Pretty good almond pâté

10 10 2011

This Thanks Giving I made three kinds of dips/spreads.  I’m showing you this one first because, although it’s good, it’s less good than the pumpkin hummus and EVERYTHING pales in comparison to mushroom pâté.  This pâté has some texture, it’s not smoother than smooth, and it works.  It’s a colourful spread, thanks to the carrots and the parsley and the flavours are fresh.

For those of you who are coming off a Thanks Giving weekend binge, this pâté is high in protein, mineral and vitamin rich, easy to digest and awesome fuel for people leading active, healthy lifestyles.

I’ll be enjoying the leftovers of this pâté in sandwiches and wraps!

Almond Pâté

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight in cold water

2 carrots peeled

1/2 cup celery

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/4 cup scallions (or red onions)

Lemon juice to taste (1 – 2 Tbsp)

Salt and pepper to taste

Get out your food processor.  Or do what I did and get out your neighbours food processor.  (Thanks Art!)

This is where is get really, really complicated…

Drain the almond and whizz them around in the food processor until they’re chopped into small pieces.  Add everything else and whizz it around until everything is combined.  Don’t forget to scrape down the sides a couple of times, ensuring that everything get turned into bits and gets blended together.

This tastes best fresh (FRESH!) but it will keep in the fridge for 3 – 4 days in a sealed container.


Pre-workout energy bars

12 06 2011

I signed up for “Thrive in 30” updates from Brendan Brazier, the guy who wrote The Thrive Diet and all the other books in the series. He’s also the guy behind the Vega products.

Ever try something and hate it, really hate it, the first few times you try it and then swear it off forever, vowing you’ll trash-talk that product until your lungs stop working? That’s how I felt about the Chocolate Whole Food Health Optimizer. I tried it a few years ago and, for the sophisticated palate, would have described it as vile or revolting. Flash forward to a month ago when I was at a Veggie Fair, featuring local and non-local vegan and vegetarian fare, which had a Vega booth. Despite my previous terrible or perhaps because of my vow to trash-talk their products until lungs stop working, I stopped to try a sample. I tried the Vanilla Chai Health Optimizer and the Berry Sport Performance Protein and I was shocked. I didn’t hate them. They weren’t vile. It was a miracle!

That day I bought some Berry Sport Performance Protein, not just because it wasn’t vile but because it’s free of common allergens (I already eat a lot of soy, I don’t need extra) and it’s 85% organic. The girl at the booth said it was 75% raw but I haven’t been able to verify that; nonetheless, I am still impressed with the improvements in the product. This is what lead me to sign up for “Thrive in 30” and learn more about this Brendan Brazier character and his plant-based (read: vegan) Thrive Diet.

Are you still with me? This is going somewhere, trust me.

One of my “Thrive in 30” updates is all about how to fuel your workouts. It couldn’t have come at a better time: that morning after my 6:30 am boot camp class, which normally energizes me for the day, I crashed around 10 am. I mean, I was a zombie, barely able to hold my head up. I rationalized that it’s because I had toast for breakfast instead of my usual oatmeal + chia + fruit + almond milk, but it could have been a number of factors. Anyway, Brendan convinced me to try something different.

I eat these pre-work out bars, which are tiny, before leaving the house for my early morning workout. Then I have my new fancy protein, get cleaned up, and have a regular breakfast. It works! I have energy that sustains me through the morning. Even better is that SO tried the pre-workout bars before an intense weight session and it fueled him too – and he’s very nearly twice my size.

So, for all those active people out there looking for something quick and light to grab before an intense 1-hour workout, I’m telling you these bars are the answer!

Energy Bar

8 honey dates
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp agave nectar
Zest of 1 lime

Prepare lay a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper on a plate or pan, set aside.

Purée all of the above ingredients together until smooth. Spread the date paste on the wax/parchment paper to a thickness of approximately 1/4″. It is helpful to shape the paste into either a circle or square, which will make it easier to create equal portions. Refrigerate the date paste for at least 30 minutes.

Once the bars have chilled and become firm – thank you coconut oil – cut into 8 equally sized squares. Wrap squares in wax/parchment paper, storing in the fridge until ready for consumption.