Sheryl Jesin


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Recipe – The World’s Yummiest Rice (aka Fragrant Indian Brown Rice with Coconut Milk)

As someone who is trying to avoid gluten, I eat a lot of rice.  I eat brown rice cakes, brown rice pasta, and use brown rice flour in baking.  Brown rice is a frequent side dish also!  I like rice – it has quality carbohydrates that give me energy to chase after two kids and helps to fuel my runs.  And it does so without hurting my stomach, as wheat tends to do.

A couple days ago I tried a new rice dish and I have coined it “The World’s Yummiest Rice”.  Both my kids loved it and so did my husband and brother-in-law, so it’s not one of those crazy healthy dishes that I love, but no one else does.   This has mainstream appeal!  I wanted to take a picture of it, but we ate it all up before I had a chance!

It contains delicious Indian spices and the secret ingredient is coconut milk.  The coconut milk makes it creamy and satisfying.   You’ve got to try this!

Recipe – The World’s Yummiest Rice – Fragrant Indian Brown Rice with Coconut Milk (based on Marni Wasserman’s recipe)

Makes 8-10 servings, 15 minutes prep time, 45 minutes cook time

Ingredients:

2 cups brown rice

1.5 tsp cumin

2 tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil

2 medium onions, diced

4 large cloves garlic, sliced

1 cinnamon stick

1 tsp whole cloves

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tsp salt

1 tsp tumeric

1.5 tbsp garam msala

1 can coconut milk (398 mL)

3.5 cups water

1/2 cup raisins (optional)

Directions:

1.  Add oil, onion, garlic, cumin, cloves and ginger to a large pot.   Set heat to medium.  Stir.  Add in the tumeric and garam masala, and saute until onions become soft and translucent.   Stir often.

2.  Add the rice, water and coconut milk.  Bring to a boil and simmer covered over low heat for 45 minutes.

3.  When the rice is cooked and liquid has been absorbed, add the raisins.   Stir well.   Remove cinnamon stick.  Serve and enjoy!

Note about amount of liquid – different rice may require different amounts of liquid.  Follow the directions on your bag if they differ from what mentioned above.  Factor in the coconut milk and reduce water as necessary.  For example, the rice I had said 2 cups of rice and 5 cups of water.  So I used just under 3.5 cups of water and 1 can (or 1.5 cups) of coconut milk. Check the rice at around 35 or 40 minutes to see if you need to add more liquid.


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Recipe – Coconut Milk Ice Cream

I’ve been avoiding cow’s milk dairy for the past few months for a variety of different reasons.  Does that mean I have to give up ice cream?  Nope!

I discovered an amazing brand of vegan, soy free ice cream called Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss.   It is made with coconut milk and it is truly blissful!  It is creamy and delicious and even if you eat dairy, you should give it a try.   Why?  It’s made from amazing ingredients – in particular, coconut milk.   Coconut milk is is super creamy and delicious but its fats are actually good for you!  Unlike the cholesterol-laden artery-clogging fats in cream, coconut fats are high in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).   These MCTs are identical to those fats found in human breast milk, and contain similar antimicrobial and heart protective qualities.   The breastfeeding advocate in me just loves this!!

Fat in coconut is used differently by your body than other fats.  MCTs don’t need to be broken down – instead they can be used by your body immediately as energy.  In fact, coconut fat provides easily digestible energy that is ideal to consume before physical activity such as running, cycling or hiking.   Coconut fat stimulates your metabolism!

I buy Luna and Larry’s at Whole Foods or Noah’s Natural Foods here in Toronto and I definitely recommend that you try it.   If you can’t find it in a store near you,  I recently discovered that it is pretty simple to make your own coconut milk ice cream using the Vitamix.

Recipe – Coconut Milk Ice Cream

Ingredients:

One 14oz or 400 ml can of coconut milk – (I used full fat, not the light versions)

Sweetener – maple syrup, agave syrup or honey to taste

Vanilla to taste

Mix your coconut milk, sweetener of choice and vanilla in a bowl.  I didn’t list amounts because the amount you use is really personal preference.   Start with 1 tablespoon of sweetener and 1/2 tsp of vanilla.   Give it a taste and add more if necessary.

Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray.   Freeze for a few hours until solid.

Place the frozen ice cube mixture into your Vitamix and blend!   It will become creamy and delicious and take on an ice cream texture within seconds.   Serve right away and ENJOY!


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Recipe – Chocolate chip coconut oatmeal cookies

Yesterday I discovered a delicious blog – Chocolate Covered Katie.   Katie blogs about vegan healthy desserts.   Can you say right up my alley?  How have I not heard of her site until now?

I like to eat healthy, but there is still room for dessert made from satisfying and nutritious whole foods.   Katie’s blog has so many creative dessert recipes that I just can’t wait to try.

