Sautéed Beet Greens with Roasted Grapes

Hey Guys!

Ya I get it, this post is 5 days late – honestly I got hit with a 5 day sinus infection and I couldn’t even look at my computer screen to type this properly. This has been a weird 7 days overall for me: between the ice storm, then snow storm, this sinus infection which has been pure joy and I think I’m dealing with a bit of adrenal fatigue. Once you suffered from extreme adrenal fatigue, you automatically know the signs of when it starts creeping back in! So maybe getting sick was a good thing and the universe making me slow down, as I actually slept, rested and look a solid 7 days off from the gym. When I’m sick I tend to eat more carbs daily, which also has been really helpful with my recovery!

Now that I’m on the mend the recipe I’m sharing today is great for 2 main reasons; #1 – It’s so simple and #2 – It shows you how to amplify a simple recipe with one simple ingredient. I think when people are trying to cook for others or even someone just cooking for themselves , we tend to overcomplicate things. I see so many people getting caught up in over thinking about what to make that cooking, then of course becomes stressful!

I love taking simple ingredients and using 1 key ingredient to really make it pop, not only is it  delicious but it’s something people will ask or talk about, and that’s always been my main focus – to get people creating a conversation around food!

Today I’m taking simple beat greens, something people usually throw away or juice, and pairing them with roasted grapes! A simple fruit, many wouldn’t think to roast however the whole dish comes together in less the 20 Minutes!

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Within the botanical family, beet greens are nestled in alongside spinach, Swiss chard, quinoa, and a number of other wild plants, so we can technically place beet greens in “dark, leafy” category. Having this dark colour gives them a host of beneficial properties! Beet greens have a higher iron content than spinach, and a higher nutritional value than the beetroot itself. The vitamin A content in beet greens helps strengthen the immune system and stimulates production of antibodies and white blood cells. The beta-carotene in vitamin A is a known antioxidant that can fight the effects of free radicals in the body along with cancer and heart disease. Finally, the Vitamin K levels works with calcium to boost bone strength and prevent osteoporosis.

It’s easy to fall into a routine of eating the same vegetables and the same greens, but adding in some rotation means we allow a new host of vital vitamins and minerals! Which truthfully is what most people are lacking from their diet!

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SAUTÉED BEET GREEN WITH ROASTED GRAPES
Yields 4 Servings
{Vegan, Paleo}

INGREDIENTS
½ cup red grape
2-3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, depending on their length
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chili flakes
2 bunches of beet green, I used 1 bunch red and one bunch yellow
fat pinch of salt
zest of ½ lemon
1 Tbsp hemp seeds

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line sheet pan or small baking dish with parchment. I used a square cake pan.
  2. Thread the grapes onto the rosemary stems until they are full and lay on the line pan, no need for oil here. Continue until all grapes are threaded on the rosemary sprigs.
  3. Roast the grapes for 15 minutes. Then set aside.
  4. In the mean time, make sure your beet greens are cleaned and dry and remove the leaves from the stems.
  5. Roughly chop the stems and the leaves, keeping them separate.
  6. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, garlic and chili flakes. Once fragrant add the beet stems and allow them to cook for 5-6 minutes until tender. (We cook these at different stages, because the stems take longer to cook then the leaves.)
  7. Then add the chopped beet leaves, salt and the lemon zest. Once the leaves are wilted, remove from the pan onto a large platter. Pull the grapes off the rosemary stems and scatter over the cooked greens and top with the hemp seeds.

This could easily be a weeknight quickie side dish and a fun way to get some nutritionally packed greens into your diet.

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Happy Monday Everyone

~ Chef Steph

 

Thai Pesto Spaghetti Squash

Hi Guys!

How is everyone’s week going?! Honestly, this week is going much too slowly for me. I’m waiting on some news/call back so I’ve been pretty anxious and restless! I’m currently in the awkward stage of – do I need a drink, or should I go for a run to let out my anxiety. Since I chose to be responsible today I went with neither and decided to right this blog ha!

