Tag Archives: gluten-free

Detox Diet Recipe: Vegan Dandelion Risotto

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Try this delicious gluten free vegan detox recipe to incorporate fresh wild greens to your diet. Wild spring greens like dandelions or nettle are boasting with nutrients and detoxification support compounds.  They protect your liver and help your body to flush out the toxins.  Spring is the best time to incorporate it into your diet, as they are bright green and haven’t fully developed their bitterness.

Ingredients – for 2 servings

  • 2 cups fresh dandelion greens
  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 2 to 4 cups vegetable stock divided, preferably homemade
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Dayia cheese-style shreds (optional)


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add washed dandelion greens. Let boil for about 3 to 4 minutes. Quickly remove the greens from water and immediately place them in a big bowl of ice water. Let them cool and drain in a colander. Squeeze all excess water from the blanched greens with a cloth or a tea towel. Finely chop dandelion and remove any tough stems.

Gently heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add shallot, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, while stirring.  Add the garlic and the rice and stir well for a minute until the rice is well coated in olive oil. Add 1 cup of the vegetable stock into the rice and increase heat. When the rice starts boiling, turn down the heat to medium and stir often, at least every minute or so, until the rice absorbs the stock. Repeat with a second cup of stock.

When the second cup is absorbed, add the greens and the third cup of stock. Stir well to combine. Keep stirring constantly to develop the creaminess in the risotto and to distribute the greens evenly. Let the stock absorb well. Adjust the stock quantity, or add a bit of heated water to loosen up the risotto a bit. The texture should be smooth, not firm. You might need to add a bit more of liquid if you use Daiya shreds.

Add the Daiya cheese. Stir everything well and let the Dayia melt in the risotto for about 2 or 3 minutes, stirring often. Serve immediately.

What eating clean means

The organic food movement is gaining popularity and with good reasons. However, big companies and marketers all want to jump in, and we start to see some organic foods aberrations.  Organic white flour, organic cane sugar and organic processed mac’n cheese in a box or cookies offer little more nutritional value than their mainstream counterparts.  Processed foods, organic or not, isn’t a healthy way to fuel your body.

What you should look for is what we call “clean food”.  But what does it means? Essentially, it’s going back to what food was like about 100 years ago, when fruits and vegetables were grown on their own backyards before monster farms, pesticides and grain-fed meats.  It’s food that is as close to nature as it can be.

How to eat clean 

  • Choose foods that are free of additives, preservatives, colorings, artificial ingredients or other engineered ingredients.
  • Opt for organic foods that are in season and locally grown.
  • If you must eat meat or animal products, at least choose products that come from animals that roam in pastures and eat grass.
  • Choose single-ingredient, unprocessed foods over their processed counterparts. As example, you’re better eating organic oat groats than oat puffed cereals made with cane juice, even if it’s organic.
  • Prefer foods that are gluten-free and free of common allergens such as corn and soy.  Why? Because those crops are commonly genetically modified, and even the organic ones have doubled their chromosomes compared to what they were back then.

Is your diet clean?

Italian Style Vegan GF Quinoa Cakes

Quinoa is a wonderful healthy grain. Like other whole grains, quinoa is rich in fiber and lower on the glycemic index. This supplies your body with a steady stream of energy instead of short-term peak. Quinoa also promotes an alkaline body and is one of the few plant-based foods that contain complete protein. Compounds found in quinoa can even help several health conditions including migraines, cardiovascular problems, premature ageing, childhood asthma, gallstones and even breast cancer.

The following recipe is not only very healthy and delicious; it’s also a great meal suitable for a liver cleansing diet and an alkaline diet.  This fiber-rich dish is also a good way to detox naturally with whole foods.

Italian Style Quinoa Cakes


  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp of ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp of hot water)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 2 green onions sliced thinly
  • 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Daiya mozzarella Cheese-Style Shreds
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper and 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp olive oil, for cooking


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Form compact cakes with about 1/2 cup of the mix per cake. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil. Place quinoa cakes in the pan and cook about 4-5 minutes per side, until golden brown. Serve over a bed of salad.



