Tagged: healthy

18 Feb


Hemp n’ Dill Ranch Dressing | Oil & Nut-Free


When it’s cold and rainy outside, which these days it certainly is, I find it hard to eat a lot of salad. I often feel more like comforting foods like pasta or baked potatoes lathered in cashew sour cream…mmm… Right, okay, back to what I was saying :-) I just find that I don’t crave a nice big crispy cold salad the same way in the winter as I do in the summer — that’s where this delicious dressing and the whole bowl comes in.

Hemp & Dill Ranch Dressing

Here I tossed the salad we tossed some hearty lettuce (kale, radicchio, endive and green leaf) with some of the dressing. I then topped the salad with some steamed broccoli and a few pieces of roasted baby sweet potatoes and then I finished the bowl off with a few more teaspoons of the dressing as well as a bit of additional seasoning. Not only was this so very tasty, it also satisfied that comfort-y, yet healthy part my body was craving. I think it’s something about the combination of warm vegetables and the roasted sweet potatoes, along with the creamy dressing that really hits the spot. This was actually our Rouxbe staff lunch the other day, and I can honestly say that everyone really liked it—or so they said :-)

Hemp & Dill Ranch Dressing Ingredients

The ingredients are quite simple — and the dressing can whipped together in about 10 minutes, which is a bonus.

Hemp & Dill Ranch Dressing (or dip)


  • 3 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 3 green onions, finely minced
  • juice of 2 lemons (approx. 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup raw hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 to 2 tbsp Dijon mustard*
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp agave (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup water (or non-dairy milk)**
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


To make the dressing, place the hemp seeds, lemon juice, Dijon, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast, Worchestershire, agave, a good pinch of salt and pepper and a 1/2 cup of water (or non-dairy milk) into a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Check the consistency, adding more water, a bit at a time, as needed.

Once done, pour the dressing into a bowl and add the green onions, fresh dill and stir to combine.

For a more detailed recipe with a few extra notes etc. here is the link to the recipe on Rouxbe.

Hope you enjoy it. If you make it, please feel free to add your feedback to the comments section of the recipe.

Ciao for now,


29 Nov

1 Comment

Tuna-Less Tuna Salad


This delicious “tuna” salad contains no tuna, egg or dairy. It is made with chickpeas, red onion, celery, pickles and nori seaweed (for that “from the sea” taste). The flavors in this salad are united by vegan mayonnaise, an emulsion that incorporates a protein to become stable. (e.g., Soy or pea protein are commonly used.)

This completely vegan mixture may not be full of fish, but it sure is full of flavor. Click on the image below to view the full recipe.

Have a Sen-sea-tional Day!

The Rouxbe Online Cooking School Team

15 Nov


The Seedy Side of Life


By Barb Thomas, RHN, Rouxbe Instructor

Here are three questions I get asked all the time: Why do my pumpkin seeds taste fishy? What the heck is chia? And, can I legally eat hemp? These three little questions relate to each other because they all have to do with seeds—one of my favorite foods that adds a huge punch of nutrition to your day! Your kids can take them to nut-free schools, your belly will gladly welcome the extra fiber and your brain will love their amazing neuron nurturing properties. So, let’s answer the three common questions and set the record straight.

Pumpkin Seeds

First of all, here’s why your pumpkin seeds may taste like bad fish: seeds contain very fragile oils that can go rancid quite quickly. It is always best to store your seedy ingredients in the fridge and away from heat and light. With some seeds, the flavor changes considerably when they are rotten. Pumpkin seeds, for instance, will certainly tell you if they have gone bad; they will basically taste like rotten fish! When they are fresh, however, pumpkin seeds have a clean, light taste. These seeds should be green in color and bought from a market that refrigerates them. Pumpkin seeds are full of wound healing, infection fighting zinc, which can be hard to get enough of. Toss your pumpkin seeds on salads, on porridges, in a trail mix or just eat them as a snack straight from the fridge. About a quarter of a cup should give you enough zinc for the day, as well as provide other great nutrients, such as protein for your muscles, manganese for your joints and iron for your blood.

Chia Seeds

Next question: What the heck is chia? Is it a novelty toy from the ‘70s? Something that sprouts green grassy hair? Sure, it was both of these things back in the day, but now, companies have clued into the fact that this little seed packs an enormous punch of energy and is a great source of Omega 3 fatty acids. The chia seed has an outer coating that, when soaked, becomes a mucilage. This means that the seed gets soft, and kind of gelatinous when exposed to liquid. This makes it great for pre-preparing a soaked porridge that you can take on the go. Just pour about a half cup of chia into a container, add your favorite milk product (I like coconut or almond), a bit of raw honey or real maple syrup and some of your favorite raw nuts, such as cashews and almonds.

Seal the container, shake and wait. After about twenty minutes, you will have a great, raw porridge that can go with you on your busy day. It is full of fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and those amazing, anti-inflammatory Omega 3 fats that will sustain you for hours. Chia seeds are also very high in antioxidants, so their fragile oils are protected and won’t spoil as easily as in other seeds, such as flaxseeds. The Incas used to reserve chia for their warriors; that goes to show how much energy you can get from these little seeds. Choose either the white or the black variety, as there is minimal nutritional difference.

