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Over the weekend, I attended The Good Exchange, hosted and organized by the lovely Tahsin Dhirani. The fifth installment of its kind, this one featured soups, perfectly fitting for this time of the year. A group of wonderful, creative and accomplished women, getting together for an afternoon to enjoy a delicious curated lunch and exchange food, ideas and inspirational stories…well that sounded right up my alley! I decided to make one of my favourites for the exchange, a huge batch of Mulligatawny, making sure I had plenty leftover to enjoy for days at home.

No, this soup doesn’t only exist in the world of Seinfeld! This hearty soup boasts a wonderfully complex flavour profile, perfect for a chilly fall evening. It might be a little extra work as far as soups are concerned but trust me, the effort is SO worth it. A lesser known soup but one that brings me back to my childhood. Even as a young tot, I remember ordering and enjoying it with my parents whenever we ate out. The toasted, slightly crunchy rice at the bottom, the soup bursting with hearty lentils, coconut milk, and chicken and a squeeze of lemon to finish it off. SO SO good.

place setting
Gorgeous place setting accompanied by delicious nimbu paani

soup lineup
All the soups lined up ready to be exchanged!

And now, back to the soup!

mulligatawny soup

Mulligatawny Soup
[Serves 8-10]

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grated ginger
2 green chilli peppers, julienned
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons ground coriander seed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 pods cardamom, bruised
1 tablespoon fresh curry leaves
1 large carrot, diced
2 apples ­ peeled, cored, and diced
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 cups Masoor daal (red lentils), rinsed, drained
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups coconut milk
Salt, to taste
1 cup cooked brown rice, toasted
Fresh cilantro to garnish

Directions:
1. Heat coconut oil or ghee in large pot on medium heat
2. Add onion, garlic, ginger, chilies, spices and curry leaves, stirring, until onion is translucent
3. Add carrot, apples, potato, lentils, and chicken broth
4. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lentils are cooked through
5. Remove cardamom pods and curry leaves (they should be floating on top and be relatively easy to pick out)
6. Using a hand blender or a food processor, blend soup mixture
7. Add cooked chicken, tamarind, lemon juice, salt and coconut milk
8. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until heated through
9. To serve, put brown rice on bottom of bowl, top with soup and garnish with fresh coriander

Enjoy!

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If you think a sweet potato is only good baked in a pie and topped with marshmallows or in the form of sweet potato fries (guilty), this stuffed sweet potato recipe will change your mind. Anyone that knows me will tell you my love obsession with Mexican cuisine. Bursting with those southwestern flavours, this is unlike any sweet potato dish you’ve ever had. It’s healthy, filling, and oh so satisfying.

The filling is a deliciously seasoned combination of corn, black beans, red onions, avocado and salsa, complimenting the light sweetness of the sweet potato beautifully. Admittedly, I’ve made this three days in a row for lunch and there may just be another sweet potato in the oven as I write this…

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Stuffed Southwestern Sweet Potato
[Serves 1]

Ingredients:
1 medium sweet potato
1 tsp coconut oil
1/4 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional)
1/4 cup corn
1/4 cup black beans
2 tbsp salsa (I use the freshly made kind from Whole Foods)
1/4 medium avocado, diced
1 tsp fresh lime juice
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Sriracha hot sauce (optional)
Cilantro leaves

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper
2. Pierce sweet potato several times with a fork or small knife and place on baking sheet
3. Bake sweet potato until tender, approximately 45 mins to an hour (depending on the size of your sweet potato)
4. Let cool slightly, then make a slit lengthwise and pull apart to make room for the filling
5. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in a pan
6. Add red onion, garlic and jalapeño and sauté for 3-4 minutes
7. Add corn and black beans and stir until heated through
8. Take mixture out on a bowl and add salsa, avocado, lime juice, salt and pepper and stir to combine
9. Spoon mixture into sweet potato and top with hot sauce and cilantro

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 345, Total Fat: 12g, Carbs: 54g, Fiber: 12g, Sugars: 9g, Protein: 8g, Sodium: 412mg

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mogc1
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You know those winter days where you want to eat a big hearty bowl of something delicious but for it to still be healthy so you don’t hate yourself afterwards? Well this dish is pretty perfect for that. Simple to make yet so filling and satisfying. The salty, savoury taste of miso mixed with the citrus from the orange & the herby tarragon makes for a pretty unique flavour combination.

I would’ve preferred to use thighs but my butcher was all out so I used breasts instead. Still turned out great but I’d recommend making it with chicken thighs if you can. You can throw it together on a weeknight without too much fuss & have leftovers for lunch the next day!

