January 8, 2018

During the winter months, there is nothing more comforting than a hearty bowl of soup.  Plant based soups filled with pulses are hearty and nutritious and easy of the budget too. There are so many interesting soups our there and there are so easy to make, why settle for canned tomato and cream of mushroom.

We eat a lot of soup over the winter months. Most soup recipes make enough for 6 to 8 people, so for most families that means a pot of soup will do for 2 or 3 meals. Soup makes a great lunchbox meal too, packed hot in a thermos.  And most soups freeze well, so if you can’t eat the whole pot within the week, freeze some for a quick easy meal when your time is limited.

Below are four of my favorite soups.

Red Lentil Carrot and Coconut Soup

Red Lentil Carrot and Coconut Soup
This is our favorite go to soup. It is easy to prepare and can be done on the stove top or in a slow cooker. The red lentils dissolve into the broth so its perfect for those who don’t particularly love lentils. And for those who love heat, it can be spiced up with chillies to your taste. The recipe was featured at our Cooking with Lentils class August 2016 and can be found here.

South America Black Bean Soup
This is another long time favorite of ours. If you don’t like it spicy, omit the jalapeño pepper

• 2 onions, diced
• 2 stalks celery, diced
• 2 carrots, diced
• 2 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 jalapeño, diced fine
• 1 tsp thyme
• 2 tbsp cumin seeds
• 1 tbsp oregano
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
• 2 tbsp tomato paste
• 6 cups vegetable stock
• 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or 3 cups cooked)
• 1/3 cup lime juice
• Cilantro, finely chopped or dried

In a large pot, sauté onions celery carrots garlic and jalapeño in about ¼ cup broth until onions are translucent. Add thyme, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Sauté a few minutes longer. Add remaining ingredients except lime juice and cilantro. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 1 hour. Or place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 10. Add lime juice and cilantro and serve.

Adapted from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson


Carribean Pepper Pot Soup

Caribbean Pepper Pot Soup
This is another great recipe from the cookbook 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson. The original is made with hot peppers and packs quite a punch, but it is easily toned down to your spice level.

• 1 onion, finely diced
• 3 stalks celery, finely diced
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 tbsp ginger root, minced
• 1 tbsp mild chilli powder
• ½ tsp ground coriander seeds
• ½ tsp crushed chillis (Omit for a mild version)
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp ground black pepper
• 1 tsp brown sugar
• 3 cups butternut squash, peeled cut into ½ inch cubes (or substitute carrots)
• 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked)
• 1 ½ cup diced tomatoes, including the juice
• 6 cups vegetable stock
• 1 pepper (red, green, yellow or orange), diced small
• ½ can of coconut milk
• Fresh or dried cilantro or parsley

In a large pot, place onion, celery, garlic and ginger along with about ¼ cup broth. Cook until onion is translucent. Add remaining ingredients except coconut milk and cilantro or parsley. Bring to a boil and simmer 1 to 2 hours. Or place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 10 hours. Add coconut milk and cilantro or parsley. Serve.

13 Bean Soup

13 Bean Soup

I make this with a 13 Bean mixture by Bob’s Red Mill, which has a variety of beans as well as split peas and lentils. The quicker cooking pulses like the peas dissolve nicely into the broth producing a thick flavorful soup. You can find my recipe here.




Convert your old family favorites to whole food plant based.

Most soups can easily be converted to plant based as meat, or meat broth is only a part of the soup, not the whole entrée. Eliminate the meat and add lentils or beans. Many recipes ask you to sauté the veggies in oil before making the soup, but you can easily sauté in broth, eliminating the oil. And in most cases, you can skip this step all together, and just toss the veggies into a pot with the broth to cook without any loss in flavor.  Consider adding a handful or two of finely chopped greens (kale or spinach are good ones) to your soup at the end of cooking. You will hardly notice they are even there.

Some more links to favorites for you to try:

Creamy White Bean Soup

Corn Chowder

Cream of Zucchini Soup without the Cream

A delicious plant based version of Olive Garden’s Pasta e Fagioli

Red Lentil and Kale



Kelsey’s Fluffy Pancakes – Three Ways – and Pumpkin Gingerbread Latte

December 7, 2017

We awoke this morning to a Winter Wonderland. We received a dusting of fresh snow overnight. That, combined with a coating of hoarfrost on the trees, made everything seemed magically white. Even the sky was filled with white fluffy clouds.

