Vegan Temake Cones

WE LOVE SUSHI! In our house, Japanese food in general is such a special treat for us when we go out, but as we are enjoying the pleasures of creating our own foods at home, with whole ingredients and reducing our intake of animal proteins, my daughter and I decided to try our hands at some Vegan Temake Cones. They turned out to be so delicious and were so beautiful- The vegetables added a nice crunch and the warm brown rice and salty nori wrap helped satisfy all our cravings. I hope this simple recipe will be a hit at your place too.

どうぞめしあがれ (douzo meshiagare) aka. Enjoy your meal!



  • 1 cup brown rice (uncooked)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 package of Nori Wraps
  • 1/8 purple cabbage, sliced into long strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced length wise
  • 2 carrots, cut into match sticks
  • 1 cucumber, cut into match sticks
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (for garnish-optional)

On the side:

  • wasabi paste
  • garlic/chilli sauce
  • pickled ginger
  • lime slices
  • “Braggs” GF Soy seasoning


  1. On the stove top, add brown rice and water to a pot. Cover with lid and bring to boil. Once boiling rapidly, leaving lid on, lower heat to a gentle simmer and let cook until water has been absorbed completely. Remove from heat and stir in 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar. Set aside.
  2. Cut each nori wrap square in half.
  3. In a single layer, lay nori sheet flat. Place 1 heaping spoonful of cooked rice on middle of left side of the nori sheet. Add a couple pieces of each veggie stick on top of rice, being careful not to over fill.
  4. Gently roll from end with topping on an angle, creating a cone shape.
  5. Sweep a light amount of water along the edge to help “stick” the nori together so it stays in the cone shape.
  6. Repeat until all cones are finished.
  7. Optional: sprinkle sesame seeds in the opening of the cones for garnish and serve with wasabi, garlic/chilli sauce, pickled ginger, lime, and soy seasoning.


Citrus, Mint, and Chickpea Spinach Salad

This deliciously citrus salad is a taste of summer in every bite. If you have any mint left over after your mojitos on the patio, whip this gorgeous dish together for a light and fresh meal with the fam.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 lemon peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 2 naval oranges peeled and diced into small cubes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 large handful mint leaves, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic glove minced
  • 1/2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. In a large bowl add diced lemon and oranges. Toss.
  2. Add cucumber, chickpeas, garlic, fennel, S & P, and thinly sliced mint leaves. Toss.
  3. Gently toss in spinach.
  4. Serve immediately.


Kid Fav: Sneaky Cacao Pudding

My 9 year old BEGS me to make her this pudding ALL THE TIME! It is always requested as her “cake” for birthdays, as a topping on fancy waffles, or just as a weekend treat with fruit. This sneaky little dessert is SUGAR FREE and filled with TONS of vitamins and minerals. It is absolutely to die for. A healthy treat you will be happy to let your kids enjoy–unless you lick the bowl clean first!


  • 2 semi ripe bananas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1/4 cup brown rice syrup or agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp room temperature coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp coconut milk (optional-for desired consistency).


  1. In a Food Processor or Blender, add all ingredients.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. THAT’S IT!- Doesn’t get much easier!

Indian Spiced Hummus

This yummy hummus is my go to at any gathering. I love dressing up my hummus with spices and seeds for garnish, but the extra crunch and flavour they provide makes this hummus my absolute favourite. Serve with crudités, rice crackers, and my newest love- beet crackers,  and don’t be surprised if you “accidentally” eat the whole bowl.


  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic (I like mine with 2)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (save 1 tbsp as garnish)
  • tsp cumin seeds
  • tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • tbsp pumpkin seeds


  1. In a food processor, add first 6 ingredients and process until smooth. I sometimes add a teeny bit of water (1-2 tbsp) for a smoother consistency. Feel free to add a little water at a time, until your hummus is the texture that you enjoy most.
  2. Empty hummus from processor into a serving bowl. Garnish with leftover tbsp of olive oil, spices and seeds and serve with your choice of vegetables, crackers, or naan.

