Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Nut, Seed & Quinoa Kale Salad

In the spirit of the holidays I wanted to prepare a salad that had some warming spices, some crunch but was also cleansing and tasty!

Nut, Seed & Quinoa Salad:

Baby Kale or Chopped Kale
Red Quinoa
Black Beans
1 Avocado
Nut & Seed Mix I made: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, dried cranberries, raisins, slivered almonds and hemp seeds (great for adding to any salad, breakfast, side dish hot or cold)
EVOO and black pepper

I cooked 1 cup of quinoa in 2 tbsp of cumin to give it a bit of flavour. Made the kale the base of the salad, added the quinoa and then assembled the rest of the ingredients on top - portions are up to you!

Drizzle with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), fresh lemon and pepper!

Don't be fooled - there is lots of protein, flavour and healthy greens in this salad! 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Spicy Autumn Lentil Soup

I love making soups in the fall and winter because they are filling, warm and leave me feeling so satisfied. I picked up this great lentil mix from Whole Foods - very well-priced by the way - and couldn't resist making a soup with it because of the beautiful colours!

The lentil mix was called Autumn and consisted of red, brown, yellow, black and green lentils. I'm sad I didn't get a picture of the dried lentils because the colour contrast was so amazing.

Anyway, I made this soup up with the few ingredients I had at the house - and it still turned out pretty amazing!

Spicy Autumn Lentil Soup

2 cups of dried lentils
3 large carrots
1 large yellow onion
4 Collard leaves
2 tsbp Chile Flakes
2 tbsp Grapeseed oil
2 cloves of Garlic
1 tbsp Turmeric
Dash of Curry Powder
3 Bay leaves
Black Pepper

• Soak the lentils overnight in a pot of water. Drain and rinse well.

• Saute chopped onion and garlic in grapeseed oil over medium heat for 5 minutes

• Add 2 cups of veggie stock and 1 cup of water along with chopped carrots, bay leaves, chile flakes turmeric and black pepper – bring to a boil

• Once boiling, bring down to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes

• Add in chopped collards for 5 minutes at the end

• Sprinkle black pepper and extra chiles if desired when serving

This soup is hearty, healthy and delicious with a bit of spice! 

If you want to plan ahead extra ingredients you could include:
- Parsnip
- Celery or Celery Root
- Zucchini

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Crunchy Tuna Collard Wraps

My husband claims that I make the best tuna sandwiches ever - he's so kind. I love making them because I add a variety of ingredients to make the tuna salad crunchy, spicy and delicious. Canned tuna really isn't something I eat often however, once in awhile it's a comfort food in our home.

For dinner a few nights ago we decided to use Collard Green wraps instead of bread because I'm off the gluten and my husband wanted to try a lighter version as well. We always use avocado instead of mayo because it is SO delicious and SO much healthier!

Crunchy Tuna Collard Wraps:

1 Can of white flaked tuna
1 Collard Green Leaf
1 Avocado - (to replace the mayo)
3 Dill pickles chopped into tiny pieces
1 Stick of celery chopped into tiny pieces
1 Green onion - (I threw in the chives as well)
Black Pepper
Sprouts - (I had a mix of lentil and alfalfa from whole foods)
Walnuts - (secret crunch ingredient)
1/2 lemon freshly squeezed

Mix all ingredients together - mix the avocado first - to desire consistency and I always add the lemon and black pepper last.

Wash the Collard green leaf and dry it before putting the tuna salad mix on top. Spoon tuna salad onto the leaf, add toppings - sprouts, tomatoes, pickles etc - and then wrap as if you're wrapping a burrito.

Use your own discretion on whether or not you have filled it too much, or need to rip some of the leaf off. We added the sprouts, extra pickles, kale and tomato to the wraps but you could also add bell peppers, carrots, onion and cheese too!

We had them with a side of veggie chips - beet and sweet potato!

It's too bad with this first picture all you can see are the sprouts!

Spicy Chickpea Snack

I love chickpeas - not only because they make great hummus haha, but they're great on salad, in curry dishes and veggie stews!

But sometimes I like to have them as snacks too! So here is my simple and easy recipe:

Spicy Chickpea Snack (also great as a salad topper)

1 cup of chick peas (if canned, rinse very well before, if dried then soak overnight, if sprouted...well plan ahead haha)
Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
Chile Powder

I combine all of the chickpeas in a large bowl with a VERY light drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle some celtic sea salt, black pepper, and all other spices. Mix around very well and then spread out on a baking sheet and bake for about 30 min at 400 degrees.

