Lunch

Creamy Coconut Carrot Soup

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A simple weekday dinner or a fulfilling lunch, this soup is super simple to put together, nourishing for the belly and the soul, as well as totally delicious!
We tested this soup on a room full of 6 and unders, and got some super happy smiles and thumbs up from the littles and many happily surprised: “what did you put in that soup?” reactions from the parents. Always a huge compliment!

HINT: To make this soup taste extra amazing, make your own veggies stock: simply bring a pot of water and a bunch of loosely chopped vegetables to a boil, add salt, pepper, and any other desired herbs & spices, reduce heat and simmer for as many as 4 hours on low (I like to sauté the onions with some garlic & ginger with a bit of coconut oil first to add a bit of flavour). Strain out vegetables and here you have a delicious & simple vegetable broth. This kind of broth is great to make in the height of market season when there are loads of imperfect root vegetables like celeriac, parsnip, yams, potatoes, celery, carrots, & broccoli, just hanging about. YUM!

Creamy Coconut Carrot Soup

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1 large onion, diced small
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp salt
2 ½ Tbsp minced ginger
1 large or 2 small cloves garlic, minced
1” fresh turmeric, minced
2 cups carrots, peeled & chopped
4 cups vegetable stocks
1 can full-fat coconut milk
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds, for serving (optional) or toasted large flaked coconut 😋

  • In a large soup pot, melt coconut oil and onions over medium heat. As onions become soft & translucent, add salt, ginger, garlic, turmeric, and carrots. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until carrots are slightly softened and mixture is fragrant.

  • Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil and then reduce to a medium-low simmer for 15 minutes. Add coconut milk and simmer another 5 – 10 minutes.

  • Serve with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds and/or a spoonful of coconut cream.

Like always, if you make this soup, please let me know how it went!
AND, if you don’t want to miss any upcoming recipes, be super to sign up for my email list below! I promise to only send out inspiration, upcoming class info & deliciousness!!

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

Yam & Quinoa Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

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I am a die hard salad lover, I’m not gonna hide it!
But even for us die hards, you really must continue to mix it up in the kitchen or the salad ho hum boredom, can’t stand that same bloody balsamic vinaigrette one more day, takes over. During the winter months, it’s a great move to mix in some seasonal root vegetables with your leafy greens to shake up the salad routine. By also adding a high protein & complex carbohydrate component in the quinoa, this salad is a well rounded meal that will last you quite a few days!

Why we love Yams 🧡

  • Yams are a great source of vitamin C, fibre, potassium, manganese, and B vitamins

  • Yams are a starchy vegetable, made up of carbohydrates and dietary fiber which helps stabilize blood sugar levels - beneficial for diabetes

  • They are known to reduce cardiovascular disease due to their high B6 content

  • High in antioxidants and beneficial to proper function of the immune system

  • Rich in minerals: vitamin A, C, B, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folic acid, as well as calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron and phosphorus

  • High vitamin A contained in the yam is converted into beta-carotene which helps to maintain healthy mucous membranes in the eyes, aiding night vision and age related vision loss, and also supports healthy bone development and provides protection from lung and mouth cancers

Why we love Quinoa 💛

  • Quinoa is gluten-free, high in protein and one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids

  • It is high in fiber, magnesium, B vitamins, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin E and various beneficial antioxidants

  • Contains plant compounds called flavanoids known for their anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-cancer, anti-depressant qualities

  • Is low on the Glycemic Index which makes it great for stabilizing blood sugar levels

Yam & Quinoa Salad with Sesame Ginger Dressing

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Ingredients:

1 medium sized Yam, cut into 1” cubes
1-2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh pepper
3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
2-3 cups packed spinach leaves, chopped small
1/4 cup minced red onion
1 red pepper, diced small
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
2 Tbsp hemp hearts
1/3 cup fresh cilantro (optional)
For the Sesame Ginger Dressing:
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tamari
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
Fresh pepper
Instructions:

  • Toss cubed yams in melted coconut oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast @ 375F for 25 minutes or until cooked through but not mushy. Cool slightly.

