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 […]
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 […]
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 is nut free, so aside from using nuts as mix-ins for a few recipes, this book is completely suitable for those who are nut free!
This S’more ice cream is my absolute favourite recipe in the entire book. I use the magic of aquafaba to create marshmallow fluff, and swirl it into chocolate ice cream along with graham cracker crumbs. Could this recipe taste any more like summer?
I’m also super thrilled that my S’more ice cream is featured in and on the cover of the new magazine, Ontario Vegans! The summer issue is available now in digital or print! I am really passionate about my country, but also about Ontario. In Ontario we are SO blessed with nature, fresh seasonal foods, and a KILLER vegan scene, which is only growing. This magazine features all that beautiful Ontario has to offer in all things vegan and cruelty free!
Ice Cream Base
- 1 400ml can full-fat coconut milk
- 2/3 cup cane sugar
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup vegan graham crackers
- 1/3 cup cane sugar
- 3 tbsp aquafaba
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
Ice Cream Maker Method:
- Blend all of the ice cream base ingredients, except for the graham crackers, in a blender for a full minute on high speed.
- Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker for 30 minutes (or using manufacturer’s instructions).
- While the ice cream is churning, prepare the marshmallow fluff. Use an electric mixer to beat all of the marshmallow ingredients on high speed for about 25 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
- Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until you get a mix of crumbs and small pieces.
- When the ice cream is finished churning, prepare loaf pan. Pour half of the ice cream into the pan. Then drizzle half of the marshmallow fluff and sprinkle half of the graham cracker crumbs. Repeat by pouring the rest of the ice cream on top and layering with the rest of the marshmallow fluff and graham crackers.
- Freeze for at least 5-6 hours, depending on your freezer.
No Churn Method:
- If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can use the no-churn method! Refrigerate the can of coconut milk in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
- Blend the coconut milk, cane sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract in a blender until smooth and combined.
- Pour all of the ice cream into a loaf pan and place a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper directly onto the ice cream. Freeze for around 8 hours, or until frozen. If you can remember to whisk the ice cream every few hours to eliminate ice crystal formation, then this is recommended but not necessary.
- When your ice cream is frozen prepare the marshmallow fluff. Whip all of the marshmallow fluff ingredients together using a mixer for about 25 minutes, or until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until you get a mix of small pieces and crumbs.
- Thaw the ice cream on the counter for just enough time until you are able to scoop it out of the container. Transfer all of the ice cream to a blender and blend until smooth. This is now the texture of ice cream straight from an ice cream maker!
- Pour half of the ice cream into the loaf pan. Drizzle half of the marshmallow fluff onto the ice cream and sprinkle half of the graham cracker crumbs. Repeat by layering the rest of the ice cream on top. Drizzle the rest of the marshmallow fluff and sprinkle the rest of the graham cracker crumbs. Freeze 4-5 hours or until set. Thaw for a few minutes before scooping, if necessary.
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 and unhealthy ingredients. Also, the taste just never lived up to the real thing. I was on a mission to create a vegan, healthy, oil free, and clean mayo recipe. I don’t just go throwing around words like “life changing” every day. This is by far the best vegan mayo that I have ever tried! For those that like to eat oil free, this will also be life changing for you. This recipe is made of real ingredients, is totally healthy, and is ready in 5 minutes!
This is a truly authentic recipe. The aquafaba is a critical ingredient because it is used as a replacement for eggs which are traditionally used in mayo. The aquafaba gives it the whipped, gelatinized texture that you get in regular mayo. Adding a small quantity of Indian Black salt will also give it a slightly eggy taste, which most vegan mayo recipes lack. But if you don’t have this ingredient or prefer to leave out the egg-like taste, you’re more than welcome to omit this ingredient!
I used this Oil Free Vegan Mayonnaise on a sandwich and made a BLT with a natural smokey tempeh “bacon”, spring greens, and tomato on whole grain bread, and it was heaven. You can use this vegan mayo on BLTs, burgers, sandwiches, wraps, and in other recipes that call for mayonnaise. Enjoy!!!
Makes: About 300ml
- 1/2 cup aquafaba (the liquid from about 2 cans of chickpeas)
- 1 cup cashews
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1/4 tsp Indian black salt (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- generous pinch of pepper
- Add the aquafaba to a blender and whip it on high for a full minute until it is frothy and has thickened.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings if desired.
- Store in an airtight container and chill until serving.
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 […]
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 […]
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 potato… there are so many possibilities with this versatile Pesto that packs a punch of summer flavour. This recipe is creamy, fresh, earthy, lemony, and cheesy. There is seriously nothing like goodness of fresh herbs!
Did you know pine nuts have a incredibly wide variety of nutrients? They are a powerhouse of nutrition, and are packed with healthy fats and minerals. They are especially great for heart health.
