Healthy, clean eating recipes that include gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, plant-based, and paleo recipes. Promotion of a healthy lifestyle with positivity and fun, easy, nutritious food and beverages.
As the years go by there is always one thing we can all improve on: self-care. It is far too easy to get wrapped up in to-do lists, careers, kids, and doing our best to keep our heads above water that we often forget about our needs.
Ever since I became a mom I have discovered how truly easy it is to put ourselves last. I have also learned the hard way that putting ourselves last does nobody any good. We can’t perform to the best of our abilities as professionals, parents, friends, or lovers if we are lacking on self-care.
The good news here is that there are many easy ways to pamper ourselves. Self-care can be affordable, easy to fit into the schedule, and can even be done from the comfort of our own homes. Here are 14 ways we can focus on ourselves and start this New Year off with a clear mind and relaxed soul.
1. Take a relaxing bath. Turn it up a notch and dim the lights, light some candles, and add some essential oils. Bonus if there is a glass of wine involved.
2. De-clutter the home. Although this is a lengthy process, there is nothing more rewarding. Sort through your home, room by room, and focus on keeping only what is serving you and your family.
3. Coloring. And parents, your kids coloring books work just fine-no need to fall into the overpriced adult coloring book hype-trust me.
4. Go for an unplugged walk. Time spent in nature will be forever underrated. Nature heals. Take time to listen to the wind, the birds, and the bees and put a pause on anything involving earphones.
5. Go to sleep earlier. Sleep is a time for rest and restoration and let’s be real; most of us aren’t getting enough. Winding down for bed even 30 minutes earlier will make the world of a difference.
6. Stretch upon waking. Getting our circulation flowing freely first thing in the morning starts the day off on the right foot.
7. Read a paperback novel. Ditch the electronic books and magazines and kick it old school. Feel the pages turn between your fingertips and indulge in a captivating story.
8. Create a home café. Take your reading atmosphere to another level by turning on some soft acoustic music and making yourself the best damn latte that you’ve ever had.
9. Practice positive affirmations. Body image issues don’t’ escape any of us and we could all use some extra love when it comes to this department. Focus on the things you love about yourself, write them down and hang the notes up on your mirror. These are things we should never lose sight of.
10. Say no more often. We all know that we can’t possibly “do it all” but despite knowing this fact we seem to keep trying. If there’s an opportunity or commitment you cannot or do not want to follow through with there is absolutely no harm in saying no. It is not selfish, it is self-care.
11. Journal. Writing down our greatest emotions can be so therapeutic. Journaling can honour feelings of all nature and it helps to clear the mind.
12. Home spa treatments. A rejuvenating DIY face mask always does the trick for me but a self-administered manicure and/or pedicure or hair treatment would be just as lovely.
13. Get an indoor plant. I have sadly killed my fair share of plants but luckily there are some varieties that thrive no matter what. My absolute favorite additions to consider are the spider plant, the dracaena and a pothos plant. These varieties also all happen to be air purifying.
14. Catch up with friends. Nothing beats having the chance to let loose and spend time with those loved ones we don’t see nearly as much as we’d like to. Whether you set up a cozy date at home with a friend (or group of) or go out for brunch or drinks, it’s all time allotted for you and your missed ones.
Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. There’s just something about waking up and starting the day off on the right foot. And as much as I love my sweet meals, I wanted to branch out and create a savoury breakfast that was full of plant-based fuel. Meatless and dairy-free savoury breakfast ideas are hard to come by and I was craving something more than some fluffy pancakes, creamy oatmeal, or a blended smoothie.
My daughter loves legumes. She honestly cannot get enough. For this reason, I do have an impressive stock of dried peas, beans, and lentils in the pantry. However, we all know those days where the canned goods are required so I also have a couple of cans handy at all times as well. It saves me on those days where I’m far from organized.
This recipe was inspired by a random handful of leftover canned lentils I had in the fridge. I remember preparing this “kitchen sink” of a dish thinking to myself “oh man, this is probably going to be a hard fail but at least no food will go to waste.” At the last second I decided to whip up some guacamole to serve with my hash and that was that. The only fail here was that I didn’t make enough.
