Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Lighter Kale Pesto Magic for your salad or grains pasta

Pesto is great stuff
Hot or Cold
I love a good dollop of Pesto on a green salad mixed up with some yummy grain like Brown rice or Quinoa
But Most Pesto is pretty high on the fat profile
We all know that fat is not our enemy
Good fat that is
Fat is actually essential to our physical and emotional health

Despite what you may have been told, fat isn’t always the bad guy in the waistline wars. Bad fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, and so forth. But good fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect. In fact, healthy fats play a huge role in helping you manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.


But I think it is also important to keep in mind fat as well as other food should be portion sized 
We should aim to keep total fat intake between 25-35% of calories 
Eating a big jar of almonds for a snack is just not going to be help you...too much of a good thing 
heartbreaker I know
The only thing you have to do is controle your portion.  Which is actually super easy
Just measure our 1/4 cup and for almonds you will get:  
163 calories, 14.0 g fat, 6.1 g carbohydrates, 6.0 g protein, 3.5 g fiber, 5 Points (if you are a WW)
OKAY I know that looks like a lot of fat but remember remember remember fat is NOT your enemy 
Portion is the Key :)

So enter this Pesto recipe
 It is a lighter version of most of the recipes I have come across
It has a zip from the lemon juice, salty yum from the miso, and creaminess from the yam, oh yeah and of course the lovely deep green colour from the Nutritious glorious Kale
You will love this stuff 

you will need:

3 cups of coarsely torn or chopped kale
1 heaping tablespoon Hemp Hearts
1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice 
1 teaspoon of miso
2 garlic cloves
4 tablespoon of peeled cooked sweet potato
Tear the kale off the stems and tear leaves into pieces.  Heat a small amount of water, about 3 tablespoons, in a non-stick skillet. When the water is bubbling, stir in the kale pieces and sauté  stirring until just wilted. Add the cooked kale and the rest of the ingredients and process until blended.  If needed, add an extra tbs of water or two, a little at a time, (or a bit more lemon juice) to make a smooth paste.  To serve, place a handful of baby greens in a bowl. Top with warm quinoa or rice.  Add some pesto and mix it all together, wilting the baby greens as you go. Dig in. YUM
xoxo Ashie Girl

Friday, October 4, 2013

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I like Cookies
But as most people I have a standards that I think a cookie should be
Some people want a soft chewy cookie
But when I think about an oatmeal raisin cookie I think it should have a crunch
I think it should not be too sweet
Something that could be eaten for breakfast or in between meals when you need something to dunk in tea.
I am constantly on the hunt for this cookie
I think that is why you will see many cookie recipes on my site
So here is another
This cookie is Gluten free (ensuring you have gluten free oatmeal)
This cookie is sugar free ...well it uses fruit for sugar ...still sugar but I guess what I mean is no processed sugar
aaaaand no this cookie does not have butter in it....Almond butter instead
This is a wholesome cookie
I guess I feel like I need to warn you or something
This cookie is going to be crunchy, yummy and crumbly, and not really sweet
But in my books this is exactly the cookie I want mid afternoon with my tea
I hope you like them and give them a try
always open to putting your own spin on the ingredients

Gluten Free Oatmeal Cookies

1 Cup toasted Walnuts
1 Cup Oats
2 Cups Oat Flour (you can use spelt, rice or any of your favourite type of gluten free flour)
1 Cup dates & 1/2 Cup water
2 Tbsp almond milk
2 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp almond butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 Cup raisins

Pre Heat Oven to 350 degrees

Toast your walnuts in oven or on stove top careful not to burn!  Watch them closely as soon as the oils start coming out and they smell fragrant they are pretty much done.
After toasted cool then pulse in your food processor until they resemble a fine chop

In a large Bowl mix Flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and your lovely toasted walnuts.

Back to your food processor.  Add dates, almond butter, vanilla, almond milk, and water.  Process until it becomes a syrup like consistency.
Next add to dry ingredients.  you might need to use your hands to really combine this.  The mixture may seem crumbly so add a bit more water if needed.  Lastly fold in your raisins.
Again using your hands shape your cookies into a relatively thin cookie
Place onto parchment lined (or using silicone mat) cookie sheet
Bake 10-15 minutes
Cool on wire rack


Ashie Girl

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Love Yourself

Feed Yourself Something Nutritious AND Make It Beautiful
Does this sound basic?
It is...but it isn't !  
But actually this is a really big deal.
You may look at me or my blog and really see my passion for healthy eating/training and think it is easy for me or that I have always eaten this way.  
But you know what?  Although I think I have always eaten somewhat healthily, since my parents raising my sisters and I worked hard to always create nutritious meals for us often with food that they grew in their own garden, I think my diet has been evolving for years and honestly wasn't always great.
A big part of that evolution was creating this blog.
Once upon a time I found myself at a point where I was creating meals for my son and just forgetting about myself. Really mostly because it seemed easier.
Less work
On top of everything I did in a day doing less sounded good to me.
Straight up....I found myself eating tuna out of a tin can over the kitchen sink for dinner while my kiddo munched on a snack plate of colourful nutritious favourites in the other room.  SO many things wrong with this picture.
I don't think I was loving myself much.  I knew it wasn't what I wanted for myself and I wanted a change.
I decided I would start a food blog and share the things I knew where great about nutrition and food.  It was sorta like tricking myself.  Like if you were to tell yourself you were making a meal for someone you had a crush on...or someone you really love.  Make it amazing and make it beautiful.  Turns out this meal is for YOU.
yeah I know.
Love yourself
your crush is on you!
Nourish your mind your body and your spirit.  

We are what we eat.  You hear this a lot.  But it is true true true! 
What we eat makes up our cells, it gives us energy and fuel to live.
It powers our brains, has the ability to change our genes, change our emotions and our thoughts.  This is SO powerful.
I am obsessed with learning about all of this.  Not just about the beauty of food but what it does for us at the cellular level.  From how the acidity in our food effects our bodies and effects our health
How taking deep breathes bringing more oxygen into our cells can be a game changer....
like do you ever consider oxygen SERIOUSLY google it or look at THIS

If you believe as I do that we are what we eat then what better way to love ourselves than through making beautiful food!
Your meals do not have to be fancy or keep you slaving in your kitchen for hours
Make something simple
Like a Rice Bowl with chopped colourful veggies, or roasted squash 
include with your meal fresh berries 
interesting nuts or seeds roasted perfectly 
create a healthy dressing full of flavour 
put care into how you arrange it in a big beautiful bowl 
Sit with the people you love
always eat together if you can 
OR set a beautiful table for one 
put a single dandelion in a vase 
light a candle 
make it special
Love yourself 
you will be amazed at how this feels


Ashie Girl