2015 Advent Calendar – Day 14

More than meets the eye…
Good Morning,
from Coach Hester
             I am so excited to be part of the Food-Wise team and you can find me on Wednesdays at our Montreal Road clinic and Thursdays at our Orleans clinic. I am delighted to say hello this lovely December Monday morning as we explore “more than meets the eye”.
You can’t make me!
            Now I am truly blessed (or some might say cursed) with a lifelong love of vegetables. Don’t get me wrong…I also love things that require more portion control…but when push comes to shove and it’s time to focus on healthy eating, it is not a chore for me to ramp up the veggies.  My husband John, on the other hand, was traumatized by vegetables as a child.  The closest he wanted to get to a vegetable when I met him was carrot cake…LOL.
One specific example of a traumatic vegetable for him is Brussels sprouts.  It seems his mom would buy them frozen and then cook them ahead of time and then reheat them.  Suffice to say, the end result would send anyone screaming from the table.   I have tried over the past 25 years to suggest them on occasion only to be met with a stare that suggests I may be on the verge of madness. So when John decided to get back on Phase 1 a while ago, as one of the many strategies to get four cups of select veggies into him, I started slicing up raw Brussels sprouts into our multi-veggie salads and so far he is none the wiser. He actually loves those salads composed of everything but lettuce.
This summer we were at a friend’s place and he had bought the Brussels sprouts in their natural state still on the stalk.  He lightly oiled them and then roasted them on the barbecue so they were slightly charred. They were so delicious my husband even tried them and had more than one!! Since barbecue season is over (or is it?) and it’s hard to find Brussels sprouts on the stalk at this time of year, you might want to try these recipes for a similar experience.  I tried the chips and loved them!!
Oh no, not that…!
                   Another vegetable that took some time to gain acceptance in my household is Kale. Most of you know that kale is a “superfood” that is delicious in a stir fry or a salad. The great thing about a kale salad is that you are supposed to put on the dressing ahead of time as it softens the kale and makes it tastier.  When you try that with lettuce you just end up with a soggy mess. I wouldn’t think of dressing my lettuce at 8am for a noon lunch but with kale it makes it more tender and the result is a tastier salad.

The challenge started when I decided to make kale chips at home when I was on phase 1 of the IP protocol. The first reaction from my young son was, “what stinks?”and when I suggested he try them, he turned up his nose.  My husband wasn’t far behind.  I just kept on making them for myself because I find them delicious (possibly even borderline addictive)…and these days I have to keep an eye on the guys so they don’t eat all of “my” kale chips.

Kale Chips – I alter this recipe   slightly by setting the oven at 300F and baking for 19-20 minutes. It is also important to massage the oil into the kale leaves for maximum coverage.
I like to use different sea salts including a truffle salt I bought at the Unrefined Olive in the Glebe. They have a great selection of high quality flavoured olive oils and flavoured sea salts.  I also like to sprinkle with Cayenne pepper if I’m feeling a little spicy!!

                A final way to get some extra veggies in your diet is to throw in a cup of spinach with your morning IP drink or any drink of the day.  For some reason spinach does very little to affect the flavour of a drink (my favourite is chocolate or wild berry yogurt) although it does affect the colour of drinks like Wildberry. It’s a great way to get in a cup of veggies in a painless way if you are someone who has challenges getting through 2 full cups twice a day.  You can spread it out a little…just make sure to get ‘er done every day!!! (p.s. Kale doesn’t have the same disappearing properties so don’t try it in drinks…I did and wasn’t loving the result.)

Have a fabulous day Food-Wise and otherwise. I will be back next week to continue our tour of the wonderful world of vegetables where you can always discover more than meets the eye!!

Coach Hester  xo

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