Ingredients for the Hash:
2 Tbsp. avocado oil
4 medium potatoes, cubed
1 small onion, chopped (about ½ cup)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup brown lentils (I used canned, rinsed)
1.5 cups baby spinach
¼ Tsp. chili powder
¼ Tsp. chili flakes (omit to avoid heat in the dish)
1/8 Tsp. garlic powder
S & P to taste
1 large & ripe avocado
½ Tsp. lime juice
Pinch of sea salt
The day before, I quartered my potatoes and boiled them. In the morning I cubed them and proceeded to make my hash. It cut down the cook time tremendously and the potatoes were soft and perfect.
1. Unless you have a huge oversized skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. of avocado oil each in two separate skillets. If you have a huge skillet, just use the one. Once the oil is hot, add half of the cubed potatoes in one skillet and half in the other. This will make sure your potatoes cook evenly resulting in prefect golden brown cubes. If the skillet is too small the potatoes will be too crowded and overlap each other which will result in some burnt cubes and some undercooked. Cook the potatoes for several minutes on each side. Avoid over-stirring them-we want them to brown nicely. You can add a little bit of water if necessary to prevent sticking.
2. While your potatoes are cooking, prepare your guacamole and set it in the fridge. Keeping the avocado pit mixed in the guac can help avoid any browning.
3. Once your potatoes have almost all cooked through and turned golden (this time will vary drastically depending on whether or not the potatoes were boiled in advance-see Pro Tip above), add the onion and green pepper to both skillets and cook for a few minutes until they soften.
4. Once your potatoes have fully browned, you can combine everything into one skillet or just mix everything together at the end. Add the cilantro, lentils, spinach, and spices to the skillet and cook for another two minutes until the spinach has wilted.
5. Serve the hash with a generous dollop of fresh guacamole.
When it comes to protein, we have heard and perhaps believed one claim from two opposite spectrums. Either protein is life and nothing else matters or that we don’t need much protein at all. What is true is that protein is an essential nutrient and although we may not need massive amounts, we do need to be acquiring quality sources throughout our day.
Protein is a core macronutrient that is essential for building a complete meal. For complete biological satisfaction, our meals and snacks should ideally contain a quality source of protein, fibre, and healthy fat. Protein is crucial for the building and maintenance of healthy bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, hair, hormones, and enzymes. There is no doubt that this macronutrient plays a huge role in our overall wellbeing. The good news is that getting a variety of quality in our diets is not as much of a stressor as it has become for some. Even adding some teeny tiny seeds such as hemp hearts to a dish can make all the difference.
Over time (and especially thanks to pregnancy), I have mastered how to quickly and effortlessly get this important macronutrient included in my meals. Here are a few ways I like to add quality plant-based protein sources to my diet.
3 tablespoons of hulled hemp hearts carry a whopping 10g of protein. This superfood can easily be added to anything and everything as the flavour is so subtle. It is honestly my favourite way to get a great source of not only protein but healthy fats and fibre as well. I add them to my oatmeal, in my smoothies, to my pastas, and everything in between.
NUTS, SEEDS & THEIR BUTTERS
I love sprinkling nuts and seeds on top of salads and any dish involving noodles. I also add nuts and seeds a lot into my baking. And let’s be real, we have no issues snacking on fruit and grains such as bread and crackers. Adding nut butter to these sources of fibre would not only add a source of protein but also adds a healthy fat making it a dream team snack.
This is a yeast that grows on the ever so popular natural sweetener, molasses. After being harvested, washed, and heat dried (making it an inactive yeast), it becomes a savoury flake that has a cheesy and nutty flavour. Also known as “nooch,” nutritional yeast is a good source of vitamin B12 and protein (along with folic acid, selenium, and zinc). I use nooch just as often as I use hemp hearts because it can so easily be added to anything savoury. It is commonly used to make plant-based cheese substitutes but is also great sprinkled on top of soups, pastas, and steamed or roasted vegetables. It also makes for a great popcorn seasoning. Two tablespoons of this magic has 9g of protein.
