Marni Wasserman is a green chef - who is passionate about whole, organic and local foods. She teaches plant based cooking classes in Toronto and wants everyday eating for everyone - to be simple and delicious!
During the holidays, especially when it is cold outside, all I want to do is stay in, get cozy and allow my sweet tooth monster to take over. I don’t let it get out of hand though, I make sure I utilize my best and most nutritious resources to create delectable treats that I can indulge in without guilt.
I am usually craving something creamy, soft and decadent. For me, the perfect antidote to this yearning is a rich chocolate pudding. I know there are many variations of chocolate puddings, but this is one of my favourites!
Why you ask, because it is loaded with avocado. Which not only adds a healthy dose of essential fats in the recipe, but it creams up the pudding, perfectly. This makes me feel better about enjoying it in more ways then one. First I can digest it fairly easily and secondly, I know that I am consuming the healthiest version of chocolate puddings that exists!
Because avocados are so rich and nutrient dense, I am forced to only indulge in a “reasonable” amount of pudding at a time. I only need a little bit and it goes such a long way, bite by bite – I enjoy every second of this pudding. It’s creamy velvety texture melts in my mouth and coats me with joy and pleasure.
The newest addition to my pantry is my trio of NUDE BEE HONEY’s. This line came out in Toronto by two local boys. I love it. What is sexier then two men starting a honey line?
This brand in particular has some fine packaging, with a slick black label. It is a long tall jar, which is thin and elegant. I would take this honey out for a taste any day of the week. I would even love to just spread it, pour it and blend it into anything I create. It would make for a sweet addition that is smooth balanced and rich. That’s my kind of honey!
I should also mention that is honey, is untouched, raw in it’s own virgin state. What can be better than that. It hasn’t lost anything; it’s got everything it needs to give me what I need. Nutrients, enzymes, minerals and an unparalleled flavour.
It is also organic, coming from the purest of sources, no chemicals or strong or smelly aftertastes. It was created to be enjoyed… from bottom to top.
Now don’t get too picky, there are three fine honey’s to choose from:
Star Thistle – Works well with all natural of teas and can dress or top any dessert. This superstar possesses after notes of vanilla and lemon.
Honey Dew – This is a darker richer honey, which means it contains more vitamins and minerals. It is rich and fragrant so get your hands on some and add it to some fruit for a warming compote or natural jam.
Wild – The most versatile of the bunch, blending different local nectar’s. This honey goes both ways, and lends itself well to both raw and cooked recipes.
One of my favourite warming drinks this time of year is a Masala Chai Tea Latte. Not just any chai latte but my own home brew. Since I am not a fan of tea bags – as staples and strings make things so complicated and messy, and I can’t tolerate black tea (the caffeine gets to me) –this leaves me to create my own original herbal blend.
I’d like to consider myself an alchemist at times like these, playing in my kitchen coming up with different concoctions that I can infuse in some hot water and know it will always taste great! This holds truth especially when it comes to my favourite Chai blend! For starters, I use Nourish Tea’s Rooibos instead of black ceylon tea which is commonly used in most chai tea’s. Red tea (rooibos) is from Africa – it is super high in antioxidants and caffeine free! I then put in delicious warming spices that make up the taste that is uniquely chai (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, anise peppercorns, fennel…).
Making this brew is actually really simple, especially if you have all of these spices on hand – which I typically do. Not only do I love making my own Indian spiced recipes with a selection of these spices– but they are also useful for everyday nourishment and balance. They are warming, sweet, and aid with digestion. To make the tea complete I finish it off by pouring in a non-dairy based milk, either rice or almond milk with a touch of sweetness from either honey, coconut nectar or maple syrup.
I love to eat my smoothies with a spoon. I make them thick enough to pour into bowl so that I can top them with granola. To me this is heaven, the best way to have a bowl of granola and a smoothie all in one.
You may think that there is no real trick to making a smoothie that tastes like pudding. Well I beg to differ. To make a REALLY smooth and consistent smoothie, it takes some practice or just knowing what to pair together. You have to use the right ingredients in perfect amounts – to get that creamy consistency, texture and flavour. You can use more or less frozen fruit to make it thicker or less thick. Oh and of course you need a good blender, that can make or break the deal alone!
I have definitely made and had bad smoothies in the past. There is nothing worse than a watered down smoothie or one that just doesn’t have that mouth feel that you crave even when you’ve finished your smoothie. That’s what happens to me, I always want more even when it’s all gone. I truly can’t get enough of smoothies! They give me energy, fill me up and make me so happy! I get excited every time I make a new one, honest! Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Hello G World. I know you are wondering, just who the “kale” is this new GreenChef, right? Well if your not, you should be. Really you should be, and here is why, because I am not just your average, GreenChef, oh no, I am your average Nutritionist, Foodie, Yoga loving, Canadian GreenChef. See, completely different. But of course, the why’s dont stop there, no not even close. I will start by telling you, I am honestly living my passion. Yes my passion, called food. I am surrounded by this most precious element of life and I love it.
I grew up with a keen interest for anything that was related to “healthy” food. Whatever that meant – some of this included low fat yogurt, boxed granola and snack-well cookies but hey, at least I was trying!
This was the start of my path. I then ventured into the world of fitness and nutrition and very quickly became fascinated with the impact that food had on the body. I loved how what you ate affected everything you did, how you felt and how you looked. I wanted to help people make choices around food that would contribute to how they looked and felt everyday. So I went to school and became a certified nutritionist and started to do exactly that – and this made me very happy at the time – but it wasn’t enough.
I have never been one for sushi. I mean the l kind with white rice and raw fish. I won’t go into all the reasons why. To me, a real nori roll is one that is filled with veggies, kept raw and full of colour. It is one of my favourite things to eat. It is so simple to prepare and makes an amazing snack, lunch or dinner. I don’t know about you, but I like things full – by that I mean complete. I love my food bursting with flavour, colour and texture and there has to be more than one ingredient in my rolls – no matter what. How boring is “kappa maki” – just cucumber all alone in that roll. So sad. There are an abundance of other amazing veggies that would give anything to be inside a luscious roll of nori goodness.
So the key to raw nori making is to use raw nori sheets. It doesn’t work if you buy the toasted kind. So make sure to buy it raw. Then for the filling, you can go crazy with anything from sprouted quinoa, to chopped jicama (an incredible root veggie from Mexico), to shredded cauliflower. But I went on a totally new tangent. I soaked and sprouted some sunflower seeds and almonds– which are loaded with healthy fats and nutty texture. Then I blended them into my version of a mock tuna salad. I threw in some fresh herbs from my garden like dill, oregano and sage, added some dulse (a sea veggie – to give it that true vegan “sea” taste) and other condiments to just make it burst with unique flavour.
Once you spread that on your raw nori sheet, you are good to go and add loads of veggies. I would start with carrots, beets, cucumber, spinach, mango sprouts, avocado. This is a pretty good start and will fill your rolls rather nicely. I promise you will be pleasantly surprised how delicious and filling these are. Take them to your next party or just enjoy them on your own – they don’t even need to be dipped! Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos