What do the 2016 US Presidential candidates eat? What do their gastronomic ways say about their presidential personality?

Though it only lasted five months, our own federal election in Canada gave us enough time to find out what out candidates ate, and what it said (or didn’t say) about their leadership style.

Bernie Sanders

Sanders is the Tom Mulcair of candidates south of the border. Just not in the way you might think.

Each has pulled his party in the polar opposite direction. Yet they share a gruff gastronomic asceticism on the campaign trail.

If you recall, Forget the Box was the first outlet to uncover the bombshell news: Mulcair’s organs are made of bricks and wool. Our investigative report disclosed that this Prime Minister hopeful had never been seen partaking in food, even when hiking on Mont-Royal, stumping in small towns, or Schwartz-ing with jovial peers.


Now Sanders’ food choices remain equally opaque, leaving us up here to surmise that he survives on his healthy diet of finger wagging. Even the hearty US press corps, with its fifteen months of research, has come up mostly empty trying to paint the “lifestyle” profile of loveable Uncle Bern.

In candidate surveys, the best they could come up with was “scrambled eggs for breakfast.” This sounds like it was filled in by some campaign intern. Though it’s not really an answer, we’ll assume they’re unsalted, devoid of condiments.

To be fair, Sanders has this slight edge over Mulcair. The latter was never even seen sipping coffee, whether in meetins or at pictoresque rural working class diners. Sanders, on the other hand, was definitively ID-ed sipping Vermont craft beer. It seems suspicious, sort of a photo-op setup.

Yet I believe it. He is drinking the hoppiest beer in a state known for very hoppy delights, which seems to fit with his enjoyably bitter personal brand.

Ted Cruz

You might recall the eponymous #GuacGate, spurred by the NYT’s suggestion of peas in traditional Mexican-American versions of guac.

We saw then that guacamole was a deeply divisive political issue, and this was before the immigration debate gathered full steam. Yet it also united party leaders in unexpected ways, such as Jeb and Obama’s ardent disavowel of this French intrusion into an already-perfect dish.

Fittingly, one of the only dissenters, even in a moment of bipartisan fun, was divisive Senator Ted Cruz. The Texas senator came up on the wrong side as his colleagues as usual, claiming his distaste not only for guacamole, but for avocadoes full stop.

Fitting consistent with his Texas image, Cruz picks enchiladas (the legal kind) over any other dish.

Donald Trump

Now to the frontrunners. We’ll save Clinton to the end, because her food preferences, like Harper’s in my original article, somehow leave me most unsettled.

This is a surprise in itself, because in this unprecedented US primary spectacle, you’d think Trump would reign supreme generating gastronomic headlines. Yet despite him criticizing Kasich for his hearty four-course Italian meal at a New York market food stand, he has been criticized for eating pizza with forks and generally unhealthy food preferences. This might be exciting for another candidate, though for Trump’s grand style, his diet lands up surprisingly boring, even unworthy of mention.

He claims he eats light and healthy on the trail, sans alcohol. He does, of course, mention that he indulges in his favourite dish once in awhile: US steak. This is helpful, given the cartons of unsold Trump Steaks likely sitting in some warehouse.

Hillary Clinton

Remember Obama’s epic stops at Ray’s & In n Out burger, photos of juicy burgers joyously shared with Senator Joe? They swarmed over social media, part of his fresh new image that helped launch him to the win.

Source: WaPo

Clinton, on the other hand, is ever the milquetoast frontrunner. In ways eerily similar to Harper who, lest we forget, was once touted to regain his majority reign, she avoids unplanned ops or stops or any real insight into her soul. So the first similarity is their over-advised inhuman personas: it’s hard to discern if they have any real passions or preferences at all.

Yet the second is spicy. We revealed Harper’s “secret obsession” with deathly strong hot-sauce (he supposedly kept a special pantry of it at Sussex Drive, if you recall). Clinton, too, has been said to carry hardcore hot sauce in her purse, a “confession” corroborated by aides.

Now, some criticized this as blatant pandering, since this detail unsurprisingly slipped out during one of her Southern campaign stops. It’s possible that Clinton’s hot sauce obsession is as manufactured as her Southern accent.

Like her true views on society, policy and values, one thing’s safe to say: we’ll never know the truth.


What dirt have you uncovered on the Presidential candidates eating habits?

UPDATE: Press time: Carly Fiorina just announced her VP run with Cruz. We’re curious if the Cruz team vetted her dietary preferences before the presser.

‘I always used to eat Milk-Bones as a kid’: Carly Fiorina snacks on dog treats and tells puppies to vote Republican because ‘Obama ate your cousin’ in bizarre video – Daily Mail, 15 Dec. 2015

Souce: Daily Mail

I love cream soups. Cream of broccoli, cream of mushroom, cream of leek, but my ultimate favorite has always been: cream of tomato.

When I went vegan several years ago, it wasn’t even a challenge to continue making cream soups without dairy or other animal products. Everything can be veganized, and in my opinion, because the dish is rendered cruelty-free, it becomes even more nourishing and delicious.

In my cookbook, Cooking With Amore, I share with you my “quinoa method” for making soups thick and creamy. Simply by adding a small amount of quinoa, usually 1/2 cup or less, to the vegetables while they are cooking, and then blending the soup, the result will be a creamy vegan masterpiece.

I created quite a few of these quinoa-cream soups and included many in Cooking With Amore, but for some reasons, I had not yet attempted my favorite one of all: cream of tomato (fear of failure, perhaps?) This week, I thought it was time to get to work on that. When I sat down for dinner with my newly-created vegan tomato soup, I was so glad I finally did it.

I ended up eating three bowls! It made me think that a grilled cheese sandwich was all that was missing to make this meal sheer perfection. Daiya makes such delicious vegan cheeses of all kinds – I love their sliced cheese for making my grill cheeses. They even offer an amazing Grilled Cheese Cookbook as a free download!

In addition to the quinoa, I used a couple more ingredients to create a creamy taste and texture for this soup: potato, black beans and soy milk. These extra ingredients served not only to increase the nutrition of the soup, but also to effectively counter the acidity of the tomatoes. This is one challenge we have with cream of tomato versus other cream soups: the acidity of the tomato. But much like with tomato sauces, this is an issue we can easily address and balance out.

Here’s my recipe for a big batch of delicious, nourishing vegan cream of tomato soup. You can freeze some for later. I hope you enjoy it!

