Lightly Curried Carrot and Ginger Soup

Anne Lindsay’s cookbooks are fantastic – and the lightly curried carrot and ginger soup is no exception!  Comforting on a cold day or after a morning of skiing – the flavours of this soup always hit the spot.

So – what if dairy is not your friend?  Her recipe calls for 2 cups of milk (or a combo of milk, yogurt and coconut milk).  Decided to experiment a little – substituting 1 cup of almond milk for the dairy products.  The almond milk maintained that creamy texture and only added to the flavour of a soup already loaded with taste!

Lightly Curried Carrot and Ginger Soup

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced gingerroot (I grated it with the micro planer)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 each: curry powder, salt and pepper
  • 4 cups thickly sliced peeled carrots (approx 1 1/2 lbs or 750 g)
  • 3 cups stock – vegetable or chicken
  • 2 cups milk (or 1/3 milk/yogurt/coconut milk)  substituted 1 cup almond milk (sugar free)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Note: I also added 1/4 cup red lentils – thicken it up and for no other reason than, I could!

1.  In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook garlic, onion, ginger, coriander, cumin, curry powder, salt and pepper; stirring occasionally for about 5 mins or until onion is softened.

2.  Stir in carrots.  Pour in stock; bring to boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered.  Approx 30 mins, or until carrots are soft.

3.  In batches, puree mixture in blender or food processor.  (I prefer my hand held blender – stick it right in the pot – works a charm!)  Whisk in milk (or substitutes); reheat just until hot.  Add salt and pepper to taste (optional).

4.  Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and enjoy!

Makes approx 6 – 1 cup servings.

Anne Lindsay gives a nutritional breakdown based on her original recipe.  For those who are interested:

Per serving (1 cup):

calories:  108, protein 4 g, total fat 4 g (sat fat 1 g, cholesterol 6 mg), carbohydrate 15 g, dietary fiber 2 g, sodium 504 mg.

Even with the milk product, she suggests this soup can be frozen – although it is so tasty, and even better the next day…..good luck having enough to freeze!

Hope you enjoy the curried carrot and gineger soup!  Bon appetit!

You know your dish was a hit when…

Every January I do a post Christmas finger food party.  There are generally 40ish people who come and we always have a ball!  The craziness of Christmas behind us, it is a great time to catch up, have a few drinks and a laugh!  This year, it almost didn’t happen – too much going on at work with a business trip the days leading up to the weekend.

While I prefer all my food to be made the day of, and as fresh as possible, the one dish that has consistently been a hit, thankfully, is often made a few days in advance.  It is the simplest thing to make, freezes well and rarely do I ever get any leftovers!  What can this wonderful dish be???  The simple meatball!  Taken from an old Canadian Living magazine of all places!  Tried, tested and true….if you don’t believe me….check out the before and after:

Before:

Freezer Meatballs – Makes approx 150 little gems!

4 eggs
4 small onions, grated
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp salt (I only used approx 1/4 salt – I never use enough!)
1 tsp pepper
4 lbs (2kg) lean ground beef
(recipe suggests you can also use chicken, lamb or pork – I have only used beef)

1. In bowl, beat eggs, mix in onions, crumbs, worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper.
2. Mix in beef.  Mix well.
3. Shape by level tbsp (I used a melon baller – and they were smaller than a tbsp)
4. Place on foil lined cookie sheet – bake at 450F for 10 minutes.

I used a delicious Honey Garlic BBQ sauce to serve.  They were a hit!

After:

Always a hit – and ever so easy!!!  I had 3 requests for my meatball recipe – and the crazy thing is, it is the simplest thing I served!!!

Guest post: blogging for health, goal setting and bucketlists

Guest Post: Blogging for Health, Goal Setting and Bucket Lists


Melanie Bowen, author of the following article, recently contacted me to share her thoughts on blogging for health.  She is a contributor to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance blog, and I was happy to collaborate with her on getting out the message on goal setting, dreams and aspirations.  Creating a bucket list is one of many valuable ways to set goals and dream large.  Be inspired.  Set goals – without a destination in life, how do you know what journey you are on?

Blogging for Health, by Melanie Bowen

Learning to deal with a diagnosis that involves a disease such as mesothelioma or evendiabetes places a damper on an individual’s quality of like. The patient is not the only person affected by such a diagnosis–the patient’s family and friends are also affected.  It doesn’t have to be so grim! Lets shed some light on how to turn life challenges into positivity and self-encouragement. So while it is perfectly natural to experience an array of emotions, such as anger, doubt, fear and denial, your prognosis is better if you can maintain a generally happy quality of life.

