Tag Archives: Recipe

Tempea Tempeh Veggie Stew

Locally Made Tempea Tempeh Makes a Tasty Alternative Protein

For those that follow me (and I thank you!), you will know that I am an official BC and Alberta Pork Ambassador and that I cook a lot with pork and other locally-raised meats at home, however, not all my meals include meat, and I love my veggies too. I had heard of tempeh before, but had never cooked with it, or even seen it anywhere for sale until a local Vancouver company, Tempea, started selling it at Farmers’ Markets.

Popsugar has a great article on the difference between tofu and tempeh here; it’s best defined as fermented soybeans and has an almost meaty texture. A lot of those “fake meats” are made with tempeh, you may have run into it at a Chinese restaurant before. I’m always up for some experimenting when I see a new-to-me food.


I am keyed into adding more protein to my meals as I’ve been working on a health plan with a great nutritionist Ashley Freeman, and she’s raised my awareness of the importance of protein in every meal, and it’s resulted in me having way more energy and the pounds are dropping off too! Tempeh is super high in protein and choc full of nutrition, so it fit the bill in many ways!  Another thing I’ve been doing for weight loss is taking I-Remove, a natural supplement from BMI Smart, which binds to  some of the fat that I ingest, and eliminates absorption, also a GREAT help on my journey!


I decide to make a veggie chili with the Tempeh for lunch yesterday, so here’s the recipe or that. Don’t be afraid to add more or less of any of the ingredients, or add some carrots, broccoli, or any other veggies you might have on hand.

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Tempea Tempeh Veggie Chili

1 onion diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 tbps olive oil
2 red pepper chopped
1 package Tempea Tempeh cubed
2 teaspoons soy sauce
14 fl oz crushed tomatoes
19 fl oz canned beans (chickpeas, cannellini, kidney – your choice)
1 cup stock – I used chicken, but veggie is good too
Half a package of spinach or more!
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic for 5 mins, add peppers and saute for 3-4 minutes more, add tempeh and soy sauce, saute for another 5 mins.

Add tomatoes, beans and stock and turn down heat and simmer for 10 mins, add spinach and simmer for another 5 until wilted. Top with some cilantro or parsley and you’re set! I also added sriracha as I like the spice.

tempea tempeh

Cranberry, Pecan, Chia Seeds and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Morning Muffins with those healthy, trendy, Chia Seeds

1 cup white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup chia seeds – Prana has some great ones with probiotics too
150g dried cranberries
3/4 cup pecans – halves or pieces
1 cup chocolate chips
2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g butter, melted
3/4 cup milk

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Line a 12-hole medium muffin pan with paper cases. Get pretty.
  3. Combine flours, sugar, cranberries, pecans, chocolate chips and chia seeds in a bowl. Stir in the dates.
  4. In another bowl, mash the bananas and stir in eggs, butter and milk.
  5. Fold into the flour mixture until just combined.
  6. Divide mixture among muffin pans
  7. Bake for 35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Great for breaky and afternoon snacks.

In The Kitchen with Canadian Lentils

Canadian Lentils with Sausage, Spinach and Veggies

The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses (IYP). Canada is one of the world’s largest pulse producing nations, growing lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. In celebration of IYP, Chef Michael Smith and Canadian Lentils invited Canadian bloggers and foodies to submit a pitch video featuring our own signature lentil recipe, and I threw my recipe and video in the ring.

Canadian Lentils

If I win I will be invited for an all-expenses paid trip to Prince Edward Island (where I’ve been dying to go!). AND in Chef Michael Smith’s test kitchen I’ll get to go behind the scenes and learn trade secrets from Chef Smith himself! Fingers crossed for me people!

Canadian Lentils

I filmed and edited by myself as I had limited time and no one else was around, so hey, what else could I do. Using my new Canon T6i and Windows Movie Maker I cooked up a Lentil, Sausage, Spinach and veggie stew in my favourite All-Clad pans!

Canadian Lentils

The Kitchen – Cassandra Anderton

Canadian Lentil, Spinach and Sausage Stew

3 carrots
3 pieces celery
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pieces bacon
1 cup Canadian green lentils
4 cups chicken stock
6 thyme sprigs plus more to top
1 package spinach
3-4 cooked sausages sliced
Splash of balsamic vinegar and olive oil to top
Salt and Pepper to taste

Roughly chop carrots, celery and onion so they fit into a food processor and chuck in and pulse on and off until finely chopped.
Chop bacon and add to olive oil in a pan and cook on medium high for 5 minutes.
Add veggie mix and cook on medium for another 5 minutes
Boil stock and add lentils, thyme, salt and pepper and cooked veggie mix. Lower to medium and cook for 20 minutes.
Add in spinach and sausage and heat until spinach is wilted and sausages warm. Serve up in bowls with a splash of oil and vinegar and a sprig of thyme.

