sweet Potato (sliced into small cubes)

1 head of kale

2 Tablespoons of Miso

Salt & Black Pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cook brown rice in 4 cups of vegetable broth
  2. Add in sweet potato and kale and cook until soft (approximately 20 minutes)

Being Italian I grew up with pasta every Sunday and maybe one or two other evening as well.  To find a pasta that was comparable to the traditional white pasta plate was difficult until I discovered brown rice pasta.  The texture and colour is almost identical and once your homemade sauce smothers the noodles not even your nonno will notice the difference J  Naturally free of gluten, brown rice pasta is a quick, easy and nutritious meal especially when topped with my spinach pesto!

Ingredients

1 bag of brown rice pasta

1 box of organic spinach

Basil

Pine Nuts

Olive oil

Salt & pepper (to taste)

 

Instructions

Toast pine nuts in a pan making sure to constantly move them around so that they do not burn.

Transfer pine nuts (while still hot) to your blender with the spinach, basil and olive oil.

Add salt & pepper to taste.

Boil brown rice pasta (7-10 minutes) making sure not to overcook.

Pour the spinach pesto over the pasta and serve.

Ditch your sandwich bread for these nutrient-packed collard green wraps!  They are super easy, super tasty and perfect for lunch, snack or even as an appetizer!  We obtain unique health benefits from collard greens so starting to add in this cruciferous vegetable to your diet is a great idea.  It has a rich concentration of Vitamin K1 (great for bone health) as well as vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.  Need I convince you more?

Ingredients

4 medium collard greens leaves

2 carrots peeled and

1 beet

Fennel

Brown rice

Zucchini

Chicken (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut stems and lay collard green leaf flat.
  2. Chop your favourite vegetables (or use my combination above) and place them on one side of the leaf.
  3. Begin to roll the leaf like you would a burrito. You could blanch the leaves for 30 seconds and then add to a bowl of ice water to allow for them to be more flexible however this step is optional (I skipped it here)

Sick of processed veggie burgers? I know I am. Most veggie burgers contain canola and other ‘cheap’ oils, soy, caramel colouring, MSG (sometimes referred to as Hydrolyzed Protein) and the list of

preservatives goes on – all undoing the healthy choices we are trying to make. I have longed for a burger that is free of gluten, dairy, soy and preservatives so I had to create my own. Finally a burger that is filling and made with real ingredients!

Ingredients

3 cups cooked chickpeas

1 cup cooked quinoa

2 tbsp tahini

¼ cup chopped shallots

¼ cup brown rice flour

1 cup chopped mushrooms

2 garlic cloves minced

2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

¼ cup paprika

¼ cup cayenne pepper

¼ cup turmeric powder

Salt & pepper to taste

For the Beet Dip

Poached beets

Olive oil

For the Cilantro Dip

1 cup Goat yogurt

¼ cup cilantro

¼ cup Lemon

Instructions

1. Place the chickpeas in a large bowl and with a potato masher, mash slightly leaving some

chickpeas whole.

2. Add all ingredients except for the brown rice flour and set aside for 20 minutes.

3. Add the brown rice flour and mix well. Form the patties.

4. Using coconut oil, heat a cast iron skillet or griddle and sear on both sides until golden-brown.

5. Serve on Ezekiel sprouted bread topped with beets and cilantro dip

Make the Beet Dip

Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth

Make the Cilantro Dip

Place all ingredients in a blender until smooth