All posts by Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman

Sarah Grossman and Tamara Green are holistic nutritionists and the co-founders of The Living Kitchen in Toronto. They combine their nutrition knowledge and love of cooking to develop healthy recipes. Their cookbook The Living Kitchen (Appetite by Random House) is now available.

These Chocolate Avocado Keto Cookies Are Healthy Enough for Breakfast 

A decadent, delicious breakfast cookie is the ultimate grab-and-go morning meal. But these are far from normal cookies. These keto-powered baked goods only have 3.2 net grams of carbs, along with a super, secret ingredient: avocado. The ketogenic diet is all about eating tons of fat, and these cookies really deliver, helping to fuel you with good, clean fats. Eating lots of healthy fat, especially in the morning, regulates blood sugar, keeps insulin levels low and promotes fat burning and loss. So, basically you’re eating a nutritious cookie that helps you lose weight – can you think of anything better?!

Chocolate Avocado Keto Breakfast Cookies

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8 cookies

Ingredients:
2 small ripe avocados
2 large eggs
½ cup almond flour
⅓ cup raw cacao
⅓ cup erythritol or monk fruit sweetener
½ tsp baking soda
⅛ tsp sea salt
¼ cup cacao nibs or stevia sweetened chocolate chips
2 Tbsp shredded coconut, to use as garnish

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Peel the avocado, place it in the bowl and mash it until smooth.
3. Add in the almond flour, raw cacao, sweetener, baking soda and sea salt and combine all ingredients. Whisk in the eggs.
4. Fold in the cacao nibs. Don’t be alarmed if the batter does not resemble traditional cookie dough, it will be fudgier.

5. Scoop about 1 ½ Tbsp of batter onto the baking sheet to make one cookie and lightly flatten with your hand or a spoon. Leave quite a bit of space between the cookies, since they spread.
6. Top with shredded coconut to garnish.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes and allow to cool for a few minutes before digging in.

For more healthy low-carb recipes to keep on hand, check out these 20 Easy Keto Dinners to Make Right Now and 14 Keto-Friendly Snacks That Are Super Simple to Make.

How to Develop Healthy Eating Habits That Last — 10 Strategies Straight From Experts

The beginning of the new year always brings the desire to set goals, especially health related goals for better nutrition and fitness after the holiday season. Those first few weeks of January can be filled with excitement and motivation to stick with new intentions. We all know what happens next: it gets more difficult to maintain nutrition plans as we settle back into our daily grind.  As nutritionists, we help our clients work through this hurdle.  But hiring a nutritionist or coach is not the only strategy to achieve a healthier diet.  Here are 10 lesser-known tips on how to actually stick to your wellness goals this year.

1. Manage Your Stress
Stress may be one of the most important underlying factors preventing you from reaching your nutrition goals. When we’re stressed, we are much more likely to reach for something that makes us feel better in the moment. Sugar and refined carbs are the culprits we crave most when stressed, and they’re also at the top of the list of things to avoid. Stress means we have elevated levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and chronic elevated levels of cortisol have been linked with weight gain. Focus on implementing stress reducing practices in your daily schedule, such as deep breathing, meditation and yoga.


Read More: 10 Foods That Naturally Relieve Stress 

2. Buy Healthy Pre-Made Items
As nutritionists, you might think we always advise people to make everything from scratch and never buy packaged food. We know it’s not always possible with such a busy lifestyle. So be realistic. If you set your standards too high, then you’ll make it more difficult to hit your nutrition goals. There are so many healthy brands out there that use high-quality ingredients, making your meal-prep goals a lot easier. Just remember to read the label. Make sure you understand all ingredients listed and that they are real foods.

3. Batch Cook  (Strategically!)
If you do intend to make cooking part of your routine to implement your nutrition goals, plan out specific times to cook.  What you don’t want is to come home after a long day of work and have to figure out what to make for dinner. We highly recommend batch cooking on the weekend or a weekday that suits your schedule. Pick out a bunch of recipes (such as these great meal prep ideas!), and prepare them in advance. Then all you have to do is heat things up when you’re ready to eat.

Read More: How a Nutritionist Meal Preps Every Sunday

4. Carry Healthy Snacks
If you get hungry in-between meals, that’s one of the most likely times you’ll eat something you don’t actually want. Ghrelin is nicknamed “the hunger hormone”, which signals your body when it’s hungry and stimulates appetite, causing those familiar hunger pangs. Eating a snack can help keep hunger at bay so you don’t get too ravenous before lunch or dinner. That way, you’ll be less likely to eat a huge meal or binge on unhealthy foods. Make sure you have wholesome snacks on hand, such as nuts and seeds, trail mix (that’s not sweetened with added sugar), or good-quality protein bars. You can also make your own with these snack ideas featuring 10 ingredients or less.

5. Focus on Foods You Love
It’s always easier to add things in than to take things away. This is one of our golden rules. It can feel really limiting to think about the foods you crave but can’t have on your healthier diet. There are two ways to do this: First, figure out which healthy foods you love, such as the vegetables and fruits you’re naturally inclined to eat. Add more of those into your diet. Two, notice which foods you crave, such as fries. Then make a healthier version of these, such as baked sweet potato “fries” instead of deep-fried ones from a burger joint.

Get the recipes for Delicious Healthy Baked Veggie Fries, 3 Ways

6. Create a List
Once you decide on the type of diet you want to implement, get clear on which foods are best and which to avoid. This may be as simple as choosing to cut out sugar and refined carbs (you don’t necessarily need to follow an involved diet). But, write out a list of all the foods that contain sugar and refined carbs (or whichever foods you are trying to limit). It’s easier when you can reference this list when you’re ordering meals out or when you’re cooking something at home and looking for recipes to use. Keep this list handy on your phone or printed out on a piece of paper.

7. Eat Mindfully
We so often eat quickly, rushing through a meal or eating on the go. Your body needs to be in “rest and digest” mode in order to digest food properly. That means that your parasympathetic nervous system is relaxed. When we’re stressed, the digestive system is impacted because the body prioritizes sending blood and fuel to the brain and muscles away from the digestive system. This can potentially lead to a variety of digestive issues and discomfort. Pause and take some deep breaths before a meal, let your body and mind slow down, and focus on enjoying the various tastes and flavours.


Read More: 25 Tasty Ways to Eat Fermented Foods and Improve Your Gut Health

8. Choose a Healthy Diet You Actually Like
It’s so easy to get swept up in the excitement of the newest and hottest fads. But, just because a particular diet (such as the ketogenic diet) seems to be what everyone you know is loving, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. This might take a little trial and error, so give yourself the time and space to figure out what works best. Observe which diet makes you feel the best.  What foods leave you feeling energized and healthier? It can be really challenging to cut out many foods on limiting, strict diets and you’ll be more likely to break it and fall into old habits. So, find a diet that you’re likely to stick with and actually enjoy.

