CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH + GREEN APPLE SOUP

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How’s the weather where you are? If you’re lucky enough to live anywhere in Canada then you’re probably experiencing a pretty dramatic cold spell right about now.. I feel you, it’s disgusting. Okay let me be honest about something, I’m a summer baby through and through, I hate the winter, I hate being cold and I hate the grey rainy weather that comes with living in BC. That being said there are a few things that I do every year to make the winter a little bit more bearable - the first of which is up my coziness game to a solid 1000. I wear fuzzy socks, wrap myself in blankets, drink 900 cups of tea a day and ALWAYS have a nutrient dense warming soup prepped to have on hand in my fridge!

Lately I have been absolutely loving this curried butternut squash soup and it has become a staple in my meal prep rotation for the last few weeks! It’s vegan and dairy free, warming from the spices, creamy and smooth and has the most subtle sweetness from the green apple. It’s honestly next level and super simple to make. Whip it up this week, you definitely won’t regret it!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 butternut squash

1 green apple - chopped

1 yellow onion - diced

5 cloves of garlic - diced

4 cups low sodium vegetable stock

1 tbsp avocado oil

1 can coconut milk

SPICES:

1 tbsp curry powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp pink Himalayan salt *potentially more to taste*

1 tsp black pepper *potentially more to taste*

*Optional: raw pumpkin seeds to garnish*

HOW TO

  1. Roast butternut squash on a baking sheet, flesh side down at 425F for 45 minutes or until soft.

  2. Scoop cooked butternut squash out of skin and set aside.

  3. In a medium pot, heat avocado oil.

  4. Add onions and garlic to pot and cook until fragrant and translucent.

  5. Add in diced apple and cook until soft.

  6. Add in all spices and stir until onions, garlic and apples are evenly coated in them, cook for 1-2 minutes.

  7. Add in butternut squash and vegetable stock, stir and bring to a boil.

  8. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 25 minutes.

  9. Transfer soup to a high powered blender OR use a hand blender, puree soup until creamy, add in coconut milk and blend for 1 more minute.

  10. Pour soup back in pot and cook on low for 10 more minutes.

*Garnish with pumpkin seeds*

ENJOY!

XO - LU

SWEET & SPICY MARINATED TOFU

Okay you guys know how I feel about meal prep, it's basically my secret weapon. I'm busy af during the week and I don't have time to think of what to eat every day so I love planning my meals just like I plan my workouts every week and if I'm being honest, nothing makes me happier than being able to throw a bunch of pre made stuff in a bowl and call it a meal! One of my favourite things to meal prep is different sources of protein because it usually ends up being the star of whatever meal I'm making so it has to be good. If you follow me on insta you'll already know that I'm currently trying to eat a lot more animal based protein sources for my hormonal health but I know that a large chunk of my audience is still looking for easy (and healthy) vegetarian or vegan options so I created this super flavourful marinated tofu. I know tofu gets kind of a bad rep sometimes for being tasteless or boring but it's actually a really versatile protein source and takes on basically any flavour you give it so it's perfect for marinating.

This tofu is sweet, spicy and full of flavour! I pair it with brown rice, sautéed kale, cherry tomatoes and creamy avocado with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of black sesame seeds on top for a nutrient dense meal full of protein, complex carbs, fibre and healthy fats!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 block of organic NON GMO firm tofu

2 tbsp organic maple syrup

3 tbsp liquid aminos (I use Bragg)

1 tbsp organic sesame oil

1.5 tbsp organic red chilli hot sauce (think Siracha but without all the MSG)

2 tbsp rice vinegar 

1 tbsp minced fresh garlic

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

HOW TO

1. Preheat your oven to 400F and line baking sheet with silicon baking mat or grease with avocado oil.

2. Drain and rinse tofu and cut into thick cubes - about 0.5 inch thick.

3. Lay tofu between 2 pieces of paper towel and press down until all the liquid has come out. You can also leave it between two cutting boards or cookie sheets for up to 30 minutes to press and dry.

4. Add all marinade ingredients into a bowl and mix until combined then add in dry tofu cubes and mix to coat all pieces then cover and refrigerate for MINIMUM 30 minutes, the longer the better.

