Tag Archives: low-calorie

Chestnut, Parsnip and Fennel Soup

fennel parsnip soupHere is a little different soup perfect for Winter; I try to eat food that is local and in season so fennel and parsnips fit right into that rule and chestnuts are a staple in my kitchen this time of year, they pop up in the grocery store in the Fall but you can get canned ones all year round.  It’s fun to oven roast chestnuts to eat as a snack but kind of an extra step for making soup, I honestly went to Whole Foods and got an organic can of chestnuts for this soup (NOT TO BE CONFUSED with Water Chestnuts!).

chestnutsNutritionally this soup has it going on: Chestnuts, unlike other nuts and seeds, are relatively low in calories, contain less fat but are rich in minerals, vitamins and phyto-nutrients that benefit health, they are exceptionally rich in vitamin-C and folates, they are a good source of mono-unsaturated fats, and an excellent source of minerals such as iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc, besides providing a very good amount of potassium and B-Complex Vitamins!   Parsnips are rich in several in Vitamin C, E and K, folate, thiamine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, niacin and B-6.  , Parsnips are also an excellent source of minerals such as copper, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc.  Fennel is a super food, has many health benefits and aids in digestion.  Follow this LINK to see more in-depth breakdown of its value.

Medium-large heavy bottomed soup pot
2          tablespoons Sunflower Oil
1          Leek, thinly sliced (white and pale green only)
1          tablespoon Fennel Seeds, lightly crushed
1          Fennel Bulb, coarsely chopped
2          medium/large Parsnip, peeled and diced
1          cup Chestnut, cooked and peeled
6          cups Vegetable Broth

Sea Salt and Ground Pepper

Heat oil over medium/high heat and sauté the leek, fennel seeds and fennel until slightly softened.

Add Parsnips and chestnuts and pour in broth.  Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer until the parsnips are soft.

Remove from heat and puree the soup until silky smooth.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Home Made Almond Milk

*Addendum :  You can make quick nut milks (no soaking required)  with just a Nut-Milk-Bag_1024x1024nut bag and a good blender.  Creamy nuts like Cashews and Macadamias make great milk for coffee, tea, granola or smoothies.  Don’t be afraid to experiment either, I like  Cashew Almond or Macadamia and Toasted Coconut,  simply toss 1/2 – a full cup of nuts with  equal parts water (less or DIY-Coconut-Milk-All-Sorts-of-Pretty6more depending on the thickness you desire), a pinch of sea salt, flavour if you like: vanilla or cinnamon and/or sweetener like honey or stevia and blend until smooth.  Sheeze through the nut milk bag and you’re done!

 

I’ve been meaning to post these simple instructions on how to make your own nut milk for years, if you Google almond milk recipes you’ll find pretty much the same instructions, its super easy and much healthier and tastes fresh. You can make any sort of nut milk you like, Hazelnut is awesome, Walnut for an another example, Pecan, Brazil Nut, Macadamia, Cashew, the list goes on, or, mix more than one nut together like Almond Hazelnut! Yum! Beware this is raw, natural food so it will only keep for 3-4 days (as real food should). I used to make my nut milks with layered cheese cloth, its super cheap, you can buy it at a hardware store but eventually I bucked up and bought a re-usable nut bag, and honestly it’s well worth it. Look for future posts on using the left over nut pulp!

Makes 32 oz.
High powdered blender
Nut bag or Layers of Cheese Cloth
Pitcher or large bowl
2     cups Raw Almonds
4     cups Fresh, Spring or Filtered Water
Pinch of Sea Salt
Optional:
1    teaspoon Vanilla
Healthy Sweetener of your choice: stevia, coconut sugar, honey, maple or add dates to the soaking nuts and blend too.

Soak the almond in the filtered water over night or for 8-12 hours. Rinsing and replacing the water at least once is a good idea.

Drain and rinse your soaked almonds then blend with 4 cups of fresh water and sea salt on high for 2 minutes. If using a regular blender (not heavy duty, like a VitaMix) you may need to do two batches, blending 1/2 at a time.

Strain the milk from the pulp using your nut milk bag by squeezing as much of the milk out as possible. Add vanilla and sweeten to taste if you desire.

Reserve and store the pulp in the freezer to make other delicious recipes like crackers, cookies or bread.

Variations:

Chocolate Milk
32 oz    Almond Milk
1             tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1/4       cup Honey or Dark Agave
1            teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Blend.

Chai Milk

32 oz     Almond Milk
1/4        cup Honey, Maple Syrup or Dark Agave
1             teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1             teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2       teaspoon Garam Masala
1/4       teaspoon Nutmeg
Blend.

Creamy Celery and Fennel Soup

fennel-celeryHad a fennel craving tonight and when I went looking for this soup recipe I discovered it sitting in my drafts! So, here it is: creamy, light and very healthy soup.