There are many different kind of sprouts and they all individually pack a nutritional punch. My favorite to use is alfalfa sprouts and I include them in wraps, sandwiches, and salads. I also like broccoli, radish, pea, and sunflower sprouts, especially to liven up a fresh salad bowl. Experiment with different kinds and get a variety. All sprouts have a significant amount of micronutrients but they also are a great source of plant-based protein.
Hummus is such an underrated spread. It is so incredibly easy to make at home and it can go far beyond being used on veggie sticks and crackers. To quickly make a creamy and thick pasta dish, I will stir in hummus. It’s a great meal especially when served with tomatoes, onion, chopped leafy greens, and fresh herbs. I also regularly use hummus on homemade pizzas. I replace the traditional pizza sauce with a layer of hummus followed by a thin layer of salsa. It may sound strange but it is a game changer.
BONUS: ALL THE GREENS
Green veggies are loaded with magical health powers, including protein. It’s the last thing on people’s minds when it comes to considering protein but honestly, it all adds up. Adding some leafy greens to every meal can go such a long way. I also usually have some frozen organic peas and/or edamame beans steamed and ready to be used for some easy peasy meal enhancers.
Growing up the only beans I ever ate were the canned baked beans in tomato sauce. This was the only kind of bean I ever knew of for more years than I’d care to admit. Once I dove into this healthier wholesome eating lifestyle I definitely was made aware of all the types of beans and legumes in general there were. It was unbelievable but intimidating. And for the longest time I relied on canned beans which honestly there is nothing wrong with….until you get used to the unique taste of beans prepared from scratch. My mother in law is from El Salvador and so I am spoiled when it comes to home cooked meals. Nothing will ever compare to her beans but it’s motivated me to also start cooking my own legumes from scratch. My whole family loves beans (toddler included) so I make them quite often. They are such an affordable staple in the pantry. They are high in both protein and fibre and can work wonders in any type of dish.
One important thing to keep in mind is that cook time will vary per type of bean. Some varieties can be done within half of an hour and others will take a whole hour, sometimes more. This prep is best planned to be done at a time when you will be home and are perhaps prepping other ingredients as well. Because it is a process, I like to make a larger batch and incorporate them into different meals over a few days.
1.5 cups soaked and drained beans.
1 Tbsp. full fat butter or your favourite cooking oil
1/3 cup chopped white onion
Water or broth of your choice
1. The first step to preparing our own beans is to rinse them off and soak them in cold water in a large container overnight. Soaking all legumes (and most grains actually) allow them to be more easily digested (prevents bloating or gas) and allows for better absorption of the proteins and other nutrients offered. When soaking the beans, be sure that the water sits 2 inches above the bean surface and allow room for expansion as they will double in size. I usually soak 1.5 cups which will result in 3 cups of cooked beans (keep in mind this is for 3 people over a few days. Cooked beans also freeze well so anything we don’t end up using-I freeze).
2. Drain and rinse the soaked beans.
3. If using water instead of broth, opt for boiling your water in one full kettle or pot (this is a tip from the Salvadoran MIL).
4. Heat butter in a skillet over medium heat and add the onion and cook until translucent.
5. Add the strained and soaked beans and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir occasionally.
6. Add the boiled water or broth of your choice into your skillet. You want to the liquid to fully cover the beans by at least ½ inch. Bring to a boil and simmer down to a low heat (I keep it at a 2 on a temperature gauge of 0-9).
7. Cover with a lid and let cook, stirring occasionally, until they are ready (which means are tender but still firm as they begin to split. Avoid overcooking them to the point where they are falling apart and are mushy….unless you’ll be blending them anyway for a refried bean type of deal).
8. Add sea salt and any other seasonings you’d like.
9. Take about ¾ cup of the cooked beans and its liquid and transfer to a blender or food processor. Blend until you have a puree and add it back in with the cooked beans. This thickens up the beans which is ideal for when it’s served over rice or anything really. If there is still too much liquid, you can blend more or just remove some water and just discard it until you have a desired consistency.
Cook time will depend on many factors: the type of bean, how old the beans are, how hard your water is, if they have been soaked or not, etc. Generally speaking, most beans will take about an hour but some can be less (chickpeas) and some more (small white beans). It’s for this reason I make my beans when I know I’ll be home for a good stretch of time (and usually tackle it while I’m prepping other food). Start testing your beans at the 30 minute mark. If they aren’t quite ready, keep simmering and checking every 15 minutes or so).
