Meal Plan Week Four

Spring has sprung and meal planning is a must. Here is another week of ideas and recipes for another favorite soup, Indian Red Lentil – Dal Shorva, ¬†Almond Crusted Halibut (now in season), a homemade Caesar Salad Dressing and what you have all been waiting for ….Sesame Baked Tofu. Yum! ūüôā

Meal Plan-Week Four

Sunday           Vegetable Stir Fry on Brown Rice with peanut sauce and Sesame Baked Tofu

Monday           Nicoise Salad, Almond Crusted Halibut

Tuesday          Lentil & Bean Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes, steamed asparagus

Wednesday     Indian Red Lentil- Dal Shorva, 1 thick slice alpine bread

Thursday        Leftover Lentil and Beans, toasted whole grain pita, sauteed swiss chard

 Friday             Black Bean Quesadillas and guacamole, spring salad with homemade dressing

 Saturday        Pesto kissed tomatoe pasta, Caesar salad with homemade dressing & crouton,  steamed broccoli

 

INDIAN LENTIL SOUP (DAL SHORVA)

2 ¬ľ cups red lentils or yellow split lentils or mung beans (red lentils cook fastest)

1 ¬Ĺ tsp turmeric

¬ĺ tsp cayenne pepper

1 ¬Ĺ tsp ground cumin

¬†¬ĺ tsp curry powder or ¬Ĺ tsp cardamon

4-5 bay or curry leaves

9 cups low sodium vegetable stock

  1. Rinse lentils. Add lentils, stock and turmeric, cayenne, cumin, curry and leaves to soup pot and bring to a boil. 
  2. Let simmer until the lentils are very soft (about 25-30 min)
  3. If using bay leaves remove them now. Curry leaves can be left in the soup.
  4. Mash soup slightly but not too smooth.
  5. Saute together in a small non-stick pan 3 minced garlic cloves, 2 tsp mustard seeds, 1 ¬Ĺ tsp dry mustard powder and 3 tbsp vegetable oil until garlic is softened.¬† Add to soup, stir will and serve hot with a wedge of lemon squeezed in.

ALMOND Crusted Halibut

¬†¬Ĺ cup almonds chopped

¬ľ cup ¬†wheat germ

1 tsp dried tarragon

1 tsp grated lemon rind

Pinch salt and fresh ground pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

4 fillets (about 3-4 oz each of halibut (skin removed)

      1. Place almonds into a food processor and chop until resembles oatmeal. Remove to a shallow dish and add wheat germ, tarragon, lemon rind, salt and pepper and combine.  

      2. Pat fillets using paper towel, brush some oil over the fish. Dredge in nut  mixture to coat both sides.

      3, Place fillets on parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in oven at 425 degrees for 10-20 minutes depending o thickness.

Sesame Baked Tofu

 1 block x-firm or firm organic tofu

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce

¬ľ tsp cracker pepper

1 tbsp sesame seeds (raw)

 

Cut tofu into ¬Ĺ‚ÄĚ cubes into¬† a small bowl¬† and add the remaining ingredients.¬† Stir and let sit for about 15 min, toss a couple of times more.¬† Spread on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. (this works really well in a toaster oven)

Add to any Asian flavored vegetable stir-fry.

Caesar Dressing

¬ľ cup olive oil

1 clove garlic minced

¬ľ tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1/8 tsp dry mustard powder

¬Ĺ lemon, freshly squeezed

1 ¬Ĺ tsp white wine vinegar

¬Ĺ tsp honey

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Whisk all ingredients together.

Oh sweetie, there is no easy way to tell you..you have cancer

9 years ago today. A day I will never forget.¬† A day when a phone call turned into a nightmare. It is all very surreal now but remembering stirs up emotions, a racing heart , an aching heart, much like that day 9 years ago.¬† It was about 10 am, April 25, 2003 when the phone rang and the doctor on the other end asked if she was speaking to Mrs. Wiebe. “Yes, this is”. I don’t remember exactly what she said except “it’s cancer. You will need to have Rachel in Vancouver in 3 days…BC Cancer Center”. I probably said thankyou and hung up the phone.¬† Disbelief, fear, an overwhelming sense of helplessness and loneliness. I called my husband at work. He hung up quickly, no lingering, just a short “I’m on my way”.¬† A few more calls, parents, friends, and then a floodgate of tears, uncontrollable sobbing and waiting.¬† I don’t think it was long before Lawrence got home, but together we cried, held each other in silence both wondering how we were going to tell our beautiful 13 year old she had cancer.

