I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a warm and wonderful holiday season! I do hope you take some time to relax and unwind, celebrate with family and friends and enjoy the festivities. I also hope you and your loved ones get outside together for some exercise and enjoy time in nature. …And of course, I hope you share some healthy and hearty plant-based meals! (I have a great recipe for you below!)
2017 has been a big year with a lot of changes! The family is growing, the children are busy with their sports and activities, we are building a new home, and we just got two new puppies from our local Humane Society. Meet Oscar and Drake….brothers we couldn’t decide between. Talk about a busy time! Oh, and the Mom was a Great Dane…we must be crazy! (this explains why you haven’t heard from me in a couple of weeks!)
Now for some comfort food! In light of the holiday season and the cold weather here in Canada, I thought I’d share my favourite Baked Bean Recipe with you. It is so simple and nutritious, and it will feed a good number of guests! You can watch this short video HERE, to see just how simple it is! Enjoy 🙂
1. Soak 1 package (900 gm) of Navy Beans overnight. (8 hours)
2. Rinse in cold water
3. Chop 2 medium sweet onions and place in the bottom of a large bean pot
4. Add 1 tbsp of oil on the bottom of the pot (this is optional)
5. Pour the rinsed beans into the pot, over the onion
6. Add water so beans are covered plus one inch above beans
- one 28 oz can plum tomatoes
- 1/4 cup dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
Stir well, Bake 6-8 hours at 325 degrees, Enjoy!
Wishing you all the best for a happy holiday season and a wonderful New Year.
How are you feeling about the approaching holiday season? Do you worry about the temptation of holiday treats? Do you stick firmly to a plant-based diet? Or… do you indulge? I’d love to know how you feel about the food around this time of year. Drop me a line and let me know!
Today I want to share something that will be a hit at your upcoming holiday dinners! It’s a take off of an entrée I’ve made in the past for holiday family meals that everyone loves: a roulade, made with a phyllo pastry dough, and it’s a hit among the meat-eaters every time.
But it is safe to say it is not healthy, given the phyllo dough, even though it is vegan. And so, I have been thinking about how to create something even better with the incredible fillings of the original recipe, which are whole foods, plant-based and oil free. Last week it all came together. I bought 6 portobello mushrooms and put together the fillings from the original roulade. It was a very successful experiment, and so I am happy to share with you an absolutely delicious dish that would be perfect for a plant-based holiday meal. If you are looking for a yummy plant-based option, look no further. I’ve got you covered! Check this out:
First you will have to make the two fillings separately.
1. Hazelnut Stuffing
200 gm roasted hazelnuts
1 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tbsp flat leaf parsely, roughly chopped
1 to 2 tsp fresh rosemary
2 to 3 sage leaves, or half a teas dried sage
2 tbsp bread crumbs
sea salt to taste
Toss all ingredients into a food processer and pulse until crumbly (not completely mashed)
2. Mushroom and Curried Lentil Stuffing
16 white button mushrooms, finely chopped
1 medium sized white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3/4 cup lentils (I use canned, rinsed well)
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 teas paprika
1 teas curry powder
sea salt to taste
2 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
1/8 cup water
In a large pan, sauté the onions and garlic in vegetable broth or water. Add the tomato paste and all the spices. Mix well and stir in the mushrooms. Simmer until mushrooms yield their juices. Add remaining ingredients and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Stuffing the portobellos: remove stems and place mushrooms underside up on a large baking sheet. Spoon the mushroom stuffing generously into the mushroom caps and top with the nut mixture. divide the fillings evenly among the portobellos. Pour about a 1/4 cup of veggie broth into the baking pan and place in the oven at 375 degrees. Bake until the nut stuffing top is golden brown, about 25 minutes. (makes 6 stuffed Portobellos (maybe 7!)
(this recipe is modified from the original by the Elated Vegan.)
Your guests will love this!
This afternoon I went to spend some time with my horses, and when I opened the car door to head home, my cell phone was ringing. I had missed several calls, all from my family. My daughter was hoping I’d stop to pick up halloween make-up, my husband was struggling with his Sunday “butternut squash ravioli” dinner, and my son needed to talk with me “right away”.