Cooked beans will last up to 5 days in your fridge. Alternatively you can freeze them as well.
After having my daughter, my body did a 180. I expected this but I didn’t expect to really just not feel like myself for so damn long afterwards. Once she turned a year old, I thought to myself “ok…..you should be over this by now.” It was a very confusing time for me. Mentally, I felt stronger than ever. I grew, nourished, and birthed this beautiful child. I have always thought of mothers as sexy and powerful beings and once I became one, I thought the same of myself. I deserve to feel that. We all do. It was more how I fit into clothes that bothered me. I literally didn’t know what to do with this new body of mine. I didn’t know how to dress my mom bod in a way that flattered me and caressed me the way that every woman is entitled to.
Once I got desperate enough, I called up my friend Sonu. She recently just started up a passion driven side job that I knew would lift my spirits. Her job title within her company “House of Nayna” includes but is not limited to: a fashion advisor, personal shopper, stylist, and master of high fashion at a low cost. Just one outing with her made a world of a difference. She showed me my mistakes in size choices, improved my accessory game, and gave me crucial advice on building an outfit specific to my body type. But honestly, beyond all of that, she unknowingly taught me that I am still a bombshell and I deserve to both look and feel it.
This experience influenced a few other moments that made me cleanse any negative feelings that I had in relation to my appearance. So for those who may feel a little extra uncomfortable in their bodies, I have some therapeutic tips for you in hopes to find your way back to confidence.
CLEAN OUT THE CLOSET
Every last god damn piece that you do not wear. It needs to go. All of those “but maybe it’ll fit again one day” items that are collecting dust are being donated. Here’s the thing. By the time these clothes do fit again, they either won’t fit you like you like they used to or you’ll most likely have outgrown the style anyway. Not to mention they are harboring negative feelings. Any pile that is labeled “but maybe they’ll fit again one day” isn’t the most encouraging of thoughts to have in our lives. Any items that do fit but you have not worn in the past 6 months also need to go. You are not wearing them for a reason. You may not know what that reason is but at this point it doesn’t matter, they are clearly not serving you. This process is extremely healing because you are literally letting go of the past here. From this point on, we focus on the beauty of the present.
Bonus: Donating that enormous load of clothing to a shelter full of those in need will make you feel deliriously happy.
Now that you’ve made plenty of room in your closet for killer outfits that will fit you now…it’s time to replenish. I realize that post-holidays make for some tighter than usual budgets but you must at least treat yourself to one outfit. If you are anything like I was before my personal shopping experience which is lost as all hell, don’t worry I’m passing along some professional advice I gained from my fashion advisor, Sonu.
When it comes to shopping & dressing for our body types, here are some things we can try:
Shop for the size we are now. Wearing a size down hoping weight loss is somewhere in the near future only makes us looks us larger. It also so happens that wearing items that are too big also make us appear larger than we really are as well (I learned this the hard way-I was the queen of buying a size up for comfort’s sake). Another note as we talk about shopping for the size we currently are is to not focus on the numbers. Sizing numbers fluctuate immensely between each and every store so there is no validity in obsessing over the sizing numbers.
Utilize the dressing rooms. I know, nobody likes those too small and dusty stalls with horrific lighting but the only way to tell whether or not something fits right is to try it on.
Find our celebrity body type. It’s about damn time that Hollywood is accepting and respecting figures of all sizes. Find a celebrity that rocks your body shape and use them as guidance and inspiration. By focusing on the fit of the clothing worn by our star we can gain information on what will also look A-list on our own bodies.
Lastly, hire a professional. It may seem like a petty expense but it will likely just take one session to learn the basics. Friends, family, and employees of clothing stores can all be great when seeking advice but they are not always honest or educated in what suits our unique body types. I personally have no regrets and knowing that I can walk into a clothing store alone, carrying confidence is the biggest relief. My friend Sonu is excellent and also has an incredible Instagram account (@houseofnaynawpg) featuring fashion tips and tricks for all. Be sure to check her out.
