It's a bit cruel that January, the month of clean-eating-and-healthy-resolutions, is not particularly amenable to vegetable consumption. Don't get me wrong; I still love my salads and veggies, but it feels wrong to crunch through cold veggies when the snow is falling and my feet are numb from sub-zero school drop-offs.
Thank goodness for soup then; am I right? A hearty, veggie-heavy soup is the perfect prescription for those frigid, January-blues days. This soup is not only spicy and warming, but it's also full of protein; a bowl of this will keep you full and satisfied for hours. This is the kind of soup that gets better with time, so make a big batch and eat it for lunch all week. As Stephon would say...it's spicy!
In a large saucepan, saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat, until onion is softened and garlic is browned, approximately five minutes.
Add onion, carrot, pepper, cumin, coriander, and chipotle chili powder; stir and cook for two minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, and half of the black beans. Stir, then bring to a boil; cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the carrot pieces are fork-tender.
Using a blender or food processor, puree soup until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan, add the remaining beans, and allow to simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Top with cilantro and feta or goat cheese, if desired. This soup is even better the next day, making this a perfect make-ahead meal!
Want more soups for cold-weather lunches? Try my version of Grandma's Creamy Tomato Soup or my Creamy Mushroom Soup. Want something even heartier and stick-to-your-ribs-ish? Try my take on Rachael Ray's Ratatouille.
The other day, I was reading an article about food trends while eating lunch. Ugh, the writer said, Enough with the quinoa and kale. No one cares. No one really even likes quinoa and kale!
I stared at the piece for a few minutes, while taking bites of my quinoa and kale salad. Here's the thing: trendy foods become trendy for a reason, and the reason quinoa and kale became known as nutritional superstars is because they ARE nutritional superstars. Quinoa, that protein-and-fibre-rich superfood beloved by vegans and gluten-free aficionados, pairs wonderfully with vitamin-and-antioxidant-packed kale; add in butternut squash and hazelnuts, and you've got yourself a powerhouse of a salad. A bowl of this will keep you going for hours - it's a bowlful of energy!
This salad is a wonderful make-ahead meal; unlike many greens, kale does not get soggy or wilted when dressed. This is a large recipe that is great for a potluck, or if you just want leftovers for lunch the next day.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss butternut squash in 1 tablespoon olive oil, spread evenly on a baking sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway. Allow to cool completely.
Prepare quinoa according to package directions, and allow to cool completely.
Place kale pieces in a very large bowl.
Whisk together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and garlic. Pour half of the dressing over the kale and, using your hands, massage the dressing into the kale until it is all covered.
In a smaller bowl, toss the cooled butternut squash, cooled quinoa and the hazelnuts with the remaining dressing. Toss all together and feel the power!
It's that time of year again: time to put away the fudge and dig out the running shoes, especially for those of us who just spent the month of December consuming our weight in chocolate and wine. It was fun while it lasted, but now it's time to pay the piper, so to speak.
But wait! There's no need to go cold turkey on the chocolate! This homemade chocolate protein shake is so delicious that you won't believe it's good for you. Packed with potassium, Vitamin A, fibre, and protein, it will keep you full and satisfied for hours. Try this for a breakfast on-the-go or a pre-workout fuel. It's guaranteed to give you energy in the most delicious, chocolatey way possible. And I promise you'll never guess that there is spinach involved!
Note: whenever I have over-ripe bananas, I peel them and pop them in the freezer so I can make this convenient shake any time. Using frozen bananas gives this shake a frothy, milkshake-like consistency.
Place spinach, hemp, milk, and cocoa in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
Add frozen bananas and blend slowly at first, increasing speed as bananas become incorporated.
Bottoms up and enjoy the energy!