I’m just popping in today has I have plenty of work to finish up, but this recipe was so easy and delish that I wanted to spread some mid week cheer. SPEAKING of easy…..did you guys watch the bachelor this week? I had to PVR it, so I just watched it. You guys, here is what I know – I used to feel sorry Nick, really I did. However if you honestly choose women like Corrine, I no longer feel sorry as you clearly make poor choices. Mind you, sometimes I wish I could have a nanny at 29 – so I guess, good for her???

Someone remind me why I watch this show?

Bah, back to food! Ok so as per one of my more recent posts, Meatball Masala, you guys know I have a thing for combining flavours and cultural dishes! I find it such an incredible way to bring so much flavour to a simple dish. Anytime I go out to a restaurant, I usually look for unique flavours first or flavours/combinations I haven’t tried. Those are usually the items that excite me the most, and then figuring out how to recreate them at home. That’s when I get all chef crazy, I’ve been told I tend to over analyze menus and get too vocal about them, so I’ve learned to keep it to myself now.

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Now, I wouldn’t say I don’t eat pasta because I’m Italian and hell, if I want pasta I will eat it. However, 90% of the time I want vegetables to be the star of my plate. So I swapped out the grain in today’s recipe and went for spaghetti squash!

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A reason I like to reach for squash is because of it’s blood sugar regulating properties. Now, it’s important to note that blood sugar regulation is closely tied to our overall supply of B-complex vitamins, and that squash provides five B-complex vitamins! Those vitamins are B1, B3, B6, pantothenic acid, and folate. The unique mix of carotenoid, vitamin C and manganese makes them a super vegetable in my books, being anti- inflammatory, yet another factor that tends to have a nagging effects on blood sugar regulation. I believe by pulling in vegetables like this, we are increasing our intake of superfoods without needing fancy powders all the time. It’s about the quality and method of preparation!

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So today’s crazy simple recipe will give you a superfood boost while being epically delicious!

THAI PESTO SPAGHETTI SQUASH
Yields 4 servings
{Paleo, Vegan}

INGREDIENTS
1 spaghetti Squash
For the Pesto
1 fresh Thai chili, rough chopped
¾ cup (9g) loosely packed mint leaves
½ cup(6g) loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup loosely (12g) packed cilantro
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/3 cup hemp seeds
¼ cup nutritional yeast
½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ – 1/3 cup olive oil
Topping
Addition sliced fresh chili
Micro Sprouts

METHOD

  1. For the Squash: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a sheet plan with parchment.
  2. Slice the squash down the center vertically and scoop out the seeds – do NOT through the seeds away. See the notes below for baking!
  3. Place both halves of the squash flesh side down on the parchment paper and roast for 25 – 30 minutes. You want it to just be fork tender so it has some texture and it’s not mushy.
  4. For the Pesto: While your squash is cooking, you can make your pesto. In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the oil. Process on high speeds and then start to stream in the oil. This should yield a thick pesto. Set aside, until ready to assemble.
  5. Once the squash is done, carefully using a fork, pull away the insides, creating the thin squash noodles. You don’t want to let the squash cool too much, because the warm noodles will allow the pesto to really melt in and coat them nicely.
  6. Place your noodles in a bowl and add the batch of pesto, carefully fold the ingredients together until it’s all combined.
  7. Serve, topped with fresh chili and micro sprouts!

    NOTES:

  • If you don’t like heat, remove the seeds from the chili
  • For the squash seeds (pumpkin seeds), rinse them thoroughly, leaving all the stringy bits behind. Dry with a paper towel and toss in a little olive oil and salt. Roast for 6-8 minutes at 400, shaking the pan every few minutes to get even colour! Voila! So easy.

I hope you guys love this combination as much as I did!

Have a good rest of the week, I’ll be back beginning of next week with a super easy side dish to use up those beet greens, they are NOT just for juicing you know!

~Chef Steph

 

 

 

 

{TASTY TUESDAY} Honey Roasted Carrots

Good Morning Guys!

A Happy New Year is in order here! Firstly before you say anything – yes this recipe was supposed to be up before the Holidays but I’m not even going to sugar coat this: I ran out of time! Between teaching at a high school, helping out my online students before the break and getting my holiday baking done, I feel like all of sudden it was January 2nd! Also I really wanted a break from thinking over the holidays – I think it’s important that we just turn off the work brain and be present when it comes to spending time people you love!

