Monday, February 29, 2016

Meatless Monday Recipe - Whole Roasted Cauliflower

Happy Leap Day.

Have you thought about what you're going to "leap" into starting today?

Take a minute and listen to your beautiful heart and your smart gut. Is there something you want to do but fear is holding you back? Taking a leap powers creativity, innovation and is the heartbeat of an exciting and fulfilled life. Try it...

"If you never leap you will never know what its like to fly"

If you want to leap into a healthier lifestyle - you can start right here with a healthy recipe - what you eat becomes part of your body - your blood, your hair, your skin. Eating healthy changes everything!

Today's Meatless Monday recipe is a whole roasted cauliflower. It is herbed up to taste delicious and roasting it whole makes it feel like a main dish you can "carve" and serve.

Cauliflower isn't known as the hippest veggie around. Most healthy methods of cooking (steaming or boiling) leave it flavourless and mushy. Roasting or sautéing it will keep good texture and taste.

Why eat cauliflower?
-low calories, low carbs
-cholesterol free
-super high in vitamin C (antioxidant)
-high in vitamin K (anti-inflammatory)
-high in folate and fibre

I like to serve this dish with mashed or baked sweet potatoes and sautéed kale or spinach. Try it with some of your fav healthy veggie sides.

Enjoy...and don't forget about taking the leap ;-)

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

1 head of cauliflower, washed
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dijon mustard
Fresh ground pepper and sea salt

Pre-heat the oven to 425.

Whisk together the olive oil, garlic, mustard, thyme and a few grinds of sea salt and pepper. It will be more of a thicker rub than a sauce.

Remove any large leaves around the cauliflower and then slice the bottom of it off with a large knife so that it is flush and will sit flat. Place it in a casserole or roasting dish.

Brush or rub the olive oil mixture evenly around the cauliflower.

Bake in the oven covered  loosely with foil for about an hour - until it is tender and then cook for an additional 10 minutes uncovered.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Kale Caesar with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

There are some foods I really do miss from my non-plant based days...

One of them is a good, creamy caesar salad.

Although I don't miss all the unhealthy calories that came with it.

I've been trying to create a vegan one for quite some time. One that doesn't need hours of soaking cashews or is too complicated to even think about trying.

This was a story of failure...until now.

I've finally got it where I want it.

This caesar is vegan (of course), gluten free and full of antioxidants for a healthy thyroid - which basically runs every system in your body. The base of the dressing is Brazil nuts which contain a huge amount of selenium - an amazing antioxidant for your thyroid and for detoxification.

You can dig in guilt free with this caesar salad - it is a vitamin and mineral rich salad with heart and brain healthy fats.


"Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart"

Kale Caesar with Roasted Brussels Sprouts

1 large bunch of kale, torn
20 baby brussels sprouts, halved (or 10 regular size, quartered)
2 Tbsp olive oil (divided)
fresh ground sea salt and pepper
1/2 cup raw Brazil nuts
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 cup tahini
2 tsp coconut sugar
2/3 cup water
1/2 avocado, sliced

Preheat the oven to 400 and line a rimed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl combine the brussels sprouts with 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper. Toss to coat the brussels sprouts well and then spread them out on the parchment paper. Roast in the oven for 12 - 15 minutes.

While they are cooking, pulse the brazil nuts in a high speed blender or food processor until they are finely ground. Add the nutritional yeast, 1 Tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, dijon mustard, coconut sugar, water, and garlic, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper and blend until creamy.

Toss the kale with the dressing mixture (you may have more dressing than you need and if so place it in an air tight container and refrigerate for up to 2 days). Add in the roasted brussels sprouts and sliced avocado. Voila - a delicious, creamy, healthy vegan caesar!

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Saturday, February 13, 2016

10 Amazing Foods for Your Amazing Heart

Valentines Day is around the corner and love is in the air.

Not only is it time to celebrate the love in your life, its also time to celebrate your own heart.

Its an amazing organ.

It literally keeps us alive.

It falls in love. It gets broken. It gets hurt. It makes us feel love and emotion.

It works its tail off for you everyday.

And yet...

Heart disease is the # 1 disease in North America.

In almost every case this disease can be prevented or healed with diet and lifestyle.

Are you treating your heart right? Are you feeding it the foods it needs to stay healthy?

