Posts by Darlene

Born and raised in Edmonton, Darlene has had formal training in photography at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. She enjoys weddings, portraits, fine art, and travel photography. With 16 years of experience, her style has evolved from a more formal style, to one that incorporates the popular trend of journalistic style photography. Darlene strives to capture each event, or portrait, as her clients desire, fires and foremost. She is available for events in Edmonton Alberta and the surrounding area, or travel outside Alberta as schedule permits. Darlene has been a member of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) since 1993 and among her awards, Nominated for Canadian Photographer of the Year - March 2008 Generalist Photographer of the Year in Alberta - October 2006 Finalist for Portrait Photographer of the year - Alberta 2003 and 2005 Winner of Best Fine Art Image - PPOC Alberta 2005 Winner of Best Wedding Journalist Image - PPOC Alberta 2003 Winner of Kodak Gallery Award - Wedding, Alberta 2001 Darlene says
Photography is my passion, and the people that enjoy my work make it worthwhile. If someone can relate to something I've photographed, or if I can make someone feel something through my images, then I've achieved my goal
Darlene's Passion For Whole Foods Darlene has a passion for food and creating great vegetable dishes. She will be sharing her whole food recipes and photographs of them with readers of this community. Darlene's mission statement is
to share my artistic talents to inspire people to see beauty and to experience self love and ultimate health.
A new whole food recipe is released each Saturday morning. Subscribe to her posts using the form on this page under her photo to have each recipe sent directly to your inbox.

Recipe: Miso Lemon Tahini Sauce

We are always looking for healthy sauces and dips to make that are both tasty and multi-purpose, as well as being healthy. This Miso Lemon Tahini Sauce fits the bill perfectly. We both love miso and Japanese food in general, so this is a nice addition to our repertoire.

If you haven’t used or bought miso before, you can find it in your local grocery store in the Asian section. Once it is opened you need to refrigerate it, and never, NEVER boil it! Miso contains live enzymes because it is fermented soy beans or rice (depending on the variety you choose) and if you heat it to a boil you will kill all the enzymes and healthy “stuff” in it. I won’t get too technical, but miso has lots of health benefits including B12 and zinc. When you choose a miso, make sure it does not have MSG in it. Read Rob’s article on the to find out more on that.

Miso Lemon Tahini Sauce
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Recipe: Black Bean Sweet Potato Almond Butter Burgers

We are always on the lookout for a great bean or that we can make a huge batch of and eat for days. We have come to really dislike the store bought ones for the lack of taste and large amount of salt and other preservatives and unhealthy things in them. These black bean, sweet potato and almond butter burgers fit the bill and are SO tasty!

This recipe if from Extra Vegan Za cookbook, another one of our favorites. Best part is – they were super easy to make. You just have to remember to soak your beans and cook them a day ahead or so. If you forget like I did – use the method, below.

8oz of black beans have as much protein or more protein than does an 8oz steak?

When I tell people I eat mostly vegetarian at home I often get asked “how do you get your protein?” Are you aware that 8oz of black beans have as much protein or more protein than does an 8oz steak? AND beans have NO fat or cholesterol and beans are full of fiber where the steak has none! Yes – you heard right – ALL MEAT has NO fiber. Zero, nada, zip. Fiber fills you up and you want to eat less – try eating two of these burgers one night and your steak the next and see which fills you up more and you have to stop eating. Think that will help control over eating? You betcha! Try it!

Avocado Wasabi Sauce
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Recipe: Avocado Wasabi Sauce

I found this great sauce which is both healthy and tasty in the Vegan Planet cookbook, one of our favorites. You can use it as a spread, a dip or a sauce on just about anything. As you can see in the photo, we put it on lentil or bean burgers.

You need to either have soy mayonnaise or make your own (is easy, see below). Please do NOT use regular or even any of the no-fat regular mayonnaises available. In my opinion they are all crap and have so much preservatives, (it is often hidden, so don’t be fooled) and salt that I wouldn’t eat it if you paid me.

Avocado Wasabi Sauce

Avocado Wasabi Sauce

1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsely
1 green onion, minced
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp
2 tsp wasabi powder or to taste (I used double that cause I like it)
2/3 cup soy mayonnaise (see below) or use store bought Veggainaise

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Transfer to tightly covered container and refrigerate. Is best used within an hour or so of being made.

