Category Archives: Special Diets

Top 100 Vegetarian Recipes Without Tofu

Eating vegetarian doesn’t mean you’re limited to tofu. Mother Nature and grocery store shelves offer a bounty of options to eat like an animal, without cooking one! Whether you’re test-driving Meatless Mondays or doing a complete overhaul of your pantry, we’ve got the best vegetarian recipes to satisfy even the most skeptic carnivore at your table.

Below you’ll find the best ingredients to invest in to beef up your list of meat-free options.


Quick-cooking, packed with protein and gluten-free, no wonder it’s considered a super food! Though it’s an ancient Inca ingredient, quinoa has only recently made its way to mainstream markets.

1. Quinoa Black Bean Salad

2. Spiced Quinoa Chickpea Stew with Figs

3. Quinoa Cumin Bites

4. Quinoa Buckwheat Pancakes

5. Quinoa Tabouleh


Lentils & Chickpeas
One can of each of these hearty ingredients offers endless possibilities; they’re affordable, neutral in flavour and the perfect way to add protein, iron and fibre to any dish you stir or stew them into.

6. Curried Lentil Wild Rice & Orzo Salad

7. Lentils with Lemongrass

8. Lentil Cookies

9. Lentil Salad with Fruits, Nuts & Cheese

10. Red Lentil Dahl

11. Big Ben’s Lentil Burgers

12. Lemon Lentil Salad

13. Lovin’ Lentil Sloppy Joes

14. Lentils & Tomato Sauce with Pasta Shells French

15. Lentils with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

16. Vegetable Biryani

17. Chana Dhansak

18. Ratatouille with Toasted Chickpeas

19. Pan-Roast Chickpeas with Mint

20. Chickpea Sandwich

21. CC’s Falafel

Green beans, kidney beans, pinto beans… With so many different types, this versatile ingredient can be used for so much more than your average burrito or salad.

22. White Bean Salad with Patty Pan Cups

23. Green Bean Griddle Cakes

24. Three Bean Salad with Sesame Garlic & Lemon

25. Pasta with Rapini, Broad Beans, Rosemary & Walnuts

26. Kale with Zucchini and Pinto Bean Enchilada

27. Black Bean Tortilla Chip Soup with Avocado-Tomato Salsa

28. Great Greek Baked Beans

29. Warm Garlic Bean Crostini

30. Mexican Bean Soup


There are enough varieties of mushrooms that you could sample a different one every day for over 38 years (but try to avoid the poisonous ones)! When cooked, mushrooms can have a beef-like flavour and texture, and offer twice the protein than other vegetables, making them a great substitute for steak.

31. Mushroom Cheddar Vegetarian Burgers

32. Herbed Mushrooms & Asiago Baked into Brioche

33. Blue Corn Mushroom & Cheese Quesadillas

34. Whole Mushroom Salad

35. Mushroom & Smoked Cheddar Frittata

36. Spinach Mushroom Lasagne

37. Shiitake Mushroom & Bok Choy Stir Fry

38. Wild Mushroom Ravioli with Pecorino & Lemon-Thyme Cream Sauce

39. Mushroom and Spinach Quiche in a Potato Crust

40. Mushroom Stew

41. Mushroom Stuffed Blintzes with Beet Glaze

42. Mushroom & Brie Wellington

43. Mushroom Benedict

44. Mushroom Parmentier

45. Tagliatelle with Mushrooms, Lemon and Breadcrumbs

46. Paneer Mushroom Burger


Some of your meat-eating friends may think you’re totally nuts for going vegetarian. Here are some recipes to prove them right!

47. Grilled Asparagus with Creamy Garlic Almond Sauce

48. Tender Greens with Marinated Sweet Cherries in Almond Vinaigrette

49. Artichokes with Almond Sauce

50. Roasted Cauliflower with Almonds

51. Ginger Almond Eggplant Dip

52. Almond Apricot Couscous

53. Grilled Almond Butter & Banana Sandwiches


To ensure you get your fill of calcium and protein, supplement your vegetarian feast with dairy ingredients. You’ll be more than happy to leave the bovine behind when yogurt, cream, milk and cheese are part of your meal.

54. Cheese & Onion Tart

55. Butternut Squash & Ricotta Filled Crepes with Maple Crème Fraiche

56. Cilantro Pesto Quesadilla

57. Potato Cheddar Perogies in Brown Butter

58. Honey Yogurt Dip

59. Mashed Butternut Squash with Yogurt and Roasted Garlic

60. Spicy Yogurt Cucumber Dip

61. Chilled Yogurt Soup

62. Cilantro Couscous & Tomato Yogurt Salad

63. Pumpkin Seed Dip

64. Baked Camembert with Pine Nuts & Sun-dried Tomatoes

65. Marble Cheddar Apple Nut Fritters


This breakfast favourite is a lean source of protein that fuels your body and brain; choline in the egg’s yolk aids in brain stimulation and development — so get crackin’!

66. Chili Poached Eggs

67. Huevos Rancheros

68. Herb-Rolled Quail’s Eggs

69. Roger Mooking’s Baked Eggs

70. Cocotte Eggs

71. Frittata with Asparagus, Tomato, and Fontina


Stock up on oodles of noodles! A prime ingredient for the much-loved Mediterranean diet, pasta is a great source of fibre, cooks in minutes and can feed a crowd without breaking the bank.

72. Fettuccine with Brown Butter and Asparagus

73. Creamy Orzo Risotto with Blue Cheese & Pine Nuts

74. Chilled Asparagus, Snap Pea & Soba Noodle Salad

75. Baked Penne with Roasted Vegetables

76. Giant Ricotta Spinach Ravioli

77. Bowtie Pasta with Roast Red Pepper Sauce & Baby Spinach

78. Pasta with Mushrooms, Herbs & Beet Greens

79. Aubergine and Pasta Charlotte

80. Pistachio Pesto with Angel Hair Pasta

81. Penne with Gorgonzola, Spinach & Walnuts


Super Veggies
Keep your wallet as lean as your waistline by cooking with what’s in season; those ingredients will be cheaper, at their most flavourful and more likely to have been grown locally.

82. Vegetable Tagine

83. Ricardo’s Vegetable Samosas

84. Stuffed Tomatoes with Rice

85. Spicy Thai Asparagus Soup

86. Onion Tarte Tatin

87. Sweet Potato Vichyssoise

88. Carrot & Potato Pancakes

89. Golden Eggplant with Green Pea Sauce

90. Pistou Soup

91. Wilted Greens with Raisins, Pine Nuts and Garlic Croutes

92. Spinach and Swiss Chard Cannelloni

93. Spinach Pie

94. Spinach Balls

95. Broccoli Cheese Soup with Chef Salad

96. Baked Spaghetti with Broccoli

97. Fully Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

98. Tomato-Olive Rice Bake

99. Veggie Goulash

100. Diana’s Chile Rellenos

Vegan & Gluten-Free Cinnamon Sugar Doughnuts

What better way to indulge on a Fryday than with these delectable vegan and gluten-free cinnamon sugar doughnuts. They’re obviously delicious any time of day, but this particular version is best enjoyed for breakfast, paired with a big ol’ cup of coffee.


