Easy Shakshuka

Shakshuka is a Middle Eastern dish, which traditionally involves making a spicy tomato sauce by simmering tomatoes with onions, garlic, peppers and a variety of spices, including smoked paprika. Eggs are then poached in the tomato sauce, and served with some sort of crusty bread. When I first started making shakshuka, I would make the whole thing from scratch which, while extremely delicious, was also pretty time consuming.

This recipe was a product of a leftover can of tomato sauce, a strong craving for shakshuka, and a lack of time to make the real thing. This version is so fast and cuts wayy down on the list of ingredients so you can make it whenever you want. I like having it for dinner but it's also amazing for brunch or breakfast.

Homemade Dynamite- Lorde ft. Khalid, Post Malone, SZA

INGREDIENTS

1 tsp olive oil
1.5 cups garlic tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp red chili flakes
pinch of sea salt and pepper
1 big handful spinach
2 eggs
bread or toast (my favorite GF bread right now is from Aphrodite in Van!)

INSTRUCTIONS

In a small pan, sautee garlic in olive oil over low heat. Once simmering, add paprika, turmeric and chili flakes, and stir until fragrant. Add garlic tomato sauce, spinach, salt and pepper, and stir over medium heat until bubbling. Using a wooden spoon, make two hollows in the sauce. Gently break an egg into each hollow, reduce heat to a low and cover. Simmer over low heat until eggs are cooked to your liking- could be anywhere from 5-15 minutes depending on your stove and how you like your eggs. Once cooked, remove from heat and sprinkle salt and pepper over eggs. Serve in the pan you cooked it in, with a piece of your favorite bread, lightly toasted. 

Peanut Butter Bites
 
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Peanut butter and chocolate is likely one of my favorite combinations, ever. You can probably tell by looking at the "sweet" page of the blog- peanut butter and chocolate mousse, peanut butter and chocolate blondies, peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes... I can't stop! These are easy to whip up, and are tiny- perfect for snacking. Also, they pair realllly well with wine ;)

Fat Freddy's Drop- Flashback

INGREDIENTS

½ cup almonds
½ cup salted peanuts
½ cup peanut butter
2 medjool dates, pitted
1/4 cup rolled oats (I used certified GF)
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup dark chocolate chips or bars, chopped finely
1 tbsp coconut oil

INSTRUCTIONS

Add oats and dates to a food processor, pulse until oats are finely ground and well combined. Remove from processor, then add almonds and peanuts to the food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add peanut butter and vanilla to nut mixture and pulse until well combined. Add oats and blend until it forms a dough. Using a 1/4 tsp as a spoon, scoop small amounts of dough, roll into balls and place on a lined cookie sheet. Freeze for half an hour to an hour, until dough balls are frozen hard. In a pot, heat chocolate and coconut oil on low heat until melted. Turn heat off. Using a fork, roll each peanut butter ball in chocolate and tap on the side of the pot to get excess chocolate off. Place chocolate covered ball on a lined cookie sheet and place in freezer until firm. Once firm, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until serving. 

Recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker

 
SweetsAlexa ChichakComment
Sweet Potato Carrot Spice Soup
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Ahh, fall. Leaves, scarves, pumpkin spice lattes and soup. Fall is harvest time for most root vegetables- carrots, squash, yams. Not only are these foods in season meaning they are fresher and cheaper, many of us also crave them as the weather gets cooler. 

As much as we laugh at the popularity of pumpkin spice, the concept actually has roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine. In TCM, fall is associated with spice. Eating foods heavier in spice this season will feed the body and help the transition into winter. Chinese medicine is also based on balancing the yin and the yang in the body, so colder autumn days are perfectly balanced by warmer, heartier meals. So go ahead and embrace all the super basic fall things: Traditional Chinese medicine told you to. 

Louie Free- You Make Me Feel Better

INGREDIENTS


½ large white or yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red curry paste
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups yams, diced
3 cups carrots, chopped
1 heaping tbsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
3 tbsp honey
sea salt & pepper, to taste
1 package soft tofu (optional) 

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large pot, heat olive oil. Over medium heat, saute onion until soft and transluscent. Add garlic and ginger, saute until fragrant. Stir in red curry paste. Add vegetable broth, yams and carrots, stir, and heat until boiling. Cover and lower heat to medium-low. Simmer until the vegetables are soft, 30-45 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend either with an immerision blender or a stand up blender until smooth. 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

SavouryAlexa ChichakComment
Cauliflower Pizza
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I've been working on a cauliflower pizza recipe for years. So many recipes are so delicious, but end up using a lot of ingredients that I don't usually have on hand.  This recipe is pared down to ensure it's easy and quick to make.  

