Skinny Vegetable Soup

October 23, 2014

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If you may have been overindulging a little bit more than usual lately, a tried and true way to lose a little weight and feel better is to fill up on tasty, nutritious vegetables, and my Skinny Vegetable Soup is the perfect choice. You start with a simple base of onions, leeks, celery and carrots, and then add some tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, butternut squash, pinto beans and lots of kale. I used fresh thyme to flavor the soup, but there are many different herbs that would work well (like maybe rosemary or even cilantro!), so feel free to try your favourite. The result is a comforting, hearty and good-for-you soup that doesn’t taste “healthy” at all. I topped it with a little grated Parmesan for a salty, cheesy kick. Delicious. Enjoy!! Read More…

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Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

October 16, 2014

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I recently made a batch of homemade Roasted Tomato Basil Soup, a traditional and healthy favorite that never gets old. I roasted some tomatoes in the oven to bring out their flavor and sweetness and added a couple cans of diced tomatoes to enhance it even more. If you are like me and you have lots of fresh basil around from your garden, then this is a perfect way to enjoy a meal that highlights this delicious herb. I added a whole cup of basil leaves to the soup for lots of flavor. I decided to serve it with some short-grain brown rice, however, the possibilities are endless. You can add mini pasta, colorful wild rice, or serve simply with toasted bread. This soup is quick to make, easy, and incredibly comforting. Enjoy!! Read More…

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Post image for Mushroom and Stilton Quinoa Risotto

I’m always looking for healthy alternatives to my comfort food favorites, so when I came across this recipe for Mushroom and Stilton Quinoa Risotto from The Art of Eating Well, I had to try it. I’ve been enjoying several recipes from this book recently and totally adore the clean cooking philosophy of the book’s authors, Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley. This recipe uses quinoa as the base for the risotto and does not contain any rice. Using quinoa not only makes it more nutritious and protein-packed, but it also has the added bonus of being easier and quicker to make. I found some beautiful chanterelle and chestnut mushrooms from my local farmer’s market that worked perfectly for the dish, in addition to some some strong, high-quality stilton cheese. The cheese added loads of creaminess and flavor, while still keeping the overall dish light and fresh. I can’t wait to experiment with other types of quinoa risottos, the possibilities are endless! Read More…

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Post image for Lobster Biryani Masala {Daniel Boulud}

My husband and I are huge fans of Chef Daniel Boulud and his collection of restaurants, in particular DBGB in NYC, Bar Boulud in London, and Restaurant Daniel in NYC, for special occasions. Thus, when Chef Boulud’s book, Daniel: My French Cuisine, came out celebrating recipes from Restaurant Daniel, I couldn’t wait to get cooking. I already made the Fondue Ravioli (scrumptious) and the famous Duo of Beef with Tardivo & Sweet Potato Dauphine, both with huge success, so this time I set out to make his Lobster Biryani Masala.

It’s technically an appetizer, but in no way should be underestimated based on that distinction, since it is truly an elegant and exquisite dish in its own right. A tender fresh lobster tail is served alongside homemade fried, biryani-spiced lobster samosas, with grilled hearts of palm, coconut chutney and freshly dressed romaine lettuce. The spices are well balanced, and the rich fried samosas are complemented beautifully by the lightness of the lobster tail and salad. It’s contemporary in looks and taste.

I won’t lie by saying this recipe is easy or quick to make – in fact, it is indeed a full-on project, but if you are like me you will love taking hours out of your day scouring your local farmer’s market and fishmonger for fresh ingredients, and then slaving in the kitchen preparing a heavenly feast. Let’s get started… Read More…

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Curried Coconut Lentil Soup

September 14, 2014

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This weekend I set out to recreate a delicious Curried Coconut Lentil Soup that I had while I was in Africa a couple weeks ago. While creating the recipe, I wanted to make sure that the soup had a distinct coconut flavor, lots of nutritious vegetables and grains, and a healthy dose of warm curry spices. This soup ticks all the boxes and makes for a delightful lunch or light dinner. It is full of flavor and thickens beautifully thanks to the red split lentils and creamy coconut. I added diced tomatoes and tomato paste for an extra flavor boost and bit of sweetness.

