Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Green + Yellow Arugula Salad

The colours are important in this salad because, without knowing, those are the only colours of the vegetables I put in it!

This salad is for Day #2 Lunch for my lovely first client of The Ginger Route - a fresh food delivery service I'm starting in the Durham area.

Green + Yellow Arugula Salad

Arugula - I use about 2 large handfuls
Cucumber sliced
1 golden yellow beet sliced (first you must roast them on 400° for about 30 min)
1/4 cup of edamame beans (I buy them organic, frozen and cook them for 5 min on the stove)
Yellow pepper sliced
1/2 an Avocado
Freshly chopped Parsley
Sprinkle of Walnuts on top

Dressing: EVOO, 1/2 tbsp of organic honey, 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, Sea salt, Pepper and a hint of fresh ginger grated in!

It's a delicious, healthy satisfying salad to remind you of warm summer days on these cold winter ones!

Monday, 28 January 2013

Holiday Ginger Granola

I made this granola for the holidays initially, to give as a gift from the heart.

The recipe is quite simple, and it's all in how you mesh the ingredients together. I was thinking holidays, warmth, colourful, spicey when I came up with this granola recipe so I hope I inspire you to make this yourself - if not, I will be selling it soon ;)

Perfect for a topping on yogurt, breakfast cereal like amaranth porridge, or just a little snack with some hot ginger tea!

Holiday Ginger Granola - this makes a lot so use a large bake pan 

6 cups of rolled oats
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
3 cups of almonds
1 1/2 cups of pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup of sesame seeds
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1/2 cup of dried ginger
1/4 cup of currants
1/2 cup of dried apricots
2 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp of ground ginger
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 tsp of cloves
1/2 tsp of sea salt
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 tsp of almond extract
1/2 cup of coconut oil (melted)
1/4 cup of honey
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/8 cup of ginger syrup

• Preheat oven to 350°

• Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well (oats, almonds, nuts, seeds, spices etc)

• Combine wet ingredients (extracts, oil and syrups) in a bowl and pour into dry ingredients and stir until fully mixed

• Scoop on to an oven pan evenly - sprinkle with cinnamon & ginger or maple syrup lightly on top

• Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden, stir a bit halfway

• Remove and let cool - as it cools it will stick together nicely

• Add Apricots, Ginger, Currants and Cranberries once cooled and mix well

Friday, 25 January 2013

Menu planning and Groceries...

Planning menus for the week can seem like a good idea but who really does it? Well, we've started and it's made a grave difference in not only our grocery budget, but our time management as well!

Below is a list of potential meal items, and some tips of grocery shopping and planning your meals throughout the week. Buying certain things in bulk such as quinoa, amaranth, nuts and seeds can save time and money - especially when you can add something to several dishes throughout the week!

Mornings: Start each morning with hot lemon water - 1/2 lemon each morning


• Protein Powder (Vega or Manitoba Harvest Hemp Seed Powder) or Greens Superfood Powder (Amazing Grass brand)
• Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk (1 cup)
• Almond Butter (1 large scoop)
• 1/2 banana
• 1 tsbp cinnamon
• 1 tsp of maca root powder

Amaranth Porridge: (bulk barn) Amaranth, water, cinnamon and once cooked add walnuts, cinnamon and apples or bananas or sliced almonds

Quinoa Porridge: Quinoa made with cinnamon (add in beginning so cooks with it) top with trail mix or nuts of your choice, apples, maple syrup

Coffee: If you love coffee and don't RELY on it to wake up, please try to consume Organic Coffee. I used Newman's Kerig cups which are the same price as all the others at Metro or Loblaws.
*Better idea: herbal tea...cutting down on caffeine will really help your body, energy levels and take you out of the caffeine reliance. If you're really looking to make changes try juicing!

