Tag Archives: healthy recipes

These No-Bake Chocolate Layered Oat Bars Are Sinfully Healthy

If there is ever a reason to eat chocolate for breakfast, now is the time. These healthy oatmeal bars will be your new favourite dessert, snack and morning meal. There’s a bottom layer of oat shortbread cookie, topped with smooth chocolate and almond butter and finished with oat cookie crumbs. You can give them your own spin by swapping out almond butter for peanut butter, tahini or your favourite nut/seed butter. And you can use flavoured chocolate like coffee, salted caramel or toasted almond to give even more depth and flavour. Who says your next sweet treat needs to be unhealthy or even require the use of the oven?! You can thank us later.

No-Bake Chocolate Layered Oat Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Freeze Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Servings: 8 bars

Ingredients:

Oat Layer
½ cup coconut oil or butter
¾ cup almond butter
⅓ cup coconut sugar
1 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp sea salt

Chocolate Layer
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or 150 gram chocolate bar
¼ cup almond butter or peanut butter

Directions:

1. Place a pot over medium-low heat. Add in the coconut oil and almond butter and as they soften and gently melt, pour in the coconut sugar and mix.

2. Toss in the rolled oats, shredded coconut, cocoa powder, vanilla and sea salt, turn heat to low and stir well to fully combine. After 3 minutes remove from the heat.

Related: 65 Vegan Desserts Even Non-Vegans Will Love

3. Combine the chocolate and almond butter in a double boiler and stir until melted and creamy.

4. Lightly oil an 8 x 8 inch pan and place parchment paper in it. Ensure the parchment comes up slightly over the sides so that once the bars are done, they pull out easily.

5. Take ¾ of the oat mixture and press it down into the pan. Use your hands and/or the back of a measuring cup to push it down into a nice even layer.

6. Then pour most of the chocolate mixture over the oat layer and cascade the rest of the oat mixture on top, no need to press in, just crumble over.

7. Then drizzle over the remaining chocolate with the back of a spoon. You can also top with shredded coconut, toasted almonds and/or chocolate chips.

8. Place in the fridge for 2 hours until solidified. Gently pull them out of the pan and slice into bars. Store any leftovers in the fridge.

Like Tamara and Sarah’s creation? Try their epic waffle platter or their vegan brownies (where they test five vegan egg substitutes!).

Sugar Detox: Nutritionist Explains How to Reset Your System (And Fight Cravings!)

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: 10 Foods That Can 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: A 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:


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: Salmon and Greens with Cumin Dressing
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Afternoon Snack: Hummus with Sliced Carrots, Cucumbers & Celery
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Dinner: Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts with Wild Rice, Artichoke & Kale 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 Glazed Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Afternoon Snack: Apple with 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Dinner: Oh My Chickpea Goodness 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: Green Smoothie
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Morning Snack: Handful of Strawberries and ¼ cup Almonds
Water Break: Drink Water (250mL)
Lunch: Citrus Roasted Tilapia with Greek Quinoa 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, plus 20 healthy meal prep ideas to get you through the week ahead!

The Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Menu With 5 Ingredients Per Meal

Have you ever looked at a gorgeous recipe photo and thought, “I’m definitely making that tonight!” only to become way less enthused when the cooking instructions call for 20 ingredients or more? We’ve been there. So, we’re giving you the opposite: a day’s worth of meals with only five ingredients required for each one. Not only are these breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes a cinch to make, they’re winter-proof (meaning they’ll warm you right up while nourishing you in the process). One housekeeping rule: oil, salt and pepper don’t count toward the five ingredients. Okay, that’s it. It’s time to get cooking!

Breakfast: Maple Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Prep Time: 12-15 minutes
Total Time: 17 minutes
Serves: 1


Ingredients:
¼ cup quinoa
¾ cup non-dairy milk
¼ – ⅓ cup toasted walnuts or almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup blueberries (or your favourite fruit of choice)
Splash of maple syrup, to taste

Directions:
1. Place the quinoa and non-dairy milk in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer for 12-15 minutes until fluffy and all the milk is absorbed.
2. Pour the quinoa into a bowl, top with walnuts or almonds, blueberries and a hearty drizzle of maple syrup. Feel free to add more non-dairy milk.
3. You can replace the quinoa with brown rice or oats. If you already have these grains pre-cooked, simply toss them in the saucepan with just a bit of non-dairy milk to heat up.

Lunch: Quickie Grains, Greens & Beans Bowl

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
½ cup cooked brown rice or cauliflower rice
½ cup chickpeas
1 cup baby kale, mesclun greens or baby spinach
½ green apple or avocado, sliced
2 Tbsp creamy tahini
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions:
1. If you’re using brown rice and it’s not cooked yet, do so according to package instructions. For a grain-free option,  use cauliflower rice.
2. Place the rice or cauliflower on the bottom of a wide bowl or reusable to-go container if you’re taking this lunch with you.
3. Pile the chickpeas together in one area of the bowl.
4. Place the greens in another area of the bowl. Then add the apple or avocado on top to create a picture-perfect meal.
5. Drizzle tahini, olive oil, salt and pepper, then mix. If you’re taking this lunch to-go, you can dress it beforehand or place the dressing components in a container on the side.

Dinner: Sheet Pan Miso Salmon

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
1 bunch broccoli, chopped in florets
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2.5 oz pieces of salmon
Pinch of sea salt and pepper
2 Tbsp white miso
3 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp sesame oil

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375°.
2. Place the broccoli florets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Push some florets to the side and place the salmon in the middle of the baking sheet, so the flesh is facing up. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.
4. While the broccoli and salmon are baking, prepare the miso marinade by whisking miso, maple syrup and sesame oil.
5. Take the salmon out of the oven when it’s done (you know it’s done when a fork gently flakes it apart) and immediately brush or spoon the miso marinade over top.

For more easy-breezy recipes, here are our best one-pan dinners with 7 ingredients or less, along with more healthy 5-ingredient lunch ideas and 3-ingredient breakfasts for better mornings.

