Shepherd’s pie is a pretty easy meal, that can be quite balanced, satisfying and nutritious. It can be made in large batches, and makes great leftovers with the option to freeze. I love meals like this that are versatile and adaptable, nutritious and hearty. Checks all the boxes!
I added a few adaptations, as this can be made with meat, or without and with various toppings!
2 lb ground meat (grass-fed beef, turkey) or 3 cups cooked lentils in broth
1 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 gloves garlic, crushed or finely shopped
½ cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup broth (chicken, veggie) * skip this if using lentils
Olive oil to cook
Cumin, to taste
3 large sweet potatoes, roughly chopped into 4 pieces
Milk * optional*
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1/2 head cauliflower
4 potatoes, chopped
1. In a pan sauté crushed garlic, with chopped onions. Cook for a 5 minutes, mixing consistently. Add carrots.
2. After a few minutes, add the meat, or cooked lentils. If using meat, cook the meat. When the meat is cooked, add tomato paste. If using lentils, add tomatoes right away.
3. If cooking with meat, add broth. If cooking with lentils, omit this step.
4. Wait until the broth and crushed tomatoes absorb into the meat or lentil mixture. Approx. 30 minutes on low heat. Add salt and cumin.
5. While the meat or lentils are cooking, boil water in another pot and add sweet potatoes. Cook until soft. Mash or blend in a blender with salt and milk. If you are making the potato/cauliflower topping- add the cauliflower and potato to the water. Mash or blend in a blender with salt and milk.
6. Preheat oven to 350.
7. When the meat and lentil combination is ready, add to a baking loaf/pan and top with sweet potato topping/cauliflower/potato topping.
8. Bake for 45 minutes, broil for approx. 15 minutes if you want the top a bit crispy.
*This recipe serves 6-9, depending on the servings. It keeps well in the fridge for about 5 days. You can freeze, too!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Please let me know if you try it!
We hope everyone got to try some new ways to incorporate last month’s Monthly Nourish foods into your day! This month we are featuring three new foods to add into your diet for the month of February! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #monthlynourish for all of your new recipe creations for all of us to share! (This months, and previous months too!)
Blueberries are not only a favourite berry because of their delicious flavours, but they are also an amazingly powerful antioxidant. They contain anti inflammatory properties, low in sugar and calories. They are the perfect snack for those who want to boost their immune systems, skin health, and even cardiovascular health!
Since it is winter time, we cannot find locally grown blueberries until the spring time. So, getting a bag of frozen blueberries is a perfect way to enjoy this snack. Add it into your yogurt bowls, oatmeal, pancakes, smoothies or just have them on their own!
Cacao nibs are a great source of magnesium, iron, zinc and so much more. Cacao is the raw form of chocolate, so it provides all of the nutrients that we get from chocolate before it is processed. Cacao nibs are known as a powerful antioxidant, providing hundreds of different nutrients in just one serving.
Simple ways to incorporate cacao nibs into your diet, are by adding them into your oats, yogurt, baked goods or having them on their own. They are also a great add on to any smoothie, to give it more texture. Try aiming for a tablespoon of cacao nibs a day!
Eggplant is a great source of fiber, as well at B vitamins and potassium. Eggplant contains tons of antioxidants to protect the body from free radical damage. This vegetable is also great for cardiovascular health, eye health and circulation.
When searching for the best eggplant, look for ones that are firm and heavy for their size. Look for the ones that are shiny and deep in their pigmentation. Once you are home, store it in the fridge until you are ready to prepare it.
Add eggplant to curry or stir fry, as an easy and simple option. Or cut it up and prepare it with all of your other grilled veggies. You can also make an eggplant-based dip, or use it as a meat substitute for your plant based meals.
Today I wanted to share a list of Toronto bakeries, that offer options for those with intolerances and allergies. As a Nutritionist, I work with clients who have food allergies and intolerances, and part of my job is to help them enjoy a balanced diet without feeling deprived.
A huge part my philosophy and professional approach to nutrition is to focus on abundance, and NOT restriction. I believe it is important to indulge, and enjoy the foods you love- cake and pastries included! I personally LOVE baked goods ( A LOT), and love indulging.