I don’t think there is a right or a wrong way.¬† Nothing prepares you for news like this.¬† It was a strange day. So quiet, just the two of us waiting. Waiting for the girls to come home from school.¬† I think they knew something was wrong. “Why are you home from work already daddy?”…. we looked haggard, eyes puffy and red.

The rest of that day, ¬†the weeks and even the months ¬†following are still a blur. Life changed that day. Everything that seemed important wasn’t anymore.¬† Everyday¬† a gift¬†yet really hard. Trips to Vancouver,¬†sleepless ¬†nights spent in the hospital and in a hotel were long,¬†¬†so many ¬†days¬† spent counting the drips from IV bags that delivered¬† chemotherapy into her precious body. There were many hours on my face weeping, praying, ¬†bargaining with and even yelling at God.

Oh, how good and faithful our God is! Fast forward to today…each day is still a gift, not taken for granted. Each breath taken a reminder of His love.¬† Spring brings new life, filled with hope, promise and faith. Our little girl is all grown up, a survivor…. ¬†and moving out….. oh my heart aches and wonders what it will be like. “But joy comes¬†with ¬†the morning” ,¬†everyday.

Rhubarb Muffins..

The Rhurbarb is almost ready to pick and enjoy.¬† Strawberries and Rhubarb are meant to go together.¬†¬†These really are the “best-ever” rhubarb and strawberry muffins I have ever had.¬†With¬†¬†a cup of green tea, yummy.¬†¬†Enjoy.¬† Oh how I love spring!

BEST EVER RHUBARB/STRAWBERRY/PECAN MUFFINS

 2-cups whole wheat flour

1 ¬Ĺ tsp baking powder

¬ľ cup oat bran

¬Ĺ tsp baking soda

¬Ĺ tsp salt

¬ĺ cup chopped pecans

1 egg or substitute (1/4 applesauce + 1/2 tsp baking powder)

¬ľ cup¬†grapeseed ¬†oil

2 tsp orange zest

¬ĺ cup orange juice

¬ľ cup liquid honey

¬ĺ cups chopped rhubarb

¬ĺ cups sliced strawberries (frozen or fresh)

1. In large  bowl combine flour, oat bran,  baking powder & soda, salt and  pecans.

2. In another bowl whisk egg, oil, orange zest,orange juice and honey.  Add to  flour mixture and stir until    moist and almost blended. Add rhubarb and  strawberries until just combined.

3. Put into muffin tins, fill to top.  Bake in preheated oven 25-30 minutes.

Early Season Farmer’s Market Finds…and homemade pizza

You might be wondering what there is to buy at the Farmers Market so early in the season, especially here in the Okanagan, with our cool, slow to arrive Springtime weather.¬† I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh greens…

Incredibly sweet carrots (dug from the ground- last fall crop) and cabbages (picked and stored from fall) ……

Farm Fresh Eggs and…

Homemade Whole Spelt Flour (grown locally and stone ground) Pizza Crust…

Homemade (meatless, cheeseless) Pizza

Whole spelt flour pizza crust

No salt added tomato paste

Pesto sauce (homemade is best)

Toppings..Optional

Thinly sliced red onion

Fresh baby spinach leaves

Sliced mushrooms

Sundried tomatoes (olive oil packed, rinsed well with hot water)

Artichokes (canned, not pickled), chopped

Fresh chopped basil

Spread thin layer of tomatoe paste over crust. Spread pesto (about 2 tbsp) over tomato paste. Layer all the toppings except basil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Remove and top with chopped basil, fresh ground pepper.  Delicious!

Spring….Daffodils…Cancer…Prevention

At our office last week most all reception counters were cheery with beautiful yellow daffodils.  April is Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Month.

“Every three minutes, another Canadian will hear the words ‚Äúyou have cancer‚ÄĚ for the first time, and the Canadian Cancer Society wants them to know that they are not alone.

During Daffodil Month, and especially on Daffodil Day (April 27), the Canadian Cancer Society is asking Canadians to join the fight against cancer by making a donation to support its work throughout Canada and to proudly wear a daffodil pin as a symbol of support for people living with cancer.”

