Vegan

Banana Date Energy Cookies

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Inspired by an upcoming Hiking & Yoga Retreat, this cookie has so much endurance, I’m convinced it will get us up and over the Alpines with loads of energy and excitement for more adventure!
Over the years, the cookie has morphed into something very different from what it used to be. Growing up, cookies usually came in a box, were treats or rewards for good behaviour or for special occasions, and you would always grab handfuls of them (dip them in milk, maybe), and never just one. Sometimes we made cookies with white flour & white sugar, eggs, vanilla, etc. Other times, we bought that weird pre-made cookie dough that you could just cut up into rounds and throw in the oven (remember that?!) or we would eat it right out of the package with a spoon 🤢.

These days, as an adult, a Mom, an athlete, a Nutritionist, an advocate for Positive Body Image, I can’t remember the last time I bought cookies that came in a package, my son wouldn’t have a clue what I was talking about if I told him about the store bought cookie dough, and white flour or sugar doesn’t live in our home, EVER.
So cookies, to me, are an entirely different wonder!
When we have cookies lying around our house now, that same excitement takes place in the brain: we may even salivate slightly in our mouths, due to the lovely aromas, we might anticipate them being cool enough to eat, if they are baked, and we are sad when the batch is all gone. BUT it is rare for anyone to indulge in more than 1 cookie at a time. Because they are made with real food ingredients, are nutrient-dense, are high in carbohydrates, protein, AND fats, they are extremely satisfying to the senses, the belly, and the glucose receptors. This style of cookie can, not only, make you feel that sense of joy that you love, but ALSO fuel your body in just one delightful little package.
THIS COOKIE can get you through that 2 hr hike or afternoon power run, a trip to the gym, or a long afternoon at the office, I guarantee. It may even save your soul in the hours of after-school, inundated with tiny, hungry, raging monsters 😈!!

Bake Them.
Enjoy Them.
Share Them.

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Banana Date Energy Cookies

Makes 12 large cookies
Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
1 cup dates, pitted (if hard, soak in boiling water for 5 minutes & drain)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla
1 tbsp honey (optional)
1  tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 cups rolled oats
2 Tbsp hemp hearts
¼ cup mini chocolate chips
¼ cup raisins

  • In your food processor, combine bananas, dates, coconut oil, vanilla, honey, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt, until well blended. Add oats to the processor and blend until combined, but not overly smooth (you want bits of oats for texture).

  • Remove mix from processor and stir in hemp hearts, chocolate chips, and raisins. Shape into rounds on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake 350 for 20 - 25 minutes or until slightly browned around the edges.

As always, if you make these cookies & love them, please let me know AND share them around on social media! I appreciate your support as much as you appreciate yummy cookie recipes! 😋

Green Curry Soup with Sesame Tofu

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Warming to the soul, gentle on the belly, and all around satisfying, this is a soup that is incredibly versatile in that you can throw in any veggies you have lying around, serve with soaked brown rice for the big eaters (did I say teenager?) or swap in chicken for tofu, if that’s your fancy.
I find this recipe quick & easy because these are all ingredients that I mostly have in the house, so long as I have about a 25 minute window to get dinner on the table, this soup can make that happen!

But first, a quick word on Tofu…

A while back, we were a bit scared off of soy in the health industry due to its phytoestrogen content. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds and dietary estrogens that can only be consumed through food sources. Due to increases in hormone dysfunction and estrogen dominance issues in both men and women, there have been concerns about the regular consumption of phytoestrogens and their affect on thyroid function, reproductive development, and breast cancer risk. Like so many foods, the consumption of estrogen containing foods is problematic for some and beneficial for others.
As with all fluctuations in nutritional information, is it always important to do what is right for you, as an individual, with differing preferences, needs, history, and health struggles. If consuming estrogen of any kind is problematic for you, likely it is safest to steer clear. For many others, consuming tofu as part of a balanced, plant-based diet, can be health promoting.

