All posts by Tamara Green

Tamara Green is co-founder of The Living Kitchen, and a Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Cook. She combines her knowledge of nutrition and passion for cooking good food to work with clients to create lasting changes in their lives.

The Top 5 Kitchen Utensils Every Home Cook Needs

An equipped kitchen is incredibly important for any home cook. Imagine baking a cake without mixing bowls or chopping veggies for a stir-fry without a knife. Whether you’re moving into a new home and need to stock your kitchen or you’ve been living with an ill-equipped cooking space for years – now is the time to take charge! While there are many cooking tools and equipment you can buy, here is a list of the top five utensils every kitchen needs.

Related: From Bakers to Grill Masters, Holiday Gifts Perfect for the Food Lover in Your Life

wooden-spoons-in-mug

1. Chef’s Knife

I’m not just talking about any old chef’s knife, I mean a good-quality one. Trust me, this is one tool that is worth the investment. A knife is the most used utensil in the kitchen, and having a sharp knife that properly slices, dices and chops is a key component for cooking. Higher-quality sharp knives are actually safer than dull, cheap varieties because they’re less likely to slip and cut you. A paring knife is also a great and inexpensive investment. It’s very sharp and great for chopping smaller veggies and fruit.

Food Network Canada Editor Pick: ZELITE INFINITY Chef Knife 8 Inch, Amazon, $176.

Food Network Canada Editor Pick: Mercer Culinary 3.5-Inch Forged Paring Knife, Amazon, $29.

Related: 10 Best Holiday Gift Baskets You Can Buy at Costco This Season

2. Mixing Bowls

Mixing bowls are like your kitchen’s hands. You use them for just about anything, from storing to cooking to baking and everything in between. Having varying sizes is important because you will likely need a small, medium and large bowl depending on what you’re making. If you have a big family or often make large quantities of food, I highly recommend purchasing an extra-large bowl. I personally love stainless-steel, but any variety will work. If you tend to store food in your bowls, consider purchasing silicon lids: they’re reusable and easy to clean!

Food Network Canada Editor Pick: Luvan Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls with Lids, Set of 5, Amazon, $34.

3. Cutting Boards

A kitchen is not complete without cutting boards. Where are you going to chop your onions – on the counter? I don’t think so! Similar to mixing bowls, having varying sizes is important for any home cook. It’s also great to get a variety of materials such as wood, plastic or glass. Some people love to leave out a large all-purpose cutting board on their countertops, too.  It’s a good idea to have designated cutting boards for meat and veggies/fruit to prevent any cross-contamination.

Food Network Canada Editor Pick: Home Organics Bamboo Cutting Boards, Amazon, $17.

Related: From Bakers to Grill Masters, Holiday Gifts Perfect for the Food Lover in Your Life

4. Wooden Spoon & Spatula

A home cook’s kitchen is not complete without spoons and spatulas! How are you going to mix your batter, sauté your onions or scrape your leftovers without them? A wooden spoon is a great all-purpose cooking utensil; it doesn’t scratch pots and pans, which makes it safe for frying and sautéing. It’s also a great baking utensil perfect for mixing and scraping. A spatula carries out many of the same tasks as a wooden spoon, especially if you get a silicone one. Spatulas are great for lifting and flipping. Get a spatula with a thin front edge rather than a thicker one so that it easily slides under food.

Food Network Canada Editor Pick: 6-Piece Natural Teak Kitchen Utensil Set, Amazon, $37.

Food Network Canada Editor Pick: KitchenAid Silicone Mixer Spatula, Amazon, $13.

5. Measuring Cups and Spoons

It doesn’t matter if you’re baking or cooking, measuring out flours, grains, spices, sweeteners, vinegars and oils is important for crafting a delicious dish. Eyeballing when cooking is a wonderful skill to have; however, sometimes it’s important to be precise with the amounts you’re putting into your dish. Measuring cups and spoons will give you the precision you need (although some baking does require a scale) and you won’t have to worry if you added way too much of one ingredient. No one wants a meal that is overly spiced or seasoned.

Food Network Canada Editor Pick: U-Taste 10-Piece Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set, Amazon, $35.

Looking for more tips? Learn how to organize your Tupperware drawer, plus 5 ways to fix over-salted food.

All products featured on Food Network Canada are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy through links in this article, we may earn an affiliate commission.

garlicky tuna salad with kale in a white serving bowl

Sugar Detox: A Nutritionist Explains How to Reset Your System

Although some cleanses rely on fasting and calorie restriction as the primary focus, that often isn’t the healthiest approach. The main aspect to focus on during a sugar detox is keeping the body well fed and hydrated. Sugar imbalances hormones, mood, energy, blood sugar and suppresses the immune system. It’s well known that sugar feeds bad bacteria, and it has even been compared to cocaine because it’s so addictive—yikes!

It’s now time to crush that sugar habit once and for all. Follow this 3-Day Sugar Detox and you will start feeling the effects immediately.

What to Focus On:

1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Keeping the body properly hydrated encourages oxygen to flow freely throughout the body. This allows you to be more attentive, alert and focused. Water itself is a powerful detoxifier because it assists the kidneys and colon to eliminate waste. Hydration means drinking water (not coffee, caffeinated teas or energy drinks). Although these drinks are comprised of water, they can also be dehydrating for the body. Drink 6-8 glasses (250mL) of water per day. Don’t drink water with meals because it dilutes stomach acid and leads to poor digestion. Add a squeeze of lemon into your water for added benefits and some flavour.

Related: These are the Best Foods to Help Aid Digestion

2. Protein & Fat Are Your Friends

Eating tons of sugar creates a cycle of low blood sugar and intense “hanger” (hungry + angry). One way to break the cycle, besides eliminating sugar, is to eat meals that contain tons of good protein and fat (nuts, seeds, legumes, beans, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, etc). Protein and fat are more difficult to digest, making you feel full for longer periods of time.

3. Taste the Rainbow

Focus on eating colourful foods. When you eat vegetables and fruits in a rainbow-bright assortment of colours, you are getting a whole array of antioxidants and phytonutrients that all have specific jobs to keep the body healthy, skin vibrant and eyes strong. Again, this detox is not about deprivation, so when you’re hungry, eat! Just make vegetables the star of the plate.