5. Spread tofu evenly onto baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, then flip and bake for 15 - 20 more minutes until golden brown. *Option to broil for 2-5 minutes to get them extra crispy*

6. Serve over brown rice or quinoa with your choice of veggies and healthy fat!

ENJOY!

*Makes 4 servings - store in airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days*

xo -LU

SUPER EASY GREEN GODDESS SAUCE

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Summer for me is all about eating food that is as fresh and light as possible and supporting my body with nutrient dense cleansing foods so that even if I'm indulging a little more often I still feel my best! The past couple of weeks I have been doing a detox for my liver to help reset my system and to help balance my blood sugar and hormones. Greens and herbs are amazing for liver detoxification so at the beginning of the week I bought a ton of cilantro and parsley to incorporate into all of my meals but eating raw herbs over and over the same way gets old pretty reeking' quick let me tell ya. My inspiration for this recipe was that I wanted to make something that would support my liver detoxification while still being light and refreshing for the summer and obviously super delicious and I honestly think that I nailed it with this sauce!

This sauce is packed full of vitamins and nutrients and tastes amazing on basically everything, plus it's so easy to make you could probably do it in your sleep. Okay maybe not but that would be super impressive!

Detoxifyng never tasted so good

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 bunch of organic parsley

1 bunch of organic cilantro

3 tbsp hemp hearts

5 garlic cloves

2 limes - juiced

4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper 

HOW TO

1. Okay this is where it gets complicated.. (kidding) throw everything in your blender and turn it on medium-high speed (yup it's that easy)

2. Blend until everything is fully emulsified - it should be a creamy bright green colour.

3. Pour, dip, spread on anything and everything - my favourite ways to eat it are; dipping sweet potato fries and raw veggies into it, massaged onto kale, spread on crackers, the list goes on!

*Store in an airtight container or jar in the fridge for up to 7 days*

ENJOY!

xo - LU

EASY SPICY AHI TUNA POKÉ BOWLS

Poké is one of Mike and my favourite things to grab for lunch when we are out and about. It's easy to customize to your dietary preferences, it's so yummy and it can actually be a super healthy option if you order it sans all the usual mayos, sauces and deep fried things. The only downside of poke is the price tag, a bowl goes for roughly $15 and that's with zero extras added on - it's cray cray! 

With the summer heat wave we're having I have had zero desire to use the oven or stove as of lately and while I am totally enjoying the excessive amounts of salads that I have been whipping up, Mike and I both definitely need a little bit of variety in our diet to keep us entertained. So in an effort to keep us both happy (mostly for him though) I decided it was time to make some poké bowls at home! We have the luxury of having a local fish market right down the street from our house that sells sashimi grade wild salmon and ahi tuna and a local Asian market that sells seaweed salad but if you're not so lucky, Whole Foods usually has both of these ingredients or you can always just pick up some sashimi and seaweed salad from your local take out Japanese place if you're in a pinch.

This recipe is insanely easy, packed with flavour and full of crispy fresh veggies and left over brown rice that can be meal prepped at the beginning of the week which leaves it requiring almost no cook time and only a few minutes of prep. This recipe is super versatile so if you don't have these toppings on hand or you have extra's that you want to throw in please feel free to change it up. Some other toppings that I like to add but didn't have on hadn't include; organic NON GMO edamame beans, cilantro, bell pepper, micro greens, pea shoots, etc.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

THE SAUCE:

3 tbsp coconut aminos (can sub soy sauce)

1 tbsp organic sesame oil

2 tbsp rice vinegar 

1 tbsp red chilli paste (leave this out if you don't like spice)

THE BOWL:

15 ounces sashimi grade wild ahi tuna

1 ripe mango 

1 small container of pre made seaweed salad

1.5-2 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 of a cucumber - diced

1/4 of a red onion - diced

1 avocado - sliced

GARNISH:

4-5 green onions/scallions - chopped

2 tbsp sesame seeds for garnish

HOW TO

1. Using a sharp knife, chop sashimi and mango and add to a bowl with all sauce ingredients, toss together, cover and leave in fridge for a minimum of 30 minutes to marinate. (more time is always better)

2. While the fish is marinating, chop all of your veggies and set aside. If you don't have pre cooked rice this is the perfect time to cook some!

