Tag Archives: brendan brazier

Sour Cream n’ Onion Kale Chips

Looking for a sure-to-win way of getting more greens into your family’s diet? Well, try these kale chips! This crunchy and savoury snack conquers any mean craving for a potato chip. Guaranteed.

sour cream n'onion kale chips

Our family has been making these kale chips for the past few years now. So addictive. Seriously. Just try stopping at one. And, just to brag a little, these chips have been kid-approved by all the little people who have ventured through our house. 🙂

You’ll find this recipe in Brendan Brazier’s book Whole Foods to Thrive: Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health. Another kale favourite of mine from the same book is Brendan’s Quick Kale and Avocado Salad.

If you don’t own the book, you’ll find the recipe here. We make our chips in my Excalibur dehydrator, but the oven works just as well. The recipe is perfect. In my last batch (pictured above), I added a small handful of hemp seeds – just to kick this nutrient-dense snack up a notch. I also doubled the recipe.

Tried another kale chip recipe that you love? There really are some great recipes out there. Care to share your favourite? We have a wonderful supply of organic and local kale in our stores right now. I’m wanting to make me some more!

 

Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.”

I read this quote not too long ago and I can’t agree with it more.

Last month, we were fortunate enough to abandon our not-so-nice Spring weather and drive nearly 3,000 kilometers to the sunny state of Florida.  I have an aunt that lives in a heavenly nook on the ocean in the Florida Keys.  Knowing we are avid travelers, my aunt has asked us several times to visit her – all the while enticing us with tales of iguanas, alligators, dolphins and some fabulous kayaking.  My husband and I finally decided earlier this Spring that June was the right time to pack up the family and pay my aunt a visit.

One of the first things we noticed when we finally pulled up to my aunt’s home was that she was surrounded by a splendid crop of palms and they were all lush with coconuts – beautiful, green coconuts!

Fresh, young, green coconuts are a true gem.  If you were to crack one open, you would find a nearly clear liquid that is mildly sweet, refreshing and fat-free.  This liquid is called coconut water.  Chock-full of electrolytes, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and antioxidants, coconut water is known in the tropics as a “natural sports drink” due to its ability to combat dehydration and heat stroke.  According to Bruce Fife, N.D., in his book Coconut Water for Health and Healing, coconut water has also gained popularity for its amazing “anti-cancer” and “anti-aging” properties.

With temperatures reaching the high 30s (Celsius),  you can imagine our excitement at having so many green coconuts right there within arms’ reach.

With some fruit smoothies and a kayak through the mangroves in mind, my husband, Dan, set out to harvest some coconuts.  This became a ritual each morning we were in the Keys.

Once cut from the tree, Dan would carefully cut off the top of each coconut.

He would then puncture a hole at the top.

The coconut water was finally poured into a large glass. We received nearly 2 cups from every coconut.

You may want to consider adding coconut water to your water bottle before your next outdoor adventure or workout.  Compared to commercial sport drinks and fruit juices, coconut water has far less sugar and contains more electrolytes and nutrients.

However, like most food products,  when choosing a brand of coconut water, it is very important to read the label of the product carefully.  Some brands do contain added sugar, artificial flavourings, and preservatives which make it no better than a flavoured drink.  Look for a brand that is “not from concentrate”.  You should find one in your local health food store and in the natural foods section of your grocery store.  It may cost a little more, but so worth it!

Brendan Brazier, professional Ironman Triathlete and formulator of Vega products, uses coconut water as the base ingredient in many of his sport drinks recipes.  One of our personal favourites is Brazier’s Classic Lemon Lime Sport Drink (from his book, Thrive Fitness).  Along with a full water bottle, my daughter likes to take this drink with her to the ice rink for training.  It’s super easy to make – just blend all ingredients together in a blender.  If you enjoy a sweeter drink, try adding a tablespoon of maple syrup. 😉

  • 2 large Medjool dates
  • 2 cups coconut water
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • juice from 1/4 lime
  • sea salt to taste

sportsdrink

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts

brussels

I love this time of the year. 🙂 The maple sap is flowing and the sugar shacks are open!!  We recently purchased a jug of local maple syrup from Lindsay’s Maple Syrup in Pakenham, Ontario.  I used their syrup to create a sweet and tangy glaze for these often overlooked vegetables.

This recipe comes from Brendan Brazier’s book, “Whole Foods to Thrive”.   Brazier suggests tossing in some roasted and peeled chestnuts to create an ideal holiday dish.  The holidays have long come and gone, but I decided to add the chestnuts anyways.  Maple syrup and chestnuts together? How can you not love that combination?!  You can certainly leave them out, though.

MAPLE GLAZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS (with chestnuts)

  • 1/4 cup onions, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cups Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup chestnuts, roasted and peeled
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large roasting pan, saute the chopped onions in coconut oil over medium heat.  Once onions are soft, add the Brussels sprouts, chestnuts (if desired), thyme, salt and pepper and stir well.  Transfer the roasting pan to the oven and roast for about 15-20 minutes.

In a small bowl, mix the maple syrup, mustard and apple cider vinegar.  Remove pan from the oven and pour mix over Brussels sprouts.  Return the pan to the oven and continue to roast until the sprouts are tender (10 minutes, or more).

Transfer to a serving dish and enjoy!

