Chia- So much in a little seed


Chia seeds seem to be springing up everywhere and in all kinds of foods these days.  But what exactly are they and how are they beneficial to us? 

Chia is an edible desert plant coming from the mint family.  Native to the central and southern parts of Mexico and Guatemala, Salvia Hispanica, or Chia, dates back to the Mayan, Incan, and the Aztec cultures.  This amazing little plant was a staple of the times and provided sustained energy for the long trading expeditions and warrior conquests that the people had to endure.  It was even used as legal tender for currency in trading and used medicinally to treat wounds as a poultice.

Chia seeds come in white or black and are slightly smaller than a strawberry seed with a mild nutty flavor.  With a high antioxidant content, the chia seeds do not deteriorate and can be stored for very long periods without spoiling.  Unlike flax seeds, chia does not have to be ground for their nutrients to be fully absorbed.

Chia seeds have the ability to absorb up to ten times its volume in water and retain electrolytes.  This helps to prolong hydration, which is perfect for recreational athletes, runners, bicyclists, and anyone exercising in hot weather.   With this absorptive quality, the chia can form gels when water is added, making it an excellent egg replacement for binding ingredients or making sugarless fruit jams. To use as an egg replacement, use 1 tablespoon of seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let sit for 5 minutes to replace one egg.

Chia has a slow absorptive quality that helps to increase the sensation of fullness, which will decrease appetite.  It is packed with protein and is an excellent way to fuel my cross country ski outings, keeping me energized for long trail runs.  Enjoy 3 tablespoons in a morning smoothie to fuel you for your workout.  For rehydration, check out our Chia Mint Lemonade recipe.  Always remember to use your Chia with fluids or foods as it may cause your mouth to dry out if ingested on its own.(Especially important if you are on medication that causes dry mouth already)

Chia is packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, boron, and niacin.  It contains all essential amino acids, Vitamins, B, D and E, as well as having a higher concentration of Omega 3’s than flax seed. Coming from the Mayan word for strength, this little seed is truly a superfood.


Beat the heat – rehydrate!

Just a little while in the heat of a summer day can make you feel like you’ve been out all day long.  Dehydration can set in very quickly but let’s face it; drinking just plain water can get a little boring too. A mix of fruits and herbs in your water jug can make it so much easier to get the hydration needed to stay healthy and feel good even on the hottest of days.

We made a jug of water with some herbs and flowers from the backyard garden.

Take a large pitcher and quarter a lemon, add some lemon balm, mint, and lavender.

Set in fridge and let cool under ready.  The mix of the herbs, fruit and flowers blend well together. In fact, it is fun to mix it up and see what different concoctions you can come up with out of herbs and flowers from your own garden.



Amazing Apricots!

Apricots on the tree

Summer is definitely here!  The temperature topped out at 33C today.  It was hot!  Val and I braved the extreme heat alerts and ventured out to her backyard where her apricot tree was bursting at the seams.

On a hot day like this, the thought of being enclosed in a hot kitchen cooking was not really what either one of us had in mind so we came up with a couple of recipes today that didn’t require a whole lot of cooking.


On days like this a light salsa is something that can be eaten on its own, used to top tacos, fish, or, mix it up with some lentils.


One medium red onion, diced

One red pepper, diced

2 ataulfo mangos, diced

10 pitted apricots

bunch of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped.

juice of 3 limes


We also put the seeds of two chillies in to add a little kick.

Apricot salsa

We ate it right out of a bowl!  But Wow, is it ever good on tacos.  The fresh, clean flavours  taste so good on a hot day.  Using this salsa as a base, adding lentils and other veggies could turn it into a great summer salad as well.

Biking through Life


One of my greatest joys in the pursuit of physical fitness was when I discovered my passion for biking.  The very first encounter I had with a bike was when I was 6 years old. I remember watching my brother, who was a year younger than me, smile with excitement when our Dad brought home two handmade bikes with parts he found at a recycling depot. I remember the feeling of sitting on the bike and my Dad giving me a wee push and running behind me.  After he let go it wasn’t long before I fell down, scraped my knees and found some crocodile tears too!  The feeling of overcoming the fear of falling and moving forward on a bicycle was a preview for life’s journey of adventures yet to be experienced.