Juice: carrot, grapefruit, ginger or spinach, lemon, cucumber, celery, ginger, apple


• Sliced apple with almond butter
• Celery, peppers and cucumber sticks with hummus
• Trail Mix: almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, raisins
• Toast with almond butter or Ezekiel English Muffin (GF freezer section of grocery store) with almond butter or coconut oil and cinnamon
• Quinoa Muffins - recipe from my blog
• Spicy Chick Peas - recipe from blog
• Sweet potato cubes - cut sweet potatoes into little squares, drizzle with Olive Oil or Coconut Oil, Salt and pepper and bake for 40 min at 375°


• Soup: Broccoli, spinach, onion, garlic soup from my blog
• Tomato Minestrone Soup from my blog
• Butternut Squash, Carrot, Ginger soup from my blog
• Kale Salad: Raw kale shredded, whatever veggies you like chopped up, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese if you like cheese in your salads and cooked chicken or salmon
• Veggie Sandwich: Deli fresh bread with hummus, sliced avocado, peppers, sprouts, arugula
• Add quinoa (I cook a huge pot on Sundays for the week) and add to any salad or dish - even if you just have organic spinach, quinoa, avocado, carrots and onions with pumpkin seeds it's still delicious and nutritious!


• Mexican Quinoa bowls - Quinoa, Pulled chicken sauteed in lime, garlic and pepper, black beans, corn, tomatoes or salsa, onions, white cheddar cheese if you must - Mix all ingredients together in a bowl with the quinoa as the base OR add to a Brown Rice or Ezekiel Tortilla and make a wrap!
• Grilled salmon with quinoa bowl - broccoli, snow peas, carrots, onions, tomatoes, chick peas
• Homemade pizza with gluten-free crust (you can make it on the weekend or the day before) with homemade pesto and veggies - recipe on blog this weekend we're making it tonight and it's SOOOO easy.
• Soups like above and add healthy veggie sandwiches or tortilla wraps with veggies
• Spicy Cumin Quinoa bowl - can add chicken to it and serve as a hot dish and then have it cold for lunch the next day - recipe on blog
• Portobella mushroom burgers with side salad - dress with tomatoes, avocado, whole grain mustard
• Black bean/sweet potato burgers with sprouts, arugula, tomatoes, onions etc.
• Pasta but serve it with a large amount of sautéed kale/spinach or swiss chard as the base, and then add 1 cup of cooked pasta and the rest of your toppings like sauce and veggies....this way you're still full, but portions are reversed and much healthier!!!

The key is to make what you can store for a week on the weekends, like quinoa, amaranth etc and then add it to a bunch of dishes throughout the week. Also, I do a lot of my cooking after yoga before bed at like 8-9pm so it's ready for lunch, and dinner the next day!

Try to grocery shop like this: condiments = sugar (except healthy mustard) and sugar = disease, fat, sick and tired. Same with juice...make your own juice, or try to buy organic juice with like 3 ingredients...Tropicana etc all have added sugar no matter what they say. Try goat cheese and feta once in awhile....and limit dairy for longterm health reasons...if you don't react to it no problem but it can still lead to disease in the long run. Try almond milk in your smoothies and coffee or get a hand frother and make mini-lattes every morning. 

Quinoa is your friend because you can make any dish better by adding it: salad, veggies with salmon or chicken, breakfast - even making quinoa-flour muffins is so easy! Wheat is also not great....and creates major reactions in a lot of people they don't even know exist like allergies, dark circles, skin rashes etc. It's the one of the most highly GMO'd product next to corn and coffee so if you buy breads/wraps etc try really hard to get them from a bakery at least...or a small deli instead of famous brands or loaves at the grocery store. Gluten-free options for everything are out there: brown rice or quinoa pasta, sweet potatoes, brown rice wraps etc.

If you have any questions or concerns, or specific goals you need help with please comment on my facebook page and I'd love to help!!!


Diabetic Lifestyle Tips

Living with Diabetes, T1 or T2, is not always a walk in the park - let's be honest, there are a lot of ups and downs...no pun intended. It can be frustrating when no matter how healthy you try to be your blood sugar still goes up, or drops more than you planned. For me, going low when I'm not hungry or not in the mood for juice really bugs me! Or, when I move my site for my insulin pump and it's not working properly so I start going higher.

The best ways for me to manage my diabetic lifestyle is to eat as clean as possible, get moving every single day no matter what, even if it's just a 20 minute walk around the block. The 3 rules I live by as a Diabetic now are:

• Nourish, Balance and Calm my body, mind and spirit
• Eat as fresh and clean as possible
• Accept the disease as a part of me and not try to fight it, let it define me, or let it bring me down

There are some people out there that claim carb-free is the way to go for either weight-loss or for diabetic control. Here's where they're wrong: it's portion control and the right foods that will help you lose weight AND will help keep your sugars under control.