Regardless of the timing, the recipe shared today can be made any time of the year really, and actually any night of week. It’s simple enough for a Wednesday night dinner but also nice enough for a Friday night dinner party with friends.

I’ve always loved roasted veggies, but I find we can get so stuck in the basics: sweet potato, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers – forgetting about how many other produce items we have available. I’m a huge believer in “bringing plants forward” on the plate – meaning our side should really become our mains. Too many people under utilize their vegetables and don’t take into the consideration that our micronutrients are just as valuable as our macronutrients. That’s why I love today’s recipe – a simple way to jazz up some carrots and give them more life on your table.

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Speaking of Micronutrients: Carrots are packed with an array of nutrient supportive compounds that have such great benefits on our overall health. They are an excellent source of antioxidant compounds and one of the richest vegetable sources of the pro-vitamin A carotenoids. In a one cup serving of carrots, we are achieving a 680% of the daily value of our Vitmain A – that’s amazing! This has been shown to protect against cardiovascular disease, promote skin and eye health and liver health/longevity!

Now before I get to the recipes, let me leave you with this: Whether you are a “resolution-er” (as I call it) or not, here is one simple thing we can do in 2017. Simply put, we can all do better. This can be in regards to our exercise routing, to our food choices, our skin care, our self love, our sleep, our time spent with others – we can call make a mental note, to just do better. We only have one body, and it’s our right to treat it as well as we can and give it the love it needs. So rather then a resolution, why not just make small shifts to constantly strive to do better for ourselves.

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HONEY ROASTED CARROTS
Yields 8- 10 servings
{Paleo/Vegan}

INGREDIENTS
Heirloom carrots (regular carrots can be used) 1 ½ lbs, peeled (see note below)
2 Tbsp honey
½ tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup, chopped roasted almonds

METHOD

  1. Pre heat the oven 375 degrees and set a baking sheet aside with no parchment paper.
  2. In a small sauce pan, add the honey, smoked paprika, garlic powder, olive oil and salt. This will loosen the honey and create a warm loose marinade. DO NOT let this boil or even simmer, once the honey had melted and everything can stirred together evenly, remove from heat.
  3. Place the prepared carrots on the baking sheet, pour over the warm marinade and toss to combine, making sure all carrots are covered.
  4. Roasting time will vary depending on whether you are using the thick or thin variety of these carrots, since I used the thick, roast for 15 minutes, give the pan a shake and roast for a final 15 minutes.
  5. When you are ready to serve, top with roasted almonds.

NOTES:

  • If you are using the thin heirloom carrots, they do not need to be peeled as they are so delicate.
  • The thin variety with also take ½ the cooking time so be mindful to watch them.

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Happy New Year Everyone!

Chef Steph

 

{Tasty Tuesday} Paleo Creamed Spinach

 

Question: How many of you are done your Christmas shopping? So every year, I’m that person who gets it done by the first week of December. This year, for a reason I still have yet to come up with, I waited to the week of Christmas. Yesterday I ventured out with a very solid plan and detailed list to get everything done. Well, it took 5 hours of: waiting in copious amounts of lines to either enter a store or to pay, running through and over many people, witnessing people loose their children (LIKE WHAT?!), probably loosing 5 lbs of sweat and parking in essentially a new city. It was hell – but it’s done, and I will never make this mistake again. For those of you who enjoy this rush of last minute shopping, good for you but you are crazy – my type A personality can’t handle it!

Luckily I had prepped this recipe, so I came home to solid meal to help revive my spirit a little. Being Italian, we never really grew up with creamed spinach, unless it was spinach and ricotta stuffed into cannelloni pasta. I recently purchased Jamie Oliver’s new Christmas Book – which is an obviously thing for me to do, since I have every other book of his. As I was browsing, his creamed spinach totally intrigued me. I decided it to give it a go but put a little paleo and dairy free spin on it. I loved the result and would make this again, especially for a family function or Christmas Day lunch. It feels really rich and comforting, which is perfect for this snow filled winter we are having. However, the remixed ingredients keep it satisfying and waste friendly! This is also a great make ahead recipe, it can be prepped and assembled the day before and baked off for dinner which is excellent for party planning or hosting a dinner.