I believe that no matter what your dietary preferences or ‘restrictions’ are, it is important to find foods that you can eat- that make you feel good on all the levels.
With that said, it may be difficult to indulge in the average bakery when you have food allergies or intolerances. The great news is that Toronto has some amazing bakeries with healthier choices, especially for those with allergies, intolerances and specific dietary preferences.
Below, I compiled a list of 5 bakeries in Toronto, which offer a variety of options for those with allergies and intolerances.
Toronto Bakeries (with options for those with allergies + intolerances)
1. Cock-A-Doodle-Doo GF Bakeshop
100% gluten-free,refined sugar-free, dairy-free, corn-free and soy-free bake shop.
During the cold winter months, dry skin becomes a lot more common. If you have trouble fighting this issue during the winter season, check out these tips below to see how you can protect your skin from losing its moisture during the winter months.
Health Tips for Dry Winter Skin
Drink Water (and limit caffeine)!
Always stay hydrated. By drinking enough water each day, you can see a great benefit to fighting dry skin. Water helps to hydrate each cell and organ in the body, including the biggest organ in our system: our skin. Aim to drink about two litres of water each day, including herbal teas. Add freshly squeezed lemon for some extra vitamin C. Fresh fruits and vegetables also contain water, and can contribute to your total water intake.
Alternatively, caffeine is a diuretic, which will pull water and the nutrients from the body and contribute to dehydration. As a general rule, drink 1 glass of water for every cup of coffee.
Take Colder Showers
It might seem impossible to do during the winter, but by reducing the amount of heat in the shower, you can protect your skin from losing its moisture. With super high heat, the lipid barriers on your skin can actually begin to break, causing flakiness and dry spots.
Limit Conventional Products + Opt for Natural Beauty Products
Many products on the store shelves today have ingredients that can dry out the skin. To minimize the effect of this, you can try minimal, natural oils and butters like shea butter, cacao butter, argon oil, or jojoba oil. You can apply these natural oils to your face, lips, body and hair. We suggest trying these at night, before bed, to allow the oils to really sink into the skin. We also know that skincare is individualized, and not everyone benefits from the same product.
If you are looking for natural skincare, some brands that we love are: Dr. Bronners, Green Beaver, Carina Organics, Wild Craft Care and Province Apothecary.
Moisturize + Face Masks
Treat your skin to a nourishing facemask at least once a week. My favourite facemask includes one teaspoon of raw honey and one tablespoon of coconut oil. When you mix these two together and apply them on your face, leave it there for a few minutes, and then rinse it off with a lukewarm cloth. You can also add some other nutrient dense ingredients like aloe, spirulina or cacao.
Of course, skin health starts from within. So make sure that you are eating a well-balanced diet with enough healthy fats and colourful vegetables to support skin health. Include healthy fats like avocados, nuts, seeds and oils, as well as vitamin C-rich foods like berries, citrus and green vegetables is a great way to nourish from within!
I hope you can find these tips helpful this winter, and that you skin stays a bit more hydrated!
Comment below and let us know some of your healthy skin tips. Stay warm!
I hope everyone has been having a great start to 2018! It is time for January Monthly Nourish, and this month we have highlighted almonds, apple cider vinegar and cauliflower. Read below to learn about the health benefits of these three foods, with ways to enjoy them. Don’t forget to check out our Monthly Nourish board on Pinterest for recipe inspiration.
Almonds provide fibre, healthy fat, protein and notably high in vitamin E, B2, magnesium, biotin and manganese. They are a great snack, to help balance blood sugar and promote sustained energy throughout the day.
Almonds are great to eat all year round, and they are best had in their natural raw form. Look for raw almonds, as they can often be roasted in unhealthy oils and loaded with salt. You can enjoy these in a trail mix, on their own, in baked goods, in a smoothie, or even as a spread!