Large heavy bottomed soup pot
3-4    tablespoons Sunflower Oil
2         Leeks,trimmed,white and light green section only, diced
1         tablespoon Fennel Seeds
4        cloves Garlic, chopped
1         head of Celery, chopped
1         large Fennel Bulb, chopped
1         large Yukon Potato, diced
1-2     liters Organic Vegetable Broth
1         cup plain/unsweetened Milk, (I use Goats Milk but Almond, Hemp or Soy will work too)

Sea salt and fresh Ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in soup pot over medium heat. Add the leek, stir for a couple minutes, add the fennel seeds and garlic and stir for another. Add the celery, fennel, potato, and stir. Add broth to the top of the vegetables and bring to simmer. Simmer on low till tender, about 45 minutes.

Cool soup enough to blend in a blender or use an immersion blender, blend till smooth. Return to pot, add milk and heat on low until serving.

Fennel

ImageThe edible herb called fennel belongs to the Apiaceae family, which also includes carrots and parsley. It is native to Europe and related to certain herbs that have fragrant flowers widely referred to as seeds, such as anise, cumin and dill. Although some people use fennel for its scent or claimed medicinal properties, the plant is a well-known ingredient in cooking and food products, too. Edible fennel is available in bulb, leaf, seed and stalk form, and cooks use it as a flavouring agent, garnish, herb or vegetable in dishes. You can consume the different parts of the plant in various ways, explains the Herb Society of America, such as by cooking the stalk to use as a vegetable, eating the stalk uncooked, adding the raw leaves to salads or preparing tea from fennel leaves or seeds. The actual nutritional properties of fennel may vary based on such factors as added ingredients, cooking method and the variety used.

Fennel is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is also a very good of dietary fiber, potassium, molybdenum, manganese, copper, phosphorus, and folate. In addition, fennel is a good source of calcium, pantothenic acid, magnesium, iron, and niacin.

Like many of its fellow spices, fennel contains its own unique combination of phytonutrients—including the flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides—that give it strong antioxidant activity. The phytonutrients in fennel extracts compare favorably in research studies to BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), a potentially toxic antioxidant commonly added to processed foods.

The most fascinating phytonutrient compound in fennel, however, may be anethole—the primary component of its volatile oil. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel has repeatedly been shown to reduce inflammation and to help prevent the occurrence of cancer. Researchers have also proposed a biological mechanism that may explain these anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. The volatile oil has also been shown to be able to protect the liver of experimental animals from toxic chemical injury.

In addition to its unusual phytonutrients, fennel bulb is an excellent source of vitamin C. Vitamin C is the body’s primary water-soluble antioxidant, able to neutralize free radicals in all aqueous environments of the body. If left unchecked, these free radicals cause cellular damage that results in the pain and joint deterioration that occurs in conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

The vitamin C found in fennel bulb is directly antimicrobial and is also needed for the proper function of the immune system.

As a very good source of fiber, fennel bulb may help to reduce elevated cholesterol levels. And since fiber also removes potentially carcinogenic toxins from the colon, fennel bulb may also be useful in preventing colon cancer. In addition to its fiber, fennel is a very good source of folate, a B vitamin that is necessary for the conversion of a dangerous molecule called homocysteine into other, benign molecules. At high levels, homocysteine, which can directly damage blood vessel walls, is considered a significant risk factor for heart attack or stroke. Fennel is also a very good source of potassium, a mineral that helps lower high blood pressure, another risk factor for stroke and heart attack.

Just a super food!

Miso Mustard Cabbage and Fennel Salad

Had a couple of ½ heads of cabbage and a fennel bulb to use in my fridge so I put this cole slaw like salad together tonight, it’s quite tasty now, looking forward to having some fully marinated for lunch tomorrow.  The fennel in this salad is key, fennel is crunchy, slightly sweet and refreshing and, it is a powerful antioxidant, has anti inflammatory properties and aids in digestion.  Fennel is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, Folate,  Potassium and high in fiber too.

Large bowl
1     tablespoon Miso Paste
2     tablespoons Grainy Dijon Mustard
1     tablespoon Honey
2        tablespoons Rice Vinegar
3        tablespoons Sunflower Oil
2        teaspoons Sesame Oil
1/2    teaspoon Crushed Red Chilies
1/2    teaspoon Sea Salt
6        cups Red and Green Cabbage, thinly sliced
1         small Fennel Bulb, thinly sliced
3        Carrots, grated
4        Green Onions, sliced
1/3    cup Toasted Sunflower Seeds
1/4   cup Sesame Seeds
Pepper to taste

Whisk sauce ingredients in a large bowl then add cabbage, fennel, carrot, green onion and toss to coat. Sprinkle with seeds, toss again then season with pepper to taste. Allow to marinade for at least a couple hours before serving.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Scones with Goat Cheese Frosting