Due to the cauliflower in the crust, this is not a similar texture to a regular pizza crust. It's a little lighter, and a little bit less chewy, but every bit delicious in its own way. I love using this for my pizza because there's a higher nutritional content than traditional pizza-cauliflower is high in Vitamin C, fibre and potassium, as well as a lower carbohydrate content. I never feel bad for indulging, and the high veggie content balances out the wine I'm usually pairing it with ;)

I make the pizza with a mediterranean topping filled with my favorite things like olives and feta, but you can choose whatever toppings you like.

Misty- Caamp

INGREDIENTS

Crust:
½ medium cauliflower
1 egg
½ cup GF flour
½ cup cornmeal
1 tsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp thyme
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp pepper
a healthy pinch of red pepper flakes

Toppings:
¼ cup pizza sauce
1 handful spinach
¼ cup olives, chopped
¼ cup goat's cheese feta
cherry tomatoes

 INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 F. Chop cauliflower into small, even florets. Add chopped cauliflower to food processor and chop until riced. Remove any large chunks left. Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl and stir in the rest of the crust ingredients. The dough mixture will be pretty wet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, add crust and spread into a thin circle. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread sauce evenly across the crust, spread spinach on top, and add the tomatoes and olives. Sprinkle feta on top, then return to the oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes until spinach is wilted and feta is golden. 

SavouryAlexa ChichakComment
Frosé

Frosé: the ultimate summer drink. Unfortunately most restaurant versions have strawberries in them (which I'm allergic to), so I had to recreate it using raspberries! I also removed the granulated sugar. This is so, so easy and is perfect for the patio. You can drink the slush by itself or top it off with prosecco, either way, it's a crowd pleaser. 

Imagine Dragons- It's Time

INGREDIENTS

1 bottle rosé
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
¼ cup honey
1 lemon, juiced
Prosecco (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a baking pan and put into the freezer. Freeze for 4-6 hours, until solid. Scoop into a glass to serve. Top with prosecco, if desired.

 

Vanilla Raspberry Smoothie
I started this post on June 16th, and here we are, almost two months later. It's been a whirlwind of finals, labs, studying, and a board exam, but I'm finally ready to get back to recipe development (i.e. making and eating delicious things).   This smoothie was my breakfast almost every day this spring. It whips up in minutes and tastes like a summer treat, and keeps me full all morning. I suggest using Genuine Health Vegan Fermented Protein as I have tried and tested lots of vegetarian protein powders, and this is my favorite. However, feel free to use whichever vanilla protein you prefer.    Louis The Child ft. K.Flay- It's Strange

I started this post on June 16th, and here we are, almost two months later. It's been a whirlwind of finals, labs, studying, and a board exam, but I'm finally ready to get back to recipe development (i.e. making and eating delicious things). 

This smoothie was my breakfast almost every day this spring. It whips up in minutes and tastes like a summer treat, and keeps me full all morning. I suggest using Genuine Health Vegan Fermented Protein as I have tried and tested lots of vegetarian protein powders, and this is my favorite. However, feel free to use whichever vanilla protein you prefer. 

Louis The Child ft. K.Flay- It's Strange

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 ripe banana
2 cups spinach (optional) 
1 scoop vanilla protein powder ( I love Genuine Health Vegan Fermented Protein) 

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend on high until smooth. If too thin, add a few ice cubes. 

Apple Breakfast Bowl

In the summer, I don't usually feel like cooking warm breakfasts like oatmeal or eggs. I stick to smoothies or this breakfast bowl, which you can throw together in just a few minutes. It is full of my favorite flavors, foods and textures: crispy apples, oats, cinnamon and almond butter. The apples make the breakfast feel fresh and light, while the almond butter will fill you up. Oats and cinnamon are both known to decrease blood sugar spiking, which will help keep you full longer and prevent a sugar crash after breakfast. Paired with coffee, this breakfast  starts my day off right. 