Why consuming Tofu could be beneficial:


Soy consumption may actually lower your risks for breast cancer:

“Estrogen has positive effects in some tissues and potentially negative effects in others. For example, high levels of estrogen can be good for the bones but can increase the likelihood of developing breast cancer. Ideally, you’d like what’s called a “selective estrogen receptor modulator” in your body that would have proestrogenic effects in some tissues and antiestrogenic effects in others.
Well, that’s what soy phytoestrogens appear to be. Soy seems to lower breast cancer risk, an antiestrogenic effect, but can also help reduce menopausal hot-flash symptoms, a proestrogenic effect. So, by eating soy, you may be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. “1

More good news:


”According to Marji McCullough, ScD, RD, strategic director of nutritional epidemiology for the American Cancer Society, epidemiologic studies that followed large populations of healthy women for many years either have shown no association between soy and breast cancer or a protective association from eating soy. Even breast cancer survivors may not need to worry. Three studies looking at women’s eating habits and other lifestyle factors after breast cancer found that, in the combined total of 9,000 breast cancer survivors studied, eating soy actually lowered the risk of breast cancer recurrence, even in women with estrogen receptor–positive tumors (although less so), and regardless of whether they were taking tamoxifen.”2

As with all foods that have been processed in any way, choosing the right kind makes all the difference!

  • Choose organic & non-GMO

  • Check the label for weird preservatives & added “flavours”

  • Buy plain (I prefer firm) and marinate yourself - keep reading for a super delicious & versatile marinade

  • Buy sprouted or fermented where possible - these will be more digestible & will make the nutrient value more accessible

My favourite, locally processed Tofu:

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No, we are not affiliates, I just like their product and always love to support local as much as possible!

Ok, so now that you’ve expanded your knowledge base on tofu 🤓, you’ve earned the recipe!

Green Curry Soup with Sesame Tofu

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For the Sesame Baked Tofu:

1 block of tofu drained (I like to slice it into 1/2 - 1” slabs and wrap it in a tea towel on a plate. Then I’ll put lots of weight on top to drain all the water out, usually a large stack of plates, and leave it to drain for an hour or so)
3 Tbsp wheat-free tamari
1.5 Tbsp sesame oil
Lots of fresh pepper

Cut drained tofu into small cubes and toss with all other ingredients in a medium bowl. Allow to marinade for roughly 1/2 an hour. Bake @ 350F for 35-40 minutes, stirring and flipping cubes occasionally, until browned and a bit crispy. Remove from oven and set aside.

For the Soup

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1 large onion, diced
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped cauliflower
1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup diced or thinly sliced red pepper
4 cups vegetable stock
1 can full fat organic coconut milk
3 Tbsp green curry paste
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp wheat-free tamari
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Fresh pepper
1 recipe sesame baked tofu
2 large handfuls of chopped kale/swiss chard/spinach or a blend
Lime wedges for serving
Fresh cilantro for serving

  • In a large soup pot, sauté onion with coconut oil and salt over medium heat until softened. Add ginger, garlic, and cauliflower, broccoli, & red pepper, and sauté another few minutes until fragrant.

  • Add stock, coconut milk, curry paste, sesame oil, tamari, maple syrup and pepper, and stir well with a spatula to remove any clumps. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for 20 - 30 minutes or until all vegetables are soft but not mushy.

  • Add tofu and greens and allow greens to wilt and tofu to heat through. Serve with a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro. You may wish to add a few scoops of rice, quinoa, or rice noodles for a larger, more dense meal. Enjoy!

If you make this soup, please let me know how it goes!! Better yet, take a most beautiful pic and post it on Instagram or Facebook and tag me 😋! I want to know if you are using my recipes!

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Resources:

1 - Greger, Michael, M.D., FACLM, “How Not To Die”, pg. 195
2 - Thalheimer, Judith C., RD, LDN, https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/040114p52.shtml

Double Chocolate Granola Brownies

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Chocolate brownie + granola bar.
It just happened.
And it is fabulous!

This is a dense bar that’s perfect for an active day on the slopes, snack attack in the kids’ lunchbox, and a long day’s work in need of an afternoon pick-me-up! Loaded with mineral rich cacao powder, blood sugar stabilizing dates & oats, full spectrum amino acid hemp hearts, extra protein in almond butter and chopped almonds, and intensified in taste by dried cranberries and shredded coconut, I’m not convinced that this bar is missing anything! Except maybe some warm bellies 😋


As always:
no gluten,
no dairy,
no refined sugar,
no confusing food labels.
Use real food & feel real good!
You will love these, I am so super sure.

