‘Gado Gado’ Rolls With Crispy Tempeh & Peanut Sauce.

This whole food, plant-based recipe was inspired by the flavorful cuisine of Bali, Indonesia – where I had the pleasure of visiting last year. Indonesia is the home of Tempeh – a protein-packed fermented soybean ‘cake’ with a distinct texture, and slightly nutty, umami flavor. It is found in many regional dishes, including Gado Gado – a salad made with blanched vegetables including cabbage, green beans, bean sprouts, hard-boiled egg, fried tofu, tempeh, and peanut dressing. My ‘winter version’ of summer rolls aka rice paper rolls, this recipe is composed of mostly cooked, warming ingredients instead of raw. Seeing as cabbage is significantly more nutritious than rice paper wrappers, these rolls are an even healthier choice!

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Cashew Butter, Maple & Lemon Glazed Raw ‘Donuts’

While not actually made with traditional ‘dough’, these whole food, plant-based ‘donuts’ are a delicious AND nutritious treat! Using nuts and dates as a base, one can create many different raw sweets – of all shapes and flavors. As a lover of lemon, I was inspired to make a lemon-infused dessert, that would bring brightness and tang to the almonds and dried fruit. Including fresh ginger, cinnamon, and cocoa, also makes these ‘donuts’ more flavorful. With no refined sugars or oils, you can feel good about enjoying this no-bake healthy dessert!

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Roasted Sweet Dumpling Squash, Apple & Walnut Brassica Salad.

This seasonal salad is packed with fiber-rich complex carbs (for stable energy), vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, Omega 3’s, protein and deliciousness! The comforting roasted squash, hearty winter greens, fresh parsley and apple, sweet cranberries, and crunchy walnuts create a balanced bite. I suggest preparing enough for 3 days worth of whole food, plant-based meals – making the most of your cooking time!

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My Whole Food Plant-Based Guide. A Nutrition Education Tool.

I’m thrilled to be promoting my newly released Whole Food Plant-Based Guide this month, created in collaboration with Montreal-based illustrator Laucolo. Designed to encourage healthy cooking at home, to inspire people to explore a wide variety of colorful foods, and to serve as an alternative to the conventional food guide. Frame it or tack it on your fridge – a visually engaging education tool for everyone to enjoy!

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Oat & Carrot Baked Donuts With Tahini, Maple Glaze & Hemp Seeds.

These whole food, plant-based delicious donuts (or muffins) are composed of only real, nutritious ingredients – with no added sugars or oils. They are packed with fiber-rich complex carbohydrates – offering steady energy! The applesauce acts as an oil replacer, making it a low fat recipe. The applesauce and carrots also add natural sweetness, so you don’t have to use much maple syrup – a minimally processed, lower glycemic option. The tahini and hemp seeds are a source of protein, minerals, and Omega 3’s. The whole family will enjoy these satisfying, healthy baked goods for breakfast, snack, or dessert! Also a nutrient-dense pre-workout option, instead of processed granola bars for example.

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Healthy Skin Care from the Inside Out. Featuring Province Apothecary.

Skin health is a major concern among many people I work with, from acne, to eczema, and rosacea – these conditions that are typically connected to diet and lifestyle factors, including hydration, nutrition, stress levels and hormone balance. As the largest organ of the body, the skin can be sensitive to both internal and external factors, and often reflects a person’s state […]

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Spiced Leek & Turnip Soup with Roasted Cauliflower & Pumpkin Seeds.

This seasonal soup is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and deliciousness. A warming and tasty addition to any Fall lunch or dinner! While potatoes are typically paired with leek in soup, I prefer turnips – being a lower glycemic (less starch/sugars) root vegetable. Instead of processed Bouillon cubes/packaged veggie stock, I used umami-rich white miso paste to season the soup – which also provides probiotic benefits. To make the most of your time in the kitchen, I suggest prepping a big batch of soup, which is easy to freeze for future meals. Bake plenty of roasted cauliflower as well, which can be added to ‘pseudo-grain bowls’, warm salads, or enjoyed as a snack – dipped into homemade hummus for example. Having healthy dishes like this in the fridge or freezer, makes it easier to eat well throughout the week!

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My Staple Salad Dressing. Probiotic-Packed & Delicious.

Making a nutritious and delicious salad dressing will inspire you to eat more veggies throughout the week! Once you find a recipe that you enjoy, prepare enough for at least three days worth of meals, making it easier and assemble a quick salad for lunch or dinner. I encourage you to experiment with different spices, herbs, aromatics, vinegars, oils, and fermented items – like the miso and nutritional yeast featured here. These ingredients not only enhance the flavor of your dressing, but offer fermented, probiotic boosting benefits – that support immunity, and gut health!

