Pineapple, Zucchini + Carrot Loaf

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Pineapple, Zucchini + Carrot Loaf - I think it’s such a great alternative traditional banana bread, though this recipe does have a secret banana hiding inside!

So, this recipe is a take on muffins that my mom use to make when I was a kid, but sadly it’s a recipe that seems to have disappeared which means a bunch of recipe testing to try to get it just right. Now, while I know this isn’t a muffin recipe it can easily be baked in muffin tins, and I must say its a dead ringer of the recipe from my childhood.

So, there are a couple of things I have changed from that classic, and that is the addition of zucchini and banana. Most healthy-ish baking recipes tend to use applesauce, which is a good way to cut back on sugar and keep it nice and moist, but I don't know about you, I don’t usually have apple sauce on hand, so that is where the banana comes in. I am way more likely to have bananas, and even if they aren’t super ripe and brown they still work just fine. Now while this recipe has a decent amount of sugar it also has almost 3 cups of veggies and a bunch of fruit so you can feel pretty good about that!

This is a great recipe to make if your garden has produced an overabundance of zucchini and carrots, or you just want a super yummy breakfast or snack - either way, it’s perfection!

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prep time 20 minutes

cook time 55 minutes

total time 1 hour 15 minutes

servings 16 - 20 slices

Ingredients

3 eggs

1/2 cup oil

1 medium banana

2 cups white sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 cups shredded zucchini

3/4 cup shredded carrots

3/4 cup finely chopped pineapple

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 cup walnuts

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2 loaf pans with cooking spray or parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine eggs and oil and whisk to combine. Add in the banana and mash until it is fully broken down. Stir in sugar, vanilla, zucchini, carrots and pineapple.

In a small bowl combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and walnuts. Add the flour to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Evenly distribute the mixture between the loaf pans then bake for 45-55 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes before turning onto a cooling rack.

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Mushroom + Spinach Risotto with Grilled Vegetables

Extra creamy mushroom + spinach risotto topped off with seasonal grilled veggies - the perfectly beautiful indulgent meal!

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Risotto, one of those foods that may seem super intimidating yet is actually pretty easy to make - it just takes time. I don’t know about you but I find making food like this really therapeutic and relaxing. I would make risotto all the time - that is if it wasn’t such a rich calorie-filled meal.

Risotto is one of those things that you make for a special occasion or when you really want to indulge - I mean seriously your basically eating a big bowl of cheesy, wine-filled rice! Now, while there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, you just probably don't want to eat it on a weekly basis.

So there are a couple of keys to making a great risotto.

  1. Let the rice toast in your pan for a couple of minutes before you add the liquid.

  2. Add in stock that has been warmed so that you don’t reduce your cooking temperature.

If you do these 2 things your literally golden, all you need to do is stir then stir some more. So while you can basically put anything in your risotto I also love to put something on top. Grilled vegetables are a great option, it makes you feel like you are doing something a little bit healthy, plus it looks beautiful.

So next time you want to treat yourself or someone you love make up a big batch of this creamy risotto! I promise you will not be disappointed!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 30 - 40 minutes

total time 50 minutes

servings 4

Ingredients

1/2 red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cloves of garlic

1 cup white mushrooms

1 cup white wine

1 1/2 cup arborio rice

4-6 cups chicken stock

1/2 lemon

3 cups of spinach

1 - 2 cups parmesan

salt + pepper

15 asparagus spears

1 zucchini

Instructions

In a medium sauce pan pour in chicken stock (starting with 4 cups) and allow to heat. You want it to be warm but not simmering or boiling.

In a large frying pan with high sides place olive oil and 1/4 of your red onion finely chopped. Allow to cook for 4-5 minutes or until onion is soft and translucent. To the pot add in chopped mushrooms and cook another 3 minutes then add in garlic and cook another 30 seconds.

To the pot add in arborio rice and allow to toast for 3 minutes stirring often. Add in your white wine and stir - allowing the rice to absorb all of the liquid. Once all of the liquid is absorbed being adding in chicken stock one ladle full at a time and allowing all of the liquid to be absorbed before adding more stock. Continue this process stirring often until your rice is fully cooked (you will need to taste it frequently to know when it is done).