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE GRANOLA BROWNIES

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Category: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Snacks, Healthy Treat, Kid Approved
Serving: 12 medium sized bars

Ingredients:

2/3 cup medjool dates, pitted
1/2 cup almond butter, smooth or crunchy
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup cacao powder
1 1/2 cups oats
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
For Topping:
1/4 cup melted chocolate
2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a medium glass dish with parchment - mine is 11 x 7”.

2. In a food processor, combine dates, almond butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla, until well combined. Add oats, cacao powder, and salt, and process until just combined. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl.

3. Add hemp hearts, cranberries, chocolate chips, and coconut, and stir together with a wooden spoon. Transfer mixture to your lined pan and press with wet hands to evenly distribute.

4. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until edges brown slightly. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

5. Once mostly cooled, drizzle melted chocolate over top and sprinkle with shredded coconut. Transfer brownies to the fridge to solidify before cutting into squares. Keep refrigerated.

Did you make these? Tell me how they turned out!
Want to make incredible Holiday Chocolates? Grab this Ebook today!
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ooking for more recipes like this? Check these out!

Coconut Curry Butternut Soup

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It’s a great time of year to use squash. They are abundant and satisfying, but are also nutrient-rich powerhouses. Butternut is one of my favourites! It is versatile, creamy, full-flavoured, and easy to work with. High in Vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, and bursting with beta-carotene, this starch is low on the Glycemic Index and wonderful for hungry littles, growing teens, and adults needing something satiating.

This recipe is simple, quick, and just real yummy!

This soup is so flavourful, you needn’t add anything extra!

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Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic

  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger

  • 2 cups veggie broth

  • 1 apple, peeled and cubed

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp curry powder

  • ½ tsp cinnamon

  • pinch salt

  • 1 can coconut milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss squash with 1 Tbsp coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15minutes or until just tender.

  2. Heat remaining oil on medium-low, in a large soup pot. Add onion. Saute until soft and translucent. Add garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant.

  3. Add veggie broth, apple, cooked squash and remaining spices, and simmer 10minutes or until squash is soft. Add coconut milk and stir.

  4. Remove from heat and puree in blender. Return to stove and heat through. Enjoy!

Simple Berry Chia Pudding

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I like to make chia pudding at the beginning of the week for quick and easy breakfast and/or lunch for the week.  It takes about 5 minutes to make and is a nutrient powerhouse, especially if you’ve had time to whip up your own almond milk (bonus points!)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup almond milk

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 1 generous handful of berries (strawberries, blueberries, huckleberries, blackberries)

Instructions

This pudding is SO easy!  Just combine all ingredients except berries in a large mason jar and shake, shake, shake it up, Baby!  Place the jar in the fridge.  An hour or so later, shake it well again making sure the seeds are floating up from the bottom of the jar (I will often use a wooden spoon to get those stubborn ones off the bottom).  Leave pudding overnight in the fridge.  In the morning, place all ingredients in a blender, adding in your berries, and blend until well combine.  Pour back into jar and EAT!  Serve with homemade granola or muesli, sprinkled with your favourite nuts & seeds (cacao nibs too), or just straight up.  Will keep 4-5 days in the fridge.


Easy Chewy Granola Bars

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It’s taken me a good while and several tries to come up with a granola bar recipe that is full of good stuff, stays chewy, and is quick and easy to throw together. Here it is. These are super popular with the kiddos, my active lady friends, and the backcountry boys alike.  This is a dependable, fool proof recipe, that turns out well every time.  Feel free to experiment and add your own flare!
Note: if your kids can’t bring nuts to school, simply swap out the almond butter for sunflower seed butter, pumpkin seed butter, or tahini!

Easy Chewy Granola Bars

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Ingredients

1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
Good pinch of salt (1/4 tsp)
2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1/8 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
2 cups oats
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup good quality (high cacao content) chocolate chips
1/4 cup water

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment.

  • Combine almond butter and honey in a small saucepan over low heat until just melted. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.  Add in all remaining ingredients, stirring until well-combined (I will often use my hands for this).  If the mixture seems dry, add a few Tbsps of water at a time until desired consistency is reached.

  • Pour mixture into your lined baking pan and press down with wet hands until evenly distributed. Bake for 30-45 minutes until edges are slightly browned.  Cool completely and cut into squares (I like to pop it into the freezer for 10 minutes before cutting).  Will keep refrigerated for up to a month.



