Stuffed Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa and Fresh Herbs for Meatless Monday!

If you haven’t noticed yet, I love fall vegetables, especially squash! From soups to stews and side dishes, squash is SO versatile! I’ve recently come across so many recipes using acorn squash and so I decided to make a delicious meatless monday meal using this nutrient rich veggie. To make it even more nutritious, I decided to stuff it with protein rich red quinoa and fresh herbs! Served alongside a mixed green salad, this is one heck of a meatless meal for you and your family to enjoy! But first, let’s look at the nutrients packed into this delicious vegetable…….

One serving or one cup of acorn squash contains 145% of the daily recommended requirements for Vitamin A. It also contains high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, manganese and folic acid. Acorn squash is also a great source of fibre! Great for keeping those bowels happy and healthy 🙂 The beautiful orangey-yellow colour of acorn squash also indicates its high in beta-carotene, which helps fight free radicals in the body and contributes to reducing heart disease and colon cancer.

Stuffed Acorn Squash with Red Quinoa and Fresh Herbs


  • 2 large acorn squash (serves 4 people)
  • 1½ cups quinoa (white, red, or mixed)
  • 2 medium leeks, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh sage, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh thyme, removed from stem
  • ½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp hemp seeds
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 tsp sucanat (or organic brown sugar)


  1. Roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Cut each squash in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Drizzle ½ tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil over the cut side, and season with salt, fresh ground pepper and sprinkle with sucanat. Place the halves cut side down on a baking sheet, and roast for about 25 to 35 minutes, until slightly browned and easily pierced with a fork.
  2. Make the quinoa: Bring 2¼ cups water to a boil, add qunioa and cook for approx. 15 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Prepare the fresh ingredients while quinoa cooks. Chop off the dark green stems of the leeks, then slice them in half length-wise. Place each leek half cut-side down on the cutting board, then chop it into thin slices. There will be dirt in between each layer of the leeks, so when you’ve finished chopping them, rinse thoroughly in a colander.
  4. In a skillet, heat 1½ tablespoons olive oil. Add the leeks, and saute about 4 minutes, just before they begin to brown. While you saute the leeks, toast the walnuts – place them in a small skillet and toast over low heat, until slightly browned. (Make sure to watch so they don’t burn!)
  5. When the quinoa is done, stir in the sauteed leeks. Then add the fresh sage, thyme, sea salt, and fresh ground pepper. Taste, and add more salt or pepper to taste, as well as a drizzle of olive oil and/or coconut oil if desired.
  6. When the squash are done, spoon quinoa generously into each half. Top with walnuts and hemp seeds and serve immediately. ENJOY!

** Feel free to use any fresh herbs you have on hand. Also, chopped almonds, pumpkin seeds or pecans would work well too! Get creative and don’t be afraid to experiment using different herbs or seasonings.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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Happy Friday Everyone! I’ll be hosting a Superfoods Seminar on Monday November 12th in Mississauga. If your in the Mississauga area and would like to attend, please send me an email to pre register. Details for this amazing seminar are below! Hope to see you there! 🙂

Discover the power of adding into your diet an entirely new class of foods that are full of flavor and packed with nutrition! Learn how to incorporate these TOP SUPERFOODS into your diet with
Holistic Nutritionist, Samantha Gladish.

*Alkalize your body *Boost Immunity *Increase Energy *Balance Hormones *Decrease Inflammation *Improve Heart Health *Detoxify

Date: Monday, November 12th, 2012

Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm

Location: City Center Inspire Yoga – 626 Burnhamthorpe Rd. Suite 202, Mississauga (east of Mavis)

Cost: $30/person (a $150 VALUE!)
FREE Giveaways, Goodies to Sample and Recipe Handouts

Cash or Cheque (payable to Samantha Gladish)

Leave payment at front Desk at Inspire Yoga

*Must pre register for this event by:
Friday November 9, 2012

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Crispy TWIX bars & Gluten Free Avocado Chocolate Chip Muffins! Simple and Delicious Halloween Goodies!

Halloween is upon us! If you’ve been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll notice all my Halloween pics and pumpkin postings! I just can’t get enough! Halloween comes once a year and I say embrace it! No matter what your age is! Today’s recipes are perfect goodies for Halloween, sure to please the whole family! Enjoy!

Homemade Crispy Twix Bars (courtesy of super awesome foodie blog! A BIG thank you to Angela for coming up with such delicious goodness!)

