Main Dishes

These recipes are suggested meal ideas found on Foodhead Fact Sheets. They are another tool you can use to help you along your health and wellness journey.

2 tsp coconut oil, divided into two equal portions
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable stock
½ cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 butternut squash, chopped in 1 cm cubes
3 leaves kale, chopped into bite sized pieces
2 carrots, chopped into 1/2 cm discs

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a pot, heat 1 tsp coconut oil. Add shallots and garlic. Cook until soft (about 5 minutes).

Add vegetable stock and bring up to a boil. Rinse quinoa and add it to the pot. Return to a boil, reduce heat and  simmer with the lid on until quinoa has absorbed the water has been absorbed (approximately 10 minutes). Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

In a saucepan, heat 1 tsp coconut oil. Add carrots and squash. Sauté over medium heat until tender. Chopping veggies into smaller pieces will reduce cooking time. Add a splash of water to the pan and cover to steam-sauté and speed up cooking time. Add kale and cook another minute or two until it wilts.

Combine all dressing ingredients. Add to vegetables and mix to combine thoroughly.

Serve vegetables on a bed of quinoa.


1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup Japonica (black) rice
½ cup frozen edamame
1 stalk celery
1 carrot
¼ cup scallions
¼ cup red bell pepper
1/4 cup basil leaves


1 tbsp brown rice vinegar
1.5 tbsp tamari*
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 small clove garlic, minced
Pinch cayenne
¼ cup sesame oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp lime juice
1/8 tsp sea salt
¼ tsp maple syrup
¼ cup pumpkin seeds (or other seeds of choice)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro

*Celiacs must ensure tamari is wheat-free

Cook the rice according to directions on package. Leave to cool.

In another pot, bring water to a boil, add edamame and let boil for one or two minutes until tender

When cool, combine the rice and edamame. Add chopped celery, carrot, red pepper, scallions and basil.

Combine all dressing ingredients. Add to rice and vegetables. Toss. Top with pumpkin seeds

Adapted from InspireHealth's Signature LIFE Program menu

2 salmon fillets
2 cups kale
2 cups zucchini
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter or coconut oil

Place fresh or defrosted salmon fillets skin side down on a piece of parchment paper. Add salt and pepper to taste and a dollop of butter or drizzle of olive oil. Close up parchment paper to seal the salmon in so that it can steam in its paper envelope.

Cook at 400˚F for 10-15 minutes depending on thickness of fillets. Check frequently to ensure you do  not overcook.

Place washed and bite-sized piece of kale and sliced zucchini in a pot with enough water to steam-sauté them. When tender and bright in colour, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper and optionally drizzle with Lemon Dijon Dill Dressing.

1 1/2 cups uncooked lentils
1 bay leaf
4 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cups water, vegetable stock, or a combination of both
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
[Optional lemon juice or vinegar]

In a large pot heat the coconut oil and sauté carrots, onion and celery until onions are translucent, five to eight minutes.

Add water/vegetable stock and bay leaf.

Rinse lentils and ensure there are no stones in among them. Add them to the pot and return to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer gently until lentils are cooked, approximately 20 minutes. Cooking time can be shortened if lentils are soaked overnight in the refrigerator. If lentils are soaked, be sure to throw out the soak water and rinse them before putting them in the pot.

Add salt and pepper and any other spices to taste. Add more or less water to achieve desired consistency.

Remove the bay leaf and add a squeeze of lemon juice or a tsp of vinegar just prior to serving.

NOTE: If following the meal suggestions for yeast infection, omit the vinegar.

6 large bell peppers
2 tbsp coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or butter from a grass-fed source
1 yellow onion, chopped
Handful parsley, chopped
4 cloves garlic
1 c whole grain rice (black, brown or wild)
1 tbsp paprika
2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 lb lean organic ground turkey (optional)
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste

Cut off tops of peppers and scoop out seeds. Stand peppers in the bottom of a large pot. Discard stems but chop pepper tops. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions, chopped pepper tops, parsley, and garlic and sauté about 8 minutes being sure not to burn garlic. Ready when onions are translucent. In a large bowl, mix the cooked onion mixture, add rice, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix in half of the tomato sauce and only when cool, add the egg and turkey. Mix thoroughly.

