Women's Health

Berry & Brie Vegan Strudel

Berry & Brie Vegan Strudel

This delicious grown up version of one of my childhood favourites, the toaster strudel, is veganized as a collaboration with Nicolas from Blogtastic Food! Thanks for inviting me to be a part of this collab. A group of us have collaborated to make a collection of […]

Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad

Creamy Vegan Pasta Salad

This creamy vegan pasta salad is one of my go to recipes!! I make it all the time, especially for when I need to feed numerous people. It’s amazing for picnics, potlucks, and family gatherings. It’s also a fantastic option for meal prep and back […]

Vegan Pesto Pasta

Vegan Pesto Pasta

This summer I’ve made a ton of pesto with fresh basil from my garden. I love being able to walk just a few steps into my yard and have a bounty of food available! As summer comes to a close it’s time to harvest the rest of our summer produce and use up all of the delicious veggies and herbs. It’s so easy to make delicious, quick, and healthy meals, like this easy Vegan Pesto Pasta!

vegan pesto pasta

vegan pesto pasta

I adjusted my oil-free Avocado Basil Pesto recipe by making it more lemony and garlicky, and added it to pasta with fresh and steamed veggies. The method is too easy. While the pasta is boiling, blend the pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender, steam some veggies, and that’s it! You can customize the veggies in this recipe and add things like green peas, zucchini, and much more. I added fresh sliced cherry tomatoes, also from my garden, and topped the pasta with homemade vegan parmesan. This is optional, but I recommend it!

vegan pesto pasta

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 20 Minutes

Ingredients

Pasta Dish

  • 250g pasta
  • 10 asparagus spears, cut into pieces, stems discarded
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

Pesto Sauce

  • 1 cup basil, packed
  • 1/3 cup ripe avocado
  • 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

 

Directions

  1. Begin by boiling the pasta of your choice. I love using gluten free brown rice pasta, but you can use your favourite pasta. Any shape will work! Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is boiling, prepare a steamer and steam the asparagus pieces for a few minutes, until it is tender, yet still a bit crisp.
  3. Prepare the pesto by blending all of the ingredients in a food processor until it is well-combined, but still has a nice texture. If you don’t have a food processor, you could also use a blender.
  4. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it. Add the pesto to the pasta and toss to coat. Add the asparagus and fresh cherry tomatoes and stir to combine. Top with fresh basil and vegan parmesan if desired!
Vegan Plum Cake

Vegan Plum Cake

I come from a fully Polish family. Some of my great childhood memories are baking Polish treats like Rogaliki, Babka, and Plum Cake! Beautiful blue plums are in season and bountiful right now. I picked up some local plums from the farmer’s market to bring […]

Watermelon Slushie (Healthy and Naturally Sweetened)

Watermelon Slushie (Healthy and Naturally Sweetened)

This Watermelon Slushie with mint and lime is an incredibly easy recipe that is perfect for when you want a sweet treat on a hot day, or if you want to make a delicious drink to entertain guests. It’s also an amazing substitute for sugary […]

Vegan Peach Blueberry Crisp

Vegan Peach Blueberry Crisp

Summer is slowly and steadily winding down. While others are preparing for the hustle and bustle of September, I’m squeezing out ever last drop of summer. That also means taking advantage of delicious seasonal stone fruits. The season for plums, peaches, and nectarines is just way too short!

vegan peach crisp

If you’re in the mood for a really easy and quick dessert that’s also fairly healthy, look not further than this Peach Blueberry Crisp. This naturally gluten free treat is a great way to take advantage of seasonal goodies.

