Brown Rice as a Side

A healthy, gluten free side dish suitable for any meal! Keep in mind even though brown rice is very healthy, one serving of grains per meal is only 1/2 cup so it is very easy to overeat and lead to weight gain. You can easily bulk this serving up by adding cauliflower rice in the last 5-8 minutes of cooking the rice, just add about 1/8 cup of additional broth or water as well. This will significantly increase the fibre and nutrient value of your meal without you even noticing!

1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup of organic chopped celery
3 tbsp olive oil
2 ½ cups long (medium or short will do just adjust cooking time) grain organic brown rice, uncooked
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups organic reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
REAL salt and pepper to taste

In large saucepan saute onion and celery in oil until tender. (power level 4.5)

Add rice and garlic; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes or until rice is lightly browned.

Add broth, thyme and pepper. Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and simmer (power setting 4) for 35-40 minutes or until rice is tender. Fluff with fork.


Simple Roasted Cauliflower

I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t like cauliflower, it’s versatility makes it a possible addition to practically any dish and being part of the cruciferous vegetable family it’s health benefits exceptional.

This is an extremely simple side dish that you can add to any plate, but if you need an extra kick of flavour try adding parmesan cheese in the last 5 mins of roasting. Personally I find the extra saturated fat isn’t necessary for this recipe, roasting the cauliflower with the onion, garlic and herbs gives it the kick I need.

Simple Roasted Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower
1/2 sliced medium white or yellow onion
4 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp REAL sea salt
A few thyme sprigs
Ground black pepper to taste
1/8 cup of organic grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Roast @ 425F until almost tender, about 20 minutes. Toss and roast for an additional 10-15 mins, and serve hot.

Tip: Do you have some leftover? Chop the remaining and add it to some cooked brown rice to bulk up that side dish!

Quinoa Pizza Muffins

Pizza is one of my favourite foods! For the sake of convenience I’ll still order take out once in a while, but to keep my waste line in check and satisfy my cravings at the same time I needed an alternative. These pizza bites include all the goodies that a pizza does, cheese, grains, veggies and marinara sauce but just happens to be WAY less calories, vegetarian and gluten free.

I came across a bunch of variations of this recipe online and after dozens of tries I’ve tweaked it to my preference, feel free to do the same!

1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 large organic eggs
1/2 cup chopped green onion
3/4 cup shredded organic mozzarella cheese (part skim if you’d like to cut fat)
1/4 cup of shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or 2 tablespoons dried but I insist on fresh)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup finely chopped veggies (broccoli, green pepper, mushrooms, cauliflower, whatever you like)
1/2 teaspoon REAL sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
Homemade tomato sauce for dipping

Place the quinoa and two cups of water in a covered pot. Bring to boil and then simmer for 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients, except tomato sauce, in a medium mixing bowl.

Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (one heaping tablespoon each), and press down gently to compact.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm with sauce for dipping.


My Wholesome Hearty Chicken Soup (from scratch)

Chicken soup is an all time favourite in any house, and it is surprisingly easy to make this dish FROM SCRATCH starting with the stock. Yes we are talking about 5 hours total cooking time, but I promise any idiot can make this dish and the end result is a truly wholesome dish of deliciousness.

So, just give it a try…

1 whole organic, local chicken
Extra chicken bones from previous soup stocks if you have them
1 gallon of water (estimation)
1 white onion
1 head of garlic (I’m a garlic lover, you can use less if you wish)
1 bunch of fresh parsley
1 tsp thyme
1-2 bay leaves
1 tsp basil
5 whole peppercorns
1-2 tsp of real sea salt
6-8 cups of locally grown, in season vegetables, your choice
Precooked brown rice or noodles (Optional, this soup is filling as is so additional grains aren’t necessary. Add them in right before serving if you chose)

Place whole chicken in a soup pot and pour enough water that covers the chicken by a couple inches. Add all the ingredients except the 6-8 cups of vegetables you’ve chosen, and bring the water to a boil. Once the water is boiling bring the temp down to a slow simmer and let cook with the lid off for 4-5 hours.

Remove the chicken and other larger pieces from the pot and strain the remaining pieces out and VOILA, you’ve got yourself homemade chicken and bone stock!

Place the stock back into the soup pot and add the vegetables, for this dish I chose locally grown and in season:

If you generally aren’t a fan of these veggies give them a try anyways! They take a lot of chicken stock flavour into them and are very filling. At this point you can add however much chopped chicken you like, I only used about ¾ of the whole chicken cooked in the soup because I like my soup to be mostly vegetables. Plus you’ll get some leftover lunch meats for the week by doing this! 2 birds with 1 stone :)

Tip: If you plan on freezing some, you may want to cut down the cooking time so that the vegetables aren’t overcooked.

How long you cook these will depend on the vegetables you’ve chosen and how small you’ve cut them, but for these I say a good 45 minutes. Then remove from heat and serve!

Maple Roasted Vegetables

This recipe is by far my favourite vegetable side dish, and is always a hit with company especially kids! For this recipe I kept it simple, local, and seasonal with the vegetables I chose which were sweet potato and brussels sprouts. Not a fan of brussels sprouts? I dare you to give this recipe a try they will win you over! Cauliflower is another vegetable I often use with this particular combination I just didn’t have any on hand at the time.

