Meatless Monday: Sweet Corn & Black Bean Salad

Happy Meatless Monday! This week’s recipe was one of those recipes that just got thrown together with whatever was lying around the kitchen. The result: a fresh, tasty, super healthy lunch :)

Sweet Corn & Black Bean Salad


2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed

1/2 cup grape tomatoes, roughly chopped

1/2 cup chopped bell peppers

1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

1 large handful fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

2-3 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (about half a lime)

Pepper, to taste

Simply mix everything together! I had this salad on a warm, whole wheat tortilla with a bit of cheddar cheese sprinkled on top. I threw the salad in a saucepan for a couple of minutes to heat it up and added some cayenne pepper to give it a bit of a kick. Enjoy!

Maple Soy Cedar-Planked Salmon

Well folks, it’s official! I’m finished school – FOREVER. Sorry for the lack of posts over the past several days, but I’ve been enjoying a much-needed and well-deserved break and have been catching up on sleep. It also appears that my body has finally “crashed” after working so hard to stay on top of everything, so I now have a bit of a cold.

So, what’s next? Well I don’t have any sort of job lined up yet, but I’m trying not to stress about that right now. For the meantime, I plan on dedicating my spare time to job hunting, cooking, reading, meditating, and staying active! I’m hoping to keep myself busy and motivated to stay busy in order to avoid slipping into a “rut” (aka sleeping in, lazing about in front of the TV, etc.). You can expect lots of recipes, as I loooove cooking and now have plenty of time to try new things :)

Speaking of trying new things… this weekend I discovered that my tastebuds have finally developed a liking for avocado. I’ve never really been a huge fan of it – especially in guacamole. However, my best friend’s mom made us fresh guacamole for a snack and it was delicious! Even better, my dad went grocery shopping yesterday and happened to purchase all of the ingredients needed to make some of my own. I was all set to make some and share the recipe with you all, but unfortunately the avocados aren’t quite ripe enough yet. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, here’s another recipe that’s chock full of omega-3s! I don’t eat fish very often (only about once every 2-3 weeks), but when I do it’s usually salmon. My favourite way to enjoy  salmon is to cook it on a cedar plank!

Maple Soy Cedar-Planked Salmon

Click here for directions on how to cook the fish on a cedar plank. Here’s a recipe for the sauce we used tonight:

Maple-Soy Glaze

3 spoonfuls of maple syrup

2 spoonfuls of reduced sodium soy sauce

1 spoonful of grainy Dijon mustard

1 spoonful of honey

A dash of garlic powder

1-2 spoonfuls of finely chopped green onion


Even the cat couldn’t resist. In this picture she’s obviously saying, “Feed me!!!!”

Fun fact of the day: did you know that eating fish rich in omega-3s may help boost your mood? Click here to see what other foods may help boost your mood!

Be Well  xo

Check out my latest guest blog for UHN and find out how you can register to become an organ/tissue donor :)

Living Well @ UHN

Did you know that ONE organ donor can save up to 8 lives? And that a tissue donation from one individual can help up to 75 others? If you have been thinking about signing an organ donation card, this week might be a good time to actually do it.

It’s National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week!

If you are at least 16 years old and have a valid Ontario Health Number, you are considered eligible to register your consent online to become an organ and tissue donor.

Almost 3 years ago exactly (April 27th, 2009) I registered to become an organ and tissue donor. If you are interested in learning more about organ donation and how to register, visit You can refer to UHN’s intranet page as well:

Here is a summary of some organ donation statistics for the year 2012 (click here for more details):


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Meatless Monday: Veggie Pot Pie with a Sweet Potato Crust

Last night my mom tried this new recipe from Janet and Greta Podleski’s cookbook ‘Crazy Plates’. If you don’t know who these sisters are, they have a show on the Food Network called Eat, Shrink & Be Merry. It turned out great, so I thought I’d share it as this week’s Meatless Monday recipe!

Janet & Greta’s ‘Piled High Veggie Pot Pie’

Makes 6 servings

Filling Ingredients:

1 cup each chopped onions and red bell peppers

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (reduced sodium, of course!)

2 cups peeled, cubed potatoes

1 cup sliced carrots

1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1/4 tsp each salt & pepper

1 cup sliced asparagus pieces or sliced green beans (we had neither, so my mom used zucchini)

1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

1/4 cup chopped, fresh parsley

Sweet Potato Biscuit Crust Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbsp butter or margarine, softened

3/4 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

3/4 cup 1% milk, plus extra for brushing the top of the crust


1. Spray a large, non-stick saucepan with non-stick spray. Add onions, red pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until vegetables begin to soften (about 4 minutes).

2. Add 2 cups broth, potatoes, carrots, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes, until potatoes are almost tender. Stir in asparagus and peas. Cook for 3 more minutes.

3. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of flour with the remaining 1/2 cup of vegetable broth until smooth. Add to vegetable mixture. Cook until bubbly and thickened. Stir in parsley. Transfer to a 2-quart casserole dish and set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 425ºF. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk together sweet potatoes and milk, then add to flour mixture. Stir until a soft ball forms. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and roll or pat out to fit top of casserole. Place dough over vegetables. Brush with milk. Bake for 20 minutes, until crust is puffed up and golden brown. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

320 calories

7.1 g fat (3.9 g saturated fat)

9.4 g protein

55.7 g carbohydrates

5.2 g fibre

16.8 mg cholesterol

628.3 mg sodium (a little high for my liking, but this could be greatly reduced by using low-sodium broth)

– Be Well xo

Cinnamon Quinoa “Oatmeal”

I know, I know.. I should be studying. But I made an extra delicious power breakfast this morning that I felt needed to be shared! Expect a lot of recipes over the next little while. This particular dish was inspired by 101 Cookbooks’ recipe for Warm and Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa. I had “pinned” a photo of it on Pinterest and thought it resembled an alternative to oatmeal. So, after a few modifications of my own, I made this into tasty breakfast!



Cinnamon Quinoa “Oatmeal”


1/2 cup organic quinoa (Costco sells it in bulk!)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup low fat milk (soy milk works too)

1 cup organic berries (I had a frozen bag of organic mixed fruit – cherries, blackberries, and blueberries – so I just used that! Really you could use whatever fruit you want. Mango would be delicious!)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 small handful flax seeds (ground flax seeds would be better as it is more easily digested and the nutrients are better absorbed, but this is what I happened to have)

A splash of vanilla extract

Pecans, for garnishing


1. Combine the quinoa, water, and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes. If you’re using frozen berries, allow them to thaw while the quinoa cooks.  ***NOTE: Keep a watchful eye while the quinoa is boiling, I found the milk made it boil over the sides of the pot really easily.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, cinnamon, flax seeds, vanilla, and berries. Because I used frozen berries, their juices turned the quinoa a pink-ish colour. Woops! Still delicious, though. Sprinkle some pecans (or walnuts, almonds, etc.) on top. There you have it – a healthy protein/fibre-packed breakfast! I enjoyed my “oatmeal” with a sliced orange, hard boiled egg, glass of organic soy milk, and a fresh cup of coffee. Mmmm… Now, time to get to work!!!!

– Be Well xo