Yield: ~16-18 bars

For the crust:
1 & 1/4 cup GF crispy rice cereal (Nature’s Path)
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
2 tbsp peanut butter*
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of fine grain sea salt

For the date caramel: (adapted from Homemade Rolos)
200-210 grams pitted soft Medjool dates (about 1 & 1/4 cup pitted dates)
1 tbsp peanut butter*
1 tbsp almond milk, or more if needed
pinch of fine grain sea salt

For the chocolate coating:
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1 tsp coconut oil (optional)


1. Line an 8-inch pan with two pieces of parchment paper. In a small pot, add the brown rice syrup, peanut butter, and vanilla. Increase heat to medium and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently until combined. Add pinch of salt. Pour into a large bowl with rice crisp and stir well.

2. Scoop the rice crisp mixture into pan. Wet hands slightly and then spread the mixture evenly and press down firmly until smooth. Place in freezer while you make the date caramel.

3. Soak dates in water until soft (only if necessary) and drain. Place pitted dates, peanut butter, milk, and salt in the food processor and process until almost smooth and a big ball forms.

4. Spread caramel layer over top of the crust until it’s as smooth and even as you can get it. Place back in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to set.

5. Melt the chocolate and optional coconut oil in a small pot over low heat. When 2/3 of the chips are melted, remove from heat and stir until smooth. Spread chocolate on top of the caramel and place in the freezer for about 3 minutes only.

6. Remove from freezer (chocolate should be slightly firm, but not completely set) and slice into rows and then in half. Freeze again until set for about 10 minutes. Store in fridge or freezer.

Substitution Notes: 1) The brown rice syrup can probably be subbed for honey (if you include honey in your diet). Agave won’t hold together as well since it’s not as “tacky”, but it will hold together when kept in the freezer. It will fall apart at room temperature though. 2) You can sub peanut butter for sunflower seed butter or almond butter.

Avocado Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yes….I said Avocado! I know we’ve been down this road before and I haven’t failed you yet! You get a heart healthy dose of fat in these muffins and you wouldn’t even know it!

1 3/4 cup Gluten Free all purpose flour
1/4 cup sucanat
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 large eggs
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 ripe avocado, peeled and mashed
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 12 count muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine flour, sucanat, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, coconut oil, avocado, banana and vanilla. Add flour to mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes.

What to do with all those Pumpkin Seeds? Roast them! Sweet, Salty or Spicy? I’ve got you covered! View my recipes here! Plus, try my Spicy Coconut Pumpkin Soup recipe!


Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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Almond Butter Cups & Cacao Coffee Frappuccino to Kick Start Your Week!

Who doesn’t love Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups?!?! I mean…peanut butter and chocolate together…OH SO GOOD!! As much as I crave peanut butter and am tempted to dive into a Reese’s cup every now and then….I don’t!!! Instead, I make my Almond Butter Cups that are TENS times more nutritious and delicious! Peanuts, as yummy as they are, contain a mould called Aflatoxins. Unfortunately, these little nuts just aren’t as good for us as we may think. They are also highly allergenic, so I suggest you do your best to avoid them. Instead…eat almonds or have almond butter and make these divine treats! They are perfect for Halloween, especially if you have little ones with peanut allergies!

Almond Butter Cups

2 bags organic dark chocolate chips
1-2 cups organic raw or crunchy almond butter

Line a mini cupcake tray with baking cups. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat. Once melted pour 1-2 tsp of chocolate into cups, making sure to spread chocolate up the side of the cups ( I did this with the back of a spoon). Once all cups are filled, place tray in freezer for 5 minutes so chocolate can harden. Once frozen, place a dollop of almond butter into cups (flatten with finger) and pour remaining chocolate over top. Freeze for 10-12 minutes, or until cups have completely hardened.

Cacao Coffee Frappuccino
This is a delicious morning shake that will really give you a boost! I don’t recommend having coffee first thing in the morning, so you should start your day with warm water and lemon and/or an alkalizing fresh pressed veggie juice….then onto the coffee! This recipe came about when I had leftover organic coffee that I just didn’t want to waste, so into my shake it went! It was delicious!

1/2 cup chocolate coconut water (optional)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 heaping tbsp raw cacao powder
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Coffee (I used about 1 cup organic french pressed coffee)
2-3 ice cubes

Mix in blender until smooth



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Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes with Almond Cashew Icing and (another) Pumpkin Pie Smoothie!