Peaches- In the Valley Below

INGREDIENTS

1 apple, chopped into small cubes (I like ambrosia, use your favorite)
¼ rolled oats (use GF if needed)
½ tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp almond butter
1/3 cup almond milk

 INSTRUCTIONS

Place chopped apples in a bowl. Top with oats, sprinkle with cinnamon then pour almond milk over top. Drizzle with almond butter. 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

The Best Waffles

Much like Rufus Humphrey, I'm a  waffle enthusiast. Waffles are my chosen breakfast for birthdays, Christmas, brunches, Wednesdays.... My parents made the BEST waffles when I was growing up- light and fluffy, crispy on the outside. So, once I stopped eating gluten and dairy, it was my mission to find an amazing waffle recipe. I've tested and retested all kinds of different recipes for years and have finally settled on the 'perfect gluten free waffle'.

Drake- Get It Together--> check it out on spotify, it's been removed from youtube!

INGREDIENTS

½ cup gluten free flour blend (my favorite by far is the 1-1 blend from Bulk Barn)
½ cup oat flour (blend GF oats in a food processor until fine)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 heaping tsp cinnamon

¾ cup almond milk
¼ cup canola oil
2 large eggs (can substitute for flax eggs)
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

 INSTRUCTIONS

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Let the batter rest for 10 minutes while your waffle maker heats up. After 10 minutes, gently stir the batter one more time. Ladle a scoop onto the heated waffle iron. Serve with coconut oil or butter, maple syrup, almond butter or my favorite- blueberry sauce (recipe below). 

Waffle recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate.

Blueberry sauce

INGREDIENTS

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tbsp honey, maple syrup or sugar

 INSTRUCTIONS

In a small saucepan, gently heat the blueberries with the sugar. Once bubbling and warm, transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. 

Polenta Fries

I've been a little lazy in the kitchen lately- school has really kicked my culinary creativity to the curb. Luckily, something called the #vancityvirtualpotluck came up and got me excited about recipes again! 

 
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Over 30 local Vancouver bloggers are all posting recipes today- check it out on instagram via #vancityvirtualpotluck. I have included links to two other recipes from the potluck below, and if you'd like to see the whole menu, check it out here. Such a cool way to support local bloggers & get some awesome recipes! A big thanks to Lindsay and Kristen at Piquant Marketing for organizing such a delicious event. 

These polenta fries were an old favorite that I've revamped for the potluck. I'm always amazed how easy these are, and how crispy they get- you'd never know they are baked! They are amazing vegan, but I've included some options for adding parmesan and goat cheese for an extra flavour hit. 

Leon Bridges- River

INGREDIENTS

For polenta fries: 
2½ cups low sodium vegetable stock
¾ cups organic cornmeal
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp thyme
salt & pepper to taste
(optional) ¼ cup soft goat cheese
(optional) grated parmesan for topping

For marinara sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can crushed tomatoes
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
pinch of sugar, honey or agave
1 tbsp chopped basil leaves or 1 tsp dried basil leaves
salt & pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Fries: Bring vegetable stock to boil in a large pot. Once boiled, reduce heat to low and slowly add cornmeal, whisking constantly. Turn off heat when the cornmeal is thick and creamy. Stir in nutritional yeast, thyme, salt & pepper and goat cheese, if using. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and transfer the polenta onto the cookie sheet. Using a spatula, spread the polenta into a smooth layer. Place in fridge for 10-15 min or until firm.  Preheat oven to 400 F. When firm, cut into thin rectangles and place on greased cookie sheet, ensuring there is space between each fry. Brush with 1 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkle with approximately ¼ tsp salt. Bake for 10 minutes then flip the fries. Bake for another 5-10 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with marinara sauce. 

Marinara Sauce:  Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and sugar and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the basil and serve.

Click the image to see another recipe from the potluck- Beet Carpaccio Salad by Morgan @ Shupe's Soups!

Click the image to see another recipe from the potluck- Beet Carpaccio Salad by Morgan @ Shupe's Soups!

 
 
Click the image to see another recipe from the potluck- Super Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by Suraya @ Wild Witch BC!   

Click the image to see another recipe from the potluck- Super Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by Suraya @ Wild Witch BC!

