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Rhubarb Cheesecake Chia Breakfast Parfait

Healthy enough for breakfast, decadent enough for dessert
Healthy enough for breakfast, decadent enough for dessert
This week we’re celebrating the arrival of rhubarb season and sharing some favourite recipes. Today’s recipe is healthy enough for breakfast and decadent enough for dessert. It layers chia pudding, with rhubarb compote, cheese cake yogurt and crunchy granola. Bonus that it is sweetened with natural maple syrup and all the components can be made in advance and just assembled in the morning (note – the chia pudding layer must be made the night before so that it has time to thicken up).
The chia pudding, is a slight variation on Angela Luddon’s chia pudding (just slightly less almond milk). The rhubarb compote is juicy and still slightly tart, with a touch of ginger and cinnamon, and the cheesecake layer is simply plain yogurt blended with some softened cream cheese and maple syrup. You can use any granola for the crunchy topping – I make mine in huge batches a few times a year and keep it in the freezer, all ready to go.
Note: This is a week three breakfast item in my monthly meal plan and grocery shop. Yogurt and cream cheese will keep for three weeks if unopened (always check your best before dates). The rhubarb compote can be made in advance and frozen.
Print Recipe
Rhubarb Cheesecake Chia Breakfast Parfait
Healthy enough for breakfast, decadent enough for dessert.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Chia Pudding
Cheese Cake Layer
Prep Time 5 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Chia Pudding
Cheese Cake Layer
Instructions
Chia Pudding
  1. Mix all ingredients and let sit for at least 2.5 hours or overnight. When ready to use, if too thick, add a bit more milk. If too thin add more chia seeds and let sit another 30 minutes.
  2. Note: This will keep in the fridge for up to five days. On chia seed week of my meal plan, I usually mix a big batch of this up on Sunday night and then eat it over the course of the week.
Cheese Cake Layer
  1. Whip all ingredients together for 30 seconds with a hand blender or mixer. Taste for sweetness and adjust if needed
To Assemble
  1. Pour the chia pudding into a tall glass. Spoon the rhubarb compote evenly over the top, followed by the cheesecake. Sprinkle the top with the granola and serve.

Make and Freeze: Rhubarb Ginger Compote

This rhubarb compote is flavoured with ginger and cinnamon, and coloured with raspberries. It's delicious over ice cream, yogurt, cake, and oatmeal and freezes perfectly.
This rhubarb compote is flavoured with ginger and cinnamon, and coloured with raspberries. It’s delicious over ice cream, yogurt, cake, and oatmeal and freezes perfectly.

The return of the rhubarb is one of my favourite things about spring. Rhubarb is one of the few edible items in my small back yard garden, and it is so satisfying to pick a few stalks, lop off the heavy leaves with a sharp knife, and be able to use it immediately.

I add rhubarb to cakes, pies, relish, and cocktails. But my favourite way to enjoy it, is pretty much the simplest way – in a rhubarb compote. My grandmother had many, many rhubarb plants, and she used to bring us 4 litre ice cream containers full of her rhubarb compote, several times each season. To get through it all, we’d have it three times a day – over oatmeal or buttered toast in the morning, in our yogurt at lunch, and then over ice cream for dessert. Sometimes we’d simply have a big bowl of it, topped with crumbled meringues and whipped cream.

Rhubarb is very difficult to find out of season. So last year, when a neighbour shared some of her extra rhubarb I tried slicing and then freezing. And guess what? The rhubarb compote made with that frozen rhubarb was perfect! Now I’ll be freezing rhubarb every year.

This rhubarb compote is spiced up with a bit of ginger and cinnamon and is a little more tart than most compotes. If it’s too tart for your liking add a little extra maple syrup at the end. The raspberries are optional – they will deepen the colour, but also add some flavour. I find the raspberries complement the rhubarb, but if you aren’t a fan of raspberries, a slice of beet will also brighten the colour, just remove it after you have simmered the stalks.

