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Spinach and Lentil Soup – a Delicious Meatless Meal

Lentil soup… a perfectly hearty, healthy and flavourful meal you can whip up for your family in no time.
 
I’m gonna say that this is probably THE BEST lentil soup I’ve ever made! It’s perfect for a chilly winter day and if you’ve got yourself a thermos, this is great heated up and enjoyed for lunch the following day at work. Nothing beats leftovers that you can reheat quickly and is healthy at the same time. 
 
Lentils are full of soluble and insoluble fiber, both which help keep you regular, assist in balancing blood sugar and lowering cholesterol.
 
Lentils are also full of B vitamins and protein, which are both energizing and fuelling for the body.
 
These little green gems will help fill you up, not fill you out!
 
Enjoy making this recipe and share with me how much you love it! 🙂
 
P.S. If you’re looking for more delicious and easy recipes, come join me inside my Healthy Hormones Recipe Club! Are you confused with all the information out there about how to balance your hormones, lose weight + support your immunity? Can’t keep up with all the different diets; Paleo, Keto, Intermittent Fasting, or which one is even right for you Get a monthly meal plan + shopping list + recipes that will help you to support your body, balance your hormones, detoxify and shed some inches in the process! Each month has a different theme (CLICK HERE to read what I’ll be sharing over the next few months!) This Recipe Club is available for a super affordable price, so you can easily say YES to putting yourself first, without breaking the bank. Delicious food & zero deprivation, I promise!
 
Spinach and Lentil Soup
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 medium celery stalk, diced
  3. 1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  4. 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
  5. 3 medium garlic cloves, minced
  6. Sea salt
  7. Freshly ground black pepper
  8. 1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
  9. 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
  10. 1 1/4 cups green lentils (any colour will do except red), rinsed
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. 1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  13. 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  14. 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar
  15. 1 large bunch spinach leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  3. Season with several generous pinches of salt and pepper.
  4. Add the broth, tomatoes with their juices, lentils, bay leaf, thyme and oregano, stir to combine. Cover and bring to a simmer, about 15 minutes.
  5. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and continue simmering, covered, until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes more.
  6. Taste and season with more salt or pepper as needed, then stir in the vinegar.
  7. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. If you prefer a creamier texture, purée half of the soup in a blender or with a hand blender. ENJOY!!
Holistic Wellness https://holisticwellness.ca/

 

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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Cheesy, Gooey, Delicious Gluten Free Mac n’ Cheese for Meatless Monday

I love the food network! If you’re a foodie like me I’m sure you love it too! The other day I caught an episode of Eat St; a show dedicated to fun and hip food trucks preparing out of this world food, like Mac Genie. A food truck serving up unique mac n’ cheese dishes that everyone swoons to during their lunch hour in Indianapolis! So being the nutritionista that I am, I had to find a way to healthify the mac n cheese! I’ve managed to healthify this dish before, serving it up with creamy butternut squash, recipe here. But this time, I wanted a quick version. A stove top version! So here it is, a cheesy gooey mac n’cheese that is quick to prepare and will have your whole family asking for seconds!

Nutritionista Rant – dairy is not a part of my daily ‘diet’ and it is truly a cheat for me. I must admit, I love cheese. I grew up eating cheese! But now, I have a hard time digesting it and so I eat it sparingly. When I do opt for cheese, I choose a top quality organic local cheese. I’m not a fan of vegan cheeses, as I’ve had some really bad reactions to most brands and I would much rather eat the real deal. I always take a digestive enzyme before eating cheese or ‘heavier’ meals to help breakdown carbs, fats and proteins and aid in digestion.

ImageMac n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

1 package (227g) gluten free macaroni from GoGo Quinoa, cooked al dente
1 cup unsweetened non dairy milk (organic soy, coconut or almond will work)
1 cup organic gruyere, shredded
1 cup organic cheddar, shredded
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 Bay leaf
1/2 tsp smoked hot paprika
sea salt and pepper

Breadcrumb Topping

Ingredients:

1 cup gluten free breadcrumbs (or panko-not gluten free, or brown rice flakes pulsed in a food processor)
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
3 garlic cloves
sea salt and pepper

Directions:

Add all breadcrumb toppings into a food processor. Pulse until combined. Set aside.

