Appetizers

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through the year? I sure can’t. When it hit me that we were 6 months into 2018, I did a bit of a mental check-in on how things have been going so far this year—it’s definitely had its ups and downs. My challenges this year have been mainly with my health, but when our health is off-balance, it tends to drip over into every area of life.

There is always a silver lining, though: my health setbacks have been a huge wake-up call. For the past 5 years, my body has been either pregnant, nursing, or both, and that has without a doubt taken a huge toll on me. There have been times when I’ve neglected my physical, mental, and emotional health. There have been times when I got lazy with vitamins and just stopped caring. There have been times when my anxiety felt out of control. I’ve had a lot of inflammation and allergic reactions. A lot of illness. Things seemed to get worse after I had to take antibiotics for an infection this past winter.

About a month ago, I finally said enough is enough! I needed to stop and listen. Since then, I have committed to taking time for myself to heal. To go to those doctors appointments I’ve been putting off. It’s easy to let things slide when life is busy. Having kids can be all-consuming…they are so needy (for good reason), but wow parenthood can really make you lose yourself if you let it.

If you’re going through one of those life phases where you feel like you just can’t “get it together,” you aren’t alone. This too shall pass. And when it does, you will be stronger and wiser. And don’t lose gratitude for everything that’s going well along the way. Gratitude is definitely an anchor through the challenging times.

Meet jackfruit. Have you tried it before? I’ll admit I was a bit scared when I first saw the funky-looking fruit (and cans of jackfruit mystified me!). But after playing around with it for a few weeks, I’ve come to really love it. And I have so many fun jackfruit recipes ideas! A reader wrote to me the other week asking for help. He said his daughter can’t have legumes or nuts, so I put my thinking cap on and thought about how I could use jackfruit to create a delicious salad dish that she could enjoy on bread, wraps, rice cakes, or crackers. Jackfruit does lack the robust amount of protein you’d find in legumes and nuts, but I find adding hemp hearts (either by mixing them into the salad or adding on top) works great for boosting protein.

I really like the Native Forest brand of canned jackfruit. You don’t need to cook it to soften before use (unlike Cha’s Organics brand). After rinsing and draining it, I slice the spongy, firm core off each piece. If using jackfruit straight from the can, the core is a bit too firm for this recipe. You’ll only want to use the soft, stringy jackfruit that resembles pulled pork/chicken (in the photo below, that’s the stuff on the left!). With a bit of slicing and dicing, you’re ready to roll!

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Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By Angela Liddon

I recently started experimenting with jackfruit recipes, and I discovered that jackfruit makes a fantastic sub for chicken in a traditional chicken salad. My goodness, it’s delicious (and not only is jackfruit delicious, it’s rich in Vitamin C too)! Because jackfruit has such a mild flavour, it takes on all the wonderful flavours in this dish—tangy lemon and dill, creamy eggless mayo, savoury garlic, and smoky paprika. I’ve added fresh vegetables like celery, green onion, and bell peppers to give it a great crunch and loads of fibre. Serve this salad in pieces of Boston or Bibb lettuce, in a wrap or sandwich, or on crackers. To boost the protein, I like adding hemp hearts. You can find canned jackfruit online or in health food stores, Asian grocery stores, and the international section of some chain grocers. Recipe is adapted from my favourite Chickpea Salad.

Yield
4 servings
Prep time
15 Minutes
Cook time
0 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 (14-ounce/398 mL) can young jackfruit (in brine)*
  • 2 medium (140 g) stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 medium (45 g) green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (67 g) finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 tablespoons (45 mL) store-bought vegan mayo or 5-Minute Mayo**
  • 1 small (5 g) clove garlic, minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (3 g) minced fresh dill
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (10 to 15 mL) fresh lemon juice, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse the jackfruit. Place the drained jackfruit segments onto a large cutting board. Using a knife, slice off the fibrous core of each jackfruit segment. You’ll only want to use the “stringy” parts that resemble pulled pork. Discard the core and chop the remaining pieces into small 1/2-inch chunks. It should look like shredded chicken and you should have about 1 1/2 cups chopped.
  2. Add the chopped pieces to a bowl and stir in the celery, green onions, bell peppers, mayonnaise, and garlic until combined.
  3. Now stir in the dill and season with the lemon juice, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, adjusting quantities to taste after mixing.
  4. Serve in a sandwich or wrap, on top of a big salad, or with crackers. I love enjoying it with rice cakes and mashed avocado too. Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Stir before serving.

Nutrition Information

In case anyone is wondering, I served the salad on rice cakes with mashed avocado, hemp hearts, and a sprinkle of pink salt. So good!

Article source: http://ohsheglows.com/2018/07/12/smoky-jackfruit-chicken-salad/

This simple Zucchini Roll-Up recipe makes a great side or snack with kid-friendly delivery of grownup taste profiles and healthy ingredients.

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Grilled Zucchini Roll-Ups

Grilled zucchini strips wrapped around a ricotta-herb filling next to a lemon slice
  • Author:Oh My Veggies

Ingredients

3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices

1 tablespoon olive oil

Kosher salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/4 cup ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Discard the outermost slices of zucchini and brush the rest of the slices with the oil on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Place on a preheated grill or grill pan for about 4 minutes on each side, or until tender.
  2. In a small bowl combine the ricotta cheese, parsley, basil and lemon juice, mashing with a fork.
  3. Put 1/2 teaspoon of the cheese mixture about 1/2-inch from the end of a zucchini slice. Roll up and place on a platter. Repeat with the rest of the zucchini slices.

Article source: https://ohmyveggies.com/grilled-zucchini-roll-ups/

These mushrooms look professional, but are incredibly simple to prep and make and full of fresh flavor. Change up the mushrooms and cheese for a different spin.

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Simple Stuffed Mushrooms

Mushroom caps stuffed with tomatoes, olives, and cheese rest on an earthenware plate on a table
  • Author:Oh My Veggies
  • Prep Time:15 min
  • Cook Time:30 min
  • Total Time:45 minutes
  • Yield:4 servings

Ingredients

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped

1 1/3 cups pitted black olives, chopped

1 large egg, beaten

3 cups grated mozzarella

small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped

12 large chestnut mushrooms, brushed clean

1/4 cup olive oil

kosher salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/400 degrees F.
  2. Stir together the sun-dried tomatoes, olives, egg, mozzarella, and seasoning in a mixing bowl.
    Remove the stems from the mushrooms and spoon the mozzarella filling into them.
  3. Arrange in a roasting dish and drizzle with the olive oil.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden-brown and tender. Season with black pepper before serving.

Article source: https://ohmyveggies.com/simple-stuffed-mushrooms/

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