They are super crunchy, super tasty and easy to make for a healthy snack or addition to any dish! Also perfect for a little appetizer when you have guests over!

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tomatoes...with love

So today was my Tomatoes day - although it can be all nightshades if I so desire. So the point of doing this is after the elimination diet you want to see what foods cause a reaction, so every 3-4 days you add in another food you eliminated for the 3-4 weeks and see what happens to your body.

Because the point of my elimination diet was to calm down inflammation, night-shade vegetables were not allowed. I honestly didn't think I would miss peppers or potatoes or tomatoes at all, but oh did I ever miss tomatoes!

So, this morning I had a full tomato sliced with hummus on Mary's crackers - seemed ok, a bit of a burning tummy but was fine.

For lunch I had black quinoa and salmon leftover from last night, with a side of kale, avocado and some pumpkin seeds. I covered the salmon in fresh salsa, some tomatoes and hot sauce - mmmmm!

We will see if I have any type of reaction, and if not....tomatoes, along with coffee and wine are good to go!!!

For dinner we're having quinoa spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and a greek salad minus the feta so I will definitely have my fill of nightshades today!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Quick Mexican Quinoa Bowl

I call this bowl "quick" because it is very easy to assemble, especially if you pre-make your chicken and quinoa. It is healthy, filling and honestly so delicious you won't be able to keep the leftovers - although it's awesome to make a lot and eat it for lunch the next day!

The quantities are up to you - I just make enough quinoa for the week and save the black beans the salsa so that I can just reach into the fridge, pull out all of the ingredients, warm up and dig in!

Quick Mexican Quinoa Bowl

Cooked Quinoa (I use a mix of white, black and red)
Black Beans (I use low-sodium) - sometimes I warm them up in a pot on the stove
Salsa of choice (this one is pineapple, mango, cilantro, red onion and lime juice)
1 Avocado
Chicken Breast (pulled into pieces, marinated after being cooked in fresh lime juice - 2 limes, chile flakes and black pepper)

Top with your choice of cheese (although I didn't use any), lime, hot sauce, black pepper.

Mix it all up together and enjoy! I love having the salsa on top of the chicken which is on top of the black-beans and quinoa - then the avocado you can mix in at the end - or sprinkle some cheese and hot sauce on the top!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Vegan Cinnamon (pseudo) Shortbreads

My favourite holiday cookies are my mother's cinnamon shortbreads - and not just because she shapes them into moons :)

They are so simple, yet SO delicious. I thought, why don't I try and make these without sugar, dairy or gluten and see what happens?

Vegan Cinnamon (pseudo) Shortbreads

1 cup of coconut oil
2 cups of almond flour
4 tbsp cinnamon (I used a dash of pumpkin pie spice as well)
3 tbsp pure maple syrup

• Preheat oven to 300
• Mix coconut oil and maple syrup together. Add in flour and cinnamon and mix until smooth
• Make into small balls and flatten with a fork on baking pan (add a pecan if you wish)
• Sprinkle extra cinnamon and a bit of brown sugar on the top
• Bake at 300 for 30 minutes

I gave a few out today at work and people LOVED them!!!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Amaranth Cinnamon Bake

This breakfast is amazing, especially if you love cinnamon as much as I do - I can't imagine a fall or winter season without tonnes of cinnamon in my baking, cooking and drinks!

So, although you can basically just make a bowl of this on the stove, I decided to take it a step further and try a bake in the oven.

2 cups of amaranth
4 cups of vanilla unsweetened almond milk
Cinnamon - I think I probably put 1/4 cup
Drizzle with maple syrup

Mix together in your baking dish, bake at 275 for 30 min. There should be a bit of a cinnamon crust on the top...mmm mmmmmm good!

I keep mine in the fridge for a few days so I can just scoop out into a bowl and heat up with a splash of water to make it a little moist. Sprinkle more cinnamon if you need to, I didn't with the bake - and maple syrup or honey. I added walnuts to mine as well, and I'll probably try almond butter with banana and apples, almonds and honey next time!

This is much deeper than it appears in the picture, and notice the crystalized cinnamon on top - yum!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Creamy Broccoli Soup - dairy free!