Apple cider vinegar may seem like a strange food to feature, but it is a great one to include and enjoy. Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has been known as a bit of a cure-all in the natural health world, however it does have real benefits for the digestive system. Apple cider vinegar can aid in better digestion as it can stimulate digestive enzymes, while also contains live beneficial bacteria culture for that probiotic boost. Apple cider vinegar may also have immune boosting properties, which makes it extra great to include during cold and flu season.
Apple cider vinegar can be enjoyed in salad dressings. You can also include apple cider vinegar in water, which can be used to stimulate digestion, or even as a remedy if you are are feeling bloated.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable and an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. Cauliflower also contains DIM (diindoleylmehtane), which is a phytonutrient studied for cancer prevention and for it’s anti-estrogenic properties for ovarian, cervical and breast cancers. Cauliflower has not been studied on it’s own, but cauliflower containing diets have been studied for cancer prevention, cholesterol management and for it’s potential cardio-protective properties.
Cauliflowers quite versatile and can be added as a side to your dish enjoyed roasted, or mashed (instead of potato). Cauliflower rice and adding cauliflower to smoothies is another trendy new way to include this awesome vegetable.
Today I am sharing a recipe for a split pea soup, a perfect option for this COLD winter we are having in Toronto!
Soup is a great, easy and affordable way to get a lot of nutrition in one meal. This soup recipe is simple, tasty, cost-effective and adaptable. It takes under 30 minutes to make, costs under $10 total and you can use any type of split pea, cooked beans or lentils- whatever you have on hand!
Nutritionally, peas are a great source of vegetarian protein and fibre. They are great to add to your diet for a variety of protein, and the fibre content helps to stabilize blood sugar and keep you full! Peas are also a good source of minerals manganese, potassium and copper, and B vitamins (B1, B5 and folate).
SPLIT PEA SOUP
1 cup split peas
3 cups water, or broth
1 soup cube ( if you do not use broth)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 small onion, chopped finely
3 carrots, chopped finely
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 can coconut milk
Optional: add spinach or chopped kale
1. Finely chop onions. Add to soup pot with coconut oil. Sauté for a few minutes.
2. Add chopped carrots and sauté for a few more minutes. Add turmeric.
3. Add peas with water/broth or cube. Bring to boil and simmer until cooked.
4. When cooked, add coconut milk and handful of greens.
5. Serve warm with cilantro.
I hope you enjoy this recipe and that you stay warm out there!
On those cold, winter days, our favourite way to warm up is by grabbing a hot drink from one of our go-to cafes. There’s a café on every corner in Toronto, so grabbing a drink isn’t hard, but finding a favourite might take a few stops.
Here are some of my favourite warm drinks to grab in Toronto!
Think real, rich, ceremonial grade matcha tea- that’s exactly what you’ll taste while you sip on Light Café’s matcha lattes. It’s made with traditional Uji matcha powder, almond milk and sweetener of your choice, you can choose whether you prefer yours iced or hot. Not to mention, the atmosphere in this café is stunning and it’s plant filled wall definitely had be intrigued. If you are in the Baldwin area, I highly recommend checking out their latte and lunch menu!
Then there’s Jimmy’s Coffee. This cozy café all throughout Toronto is beloved for its blissful java and welcoming staff. Although, I tend to go for a warm cup of their coffee each time I enter, I have instantly fallen in love with their chili hot chocolate! It is an absolutely must. It’s prepared with 70% Dominican dark chocolate from Soul (no added sugar) and water mixed together until a syrupy consistency forms, then they mix in whatever milk you wish, and fresh chili syrup. The house made syrup contains hot red chilies, dried ancho chilies and cinnamon. It’s not too sweet, and not to spicy- the perfect balance.
Sugar, chai spice and everything nice! I was never a chai tea fan, until I started sipping on Pilot Coffee Roasters’ chai latte. It’s made from real spices, milk and sweetener of choice. Since they use the actual loose spices instead of a tea bag or natural flavouring, you really get a taste of each spice coming together. It’s definitely a go-to drink on a cold, winter day.
