Chew Your Smoothie

Drink your food and chew your drink. What does this mean? An important part of digestion happens in your mouth where initial enzymes are released to break down carbohydrates. So, it is vitally important that with each bite and sip, we take time to chew and savour what is in our mouth before swallowing. If you are a devotee of this practice, then ideally, you should be chewing each bite 40 times. That bite of food becomes liquid at the end. You may think you don’t have time (well, who does?), but this is really the proper way to make your food count. On most occasions, I’m the last to finish my plate when dining out with friends. In this age of fast food and dining, I’m considered a super slow eater but I don’t mind as quality takes time!

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie by

You are not necessarily what you eat, you are what you absorb. If you don’t digest your food well, then you are not fully absorbing the nutrients from your meal. Plus, poor digestion can lead to some problems, such as: bloating, gas, upset stomach. Of course this applies to anything that you drink as well, especially nutrient dense smoothies. Despite little to chew, I still try to “chew” each sip for several seconds. Among my many favourite smoothies, I am particularly fond of the Blueberry Coconut smoothie with kale, chia and banana.  It’s dense, delicious and darn good for you! Happy chewing!

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie 1

Superfoods in this smoothie:
Blueberries – This little berry has the most amounts of antioxidants of any fruit. They contain anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial), selenium, zinc, and iron.
Banana – Contains Vitamin C, fibre, and a significant amount of potassium. High potassium intakes are also associated with a reduced risk of stroke, protection against loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in the formation of kidney stones.
Coconut –Particularly high in fibre (one Tablespoon of coconut flour has 5 gm of fibre), coconut is antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic and contains lauric acid which is found in mother’s milk.
Chia – It is packed with fibre, so it stabilizes blood sugar and helps you to feel full; hence, cutting cravings. It is also high in Omega 3 fatty acids, protein and a wide range of vitamins and minerals ie. calcium and iron. It is a nutrient dense powerhouse. I like to sprinkle some onto my yogurt, and at times noodle soup, to bump up the nutrient content.
Kale – High amounts of calcium and vitamin K. Contains Indole-3-carbinol (IC3), which promotes a healthy balance of good estrogen, it also has an anti-tumour effect. IC3 also supports liver detoxification.

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie by

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie
Ingredients (makes one large smoothie):

  • ½ c. blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ banana
  • 1 ½ c. almond milk
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chia
  • 1 small kale leaf

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Eat superfoods, live a super life! {Kake}

Blueberry Coconut Smoothie by

Sweet on Hummus

How many different ways are there to make hummus?  Apparently lots, as my friend Donna and I discovered on a trip to the Middle East a few years ago.  Our trip lasted 12 days and took us from Jordan through to Egypt. We had hummus every day.  It was served in both fancy and fast food restaurants and we loved every single variation of it.

Hummus with dates from Kake2Kale

Around my home city, I mostly  find traditional hummus in a few options, such as, with roasted red pepper, lemon, garlic or olive.  Then, I discovered a hummus with dates at a new restaurant near our home! This is a version that we didn’t find on our travels and it proved to be a delightful change from the usual hummus.  I liked it so much that I’ve been recreating it at home, and am now happy to share with you.   Feel free to play with the recipe and adapt as you like.  On one occasion, I added a kale leaf to my recipe and it turned into a lovely celadon green.

Hummus with dates from Kake2Kale

Superfoods in this recipe:
Chickpea – Also known as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are considered a legume.  Because this legume is high in protein and fiber it is also effective at regulating blood sugar.  Chickpeas may also be able to lower cholesterol.  It contains a range of vitamins, minerals and is particularly high in folate and iron.
Garlic –  The major player in the allium family ( includes, leeks, onions, shallots, chives, green onion) contains sulphuric compounds that may help with lowering blood pressure and destroying cancer cells.  Allicin, one of these compounds in garlic is not only anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal, but research has shown that allicin  can help your body to neutralize dangerous free radicals.
Lemon – Contain vitamin C, folic acid and a range of phytochemicals (under the antioxidant family).  The phytochemicals support one another in anti-cancer activity, and strengthening cardiovascular health, amongst a host of other benefits.
Cardamom – This is considered the Queen of Spices and ranks behind saffron and vanilla as the most expensive spice.  Its antimicrobial properties have been studied and found to be effective at inhibiting the spread of dangerous microbes that cause food poisoning.  It may also have anti-carcinogenic properties as well.

Hummus with dates from Kake2Kale

Hummus with Dates makes 2 cups


  • 1 ½ c cooked chickpeas (or one 425 gm can drained)
  • 3 dates (pitted)
  • ½ c olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ¾ tsp salt


  • Place all the ingredients in a food processor or good blender and puree until smooth.  You may want to add more oil or lemon juice if it is too thick and not loose enough.
  • Scoop into a pretty bowl and serve with your choice of crackers, tortilla chips, etc.

In the spirit of experimenting, Kale spread this hummus on a cracker and topped it with a slice of banana.  Strange combination, but it worked!!  The hummus took on a peanut butter flavour when eaten with the banana.  You never know, this could be next trendy food combo!