LOVE THE WAY WE MOVE
We all know exercise is important. We have most likely all tried killing ourselves doing some form/s of physical activity that we despise. We are somehow convinced that the only way to be truly healthy and fit is to put ourselves through hell. This is false. For example, I personally detest running. Running on a treadmill or even jogging outside will never bring me any kind of joy. The few times that I tried to keep up with it, I ended up so miserable that I quit and stop working out altogether. Talk about inconsistent. When we do things we actually enjoy, it’s not a chore. Strength training and cardio interval training is my happy place. I want to do it. I prioritize most of my days to include this type of movement because I enjoy it. It makes me feel both mentally and physically healthier, stronger, and powerful when I do. So find your thing. Yoga, Zumba, CrossFit, running, straight up twerking in your living room to rap music-whatever it is that challenges you in a positive wayis enough. I promise.
Y’all knew this was coming. I know it sounds cheesy and corny and it most likely makes your eyes roll back into your head but give it a shot. We are so accustomed to focusing on the negative. It’s not our fault but we are at fault for letting those outside voices influence what we think of ourselves. A woman’s figure comes with so much beauty. We honestly have no idea how precious we are. We are our own worst enemies and it needs to change. We must learn to be kinder to ourselves and treat ourselves with respect. Turn the negatives into positives one day at a time, one affirmation at a time. Rehearse these affirmations aloud and with confidence several times a day. The positive repetitions will eventually start to influence how we think, feel, and live.
The holidays are beyond over and the super bowl parties have come to an end. And as much as our minds think we still need those donuts…our bodies are telling us differently. There is no denying that our systems need a tad bit of a re-boost after big festivities. Soup is one of the easiest and most effective ways to treat our bodies with a little more love and care. Being Canadian, I live off of soup for half a year as our winters are so long.
I absolutely adore pairing a simple soup with a delicious toasted sandwich or wrap or even a big fresh salad full of vibrant ingredients. Soup is really that perfect add-on to any meal which is why I wanted to create a basic, go-to recipe. This pot is simply vegetables, broth and/or water, and lentils. It’s great for easy digestion and provides us with plenty of plant-based nutrition. Of course, there are no rules when cooking so this recipe could easily serve as a hearty meal as well. Add some beautiful grain to the mix such as quinoa, wild rice, or even pasta. Potatoes would also take this simple bowl of soup to a whole new level of comfort and care. However you decide to enjoy it, I hope you love it as much as my family and I do.
Detox Lentil Soup
1 Tbsp. cooking oil or full fat butter/ghee
1.5 cup carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 cups vegetable broth*
4 cups water*
1 cup rinsed & uncooked green lentils (brown would also work but red will not).
1 small zucchini, chopped
1.5 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. marjoram
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 Tsp. red wine vinegar
Optional: hot sauce
*Feel free to use all 7 cups of liquid as vegetable broth or just water. Adjust your seasonings accordingly.
1. Heat the oil or butter over medium heat in a large pot.
2. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant and softened.
3. Add the broth, water, and lentils and bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer.
4. Cover with a lid and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or so. Add the zucchini, parsley, and marjoram and cover and cook for another 10 minutes or so (or until the lentils are fully cooked).
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the red wine vinegar. For some extra heat, feel free to add a dash of your favorite hot sauce.
Chickpea Fritters are one of the best homemade things to have on hand. They are the ultimate healthy snack but also can compliment any meal like a dream. They have got what most snacks lack: a beautiful plant-based protein. However, I also love that they are a veggie-dominant snack. Most of the easy, go-to snacks families tend to rely on are fruit based, and often contain some amounts of added sugars. These chickpea fritters are a pure, sugar free, nutrition packed option. We also love adding mashed avocado on top as a delicious spread. As for completing a meal, it's as easy as pairing them with a simple salad. Boom-dinner is ready is minutes. These fritters also freeze very well which is great news for those with the busy as hell lifestyle....um, hi! When I make these for my daughter, I make smaller bite-sized fritters so they are easier for her.
1 chickpea egg: (1/4 cup chickpea flour + ¼ cup water mixed together-or use a poultry egg)
1 cup grain based flour (I used spelt flour).
