Sweet Potato Hash Browns

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These sweet potato hash browns are my favourite way to enjoy sweet potatoes and I thought i’d share this recipe with you all just in time for the holidays. They make a great side to a holiday brunch and you can add these healthy carbs to the top of salads. This recipe is my spicy version however, I’ll also often make it with cinnamon for more of a dessert option. Either way it’s one of my favourite dishes that I like to make for my weekly meal prep. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

I’ve recently been using this handy dandy cast iron handle gripper that I had to tell you all about. It’s such a hand saver because I find my oven mitts are not as safe as they need to be to grab the cast iron handle. As a massage therapist, I can’t get burns, even a little one or I’m out of work for a few days. This handle has given me a piece of mind that I’m safe. If you also need to protect your precious hands from the intense heat of a cast iron pan, you can find this hand tool here.

Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Serves: 2

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 385°F
  2. Clean the potatoes and  grate with a cheese grater or in a food processor. 
  3. Transfer grated potato to a medium sized bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir well. 
  4. Place the mixture into a cast iron pan and place in the oven to cook. Check often and stir every 5-10 minutes. 
  5. If you don't have a cast iron pan you can use any other oven safe dish. Be cautious to stir the hash browns often to be sure they don't burn.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes or till desired crispness. 
  7. Enjoy!! 
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Ginger Cookies (Vegan, Grain-Free)

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Ginger cookies always remind me of the holidays so to get into the spirit I had to create a new recipe. This recipe has a great balance of spice with a nice chewy texture. I’ve made it grain-free and vegan. I’ve used real ginger rather then dried and I find it gives it that special ginger punch sure to satisfy. Please let me know if you give them a try!

Michelle xo

Almond Ginger Cookies (vegan)

Makes: 15 cookies

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients (mix in the blender)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. If your dates are hard, soak them in water for 10 minutes, if they are soft, leave as is. 
  3. Blend all your dry ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. 
  4. Blend all your liquids in a blender and blend well. 
  5. Combine all the ingredients together in the bowl and mix. Make the dough into 15 round balls and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten the balls slightly. Option to roll them and cut into designs. 
  6. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes. 
  7. Allow them to set for a few minutes then enjoy. 

NOTES:

Optional* to use only almond flour if you don't want to add the cassava flour.  Use 2 full cups of almond flour if your not including the cassava. 
Optional* to top the cookies with monk fruit sweetener. This gives a little extra sweetness without sugar.

calories

135

fat (grams)

8.8

carbs (grams)

12

protein (grams)

2.4

sugar (grams)

6.4
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Delicious "Healthy" Chocolate Bar Recipe (vegan)

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Halloween just passed and I was so proud when I didn’t eat any of the mini chocolate bars and sweets. I made the choice weeks in advance that I couldn’t eat even one because if I eat one, I’ll eat 5 bags (I’m not exaggerating). So, to help satisfy my craving, I created a healthier version. These sweet treats have lots of healthy fats, chocolate and sweetened only with natural sweeteners. I’ve also made you all a video demonstrating how easy they are to create. I hope you take a look and give these sweet treats a try. Be sure to let me know if you do and if you like them.

Healthy Chocolate Bars (Vegan)

Makes: 20

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Nougat
Caramel Filling
Chocolate Goodness

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine the nougat ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Due to the natural oils in many nut butters the consistency can vary. You want the nougat to move but stay formed when stirred. Add more coconut flour if needed.
  2. Place this on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread out roughly 1/4-1/2 inch thick and 30 cm long. (see more in my YouTube video).
  3. Place this in the freezer while you work on the caramel filling.
  4. Add all the caramel filling ingredients in a blender and whip well till it's blending smooth.
  5. Then spread this mixture evenly over the nougat and place back in the freezer to set over night. 
  6. Cut them into 20 pieces when they are set and ready to be dipped into the chocolate. 
  7. Melt the chocolate and oil in a sauce pan on low. 
  8. Dip each piece into the chocolate and surround it with the chocolate. Leave it to set on the pan and place it back into the freezer to set. 
  9. If you'd like to enjoy them the same day, you can just drizzle the chocolate on top of the entire batch before you cut them. They will be a bit gooey inside but they're also still very yummy! 
  10. I store mine in the freezer although you could also keep them in the fridge.  With the natural oils, its best to keep cool so they stay together. 