Soy Mayonnaise

6 oz. of firm tofu
1.5 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp salt
Pinch of natural sweetener like Stevia or Agave (optional)
3 Tbsp olive oil, sesame oil, flax oil or Udo’s oil – your choice base on flavor preference.

Place all ingredients except the oil in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. With the machine running, slowly add the old in a thin stream through the feed tube until it is incorporated. Taste it and adjust seasonings to your preferences.

Store in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate until ready to use (up to 4-5 days)

We found this avocado wasabi sauce great on bean burgers, or as a dip for raw carrots. The smooth texture of the avocado and the zip of the wasabi make an unsuspectingly great combination of flavors. We haven’t tried it on eggs yet – if you do, let us know what you think.

Enjoy. Bean burger recipe to follow shortly, stay tuned.

Subscribe to my recipes by email: Make sure you get my recipes emailed to you every weekend by subscribing to my recipe email service. Every weekend, one new whole food recipe posted for you to enjoy and then comment on.

Avocado Wasabi Sauce Photo Credit: Her View Photography

Recipe: Ultimate Green Lentil Vegetable Burger

These lentil burgers with kale, walnuts and flax are a convenient food for us around our house. The flax seeds and kamut flour hold the burgers together without egg or other unhealthy options while kale is one of the you can eat. More often than not, we make a triple batch of these, cook them all and then store them to be re-heated later or used as the filler in a wrap along with avocado, fresh greens and Franks Red Hot sauce.

Each lentil burger is roughly 7.5 grams of fiber or more (depending on how much you use for each burger), so they are both filling and nutritious.

Ultimate Lentil Vegetable Burger

The Ultimate Green Lentil Vegetable Burger

1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
2 Tbsp
1/2 cup walnut pieces
3/4 cup cooked green lentils, well drained
1/4 cup grated onion
1/4 cup minced green kale
1/3 cup kamut flour
Celtic sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a large blender, combine the flax seeds and Braggs, blending until viscous and then set aside.

In a food processor, pulse the walnuts to a coarse mixture. Add the lentils, onion, kale, kamut flour, flax mixture and the salt and pepper. Process until well combined but with some texture remaining. Shape the mixture into patties and place on a platter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Have a cup of green tea.

Heat a small portion of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the patties, cook until browned on both sides – about 4 minutes per side.

Serve hot, or if you make a large amount, store them in a container in the fridge to be reheated later or to be used as filler in a veggie wrap.

We found that no oil is required in these lentil burgers lowering their fat content even further. 1 cup of cooked lentils has less than 1 gram of fat in it so the only fat in this recipe comes from natural sources, the walnuts and flax seeds, both a good source of essential omega fats.

Serve with steamed Swiss chard and a salad, to add even more of the desired greens into your menu plan. Pictured here is Quinoa Salad from a few weeks ago.

Subscribe to my recipes by email: Make sure you get my recipes emailed to you every weekend by subscribing to my recipe email service. Every weekend, one new whole food recipe posted for you to enjoy and then comment on.

Ultimate Green Lentil Vegetable Burger Photo Credit: Her View Photography

Recipe: Green Smoothie

Last week’s recipe was a which is a favorite around our house. Continuing with our “green theme” for the month of March, in honor of St Patty, We’ve got Darlene’s favorite green smoothie recipe. Darlene is away in Vegas for a photographer trade show, so I’m posting for her (Rob). She likes fruit, and has no issues around mixing fruit and leafy greens in a blended drink, while I’m a bit more of a purist.

On a recent poll about what you choose as a liquid breakfast, only 11% of voters chose a green smoothie. I’d like to increase that number a bunch if I can. Smoothies allow for nutrients to be easily absorbed into the digestive system because we’ve taken the digestive load off the stomach. Your choices for fruits and vegetables are endless, so please don’t limit yourself to the items We describe here. Be creative.