Here are some tips I incorporate into my every day life when it comes to food:

• Never make the carbohydrate the main part of the meal: f I'm having quinoa pasta, I sauté greens as the base and then have 1/2 - 1 cup of cooked pasta as the topping instead of the other way around. If I'm having amaranth porridge for breakfast I add pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, almond milk, walnuts and maybe 3 apple slices but 1/2 the amount of amaranth I would need to fill me up!

• The grains you eat matter! Sweet potatoes, quinoa, amaranth are all great sources of carbohydrates that won't spike your sugars AS MUCH as white pasta, rice (both white and brown), bread etc.

• Veggies are important at every meal: Ok, maybe not breakfast per se, but even if you're having an omelette fill it full of carbohydrate-free vegetables that are not only healthy, but will not effect your sugars AND leave you feeling full! My favourite? I make scrambled eggs and top them with tomatoes, green peppers, olives, asparagus, onions, spinach and some black beans topped with avocado!

• Fruit = Sugar. Yes, I love fruit...when the season is right. I also portion my fruit correctly so it doesn't effect my blood sugar as much. For example, I use 1/3 of a banana in my smoothies instead of a full one. I snack on small amounts of berries as they are extremely beneficial for our health with all of their antioxidants, and won't effect your sugars as much as a full orange or apple.

Proteins make the best snacks: almond butter, hemp seeds, walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds - they are all great sources of protein and healthy fats that will stabilize your blood sugars and fill you up between meals. Just don't have TOO many nuts at one sitting...portion control is key when it comes to high-calorie nuts and seeds.

• Sugar is the devil: Sugar is in MOST packaged foods - crackers, cookies, cereals, granola bars - you want to stay away from these things most of the time as they are empty calories and hidden sugars without any vitamins or nutrients for your body! The more sugar you consume, the more fat your body will store because sugar = fat.

• Water and herbal teas are your best friends! Coffee once in awhile isn't a bad thing, but if you rely on it every day it's a problem. Try a smoothie or green juice - trust me, you will experience more of a energy boost than any cup of coffee you've consumed. Caffeine and alcohol can put your body's adrenal glands into overdrive which causes more stress and more inflammation - 2 things you don't want extra of in your body as a diabetic.

Remember, the key is you want to nourish your body and your mind with the food you eat. When you eat a clean diet your body starts to balance out more and not fight the stress you are putting it through, leading to better sugars and better control of your Diabetes.

Daily yoga practices, meditation and self-love are just a few other things you can do to balance out the stress in your body and therefore calm down you down.

For any other tips or questions please feel free to write on my Facebook Page!

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Kale Slaw

Ok this Kale Slaw may not be exactly the same, or as good as my last one:


but it is VERY good and cleansing!

Kale Slaw - quantities depend on how many people you're making for, use your own judgement

Raw Kale leaves broken into small pieces
Chopped red cabbage
Chopped napap cabbage
Julienned Carrots
Julienned Zucchini
Sliced red, yellow and green peppers
Sliced red onion
Pumpkin Seeds

EVOO, whole grain mustard, fresh lemon, clove of garlic minced, apple cider vinegar, fresh oregano, himalayan salt and black pepper

Mix everything together, add dressing and mix again. Let sit for about 15-20 minutes, and add pumpkin seeds before serving.

*Today for my leftovers I am adding quinoa, yellow beets, avocado and extra lemon!

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Morning Green Juice

I definitely can't take credit for inventing this myself as there are so many juicers out there promoting their latest juice cleanse or recipe. Kris Carr however, is an amazing woman to follow and be inspired by - and her juicing philosophy is to have green juice EVERY DAY (preferably in the morning)!

So my favourite, and easiest green juice is pure, clean and simple!

Morning Green Juice

3 stalks of Celery
1/2 Cucumber (I cut the skin off if not organic)
2 leaves with stems of Swiss Chard
2 inches of Ginger
2 handfuls of Spinach

Chop, Juice, Drink!

You can add an apple if you need some sweetness or even mix in a tbsp of honey!

• clear, radiant skin
• alertness - coffee? what coffee?
• digestive love
• absorption of many essential vitamins and minerals
• happiness!

