Make the maple toasted walnuts! Toast the walnuts for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Once baked and cooled, chop the walnuts into small pieces. Using a mandoline, carefully slice the apples into rounds. If you don’t have a mandoline, slice the apple by hand, using a sharp knife. After slicing the apples, coat them in fresh […]
The NDG Food Depot is a non-profit organization, that addresses the important issue of food security in Montreal’s NDG, and the surrounding areas. A special local food institution, that has been serving the community for 30 years, their aim is to support people living on insufficient incomes, by providing greater access to fresh, healthy food, social networks and resources – while working to educate the public about issues of poverty in Montreal. They have an incredible, multi-faceted program model, focused on three areas: Food access and advocacy, food education and skill building, and community building.
This bright and delicious berry dessert, is made from nutritious whole foods – with no refined ingredients. Composed mostly of nuts, dried fruit, berries, and a little maple syrup – to sweeten the creamy cashews. The frozen berries, fresh lemon and ginger, provide plenty of flavor, and balance the natural sweetness of the recipe. Texturally, the […]
Happy to share this special summer event! In collaboration with yoga & meditation teacher Stellar Yoga ☞ Embody: A one-day Yoga & Nutrition Workshop. Learn the foundations of whole food, plant based nutrition, discover how to make delicious and nutritious desserts, practice Hatha yoga, and experience guided meditation. Offering you tools to integrate health into your daily life – in an enjoyable and sustainable way!
I used organic raw sesame seeds from Montreal’s Prana Bio, however you can use any non-roasted sesame seeds available. Cheesecloth can be purchased at many health food stores, and speciality food shops, or ordered online. I got mine at PA Nature! Soak the sesame seeds for 8-hours. Do this overnight, or start soaking in the morning – […]
Inspired by the flavors of both Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines, I wanted to create a protein-packed, plant-based comfort dish, that featured: Creamy cashew ‘cheese’, roasted peppers, caramelized onion, meaty tempeh crumble, and socca aka chickpea-flour flatbread. Each nutrient-dense bite is rich in flavor and texture – so one slice goes a long way! Socca is a versatile base for many different savory combinations. Once you prep the flatbread/s, feel free to add whatever toppings you enjoy! Adjusting this recipe to suit your personal preferences. You can also just use the cashew cheese, and/or the tempeh crumble recipes – to incorporate into plenty of different dishes! Keep each component separate, to assemble into multiple meals throughout the week- making the most of your precious time in the kitchen. As always, my goal is to provide you with healthy culinary ideas, to inspire your whole food, plant-based cooking!
This simple 4-ingredient plant-based dessert is composed of nutritious ingredients, and is quick and easy to prepare. These apricots make a wonderful edible gift – a real crowd-pleaser! Inspired by middle-eastern flavors, which often feature pistachios and dried fruit – I wanted to create a sweet and salty bite, with multiple textures. Naturally ‘packaged’ in individual bites, you can enjoy 2 or 3 chocolate-dipped apricots and feel satisfied!
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!
A true celebration of cauliflower, this nutritious and hearty side-dish is a satisfying addition to your lunch or dinner ‘bowls’. Enjoy it with a protein source like lentils or beans, grilled tofu/tempeh, quinoa, farro or buckwheat groats. Roasting cauliflower brings out its natural sweetness, which is delicious with the warming spices it’s coated in. The salty capers provides a burst of flavor, along with the fresh parsley, and bright lemon. The almonds provide crunchy texture, along with some healthy fats and protein. Make enough of each component, to assemble and enjoy for 3 days worth of meals!
This sweet and salty single-serving dessert, is my healthier take on a childhood classic. Created for a PB and dark chocolate-loving friend, on her birthday – this is a fun and special edible gift to make for your loved ones! While store-bought peanut butter cups have plenty of added refined sugars, processed milk products, and chemical preservatives – this recipe is made from just three ingredients – dark chocolate, pure peanut butter, and a touch of salt. Peanuts are a great source of protein and healthy unsaturated fats, Vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and fiber. While dark chocolate is not a ‘health food’, it does contain nutrients in the form of iron, magnesium, calcium, zinc, Vitamins K, B vitamins, and fiber.
