Michelle Tirmandi, Beet Goat Cheese Dip, Healthy Tip, Toronto Nutritionist

Beet & Hemp Goat Cheese Dip

Whenever we have a party or get-together I serve this dip. Due to it’s bright pink colour it is hilarious to watch who will attempt it first! Great with a fresh bread, crackers, cut up veggies, or as part of a sandwich, this dip does not disappoint!
Michelle Tirmandi, Beet Goat Cheese Dip, Healthy Tip, Toronto Nutritionist
  • 2 small red or golden beets (chopped in chunks)
  • 1 large garlic clove (peeled, whole)
  • 1 Tbsp hemp hearts
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil + drizzle for cooking
  • 1/4 -1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 small log of goat cheese (~ 113g)
Preheat the oven to 400′ and add peeled beets and garlic to a roasting dish. Drizzle with high quality olive oil or coconut oil and bake until the beets are soft to the touch (this usually takes 30-40 minutes depending on the oven). Set aside and allow beets and garlic to cool. Next, add 2 Tbsp of olive oil, 1 Tbs hemp hearts, goat cheese, beets and garlic to food processor or high speed blender and blend together until smooth. ENJOY!
Healthy Apple Pear Crumble Michelle Nutrition

Apple Pear Oatmeal Crumble

Healthy Apple Pear Crumble Michelle Nutrition

Crumble Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 Tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground almond meal (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Fruit Filling Ingredients:

  • 4 thinly sliced apples
  • 2 thinly sliced pears
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp coconut sugar

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375′

2. Grease a glass baking tray with coconut oil

3. Mix all of the ingredients for the crumble together

4. Slice the apples and pears thinly and lay along the bottom of the baking dish

5. Sprinkle fruit with coconut sugar and water then cover with the crumble mixture

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the fruit is soft and cruble is crunchy

7. Serve with some goat or sheep yogurt

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E N J O Y!

xo

Michelle

Spicy Chickpea Soup for The Soul Michelle Tirmandi

Spicy Chickpea Soup For The Soul

 

I know, I know — another soup recipe! I can’t help myself myself though because its just so temping to want to eat warming foods as the weather cools down.

This recipe was delicious! It’s inspiration comes from another recipe that I tried last year from the Oh She Glows cookbook (so many great recipes!).  Its hearty enough to be a full meal, aaannd, thanks to some all star ingredients (Turmeric and Hot Peppers) it may also have immune enhancing properties, woop! (If you are interested in learning more about immune enhancing ingredients click here for my Immune Boosting Tea Recipe & Post).

Spicy Chickpea Soup for The Soul Michelle Tirmandi

Turmeric

Turmeric contains an active ingredient within it’s bright yellow pigment, curcumin. This active ingredient actually helps our immune cells to fight bacteria and viruses and it’s highly anti-inflammatory. I always suggest that IF possible, you use the actual turmeric root (which looks similar to ginger) however; if that’s not possible you can still use the powder form (as I have done for the recipe below)

Hot Peppers

You may have noticed that when you eat spicy foods your face feels hotter and your nose starts running. This is due to the immune enhancing active ingredient Capsaicin. The health benefits of hot peppers include a ton of antioxidants (specifically Vitamin C), beta carotene, anti-inflammatory effects and increased circulation.

Recipe:

  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, chopped finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large orange pepper, chopped in big pieces
  • 1 medium sized jalapeno pepper (seeds removed) and chopped finely
  • 3-4 medium sized organic tomatoes
  • 3-4 yellow sunburst summer squash, chopped in big pieces  (any type of squash will do!)
  • 1 box Organic Vegetable broth (I use the brand Organic Pacific but you could use your homemade broth!)
  • 1 can Organic Chickpeas (I use the brand Eden Organics as it is BPA free)
  • 2 tsp ground Turmeric (I use the brand Simply Organics)
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
  • 3 tsp group cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Organic sheep yogurt (optional for topping)
  • Avocado (optional for topping)

Heat the coconut oil to medium heat and add onions. Sauté until the onions are transleucent (~10 mins). Next, dice the garlic and add to the onion. Chop remaining  veggies and add to the mixture along with the full amount of broth and spices. Simmer on medium heat (uncovered while stirring regularly) with all of the veggies for 20 minutes. Rinse the chickpeas and add them to the soup, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes before hand blending to desired consistency (I like to puree about half of the soup and leave the rest chunky). Serve hot with a heart dollop of sheep or goat yogurt and some sliced avocado. E N J O Y!