This soup is a variation on my other broccoli/spinach soup - and it packs more protein and is extra creamy all from one different ingredient - beans! When the weather gets colder and you want to stay inside more often than usual, having a delicious soup on hand is key. I usually make about 3-4 mason jars full and keep them in the fridge to eat throughout the week!

2 heads of broccoli and all stems
1 can of white cannellini beans
1 yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
Veggie Stock (I use 1.5 cubes and 4 cups of water)
Black Pepper and Sea Salt to taste

• Saute pressed garlic and diced onions for 5 minutes in grapeseed oil

• Add water and veggie stock and bring to a boil

• Add broccoli and beans (well-rinsed) and turn down to a simmer for 25 minutes

• Remove from heat, let cool for 15 minutes and then puree in batches

• For an added touch put some small broccoli florets at the soup of each bowl when serving and if you do prefer cheese I would add some sharp white cheddar or parmesan for a nice flavour!

This soup is so good with the beans and even though broccoli already has protein, the beans give this soup an even higher protein count AND make it smoother and creamier! It is SO easy to make too - I had this going at the same time as an oatmeal bake and cacao muffins in the oven - multi-tasking at it's best!!!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Kale Dill Slaw and Spicy Cumin Quinoa

About a month ago my friends from high school and I had a big reunion night up north. I was in charge of the salad and a side dish so naturally I incorporated both kale and quinoa into the recipes!

These both turned out AMAZING - everyone had seconds and the leftovers didn't last past noon the next day, so you definitely have to try both of these out for your next get-together, or weeknight dinner!

Kale and Dill Slaw Salad

(quantities of below are at your own discretion)

Chopped Purple and Green Kale
Chopped Purple Cabbage
Fresh Parsley (use a lot it's so freshing)
Julienned Carrots
Sliced Apples
Green onions and chives
Pumpkin Seeds
Fresh Dill (lots of dill for flavour)

Dressing: EVOO, 1 whole lemon, apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp whole grain mustard, black pepper)

I let it sit in the fridge with the dressing for about an hour before serving - the dressing was amazing with the mustard and the apples, dill and parsley!

The side dish was a variation of a quinoa salad I usually make:

Spicy Quinoa Dish or Salad (can be served hot or cold)

1 cup of red quinoa
Diced Yellow and orange peppers
Cherry tomatoes halved
Fresh Parsley
1 can of black beans
Diced red onion
1 small can of corn
Pumpkin seeds

Dressing: EVOO, 1 whole lime, cumin, 1 garlic clove pressed, black pepper, a few chile flakes

I sprinkled more cumin and some chile flakes after the dressing had been mixed in and let it sit as well before serving.

Oatmeal Breakfast Bake

Last night I went a little crazy with the baking for the week - especially breakfast dishes! So at least it will give me quite a few posts this week and some yummy food that I don't have to prepare each morning.

The first breakfast meal I made last night was:

Oatmeal Breakfast Bake

2 cups of gluten-free rolled oats
4 cups of almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
1/4 cup of pecan pieces
1/4 cup of raisins
Lots of cinnamon
Drizzle of maple syrup throughout

Mix all ingredients in a baking dish - make sure it is mixed evenly. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes at 275.

Save for the week - add extra hot water or milk in the morning when you heat it up and serve!

How I serve it - by mixing it all up in a bowl!

 Before the baking...

After the baking - not much difference but it is denser, and the top is a little crusty which is so good!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Lunch Leftovers

This lunch isn't one of my major specialties, but it's still delicious, even if it is leftover from the night before! I was need of a serious protein-boost, I could feel it, so we bought some organic grass-fed chicken from the store and spiced it up just a bit - still under the cleanse rules.

Organic boneless, skinless chicken breast baked with pepper, oregano and sea salt
1/2 sweet potato cut into thin slices and pan-fried on low heat with coconut oil, sea salt and pepper
Fresh organic arugula with lemon and EVOO

The sweet potato is a treat but still really healthy. They are almost like chips they are so thin, and work perfectly as a side to the chicken and arugula. You can also bake the sweet potato slices, and you would just toss them lightly in a bit of coconut oil, salt and pepper, other spices you desire and a dash of  maple syrup - yum!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Green Juice Kicks Coffee's Ass!

Yeah I said it. And really, you can't knock it til you've tried it - trust me. As my good friend pointed out on facebook, nothing beats an americano with almond milk latte - ok, ok, I agree...taste-wise that is. Nothing, and I mean nothing beats the high you get from green juice, and the lasting effect it brings with it as well. No afternoon slumps, no caffeine jitters, not heart's awesome!

