After a slow start…I am so in holiday mode. Like big time.
Holiday music 24/7.
Annoying everyone with holiday cheer like an elf jacked up on kava kava.
I gave a lot of thought to the recipes I wanted to share for the holidays. At first, I was going to go with cocktails and cookies. Because, it’s the holidays…and it’s time to party! I am so tired of the media spreading mass shame/hysteria about holiday feasts. So many traditions have feasts around the close of the calendar year and that tells me that the universe wants you to have a good time this month.
However, the truth is, I won’t be doing a ton of typical indulging as I’m still trying to recover from my recent tummy trouble flare up. A few treats (okay, wine and bread) during my business trip last week really hindered my progress. So I’m sharing something I will really be eating and drinking a lot of!
Enter my spiced almond mylk. One of the things I mentioned in my healthy holiday post is that much of the holidays revolve around certain core flavours – which have nothing to do with sugar and junk. For me, the scent of holiday spices is all I need to feel festive, STAT.
So I loaded up this creamy, lightly sweet almond mylk with my favourite holiday spices. You can drink this all day long and feel good. Like really good. It won’t leave you eggnog-level lethargic, so you will have all the energy you need to get out there and ski, skate and build those snow humans with aplomb.
I won’t call it a nog, because almond mylk and egg nog taste nothing alike…except for the nutmeg. However, if you wished to pour a dollop of rum or bourbon (my fave!) into this drink, it wouldn’t be a bad idea. Cheers!
Spiced Holiday Almond Mylk
Great non-dairy milk alternative with all of the festive spices! Super creamy, light and sweet!
Give yourself a boost with this yummy iced matcha latte with California strawberries (AD)
As the days start to get shorter, the mid-afternoon slump gets REAL…so I’m excited to partner with @castrawberries to bring you this delicious iced strawberry matcha latte that you can whip up in minutes to help power you through your day.
The caffeine and l-theanine in matcha will give you a lift, while sweet, juicy, California strawberries offer plenty of nutrition to keep you feeling energized.
DYK: strawberries are a brilliant food for brain health!
Strawberries are rich in vitamin C and flavonoids, which may help reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease - and a recent study in the Annals of Neurology suggests that eating berries more than twice a week appears to delay cognitive aging by up to 2.5 years.
A serving of 8 California strawberries is the perfect addition to any snack or meal, whether you’re looking for a mid-morning energy boost, healthy evening snack or a juicy addition to your favourite recipes…like this nutrient-dense iced latte!
Start by prepping the strawberry hemp milk: blend 3 cups water, 2 cups California strawberries, ½ cup hemp hearts, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 2 tsp vanilla and a pinch of salt on high until smooth. This will make enough for 4-5 lattes!
Then, whisk 1 tsp of matcha with a few tbsp of just boiled water until smooth. Add ice to a tall glass, pour over your strawberry hemp milk and then your matcha. Sweeten to taste and enjoy.
Refrigerate leftover strawberry hemp milk for 3-4 days. Just shake (separation is normal!) and enjoy.
Give blackberries the attention they deserve and make this!
Last time I checked, we’re still 17 days from the equinox so until then, it’s still summer in my books and this is firmly a pumpkin-free zone! That’s my solemn promise to you 🙏
I love September in Vancouver…and not just because it’s my birthday month.
The weather is usually surprisingly good and there are like a million blackberries growing, RIGHT OUT IN THE OPEN, FOR FREE
And there is nothing sweeter than free food…except when you put that free food in a crispy, rustic galette that you threw together in like 15 minutes of hands on time, waiting out the baking while you lay in the sun with a cup of chai or apple cider.
It’s so easy to make, you simply can’t mess it up and the pastry is crisp every single time, with no soggy bottoms!
You can make this with just blackberries if you’ve got a pail full or mix 50:50 with peaches. Also still in season…just saying. It’s perfect for when you’re having people over and leftovers make a nice breakfast the next day.
For the recipe, just Google “blackberry galette desiree” or grab the direct link in my profile 👋
As a gut health dietitian, I know that taking care of your gut health means piling a variety of whole plant foods on your plate.
Plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes contain fibres that help regulate digestion and fermentable carbohydrates to feed your gut microbiota…
…but it doesn’t hurt to add a few fun gut boosters into the mix, namely sources of beneficial bacteria and the foods that feed them AKA probiotics and prebiotics!
Here are my picks:
🥤 @covedrinks Gut Healthy Soda - zero sugar, super yummy retro pop flavours, 1 Billion probiotics per can (you better believe I checked the strains, research checks out!), added vitamin C and sweetened with stevia and erythritol.
🥬 Raw fermented sauerkraut or kimchi – live fermented foods contain beneficial bacteria that help to promote a healthy digestive system, plus cabbage is a source of fiber and glutamine, an amino acid important for gut cell health.
🌾 Oats – oats are fibre-rich and contain a special soluble fibre called beta-glucan, which is thought to act as a prebiotic, feeding beneficial bacteria in the gut. Make oatmeal, overnight oats, or add to smoothies and baking!
🌱 Cashews – cashews contain two types of fermentable carbohydrates (fructans + GOS) to feed your gut bacteria - I use them all the time to make cream sauces and dips without dairy and they are half the price when you buy them at Costco.
🍿 Popcorn – popcorn is the ultimate gut-friendly salty snack…and could you ever imagine that a bowl of popcorn has 9 grams of fiber???
What are some of your favourite gut healthy grocery items??
PS…Cove is now available nationwide at Costco!! as well as select Safeways, Thriftys and Costcos here in BC (Check their website for locations)
If I have a cooking style, it’s this: making classic-ish recipes with ingredients you don’t normally think of to boost flavour and nutrition.
Like these savoury zucchini waffles…that are kind of like falafel made with zucchini but in waffle form.
These aren’t just a cute 30 minute dinner for when you don’t feel like cooking…or a genius meal prep because you can just toss them in the toaster for a quick lunch.
They’re also a gut health super hero because they are made with powerful microbiome boosters like chickpeas, chickpea flour and shallots.
Each little waffle contains about 8 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre, and a ton of fermentable carbohydrates that boost gut bacteria.
So if you’re new to that fibre life, start with just 1 waffle!
Yep, they’re vegan. And gluten free. And nut free…so everyone can enjoy them. And they are SO easy to make. Blend and toss them in the waffle iron.
In fact, the only hitch is that because I’m making nutrient dense waffles with no flour BUT ALSO want them to be tender and delicious, they take a wee bit longer to cook in order to firm them up. Like 8-9 minutes. Luckily, you don’t have to be around for that, just set your timer and sit back with a good book (highly recommend Biography of X as I can’t put it down right now!)
Lemme know if you make these!! Just Google “zucchini waffles Desiree” or find them via the link in my bio right now
I’m a plant-based dietitian who doesn’t love bars…so finding a quick plant-based nutritious meal or snack isn’t always easy!
Sperri: If I’m out all day hiking, or on a road trip, having a plant-based meal replacement like @sperri.ca is a HUGE help.
Sperri isn’t a protein shake - it’s a meal replacement, which meets very stringent national standards for complete nutrition, like vitamins, minerals, protein and omega 3 fats.
It’s low FODMAP (1/2 bottle), free of common allergies like sulphites and soy, and it contains 100mg of plant-based DHA and 16 grams of protein per serving!
⚡️ Roasted Chickpeas: I love packing snacks with crunch, and roasted chickpeas offer great chip-inspired flavours and plenty of protein, minerals and fibre. A ¼ cup typically has 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fibre!
🌱 Almonds: whether plain or flavoured, almonds offer 7 ½ grams of protein and 4 ½ grams of fibre in just ¼ cup. That makes them an easy way to boost protein and fibre on the road…the two things plant-based eating on the go tends to lack!
⚡️ Vegan jerky: not all vegan jerkies are protein rich. Pick a soy-based jerky that may have as much as 10-15 grams of protein per bag.
🌱 Lupini beans: something I grew up eating, I had no idea that they were so good for you! Lupinis are super rich in protein, with 9 grams per snack-sized bag.