Read more: http://www.cancer.ca/British%20Columbia-Yukon/About%20us/Media%20centre/BC-Media%20releases/April%20is%20Daffodil%20Month.aspx?sc_lang=en#ixzz1r8CY3er3

The BC-Yukon Cancer Society website¬†says that¬†lifestyle changes really can make a difference. ¬†” By making healthy lifestyle choices, you can reduce your risk of getting cancer. In fact, about half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Canadians.”

So what can you do? Click on the link below for more details, but with regard to nutrition there are 4 key lifestyle choices we can do something about.

1) Maintain a healthy body weight

2) Eat lots of fruits and veggees, lots of fibre, little fats and sugar

3) Engage in regular physical activity

4) Red meat and processed meat increase your risk of cancer.
Read more:http://www.cancer.ca/British%20Columbia-Yukon/Prevention.aspx?sc_lang=en

So will doing these things guarantee you won’t get cancer…. no.¬† But what is known is that by taking these steps we are putting our bodies and our minds in their best possible condition to fight not only cancer but other diseases as well.

Sounds simple enough, but we all know it is not. We are¬†too busy, ¬†the temptation to eat processed, ¬†quick food bombards us daily. Fitting in regular exercise is a challenge. The problem is that if we stay steady on this path sooner or later we will have to stop. It might not be the “C” word but something else.

The daffodils will soon be blooming in the garden. Pause… slow down….choose to LIVE WELL.

THAI NOODLE SALAD

¬Ĺ -3/4 box of whole wheat spagettini or spaghetti (300 gram box)

3 tbsp grapeseed oil

2 tbsp liquid honey

2 tbsp water

1 tbsp sesame oil

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp lite soya sauce

1 ¬Ĺ tsp grated ginger root

1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 cups cabbage shredded (green & purple)

4 green onions chopped

2 carrots shredded

1 red pepper, chopped

Handful of snow or snap peas or thawed frozen peas(optional)

¬Ĺ cup dry roasted peanuts or cashews

1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

  1. Cook noodles to desired tenderness (al la dente)
  2. Whisk oil, honey, water, sesame oil, vinegar, soya sauce, ginger, red pepper flakes.
  3. Drain  noodles, rinse in cool water to cool
  4. In large bowl combine noodles, cabbage, onions, carrots, red peppers. Pour dressing over, toss and sprinkle with nuts and seeds.

LENTIL AND WILD RICE SALAD

Whisk together and set aside:

3 tbsp lemon juice

3 tbsp grapeseed oil or flax oil

1 tsp Dijonmustard

1-2 garlic cloves minced

¬Ĺ – 1 tsp curry powder (to taste)

Pinch cayenne

1 tsp agave syrup or honey

Pinch salt

Mix together:

1- 19 oz can lentils (drained and rinsed)or preferably 1 cup cooked leftover lentils ( I usually cook 1 cup dry ‚ÄúFrench lentils‚ÄĚ)

2 cups leftover brown rice or combination of brown and wild rice

¬Ĺ cup chopped fresh parsley

¬Ĺ cup chopped red ¬†or walla¬†walla sweet onion

¬Ĺ cup dried cranberries or raisins or combination of

¬Ĺ cup chopped celery

¬Ĺ cup chopped red pepper

Add dressing. Mix well. Tastes best second day.

Kelowna’s Farmer’s Market Opening Day….

This Wednesday is opening day for the Kelowna Farmer’s Market!!!….. see the link below.

http://www.kelownafarmersandcraftersmarket.com/home/news/Default/12/04/2/OPENING-DAY-2012

I made a committment last year to shop local for my groceries as much as I possibly could from the start of the growing season right to the end.¬† It would have been easier many days to just stop in at the big grocery chain stores but I wanted to see how it would go.¬† I tried to stick with buying produce that was in season and forego the things that were shipped in. Surprisingly my family really didn’t notice that much, or at least they didn’t complain.¬† (I know, I do have a pretty amazing family!¬†) The fresh vegees and fruits were just so flavorful, so fresh, and so delicious we really didn’t miss much.

If you have never visited the market before, bring some cash, your own shopping bag and stroll.¬† Get to know the Farmers. Ask questions. Find out more about where your food comes from.¬† You’ll do the planet and your body good.:)

So what’s out when?¬†I can’t wait to find out…… maybe I’ll see you there.