Green Chickpea Pancake For One

Some weekends are just the stuff dreams are made of. This one was one of them. Sunny summery skies and welcome heat (despite technically it still being spring) were the backdrop to some seriously good times: karaoke with friends, a Blue Jays game under an open dome with family and poolside pedicures + margaritas at a friend’s house. Sigh.
Driving home from today’s outing I decided I wanted to make a quick dinner so I could soak up the rest of the day’s warmth. Seems like a lot of food inspiration hits when I’m behind the wheel (see my last post)…I guess the fresh air and open road makes me think good food thoughts!
So here is my less than 15 minute veggie and protein packed creation.


Green Chickpea Pancake for One
Makes 1 serving

Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 10-12 minutes

1/3 cup chickpea flour
1/3 cup + 1 Tablespoon water
1 large handful baby spinach
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup frozen green peas
1 teaspoon coconut oil

Green peas
Cucumber, sliced
Crushed Hot Chili Peppers
Other ideas: hummus, vegan cream cheese, mixed greens, roasted or sautéed veggies

1. Put chickpea flour, water, spinach, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth. Adjust seasonings.
2. Add frozen green peas and stir.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon coconut oil in non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Pour batter onto pan, spread out evenly. Cook 4-5 minutes on each side, until slightly golden (being careful when flipping pancake). Place onto a plate and top with desired toppings.

I also love having this type of pancake for breakfast as I prefer savoury first thing in the morning. You can change up the additions or even omit the spinach to make a non-green version (but why would you?? Green is the new black.)


On a side note I have a serious addiction to this crushed hot chili peppers sauce – I get it from a local Italian market. I first found something similar at a farmer’s market in Italy. Hooked ever since. I put that shhh on everything! I find reasons to eat. Everything else is created to be a vehicle for this amazingness. It is fiery hot and I adore it that way.



Wishing you all a wonderful, plant-fuelled week ahead!



Veggie and Rice Nori Bowl with Tempeh + Green Tahini Sauce

Summer weather is upon us, in my part of the world anyway. Somehow, despite the sunshine, I am coaxed back into the kitchen to create something fresh and vibrant to nourish my body. Most (sane) people avoid the kitchen when the thermometer shoots up. But, alas, sanity is not my strong suit. Fresh from an hour of weight training, I conjured up this bowl while driving home. Truthfully, minimum oven/stove time was on my mind. As a side note, I really need to start keeping a notebook close by for when inspiration hits – I often think up food ideas and the promptly forget to make them. And then forget all about them. Not this time! I got home, set the rice to cook, and got busy chopping veggies. I did my food prep outside to squeeze in every ounce of this warmth and long daytime hours  (it’s 9pm as I type and still light out!)



I must have had sushi on my mind (which, now that I think of it, makes sense – we’re planning a sushi night with friends) because the result definitely echoes deconstructed sushi (read: too lazy or inept to roll sushi so just gonna pile it all into a bowl).


In any case, it turned out awesome! Filling, vibrant, verdant, nourishing. And fast.
I must note that the quantities of veggies seem big, but I LOVE my veggies, and leftover veggies aren’t really a bad thing, right? You might also have leftover sauce – just use on roasted veggies or cooked grains. Would be great on roasted potatoes.


Veggie and Rice Nori Bowl with Tempeh + Green Tahini Sauce
Makes 4-6 servings

Prep time 20 minutes, cook time 25 minutes (if rice starts cooking as you prep veggies)

Veggie and Rice Nori Bowl
1 cup short grain brown rice, dry
1 head of broccoli, chopped into bite size florets
1 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite size florets
1-2 zucchini, sliced
2-3 inch fresh ginger, julienned
2-4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 Tablespoon sesame or coconut oil
3-4 Tablespoons tamari sauce
3-4 Tablespoons water
Raw nori sheets for serving

1. Cook rice according to directions.
2. Heat oil in very large wok or skillet over medium-high heat, add ginger and garlic and stir fry for a minute.
3. Add cauliflower, broccoli, tamari and water. Stir fry for 6-8 minutes (until slightly cooked but still crisp). Add zucchini and stir fry another 2-3 minutes. Set aside.

