Meet Meesh Coles, a Vancouver–based Holistic Nutritionist and Chef. Over the last few weeks she's shared her healthy and accessible recipes to keep us inspired and nourished at home.

Whether you’re looking for something to start your day, an afternoon pick me up, or a dreamy dinner al fresco - we’ve got you! Check out all of Meesh’s recipes and her tips for staying inspired in the kitchen.

 

Photo: Ben Owens

 


 

The Recipes

MORNING CHOCOLATE PUDDING

The perfect plant-based breakfast with protein and healthy fats for inspiration and a radiant glow.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • ½ cup chia seeds

  • 2 cups oat-milk (or any plant-based milk)

  • 1 tbsp cacao powder

  • 1-2 tbsp maple syrup (depending on how sweet you’d like it)

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • ¼ tsp cinnamon


TOPPINGS

  • Fresh berries

  • Banana

  • Hemp hearts

  • Cacao nibs

  • Fresh mint


DIRECTIONS

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender or food processor and blend well for about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Pour into a covered container to store in the fridge overnight (or minimum 5hrs)
  3. If really thick, add a splash of milk and stir well.
  4. Serve with any of the toppings listed
  5. Will keep in the fridge for 5 days



GARLIC–DILL CASHEW DIP

A snack to refresh your day. It is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and full of antioxidants. Need we say more?

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup cashews, soaked overnight or in boiling water for 1hr

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • ¾ cup fresh dill, stems removed

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 tsp lemon zest

  • 1 tbsp tamari

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast

  • ½ cup olive oil


DIRECTIONS

  1. Drain the cashews and rinse very well
  2. Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender or food processor and blend high until smooth
  3. Enjoy with fresh veggies, crackers, or as a dollop in a salad or macro bowl for extra flavour



MEDITERRANEAN PASTA BOWL

The perfect plant-based breakfast with protein and healthy fats for inspiration and a radiant glow.

 

 

INGREDIENTS (2 SERVINGS)

  • 2 cups brown rice spiral pasta

  • 1 cup zucchini, cut into thin quarter pieces (approx. half a zucchini)

  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped

  • 1 cup sundried tomatoes, squeeze/pat some of the oil, roughly chop

  • 2 tsp garlic, minced

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • ½ tsp black pepper

  • ½ cup baby tomatoes, thinly sliced or cut in half

  • Handful of fresh arugula

  • Optional to serve: Truffle oil, hemp hearts, goats cheese


SPICY ARUGULA PESTO

  • 1 tbsp jalapeno, minced

  • 4 tbsp lemon juice

  • 3 cup arugula

  • ½ cup sunflower seeds

  • 2 tsp garlic, minced

  • 1 tbsp tamari

  • ½ tsp red chili flakes

  • 1 tsp black pepper

  • ½ tsp sea salt

  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast


DIRECTIONS

  1. In a food processor or high-speed blender, add all of the Spicy Arugula Pesto ingredients and blend on high. It doesn’t need to be completely creamy; it can still have some crunchy bits in it! Adjust flavour to your liking, more salt, lemon, spice. Once you are happy, set aside.

  2. Bring a medium pot of water and a dash of salt to a boil. Once boiling add your pasta – cook accordingly to what the package says. Usually brown rice pasta takes around 7-10 minutes. If you are using other pasta, follow the packages directions. Once done, drain, toss with a little olive oil (or butter) and place back in the pot and cover (to keep warm).

    While the pasta is cooking, prep your veggies

  3. Add a tbsp of olive oil to a medium sized frying pan on medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, turn down the heat to medium and add your minced garlic, salt and pepper. Using a spatula, stir the garlic in the oil and spices often to not let burn. Cook for about 20-30 seconds.

  4. Add your zucchini triangles, sundried tomatoes and artichokes to the pan. Continue to stir with the other ingredients. Cook for about 5 minutes. Until zucchini looks slightly translucent and flavours are well combined.

  5. Add the brown rice pasta and 3 tbsp of the arugula pesto (or more if you would like) to the pan and stir well with the veggie mix to ensure noodles are completely coated.

  6. Turn off heat and add the baby tomatoes and a handful of fresh arugula. Stir well again to mix all of the ingredients.

  7. Serve into two bowls and if you would like, top with a drizzle of truffle oil, a sprinkle of goats cheese, fresh cracked black pepper and hemp hearts.

 


 

Conversations with Meesh

WC: How can we keep our creativity and inspiration flowing through cooking during these times at home?

M: Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a spice or herb or vegetable (or all three) you have never cooked with before. Search some fun recipes or simply create something on your own. Take time to smell, taste, flavour and get creative with your food. Put your favourite music on, pour something delicious, use your palate and go slow. At the end plate it beautifully and take a photo, plating sometimes can be one of the most gratifying parts.


WC: Are there any online resources you’d recommend we check out?

M: Right now there's a lot of people at home offering for free (or by donation) cooking-related resources. When seeking inspiration for recipes, meal planning or nutrition support, look to your local community or pop on social media to check out what people are up to and offering. Reach out to us with what you are curious about, what you want to create, an ingredient you want to learn to cook with, etc. Feel free to shoot me a DM with any nutrition/cooking questions you have and follow along for some recipe ideas, I'll do my best to support you in getting creative in the kitchen and can happily share a big handful of foodies I love to go to when seeking inspiration.


WC: How can a balanced diet benefit our physical, mental and overall well being?

M: Our brains and GI (gastrointestinal) systems are intimately connected, meaning what we put in our bodies will have an effect on our mental health, as well as our mental health will have an effect on our GI system. Clean eating benefits our digestive system, by producing essential nutrients for our systems to function properly as in feeling energized, motivated, clear thinking, etc. In relation it also affects our mental health; the vagus nerve is the largest nerve in the body and is connected from our guts to our brain. Our guts contain 90% of serotonin receptors in our body, which is a neurotransmitter that contributes to well being and happiness. When we consume something our gut microbiome sends signals to the brain, if we choose to consume healthier this has a direct positive impact on our mental wellbeing.

 


Photos: Miriam Brellenthin, Ana Reyes