Thursday, January 8, 2015

Green Goodness


Have you given up on your New Year's Resolution Diet yet?  Forget the diet.   Diet has DIE in it.  Why not GO GREEN instead.  Instead of thinking about things you have to give up eating why not think about adding better tasting healthy things to your daily meals.  Green foods are powerhouses of Goodness and they can taste great if you know what to do with them. Get your Green Goodness on.

I am not a fan of diets because you think about foods you can't eat all day long and then you feel deprived and want to eat those foods even more.  My New Year's Resolution is to eat more better foods to feel better.  People go on their crazy diets in January because it's the time of year when all of the high fat, high sugar and high sodium foods and alcohol start catching up with you.  You start to feel horrible and then there is the weather that makes you feel even worse.  It's cold so you don't go outside as much and it's dark so you don't get the much needed vitamin D.  And then there are the germs everyone is picking up from being stuck inside in dry heated and germ loaded stale air.  No wonder you feel crappy.  And then you get hit with all the after holiday cleanup and then the credit card bills..  Who wants to stick to a diet when you have to deal with all of this stuff.

Here's a better idea.   Eat more GREEN foods.

Start with Green Tea   

I love the taste of really good Green Tea.  It's high in antioxidants which are much needed in the winter.
Switch up your daily coffee for Green Tea or if you love your coffee then just add a cup of Green Tea to your day.  I drink a lot more green tea in the winter because it's very comforting and warm.   Some of my favourite Green Teas are NUMI  Organic Gunpowder Green which is what's in this cup of tea.
I also love Kusmi Detox Tea because it has a great lemongrass flavour.   I first tried the NUMI tea when I stopped into a coffee shop when I was at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah and it tasted so good that I grabbed a couple of packs to take with me.   I first tried the Kusmi tea at a consumer food show and learned that it's from France.  It's pretty pricey but it tastes great.  I know that Pusateri's and the Detox Market in Toronto carry it.   Try it and let me know if you like it.

I  decided to do this Green Post because I was watching the lovely super energetic Julie Daniluk healthy guru do a segment on the Marilyn Denis show.  Julie was making a hot green smoothie type of drink with spinach and I realized that I had spinach in my fridge that I needed to use so I decided to make a green Spinach soup that was kicked up with flavour and healthy things.


Here's my version of this GREEN SPINACH Soup

Ingredients:

2 cups of baby spinach washed
1 carrot
1/4 medium onion
2 green onions
2 garlic cloves
1 kaffir lime leaf
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 cups of chicken broth or water
1 bunch fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
hemp hearts for garnish

Directions:
In a soup pot boil the water or chicken stock.  I added some bouillon powder to water for flavour because I didn't have any stock handy but I didn't add much salt because the bouillon has a lot of sodium in it.
I grated the frozen ginger into the stock and added chunks of onion.   You don't need to worry about chopping because you will blend it after.
I added the cloves of garlic and then the seasonings of pepper and a pinch of salt.  You can add nutmeg or other seasonings if you like.
I took a vegetable peeler and just peeled strands of carrot into the soup.  Because it's think it cooks quickly.  You can use a box grater or microplane as well.  
I tossed in a Kaffir Lime leaf that I had in the freezer for some added flavour.  1 leaf is enough because you only want a hint of it.   Use it like you would use a bay leaf.  Let the soup simmer to extract the flavours and then remove the lime leaf.
Once you are happy with the flavour of the stock then add the spinach and parsley.  Cook until it turns an emerald green color.   Once it's the bright green color turn it off and either blend with a stick blender which is what I did.  Less cleaning up.. but if you don't have one then use a blender or food processor or your magic bullet.  Anything that will liquify it.
Pour into a soup bowl and top with a garnish of hemp seeds for added Omega 3's and crunch.   You can drizzle a bit of yoghurt or cream if you want a creamier texture but it doesn't really need it.  
Because of all the aromatic vegetables and seasonings this soup is packed with flavour and blending it will make it feel very hearty and smooth.


Let's move on to a Tasty GREEN GOODNESS SALAD

I made this salad after seeing a similar salad but using what I had in the fridge.
In an effort to eat more Kale and kick up my healthy vegetable quotient.   As I sit here with the sniffles and think I may be getting a cold.  I blame my subway trip with loads of coughing and gross people who spread their germs all over the subway.   This is the time to Green Load up on my body to fight it.

So here's my version

Ingredients:

1 bunch of Black Kale or whatever Kale you like
1 hard boiled egg
1 avocado
4 inch cucumber
1 green onion
1/2 cup cilantro
juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp olive oil
6 grape tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste and you can add hot sauce if you like it spicy.
Hemp heart seeds for garnish

Directions:

Strip the kale from the stems and chiffonade the leaves.. If you don't know what that means it's to cut into thin strips.  Wash and drain and add to a bowl and add a bit of lime juice and massage the kale until it breaks down and turns a bright color.   Set aside and make the dressing.

In a blender add the avocado, half of the cucumber, green onion, cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper.  Add olive oil or water if you want a thinner dressing.  You can add lemon juice too.   Blend until smooth.

Mix a couple of tablespoons of the dressing into the bowl of kale.

To the salad add the grape tomatoes cut in half and cut up the remaining cucumber into half moons and add on top.  Cut the boiled egg into slices and put on top.

Add a bit more of the dressing on top of the garnishes and then add the hemp seeds.  You can mix when you are ready to eat.  
This salad will keep for a while so it will work great for a work lunch or potluck.
I didn't add any hot spices but I think if I do it again I will add a few chili flakes for a little kick.

You can add whatever vegetables you like or omit the egg and tomato for a truly green salad.   Make it your own way.   If you try this let me know what you did and if you make my version let me know what you think.



1 comment:

  1. I love green tea but can't have any at the moment as it has caffeine in it. In the past I have enjoyed NUMI tea. They have a great selection of flavours. I usually find them in some coffee shops in the city. I also like Mighty Leaf tea because the tea bag is not paper, it's a sheer silky fabric which I think lets the flavours of the dried tea seep in to the water better. I haven't tried Kusmi however I have seen the decorative tins online.

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