side dish

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables + a Giveaway

balsamic roasted vegetables

I remember when I first fell upon Meghan’s website.  It was right after I’d fully stepped into trying to be healthier with my food choices. Making smoothies almost daily, adding more plants to my plate and the like. I had decided on a whim that I was going to do a raw (read: cold) food challenge. For one month. During February (read: coldest month of the year here in Canada). It wasn’t one of my wiser decisions, but I worked it out. :)


About 2 weeks in, I read somewhere that Demi Moore ate only 75% raw and I was like, ‘ohmygosh, I have options.' So needless to say, the last few weeks of my month-long raw food challenge during the coldest month of the year, in Canada, turned into making sure there was at least one serving of raw something with every meal. 


Anyhow, as I searched for recipes and inspiration for said self-induced challenge, I fell upon Meghan’s site. I read a bit of her story and it resonated with me. Her falling seriously ill in Africa was me in Paris. Her dealing with countless doctors (and no solid answers), causing her to take a key role in managing her autoimmune disease, was mine too. Her working in a field that didn’t speak to her was also me. And, and, and…..the rest is history. I ended up taking a culinary nutrition program at her nutrition school and later became one of her program coaches.


Fast forward to today. Meghan was kind enough to send me two copies of her latest book, The Undiet Cookbook. This book is for you if you wanna add more plants onto your plate without compromising on flavour. It’s a plant-based, gluten-free book with 130 recipes displayed with loads of vibrant photos. All hoping to inspire you in the kitchen.


What I enjoy about Meghan’s recipes are they’re simple to prepare with often a short list of easy to find ingredients. It’s a beautifully designed book with everything you need to get you through your day - breakfast, drinks, condiments, mains, sides, and of course, dessert. 


I’m keeping one book for myself, but I’m giving away the second one. Right here. Today.

balsamic roasted vegetables

I’m also sharing one recipe from this gorgeous book here with you - Balsamic Roasted Vegetables. Such a great way to use up the heartier winter vegetables. Because when it’s cold outside sometimes you want something warmer than a salad on your plate (case in point - my story above). ;)


The Giveaway

*TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY* of Meghan Telpner’s The Undiet Cookbook, please leave a comment below (be sure to include your email addy in the comment form) telling me about your favourite plant-based meal or dish. Contest closes 6pm EST Friday, November 20, 2015. One winner will be selected at random. (Contest is open to those with a Canadian mailing address only.) xx

balsamic roasted vegetables
balsamic roasted vegetables


Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes

Serves 4–6 as a side



  • 4 beets, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4-5 loose cups Brussels sprouts, ends cut off, outer peel removed, and cut in halves or quarters
  • 3 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, avocado oil, or organic ghee
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)


Make It Like So

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Place all the veggies, including the onion and garlic, in a large mixing bowl and toss with the oil and salt. Transfer to a glass roasting pan or a parchment-lined cookie sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and mix in the balsamic vinegar, and stir vegetables around. Sprinkle the walnuts over top and cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the veggies are tender.
  • Serve warm or at room temperature.

Excerpted from The UnDiet Cookbook: 130 Gluten-Free Recipes for a Healthy and Awesome Life by Meghan Telpner. Copyright © 2015 Meghan Telpner. Published by Appetite by Random House, a division of Random House of Canada Ltd., a Penguin Random House Company. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.


My cooking notes on this dish:

If you can tolerate walnuts, add them in. For me, they made the dish. They give a good crunch against the softness of the vegetables.

Ghee was the winner for me in terms of fat. The rich flavour of ghee can’t be beat in my opinion. I used avocado oil one time as well. Also good. I didn't have the chance to use coconut oil but I’m sure it works well here too.


A Word on Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is one that I love. I’ve become a bit of a purist with it, or rather a purist with a budget. I like the consistency to be slightly thick, with a taste slightly more sweet than it is vinegary.


To get this type of balsamic vinegar, look for a really short ingredient list. One with only two items - grape must and wine vinegar. (Ideally in that order too.) If grape must is the first ingredient, it’ll taste slightly more sweet and be a touch more viscous than if grape vinegar is the first ingredient. 


Cheaper balsamic vinegar varieties will include other ingredients. Ingredients like gums, flavours and colouring. These are added to create the must-like consistency and colour. If gluten-free is your goal, make sure whatever balsamic vinegar you choose is without caramel colouring.  This colouring is often made from a barley malt, making it not gluten-free. 

Roasted Chestnuts with Herbed Mushrooms

Roasted Chestnuts with Herbed Mushrooms

Chestnuts. When they're roasting there's no greater smell, is there? And that taste?!


Roasted, these are ridiculously addictive. You can munch on them just as they are. Sweet, nutty and chewy. They're not at all crunchy like a regular nut, but they are a tree nut. If you're allergic to tree nuts, this wouldn't be the thing to munch on. 


The taste of chestnuts had me thinking all things sweet and savory. Chestnut milk for dessert recipes. Chestnut based cream cheese (tried, tested and oh so good!) and the list went on.


Not like a typical nut, chestnuts have very little fat. They're mostly carbs and fibre, making them incredibly filling. A few of these goes a long way.  One cup roasted gives you about 7 grams of fibre. They're also a great source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin C and B6, which we love for our immune health. 

Roasted Chestnuts with Herbed Mushrooms


Crimini mushrooms. I must admit, I've had a slight obsession with mushrooms lately. So anytime I can add mushrooms into a recipe, I'm a happy girl. One of the things I love about mushrooms is their versatility. They seem to work easily with so many recipes.


They're also little nutritional powerhouses. High in phytonutrients that provide awesome support for our immune system. It's flu season, so we need all the immune support we can get. They're also a great source of vitamin B5 which supports our body in many ways, including providing support for adrenal function. Healthy adrenals help us cope with stress. They're also a great source of selenium. This trace mineral provides incredible antioxidant support and is a precursor to glutathione. We need this for a healthy liver and proper detoxification.


Now I leave you to make this.


I've created this as a side dish. This recipe is simple, yet delicious. I served it on a bed of ripped spinach, just because I wanted to sneak in some greens. You're welcome. :)


If this recipe inspired you in some way, share your inspiration with me in the comments below.

Roasted Chestnuts with Herbed Mushrooms
Roasted Chestnuts with Herbed Mushrooms


Roasted Chestnuts with Herbed Mushrooms

Serves 4 


1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup red onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp ground coriander

230g (about  2 1/2 - 3 cups) crimini mushrooms, sliced 

1 bay leaf

1 cup roasted chestnuts, roughly chopped

1 stalk celery, finely diced

1/2 tsp sea salt

pinch of cayenne pepper


How to:

  • Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat.
  • Once the oil is warm, add in garlic and onions. Sauté until the onions are soft and transparent. 
  • Stir in rosemary and coriander. Let sit for about 5 minutes or until the spices start to become fragrant.
  • Add in mushrooms and bay leaf. Cover let sit for about 10 minutes until the mushrooms have started to soften and release their water. 
  • Add in chestnuts, celery, salt and cayenne. Cover and sit for another 10 minutes or until the celery has softened.
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning. 
  • Remove bay leaf. Serve warm over a bed of spinach.