Canadian Lentils

Canadian Lentilsge0001


Avocado Pasta Sauce with Macaroni, Olives and Tomatoes

Avocado Pasta Sauce

There’s bound to a few leftovers in your fridge from time to time and rather than wasting them, I find the best way to use things up is either soup, or pasta.  We had some post-Thanksgiving ham in the fridge, so I whipped up some Avocados from Mexico Sauce and added in some tasty bits from the pantry (olives and capers) and some tomatoes that were on the verge of demise and we had lunch. There’s still some of our basil on the balcony, but you could used cilantro if you would prefer.  Sauce is also good as a dip or atop fish or chicken.

340 grams (1/2 package) Barilla Macaroni uncooked
Flesh from 2 ripe Avocados from Mexico
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, plus more for serving
1/2 lemon squeezed
5 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in quarters
1/2 cup black olives sliced and pitted
1/8 cup capers
1 cup of Leftover Turkey or Ham cubed
Basil for decor
Grated parm as needed


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  2. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce: In a food processor, combine the garlic and basil lemon juice, oil, avocado and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Add the avocado sauce, tomatoes, olives and capers (turkey or ham if using) and stir until combined and heated.
  4. Top with fresh basil leaves, parm cheese, salt and pepper.

Barilla Pasta Giveaway Cookbooks, Cups, Apron and Salad in a Jar

To celebrate the kids going back to school we’ve got a Barilla Pasta Giveaway and some recipes for salads in a jar for you!

You’ll win Barilla pasta, Barilla branded apron and measuring cups and a David Rocco cookbook! WOO HOO! This is truly my fav pasta as it cooks up perfectly. Stick exactly to the cooking times and you’ll be good to go!

barilla contest

Italian Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

  • 2/3 cups  elbow pasta
  • 1 tablespoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup  fresh mozzarella, diced
  • 1/3 cup  cherry tomatoes
  • leaves of basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon  balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup  cooked ham, julienned 
 Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions; drain. Drizzle with a tiny amount of olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together, then lay it flat on a platter to cool down.

Toss pasta with olive oil, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, and ham; serve in Mason jars.

Farfalle Pasta Salad with Smoked Salmon and Yogurt

    • 2/3 cups  farfalle pasta
    • 1 1/8 teaspoon  extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1/3 cup  cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 2 tablespoons  plain yogurt
    • hardboiled egg, sliced into rounds
    • 1/3 cup  red onion
    • 1/3 cup  smoked salmon

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions; drain. Drizzle with ⅛ teaspoon olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together, and then lay it flat on a platter to cool down. Sauté red onion with remaining olive oil over high heat in a small skillet for 2 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Toss pasta with olive oil, cherry tomatoes, yogurt, eggs, red onion, and smoked salmon. Divide into Mason jars and top each with 10 capers.

Asian Pasta Salad with Seaweed

  • 2/3 cups  orzo pasta
  • 1/8 teaspoon  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2/3 cups  prepared seaweed salad
  • 1/2 cup  edamame
  • 1 tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon  sesame oil
  • large shrimp, cooked

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions; drain. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together, then lay it flat on a platter to cool down.

Toss orzo pasta with olive oil, seaweed salad, edamame, soy sauce, sesame oil, and shrimp; serve in Mason jars.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Chilled Summer Seafood Plate from Chef Dino Renaerts

Summer seafood is abundant, so why not put out a plate at your next gathering. Chef Dino Renaerts, Chef, Sommelier, and owner of The Bon Vivant Hospitality Group LTD & Bon Vivant Catering LTD has this tasty seafood creation for us.