Banana Pancakes with Blueberry Cherry Sauce

After a brisk morning walk in this wonderland, we were ready for a heapen helpen of pancakes. I call this recipe Kelsey’s Fluffy Pancakes, because she made them for us last time we visited. It is my current favourite pancake recipe, and it’s easy to jazz it up a bit, too. This morning’s pancakes were Pumpkin with Apple Sauce Topping. Last week’s were Banana with Blueberry Cherry Sauce. I have provided the recipe for the Basic Pancake, the Pumpkin and the Banana versions. As well, I added a delicious recipe for Pumpkin Gingerbread Latte which goes great with pancakes.

Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Sauce and Maple Syrup

Pancakes can be tricky to make, especially without using any oil in the batter or on the pan. The secret is a hot pan, and also a good pan. If your pancakes are sticking, it may be your pan is not hot enough – drops of water should dance across the surface when dropped on the pan. For this reason, a good cast iron pan works wonderfully as it can be heated hot without compromising the coating on the pan. However, I have also had good luck with a good quality non-stick pan.

Kelsey’s Fluffy Pancakes
• 1 cup flour (I use whole wheat)
• 1 tbsp baking powder
• 1 tbsp sugar (I use cane sugar)
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp vanilla
• 1 cup milk
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Mix dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, sugar and salt – in a large bowl. In a blender, combine, vanilla, milk, water and apple cider vinegar. Blend until smooth. Add the wet ingredients to dry and mix just until blended. Let sit while you heat up your pan. Add batter ¼ cup at a time to a hot non-stick pan. Once bubbles form, flip and cook the other side. Serve hot.

Fluffy Banana Pancakes
• Substitute the 1 tbsp sugar in the basic recipe above with one banana (fresh or frozen). Add the banana to the wet mixture in the blender and blend until smooth. Add 1 tsp ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients. Great served with a fruit topping (recipe below)

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes
• Add ½ cup pumpkin puree to the wet ingredients in the blender. Blend until smooth. Add 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves) to the dry ingredients. Great served with unsweetened applesauce and a touch of maple syrup.

Fruit topping for Pancakes
• 2 cups frozen blueberries, mixed berries, cherries or peaches
• 1 tbsp honey, cane sugar or maple syrup (or to taste)
• ¼ cup water
• 1 tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Put frozen fruit is a small saucepan. Add sweetener and heat slowly over medium heat. As the mixture thaws it will provide its own liquid. Heat until hot but not boiling. Remove from heat. Mix arrowroot or cornstarch with water until a smooth paste. Add this mixture to the hot fruit and stir to combine well. Return to the heat and heat until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Serve over pancakes hot, warm or cold. Optional – add cinnamon, nutmeg or cardamom with an extra boost of flavour.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Latte
This is an adaptation from a recipe from Grow Forage Cook Ferment. I added water to the mix and reduced the sweetener. It makes a thick rich beverage that is so great on a chilly day.
• 2 cups plant based milk (I like almond or an almond-coconut blend)
• 1 cup water (or substitute coffee)
• 3 tbsp pumpkin puree
• 1 tbsp maple syrup
• ½ tsp molasses
• ½ tsp vanilla
• ½ tsp ground ginger
• ¼ tsp nutmeg
• ½ tsp cinnamon (or a large cinnamon stick)
• Pinch cloves
Mix together and heat. Adjust sweetness (maple syrup) and spices to taste. Serve hot.

Eat More Greens

October 14, 2017

I firmly believe that one of the most important things you should do to improve your diet is to eat more greens. All kinds of greens, especially leafy greens. Kale, spinach, Swiss Chard, collards, beet greens, bok choy, gai lan, parsley, cilantro as well as broccoli, peas, snap peas, and green beans. In fact, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, recommends his patients eat greens at every meal. Recently I have been trying to implement this recommendation – trying to find ways to incorporate greens into every meal.

