Summer Salad Series: #2 – Going Green

Tonight’s recipe may seem somewhat underwhelming, but Mama Earth‘s latest delivery of organic goodies provided us with a bag of the most beautiful wild greens! They also provided the recipe for the salad dressing I used tonight. Simple, healthy, and delicious – doesn’t get much better than that.

In other news, my boyfriend’s sister had a baby boy on the weekend and I just returned from out of town to see him! Talk about cuteness overload. I’ve never held such a tiny person in my arms. His teeny little fingers and toes have got me thinking about trying some sort of “baby-inspired” recipe… Something with baby carrots perhaps? Or mini muffins? I think I’m leaning most towards these little No-Bake Energy Bites that I pinned on Pinterest a while back! Stay tuned ;)

Summer Salad Series: #2 – Going Green

Ingredients:

Fresh, Wild Greens

Grape Tomatoes

White Button Mushrooms

Cucumber

Dressing: Combine 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 tsp dijon mustard, a pinch of sugar, and a pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in 2 tbsp of olive oil. You could also try adding some fresh or dried herbs! I used a bit of basil.

 

Meatless Monday: Brown Rice Bowl with Fiddleheads & Fresh Herbs

Happy Meatless Monday, folks! I’m very pleased to say that I will be able to provide a recipe for you this week that uses fiddleheads. Some of you may recall my post from last week which talked about Mama Earth‘s latest delivery of organic goodies, and how I was hoping to figure out what the heck to do with them. For those of you wondering what fiddleheads are, they are the curled, edible shoots of the ostrich fern. From what I’ve read, they need to be cleaned and cooked very carefully, otherwise they can make you sick. Health Canada has more information about how to prepare them. Fiddleheads are also nutrient powerhouses – they’re chock full of antioxidants, high in iron and fibre, and even a source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. Check out this article if you’re interested in learning more about them!

One of the best go-to healthy meals that my family likes to enjoy is ‘make-your-own’ brown rice bowls. This is a great meal to enjoy if you are trying to get rid of leftovers in your fridge. What we do is make a large amount of brown rice and then chop up a smorgasbord of veggies that need to be used up, such as asparagus, mushrooms, peppers, etc. We usually throw in some protein as well (chicken for the fam and tofu or beans for myself!), along with fresh cilantro, lime juice and cheese. It’s great because everyone can choose what items they want to add to their bowl. I usually include everything in my bowl, drizzle it with a bit of lime-chili sauce, and mix it all up :) – very tasty!

This week’s recipe is a new version of the brown rice bowl that I came up with on the spot. I opted to use a mixture of fresh herbs from our herb garden and a drizzling of lemon juice instead of the lime-chili sauce. I have to say, these fiddleheads are growing on me, despite their strange appearance. Enjoy! :)

Brown Rice Bowl with Fiddleheads & Fresh Herbs

Serves 1 person :)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice (quinoa would work too if you prefer something gluten-free!)

1 cup fiddleheads, thoroughly washed and stems trimmed

1/4 cup chopped grape tomatoes

1-2 tbsp finely chopped red onion

2 tbsp fresh herbs, chopped (I used cilantro, parsley and basil)

1-2 tbsp lemon juice

Pepper, to taste

Other optional ingredients: beans, tofu, feta cheese, goat cheese, mushrooms… the list goes on!

Directions:

1. Cook the rice in a rice cooker (use 1/2 cup of water for 1/2 cup of uncooked rice).

2. Wash the fiddleheads thoroughly and trim the stems. Boil for 10-15 minutes or steam for 10-12 minutes; drain and roughly chop.

3. In a bowl, combine the cooked brown rice, fiddleheads, tomatoes, onion, herbs, lemon juice and pepper. Then… EAT!

Summer Salad Series: #1 – Going Greek

I’ve decided to start a new series over the summer dedicated strictly to salads! There are so many combinations and flavours to experiment with, so I figured why not? Plus, there are a ton of fruits and vegetables that are now in season and the local farmers markets are starting back up, which means more access to fresh, local ingredients!

