Super quick quinoa salad

Quinoa Salad

This is a great weekday meal that is incredibly satisfying. Plus, enough leftovers for lunch the next day!


1 cup cooked quinoa
1 can chickpeas (or one cup soaked and cooked)
4 green onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic chopped
1/2 cup baby tomatoes, halved (optional if avoiding nightshades)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup diced cucumber
1/4 cup olive oil
1 avocado diced
1/4 cup feta crumbled, optional
3 hard boiled eggs, optional
1-2 lemons juiced (to taste)
salt & pepper to taste


Throw all ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! It’s that easy (and super delicious)!


Ginger miso tofu


This is a great super quick week day meal. Add with a side of greens and roasted veggies and it turns out to be an incredibly satisfying meal!


1 (14-ounce) block extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon white miso
6 tablespoons warm water
3 tablespoons finely grated ginger
Vegetable oil for frying
Scallions and sesame seeds for garnish (optional)


1. Drain and rinse tofu. Cut into pieces.
2. In a small bowl, mix together miso, water, and ginger.
3. Heat a little vegetable oil in a skillet. Fry tofu until golden on both sides. Reduce heat to low.
4. Pour miso mixture over and between tofu slices and cook until sizzling.
5. Just before serving, garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Enjoy 🙂

Refried Beans

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I love refried beans! I have a number of recipes for it but this ones definitely takes the can (haha, get it, like canned beans?!) 🙂

I made these with my pressure cooker but I realized afterward that I could have totally done it with the slow cooker.


1 onion, peeled and halved (if using slow cooker) or chopped (if using stove top)
3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed
1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
5 teaspoons braggs
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, optional
9 cups water
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
freshly squeezed lemon, to taste

Slow Cooker Directions

1. Place the onion, rinsed beans, jalapeno, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin into a slow cooker. Pour in the water and stir to combine. Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed. Note: if more than 1 cup of water has evaporated during cooking, then the temperature is too high.
2. Once the beans have cooked, strain them, and reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a potato masher, adding the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Stovetop Directions

1. Soak beans overnight
2. Add beans, water and all ingredients except for olive oil and lemon juice into pot or pressure cooker and bring to a boil. Lower heat to low-medium and cook for 1-2 hours  or 20-25 minutes (if using pressure cooker), or until beans are soft
3. Drain beans but reserve liquid
4. Add lemon juice and olive oil and mash until chunky creamy consistency. Add reserved bean liquid as required.

I had enough left over to freeze that I will use to make some burritos 🙂

I made these with a side of spanish rice which turned out OK. I’m going to continue to search for a better spanish rice recipe but will post the current one I have soon.

Adapted from

Weekly Menu #1

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Weekly Menu 1

My candida & parasite cleanse also requires that I alternate my grains and proteins on a 3-day rotation. This is kinda hard…. :S BUT what makes life easier is planning all my menus for the week! A couple of people have asked me to post my weekly dinner menus, so here is last week’s!

Monday Black-eyed beans with rye bread, avocado and steamed kale

Tuesday Tandoori tofu with quinoa, grilled zucchini and steamed collard greens

Wednesday Cholay, brown rice and steamed kale

Thursday Butternut squash soup with bean burgersoat bread, guacamole and spinach

Friday Yellow moong dal with quinoa and steamed chard

I give myself a break on the weekends and either eat frozen meals that I have in the fridge or I go to my Mom’s house for dinner 😛 Let me know if this is helpful and I can continue to post my weekly menus! Have a happygut week 🙂

Cholay (Chickpea curry)

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Cholay have to be one of my fave Indo-Pak dishes and is definitely one of my go to quick and tasty meals. Serve with either wheat-free roti or you choice of grain with a side of greens.

Serves 2-3


1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked overnight
1 tbsp grapeseed oil
1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tomato (optional – I don’t like to use them often because I try to stay away from the nightshades)
2 small chilli pepper, cut in half (use less if you like mild)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 cumin powder
1.5 coriander powder
1.5 garam masala
1 tsp chaat masala
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
fresh cilantro to garnish (optional)


1. Saute onions over medium heat in skillet
2. Add ginger and garlic when onions START to brown and saute for 1-2 minutes
3. Add all spices, chilli pepper, and tomato (if using) and mix
4. Add chickpeas, 2 cups of water and bring to  a boil
5. Cover and let cook for about 20-25 minutes over low-medium heat (or less if you are using a pressure cooker) or until chickpeas are soft, adding more water if needed
6. Remove from heat, mix in lemon juice and add cilantro, if using
7. Serve with your favourite type of grain or my buckwheat roti.


Zucchini Garlic Soup

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This one is definitely a keeper! I am trying to do at least one new recipe a week, and this week’s was a hit! Minimal ingredients, super easy to make and sooooooo yummer in my tummers!

Serves 3-4 people


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, sliced
8 to 9 large cloves garlic, sliced thinly
4 medium zucchini, about 1 1/2 pounds
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
Salt and pepper


1. Melt oil in a heavy 4-quart pot over medium heat.
2. Add the sliced garlic and onions and cook on medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent. Keep the heat low enough that the garlic doesn’t brown; you want everything to sweat.
3. When the onions are soft, add the zucchini and cook until soft. Add the broth and bring to a simmer.
4. Simmer at a low heat for about 45 minutes (or about 20 minutes if you have a pressure cooker).
5. Let cool slightly, then blend with an immersion blender until creamy, or transfer to a standing blender to puree. Be very careful if you use the latter; only fill the blender half full with each batch, and hold the lid down tightly with a towel.
6. Taste and season with ginger, salt and pepper. I found that in needed a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Enjoy the creamy goodness!