This nutrient-dense and satisfying ‘complete meal’ salad is rich in earthy, nutty flavors, and multiple textures. The quinoa, almonds, and pumpkin seeds – provide protein, good fats, and fiber. Along with the leafy greens, which offer plenty of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – the juicy sweet cherry tomatoes, and hearty roasted beets, create a hearty dish. Everything is brought together with the fresh, aromatic basil dressing! I suggest preparing enough of each component, to enjoy for 3 days worth of meals – saving time in the kitchen!
This bright, nutritious, and delicious dessert is made whole, real plant-based ingredients – with no added refined sweeteners or oils. Featuring wild blueberries, rich in anthocyanin – a potent flavonoid antioxidant, responsible for the dark purple pigment of this fruit. The protein-packed cashews make up the tart’s filling, providing healthy unsaturated fats, and a rich, creamy texture. Paired with the date and almond-based crust, each element of this recipe offers a different texture, taste, and spectrum of nutrients. Enjoy this satisfying sweet bite, and feel good afterwards!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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 […]
Honored to be featured on the brilliant Béatrice Média podcast, discussing ideas on healthy eating, cultural norms around food, and my approach to holistic nutrition.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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 […]
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
The warm weather has arrived, which means popsicle season has begun! This simple, nutritious recipe offers a refreshing, and tasty treat to enjoy on a hot day. Composed of just a few healthy ingredients, you can feel good about serving your family and friends these homemade pops!
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!
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.
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.
Inspired by the childhood classic, this PB&J dessert is made from nutritious whole-food ingredients, sweetened with maple syrup. Packed with plant-based protein, fiber-rich complex carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
This delicious and nutritious ‘complete meal’ plant-based salad is a fantastic source of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber. Using cauliflower instead of couscous (pasta) or rice, provides a lower-glycemic (less starch) and more nutrient-dense dish.
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.
While tomatoes are no longer in season, fresh cranberries are available now, which inspired this recipe. Like tomatoes, cranberries are sweet and acidic, which makes them a delicious ketchup base. Naturally high in pectin, cooked cranberries provide a lovely thick sauce!
I made these nutritious and delicious seasoned nuts & seeds as holiday gifts for friends and neighbours. They make for a protein-rich snack, or as a salad topper – for texture and good fats!
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 […]
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!
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!
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).
It is apple season here in Quebec and I was lucky to have been gifted these beautiful, delicious and nutritious apples from my friend Justine who went apple picking at a nearby organic orchard, Verger Biologique Maniadakis. This recipe makes for a delicious and nutritious breakfast, snack or dessert!
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!
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!
This is a simple yet delicious meal for anyone who is a fan of tofu, and for those who are curious about trying tofu in a different way. Hope you enjoy!
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.
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!
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!
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!
I created this basic checklist of things to consider each day for your optimal health! Feel free to adjust or add to this list to suit your individual needs, personal values and goals. This can be a helpful exercise to do each season, to set the intention of creating a more balanced life!
I created this basic checklist of things to consider each day for your optimal health! Feel free to adjust or add to this list to suit your individual needs, personal values and goals. This can be a helpful exercise to do each season, to set the intention of creating a more balanced life!
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!
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!
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 […]
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).
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
This is a nutritious and delicious raw, plant-based dessert made from only whole foods, with no added sugars or fats. Incorporating the additional flavours of cinnamon, camomile tea and ginger, help boost the taste and health benefits of this dessert. Rather than using added sugars or fats in desserts, utilize spices, herbs and teas!
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!
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 […]
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!
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.
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.
These delicious whole-food bars were designed to provide a nutritious balance of complex carbohydrates, plant-based protein, healthy unsaturated fat, fiber, plenty of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Enjoy one of these bars as a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, or as a healthy dessert!
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.
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 […]
This recipe is great as a dipping sauce for rice-paper rolls/lettuce wraps, baked crispy tofu/tempeh or as tofu/tempeh marinade. Enjoy it as the dressing in a crunchy asian slaw, squeeze a little into your stir-fries, had with zucchini/veggie ‘noodles’!
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’!
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.
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!
This warming cider can be enjoyed by the whole family! It is non-alcoholic and caffeine-free, as well as free of added sugar. The combination of nutritious, antioxidant-rich fruit, and health-giving spices, makes this beverage both delicious and immune supporting – a wonderful winter drink!
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 […]
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!
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!