3 Creative Ways to Eat Chickie Dough!

If you haven’t already heard, Karmel Walters and I are the RD duo behind Edmonton’s fav cookie dough hummus – Chickie Dough. The use of pulses in desserts and baked goods was NOT main stream by any means 2.5 years ago when Chickie Dough made it’s debut, but things are changing quickly (in large part due to WHO naming 2016 the International Year of Pulses). We have definitely gotten our fair share of crazy looks over the years as we ask if people would “like to try our cookie dough flavoured hummus.” But the way their eyes light up when they try it for the first time and realize it is actually ridiculously delicious make’s our job so much fun!

One of the MOST common questions I get is – how do you eat it? So, I thought it would be fun to do a quick blog highlighting three ways to eat Chickie Dough other than using it as a dip.


Chickie Dough Toast – those of you who have read a food blog or scrolled through Instagram in the last year know that toast is “so hot right now”. I’ve completely jumped on the bandwagon and I think Chickie Dough toast is just about the most decadent (but still nutritious) thing I’ve ever tasted. The best combo, in my personal opinion, is Chocolate Chip Chickie Dough with fresh strawberries on a grainy whole wheat bread. But honestly, the combinations are endless!


Chickie Dough Ants on a Log – now this one is something that I tell people to try all the time, but I have this strange feeling that no one ever does. You really should. Seriously. Peanut Chickie Dough is the flavor with the least amount of sugar, making it extremely versatile and the PERFECT filling for crisp celery. It makes for a super light, but satisfying snack after work or a guilt free treat after dinner when you are trying to curb your sweet tooth.


Chickie Dough Parfait – so I don’t know about you, but I’m ridiculously excited for pumpkin spice season!!! I’m not sure I ever liked pumpkin spice anything before we started making Pumpkin Spice Chickie Dough, but now…I have fully converted. The Chickie Dough Parfait was inspired by the uncanny resemblance between pumpkin pie and Pumpkin Spice Chickie Dough. This baby is the equally as tasty, way less fattening cousin of pumpkin pie, topped off with fat free cool whip and crushed up graham wafers.

What is your favorite way to eat Chickie Dough?? Leave a comment below – I would LOVE to hear from you.



Bridal Shower for the Future Mrs. Nielsen

IMG_4458So I’m not sure if you’ve heard – but my best friend is getting marrriieeeddd! I met Janelle at the ripe young age of 6 months and she hasn’t been able to get rid of me since. I am super excited to share some of the photos of the bridal shower that her entourage and I hosted on Sunday. We had such an amazing time planning and preparing for this day and it all paid off!

Theme: Garden/Floral


Floral Backdrop/Flower Crowns: Lovespun Creations


Cake: The bride’s super talented future sister-in-law/bridesmaid, Stephanie Nielsen


Favor: Plantable Wildflower Seed Paper


Signage: Made by bridesmaid Jen Speelman


Guest Book: We got the guest book customized and added polaroids of each guest in front of the flower backdrop along side messages for the bride-to-be!


Flowers: The Enjoy Centre Floral Studio


Menu: We pulled all of our food and beverage items off of the bride’s Pinterest wall – that way we knew she would love everything!

Melon Prosciutto and Mozza Skewers
Kale Caesar Salad
Shrimp Vietnamese Spring Rolls
Spinach Artichoke Flatbread
Vegetable Platter
Charcuterie Tray

Fruit Skewers
Chocolate Ricotta Cheesecake
Baked Apple Cider Donuts with Pomegranate Glaze
Toasted Coconut Fruit Salad with Quinoa and Pineapple Lime Dressing

Strawberry Basil Water
Iced Green Tea with Ginger, Mint and Honey
Blackberry Sangria


T-24 hours until I board a plane to go to beautiful Kelowna, BC for the bachelorette party and I could NOT be more excited to continue celebrating the amazing bride-to-be with this GREAT group of ladies!

