Category Archives: Salads

Healthy Moroccan Style Quinoa Salad

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Quinoa Salad with Apricots and Almonds |

This Moroccan style quinoa salad is a perfect example of how healthy food can be full of taste and flavour, as well as incredibly simple to make.

Quinoa is combined with apricots, almonds, and raisins to make a very tasty salad. The addition of flax oil provides a healthy balance of Omega 3s. Lemon juice and mint round out the yumminess of this salad.

The recipe is inspired by a couscous recipe from a Williams-Sonoma cookbook titled Essentials of Mediterranean Cooking. The book is loaded with delicious recipes from Spain, France, Italy, Greece, The Middle East and North Africa. Such a nice variety. I don’t think the book is available new anymore, but you may be able to find a used copy on amazon or somewhere else. Continue reading

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REVITALIZE – 30 Day Cleanse Program (Guest Post)

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orange goddess juice

A friend of mine, Melissa, is launching an awesome 30 Day Cleanse program for the month of November and I thought everyone should know about it. If you are ready to make a major shift towards a healthier lifestyle, her program could be just the thing for you.

Have you ever looked at someone radiant with health and fit as hell while the voice in the back of your mind said “why isn’t that me?”

Have you felt bloated? Struggled to lose those extra pounds?  Embarrassed about those unpredictable breakouts? Un-motivated to get back to taking care of yourself but crave change at the same time.

I have. But things have changed over the last few years that allow me to be here today feeling excited about my life, feeling healthy, and needing to spread the love all around. Continue reading

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Protein Packed Grain Salad

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Grain Salad

I’m back! Back from my 2 week vacation (1 week in England and 1 week in Italy) I ate some amazing food, some of it healthy, and some not so. I will share some photos form my trip in an upcoming post.

Eating cherries from the tree growing on the property where we were staying was absolutely incredible. Hands down the best cherries I have ever had. Waking up every morning and picking a lemon right off one of the three lemon trees right outside the kitchen for my lemon water was something I am going to miss dearly. Now I need to think about paying 1$ for 3 lemons at the market here.

I am glad to be back home and excited to get back to creating new and delicious recipes in my kitchen, ( the reason I started Health is Happiness in the first place.)

Before I share any new creations, here is a protein packed grain salad that I made a few times while working on the 30 day challenge. It is quick to make and incredibly delicious. Continue reading


Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes, Salads

Marinated Artichoke & Spelt Salad

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marinated artichoke and spelt salad

 This salad was something I whipped up in a hurry one night a couple weeks ago.  I was actually going out for dinner that night but was so hungry that I had to eat something before going out.  I just couldn’t wait.  Do you know the feeling? There was no way I was wating another hour or 2 before eating anything.  I pretty much just used what was available to me and it turned out great.  Good enough to make again!

My friend had come over for a glass of wine before dinner  and I had some spelt already cooked in the fridge.  Have you ever tried spelt? It is an ancient grain, which means it hasn’t been modified.  It has about 30% more protein than whole wheat and also contains less gluten then wheat.

I just jazzed it up with some fresh flavours, a jar of marinated artichokes, and boom! An awesome spelt salad that is great for lunch or dinner.  Cooking things like spelt, quinoa or rice ahead of time and keeping them in the fridge ready for when you need to put together a meal in a hurry is a great idea.  Cooking spelt takes about 40 minutes to cook, but virtually no time or effort on your part.  You just need to think of it while you are hanging out at home. Easy enough.  Simply rinse and bring boil in a pot with lots of water. Continue reading


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Shaved Fennel, Pear, Arugula, & Walnut Salad

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As some of you may know, I have never been a huge fan of salad. Over the years I have come to appreciate a variety of salads and more since changing my diet to a more whole food, plant based one. However, I still am not someone who eats a big salad everyday, but I have decided I should eat more of them. They are so easy to make, and if made with a little thought and love, so really good.

This is the first time I have eaten raw fennel. Not something I ever thought of doing, because I imagined the taste would be too strong. I am sure that many of you who have never tried it might be thinking the same thing right now. “Raw fennel? Really? Are you sure Kieran?” YES, YES, and YES! Don’t worry about it. It’s delicious, and not the overpowering taste I expected. Continue reading

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Roasted Beet, Black Rice & Walnut Salad Recipe

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Although “black rice” is just that when it is raw, it actually changes to a dark purple colour when cooked. Black rice is an incredibly nutritious little grain. So nutritious that it is being called a “superfood” these days. A word that seems to be getting thrown around a lot. Superfood or not, all I care about is that black rice tastes really good, and is really god for you. It is pretty cool looking too.

Black rice, originally from China, used to be called “forbidden rice”. ” In ancient China, nobles commandeered every grain of a variety of black rice known as “Forbidden Rice” for themselves and forbade the common people from eating it.

Learn more:

First time I bought some black rice was at the healthy food expo here in Montreal in March. The first time I used it I made this black rice, kale, chickpea and cashew salad. Which was absolutely delicious. I hadn’t bought any more black rice since then, because it isn’t the easiest grain to find and can be quite expensive at some places. Continue reading

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Spelt & Garbanzo Salad with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts and Fresh Herbs

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays.  I am currently writing on my laptop lying next to the fireplace, and the Christmas tree, at my parents house, listening to a Christmas jazz album.  My mother is busy preparing food in the kitchen.  She just made stuffing and cranberry sauce.  We just finished speaking to my family in England via Skype, something we have been doing for a few years now.