Breakfast My favorite way to consume a serving or two of greens every morning is a green smoothie or a wheat grass shot.  This fall, I planted several rows of wheat grass in my garden. A couple ounces of wheat grass juice is an amazing way to start the day.

Green smoothies are a terrific way to get leafy greens into the little guys

My go to recipe for a green smoothie is simple – 2 cups water, 2 cups greens and 2 cups fruit. This combination produces a flavorful smoothie with a significant amount of greens in every glass. My favorite combination is kale, banana and mango, but the combinations are endless. As you learn to love your green smoothie, start increasing the amount of greens (eg 2 cups water 3 cups greens and 2 cups fruit.



Cooked Greens

Steaming or boiling greens quickly reduces a big pile of raw greens into a small bowl of green goodness. As a kid, I remember hating cooked greens, but now have learned to like them. The trick is not to over cook them and to season them well. One of my favorite ways to eat cooked greens is a simple side dish of steamed greens (kale, Swiss Chard or beet greens) seasoned with salt and a dash of lemon or balsamic vinegar.

Greens are also great added to casseroles, burgers, stir fries, soups and stews. Chop them up fine and you can sneak them into most dishes. And don’t forget lots of bright greens in your salad. Try to have several servings (1 cup of chopped raw greens is one serving) of raw and cooked greens every day. They are loaded with protein, calcium and a whole host of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

A few of my favorite recipes are below.

Penne with Swiss Chard, Olives and Currants

serves 4

  • 4 large shallots, peeled and diced small (or substitute onion)
  • 2 bunches Swiss Chard
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced (or 1/2 tsp dry)
  • 1 pound whole grain penne, cooked
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/2 cup currants
Penne with Swiss Chard, Olives and Currants

Remove stems from Swiss Chard and chop the stems into small pieces. Slice the leaves into thin strips. Cook penne until just tender. Drain and keep warm. While pasta is cooking, sauté shallots and chopped stems for a few minutes. Add garlic and thyme and sauté a few minutes longer. Add a tbsp of water if needed to prevent sticking to the pan. Add sliced Swiss Chard leaves and a couple tablespoons of water. Cover and let steam until chard is cooked and tender. Add olives and currants. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary. Toss with penne and serve immediately.

From The Forks Over Knives Cookbook by Dell Sroufe

Mushrooms Kale and Potatoes

Serves 2 to 3

  • 3 cups chopped potatoes (Yukon Gold or Red)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 6 cups Kale, chopped and stems removed
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili paste (like Sambol Olek or substitute crushed chili peppers)
  • black pepper
Kale, Potatoes and Mushrooms

In a saucepan, sauté onion, garlic and mushrooms until onion is translucent. Add a tablespoon or two of water if necessary to keep from sticking to the pan. Add potatoes and a small amount of water. Cover and let cook until potatoes are tender. Add more water as necessary to keep from sticking and form a gravy. When potatoes are tender, add kale, cover and steam until kale is bright green and tender.  Add soy sauce and chili paste and stir until combined. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.

from Forks Over Knives, The How To Companion to the Feature Documentary Forks Over Knives 

Greens with Maple Mustard

  • Greens, chopped and stems removed (Beet greens, kale or Swiss Chard)
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt

Mix mustard, maple syrup and lemon juice together. Boil or steam greens just until bright green and tender. Drain and drizzle with a bit of maple mustard sauce. Season with salt and serve.

Kale and Miraculous Walnut Sauce

  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • kale, chopped and stems removed

In a blender, combine walnuts, garlic, soy sauce and water. Blend until smooth. In a large pot, bring a quart of water to boil. Add kale and cook covered for 3 to 5 minutes, until kale is bright green and tender. Drain and serve with walnut sauce. This is great on  baked or mashed potatoes instead of the usual butter and sour cream.

Salad Greens

In salads, try to choose salad greens that are bright green over pale ones –  like romaine over iceberg lettuce. Don’t limit your salad greens to lettuce only. Kale, beet greens and spinach are great in salads.  When introducing more robust greens, add them in small amounts along with your regular lettuce. A Caesar salad made with romaine and kale is a great way to get your family to eat kale.