Cook pasta al dente (semifirm), approximately 10-12 mins. While pasta is cooking, heat milk on a stove top pan on low heat. Add in thyme and bay leaf, stirring frequently for 3-4 minutes. Add in additional spices, half the cheese and stir frequently until cheese is almost completely melted. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Once pasta is cooked, drain, rinse under cold water and pour into a baking dish (I used an 8×8 brownie pan as I did not have a small enough baking pan. It worked great! I oiled it up with olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking). Pour milk and cheese mixture over pasta. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs and broil under low for approximately 5-6 minutes, or until browned and bubbly.

And there you have it! A simple, tasty and quick mac n’ cheese that is great served along side a mixed green salad.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂 xoxo

 

 

 

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Sweet Potato and Kale Quinoa Patties for Meatless Monday!

Powerhouse ingredients make up this incredible recipe! Actually, 3 of my most favourite foods, sweet potato, kale and quinoa! These hearty patties are filling and make a great substitute for a traditional burger. Their great as a breakfast pattie, a side for lunch, or a main at dinner- absolutely versatile. Next time I think I’ll try more savoury herbs instead of a curry kick, such as oregano, rosemary or thyme. Feel free to experiment with different spices and herbs and come up with your own concoction! Enjoy!

IMG_3221 Quinoa Patties

Ingredients

1 tsp coconut or olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 carrot, shredded

2 cups kale, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup cooked sweet potato

1 cup organic canned adzuki beans, rinsed

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa

2 tbsp gluten free all purpose flour

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp chili flakes

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp curry powder

Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add carrots and kale, sauté for an additional 4 minutes.
  2. In a food processor or blender, puree beans and yam.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix well.
  4. Measure into 1/3 cup portions and press into patties*.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

* Make into bigger patties for a burger substitute

 

Health & Abundance,

Samantha xoxo

Recipe adapted from – http://myvega.com/blog/2013/celebrate-international-year-quinoa

 

 

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Miso Soup with Sautéed Tempeh and Mixed Veggies. A Quick and Healthy Meatless Meal!

Who doesn’t love miso soup!! I fell in love with this immune supportive, digestive aid deliciousness many many years ago while having sushi. I always have miso paste on hand to whip up a quick and healthy soup, plus it’s amazing for digestive upsets and the very ugly stomach flu! If I’m ever having tummy troubles, miso to the rescue!! It took me many taste tests to find the right paste until finally I landed on MUGI Miso, a pearl barley miso. You can find this particular brand at most health food stores, but feel free to experiment with other brands and types.

Miso Soup with Sautéed Tempeh and Mixed Veggies

Ingredients
Half package thai rice noodles
5 cups water
5 tbsp miso paste (or more depending on preference)
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 carrot, chopped
2 baby bok choy, chopped
half package of tempeh, cut into cubes
2 tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp coconut oil
Green onion, thinly sliced
Cilantro, chopped

Directions
Cook noodles according to directions. Set aside. Marinade tempeh in coconut aminos and garlic powder for 15  minutes. Meanwhile, bring 5 cups water to a boil. In a small bowl, mix a few tablespoons of boiling water with miso paste then add to pot of boiling water. Add in chopped carrot and cook on low for 5 mintues. Saute or grill tempeh in coconut oil over medium high heat until slightly browned on each side. Add tempeh and broccoli to pot and cook for 5 minutes. Add in noodles and bok choy. Simmer on low for 10 minutes.
Garnish with chopped green onion and cilantro.
ENJOY!!!

Have the BEST DAY EVER!!

Love & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Eat Some Dessert! My Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Cake- Dairy Free and Delicious!