Chilled Summer Seafood Plate

Serves 4
4 oz Dungeness crab meat
8 side stripe shrimp
8 scallops
Avocado From Mexico
2 rib of celery + (1 carrot, ½ onion, 1/2c white wine for court bouillon)
1 small cucumber
½ pint heirloom gem tomatoes
1 mango
1 bunch breakfast radishes
1 Belgium Endive
1 -2 jalapeño
Picked cilantro leaves
1-2 lime / 1 lemon
1 tsp mayo
1tbsp crème fraiche
Olive oil & seasoning

Method: peel celery & cucumber and brunoise, set aside in a bowl, add crab meat, seasoning, zest of ½ lemon, 1 tsp mayo, season lightly and mix, set aside. Heat a court bouillon up and lightly blanch scallops & side stripe shrimp (30 seconds – 1min) let cool and marinate with lime juice, S&P, finely diced jalapeno and cilantro, set aside. Cut Avocado in half, remove pit & place in a food processor with, ½ lime juiced, 1-3 tsp crème fraiche, S&P, & 2-3 leaves of cilantro. Pulse until smooth, and set aside. Peel & cut mango – cutting crosswise across ½ mango to achieve slivers. On a mandolin, slice silhouettes of radishes, & Jalapeno, and cover with ice water.

To Assemble: take a rectangular plate, and 1 tsp of avocado crema – place dollop on one corner of plate and use back of the spoon to smear across the top 1/3 of the plate. Add 1 tbsp of crab salad mixture in a line across the bottom of the smeared avocado. Place marinated side stripe shrimp & scallops artfully arranged around crab salad. Slice endive & gem tomatoes, add to a bowl, add drained radishes & jalapeño, dress with oil & seasoning and garnish plate filling in empty spaces, garnish with mango spears and serve….bon appetite!

About Chef Dino Renaerts

Dino Renaerts

 Dino Renaerts has firmly established himself as one of the west coast’s culinary leaders. Born, raised, educated and trained in Vancouver, Renaerts has built a prolific career spanning over two decades that has seen him cook in a clutch of the city’s finest restaurants. Today, Renaerts applies his talent, passion and vision to his role as partner in The Bon Vivant Consulting Group, serving discerning clientele across the Lower Mainland.

A love of wine inspires Renaerts’s cuisine. In 1999, he was the first chef in Canada to become a Certified Sommelier through the International Sommelier Guild. Renaerts’s expertise in oenology earned him the runner-up Sommelier of the Year award at the Vancouver International Playhouse Wine Festival in 2006 and 2010.

Studies at the Dubrulle French Culinary School and a three-year apprenticeship at the William Tell led to roles at Bishop’s and Le Gavroche. Renaerts cooked for celebrities and royalty at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel and Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and further honed his skills in the award-winning kitchens of Bistro Pastis and West. He later accepted executive chef positions at the Crown Plaza Hotel Georgia and the Metropolitan Hotel, home to the acclaimed Diva restaurant.

Recognition for his distinct, innovative approach to cooking has followed Renaerts throughout his career. He has garnered accolades for numerous regional and international competitions and was named ‘a culinary talent to watch’ by Vancouver and City Food magazines, and the Province newspaper. He has also earned Best Northshore Restaurant since moving across the bridge to West Vancouver.

Devoted to his province and his craft, Renaerts is actively involved in British Columbia’s culinary scene. In 2014, he showcased his talents at several high-profile events, including the David Hawksworth Culinary Adventure at the West Coast Fishing Club for the 8th year, Dish n’ Dazzle, and the Chefs’ Table Society of B.C.’s Curry Cup. Renaerts served first on the board and later as president of the BC Chef’s Association from 2004 to 2009; he continues to be an active board member with the BC Hospitality Foundation.

Global influences have helped fuel Renaerts’s passion for cuisine. He has represented Canada’s culinary excellence in Indonesia and California and has drawn inspiration from visits to Singapore, Hong Kong, San Francisco, New York, the Napa Valley and Portland. Renaerts counts Argentina and France’s Champagne region as his next culinary destinations.

Renaerts’s education in wine led to his most important partnership: his marriage to restaurant-industry veteran, Nessa van Bergen, whom he met during an International Sommelier Guild course at Dubrulle Culinary Arts. Today, Renaerts and van Bergen are partners in The Bon Vivant Consulting Group and have two vibrant little girls who keep life busy and bright.

Avocados and Ice Cream

Once again I’ve been fooling around in the kitchen with Avocados from Mexico and as it’s been a bit hot, I thought I’d chill out with some ice cream.  This recipe is inspired by Alton Brown with a few tweeks. Serve topped with strawberries or blueberries for extra super power!


Avocado Ice Cream


3 medium Avocados From Mexico
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cream

Avocados From Mexico

Peel and pit the avocados and add with the lime juice, milk, and sugar to a blender (I use Vitamix) and puree. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl, add the heavy cream and whisk to combine. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and chill for 5 hours.

Process the mixture in an ice cream maker, but only for 5 to 10 minutes, not the usual length. For soft ice cream, serve immediately. If desired, place in freezer for 3 to 4 hours for firmer texture.