Cream of Tomato Soup


2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 large onion, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

4 small potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 1/2 cups of water (more if desired for less thickness)

12 small to medium ripe tomatoes

1 cup of cooked black beans

1/4 cup of quinoa

1 cup soy milk (optional, you can just add more water instead)

Himalayan salt and black pepper to taste

Optional garnish: chopped fresh cilantro, squirt of fresh lime


1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil. Add chopped onion, garlic and potatoes. Add 1/2 cup of water and allow to simmer slowly.

2. In order to remove the peel from the tomatoes, bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Drop tomatoes into boiling water one by one. After 1 to 2 minutes, remove from heat, drain the water and allow to cool. Once tomatoes are cool, peel off the skin and discard. Chop tomatoes and add to the simmering vegetables. Sprinkle some Himalayan salt. Once the onion and potatoes appear to be getting soft, add the black beans and quinoa. Add remaining water and let simmer.

4. Once the quinoa appears cooked, add soy milk or additional water. Turn off heat, and allow to cool.

5. Once cool, place a small batch of soup at a time into a blender and puree until thick and creamy. If you want to thin out the soup, add more water at any time. Mix all pureed batches together and reheat the portion you are ready to eat. Taste test to see if more salt is desired. Store the rest in the refrigerator or freezer.

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“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” ~Woodrow Wilson

Once upon a time, you had to venture north of Rosemont to get a proper pupusa in Montreal.

Before that, it was even harder. I was all the way in Santa Barbara, California, when I first tasted the addictively comforting El Salvadorian treat. That was ten years ago, and since then, we’ve been lucky to have a few Montréal instances, like La Carreta on St Zotique, or  El Chalateco on Beaubien.

These places are renowned for their flavours and charm, and not for their trendy or boozy vibes.

Pupusas at Los Planes – perfectly pillowy and comforting.

Los Planes is aiming to modify the pupusa’s image. The city’s third pupusa contender has recently moved southward in a bid to test their El Salvadorian and Mexican fare in the Plateau. It’s not exactly next door to where I live, yet it’s nice to see more great pupusas near me.

It’s a risky bid. After all, the block to which they have migrated (St-Denis near Rachel) is part of that long-imploding mile between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal.

Once the city’s de facto tourist shop/lunch strip, the mile, in the past five years, has become known more for its landmark closings, which leave in their wake, changing doors of upstart culinary establishments replacing one another — endless à louer signs replacing even the places with high quality and good intentions.

After trying Los Planes’ pupusas, I can only hope, that the resto does not find itself among the ranks of the restos that come and go too occasionally.

So slick was this resto’s exterior, that my feet almost made me walk past it. Out for an evening stroll, I initially judged Los Planes’ new incarnation as just another Mesa 14-inspired (i.e., overpriced and under-seasoned) “Tex-Mex” trap.

Then I spotted the p-word.

An entire section of an upscale menu devoted to pupusas? Could it be? Were upscale pupusas suddenly a thing?

The good news is, they’re not!

Essential sides to the pupusa include a lightly-fermented slaw, a tomato sauce and, occasionally, hot sauce.

Los Planes’ versions are as homey and heartwarming as any of the El Salvadorian pouches I have tried, and the slight bump in the price is entirely forgivable. The clean and spacious terrace, ample people-watching opportunities, and solid beer and wine list make it worth the splurge, at $3.50 per pouch.

Though the resto offers a full menu of Mexican specialties and various brunch offerings, I’m afraid I can’t give you much information about those: I was here for one thing and one thing only.

The dough of a good pupusa, made from alkalized cornmeal, is akin to a pillow. It’s soft yet firm, inviting yet restrictive, and supports you as you melt away into a wonderful state of pleasure.

Los Planes nails the nurturing quality of the pupusa to near perfection.

I’ll push the analogy further: just as a perfect pillow makes fancy sheets seem inconsequential, so too does a wonderful pupusa pocket cast its fillings as mere enhancements, rather than central features.

The Revuelta, a classic filling mostly based around refried beans, goes down just right on a chilly fall night: oozy, warm, and seasoned to simple perfection. Most importantly, perhaps: it’s not overly greasy at all. Less traditional offerings, such as various cheeses, zucchini, garlic, are hit and miss. Again, the structure is so solid, that it hardly matters. I’d suggest about four: two Revueltas and two “mixed-bags”. You get to choose from about ten options.

Traditional condiments include a mild tomato sauce and a lighly-fermented slaw. Both should be piled high for the full experience and to cut the richness. I personally loved Los Planes’ version of hot sauce, which is rather forceful, and perfect for any cheese-based pupusa filling, which can quickly become cloying.

The terrace makes for a nice, clean, relatively quiet place to grab a pint and to snack. Though it was empty when I arrived, the restaurant and the patio soon filled up with curious passersby.

Despite the cartoonishly-tall and awkward to handle pint glasses it is served in, draft beer is affordable for the neighborhood (considering other restos), with a pint of Boreale at $6.50. In addition, the wine offerings are diverse enough to make the place worth going for a short soiree.

This is the tallest pint glass in existence.

Then there was this seemingly minor detail: a nice wide ledge on the terrace, like a personal bar to lean on, while sitting at your table, makes for a welcome respite for your elbow or phone, and contributes to a feeling of splendor in what is at its heart an authentic pupuseria.

I think Los Planes has added just enough “bling” to their formula to become good, unpretentious Plateau regulars. Let’s just hope the neighbourhood agrees.

Los Planes is at 4115 rue St-Denis.

As some of you know, one of the reasons I decided to move from Montreal, Canada to Mexico is, sure enough, the weather. I just couldn’t stand the thought of another long, freezing winter and way too many grey rainy days for my taste.

Neither could I accept the thought of waiting until retirement to make the move. I longed for sunshine and heat, all the time, all year round. And oh my did I find just that in Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico!

However with the year-round heat, sun and sea breeze also comes the hurricane season, which runs from June to October in Baja. This means that during those months, we can expect some rain and there is a risk of tropical storms and hurricanes of varying intensities.

I experienced my first one here last week, Hurricane Norbert, and it was scary and exciting at the same time. Locals tell me it wasn’t a bad one, but it was enough to knock out my telephone and Internet service for 7 days!

We are now expecting Hurricane Odile scheduled to greet us this Sunday. I am quickly uploading my recipe for you this week just in case the hurricane takes away my Internet again!