 

Roasted Yam & Kale Dish

When I'm in school, my meals tend to be pretty repetitive- I make my lunches and dinners for the week on Sundays. Since I eat the same thing every day, I have to make sure the food is delicious so I don't get tired of them. This is one of my favorites: crispy garlic kale, warm roasted yams and a poached egg together with tahini sauce. It is delicious, filling and so satisfying. 

One of the less-talked about components of nutrition is phytochemicals/phytonutrients which are naturally occurring chemical components in vegetables (particularly brightly colored veggies). Phytochemicals have a amazing preventative health benefits. Over 2000 phytochemicals have been identified in various foods. Two of the phytochemicals in this dinner are beta-carotene and lutein. They function as antioxidants, stimulate the immune system, are protective against cancers and can prevent cataracts and age-related eye degeneration.

Studies show that having a diet rich in phytochemicals is more effective in disease prevention than taking a singular supplement. Beta carotene is found in leafy green veggies, yams, carrots, squash, spinach, apricots, green peppers and mangoes. Luteine is found in green leafy veg, broccoli, egg yolks, corn, potatoes, spinach, carrots and tomatoes. To simplify, it is suggested that diets contain at least one orange vegetable/fruit and one dark green vegetable/fruit per day to get the benefit of phytochemicals. This dinner has both! 

Peter Bjorn and John- Young Folks

INGREDIENTS

1 medium yam, peeled and diced
1 bunch kale, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil
sea salt & pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1-2 eggs
1 tsp vinegar
tahini sauce (see below for recipe)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 F. Toss diced yams in 1-2 tbsp olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Roast for 30-50 min until golden and soft. While yams are roasting, prepare the kale: drizzle with 1-2 tsp olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes. Massage the oil and spices into the kale. Spread over a baking sheet and roast at 400F for 5-10 minutes, until lightly crispy (keep an eye on it, it will burn quickly). If adding the eggs, poach 2 eggs while the kale is in the oven- check out how to poach an egg here. When the veggies and eggs are done, place the yams and kale on a plate and top with eggs. Drizzle with a generous amount of tahini sauce. 

Note: To speed up assembly time, I roast 3-4 yams at the beginning of the week and just warm them up while the kale roasts. 

Tahini Sauce

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup tahini
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp soy sauce (I used GF Tamari)
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp sriracha
2-3 tsp water

INSTRUCTIONS
Add all ingredients to a jar. Shake until well combined. If it's too thick, add 1 tsp of water and shake, repeating until you get the desired consistency. 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

SavouryAlexa ChichakComment
Vanilla Matcha Smoothie

Happy New Year! I always like to start January with a simple cleanse. The holidays are indulgent, filled with gingerbread cake, wine, chocolate... So it feels great to reset my body and start the new year with a clean slate. There's tons of different cleanses out there ranging from extreme (juice cleanses, fasting) to easier, less intense cleanses. Cleanses can be fantastic for resetting, but also can be harmful to metabolism if done for too long, or too restrictive. Naturopathic doctors are trained in nutrition and can design a cleanse suitable for you and your body. 

As for my January cleanse, I keep it easy: smoothies in the morning, lots of whole foods and proteins, no dairy or gluten, and limited sugar and alcohol. My go-to smoothie is this vanilla matcha: it tastes like a treat even though it's packed with nutrients! Matcha, along with being a powerful antioxidant, is caffeinated so I get an extra energy boost. Of course, it doesn't need to be part of a cleanse, it's a great breakfast on the go or a tasty snack. 

Childish Gambino- Redbone

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond milk
½ frozen banana
2 cups spinach
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I really like Genuine Health)
1 tsp matcha powder
4-5 ice cubes

INSTRUCTIONS

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth. If you don't have protein powder, add an extra half banana, a half teaspoon of vanilla extract, and honey to taste. 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

Veggie Sushi

I consider sushi one of my main food groups, and the hype hit a new level when my friend taught me how to make my own sushi a couple of years ago. It's way easier than it seems yet you feel like pro chef when you're done. I've listed my favorite veggie combo- yam, peppers, mango and avocado but feel free to choose whatever you want. 

Leagues- Walking Backwards

INGREDIENTS

2 cups rice, brown rice, or quinoa
1 large yam
2 bell peppers
1 mango
2 ripe avocados
5-10 nori sheets
Sriracha
optional: cucumbers, lettuce, grated carrots
Tahini sauce (see below)

INSTRUCTIONS

Preparation: Cook the rice or quinoa according to instructions on package. Peel the yams and cut into long, thin rectangles. Add to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with 3 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp honey or agave, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 F for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through. While yams are roasting, chop the bell peppers, mango and avocados. Cut into long, thin strips. 