I like big blended salad’s, but more so during the summer months when produce is fresh and available locally. Stay tuned for the blended drinks I come up with this summer.

green smoothie
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Recipe: Super Green St. Patricks Day Soup

I am posting this recipe for Super Green St. Patrick’s Day Soup a week early so you can get the needed ingredients and be ready on the 17th. Rob and I created this recipe from a combination of a few different ones and just made it up as we went along. We wanted it to be Super Green, super healthy, and super tasty. I think we have achieved our goal if you can judge that by how fast it disappeared from our fridge. I hope you enjoy this “green” recipe for St Patty’s.

Super Green St. Patrick's Day Soup
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Recipe: Red Swiss Chard with Onions and Raisins

are of the highest nutritional value, and the thing that many of eat the least of in our diets. Most people think “salad” or spinach when you say leafy greens, but have you ever tried and of the following: kale, Swiss chard, collards, dandelion greens, bok choy, or mustard greens? They are not only nutritious in the highest sense of the word, they are very tasty and versatile foods. Some can be a bit bitter to eat raw, but try steaming them with a bit of lime juice and apple cider vinegar for a great, easy meal – or try this Red Swiss Chard recipe as a great side dish.

Red Swiss Chard with Onions and Raisins
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Recipe: Marrakech Couscous

Couscous is a little known grain, used often in North African dishes, especially those from Morocco. It can be prepared quickly on the counter by soaking it in boiling water, thus leaving the stovetop free to make the topping for it. In this Marrakech Couscous recipe we are not putting stuff on it, but rather in it. Can be eaten hot as a side dish or cold as a salad.

Rob likes this recipe because it’s sweet – using fresh squeezed lemon juice, orange juice and the stock from soaked fruits.

Marrakech Couscous
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Recipe: High Fiber Triple Grain Pilaf

Ready for a good fiber blast?! Try this high fiber triple grain pilaf instead of your usual rice dish. Adding more fiber into your diet will not only keep your digestion moving along, but eating more natural foods and less processed ones will give you more nutrients in your diet. Most on this after the recipe.

high fiber triple grain pilaf

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Recipe: Wheat-free Whole Grain Pancakes

I found this whole grain pancake recipe in a little booklet when I bought some grain from a farmer’s market years ago. I’ve had it tucked away and recently pulled it out when I was asked what I eat for breakfast. While weekdays we mostly eat 8 grain cereal from Red Mills, on the weekends we sometimes like a treat but still want something healthy. This wheat free whole grain pancake recipe fits the bill as it creates the lightest, most delicious melt-in-your-mouth pancakes ever while staying wheat free for those with allergies.

Whole Grain Pancakes recipe

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Recipe: Quinoa Salad

February I will be featuring recipes using different types of grains. I find that many people don’t know how to cook grains or what to do with them. So I hope you try something different and add some grain into your diet. NOTE: none of my recipes have wheat in them for those of you that can’t eat wheat – and please note that these grains I’m using are NOT wheat.

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is the grain of the gods according to the Incas of Peru. On my recent trip there I found the people there ate a lot of this powerhouse grain. Not only is it tasty, but it is highly nutritious. If it’s good enough for the Incas – it’s good enough for me! Try it in this colorful and delicious Quinoa Salad.

quinoa salad recipe

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Recipe: Creamy Almond Sauce

This is a multi-purpose, great tasting and easy to make sauce. You can put it on , , quinoa cakes, sweet potato pancakes or anything else that needs a sauce or gravy.

This creamy almond sauce recipe is simple, with shallots or onions, almond milk and raw almonds. That’s it. Pure nutrition without the calories, oil or saturated fat in traditional gravies.

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Recipe: Lentil Loaf

We use lentils in a number of recipes throughout the week. is a regular at our table, and we use lentils in one of our favorite soups, . This Lentil Loaf recipe is very filling as it’s high in fiber and makes a nice meatless meal, even surprising the avid meat eater guest you may have over. We make a triple batch of this, eating one and freezing the other two, then use them as fillers in wraps along with hummus and a good portion of salad mix. I hope you enjoy.

lentil loaf recipe

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Recipe: Red Lentil Dahl

Red Lentils are a staple in our household as they’re nutritionally dense foods, a good source of iron and contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. We eat this Red Lentil Dahl a few times a day because it’s easily digestible and a great source of protein and other nutrients. We have a special note on this recipe to “make a double batch” just as a reminder.

Red Lentil Dahl Recipe

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