I’ve included an option with cheese which I have made also – they are both greatscreen-shot-2016-12-07-at-5-27-49-pm, but IF I had to choose, I like the version with cheese better.

OH! Before I get to the recipe guys – remember there is only 4 MORE DAYS to grab our Holiday Ebook filled with perfect party recipes: apps, desserts and cocktails all given a healthful spin!

The book is still available to purchase for only $9.95,  you can have a look at the link below!

https://steph-elle.squarespace.com

I’m super proud of this one, and I’m happy to share it with all of you!

Now, for the recipe!

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Paleo Creamed Spinach
Yields 6 – 8 side servings
{Paleo/Diary Free}
– Inspired by Jamie Oliver

INGREDIENTS
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ lbs fresh spinach
1 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
½ whole nutmeg, grated
pinch of salt
½ cup coconut cream
For the Crumble
2 Tbsp ghee (or coconut oil for vegan option)
¼ cup nutritional yeast (or 1/3 cup grated manchego cheese)
1 cap pecans
1/3 cup almond flour
½ tsp salt (if you use cheese reduce this to 1/8 tsp of salt )

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×11” baking dish with ghee, coconut oil or olive oil.
  2. Using a deep pot (so all the spinach will fit), heat the 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat and add the minced shallots and garlic, once fragrant add the spinach, oregano and then grate the nutmeg right in.
  3. Cook the spinach until wilted, the spinach will release much water- you want to cook it until the water is cooked out. Finish with a pinch of salt and then set aside off heat.
  4. In a food processor, pulse together the ghee, nutritional yeast, pecans, almond flour, and ½ tsp salt until it forms a loose crumble. Then set aside in a separate bowl.
  5. No need to wash the food processor, add all the spinach and the ½ cup coconut cream and pulse together until combined. Don’t turn this into a puree, just pulse a few times to replicate chopped spinach,
  6. Pour into your prepared baking dish and top with your crumble. You can either live an edge of the spinach as shown in the picture, or cover the entire top with the crumble.
  7. Place into your preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes.
  8. This is delicious both right from the oven and cold.

Note: This makes an amazing addition crumbled into a breakfast frittata, so leftovers are a definite plus in this case!

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I hope you guys enjoy this one, countdown to Christmas is one everyone!

-Chef Steph

{Tasty Thursday} Holiday Ebook + Perfect Winter Brussels

Ah Thursday already! I actually cant believe this week is already almost over, however it’s been a really cool week with some fun new projects starting that I’m excited to chat about here today. I obviously have a delicious recipe in this post but I wanted to share some fun things first!

Over the past month I’ve been working on the first (of many) ebooks with a fellow lady boss friend of mine, Elle Daftarian. Food That Feels Good: Holiday Edition. In this book we are sharing our favourite entertaining recipes: Apps, Drinks and even Cocktails that will spare you the holiday bloat and the waistline worries! All the recipes are gluten free, paleo and we have some vegan/raw options!screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-5-27-49-pm

Available for a limited time, click here to purchase our holiday ebook! I’m thrilled to be able to share it with you all!

LINK: https://steph-elle.squarespace.com

On another fun note: this has been my first week teaching at Aldershot High School – I’m teaching a 6 part culinary series for their Grade 12 fitness class. This week we’ve been focusing on knife skills, which has been really fun actually, the students were really into it which I loved because I could tell they were really invested in learning some new skills. I think all high schools really need to invest in a program like this, basic cooking knowledge is so crucial for teenagers to know!

 

Now for the recipe!

Brussels are a hard vegetable for some people to like, me on the other hand, I could eat them like popcorn. Sure, I mean if you just steam them – well they obviously suck. So it really comes down to how you prepare them. I fully believe you can get anyone, at any age to enjoy ANY vegetable you just need a good arsenal of recipes to jazz them up.

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These vegetables may be small in size BUT they are not small when it’s come to nutritional value. Plant phytonutrients found in Brussels sprouts enhance the activity of the body’s natural defense system to protect against disease, including cancer. Sulforaphane, is a compound the body created from the phytonutrient, glucoraphanin, found in all Brassica vegetables, and it’s known to boost the body’s detoxification enzymes which help to clear carcinogenic substances more quickly. As well Brussels have high levels of vitamin C, which supports immune function and proper collagen formation: the basis for our body’s structures – including skin, connective tissues, cartilage and tendons.

