Tomato-Corn-Basil Soup September 25, 2008

This is a great soup for end of summer or the beginning of fall, when you can still get wonderful fresh corn and tomatoes.  Frozen and canned substitutes still work amazingly well, and will more than suffice if you’re in a pinch in mid winter.  Serve with slices of avocado and some crispy toasts, and you’ll be adding this meal to your regular rotation in no time.

1 c finely chopped onion
2 tbps extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 large tomatoes, skinned and chopped finely, OR 28 ounces canned, crushed tomatoes
1 c purified water
3 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from the cob), OR 1 pound frozen sweet corn
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c finely chopped fresh basil (use fresh – avoid dry if you can)

1) Sauté onions in the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat until they begin to brown, then add garlic and sauté for a minute, stirring constantly.

2) Add tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until they release their juice, then cover and continue cooking about 5 min.

3) Add water and corn and cook until the corn is soft (about 5 min), then season to taste with salt and pepper.

4) Stir in basil, combine well, remove from heat, and serve immediately.

Top with fresh a small slice of fresh avacado, a dollop of sour cream and a basil leaf to impress yourself and your guests!


Protein Muffins

This recipe screams healthy and delicious, and I made extra brownie points with my gluten-free tri-athlete gal pal when I forwarded it to her. They are a wonderful low-carb, high-protein, super tasty power muffin. Spread some all natural nut butter on the top before eating for extra flavor and an even bigger protein boost.


1 1/2 cup oat bran or non-gluten flour
1 cup egg whites (from container) or 6 egg whites
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup applesauce w/ cinnamon (or plain but add a bit more cinnamon to the batter, to taste)
2 Tbsp peanut butter (all-natural is best)
extra dash of cinnamon & nutmeg
3 tbsp of honey
1 banana, mashed
1 cup frozen blueberries
extra peanut butter (or any nut butter – to spread on top before eating)

1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees, and place muffin liners in a 12 serving muffin tray.

2) Mix all ingredients together until blended – although add the blueberries at the very end so they don’t become overly mashed.

3) Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 20 min.

4) Let muffins cool completely on rack, then spread nut butter on them before eating.

Store in refrigerator, or freeze for a month (well wrapped).



Out-of-Africa Stew September 23, 2008

Ah fall. Not only do we get to enjoy all the sights of this great time of year, but it’s also an amazing time for the foodies of the world. This tasty and perfect fall stew is modeled on traditional North African style stews – a perfect solution for any damp or chilly day.  This aromatic veggie main course can be served on it’s own or over brown rice.  Curl up and enjoy.


3/4 cup dried chickpeas (or 1 can of ready to eat)
2 1/2 pounds kabocha squash (see note below) or butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 large carrots or zucchini, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup quinoa
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
5 cups vegetable broth or your favourite stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp saffron, shredded
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped


1) Soak dried chickpeas in enough cold water to cover them by 2 inches, overnight (skip step if using canned).

2) Combine pre-soaked chickpeas, squash, carrots OR zucchini, quinoa, onion, lentils, broth, tomato paste, ginger, cumin, salt, saffron and pepper in a large pot (or slow cooker if you prefer).

3) Cook covered on low until chickpeas are tender and the lentils have begun to break down (anywhere from 1-2 hours). IF using canned chickpeas, only cook for about 30-40 minutes.

4) Once cooked, stir in lime juice, and serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.

Kabocha is a hard, and knobbly-looking skinned squash that is shaped like a squatty pumpkin.  It has a dull coloured deep green skin with green and white colored stripes, with an intense yellow-orange color on the inside.  It is very similar to butternut squash but without the characteristic cup on the blossom end.