Beluga lentil couscous salad

beluga lentil couscous salad


I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to most of you, but I spend a lot of time in grocery stores. Sometimes, multiple times a day (like when a recipe is a total fail and I need to redo it but I’ve run out of ingredients!) Luckily, I truly enjoy the process. But every once in a while, I get bored of shopping at the same few places so I off I go, looking for some new and exciting ingredient to spark my creativity. Last week, while shopping at a bulk food store, I found Beluga Lentils. It was an ah-ha moment. I had never heard of Beluga lentils but their cute little jet-black rounded shape sparked my interest. I also found some spelt couscous and the idea of the Beluga lentil couscous salad was born.

Beluga lentils get their name from their ressemblance to Beluga caviar. According to Merchant Gourmet, these little black gems pack a serious nutritional punch and are loaded with dietary fibre and folates. Unlike green lentils, black lentils such as Beluga possess anthocyanins – the same powerful antioxidant found in dark berries like blueberries and blackberries. These antioxidants are great at preventing damage to cells by free-radicals.

Spelt couscous is also a powerhouse and according to the savy people over at Organic Facts, the health benefits of spelt include its ability to help in regulating the body’s metabolism, aid in the creation of sex hormones, increase circulation, build strong bones, improve the immune system, boost the digestive function, lowering blood sugar, and reducing cholesterol levels in the body.

Now I’m thinking, combining those two powerhouses together and you’ve got yourself some seriously nourishing food.

Because at the end of the day, that’s my goal: to bring you great tasting food that nourish your body so you can thrive both mentally and physically. It is very hard for the mind to function optimally if the body is undernourished but when the body is fed what it craves and needs, the possibilities are limitless.

And that’s where I went to propel you: to your own limitlessness…

And it all starts in your plate.


beluga lentil couscous salad with raw vegetables and liquid gold dressing

But before I share this awesome recipe with you guys, I want to follow up with you on what I wrote in my last post: that I would be sharing with you tips and tricks I’ve learned along my journey as a student of yoga, spiritual scriptures and mindfulness practices, for you to implement in your daily life so you can reach your own goals and potential.

Yes, this blog is not only about getting your belly full of delicious food, but also feeding your inner Self.

So the first tip I want to share with you is this: make a list of 3 tasks and do them daily. No exception.

Now why is that so important? Well I’m sure you’ve read about the importance of goal setting and how successful people are all goal-setters. But too often we get tangled up in really big goals and we get frustrated and easily discouraged because we’re not seeing result as quickly as we would like. Goal setting is important but by getting into the habit of accomplishing 3 daily tasks we set for ourselves, we are taking the necessary small steps to reach that bigger goal without getting discouraged.

It also creates what I like to call the “accomplishment mindset” where you get into the habit of succeeding at meeting your own goals, daily. that mindset is so extremely beneficial for your self-esteem and for reaching your bigger goals down the road.

As you are starting out with your list, pick 3 (and yes, no more then 3) tasks that you know you can achieve in a day, everyday. Don’t start off with unrealistic tasks. Start small, and grow from there.

Let me give you a personal example. A few months back, my life came to a halt and I lost one of the most important, influential and beloved person in my life, my father. Everything became overwhelming and I felt stuck. Luckily, I knew how to get myself out of that funk. I took out my journal and wrote down 3 tasks that I would need to accomplish everyday for the next few weeks. Here were my tasks:

  • take a shower
  • brush my teeth
  • meditate/pray for 10 minutes

I know. Very basic. But I knew I couldn’t do more then the basics. However, I always made a point to accomplish all three tasks, everyday. No exceptions. Slowly but surely, the “accomplishment mindset” set in and I was able to move to more evolved tasks. I still implement the 3 tasks rule everyday because it’s what keeps me motivated, accountable and mindful.

This is just an example of my life but it goes to show you how sometimes, we need to go back to basics in order to move forward with ease again. So calibrate your tasks to where you are in your life right now and where you want to go.