When the storm was just starting to brew, I stocked up on supplies and hit the kitchen to make a couple of soups – the ultimate comfort food for damp and windy rainy days. I created a coconut, spinach and mung bean concoction so soothing, creamy and delicious that I couldn’t wait to share it with all of you! To my surprise, the mouth-feel and taste reminded me of a luxurious clam chowder.

Before making this recipe, remember to soak your mung beans overnight, just like we do with other dry beans and chickpeas. I added just a little cumin, fresh ginger and basil for flavor – you may want to add more or less to suit your taste.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.


Coconut Spinach Mung Soup


Makes approximately 6 servings

3 tablespoons coconut oil

2 cloves of garlic, minced

6 green onions, chopped

1 potato, peeled and chopped

1 small chunk of ginger, about 2 inches, minced

2 cups mung beans, presoaked overnight and drained

2 cups spinach, frozen or fresh (chopped)

1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced

1 cup coconut milk

3 cups water

½ teaspoon cumin

Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Place coconut oil, garlic, onions, potato and ginger in a large pot and sauté over medium heat for about 4 or 5 minutes.
  2. Add mung beans, stir and continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add spinach, basil, coconut milk, water and cumin and slowly bring to a boil. Immediately lower heat and simmer for approximately 1 hour, or until mung beans and potato are very soft and soup is creamy.
  4. Add salt and black pepper as desired.


“Each one of us is here for a reason that is greater than the roles that are ascribed to us and that we ascribe to ourselves. We are alive, in this moment in time, going over material together for a reason. The reason is greater than your role as a parent, as a sibling, as a child, as a friend, or whatever you do in your career. It is greater than your relationships, your insecurities, your stresses, or your bodies. When we get blindsided by the temporary, by the daily routine and the stresses that rise up within it, we stay cloaked behind the veil of illusion that prevents us from seeing the truth. The truth is this: we are here to examine why we are here, who we are, and how we are connected to each other and to the earth that continues to sustain us. That truth also states that beneath this world of change and separation is a deeper world of unchanging existence, and it is from there that we all stem. From a place of permanence, of unchanging energy and consciousness.”

~Bram Levinson, The Examined Life 

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If my article last week convinced you of the benefits of introducing more raw vegan meals into your diet, now is definitely the time to do it! Summertime is the best time because of the abundance of fresh, organic produce. Also, most of us have a natural propensity towards light meals during the summer, and raw vegan dishes are just that, in addition to being highly nutrient-dense and low-calorie.

This week, I thought I’d share with you this delicious raw vegan meal idea: zucchini spaghetti with a raw tomato basil marinara sauce and chunks of avocado. Who knew you could have not only raw noodles, but also a raw tomato sauce?!

I must admit that although this is an exquisite recipe, and so are all raw pasta dishes, really, they aren’t pasta. It may have the look (slightly) of pasta and mouth-feel (somewhat) of pasta, it is not pasta. However, if you agree to keep an open mind and try this healthful, gluten-free, low-calorie dish, you may just appreciate it for its unique virtues! The best part is that you can enjoy a big heaping bowlful and not feel heavy and lethargic after your meal. This is one of the many advantages of raw vegan meals: you feel so energetic afterwards! Here we go!

Makes about 2 servings

1 large zucchini, spiralized
1 large tomato, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped (or more if you are a basil enthusiast like me!)
Pinch of black pepper and red chili flakes (if desired)

Garnish with shelled hemp seeds, fresh basil and chopped avocado

1. Pass zucchini through Spiralizer.
2. Combine other ingredients in a large bowl to prepare Marinara sauce.
3. Pour sauce over zucchini. Garnish with hemp, avocado and fresh basil.

In order to create the zucchini spirals, you will need a spiralizer. I purchased mine online, but you can also check out your local health food store. This device is great for use with many other vegetables and fruits. For raw pasta, besides zucchini, you can try sweet potato, carrots or bell peppers.



Bliss out with this one and enjoy these wonderful sunny days of summer!

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What we do is less than a drop in the ocean, but if that drop were missing, the ocean would lack something. ~Mother Teresa

We all know that a squirt of lime improves the taste of almost everything, from a nice cold beer to a creamy guacamole. Not only are limes incredibly health-promoting, they have that unique ability to bring out the flavors in other foods.

I use lime juice to dress my salads and enhance many other dishes and drinks all the time. Here are my favorite ways to use lime, some of which may totally surprise you:

1. Corn on the Cob – I am so excited to share this simple, healthy, vegan option for topping your corn on the cob. I learned it from a Mexican friend here in Mexico and now I am hooked! It’s even better than butter I promise!

All you do is squeeze fresh lime juice on the corn, sprinkle some Himalayan salt and indulge!

Corn on the cob

2. Papaya and Coconut – Have you ever tried freshly squeezed lime over papaya? Oh, this is another one of my favorites I discovered in Mexico! The tangy citrus balances and contrasts the sweetness of the papaya so perfectly! Chopped up coconut meat, as the famous song suggests, also tastes delicious topped with lime juice and a dash of Himalayan salt.

Papaya with lime

3. Salads – Lime, coupled with olive or flaxseed oil and Himalayan salt, makes the most exquisite dressing for any type of salad. Here I used it to dress a mango, cucumber and tomato salad. Lime is great with all greens and my much loved cilantro salad, La Mexicana.

Mango Salad

4. Teas – I like to refrigerate teas in the summer; an iced tea of any variety is so refreshing! One of my favorite teas is fresh lime juice and mint. I add the mint leaves to boiling water and let them seep for a couple of hours while the water cools down slowly. I then remove the mint and add the lime juice. For those of us requiring a little more sweetness, a teaspoon of agave nectar does the trick very nicely.

Mint and lime tea

5. Soups – A squirt of lime enhances the flavors of almost any soup!

6. Alcoholic Beverages – We all know and love the classic lime margarita, but as with soups, many alcoholic beverages are enhanced with a little lime. Don’t even think of having a cranberry vodka without a squirt of lime – it just isn’t the same! Even a plain glass of water or carbonated water is greatly enhanced with a little fresh lime juice.