And, I've been saying this ever since I was introduced to Kris Carr 2 years ago - she's a juicing goddess and although I'm not as hardcore as she is...I still try to get at least 3 morning green juices in per week. Sometimes I will experiment with other combos, but usually I stick to my morning green juice!

2 stalks of celery
4 large romaine leaves
1/2 cucumber
1 large chunk of ginger

Other combinations to try could be:

• spinach/kale/cucumber/celery/apple/lemon

• apple/lemon/ginger/beet/carrot

• pear/ginger/celery/cucumber

• pear/lime/cucumber/spinach

• grapefruit/carrot/ginger (one of my favourites!)

If you haven't juiced you should really try it. Does it taste like the best thing ever? NO. Does it taste pretty good if you add ginger, lemon or apples? YES! Will it change you life? YES YES YES!


Kale, Quinoa, Chick Pea hot or cold!

Last night I had to make a super quick easy dinner before running off to Power Yoga - it was light but just enough to make it a substantial meal.

So, I threw together some already prepared things I had in the fridge and came up with a delicious meal, or salad - whatever you feel like calling this dish that can be served warm, or cold!

Raw Purple Kale - Sauteed with garlic until soft
Raw Arugula - Sauteed with garlic and kale above
Cold Chick Peas - warmed in a pot
Cold Red Quinoa - served warm
1 Avocado
Few Leaves of fresh Parsley

Dressing: EVOO, Whole grain mustard, black pepper, garlic, Apple Cider Vinegar

Sprinkle with walnuts, hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

More Soup. Day 9

So, I feel ok after the first week, honestly nothing much has changed other than I do in fact have A LOT more energy when I wake up in the morning and don't get ANY 3-4pm tiredness.

I miss tomatoes. I miss being able to take that ice-cold Guinness in our fridge and enjoy it on a Friday night with some popcorn - but, I want to make this little experiment work, and I want to see what happens at the end so I am sticking to it. I really haven't taken much insulin since being on this cleanse, other than my hourly rates which I don't mess with. And I'm juicing a lot more which gives me extra energy and inspiration!

So this is a soup I have made before, however, it has some alterations and it came out SOOOO good I had to share it with you today!

Ginger Butternut Squash Sweet Potato Soup (it's a mouthful)

1 butternut squash
1 large sweet potato
1 small yellow onion
2 carrots
2 big chunks of ginger
6 cups of vegan vegetable stock
2 cloves of garlic

Spices: cinnamon, tumeric, cardamom, cumin - 1 tsp of each to start

Saute minced garlic and diced onions in grapeseed oil for a few minutes until onions are soft. Add in vegetable stock/water, chopped squash, sweet potato and carrots.

Add spices once brought to a boil, or really whenever you wish along with minced ginger. I also cut about an inch of ginger into 2 and threw them in on their own.

Simmer on low for 25 minutes.

Let cool, add to a blender and puree.

Add extra spices as you desire :)

This soup is different from my others because I added sweet potato and cardamom, which honestly you wouldn't think make that big a difference but wow, they do! This soup was creamy, sweet yet with a bit of a kick and oh so good. When I had it for lunch today I actually thought it was made with cream and lots of sugar - but low and behold it's not, it's HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS! Yes, the 2 can coexist in virtually any recipe - I hope that is something you are learning here with my lovely recipes! :) xo

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Day 2 Dinner/Day 3 Lunch...

This dinner was spur of the moment (even though we had purchased the salmon on Monday night) because I was running off to yoga and Will was running off to hockey!

BBQ Salmon with freshly squeezed lemon and fresh dill served on top of kale and spinach mixed salad with sprouts
Broccoli steamed and lemon squeezed on top
Sweet Potato Fries: tossed in coconut oil, salt and pepper and a titch of maple syrup (from the farmer's market) sliced and baked for 25 min at 450 in the oven
Kalamata olives on the side for a garnish and treat!

It was so good, went along with the cleanse and we have SO much left over it will do us lunch and dinner again - yummy!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Day 2

So, I know it's only Day 2 but I still wanted to write a post. It was weird, yesterday I was craving everything I couldn't have - which honestly isn't really like me. I think it was all psychological - I wanted a croissant with a cheesy omelette and a nice americano coffee. I settled for amaranth porridge with walnuts and cinnamon - it was friggin delicious!

