photo cred Cat Ok, I admit, I may tend to bang on a bit about soup (ok, ok, and pretty much all things in general) but c'mon, soups are soooo righteous.  It just so happens that last night Kods and I had a bowl of my latest creation as an app before dinner.  So fancy are we.  All joking aside though, it filled us up and we didn't snack at all after dinner, which was a first in a long time. Easy Sweet Potato and Leek Soup  3 lbs sweet potato peeled & quartered 1 large leek chopped 2 liters of organic veg stock 2 tbsp ginger minced 5 cloves of garlic minced 1/2 cup hemp hearts dab of coconut oil Himalayan salt & pepper to taste In a large pot saute leek with coconut oil and garlic for 5 mins. Add stock and sweet potato and bring to boil, then simmer for 45 mins. In batches add soup to blender and add ginger, hemp hearts and salt & pepper, if needed. Yields: Enough for the week. P.s. Oh yeah and for those of you with little ones, just add some organic baby cereal to a little bowl of it and you've got their meal covered too.

photo cred Cat For all you stocking stuffers, here's a fun alternative to candy or gimmicky dollar store items for the holidays. Himalayan Salt - Colour tells you everything. If the salt is white - stay away.  If it's sandy, brownish, gray or pink in colour you should be good. It should list the minerals on the packaging. Local Organic Honey - Raw, unpasteurized and preferably within a 100 miles of your house.  Also said to help ease allergies. Cacao Powder - Spelling is everything, it's cAcAo  not cOacO and make sure the spelling is right in the ingredient list.  The real stuff has amazing health benefits, the other, well, not so much. Try Navitas brand. Hemp Hearts - Great protein alternative and fabulous in smoothies and sprinkled on salads. Manitoba Harvest  and Purity are great brands at a great price. Protein Powder - Sun Warrior is a go-to. 'Tis a pricey item but lasts a very long time. Totally worth it. Stevia sweetener - '0' on the glycemic index (GI) but crazy sweet and all natural. Comes in liquid or powder format. Goji Berries - has 5 times the amount of iron found in spinach and a fab addition to smoothies and salads. Try Navitas brand. Avocado / Hemp / Flax / Coconut  Oil - Coconut is a standard everyday oil, withstands high heat and adds great flavour. The other three are amazing alternatives for dressings, salads and anything that doesn't require cooking.

photo cred Cat Here's the deal people. I love pesto, especially our version of it.  I love how easy it is to make, I love how nutritionally dense it is and I love, above all, the taste of it. It's heaven. Here's the other thing. I put it on EVERYTHING.  Rice pasta, stir fry, raw veggies, spaghetti squash, spiralized zucchini and fish. And talking about fish, I don't think I've consumed any fish, without the gorgeous green stuff all over it, in years.  So that takes me to the other day.  I found some fab frozen, wild sole (certified sustainable seafood) at the supermarket.  And guess what I did? Yup, I thawed it, pan fried it with some coconut oil, and then once cooked slathered pesto on it. (trick: no need to cook the pesto - that way all the nutrients stay in tact and is way better for you).  It was delish.  That with some brown rice and avocado.  Unreal people, unreal. It was so good I figured why not bung a serving in the blender (add some more water so the consistency is right) and served it to my 10 month old.  Not a surprise there, she ate it all up.

photo cred 123rf.com You know my ongoing obsession with soup these days... So here's a family classic that I'm going to make today. It's nice and easy and warms your innards (though with the current temperature, you won't really need much warming up, but what the H - E - double hockey sticks). Red Lentil Soup 2 tsp coconut oil 1 1/2 tsp cumin 1/2 tsp ground coriander 1/4 tsp cayenne 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1 sm org. red pepper chopped 2 med org. carrots 900 ml org. chicken stock or org. veg stock 8oz red lentils washed & dry 1/8 tsp himalayan salt In a medium pot heat oil, add: cumin, cinnamon, coriander, cayenne - Stir for 50 seconds. Then add: red pepper, carrots - cook for 5 minutes. Then add: stock, lentils, salt, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Transfer to blender and puree. Yummy-yum-yum.

It's winter. With the season comes a shift in our eating habits. When it's hot and humid lighter, cooling foods are satisfying. Examples of cooling foods are cucumber, watermelon, mint, artichoke, lettuce. As winter rolls in a light summer salad leaves you feeling cold and hungry. That's where warming or grounding foods come into play, foods like nuts, grains and legumes make you feel content and warm. Spices are also handy, ginger, cayenne and turmeric are very healthful and balancing warm foods. Here's the recipe for my current smoothie obsession, it's a bit.... eclectic, so be warned. Warm Up  1 cup wild blueberries 1 handful spinach 1/4+ tsp turmeric powder 1/8" ginger OR 1 tsp grated 1/2 cup nut milk 1 tbsp honey 1 tbsp coconut oil 3 tbsp lemon juice dash of mineral salt  Blend well and check your teeth before leaving the house.