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Four-Seed & Date Bars. Whole Food | Plant-Based. Protein / Energy Bars.

These sweet/salty, chewy/crunchy seed bars are a delicious and nutritious whole food, plant-based snack! Offering a full spectrum of amino acids/protein, unprocessed energy/carbs from the dates, plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A great back-to-school item for kids attending nut-free schools and otherwise. A healthier option compared to the packaged store-bought bars, made with processed sugars, refined oils, and preservatives. These DIY bars are made from just a handful of real, nutrient-dense ingredients. Quick and simple to make, this recipe requires no baking, just the use of a handy food processor – my go-to kitchen tool!

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Grilled Vegetables With My Garlicky Herb Sauce & Sesame Edamame.

This is one of my weekly staple meals, and a recipe idea I typically suggest to my clients – as they transition towards a whole food, plant-based diet. Making a big platter of roasted vegetables and sauce to enjoy throughout the work-week, is one of the ways I encourage people to make healthily eating more efficient. Washing and chopping vegetables takes time and energy, so you may as well do it in bulk! This allows you to quickly assemble a healthy, delicious, plant-based meal – without having to start from scratch each day. Choose any combination of vegetables you enjoy, and try to purchase as much seasonal, local produce as possible.

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Grilled Fresh Fava Beans. A Whole-Food, Plant-Based Snack or Side Dish.

Fava beans aka Broad beans are a fantastic source of protein, fiber-rich complex carbs, B Vitamins, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. All podded beans and vegetables can be grilled! bringing out their natural sugars/ sweetness, and giving them extra flavor from the high-heat cooking process. I used a grill pan at home to prepare these, as I don’t have a BBQ, but you can certainly use a proper grill instead. Next time you’re BBQ’ing, throw some seasonal favas on the grill, as a change from veggie burgers or dogs!

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Swiss Chard Salad with Apple, Radicchio, Sunflower Seeds, Chickpeas & Currants.

This fresh and satisfying complete-meal salad makes a great picnic dish, or healthy addition to your summer BBQ! Celebrating one of my fave leafy greens, Swiss Chard! using both the leaves and delicious stems – which are often unnecessarily thrown out. The slightly bitter, sweet, earthy and tender leaves make for a tasty and nutritious salad base, as an alternative to your usual suspects (kale/romaine/arugula). Combining the bitter chard and radicchio, with the sweet apple, currants, and maple dressing – helps to balance the flavor of this dish. Adding crunchy dry toasted sunflower seeds offers a texture and nutty taste – a completely different food compared to raw sunflower seeds. They also provide a serving of protein and healthy unsaturated fats, along with the chickpeas – another good source of plant-based protein!

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DL’s Peanut Protein & Energy Bars. Whole Food. Plant-Based.

These delicious and nutritious bars are packed with plant-based protein, good fats, and whole-food carbs – an ideal pre or post-workout snack. Designed for the plant-based athletes I work with, this recipe offers concentrated energy from the fiber-rich dried fruits, and protein from the nuts and seeds. This combination of macronutrients provides a boost of energy without spiking your blood sugar level, and allows for steady energy release. Unlike store-bought packaged bars, these have zero added sugars, oils, or preservatives – making it a much healthier option. These bars can also be enjoyed as a dessert, a healthy and tasty treat for the whole family!

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Green Pea & Fresh Mint Hummus Crostini with Cashew Parm. Plant-Based Snack.

This spring pea spread or dip is a delicious and nutritious alternative to hummus. Protein and fiber-packed green peas are more easily digested than chickpeas, which makes this recipe appropriate for those with digestive issues. Given their inherent sweetness, kids love green peas too! You can make bean dip/hummus out of any legume, and often I encourage my clients to experiment with different beans, lentils, and peas – to get a wider spectrum of nutrients, and prevent sensitivity developing from over-consuming one type of food (chickpeas!). Customize your legume dips with any fresh herbs, spices, citrus zest, and aromatics you enjoy. Eat this dip with raw or roasted veggies as a snack, or spread it onto a whole grain wrap or sandwich for lunch. These crostinis were made for a catering event I did, but can easily be made at home for dinner parties and gatherings for friends and family!

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Almond, Cranberry & Earl Grey Granola. Sweetened with Apple & Apricot.

