Out of Bounds Noodle Bowl

noodlebowl2

My moment of inspiration for this dish came when I was hankering for a vermicelli rice bowl and basil beef at the same time. I figured if those two dishes had a delicious forbidden love child this noodle bowl would definitely be it.

    noodlebowl

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people

Ingredients:

1 lb skirt steak (any cut works)
250 grams flat rice noodles
1 stalk lemongrass (hit the entire stalk with the back of your knife; then slice in big chunks)
4 oz of any mushrooms, sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 orange bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 lime, juiced
1/2 jalapeno, minced (optional)
1 piece fresh ginger, grated (approx thumb-sized piece)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp raw unpasteurized honey
1 tbsp unrefined sesame oil
1 large handful of basil, rough chopped
1 tbsp chili hot sauce (optional)

Optional Garnish:
Fresh basil
Fresh chives
Crushed peanuts, cashews or almonds
Fresh lime juice
Kimchi

So first you’ll want to fill a medium sized pot with water and bring it to a boil. Once it’s boiling add in the rice noodles and boil them until they are cooked. For those of you who are rice noodle veterans skip to the next section. The rest of you who have never used this type of noodle before; don’t be intimidated – they cook in three minutes or less.  Drain them in your colander and set them aside for now.

Now that the hard part is done (wink wink) heat up your grill or grill pan or pan or whatever you like to cook steak in and season the skirt steak liberally with sea salt and fresh black pepper. Depending on the thickness of your steak and the doneness that you like grilling can take anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes.

Pro Tip #1: Try to only flip it once if you can help it.

Pro Tip #2: If it’s trying to stick to the grill it’s not ready to flip yet.

Once you’ve got it cooked just the way you like it take it off the grill and let your steak rest for at least 5 minutes. You want to make sure that all the juicy goodness stays inside the meat and doesn’t end up running out on the cutting board.

While that steak is resting (and maybe while it was cooking too if we’re being pro active here) you can cut up all the vegetables and herbs you’re going to use to make this dish delish. Once you’ve got the veggies prepped begin lightly sauteing them in a medium saucepan with coconut oil over medium heat. Look at you, sauteing and shit! When the vegetables are starting to get tender lower the heat a touch and add the fish sauce, honey, sesame oil, and chili hot sauce. Remember those rice noodles you made like a pro? Now’s the time to get those in the pan and make sure to get all the goodness in the pan all over them. A little trick to know is that if your rice noodles have gone cold and are trying to stick together simply run hot water over them while mixing with your hands. Maybe this should have been Pro Tip #3? Oh well, too late, moving on.

Now slice that perfectly cooked well-rested steak into chop stick sized pieces. Remember that if you did use skirt steak or flank steak it’s so so so important to slice it against the grain. This can make or break your dish so really make sure that you stay…ehem..sharp on this one. Now just plate the noodles and veggies in a bowl and top it off with that sliced steak and any of the garnishes listed up above you think you would enjoy. Or all of them, whatever, you made this killer noodle bowl so you’ve earned it.

**Note- Lemongrass brings an amazing depth of flavor to the party in this dish but it is inedible so you can either pick it out before you serve the noodle bowl or pick it out as you go. But please do pick it out because trust me 😉

This is one of those great dishes that reheats like a champ and can be made ahead of time! Bon appetit!

noodlebowl4

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. I love hearing feedback on these recipes so let me know how you like it! For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

Avocado Bean Dip

IMG_4503 (2)

Whipping up a dip at the beginning of each week is a little trick I like to add into all my meal plans for my clients and of course myself. That way you have a great snack choice waiting for you to enjoy all week.

This dip is loaded with Oleic acid an anti-inflammatory fatty acid compliments of the avocado and olive oil. The word Oleic actually translates to “related or derived from oil of olive”. Pair all this beneficial fat with the complex carbohydrates found in those mixed beans and you have a dip that will keep you fuller longer and provide steady energy release.

So plunk those veggies and crackers into a dip you can feel insanely good about!

IMG_4465 (2)

 

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: None
Serves: 6- 8 people

Ingredients:

2 cups mixed beans- I used a equal mix of chickpeas, kidney beans and white beans
1 avocado, pitted
1 lemon, juiced
1/2 tbsp. dulse or kelp flakes
1 large cloves garlic,  minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and combine until creamy.

That’s it folks super easy and extremely quick.

Enjoy!