3. Add half the rice to 2 bowls and divide the fish and mango mixture plus the sauce on top. 

4. Divide all other toppings into bowls, garnish with sesame seeds and green onions and serve!

*Makes 2 servings*

ENJOY!

xo - LU

VEGAN LENTIL MUSHROOM BOLOGNESE SAUCE

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I have my Italian roots to thank for my love of food and the kitchen.. oh and pasta. I quite literally grew up on pasta, we ate it AT LEAST once a week if not more and no one ever complained about it - why would we? Every year when we would go home to Ottawa to see my grandparents the first thing we would do when we got off the plane was sit down to eat pasta with my Nonno's home made tomato sauce, it didn't matter what time it was (1 am YUP, 3 am YUP, 9am YUP). It's a ritual and rightfully so because it's quite literally the best thing ever. I have tried to recreate his sauce a million times and it never comes out quite the same as it does when he makes it so I kind of just do my own thing now when it comes to sauce. I also healthify my version a lot because while there is a time and a place for refined carbs, my body doesn't totally love the carb coma that comes with them so I try to steer clear for the most part.

In an effort to pack even more of a nutritional punch into my usual sauce I decided to try a little something different and thought I'd attempt a bolognese style sauce but without beef because I'm not about that meat life. At first I did not think this was going to work because I totally winged it but it did, oh baby did it ever. If I'm being totally honest the Italian in me is both proud and a little ashamed to be veganizing (it's a word look it up) such a classic sauce and I'm not entirely sure if I should tell my Nonno that I actually freakin' NAILED IT.

It's packed with tons of secret vegetables, plant based protein and fiber! PRO TIP: Serve it over top of zoodles for a low carb option so you can load up the "meaty" sauce and it will still be light and leave you carb coma free!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 can of diced Italian tomatoes - no salt added

1 cup rinsed green lentils

2 large carrots - peeled

2 cups of mushrooms

6 cloves of garlic

1 medium yellow onion

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

2 tbsp avocado oil

SPICES:

2 tbsp dried basil

1 tbsp dried oregano

1 tsp red chili flakes (omit if you don't like spice)

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

HOW TO

1. In a medium sauce pan or pot heat the avocado oil over medium heat. 

2. In a food processor pulse onion and garlic together until finely chopped, add to the pot.

3. In the same food processor (no need to wash it) add in your carrot and pulse until finely chopped, then add in mushrooms and pulse until same consistency.

4. Once the onions and garlic are translucent add in the carrots, mushrooms balsamic and spices and continue to cook on medium until fragrant - about 3-4 minutes.

5. In the same food processor add in your can of tomatoes and pulse until most of the chunks are gone, about 15 seconds.

6. Add lentils to the pot and stir until combined, then add tomatoes, cover with a lid and bring to a boil.

7. Once it is boiling reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30-45 minutes.

8. Transfer half of the sauce to a high power blender and pulse for 20 seconds making sure not to over blend, you want some texture still. Add the blended sauce back into the rest of the sauce and stir to combine. Serve with pasta, zoodles, spaghetti squash or whatever your heart desires!

ENJOY!

xo - LU

 

PERFECTLY CRISPY SWEET POTATO FRIES

It's been a while since I hit you with a savoury recipe - what can I say I have a sweet tooth - so I thought that I would share one of my favourite things EVER. Not to toot my own horn (do people still say that?) or anything but I have basically become the queen of roasting sweet potatoes (and yams). No joke it has become one of my specialties, they come out perfect every single time and I think that that is something to be proud of.

I figured we could all use a fool proof recipe in our lives and these fries are exactly that so you're welcome. I make these every single week for meal prep and eat them every day (don't judge me). They're good dipped in organic ketchup, dijon, guac, nut butter, you name it they're damn good in it. Plus they're EXTREMELY easy to make and you can toss them in the oven and basically forget about them while you multitask - multitasking is another one of my specialties and anything that I can make while doing 17 other things gets an A+ in my books. I'm sure I've convinced you to make these by now so I'll leave it at that, less is more right?

Grab the closest potato and start your engines friends. 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

1 large organic sweet potato or yam 

2 tbsp melted coconut oil 

1 tsp sea salt

1.5 tsp pepper

2 tsp garlic powder 

.5 tsp cayenne pepper - if you don't like spice leave this out

HOW TO

1. Preheat oven to 425F and wash and scrub the sweet potato thoroughly, we want to leave the skin on because it has the most nutrients and crisps up really well so make sure you get all the dirt off.

