Vegan Kelp noodles and veggies in peanut sauce

 
Although they sound strange, kelp noodles are in fact delicious. I was first introduced to them by a friend and have been in love with them ever since. They are low carb, gluten free, high in iodine, and are neutral in taste so they are versatile in all sorts of dishes. This stir fry is simple and oh so satisfying, it is also great cold as a salad. If you love peanut sauce just as much as I do, than this is the recipe for you! it is almost like a cross between pad Thai and a good peanut sauce…delicious! So weather you are vegan, gluten free, low carb, or just want a recipe that you can enjoy guilt-free this summer, this is just the one for you! 
 
Ingredients for stir fry:
• 6 cups kelp noodles 
• 2 cups bok choy, roughly chopped
• 1 medium onion
• 1 cup bell pepper, thinly sliced (I used orange bell pepper, however any would work fine)
• 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
• 1/2 cup frozen edamame or green lima beans
• 1/2 tbsp avocado or coconut oil 
• Salt to taste
 
Ingredients for sauce:
• 2 tbsp all natural peanut butter
• 1 tbsp tamarind
• 1 tsp sesame oil
• 1 tsp sriracha
• 1 tsp soy sauce (use wheat free tamari if GF)
• 1 tbsp coconut sugar
• 1 clove garlic
• Juice of 1 lime 
• 1/2 cup water (or more if too thick)
 
Ingredients to garnish:
• 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts
• 2 scallions, thinly sliced
• 1 lime, cut into wedges
 
Directions:
• In a blender, begin by combining all ingredients for the sauce. Bled until a smooth consistency is reached. If sauce is too thick, add a bit more water to thin out. 
• In a large sauté pan or wok, begin by heating avocado oil on medium high heat. Add onion, pepper and cabbage and stir fry quickly. 
• Once the vegetables are softened slightly, add kelp noodles and sauce. Cook until kelp noodles begin to soften and absorb sauce.
• Finally, add bok choy and edamame. Cook for 1 minute, until boo choy is soft and brighter in colour and edamame are warmed through. 
• Serve noodles by topping it with roasted peanuts, chopped scallion and a lime wedge. Enjoy!

Thai Mango Salad


Last week I had the pleasure of sitting outside and having lunch. After a long, almost never ending winter, it was so nice to feel the warm(ish) air and feel the sun on my face again. Having lunch outside made me want to make a super refreshing, summery salad, and what is more summery than mangos? This salad is sweet, salty, tangy, herby and crunchy, all the main components you need in a delicious salad! The use of Thai basil, cilantro and mint together with the mangos is like a flavour explosion! This salad is perfect alone, but can also be served with any grilled meat, fish, veggies or tofu! Try it out and get yourself ready to taste a big bowl of summer! 
 
Ingredients for salad:
• 8 cups red leaf lettuce, chopped (or spring mix)
• 2 cups bean sprouts
• 2 cups mango, diced
• 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
• 1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
• 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves, roughly chopped
 
Ingredients for dressing:
• 1/2 cup rice vinegar 
• 2 tbsp honey
• 1 tbsp sambal chili paste
• 1 tbsp soy
• 1/2 cup avocado oil 
• 1 tbsp sesame oil 
• Salt to taste
 
Ingredients for garnish
• 1/2 cup dry roasted cashews
• 4 scallions, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup crispy garlic (optional)
 
Directions:
• Begin by thoroughly washing your lettuce and herbs. In a large bowl place lettuce, chopped herbs and bean sprouts, set aside. 
• In a small mixing bowl, or mason jar, combine all ingredients for dressing. Mix or shake well to emulsify, make sure that the honey is fully dissolved. 
• Dress mangos with 2 tbsp of dressing, mixing well. Dress lettuce, herbs and sprouts lightly with dressing and mix well to combine. 
• In a large serving bowl, place dressed salad at the bottom and top with mangos, cashews, scallions and crispy garlic. Enjoy right away! 

Lobster and shrimp rolls

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This recipe is a huge hit at all family events and is usually the first plate to be completely cleared. I first introduced this recipe last summer at a cottage pot luck party, and it has been requested for every family get-together ever since. It’s so delicious and tastes like summer to me. What really makes a difference, in my opinion, is the homemade aioli. That extra step makes all the difference, and also allows you to really control exactly what you are consuming, as opposed to buying the store-bought alternatives. I like to make sure that I am using the best quality ingredients for this sandwich as the flavours are so simple and you really can notice the difference. For an added gluten free alternative you can also serve these on lettuce cups. This is equally delicious and a little more guilt free!

Ingredients for rolls:
• 4 lobster tails
• 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
• 12 small dinner rolls, or 8 larger rolls of your choice
• 1 Iceberg lettuce, shredded
• 2 tbsp chives, finely chopped