Thankfully I was able to get back on my bike and master the art of letting go. That summer lesson with my Dad and brother grew into many years of adventure, discovery, and a sense of freedom. Overcoming mental fear is key not only on a bike but in life’s challenges along the way.

The bike has taken me down many paths, trails, and roads helping me to navigate obstacles along the way, be it people, animals, traffic, and nature (the black bears in British Columbia). What I have learned from cycling is that you can begin anywhere you are, and go to places you never thought you would go both physically and mentally. Riding a bike is a skill you never forget and can take with you anywhere.  As you feel the air move across your skin, you senses heighten and calm envelopes you. All that is left to do is focus on the world as it goes by.  This is truly my recipe for happiness!

As a teen, a bike was given to me as a gift and I would get up early to ride along the Bras d’Or lakes on Cape Breton Island. Riding past the calm water with the sunrise mirroring off the lake was something I will never forget.  The fresh salty air was intoxicating. While most of my friends were spending time sleeping in on weekends, I ventured out alone to ride over Kelly’s Mountain all the way to the beautiful village of Baddeck. This lovely place was home to Alexander Graham Bell, world renowned sailing, and famous Cape Breton hospitality.

Biking sustained me through my years at university and into the adjustment of adulthood.  Cycling took me to many places over the years but of all the places I have travelled, the most memorable was riding through a California Red Wood Forest in New Zealand.  While cycling among some of the largest trees I have ever seen, I never felt so small, but strangely, I felt safe with the forest blanketing me.

Our hope is that you may find your stride with getting active with something you love to do but maybe haven’t done for awhile. I have been so inspired by many clients taking up a sport or activity after many years of abstaining.. Whatever it is you love to do, the only thing to remember is to always have fun doing it. Share with us your adventures and let us know what your inspiration was for starting again.

My Moving Meditation


My Moving Meditation.

Seeking happiness can be a life long quest.  Seeking happiness can be a quest that some may never conquer.  To find happiness is an obscure and intangible idea.  Some may find happiness in their job. Some find happiness in family.  Some find happiness in travel.  I contemplated some of the things that help me calm my inner storm and there are many; but there is one that has been there for many years and has never let me down.

I peak out the window to make a guess on the temperature.  It looks warm enough to wear shorts and t-shirt today.  The sun is bright as it shines in the window.  The cat finds the rays and quickly calls the spot his for the day.  It is early summer and the grass is finally green after a long winter.  I check the trees to see if the leaves and branches are moving and the stillness tells me there is no sign of wind.  A smile comes to my face without even realizing it.

My shoes go on, my ear buds go in, and I cue my play list.  The trails are calling and I am answering them with a resounding ‘Yes.’  

The cadence of the music gives my feet their rhythm.  I make my way into the trails.  The century old maples and oaks loom overhead to create my own outdoor room. I am welcomed.  

The mud puddles from yesterday’s rain speckle the gravel trail.  I don’t avoid them on purpose as the spray up the back of my legs is worn with honour.  My mind is flowing free now and anything that was bogging me down has now been lifted up and sweated out. The hills test my legs and lungs and the valleys free me.  Beams of sunlight cut through the branches casting shadows along the way.  The once rushing creek is now a babbling brook whose gurgling is nature’s mantra.  Running is my moving meditation.

Trail running exposes you to the wilderness in your back yard.  The families of deer that cross your path as they look for dinner are never something you get tired of seeing.  The chipmunks and squirrels scurry by.  An eagle isn’t always in sight but when it is, you have to stop to look, as it never stops being amazing.  

Running is one of those subjects that you either receive a really positive response to or a really negative response.  I understand how some would not get the same enjoyment out of running as I would.  It isn’t easy.  I think one has to be somewhat masochistic in order to find the kind of enjoyment I do from it.  There is this perverse joy in torturing yourself, sweating, and pushing your limits that not many other things can give you.  

Running does and has taken me from deep, dark places where I didn’t think I would emerge from and it pulls me out and back into the light.  Running was a companion when I had never felt so alone.  Running has been my source of creativity and inspiration.  It has helped me make life decisions.  It has made me feel alive even when I thought I was going to die.  