7. Brazilian Lemonade – This lemonade recipe actually uses lime, rather than lemon. Conventionally, people add condensed milk, but my vegan version uses coconut or almond cream. To sweeten it, I use agave nectar instead of sugar. To make 4 servings, chop up 2 limes (peel and all) and toss them in the blender with 2 cups of water, 1/2 cup of coconut or almond cream, several ice cubes, and a tablespoon of agave nectar. Blend briefly and then strain the liquid through a strainer or nut milk bag. Add a little more ice and serve immediately. Salud!

8. Kicking the habit – Did you know that lime juice may help you quit smoking? One medical study concluded that, “fresh lime can be used effectively as a smoking cessation aid.”

9. Key Lime Pie – Wow this one is a huge treat! Key Lime Pie you’ve surely heard about, but what about a raw vegan version? At the Living Light Culinary Institute, where I studied raw vegan cuisine and nutrition, we learned a recipe for a raw vegan key lime pie which was out of this world! I made it several times since then (below I made them as little tartlets), and this recipe has been a huge crowd-pleaser!


10. Armpits – Yes, you read that correctly: armpits! Did you know that rubbing a piece of lime under your arms works better to control body odor than any deodorant on the market? You have to try it to believe it!

I hope I’ve inspired you to try lime in new and exciting ways! Enjoy!

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“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark, professionals built the Titanic.”



Many dream of opening a restaurant. Unfortunately, cash, logistics and a litany of permits can nip that dream in the bud. But for Montréal cooks and eaters, World Restaurant Day has brought salvation.

The world’s “biggest food carnival” touches down in Montéal again next Sunday, August 17, from noon until midnight, enabling 34 would-be restauranteurs to to share their “cuisine éphémère.”

Photo credit: Restaurant Day Montréal Carnaval Culinaire

We’re here to prompt you to get out on the sidewalks and alleys ASAP that day. Though some restos seem to offer long hours, don’t delay–many locations ran out of food on the last WRD in May!

Here’s an super-brief sampling of what’s on offer:

– Authentic Toulousain and Sicilian sausages in an alley in Villeray

– Dishes honouring grandmas from Iraq, Italy, Morroco, along with storytelling and art on Beaubien

– A personal fave: “St-Tropez in Hochelaga,” billed as an after-party for full bellies replate with “sunset, cocktails & soul-jazz in a urban forest.”

– The ever-popular “Tacos mamacitas” crew, this time cooking up Chilean Sopaipillas, tacos Cochinita pibil or Papas con raja and Mexican-style corn.

– A wake-and-bake menu at Tam Tams featuring salad with hemp seeds, cookies, Bhang milk and more. As this pop-up restauranteur urges, “Come by to say high.” (4040 Parc, by the statue)

– Trout gravlax, shrimp sausage, curried pull pork…in sandwich form, with blueberry basil lemonade.

Photo credit: Danielle Levy Nutrition (World Restaurant Day Montréal May)

Still not convinced by the gastronomical surprises on offer for you that day? Here’s a bonus: this food is CHEAP. Devoid of overhead costs and eager to show their talents, these cooks are eager to spoon pure value right into your mouth.

While the pop-up resto has taken North America by storm this past decade, Montréal has been slower to adopt. Take advantage of this one-day free-for-all that will keep your belly, heart and pocketbook satisfied until the next WRD this Fall.

Vegetarian dish from Cuisine Szechuan

I like spicy food. I like it a lot. I like it so much that once in Thailand I spotted players from Sriracha’s District Football Club (yes, such a fantastic entity exists) from across an airport and then tracked them through the terminal building in order to snap fuzzy, stalkerish photos of logos on their navy blue jackets.

Despite such interest in culinary heat, I’ve always felt a foreigner amongst wing-guzzling pepper fanatics who see fiery food as a competitive sport. To me, there’s a good reason why spicy cuisine has never found its way to the Olympics. It’s because it’s not an event; it’s a subtle art.

One region might be known above all others for mastering such fiery arts: the mountainous province of Sichuan, China. And though many Canadian-Chinese restaurants offer dishes with “Szechuan” in the name, very few can legitimately lay claim to its complex (and very oily) lineage of heat.

But we Montrealers are a rather fortunate bunch (if slightly clueless). Many years ago, we were blessed with one of the first – and still possibly best – true Szechuan restaurants in Canada. If you’ve missed the diamond in your midst, now is the time to take a quick hike up the hill from metro Guy-Concordia and be absolved of your Canadian-Chinese food-eating sins.

Cuisine Szechuan (2350 Guy) is the stage for expressive and addictively-hot works by Norman Fei Peng and Andy Su. A semi sous-sol half-buried under a salon and flanked by a Botox clinic, its nondescript demeanour belies some pretty ferocious offerings.

An example: the chili beef (#64), an aromatic kick to the jaw that startles in its balance of heat, crunch and acidity. To say it wakes the mouth up is a happy understatement. So, too, does Peng’s famed cumin chicken explode most Westerners’ preconceptions of what cumin can be made to do.


There’s a reason, I mused while picking flaming peppercorns from my teeth, that local culinary god (and Jamie Oliver business-partner) Derek Dammann voted Peng his coup de coeur of all Montreal chefs, admitting his Cuisine Szechuan cravings had become so violent and unpredictable that a lack of chili beef actually caused noticeable swings in his mood.

Cuisine Szechuan is the real deal. But a few tips to the wise (ie, non-competitive): don’t imbibe the whole bowl of leathery-skinned peppers unless you want to relive that post-root canal experience of a frozen, senseless maw.

Chef Peng, who was out waiting tables the two times I visited, told me that Canadians have only recently crossed the threshold to embrace “non-Canadian Chinese food.” He warned me that more (and real) Sichuan peppers, including both the flower and peppercorn, would combine with increased oil to result in the lively flavour profiles that have been part of Sichuan life for centuries.

Though the fiery chili-flaked beef is indeed legendary – a must try for any self-proclaimed foodie in this town – I can’t neglect highlighting the real surprise gem of any CS experience: the plants.

I’m not usually a fan of vegetables in North American Chinese restaurants – they’re often drowned in oversweet sauce or, if left “bare,” coated in oddly-unpalatable grease. I’m even less turned on by tofu – regardless of the nation preparing it. So imagine my surprise when not one, but two tofu plates from the vegetarian menu hit notes nearly on par with that fiery beef.

You wouldn’t expect the Juicy and the Ultra-Spicy to be perfect bedfellows. But then you taste that thick, chili-laden
eggplant-and-tofu, laced with oozing (yet slightly crunchy) green beans – or the famous Spicy tofu plate. Embraced by this Szechuan kitchen, tofu might just find a new place in your heart…and your grandmother’s beloved string beans will begin to seem like dry bamboo.

