• What Does Food Have To Do With Gut Health?

    We've just finished up a heart health series on In My Plant-Based Kitchen and I've had a few requests for a gut health series, so I've started that this week on the channel.

    Anyone who knows me knows that this is one of my FAVOURITE topics! The microbiome is absolutely fascinating, and what we eat has a huge impact on the health of our microbiome. In turn the health of our microbiome determines SO MUCH about our overall state of health!

    In this series we're going to get into the details, and of course I'll share gut health recipes, tips and inspiration along the way.

    In Episode 32 of In My Plant-Based Kitchen (Part 1 of Nutrition For A Healthy Gut series) we are setting the stage. We cover:

    • what is the microbiome, and why is it important
    • why does it matter who is living in our gut?
    • how do we encourage healthy microorganisms to thrive in our gut?
    • what does it MEAN to have a healthy gut?
    • and we made this Sweet Chili Hummus (below) HINT -- this is a great way to add some legume diversity into your diet, which your gut will thank you for!

    Ready to get cooking? Here's the recipe:

    Sweet Chili Hummus
    (makes about 1.5 cups)

    • ½ cup sweet potato (cooked)
    • ½ cup dried red lentils, rinsed
    • ½ cup water
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 clove garlic
    • 1 tsp maple syrup
    • 1-2 tsp ancho chili powder/another chili powder of your choice (or if you have chiles in sauce these are great too -- I used 1 tbsp)
    • ¼ tsp sea salt (or salt alternative), to taste


    1. Combine the red lentils and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once they have boiled turn heat to low and cook just until lentils are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
    2. If necessary cook a sweet potato*
    3. Place garlic clove in food processor and mince.
    4. Place the rest of the ingredients in the food processor and process until everything is smooth and creamy.
    5. Adjust salt/alternative and chili powder to taste.

    *Sweet potatoes make great snacks, and are a wonderful addition to many plant-based dinners, so I love to batch bake a bunch of them all at once, and pre-cooked is ideal for this recipe.

  • A Feast of Antioxidants: Zingy Black Bean Salad

    For the past few weeks of In My Plant-Based Kitchen we've been talking about nutrition and recipes to keep your heart healthy and strong! 

    In episode 31 (part 3) we're talking free radicals, antioxidants, oxidative stress, inflammation, and how they're all related to heart health. Oh, and we make a scrumptious antioxidant (and nutrient)-rich Zingy Black Bean Salad too (recipe below)!

    In this episode we cover:

    • what oxidative stress is, how it is created in your body, and how it contributes to inflammation
    • how free radicals work in your body, and they part they play in oxidative stress
    • how antioxidants are related to oxidative stress
    • how we can keep our bodies in a state of oxidative balance, and why that's important
    • which foods are helpful and harmful when it comes to creating free radicals in your body
    • where you find antioxidants, and ideas for getting more of them into your daily diet
    • and more!

    This is an info-packed session, and I hope you enjoy it!

    Zingy Black Bean Salad

    Serves 4

    • Ingredients
    • 2 handfuls of spinach/mixed greens, roughly chopped if necessary
    • 1 15-ounce can black beans
    • 1 lime, juiced (about 2 tbsp)
    • ½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
    • 2 green onions, white parts thinly sliced, green parts julienned
    • 1 roma tomato, diced small
    • 1 yellow/orange pepper, diced small
    • ½ tsp smoked paprika
    • ½ tsp chili powder
    • ¼ - ½ tsp salt, to taste
    • 1 large avocado, diced


    1. Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly and chop the rest of the ingredients.
    2. In a large bowl add the greens, beans, cilantro, onions, tomato and peppers and toss well.
    3. Add lime juice, smoked paprika, chili powder and salt (or salt alternative). Toss again until well mixed/
    4. Add avocado and serve!

    NOTE: I love to put a bit of tomato, pepper and avocado aside to top the dish to make it look a bit brighter presentation-wise.



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