Related: Nutritionist Reveals 10 Best Natural Foods for Dewy, Glowing Skin

4. Prepare Yourself

The key to any good detox is to be prepared. Look over the menu below and see which ingredients you need to buy, and which foods you need to prep ahead of time. Prepping lunches the night before is a great way to save time in the morning. It’s only 3 days—you can do this!

3-Day Sugar Detox Plan:

garlicky tuna salad with kale in a white serving bowl


Day 1

Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
Breakfast: Celery, Cucumber & Kale Smoothie
*Add a scoop of protein powder or nut butter to increase fat and protein content
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Morning Snack: Chia Pudding Cup
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Lunch: Tuna Salad With Tomatoes, Basil, Beans, Kale and Garlic Chips
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Afternoon Snack: Bright and Beautiful Beet Hummus with Sliced Carrots, Cucumbers & Celery
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Dinner: Slow Cooker Chicken Breast with a Healthy Grain Salad
Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

Day 2

Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
Breakfast: Blueberry Ginger Kale Smoothie
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Morning Snack: Handful Roasted Spiced Almonds
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Lunch: Thai Chicken Lettuce Cups
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Afternoon Snack: Apple with 2 Tbsp Almond Butter
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Dinner: The Perfect Veggie Burger (no bun) with Gluten-Free Tabbouleh Salad
Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

sheet plan chicken dinner with sweet potatoes and fennel


Day 3

Wake Up: Drink Lemon Water (250mL)
Breakfast: Cold-Busting Citrus Smoothie
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Morning Snack: Handful of Strawberries and ¼ cup Almonds
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Lunch: Citrus Rainbow Trout and Middle Eastern Bulgur, Pomegranate and Almond Salad
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Afternoon Snack: Guacamole with Sliced Veggies
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Dinner: Sheet Pan Chicken and Veggie Dinner
Water Break: Hot Water with Lemon

Looking for more healthy recipe inspiration? Here’s how a nutritionist meal preps every Sunday!

lobster rolls on wood cutting board

This 7-Ingredient PEI Lobster Roll is an East Coast Classic

Lobster is truly at the heart of Prince Edward Island — and there is no better recipe than a lobster roll to let this local delicacy shine. If you’re unsure how to cook it, this nutritious 7-ingredient recipe proves how easy it really is, while also being high in protein (win- win!). For this recipe, you simply boil the lobster for a few minutes, de-shell and then voila, it’s done! Or make it even easier and purchase lobster meat that’s ready-to-be eaten, no boiling or de-shelling necessary. We combine the tender lobster meat with creamy mayo, zesty lemon and crunchy celery to elevate the flavours and highlight its freshness. So load up your toasted, buttery buns with this delicious mixture and be prepared to enjoy every bite.

lobster rolls on wood cutting board

7-Ingredient PEI Lobster Rolls

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-20 minutes (depending on size of lobster)
Total Time: 20-30 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb cooked lobster meat (from 4 whole lobsters or 2 lbs of tails, knuckles and claws)
2 Tbsp mayo
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
1 celery stalk, finely diced
2 Tbsp finely chopped green onions, just the greens
¼ tsp sea salt and a few cracks of pepper to taste
1 tsp butter
4 hot dog style buns or Bibb/Boston lettuce wraps
Bibb or Boston lettuce

Directions:

1. Fill a pot with water and bring to a boil. If you don’t have access to seawater, salt the water well with sea salt (not regular salt) and be very generous with it!

2. Add the whole lobster or if you’re just using the tails, knuckles or claws, place them in the boiling water and cover. If the lobster has bands on it, remember to remove them first.

3. Depending on the size of the whole lobster, it will take anywhere from 15-20 minutes to cook. If you’re just using the tails, claws and knuckles, it will take between 10-12 minutes.

4. While the lobster is cooking, combine the mayo, lemon juice, lemon zest, celery, green onion, salt and pepper in a bowl.

Related: Top Pescatarian Dinner Ideas That Make Seafood the Star

5. Once the lobster is cooked, place it on a tray to cool. You could also use an ice bath to stop the cooking (I don’t). Once it’s cooled, de-shell the lobster using kitchen shears. This is the fun part!

6. Cut the lobster meat into ½ to 1-inch pieces.

7. Combine the lobster in the bowl with mayo, celery, lemon and green onions and mix well.

8. Now it’s time to prep the buns. Melt butter in a wide saucepan over medium heat.

Related: Our Best Sandwich Recipes

9. If you don’t have hot dog brioche buns, slice the sides off, but only enough to make them flat, then place the flat side in the pan, and once it’s browned after a minute, flip to the other side to brown. Do this with each bun.

10. Place the buns on a tray, lay the lettuce leaves on the centre of each bun and fill with the lobster mixture. Top with extra green onion and a squeeze of lemon.

Win Dinner With These Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

A satisfying dinner with a real Tex-Mex vibe, these slow cooker sweet potato enchiladas might just become a part of your weekly menu. We’ve made our own enchilada sauce, which is smoky, silky and hits all the right flavours, but if you’re stretched for time, a store-bought version or your favourite salsa will do the trick. The enchiladas are topped with queso fresco, a fresh and salty Mexican cheese that holds up to the heat, keeping its shape without melting. If you can’t find queso fresco, swap in feta, cheddar or skip the cheese altogether (you can also try a dairy-free version like one of these). Any way you build them, serving these enchiladas with a big scoop of avocado to garnish is an absolute must!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:
Filling:
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp regular or smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp granulated garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 to 1/4 tsp cayenne, to taste (optional)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth

Assembly and Topping:
8 to 12 corn or flour tortillas, divided
1/2 cup queso fresco, crumbled, divided
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 lime, quartered

Related: Refrigerator Rules: How Long Do Leftovers Last?

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Directions:
Filling:
1. Add red pepper, sweet potato, onion and beans to a large bowl. Toss with garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, cumin and salt. Set aside.