IMG_4475 (2)

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

Scratch Perogies

IMG_4453 (2)

Often with clients (and with myself because practice what you preach, right?) I really try to help keep diet changes sustainable by encouraging what I call the 80/20 guideline. 80% of the time try to be on point with your food choices and cook with healthy and nourishing intentions. But 20% of the time indulge in the not-so-typical health first dishes that you love. You know, the comfort foods. Learning to make your favorites from scratch is almost as satisfying as eating them and typically when you’ve made it you know what’s in it and that beats store-bought every time. Now perogies are a labor of love but they are worth it. They start with very few humble ingredients and ultimately just take some time out of your day to prepare in bulk. In our house we’re Sunday perogy-pinchers. I like to get my stuffing all made and my dough well rested either the night before or quickly in the morning. Then I clear off our coffee table put on a trashy reality show and get to work. It takes about one episode of the Kardashian’s if you have an extra set of hands. I usually recruit my husband to help and honestly, even with the trashy TV, it’s a pretty easy sell since the payoff here is a mountain of home-pinched perogies. Once they are complete I divide them up and freeze them all; with the scrumptious exception of the ones that will be our meal that night. Voila! Perogies for months!

IMG_4379 (2)

 

Prep time: 1 1/2 hrs
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes: 50 – 60 large perogies

Ingredients:

Dough:
1 container organic sour cream
3 cups unbleached flour

Stuffing:
1 3lb bag yellow potatoes
1 whole bulb garlic- roasted (see previous blog post http://wholeunutrition.ca/oven-roasted-garlic/)
1 cup shredded aged cheddar
1/4 cup grass-fed butter or unrefined virgin coconut oil
Sea salt
Fresh black pepper

Accompaniments:
Mushrooms, sliced
Fresh spinach
Fresh dill
Fresh chives or green onions, finely diced
Yellow onion, sliced
Jalapeno, finely sliced
Plain Greek Yogurt

 

Put sour cream and flour in a large bowl; stir until well combined. Lightly cover the top of your bowl with a clean dish towel and let sit for 30 minutes before using.

While dough is resting away its time to make the stuffing. Peel and cube potatoes put in a pot filled with water and a pinch of sea salt. Let water come to a rolling boil, decrease heat a touch and let cook until potatoes are tender. Once tender drain water and add in roasted garlic, grated cheddar, butter or coconut oil, sea salt and fresh black pepper. Mash until smooth and all ingredients are combined. Spoon mashed potatoes into a bowl and place in the fridge to cool.

Your dough should be rested at this point. Place dough on to a well floured counter or surface and divide into 4 equal parts. Set 3 parts back into a covered bowl. Roll out each dough-quarter until about 1/8 of an inch thick. Now this is a very elastic-ee (technical term) dough so don’t be afraid to lean on that rolling pin!

IMG_4438 (2)

Using a cookie cutter or in my case a wide mouthed glass; cut little circles. Stuff each circle with a heaping tablespoon of your mashed potatoes and pinch closed. Place on a lined cookie sheet. Once you have a full cookie sheet completed place the whole thing in the freezer. Freezing them flat in the open air is to ensure that they dont stick together. I have learned that this step is really crucial as we rushed it once and the perogies just end up sticking together. Once they are frozen separate the perogies into Ziploc freezer bags or containers.

IMG_4443 (2)

This recipe should make at least two full cookie sheets so repeat the process above until all the ones you want to freeze are frozen. We got 53 good sized perogies out of our last batch! If you are cooking some up right away heat up a pan with some butter or coconut oil. Once pan is thoroughly heated add in any accompaniments (onions, garlic, greens, bacon etc) you wish and cook until browned. Once browned set aside and add in perogies. Let them brown on one side and when you flip the perogies add back in all your deliciously cooked accompaniments.  Now serve your beautiful from scratch perogies with a dollop of Greek yogurt and Enjoy!

IMG_4446 (2)

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

Oven Roasted Garlic

IMG_4430 (2)

One of my favorite easy ways to add more depth of flavor to any dish is to add in roasted garlic. Any person of any skill level can pull this off!

 

Prep time: 2-5 minutes
Cook time:
35-40 minutes

Ingredients:

1 whole bulb garlic
1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top of your each of your cloves leaving them in your garlic bulb.

IMG_4426 (2)

Drizzle cut tops with olive oil and place in oven for 35 – 40 minutes.

IMG_4430 (2)

Take a fork or spoon and scoop out all the roasted goodness. Some great dishes you can add that roasted garlic to are your homemade baked goods, chickpea hummus, aioli, puree’s, mashed potatoes, vegetables, mayo, butter or Greek yogurt for dips. Really the possibilities are endless!

