Red Lentil Curry

lentilsLentils are one of the world’s healthiest foods. Any time I hear that about any type of food, I know I have to make it an ingredient in a meal I make in the very near future. One of the main reasons you should include lentils in your diet is because they are high in folic acid.

Folic acid, or folate, is extremely important to the health of the human body, in particular for cellular growth and regeneration. This red lentil curry is a whole bowl of awesome, and just one serving of this delicious dinner provides you with around 50% of your Daily Value for folate.

Red Lentil Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 scallions, diced
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 carrots, diced
1 large Russet potato, peeled and chopped
1 cup red lentils
3 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.

2. Cook the ginger, garlic and scallions for 2-3 minutes, until tender.

3. Add the curry powder, carrots, potato, lentils and vegetable broth, and season with salt and pepper.

4. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils and vegetables are tender.

This tasty curry dish is definitely a staple around our house. It’s got so many delicious flavors, so much healthiness in one pot, it’s awesome, but it’s still surprisingly easy to make. A light squeeze of fresh lime juice over top adds the perfect finishing touch to this curry masterpiece.

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Curried Vegetable Soup

veggiesEven though spring is right around the corner (or at least I keep telling myself that), in the meantime while it’s still bitter cold out, it’s always nice to have some warm, vibrant soup recipes on hand to get you through the cold, dull, winter months.

Curried Vegetable Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 red onion, diced
1 cup cooked chickpeas
2 cups broccoli romanesco, chopped into florets
2 cups cauliflower, chopped into florets
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup coconut milk
2 slices ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 tablespoons Tahini sauce
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1. Warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute.

3. Stir in the chickpeas, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. Cook for 2-3 minutes before adding in the coconut milk, ginger, curry powder, Tahini sauce, salt and pepper.

4. Cook for about 10 minutes covered, until the vegetables are tender.

5. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

This recipe is total comfort food, but in all the right ways. It also refrigerates and freezes well, so it’s the perfect meal if you want to save some leftovers or like to prep your meals ahead of time.

Hearty Spinach and Potato Tacos

spinachYou don’t need a huge chunk of red meat on your plate to have a hearty meal. These spinach and potato tacos are super nutritious and they will definitely leave you feeling full.

Hearty Spinach and Potato Tacos

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients:

2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into medium-sized cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 cups diced spinach
1 cup almond milk
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

1. Boil the potatoes for about 10 minutes. You want them fork tender, but not mushy.

2. While the potatoes are cooking, warm the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

3. Cook the onion in the pan for about 5 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. Add the garlic, cumin and spinach, and cook for 1 minute more.

4. Stir in the milk, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the liquid has boiled down, roughly 5 minutes, then remove from heat.

5. Warm the tortillas – I like to heat them in the oven, each one folded over a rung in the oven with the ends hanging down, so they form into a curved taco shape – just for about a minute, so they stay tender and don’t get hard and crunchy.

6. Divide the potato mixture onto the tortillas, scooping it onto the center of each so there’s room to roll the tacos up to eat them. Finish by sprinkling cilantro over top of the tacos before serving.

These tacos are enough on their own, but if you want you could always pair them with a side of corn with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or a salad of dark leafy greens. You can substitute the almond milk for soy or any other plant milk. One of the best things about these tacos is the nutritional yeast added in, because it’s full of nutritional value. These delicious tacos are great any night of the week, and regular beef-filled tacos in a fried shell don’t even compare to this plant-based version.

Rice and Veggie Mash-Up

Maybe it means I’ve been watching my daughter play Just Dance a tad too often, but the name seemed perfect for this dish, a favourite around our house. It’s wholesome and healthy, and the best part is you can add in whatever extra veggies you want, or replace some – it’s super easy and you can try out different things and create your own delicious mash-up meal.

Rice and Veggie Mash-Up

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium-high heat.

2. Add the peppers, cover and cook for 7-8 minutes, flipping them every couple of minutes to ensure they cook evenly.

3. Add the zucchini and cover again, cooking for another 5 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender and lightly browned.

4. Turn the heat to low and add the diced tomatoes, cooking just until the tomatoes are warmed. Pour the hot sauce in and mix well.

5. Combine the vegetable mixture and the rice together in a large bowl and serve immediately.

Personally, I like the bit of hot sauce added at the end to give it some heat, but as with most other dishes, I always take the little one’s portion out first, before mixing the hot sauce in. I’ll wait until she’s older before getting her hooked on the Frank’s. If anyone in your house has a sensitive palette, you can always skip the hot sauce and it will still be a mouthwatering dish that’s sure to impress.

Baked Eggs in Avocado

There are some who aren’t fond of cooked avocado. If you’re like me, you’ll eat avocado whether it’s hot, cold, with some fruit or baked in the oven with eggs, like this oh-so-delish recipe.

Baked Eggs in Avocado

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients:

4 avocados
4 eggs
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Slice the avocados in half and remove the pits.