I wasn’t kidding when I said these little guys pack a punch!

I try to rotate them into my diet every two weeks or so, usually roasted or sautéed. Today’s recipe, will really jazz them up and make them an amazing side dish especially over the holiday season!

I encourage you to make these and test them on your picky eaters.

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Roasted Brussels with Balsamic and Pomegranates
Yields: 4 servings
{Paleo/Vegan}

INGREDIENTS
2lbs Brussels, cleaned and halved
3 Tbsp Olive oil
1 shallot, finely minced
3 sprigs of thyme, picked and minced
1 sprig rosemary, picked and minced
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
3 Tbsp Balsamic reduction*
½ pomegranate, seeds removed

NOTE*: you can either use store bought reduction or make your own, I’ve supplied the method below.

METHOD
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. For the reduction: If you choose to make your own reduction, place ½ cup of balsamic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a low boil and turn the heat down to a simmer, let simmer until reduced by half.
3. Then remove from the heat and set aside until needed. Any remaining can be stored in the fridge for future use.
4. In a large bowl add the halved Brussels, olive oil, shallots, thyme, rosemary, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper.
5. Toss to combine and scoop onto the prepared baking sheet, in an even layer.
6. Place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and drizzle with 3 Tbsp of balsamic reduction and place back into the oven for 5 – 7 minutes.
7. Remove from the oven and scatter with pomegranate seeds to serve and Voila!

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Cinnamon Dandy Blend Fuel + Quitting the Coffee

Before you continue reading, let me assure you this is a not a coffee bashing, stop drinking, coffee is the root of all disease’ kind of post.  This is also not a post advising you to sub your coffee for green juice, because hell, it just doesn’t work that easily.

Fun news, I’ve been off coffee for about 2 weeks now, and the plan to stick with this 100% for another 4 weeks!

My relationship with coffee has always been a little bit of a rollercoaster; sometimes I drink way to much, sometimes I don’t need any at all and sometimes it I’m a raging maniac with out it.  

A few years ago, I felt like my relationship with coffee was at it greatest point, I could enjoy it in moderation and not feel like I “needed it.” Well, then came my role as an Executive Chef with 3 am wake up calls, and the coffee maniac came out once again.

After my trip to Italy, I knew I needed a break from caffeine (espresso all day….literally), I truly believe if you listen closely enough – your body will really tell what it needs and doesn’t.  Also I’m in the midst of working on some hormonal and digestive correction, and coffee doesn’t bode well for either.

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Here’s the problem, I’m one of those people who truly loves the taste of coffee and the whole coffee culture. A cup of coffee with 35% grass fed cream OR fresh cashew milk, is swoon worthy for me. I grew up in a family that surrounds every social gathering with espresso and a father who treats his espresso machine like someone would treat their Ferrari.  I love making nut milk lattes and sipping them during my morning routine, or going to different coffee shops and experience the way they embrace coffee brewing.

There are a couple of reasons why I think ditching the caffeine or at least taking a break from it might be a good idea.

** When caffeine controls you and you don’t control the caffeine that’s big red flag. If your day physically can’t start without coffee, then you’ve surpassed dependency.
**  Also, it’s very freeing to not have any addictions to any food or beverages. For example, when I stopped competing I worked really hard to break any addictions I had towards certain habits or food: obsessive/overtraining, peanut butter, oatmeal, meal timing, counting macros and over or under eating. After a lot of work trying to regain normalcy around food and eating I was able to work through any addictions I was facing.  Addictions lead to a constant cycle of anxiety, tension and obsessive behaviour. Without even realizing it,  coffee can throw you right in this cycle.

