Sweet Potato Salsa

Sweet Potato Salsa

I created this recipe for a recent girls weekend. I wanted a recipe that was new and different, great for dipping and snacking and healthy (of course!) I was initially considering a guacamole type salsa dish but I wanted to incorporate a grain-free carbohydrate. I decided to add sweet potato which is also packed with anti-inflammatory nutrients (helpful on a weekend away!) I tend to indulge in more sweets, alcohol and late nights on these ladies weekends, and although it's worth it for the beautiful laughs and stories shared with my special pals, it’s also important for me to be mindful about how to balance out the healthy and not-so-healthy foods. This sweet potato salsa helps reduce inflammation and stress on the body. It was a great snack once we arrived at the cottage, and next time I’ll double the recipe because we ate it up in no time! 

Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin C, magnesium, antioxidants. I choose them instead of a regular starch potato because the flavour is superior (in my opinion) and they are far more nutrient dense. 

This recipe can be enjoyed with tortilla chips, vegetable sticks or as an addition to a bed of greens for a scrumptious salad. 

Dig in and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Salsa

Serves: 4

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato peeled,  cut into small cubes and cooked
  • 1 small red onion (1/4 cup) chopped into very  small pieces
  • 1 large tomato diced into cubes, remove the seeds
  • 1 ripe avocado diced into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped fine (optional to use parsley) 
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice 
  • pinch of  himalayan salt
  • pinch of black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss the chopped sweet potato and 1 tablespoon olive oil on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Toss once between cooking.  
  2. Combine all the remaining ingredients into a large bowl and add the sweet potato once it's cooked and cooled. Toss and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. 


Raw Berry Cashew “Cheesecake”

Strawberry raw cashew cheesecake

Cheesecake, especially an unbaked version, is a family favourite for me! When I started consciously eating less dairy, I knew I had to come up with a satisfying alternative to traditional cheesecake.This raw cashew-based desert is decadent and as delicious as the dairy filled cheesecake from my childhood. This recipe can be created with any of your favourite berries but I’ve chosen strawberries in honour of National Strawberry Day. Although this cheesecake recipe is filled with healthy fat and protein, it is high in natural sugar and is best eaten in moderation. 

I prefer to soak the cashews overnight which helps the nut soften and blend smoothly. If you are short on time, a few hours will help, but it won't be as effective. The topping is a similar recipe that I use for my berry jams, and I’ll often make extra and save it in the fridge for later. 

Cheers to all of you cheesecake lovers! 

Michelle xo

Raw Berry Cashew "Cheesecake"

Serves: 8

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

Crust
Cheesecake
  • 2 heaping cups raw cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (canned full fat)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla
  • 1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
Berry Topping
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen strawberries (thawed)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add Pecans to a food processor or blender and mix into very small pieces. Add the remaining crust ingredients and blend till it becomes sticky and stays together. A few small pieces in the mix is ok.   
  2. Place the crust mixture into a 9" springform pan and push down evenly over the bottom. Due to the coconut oil in the ingredients, you don't need to grease the pan. Set aside.
  3. Add all the cheesecake ingredients (expect the strawberries)  into the blender and mix till smooth.
  4. Place 3/4 of the cheesecake mixture over the crust and put it into the freezer.
  5. Add the cup of strawberries to the blender with the rest of the cheesecake mixture and blend again till smooth.
  6. Add this layer on top of the last and spread it evenly. Place in the freezer to harder.
  7. Mix the berry topping together and save in the fridge till it's time to eat. 
  8. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer 1-2 hours before you serve. Spread the berry topping on when you remove from the freezer or when you serve each piece. 
  9. Keeps well in the fridge for up to a week or keep it in the freezer for longer keeping.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Sweet Potato "Nachos" (Vegan)

Sweet Potato Nachos.JPG

I planned to create this plate of nachos for super bowl but I was just too excited to test the recipe so we made it a day in advance. It was soo good I’m going to make them again today!

It’s not your traditional nachos recipe, in fact it has no cheese or cheese like product however it’s a big pan of healthy flavourful foods and i’m telling you… it’s delicious!

