Awesome New Soup Recipe, Courtesy Of My New Vitamix…Minestrone Soup!!

I have only had my Vitamix for two days, but already I am putting this bad boy to work! I wanted to try out a soup recipe, and let me tell you, this is a great one. Minestrone soup, with all fresh and organic ingredients. Very easy to make and I am sure you can use any blender. The plus of the Vitamix is when you blend all these vegetables in it on HIGH for 6-7 minutes, it actually becomes HOT in the blender…wow! Maybe I am behind but I never knew that could happen in a blender. This soup uses fresh tomatoes, which are high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, as well as other fresh veggies and beans, great for protein and fiber…

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MINESTRONE SOUP

2 cups of low sodium chicken broth

4 fresh Roma tomatoes, chopped into quarters

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 celery stalk, halved

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp oregano

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons organic tomato paste

1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained

1/2 cup canned kidney beans, drained

1/2 cup canned corn, drainer

1 cup of organic zucchini squash, chopped and steamed

Place the steamed zucchini, chickpeas, kidney beans and corn in a bowl on the side. Put all the other ingredients in the Vitamix and secure the lid. Start on Variable 1(low) and slowly increase it to Variable 10, then to HIGH. Blend for 6-7 minutes or until heavy steam escapes. It will actually be HOT at this point. Turn the blender down to Variable 2, remove the lid plug and pour the ingredients in the bowl slowly into the blender. Blend for about 20-30 seconds…and ENJOY.
If you do not have a Vitamix, you could place all these ingredients in a pot and let them sit on medium heat for 12-15 minutes and then place them in a blender and blend gently for a similar effect.

 

Super Hearty and Healthy Salad Packs In The Nutrients…Sweet Potato and Kale Salad!

I hear people complain a lot about how they never feel full when they eat a salad. Or when they eat a salad, they feel full, but an hour later, they are hungry again. I can agree, but that is usually when I don’t make my own. Many restaurants tend to use iceberg lettuce, which is great for adding water to your diet, but pretty much devoid of nutrients otherwise. They also tend to leave out quality vegetables, maybe add a few slivers of shredded carrots and a tomato slice or two, and call it a day. If there is protein, that is an added bonus, but another thing I find restaurants guilty of is skimping on the protein, especially if the salad is supposed to be of the “lighter fare.”

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Needless to say, when I make my own salad, I do my best to pack it with as many healthy and satisfying nutrients as possible. Like most people, I get bored with my creations and want to deviate from the norm, so I came across this salad and had to try it out for myself.

The best thing about this salad, besides using kale, which is full of a multitude of vitamins and minerals and cancer-fighting properties, is the use of a cooked sweet potato, which adds MORE fiber, beta-carotene and a hearty starch property to keep you feeling fuller longer. I also dig the cranberries because they give the dish a more season-friendly kick, add sweetness and anti-inflammatory compounds.

SWEET POTATO AND KALE SALAD

1 medium sweet potato

1 Tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp thyme

a pinch salt & pepper

1 bunch kale

¼ cup champagne dressing

¼ cup raw sunflower seeds

¼ cup dried cranberries

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400F.

Peel the skin from the sweet potato and cut it into cubes. Then place the cubes on a foil baking sheet and toss them in the olive oil, thyme, salt and pepper. Then roast them for 30-35 minutes until they are slightly browned.

If you buy pre-chopped kale, just take it out of the bag and place it in a colander and rinse it. If you buy kale on the stem, you must shred it first. Then put the kale in a bowl and add the dressing. Then you can let it sit until the potato is done. If you don’t like champagne dressing, olive oil and balsamic is also fine, or olive oil and lemon juice also works.

After the sweet potato has finished roasting, pile it on top of the dressed kale leaves. Sprinkle the sunflower seeds and cranberries over top as well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to eat.

VEGETABLE RECIPES THAT ARE SCARRRRRRY GOOOOD FOR HALLOWEEN…

It’s Halloween, and while most bloggers are writing posts about hot cocoa and homemade cookies, I decided to share a healthy vegetable recipe I recently came across and decided to create at home. Image 1

There will be plenty of candy and goodies to go around this evening, but before you head out to that party or treat or treating event, make sure you satisfy your body with healthy nutrients at the dinner table. A lean protein, complex carb and/or a healthy vegetable dish can be satisfying and send you along your way feeling energized, and perhaps you won’t be craving all the sugary junk that Halloween party tables are often laden with.

Brussels Sprouts are high in fiber (over 15% of the recommended daily amount in one serving!) and Vitamins C, E and A. Antioxidants found in brussels sprouts like quercetin protect against oxidative stress on the bodies cells. They are also known to be an anti-inflammatory food and can be helpful in cancer prevention and aid readily in digestive support.

Warm Brussels Sprouts Toss With Maple and Paprika

1 tbsp grape seed or other neutral-flavour oil
1 shallot, halved and sliced thinly
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 lb (454g) of brussels sprouts, chopped and shredded (you can buy them already chopped up at Trader Joes!)
salt and pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/3 cup pecans, toasted and roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the sliced shallot and smashed garlic clove. Stir around until fragrant. Add the smoked paprika. Stir the shallots here and there until they are quite soft, but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Add the shredded brussels sprouts and a splash of water. Stir and lift with tongs quickly until the shreds start to wilt just a bit and the colour has darkened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the apple cider vinegar and stir again. When the shreds are bright green and a bit limp (takes about 3 minutes), remove from the heat. Add the maple syrup and stir to combine.

Transfer warm mixture to a serving plate and garnish with chopped pecans.