Thursday, September 25, 2008

That's Amore!

It really is love when you can make your favourite Italian meals at home with Healthy and Hearty alternatives.

It was so much fun last night at my "Healthy and Hearty Italian" Cooking class. Six women came over to learn how to prepare delicious that they could take home to thier families.

Italian can be made Hearty and Healthy by choosing the right grains for the basis of pizza's and pasta's. Choosing from spelt, kamut, brown rice, millet, quinoa, buckwheat flours is a start. There are many varieties available on the market for wonderful pastas that taste just as good if not better than a plain white pasta. The texture and the taste of brown rice pasta, if you haven't tried it, is so satisfying. Not only will you fill up because of the fiber and trace amount of protein, but you are also left not feeling bloated and overstuffed because it digests so easily (It is also gluten free!). The same goes for spelt, kamut and buckwheat pasta. They are a bit grittier but they add some depth (buckwheat is also gluten free!).

When it comes to pizza, it takes less than 30 minutes to make your own at home. So don't sit around waiting for it to arrive. Just have one of these whole grain flours on hand and mix it up with a little olive oil, honey, water and flaxseeds, bake it and top with your favourite veggies and you've got yourself a homemade pizza that tastes delicious - I promise!

One Italian classic dish that we ventured into last night was a Minestrone Soup. This was not your typical minestrone soup with a base of tomatoes and beef stock. This was a lighter version with a vegetable base and hearty root veggies. We then added some brown rice macaroni noodles and kidney beans to give it that Italian flare that we all love.

So it may take a bit of planning, but why not have your next Italian meal at home and love every bite of it!

New Age Minestrone


1 Spanish onion, cut into large dice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoon, sea salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
4 cups filtered water or stock
1 bay leaf
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into medium dice
3 parsnips cut into medium dice
1 sweet potato cut into large dice
3 ribs celery cut into large dice
1 large zucchini or two small zucchini, cut into small chunks
1 bunch of chard, cut into bit size pieces
1 cup soaked and cooked kidney beans (optional)
½ cup cooked macaroni brown rice noodles (optional)

In a small pot, sweat onion in oil with salt until soft.
Add oregano and sweat a few more minutes
Add water and bay leaf
Add vegetables in order given (squash, parsnips, sweet potatoes, celery, zucchini)
Turn up heat until water bubbles, then lower and simmer covered for 40-45 minutes.
Stir vegetables until squash falls apart.
Add in chopped chard.
Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir a few more times and serve.

*** For a smoother texture, simmer squash separately until soft (in 1-2 cups of water), and puree in food processor. Add squash to the soup for the last 10 minutes of cooking.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

About Marni Wasserman

Hi! My name is Marni Wasserman. I am a Graduate of the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto, with a certificate as a Certified Nutritional Practitioner. I am also a graduate of The Natural Gourmet Culinary Institution in New York City as a certified chef. My focus is stemmed around whole foods. I am dedicated to providing individuals with a balanced lifestyle through natural foods. Using passion and experience, I strive to educate individuals on how everyday eating can be simple and delicious.

Why I created Fully Nourished:

I created Fully Nourished out of pure passion. After completing my holistic nutritional studies, I went straight to New York to continue to learn and pursue my passion of cooking, baking and preparing whole foods. I am now equipped with the proper tools and necessary information to educate people on how to become fully nourished through whole foods. My cooking classes demonstrate to people how to create simple and healthy recipes for everyone with varying health and wellness goals. Whether you want to learn about healthy eating or how to prepare simple whole foods or if you just want whole foods to compliment and overall healthy lifestyle - then I can take you there!

What I am passionate about:
I am completely, wholly and utterly passionate about food. Whole foods that is! I love anything that has to do with nutrition, the body and food preparation. I am also passionate about educating people. I love to show people how they can learn to eat healthy foods at home with simple and effective methods to prepare them. Teaching cooking classes is completely rewarding. I get the chance to meet new people all the time, answer questions and concerns they may have about specific foods or recipes, and the best part is watching people create delicious recipes and enjoying every bite of them!

What do I want to share with my clients:

I want to share my passion and knowledge with them. I believe that with passion everything else will follow. By sharing my knowledge about whole foods and healthy eating, my clients will gain a significant understanding of why I am so keenly interested in this lifestyle and chosen profession.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Get Creative and Make Food Fun!

