Cooking Delights

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Polling my American Vegetarian Friends

I have a lifestyle coaching client who is going to be travelling through the U.S. over the next couple of weeks. She is looking for some good vegetarian restaurants to try. I told her I would take a poll of the people that visit my blog to see if there are any "don't miss" places while she is on her travels. She will be travelling to:

Cleveland, Ohio

Cincinnatti, Ohio

Covington, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Thanks in advanced for your help!

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Friday, April 27, 2007

My latest gig!

I am so excited to tell you about my latest gig. I have been working closely with the owners of Black Dog Pub lately teaching them private yoga sessions in their home. They are extremely committed to a healthy, holistic lifestyle and this commitment has extended to the amazing food they serve at their restaurant.

It is amazing to know that in the far east end of Toronto one can get a healthy, and vegetarian meal at a local pub. The Black Dog Pub has recently integrated a Healthy Lifestyle Menu with several vegetarian options to choose from. We were there for lunch the other day and my husband and I enjoyed the veggie burger with a side of salad. Although we were in a burger mood that day we could have also chosen the grilled tofu and vegetable wrap made with a choice of whole wheat wrap, rice paper wrap or plain or mulit-grain pita, served with tomatoes, sprouts, herbed mayo, dill pickle & sweet potato fries. We also could have chosen their version of a ‘Buddha Bowl’ with brown basmati rice chick peas, sunflower sprouts, marinated grilled tofu steaks, diced tomatoes, red onion, raw & toasted nuts & seeds in a mildly spicy tahini sauce. Anyway, you get the picture, there were several choices! Pictured here is the veggie burger which was a yummy chick pea based burger.

For dessert we had the best carrot cake I have ever had in my entire life. This carrot cake is the Black Dog's own Spelt Carrot Cake with tofu cream cheese frosting which is both dairy & sugar Free. This cake is a healthy meal in itself. I have been known to stop by the pub and pick up a piece when the craving hits!

Anyway, back to my latest gig. I have been asked to work with the Black Dog Pub as a celebrity vegetarian chef of sorts to come up with vegetarian and vegan feature items. So I will be consulting with them on vegetarian and vegan items that they will be offering right along with their other special features. I will also be working with them to further develop their vegan and heart smart menu. I am totally psyched about this. Anyway if there are any vegetarain or vegan options that you would like to see at local restaurants, now is your time to speak up. Also, I would love to hear about your favourite vegetarian and vegan restaurants so I can check out their menus for ideas too!

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Vegetarian Sushi Cooking Class

I have to say, last night's vegetarian cooking class was my favourite of the bunch I held. I just loved making vegetarian sushi with the people that came. We each had our own little work station and made sushi to our own tastes. I love the aesthetics of Japanese cuisine. Did you know that when you are serving sushi you should never fill the serving platter, individual plates or dipping bowls to capacity, as this is considered rude. I bought some pretty plates for this cooking class. We made sure to not fill them to capacity. Speaking of etiquette, you should never pour your own drinks. Offer to serve others and wait for someone to offer to fill your cup. And, by the way, it is completely acceptable to eat sushi with your fingers.

Pictured below was the amazing dessert sushi. It is a mango slice secured with a strip of nori on coconut and lime flavoured rice. These were amazing!

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Happy Easter Part II

I just had to share these adorable cupcakes that I made for Easter. Really, does it get any cuter than this? Little bird's nests with mini eggs in the center. I also made mini cupcakes with just one mini egg in the nest.

Too much cuteness, and everybody knows that cute food is good for your health.

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Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

Yesterday I tried my hand at my first lemon merengue pie. My husband's parents had invited us for dinner and I offered to bring along dessert. I made the pie yesterday morning and had a heck of a time keeping my husband and daughter off of it until we ventured out to my inlaws for dinner. Of course we couldn't actually wait for dessert so we did the civilized thing once we arrived and had the pie before dinner for afternoon tea. It was awesome and lemony!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Sushi Take II

My next vegetarian cooking class is fast approaching so I am testing lots of sushi recipes. Pictured above is a sushi recipe with asparagus and red pepper in it. The rolls themselves are lined with a special sauce. These were fantastically yummy. I also made some cucumber rolls that you can see on that plate.