What are your favourite on-the-go snacks? And if you’re curious about Sperri, snag 20% off at www.sperri.ca with the code DESIREEN20…link in my bio!
As a fries and mayo girl for life, partnering with @cavendish.farms and @hellmannscanada makes me feel SEEN! In fact, the minute Hellmann’s Vegan came out, it became our house mayo…because it’s the only one my non-vegan family loves as much as the original!
Serve up the perfect pair with these amazing garlic fries and spiced paprika mayo!
The recipe couldn’t be simpler: just 5 or so minutes of prep to take this classic side dish to a whole other level. No vampires here!
Garlic Fries 🧄
1 pkg @cavendish.farms Restaurant Style Waffle Fries 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp minced parsley Salt, to taste
Place garlic and oil in a small pot and place on low heat to soften and infuse the oil while the fries cook. Meanwhile, cook fries according to package directions.
When fries are done, drizzle over the garlic and oil and toss with parsley and salt.
Spiced Paprika Mayo
⅔ cup @hellmannscanada Vegan Mayo 2 tsp hot sauce 2 tsp nutritional yeast ½ tsp onion powder ½ tsp paprika ¼ tsp salt
And for more recipes, as well as a coupon, head to https://www.hellmanns.com/ca/en/cavendish.html or the link in my bio!
Eat More Plants Cookbook turns 4 this weekend (!!!) so I thought I’d talk a little bit about chronic inflammation…which is increasingly rare around here because honestly, the space has become so dominated by pseudoscience and fearmongering that I kind of want to wash my hands of it.
But chronic inflammation is STILL important. It’s a factor in many chronic diseases, from rheumatoid arthritis to Crohn’s disease to heart disease so let’s talk about what an anti-inflammatory diet is…and isn’t.
What it is:
A dietary PATTERN that is high in whole plant foods, with fewer hyper-processed foods, red meat, high fat dairy, added sugars and alcohol.
What it isn’t:
Grain free. Sugar free. Seed oil free. Lectin free….and whatever other thing the internet comes up with.
There is actually no one gold-standard “anti-inflammatory” diet in the research. But there are different dietary patterns that have been researched for their beneficial effects, like the Mediterranean Diet.
Yes, there are some foods – like turmeric, berries and greens – that have been studied for their anti-inflammatory nature but they don’t work like a magic eraser. Consider them a boost to your dietary pattern.
And diet is not the only driver of inflammation. Think stress. Inactivity. Gut microbiome. Certain disease states (including infections). And definitely lack of sleep.
The simplest – and most profound – thing you can do make your diet more anti-inflammatory is to start eating more whole plant foods. That’s it. Simple to say…but it takes commitment! Make half your plate veggies at dinner. Snack on a handful of almonds or pumpkin seeds. Pile berries and hemp hearts on your bowl of oats.
If you’re curious about anti-inflammatory nutrition, pick up a copy of Eat More Plants at your local bookshop or library, and in the fall, look out for a free webinar that I am working on with Diabetes Canada, specifically for those with diabetes.
This is the ultimate end of August meal: it will help you use up all the zucchini you’ve got and it feeds a crowd with minimal effort.
I love using orzo in one pot dinners because the orzo releases starches that create a silky sauce all on its own without using any butter or cashew cream, kind of like risotto but without the constant stirring.
The secret to making this extra flavourful? It’s all about building umami.
There’s onion, garlic powder and nutritional yeast. Plus, I’ve officially abandoned store-bought veggie broth for the “no chicken” Better than Bouillon. And no, this post isn’t sponsored…it’s just me trying to help you make the most flavourful vegan meals possible. Seriously, my next cookbook is 100% BTB with no veggie broth in sight.
I’ve added a little extra heat with a super simple chile oil that just warms on the stove while you make the orzo…yes I realize that means a second pot so you know, optional, but highly encouraged!!
Full recipe is at http://www.desireerd.com/recipes or via the link in my bio
The information on this site is intended as educational only and cannot replace one-on-one consultation with a registered dietitian.
We respectfully acknowledge that we live and work on the ancestral and unceded lands of the Coast Salish peoples–Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nation.