Cooking Demo by Meghan Telpner

Super healthy food doesn’t mean bland and boring food – that was the lesson I learnt at a cooking demo by Toronto based nutritionista Meghan Telpner last week. It was part of a 4 part weekly Local Chefs’ Series hosted by my neighbourhood Whole Foods Market .  I have been battling IBS for the past couple of years but have been unable to make any serious dietary changes. This demo gave me a whole new perspective on health food and super foods. Incidentally,  Meghan had also been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease a few years ago when she decided to fight it with a holistic approach towards food and life. Today, nearly five years later she is symptom free and has taken up nutrition as a full time career.
Meghan Telpner at Whole Foods Market Square One Mississauga
Explaining the vitality of raw foods

In this particular demo Meghan showed us how to cook or rather “uncook” Raw Pesto Mango Linguini which was totally vegan and gluten free as well.  She discussed the simplicity & power of raw food and encouraged the rapt audience to include more raw foods into their diets. For me raw foods meant smoothies, juices and some simple salads , this was the first time I learnt that they could constitute a proper balanced meal. According to her, in the summer our diet should include up to 75% of raw foods whereas in the winter months it should be about 35%.

Meghan Telpner at Whole Foods Market Square One Mississauga

I never knew veggies like spinach could be consumed raw in recipes other than salads or smoothies. Meghan added a bunch of raw spinach to her Cilantro Spinach Pesto along with cilantro, almonds and seasonings. It reminded me of our humble Indian mint-cilantro chutney but was far more flavorful and nutritious. The almonds gave it a nice creamy texture.

Meghan Telpner at Whole Foods Market Square One Mississauga
Meghan blending the Cilantro-spinach pesto

Meghan used a cool gadget called a spiralizer to make zucchini “noodles” for her completely raw, vegan and gluten free dish. She also used kelp noodles which are a form of sea vegetable which can be eaten raw. Surprisingly, they didn’t have that “fishy’ smell at all. The sunflower seeds added some nice crunch and the mangoes provided a burst of flavor.

Zucchini noodles
Cool Zucchini noodles using a spiralizer

At the end of the one hour demo she gave out samples of the delicious creation to the audience and had everyone asking for second helpings. In her charming and vivacious way, Meghan also answered questions on other aspects of following a raw, vegan diet such as making almond milk, sprouting seeds etc.

The recipe for the delicious dish can be found on Meghan’s lovely blog. In addition to the ingredients mentioned in the link she also added a few additional ones during the demo such as sunflower seeds and spiral zucchini “noodles”. She also added some spinach to the pesto. Meghan patiently answered questions about substitutions too. The mango can be substituted with pomegranate seeds , the red colour  would look good against the green pesto , in my opinion ( perfect for the holiday season). The sesame oil can be replaced by flax oil (for those allergic to sesame, like my daughter).

Zucchini noodles with cilantro pesto
A sample of the delicious creation


10 comments on “Cooking Demo by Meghan Telpner

  1. thx for sharing.. u know this raw veggie concept i actually learnt it on my international kerala we do consume a lot of partially cooked veggies though and i would like to believe they are healthy too 🙂 🙂

  2. Thanks for your comments.
    Eftychia, thanks for reminding me about spinach salads. Now that you have mentioned it ,I remember seeing some recipes long time back but somehow never paid attention to them. I will try them.
    Sunita, yeah partially cooked veggies are a good idea too. Overcooking makes them lose vital nutrients. BTW, I love keralite food especially thoran, rasam and murukku which I used to have often , courtesy my Keralite neighbours in India.

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