This is why I don’t bring my phone when I go riding…
Alas, I called home, and received my messages and instructions. These instructions typically require a grocery store stop, which can be a test for me when I’ve been with the horses, since I am usually wearing mucky boots and horse attire, and these days that includes a bulky barn coat that is less than a fashion statement. And dirty. No big deal. I stop because I am Mom.
My son told me he had been planning on making an appetizer for dinner, and he’d been planning for it for a few days. He said “Dad told me to use what we have in the fridge, but I want to make something specific.” “Ok, what is it” I asked. “It’s a surprise. But I need you to get me two cans of artichoke hearts packed in water and two packages of frozen spinach, a package of Daiya and some almond milk”, he replied.
Daiya is a great for treats and for transitioning away from dairy, but it is something my son seems to be unwilling to live without these days, and that does NOT make me happy. I was about to protest the Daiya, and then I realized he had asked for spinach and artichoke hearts.
My 15 year old son just asked me to buy spinach. And artichoke hearts.
My point in sharing this with you is that I was reminded today that the children in our lives are watching. They are assessing and they are choosing. They are deciding what’s important. And no matter what we say or what we do, they learn from watching us… I had a proud Mom moment today for sure.
I bet you’d agree that among the greatest gifts we can give our children, a big one is the gift of making healthier choices for ourselves and our families. When we can inspire our kids with healthy meals that taste great, we set them up for a healthier, happier future, where they consider healthy living to be an important part of their lives. Amen to that!
So, here is what Mitchell created: (warning, the Daiya does not make this Whole Foods, Plant-Based compliant, but it is delicious!)
Vegan Artichoke and Spinach Dip
2 9 oz cans of artichoke hearts packed in water
2 9 oz packages frozen spinach
1 cup Daiya shreds
Defrost spinach, drain well. Chop artichokes and spinach into small pieces.
Cashew Cream Sauce:
1/2 cup cashews, soaked for an hour
1 cup almond milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp tahini
1/2 teas paprika
Fresh ground pepper to taste ( a little salt is optional)
Blend until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place artichoke and spinach mixture in a bowl and mix them with 1 1/4 cups of the cashew cream sauce. Should be wet. Mix in the Daiya. dread into a shallow casserole dish. Top with 2 tbsp bread crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes. (modified from thefullhelping.com)
*Note: I would bet that this could be equally tasty without the Daiya. Let’s give that a try. Send me your picture and let me know how it goes!
Don’t you love Sundays? My favourite part is dinner time. For a while now, my husband has made it his Sunday routine to do dinner. So, I sit back and Sam cooks. Bliss…
Tonight Sam prepared an open-faced portobello pesto sandwich and a Tangled Thai salad from Jennifer Houston’s “Fresh” cookbook. He modified the salad dressing (delicious!)
Check out the video to see how he put together this masterpiece, and see below for the salad dressing and mushroom marinade.
Peanut Lime Dressing
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp packed cilantro
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp peeled and chopped ginger
2 teas plant milk (soy or coconut)
1 1/2 teas organic cane sugar
1/4 cup orange juice (adjust to taste)
Teriyaki Marinade for Portobellos:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup dry sherry
2 teas powdered ginger
1/4 cup organic brown sugar
Whisk and pour over portobellos. Let marinade for desired time. (I find just 10 minutes or so is enough.)
Taiga Whole Health
As many of you know, as well as having a passion for all things plant-based, I am also a massage therapist and personal trainer. I’ve spent many years treating injuries of all kinds, and I have a few simple and effective tools that are simple enough for you to use at home. If you regularly overuse a particular muscle group, if you are looking for help with an injury or if you are an athlete looking for ways to prevent injury, read on…
Until recently, ice has been considered an important tool for the prevention and treatment of soft tissue and joint injury and dysfunction. Today, however, ice is losing it’s ground in the treatment of acute injury. We’ve long understood how icing hampers the inflammatory response. (Ice impairs the release of prostaglandins, lipid mediators that behave like hormones, which stimulate inflammation in the face of injury or chronic dysfunction.) But we are now acknowledging that inflammation is a natural and necessary part of the healing process, with additional qualities of stabilizing and supporting the tissue or joint involved. The thinking is that we therefore shouldn’t interfere with the inflammatory response following injury.