Here are 9 Amazing Foods for Your Amazing Heart. Next time you are deciding what to eat - think about your heart and show it some love...xo

Dark Chocolate Yes its true, although not the whole bar in one sitting. Dark chocolate has antioxidants that relax arteries and increase blood flow helping to lower blood pressure. Make sure to choose at least 60% cocoa (70 or 80% is even better) and try to pick organic with no palm oil or saturated fat. My fav brand is Alter Ego - Peppermint or Quinoa.

Chia Seeds These little seeds are powerhouses for cardiovascular health. They contain plant based Omega 3’s that reduce bad cholesterol and help to clear away plaque buildup.  Sprinkle some on your cereal, salad or in your hummus.

Avocado These gorgeous green goddesses are loaded with "good fats" which lower blood cholesterol and reduce blood clots. Mash them up on toast, slice them on a salad or make some delicious Black Bean Stuffed Avocados

Green Tea  There is nothing like a warm cup of green tea. It is good for everything – not just your heart. The huge amount of antioxidants help lower hypertension and reduce blood clots. Try Organic Sencha or Matcha for the highest amount of antioxidants.

Apples And keep the skin on since it is full of antioxidants. Apples contain pectin that blocks the absorption of cholesterol. They are also full of good fibre. Use them to make Apple Almond Quinoa for breakfast.

Blueberries Bursting with flavour and flavonoids – an antioxidant that prevents coronary disease.  They also pack a lot of fibre that helps eliminate cholesterol from your system before being absorbed into the bloodstream and also controls blood sugar. Try to pick organic and keep frozen ones on hand so you have no excuse. Put them in anything – smoothies, cereal, salad, dessert…

Cauliflower Certainly not the most popular food in heart healthy lists but nonetheless a strong contender. The antioxidants it contains have been shown to lower heart attack risk and reduce cholesterol. I love it roasted with a kale salad - get the recipe here

Oatmeal I’m talking about the real oats – not the instant, flavoured ones that have more sugar than you need and have been processed.  The real oats are high in fibre like blueberries and apples helping remove bad cholestorol from your body before it hits your bloodstream. It will also keep you full fighting off the urge for mid morning unhealthy snacking.  Sprinkle it with chia seeds and blueberries for the ultimate heart healthy breakfast.

Red Wine Saved my fav for last. As with the dark chocolate this is best enjoyed in moderation. A glass is brimming with resveratrol an antioxidant that reduces cholesterol and increases arterial health. Cheers to your heart.

Sending you sunshine, happiness and healthy heart love,

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Monday, February 1, 2016

Skinny Stuffed Squash

January? Done.

February? Totally ready for you.

What better way to start off the month than with this amazing healthy dinner.

Butternut squash is a fabulous grounding, winter vegetable. It is super low in sugars and carbs - the great evils of our world ;-) and filled with:

Vitamin A (hello gorgeous skin)
Vitamin C (hello to even more gorgeous skin + immune system support)
Vitamin B-6 (vital energy boost)

When you cut it in half and take out the seeds you are left with cute little bowls - just waiting to be filled...

So I've filled them with lentils (protein and iron powerhouse) and a hint of sweetness from pure maple syrup.

Delicious, healthy and beautiful. What more could you ask for?

Sending you sunshine, happiness and skinny squash love,

1 squash makes 2 servings, easily double the recipe to serve 4
1 medium size butternut squash, halved and seeded
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
1/4 red onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
fresh ground pepper and sea salt

Preheat the oven to 425. place the squash halves in a large glass baking dish, cut side up, and add an inch of water to the bottom of the dish. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes covered and about 15 minutes uncovered. The squash is done when the flesh is very tender when poked with a fork.

While the squash is cooking, sauté the red onion, garlic and one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium size pot on low heat. When the onion is fragrant and tender (about 5 minutes), add the lentils and enough water to just cover them. Simmer on low heat until the lentils absorb the water. The lower the heat the better - if you boil the lentils they will turn to mush.

In a small bowl whisk together one tablespoon of olive oil, the apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and turmeric. When the lentils are done cover them with this mixture and add in the parsley and cranberries. Stir to combine and simmer on low for another 5 minutes.

Once the squash is done remove it from the baking dish and place it on a plate. Scoop the lentil mixture to fill the empty seed cavities (the bowl). Sprinkle with fresh ground sea salt and pepper. I like to serve this with a bit of kale massaged with a splash of lemon juice and salt and pepper.


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