A different, healthier take on breakfast granola! This nutritious and delicious recipe is composed of only whole food ingredients, providing plenty of fiber-rich complex-carbs, plant-based protein, and healthy fats – for steady energy. Sweetened naturally with my Apple & Apricot butter (see here), this granola is free of the processed sugars, refined oils, and other preservatives, which are found in store-bought products. To boost the flavor in a healthy way, I added Earl grey, cinnamon, and orange zest!

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Spiced Apricot & Apple Butter. A Healthy Whole-Food Fruit Spread.

This delicious and nutritious fresh fruit spread is composed of just a few whole ingredients, minus the processed sugars or other preservatives that you find in most store-bought products. Enjoy as you would any jam, jelly, or marmalade – to top your whole grain toast, stirred into breakfast oats/quinoa/buckwheat groats, or non-dairy yogurt – as a healthy sweetener and flavor booster!

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Cooking with Kids. The Importance of Culinary & Nutrition Education.

I had the pleasure of cooking with two amazing children, Asher and Georgia, the kids of my friends Aaron and Nadine. We made my ‘Roasted Delicata Squash Salad’ recipe with arugula, caramelized red onion, toasted pumpkin seeds, and fresh parsley. Asher and Georgia were eager to help out, chopping the squash, toasting the seeds, and washing the herbs. They tasted all of the individual ingredients, even the unfamiliar ones! Once the dish was complete, we all sat down and enjoyed the dish together. Cooking is an important skill to teach our children, allowing them to live an optimally healthy life, while helping prevent disease in the future. Preparing simple, and nutritious meals, can be a fun and interactive way for kids to learn about proper nutrition, seasonality, and sustainability.

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Smoky Black Bean, Mushroom & BBQ Tempeh Tacos with Chickpea Tortillas.

These tacos are made from whole food, plant-based ingredients, offering a balance of fiber-rich complex carbs, protein, good fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – for optimal nutrition, energy, and satiety. I provided two protein options, black beans and tempeh, which you can make one or both of, depending on your personal taste. Many of my clients are sensitive to soy, but typically handle tempeh well, seeing as it is a fermented whole food, rather than a processed (GMO) soy product. This versatile recipe creates enough food for multiple meals, and can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The different components (smoky black beans, slaw, mango salsa, BBQ tempeh) can also be enjoyed in ‘taco bowl’ form (minus the tortillas), or as meal accompaniments. Preparing a big batch of these ready-to-eat dishes, you can easily mix and match the items, assembling quick and healthy meals to eat throughout the week!

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Rocky Montana. Tribute to a Montreal Food Institution. 1991-2016.

For 25 years, Rocky Montana has been a fixture on Sherbrooke Street West, in Montreal’s N.D.G, but sadly, they are closing their doors this month. Owned and run by Ramesh Velauthapillai aka Ramesh, and his wife, Rocky Montana was a special food shop that supported the local community. Committed to offering the lowest prices possible, Ramesh provided healthy fresh food, including plenty of organic items, to people from all socioeconomic backgrounds in the city. News of Rocky’s shutting hit close to home, as I had frequented the grocery store for many years, having grown up just a few blocks away. I have fond memories of shopping there with my mother, listening to the colourful Sri Lankan music they played, and enjoying the Buddhist art on the walls. After learning that they were closing, I went to visit Ramesh at the store, for the last time, to get the backstory from him directly.

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Plant-Based Nutrition Presentation. May Market. Montreal.

Grateful for the opportunity to be participating at the Marché de mai // May Market! I’ll be discussing a whole-food, plant-based diet and its benefits on human health and the environment. There will be a Q&A period after the presentation, so I welcome you to join the conversation! Taking place on Saturday May 14th between 1:00 pm and 2:15pm, at Esplanade: 6750, avenue de l’Espanade, #102, in Montreal’s Mile-Ex.

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Crunchy Purple Kale & Cabbage Salad with Red Beets and Sprouts.

This colourful nutrient-dense side salad is a delicious addition to your lunch or dinner! Offering fiber-rich complex carbs (for sustained energy), amino acids (proteins), vitamins, minerals, and a wide mix of antioxidants. Kale, cabbage, and cabbage sprouts are part of the cruciferous family aka Brassica. Aside from being sources of vitamins K, A, C, calcium, and iron, they also contain anti-cancer antioxidants Glucosinolates. Purple pigmented kale, and cabbage provide Anthocyanins, another potent antioxidant with anti-cancer benefits. I chose to use these beautiful purple and red cued vegetables, to offer you more nutritional bang for your buck!

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My trip to Bali. A Plant-Based Paradise & Healthy Travel Destination.