You may have also noticed that I paired this spicy soup with a glass of beer. I’m a sucker for beer (gasp!) and I love to pair it with spicy food. My brew of choice is this one, its local and organic and doesn’t contain any icky pesticides.

Make sure that you get all of my updates and recipes in your inbox by signing up here. As a BONUS you’ll also receive my FREE 48 hour smoothie challenge filled with delicious recipes.

Xo,

Michy

 

 

Butternut Squash + Apple Soup Toronto Nutritionist Michelle Tirmandi

Roasted Butternut Squash + Apple Soup (#take2)

I am quite sure that I posted this recipe last year. If I am to be honest, I haven’t gone back to amalgamate the two or even to check how the recipes are different. All I know is that this soup is damn good and I want it to be at the top of the blog so you see it, and therefore actually make it!
Butternut Squash + Apple Soup Toronto Nutritionist Michelle Tirmandi
I make it sound so simple but, the squash is a bit of a hurdle. It took me 3+ years to figure out a few
key things about Butternut Squash so I will share them with you in order to help save you the headache.
#1 – Cutting the Squash
This my friend can be a challenge. Its something that I use to call in JT to do for me until one day my dad saw me pathetically trying to cut the squash myself. As my dad, his natural inclination was to tell me “michelle, stop what you are doing and do it my way”, but he obviously caught himself before he said this as he knows how annoyed I used to get with him telling me exactly how and what to do in the kitchen (which by the way I am so thankful now as I realize that I am a fully functional adult that knows how to cook, thanks DAD!). He leaned in and said, would you like me to show you a trick? His wisdom was this: Use a large wide edge knife and slice through the middle with the all of your weight leaning in to the squash. 
#2 Peeling the Squash 
This changes everything — wash the squash, cut it in half and removed the seeds and flesh before baking. After taking it out of the oven and letting it cool down it should be a lot easier to peel off the skin using either your knife or your hand. Just make sure it cools down already — I am usually too eager and end up with some sort of squash burn..lol!
  • 1 Large Butternut Squash (roasted)
  • 1 Medium Apple (I used a Royal Gala)
  • 1L Veggie Broth (I used Pacific Organic Veggie Broth)
  • 1 Large White Onion
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Bay Leaf (optional)
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • ​Pinch of Cinnamon + Nutmeg (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375′. Cut the squash length-wise in half and scoop out the seeds and flesh. Place both halves (skin side down) on a baking try. Brush the flesh with coconut oil and roast for 50 minutes or until you can easily pierce with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool, then peel off the skin. (You can always pre-roast the squash when you have more time!) Next, chop your large onion and add coconut oil to a large pot. Sauté the onions on medium heat until they are translucent (10 mins or so). Next, chop the apple in to cubes and add to the onion. Pour in the broth (you could use water, chicken stock or homemade broth if desired). Cut the squash in to smaller chunks and add to the pot. Add bay leaf + spices. Turn the stove to low and simmer all ingredients for 30-45 mins. Remove from heat + blend (using a hand blender, or wait until the soup cools and add it to a blender). I love to serve this with a hefty dollop of organic yogurt, a small sprinkling of pumpkin or hemp seeds and a pinch of a high quality sea salt!
Xo
Enjoy!
Pineapple Almond Carrot Muffins

Pineapple Almond Carrot Muffins

Pineapple Almond Carrot Muffins

Pineapple, Almond & Carrot Muffins – a weird combination, I know. But, trust me – they are tasty and arguably quite healthy!

The best part about these muffins is that they are packed with fibre and protein – both which are necessary to keep the blood sugar balanced and keep you feeling full for longer then 15 minutes. I love to eat them with a handsome dollop of nut butter to add some healthy fats.

I hope that you enjoy them as much as we did this morning!