TIP: I love using lemon infused olive oil to garnish my hummus for an extra punch of flavour.


5 Easy Ways to Keep Fit and Healthy on a Budget

The economic forecast has been a little daunting and looking into the future is truly unpredictable. We don’t know how big of an effect this recession will have long term, or whether things will turn around quicker then expected.  At times of economic downturns, whether you are directly effected or not, it sets off alarms for us all to pinch our pennies. With the cost of living rising, food costs at an all time high, stagnant or decreased wages, and job losses, how can we cut costs without compromising our health and wellbeing? These 5 simple tips are a few things that my family has adopted that have made a BIG difference in our spending.

#1) Ditch your Unused Gym Membership.

Gym memberships can be a great deal, IF you are actually taking advantage of them. Statistically though, approximately 80% of gym memberships go unused. Instead of purchasing a gym membership, there are TONS of ways you can workout for free at home. Since the birth of my 2nd daughter, getting to the gym between childrearing and running my business has been a dream of the past, so to stay in shape, I have been throwing on my runners and taking in our beautiful river valley, jogging and walking as much as possible. There are also so many free online workouts and yoga classes, that I have been taking advantage of to stay motivated. Body weight, some soup cans or resistance bands, a yoga mat, and your runners can go a LONG way without breaking the bank, saving you HUNDREDS of dollars every year.

#2) Plan Your Meals.

At the end of each month, I survey my family for breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas. I jot them all down and make a meal calendar for the upcoming month. With a meal plan in place, we have been able to cut down our big shopping trips to twice a month, with a few small trips to pick up some more perishable goods, like bananas and other produce. By planning our meals, I am able to buy things that we can use in multiple meals throughout the week. For example. This weeks dinners included, Rainbow Summer Rolls, temake cones, GF pasta with Cabbage Slaw on the side, Moroccan Lamb Soup, and Corn Tacos with black beans, slaw, and brown rice. The same produce ingredients were used in all of the recipes, so there was no waste and I was able to completely change the dish, by making different sauces or adjusting just a couple ingredients. Cabbage, carrots, cucumber, and bell peppers, make every meal nutritious, delicious, and inexpensive. We have been able to feed a family of 4 on less then $600/month! Not an easy feat, but a rewarding one.

#3) Cut down on Meat.

Instead of meatless mondays, we have adopted meat mondays. Our family eats vegetarian, at least 95% of the time. This is likely the biggest money saver of all. According to MoneySense magazine, meat prices have risen 4% this year and are projected to rise another 2.5%-4.5% before the end of 2016. We usually buy just one large pack of hormone free, antibiotic free chicken thighs and divide it up into multiple freezer packs to use throughout the month. I buy my lamb and chicken bones at the farmers market, for just a couple dollars to make broths and I scrape out the nourishing marrow and any excess meat to use in my homemade soups. By reducing your meat intake you can save a lot of money and help the environment. And as a bonus, I find eating less meat, not only helps my wallet, but my waistline too.

#4) Adopt traditional diets from around the world.

Rice and beans are a traditional staple in MANY cultures. The low cost, nutritional value, and versatility of rice and bean combos make it the perfect meal. In Central America, you will see rice and beans served with every meal of the day. In India, varieties of vegetarian curries are a staple. Many other countries around the world in places like Africa, Spain, Portugal, and throughout the middle east all have traditional rice and bean dishes too. The combination of rice and beans, provides all the essential amino acids needed for optimal protein requirements for just pennies a day. Check out my dhal recipe, for a delicious traditional South African Indian dish to have tonight.

#5) Grow Your Own Food.