I used sweet potato as the base and topped it with lots of interesting flavours. I dipped it into my newest creation “ranch” dressing which gave it an extra burst of flavour. I’m not sharing the dressing recipe just yet however you can use salsa, hummus or any other dip of your choice. Give it a try and let me know what creations you come up with.

Sweet Potato "Nachos" (Vegan)

Serves: 2-4

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes sliced thin (I prefer small thin potatoes for smaller chips)
  • 1/2 cup sliced mini tomatoes
  • 2 green onions chopped
  • 1 jalapeño sliced
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 small avocado diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place the sliced sweet potatoes onto two baking sheets. You want enough to roughly cover two sheets so cut more if needed. 
  3. Bake the sweet potato chips for 15 minutes then flip. Continue baking for another 15-25 minutes or till they are crispy on the outside and baked all the way through.
  4. Remove from the oven and stack all the chips onto each other onto one pan. 
  5. Add all the toppings evenly over the top. 
  6. You can eat while the toppings are raw or you can put it back into the oven for 10-15 minutes to soften the veggies.
  7. Enjoy with your favourite dips. 
Created using The Recipes Generator


Easy Quick-Pickled Onions

easy-quick-pickled-onions.JPG

Onions are a great food source for cleansing your body and providing health benefits. Onions are packed with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.  They’re great to add to most dishes as they offer flavour and nutritional value. I’ve been loving this new recipe of pickled onions because it gives a fresh kick to the typical taste of onions. The pickled version are the perfect condiment for tacos, burgers, salads, nachos, and they are even enjoyable on their own. I store them in a mason jar in the fridge to help keep them fresh.  

You can prepare and enjoy these beautiful pink toppers in about 20 minutes. I find that using sweetener, such as maple syrup (rather than refined sugar,) provides a more balanced flavour when paired with the tangy vinegar. You can also make them without maple syrup, if that would be your preference. 

Easy Quick-Pickled Onions

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4  cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put all the onions into a 1 pint mason jar or glass jar. 
  2. In a small saucepan combine all the remaining ingredients and bring the mixture to a simmer. 
  3. Carefully poor all of the liquid over the onions. 
  4. Push the onions down into the jar to emerge all the onions under the liquid mixture then allow it to sit and cool at room temperature. (20-25 minutes)
  5. Enjoy or cover and place in the fridge to enjoy another time. I prefer to eat mine within the week although they should last in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. 
Created using The Recipes Generator
Pickled onions.JPG




Ginger Cookies (Vegan, Grain-Free)

ginger-cookies.jpg

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

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

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
Created using The Recipes Generator


7 Ways to Improve Digestion During the Cold Winter Months.

Drink Water.jpg

This post is for all of those on the slow digestion team.  As many of you know I have very slow digestion and my gut is sensitive to certain foods and stressors.  During the winter months I also find my digestion and gut health need some extra love and attention.  Over the past few years of really paying attention to my triggers and how I can assist my sluggish bowels, I’ve come up with a few tricks that keep me feeling good and helps the food move along smoothly through my body while giving the rest of my body the proper nutrients it needs.

  1. Drink warm/hot water. This is my absolute number one suggestion. Drinking more water in general will aid in proper digestion. Drinking warm water is key especially during the colder months because it too helps with digestion.  Our insides are warmer then room temperature and when we consume anything cold it can shock the bowels and slow down digestion. Think of what happens when a river starts to freeze, it slows right down but when it warms up in the spring it melts and it flows beautifully.  

  2. Eat heated/cooked foods. Again as mentioned with the water, consuming warm things will aid in proper digestion and help those bowels to move things along.  I love a good salad but during the winter I switch to more stir-frys so the food is heated and cooked.  Eating raw vegetables does provide more natural digestive enzymes so often I’ll add a few pieces of raw spinach or kale to the top of the stir fry.  

  3. Avoid over eating.  Give your gut a break and consume less foods during the winter.  Obviously I’m not saying not to eat enough nutrients, however I try to avoid eating too many snacks and I stop eating just before I get full.  It’s a lot of work for our bodies to process food and often in the winter we’re not as active so we don’t need to give our bodies extra stress with too much food.  