  • Cook quinoa by combining dry quinoa with water. Season with a little salt and 1 tsp of coconut oil, if desired. Cool slightly.

  • For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a glass jar and shake or stir until well combined.

  • In a medium salad bowl, combine all salad ingredients with a fork. Coat with roughly 1/4 - 1/3 cup of the dressing, adjusting seasonings and volume of dressing as you go. Note: start with a smaller amount of dressing and add a little more at a time so as to not have it be too soaked.

  • Will keep up to 5 days in the fridge.

If you try this recipe, PLEASE let me know how it turned out & how much you loved it (and even if you didn’t 😉) AND if you’d like more recipes like this one, sign up for the Newsletter below!

My ongoing advice for this New Year of 2019: EAT MORE PLANTS!!

Roasted Yam & Cashew Buddha Bowls with Coconut Cashew Sauce

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Oh my, oh my, oh my. If you have not yet jumped aboard the Buddha Bowl Bandwagon, well there is no time like the present! This here is an easy weeknight meal with some kinda fantastical Thai-style coconut cashew sauce that’ll knock your socks (or in my case, slippers) right off!

This bowl is composed of roasted yams, steamed kale, quinoa, shredded carrot, and toasted cashews, but you can make this bowl of goodness your own by adding in whatever your heart desires (or your fridge seems to be done with!). Or, better yet, just make up a batch of this sauce and eat it on everything, every day, all day! Yessss!


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Roasted Yam & Cashew Buddha Bowls with Coconut Cashew Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Category: Main Meal, Dinner, Lunch

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

Yield: 4-6

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Ingredients

  • Roasted Yams

  • Cooked Quinoa

  • Shredded Carrots

  • Steamed Swiss Chard or Kale

  • Toasted Cashews

  • Any other veggie add-ins you may like

  • Coconut Cashew Sauce:

  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup cashew butter

  • 1 Tbsp red Thai curry paste

  • 2 Tbsp tamari

  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Prepare all your Buddha bowl ingredients and dish them out into your bowls.

  2. For the sauce: Add all ingredients to your blender and combine until smooth. Adjust seasonings as desired.

  3. Serve bowls warm and drizzled with cashew sauce.

Roasted Tomato & Black Bean Soup

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When I say easy, what I mean is: your hubby, (who may call frozen cardboard pizza, dinner) could-make-it-easy!
You like that, right?! I know, Bebe.

So, here you are: a minimal ingredient, week night soup, that’s been a surprise hit in our home for a few weeks now. Most of the ingredients are the kinds of things that I have on hand, which makes this soup particularly fantastic when it comes to the last minute, no-idea-what’s-for-dinner, gotta-pull-something-outta-your-hat-and-quick, kinda night. Just be sure to use roasted diced tomatoes (and yes, absolutely you can roast them yourself, you go getter, you!) and not plain diced tomatoes because the flavour will certainly be lacking.

We topped this soup off with some cubed avocado and fresh cilantro, but you are most free to be creative and turn that garnish scene into whatever your lovely heart desires. Just be sure to let me know how amazing it turned out!

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Roasted Tomato & Black Bean Soup

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Category: Soup, Lunch, Dinner

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

Yield: 6-8 servings

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Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1/2 tsp coriander

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Fresh pepper

  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15oz)

  • 1 can roasted diced tomatoes, with juices (28oz)

  • 3 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 bunch of kale, washed, stemmed and chopped

  • 1 Avocado (optional, for serving)

  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional, for serving)

Instructions

  1. In a medium-large soup pot, over medium heat, melt coconut oil and add onions, stirring until softened. Add garlic, stirring until just softened. Add spices and stir just until fragrant.

  2. Add beans, tomatoes, and vegetable stock and reduce heat to a strong simmer. Cover with lid and allow to simmer 15-20 minutes until beans are tender.

  3. Stir in kale, reduce heat, and allow to wilt another 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings as needed.


As with most soups, this one gets better and better day after day!