This Post Will Change Your Life: The 10-80-10 Principle

The 10-80-10 Principle

On Friday and Saturday I had the opportunity to attend the 5th Annual Food Matters Conference at the University of Alberta Hospital. There were so many amazing topics and speakers but I can honestly say that one particular session completely changed my life. I’m not quite sure how I have made it 27 years without hearing about this incredible approach but, I am going to do my best to share it with everyone I know.

The first seminar I attended on Friday was The 10-80-10 Principle: Strength Based Approach to Leadership given by Sunjay Nath. Sunjay is an international speaker who shares insights on leadership and performance. I don’t think I have ever heard a more dynamic, engaging and hilarious speaker in my life. The 3 hour session was over in a blink of an eye. Here is a short video that I found on his website that does a good job of providing an overview of the approach:

The best part of the 10-80-10 Principle is that you can apply it to so many different facets of life. You can apply it to organizations, groups, and your own individuals behaviors. The basis of the approach teaches people to stop putting all their efforts into fixing bottom 10 behaviors, but rather empower and grow their top 10 behaviors. This way – the majority 80 behaviors that are more easily influenced will shift towards the top 10 rather than the bottom 10.

Here is a really great example related to healthy eating and physical activity that really resonated with me. Sunjay told us that at one point in his life he was overweight. He realized that he was not making the best decisions he could for his health and wellness and he wanted to address it. He then spent some time thinking about his behaviors and categorizing them into top 10 and bottom 10. He felt that one of his top 10 behaviors was taking 2-3 20 minute walks per week with his wife. This was something that was positively influencing his health and wellness. When it came to his bottom 10 behaviors he felt that the fact that he ate at McDonald’s multiple times per week was a contributor to being overweight. Simple, right?

Once you’ve identified your top 10 and bottom 10 behaviors you then have to neutralize the bottom ten and empower the top 10. For him, this meant making a clear cut rule about eating at McDonald’s. From now on – he would only eat there once per week. This was something he was comfortable with and could comply with. He could now put the minimum amount of time, energy, attention and thought into that behavior so that he was no longer concerned with it and it no longer pulled him from his desired result.

Next, he empowered his top 10. He found ways to grow the behavior of walking with his wife by spending more time, energy, attention thought and resources on it. This would look different for everyone, but for him this was going for longer and more frequent walks. When he got to a point where he was walking 30 minutes per day, he decided that he would increase the intensity by running for as long as he could and then walking the remaining time. Eventually, Sunjay complete a marathon.

Because of his increase in physical activity he found other behaviors were shifting in his life. When he would come back from a walk or a run he found that he was thirsty and craving water. In the past, when he felt thirsty he would gravitate towards soda. Now, he was choosing water more often. Also, he found his food cravings change. He craved an orange. He had never craved an orange before in his life. The majority 80 behaviors were following suit of the top 10. Over time your behaviors shift in a positive direction that is closer and closer to your goal.

As a Dietitian, I often find myself trying to isolate negative behaviors and teaching individuals how to change those. But now, I see the value instead in focusing on the positive behaviors and empowering them to grow.

I encourage you to visit Sunjay’s website and learn more about his approach. And, if you ever get the chance to see him speak – I would run (not walk) to hear what he has to say!

Aurora: The Perfect Patio Beer

So how about this weather???

But actually…it has been friggen beautiful outside in the YEG this spring! All this vitamin D has me dreaming of sipping on ice cold beverages out on the patio with friends. It doesn’t get much better than that (in my personal opinion). So it was pretty much fate when our friends, Kristen and Josh, brought a pack of Aurora over to our place for dinner.


Let me tell you about it.

I am going to be completely candid with you – I would not call myself a beer drinker, but this beer does it for me! It is totally refreshing, has a bright floral/citrus flavor profile, and is brewed locally in Canmore, Alberta (#shoplocal). One of the first things I noticed about Aurora was the subtle carbonation. I often feel uncomfortably full after drinking a beer, but this is not the case here. The five simple ingredients used to brew Aurora were chosen specifically to maintain nutrient content and reduce bloat – sign me up!