I’m sure by now, many of us have tried a turmeric latte, but Kupfert & Kim’s turmeric latte is a serious must. It’s created with just turmeric, nut milk, a little bit of pepper and a lot of froth. I will occasionally ask for some ginger in mine, to make it a little spicy. Sometimes I make my way to Kupfert & Kim just for the turmeric latte because of its authentic flavour. To me, this is exactly what a turmeric latte should taste like: simple, strong, and traditional.
Lastly, my favourite place to grab a coffee is from Good Neighbour Coffee. This place is home to the loyal locals in the Junction and its pretty obvious why! The coffee here is organic, fair trade, direct trade, local and freshly roasted, what’s not to love? All proceeds are also shared with over 200 workers in Honduras and Neighbourhood Life. Its impossible not to love a place that carries so much value and makes such quality coffee. If you’re looking for a place to grab a warm drink, and get some work done- I definitely recommend making your way over to Good Neighbour Coffee.
Bean Head Organic Whole Bean Coffee
Martin’s Organic Apple Chips
Gaga for Gluten-Free Simply Shortbread Cookies
Tutti Gourmet Gluten-Free Almond Cacao Biscotti
Prana Organic Amandine Maple Nuts
Giddy Yoyo Raw & Organic Mint Chocolate Bar
Giddy Yoyo Raw & Organic Dark Chocolate Bar
Pukka Organic Three Mint Tea
Beekeeper’s Naturals Local Honey
Nagi Raw & Organic Chocolate Almond Coconut Energy Bar
I wanted to officially announce that now a portion of my work and business will be in support of Sistering, a wonderful organization helping women in Toronto.
Sistering is a multi-service agency for at-risk, socially isolated women in Toronto who are homeless or precariously housed. Sistering offers various services including a 24/7 safe drop-in centre, a kitchen with served nutritious meals, harm reduction, support services including housing referrals, shelter/hostel referrals and income support, as well as various programs and social enterprise initiatives. Sistering is a low barrier agency, meaning that they make it as easy as possible for women to get a wide range of support. You can read more about their impact in their annual report.
Starting January 1st, $10.00 from EVERY service booked will be donated to Sistering, in a tangible way. This means that for every appointment, I will use $10.00 to purchase an item that is needed by the centre or provided within a quarterly donation. You can have a say in what I use the $10.00 towards if you would like, and I will show you what I provide using the donation.
My office will also be a drop-off centre for donations, so that you may drop off items when you come in for your appointments. If you are interested to donate items, the list below shows you what this organization needs at this time :)
Personal Care Items
(travel/sample sizes are ideal but we gladly accept regular size as well)
A new month means a new Monthly Nourish post. Here are this months top foods to enjoy and include as part of a healthy diet. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #monthlynourish when you enjoy a meal with any of these foods ( from this month, or previous months, too!)
Lemons may not be your go-to fruit, but they are a great one to consider! They contain antioxidants, like vitamin C and other phytonutrients. They are also great for our digestive system, as they can stimulate stomach acid and enzyme production.
We like enjoying lemon with water, to stimulate our digestion. As well, we use lemon instead of vinegar in a salad. It is also great to add in to baked fish, chicken or even vegetables!
Flaxseeds are a great source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, along with many other nutrients. Flaxseeds are both anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant. Flaxseeds can be included into your diet to help with heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, menopause, constipation + more.
In order to get the full benefit from flaxseeds, we suggest eating them ground. That way we absorb the healthy fat and nutrients, as well as the fibre. Add ground flax seeds to oatmeal or smoothies and store them in the freezer to keep them from going rancid.
Sweet potatoes are well known for this bright orange or deep purple pigment. This colour is what is so nutritious! Sweet potatoes are a great source of antioxidants, especially beta-carotene. They are also anti-inflammatory, good for the skin, heart healthy and lower glycemic than white potatoes. Sweet potatoes also carry a lot of fibre, which makes them a perfect side to any dish.
When shopping for sweet potatoes, choose ones that are firm and without bruises or cracks. Refrain from buying ones that are stored in a fridge.
The nutrients from sweet potatoes come out best when they are steamed or lightly cooked. Add sweet potatoes as an alternative to fries or mash potatoes. Add them into salads, or make a sweet potato oatmeal bowl!