Recipe:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup almonds ground in food processor
  • 1/2 cup fresh pineapple chopped in food processor
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil + extra to grease muffin tray
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 Tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 Tsp baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 cup carrots grated in food processor
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

* If you feel like sweetening these muffins up a bit you can also top them with a crumble made from 2 Tbsp melted coconut oil 2 Tbsp coconut sugar + 2 Tbsp ground almonds – simply heat ingredients in a small saucepan on low, stir and spread over muffin tops.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350′ and grease the muffin tray with coconut oil. Mix the eggs, ground almonds, pineapple and coconut oil and blend (hand blender works best) for 45 seconds or until mixed. Next, in a separate bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients together (not including the carrots or coconut flakes). Mix wet + dry ingredients together and fold in carrots and coconut flakes then add to muffin tray. Bake for 21-23 minutes or until a knife or toothpick can be inserted and removed clean. ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

Beet, Berry & Watermelon Smoothie

Watermelon, Berry & Beet Drink

Beet, Berry & Watermelon Smoothie

Earlier today I was interviewed by a magazine about which nutritional supplements are great for skin, hair and nails. Naturally I  told them that the best source of nutrients for beauty are found in…..you guessed it, whole foods! Mainly plants.

When we eat the full food source we get so much more than just a simple, isolated vitamin. We get the fiber, the water and in most cases, additional phyto (plant) nutrients. Also, in whole foods (fruits + veggies) there are synergistic benefits to eating the whole food vs. only a single part of the food.  Take for example the peels or skins of orchard fruits which provide fibre to aid in digestion and reduce the spike in blood sugar.

This smoothie is most definitely a beautifier for several reasons. It’s got beets that are detoxifying for the liver, watermelon which contains plenty of the skin loving antioxidant Lycopene, plus its jammed packed with fibre-rich strawberries that will help your body to rid itself of toxins.

A healthy, clean – whole foods based diet aside, there are some specific nutritional supplements that can play a beneficial role in helping you to get your glow from the inside out! The two supplements that I often find myself suggesting to clients are: Probiotics and Omega3 fish oil. Here are my top picks for both along with the reasons they may help!

Probiotics: Probiotics help us with our digestive system which is the most important system in the entire body! Ever heard the statement “health begins in the gut”? It certainly is true! If we cant absorb and assimilate the nutrients from our food then we can’t optimize our health let alone our beauty! Similarly if the pipes aren’t working to clear out toxic waste – we’ve got problems! Probiotics help to maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria (flora) along with helping to absorb and make nutrients. Often, with simple dietary changes (i.e cutting processed foods, dairy, sugar & alcohol) and the introduction of probiotics I see improvements in skin in my client’s skin in as little as 2-4 weeks!

I suggest picking out a high quality probiotic because you want to be completely sure that the number of microbes contained within the capsules are actually still active when you ingest them. My favourite brand is Genestra, and if you’re looking for a daily maintenance dosage I usually reco this one (you can find it at most health food stores).

Omega3: Omegas play many vital roles in our health including brain health, eye health, heart & skin health – but unfortunately we do not usually get enough in our day to day diet. Unless you’re chomping back on oily cold water fish like salmon and mackerel you may want to consider a supplement that will help the skin to moisturize itself from the inside out.

I love this one by Genuine Health because it has a high content of the EPA fish oil which helps with inflammation as well as mood. Make sure that you take it with food to avoid those fishy burbs!

Recipe:

– 1 beet, peeled

– 1 cup organic strawberries

– 1 cup watermelon

– 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed (a great source of Omega3s)

– 2 cups of filtered water

BLEND & ENJOY!

xo Michelle

 

 

 

 

Quinoa Salad with corn and black beans

Mexican Quinoa Bean Salad

 

Quinoa Salad Prep

Sometimes simplest is the best. I’ve learned to accept that no matter how good my intentions are to make up and execute a weekly meal plan that sometimes it just doesn’t end up working out for some reason or another. And when life happens and you can’t make it to the grocery store you just need to roll with the punches – right?! Enter my eternal back up plan – The Quinoa Salad. It’s healthy. It’s stupid simple. And, generally you can make it taste pretty darn good with only a few ingredients on hand.