Cold-Busting Citrus Smoothie That’ll Save You When Sick Season Hits

When flu season strikes, keep your immune system strong with this citrus-infused cold-busting smoothie. This drink is packed with nutrients, and features two anti-inflammatory agents: ginger and turmeric. Citrus in the form of orange and lemon add a punch of vitamin C, which is a necessity this time of year. For a vegan version, simply sub the Greek yogurt with a dairy-free alternative, like cashew or coconut.

Easy Cold-Busting Citrus Smoothie Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:

1 large sliced banana, frozen
¼ cup full-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
½ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed
½ Tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
¼ tsp ground turmeric
4 ice cubes, or a handful of crushed ice
hemp hearts or chia seeds, to garnish

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Puree until mixture is smooth and creamy, about 60 seconds.

2. If mixture is too thick, add a splash more orange juice and blend.

3. Transfer to glass and garnish with hemp hearts or chia seeds.

Support your immune system with these 25 healing ginger recipes, the best foods to soothe a sore throat and our favourite slow cooker comfort foods.

The Realistic Clean Eating Meal Plan That Won’t Leave You Hungry

Happy New Year! It’s time to celebrate… but not with champagne, or sugar cookies, or elaborate cheese platters. While we don’t really believe in resolutions (because let’s face it, most set us up with unrealistic expectations) we do believe in starting the year off strong, and one of the best ways to do that is by assessing our eating habits. The good news? There’s no need to give up all those delicious dishes we crave, or do away with fun cooking techniques. Healthy eating is about consuming foods that nourish our cells to boost energy, improve focus, increase mood and support immune health (here’s to no more winter colds!) – and who doesn’t want that? Follow this realistic meal plan as a simple starting point.

What to keep in mind for every meal:

Breakfast
Morning meals should contain a healthy amount of protein and fat. This helps keep blood sugar levels stable to sustain energy throughout the day (and can aid in preventing diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer). Think: eggs and avocado, nuts, seeds, nut/seed butters, chia puddings and overnight oats.

Lunch
Salad and grain bowls make for the best lunches, because you can often re-purpose dinner leftovers to make them. Aim for a myriad of colour (phytonutrients provide veggies and fruit with their bright hues and health-giving benefits) and texture (like crunchy nuts and seeds paired with creamy dairy-free dressings) in every dish.

Dinner
Dinners can be more involved than lunches, but if you’re short on time, prep ahead: chop veggies the night before, or make the recipe a few days ahead and freeze it (like these freezer-friendly recipes). Another tip: try to finish eating about three hours before bedtime so your body is able to fully digest the food before you hit the sheets.

Healthy Meal Plan: Day 1

Breakfast: Super Simple Morning Egg Sauté

Serving: 1-2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, butter or avocado oil
1 cup kale or spinach, roughly chopped
½ zucchini, sliced into half discs
¼ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
2 eggs
1 heaping Tbsp creamy tahini
¼ lemon, squeezed
¼ cup pecans, toasted
¼ avocado, sliced
Crack of pepper

Directions:
1. Heat a wide saucepan over medium, add the oil, and when it gets slippery and starts sliding freely around the pan, add the kale and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper. Toss around until veggies begin wilting.

2. Push the veggies to the side. If you feel the pan needs a bit more oil, splash a small glug in and crack the eggs in the empty space. Season with salt and pepper. After about 2-3 minutes, flip the eggs.

3. Grab a bowl and put the veggies on the bottom, place the runny eggs over the veg, then drizzle with tahini and lemon. Top with toasted pecans, avocado and pepper. Voila!

Lunch: Asian Noodle Salad with Ginger Dressing

A medley of veggies that are probably already in your fridge with a sweet and tangy immune-boosting dressing. Get the recipe.

Dinner: Lentil and Cauliflower Shepherd’s Pie

cauliflower-pot-pie

A vegan, veggie-packed warming dinner with loads of fibre to keep you full and feed the good bacteria in the gut. Get the recipe.

Healthy Meal Plan: Day 2

Breakfast: Morning Chia Pudding

The mighty chia seed delivers omega 3’s, fibre, protein and calcium to boost your energy levels. Trust us when we say it’s one of the best ways to start the day. Get the recipe.

Lunch: Clean Bean and Green Stew

Servings: 3-4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet potato, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 carrots, sliced into ½ inch circles
2 celery stalks, sliced
½ dried green or brown lentils
1 cup chickpeas (from can or previously cooked)
2 ½ cups veggie broth
1 cup kale or swiss chard, roughly chopped
Small handful of parsley or cilantro, roughly chopped
Sea salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Place a large pot on the stove, turn to medium heat, add the oil. Swirl the oil around the pan, then drop in the onions. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes until translucent and slightly browned.

2. Add the garlic. Toss for about 1 minute, then add the remainder of veggies and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Let the veggies cook for 5-8 minutes until they begin to soften, then toss in the lentils and chickpeas, season with a pinch of salt and pepper again and mix so everything gets combined.

4. Pour in the veggie broth, season one more time, bring to a boil and simmer for 20-25 minutes.

5. Once simmer time is over, add in the kale so it brightens and gets slightly cooked. You can also make a big batch of this stew in advance, because it freezes super well.

Dinner: Sesame-Crusted Salmon with Asian Greens and Tamari Dressing

Salmon is rich in healthy fats (i.e. omega 3’s), and when paired with calcium-rich sesame seeds, fibre-rich brown rice and phytonutrient-rich bok choy, you’re eating a meal that will nourish, replenish and detoxify. Get the recipe.

Healthy Meal Plan: Day 3

Breakfast: Veggie-Packed Breakfast Frittata

Eggs and veggies in the morning are the perfect combo for delivering nutrients and keeping blood sugar stable. Get the recipe.

Lunch: Healthy Buddha Bowl

Vibrant veggies topped with a gut-loving fermented miso sauce that’s also rich in good fats and calcium. Get the recipe.