Note: This recipe will only work with a flour blend that contains xanthan gum and baking powder. Look for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Biscuit & Baking Mix at your grocery store. It’s fairly common as most commercial grocers carry this line of products and have specific gluten-free sections.

Ingredients (makes 12 medium sized doughnuts):
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp ground flax
3 Tbsp water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup organic golden sugar (same as unbleached granulated sugar)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cup gluten-free flour mix
1 tsp cinnamon
3-4 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)

Doughnut Coating:
1/4 cup organic golden sugar (same as unbleached granulated sugar)
1/2 tsp cinnamon


1. In a small bowl mix together ground flax and water. Let sit for 15 minutes in the fridge to thicken. In another mixing bowl combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar, and allow to sit for 15 minutes. After letting these 2 components sit for 15 minutes, heat up vegetable oil in a pot to 375°F while you prepare the rest of the dough.
2. In a large mixing bowl add 2 cups of gluten-free flour mix (the other ¼ cup is for rolling out the dough) and mix with cinnamon until well combined.
3. Add 1/4 cup of vegetable oil, vanilla extract, sugar and flax mixture to the bowl with soy milk and apple cider vinegar, and whisk together until well combined.
4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until it just comes together into a sticky ball of dough.
5. On a clean, dry surface spread out 1/4 cup of the flour and place the dough from the bowl onto the floured surface. Knead the dough into a little bit of flour while ensuring you keep the surface floured to prevent the dough from sticking. It will become a little less sticky to handle as you incorporate a bit more of this flour into it. Pat the dough down with your hand until it’s 1/2” thick.
6. Cut 3 1/2” circles from this dough, making sure to lightly coat the cookie cutter with excess flour on the counter. Bring the excess dough together in a ball again, ensure you’ve spread out a bit more of the excess flour across your surface/counter and flatten the dough again to 1/2” thick. Continue to cut out circles. After this second round of cutting out circles you should be left with just enough dough to make 1-2 more doughnuts with your hands.
7. To make the centre hole you can lightly coat the thicker end of a chopstick with a bit of excess flour. Then stick it through the middle of the circles and roll it around a little to create a small 1/4” hole.
8. Combine sugar and cinnamon for the coating in a shallow dish and have it near your frying oil. You’re going to sprinkle the doughnuts right out of the fryer.
9. Ensure your oil has reached a temperature of 375°F and place 2 doughnuts in the hot oil. After about 1-1 1/2 minutes they should be floating at the surface. Using a slotted frying spoon, gently flip them. Let them fry for another 2-2 1/2 minutes until golden.
10. Lift them out with the slotted frying spoon allowing excess oil to drip onto paper towel. You can let them sit for a few seconds but you want to get them coated with cinnamon sugar almost immediately while they’re still hot. Roll the doughnuts around in the cinnamon sugar until evenly coated and place them on a separate clean plate. Continue this process until all the doughnuts are fried.

It’s best to eat these immediately while they’re still warm!

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Gluten-Free Powdered Sugar Doughnuts

Who knew making dreamy little, vegan gluten-free powdered sugar doughnuts could be so easy! And what better way to celebrate National Doughnut Day than with these tiny treats that are much like those Tiny Tom doughnuts you get at the fair every year. By using a ready-made gluten-free flour blend that already contains baking powder and xanthan gum you take all the science and guess work out of gluten-free baking.


Note: This recipe will only work with a flour blend that contains these two ingredients so look for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit & Baking Mix at your grocery store. It’s fairly common as most commercial grocers carry this line of products and have specific gluten-free sections.

Makes 16: Small doughnuts
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes

1 cup soy milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon ground flax
3 tablespoons water
¼ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup organic golden sugar (or same as unbleached granulated sugar)
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups gluten-free flour mix (Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Biscuit & Baking Mix)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 to 4 cups vegetable oil (for deep frying)
½ cup powdered icing sugar

1. In a small bowl mix together ground flax and water. Let is sit for 15 minutes in the fridge to thicken.
2. In a mixing bowl combine soy milk and apple cider vinegar and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
3. After letting these 2 components sit for 15 minutes heat up vegetable oil in a pot to 375°F while you prepare the rest of the dough.
4. In a large mixing bowl add 2 cups of gluten-free flour mix (the other ¼ cup is for rolling out the dough) and mix with cinnamon until well combined.
5. Add the ¼ cup of vegetable oil, vanilla extract, sugar, and flax mixture to the bowl with soy milk and apple cider vinegar and whisk together until well combined.
6. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until it just comes together into a sticky ball of dough.
7. On a clean, dry surface spread out ¼ cup of the flour and place the dough from the bowl onto the floured surface. Knead the dough into a little bit of this flour as well as ensuring you keep the surface floured to prevent the dough from sticking. It will become a little less sticky to handle as you incorporate a bit more of this flour into it.
8. Pat the dough down with your hand until it’s ½” thick.
9. Cut 2 ½” circles from this dough. Being sure to lightly coat the cookie cutter with excess flour on the counter.
10. Bring the excess dough together in a ball again, ensure you’ve spread out a bit more of the excess flour across your surface/counter and flatten the dough again to ½” thick and continue to cut out circles. After this second round of cutting out circles you should be left with just enough dough to make one or 2 more doughnuts with your hands.
11. To make the center hole you can light coat the thicker end of a chopstick with a bit of excess flour. Then stick it through the middle of the circles and roll it around a little to create a small ¼” hole.
12. Place powdered sugar into a shallow dish and have it near your frying oil. You’re going to sugar the doughnuts right out of the fryer.
13. Ensure your oil has reached a temperature of 375°F and place 2 to 3 doughnuts in the hot oil. After about 1 minute they should be floating at the surface. Using a slotted frying spoon gently flip them. Then let them fry for another 1 ½ minutes until golden.
14. Lift them out with the slotted frying spoon allowing excess oil to drip onto paper towel. You can let them sit for a few seconds but you want to get them powdered with sugar pretty immediately while they’re still hot. Roll the doughnuts around in the powdered sugar until coated evenly and place them on a separate clean plate. Continue this process until all the doughnuts are fried.
15. It’s best to eat these immediately while they’re still warm!

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

Top 10 Vegan Hacks: Tips for Making Recipes Vegan

Everybody’s doing it — Beyoncé and Jay Z did it, Bill Clinton did it, Ellen Degenerous does it… Of course, I’m talking about going vegan. Eating a vegan diet offers a myriad of health benefits to the body (when done correctly). Being vegan means that your diet consists of only plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, beans, fruit and vegetables. Vegans don’t eat animals or anything that’s been produced by animals – this includes eggs, cheese, poultry, fish, meat and even honey.