I hope this tip helps you move forward.

And now, unto the recipe!

This salad calls for my Liquid Gold Dressing from a few posts back.

Don’t forget to leave me a comment about this recipe or my 3 task tip.

Beluga lentil couscous salad
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
This salad can easily be put together and can accommodate any raw vegetable combination. Make it as colourful as you fancy.
  • 1/2 Cup dry Beluga Lentils
  • 3 Cups water
  • 1 Cup dry spelt couscous
  • 1 Cup of water
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 6 small radishes
  • 2 medium size carrots
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 serving of Liquid Gold Dressing
  1. Rinse the lentils under cold water.
  2. In a large pot, cover the lentils with 3 cups of water and bring them to a boil.
  3. Reduce the heat and continue to cook them over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the lentil, about 25 minutes of cooking.
  4. In the meantime, bring 1 cup of water to boil in a small pot.
  5. Add the salt and couscous, stir and remove from heat.
  6. Chop up the raw vegetables and fresh parsley and set aside in a salad bowl.
  7. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and add to the vegetables.
  8. Once the Beluga lentils are cooked, drain and add to the salad bowl.
  9. Toss everything together and drizzle the Liquid Gold Dressing.
  10. Enjoy


Liquid Gold Salad Dressing


I know what you guys are thinking… really Elle, Liquid Gold salad dressing, isn’t that a bit of an over exaggeration? It’s just salad dressing after all. Ahhh, but no my friends, it isn’t. This isn’t just some salad dressing and the title doesn’t only come from its golden colour. This is THE salad dressing. The salad dressing that will convert the non-salad-eaters into salad-cravers! Now, I’ll admit that I come from a very biased place: I love salads! Any kind of salads. Even the ones that don’t have a speck of green leaf in them. Chickpea salads, quinoa salads, asian rice salad, I love them all.

But I know not everyone is as excited about eating salad as I am. My husband for example, would never ask me to make salad for dinner. When I did, he’d happily eat it, but in our five years of being together, I had never heard him say: Babe, I’d love to eat a nice salad for dinner! Until now. Yes folks, the other evening, he asked to have a salad for dinner. VICTORY.

I’m pretty sure many of you feel the same about eating salad, or have someone in your family that is neither hot nor cold about salads. Or maybe you have someone that really dislikes salads altogether. Well, after many so-so attempts (you know those salad dressings that are good but don’t knock your socks off), I’ve managed to create this recipe. This one is for you my friends. The end goal: to turn your non-salad-eaters into salad-devourers (is that a word? not sure, but you get the idea!)

This salad dressing has other good things going for it: the two main ingredients are nutrition power houses. So not only do you feel good about eating the actual salad, but the salad dressing (which is usually the caloric/unhealthy downfall to many salads) enhances all those health benefits. And most importantly, for all of you busy folks out there, this salad dressing takes no time at all to make and can go over most any salad. I’ve tried it over lentil salad, brown rice and beet salad and plain mixed green salad. As a busy parent, anything that is quick and easy usually has my vote. If I can toss some leftover vegetables or whole grains or both, in a bowl, drizzle some awesome dressing over it and call it a salad to serve for dinner, that’s a winner in my book. And I promise, it’ll be a winner in your book as well.

So, what are those power house ingredients. The main, and my favourite ingredient for this salad dressing, is apple cider vinegar (ACV).

ACV can be used in endless tasks from washing windows to face toners to cake batter to weight loss and regulating blood sugar. The fermentation process and the “Mother” (cobweb like strands of protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria substance at the bottom of the vinegar bottle) are thought to give vinegar its health benefits. According to Dr. Mercola, vinegar is traditionally made through a long, slow fermentation process, leaving it rich in bioactive components like acetic acid, gallic acid, catechin, epicatechin, caffeic acid, and more, giving it potent antioxidant, antimicrobial, and many other beneficial properties. Stellar ingredient, if you ask me.