9. Dine at Restaurant You Know Will Work For You
If you’re going out to dinner with friends or setting up a meeting for work, pick a restaurant that offers healthier options. Research restaurants online and look for places that feature the type of wholesome food you’re after. You can always call a restaurant in advance and ask if they can accommodate you and omit certain ingredients. If you aren’t able to do that and someone else is picking the restaurant, scope out the menu online before you get there.


Get the recipe for Lynn Crawford’s Everything Green Salad With Green Goddess Dressing

10. Start a Cookbook Club!
Everyone knows it’s easier to reach our goals if we have someone keeping us accountable. But, instead of hiring a coach, you could try out something new this year and start a cookbook club. All you need to do is get a group of people together (it can be small or large) and pick a healthy cookbook. Then each attendee picks out a recipe to make from it! Repeat this once a month, always selecting a new healthy cookbook so that everyone can try new recipes. This is a wonderful way to get excited about cooking and developing healthy eating habits.

Looking for more healthy eating inspiration? We asked 15 nutrition experts how they stay healthy in the New Year, too! See here for their tried-and-true secrets.

The Best Slow Cooker Chicken Breast Recipe has a Tasty Moroccan Twist

Do you feel like chicken tonight? We hope so, because we have the best slow cooker chicken recipe to share. Chicken for dinner is a staple in most households, including our own.  And, although there are many, many ways to cook chicken, often times it can end up dry and unappetizing. No one wants to sit down to a meal with an ill-seasoned, rubbery chicken breast staring back up at them. Here we’re going to teach you the ins and outs of juicy slow cooker chicken breasts that are perfect for salads, meal prepping for the week ahead or even for dinner tonight.

slow-cooker-chicken-breast

Go Skinless

Remove the skin from the chicken breasts before placing in the slow cooker. When cooked too long the skin will become rubbery and dry – think shoe leather. If you are planning to shred the chicken at all, this is a step you must follow.

No Need to Sear

Although searing adds major flavour, if your plan is to use the chicken shredded for chicken salad or tacos, there is no need to sear the breasts. Skip the step and save yourself time.

Set it to High

Chicken breasts don’t have very much connective tissues or fat, so cooking them for hours and hours in the slow cooker won’t get you the result you want. Really tough cuts of meat, with lots of connective tissue are perfect for slow cooking because they break down over time and become oh-so tender. When slow cooking chicken breasts, set to high for 2-2.5 hours, you don’t need to go beyond that. Of course, you can use your meat thermometer to check when the chicken is fully cooked on the inside when it reads 165°F.

Make it Easy and Saucy

The whole idea behind the slow cooker is to make things easy. If you have any sauces or marinades on hand like salsa, tomato sauce, pesto or BBQ sauce you can easily toss them in with the chicken breasts and voila you’re done. Remember to season the chicken breasts separately with salt and pepper before you start cooking to enhance flavours.

chicken-breast-in-slow-cooker

Go Light on Liquids

Chicken breasts will release quite a bit of liquid as they cook so go easy on adding liquids like broth or sauces.  You don’t want the chicken to be drowning.

Prep Ahead

Slow cooking chicken on a Sunday (or any day) is a great way to have your protein ready to go for lunches and dinners all week. You can make what we like to call “blank slate” chicken, which is chicken breasts seasoned with salt and pepper and slow cooked with broth. You then have tender chicken breasts that can be sliced, shredded or cubed and used for any dish like salads, tacos, pastas, sandwiches, wraps, and quinoa or rice pilafs. Simply add a marinade or sauce on top after and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken is one of our go-to recipes when we want a nourishing and delicious slow cooked meal that can be warming in the winter and refreshing in the summer. Add rice, quinoa or cauliflower rice for a hearty dish or place it on top of a slaw or enjoy as is.

slow-cooker-chicken-breast-on-cutting-board

Moroccan Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

Ingredients:
1 lb. chicken breasts (3 to 4 chicken breasts)
1 tsp coriander
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of black pepper
¼ cup chicken stock
¼ cup pitted green olives, sliced
¼ cup currants
½ lemon, sliced into thin discs

Directions:
1. Mix the spices, except for the salt and pepper, together in a small bowl.
2. Season the chicken breasts with sea salt and pepper.
3. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker so that they are flat and not overlapping and pour in the broth.
4. Sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over top of the chicken breasts.
5. Add the chopped olives and currants to the slow cooker, they can be spread over top of the chicken breasts and alongside.
6. Place thin slices of lemon over top of the chicken breasts.
7. Cook on high for 2.5 hours.
8. The chicken breasts will be tender. Carefully transfer out of the slow cooker and onto a cutting board. You can slice the chicken into pieces with a knife or shred the chicken with your hands, whichever you prefer.

Looking for more great recipes? Try these Popular Chicken Breast Recipes.

Nutritionists Share 10 Realistic Ways to Eat Healthier During the Holidays (Without Skipping Carbs!)

Eating healthy during the holidays can be a challenging feat: people believe they need to deprive themselves of their grandmother’s famous jam rolls or their uncle’s beloved stuffing in order to have a healthy holiday season – but, this couldn’t be further from the truth! As nutritionists, we have guided many clients on how to eat well throughout the holidays without feeling guilty, bloated or lethargic. No need to skip out on the sugary treats or specialty alcoholic drinks, because there is actually a way to have your cake (quite literally) and eat it too. Here are our 10 realistic ways to eat healthy during the holidays.

1. Don’t Starve Yourself Before a Meal
A big meal is approaching, so you eat less throughout the day to make “room” for all of the goodies to come – this is a big no-no! When you don’t eat, your blood sugar drops so low that you end up hangrily binging on the meal instead of deeply enjoying it. When you eat this way, you ignore your hunger and full signals, and end up eating too much without really tasting the meal in front of you. Usually what happens next is severe bloating and a food coma. The goal is to have balanced blood sugar throughout the day, so eat all of your meals and/or snacks as you normally do. That way when you get to the holiday meal, your body won’t be as hungry and you will eat serving sizes that are appropriate for you.

2. Start Small (You Can Always Go Back for Seconds!)
The famous casserole, pecan pie and gratin that you otherwise never get to eat are now staring you down – so you must fill your plate! Sound familiar? As nutritionists, we always recommend starting small. This doesn’t mean passing up on the foods that appeal to you most, it just means start with smaller servings. Remember, you can always go back for more. Usually, when you start with smaller servings, you give your body time to realize it’s full and you’ll no longer want to refill your plate. When you take so much food on your first go around, your eyes tell your brain that you must eat it all, even if you get full. So start off small and only go for seconds if you’re still hungry.

3. Go for the Veg
We strongly encourage everyone to eat lots of veggies, especially green ones, which deliver incredible minerals, vitamins and antioxidants to the body. During the holidays, load up your plate with vegetables, even if they’re smothered in maple syrup, heavy cream and bacon. Not only will this help fill you up with fibre (so you feel full faster) but it also provides your body with important nutrients to digest, eliminate and detoxify some foods your body may not be used to eating.

