So, occasionally I get asked about any cookbooks or tasty new foods I’ve come across to help folks jump start their new you resolutions. This year I decided to put a couple up here. Of course, hungry hobbit itself is full of healthy recipes but, if you want something in your pantry for snacking or on your shelf for looking at, these are some good suggestions.
Prana organic has released a snack food this year that surprised me. Organic, dry roasted coconut chips. I am a big fan of potato chips, I just can’t leave them alone if they are in the house. I’m always told that veggies are a good substitute. Sometimes, but not always, to be fair. These give me that satisfying crunchy snack that veggies sometimes lack. There is just something about pouring a little bowl of chips that can help brighten a day or better yet a nice portable “naughty” snack to reward yourself after a good workout. I tried all the flavours (very cutely named after dance styles…perhaps motivation to move a bit more?). The Charleston is a BBQ flavour (kind of that smokey one you get on Lays chips), Classic is just as it sounds, a regular chip, Jive is a neat chili flavoured kick and Hula is sea salt and cracked pepper. My favourite was the Jive followed by the Classic. Classic was more fun to use as a garnish on say my carrot ginger soup or my thai dishes, otherwise a bit dry for purely snacking. Any of these flavours would also be a fun addition when making a custom trail mix blend for hiking. If you are looking for this delicious and nutritious snack check out your grocery healthy living aisle or health food stores. They are available across Canada! Or check out http://www.prana.bio for more information.
Sadly, this next one is not in Canada, so I haven’t tried it personally yet, but I am super intrigued. Morinaga Nutritional Foods has created a make your own tofu kit. You can make traditional silken tofu in just four easy steps! For you US readers who love to have the purest ingredients this is definitely worth looking into. From the looks of it, that kit would be nice for making your own cheese too. Very interesting indeed. For more information check out http://www.morinu.com/en/mori-nu-make-your-own-tofu-kit.html Or watch the video
The Essential Ayurvedic Cookbook
Looking to start off the year with a healthier way of eating inspired by a tradition that is 5000 years old? Lois Leonhardi (a certified ayurveda wellness practicioner, educator and author) has written a book that might be just what you are looking for. Not just for vegetarians or Yogis this book is very approachable for everyone. It is filled with options for busy, non-vegetarians, vegetarians, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free people. The tips found in this book make it super easy to be whipping up healthy satisfying meals to help you balance your dosha (mind/body type, don’t worry you don’t need to know that yet) in no time! No previous experience required. I really love how this holistic approach to food has been adapted in this book for our modern society. Want a recipe to try? Like everyone else out there I’ve been playing around with quinoa. Here is an easy one that works for every dosha.
Red Quinoa with Endive and Cranberries
Quinoa is a little drying and is great for kapha and pitta. Vata can enjoy this recipe with the modification noted. Makes 2 servings
In place of the red quinoa, you could use half red and half white, but I recommend that you do not use white quinoa alone, as it will be very bland.
Choose dried cranberries sweetened with fruit juice.
The white balsamic vinegar adds sweetness (and sourness). If you substitute another vinegar, you may want to add 1 tsp (5 mL) of a sweetener, such as raw liquid honey or coconut sugar, to the dressing.
Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan
- 21⁄2 cups cooked red quinoa, cooled 625 mL
- 1⁄2 cup coarsely chopped Belgian endive 125 mL
- 1⁄3 cup slivered almonds, toasted 75 mL
- 2 tbsp thinly sliced green onions (sliced 30 mL
on the diagonal)
- 2 tbsp dried cranberries, coarsely chopped 30 mL
- 2 tbsp green pumpkin seeds (pepitas) 30 mL
or unsalted sunflower seeds
- 1⁄2 tsp Himalayan salt 2 mL
- 1⁄4 tsp crushed black pepper 1 mL
- 2 tbsp sunflower, avocado or extra 30 mL
virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar 30 mL
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar or freshly 30 mL
squeezed lime juice
- In a large bowl, using a wooden spoon, gently combine quinoa, endive, almonds, green onions, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, salt and pepper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together oil, balsamic vinegar and cider vinegar.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
150 Best Spiralizer Recipes
Do your resolutions include eating more veggies? Some of you might remember my chicken matzo soup with carrot noodles, well this book takes that idea even further! I showed this book to a friend of mine who isn’t great about getting her veggies in. She knows who she is. This book inspired her so much she got her own copy and spiralizer. It definitely has changed some of my approaches to veggies in dishes. I have a carrot pasta dish from here that I am now super fond of and have for a filling dinner on days when I need to eat a lighter calorie dinner. If you are looking for gorgeous pictures of vegetable based foods that can inspire even the most devout of meatatarians you should check out this book. How about a recipe to get you started? It’s my favourite thing to do.
Chicken and Tangy Peanut Sauce over Squash and Carrot Noodles
A very colorful combination of vegetables delivers an inviting foundation for the chicken and tangy peanut sauce.