Withdrawal
I’m not even going to sugar coat it, the first 7 days will be terrible, and you’ll want to give up many times. Giving up coffee comes with a whole load of symptoms during that first week that you should be braced for, I’ve listen the most common below:
 – Headache/Migraine
 – Fatigue/sleepiness
 – Decreased energy
 – Decreased alertness
 – Difficulty concentrating or thinking
 – Depressive like moods
  –  Irritability
 – Impaired cognitive function all together

Most people don’t realize how caffeine really affects them until they deal with a hormonal imbalance. This is when they really need to reconsider their Grande Americano, double shot. The problems occur when you are dealing with decreased adrenal function and coffee can yes, make that problem worse. Caffeine forces your glands to secrete and push harder when they don’t have much left to give,  which puts you into overdrive, making you more tired over time. Eventually this, among many factors, can put you into adrenal depletion. 

The idea is to make this a slow and progressive process so that your symptoms are lessened and perhaps more manageable.

On the plus, there are some amazing feelings that come with giving up the coffee, once you pass the dreaded first 7 days:

        – Deeper and more sound sleeps
– Feeling rested and attentive upon rising
– Absolute ZERO 3pm crash
– Reduced sugar cravings
– Better control of your mood
– The body is much more hydrated
– Less digestive upset and less digestive dependency

Will I ever have coffee again? Yes of course, however I will probably swap it for a high quality decaf and develop a much better relationship with it!

In the meantime, here is the recipe of the morning drink I’ve been making instead to still provide comfort, natural energy and stimulate digestion:

CINNAMON DANDY BLEND FUEL
Yields 1 Cup
{Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegan}

INGREDIENTS
1 ½ cup boiling water
1 heap tablespoon of dandy blend
1/8 tsp cinnamon (or to your liking)
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Stevia or honey if you wish – I went with stevia

METHOD

1) Place everything in blender and blend on high speed until smooth and frothy.
2) Pour and enjoy!

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Anyways, I’m almost at week 3! Super excited about it, to be honest. 

Have an amazing snowy day guys!

-Chefanie xo

 

 

 

Sautéed Broccoli Leaves w/ Cherry Tomatoes

Broccoli leaves are the new kale people…..

I’m not trying to create some nifty slogan, I’m being dead serious.

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There is a bit of a back story with this recipe, which revolves around the never ending Garden saga. With our garden this year I want to attempt to grow as much as I could, which clearly I’ve learned a lot from.

Enter the broccoli plant, so oddly enough broccoli didn’t even grow but instead I got this massive bush of broccoli leaves. Needless to say I was very confused and there was not a single Youtube video to help a girl out. I ended up having to pull the entire plant because it was engulfing the surrounding veggies.

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My options were either juice all the leaves, but in all honesty, pressed juices haven’t been sitting well with me recently – so that was a NO, or, cook them up for an easy weeknight side.

I’ve never used broccoli leaves, but they have a similar texture and feel to collard greens and I’m really against waiting produce – it’s always important to try and find a use for everything.

I feel like it’s the newest Super Green Leaf we should try and get our hands on because they contain some pretty rad nutrients to give our immune system an epic boost.

In 30 grams of broccoli leaves, which you probably throw away, there is 90% of the required daily doses of vitamin A, which is very important for improving our eye sight, immune system and skin health. There is also a full daily dose of vitamin C and plant compounds called glucosinolate which aid in proper detoxification and cancer prevention. So in my professional opinion, I think this super green is a fantastic veggie to try and have some fun with!

Todays recipe is simple enough to throw together any night of the week for a fast simple side dish. Since broccoli leaves are a little more tough and sturdy, then kale or swiss chard, they do hold up well, so it’s a great veggie to prep ahead of time.

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I threw also in some garden cherry tomatoes because I love how sweet they are at this time of year.

 

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Sautéed Broccoli Leaves With Cherry Tomatoes
Yields 6 – 8 Servings
{Paleo/Vegan} 

INGREDIENTS
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
¼ cup olive oil
2 tsp chili flakes
2 lbs broccoli leaves, sliced into think ribbons
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
salt, to taste

METHOD

  1. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium high , add the sliced garlic and chili flakes. Stir frequently to avoid burning.
  2. Once fragrant add the sliced broccoli leaves and sliced cherry tomatoes to the pan, use tongs to move everything around.
  3. Since they are sturdier, they will take a few minutes longer to cook then kale or other leafy greans. I found them to be perfect after 6 minutes.
  4. Season with salt, to your taste and serve!

