12 Steps to Better Health, Part 2

Last time, I promised I would talk about fats and sugars in this article, but I also promised you some simple, delicious recipes, then forgot to add them, so let’s start with those.

Roasted Broccoli with Sesame Seeds

At the end of a long day, this simple dish takes about a minute to prepare. Top with creamy Cashew “Ranch” dressing and sprinkle with sesame seeds for added protein and a great crunch.

Prep Time: 60 Seconds Cook Time: 25 Minutes Servings of Vegetables: 8

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Toss 2lbs broccoli florets in 2 - 3 TBSPs melted coconut oil.
  • Bake for 15 Minutes, turn them over and cook for another ten minutes.
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Creamy Cashew “Ranch” dressing

This dressing is a staple in our house. Simple to make from whole raw cashews and fresh herbs, it’s a delicious alternative to store bought dressings that are often full of salt, sugar and preservatives.

This recipe uses parsley, but you can substitute any herb you like. Mint goes very well with spicy dishes, chopped rosemary or thyme with chicken, so have fun experimenting.

Prep Time: 5 Minutes Makes 3 – 4 Cups

1 Cup Raw, unsalted Cashews
¼ Cup Almond or Coconut Milk
1 Clove of Garlic, cut into quarters
3 TBSPs Chives or 1 TSP Onion Powder
3 – 4 Sprigs Fresh Parsley
3 TSPs Lemon Juice or White Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste

  • Place cashews in water and soak overnight or for 6 hours to plump up.
  • Drain, rinse and place in a blender with just enough water to cover the cashews.
  • Blend for 1 – 2 minutes until smooth. If it’s too thick to blend well, add a little water.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again until smooth and creamy.

Store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 10 days, though ours rarely lasts that long!

You can buy whole, raw, unsalted cashews at Blue Lupine Health Goods on W. Line Street and at Manor Market in the bulk foods section.

Basic Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower Rice takes a little longer to prepare, a whole 15 minutes, but that’s on a very slow day and it is well worth the time I promise. If you’re able to leave some for the next day, it will taste even better!

1 Head Cauliflower
2 – 3 TSPS Coconut Oil
½ Cup Finely Diced Onion
1 Clove Garlic, chopped
½ Cup Water or Stock

Prep Time: 15 Minutes Cook Time: 15 Minutes Serves: 4

  • Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor fitted with a grating attachment and process until grated into "rice grains." Alternatively, grate the cauliflower with a cheese grater.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Add the riced cauliflower and continue cooking for 5 to 7 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Add the water or stock, then cover and steam for 5 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked and the water is absorbed.

You can add all kinds of things to this basic recipe. How about peppers, mushrooms, spinach or a cup of frozen peas for additional protein and fiber? Add some shrimp or chopped chicken, perhaps a chili or two to spice it up and a handful of your favorite chopped herbs.

The last recipe I promised you was Cinnamon Sunflower Seeds that are great as a quick snack and a great alternative to popcorn on movie nights. Packed with protein, vitamin E, copper, B1, manganese, selenium and a host of other vitamins, minerals and heart healthy fats, just one ¼ Cup serving of these will also provide you with 3 grams of fiber.

Cinnamon Sunflower Seeds

1 TBSP Coconut Oil, melted
1 TBSP Maple Syrup
1 TSP Ground Cinnamon
1/8 TSP Salt
3 Cups Raw Sunflower Seeds

Mix all the ingredients together and spread the coated seeds over a baking sheet. Toast at 350 degrees for 6 minutes. Turn the seeds over and roast for another 6 minutes.

Next time, we’ll talk about sugar and how we can follow the new government recommendations to cut our consumption in half. It’s much easier than you think with the total nutrition recipes I have to share with you. Don’t forget to send me your questions and have fun with these easy recipes!

In health,