Mixed Bean and Barley Vegetable Stew

This is a simple vegan recipe that makes a nice stew allowing for versatility of its use. It can be consumed on its own, on top of rice or quinoa, on top of a salad, in lettuce wraps, or pureed with a bit more liquid and eaten as a soup. So whether you were hoping to find a recipe for meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thrifty Thursday, Fast Friday, Soup Saturday, or Stay-at-home-Sunday…this recipe could fit them all! My favourite way to enjoy it is on top of a spinach salad with a dollup of tzatziki on top and a sprinkling of The Chicago Spice House Moroccan Seasoning.

Bean Barley Stew


1 cup lentils

2 cups mixed beans

1 cup barley

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 zucchinis, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 cup vegetable broth

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup water

2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast

1 tsp. truffle or sesame oil


  1. Wash, drain, and then soak the lentils and beans in warm water for 2 hours.
  2. When read rinse them again and place in a pot. Add barley, fresh water, broth, and wine (or additional broth).
  3. Heat on medium and add in the remainder of the ingredients. Keep at a rolling boil for 30 minutes, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for about an hour or until liquid has boiled off. Additional spices or herbs can be added during this time or at time of serving is a variety of flavours is desired.

Until next time…stay healthy!





Chicken Vegetable Soup

Last week I made the most wonderful soup. It was really meant to be an adventure with my children to let them pick out vegetables and then make a soup together. It was super easy and immensely flavourful, so I thought I would share.

First, I made the broth from chicken bones of two small chickens that I had taken most of the meat off of for our supper/packed lunches the previous day. I left a little meat on the bones to add to the soup. I boiled the bones for 3 hours and then took the pot off the stove and let it cool. Once it had cooled down, I transferred it all into a large ceramic pot and placed it in the fridge.

The next morning  the boys and I purchased all the vegetables (and apples) that we wanted to add.

We walked to the store…


Once there, I let them pick them out in hopes that they would be eager to eat the soup.

The portions I included in the soup were:

2 sweet potatoes

1 cauliflower

3 beets

3 zucchini

2 onions

3 peppers

2 cups of baby carrots

2 cups sliced mushrooms

3 apples

1 large bunch of kale

5 stalks of celery


Then I roasted all but the kale and celery at 400 for 45 minutes

While they were roasting, I got to work on the broth. First, I took the top layer of fat off and then proceeded to “debone” the broth. The first part was easy, but towards the end there were many very small bones. I stuck with it and from what I can tell I was able to get them all. I put some soup some in the freezer, so time will tell if we have any to retrieve yet. Once the fat was taken off and the bones were gone, I placed the remainder in a pot and started to heat the broth and bit of chicken that were left in there.


The Chicken Parts Removed


When the vegetables and apples were done roasting I added them to the broth and it filled the pot!!


I let that simmer for about an hour then added the kale and celery and let that simmer for another hour.


Then I added 1 Tbsp. red curry and 1 Tbsp. Moroccan spice. I let it simmer on low for 1 more hour and removed it from the heat. We enjoyed it as a family for supper, shared a bit with our sweet neighbors, and put some in the freezer for future lunches. It was the easiest soup to make and a huge hit. Never underestimate the power of chicken both, fresh veggies, and a little spice! Maybe you want to try this too or a version of it. The nice thing about soup is that you cant go wrong. And if your little ones are like my Clay and don’t like the texture of soup….just blend it up and it makes a great soup, dip, or spread!!!

Until next time….stay healthy!


Harvest Vegetable Soup

One of my favourite things to do in the fall is start making hearty soups packed full of veggies. These are such a great way to nourish the body and warm up at the same time. I think of vegetable soups as a form of warm salad. Sometimes I even add spinach or kale in at the time of eating to make it even more like a salad!

Soups take time and they are not an “everyday cooking” thing. I like to make a big pot of soup every other weekend in the autumn and winter, and then pull containers out of the fridge or freezer for easy lunches and suppers as needed. IT takes time up front, but I am always SO thankful when I can grab one and know that I have a healthy meal already made.