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

Butternut Squash Latkes

IMG_4367 (2)

Putting some more thought into your side dishes is worth the extra effort. I personally love simple side dishes but they can definitely get boring from time to time and I dont like to eat boring. I usually boil or roast and mash our squash so this was a nice change. These latkes can be made ahead of time and reheated. We had the leftovers in the morning for breakfast with our yolky eggs and it was delicious!

IMG_4327 (2)

 

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time:
10 minutes
Makes: 8-10 latkes

Ingredients:

2 cups Butternut squash, shredded
1 onion, finely diced
2 eggs
1 garlic, minced
sea salt
black pepper
2 tbsp coconut flour
1 tbsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil

Garnish:
Green onions, diced
Plain Greek yogurt
Toasted coconut

 

Using a grater shred the peeled and seeded butternut squash.  Put butternut squash in cheesecloth and squeeze to get the excess moisture out. Put shredded squash in a bowl with all other ingredients and mix until combined.

Heat up a cast iron or non stick pan with some coconut oil. Use your hands and make little flat patties (about 2 heaping tbsp. of mix) and place 3 -4 in the pan at a time. They are done when they are golden brown on both sides.

Serve with a dollop of Greek yogurt, green onions or chives and toasted coconut.

Enjoy!

IMG_4335

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

Pickled Cukes N Carrots

  IMG_4304 (2)

Pickles have been linked to every weird craving for a reason. They are the perfect crisp bite to snag when you are grazing. They can also add a sour bite to lots of dishes helping to enhance the other flavors.

My one pickle when it comes to pickles is the addition of calcium disodium EDTA. I am very cautious when it comes to any sort of additive or chemical in my food and I do my best to completely avoid them. When it comes to this particular additive there aren’t many studies but what we do know is that consuming chemicals and additives on a regular basis is harmful. So my solution to this is always to make my own! Not only can I ensure the quality of the ingredients I use but I can personalize it with my own favorite flavors.

I chose to use a raw unpasteurized apple cider vinegar which adds a fermented food to your pickles. Fermented foods are fantastic for your digestive and immune system. You can also reuse this liquid again and again; just be sure to add a little more water and vinegar each time.

IMG_4290 (2)

Prep time: 10 minutes
Wait time:
2 hours

Ingredients:

2 tbsp fresh or dried dill
1 large carrot, halved or quartered
4 pickling cucumbers, halved or quartered
3 cloves garlic, whole
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tbsp sea salt
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup of water
1 x clean liter jar and lid

Cut your cucumbers in half and sprinkle cut side with sea salt. Tent cover cucumbers and let sit for 2 hours; this helps to up the crispiness factor by drawing some moisture out of the cucumbers. After 2 hours quickly rinse and dry with paper towel.

IMG_4299 (2)

Place dill, peppercorns, chili flakes, garlic (whole and minced), cut in half cucumbers and cut in half carrots in clean jar. In a separate bowl add water, raw apple cider and sea salt; stir until sea salt dissolves. Pour liquid mix into jar and make sure it covers everything. If mix doesn’t completely cover vegetables just add a touch more water. Screw the lid on tight, give it a shake and stick in the fridge.

These are ready to eat in a few hours but they can be left longer to increase pickled flavor. You can get creative with the vegetables you want to pickle.

Enjoy!

IMG_4321 (2)

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

Coconut “Carbonara”

IMG_4265 (2)

This glorious recipe is an egg free, dairy free and bacon free carbonara. I know what your thinking those are the ingredients that make a carbonara, a carbonara but I assure you this is a great alternative especially if you dont include those particular ingredients in your meal-plans.  Not only is this recipe scrumptious but it is quick to prepare and eliminates common food allergies.

IMG_4256 (2)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time:
20-25 minutes

Ingredients:

6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 onion, finely diced
1 can coconut milk
1 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil
vermicelli rice noodles
sea salt
fresh black pepper
Garnish:
1 handful fresh basil, diced
1 tomato, diced
2 green onions, finely diced

 

Heat up a pan to medium heat and add coconut oil. Once melted add your chicken and brown on both sides.  Once browned remove chicken from pan and set aside. In that same pan add onion, jalapeno, ginger, and garlic; let cook until onions are slightly browned then add lemon juice. Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Now add chicken back in and let everything simmer for 5- 7 minutes. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.

In a medium sized pot add water and sea salt. Place on high and once boiling add in rice noodles. Once cooked through add to chicken pan. Serve and garnish with fresh basil, tomato, and green onions.