Roasted Cauliflower & Arugula Salad

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If you are the kind of person who gets intimidated by all the gorgeous food photos online and wonders how those people can find the time and energy to make such gorgeous food all the time. This one’s for you.
This recipe is SUPER simple, uses easy to find ingredients, and has a very versatile dressing that you can easily use again and again for many other (potentially less-than-instagram-impressive) salads of all kinds!

If you felt like boosting the volume and density of this salad, by turning it into more of a meal, then I would suggest adding in some cooked quinoa or even a kamut rotini pasta kinda thing.
But simply as is, is quite lovely.

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Roasted Cauliflower & Arugula Salad

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Category: Salad, Side Dish, Main Course

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

Yield: 2-4

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Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil

  • Salt & fresh pepper

  • 1 red pepper, diced small

  • 2 cups lightly packed arugula, roughly chopped

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or slivered almonds)

  • 2 Tbsp pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped

  • For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp dijon

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced

  • Lots of fresh ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.

  2. Toss cauliflower florets with coconut oil, salt & pepper and spread on a lined baking sheet. Roast for 30-35 minutes until lightly browned and fork-tender. Set aside to cool.

  3. In a medium bowl, place cooled cauliflower and all other salad ingredients.

  4. In a medium glass jar, place all dressing ingredients and shake well.

  5. Toss salad ingredients with enough dressing to coat, adjusting seasonings as desired. Serve immediately.




Coconut Mango Blueberry Muffins

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Mango + Blueberry + Coconut = I’m IN!!
This delicious powerhouse combo works beautifully in these muffins. What’s extra awesome, is that they are minimal ingredient and made simply with all, easy-to-find, whole food ingredients. My son’s first reaction should have been one of those funny-crazy kid youtube videos, because he was so excited about how good they were, that he had us all busting a gut in the kitchen over it. I haven’t met a kid yet who wasn’t pretty stoked on mangoes and blueberries, so these ones should be an easy sell 

If you feel like going the extra mile with this recipe, make your own almond flour by simply grinding up your favourite almonds in a dry food processor until a fine meal is formed.

Nutritional Tip: Store your almonds (and all nuts & flours) in your fridge, they will last longer and stay fresh. Once a nut gets too old, the oils start to turn. These rancid oils are at the root of many health struggles, including inflammation, cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and many other damaging health conditions. Take good care of your nuts, my friends 

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Coconut Mango Blueberry Muffins

Yield: 12

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal

  • 1/4 cup coconut flour

  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp good quality salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1/3 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 2 tsp vanilla

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1-2 lemons)

  • 2 Tbsp lemon zest (2 lemons)

  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds

  • 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut

  • 1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

  • 1/2 cup fresh mango, diced small

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond meal, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Stir in chia seeds and allow to set a few minutes.

  4. Pour wet ingredients into your large bowl with the flour mixture and stir until just combined (do not over-mix). Fold in shredded coconut and fruit.

  5. Distribute evenly among your lined muffin pan. Bake 25 minutes or until slightly browned and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for at least 30 minutes before serving (they will need time to set and will otherwise be crumbly). Enjoy!

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 Sunflower Butter Cookies

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A truly simple, nut, gluten, dairy, and processed sugar-free, easy cookie recipe.  A new staple in our house.

At my son’s school, we are lucky enough to not have a “no nut” restriction for lunches, but I know it is very common in schools these days.  If you use a lot of whole foods in your kids’ lunch boxes (and I know you do – wink, wink), then getting around the “no nut” thing can be a real challenge.  I hope to create a few more nut-free recipes for lunch boxes soon (so stay tuned!), but for now, here’s one you should be able to bang off quickly and easily. Enjoy!

Simple Sunflower Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup sunflower butter (pumpkin seed butter or tahini would also work)
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup oat flour
1/2 cup oats
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.

  • Grab a medium sized mixing bowl and combine the seed butter, honey, and coconut oil with a whisk or a fork.  Add in all other ingredients except the seeds and chocolate chips and stir until well combined. Lastly, add seeds and chocolate chips.