Eat superfoods live a super life!  {Kake}

Hummus with dates from Kake2Kale

Me So Happy Beef Roll

How do you get your ‘happy’ on?  For me it is quite simple, sharing a meal with my family.  My Dad was born in Shanghai so Northern Chinese food is what our family gravitates towards, much to the chagrin of my husband and my sister-in-law (not Kale) who are not used to the carb heavy foods that are characteristic of that part of China.  The first time my husband joined us for Shanghai food, he joked that it would take him a week to digest all the noodles and breads that made up most of the meal.

What can I say, I love carbs, and so do my family.  One of the dishes that we always order, and is snapped up as soon as it arrives at the table, is the beef roll.  Even my husband and sister-in-law love it too, which says a lot about how good it is!  It is a fairly basic dish, but it is the flatbread that makes it great and holds it together, literally.

Miso Beef Sandwich Kake2Kale 1

Continue reading

Merci, Beaucoup!

About 11 years ago a book came out that got everybody talking – “French Women Don’t Get Fat”.  The author, Mireille Guiliano, was on every talk show evangelizing the virtues of eating the French way.  It is a conundrum as France flows with Camembert, croissants, rich sauces, and steak frites.  I just have to add that it is NOT fair that French women get to eat great food, stay slim and are some of the most stylish ladies in the world.  The book became a # 1 New York Times best seller, and in a nutshell it shares the secret of French women – that is, they don’t eat more than three bites of anything and they savour each of those bites.Beaucoup Bakery & Cafe visit - Kake2Kale Continue reading

Iced Teas to Please!

I have many guilty pleasures, but none more so than sitting on the deck with Kale, whiling away the time with a stack of magazines soaking up the warmth of the sun on our faces.  Since we live in Raincouver, sunshine is always welcome, as is a delicious iced tea to wet our whistles and to stay hydrated.  In fact I decided to make two different teas with you today: Pineapple Mojito Iced Iea and Hibiscus Ginger Iced Tea.

Ice Tea by

Continue reading

The Art of Superfoods

One of my favourite contemporary artist is Gathie Falk, her art pieces always make me happy.  I particularly like a painting she did of apples on a canvas, the apples are on a black background and they look like they’re suspended in outer space.  The apples are sliced and whole.  This painting allows me see this banal fruit with new eyes, as does many works of art that feature food!

Continue reading

From the Culinary Trail: On Tofino Time

Summer in British Columbia is a wondrous time. “Let’s do a staycation and rediscover our favourite spots”, I said to my spouse, after reconsidering several overseas destinations. Unanimously, we settled on Tofino to kick off our summer of local travel.

The lure of Tofino is centered on the Pacific Rim National Park and its spectacularly long, untamed beaches with wild surf. But, we did not go there. Others are drawn to Clayoquot Sound and the Tofino Inlet for whale watching, canoeing and kayaking excursions. But, we did not do these. Nor did we hike in the rainforest, go bear viewing or take surf lessons. “What are you planning to do on your stay”, says a perky young girl at the reception desk when we checked in at our lodge. I tell her that we had no big check list but want to enjoy the slow pace, serene views and local food with a few beach strolls thrown in. She laughs, “That’s the secret to Tofino, I think.”

On Tofino Time

Continue reading

For the Love of Tennis!

My teen idol wore shorts and a headband. No, it was not Richard Simmons but a blond Swedish god. A tennis god, Bjorn Borg. Everything about him appealed to my shy, self-conscious teenage self; his lean physique, his flowing blond locks, those piercing blue eyes, his deadly two-handed backhand and his graceful moves on the court. Because of him I took up tennis and found I was pretty good at it, not like soccer (I hate running, especially into people) or volleyball (not good for pianists as I once sprained a finger when the ball hit my hand at a bad angle and I couldn’t play piano for two weeks).

Strawberry and White Chocolate Muffins by

Continue reading

Long Live Quinoa

Living in a youth obsessed culture makes it difficult not to be influenced by all the subliminal and some not so subliminal messages that bombard our surroundings.  I have been told many times that I don’t look my age and my ego always swells a little when I hear this.  I think next time someone says I look younger I will say, “Oh, I wish I looked older.”  Then there will be awkward silence………..yes just like this.  On second thought, my strict proper Asian upbringing won’t permit me to be ungracious, so I will just have to say, “Good genes”.

I would like to change how I view people who may be considered old.  Even just typing the word “old” is not comfortable for me right now.  We have come up with ways to avoid using that word, “more experienced”, “golden years”,”senior years, “women of a certain age” (or does this mean women in their middle years).  Working in a retail health food store gives me lots of opportunity to have fantastic conversations with all sorts of people and I especially delight in my exchanges with the older customers.  Hearing about their life experiences, sharing their knowledge, is so very enriching to me.  “Old people know stuff!”

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers from

Continue reading

Kiss Me Quesadilla

I probably had my first taste of Mexican food when I was a child and our family took a road trip to Mexico.  Although we were barely past the Mexican border on that visit, it was still exotic.  It was like going back in time to a land out of the dark ages, or so it seemed to me as a 9 year old.  Dirt roads were the norm, mangy dogs roaming around aimlessly rooting for food.  Old, rusty cars were sprinkled about like confetti.  My Dad revelled in it!  He tends to gravitate towards places that are more gritty and edgy.   We must have stopped for lunch, although I have no recollection of what we would have eaten but it was probably some sort of taco.  Any memory of what we ate was overshadowed by the colourful landscape and locals that we saw.

Kiss Me Quesadilla by

Continue reading