  4. Drink Herbal teas. Many herbal teas are known for decreasing bloating and aid in digestion.  You can find teas that have a combination of great digestive spices but some of my favourite include peppermint, ginger, chamomile, hibiscus and I often add a sprinkle of cinnamon too. My girl Taylor just recently launched her loose leaf tea company www.cupofte.com and she has many of these great options and so many more. Stay tuned for a collaboration we might be working on. 

  5. Limit liquids when eating. Our bowels have a powerful digestive acid which breaks down the food we consume. When we dilute it with other liquids, it’s not going to be as affective and it may cause for less food to be broken down. Drink your water and teas 20 minutes before or after your meals rather than when you’re actually consuming the food.  

  6. Take your time. With our busy schedules these days, sitting down and taking your time to eat a meal can be easily pushed aside. It’s important to take the time to chew each bite properly as well as enjoying food in a comfortable low stress environment. Stress of any kind causes less digestion so find a nice cozy spot, sit back, relax and enjoy the nutrients you’re consuming. 

  7. Get active. Get outside or head to the treadmill and get a 20 minute walk or workout post meals. I find movement the best way to help things move along. I’ve been known to dance and jump around (even in a restaurant bathroom stall) to help move along a meal. 

So there you have it, my 7 favourite digestion tips I use during the winter months. Many I also use all year round but I definitely incorporate these more while it’s cold.  I can honestly tell you that it’s been helping me soo much and I feel much less bloating, and no pain or other IBS symptoms compared to previous winters.  Cheers to happy healthy digestion!

Michelle xo 

Vegetable Lentil Chilli

chilli.jpg

We all need a warm hearty meal to keep us cozy during the winter months and chilli is definitely on the top of that list of go to cozy meals. I’ve created a veggie lentil chilli that’s sure to please. Feel free to add more of your favourite veggies like carrots, and mushrooms.

Bon appétit

Vegetable Lentil Chilli

Serves: 8

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large sauce pan on low, sauté chopped peppers, onions, celery, garlic, spices and avocado oil for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally and add more oil if needed. 
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (chop the jalapeño into small pieces and only add half for less spice) simmer on low for 30 minutes.  
  3. Serve warm.  

calories

137

fat (grams)

3.9

carbs (grams)

20.4

protein (grams)

6.2

sugar (grams)

4.1
Created using The Recipes Generator

5 Steps To Simplify Your Plant Based Meals

thumbnail_Facetune_27-10-2018-21-10-38.jpg

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

thumbnail_IMG_4363.jpg

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.

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

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
Created using The Recipes Generator

Broccoli Leek Soup

IMG_3998.JPG

I love making a good soup but I want it to be quick and simple while still jammed with satisfying flavours.  I've created a new vegan broccoli soup and from beginning to end, it took less than 30 minutes to make.  If you're feeling the need for a quick and easy soup, give this one a try! Broccoli (aka: mini trees) are a great anti-cancer food also!

Broccoli Leek Soup

Serves: 6

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 6 cups water
  • 2 large bundles of broccoli chopped (approximately 650g) 
  • 3 leeks chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • vegetable bouillon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 2 cups spinach

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add all the items in a large sauce pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 10-15 min or till the vegetables are soft. Stir occasionally. 
  2. Mix everything with a hand mixer. You can make it very smooth or leave a few chunks if you'd like. 
  3. Serve warm. 

NOTES:

I like to make a double batch and freeze some for later. 
Add 1-2 cups of cooked quinoa for some extra healthy carbs. 
Sprinkle some Nutritional Yeast on top for some extra B vitamins.

calories

90

fat (grams)

1.2

carbs (grams)

16

protein (grams)

6.5

sugar (grams)

4.5
Created using The Recipes Generator

 

 

Zucchini Fries

healthy-zucchini-fries.JPG

Yummy finger food!  Put down the fork, add some dip and enjoy!  I love how easy these zucchini fries are to make and how satisfying they can be. The taste of zucchini is very mild which leaves the seasoning possibilities endless.  For this recipe I used parmesan cheese and some Italian spice. You could, however, make the recipe more suitable for your palate by eliminating the cheese or adding your own favourite spices.  These zucchini frires are sure to turn out great!  I've paired mine with my garlic caesar because it's always fun to dip finger foods. 

