Weekly Recipe Roundup: Banana Almond Butter Smoothie, Jamaican Spinach Soup, and Pumpkin Spice Muffins

This Weekly Roundup is dedicated to my awesome friend Jenn D who gave me my very first cookbook almost 6 years ago (she realised I needed H-E-L-P!).  Jenn is the person introduced me to the gift of creative cooking…and more importantly, she always makes me smile with genuine affection!


I’ve been working on meal plans for some of my case studies and smoothies is something I often slot in for breakfast – but finding a smoothie that provides healthy fats, quality protein, and that all necessary carbohydrate fuel is hard to come by.  Here is one that I tested out and really enjoyed – it’s creamy and just sweet enough to be enticing.  It filled me up for a good three hours.  For those of you who haven’t tried chia or hemp seeds, they are super seeds that can be found at any health food store.  I like them because they’re high in fiber and omega-3 fats but also a good source of protein.

Banana Almond Butter Smoothie

  • 1 cup almond milk (or soy, or regular milk if you want)09
  • 1 banana, chopped
  • 1 heaping tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp milled flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds or hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Blend and enjoy!  Serves 1.

This is the kind of weather that makes me want to hibernate and eat warm foods – hence lots of soups over the past week  but my favourite was this spicy Jamaican Spinach Soup.  The kids at school liked making this but enjoyed eating it even more!  This recipe was adapted from Fresh at Home: Everyday Vegetarian Cookingby Ruth Tal Brown and Jennifer  Houston.

Jamaican Spinach Soup

3 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp minced fresh ginger

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp all spice

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 potatoes, peeled and diced (one sweet potato and one regular)

4 cups chopped zucchini

6 cups veggie stock

Pinch cayenne pepper

1 cup fresh spinach

1 red pepper, minced

Instructions:  heat oil in a large pot and add onion, garlic, celery, garlic, ginger and sugar and cook for 5 minutes.  Add salt, turmeric, allspice and nutmeg and cook another few minutes.  Add potatoes, zucchini and veggie stock – bring to a boil and then reduce heat and summer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and add cayenne pepper and spinach.  Using a hand blender or regular blender, puree.  garnish with minced red pepper.  Serves 6.

Pumpkin anything usually tastes good…pumpkin seeds, pumpkin lattes, and pumpkin spiced muffins.  In the spirit of Halloween, we made these at school this past week and they were a hit – and all without any butter or icing.   This recipe was adapted from Canadian Living.

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

1-3/4 cups(425 mL) whole wheat flour

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 eggs

3/4 cup canned pumpkin puree

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

Instructions:  Pre-heat oven to 375.  In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients (flour all the way to nutmeg).  In a medium bowl, beat eggs and combine with pumpkin puree, veg oil, and vanilla.  Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just combined.  Spoon into prepared muffin liners/tins and bake 20-25 minutes.  Makes 12 delicious servings!

THE DAILY DL (Dalai Lama):

“A genuine, affectionate smile is very important in our day-to-day lives.” 

– Dalai Lama XIV


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