cabbage, carrot and cucumber slaw

I have spoken about this before…inspiration for recipes can come from the most random places sometimes.  This was actually my first time ever making coleslaw of any kind, in my whole entire life!  While strolling the streets in the beaches this weekend, I decided to pop into one of my fav stores…it is called STACK.  While perusing all the kitchen gadgets and home decor items, I spotted this julienne slicer, made by the German company Borner.

Owning their mandolin slicer already, I knew that I needed to have this bad boy!  This product is a real beaut…$ 15, well spent.  Okay, so back to the inspiration.  Basically it came from the photo on the julienne slicer’s box.  It was showing a lovely pile of carrots and cucumber, looking so thinly sliced and fresh.  That’s where the recipe started and then I pretty much winged it from there!

On the way home, I ran into the grocery store and picked up those two items, along with some red cabbage, celery, lemons, limes and fresh dill and parsley.  Not gonna lie, this recipe was a bit of an ‘eyeballer’, so to speak.  Please don’t hate, (as I know this can be somewhat irritating, especially to those ‘Type A’ peeps out there), but that’s usually how I roll in the kitchen!  I didn’t really measure as a was tossing things together.  However, having said that, I will try to be as accurate as I can, when I explain below.

I knew we were going to chef up some homemade Paleo wings and wild boar wrapped sweet potato wedges for dins…so I thought that this would be a delicious side to go along with both of those.  Full recipes for those two dishes coming very soon as well!

Moral of the story: 1 – Don’t over-think your recipes.  Be open to trying new foods, and the creations will come to you (perhaps even from a box).  2 – Spruce up your kitchen with a new tool or gadget.  Makes prepping/cooking more fun and usually acts as a huge time saver too!

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cabbage, carrot and cucumber slaw
  • 1 large english cucumber
  • 3 medium carrots
  • ¼ head of read cabbage (used the julienne slicer with this as well...kinda messy, but still worked well)
  • 1-2 stalks of celery (optional) - I actually forget to throw this in, but am sure it would be great!
  • 1 lemon - juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 lime - juice freshly squeezed and some grated zest as well
  • handful of fresh parsley - finely chopped
  • handful of fresh dill - finely chopped
  • good quality olive oil - add, stir and taste test as you go along (sorry, don't know the exact amount here)
  • dash of sea salt and ground pepper
  1. cut all the veggies using the julienne slicer and mix together in a medium sized bowl
  2. squeeze in the lemon and lime juice, along with some zest
  3. add in the freshly chopped herbs (can choose different ones - cilantro would be yummy too)
  4. drizzle with olive oil
  5. sprinkle with some salt and pepper
  6. mix well to make sure it is all coated in the citrus dressing
  7. allow to cool in the fridge before serving
  8. enjoy!


triple love salad

I was at work, on my break, when I received a text from our friend Stew.  No words…just a pic of his lunch.  I responded with “mmmmm…looks yummy, what is in the salad?”  He replied…”bacon, garlic, tomato, red onion, olive oil, balsamic and salt/pepper.  So good!”  I continued on the conversation, by declaring, “oh my!  you are making me hungry!”  Then the bell rang.  Break time was over.  The afternoon continued on…In the meantime, I honestly couldn’t get the image of this dish out of my head.  What a fab combo of ingredients, I thought.  In there, were 3 of my top 10, all-time fav foods…bacon, avocado and roasted garlic.  Triple love…hence the name.  End of the day came, and I text-ed back once again…”I am fully making a version of your salad tonight!”