3. Scoop out a bit of the avocado from the center of each.

4. Carefully slice a small amount off the bottom of each avocado, to create a flatter surface.

5. Crack the eggs, pouring one in each avocado. It doesn’t matter if some of the egg white drips out, just make sure you keep the yolk intact. (Depending on the size of the avocado and the egg, there may be a bit of egg overflow, so it’s best to do this part over a dish).

6. Transfer the avocados to a baking sheet.

7. Sprinkle the salt and pepper over the tops of the avocados. Coat the top of each with Parmesan cheese.

8. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the egg white is cooked, the yolk is still a bit runny (if you want it firmer, cook for a couple minutes longer), and the cheese is lightly browned.

9. Remove with a spatula and enjoy.

This recipe serves 2 people. Serve it with some fresh cut veggies, like carrot and zucchini sticks, or with a slice of homemade garlic bread.

Fresh Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Dill

chicksThis fresh chickpea salad is so fresh and tasty, it screams summer, but is great to enjoy any time of the year.

Fresh Chickpea Salad with Lemon and Dill

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

1 cucumber, diced
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 cups chickpeas
1/2 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled Feta cheese

Directions:

1. Combine the cucumber, tomatoes and chickpeas (it’s easy to make them from scratch and is so worth it) together in a large bowl.

2. To prepare the dressing, in a separate small bowl, whisk together the juice of the lemon, olive oil, honey and mustard. Add the salt and pepper, and then the dill.

3. Add the dressing and Feta cheese to the chickpeas, tossing until well mixed. Cover and refrigerate for about 15 minutes before serving.

Serve it on its own or with a piece of homemade Focaccia bread with herbs.

Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers

We all have our own favourite Mexican restaurants (I know I do), but when you feel like whipping up some Mexican dishes at home, this is one you have to try. Bell peppers are great because they can be used in so many different ways. Try adding some into an already delicious wrap, or make some yummy breaded pepper sticks as a side dish.

Mexican Style Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients:

1 tablespoon salt
4 large green peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups rice, cooked
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) can chili-style diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (8 ounce) package shredded Mexican cheese blend

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Sprinkle the salt into a large pot of water and bring to a boil.

3. Cut the tops off the peppers and remove the seeds and membranes (rinsing the inside of the peppers with a bit of water afterward helps get any leftover seeds out).

4. Cook the peppers in the boiling water for for 3-4 minutes, until slightly softened. Drain and rinse in cold water, set aside.

5. Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook the onion and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes.

6. In a large bowl, mix together the onion, black beans and tomatoes, along with the chili powder and cumin, stirring everything together well.

7. Add about 1 1/2 cups of the shredded Mexican cheese into the rice mixture, stirring a couple of times.

8. Fill the peppers with the rice mixture, then arrange the peppers in a baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over top of the peppers.

9. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is hot and bubbling.

These peppers are filling enough to eat on their own as a main dish, but you could also pair them with a small piece of garlic bread or a simple green salad.

Avocado and Tomato Wrap

I love wraps. They’re so easy to make, they’re filling, and you can stuff them full of healthy, delicious goodies. This wrap is one of my personal favourites, because it’s crazy easy to make and it is sooooo good.

Avocado and Tomato Wrap

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

2 whole wheat wraps
1 avocado
1 tomato
1 zucchini
2 tablespoons Tzatziki sauce

Directions:

1. Lay out your wraps.

2. Cut open your avocado and spread it over the center of the wraps.

3. Dice the tomato and add onto the wraps.

4. Peel and slice the zucchini and add over top of the tomato pieces.

5. Roll up the wraps, adding some of the Tzatziki sauce over the top edge before rolling up the last bit.

6. Cut the wraps in half down the center and plate.

This recipe serves 2 people. Enjoy it with some red quinoa salad or falafel.

Crispy Broccoli Bake

brocc

I usually steam my broccoli or enjoy it raw, but this is a great recipe I tried recently and had to share.

Crispy Broccoli Bake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Average
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Ingredients:

2 heads broccoli
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Chop up the head of broccoli into small florets and place them onto a baking sheet, spread out evenly.

3. Drizzle the oil over top of the broccoli pieces.

4. Mince the garlic and sprinkle over the broccoli.

5. Add the salt and pepper to the broccoli (I add a bit of curry powder too, to spice it up a bit).

6. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through so they get deliciously crispy crunchy on both sides.

This tasty, crispy broccoli goes great with a side of garlic bread for a light dinner, or with some spicy sweet potato mash or a pasta dish for a heartier meal.

Baked Tomato Parmesan

Recently we tried the super delicious zucchini Parmesan crisps, and we know how delicious Parmesan is with our favourite veggies. This version is with tomatoes, and is slightly different but just as tasty and nutritious.

Baked Tomato Parmesan

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

2 tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Cut the ends off the tomatoes, then slice each tomato in half, leaving you with four thick slices.

3. Place the sliced tomatoes face up on a baking sheet.

4. Add the Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper over top of the tomatoes, then drizzle over top with the olive oil.

5. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the tomatoes are tender and the cheese has melted.

These work great as a side or as an entrée if you put a couple in between some healthy whole grain bread. Or serve on the side with some egg noodles or pasta, or with some fresh leafy greens for a delicious salad.