Happy New Year! I wish for 2013 to be a year full of JOY, HAPPINESS, LOVE & ABUNDANCE for everyone! With each new year we have an opportunity for new beginnings; an opportunity to create positive changes in our lives. I typically don’t believe in resolutions, because I personally strive to be a better me on a daily basis- physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. January 1st doesn’t have to be ‘the’ day to start fresh. We have an opportunity to do this daily. Everyday is an opportunity to start fresh, create change and move forward in the direction of our dreams. However….with that being said, 2012 is now behind us so let’s ride into 2013 on our shiny magic carpet and embrace the unexpected, miraculous journey that lies ahead!

With everyone starting on a ‘detox’ kick and hitting up the gym, I’ve decided to share a dessert recipe I just couldn’t resist! We can all indulge in dessert as long as we learn to create balance around food. Dessert is definitely not on my daily ‘diet’ regime, but I’ll often indulge in an organic piece of chocolate (giddyoyo is my fav), or a few organic chocolate covered almonds (from Organic Traditions) if I want a sweet treat. I allow myself these treats because 90% of the time I eat clean organic food, go to yoga, go to the gym and take care of my body!

I wish all of you success on your new journey to creating a life long change in achieving the body you want, healing a disease, losing weight, getting more sleep, dealing with stress, watching less TV, creating more quiet time or whatever goal you have set out for yourself!

And now….onto dessert! The perfect cheat day treat! 🙂
This recipe came together in no time! I was heading out to a Christmas party and knew the host of the party loved chocolate raspberry anything! So I grabbed a few ingredients from WholeFoods and whipped this up in record time! Nothing in this recipe is made from scratch per se, but since I was gifted an ice cream maker for Christmas I’ll be making me some homemade dairy free ice cream very soon!

Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients

1 tub dark Chocolate CoconutBliss Ice Cream
3 cups fresh raspberries + 1/2 cup for decorating top of cake
2 packages chocolate wafer cookies (preferably organic with good quality ingredients. You can find most of your local grocery store)
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp cacao nibs, for decorating top of cake (optional)

Directions

In a food processor fitted with an S blade, pulse wafer cookies with coconut oil until crumbly. Pour into a pie dish and press crumbs firmly into dish. Put dish into freezer and let sit for 1 hr, or until crust is firm.
In a food processor or blender, blend together coconut bliss and raspberries until smooth. **Leave ice cream out for 20 mins to soften so it is easier to blend. Pour ice cream mixture over crust, top with fresh raspberries and cacao nibs. Place back into the freezer for 1-2hours to set. To serve- leave cake at room temperature for at least 20-30mins before cutting. ENJOY!!!

From my heart to yours, here’s wishing you the Happiest New Year!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Dreamy Creamy Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese

Happy Monday everyone! I’m sure your all in the middle of holiday family fun and busy eating, cooking and eating and cooking! At least that’s the case for me! With lots of family events I’ve one busy bee! Amongst all the holiday chaos one delicious meal I whipped up this week was mac n’ cheese! It has a sophisticated twist with a creamy butternut squash puree, isn’t loaded with cream, is ‘mostly’ gluten free and it’s DELICIOUS!! Served with a delicious mixed green salad, this dish is a perfect meatless meal! Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

1 large butternut squash, peeled, halved, seeded, then quartered and cut into chunks
6 garlic cloves
2 thyme sprigs
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups vegetable stock
1 pound small elbow macaroni or mini shells ( I used 2 boxes of gluten free GOGO Quinoa Macaroni)
3/4 cup grated Gruyere (feel free to add more cheese)

HERBED BREADCRUMB TOPPING:

3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

To make the mac ‘n’ cheese:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large saucepan, add the butternut squash, garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, milk, and stock. Cook until the butternut squash is fork-tender. Remove the sprigs of thyme.
Place the squash mixture in a food processor or blender and puree until velvety smooth.
Meanwhile, cook the macaroni in salted water until it is al dente (semifirm). Drain and rinse with cool water.
Spread out the macaroni in a lightly greased 13-inch x 9-inch pan. Pour the squash puree over the noodles.