Plant-based eating has been associated with preventing heart disease, cancer, lowering cholesterol and losing weight. This is mostly because a vegan diet is high in fibre, vitamins and minerals. Being vegan does require some thought to ensure you are getting all of the proper nutrients. One of the biggest vegan missteps is when the diet consists mainly of refined carbs and sugar. This happens a lot and can lead to many health problems. Being a healthy vegan is about eating the right amount of protein from legumes, beans, grains, nuts and seeds and eating lots and lots of vegetables. It’s also about converting your favourite dishes into vegan ones with these top 10 vegan hack recipes.

1. Lima Beans = Cream Sauce
It’s shocking to think that beans could emulate a creamy, dairy filled sauce… but they can! One of the best lasagnas I ever ate was vegan and was filled with a lima bean béchamel sauce. The beans give a creamy texture that actually emulates the appearance and taste of cheese and cream. 1 cup of lima beans also provides 53% of your daily required intake of fibre.

Lima Béchamel

Serving Size: 1 cup
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 3 minutes

1 can of lime beans, washed and rinsed (or ½ cup dried beans, cooked)
¼ lemon, squeezed
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
3 Tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon sea salt

1. Blitz everything together in a food processor until a smooth consistency forms.
2. Layer this on top of lasagna noodles, use it as a cream sauce over pasta or eat it as a dip.

2. Chia Seeds = Eggs & Yogurt
Chchchchia… do you remember chia pets? Well, chia seeds actually grew on these plants! Chia are tiny little seeds that contain omega 3 fatty acids, zinc, magnesium and B vitamins. They are mainly known for their high content of fibre 25 grams of chia seeds provides you with 6.9 grams of fibre. When mixed with liquids, chia becomes very gelatinous and sticky. This consistency works perfectly in vegan baked goods when a binding agent is needed. In baking, eggs help to leaven and bind, chia seeds don’t leaven but they are amazing binders.

Chia Egg

Serving Size: 1 egg replacement
Prep Time: 10 minutes

1 Tablespoon chia seeds
3 Tablespoons water

1. Mix chia seeds and water together. Let sit in a bowl for 10 minutes until it becomes gelatinous.


Tip: Chia is also a great substitute for yogurt. A very common breakfast is yogurt with fruit and nuts, but if you’re vegan, yogurt is a no-no. Making a chia pudding provides a somewhat similar texture to yogurt. Although it’s more pudding like, it’s a great meal to eat first thing in the morning. Get the chia pudding recipe here.

3. Coconut Oil, Avocado, Applesauce = Butter
In the past, margarine was the classic non-dairy substitute for butter. Now that it’s common knowledge that some margarines contain hydrogenated oils, it’s time to make the swap to better butter alternatives. Coconut oil is the best butter substitute and can be used 1:1. It’s high in medium chain saturated fat which gets converted into energy after consumption. It can be solid, softened or melted and is actually great at making a flaky pie crust.

Avocado sounds like a weird butter substitute but it’s fantastic. You can substitute avocado 1:1 for butter, your baked goods will be delicious but the consistency will be a little different. Avocados are also less calories and less fat than butter.

Applesauce works wonders in baked goods. It can actually be substituted for eggs or butter and it’s naturally sweet so you don’t need to use as much sweetener. Applesauce can also be used 1:1. ¼ cup of applesauce replaces 1 egg.

4. Cashews = Cheese
Cashew cheese is one of the biggest crazes to hit the vegan and raw food scene. Cashew feta, cashew cream, cashew cheese cake… you name it, cashews can do it. These nuts are incredibly silky so they lend themselves well to making a variety of cheeses. They also have a mild flavor and can take on other seasonings really well.

Super Simple Crumbly Cashew Cheese

Serving Size: 1 ½ cups of “cheese”
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 5 minutes

1 ½ cups raw cashew
3 Tablespoons water
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt? and freshly ground pepper
Place the nuts in a bowl, cover with fresh water, and let stand for 2 hours.
Drain the nuts and place them in a food processor or blender.
Add 3 Tablespoons water, lemon, garlic, sea salt and pepper
Blitz until crumbly. You may need to add a little more water and blend again to adjust the consistency, if necessary.
The cheese will get a little more solid as it sets.

Raw Cashew ‘Cheesecake’

Serving Size: 7
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours


1 cup almond meal
¼ cup pecans
½ cup dates, soaked/softened

2 cups cashews, (soaked for 4 hours, rinsed & drained)
1 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 oranges, juiced
2/3 cup maple syrup
pinch sea salt

Fruit Topping:
1 cup blueberries, raspberries or strawberries
2 teaspoon maple syrup

1. Place almonds and pecans in food processor and process until finely chopped.
2. Add dates and process until well blended. The mixture will stick together when you press it.
3. Press the crust into a 9” pie dish. You can also press them into muffin tins to make mini cashew cheesecakes.
4. Combine the cashews, coconut oil, orange juice, maple syrup and sea salt in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
5. Spoon the filling over top of the crust.
6. Place in the freezer for 1 hour.
7. Remove from the freezer and allow to set in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
8. Take the cashew cheesecake out of the pan it is in.
9. Blend the berries and maple syrup in the food processor until a sauce is formed. Drizzle this over cheesecakes right before serving.


5. Tempeh = Bacon
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that has bacterial cultures that nourish your gut. It’s also a great substitute for bacon. Since tempeh is made from soy it is a complete protein, which is rare for vegetarian sources of protein. To make a delicious tempeh bacon it requires paprika, liquid smoke, tamari and maple syrup. It also should be marinated for at least an hour to absorb all of the necessary bacon flavours.

Get the ultimate tempeh bacon recipe here.


6. Nutritional Yeast = Cheese
Nutritional yeast is a vegan’s best friend. It is a deactivated yeast that tastes incredibly cheesy. It can be sprinkled on top of dishes or mixed with nut milks to create creamy, faux cheesy goodness. It’s high in B vitamins, especially B12 which is needed to produce energy in the body. It also has a surprising amount of protein. My favorite nutritional yeast experience is when I ate vegan mac n’ “cheese”. It completely emulated the cheesy taste of mac n’ cheese.

Mac n “Cheese”

Serving Size: 5
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

1 package of rice noodles or noodles of choice
1 small butternut squash, cubed
¼ cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup daiya cheese
1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup ground almonds

1. Cook the pasta in a pot over the stove.
2. Peel and cube the squash into small pieces.
3. Place the coconut milk in a pot on the stove and put the squash in the pot. Allow the squash to cook until completely softened.
4. Place the coconut milk, squash, nutritional yeast, daiya and sea salt into a blender and blend until a smooth consistency forms.
5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it in a casserole dish. Pour the cheesy mixture over and mix well.
6. Sprinkle the top with almond flour and place on a low broil for 5-7 minutes. The almonds will act and taste like parmesan cheese.