Oh, and one final tip: there’s a reason Mr. Peng urges you to order extra rice (and fills your water glass ten to eleven times). Believe me: just follow his lead.

In short: don’t wait until your next Botox appointment to visit the less-than-charming southwest corner of Guy and Sherbrooke. Cuisine Szechuan is cheaper, tastier, and a hell of a lot more rejuvenating.

Pasta and beans is a tasty, traditional stew-like Italian dish. It is a hearty meal, which I love to make at this time of year when the garden is in full harvest mode. Using perfectly vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh crisp celery, aromatic basil, and of course lots of garlic – all from the garden – make this dish absolutely irresistible, healthy and nourishing.

For optimal flavor and nutrition, I use the ripest garden tomatoes I have available. The first step is bringing a large pot of water to a boil and dropping the tomatoes in the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Drain and allow time for the tomatoes to cool. At this point, the tomatoes can be peeled with ease. These are tastier and way healthier than any diced tomatoes you can get from can.

You don’t have to make the pasta noodles yourself. Any type of pasta you like will work fine in this dish, even rice pasta for those of you who prefer gluten-free. I have included my homemade pasta recipe, however, for those of you feeling adventurous. Also, I’d like you to see how easy it is to make homemade pasta! Tagiatelle are like fettucini, except a little shorter. I chose spelt flour for my pasta. You will need a pasta maker for this recipe. Have a blast!

Pasta e Fagioli

Makes approximately 4 servings

6 ripe tomatoes
Pot of water for boiling
5 cloves of garlic, minced
6 fresh basil leaves
1 celery stalk or celery heart
1 ½ cups (375 ml) pinto or kidney beans, cooked
⅓ cup (80 ml) fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons (30 ml) grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons (10 ml) sea salt (or more to taste)
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper (or more to taste)
6 cups (1 ½ L) of water
Small pasta of your choice or homemade spelt tagliatelle (recipe below)

1. Bring the pot of water to a boil. Drop tomatoes into the boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Remove pot from the stove and drain. Let tomatoes cool before peeling and dicing them.
3. In a large pot, heat grapeseed oil on medium heat and add minced garlic. Brown garlic slightly, about 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add diced tomatoes, celery, basil, and a teaspoon of sea salt. Let simmer for about 20 minutes.
5. Remove celery and basil leaves and discard. Add chopped parsley, cooked beans and black pepper.
6. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add your choice of pasta. Reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked. Most of the water will be absorbed by the pasta, but some excess liquid is desired, as with a stew. Taste test to see if more sea salt or pepper is desired. You can sprinkle some vegan parmesan over top if desired (see recipe below). Serve warm.

Spelt Tagliatelle

3 cups (750 ml) spelt flour, extra flour on the side
¾ cup (180 ml) water
Sea salt

1. Pour flour onto work station in a well formation. Keep an extra amount of flour on the side for sprinkling over dough when it gets sticky.
2. Sprinkle small amount of sea salt over flour well (about ½ teaspoon, 2.5 ml).
3. Pour water slowly into well a bit at a time, working flour into the water gently with your fingers or a fork.
4. Once firm, knead dough for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle small amounts of flour onto work station and dough if it becomes too sticky.
5. Form a loaf and let loaf sit for 15 to 30 minutes.
6. Sprinkle small amount of flour over dough. With a rolling pin, flatten the dough. Cut small amounts and pass through the pasta maker at the setting which will further flatten the dough (No. 8 setting).
7. Lay pieces of flattened dough on flour-sprinkled work station to avoid sticking.
8. Pass all the pieces of dough, one by one, through the fettucini setting of the pasta maker. Lay pasta on flour-sprinkled work station. Once all the pasta is ready, add to your tomato and bean mixture to cook. If you would like to keep some pasta for another recipe, you can freeze the pasta. (Lay it flat, single file, on a cooking sheet and once it is completely frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag.)

Vegan Parmesan


¼ cup (60 ml) raw cashews

¼ cup (60 ml) nutritional yeast


1. In a food processor, combine cashews and nutritional yeast. Blend until powdery. Sprinkle over any dish you like.

This is just one of the many recipes you will find in my soon to be released cookbook, Cooking With Amore: 100 Vegan Recipes for Health, Well-being and Spiritual Evolution. 


In the meantime, join me on my Facebook page where I share recipes and health-related articles everyday.

“Let me share my vision with you: I see a world without sickness, sorrow or mental disturbance in which we are living in perfect balance with abundant health and harmony. Reconnect with nature and your body will take care of the rest. This is the beauty of self-healing.”  ~Dr. Ann Wigmore

I am delighted and honored to announce that I submitted my cookbook to the publisher last week! After two years of dedicated and persistent hard work, my baby is finally on its way to being printed! In addition to a traditional book, an electronic version is also being made.

In about four weeks, Cooking With Amore: 100 Vegan Recipes for Health, Well-being and Spiritual Evolution will be available for purchase on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in bookstores. I have a French and Spanish translation of my cookbook in the works; both will be ready in 2014.

I am also thrilled to announce that my official book launch in Montreal, Canada will be held at the SPCA Annexe on December 14, 2013. I will be making dishes from the cookbook for everyone to sample and donations will be accepted to help the animals at the SPCA.

I will be selling and signing books and proceeds from the sale of my books will also go to the SPCA. More details will follow as the date draws near. You are all invited to join me in celebrating this very special day! I will also be organizing book signing events in other cities around the world! I am going global with Cooking With Amore!

Cooking With Amore contains many of the recipes I share with you each week and more. Some of the recipes which I consider quite genius I have saved for the book itself, such as my vegan poutine and vegan tiramisu, for example, as well as this vegan piece of heaven I do with cacao nibs and garden tomatoes (yes tomatoes!).

My goal is simply to get vegan recipes out there. I want people to get excited about cooking delicious dishes, without the use of any animal products.

Why? Because it’s possible, it’s healthy and it’s kind. To those of you contemplating a vegan lifestyle, or maybe just adding more plant-based meals to your diet, in Cooking With Amore, I offer you 100 scrumptious, easy recipes!

Banner Cooking with Amore 2

Let’s cook with love! Are you ready?

My website has also been finished and is ready for launch in the coming days. In the meantime, you can continue to follow me daily on my Facebook page where I share vegan recipes and health-related tips every day!