 

To make the breadcrumbs and bake:
Combine all the ingredients for the herbed breadcrumb topping.

Cover the mac ‘n’ cheese with foil, place in the oven, and bake for approximately 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and evenly spread the breadcrumb topping and Gruyere over the top. Transfer to the broiler and broil for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.

From my Heart to Yours,
Merry Christmas!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

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Gluten Free Recipes! Apricot Granola and (flour free) Vanilla Almond Butter Chocolate Chips Cookies!

Hi Everyone! My apologizes for no Meatless Monday post! My recipes come to you a few days delayed this week! I’m all for supporting Meatless Monday but lately my schedule has been quite busy! I find my posts have been getting out a little late….which I hope your all OK with!?! 🙂 I plan on re launching my website soon and chances are posts won’t be every Monday, but rather 1 or 2 throughout the week. Just thought I’d give you all a heads up!!

OK….on to the delicious recipes. Apricot Granola…..my FAV! I get how easy it is to pick up a box of store bought granola, but store bought is loaded with sugar and hydrogenated fats. Making your own is easy and you get to personalize it with your favourite ingredients! Feel free to add whichever nuts and seeds you like. You can also swap out the apricots for raisins, cranberries or dried cherries. Put in a beautiful glass jar with a ribbon and this homemade granola makes the perfect holiday gift! 🙂

Gluten Free Apricot Granola

Ingredients
4 cups WHEAT FREE rolled oats (Bob’s Red Mill)
1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
3/4 cup organic maple syrup
1 tbsp almond milk
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
3/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup coconut flakes
1/3 cup flax seeds
1 cup chopped almonds
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups unsulfured apricots

 

Directions
Preheat oven to 300. Combine maple syrup, almond milk, and coconut oil in a large saucepan and set aside.
Mix remaining ingredients in a large bowl, except apricots, and toss well. Add the maple-oil mixture and stir together really well. Pour mixture onto 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes, stir and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in apricots.
Depending on how crispy you like your granola, I would suggest baking the granola for another 10-15 minutes. Be sure to keep your eye on it. Either way, don’t bake the apricots, add them at the very end.
Cool and store in an air tight container. This granola will last for several months in glass jars, but it’s so yummy, it won’t last that long! Serve with organic sheep yogurt or rice or almond milk.

 

Yes…these are huge! And they stuck together, hence why they look square-ish!

Gluten Free Flour Free Vanilla Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients
1 cup raw almond butter
1/3 cup raw honey
1 egg, whisked
1 tsp organic ground vanilla bean (or vanilla extract)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
sea salt
3/4 cup chocolate chunks (I like Enjoy Life brand)

Directions
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop large balls onto cookie sheet. I made 10 LARGE cookies. Bake for 20 mins.
These cookies spread easily and if theres not enough room between them they will bake together. NO biggie, you’ll just have to cut them apart. ENJOY!!!

Have a Happy Day!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

 

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MOVEMBER Recipe! Protect Your Prostate with Antioxidant Rich MushroomTomato Sauce!

Movember is quickly coming to an end! With all the hype around prostate health I thought I would post a super delicious prostate protective tomato sauce! Now…I say hype only because we shouldn’t limit the prevention of prostate health to November. Whether it be breast cancer awareness month or prostate cancer awareness month, we should all be proactive about eating well, exercising and nourishing our bodies DAILY to avoid and prevent all disease.

This delicious immune boosting, antioxidant rich tomato sauce is chalk full of nutrients that protect and support your whole body! Let’s break down the goodness of this delicious recipe…..

TOMATOES – loaded with LYCOPENE, a carotenoid that is present in ‘red’ fruits and vegetables. A high intake of lycopene has been associated with a low risk of prostate cancer. Men with prostate cancer have ben shown to have low levels of this nutrient in their bodies. Lycopene has been shown to lower PSA scores and slow tumor growth. Studies show cooking tomatoes with a little olive oil is best for getting higher levels of lycopene.