1 block tempeh, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices
2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 Tablespoon tamari

1. Heat oil in non-stick frying pan over medium-high. Lay tempeh slices in one layer on frying pan, cook 3-4 minutes per side, until golden.
2. Take off heat and sprinkle tamari over tempeh. Set aside.

Green Tahini Sauce
1 small bunch parsley, trimmed (can leave stalks)
1/2 cup tahini (sesame paste)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1-2 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon light miso
Fresh ground pepper to taste.

1. Place everything in blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Assemble bowl: place nori sheet in bowl, add rice, a generous amount of veggies, a few slices of tempeh and drizzle with sauce. Enjoy!

Variations: instead of rice you can use quinoa or millet; instead of tempeh you can use tofu, chickpeas or beans.

Grain and veggie bowls are about the easiest meal you can make and the combinations are endless! Enjoy🙂



nourishingBITES: Fall Is Here!!

I LOVE Fall, Autumn, best season ever, the most wonderful time of the year….whatever you’d like to call it. The flavours, colours, aromas, the crisp cool in the air, the spices and the veggie and fruit bounty. So incredibly amazing. I don’t think I’m the only one that gets excited about the squashes, pumpkins, apples and root vegetables that fill farmer’s market stalls at this time of the year. Or maybe it is just me. I dunno. All I know is that my heart raced with excitement as I pulled up to Hutchinson Farm today to raid their endless stalls and baskets filled to the brim with pumpkins and squashes. While I got a selection of their goodies, I particularly stocked up on two of my favourites: delicata squash (with its edible exterior) and the grey ghost pumpkin (who would guess that beneath that pale, wan exterior hides the brightest most vibrant orange flesh). I raced home, chopped them up, drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and stuck them in the oven. I am impatiently awaiting the results as I type. What do you love about Fall?? (Besides everything).

Delicata squash: slice lengthwise, scoop out inside, slice into 1/2 centimeter half-moons, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper; put in 425°F oven for 15-20 minutes or until tender, flipping over half way

Grey ghost pumpkin: carefully cut in half, scoop out seeds and guts, cut into quarters, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper; put in 400°F oven for 45-60 minutes or until tender (depends on size of pumpkin)



Grey ghost waiting to jump in the oven


Delicata squash all lined up for their before shot


Golden sweet deliciousness straight out of the oven

Happy beautiful magical colourful Fall!

fitBITES: What You Want or What You Need

A few days ago I came home so tired and with such low energy, all I wanted was a nap. This happens often as I am really terrible at getting enough sleep (working on it!). I was about to cancel my plans for a hike but decided I would just take things one step at a time. Step one: change into workout clothes. Step two: drive to my sister’s. Once there I was secretly hoping that she would opt out too, and we’d just relax at her place. But we just kept taking the next step and the next.

Before long we were at Hilton Falls Conservation Area, picking the longest trail for a run/walk.

We started running and I couldn’t believe the energy and stamina that started coursing through my body. My strong heart beat, steady breath and the beads of sweat were my fuel. It kind of helped that swarms of mosquitos were waiting to pounce on us the minute we stopped. And so we kept going. And going. And going.

Anytime I felt my body wanting to stop I remembered a saying someone posted on Facebook once:

When your legs get tired, run with your heart.


And so I did. We both did.

Continue reading

kidBITES: The Definition of Successful Mealtimes Might Surprise You!

There’s a big misconception in the practice of feeding babies and children. A misconception so pervasive and far-reaching that it has affected how most of us feed our kids.

I will get to this falsehood in a second. But first, let me ask you a question (and you can answer whether you’re a parent, an aunt or uncle, a grandparent, a daycare provider or simply a bystander to the challenges of mealtime):

How do you define a successful mealtime? Simply put, how do you judge whether a child is eating well? What measure or scale do you subconsciously (or consciously) use to evaluate a child’s eating?

