Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

This protein rich spread is a fun way to start the day.  Spread on toast or crepes.

Hazelnut Chocolate Spread
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  • 1 cup hazelnuts
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 6 Tbsp cocoa
  • 1/3- 1/2 cup water as needed
recipe by STIR Cooking School


Toast hazelnuts on a cookie sheet in a 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool. When cool rub the hazelnuts to remove their skins.

Add nuts to a food processor or blender/Vitamix. Pulse until nuts are very small pieces. Add remaining ingredients, starting with just some of the water. Blend well. Add water as necessary to reach the desired consistency. Scrape down sides or use a tamper to ensure the mixture is well blended.

Eat right away or keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Cashew Avocado Smoothie Bowl

Breakfast Bowls are the new Smoothie and a great way to get to those important morning nutrients in a tasty way…

Here a delicious Breakfast Bowl for you to try out!


Our Nourish Bowls Class features another amazing smoothie bowl as well.

Don’t miss this class on Feb 5th.


Cashew Avocado Smoothie Bowl
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  • ½ cup raw cashews, toasted,soaked overnight
  • 6 Tbsp. Coconut milk
  • ¼ cup avocado, mashed
  • ¼ cup greek yogurt
  • ¾ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ½ small banana, frozen,chopped
  • ¼ cup kale firmly packed
  • toasted coconut flakes, pomegranate seeds for garnish
recipe by STIR Cooking School


In a small food processor blend together drained cashews and coconut milk with a pinch of salt.

In a blender, add the remaining ingredients minus the garnish and blend until smooth,,thick and creamy.

Divide the mixture between 2 bowls and swirl in 2 Tbsp. of the cashew cream.

Garnish with additional cashews, pomegranate seeds and coconut flakes

and enjoy!!



Is the best diet for 2019 no diet at all?

The new year is classically a time when after a few too many sugar plums…

we start dieting.  Unfortunately diets imply going on a diet and going off a diet, which usually means weight loss or positive changes to healthier eating are temporary and often forgotten in a few weeks.

In steps the Intuitive Diet. In a world of keto, low carbs, calorie counting and fasting diets, this may seem to be a radical approach to eating. However, Intuitive Eating is simply listening to your body, and when you are full you stop eating

It seems that we eat for so many other reasons than our body being satisfied that intuitive eating actually helps us get back to the set point (our body’s natural weight) when we actually listen to our bodies vs all the moral dilemmas and emotion around food.

Somehow the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on the diet industry has not translated into us actually losing weight and eating healthier. Obesity is at an all time high with diabetes and heart disease on the rise.

So, maybe we should try removing food from the good/bad equation, kale is good, fries are bad…thin people are good/overweight people are bad…

and simply honour your hunger as a need for nutrition, respect when you are full, respect the health of your body and eat to support that, move your body everyday,

savour food and really taste it, respect your body and treat it well, honour your feelings without food, make peace with food and don’t ban foods as they will become your cravings and most of all…

Reject the diet mentality.


Live a healthy mindful life and include food as part of your body’s daily health and well being!



Squash and Lentil Stew


Here’s is a great recipe for all those yet to be christened Christmas Instant Pots from last year; freeze the extras for an easy dinner on the fly when your schedule gets hectic!

Squash and Lentil Stew
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  • 2 med. shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. ginger, peeled, chopped
  • 1Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 small butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into 1 ½ in. chunks
  • 1 lb. green lentils
  • 6 c. chicken or veg broth
  • 5 cups packed spinach or kale
  • 1 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • sea salt
  • ground pepper
recipe by STIR Cooking School


Put the pot to sauté and cook shallots, ginger in oil for 5 min.

Add coriander and cardamom, cook for 1 min. Add squash, lentils, broth and ¼ tsp. salt.

Cover and lock, set for 12 minutes. Quick release when done.

Stir in spinach, vinegar and ½ tsp. each of salt and pepper.

Serve with crusty warm bread and a salad for a healthy hearty dinner.

Keeping it Healthy for the Holidays!

Enjoy the holidays season even more with these Holiday Survival Suggestions:


1) Give yourself some wiggle room

Eat healthy 80-90% of the time and give yourself permission to enjoy your favourite things once in awhile


2) Keep the Stress at Bay

If you let up on your healthy eating and exercise routine you will feel even more stressed, Schedule in your workouts and food plan ahead for those super busy weeks.


3) Don’t starve yourself and then overdo it!

Eat a little lighter but eat normally on a day when you are going to have a big night out.Focus on the people and conversation rather than the food.


4) Overboard at a Party?

Don’t beat yourself up just try and eat healthy the whole next day and you’ll feel better!


5) Bring your own!

When you are invited to a potluck or appetizer party you can bring a delicious healthier option and you’ll know that you’ll have at least one healthy dish to enjoy!


6) Practice Saying NO

it’s okay to say no thanks when you are offered a dish you don’t want to eat,be polite but assertive!


7) Drink lots of water

If you are having alcohol, alternate with a glass of water. Skip the higher sugar punches and cocktails and have a light beer, a glass of wine or alcohol with soda.


8) Move more

Use parking lots, staircases and malls as an opportunity to put in the steps. Suggest a family walk after a big meal or plan your gathering around an activity like a hike, skate, or X-country ski followed by a steaming bowl of chili or hearty soup.




Sheet Pan Meals

A simple, fast way to feed a crowd!  Discover fun ways to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner on a sheet pan.  Includes Wine Pairings.
  • Sheet Pan Shakshuka
  • Buddha Bowl
  • Jambalaya

Vegetarian (not vegan) option available.