There are many things in life that bring me happiness; most of my happiness comes from my amazing family I have.  I have good health and a job (not my most favourite part of my life but hey, I am employed).  Running gives me the clarity to see what truly makes me happy. Seeking happiness can be this simple.  Seeking happiness should be this simple; especially in our stormy, complicated world.

Quick and Easy Rice Pasta and Veggies

Rushing home from work and the sun has finally poked out from the hanging grey clouds we had around all day.  All I can think about is getting out into the trails for a run. If I get home quick, then I can get out for a run and then make something.  Inevitably, when you’re in a rush, something in the universe gets you to slow down.  In this case it was traffic.  Lots of traffic.  For no apparent reason, the traffic slows and comes to a dead halt and I sit.  I sit for over half an hour before miraculously the traffic begins to break up and move again.  Needless to say, I get home later than hoped and now I am in a rush to make food, and get out into the trails.

I decided to make a very quick and easy rice pasta with some stir fried veggies and baked asparagus.  When I say quick and easy, it is just that.

I use rice pasta, because we have Celiac’s in the family and we have eaten it for so many years.  I like the brown rice pasta but there is a bit of a trick to it.  Cook for about 8 minutes.  The danger is overcooking is that it is rice, as it will get mushy if overcooked.  You can use whatever type of pasta you desire though.

I cook the pasta, rinse it and set it aside.

Really, you can use whatever veggies are available to you. Early summer and the local veggies are coming on in full force here.  I love heirloom carrots and colourful peppers and zucchini.


In a large sautee pan, heat it up on medium heat.  Add 2 Tablespoons of oil and heat.


1 clove of garlic minced

4 heirloom carrots, peeled and sliced

half a pepper, whatever colour you desire or have.

half of a zucchini.  I used a yellow one , but the green works just as well.

4 green onion

4-5 large basil leaves, chop them up and throw them into the pan.

Heat the veggies up in a pan on medium heat until the zucchini and the carrots are softer.

Stir a few times to make sure it doesn’t burn.

Add in one can of diced tomatoes.  Salt, pepper to taste.

Stir in the pasta, making sure to coat the pasta completely with the veggies and tomatoes.  Continue to heat on a lower setting to ensure it is warmed throughout.


Once the pasta is warmed, I add in a handful of mixed greens.  You can use whatever green you have in the house.  I had baby kale and some spinach.  Toss into the pasta just until it wilts slightly.


I also baked some fresh local asparagus while the pasta was cooking.  Just toss with some olive oil, pepper and salt and bake at 350F for about 10-12 minutes.  You can add chopped asparagus to your veggies mix in the pan if you like or enjoy it in spears on the side.


Doug McNish – Chef, Author, Instructor…Stand up Comic?


Doug McNish, author of Eat Well, Eat Raw, and Raw, Quick and Delicious and now  his newest book, Vegan Everyday, came to Goodness Me, a local grocery store that holds cooking classes and seminars.  We thought we it would be fun to check it out and see what he had to say.

It is always interesting to hear about one’s journey to better health.  More often than not, the change is a result of an epiphany.  The same can be said of Doug McNish‘s journey from being overweight and working in a high stress kitchen environment.  Doug’s decision to eat a plant based diet has not only turned his health around but has transformed his career to becoming a  leader in vegan and raw cooking foods. Doug’s first book, Eat Well, Eat Raw ended up being named the Best Vegetarian Cookbook in the World, 2012.  His second book is Raw, Quick, and Delicious and has now launched his new book, Vegan Everyday. We will be trying out some of his Vegan Everyday recipes for sure and posting our review over the next few weeks.

While at the seminar, Doug described his journey, how he came to write his cookbooks and what he has to offer at his Public Kitchen, in Toronto, all with the whit and fun of a stand up comic.   Doug was in his element while demonstrating the sweet and sour Kale salad and Tempeh ‘crab’ cakes, that we got to sample as well, both of which were delicious.  We also got to sample some Kale chips he had made as well, which were equally as good.

Doug has a great personality and I can only imagine (for now) how much fun his classes that he offers at his Public Kitchen, located at 561 Marlee Ave, Toronto, Ontario.  Classes range from Knife Skills, Vegan Indian, Vegan BBQ,  and Desserts.  He also serves a Sunday Brunch at the Evergreen Brickworks Market in Toronto.