Makes: 2 Cups
- 2 cups basil packed very tightly, stems removed
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 4 medium garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 cup water (or more if you like a thinner consistency)
- 3 tbsp + 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- In a food processor, blend all of the ingredients in a blender until you reach your desired consistency. Some people like a chunkier pesto, some like it more smooth. You can also add additional water if you want a thinner pesto.
- That’s it! Making pesto at home couldn’t be easier. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge until serving.
These pancakes are the perfect breakfast or brunch for the Spring and Summertime! Blueberry and lemon are a match made in heaven. Lemon juice and lemon zest add freshness and tangyness to this delicious pancake recipe that is ready in 10 minutes! They’re also vegan […]
Cheesy Chickpea Omelet (Vegan + GF)
My absolute favourite recipes are the ones that transform a typically non-vegan dish to a vegan one that uses simple, wholesome ingredients, like this chickpea omelet! Nothing artificial or simulated here to re-create this classic! A few secrets to make this dish extra yummy are first, the cheese sauce. This is my classic cheese sauce recipe that I’ve been making for years. You are absolutely welcome to completely omit the cheese sauce, because this recipe still tastes amazing without it! But the cheese sauce just adds that creaminess and delicious cheesy flavour you would miss with cheesy omelets. It just makes it extra special.
Second, Indian Black Salt, a secret ingredient that has been trendy as of late for making vegan recipes taste eggy! Also called kala namak, black salt has a high level of sulphur (just like eggs do) which makes it smell and taste like eggs. If you put it on something raw, it will taste very strong. The flavour becomes much more mild when it is cooked. If you add it to this recipe and feel like you want even more of an eggy flavour, add more next time! You can’t really go wrong. And again, if this is something you actually don’t want (some people don’t want to taste eggs) or you don’t have access to this ingredient, you can most certainly leave it out. The recipe still tastes awesome, it is just optional.
Makes: 2 Omelets
- 3/4 cups yellow potato, diced into small chunks
- 3/4 cups carrots, diced into small chunks
- 1/4 cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup liquid from cooking the vegetables
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour
- 3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp black salt (kala namak), optional
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3/4 cup almond milk, unsweetened and unflavoured
- 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
- 1/2 cup spinach
- 1 green onion, white and green parts sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Begin by making the cheese sauce. Bring a small pot of water to a boil and add in the potatoes, carrots, onion, and garlic. Boil for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through and fork tender.
- While the veggies are boiling, mix together the dry mix for the Omelletes. Add the chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, baking soda, turmeric, salts, and pepper to a medium sized bowl. Whisk together until combined.
- Add the almond milk and whisk again until smooth. Add the veggies and give it a mix. Set aside.
- When the veggies are finished boiling, pour them into a blender with half of a cup of the liquid from boiling, and all of the rest of the cheese sauce ingredients. Blend until smooth. Give it a taste. If it tastes a bit bland, add more lemon juice or salt and pepper to give it more flavour, until it suits your taste! Sometimes lemons or spices can be a bit less flavourful than needed, so always adjust spices and seasonings as necessary.
- Heat a small non-stick pan. When it is hot, pour half of the omellete batter onto the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes. You don’t want to flip it too early, or else it will get very messy. Also you want to ensure that the chickpea flour is fully cooked, because chickpea flour tastes pretty bad when raw! After 5 minutes, check that the top is mostly dry (at least dry enough that it won’t drip when you flip it) and take a spatula and peek at the bottom side to see if it has browned. Then flip the omelet and cook for another 3 minutes on the second side. Repeat with the second omellete.
- Spread as much cheese sauce as you like on one half of each omellete, then flip over to fold. You will have leftover cheese sauce which you can use with many, many other dishes. Garnish with additional green onions if desired.
Asian cuisine is my absolute favourite international food, and this Sesame Baked Maple Miso tofu embodies delicious Asian flavours. This is the perfect accompaniment to any stir fry or grain bowl, and it’s also great as a side. The sweetness from the maple, tang from […]
My Best Period Tips
Every woman could use some helpful period tips. Let’s face it, your period might not ever be effortless, but it can certainly be much easier than you think! Why suffer from painful, debilitating periods when you can take matters into your own hands to improve your experience? I personally enjoy knowing my cycle comes regularly every month because makes me feel confident that my hormones are balanced and things are operating as they should. I’ve compiled a list of my best period tips that I hope can help you feel more comfortable during menstruation, and feel better about that time of the month!
Food For Women’s Health
As a nutritionist, healthy eating is always the first step to achieving optimal health and wellness. Food absolutely affects your monthly cycle, and there are foods that can help you feel a better sense of well-being, and foods that can exacerbate your symptoms.