Whipped these up tonight and nailed it on the first try, LOVE it when this happens! I was inspired by some scone like pumpkin cookies served at a party this weekend that were made with wheat flour (man were they good). Here I just used my basic gluten free scone recipe and added the pumpkin and some pumpkin pie spice.    I used the guts of the pumpkin I carved today to make my own pumpkin purée, all you need to do is roast it for 20 minutes then puree in a food processor but feel free to use canned pumpkin too.   Also, make your own pumpkin pie spice, it’s easy: 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.  I’ve included a goat cheese frosting for these scones that adds a nice sweet touch as they aren’t very sweet on their own but they are good either way. I used my food processor to make the dough as its just so simple and very little mess but you can also do it the old fashion way. =)

Oven 425 degrees
Parchment paper lined baking sheet dusted with flour
1 ½         cups Sorghum Flour
1/4         cup Tapioca Starch
4              teaspoons Xanthan Gum
2              teaspoon Baking Powder
1              teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4         cup Organic Granulated Sugar (your choice but I use cane sugar)
1 ½         teaspoons Pumpkin Pie Spice
7              tablespoons cold Unsalted Organic Butter, cut into chunks (I use goat butter)
1              cup Pumpkin Puree
2              tablespoons Goat Yogurt (or Greek Style)
1              large Egg

Optional: Brush the tops of the scones with the goat yogurt, cream or egg white then sprinkle with a little raw sugar

Add all dry ingredients to your food processor then pulse a few times to combine.

Add the cold chopped up butter, and pulse again until butter is cut into pieces. Then, add the pumpkin puree, yogurt and egg and process just until dough comes together.

Dump the dough out onto the baking sheet and use the parchment paper or dusted hands to roll in into a log then cut into 8-10 discs and arrange on the baking sheet (still lined with parchment paper).

Brush the tops of the scones with yogurt, cream or egg white, and sprinkle with course raw sugar.  Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until just golden brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Drizzle with Spice Glaze:

Spice Cream Cheese Glaze

1/2         cup Organic Icing Sugar
1/2         teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1              tablespoon Goat Cheese or Cream Cheese
1              tablespoon of Almond Milk

Whisk together until smooth, maybe adding more icing sugar to thicken then spoon into a small ziplock.  Simply cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and drizzle onto of the cooled scones.

Dressings

Summer is coming and (apparently) Spring is here which for me means salad time!  I almost never buy a salad dressing, it is so healthy, fresh and easy to make your own, once you get the hang of it you’ll wonder why you ever bought a store dressing.  Some of these recipes are mine, some I have acquired along the way but all are well used and loved. I have been meaning to do this post for too long now so I’m going to just provide a list and will likely come back and update to add more later.  A post for Dips and Pesto are soon to follow.  Enjoy your greens!

Miso Honey Cilantro Dressing

4              tablespoons White Miso
2              tablespoons Honey
2              bunches fresh Cilantro
4              tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1/4         cup Sunflower Oil
4              tablespoons White or Yellow Onion, chopped
2              teaspoon Dijon Mustard
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine, blend or process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Dressing

3/4         cup raw Cashews, soaked in filtered water for at least 6 hours
1              cup fresh Organic Cilantro
1/2         cup Nut or Rice Milk
1/2         Avocado, peel  and pit removed
1/4         cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1/2         Jalapeno, stemmed and cut in half (if you do not like spicy you can remove the seeds and membrane)
3              tablespoons fresh Lime Juice (about 2 limes)
2              Garlic Cloves, skin removed

Combine, blender or food process  until smooth. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Makes Approximately 3 cups.

Cilantro Lime Dressing

1              Jalapeño Pepper, seeded (1/2 if you prefer less heat)
2              Garlic Cloves
3/4         teaspoon fresh Ginger, minced
1/3         cup fresh Lime Juice
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave Nectar
2              teaspoon White Balsamic Vinegar
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt (or to taste)
1/2         cup packed fresh Cilantro
1/3         cup Extra Virgin Olive

Combine, blend/process. Best if refrigerated for a couple of hours prior to serving.

Makes approximately  1 cup.

Carrot Ginger Dressing/Dip

1              large Carrot, grated
2              tablespoons Mirin
1              tablespoon Agave Nectar
2              tablespoons Rice Vinegar or Apple Cider Vinegar
1              tablespoon wheat-free Tamari
1              tablespoon Mustard
1              tablespoon fresh Ginger, grated

Put all ingredients into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Makes approximately 1/2 cup.

Poppy Seed Vinaigrette

1/2         cup White Vinegar
1              cup Sunflower Oil
1              Tablespoon Poppy Seeds
1/2         Sweet Onion, grated
1/4         cup Honey or Agave Syrup
1              teaspoon Dry Mustard
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Just a couple pulses in a blender will do or just a good shake!