This afternoon, I was inspired by Katie’s Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies.   I took her recipe and changed it up a bit.   Here’s what I came up with:

Recipe – Chocolate Chip Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

(Gluten free – if using GF oats, soy free, vegan)

Ingredients:

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/8 tsp. salt

2 tbsp. coconut sugar

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. water

1 tbsp. agave syrup

1 tbsp. almond butter

2 tbsp chocolate chips

Mix oats, baking soda, salt and coconut sugar in a magic bullet or food processor until oats are broken down into an almost flour like powder.  Place in medium sized bowl.   Stir in olive oil, water, almond butter and agave.  Mix well.  Mixture should be moist but still crumbly.  If you pinch the batter, crumbs should stick together.   If not, add a tiny bit more olive oil.  Add in chocolate chips and form batter into 6-8 small cookies.

Bake at 375 degrees for 6 minutes.

These taste absolutely divine warm out of the oven!  Don’t fret if you don’t have coconut sugar – brown sugar will work too, as per Katie’s original recipe!  (Although I personally love the coconut-y flavour of the coconut sugar).  Or you could try 2 tbsp of agave or other liquid sweetener (maple syrup, honey) and cut out the water.   I think they would also be amazing with raisins instead of chocolate chips.  Or sunflower seed butter instead of the almond butter.   The possibilities really are endless!  I may have to whip up another batch later…


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Hello 2012!

I’ve taken a bit of a blogging break lately.  Dylan was off school for winter holidays, we went away for 10 days, and now we are back in the swing of things.

You may have noticed a shift in my blog in 2011.  My blog started off as a place for me to write my thoughts about parenting and breastfeeding.  In 2011, I started writing more about exercise and healthy eating.  In reality, I think all of these themes are connected – my interest in parenting and breastfeeding ultimately led me to my interests in exercising and healthy eating.  I hope that the healthy habits I am establishing my own life will be an example for my boys!

Hopefully you have enjoyed the new direction my blog is taking, as I plan for it to continue to move that way in 2012.

Happy New Year readers!  I look forward to spending 2012 with you.


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Recipe – Avocado spinach banana smoothie

I’ve been a bit obsessed lately with smoothies made in my Vitamix.   I tend to make a smoothie each morning for breakfast – there is no better way to start my day!

I recently made a delicious concoction that I wanted to share with all of you.   Here is the recipe:

Avocado Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup cold water

12 almonds

1/2 of a medium sized avocado

1/2 of a medium sized banana

1 tsp coconut oil

1 tbsp almond butter

1/2 tsp cinammon

1 medjool date

honey, to taste (I added 1/2 tablespoon)

1 tsp of chia seeds

1-2 cups of baby spinach leaves

1 scoop of Sunwarrior Protein Powder

6-8 ice cubes

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender, and blend until smooth.   ENJOY!

Creamy healthy deliciousness

Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients – experiment, and use what you have on hand.  Customize your smoothie to match your own taste buds!

I should add that every smoothie tastes better in a reusable glass straw.  Get yours here.


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Meal planning Monday

Not feeling in a very bloggy mood today, but I will post our meal plan for the week.

Here it is:

Sunday – out for dinner

Monday – vegetable soup, chili over quinoa topped with guacamole, tabule salad

Tuesday – out for dinner

Wednesday – Spinach almond cakes, kale and carrot salad, roasted brussell sprouts

Thursday – same as Wed

Friday – out for dinner

Saturday – to be determined


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Recipe – Avocado Kale Salad

Have I mentioned that I love kale?  Oh yes I have – here and here.  What’s not to love about a leafy green?  They are chock full of nutrients – including chlorophyll – which reduces inflammation in the body and maintains bone health.  Don’t forget about all of the live enzymes in raw leafy greens that can speed up cellular regeneration, providing us with energy and making us feel younger!  And greens also are a excellent source of calcium and iron – we can all use more of those!

I’ve learned a lot recently about nutrition from an amazing book called Whole Foods to Thrive, written by Brendan Brazier.   Brendan is an Ironman triathlete, a 50k Ultra Marathon winner, and the creator of Vega – a line of whole food nutritional products.  You could say he is a plant-based nutrition guru.

Whole Foods to Thrive has an abundance of delicious and healthy recipes.  I’ve been having fun trying out new things that the whole family has enjoyed.   Below is one of my favorites, which has been adapted from Brendan’s recipe on p. 159 of the book.

AVOCADO KALE SALAD

Time – 1o mins, Makes 2 large servings or 4 small

1 head of kale, chopped

1 avocado, chopped

3 tbsp olive oil

1-2 green onions, finely sliced

1 lemon, juiced (you may want to start with half a lemon, and add the rest of the juice to taste, depending on how lemony you want it)

1 tbsp maple syrup

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large mixing bowl, toss all ingredients together with your hands (yes, it is messy but FUN).  Squeeze as you mix, thereby creaming the avocado and wilting the kale   Serve right away.  Did you know that by wilting the kale, you are softening it, making it easier to chew and also to digest?  YUM!   I sprinkled some hemp seeds on mine before eating, adding protein and omega-3s and 6s!

Before mixing
After mixing