4. Chew Your Food and Eat Mindfully
Did you know that you’re actually supposed to chew your food about 30 times before you swallow so that your salivary enzymes have a chance to break it down? This really applies to your eating habits all year round, but it’s especially important during the holidays. When you chew your food, you tend to eat much slower, your body will better digest the meal, and your brain and body have time to properly communicate and let you know when you’re full. You also allow yourself to eat mindfully and consciously, aware of the amounts you’re eating and the incredible tastes and textures of the food being consumed.

5. Eat Digestive Enzyme Rich Foods
Enzymes help your body process the foods you eat so you’re able to digest well, and then in turn feel energized. Some foods are naturally packaged with important enzymes that aid digestion, and these foods should especially be eaten during the holidays. To avoid feeling bloated, gassy and lethargic, we highly recommend eating pineapples, papayas, lemons, kefir and sauerkraut. They all have natural digestive enzymes that help break down the food you eat. You may even want to try a digestive enzyme supplement. If you’re not sure which one to choose, consult a healthcare practitioner.

6. Don’t Give Into Peer Pressure
Picture this: you’re enjoying a holiday meal, and someone at the dinner table (either the host, your mother-in-law or whomever) is aggressively pushing you to eat more food or to down the very special dish they cooked. This is so common, and many people overeat just so someone else won’t feel bad.  If you don’t want to eat anymore – don’t do it! You can tell the person you’re simply too full, or even ask to take some home so that you can try it later.

7. Choose the Foods You Love First
Most holiday meals are just a smorgasbord of so much food! It’s so easy to fill your plate with everything the eye can see, even if it’s items you don’t actually want. Before letting it all go and grabbing everything in sight, choose the dishes you absolutely love. Usually what happens is when you eat the foods you love first, you don’t feel the need to go back for the other dishes that aren’t as appealing to you anyway. You also limit the chances of overeating and ending up bloated and gassy.


Get the recipe for this Healthy Holiday Grain Bowl With Wine-Baked Tofu and Miso-Mushroom Gravy

8. Drink Lots of Water
You need to drink between 6-8 glasses of water a day, and your need for water will most likely increase during the holidays as your alcohol and sugar intake skyrockets. This will ensure you avoid dehydration and will help your body process these new dietary additions. Drinking water will also aid your digestive system and help flush out toxins. Sometimes when you think you’re hungry, your body is actually just thirsty, so drinking lots of water will also help to eliminate overeating that tends to come with the holiday season.

9. Eat Guilt-Free
You stuff your face, eat lots of desserts, overdo it on the potatoes, have one too many cocktails… and then the guilt sets in: you start beating yourself up for eating so much and now feel sorry for yourself. We’ve all been there. Even if you do over-indulge, it’s important to take that guilt off the menu. If you eat in a state of gratitude, appreciation and love for the food and people around you, it won’t be that big of a deal that you overdid it. It happens, so move on and remember that tomorrow is a new day.


Get the recipe for these Three Easy No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Truffles

10. Find an Accountability Partner
As nutritionists, this is something we recommend for many of our clients, whether it’s during the holiday season or not. If you want to eat healthy, or at least eat in moderation when enjoying a holiday meal, it’s best to call on a friend or family member to be your accountability partner. They don’t need to control what you’re eating, but if you have someone around that has your back and wants to keep you in line with your health goals, you will most likely stick to eating well without overdoing it.

We’ll be Making Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls All Winter Long

Stuffed cabbage is an Eastern European favourite and depending on where you’re from there will be tons of variations on this comforting, classic recipe. Some swear by a sweet sauce, or insist on using raisins while others follow the sweet and sour tradition. Some stuff with pork and beef, while others keep it simple and vegetarian. No matter how you make them, this classic dish will always satisfy, but our recipe means you can make-ahead. Come home to a meal that’s been slowing cooking and will definitely warm you up in those colder months.

cabbage-rolls-cut-open

Slow Cooker Cabbage Rolls Recipe

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 4-8 hours
Servings: 6

Ingredients
1 large green cabbage head or 2 small

Sauce:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, diced
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Filling:
½ cup uncooked brown rice
1 lb lean ground beef
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, grated
½ bunch fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

cabbage-rolls-how-to-roll

Directions
Cabbage:
1. Boil a pot of water and toss in a little sea salt. Prepare a large bowl or pot of cold water.
2. Turn your cabbage upside down, carefully slice around the core and pull it out. There may be some parts of the core still inside, do your best to cut them out so you have a hole in the bottom of the cabbage.
3. Once the water is boiling, place the cabbage down into the water with the core-end down. After about a minute, use your tongs and begin turning the cabbage in the water. Allow to boil for 5 minutes and then plunge the whole head of cabbage into the bowl of cold water or simply run it under cold water from your tap.
4. Once slightly cooled, gently remove 12 cabbage leaves, being careful not to break.

Sauce:
1. Heat a pot on medium heat and drizzle oil. Add the onions cool until translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
2. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, sea salt and pepper. Cover and allow to simmer while you prepare the filling.

Filling:
1. Place all filling ingredients in a bowl and mix so everything is well combined.

cabbage-rolls-in-crockpot

Assembly:
1. Place about ¼ – ⅓ cup of filling into each cabbage roll. Fold in the sides and end of the leaf and then continue to roll until it’s closed. Repeat until all the leaves and filling have been used.
2. Place a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker and then place the cabbage rolls in, seam side down.
3. Pour the rest of the sauce on top. Turn on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

cabbage-rolls-served

Looking for more comforting recipes? Try our Must-Make Slow Cooker Recipes that will keep you full and happy all season long.

These Best-Ever Vegan Gingerbread Cookies Feature a Secret Ingredient

What makes our vegan gingerbread cookies the best ever? Well, our secret ingredient is love…just kidding, it’s the creamy and nutty taste of almond butter! Whether you’re a fan of a tough ginger cookie or a soft one, our recipe satisfies both by being crispy on the edges and soft and chewy in the middle, thanks to this star ingredient. You can also feel good knowing that you’re eating cookies that have fibre, good fats and a balance of spices that support the immune system. Whether you’re vegan or not, this cookie recipe is sure to satisfy your sugar cravings this holiday season.