“Now that I have made the connection, I do not eat animals for the same reason as I do not eat human beings. To me, there is no difference between humans and animals, for we are all souls, in different physical disguises. I know that non-human animals value their lives, their relationships, and their freedom to run and play as much as humans do. They feel a wide range of emotions just like we do. I want to create a better world for all animals and that, in turn, means a better world for everyone. ”

~Maria Amore, Cooking With Amore: 100 Vegan Recipes for Health, Well-being and Spiritual Evolution

Lentils and beans are light and savory in salad format for the summer. We can save the warm dishes for the winter since they tend to be filling and provide that much needed comfort in the cold months. Salads like this, just like our lentil stews and soups, store well in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days, so make a big batch and enjoy it over the coming days.

While reading up on lentil nutrition this week in preparation for writing this article, I came across these interesting ten facts about lentils presented by Vanessa Perrone, R.D. Nutritionist. Did you know:

1. Canada is the world’s leading exporter of lentils.

2. Saskatchewan produces 97% of Canada’s lentils.

3. Lentils are a nitrogen-fixing crop.

4. Lentils can be bought whole, peeled or split, each step reducing cooking time: Whole 25-30 mins > Peeled 20-25 mins > Split 10-12 mins.

5. Lentils do not require any soaking! That’s right, just cook until tender and add to your favourite dish.

6. Because lentils are grown in rotation with durum wheat they may come into contact with wheat at harvest. But the meticulous processing at the facility makes for a completely gluten-free product.

7. Lentils are an excellent source of fibre with almost 16g per cup.

8. Lentils have a very low glycemic index, which means the rise in blood sugar after eating them will be moderate and steady.

9. 3/4 cup cooked lentils provides more potassium than a large banana along with 13g of protein.

10. Lentils provide more folate than any other plant food.

11. Bonus food fact: The word lens (as in contact lens) was actually inspired by the shape of the split lentil (Who knew?…).

Motivated to eat a healthy bowl of lentils? Here is a lentil salad I created, full of flavor and some lovely fresh ingredients from the garden like mint, parsley, onions and garlic. I find the cumin combined here with the mint and chili flakes gives it a distinct middle eastern flavor. The lemon juice and zest heighten the summer feel to this dish. Enjoy, in joy and in health!

Arabian Mint Lentil Salad

Makes approximately 5 to 6 servings

2 cups (500 ml) green lentils
5 cups (1 ¼ L) water
2 tablespoons (30 ml) grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, finely minced
½ white onion, thinly sliced
½ cup (125 ml) fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup (60 ml) fresh mint, chopped
¼ cup (60 ml) lemon juice (1 or 2 lemons) and lemon zest from one lemon
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) chili flakes
½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) cumin
Sea salt and black pepper to taste


1. Place lentils in a pot with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer, partially covered, until lentils are soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour (green lentils usually take a little longer to cook than other lentils). When lentils are soft, water will most likely have been fully absorbed. If not, drain excess water. Set lentils aside to cool.

2. In a frying pan, heat grapeseed oil and add garlic. Sauté until slightly golden, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.

3. In a blender, add lemon juice and zest, chili flakes, olive oil, cumin, cooled garlic and oil. Blend briefly.

4. Place cooled lentils in a large bowl. Pour dressing from the blender over lentils. Add chopped parsley, mint and onion. Mix well. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled. Garnish with additional lemon zest and mint leaves, if desired.

“Revere the healing power of nature.” ~Hippocrates

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To continue celebrating the joy and beauty of summer in Montreal, I want to again this week, share with you a summery recipe. I know you loved last week’s cooling gazpacho because I was overwhelmed with positive feedback. Keep the comments coming! I really enjoy hearing from you.

Aside from gazpacho, what says “summer fun” more than ice cream? This week, let’s make some vegan ice cream!

Would you believe we can make absolutely delicious ice cream without any dairy at all? Oh yes we can! I created this vegan ice cream recipe using frozen bananas as the base. You just have to try it to believe how delicious it is! Thankfully, it’s super easy to make!

Not only is this recipe vegan, it’s also sugar free! The ripe bananas add all the sweetness we need.

Unlike other teas, Matcha green tea comes in a very fine powdered form, so it is perfect to add to ice creams or smoothies. A beautifully vibrant green color, Matcha tea is very flavorful and adds all the health benefits of a green tea to this non-dairy iced treat.

As a tea, Matcha is full of antioxidants and has many health benefits. It is said to be the healthiest of teas because the whole leaf of the Camellia sinensis plant is stone-ground into a powder, so we are actually drinking a green plant when we drink Matcha tea.

Matcha tea does contain caffeine, but the experience that comes with drinking tea is very different than with drinking coffee. People often describe getting “wired” with caffeinated coffee, whereas with green tea, the feeling is one of calm alertness.

Staying with the green theme and remembering the pistachio ice cream I used to enjoy as a child, I added pistachios for their delicious flavor. As you know, I like to use raw nuts in my recipes to make the most out of the health benefits we derive from nuts.

Nuts are actually easily denatured with heat due to their high oil content, so roasting them often destroys many of the nutrients. Also, nuts can become rancid quickly when sitting in a warmish cupboard or countertop, so I always store all my nuts in the freezer.

Give this dairy-free, sugar-free treat a try!

Maria’s Green Tea Pistachio Ice Cream

Makes approximately 4 to 5 servings

4 bananas, very ripe, chopped into chunks and frozen
1 cup (250 ml) unsweetened almond milk (see my recipe for homemade almond milk)
¼ cup (60 ml) raw pistachios, more for topping
1 tablespoon (15 ml) Imperial Matcha Ceremonial Green Tea


1. Remove bananas from the freezer and blend all ingredients in a high-powdered blender.
2. Your mixture may be too soft and more like a smoothie at this point. If so, place your ice cream in a large glass container and put it in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once firm, remove from the freezer. Use an ice cream scooper to scoop out ice cream and place it into your serving cups. Sprinkle a few pistachios over top, if desired. Serve immediately.


“Before you taste anything, recite a blessing.” ~Rabbi Akiva

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It was brought to my attention that I have never shared a cold soup recipe. Well, it’s about time I do that! Here is a vibrant, refreshing summer soup which I adore.