- 1 tsp minced gingerroot 5 mL
- 1 tsp minced garlic 5 mL
- 1⁄2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1⁄2 cup smooth peanut butter
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce or tamari
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1⁄3 to water 75 to
- 1⁄2 cup
- 3 zucchini, ends cut flat 3
- 3 yellow summer squash, ends cut flat 3
- 2 large carrots, peeled and ends cut flat 2
- Ice cold water
- 4 cups diced cooked chicken 1
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
1. In a medium bowl, combine ginger, garlic, sugar, peanut butter,
vinegar, soy sauce and oil until well blended. Gradually stir in water to
reach desired consistency. (The squash strands will add liquid, so you may
want to make the dressing slightly thicker
2. Bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, using a
spiralizer, cut zucchini, squash and carrots into thin strands, keeping the
carrots separate. Add carrots to the boiling water and boil for 3 to
5 minutes or until cooked to desired tenderness. Using a slotted spoon,
immediately transfer carrots to a bowl of ice cold water. Blanch zucchini and
squash in the same way, but boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the cooled
vegetables thoroughly and pat dry if necessary.
3. Transfer blanched vegetables to a serving bowl. Top with chicken and
drizzle with dressing. Sprinkle cilantro and sesame seeds on top.
Tips: The peanut sauce also makes a terrific dip for fresh peas in the pod,
or a flavorful spread for sandwiches.
If desired, you can toast the sesame seeds in a small skillet over medium-
high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until fragrant.
MAKES 6 SERVINGS
Courtesy of 150 Best Spiralizer Recipes by Marilyn Haugen & Jennifer Williams © 2015 http://www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.
The Age Gracefully Cookbook
I love cookbooks that address the idea of FoodTrients or foods that help you with medical conditions. Don’t let the title deter you, this book is great for adults of any age who are actively interested in the health benefits of the food they eat. Grace O has authored an elegant book filled with recipes to rejuvenate and heal, it certainly doesn’t hurt that they are delicious too. This new year you may have resolved to pursue a healthier, joyful and sustainable lifestyle, if so this book could help you on your way. All of these recipes are based on scientific research and many different cultures ancient knowledge of herbs and natural ingredients. A wonderful combination in my opinion. This particular book also provides easy to use guides detailing how the ingredients help increase health and longevity. From this book you gain not only great recipes but also information about the ingredients that allow you to branch out and apply them to your own favourite recipes. The book focuses on five categories deemed essential to healthy living:
- Immunity Boosters
- Mind and Beauty
Every single recipe in this book is accompanied by a beautiful illustration to inspire you. I love flipping through this book for clean eating ideas. My favourite parts though are the FoodTrient recipe benefit index and guide to FoodTrients at the back of the book. A wonderful tool to have on hand if you are looking for help with a particular health issue. I’m so happy to add this to my collection of “food pharmacy” cookbooks.
For the Love of Food and Yoga
A few of you know that not only do I love food but I am also a certified yoga and pilates instructor. This book was too close to my heart to resist and I am so happy I picked it up. This a tome filled with a hundred delicious recipes, motivational pictures and time-tested yoga teachings. The recipes are vegetarian, vegan, or raw focused, as an omnivore that suits me just fine, the healthiest eating for me includes a variety of dishes and not eating meat everyday. I love that the book is organized like a menu all the way from “Beginnings” through “Surrenderings” and ending with “Fountains of Youth”. I have not encountered a book like this before and I find it wonderful, inspiring, and even a bit cute…they have a sense of humour when it comes to naming some of their recipes. Liz Price-Kellogg and Kristen Taylor have really put together a lovely lifestyle cookbook here. A great book that you use not only as a cookbook but to actually sit down and enjoy as a light motivational read. An uplifting addition to the library of any yoga lover that also happens to love food…like me. I thought this recipe looked extra delicious and needed to be shared.
An Ashram is a spiritual monestary or place which often offers cultural teachings of yoga, spitirual practices, or religion. These teachings help help us to continue to develop our awareness and guide us on our paths to our best selves.
Our Asparagus Ashram sandwich is a veggie-packed but still decadent grilled cheese sandwich. Create and savour. Serves 4
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T shallot, minced
- 20 thin asparagus spears, large stems removed
- Himalayan salt coarsely ground, to taste
- Pepper coarsely ground, to taste
- 1 T lemon juice
- 2 T fresh basil, chopped
- 1 T flat leaf parsely, chopped
- Dash of cayenne pepper
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated smoked gouda cheese
- 8 oz. thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
- 8 slices good bread
- 4 T grainy french mustard
- In a large skillet over medium heat, saute garlic, shallots, and asparagus with salt and pepper to taste with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until asparagus is tender or for about 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and add lemon juice, basil, parsley, and cayenne. Combine. Use a spatula to remove asparagus mixture from skillet and set aside in a bowl.
- Mix cheddar and Gouda cheeses together in a medium mixing bowl.
- Place cheddar and Gouda mixture, equally, on 4 slices of bread. Add equal amounts of asparagus mixture onto each piece of bread with grated cheese. Top with mozzarella equally on each sandwich half. Spread 1 tablespoon of mustard on the inside of each top bread slice. Place one slice of bread on top of each sandwich half.
- In the same skillet used to cook asparagus. heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add sandwiches to skillet and brush top bread slices with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- place lid over skillet and cook sandwiches for 5 minutes on each side or until bread is golden brown and cheese is melted.
- Cut sandwiches in half, if desired, and serve immediately.
Courtesy of For the Love of Food and Yoga by Liz Price-Kellogg & Kristen Taylor © 2015 http://www.skyhorsepublishing.com Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.
So, there you have it, a few things I have found to inspire you in your push for your “new you” this year. I hope a few of the books or foods I have talked about help you on your way to a great 2016. You can do it and still eat tasty food too. Now, I need to go…I’m totally hungry after all that food talk. Enjoy!