 Hemp Seeds

And finally, yes, you can legally eat hemp seeds. They are delicious, mildly nutty in flavor and contain about 11 grams of muscle building protein in a quarter cup! They also contain a wonderful balance of the very important essential fatty acids that we can never seem to get enough of in our diet. These fatty acids help reduce inflammation, protect our brains and are a primary component of a healthy immune system. Hemp seeds are full of fiber, too, so eat ‘em up and make your whole body happy. Sprinkle a couple of tablespoons on Greek yogurt or oatmeal, add them to your morning smoothie or throw them on top of salads. They add a lovely crunch, texture and earthiness to food.

So, the next time you are at a reputable grocer’s that properly takes care of foods containing fragile oils, grab some seeds from the cooler and give them a try. Just make sure to check your teeth for strays before you smile!

Filed Under: Miscellaneous

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06 Sep


The Perfect Breakfast, In More Wheys Than One!


Hi there, it’s Christina from Rouxbe. I just wanted to share my little breakfast secret with all of you and help make your morning routine a little easier. I don’t know about you, but I wake up in the morning with little time for snoozing. I must admit, I am a little slow in the morning and tend to get side tracked easily. Apparently, I think cleaning my fridge before I go to work or playing with my cat is necessary. I don’t give myself very much time for a good wholesome breakfast.

I am not very hungry in the morning, but I realized that I need a substantial amount of protein to satisfy my belly, to keep my blood sugar balanced and keep my energy up, until I have my morning snack. I was trying to figure out what I could prepare the night before and have my breakfast take no more than 2 minutes to make in the morning so that I could have time to play with my cat or clean my fridge. Smoothie was my answer!

Smoothies are what you make them. In other words, they can be as healthy and satisfying to the body as you make them to be. They are a great start or addition to a whole foods lifestyle!

Nutrient dense liquid drinks give your digestive tract a little break, due to the fact that everything is broken down into little pieces. This way your body does not use up its energy to break down big particles of food.
It is important to nourish your body with liquid food such as soups, pureed vegetables or smoothies. They can give us more energy, contribute to better bowel function and allow our body to use energy to heal and reduce inflammation.

This smoothie recipe provides your body with:

Raw enzymes (Speed up chemical reactions in the body, which in turns allows the body to function more efficiently) from the raw fruit.
Potassium (Regulates heartbeat) in the banana.
Antioxidants (Fight free radical damage) from the blueberries.
Calcium (Strong bones) from the almond milk
Electrolytes (Essential for normal cell and organ function in the body) from the coconut water.
Raw honey (Immune supportive and contains raw enzymes for proper digestive health)
Protein (Builds muscle and tissue, provides energy) from the protein powder.

GOOD Fat (Provides energy, carries fat soluble vitamins throughout the body and every cell is coated in fat) from the coconut oil.
Pure vanilla extract is the flavor of love!

1/2 fresh or frozen banana
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup fresh or frozen mango
1/2 cup coconut water
1 tablespoon raw local honey
3/4 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1 scoop protein powder (I use a whey isolate protein powder that has about 18-20g per scoop. If the scoop has 40g of protein, use half a scoop for one smoothie)
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Buy a whole bunch of blueberries, mangoes and bananas and portion 1/2 cup of blueberries 1/4 cup of mangoes and 1/2 a banana into small re-sealable freezer bags. Done, frozen and ready to go in the morning!
In a glass jar with a hand blender or in a regular blender, add all of your ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Note: I like my smoothie really cold so sometimes I add 3 ice cubes after I have blended everything together.

Happy Smoothie Making!

Christina Acevedo, R.H.N, Red Seal Chef



05 May


Arrabbiatta Pasta – wHy I haVe EaTen thiS for 3 MoNths StrAight!


This will sound crazy, but this pasta is so good that I have “lit-erally” (as it is said by Rob Lowe, in Parks and Recreation, for those of you that watch it) eaten this pasta every single Saturday for the past 3 months.

proof that the simplest things in life are often the best

Okay, it’s not just because it’s that good – which it is – it’s because I have been training for a marathon since January. In our training, we are encouraged to find a meal that works for us and practice eating it before our long Sunday runs. Once you find what works for you, you sort of feel compelled to stick to it because you can’t make too many chances when you are out there running for 3-4 hours.

Arrabbiata sauce, which is Italian for angry, is a sauce made with garlic, tomatoes, red chili flakes and olive oil.

chilies, onions and garlic are slowly cooked to bring out all of their goodness

That flavor base is then deglazed with white wine and then rich tomato passatta is added. The final sauce is fiery red in both color and flavor. Don’t be afraid though – it’s not too hot and you can totally control the amount of chilies you add anyway.

fiery red and full of flavor

This sauce goes well with any type of pasta. It also happens to pair well with many other dishes. For instance, Chicken Parmigiana and this sauce would totally be friends :-)

This afternoon (our big carb loading meal) is the last time I will be enjoying this pasta dish for awhile because tomorrow (Sunday May 6th) is race day! Actually depending on when you receive this post, I be currently running as you read this. Wish me luck!

Hope you all enjoy this dish as much as I have.

Ciao for now,