Just add the fruit and sugar to the bottom of your baking pan, then add the 5 minute oat crumble topping. I highly recommend a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream on top. The hot peach crisp along with cold creamy ice cream is the perfect combination.

vegan peach crisp

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients

Fruit Base

  • 3 cups peaches, diced into small chunks
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar
  • 2 tbsp starch (corn, potato, arrowroot, etc…)

Oat Crumble

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup large flake rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the peaches, blueberries, cane sugar, and starch to a 9×13 glass pan (or a similar size) and mix to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, add all of the oat crumble ingredients and gently mix to combine. You want to incorporate the maple syrup with the rest of the ingredients but don’t over-mix to the point that it is soggy and clumps together. Hint, you can easily make your own oat flour by grinding oats in a blender for a minute or so!
  4. Gently add all of the crumble on top of the fruit and distribute evenly.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve and slice immediately. I highly suggest adding a scoop of vegan vanilla ice cream to top it off!
Naturally Sweetened Peach Iced Tea

Naturally Sweetened Peach Iced Tea

One of the things I love dearly about Summer is local produce. In Southern Ontario, we are so blessed with the bounty of local, fresh, incredibly delicious produce. Especially fruits like strawberries, plums, apricots, pears, grapes, and peaches! Peaches are one of my favourite fruits. […]

Matcha Chia Pudding

Matcha Chia Pudding

I’ve been on such a matcha kick lately. I actually enjoy matcha better cold than warm, and I’ve been loving iced matchas this summer, and treats like this Matcha Chia Pudding! Layers of delicious matcha cashew pudding and classic vanilla chia pudding with any toppings […]

Maca For Hormones

Maca For Hormones

Maca is a supplement that is popular for balancing hormones and increasing energy, along with many other wonderful benefits. There are a lot of supplement fads and gimmicks out there are that are based off of little research, with the main intention of making money. I love maca for personal use and for my clients, because it is a very natural supplement that really works! There are a few main types of maca and they serve different purposes, so read on to see which form of maca is right for you.

What Is Maca?

Maca is a unique plant. It is a root that is grown only in Peru, at high altitudes of 14000 feet, in regions of intense sunlight, winds, and below freezing temperatures. No other crops can survive these conditions but the maca root. Raw maca looks similar to a turnip, and it’s three distinct colours have different properties and therapeutic benefits.

Aside from a supplement, maca is a great food source that is high in amino acids, essential fatty acids, complex carbs, vitamins, and minerals. Dried maca has more benefits than the raw, fresh root. When raw maca is dried, it turns into a completely different product, with different health benefits.

 

Types Of Maca

Each colour of maca has a different nutritional profile and benefits. Generally, some maca is better for men, while others are better for women. Some maca products are actually a blend of the colours, with a higher ratio of the main colour used for medicinal purposes, and a small component of another colour for it’s supportive benefits.

Red and Purple Maca

Red and purple maca are the main maca for hormonal balance. While all maca can balance hormones, this maca is the best for balancing hormonal conditions such as PMS, acne, cramping, and more. These types of maca provide a calming and relaxing effect on the body, allowing it to repair (where other maca is more energizing). This type of maca still does provide energy, but it is more of a slow and steady release. Studies show that it can also boost sexual function and libido. This type of maca is typically best suited for women, but men can certainly consume it as well.

Black Maca

Black maca is excellent for promoting better energy, stamina, and performance. It provides a slow and steady release of energy rather than a high burst of energy and then a crash, such as when consuming caffeine. It is also great for improving cognitive function and memory. Black maca typically suits men very well, but women can also take this version. While black maca has not been shown to increase testosterone levels, it has still been proven to increase sexual function and libido in men.

Yellow Maca

Yellow maca does not provide as many strong benefits as the other two types of maca, however it still provides great nutritional value. Many maca products will combine yellow maca with other types of maca. If you are looking for the therapeutic properties from maca such as the ones mentioned above, but you see yellow maca as an ingredient, you will want your maca to have a higher ratio of either black or red/purple maca and a lower ratio of yellow maca.

maca for hormones

Maca As An Adaptogen

I love adaptogenic herbs and plants. Adaptogens are substances that adapt to the body. Maca adapts to the body’s stress levels, so if you are feeling high stress or low mood, maca can adapt to the body and bring it back into balance. Plants classified as adaptogens are capable of normalizing functions in the body, raising non-specific resistance to disease, and can be safe for long term use as a nutrient for preventative purposes. Maca is one of the most powerful adaptogenic plants known, as it fills all of the above criteria!