7. Sunflower Seeds = Caesar Dressing
Nuts and seeds are truly the best substitutes when it comes to vegan cooking and baking. They can mimic so many different textures and flavours. Sunflower seeds have a mild flavour and lend themselves easily to this amazing Caesar dressing. Sunflowers are one of the best sources of vitamin E, meeting 82% of the daily recommended value. Vitamin E has a lot of jobs, one of them is to protect the fats that line the cells of the body.

Sunflower “Seed-sar” Dressing

Serving Size: ½ cup
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 2 minutes

½ cup raw sunflower seeds (soaked for 2 hours, rinsed & drained)
1 lemon, juiced
3 dates, soaked
1 clove garlic
1 Tablespoon olive oil
? teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
? cup water to thin out

1. Blend together the dressing ingredients in a food processor until creamy and smooth. Pour over salad mix of choice.

8. Cocoa Powder + Almond Milk = Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is a favorite beverage for kids and adults alike. 1 cup of chocolate milk contains 24 grams of sugar, 5 grams of fat and it’s 190 calories. A healthier, lighter and vegan alternative is to make chocolate almond milk. You can either make your own almond milk or buy it from the store. 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk contains 0 grams of sugar, 2.5 grams of fat and is only 30 calories.

Chocolate Almond Milk

Serving Size: 1 cup
Prep Time: 2 minutes

1 cup almond milk
3 Tablespoons raw cacao or dutch cocoa powder
2 medjool dates

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend. If you are using raw cacao you will need to add more sweetener because it is bitter.
2. If you don’t have medjool dates you can use maple syrup, coconut sugar or honey. Dates simply give it a great consistency and flavour.

9. Almonds = Milk
Making the switch to non-dairy milk is very popular right now. A lot of people opt for almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, hemp milk and quinoa milk! Yes, apparently you can get milk from quinoa! Making your own milk at home is really easy and it’s safe – meaning, you know what goes into it. Store bought nut milks are great if you don’t have the time to make your own, but they are filled with preservatives in order to make them shelf stable and to maintain their consistency. If you do have the time, I highly recommend making your own and it always tastes so much better when it’s homemade.

Almond Milk

Serving Size: 2 cups
Prep Time: overnight or 12 hours
Cook Time: 10 minutes

1 cup raw almonds
2 cups of water
2 teaspoons maple syrup

1. Soak the almonds overnight, then drain and rinse.
2. Place the almonds and water in a blender and blend on high for 2 minutes.
3. Pour the nut mixture in a large piece of cheese cloth over a bowl and squeeze hard to press all of the liquid from the meal.
4. Place the liquid back in the food processor and blend with maple syrup.
5. Keep refrigerated for 2 days.
6. You can use the leftover almond meal in cereals, porridges and baked goods


10. Tofu = Eggs
Tofu is the most classic vegan and vegetarian fare. It’s a white block made with soybeans that has minimal flavour and can truly become almost anything. It’s an amazing substitute for cheese such as cubes of feta in a Greek salad; it can replace chicken such as seasoned BBQ tofu skewers; it can replace cream and it can even replace eggs. One of the best ways it replaces eggs is with a tofu scramble. Opt for organic tofu to ensure it is GMO free. Tofu can provide the body with a great source of protein and calcium. In ½ cup of tofu there is 10 grams of protein and it meets 25% of the daily recommended intake of calcium. Try the recipe here and say goodbye to eggs and hello to tofu.

tamara-green-living-kitchen 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.

Mark McEwan Kicks Off Diabetes Month With a Special Recipe

Top Chef Canada judge Mark McEwan is the featured chef and cover boy(!) of the 2015 Healthy Living Calendar sponsored by Sun Life Financial.

The calendar, now in its third year, is put together by Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation and is aimed at increasing diabetes awareness—a condition that effects more than nine million Canadians, with more than 20 people being newly diagnosed with this disease every hour, of every day.


If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with diabetes (my father was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes), don’t fret, we have some tips from Dr. Gary Lewis, endocrinologist, and a delicious diabetes-friendly recipe created by Chef Mark himself. Read on.

Here are four tips from Dr. Lewis for people with type 2 diabetes:

  1. Maintain a high level of physical activity. Apart from recreational physical activity this could include using stairs instead of escalators or elevators, parking further away from your destination rather than fighting for the closest parking spot, getting off public transportation one or two stops before your destination, walking during lunch hour, exercising on exercise equipment while watching TV.
  2. Eat healthy, wholesome foods that have not been processed by a factory. Whole foods contain fibre, high-water content and are less calorie-dense than processed foods and often contain lower levels of sugar, salt and fat. Limit the quantities of the food you consume, even healthy foods in large quantities will promote weight gain.
  3. All adults should have their fasting blood sugar checked a minimum of once every three years, even if they are healthy.
  4. Promote a healthy lifestyle for your children.

To kick off Diabetes awareness month, why not try this family-friendly Sun-Roasted Carrot & Chicken Salad tonight, courtesy of Mark McEwan.


To learn more and support the Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation, visit us at 


Topics: Top Chef Canada, Mark McEwan, Chicken Recipes

Tips for Dining Out if You Have a Food Allergy


Having worked as a chef for over two decades now I sure have seen a massive shift in the way people eat. I have also seen an even bigger shift in special diets. I remember being young and having an aunt who was very mindful of what she ate — very few carbs, very little meat, and she almost never ate beef. I remember it so vividly because she was the exception. The rest of the family looked at her in puzzlement, as this kind of thinking was so foreign to us. I grew up being told to eat what was put in front of us. The food was simple and was predominantly seasonal and local, not because we were avant-garde foodies, because that’s what we had to choose from. We grew a garden the size of a football field, picked fresh berries each summer, pickled and preserved everything we could for the winter, raised chickens and laying hens, went fishing and hunted for wild game. Sure, we ate the occasional bowl of dried pasta, but for the most part, we ate what was available to us in our region at that time of year. So the idea of being selective about what we ate wasn’t even an option for us. Things sure have changed.

In today’s restaurant kitchen, up to 20% of orders that come to the kitchen have some sort of modification to them. Let me start by explaining a little bit about the mind of a chef and a cook before I go into great detail about what this means. Chefs, and to a lesser degree, cooks, are two things. First, they are artists, skillfully marrying flavors, smells, textures, and presentation, to create masterpieces that entice all of our senses. But by nature of our business we are also forced to be assembly line workers too. Why is that you ask? Well, it’s because we have to recreate that same masterpiece again and again, dish after dish, for months, even years on end, until the chef finally decides to take it off the menu. Our customers demand it. They can’t come in one day to enjoy a dish, even rave about a dish, and then talk it up to all of their friends, only to go back there and find that it doesn’t taste the same. So, we fight the battle in our minds, push to continue to create new and delicious masterpieces, while resisting the urge to change completely, knowing that our customers come to expect certain favourites.