Bali had been at the top of my travel bucket list for many years, so it was exciting to finally make the trip in February. While people had told me that Bali was a Mecca for plant-based food, I was not prepared for the incredible quality and variety of healthy vegan restaurants to be found. Even after exploring a number of these eateries during my stay, I only scratched the surface of all that was available! Overall, the meals I enjoyed were consistently fresh, delicious, nutritious, and inspiringly creative. I appreciated the attention to detail that was given to everything from the beautiful restaurant interiors, to the carefully plated dishes. For many, food plays a major role in the travel experience, and as a food-curious person, I am especially interested in the different cuisines of the places I visit. Travelling can be challenging as a plant-based eater, as many parts of the world are not so veggie-friendly. That said, my Bali experience was all the more special, seeing how easy it was to access incredible plant-based food!

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Farm Red Orach. A Small Organic Vegetable Farm. Just outside of Montreal.

Red Orach Farm is a 2-Acre organic vegetable farm located one-hour outside of Montreal. Run by my friend, farmer Nick Kuepfer, and owned by Kiva Stimac and Mauro Pezzente, of Montreal’s fantastic restaurants/venues Casa Del Popolo, La Sala Rossa, La Vitrola, and Popolo press. Nick grows a variety of organic heirloom vegetables, herbs, and mushrooms, providing a number of the city’s chefs with high quality produce. He also offers an annual CSA program (Community Supported Agriculture), delivering Farmers’ baskets to your door each week, from June to August. I had the pleasure of spending a day at Farm Red Orach, and learned a great deal about sustainable agriculture. In conjunction with my visit, I interviewed Nick about his personal experience being a small-scale organic farmer in Quebec, and am happy to share these insights with you!

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Breakfast of Silken Tofu ‘Yogurt’, Toasted Buckwheat, Figs & Fresh Orange.

This protein-packed, plant-based breakfast will leave you feeling nourished and energized! It offers fiber, vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and deliciousness. The light silken tofu ‘yogurt’ provides protein, without the saturated fat or cholesterol found in dairy. Buckwheat groats, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and cashews are incredible protein sources as well. In fact, cashews contain all essential amino acids, making them a complete protein source on their own!

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Prioritizing vs. Compromising our basic needs for optimal health.

As a Holistic Health Practitioner, I encourage clients to PRIORITIZE rather than COMPROMISE their basic needs – in the areas of diet, exercise, sleep & stress. Once an individual identifies what their specific physical and emotional needs are, we work on making these needs a priority, to help them live a healthier, and more balanced life. When we compromise our basic needs for the needs of others, we cannot be our best selves, and as a result, cannot GIVE to others in our fullest capacity.

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Toasted Almond, Sticky Date, Dark Chocolate & Orange Bars.

This delicious and nutritious vegan dessert is made from whole food ingredients, with no added refined sugars or fats. To make this recipe an everyday snack, simply minus the chocolate, adding citrus zest to the date paste layer instead. Enjoying a sweet treat on occasion, is part of a healthy and balanced diet/lifestyle (moderation is key!), and by making your own from scratch, using un-processed, wholesome foods, you can feel good both psychologically and physiologically about indulging!

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Swiss Chard Wraps with Hummus, Cauliflower ‘Rice’, & Roasted Vegetables.

This is part 2 of my last recipe using the same ingredients, but in a different way! Swiss chard leaves or collard greens make a delicious and nutritious alternative to tortillas or rice paper wraps. This recipe demonstrates one of the many dishes you can make using greens, the most nutritious family of vegetables!

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Orange Spiced Poached Pears, Silken-Tofu ‘Yogurt’, Maple Candied Walnuts.

This whole-food, plant-based recipe makes for a delicious and nutritious dessert or breakfast! it offers a variety of flavours and textures, making it a satisfying dish. Packed with protein from the silken tofu, essential fatty acids aka omega 3’s from the walnuts, as well as vitamins, minerals and fiber provided by the pears.

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A Plant-Based Diet: Healthy & Environmentally Sustainable.

One of the most powerful & positive things we can do to improve our environment, is to adopt a whole food, plant-based diet. This does not necessarily mean vegan/vegetarian, it means eating mostly plants and less animal products. This dietary approach not only benefits human health, but is also much less exhaustive of precious natural […]

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Salted Date Syrup. Vanilla Chai Caramel. A Healthy Whole-Food Sweetener.

Homemade date paste is one of the healthiest sweeteners, especially compared to highly processed products like agave, and brown-rice syrup. It is quick and simple to make, you just need a high-powered blender or food processor to puree the dates. DIY date paste/syrup is also a lot cheaper than the packaged refined sweeteners!