Other Possible Benefits

Some of the other wonderful benefits of maca include:

  • physical and emotional well-being
  • mental clarity
  • reduced stress
  • improved athletic performance
  • smoother skin
  • improved bone health
  • reduced aches and pains
  • improved menopause symptoms
  • improved sleep
  • increased immunity

 

What Are The Best Forms Of Maca?

There are several types of maca available on the market, including liquid, capsules, and powders. Whichever form you choose, ensure it is grown in Peru and ensure it is gelatinized maca. Peronally, I like to use Organic Traditions maca powder for women in my smoothies. The taste is somewhat similar to the taste of peanut butter. You can incorporate the powder into many different recipes including smoothies, drinks, desserts, and much more. I have a maca ice cream recipe in my vegan ice cream recipe book, and I have a Pumpkin Spice Maca Latte recipe on the blog! Always do your research with any supplement and brand to determine it’s quality and efficacy.

maca for hormones

 

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25817836

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24931003

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096456/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21780878

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4411442/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614644/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12472620

Mango Salsa

Mango Salsa

Mango salsa is such a great fresh recipe that’s perfect for the summer time. The sweetness from the ripe mango contrasts perfectly with the spicy jalapeno and red onion and the tangy lime juice. Don’t be fooled by the jalapeno because it’s not actually too […]

Lavender Lemonade (Naturally Sweetened)

Lavender Lemonade (Naturally Sweetened)

I’ve been experimenting with culinary lavender lately, and I absolutely love it! Lavender adds a really lovely floral taste to foods. It’s really great in sweet recipes, like this Lavender Lemonade, but it’s also great in savory recipes, which I plan to experiment with this […]

Peanut Tofu Salad with Mango Dressing

Peanut Tofu Salad with Mango Dressing

This Peanut Tofu Salad with Mango Dressing is a fantastic summer recipe, bursting with Asian inspired flavours and fresh summer produce. The baked peanut tofu is soft and tender, which contrasts perfectly with crisp raw veggies and delicate carrot and cucumber ribbons.I wanted to create an amazing oil-free salad dressing that would be great on this salad, but also most other summer salads. The mango dressing is so bright and fresh!

peanut tofu

peanut tofu

 

Makes: 2 entree size salads or 4 side salads

 

Ingredients

Peanut Tofu:

  • 1 1/2 cups firm or extra firm tofu, cubed
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter, natural
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp grated peeled ginger
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp water

Mango Dressing:

  • 1 cup ripe mango chunks
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1/4 tsp lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch of pepper

Salad:

  • 4 cups spring mix
  • 1 cup finely shredded red cabbage, packed
  • 3/4 cup cucumber, sliced into ribbons
  • 1/2 cup carrot, sliced into ribbons
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

 

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, maple syrup, and water.
  2. Pour the sauce into a shallow dish and add the tofu cubes. I used a dish that was small enough to fit all of my tofu perfectly, which allowed the sauce to spill up on top of the tofu to completely cover it. You can also just flip the tofu occasionally to make sure it’s fully coated. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least one hour, or overnight if desired.
  3. Once your tofu is marinated, heat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and transfer the tofu with all of the sauce onto the tray, in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu halfway through.
  4. While the tofu is baking, blend all of the sauce ingredients in a blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  5. Prepare the salad by adding the greens, veggies, cilantro, peanuts, and sesame to a large salad bowl. You can use a mandolin or even a vegetable peeler to slice the carrot and cucumber into ribbons.
  6. When the tofu is finished, add it to the salad. Pour on the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. Enjoy!