Btw…I love it when my friends send me pics of their paleo(ish) meals.  Kinda nerdy you might say…I say nothing short of wicked!  I get so happy when I see people enjoyin’ and lovin’ amazing food!!!  Sooooo…on my way home from work, I decided to make a pit stop at the market near our house to pick up a few of the ingredients I didn’t already have in the kitchen.  I was good to go with most of it…which was a bonus!  I stuck to to most of his recipe, but decided to switch it up a tiny bit, based on things that I needed to use up…plus some leftovers aka…shredded chicken from the night before.  Fully inspired by Stew’s salad, while adding a few things and subtracting a couple…this is the concoction that I came up with.

triple love salad
appetizer, side
  • shredded chicken (leftover from whole cajun chicken the night before. Also see, dutch oven chicken)
  • bacon - cooked and torn into bits (use as much as you desire here)
  • 2 avocado - diced (chunky)
  • ½ red onion - thinly chopped
  • tomato medley - quartered (one container contains various types)
  • roasted garlic cloves - I did these on the same pan as the bacon!
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon and 1 lime - freshly squeezed juice
  • sea salt and ground pepper
  • fresh cilantro - chopped
  1. arrange slices of bacon on a tin foil-covered baking sheet and cook for 25-30 mins at 375 heat – keep an eye on it, as thickness of the bacon can vary cooking time
  2. when cooked, set aside to cool
  3. in the meantime, quarter the tomatoes, thinly chop the red onion, and peel and dice the avocado
  4. put all of these ingredients into a large salad bowl
  5. next, tear up the bacon slices into and shred the chicken into pieces
  6. then, add the protein into the mix
  7. drizzle with lots of olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice
  8. sprinkle with sea salt and group pepper
  9. garnish with freshly chopped cilantro
  10. use tongs to mix thoroughly
  11. plate and enjoy!


  • I omitted using balsamic vinegar, because I left it at work! Lol!!!
  • Instead, I added in freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice (wanted to use them up!)
  • Also, added in some chicken, because I had made a whole chicken the night before.
  • Finally, I added in some fresh cilantro, just because I LOVE it so much!  (I know Stew definitely
  • wouldn’t as he is NOT a cilantro fan!!!)

I totally encourage you to try this one!  It is so fresh, easy and a solid addition to our weekly repetoire… that is forsure!!!  Devour with love…

mango and cucumber salad

Whipping up your own dressing isn’t arduous.  Play with oils, spices, herbs and the fruit juices.  To make it creamier add eggs, coconut milk, mustard or avocado.

Rewind back quite some time now to a wonderful evening when family friends of ours had us all over to their house for dinner.  We found out when we got there, that they thoughtfully prepared a “Paleo themed” meal.  They knew that my husband and I eat this way, so they took the time to read up on it, go out and buy “special” ingredients and from there created an amazing dins that was Paleo-friendly.  I have to say we were extremely touched and appreciative…what a nice gesture!  The dining room table was even decorated with “caveman” accessories…haha!  It was adorable!!!  Regretfully, I didn’t bring along my camera….arghhhhh.  Shocking, I know! ;)  Regardless, the whole experience was very memorable.

I have yet to get the recipes from that evening, but I will look into this.  Inspired by the salad that she made, I decided to go ahead and to try to create something similar.  Without really thinking too much about it, I just tossed various veggies/fruit together and made a homemade dressing to compliment them.  It turned out to be one of those add and taste as you go kinda deals…and the end result was DELICIOUS!!!  The leftovers for my lunch the next day were even better, after being “marinated” in all the juices overnight.  At first glance, you may think the flavours wouldn’t go together, but trust me they are great.  To sum it up in one word— FRESH!!!