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Miso Orange Glazed Chicken with Carrots & Leeks
(adapted from Clean Eating Magazine)
[Serves 4]

Ingredients:
Olive oil cooking spray
4 large carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
2 large leeks, white and green parts, quartered lengthwise and sliced 1⁄2-inch thick
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dried thyme
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste
2 lb bone-in chicken, skin removed (8 chicken thighs or 4 chicken breasts cut in half)
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Juice of 1 large orange
2 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp raw honey
1 tbsp Sriracha (or other hot sauce)
2 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon leaves

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425°F and mist a roasting pan with cooking spray
2. In a large bowl, add carrots, leeks and half of each of the following: oil, garlic, ginger, thyme, pepper and salt. Toss to coat.
3. Spread in a single layer on prepared pan
4. To same bowl, add chicken and remaining half of oil, garlic, ginger, thyme, pepper and salt
5. Mix and place chicken over vegetables
6. Add broth evenly over entire chicken & vegetables
7. Roast on center oven rack for 20 minutes
8. Turn chicken and gently stir vegetables and cook for another 10-15 minutes
9. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine orange juice, miso, honey, Sriracha and tarragon
10. Pour over cooked chicken and vegetables and cook for another 2-3 minutes

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 346, Total Fat: 13.5g, Sat. Fat 3g, Carbs: 26g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 13.5g, Protein: 29g, Sodium: 584mg, Cholesterol: 128mg

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My favourite way to cook is not following a rigid recipe, but just perusing through my fridge & pantry, see what I have on hand and put something comforting together tasting as I go along. I did just that last night and it resulted in this delicious noodle bowl with a fusion of Japanese and Thai flavours.

Chicken Udon Noodle Soup

Chicken Udon Noodle Bowl
[Serves 4]

Ingredients:
100g udon noodles
4 cups chicken broth
1-inch piece of ginger, grated
2 Thai chili peppers
Juice of 2 limes
Zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
8oz boneless chicken breasts, diced
2 cups baby bok choy
Fresh cilantro
Red chili flakes

Directions:
1. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside
2. Bring broth, ginger, thai chilies, lime juice, lime zest and rice vinegar to a boil
3. Reduce heat to medium-low, add chicken and coconut milk
4. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally
5. Add reserved noodles and bok choy, cook stirring occasionally for 5-7 minutes
6. Garnish with cilantro and red chili flakes

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 232, Total Fat: 5g, Sat. Fat 3g, Carbs: 29g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 12g, Protein: 20g, Sodium: 335mg, Cholesterol: 33mg

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Happy 2014! How’s everyone doing with their healthy eating resolutions? I for one, cherish every last minute under my warm, cozy comforter before bracing out in this mind-numbingly cold weather. So waking up a bit early to prep lunch for the workday has been fairly unattainable these days.

Luckily, I’ve discovered the perfect make-ahead lunch: the mason jar salad. Gorgeous layers of greens, veggies and protein in a portable and convenient package! The possibilities are endless with these, but here’s my favourite combination of the moment.

Super Simple Salad with Honey Lime Cilantro Dressing

Super Simple Salad with Honey Lime Cilantro Dressing
[Serves 1]

Ingredients:
1-2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2-3 roasted red peppers, coarsely chopped
1/2 medium-sized cucumber, diced
1/2 mango, diced

Honey Lime Cilantro Dressing:
1 lime, zest and juice
1 tsp raw honey
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped
Salt, a pinch
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Starting with lettuce, layer all the salad ingredients in a mason jar
2. For the dressing, stir together lime zest lime juice, honey, cilantro leaves, salt and pepper
3. Slowly drizzle olive oil into mixture while whisking
4. Store dressing and salad separately in the refrigerator until ready to use

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 326, Total Fat: 5g, Sat. Fat 7g, Carbs: 67g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 37g, Protein: 9g, Sodium: 398mg

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These crêpes may not be the most glamorous looking things in the world, but they taste deeelicious. Perfect adaption of breakfast food as dinner. They’d even be wonderful for brunch!

Spinach, Chicken, & Mushroom Dinner Crêpes
[Serves 4]

Ingredients:
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup skim milk
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
10 ounces boneless chicken, chopped
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp vinegar
4 cups baby spinach
1 tsp dried basil
4 ounces light cream cheese
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Whisk together egg, egg whites, flour and milk
2. Chill batter in refrigerator for 1 hour, re-whisk
3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat
4. When hot, mist pan with cooking spray
5. Take 1/4 cup batter and swirl on pan to create crêpe
6. Cook until crêpe is set, about 1 minute
7. Run spatula around edges, and flip cooking for another 30 seconds
8. Repeat to make 8 crêpes
9. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
10. Mist a non-stick skillet with cooking spray
11. Add onions, and sauté for 5 minutes
12. Add chicken and mushrooms
13. Sear the chicken undisturbed for a few minutes to allow it to brown nicely
14. Once browned, stir mixture occasionally until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are tender
15. Add broth, vinegar, salt and pepper, and stir through
16. Add spinach and basil, turning leaves until they are wilted
17. Add cream cheese and mix until melted through
18. Spoon out equal portions of mixture onto the 8 crêpes
19. Roll them up and place them in a casserole dish
20. Bake for 15-20 minutes

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (for 2 crêpes)
Calories: 296, Total Fat: 7g, Sat. Fat 3.8g, Carbs: 27.8g, Fiber: 2.2g, Sugars: 5.5g, Protein: 29.3g, Sodium: 246mg, Cholesterol: 103mg

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First day of snow in Toronto and nothing is more comforting right now than a warm bowl of chili. A twist on the traditional, this one is a tomatoless version featuring chicken, navy beans and all sorts of goodness. Modern comfort food that comes in at a perfectly modest 298 calories!