For personal meal plans or nutrition advice from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

Summer Harvest Bowl

Summer Harvest Bowl

This bowl could not taste anymore like summer. Delicious, crispy, summer veggies are the star of this dish including asparagus, zucchini, peppers, corn, and grape tomatoes. Fresh, in-season herbs are bursting with flavour in this twist on a classic tahini dressing. These bowls are the […]

Vegan S’more Ice Cream

Vegan S’more Ice Cream

My book We All Scream For (Vegan) Ice Cream is officially available and I’m beyond thrilled! 40 vegan ice cream recipes that are dairy free, egg free, gluten free, oil free, cholesterol free, and artificial sweetener free. The base of all of the ice creams […]

Maple Pecan Ice Cream (Vegan + GF)

Maple Pecan Ice Cream (Vegan + GF)

I’m so excited to bring you all a collection of my best ever Vegan Ice Cream recipes! This is one of my favourites from my new book, We All Scream For (Vegan) Ice Cream! All of the recipes are gluten free, vegan, and made of only natural ingredients. They are also all very easy to make and don’t require any complicated equipment!

This Maple Pecan ice cream is simple yet unbelievably decadent. This is my take on a “Butter Pecan” ice cream, but instead of using vegan butter, I made candied pecans which are equally delicious and yield a very similar result. You can make this recipe whether you have an ice cream maker or not!

Pecan Ice Cream

Pecan Ice Cream

Ingredients:

Ice Cream

  • 1 400ml can full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Candied Pecans

  • ¾ cup pecans, chopped
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of salt

 

Ice Cream Maker Method:

  1. Add all of the ice cream ingredients to a blender and blend for a full minute to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. 
  2. Churn the cream in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s directions, until it resembles soft serve. This should take about 30 minutes.
  3. While the ice cream is churning, make the candied pecans. Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
  4. Toss the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl until all of the pecans are coated. Transfer the pecans to the baking tray and bake for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on the pecans so they don’t burn. They are ready when they are just toasted and fragrant and the syrup is thickened.
  5. Chop the pecans into small pieces and allow them to cool until the ice cream is finished churning.
  6. When the ice cream is finished, prepare a dish for the ice cream. You can use a loaf pan or a container that is meant for storing ice cream. Add half of the churned ice cream into the storage container. Distribute half of the pecans on top of the ice cream. Repeat by layering the rest of the ice cream and then the remaining pecans on top.
  7. Freeze for about 5-6 hours, or until frozen. Serve and enjoy!

 

No Churn Method:

  1. Refrigerate your can of coconut milk until it is chilled. You will need a minimum of 12 hours, but 24 hours is best. You want to get the mixture as cold as possible since you won’t be chilling the mixture with an ice cream maker. To make this process quicker, I always keep a few cans of coconut milk in my fridge for whenever I need it!
  2. Add all of the ice cream ingredients to a blender and blend for a full minute to dissolve the sugar as much as possible. 
  3. Pour all of the ice cream into either a loaf pan or a container meant for storing ice cream. Freeze for at least 8 hours, or until mostly solid. You can freeze it overnight if needed. If you can remember to stir the mixture after a few hours this is best, but it is not completely necessary.
  4. When the ice cream is frozen and you are ready to add your mix-ins, preheat your oven to 350 F and line a small baking tray with parchment paper.
  5. Toss the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl until all of the pecans are coated. Transfer the pecans to the baking tray and bake for 6-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Keep an eye on the pecans so they don’t burn. They are ready when they are just toasted and fragrant and the syrup is thickened.
  6. Chop the pecans into small pieces and allow them to cool while you work with the ice cream.
  7. Set the container of ice cream onto your counter to thaw for just a couple of minutes, until you are able to use a spoon to remove the ice cream from the container.
  8. Transfer all of the ice cream to a blender and blend until it resembles soft serve. This is the texture that is achieved when using an ice cream maker, so this step is necessary, and it will yield a very creamy result, instead of icy and hard.
  9. Add half of the ice cream back into the storage container. Distribute half of the pecans on top of the ice cream. Repeat by layering the rest of the ice cream and then the remaining pecans on top.
  10. Freeze for a few hours, or until frozen. Serve and enjoy!

