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5-Minute Cinnamon Bun Oatmeal

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Nov 23rd, 2017

5-Minute Cinnamon Bun Oatmeal (Gluten-Free)




1 cup milk of choice (dairy, almond, etc.)

½ cup quick-cooking oats (not instant)

½ small RIPE banana, mashed

1 tbsp chia, hemp or flax seeds

½ tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch sea salt



2 tsp maple syrup

½ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp vanilla-flavored Greek yogurt

3 pecans, chopped


* For gluten-free, make sure you use certified gluten-free oats.

In a small saucepan, heat milk over medium-high heat until just barely simmering. Reduce heat to low. Add oats, banana, chia, cinnamon and salt. Cook and stir for 3 minutes or until oats reach desired consistency. Remove from heat and spoon into a serving bowl.

In a small bowl, combine maple syrup and cinnamon. Mix well. Drizzle maple-cinnamon mixture and yogurt over oatmeal. Top with chopped pecans. Serve hot.


Makes 1 serving

Per serving (made with unsweetened almond milk): 396 calories, 13 g total fat (1.2 g saturated fat), 12 g protein, 62 g carbohydrate (13 g fibre, 19 g sugars), 0 mg cholesterol, 471 mg sodium


YUM: Try coconut sugar or dark brown sugar instead of maple syrup.

YUMMER: Omit the pecans and drizzle warmed almond butter or peanut butter over the oatmeal. Delish!

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Nicaragua Bowl

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Nov 23rd, 2017

Nicaragua Bowl (gluten free)

with Brown Rice, Beans, Eggs & Avocado



3 tsp butter, divided

½ cup diced onions

1½ cups cooked brown rice

½ cup cooked black beans (canned or frozen)

¾ tsp each ground cumin and chili powder

1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

1 tbsp minced fresh cilantro

2 eggs

½ medium avocado, sliced

½ cup salsa (I like it hot!)

¼ cup shredded part-skim old (sharp) cheddar cheese (1 oz/28 g)



In a small, non-stick skillet, heat 1 tsp butter over medium heat. Add onions. Cook and stir until onions are tender, about 3 minutes.

Add rice, beans, cumin and chili powder to onions in skillet. Mix well, until rice and beans are coated with seasonings. Stir in lime juice and 2 tbsp water. Cook and stir for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Transfer mixture to serving bowls, cover and keep warm.

Wipe skillet clean and cook the eggs. Heat remaining 2 tsp butter in skillet over medium heat until it’s foamy. Crack the eggs and gently add them to the skillet. Cook until the whites are set and start to brown a bit around the edges. Slide a spatula under eggs and gently flip. Cook for 30 more seconds.

Remove eggs from skillet and place over rice and bean mixture in each bowl. Arrange sliced avocados beside the eggs, then add a dollop of salsa and a sprinkle of cheese. Serve immediately.


Makes 2 servings

Per serving: 486 calories, 21 g total fat (8 g saturated fat), 19 g protein, 55 g carbohydrate (10.4 g fibre, 5 g sugars), 211 mg cholesterol, 496 mg sodium


YUM: Any egg will do! Scrambled, over easy, sunny-side up or hard-boiled.

YUMMER: Tastes particularly scrumptious when made with guacamole instead of sliced avocado.

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Brussels Sprouts Sliders

BT Toronto | posted Tuesday, Nov 21st, 2017


  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 large sweet or yellow onions, sliced thin
  • Salt to taste
  • 20 large brussels sprouts
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • a dash of liquid smoke (if desired)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 8 ounces tempeh, cut into thin slices
  • 5 teaspoons grainy mustard


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, heat for a minute, then add the onions and a sprinkling of salt. Stir frequently, making sure to stir from the bottom of the pan up, to dislodge any sticking onions. They will begin to yellow and shrink in volume, as they darken from yellow to more of a caramel color, lower the heat. Keep cooking until they are at the desired state. This usually takes between 25 and 35 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Cut the brussels sprouts in half from top to bottom, keeping the two halves close together. If you don’t , you will have to search for a pair that fits well together after they have roasted. Mix together two tablespoons olive oil, tamari, pressed garlic, cumin, cayenne and liquid smoke in a bowl to make the marinade. Taking one complete brussels sprouts pair at a time, dip both halves in the marinade. Remove and let sit cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes, then turn the sprouts and bake 7 more minutes.
  4. Prepare a second parchment lined baking sheet. Pour the marinade into a baking pan and let the tempeh sit in it for 20 minutes, then turn all the pieces and let them marinade another 10 minutes. Remove the tempeh and set them up without touching on the baking sheet. If there is any reserved marinade, brush over the remaining pieces.
  5. Bake at 375 for 12 minutes, gently turn, and bake for 5 minutes more. Cool onions, brussels sprouts and tempeh for assembly.
  6. Take one half of a brussels sprout, smear with mustard, add a piece of tempeh cut to fit the size of the sprout, add some onions (I used a melon baller for this). Take the other half of the brussels sprout and position it so the two spouts are like the buns on a burger, with the cut sides facing each other, and secure with a toothpick.
  7. Warm on a baking pan in a 325 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Courtesy of The New York Times