Day 2, I feel great. I feel fine, no cravings. Not that I eat enough of that "bad" stuff to really crave it anyway, but I think when you embark on a detox you start to crave the things you "aren't allowed" to consume - even if you don't drink or eat them all the time.

I've decided to try and clean up the detox even a step further. No meat other than fish, probably just salmon because I have a tough time digesting meat and I really don't feel like spending an arm and a leg on the nice organic stuff. Also, I'm trying to juice every morning, or make a smoothie. But quite honestly it's hard for me to make a smoothie without almond milk - I could try Rice milk I guess!

I am going to keep a journal as well, of what I'm eating and how I'm feeling. For instance, I just bought this organic hummus that looks and tastes delicious but my stomach starting burning after a few dipped celery sticks - not sure I'll even buy anything pre-packaged while I do this now. Or, it could be random...not sure.

So, Day 2 almost down. Still have to commute home, cook dinner with my fantastic hubby, eat, make it to my 75min power yoga class at the studio where I work now, and get home for enough time to shower, try and meditate and read before bed. Life is busy, but not too busy to make your health #1!


Monday, 12 November 2012

Elimination Diet - Day 1 Detox Salad

So today is the first day of my 3-week Elimination Detox Diet as set by my Naturopath.

It's actually not far off of how I already eat however, there are a few things I have not cut out for more than 7 days before: all forms of dairy, coffee and caffeine in general, eggs, alcohol, most fruits, nightshade veggies (tomatoes, onions, peppers, eggplant) and milks of all kinds - even almond milk. I've decided to cut out meat as well because it tends to feed inflammation which is a problem for me due to my Diabetes. I'll stick to Wild Salmon a few times a week and use Kris Carr's beautiful new cookbook for other amazing recipes!

So....I am trying to get as prepared as possible by making some different healthy soups this week, cutting up select vegetables for snacking on and making yummy amaranth porridge for breakfast (man, I miss eggs already!)

So, here is my Day 1 Detox Salad:

Organic Spinach
Organic Kale
Sprouted Chickpeas (did it myself yay)
Sprout mix from Whole Foods containing lentil sprouts, red clover, alfalfa sprouts
Hemp seeds
1 Avocado
Organic EVOO and 1/2 a lemon

It is very delicious, totally satisfying (to me - you know I love my greens) and makes you feel so light and fresh sitting at an office all day!

So follow along with me and see how I do on this major cleanse :)


Monday, 29 October 2012

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast

Nothing tastes better on a cold and rainy fall day than apples and cinnamon, ok, maybe something pumpkin and ginger flavoured would work too!

This recipe is quick and easy to make, and you can make enough to last 2-3 breakfasts!

So it's the consistency of oatmeal but is gluten-free and delicious!

Bring 1 cup of amaranth to a boil with 1 cup of almond milk, 1/2 cup of water and 2 tbsp of cinnamon.

Once boiling, lower to a simmer for 15-20 min, stirring occasionally.

Add whatever toppings you wish - I added apples and more cinnamon with some slivered almonds.

It's filling, healthy and tastes so good!

Amaranth is like quinoa, but smaller grains and I like it better for a breakfast option - still gluten-free, it is easy on digestion and not as high in carbohydrates as traditional oatmeal.

"Amaranth has 9g of protein per cup, is full of potassium and also has high amounts of minerals, such as calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus..."

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Apple Butter Granola Slices

Honeycrisp apples. Seriously, the best tasting apples out there - especially when they're picked by myself at an apple farm down the street!

So I was starving this morning and wanted something a little bit more substantial than just an apple. Using Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola by Nature's Path, Almond Butter and my apple I created a delicious breakfast - slices of tasty apple treats or even an apple sandwich if you're feeling daring!


Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Kale, Cabbage, Apple, Walnut Salad

This salad is honestly TOO beautiful to eat - the colours are awesome, but it tastes WAY too good!!!!!

I normally don't mix fruit in salads but with the autumn season apples are TOO good to pass up!

Kale, Cabbage, Apple, Walnut Salad - with ginger dressing

Kale, freshly chopped
Handful of Sunflower Sprouts
Red onion chopped
1/2 an Apple sliced, I chose honey crisp
1/2 an Avocado
1 cup of chopped Red Cabbage
Small handful of chopped Walnuts

Dressing: EVOO, Apple cider vinegar, 1 inch of ginger pressed, juice of 1/2 a lime

If you wanted something more substantial, try adding in some cooked quinoa! I'm sure this salad will fill you up though!


Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

Autumn is my favourite time of year for cooking - the fall spices, or well, I consider them fall spices, are my favourite: ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves etc.

I needed a recipe that was quick and easy and involved pumpkin so I looked up a few recipes online and came up with my own!

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

1 can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filler)
3 cups of GF flour - I used 2 of quinoa and 1 of almond but you could do brown rice or coconut as well
1/2 cup of almond milk
1/4 cup of coconut oil
Splash of maple syrup
Cinnamon to your heart's desire (and/or pumpkin pie spice)

Mix flours and spices in a bowl. Add in Pumpkin and continue mixing. Add in milk, oil and syrup and stir with a wooden spoon until everything is mixed together.

Add a large spoonful to each muffin tin, or pour entire mixture into a small cake loaf pan.

Top with cinnamon and some raw brown sugar and walnuts.

Bake at 400 for 20-25 min.

 Now, these aren't exactly sugar-free...but, they don't have much added sugar, I use about 3 tbsps of maple syrup and then a sprinkle of brown sugar on the top. The pumpkin does have naturally occuring sugars, as well as the flours...but it is gluten-free, dairy-free and made with love so enjoy!!!!!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Butternut Squash, Ginger, Apple Soup

Fall soup.

Just thinking about a warm fall soup makes me smile - ok, I'm a food nerd but seriously fall is my favourite season for clothes, colours and FOOD!

As you can already guess I sometimes vaguely follow recipes, but usually make them up as I go along...and taste as I go along as well.

So without further delay, here is my favourite fall soup recipe:

Butternut Squash, Ginger, Apple Soup

1 Butternut Squash peeled and chopped into pieces
2 Apples of your choice peeled and cut into pieces (I used Macintosh)
3 Carrots chopped
1 Onion
2-3 inches of ginger (I usually throw in a large chunk and then press the rest in a garlic press)
2 Garlic cloves
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp of cardamom
1 tbsp of tumeric
1 tsp of ground cloves
Black pepper

1. Sautee onions and garlic until soft using coconut oil (or grapeseed)
2. Add ginger and spices
3. Add 4 cups of water along with squash, apples, carrots and bring to a boil
4. Reduce to a simmer for 25-30 min
5. I usually stir, add more tumeric, cinnamon, add ginger throughout, according to your taste
6. Remove from heat, let cool and then puree in a blender to desired consistency!

Yum yum!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Last Minute Beet Edamame Salad

I had to rush to get to work this morning - I mean, who doesn't on a Monday? So I threw together leftovers I had in the fridge and somehow created a very tasty and nutritious salad!

2 large handfuls of arugula (organic pre-packaged)
2 large beets sliced (pre-cooked)
1 cup of edamame beans (pre-cooked)
1 avocado
1 handful of cherry tomatoes
1 small handful of pumpkin seeds
1 inch of ginger root (grate for the dressing mixture)

Dressing: EVOO, fresh lemon, black pepper and grated ginger

I apologize for the picture yet again - the avocado was a lot softer than I thought so made it hard to make this look picture-perfect haha - but that's life right?

This salad is SO simple to make, and so quick that once you have these ingredients there are many different things you can add to make give it your own spin!

I don't usually eat A LOT of soy, so the edamame beans were a different twist on protein, and really make this salad stellar. Adding goat cheese would be AWESOME as well, especially with the beets and arugula - yum yum!

Want to make this salad a bit more substantial? Maybe throw in some cooked quinoa :)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Tomato Quinoa Spaghetti

Last night for dinner we were pressed for time, and therefore pressed for what we had kicking around in the fridge as well!

Thankfully, we were both heading to do physical activities: Will (the hubby) to hockey and me to the gym - so something substantial was on the menu!

Our favourite packaged pasta, I prefer fresh, is by TruRoots - and it's made of Quinoa, Brown Rice and Amaranth - so gluten-free! It tastes better than regular white or whole wheat pasta and is WAY better for you. Unfortunately, it's hard to find - I can only find it at the Barrie Costco and usually buy 4 or 5 packages when I go so we always have some on hand.

So onto the recipe: Tomato Quinoa Spaghetti

Fresh tomatoes cut into wedges
Kalamata Olives
Red Onion diced

EVOO - tuscany flavoured
2 cloves of garlic freshly pressed
Italian or Greek seasoning

Cook spaghetti according to package instructions, once rinse and strained toss with dressing and add in fresh ingredients once plated. Sprinkle with feta cheese if desired.