Sheet Pan Meals

Fish in a Bag

Sheetpan Fish Dinner

Fish in a Bag!
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  • • 1 lg. steelhead or salmon fillet
  • • ½ fennel bulb, cored, cut into ¼“ slices
  • • ½ red pepper, sliced in ½” slices
  • • ½ cup, pitted nicoise olives
  • • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • • 1 lemon, ½ sliced in thin half moons , ½ in 4 wedges
  • • 1 Tbsp fennel seeds, toasted, ground
  • • ½ cup dry white wine
  • • salt and pepper to taste
  • • olive oil
recipe by STIR Cooking School


Serves-4 Total time: 30 min.

Slice and prepare vegetables.

Pre-heat oven to 400F. Spread a large sheet of parchment paper onto sheet pan. Sprinkle oil onto foil and rub area for the fish. Place dried fish fillet on oiled area.

Sprinkle the fillet with a bit of oil, rub in dried fennel, top with lemon slices.

Cover with fresh fennel, tomatoes, peppers and olives. Pour wine over and season with salt and pepper.

Wrap the fish up in a tight seal like a gondola boat with the ends looping up [it looks impressive].

Place the fish in oven for 30-35 minutes depending on thickness.

When you plate the fish make sure you spoon on the juices from the foil!

Garnish with fennel fronds and lemon wedges. Serve with rice pilaf and green salad.

Note - If you are making this ahead and leaving in the fridge until cooking, don’t add wine until you are ready to cook.

Fish in a Bag

Sheet Pans and Bowls… Leading edge Cooking Styles

These new styles of dining make Feeding your Family and Entertaining a Breeze…

STIR is excited to share these 2 leading edge methods of cooking with you, low on prep and clean-up and high on flavor and nutrition!

Sheet pans have been around forever, classically great for cookies, maybe some roasted veggies  now and then.Sheet pans now play a significant role in simplified cooking. Imagine cooking your veggies, protein and herbs all on one pan, no fuss, no muss.

In our November class we will be teaching a breakfast, lunch and dinner sheet pan meal focusing on some less traditional recipes that will wow your family and guests and keep you out of the kitchen! There are a few tricks to these delicious pan meals that we are excited to share with you.

Think Shakshuka, Budda Bowls and Jambalaya all done on sheet pans…delicious!

November 6/18, 6-9pm

Remember when entertaining meant a salad, main course, a side and dessert?

Not anymore…when the colder temperatures roll around it’s time for soups, stews and daube’s(thick soup).

At STIR we have always said that we love going to the Bar. Yes we love our cold beer and glass of wine but the Bar we mean is the one featuring a DIY buffet filled with individual topping options.The February class will feature 3 exciting bowl options to serve Bar style, with pairings of course.

The fun twist is the DIY part of these tasty one dish wonders!

We will explore crunchy, spicy, creamy, and other interesting toppings that will allow guests and family to personalize their bowls. Whether you are feeding a vegan, vegetarian or dealing with allergies and food intolerances, Bowl style dining is a must to de-stressing your planning.


Beyond BBQ Basics – Creative Ideas for the Grill

A number of years ago, my oven went up in flames – literally.  We ended up without an oven for a few months and this created the necessity of finding different cooking methods.  Necessity sparked creativity.  It was my daughter’s birthday soon after the oven incident – I ended up making (very successfully) a chocolate cake in the crock pot, mac and cheese and nachos on the BBQ, and more.  I didn’t miss my oven as much as I thought I might.

This summer, as the hot weather sets in even more I find myself more inspired to cook on my BBQ and avoid heating up the house by using my stove or oven.  My taste buds, stimulated by the smokiness of the grill, prompt me to experiment with new recipes and foods to cook on my BBQ.  The BBQ is a great way to introduce flavour into your food and it can give us so much more than burgers.

Here are some of my favourite ways to be creative with the BBQ:

Grilled Tofu Steaks– Marinate a firm tofu in your favourite marinade or a simple combination of soy sauce, olive oil, honey and fresh minced garlic. Grill each side until golden brown.

Polenta – Make a batch of polenta, chill in the refrigerator until set, cut into squares or fun shapes, brush with oil and grill. Top with grilled veggies, as well as a pesto or marinara sauce.

BBQ Stir Fry – Use a combination of vegetables such as onions, peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, or asparagus. Use a simple sauce of soy sauce, oil, ginger, garlic and honey. Cook in a grill wok, stirring often. Toss in spinach when vegetables are tender and cook just until wilted. Serve over rice.

Grilled Veggie Focaccia Sandwich – Grill some peppers, onions, zucchini and eggplant and use as a sandwich filling. Split the Focaccia bread in half and warm on the grill. Brush with a basil pesto mayonnaise, top with grilled veggies and cheese (optional). This is one of my daughter’s favourites; she says she knows summer is near when I make this for the first time – if summer had a flavour, this would be it!

Quesadillas – Too hot to cook in the house? Take your quesadillas outdoors to cook them on the grill. The BBQ gives the tortillas a smoky crunchiness. Cook on a lower heat so as not to burn the tortilla and to give the cheese time to melt.

Grilled Haloumi – Take thick slices of this Greek goat and sheep milk cheese, brush with olive oil and grill until lightly browned on the outside. Serve immediately while still crunchy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside.

Babaganoush – poke some eggplants with a fork, then grill them up until charred and wilted.  Whip up a batch of smoky baba ganoush – our favourite way to enjoy eggplant.

Grilled Fruit – Don’t forget dessert! Take some fruit (fruits high in sugar work best) such as peach halves, pineapple slices or bananas (cut in half lengthwise), brush with a neutral oil such as canola and grill until their sugars begin to caramelize and turn golden on the outside. Alternatively, baste with a mixture of dark rum and demerara sugar while cooking. Serve over a bowl of vanilla ice cream or top with whipped cream.


See recipe for grilled avocado