Enchilada Sauce:
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 3 minutes, until fragrant and starting to turn translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer, until fragrant. Stir in chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, cayenne, to taste, if using, salt and pepper. Toast the spices for 30 seconds, until fragrant and sizzling, then pour in crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
2. Carefully pour the enchilada sauce into a blender or food processor, or use a hand blender directly in the pot, and blend on low speed (low speed important for hot mixtures) until smooth.

Assembly:
1. Pour 1/3 cup of enchilada sauce on the bottom of your slow cooker.

Related: 3 Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipes to Steal the Spotlight

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

2. Working on a clean surface, lay out 8 tortillas without overlapping. To the centre of each tortilla, add a scant 1/2 cup filling, tuck in two sides, then place the filled tortilla seam-side down in the slow cooker on top of the sauce. If you have extra filling, repeat this step with more tortillas, then layer them on top of the first round of filled tortillas. Or, skip the additional tortillas and scatter the additional filling over top.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

3. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and crumble 1/4 cup of the queso fresco evenly over top. Place the lid on the slow cooker and set to cook on high for 2 hours, until the filling is tender and sauce is bubbling.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

4. When the timer runs out, remove the slow cooker lid and gently plate 2 enchiladas per person (they will be very soft and tender from slow cooking, so do this carefully). Top enchiladas with cilantro, avocado, remaining 1/4 cup of queso fresco and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy.

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Ready for more wholesome slow cooker solutions? Reignite your love for this retro kitchen appliance with our healthiest slow cooker recipes ever.

Published October 8, 2018, Updated March 15, 2021

Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin

Your Weeknight Needs This Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin Recipe

Perfect for a gathering or a simple weeknight dinner, this meat-and-veg meal always impresses. Slow cooker pork tenderloin is incredibly tender and moist so you can forget all about dryness.  What’s more, the leisurely braising brings on a sweet, caramelized flavour as the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup work their magic on the pork tenderloin. Finally, seasonal vegetables add pops of colour and a welcome earthiness to this hearty meal. While oven baked pork tenderloin is delicious we’ll be making this easy Crock Pot dinner all winter long.

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Slow Cooker Pork Tenderloin with Winter Veggies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes on high, 4 hours 10 minutes on low
Serves: 4
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Ingredients:

1 (2 lb) pork tenderloin (see Notes below)
3 red potatoes, cut into 2-inch cubes
3 stalks celery, chopped into 2.5-inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced into 1-inch circles (we used a mixture of purple and orange carrots)
1 red onion, sliced into 1-inch half-moons
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 cup chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp grainy mustard
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper, to taste
fresh thyme leaves, to taste
fresh chopped parsley, for serving

Directions: 
1. Add all ingredients except parsley to a large slow cooker, positioning the pork tenderloin in the centre and surrounding it with the vegetables. Replace lid and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

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2. Once the cook time is up, transfer pork to a cutting board and slice into medallions.
3. Dish up the vegetables along with those delicious slow cooker juices onto plates or into shallow bowls, top with pork tenderloin medallions, then garnish with parsley. Serve warm.

Slow-Cooker-Pork-Tenderloin-Recie

Notes:
To enhance the caramelized flavour in this stew, you can sear the pork in a skillet before it goes in the slow cooker. To do so, add olive oil to a skillet set over medium-high heat, then brown each side of the pork tenderloin until desired colour; continue with the remainder of the recipe.

Soak up all of those mouthwatering juices on your plate with a warm slice of Chef Michael Smith’s Pot Baked Bread with Homemade Butter.

Honey in a jar on countertop

5 Natural Sweeteners to Replace White Sugar

If you are like most people, your summer is a time for indulging in ice cream, fruit tarts, cakes, cookies and lots and lots of sugary desserts — full of white sugar. Although white sugar is delicious and makes everything much, much sweeter, it has been touted as a “poison” by some and has been compared to alcohol, cigarettes and crack in terms of an addictive substance. Before we get into better sugar alternatives, here are some reasons why we should limit our white sugar intake.

Honey in a jar on countertop

– It has no nutritional value. Beyond being very sweet, white sugar is known as an empty calorie, it does not contain any nutrients beyond being a carbohydrate. Since it is so refined, containing no nutrients, it actually robs the body of stored vitamins and minerals.

– It suppresses the immune system. Only 1 teaspoon of white sugar can suppress white blood cell function for up to 5 hours! The white blood cells are the body’s main defenders against foreign invaders.

– It interferes with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is needed in the body to boost immunity, build healthy skin and prevent cancer. Sugar interferes with Vitamin C’s function by compromising its transport throughout the body.

Related: Heavenly Honey Desserts

– It feeds candida, yeast, parasites and unwanted bacteria. This causes poor digestion, decreased immune function, gas, bloating, constipation and toxins.

– It spikes blood sugar. Refined, white sugar raises blood sugar really high leading to intense crashes affecting energy levels and hormones.

Now that you know why white sugar needs to go, let’s move on to what sweeteners you can replace it with!

1. Coconut Sugar
This has become popular in the last few years. Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the flower of the coconut palm tree. Water is evaporated from the sap to make coconut sugar, which looks very similarly to brown sugar. Coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index, meaning it will not raise blood sugar the way white sugar does. It contains nutrients such as zinc, iron, B vitamins and inulin, a fibre that feeds probiotics. Coconut sugar is sweet and can be used 1:1 ratio with white sugar.

2. Honey
Honey looks like liquid gold, it has natural antimicrobial, antibacterial and antioxidant properties. The healthfulness of honey depends on the quality and if it is raw or not. Processing honey removes many of the phytonutrients that are still present in raw honey. Raw honey contains enzymes, minerals and vitamins, already making it more nutritious than white sugar. However, honey is very sweet and will raise blood sugar significantly so it’s best to use in minimal amounts.

3. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is Canada’s homegrown sweetener. It is made from the liquid sap and then boiled until the water is evaporated and it becomes a sticky, thick syrup. Maple syrup is rich in manganese and zinc, which are antioxidants that prevent cell damage. Maple syrup is high on the glycemic index, meaning it spikes blood sugar, however, it is more healthful than refined, white sugar.