The other ingredient is olive oil. Now there is a lot of debate out there on the health benefits of adding fats to your diet and how much of it. Some believe that no fat should be eaten while others believe high fat is the way to go. Peer reviewed scientific articles have been written and published on both sides of the spectrum and if this is a topic that is of interest to you, I encourage you to dig deeper into it. As for me, I’ve personally tested both ends of that spectrum and where I feel my best is somewhere in the higher end middle. Trial and error is the only way you’ll be able to determine what works for YOU.

Now onto the health benefits of olive oil.

What makes olive oil so good for you is it antioxidant content. It also boast a decent amount of vitamin E and K, which doesn’t hurt. The health benefits of olive oil include treatment of colon, breast cancer, diabetes, heart problems, arthritis, high cholesterol. It also aids weight loss, improves metabolism, digestion, and prevents aging. Not bad for an oil…

So yes, not only are you going to feel great about eating this dressing because of all its health benefits, but it’s also amazingly delicious. Aren’t you just craving this recipe now… Wait no more my friends, here it is!

Hope you guys love it. Don’t forget to leave me a comment by clicking on the recipe title on top of the page and leave me a comment at the bottom of the post to let me know what kind of salad you made to go with this dressing.



Liquid Gold Dressing
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 portions
This salad dressing takes no time to make and will soon become a family favourite
  • 1/3 + 2 Tbs Cup apple cider vinegar (use raw, unfiltered, unpasteurized ACV if possible)
  • 1 Cup olive oil (use extra virgin olive oil if possible)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tsp tamari sauce ( i use gluten free tamari sauce)
  • 1/2 dried origano
  1. Place all ingredients in a mason jar and give a good shake.
  2. And voilà!


Sweet & Savoury Coleslaw



Hello beautiful people,

I woke up this morning to the perfect Fall morning. The sun wasn’t up yet (I wake up at 5am), but I could see it starting to pierce through the dark sky, the air was cool and crisp and it was a mere 12°C (53°F). Glorious! I went for a short walk with our puppy and I could tell even he was happy we were done with the crazy heat wave we’ve been having.

I went back inside, poured myself a hot cup of black coffee (I kicked the sugar/creamer addiction a little over a year ago), checked the monitor to see if my baby was still asleep (luckily he was), laced up my running shoes and headed back outside for my morning workout.

Now as much as I love going to the gym and lift really heavy things, the reality is, I just can’t make it there most days. So I go when I can, and take it like a “treat” where I get to work on my favourite muscles…or those I feel need the most stimulation like my shoulders and of course, my booty (I’m no JLo, I can always use more booty!) But going to the gym 4-5 times a week is just not happening yet doesn’t mean I’m giving up on my fitness goals. I just adapt them to my reality. Being adaptable, that’s a lesson I’ve had to learn as a new mom. So maybe I’ll make it to the gym twice a week but in order for me to feel my best, I need to get my body moving at least 6 days a week. And because time is always of the essence, most of my workouts are short, under 30 minutes, and work my entire body and especially my core, which I find is still weak, 13 months after my pregnancy. And I always stretch. I never skimp out on the stretching. Because I know that if I don’t do it, I’ll end up really sore and stiff the next day.

You can say these little morning workouts are my “me” time… A little time to do something good for myself.

So what do my morning workouts look like… Here’s what I did this morning:


  1. 25 air squats
  2. 25 jumping jacks
  3. 50 high knees
  4. 50 butt kicks
  5. 1 minute rope skipping (or you can jog in place)

Circuit: Repeat 3-5 times

  1. 24 walking lunges
  2. 30 toe taps on the patio stairs
  3. 15 push-ups
  4. 30 mountain climbers
  5. 20 yards (60 feet) bear crawl
  6. 20 sit-up to standing

Cool down: stretching

Do not be fooled by the simplicity of the bear crawl. It’s brutal! I had never really done it properly before going to the park with my husband for a workout and he had the brilliant idea for us to try an old football training of his. But that’s for another post… But yes, bear crawl, when done properly, is very hard!