I have found that my kids prefer when I puree them…I think they think of them as a warm smoothie that way. But my husband and I prefer the textured version. So I tend to puree half the batch and leave half the batch as is. Perhaps you can see what works best for your family!

Here is one of my favourite soups to make. The cool thing about soup is that you can use any soup recipe as a starting point and add more of what you love, less of what you don’t care for, and new additions that you think would taste good. Also, you can vary it based on what you have in your home. For example, after Thanksgiving or another type of holiday family meal, you could add in leftover turkey or roast beef for extra protein too!

Hope you enjoy!


900 ml “no salt added” chicken broth (or vegetable broth if you prefer)

1 large clove garlic, chopped finely

1 medium onion, diced

5 carrots, peeled and diced

1 small (or ½ large) butternut squash, peeled and chopped

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

5 red potatoes, diced

2 peppers (red, orange or yellow), diced

2 medium apples, diced

½ tsp. pepper

1 Tbsp. Original Mrs. Dash

1 cup green beans, cut into ½” pieces

1 cup broccoli, chopped finely

1 cup frozen peas

1 cup frozen corn

1 can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed well

2 cups water


  1. Pour in 450 mL of the chicken broth into a large pot or Dutch oven. I like to use my large Le Crueset Pot.
  2. Simmer the garlic and onion in the broth on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining 450 mL of chicken broth, and then the carrots, squash, sweet potato, potatoes, apples, peppers, pepper, and Mrs. Dash. Let this all simmer for 1 hour on medium low heat.
  4. Add water, beans and let simmer for another 30 minutes.
  5. Add broccoli, peas, corn, and white beans and let simmer for an additional 30 minutes. The soup can be served at this point as is or blended; and can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days and the freezer for up to 6 months.

Until next time…stay healthy!


Soups on!

Soup is such a fantastic way to fill up on high nutrient and low caloric dense foods. I love having soups for lunch these days. I recently made a big batch of vegetable, bean, and tofu soup and portioned it out for lunches. I thought I would share my recipe in case it provides you with  inspiration to make a pot of your own.


4 Zucchinis, sliced (I used two green and two yellow)

3 peppers, diced (I used one yellow, one orange, and one red)

1 red onion, diced

2 cups snap peas

2 cups sliced mushrooms

2 cans No Salt Added tomatoes (or you could use 2 cans of tomato paste and dice up 5 or 6 large tomatoes)

1 Tbsp. dried basil

1 Tbsp. dried oregano

2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

2 tsp. red curry powder

1 can No Salt added black beans, rinsed well

1 can No Salt Added white beans, rinsed well

2 cups diced medium or firm tofu


  1. Prepare all vegetables, place them into a pot.
  2. Stir in the canned tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings.
  3. Simmer on medium low for about an hour or until vegetables are soft.
  4. Add in beans and tofu.
  5. If you are eating the soup right away, then simmer until beans and tofu are heated through. If you are portioning the soup for lunches, then you can let it cool and portion it out.
  6. When eating the soup, you may also wish to stir in some baby spinach and/or top with diced avocado.

This soup can be eaten on its own or with a whole grain side such as whole grain crackers or bread or wrap.

Here are a few photos of the soup I made. The first is the veggies at the start, the second is the final product, and the third was my lunch today.

Until next time….stay healthy!

Tip #3: Make it Look Good


I am little behind on blogging my tips from IG. Tip #3 was making food look good. We taste first with our eyes, then our nose, then our mouth. So it just makes sense to use lots of fun colours and decorate our plate to make our food look as appetizing as possible while super nutritious!!!

See below for some suggestions of colourful salads and soups to make your plate irresistible and your body super healthy.