Related: Sweet and Savoury Maple Syrup Recipes

4. Molasses
Molasses is actually the liquid byproduct of refining sugar. It’s a thick, viscous sweetener that pairs well with ginger. Molasses contains iron, copper, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, selenium and vitamin B6 – so it is quite rich in minerals.

5. Stevia (Green)
Stevia is the best alternative to white sugar, however, many people are put off by the taste. It is very, very, very sweet so you only need to use small amounts. Unrefined stevia is calorie free and will not raise blood sugar at all! You can actually grow stevia in your backyard, which will make it hyper-local. If you are purchasing stevia you want to opt for the green powder or crushed stevia leaves. White stevia is processed, so I would recommend avoiding that one.

You don’t have to give up eating sweets in an effort to avoid white sugar. As with most things in life, the key is moderation. Even though these sweeteners are healthier than white sugar, some will still raise blood sugar levels very high. If you are committed to doing a real sugar detox, you will want to avoid all sweeteners, even wholesome ones and stick to natural sweets like green apples and berries.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Published July 8, 2015, Updated July 16, 2019

Mint on kitchen countertop

Top 5 Foods That Prevent Bloating

Summer is the time to indulge; steak, ice cream, cookies, burgers, pizza — the list goes on! Not only is it everyone’s favourite eating season, but it’s also the time when our tummies start to ache. Luckily there are some foods to help with bloating and prevent that post-meal slump.

1. Ginger
Ginger is your belly’s new best friend. Slice it up and throw it in some hot water, toss it into an iced beverage or simply chew on a piece. Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory and has been used for centuries as a digestive aid helping to alleviate gas, bloating, nausea and indigestion. Next time you start to feel the bloat coming on, grab some ginger and melt that digestion tension away.

2. Mint
Mint is a classic summer herb. Although it is often used to make summer-time mojitos, this fresh garden herb has medicinal properties. Mint actually has muscle-relaxing abilities and can reduce indigestion and belly spasms. The best use of mint to prevent bloating is to steep it in tea. Unfortunately, drinking it with alcohol may actually exacerbate your stomach pain, so try to decrease your intake those delicious minty drinks.

Mint on kitchen countertop

3. Fennel Seed
Similar to ginger, fennel or anise seed has been used for many, many years to prevent digestive issues like bloating. In India, many people actually chew on fennel seeds after a rich meal to aid digestion. Fennel seed will also freshen up your breath, while eliminating stomach cramping, gas and bloating.

Related: Curative, Immune-Boosting Foods, Featuring Vitamin C to Magnesium

4. Lemon
When your tummy needs aid, make lemonade! Adding ginger, mint or even lavender to lemonade will help to enhance your digestive ability and prevent bloating and pain. Lemons actually stimulate digestive juices in your body, enhancing your body’s ability to digest nutrients. Don’t feel like making this sweet summer drink? Squeeze one quarter of a lemon in a glass of water and drink up!

5. Parsley
Parsley is the most commonly used herb in cooking. It is also a diuretic (helps to increase the loss of water and salt from the body) and excellent for helping to prevent and overcome gas and bloating. Steeping parsley with your tea is the best way to eliminate bloating and reduce excess water weight. For an added bonus, it will also freshen up your breath.

Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Published July 23, 2015, Updated July 3, 2018

Top 10 Organic Fruits and Vegetables You Need to be Eating

We all know we need to be eating organic but there are several reasons we don’t. One of the main ones being cost and that for some it’s inaccessible. Choosing organic means we’re selecting items that are free of pesticides and harmful chemicals that have been linked to cancer and hormonal disruption. While many of us may not be able to eat organic all the time, the Environmental Working Group put out a list that highlights the different types of produce that with the highest pesticide concentrations. This allows us, as shoppers, to make selective and informed decisions to go organic when we need to. With the promise of fresh fruits and vegetables as the weather warms up, we thought we should have another look at the list of these top 10 organic fruits and veggies that we all need to be eating. Have you made the organic switch?

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1. Apples
They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away…well, maybe not if it’s a conventional apple. Apples are number one on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list, meaning they’re the most heavily sprayed with pesticides. According to the analysis, 99 percent of apple samples, after washing, tested positive for at least one pesticide residue. The pesticides sprayed on apples, such as Syngenta‘s Paraquat have been associated with developing Parkinson’s disease and is banned in the EU. Other pesticides such as Chlorpyrifos can damage the nervous system. Organic apples won’t break the bank so it’s definitely a good idea to make the switch to organic as soon as you can.

2. Strawberries
Strawberries are a beloved fruit and since they’re so delicate and soft, they’re often prone to fungi attack. For this reason, farmers usually spray fungicide on them. Forty-five other pesticide residues are also found on strawberries and some have been researched to be carcinogenic, hormone disruptive, neurotoxic and toxic to honey bees. Strawberries are one of summertime’s most refreshing fruit and organic strawberries can also be quite pricey. If you can’t find fresh organic strawberries, look for cheaper organic frozen ones.

Related: Healthy Foods That Are Actually Worth the Splurge

3. Celery
Many people think that celery doesn’t do much in the nutrition department but it does pack quite a fibrous punch, and it’s a phytonutrient superstar. Celery made its way onto the Dirty Dozen list because it contains 64 pesticide residues, 27 of them being hormone disruptors. Choosing organic celery is definitely a good idea and can be found relatively inexpensive.

4. Cherry Tomatoes
These bite-size tomatoes are excellent sources of lycopene, which is known to protect against osteoporosis and prostate cancer. Cherry tomatoes are another item found on the Dirty Dozen list for having 69 different pesticide residues. The majority of these pesticides are suspected to be hormone disruptors, neurotoxins and toxic to reproductive health. According to the Environmental Working Group, a single cherry tomato contains 13 different pesticides on it.

5. Cucumbers
Cucumbers are one of the most widely eaten fruits (yes, fruits!). According to the USDA Pesticide Data Program, cucumbers contain 86 different pesticides. Many of these pesticides are known carcinogens and many of them are also incredibly harmful to the environment. Conventional cucumbers are also covered by a synthetic wax to protect the fruit during shipping. The wax is made up of chemical contaminants so if you’re opting for non-organic cucumbers, remember to remove the skin. To avoid the pesticide residues and the synthetic waxes completely, go organic.