So, with that in mind, let’s consider what it means when I say that up to 20% of meals ordered are modified. Well, the first challenge is that it slows down the assembly line. Rather that working feverishly on autopilot, recreating the plates you have made a thousand times before, you have to stop and adjust. You have to change the way the assembly line works, slowing things down for everyone. It’s not a big deal when it is one or two plates, but when it’s one out of every five plates, it can really slow a kitchen’s mojo down. The second (far more difficult) challenge is trying to change dishes that take hours and hours to create in the first place, during the middle of a busy dinner service, with limited time to think or create.

So, what does all of this have to do with allergies you ask? A great deal, actually. The first thing you have to realize is that a kitchen is a very busy and hectic place, with a great deal of organized chaos happening all at once. You also have to take into consideration that most chefs really don’t like change, especially during a busy dinner service. So, as a chef, here is what we are asking of you to help keep yourself safe while dining with us.

1) First and foremost, you are either allergic to an item or you are not. If too many onions make you gassy, that makes you human, not allergic to them. If Dr. Oz told you to watch your gluten intake in order to lose weight, it doesn’t mean that you are allergic to gluten. Don’t, under any circumstance, throw about lightly that you have an allergy. We do take your health and safety very seriously and there is nothing more stressful or concerning for a chef than to hear that we made someone ill while dining in our restaurant.

2) Take accountability. I take your health and well-being very seriously, and will do everything in my power not to serve you something that may put your life at risk. I expect you to do the same.

3) Make your allergies clearly known to your server, even if you have to be annoying about it. It is imperative that you let us know what you are allergic to so that we can ensure your safety.

4) It’s also imperative for you to never assume that something on our menu doesn’t contain the item you may be allergic to. Some items we cook contain 30 ingredients or more. It would be all but impossible for me to list everything on the menu.

5) Full disclosure is key. Tell us all of your allergies, no matter how obscure. Kitchens are very busy places, and although we are diligent about working in clean and safe environments, things do happen. If you have a severe onion allergy but are only ordering cheesecake, tell us your allergy anyway. You never know when the chef has his back turned and doesn’t see the bonehead rookie grab a knife that just chopped an onion and slice your cheesecake without washing it. Dumb things occasionally do happen and we don’t want them to happen to you.

6) Beware of cross-contamination. This is so often overlooked. I can always tell real celiac apart from the no-carb diet guy. A celiac knows that his fries can’t be cooked in the same oil as the battered fish is cooked in, even if the fries never have flour directly on them. This issue is only compounded when items are purchased outside of the kitchen. In our restaurants we make everything from scratch that we can, but we don’t make our own bread. When a guest with a nut allergy asks about our bread, I have to say that it isn’t safe, because I can’t be in complete control of what is happening at the bakery and I don’t know if nuts accidentally came into contact with the bread.

7) When in doubt, err on the side of caution. Listen to how your server reacts to your request. Is she genuinely concerned for your safety? If not, don’t take the chance.

8) Lastly, give us some warning. This applies to those of you with a serious list of allergies. If your list is longer than your average grocery list, do everyone a favour and call the restaurant a day or two ahead and let us know what you can and can’t eat. Any good chef will take the time to prepare something special for you with a little warning. Otherwise you might be stuck eating a plate of lettuce.


Chef Paul Shufelt is a business partner and executive chef of Century Hospitality Group. He’s competed in the Canadian Culinary Championships and Best in Chow Burger Wars, has been featured in Avenue magazine and is leading a fundraiser for the Canadian Culinary fund.



What to Eat if You’re a Health Foodie


Health foodies are a unique group of people. They love food, love good food and most of all, love healthy food. Most health foodies I know don’t necessarily prescribe to a particular label like ‘vegetarian’ or ‘paleo’; rather, they eat what their body tells them to while still keeping up with current health food trends. The goal of eating like a health foodie is to feel vibrant, energetic and maintain overall health.

So, what do health foodies stock their cupboards, pantries, fridges and mason jars with?

1. Kombucha
Kombucha has been known as a restorative and energizing drink for centuries and it is now breaking through the food scene here in North America. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is a fizzy-like a soft drink. Unlike soft drinks, it offers a ton of nutritional benefits. It acts like a probiotic helping to populate your gut with friendly bacteria. This is super important for maintaining a good immune system. It has also been noted to help with digestion, detoxing the liver and rejuvenating skin and hair. There are a ton of great local companies producing Kombucha like Tonica. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can try making your own but you’ll need to get your hands on a “SCOBY” (symbiotic-culture-of-bacteria-and-yeast) first. I recommend taking a Kombucha brewing workshop before getting started.
2. Produce from a CSA foodbox or farmer’s market
Most health foodies I know are farmer’s market junkies or CSA (community supported agriculture) subscribers. CSAs are boxes of fresh, mostly local and often organic produce that can either be delivered right to your door step, or picked up at a central location. There are a ton of great companies delivering these great nutritious-packed food boxes. This cuts out the need to do a lot of grocery shopping and assures you are getting produce that is clean (nutritionally speaking). Most of the vitamins and minerals are retained because of the reduced travel time from farm to table. If you would like to be a bit more selective with your produce, hit up a farmer’s market to get those same nutritional, local benefits.
3. Liquid Chlorophyll
Chlorophyll is my go to morning beverage and a staple in my household. A few drops of chlorophyll in water and your water will be turning bright green — this is very cool with kids, trust me. Chlorophyll is actually the blood of plants and the structure is similar to human blood. It is also what gives plants that great vibrant, green colour. Liquid chlorophyll is used as a detoxifier, a quick way to get some greens into the body, and was traditionally used as a breath freshener and deodorant!
4. Green Juices & Smoothies
Have you ever seen people walk by carrying mason jars filled some sort of green drink? Chances are they are carrying their on-the-go green juices or green smoothies. Juices and smoothies are gaining a ton of traction these days. Their liquid state makes them easy to digest and allows their nutrients to be absorbed easily, not to mention the fruit and veggies retain most of their beneficial nutrients. Juice detoxes, deliveries and bars are popping up everywhere. Green smoothies and juices are particularly popular because greens are incredibly nutritious; they have mega superfood status and have a hand in preventing cancer, high cholesterol, heart disease, hormone imbalances, inflammation and hypoglycemia.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is so hot right now. It is the new go-to for cooking, baking, moisturizing and mouth washing. This creamy oil has many health benefits and provides the body with great anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Many health foodies I know will put 1 Tablespoon in their coffee substitutes, or in water for that extra kick.

Your Go-To, To-Go Green Smoothie!

1 cup almond milk or rice milk
1 cup kale
1 banana
1 Tablespoon almond butter or protein powder
¼ cup strawberries
1 Tablespoon ground flaxseeds

Put everything into a blender and blend well until a smooth consistency. If you like it cold, add ice!

Image by RACHEL GORMAN Photography


New Foodie Fad: ‘The Purple Diet’

purple diet

Juice cleanses, step aside. There’s a new approach to dieting, and get this — you can actually eat food!

