Monday, December 19, 2011

Comfort Food Makeover!

During the winter months it’s typical for us to crave warm and comforting foods like hearty stews, rich and heavy sauces or decadent drinks from our local coffee shop.  Sadly so many of the ingredients we use are not great for our health or our waist lines.

Try these delicious alternatives to standard comfort fare:

§         If making a soup or stew, sub store- bought vegetable broth for homemade broth or water and seasonings.  Store-bought broths most often contain high amounts of sodium, preservatives and MSG.
§        Forget high-fat cuts of meat, try legumes like chickpeas and lentils with brown rice as an excellent source of protein and fibre.
§        Rich sauces are loaded with fat and calories, switch up your oils and go for extra virgin olive oil, s esame oil or walnut oil and mixed with fresh or ground herbs and spices.
§       Many of the festive drinks found at our fav coffee shops are loaded with sugar, fat and way too many caloriesLoose leaf tea shops are increasingly popular and have a wide variety of flavours.  Check out these options as they often have sweet, dessert-like teas and many of the ingredients often have healing properties.
§       Thick, warm bread is delicious but can be refined and full of hidden sugars and preservatives.  Stick with whole grains such as spelt, kamut or rye bread and slather coconut oil on top instead of butter or margarine for some healthy, heart-friendly fats.

Of course, a little bit of indulgence is ok but limit yourself to the amount of sugary treats and fatty foods you consume and your bod will thank you!

Comfort food makeover recipe below: YUM

Butternut Squash and Lentil Stew

1.5 c. of sprouted green lentils
2 c. of vegetable stock
1 can of coconut milk
1 tsp of coconut oil
3 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
1 medium butternut squash
1 large white onion
2 red bell peppers
1 garlic clove
1 tsp sea salt
Big pinch of red chili flakes
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp of garam masala
¼ tsp of coriander
1 bay leaf

How to make:
1.       Preheat oven to 400F
2.       Cover lentils with water and let soak for at least 20 minutes.
3.       Cut butternut squash in half. Put an inch of water into a large baking dish and add squash, cut side down. Put squash into oven for 35 minutes.
4.       Chop carrots, onion and celery into little pieces (about 1 cm thick)
5.       Add oil to large pot and melt over medium heat, add carrots, onion and celery
6.       Chop bell peppers into medium sized pieces and add to pot.
7.       chop garlic into small pieces and add to pot
8.       add sea salt and all spices, stir for 1-2 minutes

Recipe by: Annaliisa Kapp
Annaliisa is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist at Two Girls Cooking.

Post by: Danielle Felip
      Danielle (Dani) Felip is a Certified Personal Trainer and studying Applied Holistic Nutrition at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto, Canada.  She changed her life by changing her diet and lifestyle to a whole-foods, plant-based diet and aims to educate and inspire others to empower themselves to make conscious choices with what they eat and how they live.