Whether we care to admit it or not, most of the time the answer has something to do with the quantity consumed. We might exclaim in delight “Look at little Sofia, she ate all her broccoli! She’s such a good eater!” or “Baby Elliott gobbled up a big bowl of spaghetti! What a good boy”.  Sometimes we might be scrutinizing what the child ate: did they eat more of the “healthy” foods? Did they ask for seconds of veggies? Did they eat something other than the noodles on their plate? Bottom line: we tend to equate success with WHAT and HOW MUCH a child ate.

Here’s the thing, and now I reveal the fallacy, a successful mealtime is not defined by quantity. It is defined by quality.

Yes awesome parents and caregivers of the world: how much your child ate means little to me as a dietitian. Let’s say your little one DID eat a giant plate of food, if the mealtime was chaos and there was pleading and begging and coaxing and bribing and distractions galore, well let’s just say that by definition (and not just my own) mealtime is actually not going so well.

Successful eating means a lot more than amounts. It means a pleasant and positive eating environment, it means families eating together and children eating according to their developmental abilities. It means cooking and serving one meal and knowing that everyone at the table has at least one food they can fill up on. It means going to a restaurant or a friend’s place or an event and knowing your child can make do with whatever food is served there. It means peace. It means being okay with your child’s up-and-down appetite, knowing that they will make up their intake tomorrow or the next day or next week.

Quality doesn’t happen overnight. And sometimes families need guidance and help to achieve it. That’s okay. Feeding our children has become a confusing and often anxiety-fraught task. There is so much going on! Food companies that barrage you with a plethora of the latest and greatest snacks, the internet flooded with so much misinformation, well-meaning friends and family trying to provide advice. And of course your own self-doubt. But there is a better way.

I counsel families to follow one exceptional strategy, Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility. It works. It often takes some finessing and mastering, but it works. In essence, you as the parents decide WHAT, WHERE and WHEN your child eats; and your child (baby, toddler, preschooler or school aged child) decides HOW MUCH TO EAT. It sounds like a simple strategy, and it is, but it often requires unlearning not-so-positive practices and adopting some positive feeding dynamics.

If there is one thing I would urge you to start with today, it would be to have sit down meals and snacks. That means all (or most) eating happens at the table, with no distractions (TV, tablets, games, toys and so on). You eat with your child(ren) for social interaction and role modeling. And you enjoy your food while your children enjoy theirs.

If you would like to learn about this strategy and how to make it work for your family, I am running a 1 hour workshop in Milton next month, the details are as follows:

Thursday, June 25th at 7:30pm

$25 per guest, this will include light refreshments and information package

Location to be provided upon registration

(in Milton, Savoline Rd. and Main St. area)

Please call 905-580-1803 or email to register and reserve your spot!

Banish mealtime chaos and learn how to deal with your picky eater once and for all!



Welcome to soundBITES nutrition!!!

So happy to have you stop by for a visit!

Please stay tuned for a new and exciting website coming in November 2014. In the meantime, I am available for consults, counseling and teaching sessions; just contact me at 905-580-1803 or at

You can also check out my Facebook page, Sound BITES Nutrition.

Please stop by the About page to find out what I do, my areas of expertise and pricing.

I hope to see you stop by for another visit soon.

With gratitude and thanks,


Vegan Thanksgiving Feast: Roasted Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Sage Soup, Pan Fried Herbed Tempeh, Spiced Ginger Cranberry Chutney and More!

Happy (Canadian) Thanksgiving everyone! I love this time of the year. So much to be thankful for. Family, friends, health, prosperity…life has been good. Oh and it helps that in my part of the world we are immersed in a weather utopia with mild temperatures, blazing sunshine and a riot of fall colours already beginning to blossom.



Be forewarned: this is a long post but you will be rewarded with three original recipes + links to more recipes I have tried.

Amongst the things I am thankful for is being able to enjoy a vegan, plant-powered Thanksgiving feast that made taste buds sing. The only true veg guests at our table of nine (+ my eleven day old niece) were my sister and I, though everyone else is food adventurous and certainly open to trying anything. My sister’s only directive was “just make something that will serve as a vehicle for cranberry chutney”. Ok, mission accepted.