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Gluten-free Cinnamon Berry Muffins

These muffins are amazing for breakfast and so healthy! I altered the recipe slightly from Julie Daniluk's book Meals that Heal Inflammation and they turned out amazing!

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Berry Muffins

2 cups of almond flour
1/2 cup of quinoa flour
1 cup of frozen raspberries or blueberries (I used strawberries as they were sold out everywhere!)
1 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp of himalayan salt
1/2 cup of coconut oil (I melt it down first before adding to mixture)
2 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of nutmeg
1 tsp of cardamom
3 eggs
1/4 cup of honey (I love wildflower)

• Pre-heat oven to 300°
• Mix flours, baking soda, salt and spices well in a large bowl
• Mix in eggs, oil and honey
• Mix in berries thoroughly and make sure they're evenly distributed
• Beat the mixture until it's nice and smooth
• Spoon into muffin cups one at a time in muffin pan
• Bake for 30 min, turn the pan half way through
• Let cool before serving

These lovely muffins are gluten-free, low in sugar and very delicious. The cinnamon and spices (much like a chai mixture) are so great for the colder months - especially when enjoyed with a spiced tea almond milk latte or hot chocolate for the kiddies!

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Chocolate Chai Protein Shake

I love chai tea - like, crave it. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves - mmmmm! So if you are a big fan of those spices, especially in the winter months, like I am AND you love chocolate, this shake is for you!

Chocolate Chai Protein Shake

1 cup of vanilla unsweetened almond milk
1/2 banana
1 tbsp of almond butter
1 tbsp of raw cacao powder (I use Navitas Naturals)
1 small tbsp of Triphala Powder (Organic Traditions - rejuvenating ayurvedic cleansing tonic powder)
1 tsp of ginger powder
1 tsp of cardamom
1/2 tsp of cloves
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 large scoop of Greens Superfood by Amazing Grass

Mix together in a blender (or magic bullet haha) and enjoy - add ice if you wish!

This fills you up, isn't high in sugar and is cleansing as well - plus, the spices are delicious and it tastes like an Iced Chai Latte - only it's vegan and healthy!

Vegan Kale Pasta Bowl

This delicious pasta bowl was a collaboration of a Pesto recipe from Meals that Heal Inflammation by Julie Daniluk, and my own creativity!

This dish can be enjoyed warm or cold...and is spectacular the next day for lunch!

Vegan Kale Pasta Bowl

TruRoots Quinoa/Amaranth/Brown Rice Spaghetti (available at Costco)
Vegan Pesto - sunflower seeds, EVOO, lemon juice, basil, garlic
4 large leaves of Kale chopped
Black Pepper
Chile Flakes

    • Cook spaghetti pasta as you normally would

    • Sauté mushrooms in coconut oil and garlic - 1 clove pressed

    • Sauté chopped kale in coconut oil, chile flakes and garlic - 1 clove pressed

      (I did it separately from the mushrooms but to save time you could do them together)

    • Cut fresh tomatoes to top your dish with

    • Heat pesto in a sauce pan to warm - whether you made it at the same time or prior to

    • Mix spaghetti, pesto, mushrooms and kale in a large bowl

    • Top with black pepper, tomatoes and parmasen cheese if you wish and aren't vegan or dairy-free!

Pesto (exact measurements are up to you these are just basic guidelines)

3/4 cup of sunflower seeds
1 cup of EVOO
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 lemon squeezed
5 large basil leaves

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor!

Again, it's better to add MORE greens that pasta so you aren't over-doing it with the carbs to raise your blood sugars. It's just as delicious and just as satisfying without feeling like you went overboard and ate too much! Use as much garlic, chile flakes and black pepper as you wish - I like the hint of spice with the pesto and garlic mushrooms!

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Healing Minestrone Soup

First I have to say that this delicious soup started out with the question: What can I make with all the random ingredients I have in the fridge and cupboard that will fill us up for lunch and is still really healthy?

The answer? Well that's in the ingredients below. I call it Healing because it is the perfect soup for a cold winter afternoon, for when you're feeling sick or just when you want to have something a little lighter for lunch or dinner, but will still leave you satisfied. The chickpeas add protein and the health benefits of all these delicious vegetables are incredible! This soup literally includes everything but the kitchen-sink!