Putting the sushi together:

Step 1: Lay nori sheet shiny side down on top of a slightly bigger piece of saran wrap

Step 2: Spoon about 1/2 cup warm rice or quinoa into the middle of the sheet. If you cooked the rice or quinoa ahead of time, reheat before rolling as the heat from the rice helps soften the nori sheets.

Step 3: Using a spatula, gently spread the rice out to cover all but about an inch and a half on either end of the nori sheet. When the rice is covering the area, gently press down, making sure the rice is sticking to the paper. 

Step 4: Choose one end of the rice and squeeze a small amount Sriracha all the way across. Layer the vegetables and fruits on top of this line. Choose similarly shaped veggies so the height and width of the vegetables is approximately the same all the way across. 

Step 5: Dab a small amount of water onto the opposite edge of the nori paper. I just dip my fingers into a glass of water then dab all the way across the top of the nori sheet. This helps the the roll stay together. 

Step 6: Roll! Tightly roll the sushi like you would a sleeping bag. For the first part of the roll, hold the veggies in so they don't fall out and create a loose and messy roll. 

Step 7: Tightly wrap the saran around the sushi roll. 

Note: check out steps 1-7 in action on my instagram @kaleandacoffee. The video wouldn't upload here!

Step 8: Let the roll sit for a few minutes in the saran. Then remove from saran, and cut gently into 6-8 rolls with a serrated knife. 

Step 9: Dip in tahini sauce and EAT!

Tahini Sauce

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup tahini
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp soy sauce (I used GF Tamari)
1 tsp honey or agave
1 tsp sriracha
2-3 tsp water

INSTRUCTIONS
Add all ingredients to a jar. Shake until well combined. If it's too thick, add 1 tsp of water and shake, repeating until you get the desired consistency. 

SavouryAlexa ChichakComment
Matcha Latte & Golden Milk

It's been a while since my last recipe, so today I have not one but two recipes for you! Two of my favorite heart-warming hot drinks, perfect for these colder, darker days. 

First, let's chat about matcha. Highly caffeinated, matcha is energizing and so tasty. I've blended it with soy milk, cinnamon and coconut oil to get a quality foam on top. Besides energizing, matcha is also an antioxidant, and has been researched to have anti-cancer properties. You can use any matcha powder you like- I use Matcha Macuna from Harmonic Arts for an extra superfood boost.

Next up? Golden milk. I could talk for days about the health benefits of turmeric (anti-inflammatory, liver protective...), but it might get too verbose. If you're interested, check out some the medical properties of turmeric here. Turmeric is best absorbed with fats and black pepper, which is why there is both coconut oil and black pepper in this recipe- to boost absorption. It's the perfect drink to curl up with at the end of a long day. The recipe can be multiplied- I quadruple the recipe without the coconut oil and store it in the fridge. When I want a cup, I warm up a portion and blend with the coconut oil. Easy even during a busy week!

Lost in the Light- Bahamas

GOLDEN MILK

INGREDIENTS

1 cup almond milk
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp fresh grated ginger
¼ tsp cinnamon
Pinch of cardamom
Pinch black pepper
¼  tsp coconut oil
1 tsp honey, or to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Heat almond milk with spices and honey until steaming. Add milk and coconut oil to a blender, blend on medium- high for about 20 seconds. Pour into mug, sprinkle with cinnamon. Serves 1. 
 

MATCHA LATTE

INGREDIENTS

1/3 cup boiling water
1 tsp matcha tea powder
½ cup soy milk
¼  tsp cinnamon
¼  tsp vanilla
Pinch of cardamom
¼  tsp coconut oil
1-2 tsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

Over medium heat, whisk soy milk, cinnamon, vanilla and cardamom. While its heating up, stir 1 tbsp room temperature water into matcha powder. Add boiling water and stir. Once the soy  has started to bubble around the edges, add matcha, soy milk, coconut oil and maple syrup to a blender and blend on high for 15-30 seconds. Pour into mug and top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

OtherAlexa ChichakComment
Fig, Apple & Brie Flatbread

As the weather gets cooler, I find myself losing interest in raw foods and craving more satisfying foods- roasted veggies, soups, and this flatbread. The flatbread and brie are rich and satisfying, while the apples and arugula keep it from feeling too heavy. It's also a fantastic way to use up all those delicious apples that are in season right now! 