2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1.5 Tsp. baking powder
¾ cup grated carrots
1/3 cup leafy greens, chopped finely (spinach or kale are both great).
¼ cup chopped onion
1 Tbsp. freshly basil
1 Tbsp. freshly oregano
1 + 2/3rd cups of cooked/canned chickpeas
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup milk/milk alternative
In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 chickpea flour and 1/4 cup water to make the chickpea egg, if using. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, nutritional yeast, and baking powder.
Using a food processor, grate the carrot. Then add the leafy greens, onion, and fresh herbs and pulse a few times until everything is finely diced. Add the chickpea egg (or regular egg) with the chickpeas, lemon juice, oil, and milk. *Note: you can choose to simply pulse these ingredients for a chunkier textured fritter or blend smooth for a fritter that resembles a thick pancake.
Pour out the wet ingredients from the processor into the bowl of dried goods and stir thoroughly.
Heat some avocado oil, grass fed butter, ghee, or coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place fritter batter on the skillet in ¼ cup measurements. Slightly flatten out and shape the fritter using a fork or spoon.
Cook the fritters for about 4-5 minutes and flip to cook the opposite side.
I learned years ago that in order to make a meal nutritionally balanced, we need to include a source of quality protein, healthy fat, and fibre. This combination also benefits us when snacking as well. The use of the three essential nutrients together helps keep us feeling full longer, regulates our blood sugar levels, and supports optimal brain function. We see less crash and burns and less need for those sugar and/or caffeine fixes mid-afternoon.
Ever since learning of this magical formula, I have made an effort to always try and include the three together whenever I eat, and with whatever I eat. It is easier than it sounds and once we get to practicing, pro-status is quickly achieved-I promise. Of the three essential nutrients, a quality protein seems to be the hardest for most people to include and especially in the snacks. I had the same struggle until I came across Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts and now my eating habits have forever changed.
What’s the deal with hemp hearts anyway? Are they actually as fabulous as everyone makes them out to be? The answer is yes. Here’s why hemp hearts are the superfood of all superfoods. The super plant is packed with the highest quality sources of both protein and healthy fats (both omega-3 and omega-6). The plant-based protein content is higher than that of chia or flax seeds. Hemp hearts also have all 10 of the essential amino acids to help support our wellbeing with just a sprinkle. Above all of this, the fact that they are literally so incredibly easy to use makes it impossible not to. This super plant is so versatile. The taste is subtle but holds a slight nutty flavour and can be used in both sweet and savoury dishes. They can be blended in smoothies, soups, dips, and spreads. They can be used in baked goods. They can be sprinkled on oatmeal bowls, salads, soups, and anything else you can dream of.
Their versatility is why I personally tend to use them more than once in a day. Like I said earlier, it’s too easy not to. I also have a hungry toddler who requires a thousand snacks a day so hemp hearts come into play more than they ever have before. I’d love to showcase how simple it is to incorporate these nutrient packed hearts in everyday life. It can literally be as simple as a sprinkle but there’s always room for creativity as well…if that’s your thing.
Coconut Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s our opportunity to break the fast in the most energizing of ways. And although quinoa itself packs a powerful protein punch, I added some hemp hearts to my bowl as well for the healthy fats and all the other vitamins they contain such as magnesium, fibre, zinc, iron, and phosphorus.
Coconut Quinoa Recipe:
1 cup uncooked organic quinoa
Unsweetened coconut milk (I used boxed not canned)
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Rinse off and soak the quinoa overnight for optimal absorption and digestion.
In the morning, rinse it off and place into pot.
Cover the quinoa with just enough coconut milk to just barely cover the quinoa-we do not need a lot of extra liquid here since it was soaked overnight and has already absorbed a lot of moisture.
Bring the quinoa to a boil and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook the coconut quinoa for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and get eating.
To assemble the breakfast bowl, use ½ cup of the cooked quinoa per serving. Add your favourite fresh fruit, any nuts and/or seeds, an all-natural sweetener of your choice, and Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts.
My bowl included coconut quinoa with some pure maple syrup, pomegranate and banana, crushed pecans, and hemp hearts.