Dinner: Easy Tamari Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Servings: 2-3
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, sliced into pieces
3 tsp tamari
2 crowns broccoli, sliced into florets
1 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar or rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp maple syrup

Optional Toppings:
¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2-3 Tbsp sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced

Directions:
1. Slice the chicken into pieces, place in a bowl and pour tamari over top.

2. Place broccoli florets in a large pot with hot water. Steam them until they turn bright green and are still a bit crunchy in texture. Drain and set to the side.

3. Heat avocado or coconut oil over medium in a large pot or saucepan, then add the chicken. Stop yourself from constantly tossing the chicken around. You want it to cook on one side for 3-5 minutes, then flip and continue to cook for 2 minutes. Don’t worry if some pieces are not fully cooked through yet.

4. Take the chicken out of the pan, set to the side and add the onion, garlic and ginger all at once. Let them sauté for about 3 minutes, then add the chicken and broccoli back in.

5. Pour the liquids (i.e. vinegar, tamari, etc.) in a bowl, give a quick stir to mix, then pour into the pot. You could pour them individually into the pot but, we like the idea of them being fully combined first.

6. Toss everything around to coat in the delicious juicy liquids, then simmer until the juices begin to thicken and disappear, about 10-12 minutes.

7. You can serve with brown rice, brown rice noodles or as is. Whatever you decide, top with fresh cilantro, sesame seeds and green onions.

Looking for more inspiration to start the year off with a healthy bang? Here’s how a nutritionist meal prep every Sunday, plus 15 bad eating habits experts say to ditch this year and 10 things healthy people eat for breakfast.

The Epic Winter Salad That’ll Keep You on Track This Season (Ft. the Best Dressing Ever)

Who says winter lunches and dinners need to revolve around steaming stews, soups and roasts? Instead, try an epic winter salad that’s loaded with the season’s best produce. This fresh and colourful recipe is adaptable to any of your favourite cold weather add-ins: try cauliflower instead of Brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds instead of dried cranberries, sliced chicken breast instead of chickpeas, crumble over feta to add richness and so much more. What you won’t want to change is the lip-smacking roasted garlic dressing with a hint of sweetness to tie it all together. 

The sturdiness of the vegetables used enable you to meal prep this on the weekend for a week of filling lunches or veg-forward dinners. Even if you’re cooking for one, make the entire recipe and reward yourself with something nourishing and delicious every day this week. 

Epic Kale Winter Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4 to 6 

Ingredients: 

Salad
300g Brussels sprouts, tough ends removed and halved lengthwise
250g (1 large) beet, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
3 Yukon gold or 2 peeled sweet potatoes, cut into ½-inch wedges or cubed
1 onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 large or 2 regular cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
¾ tsp kosher salt
6 cups kale, de-stemmed and torn or shredded into manageable pieces
1 (19 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
⅓ cup toasted sunflower seeds
¼ cup dried cranberries or pomegranate seeds

Dressing
⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp applesauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp kosher salt
Roasted garlic, from above 

Directions:

1. For the salad, preheat oven to 400ºF. Add Brussels sprouts, beet, potatoes, onions and garlic to separate areas (to prevent the beets from staining the other vegetables) of one large or two medium rimmed baking sheets and evenly divide over olive oil, thyme and salt, and then toss vegetables to coat. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Squeeze the garlic out of its paper and smash to create a paste; reserve garlic paste for the dressing. 

2. For the dressing, in a medium glass jar to shake or bowl to whisk, combine all dressing ingredients, including the smashed garlic paste, from above. Shake or whisk until the mixture is smooth and creamy (it’s okay if there are some small bits of roasted garlic – it’s sweet and won’t be pungent like a chunk of raw garlic would). 

3. Toss a portion of the dressing with the kale to coat and add to large platter, or divide among 4 to 6 individual salad bowls. Toss a portion of the dressing with the chickpeas and add to the platter or divide amongst bowls. Add a section of each of the roasted vegetables and drizzle over remaining dressing. Sprinkle everything with sunflower seeds and cranberries, and serve warm, room temperature or chilled. Alternatively, instead of composing the salad, toss everything together before serving.

Entertaining this season? May we suggest this show-stopping healthy grain bowl for a crowd (featuring mashed sweet potato and wine-baked tofu!). You’ll also love these 15 vegan roast alternatives for meat-free guests.

Indulgent Yet Healthy Apple Pie Squares with Date Caramel Sauce

Everyone loves a warm, gooey, flaky apple pie, especially come fall. We took the classic recipe and turned it into indulgently delicious squares. They also happen to be healthy for you: they’re filled with good fats, natural sweeteners, fibre and vitamin-rich apples, of course! A date caramel sauce is the finisher, as it gets generously drizzled on top for extra sweetness. You’ll fall so in love with the simple, healthy caramel sauce you may even want to double the recipe for it and spread it over toast, sliced apples or eat it by the spoonful.

Healthy Apple Pie Squares with Date Caramel Sauce

Prep Time: 35 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 65 minutes
Servings: 8 squares

Ingredients:

Crust & Topping
2 cups almond flour
1 cup rolled oats
2 Tbsp coconut sugar
¼ tsp sea salt
⅓ cup coconut oil
1 egg
¼ cup roughly chopped walnuts

Filling
4 cups mix of granny smith and Fuji apples, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp coconut sugar
1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted

Date Caramel
6 medjool dates, pitted
½ cup warm water
2 Tbsp dairy-free milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

Crust & Topping
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Make the crust. In a food processor, pulse the almond flour, oats, coconut sugar and sea salt using the “S” blade until combined.
3. Add the coconut oil and egg, pulsing until the mixture is crumbly like sand.
4. Take half of the mixture, place it to the side and mix in the roughly chopped walnuts (this will be used as the topping). The other half of the dough will become the bottom crust.

5. Oil a 7×11 baking dish (or put parchment paper down) and place half the dough into the dish. Push it down using your hands or the back of a measuring cup until it is evenly spread out. Poke a few holes with a fork for heat to escape.
6. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until golden and remove.