Fill peppers with this mixture. Pour remaining tomato sauce in the pot on and around the peppers. Bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Add water to the pot if sauce begins to cook off too much. Simmer until turkey is cooked and peppers are tender when poked with a fork. Throughout cooking time, use a baster to pull sauce up from bottom of pan and pour over the peppers. Cook time approximately 25 minutes

Adapted from

4 c water
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 c green onion, chopped
1/2 cup organic firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1/4 c seaweed of choice (nori, wakame, etc), cut into bite-sized pieces
2 c leafy greens of your choice (kale, chard, spinach, lettuce, etc), chopped finely
1/2 c miso paste
1/2 c hot water

For this simple soup, place the first six ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce temperature and simmer for 20 mins. In a separate bowl pour hot water over miso paste and whisk together until smooth. Add to soup.

Add the leafy greens near the end of the cooking time to just wilt them.

When reheating this soup do not boil it or the health benefits of the miso will be lost.

2 medium-sized eggplants
salt (for salting the eggplant)
2 cups (lightly packed) kale or Swiss chard
1 cup mushrooms (**NOTE:gout sufferers should omit this ingredient)
2 cups organic tofu, medium
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp rosemary
1 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp basil
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
pinch of red pepper flakes
2-3 cups organic tomato sauce

For the eggplant ‘noodles’, remove skin from eggplant and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices lengthwise. A mandolin is ideal for this. Sprinkle each slice with salt and set aside for 20 to 30 minutes. The salt draws moisture out from the eggplant.

Notes on cooking eggplant: Thinner slices of eggplant result in quicker cooking time, so if you are unable to cut thin slices, increase the overall cooking time, or pre-cook thicker slices by brushing with oil and baking in a 375°F oven on a cookie sheet until almost tender.

For the filling, put tofu, greens, mushrooms, spices and garlic in a food processor and blend until all ingredients are combined and mixture is smooth. If you don’t have a food processor you can use a potato masher or fork to break up the tofu and a knife to chop the greens and mushrooms finely. Then combine these ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand. This will result in the filling being a little more chunky but the recipe will still work.  

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Rinse the eggplant slices after they have had time to ‘sweat’ and remove excess moisture by blotting with a paper towel or tea towel.

In a 9 x 12 pan, spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices on top of the sauce covering it entirely. Spread half of the filling on top of the eggplant covering the noodles completely. Repeat to create another three layers of sauce, eggplant, and filling. If your ingredients allow, end with a layer of eggplant and tomato sauce to simulate a traditional lasagne. 

Cover with an oven safe lid or foil and bake for 20 minutes (longer if noodles were cut into thicker slices). Remove lid/foil and bake another 10 or 20 minutes or until eggplant is tender. Let cool slightly before serving.

1 bunch kale
1-2 tbsp olive oil
pinch salt
2 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp almond butter
1 green onion, chopped
2 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds

Wash kale and tear into bite sized pieces. Discard the stems. In a large bowl, combine kale, oil and salt and massage with hands until all of the kale leaves are coated in oil. Let sit covered for an hour on the counter or as much as overnight covered in the fridge.

To dress the salad combine miso paste, almond butter, and enough water to whisk the ingredients into a pourable consistency. Add to softened kale along with green onion and toss before serving.

Top with pumpkin or sunflower seeds.

7 Brussels sprouts, shredded or chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp handful dried cranberries
Unrefined salt to taste

Heat coconut oil in a pot, add Brussels sprouts and steam-sauté until colour of sprouts brightens, about five minutes.

Add walnuts, cranberries and salt.

This is a recipe adapted from my all-time favourite cookbook, Refresh by Ruth Tal, owner of the Fresh restaurants in Toronto. These are super tasty and if you decide you want to omit the curry powder, any extra dosas you don't eat for dinner can be filled with sweet ingredients instead of savoury for an impromptu dessert. Lemon and honey is a favourite.


1 cup spelt or garbanzo bean (chick pea) flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk or other unsweetened non-dairy milk of choice
3/4 cup filtered water


2 tbsp butter or extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion
4 cloves garlic
1 carrot
1 red pepper
1 tsp dried chili flakes (adjust for desired level of spice)
1 tbsp cumin, ground
1/2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp turmeric
2 cups cooked or canned chick peas
1/2 cup tomato paste

Heat oil in a large saucepan.

