Friday, November 8, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Hello Everyone!

It's squash season, and they seem to be everywhere! I only discovered spaghetti squash in the last year, and was immediately hooked. It is very easy to cook and versatile. I often mix it 50:50 with regular pasta to reduce the calories while still keeping my belly full :) The recipe here, however, is mostly squash and as you can see in the last picture I put it in a aluminum tray for freezing. Casseroles are amazing freezer meals you can make ahead and just keep in your freezer for quick dinners when you're too tired to cook or don't have much time. Give it a try!

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, store-bought or homemade is fine
  • 1 cup cooked pasta of your choice, I used spelt spaghetti
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place squash, cut side down, in a baking dish. Bake at 375° for 45 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook onion, garlic, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper; saute until onion is tender and transparent. Add tomato sauce and cook for 5 more minutes. Set aside.
  3. Scoop out the squash with a fork such that strands get separated. Combine the squash, tomato mixture, spelt spaghetti, ricotta cheese and half the Parmesan cheese in a medium bowl. 
  4. Transfer mixture to a greased baking dish. Sprinkle with rest of  Parmesan cheese. Bake 375° for 40 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown.  
  5. Enjoy! (Serves 6)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Simple Granola

Hi everyone!

Time seems to fly lately, and I haven't had the chance to prepare a post in a while. I have so much new stuff to share and ideas to try out, though! Today I want to share my special and simple granola recipe. I'll start by saying that I love cereal! It is undoubtedly one of my favourite snacks, and I could have it at any time. The problem is that 99.9% of store-bought cereals are loaded with sugar and/or highly refined oils (if the ingredients list says 'vegetable oil', 'canola oil, 'soybean oil', etc. chances are this oil has been heavily processed and, therefore, structurally damaged; making it unhealthy and full of free radicals and other aging-promoting components). So what's the solution? --> making your own personalized cereal or granola, of course! The recipe here serves well as a base, you can add or remove whatever you want. 

Simple Granola

  • 5 drops concentrated stevia (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Agave syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 2 cups kamut flakes
  • 1 cup old fashion rolled oats
  • 1 cup rice crispies
  • 1/3 cup quinoa puffs (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup dried currants

1.  Preheat oven to 250 degrees
2.  Combine all liquid ingredients in a small bowl, mix well. Make sure mixture can be poured out. If it’s too thick, try stirring it in a sauce pot under low heat.
3.  In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients.
4.  Pour syrup mixture over dry ingredient. Stir until dry ingredients are evenly coated.
5.  Spread granola over a cookie sheet (lined with parchment paper) and place in oven for about 1 hour, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Granola will burn if not stirred, so keep an eye on it!
6.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
7.  Store in air tight container.
8.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Lifehack: Overnight Oatmeal

Hi everyone!

A couple of weeks ago I came across the answer to how to eat a nice, homemade breakfast while still managing very early morning workouts. If you have limited time in the morning to prepare your breakfast but dislike the idea of having to buy your breakfast from a coffee shop, or even worse, skip it completely, then you MUST try this! Overnight oatmeal has officially become one of my favourite go-to meals. It takes very little preparation time, it is packed with protein, the possibilities of flavour combinations are endless, and most importantly, all I have to do is grab my jar on the way out in the morning! No more worrying about waking up extra early to make breakfast. 

Overnight Oatmeal (per serving)

Base Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or any milk of your choice)
  • ¼ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon honey or agave syrup, optional

Flavour Options:
1)    Apple:
a. ½ teaspoon cinnamon
b. ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
c. fresh apple, diced (enough to fill the jar)
2)    Banana-chocolate
a. 1 tablespoon cocoa powder or your favourite chocolate protein powder (can also use 1 tablespoon of peanut butter if that’s your thing)
b. 1 tablespoon almonds, slivered
c. ¼ cup ripe banana, diced (enough to fill the jar or approx. half a small banana)
3)    Berry-mix
a. 1 tablespoon your favourite vanilla protein powder
b. ¼ cup frozen or fresh berries, or enough to fill the jar

In a half pint (1 cup) jar, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds and sweetener. Put lid on jar and shake until well combined, or use a spoon. Remove lid, add the rest of the ingredients (depends on the flavour you choose) and stir until mix throughout. Return lid to jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 2 days. Eat chilled and enjoy!

Note: My boyfriend finds this serving a little small, so I make a double recipe for him. 


Friday, October 11, 2013

Butternut Squash Fall Tart

Hi Everyone!

It’s Friday again, AND a long weekend! I have been subscribed to an organic produce delivery service for the past few months. They deliver fresh, local fruits and vegetables to my doorstep on a bi-weekly basis. With squash season upon us, it was no surprise that last week’s box included a gorgeous butternut squash. I immediately thought of making either a soup or a some sort of pie. But I don’t have much experience making tarts or pies, something about the dough scares me I think… so when I found a tart recipe that didn’t require ‘hours’ of kneading, I decided to give it a try.  