We are planning this trip to Toronto already! Doug McNish’s books are available on Amazon by clicking on the photo


More from My New Roots in the Experimental Kitchen

Looking through My New Roots is much like looking through the old Sears catalogue at Christmas time from when we were younger. (I know, I am dating us…sorry about that Val) Every time you flip a page, there is something else we want.  Each picture looks better than the last.  Each recipe sounds better than the last.  Don’t read recipe books when you’re hungry.

We decided to try out the Grain Free Hemp Tabouleh on page 141.  I love tabouleh.  We often make it with quinoa instead of couscous as we have a few Celiacs in the family.  Bulgar wheat can also be used as well.  Sarah Britton’s new twist on Tabouleh is made with chick peas so we were super excited to give it a try.


1 cup cooked chickpeas

1/2 cup packed flat leaf parsley leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

1/3 cup raw pine nuts (toasted in oven for about 10 minutes on 350)

1/3 cup hemp seeds

1 small red onion, sliced

Grated zest of 1 lemon

5 medium heirloom tomatoes in different colours.

Olive oil for serving.


2 table spoon cold pressed olive oil

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or honey and a pinch of sea salt

In a food processor, pulse the chickpeas until grain -size.  This did not take long at all.  You don’t want to do it too long as you’ll end up with hummus.  Which is ok, but not what you are going for here.  Put the granules into a large bowl.

Finely chop the parsley and mint leaves, and add the herbs to the chickpeas.


Toast the pine nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden and fragrant.Immediately remove the pine nuts from the pan and transfer them to a plate to cool completely.Add the cooled pine nuts, hemp seeds, sliced onion and lemon zest to the chickpea mixture.


Make the dressing: whisk the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey and salt together in a small bowl.  Pour this over the salad tossing to combine.


Slice the tomatoes into thick slices and arrange them on a platter.  Drizzle with little olive oil and sprinkle with salad.  Spoon the tabouleh over the tomatoes and serve.

The chick peas in this tabouleh recipe are a perfect substitute for the couscous normally found in tabbouleh salad.  The dressing is fresh and the mint gives you the Mediterranean flavours that you get with the traditional salad.  Fresh, fun, and a great addition to any dinner.  We just happened to be having a back yard barbecue and this was an awesome choice.

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We are still working through My New Roots and so far, it has not disappointed.  The recipes are full of flavour and the book is a joy to work through.  I have a feeling we are making some dessert next, so stay tuned.

My New Roots can be purchased from Amazon by clicking the picture below.

Experimental Kitchen Day – Working through My New Roots

Yesterday was Canada Day and a welcomed day away from my office and alter ego as an Accounts Payable Administrator.  Val was also with out clients on our national holiday so we thought it was a good day to have what we like to call…”Experimental Kitchen Day”.

Val had recently purchased My New Roots, by Sarah Britton.  If you haven’t seen the book, check out her blog.  So full of informative and really interesting posts.  Sarah is a Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Nutritional Practitioner from Canada who has relocated to Copenhagen, Denmark. Upon arriving there, she was unable to practice as  Nutritionist, but decided to pour her heart and knowledge into her blog, which quickly became world known.

Val and I decided that we would pick a couple of Sarah’s recipes (it was very hard to just pick a few, there are so many good ones!) and try them out.

Our first pick for the experimental day was to try Sarah’s Fully Loaded Breakfast Bars on page 81 of My New Roots.

Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Or in our case we decided to do a bar version so we lightly greased a square cake pan.

Combine 1 tablespoon of Chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water in a  small bowl and set aside for 15 minutes to allow the Chia to gel.

Pulse 1 1/4 cups of rolled oats in a food processor until they resemble a very rough flour.  Transfer the flour to a large mixing bowl and whisk the remaining 2 cups of oats, 1 teaspoon of each baking powder and baking soda, 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of fine salt. Put into a large bowl and set aside.