calories

150

fat (grams)

8.1

carbs (grams)

17

protein (grams)

3.7

sugar (grams)

13.6
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5 Steps To Simplify Your Plant Based Meals

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It seems to me that more and more people are "going" plant based/vegan or at least incorporating more plant based foods into their daily diet. My number one recommendation is have fun with it and to place the focus on including lots of nutrients rather than on what you can and can’t eat. Filling your body with the nutrients it needs to heal and thrive really is the most important point. I have heard many people express their worry over not getting enough to eat if they go plant based, so I’ve compiled these five points to simplify plant based meals:

  1. Plan Ahead/Meal Prep

    Create a weekly plan, shop for all the items and set aside time to prepare meals or sides. I like to meal prep on Sundays or Mondays. This helps me have lots of healthy food choices throughout the week which lowers my chances of snacking on processed foods. I feel less stressed when I know I have options in the fridge when I need to make a quick meal.  Keeping some cut up veggies in the fridge with a hummus or beet dip helps to have a go-to snack when I need it. Again, this is a great healthy option that prevents me from grabbing for processed foods. 

  2. Left Overs

    I have always been a big fan of left overs! The flavours are more enjoyable and satisfying the following day and it's a ready-made homemade meal that takes no preparation. It’s such a time saver, and time is precious!  

  3. Google It

    Google has everything, including healthy plant based recipes. If you have a recipe that you love but you’d like to have it plant based or incorporate more nutrient dense foods into the recipe, google it. I guarantee there will be many options for you. 

  4. Less Stress, Keep It Simple

    I recently posted a blog about keeping it simple but I’d like to bring it up again. It’s amazing how many people stress over how difficult it is to eat plant based. Although this is true, it can be simplified. Take your basics, have a few staple meals you're happy with, and from there you can add more options. Stressing about it can cause increased likelihood for failure and resentment. If you remember the other points listed in this blog then hopefully you can plan ahead and create more of a sustainable process for the long term. 

  5. Freeze It

    Along with meal prepping and left overs, I love, love, love, to utilize the freezer. I’ll freeze meals so it’s as simple as pulling food out of the freezer and heating it in the oven or on the stove (I don’t like to use microwaves.) If I have left overs that I know won't get eaten in time, I’ll put them in the freezer rather than wasting them or leaving them to go bad in the fridge. You can pre-make and freeze veggie lasagnas, casseroles, burgers (all sorts of meals) and then pop it in the oven for a hearty, healthy, no prep meal.

For more tips on how to eat a healthy plant based diet you can head over to my YouTube channel or check out my Ebook which includes my 10 favourite health tips that I live by! Plant based/Vegan may not be for everyone but it is definitely important to include more nutrient dense foods into your everyday diet. 

Cheers to a happier, healthier you! 

Michelle xo

Beet Dressing

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I’m obsessed with the bright vibrant colour of this beet dressing. It’s truly so fun to create because it makes any bowl of greens look exciting! The main ingredient is beets so feel free to eat as much as you’d like. I’ll even use it as a dip for a veggie tray.

This recipe will make enough for several salads. I like to store it in a Maison jar for up to a week in the fridge.

Beet Dressing

Makes: 8 oz.

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender till smooth. 
  2. Add more water if you'd like the dressing more liquidy or you can add less water if you'd like to keep it as a dip. 
  3. Store it in a glass jar in the fridge and use as needed.  
  4. It's mostly beets so you don't have to feel bad if you want to double up on the dressing.  