2. Cut the sweet potato in half and then lengthwise, you may want to cut them in half again to make more even fry shapes depending on how thick your potato is. 

3. Lay the fries in between paper towel for 10-15 minutes to absorb any moisture - this is KEY to crispiness.

4. Toss the dry fries in the oil and spices and lay in a single layer on a greased or parchment lined cookie sheet.

5. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip the fries and bake for 10-15 more minutes until both sides are crispy.

6. Get to dippin'.

ENJOY! 

xo - LU

SUPER EASY LENTIL DHAL

Yesterday I did a full tutorial of this lentil Dahl on my Instagram stories and the response that I got asking for the recipe was crazy so I'm delivering for you in a hurry! This is my go to recipe for when I want something comforting with tons of warming spices! It's super easy to make, hearty, packed with fiber and plant based protein and it requires only one pot so it's basically fool proof. I know what you're thinking, that sounds too good to be true but I promise you it's not so go get cooking!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

SPICES:

1.5 Tbsp Garam Masala

1 Tbsp Curry Powder

1.5 Tsp Cumin

1 Tsp Turmeric

0.5 Tsp Mild Chili Powder

0.5 Tsp Hot Red Chilli Flakes

1 Tsp Sea Salt

EVERYTHING ELSE:

2 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger 

5 Cloves of Garlic

1 Medium Yellow Onion

3 Chopped Tomatoes

3 Cups Dried Red Lentils

4 Cups Water + 1 No Salt Added Vegetable Bouillion Cube (can sub for 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth)

1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil - for sautéing 

1 Large Bunch of Kale

HOW TO

1. Measure all of your spices into a small bowl and set aside - this makes your whole cooking process 100x easier. 

2.  Heat coconut oil in a medium pot, chop onion, garlic and ginger, add to the pot and sauté until fragrant - about 5 minutes. 

3. While the aromatics are cooking, chop the tomatoes, rinse the lentils and set both aside separately. 

4. Once your onions are translucent add the spices and toast for 1-2 minutes. 

5. Add tomatoes and cook down until all liquid has evaporated and they are softy enough to be mashed down with your spoon. 

6. Add in lentils and mix to coat with tomato and spice mixture, then add in your vegetable stock, bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

7. While the lentils are cooking wash and finely chop your kale.

8. After 30 minutes the lentils should be fully cooked and all liquid should be absorbed, stir in your can of coconut milk and all of the chopped kale and cook for 5 more minutes - this ensures that you don't overcook the kale!

9. Serve on a bed of brown rice with cilantro sprinkled over top.

ENJOY 

xo - LU

 

WARMING VEGAN COCONUT CHICKPEA CURRY

In the winter I am all about warming foods - curries, soups, stews.. you get the picture. I make a big pot of something every Sunday so that I have it on hand for lunches and dinners throughout the week and this coconut curry is one of my go-to's! The spices are warming, there is protein from the chickpeas and the healthy fats from the coconut milk keeps you full for hours - it's perfect!

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

SPICES:

2 Tbsp Garam Masala

1 Tsp Turmeric

1 Tbsp Mild Yellow Curry Powder

2 Tsp Ground Cumin

Salt & Pepper To Taste

EVERYTHING ELSE:

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 Large Yellow or White Onion - Chopped

5 Cloves of Garlic - Minced

1 Can of Diced (No Salt Added) Tomatoes 

1 Can of Drained and Rinsed (No Salt Added) Chickpeas

1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk

6 Cups Fresh Spinach or Kale - Chopped 

Cooked Rice or Quinoa For Serving

*Optional - Fresh Lime and Cilantro for Serving*

HOW TO

1. In a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat.

2. Add the onions and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

3. Add in the spices and cook 1-2 minutes until toasted and fragrant.

4. Add in tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes until juices are well incorporated. 

5. Add in chickpeas and coconut milk, bring to a boil then reduce heat and cook for 25 minutes until curry has thickened. 

6. Add in chopped spinach or kale and cover with a lid to wilt for 5 minutes, then mix thuroughly.

7. Serve with steamed grain of choice, fresh chopped cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. 

Enjoy!

xo - LU