Filling
1. In a bowl, mix together the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and coconut sugar.

2. Place a pot on the stove over medium-low heat and melt coconut oil. Add in the apple mixture and stir until apples begin to soften (this will take about 10 minutes). The apple juices should be mostly evaporated at this point. The longer you allow to stew, the softer and mushier the apples will become. If you prefer a chunkier texture, spoon the cooked apples over top of the crust and spread out evenly. If you prefer a smoother texture, mash the apples with the back of a spoon to create a paste, then spread evenly over the crust.

3. Take the remaining crust and disperse it over the apples in crumbly chunks. It should look rustic, so there’s no need to place it over gently.

4. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Take the dessert out of the oven when ready, allow to cool completely to room temperature before slicing into squares. Cut them into 8 even pieces.

Date Caramel
1. As the apple pie squares are baking, make the date caramel sauce.
2. Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender (if you have a mini blender or processor, use that instead) and blitz until creamy. If it’s too thick, add more water, about 1 Tbsp at a time.
3. Once the squares are cut and cooled, drizzle the date caramel sauce all over.

Make the most of your apple bounty with these Irresistible Apple Desserts for Fall, Our Easiest Apple Crisp Recipes and Anna Olson’s Best Apple Desserts.

Tasty Thai “Fall” Rolls with Pumpkin-Coconut Sauce (That You Can Make Ahead!)

A Thai-style appetizer with a Thanksgiving twist, these “fall” rolls offer a light bite before the main event. Inspired by the fresh summer rolls enjoyed at Thai restaurants, this autumnal version with roasted sweet potato and cabbage, soba noodles and peanuts is paired with a savoury coconut milk and pumpkin sauce spiced up with sriracha and juicy lime. They’re healthy, easy to prepare and can be made ahead up to one day – a bonus when holiday entertaining

Create your own filling to use up leftovers like roasted Brussels sprouts and squash, or add a bit of protein with shredded roasted turkey. You can even wrap up a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. There are no rules to roll.

Fresh Thai “Fall” Rolls with Pumpkin-Coconut Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cool Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Makes: 15 to 20 rolls

Ingredients: 

Filling
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch sticks
5 cups shredded green cabbage or quartered Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil, plus more for noodles
2 Tbsp soy sauce, plus more for noodles
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
½ (363g) pkg (2 bundles) buckwheat soba noodles 

Coconut-Pumpkin Dipping Sauce
1 (160mL) small can coconut milk
⅓ cup pumpkin purée
Juice of 1 lime
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Sriracha, to taste 

Assembly
15 to 20 rice paper wrappers
3 green onions, sliced into matchsticks
1 cup fresh basil leaves or cilantro leaves
¼ cup roasted peanuts (salted or unsalted), roughly chopped
Black or white sesame seeds

Directions: 

1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Add squash, cabbage, olive oil, sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar, and then toss to combine and spread into a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes, toss and roast for a further 15 to 20 minutes, until vegetables are very tender and beginning to caramelize. Set aside to cool to room temperature, or store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

2. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and drain well again. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with a splash of additional sesame oil and soy sauce to coat and prevent the noodles from clumping. 

3. For the sauce, in a medium bowl whisk all ingredients well to combine so no lumps remain. If the coconut milk is cold, there will be lumps that refuse to whisk; if this happens, heat mixture in a pot over low heat, whisking constantly, until they melt. Pour into a serving bowl, or store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. The sauce will firm as it cools, which tastes great, too – bring to room temperature for a looser dipping sauce consistency. 

4. To assemble, fill a large pie plate or rimmed baking sheet with warm tap water. Have all the filling and assembly ingredients chopped and within arm’s reach. Line a baking sheet or plate with parchment paper and have a few damp paper towels handy. Working one rice paper wrapper at a time, re-hydrate for 20 to 30 seconds in warm water until pliable, and place on a clean service.

5. To the wrappers, in the bottom third leaving a portion of rice paper wrapper exposed at the bottom, add a small amount (about ⅓ cup total) of roasted vegetables, noodles, green onions, basil and peanuts. Tuck in the bottom, then the sides and continue to roll away from you to seal. Place on prepared baking sheet and cover with a damp paper towel to avoid drying out. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. If making ahead, wrap each roll individually in plastic wrap and transfer to an airtight container for up to one day; unwrap before serving.

6. Add rolls to plate next to dipping sauce, sprinkle the rolls and sauce with sesame seeds, and then serve. 

With an appetizer covered, it’s time to figure out the main course – here are some hacks to keep stress down in the kitchen.

Fall Chia Puddings 3 Ways: Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie & Chocolate Chai

When September rolls around, I become a little bit of an enthusiast for all things fall. I like to incorporate the cozy flavours of the season into each meal of the day, and breakfast is no exception! These chia puddings are like biting into your favourite autumn dessert: apple pie, pumpkin pie and chocolate chai. They require minimal prep, and are so good for you, as chia seeds are loaded with nutrients. Pumpkin pie for breakfast? Yes, please!

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours
Servings: 2

Apple Pie Chia Pudding

Ingredients
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 medium apple, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
Coconut whip, for topping (refer to this recipe, if desired)

Directions
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, apple sauce, cinnamon and nutmeg until well blended. Let stand for 30 minutes.
2. Whisk mixture a second time to distribute the chia seeds. Transfer mixture to a glass jar or serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. When ready to serve, top with sliced apple, nuts and coconut whip.

Pumpkin Pie Chia Pudding

Ingredients
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
¼ cup pumpkin puree
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground allspice
1 Tbsp walnuts or pecans, for topping
Coconut whip, for topping (refer to this recipe, if desired)

Directions
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and allspice until well blended. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Whisk mixture a second time to distribute the chia seeds. Transfer mixture to a glass jar or serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. When ready to serve, top with nuts and coconut whip.

