Curing Hangovers With Artichokes

Artichokes are one of those fancy vegetables that looks really pretty  but you have no idea what to do with it. I didn’t even know that this was an artichoke until about a year ago…(I always thought they came in those tiny little jars packed in oil).

But since going Flexi, I always am choosing the fresh over the packaged. So bundled little bulb looking things – bring it on!

I had to do some research about how to tackle these prickly little monsters, and let me tell you it ain’t easy! But the end product is soooooo worth it.

Steps to making artichokes edible

  1. Cut off all the prickly tips around the artichoke.
  2. Pry it open by pulling all the leaves back.
  3. Scoop out the furry scary hairy centre (this is the artichoke heart)
  4. Drizzle with lemon so it doesn’t go brown.
  5. Boil or steam for 30-40 min.

Artichokes are  a vegetable that should be included more often in everyone’s diet. They are a great source of fiber and aid in digestion. Artichokes are also high in the antioxidant silymarin, which is SO important for cleansing of the liver (think milk thistle). And you know me, I’m all about cleansing! Oh and by the way, cleansing of the liver = hangover cure. So try making these stuffed artichokes at your next dinner party and you will be curing the hangover before it even starts 🙂

Stuffed Artichokes

2-3 cooked artichokes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small onion, diced

1 cup quinoa, cooked

1 1/2 cup spinach

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp tamari

1/4 cup bread crumbs (gluten free if you wish)

any left over white wine

Directions

– preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add garlic and onion and sautee for 5 min.

– add all other ingredients and sautee (except bread crumbs and wine) until spinach is cooked.

– place artichokes in 9×9 baking pan, and add 1/4 cup water tot he bottom of pan. Divide quinoa mixture evenly among the artichokes, stuffing the centres and in between the leaves.

– sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle of white wine.

– bake for 30 min, then broil for 3 min.

Serve as an appetizer if artichokes are small, or a main.

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I’ve Got The Blues-Berry Muffins

With all the excitement going on this week with launching my blog and some new work projects to look forward to, I was still feeling a bit blue – the boyfriend is away. So what better thing to make than a big ol’ batch of muffins to cheer me up. They are (what used to be) my guilty pleasure. No need for kleenex, sappy movies, and a carton of ice cream. Make me a dozen muffins and I’m happy as can be.

Muffins are one of those foods that makes everyone smile. They are given as gifts to the new neighbours next door (usually made by Brie Vandercamp), eaten at high tea while catching up with your grandmother, and who doesn’t love watching a baby eat a muffin? Total cuteness.

But the thing about muffins is that they make us happy for a reason. That is because most muffins nowadays are one of the worst artery clogging diabetic coma inducing foods out there. They loaded with saturated fats, processed sugar, and white starches. The worst! I don’t know where the connotation came from that “muffins are healthy” because in most cases, you are probably better off just eating a doughnut. (For reals! A Tim Hortons Apple Fritter has 300cal, 11g fat, 49g carbs whereas a whole wheat carrot muffin has 408cal, 20g fat, and 51g carbs…don’t even get me started on the sodium content).

So since going flexi, I had to find a way to still indulge in my guilty-pleasure muffins without feeling guilty. No problemo my friends. All you have to do is substitute with:

plant fats: coconut oil is an amazing source of medium-chain tryglycerides, which release energy slowly and aid in digestion; almond milk doesn’t have the acidic side effects that dairy milk does.

natural sugars: raw honey is a great unprocessed sweetener, with immune boosting properties; blueberries are super high in antioxidants which aids in disease prevention and brain health.

gluten-free flours: brown rice flour is similar to taste as white flours but much easier to digest; ground flax is an excellent source of omega 6 and helps you poop.

And voila! Now we have a muffin that not only satisfies our feelings, but our bodies too. Great with a hot cup of vanilla tea and the newest episode of Desperate Housewives.

Blueberry Muffins

makes 10-12 muffins

1 cup almond milk (or any other non-dairy milk)

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup raw honey

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups brown rice flour

¼ cup ground flax seed

1 1.2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp sea salt

1 ½ cup fresh blueberries

Directions

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin pan with coconut oil.

– Mix all wet ingredients in a bowl.

– In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients.

– Combine wet mixture with dry mixture. Stir in the blueberries

– Scoop out mixture into muffin pan. Bake for 20 min.

* Let cool before eating. Since they are gluten free, they are a bit crumbly when hot.

This Is Why They Invented Onion Goggles

WARNING: DON”T WEAR MAKEUP WHEN MAKING THIS AND LEAVE THE HOUSE FOR THE DAY

When I was away doing my internship I really got intrigued by the idea of raw food. Not that I think I could ever live on a raw diet (I like cooked foods too much, too much time, I like food too much, too much time…), nor do I think anyone should necessarily, but the idea that you can take any staple dish and recreate it into a raw one was so fascinating to me. I’m talking about ANYTHING, you name it. Burritos, spaghetti and meatballs, bacon, cheesecake. I give total kudos to all raw chefs out there – you rawck my world.

When my mom came to visit me, we went to a raw restaurant for dinner where we were introduced to onion bread. Now my mom and I are big carb eaters, so the thought that we could eat bread that was raw and had no flours in it once again rawcked our world. We literally went out a bought a dehydrator the next day.

So apparently onion bread is famous in the raw community, but it’s my goal to make it famous in all communities. I really do think that I could live off of this stuff for the rest of my life. It’s like literally having your cake and eating it too, but with bread. Not only is it the most delicious thing one could ever eat, but it is loaded with omega 3 and 6 and like the name says, it is full of onions (detox party in my mouth). Now like I mentioned above, making this bread will make you cry (tears of joy obviously). So if you don’t have a pair of onion goggles, I suggest that you get some. Unfortunately I left mine back where I was doing my internship. But even lack of onion goggles will not stop me from making this stuff. It’s that good.

Famous Raw Onion Bread

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup ground flax

3 large onions

1/4 cup olive oil

3 tbsp tamari

Directions:

– in a food processor, process the sunflower seeds until fully ground. Transfer to large bowl

– using the grating blade of your processor, grate 2 of the onions. Transfer onions to the large bowl

– using the S blade of your processor, slice the remaining onion and transfer to the large bowl.

– add the ground flax, oil, and tamari. Mix everything really well.

– spread the mixture on your dehydrating sheets (should be 1/2″ – 3/4″ thick)

– dehydrate for 8-10 hours, flipping once.

*put parchment paper on top of your teflex sheets so you don’t ruin them with stinky onion. Nobody like raw cookies that taste like onions!

You don’t need a dehydrator to make this, you can bake it in the oven on a low, low temperature too. Obviously this doesn’t make it raw anymore, but it’s one step at a time. You know I like keepin’ it flexi around here.


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