While your rice is cooking prepare the vegetables for your topping. Slice your zucchini, asparagus and remaining 1/4 of red onion then season with salt & pepper. Grill on each side for 3-4 minutes or until tender.

Once your risotto is at the desired tenderness add in the juice of 1/2 a lemon, chopped spinach and grated parmesan. Stir then season with salt + pepper to taste.

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Thai Red Currie Soup with Zucchini "Noodles"

This spicy Thai Red Currie Soup is a great low carb dinner option. With Zucchini Noodles rather than traditional noodles you can feel good about eating this any day of the week.

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So I don’t know about you but I think soup makes for one of the best meals almost any time of year, but especially when it’s cold outside! I also think that when you can add some spice into your soup you make it even better!

I have recently fallen in love with red currie paste and I think that it makes one of the best flavour additions! In the past I often have just used currie powder but the paste really adds a depth of flavour that I think most soups need.

I also like the option of using zucchini for the noodles rather than a traditional noodle, it gives the extra benefits of adding in more veg, but also the texture of a noodle so win-win! The other great thing is that if you don’t have a spiralizer almost every grocery store sells already spiralized veggies. Now, the price that you pay by having the grocery store do the work for you would make buying a spiralizer totally worth it, but if you don’t want one more gadget in your kitchen you always have options.

I also really love a good kick of spice in my soup but if spicy things are not your jam feel free to leave out the Serrano pepper or cut back on the amount that you use. That’s the great thing about soup, you can really customize to the flavours you and your family love!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 35 minutes

total time 45 minutes

servings 4 - 6

Ingredients

1 small white onion

1 tbsp olive oil

12 small white mushrooms

4 cloves of garlic

1 Serrano pepper (or less if you prefer it less spicy)

1 jar red currie paste

8 cups chicken stock

1 can light coconut milk

1 yellow pepper

3/4 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup soya sauce

1 zucchini spiralized

1 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

In a large soup pot add olive oil and chopped white onion and sauté over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add in quartered mushrooms and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in minced garlic and finely chopped Serrano pepper and cook another 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant.

Stir in the jar of red currie paste being sure all of the vegetables are well coated with the currie paste. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer and allow it to cook on low for 10 minutes.

Stir in coconut milk, thinly sliced yellow peppers, peanut butter and soya sauce. Simmer another 5 minutes then add in spiralled zucchini and cook another 5 minutes. Finish with cilantro then serve immediately.

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Mexican Corn Chowder

This spicy corn chowder is the perfect way to add a twist to a classic. With a bit of a kick the version is completely dairy free.

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Lately my husband and I have been trying to eat more vegetarian meals. You know, the classic meatless Mondays as a way to kick it off. I don’t know if I could ever be completely vegetarian, but I think it’s kinda nice to cut back on the meat/dairy intake and switch things up. That’s where this corn chowder came in. Normally I would add some bacon and cream to make a classic version, but since it was Monday I figured I should attempt to kick it up in the flavour department so that we wouldn't even notice anything missing. This version sure hit the mark, and the heat from the jalapeño really sealed the deal and made this one a keeper!

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prep time 10 minutes

cook time 45 min

total time 55 minutes

servings 6 people

Ingredients

1 tbsp oil

1 medium carrot

1 medium zucchini

1/2 medium onion

2 medium russet potatoes

3 cups water

2 cups chicken stock

1 bay leaves

1/2 jalapeño

1 tsp chipotle chili pepper

1 tsp cumin

1 tbsp salt

3 cups corn

1 can coconut milk

1 Lime

1/4 cup cilantro

Instructions

Roughly chop carrots, potatoes and onions into 1 inch pieces. Add oil to large pot and cook potatoes, onions and carrots for 5 min stirring often to ensure even cooking. Once the onions are soft and transparent add water to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 min or until potatoes and carrots are fork tender. Remove from heat and place 2/3 of the mixture into a blender and puree. Return to the pot and add chicken stock, bay leaf, diced jalapeño, chipotle pepper and cumin. Allow your soup to simmer for 20 minutes, add corn and coconut milk, and simmer additional 10 min. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and add chopped cilantro right before serving.

*if you don’t like spice feel free to omit the jalapeño.

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