If I am to be honest, I must admit, when I think of Quinoa Salads I think ‘bor-ing’. Truth is that this could not be further from the truth. Just think of all of the endless combinations of ingredients that you can add to this super nutritionally dense little seed…

Yep, that’s right, I just called Quinoa a ‘seed’ – not a grain! These roundish little balls are actually more closely related to beets than they are to wheat. (If you’ve ever been part of my Wellness Challenges you’ll know my opinion on wheat – that is, the less the better).

Perhaps the most surprising and awesome fun fact about protein is that it is a complete protein – a great thing for vegans, vegetarians or those of us (like me) who choose to go easy on the animal products. For those who are unfamiliar, a ‘complete protein’ in a nutshell means that it contains a certain ratio of the amino acids that make up protein. When you’re not eating a lot of animal products it is important to combine different vegetarian sources of protein just to make sure you’re getting enough of each of the amino acids. Quinoa makes things simple by taking away the need to ‘pair’ your proteins.

Recipe:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (cook according to package directions)
  • 1 cup organic corn (frozen will work)
  • 1 can organic black beans (I used Eden Organics – rinse well and drain)
  • 1 handful cilantro or parsley
  • 1/2 – 3/4 large cucumber
  • 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 whole avocado (chopped, add at the end)
  • 1 lime (fresh juice) or 3 drops lime essential oil (I use DoTerra brand – ensure it is food grade!)
  • 1 generous pinch sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tsbp ground cumin
  • Nutritional Yeast to taste (optional – adds cheesy flavour)

Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Mix limejuice (or essential oil), sea salt, cumin and olive oil – set aside. Chop veggies and add raw veggies to the cooked quinoa. Mix in the corn & dressing. Top with avocado (& nutritional yeast if desired). Enjoy!

 

 

 

Peach Kombucha Chia Fresca

Peach Kombucha Chia Fresca

I promise you that this simple and refreshing recipe is much easier to make than the title would lead you to believe! (kombucha – chia – fresca – wha? it almost sounds like a different language!) 

 

Peach Kombucha Chia Fresca

Taking only 10 mins to make, this drink is healthy, tasty and will keep you fueled up for hours thanks to the hearty little chia seeds which makes it great for a picnic, hike or long day lounging by the beach 🙂

Peaches – A member of the ‘stone’ fruit family, these cuties are filled with vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect the cells from harmful UV rays.

 

Fresh Peaches

 

 

Kombucha – An effervescent fermented tea filled with tons of probiotic bacteria which helps with immunity, blood sugar balance and skin health. You can find it in the fridge of a local healthfood store or grocery store (near  the yogurt).

Pekoe Kombucha

Chia – Tiny little seeds that pack a serious nutritional punch including omega3 fatty acids, protein and fibre. These little guys absorb liquid and turn in to a gel inside your body which helps to ensure your digestion and elimination remain on point. The omega fats also help to lubricate the cells leaving you with healthy, glowing skin.

Recipe:

  • 1 cup Kombucha (store bought or homemade – I used Pekoe Kombucha)
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1.5 Tbsp chia sees (white or black will do)
  • Fresh juice of two peaches (you can susbitute for any type of fruit)

Instructions:

Mix the water and kombucha together in a 1 L mason jar then add in the chia seeds. Put the lid on the jar and shake to ensure the chia seeds are broken up. Set aside and allow the seeds to sit in the water for about 10 minutes.

Peel two small peaches (or one large peach) and cut in to chunks. Add the peaches and 3 Tbsp of water to the blender and blend on high. Strain the peaches so the juice remains separate then add to the chia and water/kombucha mixture (note: this is optional, you can add the peach puree as well if you enjoy your drink a little bit thicker).

IMG_6941

Refrigerate and enjoy!

xo Michelle

 

 

Vanilla Chai Latte

Warm Chai Tea Latte Smoothie

Vanilla Chai Latte

Several years ago when I studying to become a teacher I remember learning something that really stuck with me. The class was a mandatory art class that we needed to take in order to learn how to teach art to children. This particular class was unlike our other theory based courses – there were no textbooks, exams or lectures. This class simply involved making art. The exact same art that 8 and 9 year olds would be required to make in a classroom setting. We were required to re-learn the colour wheel, how to draw faces, how to paint and how to make things out of clay….