When using kale in salads, chop it fine and sprinkle a bit of lemon juice on it. Massage it with your hands for a minute or so to tenderize it.  Some people find kale bitter and tough and I find this helps counteract this.

You can find my favorite kale salads at the following links:

Kale and Apple Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing

Caesar Salad with Romaine and Kale








Chocolate Pie – 2 Ways

August 28, 2017

We have been having fun in the kitchen this month with our visitors from Italy and New Zealand. It has been awesome having others who share my love of good wholesome food and love cooking.

Cristiana’s No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

Cristiana made this awesome No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin Pie while she was here. However, on returning to Italy she found she could not find pumpkin. Today, Stevie and I worked on a substitute with carrots. We roasted the carrots until soft then pureed them. The result was amazing. You would never know this is not made with pumpkin. I definitely will use carrot instead of pumpkin again. I image sweet potato or a squash like butternut would also work.



Stevie’s No Bake Chocolate Carrot Pie


While making the No Bake Chocolate Carrot Pie, we thought we might as well continue the pie theme and tried another no bake pie, this one with chocolate and peanut butter. Delicious. Another that Cristiana will really enjoy as she loves both chocolate and peanut butter.

Both pies can be made in about 10 minutes, although both need several hours to chill in the fridge before serving.

Oat Crust

This oat crust is easy to through together with a food processor and makes enough for 2 pies. If you are only making one pie, either half the recipe or refrigerate the leftover mixture for later use.

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted (or other soft dates)
  • ¼ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Place 1 cups oats, walnuts and dates in food processor and process until grainy texture. Add remaining oats, coconut (if using) and cinnamon and process until finely ground. Add applesauce and a sticky texture is reached. (you can also remove the mixture from the food processor and mix the applesauce in by hand)  If still too dry, add a tablespoon or two more of applesauce. Press into bottom of baking pan and fill with filling of your choice. Can be used with a baked or non-bake pie filling.

No Bake Chocolate Pumpkin (or Carrot) Pie

This is an adaptation of a recipe from The PlantPure Nation Cookbook by Kim Campbell

  • 1 cup non-dairy semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 – 15 oz can of pumpkin puree (1 ¾ cups)
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger or 1 ½ tsp fresh grated
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 Oat Pie Crust

Press pie crust mixture into a 9 inch pie pan. Melt chocolate chips in a small pan over low heat. In a blender or food processor, place all ingredients (except for pie crust) including melted chocolate chips. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared pie shell and top with fruit, nuts, and coconut or chocolate shavings. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours.
If you can’t find pumpkin puree (do not use pumpkin pie filling) in a can, you can bake a whole pumpkin, then scoop out the flesh and puree until smooth. Then place the pumpkin puree in a strainer and let it sit overnight. Home baked pumpkin is often more watery than canned. You can also substitute sweet potato or baked butternut squash or carrots. Puree the carrots, sweet potato or squash before using in the recipe.

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

This pie is rich and filling delicious. The recipe is an adaptation from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon.

  • 1 Oat pie crust
  • 1 – 14 oz can (400 ml) full fat coconut milk, chilled for 24 hours
  • 1 1/4 cup non dairy chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped

Prepare oat crust and press into 9 inch pie plate. Open can of chilled coconut milk and scoop out coconut cream and place into a saucepan. Save 1/3 cup of the remaining coconut water and place into the saucepan with the coconut cream. Use the remaining coconut water for another purpose (smoothie or soup). Add chocolate chips to the saucepan with the coconut and heat over low heat until the chips melt. Stir in the maple syrup, peanut butter and a pinch of salt. Mix in about 1/4 cup of the roasted peanuts. Pour into the prepared crust and top with remaining chopped peanuts. Refrigerate until firm, about 4 to 6 hours.

You can substitute the peanut butter with any other nut butter, such as almond butter.


Bean and Barley Salad

August 2, 2017

This is another new salad from my visit to Edmonton, this time made by my Auntie Shirley. After she made it we misplaced the recipe so this is my recreation of the dish. It is great served on a bed of lettuce or alongside a green salad. Colorful, filling and delicious.