mango and cucumber salad
  • 4 small yellow mango- finely diced (small cubes)
  • ½ container spring mix- I used baby romaine leaves
  • ⅓ red onion- finely diced
  • 4 mini cucumbers- shaved with veggie peeler (I love them like that for some reason)
  • ¼-1/2 container alfalfa sprouts
  • sesame seeds to top
  • ground pepper to taste
  • DRESSING (measurements may vary according to taste preference)
  • 2 limes- juice squeezed
  • 1 navel orange- juice squeezed
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard, maple syrup or a couple spoonfuls of mashed up ripe avocado (optional)- helps to offset the tartness of the lime juice
  • sea salt and ground
  1. start by finely chopping the mango and red onion into a seal-able container
  2. add in some spring mix, shaved cucumbers and alfalfa sprouts
  3. in the meantime combine dressing ingredients and whisk thoroughly
  4. pour dressing over salad in container- do this in stages as you don't want too much
  5. then put the lid on and shake!
  6. on a serving plate, make a "bowl" out of lettuce leaves
  7. pour mango salad on top
  8. then, top with sesame seeds and serve
  9. enjoy!
• you may also want to add grilled salmon or tuna to this dish...I bet it would be amazing!

collard greens with bacon

You may have read in my last post that we were away for a few days in Cambridge/Boston, MA, a couple weeks ago. While we were there, we went to this AMAZING restaurant in a neighboring area called Redbones BBQ.  We arrived fairly late in the evening and the place was still packed, line up out the door, which was and still is totally typical of this hopping joint!

I wanted to have a little (well actually a large) taste of a variety of different kinds of ribs, so I ordered the “Barbecue Belt”, which was a combo that included Memphis, Texas and Arkansas ribs along with the Beef Brisket.  The beef brisket was by far my fav, as the meat totally melted in your mouth.  So scrumptious!!!  We passed on the usual side, which was baked beans and cornbread and opted for the collard greens (as recommended by Mat).  Prior to this, I had never really heard of, let alone even tried collard greens.  As I slowly worked my way through the savoury mound of ribs, I finally got to taste them.  They were hidden underneath all the meat, but definitely had rights to stand on their own ~ they were to die for!

After having our dins, I was inspired to come up with a similar, yet recipe of my own for how to prepare collard greens.  So yesterday, I set off and headed to the grocery store to pick up the necessary ingredients.  To be honest, I wasn’t totally certain what I was looking for, but improvised in my head and imagined what would make them taste yummy.  I browsed around a couple local stores and was unable to find collard greens, until I went to The Wholesome Food Market in the Beaches.  I was in luck!  There were 2 bunches left and I was happy to see that they were organic and Ontario grown…BONUS!!! =)  Excited to get started in the kitchen, I headed back home with my bags full of goodies and got cookin’…

collard greens with bacon
  • 1 bunch collard greens- washed and chopped
  • 6-8 slices bacon (optional, but highly recommended!) - could also sub in turkey or ham here
  • 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cups or chicken stock or water- I used Ontario's Own- Pure & Simple Chicken Stock
  • 1 medium yellow onion- diced
  • 3 cloves garlic- crushed
  • fresh ground pepper and sea salt (to taste)
  • a few shakes of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  1. begin by cooking the bacon in a frying pan over low to medium heat (cook to desired crispiness)
  2. when finished cooking, pour bacon grease into a container, keeping approximately 2 tbsp of it in the pan
  3. in addition to this, you can also add in 1-2 tbsp of coconut oil if you wish
  4. chop up the onion and crush the garlic cloves
  5. cook until golden brown in the rendered lard/coconut oil
  6. next pour in the chicken broth or water, which ever you choose and bring to a boil
  7. reduce heat to medium and add in chopped collard greens, and cover (tip- the leaves are quite large, so I washed, then rolled a few together to chop them = "Chiffonade" cutting technique)
  8. cook on this heat, stirring occasionally for approximately 40 minutes, or until completely softened.
  9. add in crushed red pepper flakes, reduce heat to low and cook for another 5-10 minutes
  10. finally, drain out access liquid and add in crumbled slices of bacon
  11. mix together and plate
  12. top with fresh ground pepper and sea salt and garnish with several slices of lemon
  13. enjoy!

“Long a staple of the Southern United States, collard greens, unlike their cousins kale and mustard greens, have a very mild, almost smoky flavor. Although they are available year-round they are at their best from January through April.