In my recent Yummy cooking class that focused on Kid-Friendly recipes, the menu was designed with simplicity and creativity in mind.

Kids like to see what they eat, they like bright colours and sometimes different textures (depending on how fussy they are!!).

So when you are creating recipes for yourself or your children or any child for that matter it is always best to make the recipes full of colour and of course full of flavour.

It is important to get your kids involved in the making of simple recipes, because then they see what is going into it and if they have a part of it, they are more likely to eat it too!

So get creative in the kitchen and have fun!

Chunky Corn and Tomato Salsa

2 ears of summer fresh corn

1 tbsp grapseed oil

2 cloves of garlic

3 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 pint of tomatillos (green tomatoes)

1/2 red onion, chopped

2 green onions

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp chili powder (optional)

1 tsp honey

salt to taste

1. Shave the corn kernals off the ear of corn over a bowl.

2. In a medium saucepan, warm up the oil with the garlic for a few minutes, add the corn kernals and red onion.

3. Sautee for 5-10 minutes until kernal turn bright yellow and onions are soft.

4. In a small food processor, lightly puree the chopped tomatoes and tomatillos (so that they are still chunky).

5. Combine the tomato/tomatillo puree to the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients.

6. Simmer on low heat for another 5-10 minutes until all the flavours are combined.

7. Put Salsa into the fridge in a glass bowl for a few hours to chill.

8. Remove from Fridge and serve with Corn Chips or on top Sprouted Quesadillas!


Friday, September 5, 2008

Made to Order

Yes it is possible, you can create your own custom made cooking class!

With a little help of a friend of mine, we organized a fun evening with a group of 7 women.
One of them was kind enough to extend her gorgious loft in downtown Toronto for this amazing night to take place.

The whole class was custom created-from the people selected to the menu designed! Of course there is always the option to bring your own wine.

This made for an enjoyable and alternative way to do a cooking class. What better way to spend an evening than to get together with a group of fabulous women, sip wine and learn how to cook new and exciting recipes and then sit down and feast on them afterwards?

Last night's menu of desire was asian inspired. Everybody wants to have a little asian experience in the kitchen - it is great for entertaining, the flavours are light and pungent and who doesn't want to know how to roll sushi or make the most delicious organic chicken teriyaki?
The group last night had the the chance to learn how to use some of the different condiments and ingredients that are used in asian-specific recipes. They also learned how to mix and match certain flavours to get just the right taste or texture and most importantly, they were introduced to some of natural products that are available for asian style cooking. This includes Tamari (wheat free soy sauce), Organic Toasted Sesame Oil, Brown Rice Vinegar, Bragg's Amino Acids, Kuzu (sea vegetable cornstarch), Umeboshi Paste (japanese pickled plums), Miso Paste, Tempeh and a whole range of different Sea Vegetables.

As you can see, there was a fair share of learning last night, a great deal of cooking and a whole lot of fun!

So if you don't know this already, this is an option for you too! Gather a group together, pick a date and let's design a class together!
Organic Chicken Teriyaki:
4 cloves garlic, minced
Juice from ¼ cup peeled and grated ginger
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2½ tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon umeboshi paste
½ cup apple juice

2 breasts organic chicken, cut into strips
¼-1/3 cup vegetable oil (grapeseed oil)
1 tablespoon kuzu dissolved in ¼ cup water or apple juice
1 bunch of broccoli florets, blanched
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

1. Cut the broccoli into florets and place into a pot of boiling water with salt for 1-2 minutes, remove promptly an immerse in cold water and set aside.
2. In a blender, combine first six ingredients with ½ cup water. Blend until smooth.
3. Slice chicken into strips of equal thickness.
4. In a medium saucepan, combine the chicken with the marinade (reserving a small amount of the marinade). Bring to a boil and simmer, covered for 5- 10 minutes.
5. Continue to pan fry chicken over medium and heat until golden on both sides.
6. After chicken is cooked, add dissolved kuzu to reserved marinade and stir in a small dish until well combined.
7. Pour the blended marinade mixture into the pan or wok with the chicken, and cook for about two minutes, until the liquid is thickened, stirring constantly.
8. Add the Broccoli to the sauce stirring until well coated and top with toasted sesame seeds.