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 4-6


2 pounds peeled Sweet Potatoes, cubed

1/2 Tbsp olive oil or Becel margarine (optional)

4 cup Soymilk (or other milk)

1-2 tsp Balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp each brown sugar and maple syrup (or less depending on how sweet you want it)

1 tsp pureed garlic (Optional)

1 540mL can of no salt added White beans (rinsed very well in a strainer)


  1. Roast sweet potato cubes in the over at 375 for about 45 minutes.
  2. Once done, puree roasted sweet potatoes with soymilk and add remaining ingredients to desired thickness and taste.
  3. Add White beans and enjoy! You can also puree the while beans in if you prefer a smooth soup.

You can also add in other roasted or steamed veggies if you wish to!

Coconut Curry Soup


1 Tbsp. canola oil

1/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (or you can use sweet onions)

2 tsp. red curry paste

1 1/2 tsp. curry powder

1/2 tsp. ground turmeric

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

2 garlic cloves, minced

6 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 can light coconut milk

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (bake chicken breasts at 375 for 35-45 minutes (until done and juices run clear) then shred into pieces before adding into the soup)

1/2 cup chopped green onions

2 Tbsp. fish sauce

Fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and crushed red pepper (all optional)


  1. Heat canola oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, red curry paste, curry powder, tumeric, coriander, and garlic to the pan; sauté 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  2. Add chicken broth to pan, and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk to pan; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Add chicken, onions, and fish sauce to pan; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro and chiles. Serve with lime wedges.

You may wish to pour the soup over rice noodles and/or add more veggies.


Quinoa Salad


¾ cup uncooked Quinoa (follow package instructions for cooking)

1 Tbsp. grape seed oil

1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 red onion, diced

1 cup diced orange pepper

1 large handful of baby spinach

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved or quartered

1 cup diced cucumber

½ cup black olives, diced

1/3-1/2 cup pesto sauce

1 cup diced tofu or white beans

1 cup diced feta


  • Rinse and cook quinoa according to package directions.
  • Sauté onion and pepper in grape seed oil until softened. Stir in balsamic vinegar, and then turn stove off and let vegetables cool.
  • Take 1 handful of baby spinach and slice into smaller pieces. Toss this will peppers and red onion, balsamic sauce, cucumber, and tomatoes.
  • Toss vegetable mixture with pesto, then black olives, then tofu (or white beans), then quinoa.
  • Once all ingredients are mixed, add crumbled feta to that top of the salad and serve.

Variations to this Recipe:

Additional vegetables will only increase the nutrition of this salad.  For example:

  • You may also wish to sauté zucchini and eggplant with the peppers and onions.
  • You may wish to add cooked or fresh mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, or snap peas.
  • You may wish to add fresh basil in addition to or instead of the spinach.

 Caesar’s Heart Tomato Salad

Ingredients: (per 1-2 people)

 1 cup baby tomatoes sliced in half

½ cup chopped hearts of palm

1/4 red onion sliced

1 Tbsp Low fat Caesar dressing

Mix ingredients together and serve


Tomato and Feta Salad

Ingredients: (per 1-2 people)

1 cup baby tomatoes sliced in half

30 grams Feta Cheese (15% M.F.)

1/2 Tbsp. olive oil

1-2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

Mix ingredients together in a bowl and garnish with parsley.

Fun and Healthy Salad Combos to add to a bed a spinach or mixed greens…

 Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, feta, black olives, and diced chicken with Greek dressing.

Sliced strawberries or pears, walnuts or almonds, and feta or goat cheese with Balsamic Vinegar dressing.

Tuna and salsa mixed together with a few green olives and diced avocado.

Chickpeas, diced tomatoes, crumbled feta, diced avocado and balsamic vinegar mixed together.

Snow peas, baby carrots, tomatoes, and cottage cheese.

Cucumber, red peppers, diced ham, and pineapple with Honey Mustard dressing.

Steamed broccoli, pineapple, and almonds, with Calorie Wise Creamy Poppy seed.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, goat cheese, and smoked salmon with Lemon Poppy seed dressing.

Hope this give you lots of fun and healthy inspiration.

Until next time….stay healthy!!!