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Tricks to boost your immune system during flu season

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Oct 30th, 2017

Old Wives’ Tales or Solid Science?  

Your mother probably nagged you as a child than you care to remember: “dress warmly, you don’t want to catch a cold!” and the all too often “if you don’t get enough sleep, you’ll get sick!”.  These may sound like old wives’ tales, but it turns out they are now supported by science!  The common cold virus can reproduce itself more efficiently in the cooler temperature found inside your nose than at core body temperature. (2)  Sleep is imperative to a healthy immune system, and it’s not just about the hours you clock on the pillow; it’s essential to have uninterrupted, quality sleep.  Research demonstrates that immune cells known as T-cells get depressed and inflammatory hormones go up if we are sleep deprived. This combination leads to the greater risk of developing a cold or flu.


A Health Hack for a Hacking Cough

If you’re looking for a home health hack for a nagging cough that works, try this DIY recipe. All you’ll need are some onions, honey, and ginger!


3 onions thinly sliced

1/2 cup honey (preferably Manuka)

2 thumb sized pieces of ginger root



Place sliced onion on a plate. Grate ginger over-top of the onion. Drizzle 1/2 cup honey evenly over the onion and ginger. Place in fridge for 4 hours – enough to allow the honey to extract the active ingredients from the onion and ginger. Pour the syrup into a glass jar with a tight lid in a dark cabinet, or refrigerator, for up to a few weeks.


Adult dose: 1 tablespoon every 4 hours for anyone over the age of 10.


Child dose:  1 teaspoon every 4 hours. Honey is not recommended for children under 1 year old.
Do this before getting shot in the arm… 

You’ve heard it from your doctor, your mother, and anyone who’s had the flu: get the flu shot!  But if you do, make sure to opt for the mercury free form and make certain that you aren’t experiencing an illness at the time.  Recent research thing is that you can enhance the flu shot by pairing it with certain natural remedies.  5.4 million Canadians are taking over the counter alternative remedies to treat cold and flu but are unsure where the evidence lies.


Along with the flu shot or on their own, there is excellent research in natural over the counter health products where some are proven to enhance your natural killer cells (whose job it is to fight viruses and bacteria) and seem to work to ‘alert’ the immune system into better uptake of the flu vaccine.


Good bugs for bad bugs!?

I normally explain to my patients that the hallmark of a true flu is a high fever for several days, major body aches, extreme fatigue, and weakness. It will put even the healthiest of us horizontal for up to a week and can often complicate with a superimposed bacterial infection. The latter is the reason a doctor may choose to prescribe antibiotics even as ‘prophylaxis’ when they think what you have is viral. If you do take antibiotics this season, it is very important to follow up after you have completed the prescription with a few weeks of supplemental probiotics.  But besides this scenario, probiotics are known to boost your immune system by improving your gift health – where 80% of your immune system lives!  Take them daily this season. My recommendation is look for the DDS-1 and HN019 strains and a product that contains 50 billion colony forming units (CFU’s) which also has shelf stability to the end of expiration.


Do D

Living north of 40° latitude – where we all hunker down for a long winter without sun – we get quickly vitamin D deficient.  Check this with your family doctor by asking for a blood test for 25OHD.  You want the result to be between 100-200 ng/ml but most show up far too low leaving them immune compromised. The average person needs about 3,000 IU vit-D daily which should be taken with supplemental a fish oil or fatty meal for best absorption.


Exercise Weakens Immunity!

Exercise and healthy eating are great for your health and general well-being, but did you know that performing vigorous exercise means your immune system takes a dive 30 minutes post-workout!?  To prevent contracting a cold or flu virus during this window while your immune system is temporarily compromised, make sure to wash your hands following your workout – especially if you’re at a public gym (its a cesspool in there!).  I prefer classic soap and water, but if you can’t find soap, hand sanitizer is a good option. And, by the way, wash your hands wherever you are – not just at the gym. Oh ya, and sneeze in your sleeve please! Lastly, to all you pickers – you “nose” who you are – stop it! That is the single best way to introduce a virus or bacteria into your system not to mention spread them around.