 

For personal meal plans or nutrition advice from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

Quick Pickle Jalapenos & Red Onions

Quick Pickle Jalapenos & Red Onions

Pickled foods are such a great way to add flavour to savory meals. I’m much more a fan of traditionally fermented foods for health benefits, but I also love to have the option of quick pickled foods as well. When you don’t have the time […]

Life Changing Oil Free Vegan Mayonnaise

Life Changing Oil Free Vegan Mayonnaise

Introducing, Life Changing Oil Free Vegan Mayonnaise. For a long time I’ve been craving a tomato mayo sandwich which was a childhood staple for me. Personally, I don’t like store bought vegan mayo because I haven’t found one that doesn’t have tons of refined oils […]

Hawaiian Jackfruit Pizza

Hawaiian Jackfruit Pizza

I love Jackfruit because it’s a very versatile food and it’s a much more natural “mock meat” than the processed alternatives on the market. A twist on traditional Hawaiian pizza, this Hawaiian Jackfruit Pizza is sweet, smokey, summery, and oh so tasty. You can use my spelt pizza crust recipe below, or substitute for a store-bought pizza dough if you wish!

 

Jackfruit PizzaJackfruit Pizza

IMG_1363 (1).jpg

Makes: 10 Slices

Ingredients:

Spelt Crust

  • 2 1/4 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 1/2 -3 cups light spelt flour

Toppings

  • 1 20oz can jackfruit, cored and pulled
  • 3/4 cup your favourite bbq sauce, divided
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced into chunks
  • 1/4 cup red onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

 

Directions:

  1. If you are making your own crust, combine the yeast, sugar, salt, and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Once the yeast has activated, start by adding 2 1/2 cups of the flour and knead the dough using the dough hook on your stand mixer. Knead until the ingredients are combined and the dough is pulling away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, add the additional 1/2 cup of flour and knead to combine. Alternatively, you can knead the dough by hand if you don’t have a mixer. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let the dough rise for 30 minutes, preferably in a warm place. You can skip this step completely if you are using a store-bought dough.
  3. While the dough is rising, pull the jackfruit apart so that it becomes stringy, like pulled pork. Remove the core (the end piece that is hard) on each piece of jackfruit and discard it.
  4. Heat a large non-stick pan. Add the jackfruit and 1/2 cup of bbq sauce. Stir frequently and cook on medium/low heat for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Alternatively you can cook your pizza on a pizza stone or pizza tray if you have one.
  6. After the dough has risen, dust your counter with a bit of additional flour and roll out the dough until you reach your desired crust shape and thickness.
  7. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of bbq sauce in a thin layer on the dough.
  8. Add the jackfruit, pineapple, mushroom, and red onion for topping. Leave the cilantro until the end as you don’t want to cook it.
  9. Bake the pizza for 15 minutes in the center rack of your oven. If you are using a store-bought dough, the cook time may vary, so check on your pizza to see if it needs more or less time.
  10. Garnish with cilantro if desired. Slice, serve, and enjoy!

For personal meal plans or nutrition advice from a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, you can contact me at kathyrhn@gmail.com

Herbed Cultured Vegan Cream Cheese

Herbed Cultured Vegan Cream Cheese

One of the foods that I really, and I mean really really miss after going vegan is a classic cream cheese bagel. As a kid I would absolutely load cream cheese onto my bagels. Definitely not healthy. There is something about the creamy and tangyness of the cream […]

Avocado Basil Pesto (Oil Free)

Avocado Basil Pesto (Oil Free)

You can’t beat the flavour of fresh herbs on a summer day. This Avocado Basil Pesto is the perfect condiment to have in your fridge all summer long. Spread it on bread, eat it with crackers or veggies, pour onto pasta, drizzle on a baked […]