Best-Ever Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Makes: 24 cookies

Ingredients:
Cookie Dough
1 Tbsp ground flax or chia seeds
3 Tbsp warm water
¼ cup fancy molasses or unsulphured molasses
¼ cup coconut oil, softened
¼ cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups spelt flour
⅓ cup coconut sugar
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp sea salt

Maple Icing
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp vegan butter
1 Tbsp almond milk
½ tsp maple syrup

Directions:

1. Make a vegan egg by placing 1 Tbsp of ground flax or chia seeds in a bowl with 3 Tbsp of warm water. Stir to combine, then let sit for 10 minutes until a gelatinous texture forms.
2. In a bowl, mix together all wet ingredients: the vegan egg, molasses, softened coconut oil, almond butter and vanilla extract.
3. In a separate bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients: spelt flour, coconut sugar, ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda and sea salt. Mix well so the spices are evenly dispersed. Then pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and begin mixing together with your spatula until a batter forms.
4. Form the dough into a ball (you can leave it in the bowl) and then chill it in the fridge for 25 minutes. This will make it easier to roll out and cut with a cookie cutter.
5. While it’s chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
6. Once chilled, place the dough between two long sheets of parchment paper and use your rolling pin to roll it out. It should be about ¼ inch thick.
7. Using your cookie cutters, cut out 24 cookies. You can take the leftover scraps and either roll them into smaller cookies or flatten them out to be cut again.
8. Place the cookies on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
9. Take the cookies out of the oven and allow them to cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the baking sheet.
10. While the cookies are cooling, make the icing by mixing together the powdered sugar and vegan butter. Then stir in the almond milk and maple syrup until a thick texture forms. Pour the icing into a plastic Ziplock bag, squeeze out any air, then cut off a small corner of the bag to decorate.
11. You can decorate the cookies with icing, sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top or leave as is.

Want more gingerbread? Check out Anna Olson’s best gingerbread recipes!

This Slow Cooker Butternut Squash is Beyond Easy

Butternut squash is by far the most popular of the squash family, that’s probably because it’s fairly user-friendly, versatile and the perfect balance of sweetness and earthiness. This delicious carby vegetable is also packed with a spectrum of vitamins and minerals that all work to protect your body, especially in the colder months as cold and flu season move in.

Although butternut squash is becoming more commonplace, many people get overwhelmed or confused about how to prep it, use it or cook it. Do you peel it? How do you cut it safely so it doesn’t roll around or worse, so you don’t injure yourself? Should you keep the seeds? Here we give the easiest way to cook butternut squash – in your slow cooker!  Literally, your only job is to buy one, no need for a peeler or a knife. This slow cooker method, which can easily be done in an electric pressure cooker (like an Instant Pot), comes out perfectly tender and sweet, just the way it should be.

squash-slow-cooker-in-bowl

How to Cook Butternut Squash in Your Slow Cooker (or Instant Pot)

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: Slow cooker: 8 hours,  Pressure cooker: 35 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash, choose a size that will fit into your slow cooker or Instant Pot
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp cinnamon

squash-in-slow-cooker

Directions:

Slow Cooker:
1. Place your squash in the slow cooker. Do your best to find one that fits right inside without needing to slice it.
2. Put the lid on, cook it on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours.

Instant Pot:
1. Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot. Place the steam rack on the bottom and then put the butternut squash on top. Again, choose one that fits into the pot without needing to cut it. If you find one too large, slice it in half widthwise so you have two round circles and scoop out the seeds.
2. Lock the lid, turn the pressure release valve to sealed and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Turn the valve open to release steam for 10 minutes.

squash-slow-cooker-scoop

Assembly:
1. Allow the squash to cool slightly, then gently scoop out the seeds with a spoon. The squash will be so tender so this will be an easy job.
2. Cut the squash into large cubes and drizzle with maple syrup and cinnamon.
3. Now that you have a beautifully steamed squash you can also do whatever you want with it, make a mash, blend it with coconut milk into a soup, make it into a hummus, place cubes of it on top of a salad or eat it as is.

Looking for ideas? Try the Brilliant Ways to Eat Butternut Squash.

These Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins are Grain (And Guilt) Free

Just because you’re paleo or grain-free doesn’t mean you should miss out on all of the spectacular baked goods the fall season has to offer.  Pumpkin muffins are classic, but they’re usually made with white flour and white sugar.  Replacing those ingredients with coconut flour and coconut sugar adds a great kick of fibre and a subtle sweet taste that marries well with the spiciness of the ginger and cinnamon. And who can resist a muffin that combines both pumpkin and chocolate? After all, a baked good that can transition from breakfast to dessert is one you want in your repertoire.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 14 muffins

Grain-Free Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ingredients:
1/2 cup coconut flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves

1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. In a bowl, combine all dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips.
3. Lightly melt the coconut oil and then whisk together all of the wet ingredients in a bowl.
4. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and stir well, so a smooth batter forms.
5. Using your spatula, fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
6. Line a muffin tin with liners or oil them with a little coconut oil and scoop the batter in.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Looking for more paleo-friendly recipes? Check out these 5 Eggless Paleo Breakfasts (Plus an Epic Grain-Free Granola)

The Creamy Gluten-Free Kabocha Squash Gnocchi You’ll Crave This Fall

Gnocchi always sounds like one of those challenging homemade meals, when in reality it’s pretty simple to make, and you will certainly feel like an accomplished home-chef once you prepare it! What’s so special about this particular gnocchi is it uses nutrient-rich Japanese kabocha squash instead of the typical white potato, adding gorgeous colour, bold flavour and a natural sweetness you often don’t find in the traditional version of this dish. This recipe is also completely gluten-free, there is no white flour here; rather a delightful mix of brown rice flour and buckwheat flour. Pairing it with a garlic sage cream sauce makes this meal complete!

Creamy Gluten-Free Kabocha Squash Gnocchi

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Gnocchi:
3 cups kabocha squash, peeled and cut into large cubes
1/2 cup brown rice flour + extra for rolling
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp sea salt

Cream Sauce:
3 tsp tapioca starch
3/4 cup plain, unsweetened almond milk or dairy milk
2 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 fresh sage leaves
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Directions:

Gnocchi:
1. Peel the kabocha squash (you can use a sharp knife, as a peeler mostly likely won’t do the trick). Once peeled, cut into large pieces, steam it until it’s soft and a fork can easily puncture through the squash pieces.
2. Mash it by hand or in the food processor and allow it to cool.
3. Once cooled, mixed the squash mash with brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, an egg, cheese and salt. Use your hands to combine and form a dough.
4. Flour a clean surface with extra brown rice flour and divide the dough into 3 separate balls.
5. Roll each ball out into long, thin logs and add extra flour if the dough becomes too sticky.

6. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes and then roll the gnocchi down the fork tines to make indentations.
7. When the gnocchi is ready, boil a large pot of water and salt it.
8. Add the gnocchi to the water. When it floats to the surface, it’s cooked. Remove it with a slotted spoon. Don’t overcrowd the gnocchi in the pot, work in batches if you need to.

Cream Sauce:
1. Whisk together the tapioca and the milk until it’s smooth.
2. Place a saucepan over medium heat, add the butter, then drop in the garlic for a few seconds before adding the sage. Once the sage crackles slightly in the butter, add the milk and tapioca mixture.
3. Take this down to a simmer to allow ingredients to infuse together and for the sauce to thicken.
4. Once thicker, add the lemon juice.
5. Take off the heat and drizzle the sauce over the gnocchi. Top with extra cheese, if you please!