*Please note that I am an Avocados From Mexico Ambassador and am compensated as such, but I’d eat this ice cream even if I weren’t!

Whitewater Cooks with Passion

As an addict of cookbooks, and an owner of many, I was eager to get my hands on the newest Whitewater Cooks with Passion Cookbook, the fourth in the serious. This book is indeed filled with passionate recipes, and just flipping through the pages reignited my own cooking passion. I’ve whipped up many of the easy to follow and extremely tasty recipes.

Shelley Adams, the author, is the owner of Whitewater Ski Resort and the director of the Fresh Tracks Cafe in Nelson. She’s sharing the innovative recipes she’s become known for at the cafe, a collection of multicultural recipes that span from Indonesian Chicken to the all-Canadian Tourtiere with Homemade Ketchup.

From breakfast to dessert the book guides you with  recipes accompanied by gorgeous photos and serving suggestions. You could cook from this book year-round and your family would never have feasted better.

Be sure to try the Tuscan Beef Involtini with Pancetta and Pamigiano. The result was far tastier than the picture reflects!

Breakfast is easy with the Spanish Frittata. Mix up the veggies for endless combinations.

AND you’ll never want to cook with butter again once you’ve tried this olive oil cake! Well maybe not quite, but it’s certainly shows how moist olive oil is to bake with! I can’t wait to dive further into the book. Really need more nights at home!

Luscious Olive oil cake, marsala blood oranges, mascarpone cream

Luscious Olive Oil Cake

(Whitewater Cooks with Passion, 2014) Serves 8


2 cups all purpose flour
1 ¾ cups sugar
1 ½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ cups whole milk
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 ½ tbsp orange zest
¼ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup Grand Marnier or sherry


Preheat oven to 350F

Prepare a 9 inch springform pan with cooking spray on sides and bottom and line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper
Whisk the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder together in a mixing bowl
Whisk together the olive oil, milk, eggs, orange zest, orange juice and Grand Marnier in another bowl
Add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour, until the top is golden brown and skewer comes out clean when inserted
Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and let cool for 30 minutes
Run a knife around the edge of the pan, invert the cake onto the rack, remove pan and let cool completely for 2 hours.

Garnish with any type of edible flowers or kumquats and sliced oranges.


Avocados From Mexico, Why We Love Them, and a Salad Recipe

Avocados are certainly one of the health foods we never have to force ourselves to eat, they are delicious and of course, not just for guacamole. This fruit (yes they’re a fruit and not a vegetable) makes it’s way onto our dining table in everything from salads, to sandwiches, to creamy smoothies, desserts, and of course, is a must for our guacamole.

Avocados are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and good fat. They make are meals more filling, and although they do have a fair amount calories, they are healthy calories and a little avocado goes a long way. Pair it up with some additional protein and hunger will be kept at bay for a while!

We’re going to be showcasing avocado fun in the form of recipes and tips over the next little while as Avocados from Mexico has chosen Good Life Vancouver as an ambassador! We’re super stocked to add more avocados into our life and take our health to the next level.


Today we needed lunch. On hand was some spinach, asparagus, pepper, mushrooms, carrots and, yep, AVOCADOS. It’s easy to get your veg in with just a few things you’ll likely have in the fridge.

4 cups spinach loosely packed spinach
1/2 yellow/orange/red pepper chopped
1 carrot grated
3 mushrooms sliced
4 asparagus spears boiled for 1-2 min in water
1/2 avocado or more!
1 tbs avocado or olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle salt and pepper and pepitas

Toss all into a bowl except avocado, asparagus and egg and toss. Throw onto a plate and once asparagus is cooked arranged over salad, and top with egg and avocado.

Additionally you could add nuts, raisins, and I like to sprinkle my salads with Ra Energy Natural Food Mix in garlic flavour, for extra omegas, calcium and fibre.

Please note that I am the Western Canadian Ambassador for Mexican Avocados and am being compensated to help bring you avocado news. However, we would eat avocados everyday even if we were not paid to do so!

White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

2/3 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups dried cranberries
2/3 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cream butter in Kitchen Aid mixer or with any beaters in medium sized bowl. Add brown sugar and beat and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Combine oats, flour, salt, and baking soda, dried cranberries and white chocolate in other bowl and  stir into butter mixture one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Drop by rounded teaspoons onto a silpat atop cookie sheets.
  4. Bake for 10 to 14 minutes depending on how big you made the cookies,  until golden brown. Cool on wire racks.