Blackberry Lemon Cashew Cheesecake

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It all started with a vision (it usually does) of rich purple hues, a little tartness, a little sweetness, and a whopping load of flavour.  This recipe is really easy and loaded with high-quality, nutrient dense ingredients, which I love.  It finishes without the heaviness often accompanied by rich, sweet desserts and will leave you with energy as opposed to weight. I love this cake, it’s at the top of my list at the moment.  I just used this recipe at a Vegan Cooking workshop last weekend and it was a total hit!
The only warning I have for you is that this must be made the night before to allow time for the cashew filling to set.  I would slice it straight out of the freezer, but leave it to warm up a bit before serving.

Enjoy. Share. Or don’t. Above all, feel good about this one.

Lemon Blackberry Cashew Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust:
1 cup medjool dates
½ cup pecans
½ cup almonds
¼ cup shredded, coconut
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Filling:
1 ½ cups cashews, soaked overnight
1 cup blackberries
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
¼ cup coconut cream (from a can of coconut milk)

Instructions

  • To make the crust, combine all ingredients in your food processor and process until well combined and mixture sticks together. Press into the bottom of a lined 7” round spring-form cake pan. Place in the freezer.

  • For the filling, combine all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth (this make take several minutes), scraping sides. Pour over crust and gently tap cake pan to settle ingredients. Place in the freezer overnight.

Not much more to say about this one, but ENJOY!

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below and let me know how it went!

Curried Sunflower Seed Spread

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Here’s a pretty simple, easy to bang-off, “dinner party impresser” of a spread.  The only real pre-emptive here is that the sunflower seeds need to soak for a few hours before hand.  I love to use seeds as a base for sauces, dressings, and spreads, because they are nutritional powerhouses, high in protein, and super satisfying.  I’ve got big respect for the sunflower seed; they make great seed butter, are high in magnesium, vitamin E, selenium, support the cardiovascular system, help regulate mood, and are an excellent source of good quality fat.

Note: always keep your seeds refrigerated to preserve the integrity of the oils and to keep them fresh and tasting scrumptious.

Curried Sunflower Seed Spread

Ingredients

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked 2 hour minimum
1 cup carrots, roughly chopped
1 inch fresh turmeric, minced
1.5 inch fresh ginger, minced
1/3 cup cashew butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp tamari
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Drain and rinse sunflower seeds and place them in the bowl of your food processor along with all other ingredients. Process until smooth (this will take about 5 minutes), scraping sides frequently with spatula.

  • Serve with chopped veggies and homemade crackers or use as a filling in a tortilla or nori wrap.

  • Will keep refrigerated for up to 7 days.

Coconut Banana Muffins

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Our summer has finally chilled out enough to turn my oven back on and it’s good timing because my boys were craving some muffins and I was dying to create.  I also happened to have some pretty brown, fruit fly lovin’, bananas begging to be a part of something fantastic!

These muffins are vegan, gluten-free, and as sweet as brown are your bananas! (The browner the better). Note: if your bananas aren’t quite there yet, pop them in a brown paper bag overnight to quicken the ripening period.

Coconut Banana Muffins

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Ingredients:

2 cups DIY gluten free flour blend (I use this one)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt
4 large, very ripe, bananas
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup coconut cream (if you don’t have any coconut cream, scoop off the cream from a can of coconut milk)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded, unsweetened, coconut (1/4 cup reserved)
1/3 cup high cacao content chocolate chips

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin with parchment paper or reusable silicon liners.

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk together.

  • In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Add in sugar, oil, cream, and vanilla, and combine. Pour wet mixture into dry and stir with a large spoon.  Stir in 3/4 cup of shredded coconut and chocolate chips.

  • Spoon muffin mix into the tins and sprinkle with remaining coconut.

  • Bake for 22-25 minutes until slightly brown around the edges and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

  • Cool completely and store covered with a dish towel to enable air circulation.

Note: I like to set half the batch aside to freeze for lunches and watch the others get devoured in just a few days. Enjoy!

Sesame Chocolate Power Balls

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These little babies were inspired by the need for more protein packed lunchbox snackeroos for the little kiddos who can’t pack nuts in their lunches due to school specifications. I came up with these easily, as they’re super quick to whip together, they contain staple ingredients that live in my kitchen, and I love love love the combo of sesame and chocolate: salty-sweet-earthy deliciousness!