Chocolate Chai Chia Pudding

Ingredients
1 cup almond milk
¼ cup chia seeds
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp chai concentrate (optional)
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cardamom
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch ground cloves
1 pinch ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp mini dark chocolate chips
Coconut whip, for topping (refer to this recipe, if desired)

Directions
1. In a medium size mixing bowl, whisk the almond milk, chia seeds, maple syrup, vanilla, chai concentrate, cocoa powder, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, allspice, cloves and nutmeg until well blended. Let stand 30 minutes.
2. Whisk mixture a second time to distribute the chia seeds. Transfer mixture to a glass jar or serving bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. When ready to serve, top with chocolate chips and coconut whip.

Stay warm and cozy this season with this healthy apple pie oatmeal breakfast bake, these vegan pumpkin spice pancakes or this streusel-topped pear kuchen cake.

This Berry, Lemon & Tahini Pound Cake is Summer in Dessert Form

Tahini adds a pleasingly nutty, bitter note to this sophisticated summer berry pound cake, while lemon zest and juice, in both the cake and glaze, cut through this dessert’s richness. The addition of the oil-rich tahini keeps the cake moist for days on the counter, though it will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator. It’s just sweet enough without tasting cloying, allowing every ingredient to shine through. The cake gets a final flourish from edible flowers, making summer tea time that much more magical. And, it’s dairy-free!

Dairy-Free Summer Berry, Lemon and Tahini Pound Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 7 hours 40 minutes
Makes: 1 loaf
Serves: 10

Ingredients:

Cake
½ cup well-stirred tahini, room temperature
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1¾ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp fine-grain salt
½ cup unsweetened plain almond milk
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cups fresh or frozen (do not defrost) berries (raspberries, blueberries, sliced strawberries)

Glaze
2 cups icing sugar, sifted
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp almond milk
Zest of ½ lemon
Edible flowers

Directions:

Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a standard loaf pan and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang for easy removal.
2. In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat tahini, oil, eggs, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, until lighter in colour and texture.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4. Turn on mixer to low and slowly add flour mixture, alternating with milk and finishing with flour mixture. Stop mixer before all of the flour is incorporated. Using a spatula, gently fold in fresh berries and lemon zest. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
5. Bake for 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with just a few damp crumbs but is mostly clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife. Using the parchment overhang, transfer pound cake to a wire cooling rack and cool completely.

Glaze
1. In a medium bowl, whisk icing sugar, lemon juice and milk until smooth. Keep the fully cooled pound cake on the wire rack and place the rack on top of a clean baking sheet.
2. Pour glaze evenly over cake, allowing it to drip down the sides. While glaze is still wet, top with lemon zest and edible flowers. Let glaze set, if desired, about 2 hours, and then slice and serve.
3. Store pound cake (with set glaze) airtight at room temperature for 3 days, or refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Baking with tahini lends a certain creaminess and earthy flavour you never knew you were missing. Want more? We recommend these Healthy 7-Ingredient Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Conquer Brunch With This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata and Sourdough Bread

You can never go wrong when serving your guests a hearty, veggie-packed breakfast casserole topped with melted, gooey goat cheese. Stratas are usually reserved for birthdays, Mother’s Day or Easter brunches, simply because they easily feed a crowd and can be fully prepped ahead of time; so no fuss, no muss when entertaining guests. Make this the day before and pop it into the oven when it’s go-time. What makes this strata even more special is that it’s made with sourdough bread, an artisan-style loaf that is easy to digest and adds incredible texture and bite.

Make-Ahead Vegetable Strata With Sourdough Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients:

½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 zucchini, sliced into thin circles
1 ½ cups chopped kale or baby kale
1 ½ tsp dried thyme or 1 tsp fresh thyme
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
6 eggs
1 ½ cups dairy-free milk
4 cups sourdough loaf cut into 1 inch cubes
4-6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1. Place a skillet on medium heat, coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil and add the onions. Stir occasionally and allow them to cook for 3 minutes, then add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes.
2. Add the cherry tomatoes and zucchini and let them cook for 5 minutes.
3. Add the kale, thyme, sea salt and pepper. Stir until the kale begins to wilt.
4. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and dairy-free milk.
5. In a large casserole dish (9×13), coat the bottom with a little olive oil, spread ½ the bread on the bottom, top with ½ of the veggies, then layer the rest of the bread and veggies on top.

6. Pour the egg and milk mixture over and crumble the goat cheese on top, nestling some pieces underneath the bread cubes.
7. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge until you’re ready to bake it. It can be left in the fridge for up to one day.
8. When you’re ready to bake, heat your oven to 350°F, place the uncovered strata in the oven for 45-50 minutes until it starts to bubble up and crisp.

This Make-Ahead Veggie Strata & Sourdough Bread

Still salivating? Here are 25 more crowd-pleasing brunch recipes and 15 sheet pan breakfast bakes that promise to please!

The Best Salmon Burger Recipe With Dairy-Free Tzatziki

We made these burgers for all of you out there who don’t like the fishy taste of fish. The refreshing dill, vibrant parsley, and sharp garlic and shallots mask the taste of salmon so well that many of our clients eat these burgers every single week. The eggs and mashed cauliflower give the burgers a soft, fluffy texture, which means they’re easy to eat. Plus, this recipe is a great way to get more wild-caught salmon into your diet.