Take 1 1/2 cups of cooked white navy beans and pulse with 1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted in a food processor.  Ok, here is where we improvised.  We used chick peas instead.  Like I said, it is “Experimental Kitchen Day”.  Pulse them until creamy.  Add 1/4 cup of maple syrup or honey, grated orange zest (of one orange), the Chia gel, 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.  Pulse all together until smooth.

Pour the mixture over dry oat mixture and stir.  Add 1/3 chopped dried apricots, 1/4 cup of raisins, and 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds.  Stir it up to combine them all.  We found that mixing by hand…I mean use your hands, seemed to combine all the ingredients well.

Sarah shapes these into about 10 balls and flattens them and cooks on a cookie sheet for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown.  Val and I were feeling extra experimental and decided to do a bar version instead.  We lightly greased a square cake pan and put the mixture into it, flattening with our hands so it was even.  Cook about the same amount of time, until the outer edges are brown.  Let cool completely before you cut them, or you may end up with granola. 🙂


The verdict from the group of judges we had was an overwhelming thumbs up.  They were very addictive.  Excellent replacement for boxed granola bars that usually contain a lot of sugar and preservatives.  Use for breakfast, snack, or even as a cookie with your tea.

Stay tuned for more updates from our “Experimental Kitchen Day” on Canada Day as we do two more amazing recipes from Sarah Britton’s new book, My New Roots.

My New Roots is available on Amazon by clicking the photo below.

Refreshing Mint Chia Lemonade

It is finally summer in Ontario, although the last week or two Mother Nature has been a little confused.  It looks like we are coming up on a good stretch of weather over the next few days so I know that we will be heading outside for some much needed activity.

I know I am not the only one who thinks this but, drinking water can get boring.  Sure, we try to jazz it up with a lemon or lime wedge but if you’re active, the need to rehydrate is crucial and after a while, your water bottle starts to look and taste a little drab.  To turn to sugary post work out drinks is not optimal either as the added sugar will only leave you needing more water.

Now, I love lemonade and I mean the full on sugar filled lemony goodness that we grew up with, but I just can’t handle the sugar anymore.  So we’ve come up with a version of lemonade that is just as refreshing…actually more refreshing, and full of antioxidants, fibre, and protein.

If you have never eaten chia, I will fore warn you that the consistency may take some getting used to.  They are little crunchy bits but gel up in water. (which makes them great egg replacers too)  but they soak up the flavour of whatever they are surrounded by and add so much goodness to your food.

So in honour of being hopeful that the summer is finally here, we played around with a lemonade that you may enjoy.

Refreshing Mint Chia Lemonade

In your favourite jug or large mason jar, add the following:

Juice of one lemon

One lemon cut up into chunks (quartered or smaller is good)

5-7 mint leaves

1 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup (if you don’t have maple, honey will work too and you can add more if you like it a little sweeter)

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

3 cups of cold water and a handful of ice cubes

Mix together or shake if in a mason jar (don’t forget the lid)

Letting it sit for 15-30 minutes after is a great idea to allow the mint to infuse the drink.

Like I said, the chia will gel, but you will get used to the texture and the taste is amazing!  So refreshing and full of so many nutrients, it will keep you going on a hot summer day.  Great drink for after a hike or a bike ride to rehydrate and refresh.


More Blueberries, more bananas! In a muffin this time.

There must be something about this day that has me craving blueberries and bananas.  After the breakfast smoothies were devoured, I looked at my bananas and the blueberries that were left and thought – I need to make muffins.

This recipe is very similar to the Banana Chocolate Chip muffin recipe, but with a few added bonuses.  This recipe works wonderfully with gluten free flour as well.  You’ll end up with a nice moist  muffin that can stand up to the gluten free flour.

Preheat your oven to 400F.

In a stand mixer or a big bowl, mash up 3 large ripe bananas, add 1/2 brown sugar, 1 egg replacement (either a flax egg or 2 tablespoons of apple sauce), and 1/3 cup of melted vegan butter or margarine.   Mix together on medium or with a hand mixer on medium as well.

In another bowl, add together 1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 2 tablespoons of hemp hearts, 2 teaspoons of flax seeds.  Mix these all together and then slowly add to the wet mixture, mixing as you go.  Once combined add in 1 cup of blueberries.  Fresh or frozen will work.