Bean and Barley Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

I am sure the original recipe used oil, but I used tahini instead.


  • 3/4 cup lime juice (roughly the juice of 4 limes)
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)


  • 6-7 green onions (chopped)
  • 1 red onion (finely diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 Large tomato (seeded and chopped) or tiny tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth



  1. Bring the water or vegetable broth to a boil and then add the pearl barley and turn the heat down to a simmer and cover. Let simmer (just like rice) until all of the liquid is gone, roughly 45-50 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and let cool.
  2. Combine all of your salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl and set aside.


  1. Whisk together salad dressing components in a medium bowl, until combined.
  2. Pour salad dressing over the salad and toss together until combined. Serve immediately or put in the fridge and eat whenever you are ready!

Coconut Rotini

July 29, 2017

One of the nice things about traveling is you get try food other people make for you.  While it is sometimes hard for others to figure out what to feed “the vegan”, I truly appreciate the effort they make to accommodate my food choices. On my recent trip to Edmonton, I stopped by Pat and Glenn’s and Pat made this absolutely delicious dish for me. It comes from The LoonieSpoons Collection by Janet and Greta Podleski. This cookbook was a favorite of my mother’s and while it is not a vegetarian cookbook, it has several great vegetarian and vegan recipes. The LoonieSpoons’ cookbooks are probably best known for their whimsical recipe names. This one is called Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Colored Polka-Dot Rotini.

Pat made this dish using mild chili powder and it was fabulous.  I just had to make it as soon as I got home, with Stevie’s help. However, when she put together the spice mix, she used my hot Indian chili powder instead, and I am glad she did. We all enjoyed the heat and it was equally as delicious as Pat’s version. I love the super fast way of making a pasta dish by cooking it in the sauce.

Itsy-Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Polka-Dot Rotini
• 1 ½ cup vegetable stock
• 1 can coconut milk
• 1 tsp each raw sugar and ground coriander
• ½ tsp each ground cumin and chilli powder (your choice mild or hot chilli powder)
• ¼ tsp each curry powder and ground ginger
• 227 g uncooked whole grain rotini (I used tri colored brown rice rotini) (about 3 cups dry)
• 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
• 1 red pepper, diced small
• ¼ cup dried currants
Combine broth, coconut milk, sugar, spices and pepper in a non spick sauce pan. Bring to a boil, add rotini, reduce heat to a slow simmer and simmer 6 minutes.
Add chopped peppers and currants and simmer for 6 to 7 minutes longer until liquid has been absorbed and pasta is tender. Add peas. Remove from heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes before serving.


Edmonton July 2017 Class

July 22, 2017

I had a wonderful opportunity this month to hold a class in Edmonton. It was great to meet both fellow vegetarians and those looking to make their diet more plant strong. We had a great discussion on the reasons for eating more plants – health, environment, compassion and spiritual.

For the class we used kale three different ways – in a green smoothie, in a main dish of rice and beans, and in a salad. For dessert, we had a simple fruit salad – no added sugar needed. The meal was delicious, simple to prepare and budget conscious – proving once again that it is not necessary to spend the day in the kitchen, have a lot of cooking skills or break the bank to enjoy a good, wholesome, home cooked meal.

Green Smoothie

One of the most important things you can do to improve your health is to add more greens to your diet. While it is best to chew your food, rather than drink it, I still find green smoothies the easiest way for most of us to increase the amount of green leafy veggies we consume. Since smoothies are well blended, the sugar from the fruit enters your blood stream faster than chewing the fruit, so it is best to sip it slowly and try to mix as much saliva with it as possible. My basic recipe for a green smoothie is below. For the class we used my favorite mix – kale for the greens, anana,  orange and mango for the fruit, and a squeeze of lemon.

  • 2 cups greens (kale, spinach, Swiss chard, parsley, cilantro, beet greens, collards, etc)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen fruit (banana, mango, pineapple, orange, apple, berries, etc)
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Place all ingredients in a blender in the order given. Blend until smooth.