I can honestly say that this class (alongside the music class) was probably the hardest class that I ever took during my post graduate studies. Learning, critical thinking, essays, memorizing, exams, labs……all easy for me. Being asked to think with the right side of my brain, using my imagination and creating something from nothing…not so much.

Creative

I remember the art teacher saying that adults often think they are ‘no good at art’ because somewhere along the line they stop trying and practicing and they start to care about what others think of their work. Unlike younger, care-free children who rarely have problems using their imagination and proudly displaying their creative work, as we get older we fail to practice our natural creative abilities.

Over the last 10 months, since the birth of Michelle Nutrition, as both a nutritionist and entrepreneur I’ve learned more about myself this year than any other year of my life. After many years of admittedly being ‘no good at art’, I’m finally starting to fall in love with my own type of art – that is, the art of recipe creation.

I’m learning that I am damn good at looking in my kitchen and creating something from nothing – a skill I never knew I had (clearly inherited from Papa Norquay). I am also learning that when I am in the kitchen my stress seems to melt away. I think about nothing. I breath from my belly. I am truly happy. I feel like I am creating.

I’m also learning that I love to teach and share my knowledge. I see these new found realizations as a gift and I am so truly grateful that I get to create in the kitchen and teach you, my loyal readers what I know. As I teach, I also hope to encourage you to use what you have in your kitchen and create your own recipes! I encourage you to try and fail then to try something new. Over and over again. You may be surprised (as I was) that you are, in fact an artist.

Recipe:

  • 2 cups hot chai tea (use 2 chai tea bags, steep for 8 mins and keep hot)
  • 3 medjool dates (remove the pits soak in hot tea for 5-8 minutes)
  • 1/4 cup hemp hearts
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 scoop vegan protein (I love Genuine Health Vanilla Fermented Vegan protein)

Add all ingredients to a blender including the hot tea. Blend and Enjoy!!! (Oh, and if you don’t have an ingredient on hand, improvise and try something new!)

With so much love,

Michy xo

 

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bowl

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Mexican Spaghetti Squash Bowl

One of the many things that I discuss with my clients who are looking to lose some weight is the notion that there are other foods beyond just bread, crackers, rice and pasta that can provide the body with carbs.

I tend not to include a lot of whole grains in meal plans for most of my clients not because whole grains are inherently “bad” per se, but rather because I believe there are several awesome sources of great carbohydrates beyond whole grains that provide the body with a multitude of benefits (enter the spaghetti squash). Also, for many people, every day whole grain products can be extremely inflammatory to the body and may be associated with a slew of unpleasant side effects including bloating, digestive upset and even depression (but that’s a whole other blog post that I will save for another day!).

I will admit that I only began eating spaghetti squash a few years ago. I had heard about it and knew that it could be used in place of pasta but at the time it seemed…well, complicated. I wasn’t sure about the texture or the taste, or even how to go about cooking it so I tabled it for many seasons – a surefire mistake on my end.

Fast-forward a few years and the spaghetti squash has become a trusted staple (and favourite) over here at the Tirmandi household. It’s simple (this is key!) and you can basically dress it up in any way shape or form to suit your taste buds, mood, or whatever you have on hand.

This satisfying recipe is a great one when you’re high on the hunger scale! Also great as a way to use up leftover chicken and whatever veggies you’ve got on hand.

Recipe:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  •  1 tbsp. coconut oil, camelina oil or organic butter
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup shredded chicken (this could be replaced with black beans)
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper
  • Squeeze of lime juice
  • Pinch of cumin
  • 1/2 cup goat mozzarella (or cheese of choice)
  • Additional toppings such as avocado, corn, salsa

Preheat the oven to 350′. Cut the squash in half (as seen in picture), remove seeds with a spoon or fork and add oil or butter to the surface of the squash (face up). Bake for 35-45 minutes and cool. Add lime juice and cumin (sea salt to taste). Using a fork, pry the strands from the squash so they begin to look like noodles. Add all toppings and enjoy!

 

Xo Michy