This new diet trend, ‘the purple diet’, suggests you only consume purple-coloured foods. It has quickly become a very popular food trend in the U.S, and as trends go, likely soon in Canada. Some acceptable food items include purple cauliflower, purple potatoes, purple carrots, plums, etc. These colourful fruits and veggies are said to contain anthocyanins, which are powerful anti-oxidants and provide anti-ageing benefits. If you aren’t convinced yet, pop icon Mariah Carey followed the diet regime to lose her unwanted, post-baby pounds. She ate purple foods, three days a week, and is said to be seeing positive results.

Although the celebrity buzz around this fad is significant, nutritionists actually recommend eating a rainbow of fruits and veggies each day.

So do you think the ‘purple diet’ is a safe and healthy approach to losing weight, or do you think it’s just another fad? Tell us what you think on Facebook and Twitter!



7 Vegetarian Alternatives to Your Favourite Fast Foods

vegetarian fast food alternatives

We’re not going to sit here and tell you that fast food doesn’t taste good and you should never crave it. That’s just not true. Fast food is delicious. And fast! (Go figure.) However, we want to help you take a healthy approach to your favourite fast foods so that you feel as good as that burger tastes. Whether you’re already living the meat-free life or not, it’s always good to incorporate different protein sources into your diet, like beans and tofu. So put down that takeout menu and check out these 7 delicious vegetarian alternatives to your favourite fast foods.

1. Vegetarian Chili Recipe

2. Vegetarian Burgers Recipe

3. Curried Vegetarian Stew Recipe

4. Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe

5. General Tso Tofu Recipe

6. Bean Burritos with Spanish Rice Recipe

7. Portobello Mushroom and Canadian Swiss Pizza Recipe 


Live Well With Parkinson’s Inc.

chicken and quinoa

Research has shown that for those living with Parkinson’s Disease, taking medications used to treat PD (such as l-dopa), in the absence of protein, can more effectively control symptoms of the disease.

This means that simply by changing how you eat, symptoms can be reduced without increasing pill dosages. This is a major win for Parkinson’s patients, as higher doses may increase the risk of side-effects.


The following low-protein recipes were specifically created with a “protein redistribution diet” in mind.

1. Blueberry Pancakes

2. Vegetable Medley Stew

3. Pina Colada Cupcakes

4. Southwestern-Style Chicken and Quinoa

The first 3 recipes are low-protein selections that can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or as snacks and will allow l-dopa to maximally treat symptoms. Additionally, all the recipes are delicious, easy to make, and the simple ingredients can be obtained at any grocery store.

The 4th recipe, a high-protein dinner, ensures that you continue to eat a balanced diet with the same total daily requirement of protein.


Live Well With Parkinson’s, Inc. in partnership with the Jeff and Diane Ross Movement Disorders Clinic at the Assistive Technology Clinic and Baycrest Health Sciences, works to integrate healthy lifestyle strategies, including diet and exercise, to optimize function and quality of life in people living with PD and other neurological illnesses.




Live Below the Line

Could you manage to live off $1.75 for an entire day? Would that even cover your morning coffee? Well, surviving each day with that amount is the reality for 1.2 billion people that live below the poverty line. The World Bank states that surviving on $1.75 each day has been defined as living in extreme poverty.

Live Below the Line, an initiative of the Global Poverty Project and campaign organization, has challenged individuals to eat and drink using only $1.75 per day, for five days straight. From April 28th to May 2nd 2014, Live Below the Line participants can raise money for Canadian organizations including Opportunity International, Raising the Village and Ve’ahavta, whose initiatives and programs are helping to eliminate poverty around the world.

The Live Below the Line challenge runs in Canada, US and UK. Their ultimate goal is to raise awareness on a global scale, and to raise money for partner organizations.
So what are you waiting for? Step up to the plate and see what you can do with $1.75 a day!

Join the challenge by registering at


To help get you started, here are three recipes that would cover a day’s worth of meals (all for under $1.75)!


Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon 5-Grain Pancakes
Apple Cinnamon 5-Grain Pancakes

Lunch: Curried Vegetable Soup
Curried Vegetable Soup

Dinner: Linguine with Sausage and Mushroom Ragout

Linguine with Sausage and Mushroom Ragout



How to Feed the Female Brain

We’ve all likely seen the research on eating for heart health. We’re learning to reduce sugar and focus on good fats. However, research continues to emerge about the differences between female and male digestion. An important next step in building a healthy lifestyle is to focus on the foods and meals that can keep our brains healthy. Did you know that almost 70% of new Alzheimer’s sufferers will be women? What makes this fact even more alarming is that there is little understanding of why this is the case. Nutrition is very important for your brain and the earlier you start looking after your brain health, the better the cognitive outcome. Studies have shown that a Mediterranean diet can reduce inflammation, oxidative stress, and other vascular risk factors for brain & heart diseases.

Below we’ve included 3 quick and easy tips and recipes to get you started. Eating for brain health does not require a diet overhaul; many brain-healthy superfoods may already be in your fridge and pantry. We’re thrilled to have Chef Mark McEwan’s support on our campaign – he created three custom recipes specifically for Memory Morsels and they’re included with our tips below!

1) Spinach for brain health
Spinach is rich in vitamins A and K, folic acid and iron, and is packed with at least 15 different antioxidant compounds known as flavonoids, which have been shown to inhibit the formation of the beta-amyloid plaques that build up in those with Alzheimer’s disease. Try Chef Mark McEwan’s Spinach Salad with Tuna, Radishes and Cara Cara Oranges.
spinach salad
2) Bison for protein strength
Bison (or Buffalo) is a nutrient-dense food because of the proportion of protein and minerals in relation to its caloric value. One pound of ground bison, in fact, contains 34 grams of protein, while its fat, cholesterol and calorie levels are lower than other popular meats. Coffee’s antioxidant richness also helps to maintain brain health. Spring ahead with Chef McEwan’s Coffee and Cocoa-Rubbed Bison with Blueberry Shallot Chutney.
bison recipe
3) Kale for antioxidants
While all antioxidants (from a variety of plants) are good for your brain, cruciferous veggies like kale are especially effective. Chef McEwan’s Kale and Sausage Bean Soup is a glorious way to combine multiple superfoods in one easy to serve meal.
kale and bean soup

These recipes are part of Memory Morsels, a Women’s Brain Health Initiative program that gives you the tools you need to host a brain healthy, food-focused party for friends and family. If you want to add extra purpose to your next get-together, collect donations in lieu of hostess gifts. Funds raised from Memory Morsels parties support much needed research into brain diseases that affect women twice as much as men — diseases like Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke and depression. Recipes, party inspiration, menus and more are available at


Live Well with Parkinson’s

living with parkinsons

Living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), may cause people tremors, slow movements and stiffness, amongst other symptoms. most  There are incredibly effective medications used to treat symptoms of PD (such as l-dopa), however, to get the full effect from such treatments, protein intake should be limited. Unbeknownst to many, protein can interfere with the absorption of the medication into the body.

