Hello friends!

I hope you’re all enjoying the beautiful fall weather. I’ve had my head down as I gear up for the launch of Take Root. With a target date of November 1, it is right around the corner!

As I was poking around the World Health Organization (WHO) website recently, I came across something that I had never noticed before. WHO has a Healthy Diet Factsheet, in which it indicates a healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Animal products are not included. And in fact, they are only eluded to in its recommendation to “shift in fat consumption away from saturated fats to unsaturated fats”. Saturated fats are found predominately in animal products. What an amazing endorsement of plant-based eating! I think of it as eating to thrive. I know in North America we are on the verge of major changes to our eating habits and I am thrilled to be part of the movement. Read on for wonderful ways you can join in the fun!

Mark your calendars Londoners…VegFest London is coming right up on November 11 at the Western Fair District from 10 AM to 6 PM. I will give an engaging presentation at 12:45 and would love to see you in the audience, or at my booth anytime. There are a number of other great speakers, some local and some internationally known, plus cooking demos to inspire you. Check out the schedule and bios. And with over 140 vendors (http://www.vegfestlondon.com/vendor-list-2017/) , there will be tons of vegan products and services to experience. Admission is $5 – children 12 and under are free. Come check it out!

More fun things for Londoners to try…Plant Matter Bistro opens tomorrow! It’s focus is on fine dining, crafting “global dishes with local ingredients that are 100% vegan and organic.” It’s located at 244 Dundas St. I can’t wait to experience it.

There are two new kids on the VEGAN MEAL KIT block!

Vegan meal kits are definitely trending and can be a great way to streamline and experiment with plant-based eating. Through kits, we’ve tried and enjoyed meals we would not have otherwise. It’s always fun to crack open the box and explore what’s inside. Check out Plant Prepped and Savor Living.

At the Toronto VegFest last month I attended a great talk by Pamela Fergusson, who is a Toronto-based registered dietician, with a PhD in nutrition. An impressive combination of credentials! She has a warm and practical approach, and is raising four plant-based kids. She recently blogged about her perspective on What the Health. Many of you may have seen it by now. It’s been causing quite a stir. Are the claims accurate? Read what Pamela has to say here.

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Beans are the cornerstone of eating to thrive. When my beautiful sister Marie shared this recipe with me, her comment was “Total yum!” I agreed and added “Totally quick to prepare!”. Only thing is it needs time to simmer. Dial back the chili and/or cayenne if you want.

1 tbsp of oil
3/4 cup diced white onion
3/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/4 cup diced bell pepper (any colour)
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 (15 ounce) or 3 (19 ounce) cans black beans
4 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hickory liquid smoke (optional)
Optional garnish: shredded vegan cheese, chopped green onion, vegan sour cream


1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium/low heat.
2. Add onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and garlic to the oil and simmer slowly for 15 minutes or until the onions are practically clear.
3. Keep the heat low enough that the veggies don’t brown and be careful not to burn the garlic.
4. While you cook the veggies, pour the canned beans into a strainer and rinse them under cold water.
5. Measure 3 cups of the drained and strained beans into a food processor with 1 cup of vegetable stock.
6. Puree on high speed until smooth.
7. When the veggies are ready, pour the pureed beans, the whole beans, the rest of the stock, and every other ingredient in the list (down to liquid smoke), to the pot.
8. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 50 to 60 minutes or until soup has thickened and all the ingredients are tender.