GREENS – particularly kale, swiss chard, red chard and all other ‘bitter’ greens, contain the highest amount of VITAMIN C compared to most other greens. Studies show that men with higher dietary intake of vitamin C have greater odds of survival if diagnosed with prostate cancer. Higher blood levels of vitamin C= lower chances of getting cancer in the first place!!

MUSHROOMS – crimini, shiitake, maitake all contain BETA GLUCANS that are natural immune stimulants with anticancer, antiviral and antibacterial benefits. Crimini mushrooms, used in my tomato sauce recipe also contain high amounts of SELENIUM. This amazing antioxidant helps combat oxidative damage to cells and studies show that men with higher levels of selenium have lower chances of getting prostate cancer.

ONIONS & GARLIC – both contain anti inflammatory properties, antibacterial properties and high amounts of antioxidants.

FRESH HERBSRosemary contains substances helpful for stimulating the immune system, increasing circulation, and improving digestion. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds and has been shown to increase blood flow to the head and brain, improving concentration. Basil is a great source of vitamin A, iron, calcium, and a good source of potassium and vitamin C. All important nutrients to support immunity and overall health.

Prostate Protective Tomato Sauce

Ingredients
1 can diced organic tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
5-6 crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 bunch rainbow chard and/or kale or swiss chard
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
5-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 tsp dried oregano
extra virgin olive oil
chilli flakes
black pepper
sea salt

Directions
Sauté onion in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat. Once onion has slightly softened, add garlic and mushrooms, sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes, cooking at low heat. Season with sea salt, pepper and oregano. Cook until most of the liquid (water from tomatoes) has evaporated (about 12-15 minutes). Add in rosemary, chard and top with lid to lightly ‘steam’ and wilt the chard. Remove lid after 4-5 minutes and sprinkle with fresh basil and chilli flakes. Feel free to add any additional herbs/seasonings.

Serve this tomato sauce on top of quinoa pasta or brown rice. This sauce is perfect on top of fresh grilled chicken, fish or grilled tofu and tempeh. Vegetarian or not, you can make this recipe work for you! ENJOY!!

Happy Tuesday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

 

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Super Food Quinoa Porridge and Curried Butternut Squash Soup to Start off Your Week!

Nothing beats starting your day with an incredibly nourishing bowl of goodness! Now I know most people like a “quick” breakfast in the morning before rushing out the door to work, but I can’t stress the importance of eating a nutritious and healthy breakfast to fuel your cells and energize your body! You can pre cook the quinoa in this recipe below the night before to get a head start in the morning and simply warm up the remaining ingredients in the am and nosh down this superfood porridge before heading off to work! Served with an antioxidant rich green tea, you’ll be super charged to start your day! Enjoy!

Superfood Quinoa Porridge

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked quinoa (use only ½ cup when serving this recipe and the rest for leftovers)
1/3 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
2 tbsp goji berries
2 tbsp cacao nibs
1 tsp sesame seeds
¼ cup chopped almonds
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp coconut butter
ground cinnamon

Directions:

Heat blueberries over medium heat in coconut oil and butter. Add remaining ingredients, top with cinnamon and stir. Serve over cooked quinoa.

 

 

 

Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Notice how I’m all about warming foods as the weather gets a little chilly? Well this soup will warm you to the core! Loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C, and antioxidants, this soup is perfect for the cold winter months.

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp curry powder (use less or more, depending on preference)
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp coconut oil
vegetable broth and/or water
sea salt and pepper
walnuts, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
In a large pot, saute onion in coconut oil for a few minutes. Once onion has softened, add garlic, spices, salt and pepper and stir. Sauté for 1 minute. Add butternut squash and cover with vegetable broth or water. Add just enough liquid to cover the squash. Cook on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until squash is soft and cooked through. Transfer to a blender and puree soup. Transfer back to pot. Time to taste test! Feel free to add additional spices if necessary. I always tend to add more cinnamon at the end. Serve with chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Happy Monday Everyone!
Hope your Monday is off to a healthy start!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

 

 

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