***For a gluten free version, add 1 1/2 cup of brown rice flour and 1 teaspoon of Xantham gum.  I have also used 1 cup of brown rice flour and 1/2 cup of coconut flour and that combination worked very well.

Fill up greased muffin tins or silicone liners in the tins to about 2/3 full.  Bake for 17-20 minutes.

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Let them cool…if you can wait…. and enjoy for breakfast, snack, or post or pre workout.  These are moist and so full of blueberries that I can’t just eat one.


Lemon Cranberry Blast Baked Donuts

The combination of lemons and cranberries is one that I just can’t resist.  Sure they are both tart but combining the two in a sugar sprinkled baked donut is just a flavour overload.  These donuts are baked too, so you may not feel so guilty if you have one…or two.  They are a cake donut so sure, you don’t have the richness you do from a fried donut but the flavours will provide the decadence you would get from a ‘regular’ donut.

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Spray donut pan with olive oil or canola spray or use vegan butter or margarine to grease the pan.

Get a large bowl and put the dry ingredients in there together.
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour and it worked wonderfully.  I haven’t tried the gluten free version yet, but I would try the same amount of brown rice flour and then a teaspoon of Xantham gum)
1/2 cup golden brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of cinnamon

In a microwave safe bowl or a small sauce pan, combine the wet ingredients.

1/2 cup soy or almond milk
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 flax egg or 2 tbsp of plain apple sauce
¼ cup vegan margarine

Mix them thoroughly and then heat just until the vegan butter or margarine melts.  Do not over heat, just warm it no hotter than medium heat if on a stove top.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and mix.  The batter will be quite wet.

Once the batter is mixed, pour in 1/2 cup of dried or fresh, chopped cranberries.

Take a piping bag or a sealable sandwich bag and fill with batter.  Cut the corner and pipe into donut pan.  I find that if I jiggle the pan a bit so let the batter settle, I get some nice smooth donuts coming out of the oven.

Bake about 10-12 minutes.  Check by using finger to push donut.  It should spring right back when it is done.  When the donuts are still hot, sprinkle with white granulated sugar.  Now of course you can let them cool, take them out of the pan and then ice or glaze them if you so desire.  A nice glaze I have used is just 1 part icing sugar to about 2 parts lemon juice.  Mix and drizzle over the donuts.

This time I used the sugar to sprinkle over them and they were amazing!  Lemony with a zingy blast of cranberry.  Delicious with coffee or tea…or by themselves!



Green Smoothie Bar – James St. North

As people try to eat more healthy, the challenge that they are met with is when they are going out.  Whether it is a snack or a full on dinner, finding a place where they don’t look at you like you have 3 heads when you ask for vegan, or even vegetarian choices can leave you just asking for a garden salad.  Do not even try to ask for gluten free at some places.  Then, when the salad arrives it is just iceberg lettuce and some tomatoes with probably Italian dressing on it.  Not very appetizing.

Thankfully, as the word gets out, more and more places like the Green Smoothie Bar on James Street North in Hamilton open their doors and give not only those who have already chosen to eat healthy a place to go, but also gives people an opportunity to see just how good healthy food can be.

Opening in 2012 on Hamilton’s super cool James Street North, the Green Smoothie Bar has  become a destination for many that not only live in the area but for those who make their way onto the street for the monthly Art Crawl and yearly Supercrawl.


Co-owners, Joe and Danielle, have created this bright and sunny lounge style eatery where you can grab one of their famous smoothies if you’re on the go, along with a take out snack, or stay and eat some hearty hot food they have prepared fresh daily.  All of what they prepare is 100% organic and 100% Vegan.  Most items are also gluten free too, but just ask, the staff is friendly and very well informed.

I discovered this gem in the heart of my home town the year they opened and have been a frequent customer ever since.  The smoothies are amazing.  Each flavour contains spinach and kale (hence the name) but they have perfected the art of creating wild and wonderful flavours out of fresh ingredients.  My personal fave is the Muddy Monkey, but I am impartial to anything peanut butter and chocolate.  Rest assured there are enough different flavours to please anyone.  Fruity, fresh, and delicious.