Print Recipe
Rhubarb Ginger Compote
This rhubarb compote is flavoured with ginger and cinnamon, and coloured with raspberries. It's delicious over ice cream, yogurt, cake, and oatmeal and freezes perfectly.
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan mix together the rhubarb, raspberries, sugar, ginger and cinnamon.
  2. Stir in the water.
  3. Cover. Put on the stove over medium-high heat until it starts to simmer, then turn to low and cook gently for about 8 minutes until rhubarb softens.
  4. Stir in the maple syrup and leave to cool.
  5. Remove cinnamon stick and store for about a week in the fridge or for several months in the freezer.

Buttery and Chunky Leek and Potato Soup

Warm and comforting, leek and potato soup
Warm and comforting, leek and potato soup

This leek and potato soup was my grandmother’s recipe and knowing I loved it, she would often make it for me when I went to visit.

Shortly after she passed away I saw leek and potato soup on a menu and ordered it in memory of her. Although it was tasty, the blended concoction was nothing like the chunky, buttery leek and potato soup my grandmother made. I’d have to make my own.

This recipe is based on her original, which thankfully my mother had. I’ve taken a few liberties adding the sweet potato and parsley, but overall it is true to the original.

I’ve made this soup for ski weekends, to comfort friends who have lost a loved one or are battling illness, and to nurse a cranky husband. It’s warming and comforting.

I hope you enjoy.

Fresh leeks are stirred into melted butter and softened
Fresh leeks are stirred into melted butter and softened

 

 

Leek and Potato Soup
Leek and Potato Soup

Print Recipe
Leek and Potato Soup
Many leek and potato soups are blended to a cream. This one is still creamy and buttery, but left chunky and attractively coloured with the green of the leek and parsley and orange of the sweet potato.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 10 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Trim the rooted end off the leek. Then slice the white part in half lengthwise and then across into semi circles about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the tough outer edges from the green part and slice the more tender inner leaves into 1/4 inch rounds. Rinse carefully in a colander to remove all dirt.
  2. Melt the butter in a medium size sauce pan over medium-low heat. The pot should be just hot enough to melt the butter - it should not sizzle or brown.
  3. Add the diced onion, chopped leek and parsley stems to the melted butter. Stir to coat and then cover the pot with a lid to let the vegetables sweat and soften. Make sure the heat is low enough that the vegetables will not brown.
  4. After 10 minutes stir and then add the 2 cups of stock and sweet and white potato cubes. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the potato has softened.
  5. Add the 2 cups of milk and warm over medium-low heat, just until the soup is heated. Add the salt, ground pepper and 1/2 the chopped parsley leaves. Serve immediately garnished with the remaining parsley. Note: if you let the milk over heat or if you don't serve it right away it may develop an unattractive layer on top, but it can be stirred in and it will still taste delicious. Alternatively, prepare the soup up to where the potatoes are cooked and then add and heat the milk just before serving.

Make and Freeze: Devil’s Delight Chilli

 

Devil's Delight Chilli
Bacon, sausage, and cubed beef make this a meaty chilli. The usual kidney beans are switched up with chickpeas and pinto beans.

One year for Christmas, my father received a cook book titled “His Turn to Cook”.

There was a not so subtle message in that gift, and Dad must have embraced it to some extent, because many of the meals I remember him cooking were from that book and became family staples.

One of these was this chilli, which was often served after coasting parties, alongside my mother’s home made bread and a variety of salads. I always thought of it as a man’s chilli, with all the big hunks of meat, but it’s balanced out by the variety of beans – I especially love the addition of chickpeas.

My favourite thing about any chilli is all the different types of accompaniments. Top it with avocado, shredded cheese, sour cream, cilantro, or fresh tomato salsa. Offer sides of corn chips or corn bread, or serve it over rice, or a crunchy green salad.

