Tag Archives: recipe

Recipe: Banana chocolate chip walnut bites

I love sweet treats and sugar. I may the only fitness and wellness professional to publicly share this feeling. There is a spectrum of healthy sweet treats and indulgences. I have been working with some gluten free banana bread recipes lately and decided to make these coconut flour bites in a silicone mini muffin mold. There is a much higher likelihood of success in gluten free baking if smaller pans are used. I have enjoyed these little treats that are low in sugar and high on taste as a bit of fuel on the go to keep me going between meals.

3 very ripe bananas, mashed

2 eggs

2-3 tablespoons melted coconut oil

1 tablespoon or less honey or to taste

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons dark chocolate chips

2 tablespoons chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, eggs, coconut oil and honey. Add coconut flour. Stir together with a wooden spoon just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips and walnuts. Spoon batter into mini muffin mold. Bake approximately 20 min or until tops are slightly brown. Cool and enjoy. Keeps in an airtight container for a few days refrigerated.

Recipe: Sauteed Kale with Apple

Here is a recipe that I have used for a few years inspired by Eating Well magazine and Feeding the Whole Family cookbook. I generally like organic black kale best for the milder flavour and texture. The mix of butter, brown sugar, dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar brings the flavours of kale and apple together very nicely. This is a veggie side dish that is finished up quickly!

1 bunch organic black kale

1-2 royal gala apples, cored and sliced thin

1 tablespoon of salted butter

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat, saute apple slices and sprinkle with brown sugar for 2-3 minutes. Add kale and saute until kale is bright green and desired tenderness, 2-3 minutes. Stir in dijon mustard and apple cider vinegar.  Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Sauteed Kale with Apple

Sauteed Kale with Apple


Recipe: Sweet Potato and Rapini Mash

This is a nutrient packed vegan dish I first tried in the fall of 2012 at Mela Cafe. I was told it was yummy, which it absolutely was with the sweet potato balancing the slight bitterness of the rapini in a addition to a topping of homemade tomato sauce. The delicious combination of sweet potato and rapini is a super dose of beta carotene, vitamin C, folic acid, lutein and vitamin K. Here is my simple version:

3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 bunch rapini, chopped

Homemade tomato sauce

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and cook the sweet potato until soft. Drain potatoes and put back into the pot. Using an immersion blender, mash sweet potato to desired consistency. Stir in coconut oil, bring back to medium heat and stir in the chopped rapini. Cover and heat until rapini is bright green and cooked through.

Heat desired quantity of homemade tomato sauce in a saucepan. Serve the sweet potato and rapini mash topped with the tomato sauce.-Enjoy!


Recipe: Coconut Rice

Coconut rice is a side dish that I have always enjoyed. Sticky coconut rice is even more fun with it’s chewy texture and almost dessert like sweetness. I noticed coconut rice served as a side to a menu item at Hawker Bar www.hawkerbar.com in Toronto last summer. We ordered some and it was outstanding, in addition to the chili tofu, wings and greens. I was inspired to try and make coconut rice at home. Here is my easy version, using creamed coconut and coconut oil for the rich taste and nutritional value of medium chain fatty acids.

1 cup Thai jasmine rice

1 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon creamed coconut (available at health food stores)

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water. Place rice into a medium saucepan with water, and bring to a boil. Stir in coconut coconut oil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid and allow rice to continue cooking for 15 minutes or so. Remove from heat, let stand for another 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with a fork and enjoy. This rice is great with sauteed callaloo and spicy shrimp or fish. Also great with curries.

Recipe: Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Apricots

A turkey dinner is complete once there is some homemade cranberry sauce. I first tasted this cranberry sauce many years ago at a Thanksgiving dinner. I never got my hands on the recipe, so I created this one over the years based on the flavours I first enjoyed. And it is still my favourite cranberry sauce.

1 bag fresh cranberries

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 water

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

Zest of one lemon

1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans, optional

In a medium saucepan, bring water, orange juice, cranberries and sugar to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add chopped apricots and lemon zest. Stir frequently and cook until cranberries burst and are cooked through. Mix in toasted pecans if using. Enjoy at room temperature.


Recipe: Gingerbread Waffles

This is a favourite Christmas time recipe of mine that I love to make for some special little people and for family and friends in general. They are fairly sweet waffles to begin with, so a little maple syrup, whipped cream or icecream are great toppings.