NOTES:

Don't wear white when your making this dressing, the beets stain and they seem to find a way to get everywhere! 
Nutritional values are per 1 Tablespoon.

calories

12

fat (grams)

.9

carbs (grams)

1.4

protein (grams)

.1

sugar (grams)

.8
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Green Goodness Kale Salad

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This yummy bowl of green goodness was inspired by my bestie/editor Stacy. After a nice night hanging with this gem and enjoying some healthy eats, I knew I wanted to share her go-to kale salad. She jazzed it up a bit different that night, to accommodate what she had in her fridge but that’s what I love the most about a salad, you really can add anything and everything to create your own special recipe. Pair it with some virgin olive oil, garlic and herbs and you have a tasty recipe to feed your cells!! Give the recipe a try and let us know what you think. 

Green Goodness Kale Salad

Serves: 4

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Salad
  • 4 cups kale chopped
  • 1 cup brussel sprouts grated (roughly 12)
  • 1 medium white onion chopped
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • Parmesan cheese or vegan cheese of your choice (optional)
Dressing
  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons lemon
  • pinch of salt and pepper 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix all the salad ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Mix the dressing ingredients together well and drizzle on top of the salad.
  3. Mix well and enjoy! 

calories

250

fat (grams)

21.2

carbs (grams)

14.1

protein (grams)

5.6

sugar (grams)

2.3
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My Toronto Restaurant Guide for Healthy, Delicious Grub

The experience of dining out is something I've always wanted to include in my lifestyle. I remember telling my friends that one day I would meet a guy who would want to dine out at least once a week (but hopefully more.) This isn't because I don't enjoy cooking, but because I love the atmosphere and ambience of restaurants, I love enjoying the experience of sharing company of those I care about, and I love not having to run around preparing, making and cleaning up the meal (obviously.) It's definitely a privilege to be able to dine out and I'm so thankful that I am able to do so, while living in a fabulous city with so many great food options to choose from. Although I love to try out new places, it's not practical for me when I eat only certain foods, and I have high expectations for the quality of the food I eat. This is why I tend to stick to my favourite restaurants. Below I've included my top six restaurants in Toronto. 

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Soft chocolate chip cookies are my weakness!!  

1. Impact Kitchen. This restaurant is a favourite of mine with a simple but nutrient packed menu. It's based on the need for pure whole foods and nutrients to feed your body.  This place is friendly to both vegans and meat eaters. My favourite finds here include, the Zesty Mexican Power Bowl, the weekend brunch waffles, the green medicine smoothie and the Chocolate Cookie which is infused with chocolate goodness. 

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Impact Kitchen has so many delicious options!  

2. Fresh. This is a fully vegan restaurant with an enormous menu with multiple options of salads, burritos, bowls, burgers, smoothies and juices. They also have some deep fried options such as their quinoa onion rings which are so delish, especially dipped in their famous hot sauce! My overall picks at Fresh include the corn bread, all star salad, squash tacos, bbq burger (which is topped with their onion rings) and the "all green" juice. Also, I was so impressed with their hot chocolate that it inspired me to create one similar (you can find the recipe here.) They also have various sweets from a delicious sweet company called Sweets From the Earth. 

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If you happen to like carrot cake, you must leave room for a slice at Fresh. It's incredible! 

3. Planta. This fully vegan restaurant is classy, fun and has some incredible, unique flavours. With a bit of a higher price point, it's somewhere that I go to for special occasions. My favourite items so far include, the "crab" cakes, planta burger and eggplant lasagna which has a delicious smoky flavour. The truffle fries are a must and they often have featured meals and sweets that are always satisfying. If you stop by, be sure to bring your camera for their instagram worthy plates and atmosphere.  

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This is half the Planta smoky lasagna. I often share so I can try several dishes each visit. 

4. Live. This is another fully vegan restaurant with raw and cooked food options.  Although I adore their menu, due to the unique combinations I know my non vegan friends wouldn't enjoy it as much as some of the other picks. Live also offers food to buy in grocery stores or online which I'm a huge fan. My favourites include their sweet potato noodle salad, their green or chipotle wraps, curry pumpkin nori crunch snacks and cheesy flavoured cracker chips. 

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If you enjoy kimchi I'd suggest these mung bean pancakes. 

