Cooking tips

Wild Blueberry Cashew ‘Cheesecake’. A Healthy Dessert.

This vibrant, vitamin and mineral-rich, dairy-free dessert is packed with nutrients and deliciousness! While it may taste luxurious, it is made from entirely nourishing, wholesome ingredients – without any added refined sugars or oils. Being winter in Canada, we have limited fresh local fruits available – so frozen berries are a flavorful option. Wild blueberries are especially rich in anthocyanin, a potent flavonoid antioxidant – responsible for the dark purple pigment of this fruit. The good unsaturated fats found in cashews, provides a natural thick and creamy texture – creating a cheesecake-like consistency. Adding lemon zest to the crust and topping of this tart, provides a slightly acidic tang – resembling the ‘cheese’ in standard cheesecake. While this is a healthy dessert recipe, it is still rich, and satisfying! Allowing you to enjoy the eating experience, while still feeling good afterwards!

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Smoked Carrot ‘Lox’ & Silken Tofu ‘Cream Cheese’ on Seedy Crackers.

My whole food plant-based version of smoked salmon and cream cheese, featuring carrots and silken tofu! This light and tasty healthy snack, or appetizer provides a balance of fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is also simple and easy to prepare! The shaved carrot ‘lox’ requires a quick marinade, using hickory liquid smoke, fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. This mixture tenderizes the root vegetable, and provides a smoky, briny flavor. The soft silken tofu is blended in a food processor with ‘cheesy’ nutritional-yeast, and umami-rich white miso – offering a smooth and savory schmear. Mary’s crackers serves as the base of this recipe, made from a handful of wholesome, nutritious ingredients – this is one of the few packaged products I recommend. However, one can also use another whole grain, unrefined cracker or bread instead. Classically paired with ‘smoked salmon’, the fresh dill is an important component to this recipe (not just garnish), as it brightens the dish and brings all the flavors together!

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Dark Chocolate Dipped Almond-Stuffed Dates with Pistachio & Orange.

Sweet and sticky dates are nature’s ultimate candy! Wonderful on their own, and even more delicious when jazzed up like this. Stuffed with crunchy toasted almonds, dipped in slightly bitter dark chocolate, coated in nutty pistachios, bright orange zest, and sea salt – this plant-based recipe is rich in flavor and nutrients. Naturally ‘packaged’ in individual-sized portions, these stuffed dates are a small, yet satisfying treat – composed of wholesome ingredients. To me, it is perfectly healthy to enjoy a homemade plant-based dessert like this on occasion – as part of a balanced diet!

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Savory Turnip Tart with Sweet Red Onion & Fresh Dill.

Inspired by a potato and dill dish my Eastern European grandmother used to make, I decided to recreate this comforting childhood recipe using lower glycemic turnips instead of starchy potatoes – for balanced blood sugar. Thinly slicing the turnips, and slowly baking them, helps to release their natural sweetness, and cut the subtle bitterness of this seasonal root vegetable. While my grandmother’s bake contained plenty of vegetable oil and margarine, I lightened up the dish by using just a couple tablespoons of heart-healthy olive oil. Incorporating sweet red onion was another adjustment I made to the recipe – for additional flavor, texture, and nutrients. The fresh dill is what really makes this recipe reminiscent of my grandmother’s version, offering aromatic freshness and savoriness!

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Double Peanut Oatmeal Cookies. A Healthy Plant-Based Dessert.

These delicious and nutritious cookies are made from whole unrefined ingredients, with no added processed sugars, oils, flours or animal products. The rolled oats and peanuts provide plant-based protein, fiber-rich complex carbs, and good fats – for steady energy. Instead of using processed sweeteners, I used whole dates and a little maple syrup – both optimally healthy options. Creating your own ‘flour’ using whole rolled oats and peanuts, offers more nutrition, and results in a lower-glyemic dessert. No need for added oils in this recipe! just natural peanut butter, which is packed with nutrients and rich flavor. While these cookies are meant to be enjoyed as a special dessert, these cookies ARE healthy enough to have for breakfast or as a snack. They may taste indulgent, but they are much healthier than any store-bought cookies!

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Whole Roasted Spiced Celeriac with Pomegranate & Parsley.

This whole food dish is my plant-based take on a classic holiday roast! Celebrating celeriac – a delicious and nutritious root vegetable that is often overlooked. Seasoned in warming spices, and topped with fresh parsley, and bright sweet pomegranate seeds – this is a satisfying, flavorful, nutrient-dense seasonal winter recipe! Ingredients: – Soy sauce (Braggs […]

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‘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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