One way to improve the quality of your life during and after illness is to catalog your emotions. Cataloging your emotions is beneficial to your health because it allows you a completely honest outlet to let your emotions out freely, without worry that you are being judged. Of course, you can talk to your friends and family, but some patients feel the need to gloss over certain aspects of their disease to keep their loved ones from worrying and this is not beneficial to your health.

Write for you! Write for Others. Share motivation and motivate yourself!

When you are experiencing an emotion caused by your illness it is better for your quality of life to deal with that emotion by exploring it and letting it out, in a personal journal or a blog.

Journaling and blogging are not for everyone, which is why there are other ways to catalog your hopes, dreams and goals throughout your illness. One way to do this is to create a list of things you want to do, see, and experience during treatment and also on your path to healing. Anytime you are feeling down, depressed or in need of a pick-me-up or motivation during your treatment, going over your list is a great way to motivate yourself into feeling better, which improves the quality of your life. Start small and work your way up. Finish the book you started. Exercise at home or even make that dish you always wanted to try. The little things definitely pave the way to your larger desires. Motivate yourself!

In addition to helping yourself by cataloging your experiences with cancer, you may help others if you make your words available to the public. Studies show that those who blog about their experiences are more socially supported than those that do not, even if the show of emotional support is from completely anonymous strangers on the internet When a person going through treatment has emotional support, their outlook is better.  Motivation and inspiration is all around us—tap into it!

Writing down your hopes, dreams and goals will make you feel better during your illness and improve your quality of life after, because it reminds you that tomorrow is not a guarantee and that the things on your list should be done now, rather than put off even longer.

New Year’s Resolutions – bah!

I, for one, don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions!  So many are made, so many are broken!  What is the point if it is not defined and doable!

photo taken from facebook, source unknown.

It’s like the diet that becomes the uncontrolled yo-yo!  Many of us (me definitely included here) have been there, done that!  Rather than a New Year’s Resolution, I prefer to think in terms of a commitment to myself, for myself!

If you have followed this blog (still in infancy, and having just come off of Christmas holidays), you will know that I have taken up studying holistic nutrition as a means of making a commitment to myself!  Sadly, I often let life get in the way and fall off the wagon many times (sugar and stress – best friends in my world!), but I do try to remain true to a lifestyle commitment that I made when I first signed up for the course!

One of the early lessons is premised on 10 basic principles, or the 10 Commandments of a Healthy Diet (taken from Elson Haas textbook – Staying Healthy with Nutrition).  The keys are whole, live, natural, good quality foods.

1.  Natural Foods – you know what I am talking about – avoiding the processed and manufactured foods, especially those whose primary ingredients are no longer recognizable or pronounce-able!

2.  Seasonal Foods – these hold the highest possible nutritional value and remain in harmony with the natural cycles of the year.  For example – a hearty stew may be better suited to a cold winters day, whereas a juicy watermelon is more likely to quench your thirst on a hot summer afternoon!

3.  Fresh Foods – fresh from the garden will have the maximum nutrition.  While this isn’t always possible, over processed foods become dead foods – live enzymes that benefit the body are destroyed by the processing and manufacturing process.

4.  Nutritious Foods – goes without saying, if you are looking for a better balance in life, a variety of nutritious, foods loaded with vitamins and minerals are more likely the way to go!

5.  Clean Foods – keep them chemical free, avoid GMOs (Genetically Modified) – afterall, tomatoes were not supposed to have fish proteins!!!  Also under clean foods is proper storing and handling – need I say more?

6.  Tasty and Appealing Foods – there is a little science behind this one – if the food is not appealing, and you don’t salivate, your body doesn’t produce the necessary digestive enzyme – amylase – crucial for proper absorption.

7.  Variety and Rotation – how else are you going to get a variety of nutrients.  If you only eat the same food all the time – you only get the same nutrients, so mix it up!

8.  Food Combining – can be a heavily contested topic, so I will limit comment to this – can be labour intensive, is not suited to everyone but it can decrease the stress on the digestive system.

9.  Moderation – don’t go crazy – you can have the naughty goodies …. in moderation.  Some suggest the 80/20 rule – as long as you eat well 80% of the time, you can indulge 20%.  You be your own judge, but I know when I try to go too perfect, the thump on the ground as I fall off that wagon always hurts more!  You just can’t always be perfect – especially when traveling – did someone say fish tacos!!!  (A little taste of the naughty in Jamaica – how’s the food?)

10.  Balance – need to have balance in macronutrients (protein/fat/carb) and micronutrients.  Basically, if you are following Haas’ guidelines, you should find balance in your nutrition.