Butternut Squash Tart


For the crust: 
  • 1 cup spelt flour (or all-purpose if that's what you have on hand)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 stick cold salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ice-cold water
For the filling:
  • 1/2 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch kale, stems removed, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere, coarsely grated (or mozzarella cheese)

  1. Add flours and butter to a food processor (or blender with wide bottom) and pulse to combine until the butter forms pea-sized chunks. Add vinegar and cold water, one tablespoon at a time, while still pulsing. At this point, the dough should be able to hold together, but not be sticky. Shape dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic, and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 13-inch circle or the size of your tart/pie dish. Place the dough into your tart dish and press it down against the bottom and into the edges. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool. 
  4. In the meantime, get the filling started; toss the squash with 1/2 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the nutmeg on a baking sheet. Spread evenly on the sheet, and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. 
  5. Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the kale and cook for 5-7 minutes until it begins to soften. While it is cooking, add the red pepper flakes and a pinch of salt. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
  6. In the same pan, heat the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until transparent (about 20 minutes), stirring every few minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir, and remove from the heat. Set aside to cool. 
  7. Squeeze out any excess liquid from the kale and return to the bowl. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and add to the kale. Add 3/4 of the squash, half the cheese, the onion, and a few grinds of black pepper to the kale-egg mixture. Stir together and add to the cooked crust. Scatter the remaining squash and cheese over the top, and add a few more grinds of black pepper. Bake until the egg is set and the top is lightly browned, 25-28 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  And.... enjoy!
Serves 2 nice slices + leftovers (or 4 people) 


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Bananas for Banana Bread

Happy Friday!

Banana bread has become such a staple for me. I didn't grow up eating this comforting treat, but I was immediately hooked after trying it for the first time. Of course, ever since that moment, I've been tweaking my recipe to finally arrive at what I'm sharing with you today. Still delicious and comforting, but a lot more nutritious than any of the store-bought varieties. Hope you give it a try!


Banana Bread


  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup milk (skim, almond, 2%... whatever you like!)
  • 1/2 cup Agave syrup (or honey)
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups kamut or spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup kamut flakes (can use rolled oats if you can't find any kamut)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 325°C and grease a rectangular loaf pan.
  2. Add the 1Tbsp apple cider vinegar to a measuring cup, and then add milk to 1/4 mark. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl mix agave syrup, coconut oil and mashed bananas. Mix well.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt).
  5. Add dry ingredients to banana batter and fold until well combined.
  6. Add apple cider vinegar and milk to the batter. Incorporate.
  7. Add walnuts and chocolate chips. Incorporate.
  8. Pour batter into greased pan. Sprinkle shredded coconut and some kamut flakes on top. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Let it cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve. 
  10. Enjoy!
Option: To help you control your portions better, you can choose to bake this banana bread in a muffin tray. Reduce time to 30min and increase temperature to 350°C.


Friday, September 27, 2013

I can't believe is not RICE!

Hello everyone!

It's Friday again, and today I'm sharing another cauliflower-based recipe that's absolutely delicious and calorie-light. This recipe reminds me a lot of a traditional Peruvian dish called 'Chaufa', which has a strong Asian influence. The original dish, however, calls for white rice. Of course, if you're watching your diet or simply looking to avoid any insulin spikes, using this version here is the solution! I promise the taste is not compromised! Who would have thought cauliflower would be such a miracle-ingredient that would allow us to enjoy our favorite foods without the guilt?! I have a few other recipes using this amazing cruciferous vegetable that I cannot wait sharing with you. Stay tuned!

Cauliflower fried 'rice' or Chaufa

  • 3 cups of raw grated cauliflower
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large bunch of green onion, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 chicken breast, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • Pepper to taste
In a large pan, saute garlic and onions in olive oil on a medium/high heat, for about 2 minutes. Add diced chicken and continue cooking on a medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Next, add the peas, carrots and red pepper; continue cooking until carrots are soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add grated cauliflower and eggs to the pan, while scrambling everything together. Make sure eggs get well mixed with cauliflower. Finally, add ginger, pepper and soy sauce while stirring frequently, and cook for about 5-7 more minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Note: To make this a vegetarian dish, simply replace the chicken for tofu or any other protein of your choice. Also, feel free to add any other veggies or protein sources you have around (ideas: other bell peppers, baby corn, broccoli, ham, sausage, chick peas, etc.) Let me know if you find anything else that goes well in this dish!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Protein-packed Tuna Salad

Hello Everyone!

I really believe a healthy diet can (and should) be uncomplicated. It's the only way to make it sustainable. That's why most things I share with you here are so simple. This tuna salad features two of my all-time favorite ingredients; kamut and dill. Kamut is an ancient grain and I like including it in my foods because it is a different kind of grain in your diet (instead of the over-consumed wheat), and it is also high in protein relative to other grains. Dill adds a lovely flavor to this salad. In general, herbs are not only an amazing way to add flavor to your foods without adding calories or sodium, but also have many health boosting properties. I hope you give this humble salad a try! The protein-rich, avocado-based dressing makes it completely guilt-free!  


Tuna Salad


Avocado Mayo:
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 avocado
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp regular mustard
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh dill, finely chopped (you can use more if you really like dill. I do!)
A dash of pepper
1 tsp sea salt

1 cup cooked pasta (I used Kamut spirals, but you can use whatever you have available)
2 cups mixed greens, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped in small cubes
1 cucumber, chopped in small cubes
2 cans of tuna

For the mayo, simply throw all ingredients in a blender and mix until creamy and smooth. In a separate bowl toss all salad ingredients and mix in the avocado mayo. Enjoy!

Serves 4 (or 2 hungry campers)