They also have some delectable eats as well if you are on the go.  I have had the Detox salad quite a few times and as it fills you up, you are left feeling satisfied without the feeling of being over full.  The macaroons are delicious as well as their in house protein bars that pack a whopping 20g of protein per bar. Perfect post work out snack.  Hot food is also available every day.  The chili is a definite favourite especially on a cold winter day.

For more info on the Green Smoothie Bar, just click on the name and it will take you to their site.  Or check them out of Facebook.

Ok…now I’m hungry.  Stay tuned for more reviews and updates to our blog and thanks for reading!  Have a great day.



The Vibrant Table – Book Review


The Vibrant Table is the first cook book for Anya Kassoff and her photographer daughter, Masha.   Working from their Golubka Kitchen , Anna created 100 recipes  over the course of 4 years of blogging and experimentation. This book is both full of mouth watering recipes as well as a work of art.  The photos are to die for!

The Vibrant Table is filled with inspired and inventive vegetarian and vegan recipes to please every palette. The ingredients are healthy whole foods that are combined so creatively and then photographed with such flare, that you can’t help but want to try them out right away.  A great read as well, including useful tips on on sprouting, grinding your own flours, making nut milks, and cooking with children.

So far, we have tried out a few recipes that you should definitely check out.

Roasted Kala Chana Hummus, pg 101…out of this world east Indian inspired recipe. Delicious as a dip or spread.

Cacao Buckwheat Granola, pg 55…a fresh take on traditional granola with a lighter texture and pleasing crunch.  Great to add to a bowl of fruit or a topping for yogurt or cereal.

Pumpkin Seed Falafal with Grilled Peach Salsa, Pg 167… baked falafal never tasted so delicious and light. Served with savory tahini sauce on a lettuce leaf or in warm pitas.

Black Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili, pg 117… a warm and soothing fall chili.  I like to serve with wholegrain naan bread.

Matcha Kiwi Smoothie, pg 71… spring fresh, energizing smoothie loaded with antioxidants, vitamins/minerals and fiber.  You can take on the world after one of these!

Cacao Nib Cookies with dried Currants, pg 260… a gluten free, low in sugar treat made with an almond quinoa and coconut flour base. Not a very sweet cookie which can be altered by reducing the amount of cacao nibs and adding a little more coconut sugar. I like it with espresso or rooibos tea as a mid afternoon pick me up. The cookie is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Fingerling Potato and Rosemary Flatbread Pizza, pg 135.. perfect appetizer or as an entry for lunch or dinner. Colourful and bright with the amazing flavours of potato and rosemary together.

Pink Lemon Coconut Bonbons, pg 308… these fun treats reminded me of an old fashioned styled candy from another time. Pretty to look at and serve to young ones and beyond. Made with macadamia nuts, lemon zest, lemon and rolled in coconut. Can be frozen and enjoyed right after removing from the freezer.

The cook book is available on Amazon by clicking the link below:

These are just a few of the delectable recipes found in The Vibrant Table.  I hope that Anya is working away experimenting for another addition some time. In the mean time, we are working our way through and enjoying every moment.

Mouth watering Macaroons-Chocolate and Vanilla

Thinking of a quick, easy, and absolutely delicious dessert that is gluten free and vegan is always a challenge.  Sure if you have time to prepare, a cake or cheesecake or pie is always nice, but there isn’t always the time needed to do so.   Coconut macaroons are super good and amazingly easy to prepare.  With the choice of vanilla or chocolate, you will please everybody’s taste cravings too.

Vanilla Macaroons

3 cups unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 tbsp cacao nibs

1/4 tsp sea salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp cinnamon

  1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients and mix until uniform.
  1. Using a small ice-cream scoop, measure equally sized portions of the mixture and arrange on a dehydrator tray or a parchment lined baking sheet.
  1. Dehydrate at 108 F for 24 hours or bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 200 F for 20-30 minutes, until the macaroons are firm and dry on the outside.

The vanilla macaroons so good for a little something sweet after dinner or for a snack with your coffee or tea.

Chocolate Macaroons are made with all the same ingredients with the addition of a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.  And of course the chocolate macaroons taste the best with a cup of coffee. I love that chocolate and coffee combination together.

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These are a quick way to satisfy your chocolate or vanilla cravings.  Made gluten free and vegan too!