If you aren’t a fan of quinoa, disregard the hesitation for this recipe. I am also not a huge quinoa fan but this breakfast has been a game changer. And my 18 month old absolutely loved it.
As I mentioned above, I have a bottomless pit of a toddler who demands food all day long. Seeing as she is not yet quite a fan of raw vegetables and only has her few favorites on repeat, sometimes I find it hard to get creative. One of her very first foods was zucchini and she loved it but that love dwindled somewhere along the way. I don’t give up that easily though and I managed to get her back on the zucchini train with these fries.
She’s still a little tiny human so I personally try to avoid overloading her system with too many starchy grains. This meant I had to get creative in replacing a portion of the usual breading that is traditionally used for making zucchini fries. Hemp hearts to the rescue. This recipe makes for a great snack or even a side to a meal.
Crack the egg into a container and whisk thoroughly.
Combine the bread crumbs, hemp hearts, nutritional yeast, and spices in a separate container.
Dip each zucchini strip into the egg mixture and shake off the access.
Proceed to coating the egg dipped strip in the bread crumb mixture.
Place the fries on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
Bake in the oven for about 18 minutes, filliping halfway through.
We can all agree that pasta for dinner is among the easiest of dishes to serve, yes? Everybody loves pasta and there are plenty of ways to make a simple pasta dish hearty and healthy. This Pumpkin Pasta recipe of mine has been on repeat ever since I came up with it.
The whole family adores it and I made sure it was nutritionally balanced as is, but of course there is always room for any additional veggies should your heart desire. The cashews and the hemp hearts provide this dish with both quality healthy fats and protein. And the pumpkin squash provides us with fibre and the unique taste that is truly unforgettable. See? A healthy, well-balanced and well-loved pasta recipe-life is good.
Because I want to inspire you to up the ante on heath by using Manitoba Hemp Hearts, I’m hosting a giveaway. For your chance to win a Manitoba Harvest Prize Pack please leave me a comment on this blog post telling me what your favourite way to enjoy hemp hearts is. If you have not used them before but are influenced to do so now, leave me a comment on how you’d like to use them. I will choose one winner at random on Monday, December 4th, 2017 at 8pm CST. This giveaway is valid for Canadian and U.S citizens.
For more inspirational ideas on how to incorporate this super plant of a seed to your meals, check out www.Manitobaharvest.com.
You can also stay inspired by following Manitoba Harvest on the following social platforms:
This post is sponsored by Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods. All opinions and words are my own. Hemp hearts have been a staple of mine for years now and I have been raving about them for just as long. Thank you for taking interest in what I advocate and why. I hope this post leaves you with health and happiness.
Squash is one of the most versatile of foods to cook with. And although there are many ways to enjoy this family of vegetables, I can’t deny the fact that pasta is definitely at the top of the favourites list. Nobody complains when pasta is placed on the dinner table. There's no fighting, no food throwing, and no whining. Just the beautiful sound of your family eating and enjoying their meal. Now here's the thing-we can have our pasta and eat it too...and on the regular. There are thousands of ways to make a pasta dish more hearty and healthy than the average bowl of KD. Read on.
I served this recipe up to my squad without telling them a single thing I did to "Nuttify" it. And to my pure joy and amazement, they loved it. It was rich, creamy, flavorful, and made with good wholesome ingredients. Once I had succeeded, I then proceeded to explain to my husband what he was actually eating and why it was so awesome. He's really cute because he pretends to care.
I excitedly explained that it was a complete plant-based recipe. There was no dairy contributing to this dream of creaminess. The simple and comforting dish was enriched with healthy fats and protein provided by the cashews and the hemp hearts. The pumpkin provides us with plenty of fibre and gives the pasta a hint of natural sweetness that is surprisingly exquisite on the tongue.
If you and/or your family do not do dairy for whatever reason or if you are just looking for something different, I definitely recommend trying out this dish. I kept it super simple. Of course, if your child/ren are not extremely picky eaters-load up on extra vegetables. Roasted broccoli, green peas, caramelized onions and/or mushrooms, and chopped leafy greens are all great add-in suggestions. However fear not, this recipe as is counts as a completely nutritionally balanced meal-I made sure of it. This is to be served 100% guilt-free!
