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 of plants. Part of the beauty in a plant-based bowl (also known as a #macrobowl) is both the versatility and simplicity. 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), olive oil, 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
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 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!
Thanks to Finlandia Pharmacy & Natural Health for sponsoring this post. Check out their website and extensive herbal dispensary at their storefront in Vancouver, BC.
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Simple, healthy muffins free of dairy, refined sugars, oil and gluten.
I consider muffins a pseudo-health food because while they’re often disguised as nutritious, in reality, they can be packed with saturated or trans fats, sugar and sodium. Some other misleading “healthy” snacks that come to mind are store-bought granola (often loaded with sugar and hydrogenated oils!) and protein bars (some contain high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils resembling a candy bar!). The power of making our own meals and snacks is in knowing exactly what we are putting into our bodies. Rolled oats and cinnamon can help balance blood sugar and manage cholesterol levels, while cashews are a great source of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants. To sweeten these muffins I used dates and a small amount of maple syrup (which I talked about in a past dessert recipe).
Now, if baking doesn’t seem to fit in your busy schedule (I hear you!), you’re going to love these muffins because a blender does all the work! So toss everything in, relax while they bake, and have healthy snacks prepared for the whole week.
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup chopped dates
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups water
- cinnamon to sprinkle on top
- optional: very ripe banana, berries
- Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
- Combine all ingredients into a blender (if adding berries, stir in after blending). Since my blender isn’t high-powered, I blend a couple ingredients at a time.
- Fill muffin liners to the brim with batter. Note: healthy, oil-free muffins like these often stick to the liners. Some tricks are to use silicon liners instead of paper, and to place a cookie sheet with water in it on the rack below the one with your muffins. PS. I would love to hear your tricks!
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and swirl into the batter.
- Cook in oven for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let muffins cool before removing from liners.
- rolled oats have a low glycemic load and are high in fiber, may help maintain blood sugar levels, and contain tryptophan which boosts serotonin levels for better sleep and a stable mood
- raw cashews may help lower blood pressure, “bad” cholesterol, and improve insulin and androgen levels in women with PCOS (as a tree nut)
- cinnamon may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol and decrease triglycerides in blood
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What tricks do you have for making non-stick, healthy muffins?
Give your oatmeal a boost with seeds high in omega-3s which are important for the health of our brain, heart, liver and bones.
Oatmeal provides a simple, nourishing breakfast on its own, but we can easily up our oatmeal game with the help of some super seeds. Chia, hemp and flax seeds are all plant-based sources of protein, fiber and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats. Studies have found that omega-3s may:
- reduce symptoms of PCOS and metabolic syndrome such as insulin resistance,
- boost brain functioning, especially during developmental years and later in life,
- assist in the prevention and treatment of depression and anxiety,
- support eye health through preventing macular degeneration,
- relieve menstrual pain, perhaps better than ibuprofen,
- improve heart health through decreasing triglycerides and improving cholesterol,
- help fight autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s and more.
Any type of oats (steel cut, rolled, or quick) are great, however, steel cut are the least processed and lowest in glycemic load. This keeps blood sugar levels stable and helps us stay energized. I hope you enjoy the great combination of flavors and the numerous health benefits of this gooey, aromatic bowl of super seed oatmeal.
- 1/2-3/4 cup steel cut oats
- 2 cups water or nut milk
- 1/2-1 tbsp hemp seeds
- 1/2-1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2-1 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- fruit toppings
- nut butter
Long Version (steel cut oats):
- Bring water to a boil.
- Add steel cut oats to the boiling water on the stove, turn down temperature to low. Let oats cook for 10 min.
- Stir in hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds, and cinnamon (optional: splash of almond milk).
- Wait for the remaining liquid to soak up.
- Top with fruit and a healthy fat, like nut butter.
Quick Version (rolled or Quick oats):
- Add equal parts oats (rolled or quick) and nut milk together and stir.
- Stir in hemp hearts, chia seeds, flax seeds and cinnamon.
- Cover and place in fridge overnight.
- In morning, add toppings and dig in!
- steel cut oats = low glycemic load, high in fiber, maintains blood sugar levels, and contains tryptophan which boosts serotonin levels for better sleep and a stable mood
- chia seeds = high in omega 3s which can help decrease high testosterone and improve egg quality
- hemp hearts = high in protein, fibre, and essential fatty acids (omega 3, 6 & 9) which may improve cholesterol profiles, may reduce inflammation
- flax seeds = may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, contain lignans which may increase sex hormone-binding globulin and therefore lower blood testosterone levels
- cinnamon = may help balance glucose levels, lower cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides in blood
More ways to use super seeds:
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