Baked Zucchini Fries

Serves: 4

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Wash and dry zucchini. Cut into fry sized sticks.
  3. Toss the cut zucchini in the whipped egg (avocado oil also works great)
  4. In a medium sized bowl add cheese and spices and blend well.  
  5. Transfer the zucchini to this bowl and toss well till each fry is covered. 
  6. Place the fries on a parchment paper lined pan and sprinkle any remaining spice mixture on top.
  7. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes.
  8. Flip then continue cooking for a remaining 5-10 minutes or tlil desired crispness. 
  9. Serve when warm with garlic caesar dressing.

calories

118

fat (grams)

6.9

carbs (grams)

4.3

protein (grams)

10.1

sugar (grams)

2.5
Created using The Recipes Generator

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed-Pesto-Mushroom.JPG

These little bite sized appetizers are delicious!  They were created while I was cleaning out my fridge.  I had a little leftover pesto and a bag of mushrooms that needed to be used up and voila! These pesto stuffed mushrooms were born.  I likely shouldn't admit to this but shortly after taking the photo I ate them all.  They were really that good!!

They've become one of my staples for entertaining as they're so simple, aesthetically appealing and not too filling.  

Nutritional value is dependent on the size of mushroom.  If you're tracking your numbers you can weigh the mushroom before cooking. 

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

Makes: 25 mushrooms

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 415°F. Wash mushrooms well and remove stems. 
  2. Toss mushrooms in oil and place upside down in a pan. 
  3. Fill mushrooms with pesto and sprinkle with paprika. 
  4. Bake in the oven for 15-17 minutes. 

notes

*Grated parmesan also tastes great on top.
Created using The Recipes Generator

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Raspberry-Vinaigrette.jpg

My raspberry vinaigrette is a light and refreshing dressing.  It is a summery change from the oils and vinegars that I typically use. 

The bright color and sweet taste can provide a distraction to simple greens and vegetables if you are one who doesn't enjoy the natural flavours of vegetables as much as myself.  Although I strive to keep sugar content low, I do believe that it's important to enjoy your food so you will continue to make healthy choices.  Give this recipe a try.  I'd love to hear what you think! 

Raspberry Vinaigrette

Serves: 4

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

ingredients:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a  food processor or blender and mix well.  Serve as needed on your salad of choice.

notes

*Nutritional values per 2 tablespoons

calories

132

fat (grams)

14.1

carbs (grams)

1.8

protein (grams)

.2

sugar (grams)

.7
Created using The Recipes Generator

Quinoa Stir-Fry

Quinoa-Stir-Fry.jpg

Stir-fry's are an easy meal.  Add all your items in a pan or wok; heat to cook and in minutes you will have a satisfying, warm dish. This combination is another favourite of mine.  Although I don't generally like ginger, I tried it in this recipe and was pleasantly surprised.  It tastes delicious! 

Ginger is a helpful ingredient for treating various stomach problems such as nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). If you experience any of these symptoms, including ginger in your cooking or even drinking some in a warm tea may help. 

This stir-fry also includes lots of swiss chard and kale which should be a staple in everyone's daily routine.  Go Greens!!  

Quinoa Stir-Fry

Serves: 4

*click on blue text to buy ingredients

ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups leeks chopped
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 3-4 cups swiss chard chopped (I prefer the white stalks)
  • 2 cups curly kale chopped
  • 2 cups carrot grated
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large frying pan sauté the first three ingredients on medium for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients (except the quinoa) and continue cooking for another 5-10 minutes or until veggies are cooked.
  3. Stir in the quinoa, remove from the heat and serve. 

notes

*Nutritional values are per 1 serving.

calories

142

fat (grams)

4.7

carbs (grams)

22.4

protein (grams)

4.1

sugar (grams)

5
Created using The Recipes Generator