6 vegan and gluten free chilled soup recipes

Chilled soups are wonderful to beat the heat this summer. It’s also one of the best ways to add more detox foods in your diet. Chilled soups are full of healthy raw vegetables, are easy to prepare and offers a refreshing change for summer lunches. Rich in antioxidants and in enzymes, those delicious soups will help your body to detox naturally.  Click on every pages above or below to see all the different recipes.

Tomato-Cucumber Soup With Basil

Adapted from Martha Rose Shulman


  • 4 Lebanese cucumbers, coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves, halved, green germs removed
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • silvered fresh basil leaves


Working in two batches, blend all the ingredients except the basil leaves in a blender for two minutes or longer until smooth and frothy. Transfer to a bowl or container and chill for at least two hours before eating. Garnish each bowl or glass with silvered basil leaves.

Is gluten bad for you?

Gluten free foods and diets took new proportions in the recent years.  It’s almost unbelievable than just a few years ago, no one knew what gluten is, let alone considering avoiding it. But what’s all the hype about gluten-free diets? Are they really the golden promises they are advertised for?

What is gluten?

Gluten is a protein found in some grains, including wheat, barley and rye. It’s what makes the dough stick together and give baked goods their unique texture.  Basically, it’s what gives the bread it’s elasticity, allowing the dough to hold its shape, raise and create the structure in which air bubbles are trapped to form the bread texture we love so much.

In the beginning, gluten free diets have been designed for people suffering from celiac disease. Thought at first to be very rare, experts now came to the conclusion that celiac disease could affect about 1% of the American population.  Celiac disease is a genuine health problem where the slightest amount of gluten triggers an immune reaction that ends-up damaging the gut mucosa, leading to more problems.  What you have to understand is that the gut mucosa normally acts as a filter, letting the good stuff in and the bad stuff out.  When the gut mucosa is attacked, the filter can let pass food bits, bacteria and other foreign substances into the bloodstream. This can cause a lot of long-term damage, from inability to absorb nutrients to various autoimmune diseases. This is also one of the best ways to suffer from toxic overload.

However, you could benefit from going gluten-free even if you’re not diagnosed with the celiac disease.  Experts now acknowledge that around 20 millions Americans suffer from a nonceliac gluten sensitivity.  This gluten sensitivity can show similar symptoms than classic celiac disease, but without damaging the gut mucosa the way celiac disease do.  People suffering from gluten sensitivity usually suffer from digestive stress such as cramps, diarrhea, constipation and bloating.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity

  • Chronic diarrhea, constipation, or an alternation of the two
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Infertility
  • Hidden allergy symptoms such as edema, headaches or joint pain

If you suspect a gluten sensitivity, the first thing to do is to talk about it with a health professional. Don’t give-up gluten before having been screened for celiac disease though, as the results might come out falsely negative.  You must know that a gluten-free diet can be quite difficult to follow.  It’s much more than just giving up bread and pasta.  Wheat products are almost everywhere in packaged foods, used as a thickener in soups, sauces and dressings, to add flavor in spices mixes (malt products), and is used in other foods like soy sauce and beer.  Also, many ready-made gluten-free food alternatives compensate the lack of texture with fat and sugar.  If you must follow a gluten-free diet, check your vitamin B, iron and fiber levels carefully. It’s always best to focus on fresh whole foods instead of packaged ones.

That being said, many people experience tremendous health benefits from a gluten free diet.  Aside from the relief of the gluten-sensitivity symptoms, going gluten-free usually prevent you from eating too many processed foods while replacing wheat products by healthier whole grains, legumes and vegetables.

A gluten free, vegan and alkaline detox breakfast

Quinoa is a wonderful healthy grain. Well, technically it’s actually closer to leafy greens such as chard and spinach, but it cooks and feels like a grain. Quinoa is low in carbs and promotes an alkaline body.  It contains complete protein, and is rich in essential vitamins and minerals.  Compounds found in quinoa can even help several health conditions including migraines, cardiovascular problems, premature ageing, childhood asthma, gallstones and even breast cancer.  In fact, a study reported to the American institute for Cancer Research stated that quinoa could promote health as equally, or even better than fruits and vegetables. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should quit eating fruits and veggies, but rather emphasize the benefits of adding this healthy little “grain” to your diet.