Tex Mex Casserole

This recipe which I have adapted from the Oh She Glows Cookbook by Angela Liddon, is a mainstay in my house. It is fast and simple to prepare and always gets good reviews. I like to use the leftovers to make burritos, and they freeze well too. Just roll in a flour tortilla, wrap in parchment paper and freeze for a later meal.

When making this casserole for a crowd, I usually to omit the jalapeño. The cayenne in the spice mix gives it a tiny bit of a kick, but not too much.  Serve with a spicy salsa so guests who like the heat can spice it up a bit.

The cheese in this recipe is not essential for the casserole, but if you decide to add you can use a plant based cheese like Daiya shredded cheese or add 1/4 cup of cashew cheese sauce to it.

While the recipe calls for everything to be prepared in a frying pan and then popped in the oven to heat, it can easily be served straight from the frying pan, as we did in class. Or prepare it ahead of time and pop it in the oven the next day to reheat. We skipped the topping of cheese and taco chips on top and served it straight from the pan with taco chips on the side.

Spice blend:

  • 1 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika (or ½ tsp regular paprika)
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander


  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced fine (optional)
  • ½ cup corn kernals (fresh, canned or frozen)
  • 1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes and their juices
  • 1 – 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups finely chopped kale leaves or spinach
  • 2 cups cooked  black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 3 cups cooked rice (brown rice or a brown and wild rice mix, we used short grain brown rice)
  • ½ cup cheese or cheese substitute (optional)
  • tortilla chips

Combine spice mix and set aside.

Preheat oven to 375F, oil a large casserole dish (4 to 5 quart)

In a large pan, add onion, garlic, peppers and sauté until softened. If necessary, add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent sticking. Stir in spice mix and sauté for a few minutes until fragrant. Add corn, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, kale, beans and rice. Sauté until heated through and season with salt and pepper to taste. If desired, mix in ¼ cup of shredded cheese, cheese substitute or cashew cheese sauce.

If desired, you can pour mixture into prepared casserole dish, sprinkle on crushed tortilla chips (and the other ¼ cup of shredded cheese if desired), cover and bake 15 minutes.  Or you can serve straight from the pan. Serve with optional toppings such as chopped avocado, salsa, taco chips or green onions.


Kale and Apple Salad

This recipe is another of my go to recipes. For those who are new to using kale, massaging the kale with a squeeze of lemon and/or sprinkle of salt help make it more tender and less bitter. Also, making this with a mix of kale and romaine is a good way to introduce kale to the menu. If you love kale, like I do, skip the romaine and use all kale.

This recipe is my adaptation of the original from Raw Amazing 


  • 1 cup cashews, soaked until soft, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 lemon, juice from
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Soak cashews for 2 to 12 hours. Drain cashews and place all ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.


  • 1 bunch of kale, de-stemmed and shredded fine
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ¼  cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup red onion, sliced thinly and separated into rings
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 1 bunch romaine lettuce, washed and torn into pieces
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (hulled, you can use raw or roasted and salted)

Place kale in large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice and a dash of salt. Massage the lemon juice and salt into the kale for a few minutes.  Add chopped apples, dried cranberries, sliced red onion, julienned carrots. Toss. Add enough dressing to coat the salad, toss well.  Just before serving, add the romaine and top with pumpkin seeds.

Fruit Salad

This is the same fruit salad we made at our July Winnipeg class. By varying the fruit combination, you get a different dessert every time.

  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk yogurt (cultured coconut milk), or plain yogurt
  • 1 tbsp finely minced ginger (or more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)
  • 4 mandarin oranges, peeled and sectioned
  • 2 apples, diced
  • 2 cups pineapple, diced
  • o   2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup seedless grapes
  • 2 cups strawberries, cut in half

Mix yogurt, minced ginger and maple syrup and place in a small serving bowl.  Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Place oranges, apples and pineapple in a large bowl. Toss to coat apples with the liquid to prevent browing.  Add blueberries, grapes and strawberries and gently stir to combine.  Serve fruit with a dollop of ginger yogurt on top.

You can change this salad up by using any mixture of your favourite fruit. Change up the yogurt sauce by omitting the ginger, using cane sugar and adding ½ tsp vanilla.