If you’re unsure on how to do any of these exercises, please watch a quick instructional video. Youtube has loads of them like this one for bear crawl. It’s worth the extra minutes so you don’t injure yourself and get the most out of the exercise. Also, know when you are breaking form and take a break. Again, it’s not worth you injuring yourself.

After a workout such as this, you can bet I’m hungry. I’ll usually remain hungry for the following few hours. And there’s no such thing as starving myself. This girl’s gotta eat! Feeding myself highly nutritious meals is so important to me. I spend vary valuable time in the morning to workout, I don’t want all my efforts to go to waste.

This is where a salad like this, comes in handy. I packed this for my lunch, knowing I would be very hungry and need something satisfying, delicious and nutritious. This salad is made of nutrient and protein packed red and green cabbage, hemp hearts, shredded apples and cilantro. The dressing is freshly pressed apple juice and apple cider vinegar. I usually add olive oil to my dressings but this time, I wanted to keep it light and crisp…and I wanted to indulge in a little dessert later on!

This salad also makes the perfect accompaniment to your bean burgers, veggie dogs or open faced sandwiches.

I hope you enjoy it and leave me a comment to let me know if you’ve tried my workout!




Sweet & Savoury Coleslaw
Recipe Type: Salad
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-3 portions
This salad is crunchy and refreshing. I usually like to mix two types of cabbage in my coleslaw but if you have or the other, just add more of the same one. A
  • 3 Cups red cabbage, sliced very thinly (i use a mandoline)
  • 3 Cups green cabbage, sliced very thinly
  • 1/2 Cup hemp hearts
  • 1/2 Cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 Cup apple juice
  • 3 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Using a mandoline, or a sharp knife, thinly slice the cabbage.
  2. Add the sliced cabbage, the hemp hearts and the cilantro in a mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, add the remaining ingredients and whisk together.
  4. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and stir to combine.
  5. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, for the flavours to combine.





Kale Caesar Salad


Hello beautiful people,

For the past few posts, I’ve shared with you my thoughts on compassion. I hope you’ve enjoyed it and I’d love to hear back from you so don’t be shy, scroll on down (after you’ve read this post of course!) and leave a comment… But now, it is time to go back to plant based food and address a very important topic: plant protein!

Now, I know that this topic has been discussed in great length on countless plant based blogs, websites, youtube videos and Instagram accounts yet somehow, the confusion persists, especially in the bodybuilding and fitness industry, although there is some improvement there. If you’ve read my story, you know that this is an industry I’m very found of. But this post is not only aimed at those muscle heads (and I mean that as a compliment as I consider myself one!) but also, and mainly, at those that want to take their fitness to the next level, at those that want to lead an active lifestyle and at those busy families who want to nourish their bodies and fuel their muscles, all the while doing something  positive for their health, the environment and the animals. An all around winning situation if you ask me!

Now let’s get into the thick of things and debunk a few myths along the way…

Let’s start at the beginning. What is protein? According to the National Institutes of Health, protein is a macronutrient (like fat and carbohydrates). It is composed of amino acids, which are organic compounds made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen or sulfur. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and proteins are the building blocks of muscle mass.

It was once believed, by the scientific community (actually, as far back as 1971), that plant protein was incomplete in and of itself. That all plant proteins lacked one or more amino acids and so someone eating only plant based foods, would have an incomplete intake of amino acids which could lead to a plethora of problems. And so “proper food combining” was recommended to those who wanted to adhere to a plant based lifestyle. And this complicated things for a lot of people. It made this lifestyle very labour intensive and unattractive. Those that might have been plant based-curious where easily turned off by the idea of properly combining foods at every meal.

