Easy Curry Lentil Soup with Kale

A Simple Curry Lentil Soup with Kale

I’m writing this post from the tropics, from Sumatra Indonesia. While I’m sitting beach front eating papayas and mangoes for breakfast the autumn chill is in full force at home. This is my third trip to Indonesia, and I am understandably a big fan of Indonesian food. Sumatrans like their food spicy, and tempeh and tofu are always on the menu along with fresh seafood and dark green vegetables. Despite my love affair with South-East Asian cuisine, during my times abroad I always find myself craving for hearty lentils based soups. I suspect this is my bodies way of asking for iron rich foods on a mostly vegetarian diet. This soup was a regular before I left home, and will be one of the first things I make once I return. Don’t get me wrong, I am going to savour every last bit of Indonesian food while I can, but sometimes an Easy Curry Lentil Soup with Kale makes the thought of going home to the cold cold weather bearable.

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Chanterelle Barley Risotto with Kale and Mung Beans

Recipe for Chanterelle Barley Risotto with Kale and Mung Beans

This week I am doing the Welfare Challenge which aims to bring awareness to the inadequacy of welfare rates in BC. Here in our beautiful province a person on welfare receives only $610 per month. When basic accommodation, phone and personal hygine are accounted for this leaves only $18 per week, or $2.60 per day for food. World Food Day is just around the corner on October 16th, making this a good time for us to take on the challenge and experience how difficult living off a strict food budget can be. I’m only on Day 2 and I can already imagine the stress and weight that someone trying to feed themselves or a family may feel. I am fortunate enough to have the background and education to be able to make healthy and smart food choices on a budget and already I feel better equipped to help those that may not be. This Chanterelle Barley Risotto with Kale and Mung Beans was prepared for just under $0.45 per serving, and has the added bonus of being delicious!
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Asian Cabbage Salad with Tempeh and Ginger Sesame Dressing

Asian Salad with Tempeh and Probiotic Rich Dressing

Wow, where did summer go! I’ve been trying to hold on to the last of it with my smoothie bowls and salads, and holding off as long as I can on the oatmeal’s and soups. Don’t get me wrong, I do love a hearty kale winter salad, but there’s something comforting about summer salads… maybe its knowing that the suns still going to by out when dinners over. What makes this salad special is that Napa cabbage is the main star. It’s crunchy and delicious and oh so good shredded. It is also a good calcium source, but often gets over shadowed by kale and bok choy. This Asian Salad with Tempeh and Ginger Sesame Dressing is simple to prepare and uses fermented Apple Cider Vinegar as a base (also see Beet Apple and Kale Salad with Walnuts and Dill) which is something we could all eat a little bit more of. I hope you love this salad as much as I do! Read more »

Simple High Calcium Citrus and Fig Energy Balls

Simple Fig Energy Balls High In Calcium

Nearing the intimidating age of 30, a lot of things are likely going through our heads. All our friends are starting to have babies. We’ve come to the realization our career no long allows us to jet off backpacking for a year. And there a few more wrinkles than we remember being their last year. If that all wasn’t enough, us women have to seriously think about our long term health goals. Do I want strong and healthy bones post menopause? Do I want to be independent with my daily activities right up until the last day. I think yes. Ensuring our calcium needs are being met is not an easy task. There is only so much kale, kefir, choy sum we can fit into one day (for other non-dairy sources of calcium see see 10 Surprising Non-Dairy Sources of Calcium). Our bones continue being built until about age 30, so in the last sprint to the dirty thirty I want to make sure I’m giving my bones the nutrients they need. These Simple High Calcium Citrus and Fig Energy Balls are a good way to pack in maximum calcium into a delicious morning or afternoon snack. Chia, tahini and figs are all good sources of this essential mineral, and luckily they all taste great together!
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Should You be Cooking with Olive Oil and Other Usage Tips