NOTE:

  • Make sure your broccoli leaves are completely dry after washing, otherwise when they hit the hot pan oil will splatter everywhere.
  • I had a lot more leaves to work with then what you may find elsewhere, hence why I used so much, but this recipe can be scaled down with no actual recipe!

Happy Friday Guys!

Stay tuned for the next recipe coming your way, Zucchini Flower High Protein Muffins, the perfect high protein, low carb breakfast to fuel you day.

Tell me something fun: What’s the most interesting thing you’ve attempted to plant and how did it turn out?

– Chef Steph

 

 

 

 

Garden Beet Hummus

Another Monday means another week kicks off, which means I hope you all enjoyed some sun this weekend and hopefully a little down time.

This weekend I desperately needed some down time, some extra sleep and time to just chill the heck out. I felt like last week was mental and at times it seemed like I was in, dare I say it, Kitchen Hell. I felt like for 12 hours each day my head was spinning and running faster then I could keep up. Between orders not showing up in time, some orders not showing up at all, catering events, staff shortage and scheduling conflicts – I was ready for my Sunday glass of wine (since Sundays are my new Saturdays.)

I also just wanted to cook in my home kitchen, without any stress or worry. So I did just that with the help of some veggies that were ready to be pulling from the garden.

The garden adventures are continuing over here, with much amusement! Every time I pull something from the Garden to eat…..it’s literally like hoping for the best too see what turned out and what I screwed up!

Here’s a lesson on Beets, if you don’t plant them deep enough they will have to be pulled earlier then usual because they will start to actually push themselves out of the soil. As you can see in my picture below, most of them are still pretty small, and that’s because they didn’t have enough time to continue growing under the soil. Lesson learned for next year!

 

However, they were still 100% ready to eat and utilize, including the stems.

My dad recently purchased a new cook book, Batch by Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison who are the masters of their craft. I really don’t know much about preserving or canning, and I knew this book would come in handy. In the book they have a chapter on Beets, which was perfect timing because I wanted to do something different with both the beets and their stems.

In this book he made beet hummus which looked beautiful. I’ve seen beet hummus before and I’ve also eaten it, I’ll be honest I’ve never enjoyed it. It was always either too earthy, not smooth enough, and truthfully tasted like raw beet puree. However I wanted to adapt my own version and put a spin on flavours.

At the restaurant we make a killer hummus, however chickpeas and me are not really friends. They always disrupt my digestion and leave me feeling rather heavy.

So for todays recipe I wanted a light option that was legume free, yet still really creamy and paleo friendly. If you do enjoy legumes you can make your traditional chickpea hummus while adding in the beets just has they are prepared below – for some extra colour and nutritional boost.

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Garden Beet Hummus
Yields 2 cups
-Adapted from Batch-
{Paleo, Vegan, Low Carb}

INGREDIENTS

1 lb beets, washed/brushed clean and stems removed
2 gloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1/3 cup tahini
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp truffle oil (or sub for olive oil)
Topping:
Black sesame seeds
Additional Drizzle of Olive Oil
Mojito Mint (also from the garden, regular mint would work just fine)

METHOD

  1. Place the beets in large enough pot to completely cover them in water.
  2. Bring the pot over to the stove and bring to boil with the lid off. Once boiling, lower the heat and bring to a low rolling boil. The size of your beets will determine the cooking time.
  3. You want them be fork tender, basically until a knife can easily pierce through. My beets took 15 minutes, because they were much smaller then normal. Then strain, and when cool enough to handle, peel them. If you do this when the beets are still warm, the skins should just rub right off with your hands. Wear gloves, unless you don’t mind red hands.
  4. Roughly chop the peeled beets and set aside while you gather the rest of your ingredients.
  5. When you are read to make your Garden Beet Hummus, place the chopped beets and garlic in a food processor and process on high speed for 3 minutes until smooth.
  6. Then add in your tahini and process again for 3 minutes. Beets breakdown differently then chickpeas so you need to leave the food processor running longer to create an equally smooth texture.
  7. Then add in the black pepper, salt and lemon juice. Turn your food processor back on and while running, stream in both oils. Let it run for a final 5 minutes and the result should be a rich, creamy, florescent hummus!
  8. Top with sesame seeds, drizzle of olive oil and mojito mint

NOTES:

-Beets can be cooked and left in the fridge for 2 days until you’re ready to peel and eat, so that step can easily be done a few days in advance.
– This would work beautifully with any colour of beets as well (golden, striped, white or even black.)
– I used Joel and Dana’s Pickled Beet Stem Recipe and it turned out amazing, it was a delicious topping for the hummus.