Last week’s delivery from Mama Earth provided us with fresh organic asparagus. On a whim, I decided to throw together a classic Greek salad – except I used asparagus instead of lettuce. I figured the asparagus would provide more in terms of nutrients. The asparagus was SO fresh and perfect, it made for a delicious substitute for plain old lettuce. This salad would be a great side dish for a summer meal. Tonight I enjoyed my salad with a couple of my infamous meatless lasagna “cupcakes”. Delicious!

Summer Salad Series: #1 – Going Greek

Ingredients (use however much of each you like):

Steamed Asparagus

Cucumber

Grape Tomatoes

Red Onion

Feta Cheese

Greek Salad Dressing: combine 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/2 tsp pepper and a tiny pinch of salt. Drizzle however much you like over the salad ingredients and enjoy!

Mama Earth

I am very excited to tell you all about a wonderful initiative my family recently discovered. About a month ago we received a flyer in the mail for something called Mama Earth Organics. What the organization does is source organic produce directly from local farms. They deliver the fresh produce (along with other organics items, such as baked goods, eggs, milk, etc.) directly to your home every week. We are currently only in our second week of delivery, but so far I’ve been very impressed! The customer service and communication has been excellent.

Although the baskets may seem a little pricey (we ordered the smallest size and it is $25/week), it is nice to know that all of the produce is fresh, organic, and local when possible. It feels great knowing that we are contributing to a socially and environmentally responsible organization that does all it can to benefit the community and the people within it.

Week 1 Basket: 4 Valencia oranges, 1.5 lbs bananas, 2 campari tomatoes, Boston lettuce , 1lb asparagus, and 0.5 lbs fiddleheads

Week 2 Basket: 4 Gala apples, 4 Valencia oranges, 1 Ataulfo mango, 1 pint grape tomatoes, Boston lettuce, 1/3 lb loose spinach, and 0.5 lbs fiddleheads (shown below)

I had never even heard of fiddleheads before receiving this basket. After doing a bit of research I was able to figure out the proper way to cook them. They look rather strange, but the taste isn’t so bad! I’m going to try experimenting with them a bit more so that I can hopefully share a recipe or two soon.

If you are interested in learning more about this Toronto-based initiative, I encourage you to visit their website! You can cancel delivery at any time, so you could always just try it out for a month to see if you like it.

– Be Well! xo

Meatless Monday: Salsa & Hummus

Let me just start off by saying WOW. Was that a gorgeous weekend or what?? That was probably the best weather I’ve ever experienced over the May long weekend. The multiple bug bites I acquired were well worth the hours spent lounging in the sun, cooling off in the lake, and sipping sangria. I’m very thankful that one of the things I did not acquire this weekend was a sun burn.  In fact, I don’t think anyone I was with got sun burnt. Only the hotdogs suffered severe burns after being lost in last night’s campfire. I am going to estimate that a good 10-15 hotdogs were dropped during several people’s attempts to make spider dogs. It was not a good weekend for the weiners. I, on the other hand, am pleased to say that my veggie dog survived ;)

To make up for my lack of Meatless Monday posts as of late, this week you are getting an extra bonus recipe! I had brought these healthy snacks up to the cottage with me to share with everyone. Although the salsa was the first to go, both dishes were very much enjoyed by all!

Easy Tomato Salsa

Ingredients:

5 tomatoes, chopped into small pieces

1/2 green pepper, chopped into small pieces

1/2 onion, chopped into small pieces

1 jalapeno pepper, chopped finely

1 handful cilantro, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tbsp sugar

Simply mix everything in a bowl and serve slightly chilled!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

I got this recipe from the blog Our Best Bites.  The recipe called for store bought roasted red peppers, but I just made my own. Simply slice a pepper into quarters and place on a baking sheet, skin side up, under the broiler for 10-15 minutes. The peppers will be done when the skin is charred and black. Once the peppers have cooled down a bit, the skin should peel off very easily.

In other news, I have been nominated for another blogging award! Stay tuned for more details later this week.

Be Well xo