Research and patient experience have shown that by sticking to a “protein redistribution diet” symptoms of PD are better controlled. This means that small amounts of protein are eaten during the day when people need to be most active, and medication needs to be most effective. Larger amounts of protein are eaten in the evening, when people are more likely to be sedentary and less reliant on medications to function. On this diet, the same amount of protein is eaten each day, but the majority is eaten in the evening.

When introducing a protein redistribution diet into your daily routine, consider these 5 important points:

1. Protein competes with l-dopa for the same transporter to get into body.

2. In this competition, protein always wins which means protein is absorbed but l-dopa isn’t.

3. Reduction of protein at the time of taking l-dopa improves control of symptoms in PD by increasing the amount of l-dopa that gets into the body as it doesn’t have to compete with protein.

4. Careful attention to when and what to eat, and when to take medication can improve symptom control without the need for more medications

5. Eating a protein redistribution diet helps control symptoms while still eating a balanced healthy diet.

Live Well With Parkinson’s, Inc.
in partnership with the Jeff and Diane Ross Movement Disorders Clinic at the Assistive Technology Clinic and Baycrest Health Sciences, works to integrate healthy lifestyle strategies, including diet and exercise, to optimize function and quality of life in people living with PD and other neurological illnesses.




Food Training: What to Eat if You’re Training for a Marathon

marathon food

The Winter Games are in full force, which means all of us Canadians are cheering proudly and excitedly for our athletes abroad in Sochi.  As we watch our Olympians, we may turn inwards and start to think about what our own personal sport of choice is.  For many, it’s marathon running.  The thrill of a long distance run that ends with endorphins, glory, pride and a much-needed Epsom salt bath is incredibly appealing.  This empowering sport requires quite a bit of training, and while some people only focus on the physical run, nutrition plays a huge role in successfully crossing the finish line and completing a marathon.
What to Eat While You Train
During the training period runners need to fuel their bodies properly to speed up recovery times and optimize their performance.  During this time it’s so important to be consuming tons of antioxidants, complex carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes to keep your body strong and to train the digestive system for the big race.  During training, the diet should consist of about 50-60% complex carbohydrates. This ensures the muscles in the body are saturated with glycogen, which is the storage form of glucose/energy. This is what fuels runners during those very long runs.  Complex carbohydrates include brown rice, quinoa, sprouted whole grains and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes and squash.

It’s also important to be eating tons of antioxidant and omega 3 rich foods.  Hardcore training puts a lot of stress on the body, which creates free radical damage.  Free radicals are behind many diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Your body is brilliant and it does its best to protect against free radical damage, but you also need antioxidants from food to play a big protecting role.  Eat lots of dark leafy green vegetables and colourful vegetables to get an array of different antioxidants.  Also load up on coldwater fish, like salmon, fish oil or flax oil to get those Omega 3’s in the body.  Omega 3’s are natural anti-inflammatories and will really help with reducing muscular inflammation after and during runs.

What to Eat Right Before a Run
It’s best to eat about 2 hours before going on a run, which may be difficult for some who want to train early in the mornings.  Eat low-glycemic complex carbohydrates to saturate glycogen stores; this prevents fatigue and will provide sustained energy throughout the run. The meal should be low in fat and moderate in protein.  Whole grain toast with nut butter, whole grain cereal with almond, soy or dairy milk or oatmeal with fruit are all great options.

What to Eat During a Run
While you’re running your body needs quick bursts of energy that are easy and fast to digest. Simple carbohydrates, fluids and electrolytes are all very important during a long run. Sports bars, energy drinks, gels and dried fruit are all great choices.  Think of foods that are easy to carry, easy to eat and easy to digest.  However, always be aware of what sports bars and drinks you’re buying, because of a lot of them are filled with nasty preservatives and ingredients.  Make sure to test out eating these foods beforehand to know how you react to them.  No one wants an unfortunate digestive mishap during a run.

Keeping hydrated is also really important for the body during a long run.  You need to hydrate with electrolytes as well as water.  Some marathon runners suggest drinking 5-12 oz of fluid every 15 minutes.

What to Eat After a Run
After you’ve finished running, you have 30 minutes to get the post-run snack into your system. This snack replenishes glycogen stores that were used up during the run.  Eating a simple carbohydrate with protein helps immediately repair muscle and balance blood sugar.  Some good options are fruit smoothies with a scoop of protein powder or nut butter, raw energy date and nut balls or the very popular choice of chocolate milk.  However, chocolate milk is often very hard for people to digest and the dairy creates inflammation in the body.  Also, remember to drink plenty of fluids to replace what was lost during the run.

Now that you know what to eat to start training for a marathon, it’s time to hit your sole to the pavement… or to a treadmill (it is winter, after all).

And let’s not forget: Go Team Canada!

Tamara Green is Chief Nutritionist and Natural Cook with The Living Kitchen Wellness Group in Toronto.




Spotlight: Top Vegetarian Thai Recipes

thai recipes

Why get on a plane when you can get on a plate?

Even if you’re sticking around your kitchen table this winter, you can work on your bikini body with these light, refreshing and
nutrient-packed vegetarian recipes straight from the beaches of Thailand!

Get a taste of the exotic with these home-cooked recipes.

Spicy Thai Asparagus Soup Recipe

Thai Rice Pudding and Berry Coulis Recipe

Spicy Thai Peanut Sauce Recipe

Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe

Spring Vegetable Thai Curry Soup Recipe

Salad Rolls with Hot and Sour Dipping Sauce Recipe

Thai Curry Pumpkin Soup with Coriander Swirl Recipe

Peanut Thai Vegetable Stew Recipe





Top 5 Veggie Burger Recipes

top 5 veg burgers

It’s National Vegetarian Month, and we’ll be serving up delicious meat-free recipes all month! (Meat-eaters: don’t worry, we have great recipes for you, too). To kick off the month, we’re counting down our top 5 veggie burger recipes that are rich in both protein and flavour. Check them out!

  1. Black Bean Veggie Burger Recipe
  2. Lentil Burgers Recipe
  3. Vegetarian Burgers Recipe
  4. Buddah Patty Recipe
  5. Veggie Burgers Recipe


21 Terrific Tofu Recipes

tofu recipes

Happy Meatless Monday, everyone! Whether you’re a meat-eater or not, it’s always great to switch things up in your diet and expand your recipe repertoire. This week, we’re exploring the world of tofu, and you might be surprised to find out just how versatile it really is. Check out these delicious tofu recipes for some great ideas for dinner tonight!