For more heavenly gluten-free recipes, check out these 30 Delicious Gluten-Free Dinners and 18 Great Gluten-Free Party Appetizers.

One-Pot Campfire Mac & Cheese is the Ultimate Camping Comfort Food

Mac and cheese is one of the easiest recipes to prepare, which is why it’s perfect to make on a camping trip. Perfectly al dente noodles, surrounded in creamy cheese it’s hard to improve on perfection. But the smoky, woodsy flavour from a roaring campfire takes the classic comfort food to a whole new level. This is a meal that feeds a crowd, is simple, fast and best of all, only requires the use of one pot!

Easy Campfire Mac and Cheese Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

2½ cups whole milk
1 cup water
2 cups macaroni noodles
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
2½ cups grated cheddar cheese
½ tsp dry mustard powder
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Get your fire going or turn your grill to medium-high heat.
2. Pour milk and water into a medium pot and bring to a boil, then add the macaroni noodles and stir. Cook the noodles, stirring often, until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes.
3. Take the pot off the fire or grill and immediately stir in butter, grated cheese, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Mix well so the noodles are cheesy, gooey and delicious. Serve hot.

Looking for more camping ideas? Try our Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

campfire-pizza

How to Make Easy Campfire Pizza in a Cast Iron Skillet

Cooking pizza over a fire adds such incredible flavour, you won’t want to make pizza in a conventional oven again. Our homemade dough is simple and fast, so there’s no “knead” to feel intimidated while quickly whipping it up near the campfire. Pizza will become your new camping staple, especially when you’re with a crowd because everyone can customize a crust with their favourite toppings. Keep it simple or go big with lots of veggies and meats – either way, this campfire pizza is a welcome addition to your backyard fire pit or camping trip.

Easy Campfire Pizza Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

Pizza Dough
1 pkg rapid rise instant yeast
1 cup lukewarm water
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for pan
2½ cups spelt flour or whole wheat flour, plus more for kneading and shaping

Toppings and Assembly
⅓ cup prepared tomato sauce
1 ball buffalo (fresh) mozzarella, sliced into thin circles or 1½ cups shredded mozzarella
¼ red onion, sliced into thin circles
¼ cup black olives, pitted and sliced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped 

Directions:

Pizza Dough
1. In a large bowl, mix the yeast in warm water and stir for 1 minute, until dissolved. Add the olive oil and flour and mix until a ball of dough comes together. Using your hands, knead the dough until a smooth ball forms. Add more flour to the bowl if the dough is too sticky.
2. Cover the bowl with a towel and let sit, preferably in a warm place, for 15 minutes.
3. Divide the dough in half and make two balls. Set one ball aside in the bowl.

Toppings and Assembly
1. Get your fire going or heat a grill to high.
2. Coat the bottom of a cast iron skillet with additional olive oil and spread 1 of the balls of dough out on the pan. Use your fingers to push the dough to the edge of the skillet and cover the bottom evenly.
3. Cook the dough on the fire for 3 to 5 minutes, until the dough forms a firm crust.
4. Remove the pan from the heat using a heatproof glove, and carefully flip the crust over.
5. Add half of all of the toppings, except basil, on the pizza and place the pan back on the fire. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. If you have lots of toppings, cover the pizza with aluminium foil to help them cook.
6. Once the first pizza is ready, take it off the pan and repeat these steps with the second half of the dough and remaining toppings. Sprinkle basil over top, slice and serve.

Planning a camping trip? Try these Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

campfire-nachoes-with-cheese

These Campfire Nachos Are the Ultimate Camping Snack

This crowd-pleasing appetizer shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for game day, it also makes a fabulous summertime camping recipe, whether you’re in the backyard or deep in the woods. This is a one-pot wonder recipe where all ingredients are cooked together in a single dish, which then doubles as the serving platter, making for ultra-easy cleanup. If your campfire is in the backyard, we recommend using a cast iron skillet, but if you’re really roughing it, a disposable aluminium pan will do the trick.

Campfire Nachos Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2-3

Ingredients:

Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
1 cup tomatoes, diced
½ bag tortilla chips
1 (14 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
3 green onions, sliced
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
½ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
½ lime, for serving

Directions:

1. Make your fire or heat your grill or burner to medium-high, and place on your cast iron or aluminium pan. Add a splash of olive oil when the pan is hot.
2. Evenly distribute ½ cup of the diced tomatoes into the pan, followed by ½ of the tortilla chips, ½ cup of the black beans, ½ cup of the grated cheese, ¼ cup of the diced tomatoes and ¼ of the sliced green onions on top.
3. Repeat all layers again until remaining ingredients have been used, except for the avocado, cilantro and lime.
4. Cover the pan with aluminium foil and let cook for 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
5. Remove from heat, uncover, top with diced avocado, fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime.

Planning a camping trip? Try these Brilliant Camping Food Hacks.

These Vegan Roasted Banana & Peanut Butter S’mores Are Reason Enough to Go Camping

Everyone knows that chocolate and peanut butter are the perfect marriage, and when you add warm banana, gooey marshmallow, melted chocolate and graham crackers to the mix, you and your taste buds will be very happy! S’mores are the quintessential campfire dessert, after all. This upgraded vegan version takes the summertime treat from tasty to mind-blowingly delicious.

Vegan Roasted Banana & Peanut Butter S’mores


Prep Time
: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2-4

Ingredients:

2 bananas, sliced into 1 1/2 inch circles
8 large vegan marshmallows
16 graham crackers (gluten free, if needed)
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1 dark chocolate bar

Directions:

1. Get your fire going, or heat up your grill to high.

2. Peel the banana and slice it into 1 1/2 inch circles.

3. Thread the banana circles and marshmallows onto skewers or sticks, and hold them over the fire for a few minutes until golden.

4. Spread a layer of peanut butter on each graham cracker and place a square or two of chocolate onto one cracker.

5. Place the roasted marshmallow and banana on top of the chocolate, so it melts, and then add the other graham cracker on top to make a sandwich.

6. Now, take a large bite and enjoy!

Looking for more decadent campfire treats? Here are 28 Scrumptious S’mores To Try This Summer. For more vegan sweets, see our 50 Best Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

These Are the 5 Best Meatless BBQ Skewers You’ll Ever Eat

Standard grilled vegetable skewers grow old pretty quick. That’s why we’ve developed five creative, crowd-pleasing vegan versions worthy of any backyard BBQ. We promise they’ll satisfy even the most discerning palates.