You can start this recipe on your stove top and then once the meat is browned, finish it in your slow cooker. It’s better after it sits for a day, or after freezing.


Print Recipe
Devil's Delight Chilli adapted from His Turn to Cook
A twist on the typical chilli this one is spicy and very meaty with bacon, browned sausage, and cubed beef, and uses high fibre chickpeas and pinto beans along with the typical kidney beans. This recipe can easily be made in large batches and frozen for make ahead meals.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Passive Time 1 1/2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Passive Time 1 1/2 hours
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan cook the bacon until crisp.
  2. Cool on paper towels and then crumble.
  3. Reserve 1 tablespoon of bacon drippings and in the same saucepan as you cooked the bacon brown the sausage until fully cooked. Drain then half lengthwise and cut into slices 1 cm thick.
  4. Reserve 2 tablespoons of sausage drippings and in the same saucepan brown the cubed beef.
  5. Once beef is browned, add in the onions, bell pepper and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring to keep from sticking, until vegetables are softened.
  6. Add bacon, sausage, jalapeno, and spices. Stir.
  7. Add in the tomato paste, diced tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of water.
  8. Simmer for one and half hours.
  9. Add in the drained beans and simmer for 10 minutes.
  10. Serve with your choice of toppings.

Make and Freeze: Curried Chickpea Filling

Curried chickpea filling
This curried chickpea filling is satisfying, freezer friendly and so versatile – use it to fill sandwiches, as a salad or noodle bowl topper, for breakfast with poached eggs… the possibilities are endless.

This curried chickpea filling is my answer to quick, satisfying and freezer friendly vegetarian meals. It is  warming, with varying textures of mashed and whole chickpeas interspersed with veggies, and seasoned with spices that are interesting, but not overpowering.

And it is just so versatile. You can whip up a big batch, freeze it in 1 cup portions, and then user it in so many ways – without a lot of flavour repeats. Try spooning it into a lettuce wrap, topping a plate of soba noodles, filling a sandwich, spreading between a tostado and poached eggs, or adding some raisins for this moroccan sweet potato and couscous bowl. It’s great at room temperature so an tasty addition to packed lunches and picnics.

It comes from the acclaimed Toronto vegetarian restaurant Fresh.  When we lived in Toronto we dined at Fresh weekly, often enjoying this filling in their Indian Dosas and Energy Bowl. Now that Fresh is a five hour drive away from us, I’m grateful for my Juice for Life cookbook by Fresh Founder Ruth Tal Brown that contains the recipe for the curried chickpea filling (adapted slightly), as well as many other menu staples.

Here are some of the quick, delicious and healthy meals you can make using this filling:

Moroccan Curried Chickpea Bowl Top Down
Moroccan Curried Chickpea Bowl
Warm Curried Chickpea and Tahini Power Wrap
Curried Chickpea Lettuce Wraps

 

 

 

Print Recipe
Vegan Curried Chickpea Filling
This curried chickpea filling is satisfying, freezer friendly and so versatile - use it to fill sandwiches, as a salad or noodle bowl topped, for breakfast with poached eggs... the possibilities are endless.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 min
Cook Time 20 min
Servings
1 cup servings
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 min
Cook Time 20 min
Servings
1 cup servings
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium low heat in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the vegetables and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir regularly to make sure they don't stick or brown.
  3. In another pan over medium heat lightly toast the cumin seeds until they release their scent.
  4. Mix together the toasted cumin seeds with the other herbs and spices and add to the softened veggies. Cook five minutes more.
  5. Mash the chickpeas, leaving a few whole and larger pieces. You can do this with a fork, a masher, or by spreading on a cutting board and crushing with a rolling pin.
  6. Add mashed chickpeas along with the tomato paste and hot water to the veggies. Mix and stir until heated through, then add in the cilantro.
Recipe Notes

This filling freezes very well. Store it flat packed in ziplocks in 1 cup portions and then just defrost in the microwave or in a cool water bath.