Bon appetite!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Avocado Crunch Snack...or Side!

So sometimes when I just eat soup for a meal I need something to go along with it...and of course you know I love avocado more than anything else I eat soooo what better side to serve up than an avocado crunch snack - or side ;)

My favourite crackers, and I never eat crackers, are the FINN CRISP caraway crispbreads.

They only have 5g of carbohydrates per piece and only consist of 5 ingredients. They are super crunchy, very thin and although I would not recommend eating them solo - any type of topping is great!

They are a high source of fiber as well, and only consist of whole grain rye flour, caraway, yeast, water and salt. Simple, yet delicious.

I topped mine with a slice of avocado, some pepper and drizzled a bit of lime EVOO over it - let me tell you, this lime olive oil is INSANELY good with avocado!

4 crispbreads
1/2 an avocado


Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Green Goodness Soup!

So this is a small tweak on my regular broccoli soup - really, you can add as much spinach and kale as you please - I just find these proportions work best :)

Add parmesan cheese, parsley or chilles as desired!

Friday, 7 September 2012

Constant Cravings

No, this is not a rendition of the KD Lang hit - it's a small post about my sometimes random, yet healthy cravings.

Most people crave ice cream, or chips, or something "unhealthy" for them. Me? Well I'm glad you asked. I crave things like mustard, pickles, water chestnuts, figs, raw onions mixed with fresh cherry tomatoes...and the list goes on.

Now don't get me wrong, of course I crave chocolate now and again - who doesn't? Or a warm, fresh out of the oven croissant....just saying.

So today, of course, I had a random craving for salmon and olives at lunch - and silly me, I forgot my lunch at home so I ran out to my local Longo's (Whole Foods still hasn't opened up in Markham yet) to fulfill my cravings!

- Salmon with some sunflower seeds
- Kalamata Olives
- Fresh cut Figs
- Roasted Red Peppers

Of course I threw this all on a bed of spinach, sprinkled pumpkin seeds on top and sliced half an avocado to go on the side with about 8 cherry tomatoes from my mom's garden - yum!

It was so good I only took a picture of the take-out - not the finished product....many apologies.

So I guess in the end, when you change your diet and fill your stomach with more nutritious, delicious and healthy meals - your cravings change as well!

Bon Appetite!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Carrot with a citrus twist Juice

Sometimes you just need an extra kick in the morning - whether it's to wake up, feel more energized or just some sugar to get your blood sugar back on track!

Although I do love love love green juice, this juice is one of my favourite combinations - it is sweet, but not too sweet and SOOOO refreshing - plus I double-up on the ginger because it's my favourite!

Carrot with a citrus twist Juice:

1 pink grapefruit
3 large carrots
1 large chunk of ginger - I love ginger so I always add a lot but you don't have to
1/2 lemon

Juice and drink!

See I already had 1/4 of it gone before I left the driveway this morning!

The grapefruit, lemon and ginger are very beneficial for your digestion and metabolism, and the carrots add a great flavour to the spicy ginger and citrus grapefruit and lemon - plus they are full of vitamin A and beta carotenes - as well as detoxing for your liver, great for your eyesight and a good source of antioxidants.

To read more about carrots visit this link:

Friday, 17 August 2012

TGIF Smoothie

Fridays used to be my day to indulge on the way to work - usually with an americano and croissant from this amazing place on King West....then to the Portuguese bakery out in Ajax. But now, being the good healthy girl that I am - I'm still indulging, but just in a much healthier and natural way!

TGIF Smoothie:

1 scoop of hemp protein powder (or your powder of choice)
1 cup of vanilla almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 banana or full - your choice
1 big tbsp of cacao
1 tbsp of ground flax meal
I tbsp of coconut oil
1 big tbsp of almond butter
1 tsp of maca powder
Sprinkle of cinnamon (it's my favourite so I use a lot & it's very beneficial for balancing blood sugars)
1 cup of filtered water

Blend and enjoy.

Honestly, when I'm drinking this I'm shocked it's not full of sugar and bad things for me because it literally tastes like the best chocolate shake you'll ever have. Ok, maybe not....but bananas taste very sweet to me, they have quite a bit of sugar that's why I only use 1/2. If you want to add more honey or some stevia go for it - but this TGIF smoothie will knock your socks off!