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Asian Glazed Roasted Carrots, Toasted Sesame Seeds & Coriander.

I adore roasted carrots. This simple, delicious and nutritious dish is incredibly versatile, as you can use whatever spices, herbs or marinade you enjoy, along with any garnishes (fresh herbs, toasted nuts/seeds) you prefer. Here I went with Asian-inspired flavours, combining ingredients that offered a balance of sweet, salty, spicy, and savoury tastes, enhanced with aromatic garlic and ginger. This recipe makes a great side dish, or can be enjoyed as a snack with edamame bean dip for example (instead of the usual raw carrot sticks & hummus), and added to a warm salad!

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Celeriac Parsnip Puree, Mixed Mushrooms, Crispy Tempeh & Pine Nuts.

This warming winter meal was inspired by the classic Italian dish of creamy polenta with mushroom ragout. Instead of the high-glycemic/low-nutrient cornmeal (aka polenta), I opted for the flavourful and seasonal celeriac and parsnips, pureed into a comforting creamy texture, providing more nutrients and fiber. This delicious dish offers a wide spectrum of both macronutrients (protein, complex-carbs, healthy fats), and micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants).

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Farro, Butternut Squash, Arugula Salad with Pomegranate & Pumpkin Seeds.

This is one of my favourite Fall recipes, that I designed as a complete meal salad, offering a balance of complex carbohydrates (vegetables, farro), plant-based protein (farro, pumpkin seeds), and healthy fats (pumpkin seeds, olive oil). The pomegranate is a simple carbohydrate but from a whole food source, providing flavonoids & polyphenols antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. TIP: Prep the components to this salad in bulk, and keep separate in the fridge, so enjoy for 2-3 days of meals. It is always efficient to cook up the whole bag of farro, in order to use in salads like this throughout the week!

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Coffee, Cacao & Coconut Coated Plant-Based Truffles. A Healthy Dessert!

This delicious and nutritious plant-based dessert is made from only whole plant foods, with no added sugars or oils. The almonds provide healthy unsaturated fat and plant-based protein, while the dates naturally sweeten the recipe and offer some minerals and vitamins. The cacao, coffee, coconut, ginger and lemon zest give these truffles a boost of natural flavour and richness!

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Crispy Sesame Tofu Wrap with Sun-Dried Tomato Cashew ‘Cheese’.

This ‘cashew cream cheese’ is delicious as a dip eaten with veggies, diluted with water and used as cheesy sauce over zucchini noodles or pasta, or loosened further with water to be used as a salad dressing. Made from raw nuts, this recipe does do not contain the saturated fat or cholesterol found in dairy cheese. Cashews are a source of protein, anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fat and omega fatty acids, fiber, calcium, magnesium, and manganese. In fact, 100 grams of raw cashews has 18 grams of protein, 37% RDA iron and 3 grams of fiber and zero cholesterol, while ricotta cheese (whole milk) only has 11 grams of protein, 2% RDA iron, 125 mg of cholesterol, and zero fiber.

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Summer Peach, Ginger & Lemon Tart. A Whole Food Plant-Based Dessert.

Ontario peaches are now in season, and I have been enjoying them in every way! Grilled or shaved in salads, turned into desserts like this tart, and simply eaten whole as a snack. This fresh, nutritious and delicious raw dessert, is quick and easy to prepare. It only require two essential kitchen tools: a mandoline and a food processor, both of which are very handy in plant-based cooking, as it allows one to turn whole vegetables and fruits into different textures and creative dishes!

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Grilled Asparagus, Radish, Scallion, Arugula & Sesame Salad.

This simple, grilled asparagus salad is quick and easy to prepare, offering plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Lightly grilling asparagus brings out its natural sweetness, and allows it’s tender yet toothsome texture to remain in tact. Radishes are usually served raw, but are fantastic when roasted, braised, or grilled. The sharp ‘spiciness’ of radish dulls when cooked, and the inherent sweetness of this beautiful vegetable is released. Try adding asparagus and radishes to your BBQ vegetable medley for a wonderful mix of tastes and textures!

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Focus on Farro. A Nutritious & Delicious Ancient Whole Grain.