I know I know…’re probably sick of Pumpkin anything at this point since the overload at Thanksgiving weekend! But I can’t get enough of it! Pumpkins are everywhere, and soon I’ll be carving mine and roasting the seeds for a delicious snack. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these simple and delicious pumpkin pie cupcakes that are gluten free! As for the icing, I have to admit it was a cheat on my part. I’ve been wanting to try the Healthy Top almond and cashew whipping cream and thought it would be the perfect addition to my cupcakes….and they were! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

2 cups quinoa flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon (I add extra cinnamon because I LOVE IT!)
2 eggs
1 cup organic pumpkin puree
3/4 cup sucanat
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a medium bowl, whisk together quinoa flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon. In a large bowl, beat the eggs; add the pumpkin, sugar, buttermilk, applesauce and oil. Whisk until smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir until blended. Use a large spoon to divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan. If frosting, be sure cupcakes have completely cooled so the icing doesn’t melt!

Healthy Top Icing
View the link below to see how to whip the Healthy Top! It takes no time at all! I added 1 tsp of vanilla extract before whipping to give it some extra flavour.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie
Last week I posted a GREEN pumpkin pie smoothie! The green hue was due to the protein powder that I use which contained spirulina and chlorella! Sooooo…..I felt the need to redo my smoothie and post a more “appropriate” looking Pumpkin Pie smoothie! 😉 Enjoy!

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup Organic canned pumpkin puree
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder
1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. manuka honey
3-4 ice cubes

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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Immune Boosting Portobello Mushroom and Red Chard Saute with Spaghetti Squash and Pumpkin Pie Smoothie for Thanksgiving Meatless Monday!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! I hope you are all enjoying a relaxing weekend full of delicious and nutritious food! It’s not common for us to over indulge during this time of year and that’s why I’ve got 2 delicious recipes that are perfect for thanksgiving! My (green) pumpkin pie smoothie is full of flavour, protein, healthy fats and minus all the unnecessary sugar and calories from Pumpkin Pie. You won’t even miss that pie slice on your plate this year with this yummy smoothie!

My immune boosting mushroom, chard and squash saute is the perfect side dish for your thanksgiving feast! Red chard is full of vitamin C, K, A, calcium, magnesium, fibre and protein! Paired with selenium rich portobello mushrooms, this delicious dish is great for the cold and flu season!

Immune Boosting Portobello Mushroom and Red Chard Saute with Spaghetti Squash

5-6 leaves red chard, chopped (kale, rainbow, swiss chard would also work well)
2 portobello mushrooms, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2-3 small tomatoes, I used LOCAL vine ripened
3 cloves garlic
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red vine vinegar
1 tbsp water
1 tsp dried oregano
Pinch sea salt
Black pepper

Saute onion in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and any dried herbs. Add in chard, red wine, water, salt and pepper, stirring frequently until chard starts to wilt and mushrooms are cooked through. Serve over spaghetti squash.

Directions for Roasting Squash
Slice squash in half length wise and remove seeds. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper (drizzle with olive oil if preferred). Line baking sheet with parchment paper and bake squash rind-side-up for about 40 minutes at 375°F. Turn squash over, flesh facing up 10 minutes before done to slightly cook/roast inside. Using a fork, scrape the flesh lengthwise from top to bottom—the squash should “shred” loose in strips like spaghetti. Place on serving plates and top with mushroom and chard sauté.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I used the old Vega whole food optimizer which is green due to its high spirulina content!! Otherwise, any vanilla protein powder will do and your shake will turn out orange, not green!! Either way, it’s delicious!

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 Tbsp. Organic canned pumpkin pie
2 scoops Vega vanilla chai complete meal replacement
1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice, ground
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp. Grade B maple syrup
3-4 ice cubes

Add all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Health & Abundance,

Samantha 🙂


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Adzuki Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Stew + Almond Avocado Cacao Power Shake for Meatless Monday

One pot veggie filled meals are the best! They are loaded with nutrition, great for experimenting with flavours and great for freezing! This simple stew is a perfect weeknight meal and great for those chilly nights, which I hate to admit but fall is officially upon us in just a few days. I love the bounty fall has to offer- pumpkins, squashes, rich greens…mmmm….I can’t wait! Looking forward to sharing many more fall inspired recipes with you this coming season! 🙂 Enjoy!