Foods For Balanced Hormones
In general, there are certain foods that promote better hormonal health. Eating them during your period won’t necessarily make your cramps and PMS go away in the moment, but consistently eating foods that nourish the body will greatly help to balance hormones which will positively affect your cycle in the long run. In general, I always promote anti-inflammatory, whole plant foods which include:
- whole fruits and vegetables
- beans, lentils, and legumes
- nuts and seeds
- healthy fats from coconut and avocado
- whole grains
Minimally processed foods are the best for your body to prevent inflammation. The feelings of bloating and cramps that women feel while on their period are caused by inflammation in the body, so reducing inflammation causing foods is key. There are also many specific plant foods that can help to detoxify the liver from excess hormones. Some of these foods include cruciferous vegetables such as kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy, and more. To learn about the best for foods hormones detoxification, read more here.
Replace Essential Nutrients
Many women are prone to experience reduced iron levels in the body during menstruation due to blood loss. This is especially true for women who bleed heavily. Consuming iron rich foods is a great way to prevent low mood, exhaustion, and brain fog. To absorb iron, it is important to ensure you are also eating foods with adequate Vitamin C, B Vitamins, B12, and Folate. Some iron rich plant foods include:
- leafy greens, including spinach, kale, chard, collards
- lentils, beans, and peas
- soybeans, tofu, and tempeh (organic and non-gmo is best)
- seeds, especially pumpkin, sesame, hemp, and flax
- nuts, especially pine nuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, and almonds
- grains such as oats and quinoa
- potatoes (potato skin contains high levels of iron, so eat the skin!)
- dark chocolate (unprocessed, raw, organic is best)
- black strap molasses
Magnesium is important to help reduce cramping by relieving inflammation. Magnesium rich foods include raw cacao powder, spinach, pumpkin seeds, almonds, black beans, avocado, and bananas. Magnesium also prevents migraines, reduces PMS symptoms, enhances, sleep, and reduces depression.
Almost without fail, most of us women crave chocolate when its period time. It makes us feel better, it settles our cravings, and makes everything just a little bit more manageable. Many of us also often feel guilty when we overindulge. It’s important to know that there are a few reasons why our bodies crave chocolate at this time of the month.
- When we’re feeling sad, angry, anxious, etc… eating chocolate creates serotonin which improves your mood.
- Chocolate is rich in magnesium which is important for helping to settle cramps.
- Chocolate has iron which woman often become deficient in during this time.
The nutrients in cacao is actually what makes us feel good. Nothing else about chocolate is necessarily nutritive, but cacao is actually an amazing food that is nutrient dense and can be eaten as freely as you like. Organic and raw cacao is the most nutrient dense form of chocolate that you can eat. Raw cacao is also packed with anti-oxidants and calcium. The sugar, dairy, and artificial ingredients in conventional chocolate is not good for us however. So we should avoid those as much as possible as they negatively affect your hormones and overall well being. When hormones are balanced, the body doesn’t usually have cravings during menstruation. Cravings are often a sign of nutrient deficiency and hormonal imbalances. We want to support the body as much as possible with healthy foods when we are on our periods so that we can address the issues we’re having. So instead of having unhealthy chocolate, you can enjoy some natural chocolate without guilt.
Foods To Avoid
It’s way to easy to cave into cravings when you’re cranky and PMSing. That’s why it’s super important to ensure you are getting the right nutrients in your body to prevent cravings when they strike. This doesn’t mean you can’t eat sweets, like chocolate. It’s important to choose wisely with what you eat and avoid refined and processed foods. These foods might help with instant satisfaction but only exacerbate symptoms in the long run.
Clary sage is one of the best essential oils for women’s health. It balances estrogen levels in the body and is excellent for calming mood swings and easing cramps. Clary sage can be diffused in an essential oil diffuser for inhalation or applied topically. I personally LOVE an organic blend from Healing Scents that I have found to be safe for me to apply topically without dilution. I apply it directly on my abdomen when I have menstrual cramps and it seriously works to relieve pain and discomfort! I love it because there aren’t really many products that can be used topically that actually help for period cramps. It is also a beautiful smelling blend. It contains Clary Sage, Geranium, Chamomile, and Rose.
Thyme is one of the most powerful cooking herbs as it has many many benefits! Thyme essential oil can help to balance out progesterone levels by increasing progesterone. Most women suffer from low progesterone levels. Diffusing this essential oil in a diffuser is an excellent way to experience the benefits of thyme oil.
Sandalwood essential oil is excellent for increasing testosterone levels, which benefits women who experience low testosterone. It also helps to promote mental clarity and promote calm and relaxation. Again, diffusing this essential oil is an excellent method to experience it’s benefits.
Always do a patch test with essential oils to test if your body tolerates using them topically. You can always dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil such as jojoba, coconut, olive, etc… You can also add these essential oils to a bath by diluting them in epsom salts, since oil and water don’t emulsify.