Farro is an original wheat variety, along with spelt, emmer, and einkorn, other types of unprocessed or modified wheat. Farro may also be called Emmer, which is grown in Tuscany, and is traditional to the Italian diet. While farro is less commonly consumed in North America, it is slowly becoming more popular as people move back to eating whole foods. Farro is packed with protein, which is why I consider it a ‘pseudo-grains’, like quinoa, buckwheat, and amaranth. In fact, 1/2 cup of dried farro has about 12 grams of complete protein, iron (15% RDA), and B vitamins. It is also lower glycemic (less sugars/starch) compared to other grains like brown rice, which means it keeps your blood sugar and energy levels steady. Look out for this delicious and nutritious grain at your local health food store, and ask your grocer to carry it if they don’t already. The more variety we can bring into your diet, the healthier!

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Alvéole. Urban Beekeeping & Honey Company. Montreal.

Alvéole is a young and inspiring Montreal-based Company, founded and run by my friends Alex McLean, Declan Rankin Jardin, and Etienne Lapierre. These passionate and hardworking entrepreneurs are committed to supporting the plight of the bees, by educating people about the important practice of small-scale, sustainable beekeeping. Alvéole’s primary service is setting up home hives, either on the roof, the balcony or in the yard, providing people with the opportunity to produce their own natural honey, while supporting the local honeybee population. The team offers ongoing guidance to beehive owners, and pay regular visits to the hives, to ensure that the bees are in good health. Come Fall, the team extracts the organic honey from each hive, about 10kg worth, which can be enjoyed and shared with friends and family. This experience of caring for a hive allows people to connect with nature, and appreciate the amazing world of honeybees!

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Banana Vanilla ‘Ice-Cream’ Sandwich with Almond & Date Cookies.

This nutritious and delicious plant-based summer dessert is made from only whole foods, without any added sugars or refined ingredients. There is no need for processed sugar when using naturally sweet organic ripe bananas! When frozen and blended, bananas create a creamy, satisfying gelato-like texture. This fruit is a source of vitamin C, B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and fiber. Unlike dairy ice-cream, there is no saturated fat or cholesterol found in this version. Many of the vegan ice-creams on the market are made with coconut, which is also high in saturated fat, like in animal-products. When it comes to plant-based ice-cream, this banana recipe is the healthiest option I can recommend – plus it is cheap and easy to make at home!

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Determine Your Priorities. Holistically Healthy Diet & Lifestyle Change.

How do you spend your time? This is a reflection of our priorities. Priorities are those things/people/activities we treat as more important and valuable, compared to others. A healthy, balanced lifestyle is achieved when we pair our priorities with our personal needs and values. Bringing attention and intention to how you choose to spend your […]

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Banana Cashew Cream Trifle with Maple Toasted Almonds.

This is a delicious dessert made from only whole and nutritious plant-based ingredients. It provides plenty of protein from the (organic GMO-free) silken tofu and nuts, as well as healthy unsaturated fats. This is a healthier version of a classic comforting dish, that would traditionally be created with saturated fat and cholesterol-rich animal products (eggs, cream, milk). 

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Restaurant Day. May 2015. Montreal.

Restaurant Day is a unique ‘culinary carnival’ that takes place 4 times a year, in which people have the opportunity to open their dream pop-up restaurant, cafe, or bar for one day. What began in Helsinki four years ago, has since spread across the globe and become an international food event. I had the pleasure of attending the most recent Montreal edition of Restaurant Day last week, on Saturday May 16th 2015.

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Summer Squash ‘Pappardelle’ with Garlicky Mushrooms.

I’m a big fan of zucchini aka summer squash in any shape or form, including as ‘pasta’ as seen in this recipe! Preparing zucchini this way is quick and easy, however it does require the handy mandoline (as seen above), a kitchen tool when it comes to vegetable preparations. Using this nutritious and delicious whole plant food as ‘pasta’, makes for a light, low glycemic, and easy to digest option!

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Spring Salad Starring ☞ Fresh Peas, Beans & Greens.

This is a light and refreshing salad that is made up of a wide variety of colourful whole foods, offering a spectrum of nutrients, tastes and textures! like all salads, this is a versatile dish that can be made using whatever fresh crunchy seasonal green vegetables you have access to or enjoy. The watercress, scallions, and radish are now in seasonal in QC, the fava beans and pears were on sale, and the green beans and yellow wax beans looked fresh at my local grocery store. Stocking up on a range of vegetables and fruits allows you to put together more interesting salads and other plant-based dishes. These naturally delicious whole foods simply require a little care: washing, prepping, cooking and assembling!

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Cabbage Cups with Crispy Tempeh & Peanut Sauce.

This light and flavourful, nutritious recipe is quick and easy to prepare! offering a complete balance of fiber-rich complex carbs, plant-based protein and healthy unsaturated fats. This dish is also incredibly versatile! you can use a different combination of crunchy veggies as filler, swap the tempeh for tofu if you have that on hand, or use Napa or red cabbage instead of white.