Adzuki Bean, Sweet Potato and Kale Stew

1 can organic adzuki beans
1 large sweet potato, cut into cubes
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chili flake (optional)
pinch of cayenne (optional)
2 tsp sea salt or herbamare
1 bunch kale, chopped

Saute onion and garlic in coconut oil on low heat until onion is translucent. Add all spices and gently mix together. Add stock and sweet potato and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add beans, salt and simmer another 1o minutes. Layer kale on top of stew and put a tight fitting lid on top. This will help to steam kale. Let steam for 5 minutes or so, until kale is bright green and slightly crisp. Remove for heat and serve. **Depending on thickness of sweet potato cubes you may need to cook a few minutes longer or until desired texture is reached.

Almond Avocado Cacao Power Shake
This shake is loaded with antioxidants, energy, protein and fat! It’s a great breakfast shake when your on the go and need a much needed boost of nutrition and deliciousness!

1 cup coconut water
1 cup almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
2 heaping tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp maca powder
1/2 avocado
3 medjool dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 heaping tbsp almond butter

Place all ingredients into a high speed blender.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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Cinnamon Chia Morning Porridge and Apricot Almond Protein Bars for Meatless Monday!

Happy Monday Everyone! Hope you missed me last week 😉 I decided since it was labor day long weekend to take a mini break! I hid my phone away and computer and enjoyed some much needed time with friends, family and the sun! But I’m back now, with 2 VERY simple and delicious recipes that are perfect for a busy back to work monday! My morning chia porridge takes minutes to make, is full of plant based protein, healthy fats and slow releasing carbohydrates to take you through your morning. And for an afternoon pick me up, my apricot protein bars will do the trick! They are kid friendly approved-making them perfect for a quick after school snack and keep in the fridge for up to 1 week! Enjoy!

Cinnamon Chia Porridge
Natures Path launched this delicious gluten free chia, buckwheat and hemp mix that I just had to try! I revamped it with some additional ingredients, making it more filling and nutrient dense. Feel free to add/take away any ingredients. Adding in a scoop of chocolate or vanilla protein powder would also be a great option!

2-3 tbsp Qi’a
3 tbsp Quinoa flakes
1 tsp flax seeds
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp chopped walnuts and/or almonds
2 tbsp goji berries
1 tsp cacao nibs
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup almond milk (or more, based on personal preference)

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, then add almond milk. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes as the chia expands and absorbs the milk, which helps to thicken the mixture.

Apricot Almond Protein Bars
These bars are super easy to make and versatile. Add whichever nuts, seeds or dried fruits that you prefer!

1 cup raw almond butter
3 heaping tbsp raw honey
Dry Mix:
1 cup brown rice flakes
2 scoops vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 cup apricots, cut into quarters


These are REAL apricots! Apricots should not be bright orange! Be sure to purchase unsulphured apricots.

Heat almond butter and honey together over low heat in a pan. Once melted together, add all dry ingredients and mix well. Press mixture together into a pyrex dish and refrigerate for 2 hours. To serve – leave out for 10 minutes to soften and cut into squares.

Enjoy the goodness!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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Red Cabbage and Fresh Veggie Coleslaw with Lemon Tahini Dressing for Meatless Monday

Happy Monday! Today’s recipe post is loaded with vibrant colours! And vibrant colours means an array a nutrient rich vitamins and minerals! I wouldn’t have it any other way! Red cabbage is rich in phytonutrients (plant nutrients) and antioxidants which are beneficial for inflammation and a great preventative for overall health. Hope you enjoy this tasty and nutrient dense salad! It makes the perfect side to any dish!

Red Cabbage and Fresh Veggie Slaw (I adapted this recipe from

  • About 6-7 cups of roughly chopped red/purple cabbage
  • 1 carrot, shaved with a peeler into 2-3 inch strips
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped finely (or use other herb)
  • 3-4 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
  • Herbamare (sea salt and organic herb mix) to season

Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 1 cup tahini
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or sea salt)
  • water- add to desired consistency

In a large bowl, mix the chopped celery, pepper, cabbage, shaved carrot, and parsley. Add nuts and seeds. Prepare the dressing by whisking all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. The salad tastes best when the dressing is mixed just before serving, so I suggest you portion out how much salad you will be eating for the meal and then add on your desired amount of dressing & mix well. Wrap up any leftover salad and place in the fridge and do the same with the leftover dressing.

What to do with leftovers???
The next morning I sautéed the coleslaw with half a red onion (chopped) and 1 tbsp of coconut aminos (tamari would work well too). I served it with 2 poached eggs and it was delicious! Sautéed and mixed with brown rice and tofu would make a delicious lunch or dinner. Try my crispy marinated tofu cubes! They make a great addition to any salad!


Happy Monday!

Health & Abundance,
Samantha 🙂

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