Dill Salmon Burgers With Dairy-Free Tzatziki

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6 burgers

Ingredients:

Salmon Burgers:
12 oz piece of fresh wild salmon or two 5.6 oz cans boneless wild salmon
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper
1½ cups cauliflower florets
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, finely diced
1 egg
½ cup blanched almond flour
3 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp whole-grain mustard

Coconut Tzatziki:
1 cup cucumber
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup plain, unsweetened coconut yogurt
¼ cup fresh dill, finely chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp sea salt

Read More: 15 Delicious Ways to Use Canned Salmon

Directions:

Salmon Burgers:
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. If you’re using fresh wild salmon, place the fillet on a baking sheet skin side down and sprinkle it with the salt and pepper. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Once the salmon is baked, set it aside to cool, and then carefully remove the skin. Keep the oven on. If you’re using canned salmon, drain the liquid from the cans.
3. While the salmon is baking, put the cauliflower florets in a small pot with ¼ cup of water. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, and simmer for 7–10 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft and cooked through. Most of the water should be gone by this point; if it is not, drain the excess water using a colander. Then blend the cooked cauliflower in a food processor until it is creamy. If there is just a bit of water left in the pot, you can add it to the food processor with the cauliflower.
4. Crumble the cooked or canned salmon into the food processor, along with the remaining ingredients, except for the Coconut Tzatziki, and pulse to combine. If you don’t have a food processor, place all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix by hand.
5. Measure out ¼ cup of the salmon mixture. Shape it into a burger patty, and then place it on the baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
6. Bake the burgers for 20–25 minutes, then carefully flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes. The burgers should be firm to the touch and lightly browned on top when they are ready.
7. While the burgers are in the oven, make the Coconut Tzatziki.
8. Serve burgers with a hearty dollop of tzatziki sauce. Have them in a salad or in a collard or whole-grain wrap, or eat them on their own. Keep leftover burgers in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze for 3–4 months.

Nutrition Note: Salmon, especially wild caught, is one of the best types of fish to eat because it contains coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation—and reducing inflammation is linked with slowing cancer growth. Salmon also contains vitamin D and selenium, both important nutrients for antioxidant action to protect your cells from cancer.

Read More: 58 Fantastic Ways to Cook Salmon Fillets

Coconut Tzatziki:
1. Grate the cucumber with a hand grater or in a food processor using the grater attachment.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the grated cucumber with all the other ingredients.
3. Keep chilled in the refrigerator until ready to use or serve. This tzatziki will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Note: Make sure to buy yogurt that is made of coconut milk (not dairy yogurt with a coconut flavor). Alternatively, you can use another type of dairy- free yogurt, such as almond milk yogurt. Just make sure you get an unsweetened, plain variety.

Recipe Excerpt:
Excerpted from The Living Kitchen by Tamara Green & Sarah Grossman. Copyright © 2019 Tamara Green & Sarah Grossman. Photography by Daniel Alexander. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

The #1 Item Missing From the New Canadian Food Guide (And Why You Need It)

Canada’s first food guide came onto the scene in 1942, with a goal to prevent nutritional deficiencies in Canadians during wartime. The focus was on drinking ½ pint of milk, eating a daily serving of potatoes, tomatoes and meat or fish, and eating four to six slices of bread a day! Since then, the food guide has gone through many incarnations over the years, as new research and lobby groups changed the nutrition landscape.

While Canada’s new 2019 food guide has made great strides, this one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition is still forgetting one key element.

The missing piece? Healthy fats. There is no mention of fat anywhere besides a small area that says “limit saturated fat”. We’re no longer in the era of the low-fat craze – quite the opposite, as research is continuously showing how important it is to consume good-for-you fats, so it’s unfortunate this entire macronutrient group is ignored. There are many different types of fats, some good and some bad, so it would have been beneficial to highlight the big difference between them. Read on for 10 important reasons why good fats are integral to a healthy, well-rounded diet:

1. Fat + Vegetables = Perfect Combo

You need fat to absorb vitamin A, D, E and K along with antioxidants, like lycopene and beta-carotene. That’s why it’s important to pair healthy versions (like extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, olives or coconut oil) with your veggies. All of these nutrients have protective properties to promote longevity. So, bring on the healthy salad dressing!

2. Fats are Essential (i.e. they need to come from your diet)

Fats like omega-3’s, found in walnuts, chia seeds, flax, salmon, mackerel and sardines, are essential, meaning the body can’t make them on its own, and they need to come from your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids play a role in disease prevention by lowering inflammation and slowing signs of aging.

3. Fats Protect Your DNA

Fats help build cell membranes. This is the outer layer of the cell that prevents bad substances from entering and protects internal DNA. DNA damage is what causes aging and age-related diseases.

4. Fats Help with Weight Loss

This one is pretty counter-intuitive, but fats that are composed of medium-chain fatty acids, like coconut oil and ghee, are immediately used for energy in the body; this increases metabolism and aids in weight loss.

5. Fats provide plenty of energy

Fats have a lot of potential energy: one gram has double the calories as one gram of carbs (this is not a bad thing!). Some fat you eat gets converted into energy immediately, while others are stored and then burned for energy when the body needs it (for example, during exercise).

6. Fats Improve Brain Function

Fats are important for mental clarity, focus, cognitive function and enhancing memory. They also surround nerve fibres in the brain, which helps speed up brain communication and impulses.

7. Fats Help Delay Aging

A study found that a high fat diet can postpone signs of aging in the brain and may prevent age-related cognitive decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

8. Fats Help Fight Disease

Recent research found that when diets high in good-quality fats, like butter and cold-pressed oils, are combined with low sugar and low processed foods, disease risks are reversed: good cholesterol (HDL) increases, blood pressure improves, circulating triglycerides are reduced and insulin and blood sugar levels decrease.

9. Fats Insulate & Protect

Fat controls the internal temperature of the body, ensuring you’re warmer in the winter. It also cushions vital organs like your kidneys, heart and the brain, protecting them from injury.

10. Fat is Needed for Healthy Skin

Skin cells are surrounded by layers of fat that help skin look plump and hydrated. Omega 3’s play a big role in providing the building blocks for healthy skin and lowering inflammation.

Incorporate more nourishing, fat-fueled dishes into your diet with these 15 Wholesome Recipes Packed with Healthy Fats

Despite healthy fats not being prominently featured in the new food guide, plenty of other promising updates were made. Here are the top 7 positive changes that should be celebrated:

● The food guide is now a plate (goodbye, rainbow cartoon food images!), which provides a great visual to understand what your plate and portion sizes should resemble.
● Veggies and fruits take up half the plate (a big win!) and they highlight a variety of rainbow coloured produce, from broccoli and berries to cabbage, spinach and peas.
● Meat and alternatives is now simply “protein”, showing that protein comes in many shapes and sizes and not just through animal products.
● Milk and alternatives was removed, which is now encompassed within protein, as there are many Canadians who can’t tolerate dairy.
● Grain products have become “whole grains”, focusing on those that are fibre-rich rather than refined.
● Water is highlighted as the beverage of choice.
● The guide focuses on eating habits: being mindful when you dine, deeply enjoying your food, sharing meals with others and cooking more often.