Designed with the littles in mind, these are full of protein, beneficial fats, fibre, calcium, magnesium, and immune boosting antioxidants, they are perfect for an afternoon boost without the blood sugar crash of refined sugar. They are not to be reserved just for your kids though, so hide a couple in the back of the fridge and try them out mid-afternoon when you’re feeling sluggish and unfocused, they are sure to satisfy in many ways! Enjoy!!

Sesame Chocolate Power Balls

Yield: 12 - 16 Balls

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Ingredients

  • 1 c dates, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes

  • 1/2 cup raw tahini

  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 cup cacao powder

  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries

  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Toast sesame seeds in a hot, dry, frying pan over medium heat until lightly brown. Remove from heat and empty onto a small plate and set aside.

  2. In a food processor, combine soaked dates, tahini, hemp hearts, salt, and cacao. Blend until smooth and well combined.

  3. Add dried cranberries to processor and pulse a few times until they are incorporated, but not blended.

  4. Using clean hands, roll 1-2 tbsp of mixture in your hands until a smooth ball is formed. Roll each ball in toasted sesame seeds until completely coated (or just coat half). Place onto a cookie sheet.

  5. Place finished balls into the fridge until firm (2-4 hours). Store refrigerated. Will keep 3-4 wks in fridge or 6 months in the freezer.


Be sure to let me know how these work out for you!

Ginger Plum Crisp

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It is Fall Harvest and plums are in abundance! This crisp is super simple but really really good. Gluten-free and made will all ingredients that live in my house, it’s an easy one to pull off for a dinner party, potluck, or just because there are loads of plump purple goodies begging to be baked! I served the leftovers to my boys in the morning with a dollop of coconut kefir and we all felt good about that!

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Ginger Plum Crisp

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Category: Dessert, Breakfast, Snack, Tea time

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense

Serving Size: 6

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups diced plums

  • 1 heaping Tbsp minced ginger

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

  • Good pinch of sea salt

  • For the Topping:

  • 1 cup oats

  • 1/3 cup oat flour

  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 3 Tbsp melted coconut oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine plums, minced ginger, maple syrup, and sea salt. Spread evenly along the bottom of a small glass or ceramic baking dish (mine is 6 x 8).

  3. For the topping, combine all ingredients in your mixing bowl and spread over top of the fruit bottom.

  4. Bake for 40-45 minutes until edges begin the brown and you see the juices boiling along the sides.

  5. Serve with coconut whip cream or coconut vanilla ice cream.

Herbed Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

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I have a secret (not-so-secret) love affair with roasted cauliflower. It is sooooo good! This recipe began with some roasted cauliflower amazingness and just exploded in flavour from there.

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This particular salad is spectacular for lunchtime. It is easy, makes a good sized batch, is filling and satisfying, grounding, and is well-rounded without needing anything else along side. I’m a big fan of eating grains at lunchtime, as we digest them better than in the evening, and they tide us over throughout the afternoon slump without any sugar highs and lows.

I do have to say something about this dressing.
Just one thing.
Or two.
Whoa…YUMMY!!
So make a double batch if you have it in you and use it for leafy salads, salmon, over cooked veggies and rice, or just spoon it right out of the jar. Go for it!

Feel free to add in some of your favourites to this salad, it could easily handle some cucumbers, spinach, steamed kale, toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, or fresh dill.
Or don’t, tis straight up good just the way it is! (just like you).

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Herbed Cauliflower Quinoa Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: Salad, Lunch, Side dish, Potluck

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense, Vegetarian

Yield: 4-6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup dry quinoa

  • 1 1/2 cups water

  • Pinch sea salt

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces

  • 1 red pepper, diced

  • 1/2 cup minced parsley

  • 4 Tbsp hemp hearts

  • 2 spring onions, minced

  • For the Creamy Tahini Dressing

  • 1/3 cup tahini

  • 1/3 cup water

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 tsp himalayan sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup

  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  1. To cook quinoa: in a small pot, bring quinoa, water, pinch of salt and an optional tsp of coconut oil to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook until all water has been absorbed (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool at least half an hour.

  2. To roast cauliflower: preheat oven to 375F. Toss cauliflower pieces in 1-2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and soft. Set aside.

  3. In a large bowl, combine all salad ingredients and toss together with a fork.

  4. For the dressing, place all ingredients in a high-powered blender (although a regular blender will do the trick), and combine until smooth.