White Chicken Chili
[Serves 4]

Ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
12  ounces chicken breast, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili powder (or more/less depending on your taste)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground oregano
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup evaporated 2% milk
1 can navy beans
2 green chilies, thinly sliced
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
4 tbsp yogurt (or sour cream)
1 tbsp fresh coriander

Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat
2. Add chicken breast, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until no longer pink
3. Add onion, celery and garlic, stirring and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until vegetables turn transparent
4. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander, and oregano, mixing well
5. Add flour and stir until chicken is well coated
6. Stir in broth and evaporated milk.
7. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes
8. Add navy beans, green chilies, salt, and pepper
9. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes
10. Pour into bowls, top with yogurt & fresh coriander

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 298, Total Fat: 3.5g, Sat. Fat 1g, Carbs: 34g, Fiber: 9.3g, Protein: 34g, Sodium: 546mg, Cholesterol: 64mg

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You know what I love about quiches? They’re perfectly acceptable to consume for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And so versatile! Quiche with toast? Yes please! Quiche with greens? Yes please! Quiche with soup? Yes please! Quiche with chocolate cake? YES PLEASE! Alright, we’ll forgo the last one since this is a Healthy, Delicious post. This is the perfect option when you just want to throw something together without bothering with a rigid recipe but still want to feel like you’re having a fancy meal. You can substitute any of the ingredients for pretty much anything you have laying around in the fridge.

Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach & Tomato Individual Quiches
[Makes 4 Individual Quiches]

Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups baby spinach
2 roasted red peppers, chopped
1 cup cooked barley (or brown rice)
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp chopped basil
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
2 small tomatoes, cut into thin slices and halved

Directions:
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat
3. Add garlic and onions and sauté until onions are caramelized
4. Remove onions and add spinach in the same pan, sautéing until wilted
5. Divide barley into 4 small tart pans and press down to make crust
6. Layer onions, spinach, and roasted red peppers on top of the barley crust
7. In a bowl whisk together eggs, milk, basil, salt and pepper
8. Pour egg mixture over veggie layers
9. Arrange tomato slices on top of the quiche mixture
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until egg is firm and the top is golden

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 205, Total Fat: 9g, Sat. Fat 2.4g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 2g, Protein: 10g, Sodium: 240mg, Cholesterol: 187mg

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As promised, here is the accompanying beverage to our pineapple featured entrée from yesterday. Get those taste buds whisked away to the tropics. All for under a 100 calories!

Guilt Free Pina Colada
(adapted from Clean Eating Magazine)
[Serves 2]

Ingredients:
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 tsp raw honey
1 cup crushed ice

Directions:
1. In a blender, mix all ingredients until well combined
2. Pour into glasses rimmed with lime juice and toasted coconut

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 98, Total Fat: 3g, Sat. Fat 3g, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 12g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 135mg, Cholesterol: 0mg

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As much as I hate to admit it, it’s officially cold. Before the snow starts making its way to Toronto, let’s give a final ode to Summer—and what’s more Summer than pineapples?! Mmmm…

Even though pineapple season peaks from March to July, they are available year-round, making this the perfect I-Miss-Summer recipe you can make in Fall. And you won’t believe how low-calorie this delicious main course is. A 1 1/4 cup serving for only 161 calories?! Puts those boiled carrots to shame. Serve with brown rice or barley and a Guilt Free Pina Colada for a nutritious and succulent weekday dinner under 350 calories!

All recipes in the Healthy Eats category feature complete nutritional information (see below).

Sweet & Sour Chicken
[Serves 6]

Ingredients:
20 ounces boneless chicken breast, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp raw honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (you can adjust the amount to taste)
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 small yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch cubes

Directions:
1. In a bowl, whisk together soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger and pepper flakes
2. Place chicken in soy sauce mixture, tossing gently. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
4. Add marinated chicken and sauté for 5-7 minutes or until chicken is cooked through
5. Add bell peppers and onion and cook until vegetables are slightly tender
6. Add pineapple and cook for 2 more minutes
7. Serve immediately

Enjoy!

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Calories: 161, Total Fat: 1.5g, Sat. Fat 0.25g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.25g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Carbs: 17g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 13g, Protein: 21g, Sodium: 404mg, Cholesterol: 48mg

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