lunch

Spring Vegetable Soup with Walnut ‘Parm’ Crumble.

My ode to spring! This light, seasonal dish offers a mix of nutrient-dense vegetables, and different textures – providing energizing nourishment, without overloading your digestive system. The fermented miso also provides probiotic benefits, supporting the gut/body during the seasonal transition. As we move into warmer weather, and away from heavy winter meals, we can start incorporating more fresh, and lightly cooked whole plants into our diets – like this! These vitamin, mineral, and fiber-rich foods are immune supporting, that are especially supportive during ‘allergy season’. Eating (somewhat) seasonally, allows us to rotate our diets – obtaining a wider spectrum of nutrients, and making our meals more varied and interesting!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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