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Positive Self-Talk. Holistic Health.

My approach to holistic nutrition is based on the notion that all aspects of a person are interconnected. Recognizing the influence and power of the mind is essential in helping people achieve their diet & lifestyle goals. I encourage my clients to challenge negative self-talk with positive thinking! Harness your thoughts by observing self-destructive inner dialogue or self-doubt, in a non-judgemental way, and mindfully replacing these thoughts with uplifting & motivating statements. Write down any self-defeating thoughts that you notice, and next to them, write a self-compassionate affirmation to counter it.

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Be Present. A Daily Practice for Stress-Management & Optimal Health.

Learning to be present in yourself by becoming more in tuned with your thoughts, feelings, and sensations, supports healthy diet and lifestyle choices. When we make decisions based on our thoughts, emotions (which are often habitual reactions), we are more vulnerable to making diet & lifestyle choices that do not serve us. Thoughts and emotions come and go like clouds in the sky, we can simply observe them as such, rather than acting on them. Rather, try focusing on the present moment, your inner stillness. Calmly come back to this space whenever your mind wanders, or you notice yourself getting caught in feelings or sensations. Connect with your inner and outer environment: pay attention to your breath, close your eyes, or gently gaze at something in your surroundings. Practicing ‘mindfulness’ in this way, can help you make healthier & wiser diet & lifestyle choices!

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Spicy Sesame Tofu Seasoned with Shichimi Togarashi.

Tofu ingredients: – Firm tofu (organic/GMO-free) Marinade: – Homemade DIY red curry paste, 2-3 tbsp (red chili/garlic/ginger/shallot/salt/lemongrass/kaffir lime/red miso) – Braggs, 1/2 cup (lower sodium soy sauce) – Maple syrup, 1/2 cup (minimally processed sweetener & local QC product) – Toasted sesame oil, 3-5 drops (strong flavour) Garnish: – Shichimi togarashi Instructions: 1. Once removing the […]

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Apricot, Almond, Cashew & Camomile Truffles.

This healthy whole-food dessert or snack provides a wide range of nutrients, with no added sweeteners or oils. Almonds are a fantastic source of protein, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, Vitamin E, B vitamins, fiber, and healthy fats. Cashews are a good source of protein, iron, B vitamins, vitamin K, Magnesium, selenium, potassium, zinc, and good unsaturated fats. Apricots are a great source of vitamin A, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber. I normally use unsulfured apricots, which you can find at most health food stores, but I only had sulphured apricots in this case. Sulfur dioxide is used as a preservative to extend its shelf life and preserve the fruit’s bright color, which is why un-sulfured apricots are a darker brown. While it is optimal to avoid preservatives and processed foods, being flexible around food is also important in maintaining a healthy diet and relationship with food. Simply focus on making the healthiest choices you can with the resources you have!

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Facing Fear of Healthy Diet & Lifestyle Change.

In the pursuit of adopting a healthier diet & lifestyle, some may experience inner resistance or fear, a roadblock to change. Shining a light on these fears with non-judgemental self-awareness, by looking closely at what thoughts/feelings are behind them, gives you a greater understanding of yourself and your challenges. By identifying and naming your fears, you can overcome them! Take courage, practice self-compassion, and give yourself permission to change.

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Spiced Roasted Carrots & Fresh Herb Sauce.

This dish celebrates the humble yet delicious & nutritious carrot! The warming, smoky spices included in this recipe compliment the natural earthy sweetness of the root vegetable. The olive oil and maple syrup support the roasting process, allowing the natural sugars of the vegetable to be released. Pairing the caramelized carrots with a bright, fresh herb sauce helps balance the dish! This herb sauce can be used in a variety of different preparations, served with grilled tofu/tempeh, or added to zucchini/veggie noodles as a lighter pesto for example.

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Kitchen Sink Salad with Sesame-Ginger Dressing.

A ‘kitchen-sink salad’ is all about making use of whatever whole food ingredients you have on hand, including vegetables, fruit, nuts & seeds, legumes and whole grains. To make this a complete meal, add a serving of protein like edamame beans, crispy baked tempeh or tofu. You can also easily replace one or more of the veggies, using cabbage instead of lettuce, beets instead of carrots, pear instead of mango for example. A delicious salad is composed of a variety of textures and flavours, and a bright, well seasoned dressing.

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Passion Fruit Pie with Maple Cashew Cream & Fresh Mango.

