Eating a fresh and raw salad in the summertime is one of the healthiest and easiest ways to stay cool from the gut-wrenching heat. One of my favourites is a refreshing raw vegan mock tuna salad.
Love Wild Live Free, a vegan food and lifestyle blog by Avra Epstein, offers a yummy raw mock tuna salad recipe that uses affordable, fresh ingredients to make a light (but filling) meal that will leave you vying for more. This raw recipe uses organic ingredients and also includes kosher dill relish with live probiotics, an easy way to get additional bacteria that keep the gut healthy.
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
5 tablespoons RawFoodz French Onion Dip
2 celery stocks, finely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill
2 tbsp Kosher dill relish (with live probiotics)
2 tsp Dulse Flakes, or Nori Flakes
1 tbsp finely minced onion (red or sweet white)
Pink Himalayan Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
(use organic ingredients)
Rinse sunflower seeds and place in to a medium size bowl. Fill with filtered water, leaving a few inches of space above. Cover with a clean towel, secured with an elastic band. Allow to soak 6-8 hours.
After the soaking time is up, rise sunflower seeds again. Add to food processor and pulse to chop into an even consistency, scraping down with a spatula as necessary. You do not want to over process otherwise you will end up with a creamy consistency. Instead, you’re going for a crumbled consistency that resembles flaked tuna.
In a large mixing bowl add chopped sunflower seeds and the remaining ingredients. Stir to combine.
Serve chilled and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Enjoy this delicious salad and experience the rejuvenating feeling of eating raw and healthy foods.
Spring is on its way (supposedly) and nothing says it’s time to spend time in the outdoors like a bowl of fresh greens. Unfortunately, the rainy weather is keeping everyone from eating cold foods and during these weird rain/snow storms, sometimes it’s necessary to have a delicious warm meal instead of a chill-inducing salad. Luckily, there is a solution: warm salads! This mouth-watering mealtime option brings together fresh vegetables and fruits with a heart-warming grain option. It is the perfect thing to eat as the seasons change. Feel free to play around with this recipe and add your own preferences.
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup diced strawberries (optional)
3/4 cup fresh peas
1 bunch of spinach
1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste
Cook the quinoa (1/2:1 ratio with boiling water) and allow to cool slightly while prepping the rest of the salad.
Combine strawberries, peas, spinach, and parsley in a bowl and toss.
Mix olive oil, garlic cloves, lemon juice, maple syrup, sea salt and pepper in a separate bowl to make the dressing. Taste and spice until satisfied.
Add to the plant mix to the warm quinoa and add dressing.
Enjoy while warm!
A warm salad will make you feel cozy while at the same time completely refreshed. It is easy to make and will fulfill your nutrient requirements, especially with a protein packed quinoa. Enjoy while the weather is rainy and cold!
Pairs wonderfully with a light beer or glass of white wine!
Planting fruits and veggies is a great way to spend time outside soaking up the sunshine — not to mention the delicious produce you’ll get out of it. Garden lovers know that Ontario has certain fruits and veggies that thrive in the region and many of them have to be planted, well, about now.
Gardening may seem time consuming but it teaches the value of patience and generates a newfound understanding of the hard work that goes into growing your own food. It is an initial investment but once you are in the swing of things, it is easy pea-sy!
First off, it is essential to determine when the last frost date is in your area so that you don’t accidentally kill your plants prior to their growth. The general date for Ontario is May 15th,, but last frost can range anywhere from May 15 to May 21. The farmer’s almanac, or otherwise known as the gardening bible, has a handy online tool to help out with the timing of seed planting. You can plug in your specific city, and it will lay out the specific plant times for various vegetables and fruits according to the weather that year.
Making a gardening plan or chart helps to plan out a planting schedule, so that you can ensure your plants are compatible. Tomatoes, for example, should not be planted beside potatoes because the soil quality weakens the sensitive tomato plants. Leafy greens are often compatible with most plants. In your plans, also remember to assess which plants need sunnier spots as opposed to more shade. Leafy greens can thrive in the shade, which allows you to plant vegetables like peppers, peas and carrots in the sun.
Let’s begin with leafy greens, which can be planted the earliest due to their hardiness in the colder Canadian climate. Lettuce, spinach, kale and cabbage can be planted in mid-march and harvested as soon as the beginning of June. If you get a head-start (no pun intended) on your these vegetables, you could be enjoying a homegrown salad just as summer arrives. Chard is also a great choice for a hardy leafy green. It will survive until hard frost and is more resilient than spinach. It’s important to remember that the soil temperature must be at least five degrees for the leafy greens to thrive. This can be easily determined by purchasing a thermometer and ticking it into the soil prior to planting.
Peas, onions and potatoes can be planted once the soil reaches an internal temperature of 10 degrees. These veggies can be planted in mid-may and will yield successful crops. Excluding potatoes, the rest of the veggies also grow quickly and can be harvested as early as July. Potatoes can be harvested in late August and are often used in yummy fall harvest soups. Potatoes are very resilient and can grow in a variety of climates, which makes it a safe bet for any type of garden.
More sensitive vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers, as well as most fruits, should be planted later in the season to ensure they obtain enough sunlight. Plant strawberries and tomatoes indoors first and transfer them outside in mid-June. Once you get them outside, make sure to tie them near a sturdy structure. Tomatoes are a vine-stalk vegetable and need to be propped up to thrive well in the garden. Though tomatoes are finicky, they grow very well in Ontario. The soil must be minimum 20 degrees for tomatoes.
If you want to try something a little more adventurous, try planting watermelon in late June. Be sure to have enough room for watermelon because it is a sprawling plant.
With fruits, insects may become an issue and natural pesticides can help keep bugs out of your garden. Vegetable or canola oil and garlic are natural repellants that can be mixed with water and applied. If cared for, strawberries can yield fruit for the whole summer and blackberries will provide a yummy supply of treats come fall.
Get that green thumb out and try your hand Get outside and try your green thumb out for a great outdoor experience this summer season. Whether you stick with just growing easy-going leafy greens or attempt the more specialized fruits and veggies, the outcome will be delicious. Trust me, there is nothing better than eating and sharing fruits and vegetables you grew yourself.
What’s your favourite fruits and veggies to grow? Let us know and post in the comments below!
Simple and clean, this Greek chicken and horiatiki (“village”) salad is the ultimate weeknight dinner. Original recipe serves four.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp oregano (dried)
1 tsp basil (dried)
1 tsp salt
pinch of pepper
2 pints grape tomatoes
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup olives
2 red peppers
1 sliced red onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp brine from feta cheese
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 375⁰C. In small bowl, combine 3 tbsp olive oil with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Mix until combined. Using a silicone brush, cover the chicken breasts with the mixture and place in shallow roasting dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Once the chicken is in the oven, combine all salad dressing ingredients in large serving bowl and whisk. Slice tomatoes in half and cucumber/peppers into large chunks. Place prepared vegetables in bowl with olives. Toss with dressing. Remove chicken from oven, slice and serve.