Healing Minestrone Soup

1 large can of organic no salt added diced tomatoes
3 organic vegan vegetable cubes with 6 cups of water
3 large carrots chopped
2 yellow onions diced
3 cloves of garlic pressed, 1 clove chopped
3 large Swiss chard leaves chopped
1 zucchini sliced
8 white mushrooms sliced
2 portobello mushrooms sliced small
1 package of Enoki mushrooms
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 cans of chick peas
1/2 large napa cabbage chopped
6 fresh basil leaves chopped, 2 full leaves thrown in
Black pepper
Herbs de Provence mix: rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, fennel, lavendar

   • Saute onions and garlic in grapeseed oil until translucent

   • Add veggie broth and bring to a boil

   • Add all vegetables, basil & herbs except swiss chard, celery, zucchini, enoki mushrooms & cabbage

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

   • Add Swiss chard, celery, zucchini, enoki mushrooms & cabbage and simmer for another 15 minutes

Top with fresh pesto (recipe coming), parmasen cheese or some pepper and serve!

Apple Flax Pudding

This recipe is great for breakfast or any snack throughout the day. It is sweet, but if you portion it right it won't effect your sugars that much. It's from Julie Daniluk's book, Meals that Heal Inflammation, which is one recipe book I highly recommend for anyone living with Diabetes, and even those who are not.

Apple Flax Pudding - with almonds and granola

3 medium sized apples
2 tbsp of ground flax
1 tbsp of cinnamon
1/4 cup of sliced almonds
1/4 cup of homemade granola

1. Peel and cube apples
2. Bring them to a boil with 1/2 cup of water
3. Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes until mushy
4. Mix in flax and cinnamon
5. Sprinkle with almonds and granola and serve!

You can mix up your toppings of course, and in the recipe book Julie makes a few suggestions like almond milk if you want it to have more liquid. I would try walnuts, pecans, ginger, sunflower seeds.


Friday, 4 January 2013

The Bullet

Getting back to work after the holidays is always tough - whether you stayed true to your clean eating habits and exercise, or not.

 For me, my commitment to smoothies and juices in the morning has sort of slipped through the cracks, and although I still enjoy a warm cup of lemon water each morning I have to get back into the swing of things!

So this morning while I was searching for a lunch bag I found, in the back of our cupboard, the infamous Magic Bullet. My husband and I haven't used "the bullet" in probably over a year because we use our blender for smoothies, salad dressings or chai-tea mixtures. It was a sign - I need to start making my green protein smoothies again - and now I can make them at work!

What a brilliant idea, and I'm actually shocked I haven't thought of this earlier! It's compact, easy to use - you can have a smoothie ready in less than a minute, preparation and all - and it doesn't make a huge mess!

My morning smoothie:

1/2 banana (frozen or ripe)
2 scoops of Amazing Grass Green Superfood Powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
1 tbsp of ground flax meal
1 large tbsp almond butter
1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp of maca root powder
3 ice cubes

If you're looking for a new morning routine but not sure you have the time until you get to work, invest in one of these Magic Bullets - they are so convenient, fast and easy to use. I know not every office is as relaxed as mine, but for a brief 40 second blend, your body will thank you!

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Kale Pasta Bowl

I came up with this basic recipe last night because it's more about portion control than actual ingredients.

Instead of eating a huge bowl of pasta with a bit of greens as a topping, I switched it around! I used the sautéed kale as the main part of the dish and used the quinoa pasta sparingly as a topping!

Kale Pasta Bowl - GF and Veggie

6-7 large leaves of Kale
1/2 cup of Quinoa pasta - I used penne
3 tbsp of homemade pasta sauce
1 tbsp of kalamata olives sliced
Handful of cherry tomatoes
Chopped fresh Oregano
Grapeseed Oil
2 cloves of Garlic


• Cook Quinoa pasta as you would normally and set aside (or cook at same time as kale)
• Heat up sauce as you would normally stovetop and keep simmering until kale is ready
• Sauté the kale in a pan in 2 tbsp of grapeseed oil with 2 cloves of chopped garlic and 2 tsp of dried  chile flakes - about 5 min - it will shrink up a lot

Place as much kale as you like on a plate making it the main part of the dish. Add the pasta, sauce, olives, chopped oregano and drizzle with EVOO and parmesan cheese if you wish!