Always Use Natural Feminine Hygiene Products
The skin is the body’s largest and thinnest organ, being less than one-tenth of an inch thick. Skin is highly permeable, especially the skin in and around the vaginal area. Anything coming into contact with your skin will penetrate into your bloodstream and distribute throughout the body. Years of exposure to chemical-laden feminine hygiene products creates a toxic buildup in the body.
Conventional tampons, liners, and pads contain a combination of pesticides, BPA, rayon, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, bleach, polyester, chlorine, artificial colours, and more. They are also likely to contain GMOs. The consequences of using these conventional products can include:
- abnormal tissue growth in the abdomen and reproductive organs
- immune system suppression
- hormonal and endocrine system disruption
- birth defects
- vaginal dryness
The toxic ingredients in conventional natural hygiene products have a negative effect on hormonal balance. Think about it. Pesticides, bleach, plastics, and more… In my vagina? No thank you! These xenoestrogens have direct contact with your reproductive organs for DAYS, on a monthly basis. There is no way that can be healthy! These toxins create an increase in estrogens in the body, which can lead to cramping, heavy bleeding, mood swings, and more. No wonder women are such a wreck when they’re on their periods. Organic tampons, liners, pads, and menstrual cups have no negative effects on your hormonal balance and are the absolute safest alternative.
Sometimes, food and nutrition isn’t always enough to deal with the past damage that has caused hormonal imbalances. Natural supplementation is an excellent way to give your body the extra nutrients it needs to balance hormones and ease the body during menstruation. My top supplement choices for women are:
- Estrosmart to reduce estrogen levels in the body. Excess estrogen is one of, if not the top reason for hormonal issues.
- Evening Primrose Oil to increase progesterone, a common imbalance in most women. Period cramps and dry skin are key signs that progesterone is low.
- Vitamin D actually acts as a hormone, generally balancing your hormones.
- Iron to increase iron levels for those who bleed heavily during menstruation.I personally really like Garden Of Life Liquid Plant Iron and MegaFood Blood Builder.
- Cramp Bark is excellent for, you guessed it, cramps! I suggest a Cramp Bark tincture or tea.
- Maca is an incredible adaptogen that is great for balancing hormones and promoting energy. I suggest red/purple maca for best results (or a maca that is predominantly red/purple). Here is a delicious Maca Latte recipe.
It’s important to listen to your body and be intuitive with your needs. Typically, if you’re experiencing symptoms, it’s a sign to slow down and practice self-care. “Toughing it out” and pushing yourself to do your regular routine can increase stress levels and make you feel worse. Take some time for self-care to reduce stress and improve the way your body feels. Doing something as little as lighting a candle can make a big difference in your mood and well-being. My favourite self-care tips and activities are:
- Hot baths with magnesium rich epsom salts and essential oils
- Hot water bottle on the abdomen for cramps or back for back pain
- Mild exercise such as slow yoga and moderate walking
- Meditation and deep breathing
- Light a candle
- Diffuse essential oils
- Go for a walk in nature
- Read a book you enjoy
Combining these various different tips is sure to improve your period experience. I hope you try these out to see what works best for you and see that your period isn’t all bad!
Staying Healthy With Nutrition, Elson M Haas, MD
Vitamin D The Sunshine Vitamin, Zolton Rona, MD, MSc
Iron is a nutrient that many people are misinformed of. There are many misconceptions about the best sources for iron, and how to address iron deficiency. Iron is incredibly important when it comes to women’s health, as women are most susceptible to become deficient or […]
Pancakes are one of my favourite foods because I’m obsessed with maple syrup. These coconut pancakes are crispy, fluffy, and coconuty! They’re super easy to make and you can use a variety of flours.
- 1 cup light spelt flour (or all-purpose flour)
- 3/4 cup coconut shreds, unsweetened and unsulphured
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk (from a can)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, coconut shreds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the water, coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.
- Heat a non-stick pan. When the pan is heated, ladle the batter onto the pan to form pancakes. Cook for a few minutes on the first side, until the bottoms are browned and the tops are bubbly. Flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or two.
- Repeat with the rest of the pancake batter. You may need to reduce the temperature if the pan gets too hot. Serve with additional shredded coconut and maple syrup. Enjoy!
These vegan Cheesy Black Bean Taquitos are made of whole food, plant-based ingredients. It’s a super simple and quick recipe that is perfect as an appetizer for sharing, or as a main! Serves: 2 Ingredients: Cheese Sauce 3/4 cups yellow potato, diced into small chunks […]
Every Holy Saturday, Polish families make Easter baskets and bring them to church for the Blessing Of Easter Food. Easter was never a huge celebration for me but my best memories are always coming home from church to share the Easter Basket with my family. […]