  5. Toss salad with a generous helping of dressing, sprinkle with hemp hearts and parsley and serve.

  6. Will keep in fridge for 3-4 days.

Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

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On a dark and stormy night, with the first fallings of snow, the candles were lit and the soup pot was a calling.
This soup created a buzzing of mmmm’s and ahhhh’s and this creative chef did a little slippered happy dance around the kitchen when it was finally time for the final reveal!
Great for a Sunday afternoon, when you’re in the house putzing about, or a weekday meal, this soup will fill the house with sultry aromas of roasting garlic and red peppers, and satisfy your desire for a creamy soup without the addition of dairy.

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Creamy Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Category: Soup, Appetizer, Lunch, Dinner

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense, Vegetarian

Serving Size: 6-8 servings

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Ingredients

  • 2 red peppers

  • 2 heads of garlic

  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil for roasting + 3 Tbsp for soup

  • Salt & Pepper

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed

  • 2 cups vegetable stock or bone broth

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 28 oz can diced organic tomatoes

  • 1 tsp basil

  • 1/2 tsp thyme

  • Fresh pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut red peppers in half and place skin side up on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with coconut oil and season with salt & pepper. Cut tops off garlic bulbs. Drizzle with coconut oil, season with salt & pepper and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast peppers and garlic for 35-45 minutes until nicely soft and skin on peppers begins to bubble. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, melt coconut oil and add onions, and stir until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and salt and stir for another 2 minutes or until fragrant. Add diced tomatoes and spices.

  3. In your blender, combine cooled peppers and roasted garlic cloves (just squeeze them out from the whole bulb), cashews, and stock. Blend until smooth.

  4. Add cashew blend to your soup pot. Bring to a gentle boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Adjust seasoning to your desired taste.

  5. Serve with drizzled coconut cream, your favourite crackers, kamut toast, or straight up. Delicious every way!


I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we have in our house! This one has quickly been added to the home staples and soup repertoire, and is perfect for the onset of this wintry beauty!

Balsamic Tomato Lentil Soup

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The wintry days beckon a healing pot on the stove and this soup is a front runner in nutrient density, protein power, and broth soothing satisfaction.

A simple twist on a warming tomato lentil combination, this soup will satisfy both your tastebuds and your hungry belly. It is best served on the second day, once the flavours have been given some time to settle and merge together, and with a hunk of fresh spelt bread from the neighbourhood baker (thank you Ymir Bakery!).

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Balsamic Tomato Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Category: Appetizer, Soup, Main Meal

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense, Vegetarian

Serving Size: Serves 10

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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced

  • 1 tsp full mineral sea salt

  • 2 tsp fresh thyme

  • 1/2 tsp dried basil

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 medium carrots, diced

  • 2 stalks celery, diced

  • 1 cup french lentils, soaked overnight and rinsed

  • 1 28 oz can organic diced tomatoes (fire-roasted are best)

  • 6 cups homemade veggie broth, bone broth, or veggie soup stock

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • More salt, if desired

Instructions

  1. In a large soup pot, heat coconut oil and onions over medium heat and saute until soft, translucent, and browning slightly

  2. Add the salt, thyme, and basil, and stir until fragrant

  3. Add the carrots, celery, and garlic, and saute until slightly softened

  4. Add lentils, stir to coat (2 minutes), then add tomatoes and vegetable stock

  5. Cover soup and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until lentils are tender, about 30-35 minutes. Add balsamic and pepper, and simmer low for another 5-10 minutes Adjust seasoning with more salt, pepper, or balsamic

  6. Allow to cool, store overnight, gently reheat, and serve

The Ultimate Cookie

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What makes a really good cookie?

And by good, I mean health benefiting, energy boosting, and super satisfying, just to be clear. A truly good cookie can be everything you want it to be AND make your body, mind, and soul happy.

What do we love most about cookies?  They’re chewy, sweet, salty, satisfying, and usually contain chocolate.

When constructing the healthy cookie, we can honour all of these delicious qualifications with a few simple alterations to the average cookie recipe.

Healthify Your Cookie:

  • Chewiness: something to hold your cookie together. Some good health benefiting suggestions: chia + water, ground flax +
    water, eggs, and nut butters.

  • Sweetness: oh so necessaire!! What’s key to gaining ground in the daily health challenge is to swap out those refined sweetness wannabes (and I mean permanently) for body-loving goodness such as honey, maple syrup, bananas, or dates.

