Ahhh summer. Waking up to the sound of birds chirping, walking around in a t-shirt, watching beautiful sunsets, and spending time in the outdoors. If you’re a foodie like me, summer also sparks excitement over the bright delicious ingredients that this loved season harvests.
It hasn’t always been like this. I mean, I used to gush over summer sangria and spend my time patio hopping. Now I bounce from farmers market to local grocers squealing at the sight of the cutest mini zucchini and freshly picked cherries. Funny how our interests change.
Nutrition has been going strong as a passion of mine now for the last 8 years and there’s no burnout in sight. After years of battling with a dysfunctional relationship around my body, I chose to no longer be held back by misleading thoughts around food. I started researching nutrition and quickly learned that food has the power to work with you and not against it.
I know, shocking! But as a stubborn 21-year-old who only looked at food in one light, ‘eating made you gain weight. Period. End of story.’ This was mind-blowing.
I spent hours researching the healing powers of food and delicious recipes I couldn’t wait to share with my friends and family. A gigantic weight has been lifted off my shoulders and I wanted to run to the top of the mountain (now that I had the energy) and let everyone know this incredible ‘new’ information!
Food can fuel, heal, be enjoyed, be exciting, be delicious, and can support your health and body goals.
Shortly after this epiphany, I enrolled to become a holistic nutrition professional at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. Still to this day, it was one of the happiest times of my life. While in school, I gained further insight into the healing powers of food along with how to take on clients and support them through their food and body journeys. I also learned how to get incredibly creative with my cooking to include a wide variety of ingredients and their benefits.
Bringing all this together, during the summer months, we often find ourselves on the go, which can make cooking and eating “clean” more challenging. This doesn’t have to be the case. I’ve compiled a delicious summer menu that takes very little time to make and is great for potlucks, picnics, lakeside cabin meals, or to simply enjoy on your patio while sipping sangria. Some things never change.
Mediterranean Layer Dip
- 1 container hummus (283g) (or homemade)
- 1/2 cup chopped tomato
- 1/4 cup onion diced
- 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
- 1/2 cup parsley diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 1 can (14oz) chickpeas (rinsed)
- 1 tsp olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400
Lightly toss chickpeas with olive oil and spread on a lined baking sheet. Once oven is heated, bake for 20 minutes or until slightly crispy
In a serving dish, evenly spread hummus
Chop and dice all vegetables listed above and mix together in a mixing bowl
Evenly spread veggies on to hummus
Once chickpeas are cooked, add them on top of the veggies on the layer dip
Serve with crackers, veggie sticks or favorite dipping ingredients
Strawberry Summer Salad
- 1 cup strawberries thinly sliced
- 5 cups Romain lettuce chopped
- 3/4 cup cucumber chopped
- 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 cup red onion diced
- 2/3 cup pumkin seed
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp olive oil
Place olive in a small sauce pan on medium low heat
Add pumpkin seeds to the sauce pan and drizzle honey over seeds. Saute for 5 minutes on low heat tossing to ensure seeds don’t burn
Chop and prepare strawberries, cucumber, red onion, and cherry tomatoes
Once pumpkin seeds are done, assemble all salad ingredients into serving bowls or 1 large bowl
Dress with favorite dressing. We love balsamic and lemon juice!
Zoodle Pesto Pasta
- 3 large zucchini’s spiralized
- 3/4 cup onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic diced
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh basil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp vegan pesto (store bought or homemade (see notes below for recipe))
- 2/3 cup nutritional yeast
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375
Toss cherry tomatoes in 1 tbsp of olive oil and spread on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in frying pan. Add diced garlic and onion. Sauté for 2-3 mins
Add zucchini noodles to pan along with a splash of water. Sauté for 5 minutes
Once tomato’s are baked add to pan along with pesto, fresh basil, and nutritional yeast
Toss pasta on medium heat for 3 minutes
Serve and enjoy. Option to top with pepper and a pinch of salt to taste
Homemade Vegan Pesto:
Sugar Free Vegan Raspberry Cacao Brownies
- 1 cup sprouted oats (blended)
- 1/2 cup raw cacao
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup sugar free chocolate chips (I use Lily’s brand)
- 1/2 cup raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup monk fruit (I use Lakanto)
- 4 tbsp ground flaxseeds
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla nut mylk
Preheat oven to 350
Mix ground flaxseeds in nut mylk
In a large bowl mix blended oats, chocolate chips, baking soda, and salt
In a small sauce pan on medium/low heat add and mix cacao powder, coconut oil, and flax and nut mylk
Once sauce pan ingredients are mixed, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients bowl
Fold in raspberries
Lightly spray your baking sheet with coconut/olive oil
Evenly spread batter into baking dish and place in oven baking for 30 minutes
Allow to cool before enjoying
Becoming a holistic nutrition professional and attending CSNN has given me so many opportunities to support men, women, and children within their health journeys, from leading live events, online workshops, working alongside health and wellness podcasts, and soon to be launching a new food product! I am living my passion every single day.
If you’re interested in studying holistic nutrition, I can’t recommend CSNN enough. In-person and virtual interactive study formats are available at any of the 12 classroom location across Canada. Self-study format via Online Distance Education is also available. For those looking to explore holistic nutrition without fully committing to the full Natural Nutrition Diploma Program, there are a variety of certificates and fun workshops such as the Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Certificate, Holistic Culinary Certificate, and Introduction to Natural Nutrition Certificate. For more information, take a tour of their site here.
I truly wish the kind of passion I have found within nutrition and wellness to each and every one of you. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact of DM me and have a browse of all the delicious recipes I’ve been whipping up recently here.
Thanks for stopping by friends! Have a wonderful rest of your day.