Gazpacho is the name given to a type of soup which is served cold. It has Spanish roots and was originally tomato-based. The other vegetables and herbs added to the soup are usually raw. Because of its refreshing quality, it is a soup which is served in the summer months.

My gazpacho is watermelon-based. Watermelons are abundant this time of year. If you can, get an organic one – they taste even sweeter! Nothing feels like a summer feast more than a huge, organic watermelon! The basil I use here is also organic since it is from my own garden. If you have a small leaf variety of basil, it works best in this soup since it has a subtle taste – much less bold than the larger leaf varieties of basil. Any type of basil you like will do, however. If you choose to go with the red onion, that will add to the sweetness of the soup, whereas the white onion will slightly contrast the sweetness with its sharp, pungent flavor and aroma.

My Watermelon Basil Gazpacho is a lovely dish to serve on a hot summer’s day not only because it’s cooling, but also the combination of flavors makes it fun to eat when we are not in the mood for anything heavy. Another great thing about this soup is that it is quick to prepare and requires only 4 ingredients! Enjoy!

Maria’s Watermelon Basil Gazpacho


6 cups seeded watermelon, chopped

1 small white or red onion, finely chopped

1 seeded cucumber, diced

1 cup fresh basil, finely chopped


1. Blend watermelon in a blender until liquefied.

2. Strain liquid through a strainer into a large bowl. Remove excess pulp and any stray seeds. (You can discard the pulp or eat it like a pudding.)

3. Add chopped onion, cucumber and basil to the bowl and stir. Chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes before serving.

4. Scoop up watermelon soup into serving bowls. Garnish with additional fresh basil. Serve.

“Your body is a Temple. You are what you eat. Do not eat processed food, junk foods, filth, or disease carrying food, animals, or rodents. Some people say of these foods, ‘well, it tastes good’. Most of the foods today that statically cause sickness, cancer, and disease ALL TASTE GOOD; it’s well seasoned and prepared poison. THIS IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE ARE SICK; mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually; because of being hooked to the ‘taste’ of poison, instead of being hooked on the truth and to real foods that heal and provide you with good health and wellness. Respect and honor your Temple- and it will honor you.” 
~SupaNova Slom, The Remedy: The Five-Week Power Plan to Detox Your System, Combat the Fat, and Rebuild Your Mind and Body

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I’m reading an interesting book at the moment: Green for Life by Victoria Boutenko. In this book, Boutenko explains how leafy greens are among the most overlooked, yet nutritious foods we can eat.

What I’m finding most fascinating so far is Boutenko’s discussion of the amino acids which form protein, and how, “if we maintain a variety of greens in our diet, we will cover all essential amino acids in abundance” (Boutenko, p.41). The essential amino acids required to form protein cannot be synthesized by our body and therefore must be absorbed through our diet.

Boutenko explains how it is simpler and more efficient for the body to take these individual amino acids (from ingesting greens) and create the protein we need, rather than breaking down the already formed protein in another species, such as in a chicken or cow for example, and extracting the amino acids to create human protein for our body. In fact, it is rather ironic how we eat a cow because we believe we need the protein, and yet the cow herself derived her protein, not by eating other cows, but by her natural herbivore diet of greens. (Of course, however, factory farmed cows are not actually fed their natural diet of greens, that would be way too expensive, rather they are fed unnatural GMO’d soy and corn, a lot of drugs, a variety of other garbage and often even animals.)

As Boutenko points out, a lot of people simply don’t like the taste of greens, so they are reluctant to add more to their diet. However, we can hide them amongst other tastes! We saw how easy it is to hide spinach in chocolate with the irresistible spinach brownie recipe I shared a while ago, but we can also do this with smoothies. In my experience, we can add between 2 and 4 cups of any greens to a smoothie and the bitterness will be completely camouflaged with a banana and about 4 fresh dates. Alternatively, ripe mango or pineapple can also successfully mask the greens.

Inspired to make green smoothies a part of my everyday routine, I created my Green Breakfast Smoothie, which I’ve been making every morning for several weeks now. Here is my recipe, which you can use as a model to build your own. I recommend to use organic ingredients, if possible. Also, use purified water if you can, instead of tap water, which contains many impurities.

If you don’t have sufficient fresh greens available or for an added green boost in addition to your fresh greens, you can include a scoop of powdered greens. There are many on the market for you to try and see which you like best. If you are in the mood for a little chocolate flavor, add a spoonful of raw cacao nibs.

Since I am using this smoothie as a meal replacement (breakfast), for added nutrition, I add a few raw nuts (and water). You can also make your own nut milk and use this instead. It’s easy to make nut milk and when you make it yourself, you avoid preservatives which are common in commercial brands.

Give it a try. Add or subtract ingredients to suit your individual needs and tastes.

Maria’s Green Breakfast Smoothie


1 to 2 bananas

4 fresh dates, pitted

2 to 4 cups spinach or kale

1 cup blueberries

1/4 cup raw nuts of your choice (I use cashews, walnuts or almonds)

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds

1 tablespoon powdered greens

1/2 teaspoon matcha green tea

1 1/2 to 2 cups water


1. Place all ingredients in a high powered blender. Blend until creamy.

2. Pour into glass (with ice if desired, or you can blend ice into the smoothie). Sip through a straw and bliss out!

“The more I read about the nutritional content of greens, the more I became convinced that greens were the most important food for humans.” ~Victoria Boutenko, Green for Life

I created a new facebook page for those of you interested in learning more about juicing and smoothies. Also, join me on my vegan cooking page where I share vegan recipes and health-related information every day.

I adore guacamole! OK, I adore avocados period. For my guacamole recipe, I like to keep it as simple as possible and just let the avocado’s deliciousness speak for itself. With just a few ingredients, we can whip up (or more specifically, mash up) this guacamole!

Summertime is the best time to try my delicious guacamole recipe. Enjoy!

Maria’s Guacamole


Makes approximately 2 to 4 servings

 2 ripe avocados

3 green onions or ½ white onion, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

1 small tomato, diced

Juice from one lime

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) sea salt

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper

Chili flakes (optional)



  1. Scoop out avocados and mash with a fork or masher in a small bowl.
  2. Add in all other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Serve immediately or chilled.




It seems to me that people have a love/hate relationship with avocados. Many of us love the taste, others find it gross. Some of us are concerned about the avocado’s high fat content. The avocado contains monounsaturated fat, which is in fact not a “bad” fat, but how healthy is avocado in general?

