Spiced Roasted Vegetable Lentil Salad with Arugula & Walnuts.

One of the complete-meal salads I served at Osheaga music festival and YUL eat festival this past summer! A nutritionally balanced whole food plant-based dish, that offers protein-packed lentils, vitamin/mineral-rich vegetables (including leafy greens!) and heart-healthy unsaturated fats – in the form of walnuts and tahini. I boosted the flavor and healthfulness of this salad […]

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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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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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Roasted Butternut squash, Fig & Fennel Warm Salad.

I made this light yet flavourful and satisfying dish for some friends who were over for dinner. Seeing as it is still cold and wintery here in Montreal, I’ve been enjoying warm salads like this made with cooked vegetables over raw ingredients. This nutritious dish offers a variety of different types of  vegetables including: root vegetable (squash), nightshade vegetable (eggplant), alliums (scallion/garlic), green leafy vegetable (herbs) and fennel (same family as parsley, dill and coriander). The chickpeas add a serving of plant-based protein, and the almonds & olive oil are a source of healthy monounsaturated fat. The spices used are rich in antioxidants and provide plenty of flavour. I encourage you to experiment using spices when preparing vegetables, as a way to boost flavour without adding more salt/sugar/fat. Try making your own spice blend, like the Middle-Eastern-inspired mix I made for this recipe. You will be excited to eat a plate of roasted vegetables like this if you season them with your favourite spices!

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