5. Calii Love. I've only been to this Californian inspired healthy spot two or three times but it's clear all the items are made with real food. You can make your own salad bowl with your favourite toppings or you can enjoy one of their featured creations. I recommend the "Inspired" bowl. All the bowls are named with expressions of positive feelings so when you order your food the staff will yell "I'm feeling... Inspired" which is a very positive and fun way to communicate with the chefs.  

6. Simple Kitchen. This is similar to Impact Kitchen but on a smaller scale. They have very simple meals that are rich in nutrient dense whole foods. They have a great menu with both brunch and dinner options. You can make your own plate with protein, veggies and carbs of your choice. I love the chia bowls which you can build your own creation with different fruits, nut butters and other healthy toppings.  

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So simple, clean, real and delish!! 

Photo credit: Simple Kitchen Instagram

So these are my 6 main healthy food spots I like to enjoy. I'm feeling pretty hungry now as I think about all my favourite foods and restaurants, and I am already planning where I'll be going tomorrow.  If you try out any of these options or if you have any healthy spots that you enjoy in the city, be sure to comment down below.  I'd love to add a few more options to my list!  

Happy eating! 

Michelle Wolfe

Sweet Potato Toast

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Have you heard about this bizarre but brilliant trend of using sweet potato slices as toast?  I have to admit, it’s pretty great!  While I assumed it would only taste good with savoury toppings, you’ll be happy to know it’s also delicious with sweet.  

I’ve included the recipe below along with a video to show a variety of ways to enjoy this newly favourite grain-free toast.  Whether you want to be quick and use the toaster or you would prefer to toast it in the oven, I give you both options. Hope you enjoy!  

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Sweet Potato Toast (Baked or Toasted)

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Baked
Toasted
  • 1 sweet potato
  • hummus
  • parsley

DIRECTIONS:

Baked
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F
  2. Slice your cleaned potato in thin slices either round or long. 
  3. Place on a baking pan  and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. *Option to turn once half way through cooking.
  4. If your potato is cut thick than you may need to cook it longer then the 30 minutes.
  5. Once the potato is soft and cooked all the way through, broil each side for 1 min each, watching it does't burn. 
  6. Spread on your almond butter, top it with sliced strawberries and hemp hearts and enjoy! 
Toasted
  1. Cut the ends off your washed potato and be sure it will fit into your toaster once it's sliced. 
  2. Slice the potato long thin slices. 
  3. Turn your toaster up high and toast the slices. You may need to do this 2-3 times or until it is soft and fully cooked. 
  4. You should notice it's lightly browning on the outside. 
  5. Once it's ready, spread on the hummus and sprinkle the parsley on top. Enjoy! 

notes

I've shared two of my sweet potato options here but you can see a couple more of my favourite recipe ideas  in the YouTube video down below.
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Almond Crackers (grain-free)

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I’ve been making these grain free crackers for a long time. The recipe was originally given to me by a friend but I’ve transformed it slightly over the years. You can make these crackers with all sorts of flavoured options but I’ve listed my two favourites down below. Using the almond flour gives it that delicious nutty flavour, and they seem to bake up perfectly whether you want the crackers thick or thin. Try pairing them with your favourite dips and spreads, and enjoy that nutty, sweet crunch!

Almond Crackers (grain-free)

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prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Savoury Option
Sweet option
  • 1/4 cup cranberries chopped
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 3 dates chopped small

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat the oven to 350°.
  2. Mix the top 4 ingredients together and divide it into two separate balls. 
  3. Mix the savoury option with one ball and mix the sweet option with the other ball.  
  4. Roll the balls separately between two pieces of parchment paper till they are evenly thin. Optional to roll thin or thick depending what style of cracker you'd like. See my photo for my preferred thickness.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 min or until crispy. 
  6. Cut the crackers 1.5 inch squares right out of the oven while they are still hot. 
  7. Eat with your favourite toppings and spreads. 

notes

*You can store these in the freezer so they are prepared for anytime an unexpected guest may arrive.
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