Thursday, 06 October 2016 16:06

Vegetarian Thai Chili

I made this chili with a vegetarian cooking class a few years back and it was a huge hit! You could also use quinoa in place of the bulgar.

Thai Chili

A delicious combination of vegetarian chilli and red curry with a hint of coconut.

1 ½ tsp red curry paste
1 tsp ground cumin
4 cups vegetable broth
½ cup uncooked bulgur or pot barley
½ medium sweet potato
1 large green bell pepper chopped
3 cups cooked kidney beans
½ cup light coconut milk
2 cups tomato puree
2 scallions chopped
Fresh ground pepper to taste

One: In a pot add curry paste, cumin and a bit of broth. Mash mixture and stir until paste is no longer in lumps. Add remaining broth, bulgur, potato and bell pepper.
Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Cover tightly and reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes.

Two: add beans, coconut milk, and tomato puree to pot and stir. Cook, uncovered for 7 minutes until bulgur is tender and chilli is thick. Stir in scallions and black pepper to taste.

Published in Dinner
Thursday, 03 March 2016 20:41

Nutrition on a Budget

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to eat nutritionally. In fact, the opposite is true. Packaged, prepared, brand-name, imported, out of season, and convenience foods will eat up your grocery budget in no time. Here are some healthy shopping tips to get you well on your way to a healthier lifestyle no matter what you dietary needs are.

  • Buy the whole chicken and cut it up yourself.
  • Grow your own – cherry tomatoes, herbs, lettuces, and small peppers can be grown in pots on your deck during the summer months
  • Eat more vegetarian meals – meat is very expensive and unless you’re buying free range, you should be questioning the quality.
  • Buy in bulk, avoid excess packaging
  • Cook more – eat out, less. 
  • Cook/Prepare in quantity – invest in a slow cooker (Cost is approx. .50¢ to operate for 8 hours)  Also having leftovers for lunch will save you from buying lunch out.
  • Buy in season and buy locally – to avoid transportation costs
  • Take your lunch to work/school
  • Make your own coffee – or better yet, drink green tea instead
  • Eat nutrient dense food – you’ll be less hungry
  • Stock up on sale items
  • Shop late on Saturday night or early Monday morning and take advantage of the marked down meats and produce
  • Check out the reduced bins and racks (Example: SuperStore, Zehr's)
  • Avoid luxury items – reserve these for “treats” only
  • Join a food co-op like the Good Food Box or hit up the local Farmer's Market
  • Check out weekly grocery store flyers or PC Points Card
  • Avoid brand names and choose generic brands instead, it's the same thing
  • Be aware of the “unit” price. A less expensive product may also be a smaller quantity
  • Use coupons - but remember, coupons are usually for name brands. Even with a coupon the generic brand often still costs less
  • Ask the butcher for bones for your dog and use them for soup stock – Fido will have to find his own bones.
  • Don’t throw out wilted veggies – these make beautiful soup stock that can be frozen and used later
  • Don’t spend too much time in the grocery store – you’re apt to spend more
  • Be aware that foods at eye-level in the grocery store tend to be more expensive
  • Don’t succumb to advertising – taste the samples but don’t buy – these are rarely sale items.
  • Avoid “ready-to-eat” foods. Buying basic food items will save you money and will be healthier for you and your family.
  • Read labels – be sure you’re getting the best nutrition for your food dollar.
  • Foods that have a Nutrition Facts label will also have an "ingredients" list. The ingredients are listed from "most" to "least" -- in other words, if sugar is the first ingredient, you know that the food is mostly sugar!
  • Shop wisely by using a shopping list, compare prices, and look at labels
  • Shop alone if you can, and be sure that you aren't hungry when you go - hungry shoppers find it hard to stick to the list!
  • Be flexible -- if you see an unadvertised special that is too good to pass up, change your plan -- add that food to your list.
  • Plan meals ahead, know what you have on hand and think about what you would like to cook
  • Make a food budget, and stick to it!
Published in Deanna's Blog
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:13

Lentil Soup

This is a soup that is made frequently in our house.  It is quick and easy to make and is cost effective.  One way to save money on groceries is to incorporate more vegetarian meals.  Lentils are loaded with fibre and have a good amount of protein to keep you feeling full.
6-8 cups water
1 Tbsp Miso paste
1 cup lentils (green or brown), rinsed
1 onion or leek finely chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 celery stock chopped
3-4 cloves garlic minced or pressed
One 14 ounce can diced tomatoes
½ tsp thyme ( I omit and add curry)
2 tsp honey
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 heaping tsp Celtic Sea Salt
Sea vegetables like Wakame or Arame to taste or Dulse added after
Fresh black pepper, to taste
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos to taste
I throw it all in a pot and it’s done when the lentils are soft, usually in about 45 minutes to an hour. I also like to throw it in a crock pot in the morning on low, so it’s ready when we get home at night. 
Published in Soups
Wednesday, 29 April 2015 15:20

Black Bean Quinoa Burgers

(Reprinted with permission from Northshore Naturopathic Clinic)
½ cup (125 ml) quinoa
¼ cup (50 ml) filtered water 
¼ cup (50 ml) finely chopped onion (about ½ small) 
2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed 
1½ cups (375 ml) cooked back beans, or a 14 Oz (398 ml) can, rinsed and well-drained 
½ cup (125 ml) oats or whole-grain bread crumbs 
3 tablespoons (45 ml) minced fresh cilantro 
1 teaspoon (5 ml) chili powder 
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin 
½ teaspoon (2 ml) unprocessed sea salt 
coconut oil
Wash the quinoa by putting it in a fine-meshed sieve and setting the sieve over a large bowl full of filtered water. Rub it gently between your hands, rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear and then drain it well. 
Put the quinoa, ¼ cup of water, onion and garlic in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. 
Allow to cool before combining with the rest of the ingredients. 
In a large bowl, mash the beans really well. Add the oats or bread crumbs, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, sea salt and cooled quinoa mixture. Mix thoroughly and adjust seasonings if desired. Form into 4 burgers, about ¼-inch thick.
Place burgers on a plate and put into the freezer for about 20 minutes to firm them up a bit. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt enough coconut oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. Add 2 burgers and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Repeat for the other 2 burgers. Serve with a mixture of mild salsa and plain yogurt or light sour cream. Makes 4 servings.
Published in Dinner