Chop up onion, garlic, carrot, and pepper and add to pan. Add spices. Cook over medium to low heat until onions are translucent. Be sure not to burn the garlic.

Mash chick peas and add to the pan. Add tomato paste to pan.

Continue to cook on low until chick peas are heated through. (I add a bit more water so the mixture isn’t so dry.) Set aside, keeping warm on burner or in the oven

Combine all ingredients in one bowl and mix well. Combine all wet ingredients (except for oil) in another bowl and mix well.

Slowly whisk wet ingredients into dry.

Pour 1/4 cup batter at a time in a low the medium headed skillet. Pour in a circular motion with the aim of making as thin a pancake as possible.

When bubbles appear on the surface of the dosa it is time to flip it and cook the other side. Cook for another 30 seconds and remove from heat.

To serve, add chick pea mixture to the centre of one dosa in a row and roll up.

1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 egg (optional but helps keep the patties from falling apart)
2 tins wild salmon
1 potato, cooked, mashed and cooled
1 yam, cooked, mashed and cooled
3 tbsp spelt flour
1/3 cup yellow onion, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, for frying patties

Lightly crush the coriander seeds using a mortar and pestle or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin

Combine all ingredients—except the coconut oil which is for frying—in a large mixing bowl.

Using hands form small 1-inch thick patties.

Heat a little oil in a medium hot skillet. Add cakes and cook a few minutes on each side until crisp and brown. You may want to start with a single patty to gauge temperature, cooking time and amount of oil and then cook the remainder once you've adjusted the heat. Add oil as needed to facilitate cooking.

OPTION: If you like your salmon cakes spicy, add jalapenos or dried chili flakes to reach desired spice level.

Adapted from a cookbook by the amazing chef Vikram Vij. Find the original recipe in Vij's: Elegant and Inspired Indian Cuisine


1 cup Savoy cabbage, chopped
1 cup red cabbage, copped
1 carrot, grated
1 small beet, grated
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp prepared mustard
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste

Toast pumpkin seeds in the oven or in a dry frying pan until they start to brown. Remove and let cool.

In a large salad bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon, garlic, mustard and honey together.

Add the cabbage, carrot, beet, green onion and parsley to that bowl and toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle cooled seeds on top prior to serving.

1 1/2 cups tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in warm water for 1/2 hour or longer)
3 pitted Medjool dates
1/3 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
unrefined sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Cut enough zucchini for two people into ribbons using a mandolin or spirals using a spiralizer tool. Zucchini can be eaten raw or lightly steamed.

Put all other ingredients into a food processor, first discarding soak water from the sun-dried tomatoes. Purée until smooth.

Pour desired amount over zucchini.

One bunch kale
One bunch Swiss chard
1 1/2 cups tomatoes
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (soaked in warm water for 1/2 hour or longer)
3 pitted Medjool dates
1/3 cup basil leaves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp rosemary
unrefined sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Break kale and Swiss chard into bite-sized pieces and steam until just tender.

Put all other ingredients into a food processor, first discarding soak water from the sun-dried tomatoes. Purée until smooth.

Pour desired amount over steamed greens.

Dark leafy greens of choice
Other vegetables of choice (carrots, zucchini, cucumber, sprouts…)
Rice paper wraps

Wash and dry greens.

Cut vegetables into approximately three inch long skinny matchsticks (i.e. celery, carrot, zucchini).

To prepare rice paper wraps, heat water to the point where you can put your hands in it comfortably. Put  water in a pie plate or other dish that is large enough to fit your rice paper discs.

Put one disc at a time in the water and take it out once it starts to soften and handle like a piece of cloth. You’ll notice if you’ve left it too long because it will break easily and be difficult to work with. It is not uncommon to throw the first one away because it was left in the water too long. Depending on the temperature of your water the rice paper may take as little as 15 or 20 seconds to soften.

Shake off excess water, lay rice paper out on the counter, a plate or cutting board, add vegetables and spread of choice. Hummus is a nice addition. Grab the rice paper by an edge and start rolling. Fold the two ends in if you like. After you’ve done one or two you’ll get a hang of the degree of handling the rice paper can withstand.

Experiment by using different vegetables and a variety of spreads and dips

This is a recipe I adapted from Refresh, a cookbook written by Ruth Tal and Jennifer Houston. It is based on the food served at the Fresh restaurants in Toronto. This is the most used, loved and dog-eared cookbook in my collection and is a must buy for vegans and anyone who loves eating a predominantly plant-based diet.

