Plant-based bowls offer versatility, simplicity and beauty to healthy lifestyles. Enjoy this macro bowl featuring turmeric roasted cauliflower, spinach, zucchini and more.
Few meals satisfy all my senses, while also energizing me, more than a giant bowl ofplants. Part of the beauty in a plant-based bowl (also known as a #macrobowl) is both theversatilityandsimplicity. I usually start with a base of spinach, brown rice or quinoa, then add in legumes, seasonal vegetables, nuts/seeds and finally top with a creamy homemade dressing.
This bowl features one of the most powerful anti-inflammatories we can eat:turmeric. I previously wrote about the vast health benefits of turmeric in this golden milk post. I make an effort to cook with turmeric (and black pepper to increase its bio-availability) as much as possible (think roasted vegetables, potatoes, dressings, etc). Other foods in this recipe that fight inflammation include leafy greens (like spinach), avocado and nuts.
Now, would this be a vegan recipe without the addition of nutritional yeast? I’m guilty of putting it on everything! The health benefits of nutritional yeast may include supporting healthy gut bacteria, improving production of blood cells, and maintaining optimal cholesterol levels. It is a small source of chromium and is often fortified with B12.
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 tsp Finlandia turmeric powder
pinch of black pepper
1 tbsp extra-virgin coconut or olive oil
1-2 handfuls of spinach
1/2 cup edamame beans
1/2 zucchini, spiralized or sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 tsp black sesame seeds
garnish: lemon or lime
1/3 cup filtered water
1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews, pre-soaked at least 4 hours
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp Finlandia ancient sea salt
1/2 tsp Finlandia nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion powder
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Cook brown rice on the stove, as directed.
In a large bowl, toss cauliflower florets, coconut oil, turmeric powder and black pepper until evenly coated. Spread florets on to parchment-lined pan. For crispy cauliflower, avoid florets from overlapping. Cook in oven for 20 minutes (flip florets after 10 minutes).
While cauliflower and rice are cooking, prepare your serving bowl of fresh spinach, cooked edamame beans, and raw zucchini. Set aside.
Add all dressing ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until creamy. Taste and adapt accordingly. Note: for easier blending, I place cashews in a bowl of water and let soak in the fridge overnight. Discard of this water before adding the cashews to the blender.
Once brown rice and cauliflower are cooked, add both to your serving bowl.
Top with sliced avocado, black sesame seeds and dressing. Enjoy!
A low glycemic alternative to pasta with a vegan’s take on pesto.
Once summer hits in British Columbia, farmers’ markets are in full swing. There is bountiful produce to enjoy, especially if you grow your own veggies or herbs. This recipe makes use of several market goodies: zucchini, tomatoes, mint, basil and garlic. Zucchini noodles are a low glycemic alternative to pasta and, for pesto-lovers, I have created a vegan, mint version high in flavour and healthy fats. Mint can help aid digestion and may even lower cholesterol. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment or sharing your versions with me @dr.dylancutler.
1 cup fresh basil
1 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
spiralizer (or sharp knife)
If using a spiralizer, cut both ends of zucchini off and get to work! Otherwise, cut zucchini into thin slices.
Wrap zucchini in paper towel to absorb excess liquid.
Use a food processor to combine basil, mint, walnuts, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice until a smooth paste is formed.
Combine zucchini with pesto and mix well. I added spoonfuls of pesto slowly until I reached the ratio I wanted, which resulted in half the pesto leftover.
Add veggies, like tomatoes, or a high-protein source, such as beans or legumes, if you’d like to make this a meal. Enjoy your minty zoodles!
zucchini = anti-inflammatory, high in potassium (can help reduce blood pressure), high in fiber (can help lower cholesterol), low glycemic, and a source of polyphenols (may beneficially affect thyroid, adrenal, and insulin regulation)
A low-glycemic, raw, vegan dessert just in time for summer solstice.
In anticipation for summer solstice I made these summery vegan cheesecakes which are low-glycemic, raw, vegan and gluten-free. Both lemons and lavender scream summer to me. Lemons are known for boosting our immune systems and improving digestion. They may also improve insulin and liver function. Lavender is commonly used in aromatherapy for its relaxation properties, however, the scientific evidence is limited. This herb can also be eaten and is a small source of calcium and iron.
Maple syrup and dates are two of my favourite natural sweeteners when trying to make healthier desserts. They are both low on the glycemic index which means they help manage blood sugar levels better than other sweeteners (ex. sugar, honey). This is especially important for women with PCOS who are predisposed to developing metabolic syndrome.
Ingredients (makes 12):
1 cup nuts (I used a mix of walnuts, almonds and cashews)
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 cup dates
2 cups cashews, pre-soaked in water for 4 hrs
1/2 cup lemon juice (I used 3 small organic lemons)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tspns dried culinary lavender
1/2 tspn vanilla extract
Use parchment paper to oil muffin pan with coconut oil (prevents sticking).
Place long strips of parchment paper in each muffin mold for easier removal (I saw the Minimalist Baker do this and I think it is genius).
Process dates, nuts and chia seeds together in a food processor until you get a rough, sticky mixture.
Transfer spoonfuls of the mixture into the muffin pan and push down firmly and evenly. Set in freezer.
Blend all filling ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy. You may need to add liquid to help out (ex. almond milk).
Take muffin pan out of freezer and scoop filling on top of each crust, smoothing out to pop air bubbles. I used a 1/4 measuring cup to distribute the filling to each mold and then went back over with a spoon to even them out.
Decorate if desired (I decorated half with lavender before freezing and the other half with lemons after freezing).
Set in the freezer for at least 5 hours.
Gently pull each cake out holding the wax paper. The wax paper will make indents which I smoothed out easily.
Serve or store in freezer or fridge.
low-glycemic = helps maintain blood sugar levels
lemon juice = contains vitamin C which boosts immune system, helps improve digestion, may improve insulin function, boosts liver function
tree nuts = no cholesterol, high in unsaturated fats which help reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, help prevent cardiovascular disease
chia seeds = high in omega-3s which can help decrease high testosterone and improve egg quality
Happy Solstice! I would love to see how you recreate this vegan cheesecake! Please share your photos with me on Instagram: @phruitfuldish