1. Candied Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprout Skewers with Red Onion

Brussels sprouts aren’t your typical BBQ fare, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how incredibly flavourful and gorgeous they are. Think of them as vegetable lollipops that have been caramelized in sweet maple and balsamic. You can also feel good knowing that you’re eating one of the most nutritious veggies out there. Cue the cravings!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:
1 lb brussels sprouts, halved
1/2 red onion, sliced into 1-inch squares
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp sea salt

Toppings:
Drizzle of maple syrup
Squeeze of lemon juice
Chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, toss in the brussels sprouts for 1 minute until tender. Remove them, rinse under cold water and pat dry with a towel.
2. Place the brussels sprouts in a bowl with red onion and the rest of the ingredients, toss so the veggies are well coated in the marinade.
3. Arrange the sprouts onto the skewers with red onion in between them – there should be about 4 brussels sprouts per skewer. If using wooden skewers, soak them first. 

4. Pour any remaining marinade left in the bowl over the skewers.
5. Place the skewers onto your BBQ or grill that’s set to medium heat. Cover and grill for about 5 minutes per side, until a nice browning forms.
6. Brush with a little extra maple syrup, a squeeze of lemon juice, fresh parsley and enjoy.

2. Tofu Peanut Satay and Cucumber Skewers Topped with Toasty Peanuts and Fresh Mint

Peanuts, tofu and coconut are a classic combination, and when paired with crisp cucumber ribbons and fresh mint, you get an unbelievably refreshing summertime dish. The satay sauce is creamy, sweet, zesty and salty – we recommend generously drizzling it all over your skewers.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 block firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 English cucumber, peeled into long thin ribbons

Tofu Marinade:
1 Tbsp peanut butter
3 Tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 clove garlic, minced

Satay Sauce:
1/4 cup coconut milk
3 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp tamari (or soy sauce)
2 tsp maple syrup
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes or dash of hot sauce (optional)
Pinch of sea salt

Toppings:
1/2 cup toasted peanuts, roughly chopped
1 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped

Directions:
1. Make the marinade in a bowl and let the tofu sit in it for 10-15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, wash off the cucumber well. Use a vegetable peeler to peel long, thin ribbons, going from top to bottom. You should have 16 long cucumber ribbons. You will have leftover cucumber, so slice it into sticks to snack on.
3. Stir together the ingredients for the satay sauce until smooth.
4. Thread the marinated tofu onto skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers,  make sure you soak them first.
5. Place your skewers onto your BBQ or grill that’s set to medium heat and lightly oil with about 2-3 teaspoons of coconut oil. Grill the tofu for 3-4 minutes per side until you see a nice browning.

6. Once cooked, carefully remove the tofu from the skewers, except for one tofu cube. Then begin threading on the cucumber ribbons, interchanging between tofu and cucumber. You’ll need to fold the cucumber back and forth several times so that it’s easy to thread onto the skewer.
7. 
Top with chopped peanuts, satay drizzle and mint leaves. You can also dip each skewer into the satay sauce.

3. Coconut Crusted Tempeh Skewers with Mango Salsa

Tempeh is often a mysterious ingredient, and many people aren’t quite sure how to cook it. This is the perfect recipe if you’re new to the tempeh game – or if you’ve been eating it for years. The coconut provides a nice crisp coating and the mango salsa adds a refreshing, sweet and zesty component.

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:
1 brick of tempeh, sliced into 1-inch cubes

Tempeh Marinade:
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 1/4 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt

Mango Salsa:
1 mango, cubed
1 green onion, sliced thinly
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lime, juiced
Pinch of sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Topping:
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Melt the coconut oil and whisk together with coconut milk.
2. In a separate dish, like a wide bowl or pie plate, combine the shredded coconut, sesame seeds and sea salt.
3. Slice the tempeh into cubes, dip them in the coconut liquid mixture and then into the coconut coating, place them on a plate.



4. Repeat until all cubes are well coated. Work quickly so the coconut oil doesn’t harden, then thread the tempeh onto skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them first.
5. Heat your grill or BBQ to medium and oil well with coconut oil.
6. Place the tempeh on your grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, don’t cover the grill. The coconut coating on the tempeh will burn if it’s left on the grill too long, so don’t overdo it.
7. Meanwhile, combine the salsa ingredients together.
8. Garnish the tempeh skewers with fresh cilantro and serve with mango salsa on the side.

4. Sticky Cauliflower “Wing” Skewers with Sesame Seeds

This is a really creative and delicious way to eat more cauliflower: a versatile and superfood vegetable that’s rich in antioxidants. Although there’s a bit of prep work before these skewers hit the grill, the sticky, sweet and spicy result is worth every minute. While we offer a simple BBQ sauce recipe, you can always swap for store-bought.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:
1 small head of cauliflower, chopped in large sized florets (approx. 4 cups)

Cauliflower Marinade:
1 cup spelt or all purpose gluten-free flour
1 cup dairy-free milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

BBQ Sauce:
1 cup crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp molasses
4 tsp tamari
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp smoked paprika
1-2 tsp hot sauce (add to your preference)
1 tsp garlic powder
Pinch sea salt

Toppings:
2 green onions, sliced
Handful fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sesame seeds

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Chop the cauliflower into large florets.
3. Combine the flour, milk, sea salt and pepper in a bowl, whisk until smooth and thick.
4. Coat each cauliflower floret into the flour mixture and place on the baking sheets – don’t overcrowd them. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until crisp on the outside.

5. Meanwhile, make the BBQ sauce by combining all of the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring it to a simmer and let cook for 15 minutes, stirring every so often, until it thickens.
6. Let the cauliflower cool, then drizzle the BBQ sauce over and sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Save some sauce to be served on the side of the skewers.
7. Place 3 to 4 cauliflower florets on a skewer. If you’re using wooden skewers, make sure you soak them first.
8. Heat your grill to medium and oil it well. Place the cauliflower on the grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side, no need to cover.
9. Remove from the grill and top with chopped green onions and cilantro. Sprinkle some extra sesame seeds over top. Serve extra BBQ sauce on the side.

5. Pineapple, Banana, Strawberry Skewers with Salted Chocolate Drizzle

Grilled fruit is the perfect summertime dessert. We love the combination of caramelized bananas, jam-like strawberries and sweet pineapple, but feel free to use your favourite fruit or better yet, whatever is in season.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 cups pineapple, peeled and cut into 1 1/2 -inch cubes
2 bananas, sliced into 1 1/2-inch thick circles
8 strawberries
2 tsp coconut oil
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
2 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup toasted unsweetened shredded coconut

Directions:
1. Thread the pineapple cubes, banana circles and whole strawberries onto your skewers. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them first.
2. Turn the grill to medium and rub the fruit with coconut oil to prevent them from sticking.
3. Place the fruit skewers on the grill and cook for 2 minutes per side, uncovered.
4. Remove the fruit from the grill and place on a plate.