If you happen to drop by this summer, you will definitely find a can of this beer in our fridge/in my hand.


PS. Use this super handy website if you want to know where to find it!

PPS. I snacked on Sweet Chili Pistachios while photographing/drinking this beer and it was delish 🙂



North 53

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend a Dietitians of Canada continuing education event at North 53. I have been meaning to check out this spot for months, with an extra push since making the top 10 list in Enroute Magazine’s – Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2014. After receiving an email from a colleague about the Pure Prairie Eating Plan hosted at North 53 I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to check out a new restaurant, network with other dietitians, and learn more about the work that Dr. Chan and Dr. Bell have been doing on translating the recommendations from Canada’s Food Guide and applying them to whole foods that are commonly grown and consumed in the prairie provinces.

When I arrived the room was set up as one long communal table, which worked really well for meeting others who were attending the event. I was eager to find out what we would be eating that night (as it was a five course meal!!) and I was happy to see a menu printed for each guest that outlined the evening. The first course was cream of broccoli soup and Avonlea cheddar biscuits. The second course was sous vide short ribs with charred onion, red pepper sauce, and aligot potato. The third course was a homemade yeasted doughnut with maple ice cream. The fourth course was sunflower seed caramel, apple crab pate de fruit, and rum spiked baby brioche. WOW. They definitely did not feel the need to lighten things up for the room full of dietitians. I’m all for indulging once in a while but this was over the top!

The broccoli soup tasted as if the broccoli had been charred prior to being incorporated into the soup creating an extremely smoky flavour. The soup was served with the biscuits, which were baked fresh and brought directly to the table. When you broke apart that biscuit all you could see was melty delicious cheese. I don’t think I’ve ever had a biscuit that felt like it was half flour and half cheese before, but it was unbelievable. I love cheese. Needless to say, I could have probably stopped eating after the first course and been satisfied for the rest of the evening.


Next up was the short ribs. Does a charred onion count as a vegetable with dinner? Maybe the broccoli pureed with cream was the vegetable..whatever, I’m over it. The meat was tasty and not overly fatty (which I was kind of expecting with short ribs) and served with the most decadent mashed potatoes ever. I’m guessing they were 30% butter, 30% cheese, and 30 % potato. This place must have a HUGE dairy budget. I don’t think I had any red pepper sauce on my place like it said in the menu but maybe it was just a glaze on the short ribs?

After a bit of a break the doughnuts came out. They were freshly fried, coated in sugar and paired with maple ice cream. At this point I was surprised that I was even considering eating one more bit. But fresh doughnuts? Come on. You can’t pass that up. I’m a sucker for ice cream and this one was no exception. It was SUPER creamy. I wonder if they make it in house or get it from a local supplier like Pinocchio’s? Either way it was delicious. The doughnut on the other hand didn’t really float my boat. They were quite hard on the outside, hard to cut through, and less fluffy than I was expecting from a yeast doughnut. Don’t get me wrong, I couldn’t do a better job myself but at this point it just wasn’t worth the calories, so I only ate a few bites.

Dessert number two! They servers brought out beautiful wood platters full of treats. At this point I snuck away to the washroom and asked for a to-go box on my way out. There was no way I could fit those little sugar bombs in my tummy. I ended up offering them up to my fiancé when I got home but boy did they look great!

I had an awesome time at North 53 and I would definitely go back to try out their regular menu. I also saw that they had a second grand opening with a new menu and new chef! It’s great to see the strong focus on local ingredients and creative flavours!

Chickie Dough?!