Make Me Fade- K.Flay

INGREDIENTS

Flatbread of your choice (I used Udi's gluten free)
Fig jam
1 medium apple
1/2 small wheel goat cheese brie
2 handfuls arugula
1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper


INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle flatbread with 1/2 tsp olive oil,a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 5 minutes. After removing from the oven, spread a thin layer of fig jam over the flatbread. Slice the apple into thin slices and place on flatbread. Cut goat cheese into small pieces and distribute on flatbread. You can choose how much or how little to use. Put the flatbread back in the oven until cheese is melted and bubbling. While the flatbread is baking, toss arugula in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Once the cheese has melted, remove flatbread from oven, sprinkle with salt, and add arugula on top. 

Apple Butter

It may not 'officially' be fall yet, but in my mind, fall starts when school does. I'm so ready for all the typical fall things- scarves, boots, and allll the spices. 

First fall dish this year? Apple butter. It's similar to applesauce but more flavorful, smoother and easy to spread. I made about 12 jars of this from a huge batch of Okanagan apples, so I've had lots to use. I've spread it on toast, banana bread, crackers with cheese. I put it on my oatmeal, in my yogurt parfaits, and in my soup for a little extra flavor. 

One of my favorite things about this recipe is that it's in a slow cooker so requires almost no prep aside from chopping. The slow simmer makes your house smells amazing- no need for scented candles when you've got apple butter on the go! 

The Lumineers- Cleopatra

INGREDIENTS

6-7 apples (i like to use gala, ambrosia- something sweet, not sour)
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

Wash apples and chop into very small cubes. Add apples and rest of the ingredients to a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours. When apples have completely broken down, remove from heat and blend either using hand blender or by adding to a stand blender. Blend until smooth, let cool, then store in jars in the fridge. 

Add to yogurt, spread on toast or crackers, serve with melted brie.... Use your imagination. 

 

Moscow Mule

It's been such a beautiful few weeks of summer holidays. One of the best parts of summer holidays are patio drinks- and this drink in particular. 

Moscow mules are a favorite of mine. Light, a bit spicy and so refreshing. I've switched up the traditional ginger beer for ginger kombucha.

Kombucha is a carbonated, fermented black tea beverage. It sounds weird, I agree: up until a few months ago, you couldn't have convinced me to try it. After learning about it in Nutrition, I decided to give it a chance, and now I'm all aboard the Kombucha bandwagon. 

Why is kombucha so good, you ask?

First of all, fermented foods and beverages contain a large amount of probiotics (bacteria), much like the probiotics in yogurt cultures. Human digestive systems contain a ton of bacteria. The more diverse the bacteria (particularly in your large intestine), the better. The collection of bacteria is called a microbiome, and has a ton of important functions. A diverse microbiome has shown to increase nutrient uptake, facilitate digestion, and more. By drinking kombucha or eating fermented foods, you can increase the diversity of your microbiome and benefit from the added bacteria. 

Secondly, kombucha is carbonated and usually flavored with natural flavors like ginger or raspberry: DELICIOUS! The taste may take a couple sips to get used to, but I now prefer it to any other carbonated drinks. I love GT's and Rise which are available in most health food stores, and BC companies like Nineteen 02 and Raincoast Kombucha are favorites as well. 

Just a note: especially if you aren't used to kombucha, I suggest sticking to one or two moscow mules. Drinking too many at once could be a little hard on your stomach!

INGREDIENTS

1 shot vodka
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
Ginger flavored kombucha (see above for suggested brands)
ice

INSTRUCTIONS

Fill cup with ice, then add vodka and lime juice. Fill the cup with ginger kombucha and stir. Optionally, top with lime wheels and/or fresh mint. Cheers!
The recipe makes one moscow mule. 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

OtherAlexa ChichakComment
Chocolate Chip Cookies
 

This past month I was in Nicaragua, working with Natural Doctors International in their permanent medical clinic in the small town of Los Angeles on the island of Ometepe. The organization provides free medical care to anyone in need. I find it difficult to fully capture the amazing spirit of this organization. They see patients day in and day out with all kinds of illness- diabetes, kidney stones, malnutrition- and do everything they can to cure or aid in recovery. I was lucky to work in the clinic for a week, during which I assisted both doctors during appointments, conducted physical examinations and shadowed the resident psychologist.  The patients I saw during this time were the most kind and appreciative people, despite overwhelming poverty and adversity in their daily lives. 