  • Valsalva Maneuver
  • Magnesium Bisglycinate 200mg twice daily + B6 100mg once daily
  • Adrenal support (for example: Rhodiola)




No Flu For You Soup

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Oct 30th, 2017

Serves 8-10

1 tblsp extra virgin olive oil

2 lg spanish onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced

1/4 tsp tumeric powder

2 cups shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced

2 lg carrots, thinly sliced

2 pieces astragalus root, either dried or freshly choped into large cubes (roughly 1×1 inch)

8 cups organic mushroom or chicken stock

2 tbsp tamari

2 cups broccoli florets

1/2 cups scallions, diced

1/2 cup chives, diced

1 pack Black bean or Shiritake noodles   

Instructions: Place oil in a soup pot on medium heat and add onions, garlic, ginger, and tumeric powder and sauté for about 5 mins or until translucent. Add mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, astragalus root, choice of stock and an additional 3 cups water. Bring to a full boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the tamari and adjust salt to taste. Let cool for 30mins. Remove the astragalus root pieces. Garnish with scallions and chives and serve while hot.


Miso Chicken Sheet Pan Supper

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Sep 14th, 2017

Serves 4

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Half a 250mL PC Black Label hatcho miso marinade

1 small bunch broccoli, cut into florets

1 cup grape tomatoes

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/8 teaspoon salt

Toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Sliced green onions (optional)

Combine chicken with miso marinade in a zip-lock bag or shallow dish. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes or in the fridge up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Take the chicken out of the marinade let excess marinade drip off. Place chicken on prepared sheet. Bake 20 min. Combine broccoli and tomatoes with oil and salt in a medium bowl. Take pan out of the oven and place broccoli mixture in and around chicken. Bake 12 to 15 min or until chicken is springy when pressed and cooked through and broccoli is gold. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.



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Stovetop Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

BT Toronto | posted Thursday, Sep 14th, 2017

Serves 6

454 PC elbow macaroni (about 4 cups)

2 cups small-chopped cauliflower

1 ½ cups 18% or 35% cream

1 ½ cups grated PC old cheddar

1 ½ cups grated PC mozzarella

¼ cup grated parmesan

3 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)

Boil pasta in a large pot of salted water, cooking it for 1 min less than the package recommends, or until it’s very much al dente. Add cauliflower and stir well. Return to a full boil and boil 30 seconds. Drain.

Return the pot to the stove over medium-low heat. Add the cream then add the cheeses. Stir until the cheese melts into a sauce. Add the pasta and cauliflower back in and stir until the sauce thickens and clings to each noodle. Top with chives and serve right away.


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Oven Roasted Orange Beef Tri-Tip with Shanghainese Sauce

BT Toronto | posted Monday, Aug 28th, 2017

Chef Clinton Zhu of Shanghai brings his home-country influence to Canadian tables. The original recipe was adapted to this version for home kitchens by the Canadian Beef Centre of Excellence.

 Prep: 15 minutes Cook 30 minutes


  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Bottom Sirloin Tri-Tip Oven Roast (about 2 lb/1 kg)
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil, divided
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (about 2 inches), peeled and sliced
  • 10 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 strip orange peel (about 4 inches long)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • Thinly sliced green onion and orange zest for garnish


  1. Combine soy sauce and garlic in resealable plastic bag. Add roast and massage with marinade. Seal bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Remove roast from bag, reserving marinade and sear roast well on both sides; set aside.
  3. Heat remaining oil in large pot and sauté green onions, ginger, star anise and cinnamon for 5 minutes or until fragrant.
  4. Add vinegar to deglaze the pot. Add beef and any juices to pot.
  5. Pour in 1 cup of water, reserved marinade and add orange peel to pot. Bring to a simmer.
  6. Place in a preheated 275°F (140°C) oven; cook uncovered until thermometer reads 140°F (60°C) for medium, about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on thickness of roast.
  7. Remove beef from cooking liquid and place on cutting board.
  8. Bring remaining liquid in pot to boil for about 20 minutes or until reduced to about half.
  9. Whisk together cornstarch and 2 tbsp of water. Whisk into sauce until thickened.
  10. Slice beef. Ladle sauce into shallow bowls and layer meat into sauce.
  11. Sprinkle with green onion and orange zest to serve.
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