The following recipe is not only very healthy and delicious; it’s also a great breakfast suitable for a liver cleansing diet and an alkaline diet.  There’s even an option to make it raw!  This fiber-rich breakfast is also a good way to detox naturally with whole foods.


  • 1/2 cup of quinoa
  • 1 fresh apple
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon, with a few drops of the juice
  • 1/4 cup raisins, soaked overnight
  • Cinnamon


Rinse quinoa under running water and cook according to package instructions. While the quinoa cooks, grate the apple and the lemon zest. Add to the quinoa pot along with the lemon juice, raisins and cinnamon, and let sit a bit in the pot before serving so everything gets warm. Serve in a bowl and decorate with apple slices and fresh mint.

You could also try this recipe with sprouted quinoa and eat raw (jut mix every ingredient and eat as is) for an even more nutritious meal.

The healthiest protein

Protein, protein, protein! It’s the first thing you hear when you start a plant-based lifestyle. Suddenly, all you hear is “but where do you get your proteins?” And while we might not need as much protein as we been taught (see post protein brainwash), protein still provides the building blocks for our cells. Also, when our protein intake remains very low, there are more chances to fill the gap with carbs, which can have a big impact on our blood sugar. Frequent and repeated insulin peaks in our blood sugar not only makes us prone to diabetes, it also promotes heart diseases by converting some fats in cardiovascular damaging substances.

The interesting link between protein and heart diseases protection is that it’s only true for plant-based protein sources. In fact, it’s now well known that meat; even if it’s high in protein, do exactly the opposite. So what’s the best vegan protein source? It’s hemp, of course!

Hemp protein health benefits

Hemp protein supplies enough of each of the 9 essential amino acids our body requires. Rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and chlorophyll, hemp is a great detox food to add to your liver cleansing diet. It’s also completely gluten-free and dairy free, which makes it a great choice for people with food intolerances.

What makes hemp superior to other plant-based protein sources?

On top of being a complete and balanced source of protein, hemp is made of two third of edestin, a substance that only hemp contains. Edestin is a protein that is very similar to the ones found in the human body, which makes is very easy to digest and assimilate. It’s also a wonderful compound to repair DNA.

Hemp and healthy fats
Another thing that makes hemp a superior protein source is its unique fat composition. Hemp has the optimum three-to-one ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3 established by the World Health Organization. But hemp contains also one of the rare healthy fat sources known as gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). This unique kind of fat is known to help fighting against many chronic diseases.

Hemp comes in various forms. From the hulled seed to oil and concentrated protein powder, there’s many ways to include it to our diet. You can sprinkle some hemp seeds on virtually anything, from cereals to salads and soups. You can use hemp oil in your salad dressings and add hemp protein to healthy shakes and smoothies.

Do you like hemp seeds and proteins? Do you eat some often? What’s your favorite way to add some to your diet?

Need to stock on hemp products?

Are Grains Toxic?

Grains have been part of human diet since the event of agriculture. What would be our diet like without breads, pastas, and rice or baked goods?  And for all vegetarians and vegans out there, grains often takes a more important role by bringing a big chunk of the daily essential nutrients. But while the nutritionists are touting the health benefits of whole grains, there are still some insidious downsides that we might want to look at.

The potential problems of grains

Grains can be very healthy, when they are whole, unprocessed, and prepared in a good way. They are high in fiber, and contain many important essential nutrients like vitamins from the B group.  They are cheap, widely accessible, and they contribute to lower LDL cholesterol levels.  However, grains have a high glycemic load, they contain substances that are acting as anti-nutrients, and most of them are highly allergenic.  They are linked to many health problems like obesity, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, Cohn’s disease, leaky gut syndrome, and even malnutrition.  The way grains are stored can also promote the growth of specific toxins that can be harsh on the liver.