Everybody has their own routine at Christmas.  Different family traditions that make Christmas.   This year for Christmas day, it is just my parents and me. Traditions change over the years.  New traditions are made.  You have to go with the flow.  Do I miss Christmas the way I remember it from childhood ?  Of course I do, but I am appreciating the day with my parents.

Since I never spent Christmas in Montreal growing up I never saw any friends on Christmas.  I was always at my grandmother’s house in Magog.  This year I am going to start a new Christmas tradition by going to visit a few of my close friends and their families who live nearby.

This spelt salad was part of last night’s Christmas eve dinner, celebrated with family, and is probably what I am going to have for lunch.  It is great as a side dish or as a meal on its own.  The bulk of the nutrition coming form the spelt and the garbanzo beans, or chickpeas as most of us call them. The salad also contains roasted pine nuts, fresh mint, basil and parsley, sun-dried tomatoes and cherry tomatoes.  Seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.  The proportions can be adjusted to your taste.  I have given approximate proportions for the different ingredients, but feel free to do what feels and tastes good to you.

Unfortunately, spelt is not a common grain/ingredient in most of our kitchens.  It isn’t something I had ever used or even heard of before I started to shift to a more whole food diet.  I think both my mother and father were a little skeptical when I said I was going to make a spelt salad as part of the Christmas eve dinner.  My dad is British and loves his potatoes, but he agreed to let me make it.  “Don’t worry Dad, we will have roast potatoes tonight”.  The dish actually looks very Christmasy because of the red tomatoes and green herbs and zuchinni.

Turns out both my parents loved the spelt salad.  My mom is still raving about it.  When you cook spelt it plumps up and becomes a little kernel of nutty deliciousness.   Great for salads just like this one.  Other grain options are whole wheat berries and kamut.

Did any of you create anything new in the kitchen for Christmas this year?  Would love to hear about them, whether they turned out great or not.

Spelt & Garbanzo Salad with Tomatoes, Pine Nuts and Fresh Herbs

Serves 3 for lunch; 6 as a side dish at dinner


1 cup of spelt, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, about 10-15 tomatoes
1/3 cup pine nuts, roasted
1 small zucchini, cut into a medium dice
handful of fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
handful fresh basil leaves, hand torn
big handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes, cut in half or quarters
1 cup cooked chickpeas, (1/2 540 ml can)
juice of 1/2 lemon, or to taste
3 tablespoons of olive oil, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste



In a medium saucepan, cover the spelt with water and bring to a boil. Cook for 40 minutes or until cooked but still slightly firm.

To roast pine nuts without burning them, preheat the oven to 400F. Lay the pine nuts out on a cookie sheet and roast for 4 minutes.  Set a timer or else you will forget about them and they will burn in a hurry.

Once the spelt is cooked set it aside and let cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the spelt to a large bowl and combine all the rest of the ingredients into the bowl. Mix well.  Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

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Delicious, Easy and Quick Healthy Meal; Lentils Rice & Broccoli

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My intention here was to make a simple dish that is a complete meal.  I stuck to the plan and it was a success.  Although it does require cooking rice, broccoli, and lentils, it is incredibly easy, straightforward, and relatively quick.  So all you do is cook the 3 main ingredients, chop some cilantro, and then dress with olive oil, lemon juice and cumin.

I  decided to add the cumin later to add a little something to the dish to make it a little more flavourful.  I toasted the cumin seeds, and then ground them in a mortar and pestle.  This is the most complicated thing in this recipe however not 100% necessary.  While toasting the cumin seeds and grinding them yourself is nice, you could also use ground cumin.  Skipping the cumin all together is another option if the lemon, olive oil and cilantro does it for you. Continue reading

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Warm Roasted Beet, Beet Green, & Pine Nut Salad Recipe

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Beets are plentiful this time of year, and beets of all colours.  Yellow,orange, red, purple.    Beets with beautiful full and fresh looking greens still attached.

I know a lot of people who claim not to like beets.  Memories of plain boiled beets from childhood are still haunting them.  It wasn’t until a few years ago when a wonderful woman I met introduced me to roasted beets.  I think my favourite beets for roasting are the yellow/orange beets you see in the picture above. Continue reading

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Peach, Cashew, & Baby Spinach Salad Recipe

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Peaches are good, really good.  It’s that simple.  Sadly peach season is pretty much behind us now.  This is a salad I made a few times with the last basket of peaches I bought a couple weeks ago.  If you can still find some in season peaches give it a try.  Otherwise it will have to wait until next year.

This is so good, a real treat. Cashews and peaches.  This salad has the makings of a yummy dessert, but it’s a salad!  Go ahead and indulge.

Peach, Cashew, & Baby Spinach Salad Recipe

Makes a salad for 1 person. Multiply proportions by number of people.

1 big handful of baby spinach
1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped and toasted
1 ripe peach, pitted and cut in slices
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp good quality balsamic vinegar
a pinch of salt and pepper (optional)

Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl. Mix everything around and enjoy.

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