Again, I apologize for my lack of a better camera - iPhone this weekend possibly!

And no...this is not an ad for Sears :P



Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Creative Cravings

Sometimes lunch cravings can get the best of you - especially if you work near a variety of amazing restaurants - which fortunately, I do not (until Whole Foods Markham opens in the fall).

Anyway, I was craving Greek food today, but brought a light lunch so I just decided to add to it and came up with this delicious salad!

Salmon Greek Salad with a twist

2 generous pieces of salmon (mine was from Longo's, not homemade unfortunately)
2 large handfuls of spinach (bed of the salad)
1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
Kalamata Olives
Cucumber sliced
Red Pepper sliced
Red Onion sliced
Sunflower seeds
Pumpkin seeds
1 avocado
Dried oregano seasoning or whatever spice you would like to add

Drizzle with EVOO, apple cider vinegar, 1/2 a lemon and some black pepper

I apologize for the photo as you can't see half of the ingredients but trust me this is filling, delicious and totally healthy! The quinoa and salmon fill you up while the olives and lemon dressing give it a nice zesty taste!!! If you're a die-hard cheese fan you could always add some feta to make it a REAL greek salad ;)


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Kale Italian Bowl

Tuesday back from a long weekend can always make for difficult food preparation. So, I grabbed everything I could out of my fridge to make an amazing tasting Italian lunch - I've been craving cheesy pasta so what better to fill that void than a healthy salad?

Kale Italian Bowl

2 large handfuls of raw kale
1/2 cup of cooked quinoa
10 grape tomatoes sliced in half
3 tbsp of kalamata olive pieces
1/2 an avocado
1 zucchini sliced thinly
Small handful of pumpkin seeds
Small handful of sunflower seeds

Basil-infused olive oil
Apple Cider Vinegar
Black Pepper
1/2 lemon squeezed

Garnish with parsley and mix through for a fresh taste

I apologize in advance for the photos - the first one you can't see half of the ingredients and the second is the bowl half finished!

My insulin ration for this isn't much - the few tomatoes, 1/2 avocado and 1/2 cup of quinoa amount to about 20g of carbs (there was probably less quinoa than 1/2 cup) so I would give myself 1 unit as I was sitting at a blood sugar level of 5.0 before lunch.

Happy Tuesday - Forget about it!


Thursday, 2 August 2012

Afternoon Tea & Snack

Here is a quick and easy recipe that I found on Melissa Ramos' website Sexy Food Therapy - great website, great blog so visit it today!

The link to her recipe is: 

I altered it a little bit, but still turned out delicious - her photos are much nicer than mine ;)

CACAO BREAKFAST MUFFINS - my version (original recipe above)

1 cup large oat flakes
4 heaping tbsp. cacao powder
4 tbsp almond hazelnut butter
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp of Chia Seeds
1 tbsp Flaxmeal
1 tbsp honey
½ tsp sea salt
Preheat oven to 350.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into greased muffin tins. Bake for 25 minutes and remove from oven and top with nut butter before eating.

They are nutritious, delicious and make a GREAT breakfast or snack - especially with some spicy ginger, cinnamon, cardamom tea!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Pizza Pretty Please

Sometimes no matter how healthy you eat you still want some type of comfort food - introducing, my healthy GF Pretty Pizza.

Gluten-Free Pretty Pizza

1 brown rice tortilla wrap (brand: Food for Life)
Spread homemade tomato sauce on top (recipe below)
Toppings: sliced zucchini, red and yellow peppers, kalamata olives and goat cheese

Pop in the oven for 5 min on 425°F and then broil for 1 min to cook the top a tiny bit more!

Tomato Sauce: (idea originated from a recipe I read on The Healthy Apple but gave it my own twist)

3 Tomatoes diced
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil
3 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp EVOO or grapeseed oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of sea salt and black pepper
1/3 cup of chopped onion

Cook in a sauce pan covered for 10 minutes. Let sit and cool, puree in a blender to desired smoothness. Add 1/2 cup of brown rice flour to thicken. Stir and serve.

Fresh veggie toppings: yellow and red pepper, zucchini and olives

Tomato sauce/pizza base cooking on stovetop

Fresh sauce from above used as base of pizza on brown rice tortilla wrap (and my shadow)

The finished product - can you tell it was taken with an iPhone? Need to get me one of those!