1 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cardamom

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1 egg

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup molasses

3/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup currants

1-2 tablespoons crystallized ginger

In  a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and spices. In another medium bowl, whisk together egg and brown sugar. Add molasses, buttermilk and butter, blend well. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, add currants and ginger. Stir until just combined.

Preheat waffle maker. Pour 1/2 of batter at a time. Makes 8 waffles.





Recipe: Tanzanian Hot Sauce

I learned of this recipe while sharing lunch with a generous young lady from Tanzania a couple weeks ago. This is a homemade hot sauce that is also known as pilli pilli. It can be served with grilled meats or anything else you enjoy with hot sauce.  Here is my version of the free form recipe with scotch bonnet pepper and tomato being the key base ingredients, then you add other ingredients to your taste. It is important to use scotch bonnet or habanero pepper for their flavour. Lime and sugar are nice additions to round out the heat.

2 tomatoes, diced

2 scotch bonnet peppers, seeded (leave the seeds in if you like it really hot)

1 shallot, minced

juice of 1 lime

1-2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

salt to taste

In a food processor, puree all ingredients. Adjust seasonings to your taste or add any other variation you enjoy, such as, garlic, onion, ginger, lemon, etc.




Recipe: Fall Fruit Crisp

This is a rather loose recipe to inspire you to make a healthy dessert anytime. I consulted with Chef Melissa Saunders to ascertain the appropriate amount of fruit per person. For example, if making apple crisp, allow for about 1-1.5 apples per person you are making crisp for. Or about 1 cup of fruit per person. I tend to leave the fruit plain to let the natural flavour come out through the cooking process. You can always squeeze a little lemon or add a sprinkle of sugar or honey if desired.

For the crisp topping. I prefer a simple version with just oats, butter, and brown sugar, because it has more crisp. It is also easy to create a gluten free version by using gluten free oats. Oats on their own are gluten free, it is in processing that they may come into contact with gluten. The formula for the crisp topping would be 1/4 cup oats, 1 tablespoon of butter, 1 tablespoon brown sugar per person. You could use coconut oil instead of butter to make this a vegan recipe.

Crisp Topping

(Serves 4 as an example)

1 cup quick oats

1/4 cup butter at room temperature

1/4 cup brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Arrange sliced fruit in an even layer in a glass baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix together oats, butter and brown sugar with your hands until well combined.

Spread over prepared fruit in glass baking dish.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until topping is browned as desired. Enjoy warm on its   own or with a little whipped cream or icecream.

Recipe: Spicy Noodle Salad

After perfecting the spicy mango lime dressing this summer, I worked on a gluten free noodle salad that would include lots of veggies to create more of a meal with the salad. Napa cabbage delivers a light crunch with a milder flavour and the sugar snap peas add a touch of sweetness with their crunchy texture. I quite enjoyed the blend of flavours and textures, and so did my testers.

1 250g package buckwheat and sweet potato noodles (or 250g rice noodles)

8-10 leaves of napa cabbage, chopped finely

1 cup sugar snap peas, cut thinly crosswise

2 sprigs of fresh mint, leaves chopped

1/4 cup-1/2 chopped cilantro

1/2 fresh mango, cut into thin match sticks

Spicy Mango Lime Dressing –  http://www.vivianlaw.ca/recipe-spicy-mango-lime-dressing/

Cook noodles according to package instructions, drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large bowl, toss together noodles, cabbage, sugar snap peas with the dressing, mix well. Top with mint, cilantro, and mango, mix again gently. Serve and enjoy at room temperature.

Make this salad a meal by topping it with some lean protein of your choice. Try tofu cubes, shrimp, fish, grilled chicken or pork.



Recipe: Spicy Mango Lime Dressing

This is a recipe I developed this summer after being inspired by reading a recipe  in the newspaper for an Asian salad from a food truck. This Asian flavoured dressing is great for a cold noodle salad, coleslaw or broccoli slaw. The sesame oil(antioxidants) and sunflower oil (vitamin E) are tasty, more unusual fats that add more nutritional variety to your diet.

1/2 mango, cubed

1 shallot, finely minced

1/2 cup or more chopped cilantro, stems included

1 red thai chili, minced

1 tsbp sesame oil

1 tbsp sunflower oil

1 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce

Fresh lime juice from 1 1/2 limes

1/2 tbsp agave syrup

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Adjust lime juice or agave syrup to your taste. Enjoy the dressing with packaged coleslaw, broccoli slaw, and adding cold noodles is an option to make a more substantial salad.