  1. Tofu Veggie Breakfast Wrap
  2. Snow Peas and Ginger Tofu
  3. Tofurkey Tofu Turkey
  4. Tofu Fries with Soy Sauce Aioli
  5. Veggie Burgers
  6. Sweet n’ Spicy Breakfast Hash
  7. Olive Oregano Wine-Baked Tofu
  8. General Tso Tofu
  9. Classic Spinach Lasagna
  10. Chili and Tamari Marinated Tofu and Soba Noodle Salad
  11. Vegetable Pad Thai
  12. Grilled Vegetables with Tofu
  13. Peanut Thai Vegetable Stew
  14. Tofu Pinwheels
  15. Sauted Savoury Crumbled Tofu
  16. Vegan Meatballs with Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce
  17. Vegetarian No-Pasta Lasagna
  18. Spring Vegetable Thai Curry Soup
  19. Mapo Tofu
  20. Tofu Skewers with Walnut Pesto
  21. Vegan Scramble

Gluten-Free Pancakes from The Hot Plate

Mother’s Day is just around the corner; why not go above the macaroni necklaces and paper-mache paperweights and serve Mom a sumptuous breakfast in bed! In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, and in honour of our mothers, we present you with this simple (and delicious) recipe for gluten-free pancakes. The only thing that might be more satisfying than the pancakes are the bragging rights your mother will have when she tells her friends about the breakfast in bed she was surprised with on Sunday morning. Get creative and customize with toppings; maple bacon crumbles and jam? Pina Colada Pancakes with pineapple, rum syrup and toasted coconut? However you decide to serve them, make sure one side dish you don’t forget is a big hug and a thank you!


Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


1 cup GF all-purpose flour blend
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup milk
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar


1. In a bowl, whisk together milk and lemon juice. Set aside for 10 minutes, this will become sour and turn into our buttermilk. Just before adding to batter, stir thoroughly.

2. In a large bowl, stir together gluten free all-purpose flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix in egg, canola oil, vanilla extract, prepared buttermilk and sugar.

3. Heat a skillet or cast iron cook top over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray or grease lightly with canola oil. Add ¼ cups of batter about 2-inches apart on the cooking surface. Cook pancakes until bubbles appear on the surface, flip and continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until browned and cooked through.

Enjoy pancakes immediately or keep warm in an oven preheated to 250F.


Amanda_GarbuttAmanda Garbutt is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.








Chard Burritos from The Hot Plate

Chard is a fresh and carb-free alternative to tortillas or wraps, and makes for a great, light meal. The crispness and delicate bitter flavour of the chard is balanced by the richness of the sweet potato’s naturally buttery flesh. Black beans add even more flavour and fibre to the mix while adding a great textural element and bite in contrast to the fresh diced tomatoes. Minced cashews provide even more crunch to your lunch, just be sure to substitute if you’re sending them to a ‘nut-free’ zone. One thing you can be sure of is this: anywhere you serve these meatless munchies, you’ll earn the reputation of total ‘wrap star!’


Chard Burritos

Serves 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes


2 very large swiss chard leaves
1 medium sweet potato
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup black beans
1 tomato, seeded and juiced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon cumin
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted cashews, finely minced
¼ cup alfalfa sprouts


Prick a clean sweet potato all over with a fork. Microwave on high for 10 minutes, turning halfway through. Cook the sweet potato until completely tender.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, cook until softened about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste followed by the black beans, cumin and cashews; cook for 2 minutes more. Add ½ cup water and continue to cook until water has evaporated and flavours have combined, about 10 minutes.

For the wrap, clean and thoroughly dry the swiss chard leaves. Using a sharp pairing knife trim the thick part of the Swiss chard’s stem. Trimming the back of the stem reduces its thickness and makes the burrito easier to roll.

Arrange the swiss chard leaves facing up. Scoop half the cooked sweet potato flesh into the center of each swiss chard leaf. Top with black bean mixture and alfalfa sprouts. Roll the swiss chard leaves start at the bottom of the stem and continue to roll to the top of the leaf. Secure the burritos closed with kitchen string, if desired.



Amanda_GarbuttAmanda Garbutt is the host of The Hot Plate, a free online cooking show dedicated to inspiring culinary confidence in new cooks. The Hot Plate also offers regular cooking tips and advice, how-tos, and information on seasonal ingredients.







Sensitive Hearts

Valentine’s Day Special Diet

It’s Valentine’s Day again. Stores have stocked all of their shelves with chocolates and bonbons, but for some people it signals an anaphylactic nightmare.

Over the past year, my own family of foodies was hit with something unexpected – a case of adult-onset allergies. Cases, in fact. Two almond-related throat-closing emergencies led us to learn that my wife is allergic to peanuts and tree nuts. Just when we began to learn how to incorporate her new eating limitations, my own symptoms had me worrying that I might be allergic to something as well. Some elimination in my diet, some consults with my doctor, and some tests all confirmed my suspicions – I have a gluten intolerance.

Allergies seem to be increasingly prevalent these days – wheat, eggs, nuts, dairy, sesame, shellfish, soy. In fact, studies suggest that approximately one in every 13 Canadians suffers from a serious food allergy. Some schools, camps, and day cares have gone completely allergen-free. Some restaurants have even gone as far as labelling menu items and occasionally having full menu sections that are dedicated to nut-free or gluten-free items, which can help make eating out a less daunting task. It can still be stressful, though.

And like any special day, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about stressing over dinner plans. It’s an opportunity to enjoy one another’s company over a nice, delicious meal. Rather than panicking while trying to find a restaurant that is both allergy friendly and meets all of your romantic and culinary expectations, why not consider preparing a delicious meal at home for your amore?

This does not require a run out to specialty food stores to source ingredients. You simply need to plan ahead. The fewer pre-packaged and processed foods you include, the easier your task is going to be. And healthier too!

For Valentine’s Day dish this year I’m starting dinner off with an eye-catching salad to set the Valentine’s mood. Components include a spring mix salad, topped with Garlic & Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetables, creamy Boursin cheese, fresh pomegranate seeds and drizzled with this Tasty Healthy Salad Dressing.

It presents beautifully, highlighting the reds and pinks found in the beets and pomegranate seeds. Roasted root vegetables are naturally sweet and pair off wonderfully with the vinegar based dressing, and the creaminess of the cheese. All presented on a bed of spring mix, you’ll wonder why you ever considered a restaurant to begin with. It is also completely nut free (no peanuts or tree nuts here!) and gluten free.

In our household, over the past year, we have had to be a lot more conscious about what we buy, what we cook, what we make, and what we serve. We read all labels, we ask questions, and we make a lot of food from scratch. But just because we are a bit more restricted, we are still a family of foodies and we still appreciate delicious and beautiful food.

Check out the following list of allergy-sensitive Valentine’s Day suggestions that I just know the special someone in your life will adore!

Lactose-Free Salmon Chowder


Gluten Free, Dairy Free & Nut Free Haricots Verts Bundles With Shallot Vinaigrette



Gluten-Free, Nut-Free Stuffed Chicken Legs


Gluten-Free Spinach Lasagna

Gluten-Free Chicken Pot Pie



Egg, Dairy and Nut-Free Chocolate Cake


Gluten-Free Chocolate Orange Cornmeal Cookies

Wheat-Free Chocolate Cherry Pecan Cookies

Lactose-Free Banana Cake with Crunchy Topping