Ingredients for lemon and garlic aioli:
• 1 egg yolk
• 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
• 1 tbsp lemon zest
• 1 tsp grainy dijon mustard
• 1 clove of garlic
• 3/4 cup good quality, neutral tasting, oil (I use avocado)
• Pinch of cayenne
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
• Begin by bringing a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tbsp salt. First throw in whole lobster tails and cook for 5 minutes, until tails are bright red and curled slightly. Take tails out and set aside. In the same pot, add shrimp and allow to cook for another 5-8 minutes, until shrimp are pink and curled slightly. Take shrimp out and set aside.
• In a food processor begin by combining egg yolk, mustard, and garlic. While food processor is running slowly drizzle in oil to create an emulsion. Note: It is important to do this very slowly not to break the aioli. Take your time streaming in oil slowly and continuously. Once a mayonnaise like consistency has been achieved add lemon juice, zest, cayenne and seasoning. Mix well to combine and set aside.
• Remove lobster from the shell and cut into bite sized pieces and add into a large mixing bowl. Cut shrimp into similar bite sized pieces and add to same bowl as lobster meat. Add one tbsp of aioli and mix to combine, add aioli to your desired amount of dressing. I added only two tbsp of aioli as I do not like my lobster and shrimp salad to be overly dressed.
• Cut open small dinner rolls or buns, set aside. Chop lettuce into a thin julienne, and finally chop chives.
• To assemble, add a bit of lettuce to the bottom of each roll, top with desired amount of shrimp and lobster mixture and top with chives. Enjoy right away!

Roasted Shrimp and Red Pepper Chimichurri

 
Chimmichurrie is a traditional sauce that is usually paired with grilled meats and fish, and it is so delicious. I wanted to make a spin on a Chimichurri, and as it is still the middle of winter in Canada, access to an outdoor barbecue is relatively impossible. The next best thing in my mind is baking the shrimp, and what better way to get that lovely charred flavour than allowing the shrimp to roast shell on at a high temperature in the oven. The shells of the shrimp are so delicate that they start to blister and brown at such a high heat, which also leaves the meat of the shrimp juicy, tender and delicious. This is by no means a traditional Chimichurri, but paired with the roasted shrimp, the flavours are to die for and you’ll feel like it’s summer in your mouth, even though it’s still cold outside…

Ingredients for the shrimp:
▪ 30 shell on shrimp
▪ 1 tsp garlic salt
▪ zest of one lemon
▪ 1 tsp avocado oil (or your favourite cooking oil)

Ingredients for Chimichurri:
▪ 1/2 cup cilantro, minced
▪ 2 roasted red peppers, diced
▪ 2 cloves garlic, minced
▪ 1 small shallot, diced
▪ 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
▪ 1/4 cup olive oil
▪ sea salt, to taste
▪ 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Directions:
▪ Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
▪ Place shrimp on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle on avocado oil and sprinkle with garlic salt and lemon zest. Bake at 450 for 10-12 minutes, until shrimp are opaque, pink and shells are slightly caramelized.
▪ For the Chimichurri, combine all diced and minced ingredients into a mixing bowl. Top cilantro, garlic, shallots and roasted peppers with olive oil, red wine vinegar and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well to combine, taste and season with salt to taste. Allow sauce to sit for 10 minutes, this will allow the flavours to combine and infuse.
▪ Once shrimp are out of the oven place them on a serving plate and drizzle with Chimichurri. Enjoy this dish hot or cold.

5 tips to stay on track while you snack

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As a nutritionist people often ask me: “ how do you stay on track between your meals?” The answer is simple, you need to eat when you are hungry and snacking is the way to go about it. We often have a bad stigma attached to snacking and that’s because a lot of people will just snack on the first thing that is close by, which is usually not the best or the healthiest. Here are my 5 go to ways to stay on track between meals with healthier and smarter snack choices and tips.

  1. Meal prep your snacks: Meal prepping is a great and useful tool for staying on track with simple, healthy and convenient meals. But, have you ever tried to do the same with snacks? I like to prep my snacks ahead, this allows me to grab one whenever I get a bit hungry as opposed to some random unhealthy thing that is in close reach. I prepare fruits cups, sliced veggies, chia puddings, hard boiled eggs, sliced cheese, homemade salsa and dips to have as staples in my fridge. I also buy bulk items like nuts, dried fruits and nut butters to add more layers to my options for snacks. Having all of these items on hand and ready to go in small containers make packing food for my day super simple.
  2. Rotate your recipes: It is so easy to get caught up in eating the same foods over and over again. This is due to the fact that when we have a routine down it is just so easy to stick to it. However, routines can get boring fast. I recommend looking online for fun snack ideas and trying at least one new thing every week. This allows you to diversify your foods, providing more variety, flavour, and nutritional benefit.
  3. Drink plenty of water throughout the day: I know I am guilty of over indulging in coffee and not drinking enough water throughout the day, and let’s face it most of us are… I have found that I am much more hungry when I am not sufficiently hydrated. This is due to the fact that your brain will stimulate the feeling of hunger when it is lacking in water. So remember to keep drinking water throughout the day, this will allow you to actually snack when you are hungry instead of just blindly eating thought the day.
  4. Try to incorporate a bit of protein with your snacks: I personally find that I get “hangry” if I am not properly balancing my meals and snacks. Things like bananas and apples alone only fill me up for a short amount of time until I get “hangry” again. This is due to the fact that the body will utilize sugars from foods first for energy. Fruits are high in natural sugar that the body loves to utilize for energy, this is why some of us often feel hungry just 30 minutes after eating an apple. The best way to get around this issue? Add a bit of protein and fat to your snack. I like to add a few nuts or nut butter to balance out my serving of fruits, this allows the body to utilize the energy from the food for much longer, allowing you to stay satiated for a while.
  5. Don’t be hard on yourself: The number one way to always keep a balanced, healthy and happy life is not to beat yourself up over the little things and indulge when you feel like it. We all like to indulge here and there, as we are only human after all. Enjoy the indulgence and always remember that being healthy isn’t a diet, but a lifestyle and part of life is imperfection.