Some food for thought: the research is ambiguous as to whether the avocado is in fact healthy for us. Several reputable sources say indeed yes, avocados are beneficial since they provide us with complete protein, good fats and other important nutrients.

However, Dr. Michael Greger has examined numerous studies, some indicating that not only does avocado kill cancer cells, but also healthy cells, in vitro. In vitro means in a petri dishas opposed to in vivo, which is in the human body. The difference being, when we ingest avocado, our stomach digestive acids and our liver detoxifying functions get to the avocado before our cells do. Therefore, can the avocado in vitro studies really tell us anything?

Some good news, one recent study reported avocado consumption is linked to significantly reduced prostate cancer risk.

This is a clear example of how confusing it can be to navigate the world of health research. Many of us are not doctors or nutrition experts. How do we make sense of all this? There are contradictory findings and differing views about almost everything. In the end, maybe that old cliche about moderation is best?

In my opinion, a helpful rule to live by is this: how do you feel when you eat it? And I don’t necessarily mean in the short term only, since we all know that potato chips feel like heaven the moment they touch our lips.

Some of us have food allergies, others may have a mild intolerance. Some of us have health issues that we are trying to improve. Certain foods can make these conditions better or worse.

The best thing we can do is become more mindful of the food we are eating and how are body reacts to it. We are all individuals with particular needs and tastes. Slow down, learn the language of your body and pay attention. If you don’t, the body will surely end up screaming at you via some type of illness.

Back to avocados and their deliciousness, I came across a delightful dessert made with avocados that I would like to share with you. It is not a recipe I created and I haven’t tried it yet, but this avocado chocolate mousse sounds absolutely divine! Give it a try as well and let me know what you think.

Food for the body is not enough. There must be food for the soul.
~Dorothy Day

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I adore watching documentaries. In fact, I hardly ever watch another genre of film. This week, I saw an excellent documentary called Vegucated. Highly informative, funny and entertaining, Vegucated chronicles the lives of three New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for a period of six weeks as part of a social experiment.

During the course of these six weeks, they learn how to shop for cruelty-free vegan products, how to prepare fully plant-based meals, and how the animals we eat are raised. They are also followed by Dr.  Joel Fuhrman who checks their weight, blood pressure and cholesterol before and after the six week vegan diet to see what effect this change has on these three indicators of overall health. Not surprisingly, all three individuals lost weight and both their cholesterol and blood pressure went down.

vegucated picMarisa Miller Wolfsom is the film’s writer, director and editor. She posted an ad on New York’s Craigslist requesting volunteers who would be interested in converting to a vegan diet for six weeks. She interviewed several people, and chose three: Tesla, Ellen and Brian.

Tesla Lobo is a 22-year old student living with her family whose diet relies heavily on meat. Tesla’s biggest challenge was to let go of the convenience of her father’s home cooking and learn how to prepare, and enjoy, plant-based meals.

Ellen Mausner is a psychiatrist, stand-up comic and single mom of two. She is attracted to a vegan diet for its potential for weight loss and improvement of cardiovascular health.

Brian Flegel is an aspiring actor who often eats out and jokes about vegans being weird.

Among the challenges faced by Tesla, Ellen and Brian is acquiring the taste for foods they had previously never tried. In the film, Dr. Fuhrman explains how most of our food preferences are acquired tastes and that sometimes we need to try something several times before we know whether we like it or not.

One of the things I try to convey to my vegan cooking students is how easy it is to be vegan, once you learn new ingredients. Tempeh is often one of those new things we learn about when we go vegan. I too had heard of tofu before changing my diet, but not tempeh. Tempeh is a fermented soy product (whereas tofu is not fermented). The fermentation process renders tempeh more nutritious than other soybean products: higher protein content, more vitamins, minerals and fiber. You usually find tempeh in the freezer section of health food stores.

I would say it is for most people what Dr. Fuhrman describes as an acquired taste. Whereas tofu doesn’t have a taste before we give it one, tempeh has a bold, nutty flavor. Without proper preparation, you may not enjoy the flavor.

The recipe I’d like to share with you this week is a tempeh dish I created with Indian-inspired flavors. I call it Tandori Tempeh because I chose a lot of the Indian spices commonly used to make Tandori dishes. I sprinkled chia seeds overtop, not only because they are so nutritious, but because I really enjoy that additional little crunch they add. I accompanied it with a tasty sweet potato side dish. Don’t let these exotic spices intimidate you; this is actually a very easy dish to prepare and so delicious! Try it!


Tandori Tempeh and Spiced Sweet Potato Mash



Makes approximately 4 servings

1 package organic tempeh

2 tomatoes, diced

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3 chili peppers, chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) water

2 tablespoons (30 ml) grapeseed or olive oil

1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) paprika

1 teaspoon (5 ml) turmeric

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) coriander

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) cumin

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ginger

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) cardamom

½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) black pepper

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) cayenne

2 tablespoons (30 ml) wheat-free tamari

1 tablespoon (15 ml) Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons (30 ml) chia seeds



  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  2. Tempeh is usually frozen when purchased. Thaw out and slice into thin squares.
  3. Prepare the marinade for the tempeh by mixing all the other ingredients in a bowl, except chia seeds, including chopped onion, peppers, tomato and garlic.
  4. Line large baking dish with parchment paper to avoid sticking. Place tempeh squares, single file on the paper. Pour marinade and vegetables over tempeh. Sprinkle chia seeds overtop.
  5. Cover dish with aluminum foil. Puncture foil with a fork or knife in a few places.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes total. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven, turn tempeh squares over, discard aluminum foil and return to the oven, uncovered, for the remaining 15 minutes.
  7. Serve warm.


Spiced Sweet Potato Mash


2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 white potatoes, peeled and chopped

2 cloves of garlic

2 tablespoons (30 ml) nutritional yeast

2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegan butter

1 tablespoon (15 ml) turmeric

1 tablespoon (15 ml) paprika

Sea salt and black pepper to taste



  1. Placed chopped potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Add sea salt, about 1 teaspoon (5 ml) and chopped garlic. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer until potatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. Drain all water.  Add nutritional yeast, vegan butter, turmeric, paprika and mash with a potato masher. Taste test to see if      more sea salt is desired. Add black pepper to taste. Serve warm.


“Medicines cannot drug away the cellular defects that develop in response to improper nutrition throughout life.” ~Dr. Joel Fuhrman

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