I was happy to receive my Vegetarian Sushi cook book in the mail from amazon last week. It contains lots of helpful tips and interesting recipes.

Finally I tried my hand at some hand rolls. I had a hard time making some picture perfect cylander shapes, but these avacado hand rolls were to die for! YUMMY! Here are the best step by step direction on making sushi hand rolls that I could find.

This vegetarian cooking class is going to be so much fun I can hardly wait!

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My favourite muffins

I am really loving my new cookbook. There are already a couple of favourites in this cook book. One is these amazing pumpking muffins pictured above. Another is the amazing museli recicpe that everybody raves about and is super nutritious.

These muffins have the coolest texture because of the millet in them. Why is millet good for you, you ask?

Although oats have been widely publicized for their heart-protective properties, millet is a grain that should also be included on your list of heart-healthy choices because of its status as a good source of magnesium. Magnesium has been shown in studies to reduce the severity of asthma and to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Magnesium has also been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart attack, especially in people with atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease. Niacin (vitamin B3) can be of help in lowering high cholesterol. A cup of cooked millet provides 26.4% of the daily value for magnesium.

I also love the idea of re-celling our bodies with the nutritious food that we eat. Millet contributes to that project as well!
The phosphorus provided by millet plays a role in the structure of every cell in the body. In addition to its role in forming the mineral matrix of bone, phosphorus is an essential component of numerous other life-critical compounds including adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule that is the energy currency of the body. Phosphorus is an important component of nucleic acids, the building blocks of the genetic code. In addition, the metabolism of lipids (fats) relies on phosphorus, and phosphorus is an essential component of lipid-containing structures such as cell membranes and nervous system structures. A cup of cooked millet will give you 24.0% of the daily value for phosphorus.

I also love the roasted pumpkin seeds on top. I have been using a lot of pumpkin seeds lately as a means of adding more iron to my diet. Did you know that just 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds contains almost 30% of your daily requirement of iron?

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Friday, April 06, 2007

Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?

The answer is yes!

I have a lifestyle coaching client who is a vegetarian, endurance athlete and nutritionist to boot! As a nutritionist employed by a food company (don't worry, it's a good one) my client has access to some amazing software that tracks the exact amount of nutrients you are getting from your food. My client has generously agreed to allow me to share some important information about protein with you.

Here is what she found:

"The RNI (recommended nutrient intake) for women 25-49 is 51 grams of protein per a day . This is for a 59 kg woman. I am 63.5 kg so my requirement would be 54.8 g. However, athletes do require more protein. The Manual of Clinical Dietetics recommends 1-1.7 g of protein per a kg of body weight for athletes consuming a plant based diet. For me, this works out to 63.5 - 107 g of protein per day. I tracked my protein intake for 2 seperate days. One day it was 80.87 g and the other day it was 74.02 g. So, I am exceeding my requirments as a "regular" person and within the range for athletes. I feel confident that I am getting the protein that I need. The main sources of protein in my diet were beans, grains (oatmeal was a surprisingly good source), nuts, seeds and dairy. The main difference between the 2 days was the museli. On the higher protein day - I ate the museli for breakfast, the other day regular cold cereal. So, thanks again for the museli recipe - it definitely helps contribute protein (as well as a lot of other nutrients!) to my diet."

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Vegetarian Sushi Take I

Well, my next vegetarian cooking class is vegetarian sushi, so beware of lots of sushi experiments in the next few weeks! Pictured here is some avacado sushi, made with brown rice. All in all they turned out really well. They tasted fantastic. I need to get some sushi rice so that the rice sticks together. That will make them much, much better! Stay tuned for much, much more vegetarian sushi!

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