6. White Potatoes
White potatoes are a staple in many North American households – many of us grew up eating the classic meat and potatoes dinner. White potatoes are often demonized for being incredibly starchy and lacking much nutrition. They do, however, contain quite a bit of fibre. These tubers have also made their way onto the Dirty Dozen list; this is because they contain 35 pesticide residues many of them suspected for being hormone disruptors. According to the Environmental Working Group, the average potato contained more pesticides by weight than any other produce item. These are not to be mistaken with sweet potatoes, which are actually on the “Clean Fifteen” list. This list is comprised of fifteen fruits and vegetables with the lowest concentrations of pesticides.

Related: Here’s How to Save Money on Your Next Grocery Bill

7. Spinach
Spinach is a versatile leafy green that is one of the healthiest vegetables containing vitamin A, vitamin K and iron. However, it’s also highly sprayed. It lands at number seven on the Dirty Dozen list, meaning it doesn’t contain as many pesticides as produce higher up on the list, but it still has harmful pesticide residues. Spinach contains 54 pesticide residues and many of them are neurotoxic and toxic to honeybees. The pesticide permethrin, used on spinach, is an insect repellent and is found to be carcinogenic, hormone disruptive and toxic to honey bees.

8. Imported Snap Peas
Imported snap peas have made their way onto the Dirty Dozen list. Snap peas are a good source of vitamin C and fibre, both helping to support the immune system. Snap peas contain 78 pesticide residues, making it one of the highest on this list. Most of these are suspected endocrine disruptors, which control hormones within the body. Hormones are like messengers that send out important functional messages all around the body. If hormones are disrupted by synthetic chemicals like pesticides, that means that messages will not be sent and received properly leading to irregular body functions. Similar to cherry tomatoes, a single snap pea contains about 13 different pesticides.

9. Grapes
Grapes can be sweet, tart, soft or crunchy, but mostly they’re just delicious. Unfortunately, they are quite high on the Dirty Dozen list. Most fruit is heavily sprayed with pesticides since its quite sweet, making it harder to protect from insects and fungi. Grapes contain 56 different pesticide residues. The main pesticide used has harmful environmental affects. It’s a powerful insecticide that kills honey bees and other important pollinators.

10. Kale
Everyone’s beloved leafy vegetable has found a place on the Dirty Dozen list. Kale is nature’s superfood – it’s high in fibre, it protects against cancer, arthritis, heart disease and diabetes, yet it’s one of the most heavily sprayed crops. According to the Environmental Working Group, kale has been found to be contaminated with insecticides that are toxic to the human nervous system. Kale contains about 55 pesticide residues. Organic kale is not hard to find and is only about $1-$1.50 more than conventional kale, so it’s absolutely worth making the switch.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Published April 13, 2015, Updated May 2, 2018

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup is Fiesta Flavour Without the Fuss

This zesty and warming soup is just asking to be on your dinner menu this week. Toppings of tortilla chips, avocado, cilantro and lime add incredible flavour and texture to a big, comforting bowl of slow-cooked shredded chicken, sweet potato, black beans and tomatoes. To make this into a vegan or vegetarian soup, simply skip the chicken, toss in another can of black beans and replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes on high, 4 hours 20 minutes on low
Serves: 4  

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

Ingredients:

Tortilla Soup
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 small or 1 large yellow onion, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt

For Serving
1 lime, quartered
1/2 cup (about a handful per serving) tortilla chips
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 avocado, pitted and diced

Directions:
Tortilla Soup
1. Stir to combine all tortilla soup ingredients (except for toppings) in a large slow cooker. Replace lid and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

2. After time is up, shred the chicken using two forks and stir to coat with remaining soup ingredients.

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

For Serving:

1. Dish the tortilla soup into bowls and top each one with a squeeze of lime, tortilla chips, cilantro and avocado. Serve hot.

For tortilla soup outside of the bowl, try this family-friendly Chicken Tortilla Casserole (aka Mexican lasagna!) from The Pioneer Woman.

Slow Cooker Saag Paneer

Slow Cooker Saag Paneer is the Tastiest Way to Eat Your Greens

Looking for new and exciting ways to eat your greens? We’ve got the perfect healthy slow cooker recipe for you. This saag paneer is loaded with spinach, fresh cheese, spices and a hint of lime juice, leaving your taste buds happy. We’ve given this traditional Indian dish a twist by omitting the heavy cream that’s commonly used and replaced it with coconut milk to add natural sweetness. A big bowl of saag paneer will definitely warm you up on a cold day, especially if you have some naan handy to heat up and dunk in!

Slow Cooker Saag Paneer

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes on high, 4 hours 10 minutes on low
Serves: 2 to 3 as a main, 4 as a side


Ingredients:

2 small or 1 large yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, minced
3 tomatoes, diced
2 bunches fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1/2 lime, squeezed
3 tsp maple syrup
2 tsp coconut oil
1 brick of paneer (fresh Indian cheese), cubed
1/4 cup toasted shredded coconut

Directions:

1. Toss all ingredients except coconut oil, paneer and toasted shredded coconut in a large slow cooker. Replace lid and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours. When the saag (spinach) mixture has about 15 minutes left to cook, make the paneer.
2. Heat a large skillet (non-stick ensures easy turning) over medium and add coconut oil. Place the cubed paneer into the skillet and fry until golden, flipping around every so often until most sides are brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside pan-fried paneer while you puree the saag mixture.

3. Once the saag mixture has finished cooking, use an immersion blender to puree inside the slow cooker until smooth, or carefully transfer to a blender, puree and add it back to the slow cooker to keep warm. The green colour will have dulled but the flavour is huge.
4. Add the reserved pan-fried paneer to the slow cooker with the pureed saag and stir until combined and warmed through. Or, keep pan-fried paneer on the side and add on top of bowls of saag right before serving, like we did in the photo.
5. Divide saag paneer into bowls or enjoy as a side dish. Garnish with additional cilantro and toasted shredded coconut. Serve warm.