Luckily, that concept has long been debunked! Unfortunately, it still persists… actually made an amazing video on the topic and I would strongly encourage you to watch it here.

So now we know that most plant proteins contain at least the minimum amounts of all 8 amino acid and that our bodies can store amino acids for when we eat plants to that do not contain the magic 8. And so combining certain plant foods together at every meal is not required. Your magnificent body does the work for you. Incredible you are!

Now what? Well now, unto the next myth: protein requirements!

Since the craze of high-protein diets and the incredible lobbying of various meat industries, it is wildly believed that our bodies need an incredible amount of protein to function properly. We’re talking about diets that promote eating anywhere from 150 to 300 grams of protein (depending if you are active or not, man or woman), a day. That is insane! Some diets even go as far as suggesting a protein-fast where you only eat lean meat all day, for a period of time dependent on how much weight you want to loose. I won’t even get into the dangers of such a diet or the havoc it can wreak on your hormones and digestive tract let alone your sanity but it’s actually a very popular diet so this is scary! Diet such as these promote efficient, drastic and quick weight loss due to the power of protein.

Now let’s be real, protein doesn’t have magical powers and your body definitely doesn’t need that much to function, be active and recover from brutal workouts. So how much do you actually need? Of course, the answer is unique to each person but the general guidelines from the American Dietetic Association and Health Canada is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram (1 kg = 2.2 pounds) of body weight per day. So a person who weighs 135 pounds needs 54 grams of protein in a day. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need more as do athletes. For myself, I weight 135 pounds and I know, through trial and error, that my body functions best and I recover faster from my workouts when I eat at least 80 grams of protein, some days even more. And yes, all my protein is plant based and delicious!

Now I know some of you are freaking out on me right now thinking this is way way to low. But think of this: a baby needs the most nutrients and protein as it has the greatest growth curve yet per 100 ml of breastmilk there is 1.3 gram of protein, 4.2 gram of fat and 7 grams of carbs. Food for thought!

Ok so now you know, you don’t need to combine different plant foods at every meal and you know roughly how much protein you need to eat. So what do you eat to hit those protein macros? Check out this chart below by Full Circle Healthcare.

It never ceases to amaze me how complete the plant kingdom is. So whether you choose to eat tofu or not, only unprocessed foods or not, it is very easy to get all the protein you need on a plant based diet.

If you are curious on how much protein you actually do eat, I encourage you to track one or two days in a log like My FitnessPal or Cron-O meter and see how much protein you consume. I’m sure you’ll be surprised!

And now, onto my recipe! I’ve made a kale caesar salad that is loaded with protein from the kale itself, but also from the hemp hearts and the tofu in the dressing.

I hope you enjoy it and let me know how much protein you consume!



Kale Caesar Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 portions
This kale Caesar salad packs a serious protein punch and is loaded with nutrients so your body has all the help it needs to recover from brutal workouts or simply a hectic day of running around! You can sub the kale for collard greens or romaine lettuce or mix a few greens together. This recipe calls for a chill time in the fridge of 15 minutes to soften the kale. If you don’t have time to wait, sprinkle a little salt over the kale, once washed, and massage it for 30 seconds. It will soften. Just taste the salad with the dressing before adding any additional salt.
  • 1 full head of kale
  • 1/4 Cup olive oil
  • 6 oz firm silken tofu
  • 1 garlic glove (I use 2 gloves because we like it really tangy!)
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 medium size dill pickles
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce (vegan)
  • 1/4 Cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 Cup hemp hearts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Remove the ribs from the kale leafs, wash and chop.
  2. Set aside in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add all your remaining ingredients, except the hemp hearts, into a blender or food processor and blend until you get a creamy texture.
  4. Pour the dressing over the kale and combine with a wooden spoon.
  5. Store covered in the fridge for at least 15 minutes so the kale softens.
  6. Top with hemp hearts and some gluten free croutons.