The main culprits:

Phytic Acid

This substance is found in grains but it’s also the on responsible for the digestive problems that gave beans and legumes their bad reputation.  The major downside of phytic acid, also called phytase, is not its gas promoting action though.  The biggest problem is that it combines with some nutrients in the gut, which compromise their absorption by the body.  The more you eat phytic acid rich foods, the more you have to monitor your minerals intake such as calcium, magnesium, zinc and manganese. Phytic acid can resist to cooking, but here’s the good news: there’s an easy way to lower the impact of phytase. Sprouting or soaking grains and legumes for at least 24 hours, can drastically reduce the amount of phytic acid you ingest. This is exactly why soaking beans prior to cooking is a well-known way to improve their digestibility.


Lectins are a substance that acts as glue inside our body. Lectins are found almost everywhere in nature. But the specific lectins found in grains and legumes are the most likely to cause problems in humans.  The biggest challenge with lectins is that our response to them greatly differs from one individual to another.  Almost everybody reacts to some dietary lectins when they enter their bloodstream.  In fact, it’s actually the cause of many food allergies. Also, those substances are champions at mimicking hormones, especially those converting glucose into fat.  In many people, lectins found in lentils, corn and wheat acts the same way as insulin, giving your body the signal to produce fat.  Lectins also blocks digestive hormones, and lead to an increase appetite.  One good thing is that lectins are destroyed in the sprouting process. Sprouted organic grains products seem to be the safest and healthiest way to enjoy the health benefits of grains and legumes without the downsides of lectins.

So here’re two excellent reasons to start sprouting! Not only the sprouting process helps to get rid of these two potential problems with grains consumption, sprouted grains are also generally higher in overall nutrients while lowering their glycemic load at the same time.  There’re also a few brands of sprouted grains products out there that are ready to use. Just make sure that they don’t have any added gluten to them.

Have you ever tried sprouted grains products? Do you sprout them yourself? Are grains and legumes at the base of your diet?

Sweet Potato Curry on Quinoa

I’m not used to cook with kale. I usually use it in smoothies instead. But the other day, there was some that I had to use before it goes bad. I decided to incorporate it into an improvised curry. It turned out to be a keeper.

I really like this recipe since it combines some of my favorite flavors: coconut, curry and sweet potatoes. It’s also packed with healthy ingredients such as kale, sweet potatoes and quinoa, which make it a gluten free meal. Not to mention that it’s also very easy to prepare, and it doesn’t make me spend the whole evening doing the dishes!


1 eggplant, diced
1 big sweet potato (or 2 small), diced
1 bunch of kale, stems removed, in pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 cup of quinoa
1 can of coconut milk
3 /4 sprigs of fresh basil, minced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 to 3 tbsp of red curry paste
2 tbsp of green curry paste

In a large pot sauté the onion and sweet potato until just tender. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package instructions. Add the eggplant, garlic and curry to the sweet potato and cook for about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and kale and simmer until it thickens. Serve over the cooked quinoa, and sprinkle with freshly minced basil.


Vegan gluten free gravy

I know, gravy is not really a health food!  But sometimes, I just can’t go around some good comfort food. And for that, a vegan and gluten free gravy recipe comes handy.  Pour it over mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower, or even oven-baked fries  (did I really said fries?) for a healthier comfort dish.  Not only you’ll skip the the high saturated fats of “regular” gravy, but you’ll also get rid of nasty food additives of commercial ones.


  • 6 tbsp gluten free flour *
  • 2 tbsp margarine or olive oil
  • 2 cups of vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup of wheat free tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • Water, to thin

Blend the stock with the tamari sauce and set aside.  Dry roast flour in a shallow pan (preferably not non-stick) over medium heat.  Let it brown, whisking often to prevent it from sticking and burning.  Roasted flour is what gives this sauce its flavor. The darker it is, the stronger it will taste.  Be careful not to let it burn, or the sauce will have a bitter taste.  When a rich caramel color is obtained, remove from heat and quickly add the oil or margarine.  Mix well, and add the stock, little by little, while whisking constantly.  Add more water, to obtain the desired consistency.  If the sauce makes clumps, you can always give it a go in a blender.  Add seasonings, and serve.

* I guess it could also work with regular flour. You might however to adjust the stock/water content a bit to achieve the same consistency.

What is your best comfort food?  Have you successfully tried to “healthify” it?