Cool things down after dinner with Indian-inspired Mango Coconut Ice Pops.

slow cooker thai red curry soup in a white bowl topped with cilantro

Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Soup That’s Easier (and Better) Than Take-Out

Thai curry is all about layering flavours, and slow-cooking the ingredients allows everything to fully meld, creating a rich, complex dish without standing at the stove for hours. Chicken, vegetables, brown rice and roasted peanuts make this bowl a complete meal, while prepared red Thai curry paste keeps things simple. With this spicy, coconut milk and chicken soup, you’ll skip the take-out once and for all.

Slow Cooker Thai Red Curry Soup with Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes on high, 4 hours 10 minutes on low
Serves: 4


Ingredients:

Thai Red Curry Soup with Chicken
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk
1 cup chicken broth
3 Tbsp red Thai curry paste
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp tamari (a gluten-free soy sauce)
1 large or 2 small yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-inch piece ginger, minced
1 cup broccoli florets
2 carrots, sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For Serving
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, quartered


Directions:
1. Whisk the coconut milk, broth, curry paste, coconut sugar and tamari together in a large slow cooker. Add the remaining soup ingredients and stir to combine. Replace lid and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 hours.

2. Once cooked, shred the chicken using two forks and give the soup a good stir.

3. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and top each one with cooked brown rice, peanuts, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve warm.

Looking for more Thai curry recipes? Try this Vegan Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk.

Vegan Cookie Dough You Can Eat By The Spoonful

Everyone knows the best part about baking cookies is eating the dough. But we also know that eating it raw can be dangerous. So what’s a cookie dough lover to do? Make vegan cookie dough instead! No eggs, no flour, just pure deliciousness.

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough5

Close your eyes when you take the first bite; you won’t believe it’s vegan. Chickpeas offer the perfect smooth, creamy base while also providing much fibre and protein. So whip up a batch next time you’ve got a cookie dough craving, and dig in!

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough1

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or 1, 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup almond butter
2 Tbsp maple syrup
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in the food processor, except for the chocolate chips.

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough2

2. Pulse until the mixture is well blended and smooth.

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough3

3. Remove from the food processor, fold in chocolate chips and enjoy with a spoon!

vegan chocolate chip cookie dough4

Want more? Check out: 40 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love.

Photos by Sarah Grossman.

vegetarian-Cacciatore-recipe

Vegetables Star in This Healthy, Comforting Cacciatore

Known as a “hunter” style meal, this Italian classic is typically made using chicken or rabbit, but our rustic take serves up vegetables as the star.  A mix of veggies and wine simmer together to create layers of flavour that become a perfect pair with pasta.  We’ve intentionally used an array of vegetables to offer lots of textures and tastes with each bite, but if you’re not particularly fond of one veggie, omit and replace with what you love.

vegetarian Cacciatore

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb mixed mushrooms (cremini, shiitake, button), sliced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 zucchini, sliced into semi-circles
1 Tbsp capers
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp red chili flakes (optional)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch pepper
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped, for serving
2 to 3 cups pasta of choice, cooked

Vegetarian Cacciatore6

Directions:
1. Place a pot or deep skillet over medium heat and coat the pan with olive oil.
2. Add mushrooms and allow them to cook for 10 minutes, so they’ll release their moisture and begin to brown.

Vegetarian Cacciatore5
3. Add onion, garlic, red pepper, celery, carrot, zucchini, capers, oregano, chili flakes, sea salt and pepper and allow to cook for 7 minutes.
4. Pour in the diced tomatoes, vegetable broth and white wine. Cover the pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Vegetarian Cacciatore3
5. Top with fresh basil and re-season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
6. Mix with your favorite pasta and enjoy.

Vegetarian Cacciatore

Looking for tastier veggie-filled dinners? Try our All-Time Best Vegetarian Recipes.

black-icing-halloween

How to Make Black Icing for Naturally Spooky Halloween Treats

Using coconut butter and activated charcoal, we’ve created a smooth, luscious dark icing, with no food colouring, that is the perfect addition to any Halloween treat.

Despite its deep, dark hue,  charcoal — which you can buy with coconut butter at health food stores — doesn’t have a funky taste. Instead, this icing is sweet, rich and maple in flavour.
You can feel good serving this to your kids, knowing it’s a fairly healthy recipe. Scroll down to find a fantastic way to use it in spooky, desserts.

Black Icing1

Prep Time: 7 minutes
Total time: 7 minutes
Serves: 4 to 7

Ingredients:
1 cup coconut butter (also known as coconut manna)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup coconut milk (from a carton, not a can)
1 tsp activated charcoal (in powder form)

Directions:
1. If the coconut butter is solid in a jar, break it up into larger chunks and measure out 1 cup.
2. Place all ingredients except the activated charcoal in a food processor and blend until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes. You may need to stop and scrape down the side.
3. Add activated charcoal and blend for another 2 minutes until the icing turns black.

Black Icing2

Time to put your spooky black icing to use! Turn cupcakes into a tasty cemetery using black icing to set the scene with this recipe for Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes.

Food Network Kitchens Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Food Network Kitchens Pull Apart Graveyard Cupcakes

Looking for more spooky recipes? Try these Scary-Good Halloween Cakes.

Slow Cooker Chicken Coconut Curry

Slow Cooker Coconut Chicken Curry is the Easiest Healthy Comfort Food

Are you craving a warming, deeply delicious curry that is slow-cooked to perfection? This coconut chicken curry has the bold, creamy flavours we love in restaurant versions, but is a cinch to make at home, and far healthier. The method is as simple as adding ingredients to your slow cooker and setting the timer – you come home to a beautifully cooked meal that’s especially satisfying to eat as the weather gets chilly. Served on a bed of whole grain quinoa or rice and topped with refreshing cilantro, it’s healthy comfort food done right.

Slow cooker chicken curry 3

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
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into cubes
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
2 Tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
½ tsp sea salt
1 heaping cup of baby spinach
Warm cooked quinoa, for serving
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Curry ingredients

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients except baby spinach, quinoa and cilantro in a 6-quart slow cooker. Mix well to combine, cover and set on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.