The question remains, then, is whether or not there is still a place for ice at all in effective hydrotherapy, (rehabilitation and preventative therapies using water). I am happy to report that ice continues to play a key role. And with it’s ability to cause a vasoconstriction, (a narrowing of blood vessels), it is perfect for use in the contrast bath.
The contrast bath creates a “flushing effect”, removing waste and improving the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to damaged cells. Contrast baths step up circulation and nutrient exchange, supporting tissue health and healing, using hot water to first stimulate a vasodilation, (opening of the blood vessels) by the heat, followed by ice water, causing a vasoconstriction, (narrowing of the blood vessels) enhancing nutrient exchange at the cellular level.
Lymphatic flow is also enhanced by the contrast bath, stimulating a pump-like action of lymph in what may be an immobilized injury. This aids in the removal of waste and toxic build up as well.
Here’s how it works: The most effective contrast bath cycle is as follows: Immerse affected area into a tub of hot water for 3 minutes, (as hot as is tolerable) and then move affected area into a tub of ice water for 30 seconds (cold water and lots of ice!) Then, move right back into the hot, and repeat 3 minutes in hot and 30 seconds in ice water two more times. The full treatment includes three cycles of 3 minutes in hot and 30 seconds in cold, always ending with the cold.
An important note: The biggest mistake I see people make with the contrast bath is leaving the affected area in the ice water too long. It is important to note that the goal is to stimulate a vasoconstriction with the cold water as part of the flush, and 30 seconds in ice water is the perfect amount of time to achieve this.
Contrast baths are an effective way to deliver oxygen and nutrients and efficiently remove waste from damaged tissue. I encourage you to include them as part of a treatment plan for post exercise muscle soreness, prevention of overuse injuries, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, muscle strains and sprains.
Reach out if you have any questions! I am happy to help.
It happens. You get home at the end of the day, without having planned dinner. There is nothing that resembles dinner sitting in the fridge and you start to consider all of the options that are not in alignment with your healthy eating plan.
It happened to me last Friday. My husband was out of town. I picked the kids up from school after finishing a few errands, except for one thing: the groceries. I announced that “we just have to stop at the grocery store quick” and I was met with a resounding “Noooo!” The children just wanted to go home and, quite honestly so did I. I decided I’d “figure something out” knowing fully I may not… At least I knew I had broccoli in the fridge…
Once home, I rummaged through the kitchen, and found the following:
onion, garlic, a bunch of basil, small white button mushrooms, broccoli, a red pepper, some pine nuts, a package of red quinoa.
Now, let’s be honest. I am not exactly “creative in the kitchen”. But I know the internet is full of recipes, and so I did a search for quinoa dishes that included basil and broccoli, since I figured these two might work together. I found a few recipes and got to work, creating as I went.
I cooked up some quinoa using organic veggie broth, which I also had on hand. (1 cup quinoa, 1 1/2 cups veggie broth) I took a large piece of broccoli and cut the florets into small pieces. I cut up half a red onion, and chopped a couple of handfuls of small white button mushrooms.
Next I toasted 1/2 a cup of pine nuts. While the pine nuts were toasting, I sautéed half a chopped red onion, the chopped mushrooms and broccoli, and once they were pretty well done, I tossed in the (chopped) red pepper and a clove of minced garlic. I didn’t even use water to sauté, since the water from the mushrooms was sufficient.
I chopped the basil and popped it into the pot of quinoa once the quinoa had finished cooking but before I fluffed it. This steamed the basil for a few minutes.
And then, I combined everything in a casserole dish: the quinoa and basil, the sautéed veggies, the toasted pine nuts. Last I combined a minced clove of garlic with 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice and just 1 teaspoon of olive oil. (I am not an oil user generally, but sometimes just a tiny amount will make a dish like this more palatable for my kids)
As well, I added a little freshly ground pepper and salt to taste. You know what? It looked beautiful and it was a hit. We finished the whole thing. And there is nothing like hearing two teenagers say “Wow Mom, this is really good!”