For a more in-depth look, see here for the 10 Biggest Dos and Don’ts From Canada’s Brand New Food Guide

This Healthy Ethiopian Breakfast Bowl Features Your New Favourite Grain

Need a delicious and healthy way to switch up your breakfast routine? This teff breakfast bowl is it! Inspired by my Ethiopian Canadian upbringing, it’s a tasty spin on the flavours of home. Teff is an ancient grain that is quintessential to Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine – it’s usually found in the traditional Ethiopian flatbread injera. This tiny grain is rich in minerals like manganese and iron. Plus, it’s packed with protein. In case you need a few more reasons to add it to your pantry, teff is also a great source of fibre and is naturally gluten-free.

This healthy breakfast bowl is flavoured with cinnamon, cloves and cardamom – all of the essential ingredients to Ethiopian tea. The spiced teff is topped with crisp pears, creamy almond butter and crunchy pecans that pair perfectly with the grain. Finally, it’s sweetened with Canadian maple syrup, so each spoonful is rich in flavour and texture.

Teff Breakfast Bowl


Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3

Ingredients:

Teff Breakfast Bowl
1 cup teff grains (not the flour – unless you prefer a smoother texture)
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup almond milk
1 stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp cardamom

Toppings
1 1/2 pears, sliced
1/2 cup pecans
6 tsp maple syrup
3 Tbsp almond butter

Directions:

1. Add the teff, water, almond milk, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom to a pot and bring to a boil. Be sure to stir frequently. As it begins to thicken, turn the heat down and put a lid on the pot until it’s cooked all the way through. Tip: Use a rice cooker to guarantee a perfect batch every time.

2. Pour 1/3 of the teff mix into a bowl and remove the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom.

3. Top the teff bowl with half a thinly sliced pear, 1/3 of the pecans, 1 Tbsp almond butter and 2 tsp maple syrup.

4. Pour the remaining teff mix evenly into two bowls and repeat the topping steps listed above (or refrigerate and enjoy as two days’ worth of pre-made breakfast).

5. Grab a spoon and eat up!

Looking to expand your grain horizon further? Here are The 10 Healthiest Whole Grains and How to Cook Them.

3 Vegan Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Recipes to Steal the Spotlight

Instead of serving your plant-based dinner guests various vegan side dishes, offer them a hearty and healthy main meal instead. These three easy stuffed portobello mushroom recipes (think Mediterranean-style and chili lentil!) are ideal for any diet, and certainly all palates. They’re also perfect for the holiday season because you can prep the elements in advance, and simply warm them up before serving. Bonus: they’re a cinch to make, too!

Portobello Preparation:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
2. Take 6-8 portobellos and remove the stems and gills (the dark brown part underneath the mushroom cap) and discard.
3. Lightly brush the undersides of the mushroom caps and place them on the baking tray, undersides facing up.
4. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and set aside while you prepare the fillings.

See below for each filling recipe and directions:

1. Mediterranean-Style Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8 mushroom caps

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small (130 g) onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small (150 g) zucchini, diced
1 small (130 g) bell pepper, diced
1 small (250 g) eggplant, diced
2 teaspoons dried Herbes de Provence or thyme
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes in their juice
Panko breadcrumbs
Fresh thyme sprigs, to garnish

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Fry the onion and garlic until the onion is translucent and just starting to soften.
3. Add the zucchini, pepper and eggplant and stir thoroughly to coat with the onion mixture.
4. Season with the herbs, salt and pepper and cook a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the tomatoes and mix to combine. Cook for around 5 more minutes, stirring and seasoning with more salt and pepper, to taste. 6. Allow to cool slightly before filling the mushroom caps.
7. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the mushroom caps on the parchment paper.
8. Use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of the mixture per mushroom cap, depending on their size.
9. Top each mushroom with a sprinkle of Panko breadcrumbs and bake for 5-7 minutes.
10. Allow the mushroom caps to cool slightly and remove them from the tray with a spatula.
11. Serve with a sprinkle more breadcrumbs and a few fresh thyme leaves.

2. Rice and Salsa Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8 mushroom caps

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup corn kernels, drained
1 cup cooked, canned mixed beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of your favourite store-bought salsa
1 cup cooked rice
Cilantro, to serve
Pumpkin seeds, to serve
Green onions, to serve

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the corn and the mixed beans and cook 3-5 minutes, stirring well.
3. Add the salsa, stirring thoroughly to combine.
4. Add the cooked rice and stir well.
5. Cook a further 2-3 minutes until mixture is heated through. Set aside to cool slightly.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the mushroom caps on the parchment paper.
7. Use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of the mixture per mushroom cap, depending on their size.
8. Bake for 5-7 minutes.
9. Allow the mushroom caps to cool slightly and remove them from the tray with a spatula.
10. Serve with a sprinkle of cilantro, green onion and some green onions.

3. Chili Lentil, Mushroom and Tomato Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8 mushroom caps

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 oz (113 g) white or cremini mushrooms, finely diced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 cup cooked lentils (1×398 mL can), drained and rinsed
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes in their juice
Flaky sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Curly parsley, to serve

Directions:
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add the mushrooms and cook approximately 5 minutes until they begin to release their juices.
3. Add the chili powder and stir to coat thoroughly.
4. Add lentils and tomatoes and stir to combine.
5. Cook a further 4-5 minutes until mixture is heated through. Set aside to cool slightly.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Place the mushroom caps on the parchment paper.
7. Use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup of the mixture per mushroom cap, depending on their size.
8. Bake for 5-7 minutes.
9. Allow the mushroom caps to cool slightly and remove them from the tray with a spatula.
10. Serve with a fresh, chopped curly parsley.