Now you will have to pardon the quality of the photos in this post as I was snapping pics in what can only be described as delighted chaos. I was cooking in my mom’s kitchen, sharing precious counter space with her as she made her menu items, making up recipes and writing them down as I went along and ensuring that the finished products were in sufficient quantities and edible and more or less ready at the same time. And all along trying to ensure my camera survived intact.

Flowers from my parent’s garden adorning our festive table

While my mom made the customary turkey for the non-veg folks at the table along with her infamous wild rice and sausage stuffing, she did contribute to the veg menu by making a savoury mushroom gravy and a separate dish of her stuffing with roasted chestnuts in lieu of the meat. They were amazing! I will have to work out the recipes and share with you soon. (Question: is it still called stuffing when you’re not stuffing anything with it? Things that make you go hmm).

The other side dishes she made were naturally veg-friendly and the only adjustment needing to be made to some recipes was to replace butter with olive oil or Earth Balance.
I supplemented the dinner menu with three items of my own plus two pies for dessert (a pumpkin pie and apple pie – in my opinion you cannot have one without the other).

Vegan Thanksgiving Menu
Roasted Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Sage Soup (recipe below)

Pan Fried Herbed Tempeh (recipe below), Maple Roasted Squash and Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts with Sautéed Mushrooms, Wild Rice and Chestnut Stuffing, Mixed Mushroom Gravy, Spiced Ginger Cranberry Chutney (recipe below)

Pumpkin Pie with Gluten Free Crust (from Oh She Glows, I adapted the recipe for my peanut/tree nut allergic niece by replacing pecans with equal parts pepitas and gluten free ginger snaps) and Caramel Apple Pie (from Healthy. Happy. Life.), served with Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss Vanilla ice cream

And now for the recipes!

Roasted Butternut Squash, Cauliflower and Sage Soup
This soup was inspired by the flavours of a Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Browned Butter I have made in the past for Thanksgiving. This year I did not have enough time to make this relatively easy, albeit time intensive recipe but still craved the silky, buttery, luscious flavours. So I came up with this soup, and I have to say the results were definitely reminiscent of the melt-in-your-mouth raviolis. In part I think this had to do with the fact that I pureed the soup in a Vitamix blender as opposed to using an immersion blender – this decision transformed the soup from good to great, simple to celebratory, smooth to silken.

1 butternut squash, cubed
1 head of cauliflower, cut up into florets
3 Tbsp olive oil or melted coconut oil
handful of fresh sage leaves, about 10-12 leaves
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper
8-10 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (I use Harvest Sun)
¼ cup full fat coconut milk

1. Preheat oven to 400⁰F, line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Toss butternut squash and cauliflower with olive or coconut oil, half of the sage leaves, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, salt and several grindings of black pepper. Tip out onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for about 30-45 minutes, until cooked through and golden (time will depend on your oven). Don’t overcook.
3. Once roasted, transfer vegetables into a large soup pot, cover with water, add bouillion cubes and rest of fresh sage leaves. Bring to a boil, simmer for a few minutes until all the flavours have come together. Add coconut milk and adjust seasonings.
4. Carefully transfer soup into blender in small batches, blend until silky smooth. Note: leave vent hole on blender lid ajar to let steam out and place kitchen towel on top to keep splatters in. Pour pureed soup into clean pot, adjust seasonings again (usually I adjust salt last).
5. Serve with crispy sage leaves (heat up a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil in frying pan, toss in fresh sage leaves for a few seconds until they get crispy, remove with slotted spoon and place on paper towel to drain excess oil), a drizzle of coconut milk or pepitas Or all three.

Veggies about to go in the oven…

…and now done

Silky smooth, courtesy of the Vitamix!

Pan Fried Herbed Tempeh
Our vegan Thanksgiving feast needed something hearty to match up with the zing and tartness of the Spiced Ginger Cranberry Chutney, and thus came this tempeh recipe. I borrowed a bit of inspiration from a panko-crusted tempeh I encountered at a local vegan restaurant. In this version, however, I chose to use hearty whole-grain homemade breadcrumbs with the savoury flavours of sage and oregano; I love sage at Thanksgiving and my mom has tons of it growing in her backyard. The coconut oil I used for frying did not impart too much of its coconutty flavor but certainly you can replace with a more neutral-tasting oil of your choice.