Edmonton has a very short growing season, but each year I take advantage of the opportunity to grow my own garden. We have a massive lawn, that I can’t wait to take over with more garden beds and fruit bearing trees in the near future, but am making due with the 3 I already have and LOTS of potted plants and herbs too. Growing your own food is not only a great way to save money, but I find it so rewarding, meditative, and magical too. I love waking up each day and walking outside bare-footed in the morning dew and “checking on my garden”. My kids love picking and chomping on veggies during the summer months and we always have plenty left over in the fall to enjoy throughout the harvest season with friends and family or to blanch and freeze, ferment, or preserve to enjoy further into the winter months.

These five easy tips have helped grow our wallets and improve our health throughout these tighter budget months and I hope they help yours too. Let me know how it goes trying out these tips or post your own tips in the comments below! Lets help each other stay healthy, happy, and financially fit too!

Rainbow Summer Rolls with Lime + Ginger Peanut Sauce

These colourful, light, and beautiful little packages of nutritional bite, will have you snacking in satisfaction this summer. With gorgeous and antioxidant rich purple cabbage, spinach, bell peppers, mint, avocado, carrots, and cucumber, these rolls provide a rainbow of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. My daughter and I made these beauties together for dinner last night and they were gobbled up in record time! MMMmmM


Ingredients for Rolls:

  • Package of Rice Paper (size medium)
  • Pack of Vermicelli Noodles (skinny)
  • Spinach
  • Mint leaves (1 bunch)
  • 1/8 purple cabbage, sliced thin.
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into match sticks
  • 1 cucumber, sliced into match sticks
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced into match sticks
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced into match sticks
  • 1 avocado sliced thin.

Directions for Rolls:

  1. In medium pot, boil water. Add pack of vermicelli noodles and simmer on low until cooked. Drain and run cold water over noodles to stop the cooking process and place on dry towel to absorb excess moisture. Set aside.
  2. Fill a large bowl with warm water, one at a time, soak rice paper for about 2 minutes or until soft.
  3. Lay rice paper flat and layer starting with cabbage, then carrots, cucumber, bell peppers, avocado, then mint, spinach, and lastly the vermicelli noodles in the middle of the rice paper.
  4. Starting at the bottom, fold the rice paper over the veggie mixture, roll once holding tightly. Fold the right side over, role once more. Fold the left side over, and roll until formed completely.

Ingredients for Lime + Ginger Peanut Sauce.

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup warm water (or more if you like a thinner sauce)
  • 1 tbsp Braggs Soy Seasoning (or Coconut aminos)
  • 2 tbsp Coconut Palm Sugar
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. chili garlic sauce


  1. In food processor or blender, add all ingredients except water and blend until smooth.
  2. Add water until sauce reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Dip those yummy rolls!

Scrumptious Black Bean, Quinoa, and Sweet Potato Burgers

This month our family set the goal to create a food budget for under $550/month for our family of four. To reach our goal, I have had to get pretty creative with bean and lentil dishes, but have had a lot of fun experimenting and creating inexpensive meals, without compromising nutrition. Because I am both celiac and lactose intolerant, the challenge was thickened, but this scrumptious burger recipe was a hit in the household and was extremely inexpensive to make while still high in protein and complex carbs.. Our sweet little goal had not only made an impact on our wallets, but also consuming less meat has made us all feel lighter and we feel extra good about the positive ecological component that a reduced meat diet has on the planet.


  • 1 large sweet potato (halved length wise)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
  • 1.5 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed well)
  • 1/2 cup organic corn meal
  • 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  • 1 tsp achiote seasoning (I like “Spice Merchant” brand)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 shallot diced thinly
  • s and p to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a cooking sheet, place halved sweet potato flesh side up. Brush with melted coconut oil. Place in oven for about 30 minutes or until flesh become golden, soft, and easy to scrape.
  2. Meanwhile, add water and  1 cup uncooked quinoa to a pot. Bring to boil and cover. Once boil has begun, you can switch to a low simmer until all water is drained and quinoa is cooked. Set aside. (this may make slightly more then required for the recipe, so measure quinoa after cooking)
  3. In large bowl, add drained and rinsed black beans, sweet potato scraped out with skin removed. Mash until sweet potato is soft, but there is still texture to the black beans.
  4. add remaining ingredients, stirring until fully mixed.
  5. Divide mixture into ten balls and flatten into patty on a parchment lined sheet. The patties can be closer together because there won’t be much expansion.
  6. Bake in oven for 15 minutes. Turn patties, and then bake for another 15 minutes.
  7. Enjoy on a bun (or if your like me, then just on its own), topped with avocado, caramelized onion, sauces of choice, etc.