  • Roll about 1 or 2 Tbsp of dough between wet hands and place on a lined baking sheet, flattening the balls down slightly. Bake for 12-17 minutes until edges are slightly browned.

  • Makes roughly 15 cookies.

This is a very new recipe, so if you try them (and I hope you do!), let me know how they turn out and leave me a comment below!

Looking for more tips for school lunches? Check out one of my latest blogs on Your Kids, School, and Blood Sugar!

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.



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.

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.

Roasted Squash & Almond Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

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Do not underestimate the loveliness of squash at lunchtime, dear friends.
The bright orange squash is a kind of “hiding in the shadows” nutritional superhero. The kombocha is my personal favourite, full of Vitamins A & C, beta-carotene, iron, copper, magnesium, and all those amazing B vitamins.  It is a low-glycemic index carbohydrate but not a low quantifier for energy supply.

Having squash at lunch is a super way to add some veggie power, a carbohydrate hit that will get you through the afternoon slump, and lend a tummy satisfying addition to your same-old lunchtime salad bar.
You know who you are!! I see you and your same boring salad.
Try something new.
Come on, get out of that comfort zone.
You will not be disappointed!

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Roasted Squash & Almond Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4-6 Large Portions

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Ingredients

  • ½ a kombocha, acorn, or butternut squash, chopped into ½ inch cubes

  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

  • Sea salt & Fresh pepper

  • 4 cups Mixed greens (I like spinach)

  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

  • ½ red pepper, diced small

  • ½ cucumber, seeded and sliced

  • ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

  • Tahini Dressing

  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice

  • ¼ cup tahini

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/3 cup water

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp maple syrup

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • Fresh pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Toss squash with melted coconut oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 – 40 minutes until for tender, remove from oven and set aside.

  2. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in your blender or with an immersion blender and blend until smooth.

  3. To assemble: in a medium bowl, place washed greens and roasted squash, then top with diced vegetables, red onion, and toasted almonds. Toss with dressing. Serves 2.

Easiest (Make It Anywhere) Guacamole

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When we are travelling to warmer climates during the winter, chasing the sun and yearning to stand by the ocean’s side, feeding my family well can sometimes be a challenge. I often find myself leaning back on my basic knowledge and training, being creative without being too bold, as my kitchen tools and ingredients are much more limited than at home.

The biggest part of eating well on a vacation, is to source out good local food. I will generally begin this process before we travel, searching for farmer’s markets or local farms, Health food stores or best traveller store reviews. My husband is a lot more bold than I am with new people, so he’s great to have on holiday (for many many reasons  ), as he’s pretty breezy about chatting up the locals to find out where we can get our hands on some organic fruits & veggies and if there’s anywhere to find fresh fish.

When putting meals together, I tend to rely on a few staples, although it will depend what’s in season wherever we are. Avocados tend to be easy to find in the warmer climates, limes, garlic & tomatoes, too. Once I know I can put together some easy guac, than the doors open up for lots of meals & snacks.

I’ve been making guacamole for as long as I can remember being capable in the kitchen. It has gotten better over the years, I must admit. For me, guacamole tends to be a little of this and a little of that, mash it all up and give it a taste, kinda thing, but I thought I’d write a recipe out for those of you that don’t like to wing it  or are still building your kitchen confidence. This one’s for you!

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Easiest (Make it Anywhere) Guacamole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Category: Dip, Snacks, Appetizer, Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free

Cuisine: Vegan, Real food, Nutrient-dense

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Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe avocado

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 Tbsp minced red onion

  • 1 medium tomato, diced

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • ½ tsp salt

  • Freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. In a small-medium sized bowl, mash avocado and lime juice with a fork.

  2. Add garlic, onion, tomato and spices and mash further with a fork.

  3. Serve immediately.


Our favourite dishes with Guac? Fish tacos, veggie burritos, guac & chips, baked yams with guac, morning eggs’n guac, and layered guac’n bean dip. Be creative. Or don’t. But do try this Guac recipe, it’s a hit every time!