Slow cooker chicken curry-1

2.  When ready to serve, open the lid and stir in baby spinach to wilt. Ladle curry over cooked quinoa or rice with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro. Serve.

Slow cooker chicken curry-2

Spicy-hot curry is all about the cooling condiments. Smooth things out with this refreshing mint, yogurt and cucumber raita.

Looking for more slow cooker ideas? Try these tasty chicken slow cooker recipes.

Sheet-Pan Chicken Fajitas

No-Mess Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas Will Change Your Dinner Game

Are you looking for a satisfying, flavourful dinner with barely any clean up? If so, sheet pan chicken fajitas is the recipe for you. Simply toss all ingredients on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for an easy, healthy and delicious meal. With very little prep and minimal clean-up required, you’ll surely be adding this dish to your family’s weeknight supper schedule.

Sheet-Pan-Chicken-Fajitas Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4 

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
1 yellow onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch strips
1 yellow pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch strips
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
1½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp granulated garlic powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
4 to 6 tortillas
1 avocado, diced
⅓ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, cut into wedges

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. On a large rimmed baking sheet, add chicken, onions, peppers, oil, chili powder, paprika, cumin, granulated garlice powder, salt and pepper. Toss well.

Sheet-Pan-Chicken-Fajitas Recipe

2. Bake for 25 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stack tortillas and wrap securely in foil.
3. Remove cooked chicken and vegetable mixture from oven and make a clearing to add on tortilla package.

Sheet-Pan-Chicken-Fajitas Recipe

4. Set oven to broil. Return sheet pan with chicken and vegetable mixture and tortilla package to oven. Broil for about 2 minutes, until chicken and vegetables are slightly crisped and tortillas are warmed through.

Sheet-Pan-Chicken-Fajitas Recipe

5. Unwrap tortilla package. Build fajitas in tortillas with chicken and vegetable mixture, avocado, cilantro and a squeeze of lime. Serve.

Take your dinner chicken from ordinary to extraordinary tomorrow night, too, with these tasty recipes.

This Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe Will Change Your Life

Have you ever dreamt of eating a cookie that’s actually good for you? Well, your dream is now a reality with this life-changing chocolate chip cookie recipe. These simple cookies are flourless and refined sugar-free, using tahini (sesame seed butter) as their base to create a rich treat with a welcome nutty taste and bone-building calcium. A sprinkle of coarse salt before baking takes these already-epic cookies to another level. And, not only do they taste sensational, they’re also stunningly beautiful, with their rustic crinkles and bursts of dark chocolate. We think you may never go back to the standard chocolate chip cookie again.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthy Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Makes: 18 cookies

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies - Tahini

Ingredients:
1 cup tahini
½ cup coconut sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ tsp baking soda
1 (100g) 70% (or higher) dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine tahini and coconut sugar. Whisk in egg, followed by vanilla and baking soda. With a spatula, fold in chocolate until evenly incorporated.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies - Dough

3. Scoop 1 Tbsp-sized portions of cookie dough and add to prepared baking sheet, leaving about 3-inches of space around each cookie, as they will spread quite a bit. Do not flatten cookies. Sprinkle a small amount of coarse sea salt on top of each cookie.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies - Dough on Baking Sheet

4. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until dry on top and spread, rotating pans halfway through if oven racks are staggered. Cool cookies on pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Serve.

Put that leftover tahini to good use and make super-creamy homemade hummus, another nutritious snack option.

gremolita-pasta

Savour Summer with Garlic Scape Gremolata ‘Pasta’

It’s officially garlic scape season! Garlic scapes are the gorgeous, winding green stalks that twirl above garlic bulbs buried beneath the soil. They have a milder, less pungent garlic taste and can be stir-fried, stewed, grilled, minced, blended, turned into pesto, pickled and fermented. You can find garlic scapes at many grocery stores, farmers’ markets or for lucky gardeners, your own backyard.

Garlic scapes are a vibrant addition to classic gremolata, a zippy, chopped herb condiment that pairs well with sweet potato and zucchini “noodles,” juicy grilled shrimp and plump cherry tomatoes. This healthy dish is so fresh and zesty, it’s basically summertime in a bowl.

garlic scape shrimp 3

Garlic Scape Gremolata Grilled Shrimp over Sweet Potato and Zucchini Noodle Pasta

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Serves: 2 to 4

Ingredients:
Gremolata:
6 (6-inch) garlic scapes or 6 peeled cloves garlic
1 bunch curly parsley, tough ends discarded
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
Juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Noodles:
1 large zucchini
1 large sweet potato, peeled
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Shrimp:
Olive oil, as needed
15 raw, peeled and deveined shrimp, tails intact
3 to 4 Tbsp Gremolata (recipe above)

Assembly:
5 cherry tomatoes, halved
Hulled hemp seeds, to taste

Directions:
Gremolata:
1. Add garlic scapes or garlic and parsley to a food processor and pulse until finely minced. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pulse until fully combined, leaving some rustic texture. If you don’t have a food processor, mince ingredients finely by hand and stir together in a bowl.

garlic scape shrimp 2

Noodles:
1. Using a spiralizer, spiralize zucchini and sweet potato into spaghetti-style pasta. Or use a vegetable peeler to make thin, long strips. Or use prepared spiralized vegetable noodles, which can be found at most grocery stores.

garlic scape shrimp 1

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add oil, followed by noodles. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender but not falling apart. (You can skip cooking and eat raw, if you prefer.) Season with salt and pepper. Remove noodles from heat.

Shrimp:
1. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high and lightly brush with enough oil to coat grates.
2. In a large bowl, mix to coat shrimp with 3 to 4 Tbsp gremolata.
3. Grill shrimp for 3 minutes per side, or until bright pink and firm.

Assembly:
1. Place noodles in a large bowl and top with cherry tomatoes and shrimp. Spoon 1/4 to 1/3 cup of additional gremolata overtop bowl and gently mix everything to coat. Divide between serving bowls, sprinkle with hemp seeds, to taste and serve. Store any extra gremolata airtight in refrigerator up to 1 week.