1 block tempeh
1 cup bread crumbs (I used a few slices of Silver Hills Squirrely bread, left out to dry overnight then processed into coarse crumbs in a blender)
5-6 fresh sage leaves (replace with about 1 tsp dried if don’t have fresh)
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp sea salt
fresh ground pepper
½ cup coconut milk, or another plant-based milk
coconut oil for frying

1. Place bread crumbs, fresh sage, oregano, salt and pepper in blender or food processor, pulse until everything is combined and sage leaves are finely chopped.
2. Cut block of tempeh in half so you have two rectangles, now cut each piece in half again but this time in such a manner that you still have the same sized rectangles but now half as thick. Clear as mud?
3. Set up two bowls, one with coconut milk the other with bread crumb mixture.
4. Dip each piece of tempeh first in coconut milk, then into breadcrumbs, pressing firmly so that breadcrumbs coat the tempeh evenly.
5. Heat coconut oil in non stick frying pan on medium/medium-high heat, you should have enough oil in the pan to come almost half way up the tempeh cutlets. Gently place tempeh in the pan, fry for about 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown, don’t burn it! Don’t stress if some of the breadcrumb coating falls off (I didn’t).
6. Carefully remove tempeh from pan onto paper towels to drain excess oil.

Only picture of the tempeh, clearly this photo was taken on the run

Spiced Ginger Cranberry Chutney
If you’re still using cranberry sauce from a can to compliment your holiday feast, this is the recipe that will hopefully get you to abandon that practice. It is tart, sweet, spicy and zingy. It is unapologetic in its bold and stand out flavours. It rocks my Thanksgiving plate and its absence from the table would be deeply mourned by all. Funny story, when I first started making this irresistible condiment, about a decade ago or so, I was not yet enlightened to the difference between star anise and anise seed, and so anise seed is what I picked up at the store. It has remained an ingredient in this recipe despite the fact that I now stock star anise in my spice cupboard,can’t imagine making it without it. On a side note, I usually make a double batch of it and preserve in small jars to enjoy as an accompaniment to many other meals and snacks.

Adapted from Food and Drink magazine, Holiday 2000

2.5 cups cranberries (300g package), rinsed and picked over
1 large apple, any variety, peeled, cored and chopped
1-2 Tbsp chopped fresh ginger (use more or less, depending how much gingery heat you like)
½ cup apple cider or apple juice
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup vegan sugar (cane, coconut palm, Sucanat etc.)
1/8 tsp each cloves and allspice
¼ of whole nutmeg, grated
2 star anise
½ tsp anise seed
3-4 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
½ tsp salt

1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, once cranberries start to pop, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 20-25 minutes. Chutney will thicken once cooled.



All in the pot it goes


Beautiful, vibrant, delicious


And there you have it. In case you’re wondering, the other side dishes were quite simple to prepare and don’t amount to much of a recipe. The squash and sweet potato got the same treatment – acorn squash was cut into slices while the sweet potato was cubed, both were drizzled with olive oil, maple syrup and sprinkled with cinnamon, salt and pepper, then baked in a 400⁰F oven. The Brussels sprouts were washed, trimmed and boiled until tender then combined with mushrooms sautéed in olive oil, all was seasoned simply with salt and pepper.

Coming all together for a party on my plate

The pies did not make it to the picture stage as they were devoured in a flash. The pumpkin pie was ahhhhhmazing, the filling reminiscent of a rich butterscotch. The ginger snap crust worked out well but was a bit tough (no one cared). The apple pie was quite good, certainly no complaints from anyone but I could work on my vegan crust making skills. And the leftover caramel from the apple pie recipe was divine when heated up and served with a scoop of Coconut Bliss ice cream and chopped walnuts. It may be true that I polished off the rest of the caramel in this manner. But no witnesses have been found to confirm.

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!