As you can imagine, the spices are extremely important for this soup, so make sure you use fresh and good-quality spices. For my spice mix, I used Daylesford Organic Curry Powder, which was a mix of Cumin, Coriander, Onion, Fenugreek, Turmeric, Garlic, Ginger, Yellow Mustard, Black Pepper, Chilli, Cinnamon, Cardamon, Cloves. It worked great, but you can certainly create your own curry spice mix as well if you have all of the ingredients!

Read on for the full recipe and step by step instructions for this warm and hearty soup… Read More…

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Post image for How to Make Almond Milk {step-by-step photos}

I have been making homemade almond milk for about a year now and it has been such a success that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to the bland store-bought varieties again. It always seemed like a daunting process and since I don’t have a VitaMix, I was initially even worried my regular blender couldn’t handle it. None of this proved to be true. In fact, almond milk is actually super easy to make and requires only a regular blender. The only mildly tedious part of the process is soaking the almonds overnight before you make the milk. I have outlined all of the steps I use to make the milk in the photos below. Once you start making it, you get used to the process and it becomes easy and quick. I make it weekly (or more) and couldn’t live without it! Read More…

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Post image for Frozen Almond Butter Banana Bites

I recently whipped up a batch of a very fun and healthy treat that I couldn’t wait to share, Frozen Almond Butter Banana Bites. They are pretty simple to make and a really satisfying mini frozen treat. I keep a batch in the freezer if I want something sweet, but I don’t want a full serving of ice cream. When the banana and almond butter freezes, it has an ice-cream like texture and the chocolate coating tastes like a proper chocolate covered ice cream bar. Enjoy!! Read More…

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Osteria Francescana

June 19, 2014

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I recently had the opportunity to dine at Osteria Francescana, a three Michelin star restaurant located in the breathtaking Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. Led by acclaimed chef-patron Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana holds the spot for the number three restaurant in the world and is renowned worldwide for its artistic flair, creativity, and masterful use of local ingredients. With a combination of impeccable service and dishes that wowed and delighted literally one after the other, my husband and I had a glorious time and cannot wait to go back.

We spent a couple days in Modena, where the restaurant in located, and I thoroughly recommend doing that as well if you are lucky enough to dine at Osteria Francescana. Modena is the home of true balsamic vinegar and also, interestingly, the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari and Luciano Pavarotti. There is a super cool Ferrari museum not too far out of town that is definitely worth a stop. Read More…

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Noma, Copenhagen

May 8, 2014

Noma Restaurant

In a stroke of luck, I was able to snag a last minute reservation at Noma, just days after it was crowned the number one restaurant in the world by the San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards. Noma is renowned in the gastronomic world and needs little introduction. It held the top spot on the list for three years beginning in 2010, until it was ousted by Spanish restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, so the reclaiming of the title just a couple weeks ago was understandably pretty sweet. Led by chef-owner René Redzepi, the restaurant was one of the pioneers of “new nordic cuisine” and is known around the world for its meticulous attention to detail and unique ingredients foraged from the local countryside and seashore. My husband and I are no strangers to traveling for food, so we didn’t think twice about hopping on a plane for a rare chance to eat at Noma. As you can probably imagine, reservations are extremely hard to come by, so I was very lucky to have found a cancellation for a table for two a few days before. Read More…

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Paleo Bread

March 27, 2014

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On my quest for healthy, clean recipes, I came across a very popular recipe for “Paleo Bread” from Elana’s Pantry, a cooking and baking blog specialising in grain-free recipes. With wholesome ingredients like almond flour, coconut flour, flaxmeal and coconut oil, there is no doubt this homemade bread packs a nutritional punch. There is no white or whole wheat flour and no white sugar, making this bread totally gluten free and refined sugar free, and, of course, Read More…

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