Crust ingredients: – Natural almonds – unsweetened desiccated coconut – Dates – 100% passionfruit pulp * – Dark cacao powder – Sea salt Filling ingredients: – Raw cashews – Passionfruit pulp – Maple syrup Topping: – Fresh mango Directions: 1. Soak the cashews in passionfruit pulp overnight. Soaking allows the nuts to soften, making it […]

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Black Rice, Edamame, Butternut Squash & Sesame Salad.

Black rice is one of numerous varieties of rice that is grown in parts of China, Indonesia, Thailand, and  India. It has a satisfying tender texture/bite, a wonderful sweet nutty flavour, and fragrant aroma. Compared to brown or basmati rice, black rice is higher in nutrients, specifically iron, vitamin E, magnesium, manganese, zinc, selenium and antioxidants – indicated by its dark purple pigment (like dark coloured berries!). In fact, the outermost layer of brown rice, the hull, contains one of the highest levels of Anthocyanin antioxidants found in food, a type of flavanoid antioxidant with anti-cancer properties. Black rice contains about double the protein in brown rice, making it a more nutritious and efficient protein source for plant-based eaters. It is can be used in both sweet and savoury preparations, eaten as a warm breakfast ‘porridge’, in a simple side dish, as a main dish like this complete-meal salad, or in a dessert like my favourite Thai style ‘mango & sticky rice’!

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Butter Beans with Roasted Vegetables, Fresh Herbs & Tomatoes.

This simple, fresh ‘complete-meal salad’ is both delicious and nutritious, providing a balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. Using Butter beans instead of the usual suspects (chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, lentils), offers a different, tasty, and nutrient-dense alternative. Incorporating different whole foods into your diet not only gives you a wider spectrum of nutrients, but also makes your meals more interesting. Butter beans are especially high in fiber, and packed with protein (10 grams protein/1 cup cooked), Iron, B vitamins, Zinc, and Magnesium.

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Earl Grey Tea Infused Date & Almond Cacao Truffles.

This flavourful and nutritious dessert is quick and easy to make, composed of just a handful of whole food ingredients. Free of refined sugar/flour/oil, these healthy ‘truffles’ are satisfyingly sweet, sure to be enjoyed by everyone. As a longtime fan of tea, I often incorporate this ancient beverage into my cooking, used as a seasoning or spice, in both sweet and savoury dishes. Rehydrating the dried dates in Earl Grey instead of neutral water, boosts the flavour of the dessert in a healthy way!

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) & The Winter Blues. A Holistic Approach.

  Winter’s shorter, dark days, and cold weather affects many of us living in the Northern Hemisphere to some degree. While some people experience a slight dip in mood and energy, aka the ‘winter blues’, others endure a more severe condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder, or S.A.D, as it is appropriately abbreviated to. Officially defined […]

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Festive Fruit & Nut Chocolate Tart. Healthy Holiday Dessert.

Holidays gatherings are often centred around cookies, cakes, and chocolate, usually made from less healthy ingredients. However, we CAN indulge in sweets and enjoy holiday desserts in a healthy way! Using whole food nutritious ingredients like nuts, dried and fresh fruit, citrus zest, spices and tea’s, one can create rich and flavourful holiday desserts that everyone will enjoy. This recipe for my Fruit & Nut Tart, is packed with vitamins, minerals, healthy un-saturated fats, and plant-based protein. A rich and indulgent tasting dessert that you can feel GOOD about eating and sharing with your friends and family!

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Carrot Nut Oat Bars & Orange Maple Silken Tofu Frosting.

This ‘carrot cake bar’ is a healthy plant-based dessert! Made from nutritious whole ingredients, the carrots, oats, almonds, walnuts and tofu all provide complex carbohydrates, good monounsaturated and essential omega fats, plenty of protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The carrots are inherently sweet, so make a great base for any sweet preparation. The nutmeg, cinnamon and orange zest add flavour and enhance the natural sweet taste of these other ingredients. The oats and nuts act as the ‘flour’, holding the carrots together to form a cake. Raisins provide natural sweetness, texture, and are a visual reminder of the carrot cake you may have grown up eating. The natural smooth consistency of the silken tofu provides a perfect base for the ‘cream cheese’ frosting, minus the saturated fat and cholesterol! This recipe uses minimal added sweetener in the form of maple syrup, the most an unprocessed/natural and local sweetener available, making these bars an appropriate dessert for diabetics. I made both a raw and cooked version of these bars as seen above, and personally preferred the baked ones. I would recommend serving the baked bars to kids or those who are not accustomed to fully raw desserts – as a transitional dish!

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