Simple Purple Cabbage Slaw

This super easy slaw was inspired by a lack of groceries and a desire for a delicious side dish for the Black Bean Burgers I have on the menu for dinner tonight. This gorgeous slaw is colourful, healthful, and flavourful and the perfect addition to your summer meals.


  • 1/2 head of purple cabbage (sliced with thinly with mandolin or sharp knife)
  • juice from 1 medium lemon
  • handful of mint leaves thinly sliced
  • handful of cilantro thinly sliced
  • sea salt to taste (I like pink Himalayan Sea Salt)
  •  3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey


  1. In large bowl with lid, add all ingredients.
  2. Shake until honey and olive oil have dispersed among mixture
  3. Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours for a more tender slaw.


Tip: If you want to make this salad your main dish, just add a cup of black beans for added protein. You can also add corn, carrots, etc. This dish is so versatile, so experiment and enjoy!

Rainbow Rolls By Suzanne Beinert

My lovely Cousin, Suzanne, is a self proclaimed “Kitchen Witch”. Her meals, always a complete work of art, are packed full of nutrient dense and delicious foods making every morsel set off taste bud fire works, as you nourish your body with each and every bite you take.

These beautiful rolls are healthy, colorful, creative, scrumptious, and good for the soul. This recipe not only packs a phytonutrient punch, but is also packed full of probiotics, iodine rich sea greens, and are raw, vegan, low-fat, and gluten-free!



  • 2 small purple yams
  • 1 small yellow mango
  • 3 sprigs of fresh mint
  • several ribbons of red cabbage
  • slices of lacto-fermented pickles and or garlic
  • micro greens or any green leaves
  • pack of nori seaweed sheets.


  1. Boil and mash yams, let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, Slice the mango, cabbage, pickle and garlic into thin ribbons
  3. Once cooled, spread 1/4 cup mashed purple yams, horizontally onto the lower third of one nori sheet.
  4. layer mango, cabbage and lax-fermented pickles onto mash
  5. Add mint leaves and micro greens above the mash
  6. carefully roll up from the bottom while gently squeezing roll.
  7. Using a sharp knife slice into 2 inch medallions.
  8. Plate and serve or keep in an airtight container and refrigerate.



13023749_10153967175791578_822361714_nRecipe by Suzanne Beinert. Kitchen Witch!

Decadent Power Balls

Packed full of TONS of superfoods, protein, and both slow and quick digesting  carbohydrates, these delicious little balls of goodness make the perfect mid day snack for you or wonderful addition to a school lunch for your kiddos, rather then a sugar filled granola bar or other alternative to keep fuelled and energized. They also make a perfect pre or post workout snack– I couldn’t wait to pop one (or two) in my mouth after my morning run today!

Makes approx.8- 10 balls (depending on size)


  • 10-12 dried Medjool dates- pitted (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup almond/cashew butter,or sunflower seed butter if your childs’ school is “nut free”. (I like “Nuts to You Nut Butters”, but you can use your favourite brand)
  • 2 tbsp cacao nibs
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I like “vega” sports performance protein for a vegan option or “Gaspari Nutrition Myofusion Blend, if not vegan)
  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free Oats (I like “Only Oats”)


  1. In a food processor, pulverize dates until a ball is formed.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, processing on high/medium until mixed thoroughly.
  3. Roll mixture into 1-1.5″ balls
  4. On a parchment lined plate or baking pan, place balls and refrigerate for 25 minutes.
  5. Enjoy!