Makes approximately 2 cups.

Oil-Free Italian Vinaigrette (personal fav, use this on green salad all the time)

1/4         cup Apple Cider Vinegar
2              teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1-2          tablespoons Italian Seasoning
3/4         cup Water
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend/process.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Maple Mustard Vinaigrette

1              clove of Garlic
1              heaping teaspoon of Mustard
2              tablespoons Maple Syrup
1              tablespoon Lemon Juice
3              tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1/2         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Combine, blend/process/emulsify.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Basic Balsamic Dressing

1              Garlic Clove, peeled
1              small Shallot, peeled
1              teaspoon Lemon Juice
2              tablespoons Agave Nectar
1/4         cup Balsamic vinegar
1/2         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste.

Combine, blend/process/emulsify.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Green Apple Salad Dressing (vinegar and citrus free)

1              Green Granny Smith Apple, cored
1/2        cup Water
1/3         cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 to 4    Garlic cloves
2              inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled
Sea Salt, to taste

Combine in blender/processor and blend until very smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste and blend again.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Cucumber Vinaigrette

1              Long English Cucumber
1/4         cup Rice Vinegar
1              tablespoon Toasted Sesame oil

Combine, blend/process till smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Super Healthy Oil and Vinegar Free Dressing  (great of baby kale greens)

1              Lemon, juiced
1/4         cup Nutritional Yeast
3-4          tablespoons Dulse Flakes
1-2          teaspoons Braggs Liquid Aminos or Wheat Free Tamari
Handful fresh Basil or Dill
Cayenne Pepper to taste

Combine and shake.

Makes approximately ½ cup.

Creamy Avocado Dressing (also great as a dip for veggies)

1              Avocado, peeled, pitted
1              small Garlic Clove, minced
1/4         cup Water
1              tablespoon Fresh dill
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave
2              tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend or processes until creamy and smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Sweet Basil-Lime Dressing

1              clove Garlic
2              cup fresh Basil Leaves
1/4         cup Olive Oil
1/4         cup fresh Lime Juice
2              tablespoon Water
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave
1              teaspoon Sea Salt

Combine, blend/process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Oil-free Basil Lover’s Dressing

3              tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
1              tablespoon Organic Miso Paste
1-2          cups fresh Basil
1              Garlic Clove
1/2         cup Water
1/4         cup Lemon Juice
1/4         cup Nutritional Yeast
2              tablespoons Honey or Agave

Combine, blend or process.

Makes over 1 cup.

Strawberry Vinaigrette

1              cup Sunflower Oil
1/2         pint fresh Strawberries, halved
2              tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
1/2         teaspoon Sea Salt
1/4         teaspoon ground Black Pepper
1              tablespoon fresh Tarragon (1/4 teaspoon dried)
1              tablespoon Honey or Agave

Combine, blend/process

Makes just over a cup.

Blueberry Dressing

1/2     cup fresh blueberries
1          tablespoon Apple Juice
2          tablespoon Red or White Wine Vinegar
2          tablespoons Goat Yogurt (or sub for water or additional apple juice)
1          teaspoon Shallots, coarsely chopped
1/8     teaspoon Sea Salt
1          tablespoon Honey, Agave or pinch Stevia
Freshly ground Black Pepper to taste

Combine, blend/process until relatively smooth.  Dressing will thicken over time.

Makes approximately ¾ cup.

Sweet and Tangy Mango Salad Dressing

2              ripe Mangos (or about 2 cups if using frozen)
1/3          cup Water
1/2          Avocado, pitted and skinned
1              heaping tablespoon Spicy Brown Mustard

Combine and blend/process

Makes approximately 2.5 cups.

Raspberry Salad Dressing

1/2         cup Sunflower Oil
1/4         cup frozen or fresh Raspberries
3              tablespoons Raspberry Vinegar (Red Wine Vinegar will work too)
2              tablespoons All-Fruit Raspberry Jam
1-2          tablespoon Honey or Agave (to taste)
1              tablespoon Grainy Dijon Mustard
1              teaspoon Poppy Seeds
1              Shallot, chopped

Combine, blend/process until smooth.

Makes approximately 1 cup.

Healthy Herb Omega Flax Dressing

3/4       cup Flax Seed Oil
1/4       cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1             teaspoon Dijon Mustard
1             teaspoon Wheat-Free Tamari Sauce
3-5        cloves Garlic, crushed
6             drops Tabasco or other hot sauce
1             tablespoon Sweet Basil
1/2        teaspoon Tarragon
1/2         teaspoon Oregano
1/2         teaspoon Maple Syrup
1              tablespoon Capers

Combine, blend/process.

Makes just over 1 cup.