  • Salty: this one’s easy! Just say no to iodized salt. For true mineral uptake and to receive actual nutrition from salt, choose good quality sea salt or pink himalayan salt.

  • Satisfaction: what makes a cookie’s satisfaction meter shoot through the roof is not the sugar and chocolate, my friends, it is the fat + carbohydrate + protein quotient. Using all 3 macronutrients in a power snack allows you to feel full longer, to keep your blood sugar levels stable, and to boost your energy and brainpower in a way that doesn’t mess with your metabolism. Some ideas: for good fat: coconut oil/nuts/seeds; good protein: nuts/seeds/hemp hearts; and good carbohydrates: oats/oat flour/almond meal/banana.

  • Chocolate: be choosy about chocolate! Real dark chocolate is full of beneficial minerals and antioxidants, but don’t let the store shelves fool you! There are many variations on chocolate out there will a LOT of added nonsense.  Find some dark goodies with as few ingredients as possible (3), look for cacao in the ingredients list and choose minimal sweetness.

Here’s my latest and most ingenious cookie recipe that I am so proud of and that my family and I did the kitchen happy dance for when I first took them out of the oven! The absolute bonus? They’re SO easy!

The Ultimate Cookie

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2 Tbsp chia seeds + 2 Tbsp water
2 ripe bananas
⅓ cup honey
⅓ cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
½ heaping tsp cinnamon
Good pinch of sea salt
¼ cup hemp hearts
1 ½ cup oats
⅓ cup raisins
⅓ cup chocolate chips

  • In a small bowl, whisk together chia seeds and water and let sit 10 minutes.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk wet ingredients together with a fork.

  • Add in dry ingredients and combine. Fold in raisins and chocolate chips. Form into cookies of whatever size you like and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

  • Bake at 325 for 25 mins.

Layered Lemon Chocolate Cheesecake

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Creamy Coconut Lemon Filling meets Avocado Chocolate Mousse.
Oh.
Yes.

This cake not only looks spectacular, inciting noises of mmm’s and ahh’s, it is also quite easy to whip up. As with all raw cheesecakes, you do need a little for thought, as these decadent desserts need to set overnight in the freezer.
Feel free to make this style of cheesecake your own, depending on what you have on hand or what’s in season. You may feel like adding a cup or so of fresh raspberries or peaches to the middle layer or covering the chocolate mousse with toasted coconut flakes and raw cacao nibs. Any which way, I have ultimate confidence in the satisfaction level of this layered beauty.
However you make it, be sure to savour every bite!

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Layered Lemon Chocolate Cheesecake

Prep Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Category: Vegan, Dessert, Cheesecake, Decadent

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense, Vegetarian

Yield: 10-12

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Ingredients

  • For the Crust:

  • 1/2 cup pecans

  • 1/2 cup almonds

  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

  • 1 cup medjool dates (or other soft dates), pitted

  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao nibs

  • 1/4 cup cacao powder

  • Good pinch of salt

  • For the Cashew-Lemon Cheesecake:

  • 2 cups soaked cashew pieces (soaked at least 4 hours)

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1 cup coconut cream

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup/honey

  • Chocolate Avocado Mousse:

  • 2 ripe avocados

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil

  • 1/2 cup cacao powder

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup/honey

Instructions

  1. For the Crust: Combine all ingredients in your food processor and process until a coarse meal forms (do not over-process or it will lose it's crunchy-goodness appeal). With wet hands, press crust into a lined 8 x 8 springform cake pan. Place cake pan in the freezer.

  2. For the Cheesecake Filling: Combine all ingredients in your food processor and combine until smooth. This may take several minutes. Note: if it looks like the mixture has curdled, just continue processing, it will become creamy with a little patience. Pour over crust and return to the freezer to set for at least 1 hour.

  3. For the Chocolate Mousse: Combine all ingredients in your food processor and combine until smooth. Pour over top of the hardened cheesecake and smooth top with a spatula. Return cake to the freezer and allow to set overnight.

  4. When it is time to remove the cake from the pan, run a thin knife under very hot water and slide it along the sides of the pan. While still quite frozen, use this warmed knife method to cut the cake into slices. I recommend allowing the cake to soften before serving - rest on the counter for 15-20 minutes.

Notes

It is important to remember to soak the cashews overnight the night before. The cake will also need an hour to harden in between adding the cashew layer and topping with the mousse.