Rustic Sweet Onion Flatbread with Sacha Inchi Butter

Rich in fiber, protein and essential fats, this flatbread is a good choice for individuals wishing to boost their immune system and reduce inflammation in the body.  Spread thinly on a teflex sheet or lined baking sheet, this recipe makes an absolute delicious light cracker for soups.  As smaller pieces, it makes a savoury and crunchy topping for salads.

cracker

I served this flatbread earlier this week with my Roasted Garlic, Cauliflower and Celeriac Soup .  The following day, I offered it to my kids with a heaping spread of sacha inchi butter as an after school snack.  They absolutely loved it!  They said it tastes a lot like peanut butter. 🙂  Sacha inchi seeds are a wonderful nut alternative.

I took both recipes from one of my favourite cookbooks and resource.   Whole Foods to Thrive: Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health by Brendan Brazier is a book I highly recommend to those striving for a healthier diet for themselves, their family and our planet.  Brendan’s recipes are easy to make and are all allergen free.

RUSTIC SWEET ONION FLATBREAD

  • 3/4 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (I used mellow yellow)
  • 1 red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 3/4 cup flaxseed powder
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds

In a food processor, blend the tomato, raisins, and miso paste until smooth.  Add the onion, garlic, and flaxseed powder and blend again to a smooth consistency.  Mix in the hemp seeds and chia seeds by hand.

I used my dehydrator to dry the bread, but you can certainly use an oven.  Spread the mixture on a lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 2 hours at 250 degrees F.  Be sure to flip the bread over after one hour to allow for even cooking.  When the edges begin to brown, your bread is done.  Turn the oven off and leave the bread inside for another 30 minutes.  Break into pieces.

I prefer to use my Excalibur dehydrator.  I spread the mixture onto 2 teflex sheets and set the temperature to 112 degrees F for an optimal raw bread.  Cooking food at such a low temperature helps to maintain the food’s enzymes and nutrients. This eases digestion which in turn helps preserve energy. (Ever feel like taking a nap after a heavy meal?).  I allowed the bread to dry in my dehydrator for 8 hours (overnight).  In the morning, I flipped the bread over and continued to dehydrate it for another hour and a half.  I cut my cracker on a cutting board into even (well almost even) rectangular pieces.

This flatbread or cracker satisfies the carb craving without the guilt.  Most packaged, store bought crackers are terribly high in fat, sodium, refined sugars and refined carbohydrates, even if the outside of the package tells you otherwise! 😉

SACHA INCHI BUTTER

  • 1 cup sacha inchi seeds
  • 2 tsp hemp oil
  • dash of seed salt

Process all the ingredients together in a food processor.  (My kids prefer the seeds to be a little crunchy.  This takes only a couple of minutes of blending).

Indian-Spiced Lentil Hemp Patties

lentil patties 

This recipe comes from one of my favourite vegan cookbooks and resource, “Whole Foods to Thrive: Nutrient-Dense, Plant-Based Recipes for Peak Health” by Brendan Brazier.   Brendan, a plant-based nutrition expert, is the formulator of Vega products and a professional triathlete. I have met him twice  and each time I am clearly “star struck”.

On with the recipe…..

Turmeric, ginger, coriander and cumin spices give this dish a very distinct flavour.  These “wonder” spices are high in antioxidants, ease digestion and help tame inflammation – beneficial for those suffering from arthritis, Chron’s, IBS and other inflammatory conditions.

I love the amount of protein in these guys.  This recipe contains 1 ¼ cups cooked red lentils which is over 18 grams of protein.   Also, the hemp seeds in this recipe, albeit only 3 tablespoons,  add roughly an additional 20 grams!  If you ate all of these patties at once,  and believe me you’ll be tempted to do so,  you would be getting a good portion of your daily protein requirement.

These patties are a wonderful make ahead meal and they are super easy to prepare.   If I do have extra time, I like to make smaller patties and place some in the freezer for those crazy, busy nights.   They travel well in small containers and can be eaten as finger food – perfect when eating out for lunch or dinner (at the skating rink on most nights, in our case).   Hope you enjoy this uber-nutritious dish!

 

INDIAN-SPICED LENTIL HEMP PATTIES

  • 2-3 tbsp. coconut oil*, for frying
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion,
  • 1 cup diced red pepper*
  • 1 celery stalk, minced
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ cup hemp seeds
  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 ¼ cups cooked red lentils
  • ½ tsp sea salt, or to taste

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat and saute the onion, celery, and red pepper until the vegetables are soft.  Add the garlic and saute for about 1 more minute.  Remove vegetables from the heat and let cool .  Scoop mixture into a food processor or large mixing bowl.

Add the remaining ingredients to the vegetable mixture.  Pulse mixture a few times in a food processor or, if you do not have a food processor, mash some lentils with a fork. (Lentils that are well mashed make it easier to form patties). Adjust salt as needed.  Hand shape mixture into patties of desired size.

Heat a small amount of coconut oil in a large frying pan over low heat. Cook patties until brown on both sides.

*Coconut oil, made from the fat found in the meat of a coconut, is one of the best oils for frying. Unlike other oils, coconut oil does not lose its antioxidant benefits or nutritional value when heated. I love the flavour that it adds to dishes – a little nutty, a little like coconut. When shopping for coconut oil, choose virgin oil over refined. Virgin oil means that the fat was not extracted using chemicals.

*Red peppers, as well as other nightshade vegetables, have been known to aggravate inflammation in the body. It may be wise to eliminate this vegetable from the patties, if one suffers from any inflammatory conditions.

I have to share this one!  Here I am chatting with Brendan Brazier at “The Seed: A Vegan Experience” in New York City, June 2012.

Brendan Brazier