Until next time!

 

-Chef Steph!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Radishes with Lemon Cream

Anyone else wondering when in the heck spring will actually show up? It was -10 degrees this weekend, which was super upsetting especially for those of us who are itching to just be outside. I’m also ready for spring produce, less warming dishes and more colour – I’m also ready for a tan, let’s be honest.

So kitchen life has been rough this past week, with the new menu about to launch things are crazy. I’m doing one final tasting for the staff, then staff training and then we can finally launch in one more week. With all the changes comes a whack load of office work – literally one thing I loath in life is office work. I will cook all day, but asking me to type the recipes is just the worst!

Luckily all this work has kept me busy because this weekend was crazy – my other half fought in Alberta (and WON by TKO) and if I didn’t stay busy I might have lost my mind. I don’t know how other people who date athletes are normal when their partners are fighting out of town – this is real question….

Anyways, back to food!

I’ve been tinkering around lately with really shifting my diet to following a high fat profile. I have been doing this for a while, but I’ve really been focusing more on it as of late. As you guys know – I don’t count, weight or measure anything in my diet anymore, because #1, it didn’t work well for my lifestyle and #2 it wasn’t good for my mental health. I believe there are better ways of attaining a leaner stronger life, without being obsessive.

Playing around with higher fat recipes that are lower in carbs is always fun for me, because let’s be real – who doesn’t like fat? My main reason for doing this (it varies for everyone) is to support my hormonal, adrenal and skin health. Secondary to that, because my internal health is always the most important to me, is the difference I feel when training. I have a lot more focus in my early morning training sessions, my energy is sustained and I recover much faster.

After seeing the difference in a whole foods based, higher fat diet I’ve become really passionate about diving into studying everything around this topic. I find it so fascinating that these subtle tweaks create such a shift with both your internal health and physical health.

Onto the recipe, because I know that’s what you’re here for 😉

We all love roasted potatoes, if you don’t then you’re just strange. However, sometimes we want something lighter, less carb dense and because it’s me, I wanted something that screamed spring. So I choose to roast up some radishes and make a little lemon cream (dairy free) to go with them. You can serve them as I did, or drizzled over top. For those that don’t like the spicy bite that radishes have, cooking them this way will cut that spice making them very similar to a potato.

The key here is to roast them with a really delicious fat, high heat, no parchment paper and to toss them with any fresh herb or spices you choose. When I cook with animal fat (I choose duck for this recipe) I always prefer to add some sort of fresh element (herbs) or acidity (lemon cream) to help balance the dish.

Flavour Profile
Textural:
Crunch: Roasted Radish
Creamy: Lemon Cream and Duck Fat
Sweet: Lemon Peel and Radish (once roasted)
Savory: Duck Fat
Bitter: Dill
Tart (Sour): Lemon

radish2

Roasted Radish With Lemon Cream
Yields: 2 Servings
{Paleo with Vegan Option}

INGREDIENTS
For the Radishes
1 Tbsp melted duck fat**
1 bunch (184g) radish
Fat pinch of salt and cracked pepper
1 Tbsp chopped dill
1 Tbsp lemon zest
For the Lemon Cream (yields ½ cup)
¼ cup (40g) cashews, either soaked overnight or soaked for 20 minutes with hot water
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp water
½ Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne

METHOD

  1. For the Radishes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash, trim and halve the radishes – make sure to pat them dry
  3. Toss them with the melted duck fat, salt and pepper and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Make sure to place them all cut side down.
  4. Roast for 10 minutes.
  5. For the Lemon Cream: Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until emulsified.
  6. To Serve: Toss the roasted radishes in the lemon zest and herbs, and serve over top the cream (as pictured), or drizzled over top.

**For a Vegan Option:

  • Simply sub out the duck fat for olive oil or coconut oil, and this dish will be both vegan and paleo.

Radish

Happy Sunday Guys

-Chef Steph xx