While collard greens share the same botanical name as kale they have their own distinctive qualities. Like kale, collards are one of the non-head forming members of the Brassica family along with broccoli and cauliflower. The dark blue-green leaves that are smooth in texture and relatively broad distinguish them from the frilly edged leaves of kale.” To read on, click here. (Taken from WHF website)

chillin' beside their delivery van...waiting in line to get in!

spicy roasted asparagus


Gus who?  A.S.P.A.R.A.G.U.S is his name.  A very nutrient vegetable that is packed full of goodness.  Commonly known for it’s high properties of folic acid, there are also many other PROS to consider when choosing this vegetable as a healthy dish. This is one of my favourite sides to make, that can accompany a variety of mains.  First of all, it is super easy to prepare and cook and secondly, it is absolutely delicious. Oh by the way, it doesn’t take long either, so keep a watchful eye on it while in the oven!  Nobody likes shriveled up veggies (or do they ?), so I tend to cook it a little al dente and then after a few minutes when plated, it is perfect.

When selecting asparagus at the market, I tend to be a little finicky.  It comes down to personal preference, but I hunt for the asparagus that are more narrow in their shape, as I find they are more tasty on the palette; less “bitter” I guess you could say.

Asparagus is:

  • Low in calories, less than 4 calories per spear
  • Contains no fat or cholesterol
  • Very low in sodium
  • A good source of potassium
  • A source of fiber
  • An excellent source of folacin
  • A significant source of thiamine
  • A significant source of vitamin B6
spicy roasted asparagus
side, appetizer
4 +
  • 1-2 bundles asparagus (depending on serving size)
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil (preferred)
  • 2 cloves garlic- crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp chili flakes
  • ½ lemon- squeezed
  • fresh ground pepper and sea salt to taste (optional)
  1. wash asparagus and "snap off" approx. 1-2 inches off ends- discard
  2. lay flat and spread on baking pan
  3. drizzle with olive or coconut oil
  4. add crushed fresh garlic
  5. sprinkle with chili flakes, ground pepper and sea salt
  6. cook in preheated oven at 400 F/200 C for 10-15 minutes, while turning
  7. cover with squeezed lemon juice and serve
  8. enjoy!

strawberry and mango salad


3 minds + 1 grocery store = 1 yummy salad

Recipes don’t always have to be laborious.  Sometimes you just want something quick and easy; a healthy lunch that doesn’t require a lot of prep.  We were out of town this weekend, which can be associated with a lot of eating out.  Before our departure back to Toronto, and after 2 days of frequenting restaurants…we made the call.  Into “Farm Boy” (local market grocery store) we went.  With plenty of healthy options surrounding our entry, we all went our separate ways to seek out our choice items as we strolled the periphery.  With our baskets in hand we met at the cash register, knowing that we would be able to whip up a delicious concoction when back in the kitchen.

It is ironic that at times, things less planned turn out the best.  This was definitely the case!  With a veggie platter on the side and almonds to nibble on while making it, we came up with a light and very satisfying salad.  Although not in season here in Canada, the fruit was so sweet and flavourful.  A happy reminder that it won’t be long before we experience a spring and summer season full of scrumptious fruits and veggies at our fingertips. Don’t be afraid to hit the market or grocery store and just go with the flow.  You may surprise yourself.  We were all so thankful that we took the time to prepare this meal, instead of opting for another meal out.

strawberry and mango salad
main, side salad
  • SALAD:
  • 3 yellow mangoes
  • 1 pint strawberries
  • 2 large avocados
  • 1 box mixed greens
  • 1 whole chicken- shredded (can be cooked or store-bought)
  • handful slivered almonds (optional)
  • 3 parts olive oil
  • 1 part balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp grainy mustard ~ *ISH
  • ½ lemon (juice squeezed)
  1. in a bowl, combine mixed greens and cut up fruit (washed)
  2. on the side, prepare dressing and coat salad
  3. toss together with tongs
  4. plate and top with shredded chicken
  5. enjoy!