Last week I started a 6 week nutrition and yoga workshop that would be taking up my Tuesday evenings for the next little while. This class is pretty cool because the first hour is led by a holistic nutritionist while the remaining hour and a half is led by a yoga instructor. I'm trying to do this thing I see more and more people do the older I get - this thing called "being healthy".  I figured this course was the perfect way to introduce me to this concept, since it definitely wasn't a lifestyle I was use to practicing!

The following is what I made for dinner tonight for Dan and I - since if I'm on a 'be healthy' kick you KNOW I'll be dragging him down with me!

DETOX SALAD - this is what the nutritionist calls this salad that she has in her cookbook. I'm not sure why it's called 'detox' rather than 'chickpea salad' but suffice it to say, I was skeptical about how tasty it would be. The following is the recipe for the salad + additions I've made because I like to go by the guiding rule that things are better when they're more colourful (haha note:  this is my food philosophy as well as my style philosophy!)

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced (I actually didn't have this so I omitted it)

  • 5 stalks celery, cut in bite sized pieces

  • 1 sweet red pepper, cut in bite sized pieces

  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped

  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cups of EVOO

  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt

  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (I used red pepper flakes

PLUS these were the additions I also included to jazz it up:

  • 1 quarter of a cucumber, chopped

  • Added half a chopped yellow pepper

  • Some chopped carrots

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and toss well. Let sit for an hour so the flavours can mingle!

This is what the salad looks like:

Chickpea salad

Chickpea salad

VERDICT: Surprisingly TASTY! I would totally make this salad again. The best thing about this is that you can make a big batch of it at the beginning of the week and the salad is good for several days.

On to the star of the evening: LASAGNA

Lasagna is one of my most favourite things to eat - so I've spent years trying to hone this recipe. Inspired by my course I'm taking, I decided to do what I normally do but KICK UP the fruits and veggies in this lasagna. It was actually pretty easy since I also used whatever leftovers I could from the detox salad and threw it in the sauce.

The following are the ingredients in this lasagna:

  • Ground Italian sausage

  • Carrots

  • Celery

  • Leeks

  • Mushrooms

  • Onions

  • Red & yellow pepper

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • LOTS of minced garlic

  • Spinach

  • 1 jar organic tomato sauce

  • 2 cinnamon sticks

  • 2 sprigs of rosemary

  • 1/2 tsp of thyme

  • Salt & pepper to taste

  • Lasagna noodles (I like using gluten free ones)

  • Whatever cheese you like - I used shaved Parmesan and Applewood because that was what was in my fridge

I just cooked the Italian sausage first, and then when it was 70% cooked - I threw in the carrots, celery, leeks, onions, mushrooms, R&Y pepper and cherry tomatoes.

There's no need to add oil to cooking all of this since the sausage is pretty fatty, so everything gets coated and cooked pretty easily.  I let it all cook for about 20 or so minutes, adding in lots of minced garlic.

Then I poured 1 jar of the organic tomato sauce and then tossed in the cinnamon sticks, rosemary and some sprinkles of thyme. I let that simmer for a good 30 minutes giving it a good stir here and there. At the very end I tossed in some spinach and continued to let the sauce cook for another 10 minutes.  Then just taste and season with salt and pepper based on your own preference.

Here's what the sauce looked like while it was simmering:



Once the sauce is ready, just layer the lasagna noodles with the sauce and sprinkle in some cheese in between layers. VOILA! Bake in the oven for 375 degrees for 30 minutes.



LASAGNA VERDICT: "This is the best thing I think you've ever made me so far" - Dan

Plated lasagna

Plated lasagna

Salad + Lasagna

Salad + Lasagna

foodKaty Hung