It was a great reminder that happiness comes from within and not from material possessions. I come back with a renewed appreciation for the comforts and luxuries of home. 

Working in the clinic renewed and reaffirmed my choice in becoming a naturopathic doctor. It felt good to help others who so desperately needed it; I can't wait to help people every day. 

Now that I'm back and ready to cook, here's my favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies. I made these a few days before I left and damn! They are soft, gooey, and so delicious. They are only six ingredients and are so easy to throw together. 

The Lumineers- Flowers in Your Hair

INGREDIENTS

1 large egg
1 cup almond butter
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup dark chocolate chips
pinch of sea salt

 INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 375 F. In a medium bowl, beat the egg. Whisk almond butter, vanilla and sugar with the beaten egg, then add baking soda and salt and whisk. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop teaspoons of batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 6-8 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. The cookies will be very soft coming out of the oven.

 
Iced Latte
soycoffee3.jpg

Helllllllllooooo iced coffee! These have been getting me through the final semester of school. I make them in the morning, stick them in the fridge at school, and enjoy them later in the afternoon. 

I LOVE coffee. Obviously. However, when drinking coffee, I have to be aware of my water intake. Generally speaking, you should be drinking about 1 mL of water for every kcal you consume during the day. For the 'average' diet, that's about 2000 calories in the day = 2 litres of water each day. 

HOWEVER! Coffee is a diuretic, which means it encourages the loss of body fluids. So, for every cup of coffee you drink, add a cup of water to your total daily water intake. 

One tip for this recipe: instead of making a fresh pot of coffee to freeze into cubes, I use the cold coffee that I don't drink in the morning. After I'm done my coffee and there's some left in the pot, I just use that to make the ice cubes. No waste, no problems! 

The Paper Kites- Featherstone

INGREDIENTS

8-10 coffee or espresso ice cubes
1 cup soy milk

INSTRUCTIONS

Make strong coffee or espresso, and pour into ice cube mold. Freeze for 12+ hours. 
To make the latte, add coffee cubes to a glass or jar, and pour soy over top. Let sit for about 5 minutes, stir and sip. 

 

Disclaimer: Information can be empowering, but we all have unique health profiles and needs. Health-related information contained in this post is intended to be general in nature and should not be used as a substitute for a visit with a Naturopathic Doctor. The advice is intended to offer only a general basis for individuals to discuss their medical condition with their health care provider.  Always consult your licensed Naturopathic Physician.

Watermelon Salad

Mmmmm, watermelon. Tastes like summer, soccer and patio drinks. 

From May to September, this is my go-to for entertaining. It's simple, but oh so delicious. It's also refreshing, so perfect for backyard or patio dinners. 

The Lumineers- Dead Sea

INGREDIENTS

Half a large watermelon, cubed
1 cup arugula
¼ cup goat's cheese feta
¼ cup sliced Kalamata olives
small handful mint leaves, chopped
small handful pepitas

For the dressing:
¼ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste


INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl, combine watermelon, mint and arugula. Add the dressing and toss to combine. You will not need to use all of the dressing. Drain excess liquid from the bottom of the bowl. Add feta, pepitas and olives to the salad and toss together. 

Banana Ice Cream

Summer is here, which means it's time for my favourite ice cream. Vegan, dairy free, added sugar free- and only one ingredient!

I always keep frozen bananas on hand in case I want to make this. When you have ripe bananas, peel them and toss them in the freezer so they are ready to go! 

You can add any toppings you want! I like blending peanut butter or almond butter in, then topping with chocolate chips. You can also blend frozen raspberries in, or coconut- use your imagination! 

Days in the Sun- Ziggy Alberts

INGREDIENTS

2 bananas, frozen

Optional toppings: peanut butter, almond butter, chocolate chips, frozen raspberries, coconut, etc. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Let frozen bananas sit on the counter for about 5 minutes after removing from the freezer. Add bananas to food processor and blend until smooth. 

*If the ice cream is a little too soft, put it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes until hardened.