Healthy Food

Food Friday: Black Bean, Rice and Yam Wraps

As you may know already I love the cookbook The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook. It is packed with many nutritious and delicious recipes, most quite simple to make. (They have a new Elimination Cookbook coming out as well, which I am excited for.) When I need a simple, whole foods meal without having to buy too many extra ingredients I look here, usually being drawn to one recipe in particular - the black bean, rice and yam wraps. YUM! I sometimes leave the rice out or just use what I have cooked already. 

What's the fuss about?

Yams - Did you know these are actually different than sweet potato? Don't worry, they are interchangeable, and this recipe is nice with the bright orange colour of sweet potato. They are gluten free, and lower glycemic index/load than white potato. They are a great source of beta-carotene as well, a powerful antioxidant. 

Black beans - These are always in my pantry for times like this. Black beans are a great source of both protein and fibre. 1 cup of black beans provides nearly 15 grams of fibre and 15 grams of protein. Plenty for one meal for the average Canadian. Worried about gas? Recent research has shown that black beans are better digested than lentils and chickpeas and are actually helping to heal your gut. Disgust with your ND if you are still having trouble with black beans. 


  • 1  1/2 cups short grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup sweet brown rice
  • 4 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large yam, cut into large chunks
  • 3 cups cooked black beans, or 2 cans
  • 1 large avocado, mashed
  • salsa
  • mixed greens
  • brown rice tortillas


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. To cook the rice, place the short grain rice, sweet rice, water, and sea salt into a 2-quart pot cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes. Remove pot from heat and let stand for a least 10-15 minutes.
  3. While the rice is cooking, place the yam chunks into a small casserole dish, fill with about 1/2-in of water, and cover. Bake in the oven for about 40-45 minutes, or until yams are very tender. Remove skins from yams and slightly mash them with a fork. (I typically peel the yam before I cook it.)
  4. To assemble a wrap, lay a tortilla flat onto a plate and place a small amount of rice in the middle of it, add some cooked black beans, some mashed yam, mashed avocado, salsa and some mixed greens. Fold up and enjoy! 

*Variation* - If I feel like a bit of spice, I will saute a small onion, diced, then add 2 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp chili powder, salt and the beans. I continue turning and smashing some until the desired consistency is reached. I then use these beans in the wraps. Delish!

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen 

(Photo courtesy of Pinterest)

Food Friday: Scrumptious veggie burgers

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and so on (wait...I think that's it for me!) you may have picked up on my new favourite thing...the OhSheGlows cookbook. This talented women is from my hometown of Oakville, ON, and was first introduced to me by my mom's personal trainer. It's great how people can be in different provinces, or even different countries, and connect through a certain passion (healthy delicious food in this case).

Although I always recommend The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook to friends, family and patients, this new cookbook is definitely going to be a go to as well. I am not a vegan, and probably never will be, but I've come to the conclusion that meat is not my forte to cook, which is one reason why this vegan cookbook (yes vegan!) is perfect for me. These recipes are easy to prepare and oh so delicious. There are a few new ingredients that you may have to start stocking in your pantry but not many. 

So far in a week, I have made curry lentil cauliflower soup, cocoa zucchini muffins, buckwheat porridge and these delicious veggie burgers. I wasn't slaving away in the kitchen either! Burgers are a favourite of mine when going out to eat (and no, not the fast food kind), however it is always nice to change it up once and awhile. Put off by veggie burgers? I had a taste tester and he was pleasantly surprised!

Photo from

Photo from

So whats in them?


  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 medium can black beans, drained and rinsed (a source of iron)
  • 1 cup grated carrots or sweet potato (I used sweet potato)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley or cilantro leaves (great for the liver remember!)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red or yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, toasted if preferred 
  • 3/4 gluten-free rolled oats, processed into a flour (Any blender/grinder/food processor will work)
  • 1/2 cup spelt bread crumbs or sprouted-grain brain crumbs, optional (I used rice bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp tamari or coconut aminos (Something I'm still not familiar with!), to taste 
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 3/4-1 tsp fine-grain sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Mix flaxseed with 3 tbsp of warm water and let sit.
  • In a large bowl, mash the black beans into a paste, leaving a few beans intact for texture. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and the flaxseed mixture. Adjust the seasonings to taste, if desired. Mix well until combined.
  • With slightly wet hands, shape the dough into 8 patties. Pack the dough tightly to help it hold together during cooking and place the patties on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake the patties for 15 minutes, gently flip them, and bake for 15-20 minutes more, until the patties are firm and golden. 
  • Serve in a bun, in leafy green lettuce or crumbled over a salad with avocado, mustard, tomato or any topping you prefer. 

Enjoy and tell me what you think! 

Happy Friday!

In health and happiness,

Dr. Karen