As some of you may know Karmel and I have recently embarked on a business venture. With little to no business expertise and a recipe for Cookie Dough Hummus we decided that we were more than capable of running a business after watching Shark Tank on a Saturday afternoon. Who wouldn’t buy a delicious and nutritious treat from two Registered Dietitians, right? And so Chickie Dough was born. Chickie Dough is chickpea based dip that rivals the comfort and flavor of your favorite cookie dough but with the impressive nutritional value of hummus. Being high in fibre and protein, as well as, low in fat and sugar makes this an ideal alternative to typical dessert dips that are laden with butter, cream cheese, and sugar. There are three flavors  – Chocolate Chip, Peanut, and Trail Mix – with a feature flavor each week such as Monster Cookie and Chocolate Mini Egg. Chickie Dough is great for dipping with graham crackers, fresh or dried fruit, and pretzels. You can find us at the City Market Downtown inside City Hall for the next two weeks and then we will be moving outdoors at the 104 Street Market as of the May long weekend. Hope to see everyone out supporting local food in Edmonton!


TEDx Edmonton – Food For Thought

Last night, at the beautiful Mercer Warehouse, myself and my good friend Karmel made it out to the TEDx Edmonton Salon #4 on Food For Thought.  The loft setting housed hundreds of foodies awaiting to hear about the future of food.


Upon arrival there were food samples provided by Pangea Deli (located north of Jasper Avenue on 104 Street) including an oat cookie sweetened with dates, pork sausage, and pearl barley salad, followed by complimentary bottles of Steam Whistle. We settled into the middle of the pack and started to recognize a number of faces.

The night included 3 short talks provided by the guest speakers with a discussion session to follow. The three guests included:

Tom Lynch-Staunton, Gentec

Tom Lynch-Staunton has a strong practical and lifetime experience in the livestock industry. Before joining Livestock Gentec, he and his brother co-managed the family-owned Antelope Butte Ranch (est. 1885), a mixed 1,000 head cow/calf operation in southern Alberta. The Antelope Butte Ranch has been genetically improving its herd for increased efficiency and profitability since the 1980s. Mr. Lynch-Staunton received a Bachelor’s in Marketing and International Business from Simon Fraser University, and completed a diploma in Spanish in Mexico.

Mr. Lynch-Staunton is Livestock Gentec’s Director of Industry Relations. His role is to work closely with the executive team to create connections with various sectors of the livestock industry for collaborative projects, two-way communications and genomics education. He is also Director of Marketing for Delta Genomics, and assists in business and market development for both Livestock Gentec and Delta.

Megan Dear, Founder, Localize

Meghan Dear is the founder of Localize, an Edmonton-based start-up that is testing ways to strengthen the relationship that consumers have with food producers through an innovative approach to grocery shelf and product labelling.  She has a degree in Biology and Agriculture, and has worked in the management of analytics research in food and agriculture for the Government of Alberta.  She has also worked for the Government of Ghana to develop and scale a unique platform to share crop market information with small scale farmers using private and public sector data, seeing first-hand that information can be a tool to empower both consumers and farmers to make better decisions. Localize’s shelf-labelling initiative is now operating in 42 Alberta grocery stores, and is expanding rapidly.

Carol Neuman, Founder, 10 Mile Meal

Carol Neuman spent her childhood on a farm near Pigeon Lake where she was immersed in the then-unglamorous local food scene: weeding her mothers’ garden, raising rabbits and, occasionally, milking cows. Today, she returns to her roots as founder of the 10 Mile Meal. Through local sourcing of ingredients and inspiration, the 10 Mile Meal celebrates the culinary and cultural traditions of farming communities in the greater Edmonton region.

Some of the most memorable discussion settled upon the differentiation of genetic or genomic selection and genetically modified organisms, which cuisines should be considered traditional in Alberta (Aboriginal vs Settler), and how to rate the level of “local” in food products.

Overall, I had a great night surrounded by like minded Edmontonian’s engaging in discussion about food.

PS. I can’t wait to check out Pangea! Small samples make it hard to form a solid opinion but they showed a lot of tasty promise.