How to Cook Perfect Green Veggies – make ahead 2 step blanching method

green-veg-cook-recipeHere is my secret tip for tasty make ahead vibrant green veggies. It’s called blanching – where the veggies are placed briefly into boiling water then removed and plunged into an ice bath that stops the cooking. Blanching is a terrific preparation method to partially cook veggies making them a bit softer and removing any strong taste without compromising nutrition. You can serve blanched veggies directly or keep them in the fridge for up to 5 days. Use blanched veggies as salad boosters or reheat for a quick dinner side dish. It’s also a terrific pot luck dinner contribution where you prep ahead at home, store in fridge and upon arrival at the host’s home you only need to reheat briefly for a healthy and tasty side dish.

  1. Boil a large pot of water (you can add 2 Tbsp lemon juice to the water for flavour boost). Prepare your ice water bath and a dish with a tea towel to dry the veggies. (see pictures top row)
  2. Wash and clean you green veggies.
  3. Drop a small batch of veggies into boiling water for 2 min (3 min max. if you must). Repeat steps below until all your veggies are blanched.
  4. Take out veggies from boiling water using long handle tongs or slotted spoon & toss them into ice water bath for a few minutes to stop the cooking.
  5. Remove cooled veggies from ice bath, shake out water and place them on clean tea towel to dry.
  6. Place all your blanched veggies in a covered container and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.
  7. Enjoy cold in salads or reheat on stove top in a pan with 1 Tbsp vegetable oil. Top with toasted almonds for a tasty and nutritious side dish.

Bon appétit

Hardy Pulse & Tomato Soup

I love making this hardy soup on a weekend afternoon when it can simmer for over an hour. It makes a terrific meal and is great for lunches or a 2nd meal during the week. The health boost comes from pulses (split peas), whole grains such as barley and the veggies of course. Enjoy!

Ingredients

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onions diced
1/2 cup of split peas (mix up green, red and yellow)
¼ cup rice
¼ cup pearl barley
28 oz (796) ml can diced tomatoes
6 cups low sodium broth
Cilantro or parsley for garnish

Preparation

Chop onion and saute in 1 tbsp vegetable oil
Add split peas, rice and pearl barley, saute for 2 minutes
Add tomatoes and broth, stir well
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and cook for 70 minutes. (Stir occasionally, add a cup of water if you prefer more broth in your soup.)
Garnish with cilantro or parsley and serve.

10 servings.

Crunchy Edamame Salad with Fibre & Protein Boost

Do you love crunchy salads? Try my nutritious, tasty and easy dish that’s a hit every time. One serving of this salad is a source of fibre, has 6 grams of protein and you get 10% of your recommended daily intake of iron! What’s the secret of this nutrition boost? A little serving of Edamame! Edamame is a green soybean that is harvested when soybeans are still young. It is packed with fiber, protein and has a bit of iron too.  You can find Edamame beans in the frozen food section of your grocery store. Enjoy them warm or cold – as a snack, side dish or in salads.

crunchy-salad

1 c Edamame
1/3 c cucumber chopped
1/3 c celery chopped
1/3 c radish chopped
1 green onion chopped
2 Tbsp of your favourite vinaigrette

Chop, mix, top with your fave vinaigrette & enjoy. (Serves 2)

Nutrition Information per serving:  Calories 145, Fat 11 g, Carbohydrate 7 g (including Fibre 3.5 g), Protein 6 g.

TIP: Make a double batch and take it for lunch the next day. 

Dietitian’s 3 Ingredient Healthy Smoothie:

smoothie 2015 dec

Smoothies are all the rage and rightly so. It’s a fun and easy way to combine tasty and good for you ingredients. Take this 3 ingredient recipe and make it your own.

  • 1 cup fruit (fresh or frozen) and/or veggies (try some spinach or kale)
  • 1 cup liquid (milk,  or fortified soy milk; 100% fruit juice)
  • 2 Tbsp. Protein Boost – (whey powder or skim milk powder).
  • Mix in all ingredients in a blender and enjoy!

Cauliflower – a best bet veggie & recipe tips

cauliflower recipe

Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family and is a surprisingly nutritious and delicious veggie. 1 cup of cauliflower is only 28 calories, with 2 grams of protein and 6 grams of total carbs which includes 2grams of fibre.[1]  Cauliflower is also chock full of vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of Vitamin C and Folate and a good source of potassium and vitamin K. Researchers found calciferous vegetables which includes cauliflower contain phytochemicals that help the liver eliminate cancer-causing substances.[2] So why not give cauliflower a try? It is in season most of the summer and fall. You can enjoy it raw (think salads, veggies and dip) or cooked. Toss it into soups, steam it, grill it or bake it. Here is one of my family’s favourite cauliflower recipes – it’s so simple with only 3 ingredients and everyone loves it.

Smoked Paprika Cauliflower

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 head cauliflower broken into florets
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoons of smoked paprika. ( You may substitute with regular paprika, but the taste will be quite different).
  1. Mix oil and smoked paprika in a small bowl and pour mixture in a baking dish
  2. Add cauliflower florets  and mix well till coated with oil/paprika mixture
  3. Bake in 350 F oven for about 30 minutes till tender.

Nutrition Information per serving:  Calories 130,  Fat 11 g, Carbohydrate 7 g (including Fibre 4 g), Protein 3 g. Excellent Source of Vitamin C, Folate and Vitamin K; Source of Potassium, Vitamin E.

What is your favourite way to eat cauliflower?

[1] Health Canada, Canadian Nutrient File (2016)

[2] Richard Beliveau & Denis Gingras, Foods that Fight Cancer (2006)