5. Make the salted chocolate drizzle by heating the chocolate chips, coconut oil and sea salt in a double boiler. Continue to stir the chocolate until it becomes creamy, then drizzle it right over the fruit.
6. If you don’t drizzle it all over top, serve on the side for extra dipping.
7. Sprinkle toasted shredded coconut on top, and voila!

Craving more warm-weather recipes? Check out these 20 Foods to Keep You Hydrated This Summer.

This Loaded Hummus is Changing the Dip Game for Good

Carrots and hummus are a classic snack, but why not turn everyone’s favourite Middle Eastern dip into a meal!  We’ve loaded up our creamy hummus with the works to bring you an inspired meal that is visually stunning and devour-worthy.  This is a party and crowd-pleasing kind of dish, but it can also double as a simple weeknight dinner.  We’ve kept it vegetarian, but feel free to get creative and top it with homemade chicken shawarma, if you fancy.  Serve with warmed pita and thoroughly enjoy every bite.

Loaded Hummus Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 90 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Ingredients:

Hummus:
3 cups cooked chickpeas
3/4 cup tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup lemon juice
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup cold water

Hard Boiled Eggs:
4 eggs
Water

Tabouli Salad:
2 cups loosely packed parsley leaves, chopped finely
1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1 1/2 cups diced cucumber
2 stalks of green onions, sliced finely
1/2 lemon, juiced
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Roasted Veggies:
1/2 cauliflower head, chopped into large florets
2 carrots, peeled and sliced in thick matchsticks, about 2 inches in length
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt and pinch of pepper

Steamy Beets:
3 beets, peeled and sliced into wedges
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp sea salt and pinch of pepper

Additional Toppings:
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
1/4 cup feta, crumbled
2 Tbsp pine nuts, toasted
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, drizzled on top
1/2 tsp za’atar, sprinkled on top

Pita of choice to serve, warmed or toasted

Directions:

Hummus:
1. Place chickpeas, tahini, garlic, lemon juice, sea salt in the food processor and blitz until pureed.
2. While the food processor is still running, gradually add water, about 2 Tbsp at a time, until a really creamy consistency starts to form.
3. If you would like your hummus to be even creamier, add more water.

Hard Boiled Eggs:
1. Place the eggs in a small pot and cover them fully with water, bring to a boil and continue the rolling boil for 1 minute.
2. Remove from the heat, cover the pot and let sit for 12 minutes.
3. Run the eggs under cold water and let cool completely before peeling.
4. Once peeled, slice two eggs into wedges and the other two into thick one-inch circles.

Tabouli Salad:
1. Prep all of the veggies and mix together in a bowl, pour lemon juice over and season with sea salt and pepper. Stir to fully combine.

Roasted Veggies:
1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF . Prep the veggies, place them in a bowl, add in olive oil, granulated garlic powder, sea salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
2. Arrange the veggies on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Don’t overcrowd the sheets, to ensure the veggies get nice and crisp.
3. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes until the veggies brown slightly.

*The world is your oyster here, so feel free to also roast up eggplant, zucchini, red pepper and mushrooms, if you desire.

Steamy Beets:
1. Prep the beets and place them into a pot, add enough water so the beets are slightly covered but not submerged, turn the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and allow to steam for 15 minutes, until tender.
2. Pour apple cider vinegar over the beets and season with sea salt and pepper.

Assembly:
1. Once the hummus is ready, spoon it onto a platter or in a large bowl.
2. You can get as creative as you like here. You can assemble the toppings in layers, first with the roasted veggies, then the steamy beets, the tabouli on top of that, the hard-boiled eggs and then the additional toppings. You can also place each topping in little piles, rather than mixed together. We personally love getting a bite of all the ingredients, so we prefer to assemble in layers.
3. Serve with warmed pita and enjoy!

Craving more delicious good-for-you recipes? Here are 25 Healthy Weeknight Meals When You Have No Time.

Irish Slow Cooker Stew

This Slow Cooker Irish Stew Recipe is a Classic Restored

Irish beef stew is a cozy, family-friendly dinner, and it can be incredibly easy to make, especially when all you have to do is toss everything in a slow cooker. Our recipe uses beef, however, if you’re a true lover of lamb, feel free to use that instead. Of course, a hearty Irish stew isn’t complete without earthy root veggies and here, Yukon gold potatoes, parsnips, carrots and celeriac shine in a hearty medley. Make this easy version in your slow cooker or Instant Pot for St. Patrick’s Day or a chilly, yet busy weekday. It’s classic comfort food for contemporary schedules.

Irish-Slow-Cooker-stew-in-bowl

Slow Cooker Irish Stew

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes on high, 8 hours 10 minutes on low
Serves: 4 to 6

Irish-Slow-Cooker-stew-ingredients

Ingredients:

2 lbs stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces (see Notes below)
3 Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 celeriac (celery root), peeled and cubed
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium parsnip, sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
salt, to taste (check the saltiness of your beef stock before adding)
ground black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Irish-Stew-in-the-Slow-Cooker

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients except parsley in a large slow cooker and stir to combine. Replace lid and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

2. Once your cook time is up, give the stew a stir, spoon into bowls and top with fresh parsley. Serve warm.

Notes: 
If you have time, brown the beef first by searing the cubes in a skillet with a splash of olive oil over medium-high heat – it adds a great depth of flavour.

Serve something cool and creamy for dessert while keeping with the Irish theme and mix up this Guinness Ice Cream Float.

These Fully-Loaded Vegan Nachos are the Ultimate Healthy Party Snack

This is our fully-loaded, monstrous tower of insanely delicious vegan nachos. What can be better than crispy tortillas piled high with zesty guacamole, spiced black beans, creamy vegan cheese and fresh-to-death pico de gallo? Don’t just reserve making this recipe for game day or dinner parties – you’ll crave it for a snack every day of the week. Not only are you getting your nacho fill, but you’re also eating a healthy dish equipped with great fiber, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Bon appetit!

Fully-Loaded Vegan Nachos

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients:
Vegan Nacho Cheeze:
1 cup cashews, soaked
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 clove garlic

Spiced Black Beans:
15 oz can black beans
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp tamari

Guacamole:
1 avocado
1/2 tomato, diced
1 Tbsp red onion, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, squeezed
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Pico de Gallo:
1 large tomato, finely diced
1/4 cup corn
3 radishes, finely diced
2 Tbsp red onion, finely diced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely diced (optional)
1/2 lime, juiced
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
¼ tsp sea salt

Assembly and Toppings:
1 bag of your favourite tortilla chips
Sliced radishes
Fresh cilantro
Green onions
Sliced olives

Directions:
Vegan Nacho Cheeze:
1. Soak the cashews in boiling hot water for 30 minutes to soften, then drain and rinse.
2. Place all ingredients in your food processor or high-speed blender.
3. Turn the food processor on and gradually add 2 Tbsp of water at a time (there are 8 Tbsp in 1/2 cup).
4. Blitz until creamy.