Adapted from theKitchn

Juicing with Naaz

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I asked my friend Naaz if she would like to guest blog on happygut, and she agreed – yay! She has gotten into juicing and is crazy bananas about it! It was only fitting then, that she did a juicing blog! (omigoodness, enough with the exclamation marks Kiran!)

Naaz’s love for juicing was one of my main motivations for getting my own juicer (got it for a fraction of the retail price on kijiji! what, what!!!) and I am super excited to start. Naaz outlines a fabulous how-to-start-juicing-guideline.

Now before you read about juicing, I think it’s very important to talk about how awesome Naaz is. My friends, she is a beauty with a heart of gold. She is a dancer, yoga instructor and, o yea, a three time cancer survivor. She is a gracious warrior, if I ever met one 🙂

I could go on forever about my dear friend, but I’ll stop here – after all, this blog is hers and about juicing 😉

My Love Affair With Juice
by Naaz Ali

I wasn’t always in love with juicing – In fact, I wouldn’t even consider us being “in like”. Let’s just say I tolerated juice when I had to, and in return, juice tolerated me right back. I didn’t particularly care for the amount of prep work (oh, the endless chopping), the way it tasted (my taste buds were far too accustomed to sugar), the stomachaches afterwards (I’ll spare you the gory details), and the incessant cleanup. I was on and off the juicing bandwagon for many years. That all changed when, earlier this year, I came across Kris Carr’s “Crazy, Sexy, Diet”, and my relationship with juice was changed forever!

As a 3-time cancer survivor, a yoga teacher, and someone who has become very particular about what goes into her body, Kris Carr’s words leapt off the page and sang to my very soul. One of the things I absolutely loved was how she understood that juicing needed to be taken slowly. As a woman who tends to jump into things headfirst (sometimes with little or no thought given to the subject at hand), this was a concept I knew I had to learn to embrace. I started following her diet slowly, listening to my body as I went. I began a semi-raw, vegan, gluten-free, anti-inflammatory diet with green juice in the morning and a smoothie in the afternoon. As expected, my body experienced some hurdles with the new diet, but knowing it was normal, taking extra supplements and being kind to myself really eased the transition.

After about 6 months of being on the diet, I feel better than I have in years. I have more energy, I lost weight and I feel happier and more grounded. One of the best parts is that I fell in love with my juice! Now I can’t wait to have my green juice in the morning and I switched out my smoothie for even more juice in the afternoon. I’m in love with the color, the smooth texture, and the hint of sweetness and tartness in every sip. The feeling of my cells soaking up all that goodness just can’t be beat. When I’m feeling “off” or tired, I know all I need is a nice big glass of juice and some R&R, and I’m as good as new. Juice has become my soul food and an amazing BFF!

So for you, Happygut readers, I want to share my go-to juice recipes, along with some tips and tricks for happier juicing! If you are just starting out, I recommend the Transition Cocktail. Stay on that for as long as you feel is right for your body. I stayed with the Transition Cocktail for about 4 months before I ventured out into further juicing territory. And above all, enjoy! Juicing is a wonderful gift to your body and your soul.  It may take time for you to adjust to adding juice into your routine, but once you do, it’s just the beginning of a lifelong romance.

Transition Cocktail
1 cucumber
3-4 stalks of celery

Divine Blend
1 cucumber
4 stalks of celery
1 quarter of a lemon (rind and all)
1 apple (I like to experiment with the fruit, try pear, honeydew or pineapple!)
3-4 leaves of kale
1 piece of ginger (start small, you can always add more!)

Orange Crush
6-8 carrots
4 stalks of celery
1 quarter of a lemon
1 apple
1 piece of ginger

Tips and Tricks For Happier Juicing

1) Get a good juicer!

This may seem like a no brainer, but until I bought a high quality juicer, I had no idea that you didn’t have to struggle for your juice! I love my Breville Compact Juicer. It is wonderful, it has a wide mouth, so you don’t have to chop your veggies or fruits, super easy to clean and is on the lower end of the price points for juicers. Some juice purists may disagree that it doesn’t deliver optimum nutrients because it has a centrifugal motor, but in my opinion it does the job I need it to do for the price that is right for me. J

2) Start slow.

I know I have mentioned it before, but it is so important to ease into your new juicing lifestyle. When you feel ready to move beyond the Transition Cocktail, take your time. Add an apple for a few weeks and see how it feels, then add another vegetable. Your body will thank you for this, believe me!

3) Be mindful.

After you make your juice, take it to your favorite spot in your house and drink slowly. Savor every sip and notice how your body takes in your juice. You might actually feel your cells soaking up all the love you’re giving it. This makes for a very happy you, and is a beautiful way to start your day.

4) Be gentle with yourself.

Yes, you might go through some unpleasantness as you begin your juicing journey. The symptoms may vary, but if you’ve been on a bad diet for awhile, are accustomed to sugar of any kind (this includes honey), or have a weak digestive system, then do be prepared for your body to have a bit of a reaction. Diarrhea was not uncommon for me in the first month. The important thing is to listen to your body and stick with it. If you want to lessen the amount of juice you take in the beginning, I say go for it. Do what is right for you and again, your body will thank you!

You can follow Naaz on Twiiter: @naaz_a