Other vegetables that can be used for this dish:
- Cauliflower
- SQUASH! Acorn, butternut, buttercup, whatever you’d like
- Parsnips
- Zucchini
- Broccoli
- Green Beans
- Asparagus
- Potatoes of any kind
- Turnip
- Onions
Note: Keep it simple, I’d use a combination of 3 vegetables max for this dish.

- 4-5 cups of assorted vegetables of your choice
- 4-6 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup local maple syrup
- REAL Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Warm the olive oil and garlic on the stove for about 20 mins on low heat, once that’s started preheat oven to 400F.

Toss veggies in a large bowl, with garlic olive oil, maple syrup and generously salt and pepper to taste.

Place veggies on baking sheet in a single layer (if you discover your veggies won’t fit on one baking sheet, pull out a second baking sheet, and prep it the same way you did the first).

Place baking sheet(s) in the oven and roast for 40 minutes. Check veggies 1/2 way through and see if they are browning and need to be turned. If they look dry, add a little water to the pan so they stay nice and moist. Check again in another 10 minutes and cook until fork tender and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve immediately!

End result….

Zesty Quinoa Salad

YUM. This recipe is TO. DIE. FOR.

This dish is packed with non animal protein and fiber, is gluten free, and is super duper easy to make. It is now my go to dish for BBQs and gatherings of any kind not to mention having it handy in the fridge for when I need something quick to shovel in my mouth when I am on the go. The colourful ingredients will intrigue any child to give it a try; even my 10 month old son LOVES this dish!

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil (I love The Pristine Olive company, see
2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon REAL Salt
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 1/2 cups halved organic cherry tomatoes
1 (15 ounce) can no sodium added black beans, drained and rinsed
5 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
REAL Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.

Combine quinoa, tomatoes, black beans, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture; toss to coat.

Stir in cilantro; season with salt and black pepper. Serve immediately or chill in refrigerator.


Vegetarian Chipotle Chili

Always a hit in my house even for those meat eaters! Each servings provides you with over 20g of protein, and even more if you decide to add 1lb of organic, free run lean ground turkey…

Vegetarian Chipotle Chili
2 (15 oz) can black beans – drained and rinsed
2 (15oz) can chickpeas drained and rinsed
2 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can tomato paste
2 cups celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
2 green peppers
1-2 cups of chopped portobello mushrooms
1 medium red onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic minced
½ – 1 can of chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce, optional for spiciness)
2 T ground cumin
4 T chili powder

Add the tomatoes and tomato paste to the crock pot on high heat.

I finely chop the chipotle peppers, mushrooms, onion and garlic in my food processor and add this mixture into the crock pot along with all the spices and add it to the tomatoes cooking in the food processor to get everything going before I start to chop the remaining vegetables. Note, if you chose to add 1lb of organic free run turkey, brown in a pan beforehand until cooked and add at this point as well as seen below…

Once the remaining ingredients are prepared, add everything in the crock pot including the beans and stir. I like to let it cook for no more than 3 hours so that the vegetable are not over cooked.

Near the end of the dish cooking, you can add brown rice flour if you prefer a thicker consistency and let cook for 10 mins.

ENJOY a bowl for lunch or dinner!

Number of Servings: 8
Note: 1 lb of turkey can easily be added to recipe

Zucchini Turkey Meatballs

Zucchini is an excellent vegetable to include into your diet providing anti oxidants as well as a powerful weight loss tool due to its high water content. Substitute ground beef with lean ground turkey for your burgers and/or meatballs to dramatically decrease your saturated fat intake, while incorporating grated zucchini to bulk up your meal with vegetables which will help you feel fuller, longer.

Zucchini Turkey Meatballs/Burgers

1 package of ground extra lean ground turkey (local, hormone and anti-biotic free)
2 medium green or yellow zucchini, grated
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 one small onion
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce or 1 tsp chipotle chili pepper spice (optional, great for burgers or eating with salad)
1/4 brown rice bread crumbs

Set broiler on high, arranging rack so that burgers will be about 2 inches from the heat.

In a large bowl, combine grated zucchini, salt, onion, garlic, dried basil, oregano, pepper, bread crumbs and then turkey. Mix well and scoop out 12-14 portions.

Place burgers in oven and broil for 7 minutes. Carefully flip each burger and continue to broil for another 7 minutes on the other side. Depending how large your make your meatballs the time can be shorter or longer. Serve warm. Also can be made into turkey burgers!

End results, enjoy!

Ginger Quinoa Stir Fry

Need a healthy dinner idea packed with fiber and protein to keep you feeling full? Whether or not you chose to take the vegetarian route or not (shrimp being optional), check out this stir fry dish you and your family will love!

1 cup quinoa
2 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger minced
1 tbsp scallion
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cups Portobello (preferred for its meaty texture) or crimini mushrooms, washed and sliced
2 cups of broccoli florets
1/3 cup purified water
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup hoisin sauce

Bring stock to boil, add quinoa and then simmer covered for 15 mins until the liquid is absorbed

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium to high heat, add the onion, ginger and scallion and cook for 10 mins on medium heat stirring frequently. Add the bell pepper, mushrooms and broccoli to the skillet and raise heat back to medium-high and cook stirring frequently for a few mins.

Add water, soy sauce, hoisin, and shrimp to the pan and cook stirring frequently for 5 mins and serve.

1 cup of jumbo shrimp, peeled and washed (optional)