This recipe would be excellent with turkey or beef. You could also substitute out the meat and add mushrooms and peppers or other vegetables.

Enjoy!

IMG_4274 (2)

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

Perfecto Pizza Dough!

The majority of my eating is gluten free but I do believe that indulging in things you dont normally eat is a must. If you make sure to treat yourself sometimes, it makes a huge difference and helps to keep your healthy lifestyle sustainable. One of these particular foods that I like to treat myself to is pizza! I’ve recently fallen for homemade dough…dont tell my husband! Its just so easy, versatile and 100 times better then take-out pizza crust. Put down that phone and throw together the recipe below; you wont be disappointed.

IMG_4219 (2)

Prep time: 1 hr 15 minutes

Ingredients:

1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
1 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups cold water
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon raw sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
5 1/4 cups unbleached white or whole wheat flour
More extra virgin olive oil for coating

Dissolve a package of dry active yeast in warm water; stir and let stand for 5 minutes. In another bowl combine cold water, sugar, oil and sea salt; stir until combined.

Place flour in mixer fitted with a dough hook. Now add yeast mixture and sugar mixture. Let mix on low for 5 minutes or until dough comes together. Now give the dough a rest for a couple minutes. Once well rested turn mixer back on a low setting for approximately 5 minutes or until dough looks smooth.

Divide the dough in half, place in a two bowls and lightly cover with olive oil. Place a clean kitchen towel over top and let rise for an hour before use.

After your dough has had an hour nap, well flour a surface and transfer dough onto it. Knead in a couple tablespoons of flour to ease stickiness. When dough is smooth and elastic form into a ball. Cut eat ball of dough in half to roll out for two pizza shells or cut in quarters to roll out for calzones. You could also roll this dough out for cinnamon buns or savory rolls!

 IMG_4248 (2)

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

Mindful Miso Chicken

IMG_4187 (2)

Miso paste is a fermented product made from soybeans and either white or brown rice. Fermented foods are very beneficial to the health of the digestive tract and the good bacteria that reside there. I love the smokey, salty and earthy taste you get from miso. It is really versatile making it great in soups (enter the classic miso soup), sauces, salad dressings, marinades and of course in the tasty recipe below.

IMG_4177 (2)

 

Cook time: 20 – 25 minutes
Prep time: 5 – 7 minutes

Ingredients:

6 chicken thighs
1 tbsp. Rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. Miso paste
1 tbsp. Sesame oil
1/2 tbsp. Chili paste
Sea salt
black pepper
1 tbsp. unrefined virgin coconut oil

Mix all rub ingredients together and set aside. Crank a cast iron or oven safe pan to medium heat and melt coconut oil. Once heated add your chicken skin side down. Let cook until skin is browned and flip. Rub the skin side with the marinade you have set aside and place the whole pan in a 350 degree oven. Bake for approximately 15- 20 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken thighs.

Serve with roasted vegetables, toasted nuts and dressed micro greens. Enjoy!

 IMG_4198 (2)

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

For more information on other services I provide check out my website:

www.wholeunutrition.ca

Simple Eggs-emplary Breakfast

Looking for an easy breakfast packed with protein, healthy fat, fiber and a ton of vitamin A, D, E, folate, iron, zinc and choline; while you can’t beat this scramble. Don’t be scared of the yolk it contains more than half of the protein and the vast majority of the nutrients. All puns aside this is the perfect way to begin your day without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

me4

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5-7 minutes
Serves: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

6 pasture raised/free run eggs
2 handfuls spinach
1/2 bell pepper, diced
5 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
1 green onion, finely diced
2 tbsp. soft goat cheese
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp. unrefined virgin coconut oil

Optional
Dollop of Greek yogurt
Fresh herb, finely chopped (I used dill)

Heat up an oven safe pan such as cast iron to medium heat; add in coconut oil. Once melted add in bell peppers and jalapenos. Let cook for 1 minute and then add in mushrooms; letting cook until slightly browned. Scramble eggs and pour them into the pan. Now add in green onions, spinach, cheese, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Place pan in the oven under broiler on high for approximately 2 minutes. Remove, cut into wedges and serve alone or with sprouted grain toast.

Enjoy!

me3

Thanks for reading and please share any comments or your experiences below. For more tasty recipes and other interesting blog entries follow me on Facebook!

Brooke Carragher, C.H.N- Certified Holistic Nutritionist

Whole U Nutrition- A Whole U approach to wellness

For more information on other services I provide check out my website:

 

www.wholeunutrition.ca