Italy - home of the Mediterranean Diet

Where the Olive Oil Grows – The Mediterranean Coastline, Cinque Terre Italy


When asked which is better – butter or margarine? The answer always is – olive oil. One thing that can be certain in nutrition science is that the Mediterranean diet has shown undeniable health benefits. This style of eating encourages an increased intake of nuts, fish, whole grains and vegetables while eating less meat and processed foods. At the same time it promotes an increase in the good fats (monounsaturated as well as polyunsaturated) and lesser amounts of the bad fats (saturated fats and trans fat). Despite the reported health benefits of monounsaturated rich olive oil there remains much confusion on how to use it in cooking, how to choose the right type, and how to store it properly. Switching from butter or margarine seems pretty straight forward – but as you will see, there is a lot more to know about olive oil than we thought! Read more »

Easy Vegan Almond Tempeh “Meatballs”

Vegetarian Tempeh "Meatballs" with Almonds

Not even a week has past since my return from Indonesia and I can confidently tell you that the thing I miss most is not the warmth nor the beaches, its the food. The flavours and the variety put this cuisine at the top of my list. If you haven’t tried tempeh yet, and your a lover of healthy and tasty cuisine, boy have I got a treat for you. Indonesians like it fried and spicy, and often will add it to dishes such as Gado Gado (see my simplified recipe for Gado Gado Peanut Satay Sauce Recipe) or have it plain with rice. It is as versatile as tofu, but many prefer the firmer texture of tempeh over its soybean cousin. Here is my play on tempeh, and a good one to get you started on your tempeh journey – Simple Almond Tempeh “Meatballs”.
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Simple Beet Dip with Balsamic Vinegar and Cream Cheese

Simple Beet Dip with Cream Cheese and Balsamic Vinegar

If I have learned one thing from having a weekly vegetable box delivered to my door it is this – beets are always in season. Well they are on Vancouver Island anyway. From June, straight through to October, they haven’t missed a beet, and I have heard down the grapevine that the winter edition is set to include even more of this tasty vegetable. I have only just begun the experience the versatility of beets, from Beet Apple and Kale Salad with Walnuts and Dill to Beet and Goat Cheese Salad with Green Beans and even Gluten Free Beet Chocolate Muffins with Chickpea Flour. And now another beet inspired dish to add to the repertoire – a super Simple Beet Dip with Balsamic Vinegar and Cream Cheese.
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Protein Rich Zucchini Noodle Lasagna with Cottage Cheese

Simple Zucchini Noodle Lasagna with Summer Vegetables
When your roommate can’t have lentils, vegetarian sources of protein are limited. We have had more than our fair share of Summer Tofu Salad Bowl and Vegetable Packed Crustless Quiche with Feta but there are only so many egg and tofu dishes you can stomach in a week. So I turned to protein rich cottage cheese to help square out our vegetarian dinners. And using our excess zucchini from our weekly veggie box and my drive to get some protein versatility into our diet, I came up with this Zucchini Noodle Lasagna with Cottage Cheese. Not only is this vegetarian dish high in protein, it is also great for those looking for a low carbohydrate meal. And best part is… its easy!
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Simple Vegetable Packed Crustless Quiche with Feta

Simple Crustless Vegetable Quiche with Vegetables and Feta

Its summer! And the hen’s are a’layin and the zucchini is a’growin. Creative uses for zucchini have taken over my Pinterest news feed – ranging from stuffed, to zucchini chips, to zucchini noodles. People are mad about this summer veg. But no need to get too fancy, zucchini can produce some quick and easy dishes as well. This Simple Vegetable Packed Crustless with Feta recipe is exactly that. No stove stop required (less dishes, yes!), and with 2.5 servings of vegetables per serve and a whole lot of protein, it’s super healthy as well!
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Healthy Chickpea Spread with Sundried Tomatoes

Recipe for Healthy Chickpea Spread with Sundried Tomatoes and Cilantro

Hands down, the Middle East is one of my favourite regions in the world to visit. Sleeping on rooftops, shopping the magical bazaars, and the sampling the most amazing cuisine. Just as you are served a bread basket here at home, some creamy hummus and fresh pita is the Middle Eastern way of welcoming you to their restaurants. No other hummus compares to their timeless staple food, which may have something to do with their top quality olive oils. Here is my oil-less take on hummus (or chickpea spread), with a few little additions.
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