See the NOTES below for recommended adaptations for specific health issues.

1 cup water
1 cup uncooked whole grains of choice (such as millet, pearl barley, amaranth, quinoa, brown rice)
5 tbsp nuts and seeds of choice, coarsely ground
2 tbsp fresh parsley
1/4 cup onion
1/4 cup carrot
3 tbsp beets
1/2 c fresh green vegetable of choice (See Note below)
1 cup firm organic tofu
1 1/2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp flour of choice
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp basil
1 tsp rosemary
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
2 eggs (if making non-vegan version, this is an optional ingredient you can leave out. It assists with binding the patties together)

Cook the grains. If cooking two or more different kinds, cook as per their individual cooking instructions. Smaller grains such as millet and barley can be put in the same pot as their cook times are similar. Let grains cool and put them in a large mixing bowl.

Add finely chopped parsley, onion, carrot, beets and your green of choice to the bowl. 

Grind nuts and seeds in a seed grinder or chop as fine as possible with a knife. Add to bowl.

Mash tofu with a fork until crumbly. Add to bowl. Optionally, you can place most of these ingredients in a food processor and pulse until they are a fine crumble or until desired consistency is reached.

With all ingredients in the bowl, mix thoroughly. Using hands to form patties and fry on medium heat in coconut oil flipping half way through. Cook until a little crispy on both sides. Be careful not to burn them. I often make a small test patty first which helps to gauge the ideal cooking temperature and time.

Optionally, patties can be grilled on a BBQ or broiled in the oven. For those with gout, broiling is preferrable over frying.


Provided eggs agree with you and are permitted on your dietary protocol, add them if you find the patties do not stay together during cooking.

Those with celiac disease should ensure only wheat-free tamari and gluten-free grains are used.

Those with gout may wish to omit the eggs and thyme as they contain purines and can contribute to uric acid production.

Where 1/2 c fresh green veggie is suggested, I suggest asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, or kale, but those with gout may want to avoid asparagus again to cut down on uric acid production.

1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
drizzle extra virgin olive oil
juice of half a lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced
sea salt

Cut cauliflower florets into bite sized pieces and steam in a lidded pot until soft. A fork should go in easily. Drain off the water. Use a potato masher to mash cauliflower.

Add oil, lemon, garlic, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.

15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 egg
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 dash pepper
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp olive oil
4-8 tbsp whole wheat flour

In a large bowl mash chickpeas until smooth. If you have a food processor, blend onion, parsley and garlic until smooth. Stir into mashed chickpeas.

In a bowl combine egg, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon juice, baking powder, and olive oil. Add to chickpea mixture.

Add flour slowly one tablespoon at a time until the mixture is not too sticky and still holds together. Form into balls and flatten.

Put on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet in a 350º oven for 15 minutes checking to ensure they do not burn.

Flip and cook another 10 to 15 minutes until even brown on both sides.

One package tempeh
1 tbsp coconut oil

Cut tempeh into 1/4 inch wide strips and fry in coconut oil at low to medium heat until just starting to brown. Turn over and cook until tempeh is evenly browned on both sides.

1 bunch asparagus
2 or 3 cloves garlic
drizzle olive oil
salt to taste

Lay the asparagus out on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Add minced garlic and salt to taste. Lightly toss the asparagus until coated in oil and garlic.

Cook in a 350º oven for 15 minutes or until fork tender but still crunchy and bright green in colour.

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed    
1/2 onion
1/2 cup fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic
1 egg
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt or to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp baking soda
4-8 tbsp chickpea flour
coconut oil or butter (if frying)

Chop onion, parsley and garlic finely or put in a food processor and pulse. Add chickpeas and pulse until smooth. Optionally, mash the chickpeas and combine with onion, parsley and garlic.

Add remaining ingredients (except chickpea flour and oil/butter) to chickpea mixture and stir to combine.

Add chickpea flour a little at a time until the mixture holds together and is no longer sticky. Using hands form small patties.

Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Cook in a 350º oven until lightly brown (approximately 15 minutes). Turn over and cook until brown on the other side.

COOKING OPTION: fry in a pan with a little coconut oil or butter until they are lightly crisp and brown on both sides.