My message here is that more often than not, dinner is in your kitchen. Sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper to find it. If we find some recipes that include the ingredients we have on hand and get a little creative, it can be fun to make nutritious, tasty meals!!
I hope this is helpful. Give it a try!
Love Margot xo
Have you ever mixed dijon mustard and orange juice? Does that sound weird? In this week’s Plant-Perfect Moment, I am sharing a delicious Citrus Dressing that does combine both dijon and orange juice. It is great on just about anything and it’s super easy to make too!
Let me know what you drizzle it on…..!
1/3 cup agave nectar
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup dijon mustard
Blend or whisk and enjoy! (This dressing will stay fresh in your refrigerator for a week.)
Click HERE for the video! (Or watch below)
I hope you love it!!
Hello my friends!
There is a new and interesting rumble I am hearing more frequently these days, and it came up again yesterday while I was talking to my friend, Sue. I thought it might be helpful if I address this curious notion here.
While we were out walking, Sue explained how discouraged she is about her struggle with a sugar addiction.
She told me me how guilty she feels about her sugar cravings and that she is trying so hard to keep her sugar intake low. She was feeling pretty down and with a palpable sense of defeat, she told me that sometimes she just can’t help herself. “To add to it all”, Sue said, “I am always tired. In fact, I’m exhausted.”
She started to blame her body and wondered out loud if it’s a hormonal thing or an age thing… And then, she said “I just want fruit, but I know that’s just sugar too. I feel so guilty and I know I shouldn’t but sometimes I’ll just eat a whole bowl of grapes”.
With a little probing, I found that, like many people who struggle with sugar cravings, Sue is trying really hard to eat a low carb diet. Sue is not unlike so many people I have spoken to who say they “know” how bad sugar can be for you. It seems that somewhere people are picking up the idea that, since sugar isn’t good for you, that means fruit must not be good, because “sugar is sugar”, they say.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Let me explain. Humans are obligate carbohydrate consumers. One of the many traits we share with other herbivores is that our saliva contains “salivary amylase” a carbohydrate digesting enzyme, which gets to work breaking down carbohydrates just as soon as we put them in our mouths. Carbohydrates, or sugars, are human fuel, and are the first source of energy available for our body. Humans require carbohydrates. In other words, humans require sugar.
But let me clarify. I am not talking about white refined table sugar. I am talking about the sugars that are naturally occurring in whole, plant foods. The sugar in fruit has never been implicated in any adverse health effect. The sugar in fruit is a natural source of fuel that comes packaged with fibre, vitamins, minerals, and phyto-chemicals, all of which are health-promoting. In fact, the sweetness of fruit is nature’s way of encouraging us to eat this health-promoting, perfect food!
If you are craving sugar, eat fruit! Fruit is a beautiful source of protective, health-promoting ingredients your body needs. It’s a great source of Vitamin C which we need to consume plenty of every day. (Humans are one of the very few animals that cannot produce vitamin C. Now isn’t that a testimony to how much fruit and veggies we should be eating!)
So, I ask you,
Does confusion about nutrition, the variable do’s and don’ts of healthy eating, and conflicting guidelines for weight loss keep you from reaching your goals?
Do you find yourself following diet strategies that defy your intuition and result in failing efforts?
Simple clarification about how and what to eat to promote health and effortless weight loss can unravel the confusion and set you on a clear, successful path to health.
I invite you to book some time to talk with me so we can clear up the confusion and get you heading down the path to wellness, optimal weight and great health, today. Just CLICK HERE to book some time for us to talk.
In gratitude and good heath,
P.S. The conflicting information out there about how to eat for health can be overwhelming and confusing. Getting the information straight is a huge piece of the puzzle that, when solved, will make reaching your goals so much easier. Book a time to speak with me >>>HERE<<< so we can clear the confusion and get you on track!
Welcome to your Plant-Perfect Moment! This week I am happy to share with you a delicious, oil-free Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing. This recipe is ideal for your summer salads, especially those with spinach! I also love drizzling this dressing on a cut up banana and it’s also awesome for dipping apple slices. It’s made with whole, fresh raspberries… I know you’ll love it! Click HERE to watch the video
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 heaping tablespoons maple syrup
1 small clove garlic, minced
Blend it up!