Spiced Black Beans:
1. Drain and rinse the black beans.
2. Place a saute pan over medium heat, add the extra virgin olive oil and toss in the garlic powder and chili powder, mix around to allow them to toast for 30 seconds.
3. Add in the black beans and tamari, stir to combine with the spices. Let them heat up in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from the stove.

Guacamole:
1. Slice the avocado in half and scoop it into a bowl, discarding the peel. Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well to combine.

Pico de Gallo:
1. Prep all of the veggies and toss them in a bowl. Mix well to combine the flavours.

Assembly:
1. We like to assemble these nachos on a large cutting board, but a big plate or tray will also do the trick.
2. Place down a layer of tortilla chips, then top with a hearty scoop of spiced black beans, pico de gallo and nacho cheeze. You can dollop the cheeze on top or place it in a plastic bag, cut a hole at the corner and squeeze it over.
3. Layer on more tortilla chips and place the rest of the toppings over, dollop with scoops of guacamole and finish with thinly sliced radishes, fresh cilantro, green onions and olives.

Looking for more healthy, crowd-pleasing dishes? Try these must-make Vegan Taco Recipes (think pulled jackfruit and crispy cauliflower).

3 Healthy Vegan Taco Recipes You’ll Crave Every Tuesday

Step aside meaty tacos, we’ve got three satisfying, fresh and insanely delicious vegan versions that will blow any taco enthusiast away.  Although they may share similar seasonings to their meaty cousins, these tacos have so much more to offer (like a hefty amount of fiber and an ample supply of vitamins and minerals). Meaning, while your taste buds can love them up, so can your body. Each taco is paired with a simple topping, like a smack of vegan cashew sour cream and a zesty dollop of fresh guacamole.  Impress friends and make these for a dinner party, or just for yourself – you won’t regret it.

Pulled Jackfruit Tacos with Guacamole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-5

Vegan Pulled Jackfruit Tacos

Ingredients:
Pulled Jackfruit Filling:
1 can young green jackfruit, drained and rinsed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup veggie broth
1 tsp tamari
1 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp chipotles in adobo sauce (optional)

vegan pulled jackfruit taco ingredients

Guacamole:
1 avocado
1/2 tomato, diced
1 Tbsp red onion, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, squeezed
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Assembly and Toppings:
6 to 8 small sprouted corn tortillas or small tortillas of choice
Savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
Cilantro, roughly chopped

Pulled Jackfruit Taco Filling

Directions:
Pulled Jackfruit Filling:

1. Once jackfruit is drained and rinsed, chop it up into thin pieces.
2. Heat a pan over medium, add 2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil and saute the yellow onion in the pan for 5 minutes until translucent, then saute the garlic for another minute.
3. Add the jackfruit, spices, broth, tamari, maple syrup and adobo sauce.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer on low heat until the liquid is absorbed, this takes about 15 minutes. Keep uncovered.
5. Once the jackfruit softens, shred it by pulling apart with two forks, it will resemble pulled pork.

Guacamole:
1. While the jackfruit is simmering, prep the guacamole.
2. Slice the avocado in half, scoop it into a bowl and mash it. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Guacamole Recipe

Assembly:
1. Warm the tortillas slightly, if needed.
2. Spoon a good amount of jackfruit filling onto the tortillas, sprinkle on sliced cabbage and cilantro. Dollop guacamole on top.

Crispy Cauliflower Tacos with Mango Salsa

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-5

Crispy Vegan Cauliflower Taco Recipe

Ingredients:
Crispy Cauliflower Filling:
1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 cup almond meal
1/2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup non-dairy milk, like unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 lemon, juiced
2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Crispy Vegan Cauliflower Taco Ingredients

Mango Salsa:
1 mango, diced
1 tomato, diced
1/3 cup green or purple cabbage, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp red onion, minced
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 lime, squeezed
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Assembly and Toppings:
6 to 8 small sprouted corn tortillas or small tortillas of choice
Cilantro, roughly chopped

Crispy Cauliflower Snack Recipe

Directions:
Crispy Cauliflower Filling:
1. Chop the cauliflower into florets.
2. In a bowl, combine the almond flour and spices, mix well so the spices are dispersed throughout. In a separate bowl add the non-dairy milk, brown rice flour and lemon juice.
3. Have a tray lined with parchment paper ready for the next step.
4. Dip the florets in the milk mixture, shake off excess, then coat in the almond flour mixture and place onto the tray. Repeat until all cauliflower is coated.
5. Drizzle 2-3 tsp of extra virgin olive oil on top of cauliflower to allow for even more crisping.
6. Bake in the oven at 375ºF for 25-30 minutes until golden and crisp.

Mango Salsa:
1. While the cauliflower is baking, prep all salsa ingredients and place them in a bowl, mix well so everything is combined.

Mango Salsa Recipe/Taco Topping

Assembly:
1. Warm the tortillas slightly, if needed.
2. Spoon a hefty amount of salsa onto each tortilla, place 3-4 crispy cauliflower florets on top and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Lentil Walnut Tacos with Cashew Sour Cream

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4-5

Vegan Lentil Taco Recipe

Ingredients:
Lentil Walnut Filling:
1 cup cooked green lentils
1 cup walnuts
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1.2 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp tamari
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp lime juice

Vegan Lentil Taco Ingredients

Cashew Sour Cream:
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for 15 minutes or up to overnight
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp non-dairy milk

Assembly and Toppings:
6 to 8 small sprouted corn tortillas or small tortillas of choice
Red peppers, thinly sliced
Radishes, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:
Lentil Walnut Filling:
1. Cook 1/2 cup dried green lentils, submerge with water, bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes until soft and cooked.
2. Pulse the walnuts in the food processor until crumbled into small pieces; don’t over process or you’ll end up with walnut butter!
3. Place 1 cup of cooked lentils and the rest of the ingredients into the food processor with the crumbled walnuts and pulse a few times until lentils are slightly chopped up and all of the ingredients are combined well.
4. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast in the oven for 20 minutes at 375ºF. After the lentil and walnut filling is roasted, it will resemble ground meat.

Cashew Sour Cream:
1. While the filling is in the oven, prepare the cashew sour cream.
2. Soak the cashews for 15 minutes or up to overnight in water. If you’re only soaking for 15 minutes, use hot water.
3. Drain the water and place cashews in the food processor with the rest of the sour cream ingredients, blitz until smooth.

Vegan Cashew Cream

Assembly:
1. Warm the tortillas slightly, if needed. You can wrap a few tortillas in aluminum foil and place them in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350ºF.
2. Spoon a desired amount of lentil walnut filling into the center of each tortilla. Top with sliced red peppers, radishes and cilantro.
3. Either dollop cashew sour cream on top, or place it in a piping or ziplock bag, cut a little hole at one end and squeeze it over.

Discover more delicious plant-based mains with 20 Easy Vegan Weeknight Dinner Recipes.