Delicious, Fun & Healthy Food


Ginger & Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower & Sweet Potato Soup

Soup, Lunch, Dinner, VeganLina LiwagComment

It's been uber cold and snowing in Toronto lately.  This weather calls for soup.  I just love the mix of cauliflower + a sweet vegetable like squash and sweet potato with herbs and spices to help warm and nourish me.  My teenager enjoys these types of soups and depending if my day is busy or not, I would do the long or short versions of it.  This is the long one but cooking and prep time would be at least 30-40 mins. max.  Nothing too complicated especially to working moms and career women like me.

Fun facts about the ingredients:

Cauliflower - rich in Vitamins C, K and B6, folate and is linked to cancer-prevention
Sweet Potato - very rich in Vitamins A & C.  The bright colour is the presence of anthocyanin which is an antioxidant.  It has anti-inflammatory and blood regulating nutrients.  It's also believed to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
Ginger - anti-inflammatory and helps with nausea and absorption of nutrients in the body.  It has warming benefits and helps clear out throat and nose congestion.  
Turmeric - it has been getting a lot of attention lately.  It is anti-inflammatory and helps in the relief of rheumatoid arthritis and is also linked to cancer prevention and improved liver function. 
Cilantro - also known as coriander leaves.  It has cholesterol  and blood sugar lowering properties.  It has high phytonutrient content and is also beneficial in helping the body get rid of toxins. Detox supplements usually has cilantro as one of its ingredients. 


Ginger & Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower and Sweet Potato Soup

1 small cauliflower, cut into florets, approximately 3 cups
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes, approximately 3 cups
3 stalks celery, chopped
2" ginger, peeled and grated
1 small red onions, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp. coriander powder
2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cumin
Himalayan or sea salt to taste
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
5 - 6 cups water or veggie stock or a combination of both

On a large pot and on medium heat, saute the ginger and onions with the coconut oil for 2 minutes.  Add the coriander powder, turmeric and cumin and stir until fragrant.  Pour in the water or stock and boil. then add all the vegetables.  Let it boil then simmer until they are tender, approximately 10-12 minutes.   Make sure they do not overcook.  Add the salt and adjust the taste. You can add more grated ginger or a pinch of cayenne for more heat.  Blend in batches in an upright blender until smooth.  Reheat if necessary. Serve with a few drops of cilantro oil.

Cilantro Oil (Optional)
1/2 cups cilantro
1/4 cup hemp or flaxseed oil
Pinch of salt

Blend until smooth.

I also have older posts for soups here and here which you may like.  For a short version of this current post, steam all the veggies  for 8-10 minutes  and use the water to blend the soup.  Add salt, herbs and all spices and blend until smooth.  Adjust the taste and serve.


I had a quiet "me-day" today as my hubby was at work and my son left yesterday for "Winterblast 2015."  He joined other teenagers at our Church for a fun-filled weekend up North.  They get to learn from God's Word and at the same time strengthen  their relationship with each other - without social media and electronic gadgets -  amidst the  beauty of this Season.  It's also a snow day in the city, one that is serene since it did not have that blizzard-type and windy characteristic like other days.  

I hope February is great for you so far.  I'm also writing about my "Plant-based Desserts" course at Matthew Keeney and will be posted mid-week in time for Valentines Day.  It has some chocolates in it!



Balsamic Roasted Fall Vegetables & Sauteed Rapini

Lunch, Dinner, VeganLina LiwagComment

Making food in big batches is something that I do regularly,  being a busy working mom. In my family, we enjoy home cooked meals and we pack our lunches everyday too.  At this time of the year, we have all these very colourful local produce: squash, pumpkins, beets, cauliflower, carrots and one of our recent favourites, red onions.  I try to make them in many different ways and roasting is one of them.  I first made this dish on Thanksgiving  (check this photo) and it has then become a regular.  I just mix and match different veggies to make it interesting.  It also stores well, one of those leftovers that doesn't get boring after a few days.  And so I've decided to share this post, specially for all moms out there. 

The star vegetable here is delicata squash.  It's the type with those distinctive dark green stripes on a yellow or cream background like shown in the photo. It has a yellow-orange flesh that's sweet.  No peeling is necessary as the  peel is also edible so prep time is shorter than those other varieties.  It mixes so well with the other vegetables in this recipe as they all have different flavours that complement each other.

Balsamic Roasted Fall Vegetables & Sauteed Rapini

1  Small Delicata squash, approximately  6" long
1/2 of a medium size cauliflower
1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts
1 small red onion
2 -3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. sulphite-free balsamic vinegar 
Sea salt and ground pepper to taste
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried oregano 
2 Tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, chopped 
3 Tbsp. lemon 

Preheat the oven at 375F. Wash all the veggies. Cut the squash lengthwise (do not peel), remove seeds then cut them crosswise, about 1/4" thick slices. Cut the cauliflower into florets and the  Brussels sprouts into halves.  Peel and slice the onion into thin wedges.  Lightly smash the garlic, the peels can be left so they don't burn.  Prep the rest of the ingredients then transfer them into a large roasting pan.   Add the oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper leaving the lemon juice for later.  Toss then spread them out.  You may have to use another pan if necessary.  Roast for  approximately 30-35 minutes until the edges of the veggies have browned stirring once or twice.  Add the lemon juice when they're done.  Adjust the taste.  Maybe more balsamic vinegar or salt and pepper. 

Sauteed Rapini  or Other Greens

1 bundle rapini 
1-2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
2 Tbsp. lemon
Sea salt to taste 

Wash and cut the rapini into 3"long, removing the tough stems. On a pan at medium heat, cook the garlic in the olive oil for about two minutes or until lightly browned. Add the rapini, and cook just until wilted,  about three minutes.  Add the salt and lemon then remove from heat immediately.  Transfer  into a bowl. 

Here are different ways to serve the dish:
a) Place them on a bed of quinoa or your choice of healthy grains. 
2) The roasted veggies, minus the rapini is a great addition to a raw/warm salad with your favourite greens like arugula, baby kale or spinach.
3) As a great side dish. 
4) They're delicious and hearty on their own.  

Fall is such a beautiful season with so much  colours around!  There's this mini woods behind our home that I get to witness the changing leaves and foliage with so much awe and admiration to the Creator of all things.  And my heart is bursting with gratitude.  How lovely and magical is nature!  I've been so fascinated with trees lately that I've been taking photos of them - more than I used to.  Here are a few of them.  


These beautiful trees in my neighbourhood had their leaves with the most intense colours last week.  They're now slowly falling into the ground and soon they will be bare.  I hope you too are enjoying October!