It Was Love At First Beet

I was never really a fan of beets until I had this amazing Arugula Salad with Roasted Beets, Squash & Shallots by Gwyneth Paltrow. I was happy to find the recipe online via Bare Beauty and have made it many times since. It is a go to salad for a friend of mine who luckily made it for a friend’s 50th birthday dinner. I loved the roasted beets so much that I now incorporate them regularly into my homemade meals. It truly was love at first beet.

One-pan chicken and veg


Homemade lunches and dinner always seem to go out the window when my life gets busy. The key is definitely prepping in advance. I spent a bit of time this morning making this one-pan chicken and roasted veg to ensure I have some homemade lunches to bring to work. 

I melted coconut oil in a frying pan. Coated the chicken thighs with a tandoori spice purchased from a Indian grocery store. Seared both sides of the chicken thighs and placed on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Melted coconut oil to toss with the chopped vegetables. My veg mix included orange, yellow and purple carrots, beets, zucchini and red and yellow peppers. I also added finely minced red chilli, garlic and ginger for a bit of flavour.

Combined the chicken thighs and vegetables on the the cookie sheet. Baked until fully cooked. While the chicken and veg were baking, I made brown basmati rice. Once everything was cooked, I placed one chicken thigh, 1/2 cup of rice and the roasted veg into individual containers and froze immediately. 

Lunch simplified. 

Breakfast Simplified  

Me and weekday mornings are challenging especially in the chilly winter months. The comforts of my bed and sleep often wins over a healthy homemade breakfast. 

To simplify and speed up my morning routine, I spent ten minutes packing my smoothie ingredients to simplify for the week ahead. This week’s creations included one banana, blueberries, spinach, hemp hearts, coconut oil, cashew butter and vanilla extract. Just grab a smoothie ziploc package from the freezer, add almond milk, blend, enjoy and GO! 

Strawberry Spinach Smoothie

Today’s smoothie creation – one banana, a handful of frozen strawberries and baby spinach, approximately 1 tablespoon almond butter as well as hemp hearts, a teaspoon of coconut oil and unsweetened almond milk. I added a wee bit of cinnamon too. Blend and enjoy! 

Asparagus with Gremolata 

Gremolata is an amazing way to add flavour. Often made with lemon, I made a gremolata mixture with orange zest, juice, garlic and parsley for this asparagus dish. 

Very simple to pull together. Zest the orange peel into a bowl, cut and add the juice of the orange, mince a 1/4 cup of parsley and add a garlic clove or two (or three) and mix. Sprinkle over asparagus. 

Fresh flavours to dress up your vegetable side dishes. 

Raspberry Banana Almond Smoothie 


My new smoothie combination – one banana, frozen raspberries, approximately 1 tablespoon of Manitoba Harvest hemp hearts and Nuts to You almond butter, a wee bit of vanilla extract and one cup Silk unsweetened almond milk. Blend and enjoy! 

Back to the Kitchen 

Back to school is upon us and regardless of our age, we should always be learning. If you are a foodie like me, chances are that learning comes in the form of food. 

After a long absence from my kitchen, I decided last autumn that I needed to get serious about cooking again. A friend’s Facebook post led me to discovering the Clean Eating Magazine Clean Eating Academy: Intro to Clean Cooking & Nutrition course with Chef James Smith. While I have been cooking since childhood, my recipes were not always the healthiest and I needed help being inspired again. I had always wanted to take a professional culinary course for fun so this seemed like a perfect place to start. 

From the first lesson, I learned so many new things and all from the comfort of my home. Many Sunday afternoons were spent trying professional culinary techniques including mise en place, julienne, bâtonnet, brunoise and blanching as well as putting my new skills into practice by creating some awesome recipes. From homemade vegetable stock to roasted garlic lemon aioli to mushroom risotto, I graduated with new culinary skills and techniques to make recipes clean. 

There is still so much for me to learn and master and it is definitely an ongoing work in progress. I love that I can return back to the recipes and videos when I need to and the magazine and website is filled with many recipes to try. If you are struggling to be inspired in your kitchen, why not commit to learning something new. Regardless where you live in the world, this course is accessible to all from the comfort of your own kitchen. I highly recommend the Clean Eating Academy: Intro to Clean Cooking & Nutrition course if you are looking to get started to a healthier YOU.

To learn more about Chef James Smith and the Clean Eating Academy: Intro to Clean Cooking & Nutrition course, visit http://www.cleaneatingmag.com/articles/meet-clean-eating-academy-instructor-james-smith/ 

Happy clean cooking and eating!