12 oz. your favorite pasta
1 Tbsp. butter or cooking oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable broth
½ Tsp. Paprika
½ Tsp. Chili powder
¼ Tsp. Black pepper
¼ Tsp. Sea salt
Pinch of nutmeg
¼ cup soaked raw cashews
3 Tbsp. Hemp Hearts
Reserved pasta water to thin sauce if needed (I added 3 Tbsp.)
Cook your pasta according to package directions.
Melt the butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add the garlic and onion and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the pumpkin puree and broth to the skillet and stir to combine.
Add the paprika, chili powder, nutmeg, sea salt, and black pepper.
Stir everything together and let cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or so.
Transfer the sauce mixture to a high powered blender for best results. Add the cashews and hemp hearts and blend until thoroughly combined. Add reserved pasta water if needed.
Fold the sauce and cooked pasta together and garnish however you desire.
This holiday season I am excited to share that I have joined in Ricki’s Fashion for a fun giveaway. A $50 gift card could be yours and you can get the deets on how by visiting us over on Instagram (valid for Canadians only). I have also created this amazing cookie recipe for you all and to be featured on Ricki’s social platforms for their “Sweaters & Sweets” holiday promotion.
Sweaters & Sweets, cute right? Nothing feels more festive than baking my favorite holiday treats in a cozy yet fashionable knit cable. All while listening to soft Christmas music and sipping on a freshly made latte. One of my favourite cookies ever is a classic gingersnap. I wanted to create a perfect balance of the traditional cookie and a slightly better for you version. They had to be soft and chewy, provide some nutrients but not taste like cardboard as a result. And I am overjoyed to share that I met all of these crucial goals of mine. The perfect gingersnap cookie awaits you my friends and they even (unintentionally) happen to be gluten-free.
Before I dive into the recipe, I wanted to share some really cool facts about some of the ingredients. By no means do these nutritional tidbits excuse the fact that these babies are cookies. A treat is a treat is a treat but I wanted to focus on the good and share how I upped the ante here.
I added oats to the recipe for some texture but they also happen to provide a wealthy amount of fibre.
Along with the traditional spices of ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, I also added ground turmeric. I know this sounds insane but I couldn’t help myself. Turmeric is the most powerful spice on earth and is known for its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. I also promise that you won’t taste it among all the traditional gingersnap flavours.
Lastly, I wanted highlight a less than popular tidbit on molasses. Blackstrap molasses is generously high in iron. It also has a decent amount of both calcium and magnesium which together act as a powerhouse for our bone health.
Now that I’m done raving about these melt in your mouth cookies, let’s get to it. Don’t forget to visit my post on Instagram to enter to win the gift card giveaway (valid for Canadians only). I’m crossing my fingers for you. Let’s all bake holiday cookies in the coziest of sweaters, shall we?
Oatmeal Gingersnap Cookies
*Makes ~32 cookies
1 ¾ cup rice flour (I used white but brown should be just fine)
¾ cup whole rolled oats
1 cup organic cane sugar (extra for garnish)
2 Tsp. baking soda
2 Tsp. ground ginger
1 Tsp. ground cinnamon
½ Tsp. cloves
¼-1/2 Tsp. ground turmeric
1 Tsp. vanilla extract
¾ cup softened butter
¼ + 1 Tbsp. unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup blackstrap molasses
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients and slowly add them into the dry ingredients. Mix everything together thoroughly. The batter will appear to be too moist but do not be alarmed, they will turn out amazing.
Place 1 tablespoon sized dollops of the batter on baking sheets covered in parchment paper. Be sure to leave a lot of room for cookie expansion.
Slightly compress the dollops and sprinkle a little extra cane sugar on top for garnish (they are too moist to roll in the sugar).
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and let cool completely before enjoying. *Note: These cookies also freeze very well.
This post is sponsored by Ricki’s Fashion. I have been compensated with quality clothing and the honour to host my own giveaway. I appreciate your interest in both my recipe and in supporting a Canadian fashion brand.
Read Full Article
Read for later
Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.