Garlic lovers, rejoice! Here are 20 more zesty recipes featuring the flavour-packed bulb. 

paleo breakfast recipes without eggs

5 Eggless Paleo Breakfasts (Including an Epic Grain-Free Granola!)

A lot of people are ditching grains these days in favour of a paleo or keto-style diet, making a replacement for traditional carb-heavy breakfasts, like toast, bagels, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches and oatmeal. For this reason, grain-free breakfasts almost always consist of eggs: scrambled, poached, over-easy – you name it. But eating eggs every day can become tedious. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy and exciting egg-free options to get to know. Think outside of the egg carton with five healthy paleo breakfast ideas to spruce up your morning, without a yolk in sight.

Coconut Strawberry Chia Bowl

Blending coconut cream, chia seeds and strawberries is basically like eating (a super-healthy!) dessert for breakfast. When combined with a liquid or in this case, blended strawberries, the chia seeds thicken to resemble an indulgent pudding. This is a great paleo-friendly breakfast that will give your body the energy boost it needs in the morning.

Set Strawberries Coconut Cream

Get the recipe for Set Strawberries With Coconut Cream

Salad for Breakfast

Salad for breakfast has been embraced globally. Eating vegetables in the morning provides a boost of fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients – all components your body is craving to get up and go. Give salad for breakfast a chance and add a blast of freshness to your morning meal.

Cucumber Salad with Fresh Coconut

Get the recipe for Cucumber Salad With Fresh Coconut

Smoothies and Smoothie Bowls

Smoothies and smoothie bowls are quick to make, easy to take and very nutritious. Blend together kale, spinach, banana, berries, nuts and protein powder and you have a deeply nourishing morning meal. To assemble your own Instagram-worthy smoothie bowl, pour your blended creation in a cereal bowl and decorate with superfood ingredients like hemp seeds, bee pollen, blueberries and chia seeds (or the Paleo Granola recipe below). Before diving in, don’t forget to take a picture!

Hungry Buddha Smoothie Bowl

Get the recipe for Raspberry Smoothie Bowl

Dairy-Free Yogurt With Berries and Nuts

One of our favourite go-to paleo breakfasts happens to be the quickest and simplest: a bowl of dairy-free yogurt topped with blueberries, strawberries, almonds and walnuts. Of course, that’s the skeleton of the recipe – feel free to spruce it up with a drizzle of honey and sprinkling of cinnamon, raw cacao powder, pomegranate seeds and hemp seeds. For the yogurt base, if you’re eating paleo, dairy is out, though there are many tasty dairy-free yogurt options made from plant milks (usually coconut or almond milk) that can be found at your grocery store, many of which still provide belly-friendly probiotics.

Paleo Granola

Most granola is made with oats (a grain), but this paleo granola recipe replaces them with toasted coconut chips, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs and raisins for a grain-free, naturally sweetened, protein-packed breakfast.  

Paleo-GranolaFood Network 40854

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients:

½ cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup unsalted sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp coconut oil, very soft or melted
1 to 2 Tbsp maple syrup, less or more for desired sweetness level
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened toasted coconut chips or pieces (not shredded)
½ cup raisins
¼ cup cacao nibs

Paleo Granola

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Scatter hazelnuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds on prepared baking sheet. Toss nut and seed mixture with coconut oil, maple syrup and cinnamon. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until lightly browned (watch closely to be careful not to burn the mixture).

3. Remove nut and seed mixture from oven. Mix in coconut chips, raisins and cacao nibs. Cool before serving, if desired.

Paleo Granola

4. Serve granola in a bowl with dairy-free milk of choice and fresh fruit.

5. For storing, cool granola completely and keep in airtight jar at room temperature for up to one month.

three fully loaded cauliflower tacos lined up on a cutting board

Dinnertime Done Right: Coconut-Crusted Cauliflower Tacos

Are you ready for some crispy, flavour-packed cauliflower tacos? We are, so we’re serving up this incredibly bright and delicious recipe to satisfy your taco needs. When the weather is warm, most people tend to crave zesty, fresh and light flavours and this vegetarian dish delivers just that. Make it for dinner this week — you (and your belly) will be very pleased.

cauliflower-tacos7

Prep Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
Serves: 3-6

Ingredients:
1 small cauliflower, chopped in florets
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sea salt

Avocado Crema:
1 avocado
1/4 cup plain, unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 small clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Sea salt to taste

Mango Cabbage Slaw:
2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage
1 fresh mango, chopped in small cubes
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp maple syrup
Pinch sea salt

6 corn tortillas (or use sprouted corn tortillas)

cauliflower tacos1

Directions:

Coconut-Crusted Cauliflower:
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Combine shredded coconut, almond meal, garlic powder, chili powder, turmeric and sea salt in a bowl.
3. Place coconut milk in another bowl.
4. Chop cauliflower into florets.
5. Coat each floret in the coconut milk and then dip in the shredded coconut mixture.
6. Spread coated florets of cauliflower out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
7. Bake for 35 minutes, until the outside is crisp and the cauliflower is soft.

cauliflower tacos3

Avocado Crema:
1. Meanwhile, prepare avocado crema by blending the avocado, coconut milk, garlic, lime juice and sea salt together in the food processor until creamy and smooth.
2. Place avocado crema in a small plastic bag and squeeze toward one of the corners of the bag. Eventually, you’ll snip a very small hole on one of the corners, right before you’re about to squeeze the crema over (in a few steps).

Mango Cabbage Slaw:
1. Chop purple cabbage finely, cut mango into small cubes and chop cilantro.
2. Combine purple cabbage, mango and cilantro in a bowl together with lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup and sea salt.

cauliflower tacos5

Assembly:
1. Once the cauliflower is cooked, warm up tortillas for a few minutes in the oven.
2. Place a layer of the mango cabbage slaw down the centre of each tortilla.
3. Add some roasted cauliflower on top of each one.
4. Snip a tiny hole in the corner of the bag and gently squeeze the avocado crema to drizzle over top.
5. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

cauliflower tacos6

Watch this video to learn how to properly dine out at a Mexican taqueria.