Looking for more satisfying vegan mains? Check out these 20 Easy Vegan Weeknight Dinner Recipes and 30 Vegan Recipes for a Festive Feast.

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

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

Creamy Gluten-Free Kabocha Squash Gnocchi

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

Ingredients:

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

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

Directions:

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

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

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

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

This Healthy Israeli Stuffed Pita is a Sandwich Lover’s Dream

Israel is known for their delicious falafel sandwiches, hummus, tabbouleh and baba ganouj. But somehow, one of their staple street foods never made it big outside of Israel. The sabich is a sandwich layered with fried eggplant, hard-boiled eggs, Israeli salad, hummus and pickles, then drizzled with tahini. It’s a vegetarian’s dream! The sabich sandwich is usually eaten for breakfast, but makes a delicious lunch or dinner, too.

Israeli Sabich Sandwich 


Prep Time
: 10 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

Sandwich
1/2 eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
2 pitas
2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
1 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup prepared hummus
1 1/2 cups Israeli salad* (see recipe below)
2 Tbsp tahini
Pickled turnip

Israeli Salad
1 small tomato, finely diced
2 baby cucumbers, finely diced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Toss eggplant with olive oil and salt, then place as a single layer on prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake eggplant until tender and golden brown, about 40 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through cook time.
4. Mix all Israeli salad ingredients together in a bowl.
5. Divide hummus between pitas. Layer eggplant, hard-boiled egg, cabbage and Israeli salad over hummus. Drizzle with tahini.
6. Fold pita and enjoy as a sandwich. Serve with pickled turnip.

Craving more Middle Eastern cuisine? Here are 12 Incredible Foods You Need to Try in Israel.

No-Bake Chocolate Crunch Brownies That Taste Indulgent (But Are Actually Good For You)

This seemingly decadent treat truly has it all: a fudgy brownie, a crunchy rich chocolate topping, a good smack of nutty peanut butter, and they’re actually healthy! These no-bake vegan brownies are easy and quick to make, and it will probably take you just as little time to eat them. Yes, they’re a sweet treat, but they also boast some superfood ingredients to fuel your body with high-quality sources of both protein and fat. Not to mention, they taste absolutely incredible.

No-Bake Chocolate Crunch Brownies


Prep Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

Ingredients:

Filling
2 cups cooking dates, honey or medjool dates, pitted
2 cups walnuts
3/4 cup raw cacao or cocoa powder
Pinch of sea salt
2 Tbsp water, added gradually

Topping
100 g dark chocolate bar, roughly chopped
1/2 cup natural or organic peanut butter
1 cup puffed crispy rice cereal or puffed crispy quinoa
1 Tbsp coconut oil

Directions:

1. Choose your date of choice.  If you are opting for cooking dates or honey dates, soak them in warm water for about 10 minutes to rehydrate them, then discard the water.

2. Add the walnuts into the food processor and pulse using the “s” blade until a crumble forms. Then add the dates, cacao powder and sea salt, blending so that it forms into a “dough”.  Add 1 Tbsp of water at a time through the feeder hole as the food processor is running. You don’t want the “dough” to be too wet, but you do need enough water for it to adhere together.

3. Once the “dough” is sticky enough to form a ball, remove it from the food processor and place it in an 8 inch square pan that’s lined with parchment paper.  Use your fingers to press the dough into the pan so that it’s spread out and even, then immediately place it in the freezer.

4. While the brownies are chilling and hardening, start making the topping.  Melt the chocolate chips, coconut oil and peanut butter in a small pot over medium heat. Continue to stir with a silicone spatula until all is velvety and melted together.  Once smooth, fold in the crisp cereal of choice.

5. Remove the brownies from the freezer and pour the chocolate peanut butter crunchy topping over.  Use a spatula to get an even layer.

Craving more good-for-you dessert recipes? You’ll love these 20 Satisfying Sweet Treats That Feature Hidden Veggies.

Absolutely Addictive Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

Cauliflower’s reign continues with this amazing recipe. This healthier version of the classic pub favourite is starting to pop up in restaurants all over the place. Try it and you’ll be surprised by how “meaty” cauliflower really is.

cauliflower-buffalo-wings-vegan-recipe-2

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (can substitute for gluten-free rice flour)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 Tbsp of paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 Tbsp Earth Balance buttery spread
1 cup Frank’s red hot sauce

cauliflower-buffalo-wings-vegan-recipe

Directions:

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 450°F. Wash and cut cauliflower head into small bite-sized pieces.
2. Mix all the ingredients (minus the Earth Balance and hot sauce) into a mixing bowl.
3. The batter will be thin enough that it runs off your fork and the cauliflower florets. Dip each floret into the mixture and coat evenly. You can shake or tap off the excess on the side of the bowl.
4. Lay florets in an even layer on the parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.
6. While the cauliflower is baking get your ranch dip and wing sauce ready. In a small saucepan over low heat melt Earth Balance and mix in hot sauce, bringing to a low simmer before removing from the heat.
7. Remove the cauliflower from the oven and put all the baked florets into a mixing bowl with the wing sauce and toss to coat evenly. Then spread all the florets in wing sauce out onto the same baking sheet. Bake in the oven for another 25 minutes.

cauliflower-buffalo-wings-vegan-recipe-1

Ranch Dip Ingredients:
1 cup Wildwood zesty garlic aioli (or vegan mayo of your choice)
1/8 cup non-dairy milk
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp dill
1 Tbsp parsley
1 Tbsp chives
1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

Note: If you use a regular vegan mayo you might also want to add 1 tsp of garlic powder.

Directions:
1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins before serving.

Tip: The wings can be made with any sauce so try it with your favourite BBQ sauce or a nice version is lemon and pepper. For a milder salt and pepper wing just toss them in salt and pepper right out of the oven — no need for the second baking…the options are endless!

See more from hot for food on their YouTube channel.

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.