Cheesy Butternut Ham Pasta

On a cold winter’s day, a bowl of creamy pasta can warm you up down to the core. Yet, there are healthier  ways to achieve this beyond using heavy cream. Butternut squash, cooked in broth then puréed and added to brown rice pasta with some cheese and ham tastes decadent and rich, with a heavy dose of fiber, antioxidants and vitamins A and C (minus the large amount of saturated fat that comes with cream). Continue Reading →

Cranberry Walnut Granola

Granola is one of the easiest things to make and just a little bit goes a long way to dress up a bowl of oatmeal or plain yogurt. Artisan granola is quite expensive but if you buy the ingredients in bulk it can be a very cost effective homemade endeavor. The stars of this particular granola are walnuts and cranberries. Continue Reading →

Candied Almonds on Roasted Pears

Making a dessert healthy doesn’t mean making it completely sugar and fat free, instead using fresh and nutrient dense ingredients guarantees that your body will benefit from it. I really like to make baked pears or apples and top them with granola or candied nuts and finish it off with some full fat plain Greek yogurt (it is so thick and creamy that it looks like ice cream in the photos). Here I roasted some pears in the oven and toasted almonds on the stove with a mixture of honey, butter , spices and palm sugar (it is lower GI than most sugars and a deep brown color with lots of flavor), which come together to taste like rich caramel sauce. Continue Reading →

Pirate Chicken

Jerk sauce is about as flavorful as you can get, it has lots of spice and warming herbs like allspice and mace, along with coconuts and rum it is a hallmark of the Caribbean. It hails from Jamaica and compliments any type of poultry or meat very well, my favorite brand is Auntie Bev’s because it is delicious and has only good quality and real ingredients. Plus it is made by a local Vancouverite and it’s widely available. For more embarassingly Caucasian palates like myself it is best to start with a little bit so that the spicyness isn’t too overwhelming. I like to add some coconut milk in because it makes a really creamy sauce and helps to cool down the spice a little. I also add in broth to the sauce and cook it for awhile so that it boils down and thickens up to a rich gravy. Continue Reading →

Kombucha Winter Sangria

Kombucha is a slightly effervescent fermented tea. Here in North America those of us who follow modern diets tend to miss out on anything fermented. The fermenting process changes the components of a food or drink, leading to an item high in probiotics and other nutrients. From a digestive and nutritional point of view we can all benefit from consuming probiotic rich food because the good bacteria helps to balance out the bacteria in our large intestines (colons), a.k.a. our gut flora, so that the potentially bad guys (like Candida) don’t go on a rampage and start causing health issues. The proper balance of this intestinal flora has a great effect on our health in many areas, ranging from our energy levels to the strength of our immune systems. Continue Reading →

Roasted Chestnuts

Chestnuts are soft, dense and sweet, tasting kind of like yams but a bit more mild. Warm, fresh out of the oven they are a really delicious and hearty snack all on their own, with no seasoning or dips required. They are lower in fats and higher in complex carbohydrates than other nuts, as well as high in fiber, vitamin C, several B vitamins and the essential minerals manganese, copper and potassium. All of these nutrients play different roles in the body from stabilizing energy levels to improving digestion to helping red blood cell formation to boosting the immune system to acting as antioxidants. Continue Reading →

Breakfast Tacos

Breakfast tacos are an easy, healthy and versatile option for anyone trying to cut down on their sugar consumption (even gourmet granola and other standard breakfast health foods can be full of added sugars). They are also a way to appeal to the crowd if you have a bunch of people with different tastes and appetites to feed. Generally, around 2 to 3 tacos per person is enough and the options are limitless. Continue Reading →

Cranberry Maple Pecan Yam Rounds

Many fruits and vegetables can provide a base to eat off of, as a replacement for crackers but roasted yams are one of my favorites. When cut thin enough and roasted they start to crisp up around the edges and the inside becomes soft but still sturdy enough to hold its shape and keep the toppings from toppling off. Many yams are thin and long but for something like this the best ones are almost spherical, being nearly as thick in diameter as they are long. Continue Reading →

Cranberry Pecan Meatballs

My pickiest brother was hovering around the kitchen watching me as I made these. He said there was no way that they could compare with Ikea meatballs and he wasn’t loving the idea of diluting beef with fruit and nuts, though I could tell he was intrigued. Once they were made he inhaled a plate of them and then had more with dinner so they were a win after all. I used ground beef but ground turkey would work well in its place for a lighter option and more traditional flavor combination. All berries are highly renowned for their high concentrations of antioxidants and of them cranberries top the charts. Continue Reading →