kelp noodle pho

Have you ever dreamt of something for so long that when it actually happens it still feels like its beyond reality? Like you’re floating through the whole experience in awe that your living it?

I remember sitting on a cold, peaceful, (frigid yet beautiful) beach in Tofino, British Columbia, years ago…when the dream first appeared in my mind.  I was on a yoga retreat with 2 girlfriends.  My heart was open…I was inspired….I was hopeful that anything I set my mind to was possible.  I chatted with the cook at the retreat and knew this is what I wanted to do.  What I could do! I could cook for a group of people over a weekend at my own health and wellness yoga retreat! I cook for 15 people for Thanksgiving and Christmas some years for petes sake! 

Years passed….I got my Holistic Nutrition designation, became pregnant, and became a mother.  Though the dream never died.  Through this pregnancy I realized where these retreats were calling me to: prenatal yoga retreats.  And I knew just the women to partner with.  During Knox’s birth I was lucky enough to have Shianna Pace of the Cochrane Community Midwives and Kerri McLean of Sweet Pea Doula to assist in the big day.  They made me feel special, empowered, the center of the universe and opened my eyes to the idea that I could have the joyous birth I WANTED.  I knew I wanted to work with them to make all the mommas at the retreat feel the same way.  

So another year passed of planning, scheming, marketing, preparing, photography, building a website….all the fun stuff! Before I knew it, the day had come and we were driving up to the retreat site in the British Columbia mountains: serene, quiet, peaceful.  The perfect place to bond with your baby, connect deeper to yourself, and build empowering relationships that would last a lifetime.  

It ended up running/flowing better than I could have imagined.  I couldn’t have asked for a better event the first time around.  The mommas belly’s were constantly full with my kitchen creations; some even asked for the recipes! The enjoyed yoga, walks in the mountains, crafting, an empowerment workshop, and a farewell salt bowl ceremony to send everyone home.  

honoured journey prenatal yoga retreat

honoured journey prenatal yoga retreat - photo by Kelli Ireland

One of the meals I served was a sort of “build your own bowl” buffet.  We had everything from kelp noodles, brown rice, quinoa, lentils, marinated tempeh to every kind of vegetable you could imagine, fermented foods, nuts and seeds, fresh herbs….the list goes on.  The ladies exclaimed that this was their favorite meal (I was shocked because it was definitely the easiest out of all the ones I prepared!).  At the retreat, this was made as a salad with an almond-ginger-satay type dressing (which I have included below as well), but here I served it as I have been doing at home lately: in a comforting warm pho-style broth.  

kelp noodle pho

kelp pho noodles

kelp noodle pho


Will I do th retreats again? Nothing would make my heart happier 🙂







kelp noodle pho


Kelp Noodle Pho

Serves 4


Pho Broth:*

3 cups of bone broth (chicken or beef preferred)

3 cups chicken, beef, or veg stock to match what you used for bone broth

2 heads of garlic, crushed

2 bay leaves

4 whole allspice

1 star anise

2 teaspoons of sea salt

1 fresh red chile like fresno, sliced

2″ piece of ginger, peeled, and chopped

2 Tbsp rice vinegar or white distilled vinegar

2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce

2 Tbsp mirin

1/2 lime

12 oz shiitake mushrooms

1 package of kelp noodles or you could substitute zucchini noodles, rice noodles, or soba noodles.

2 cups of veg of your choice 

Protein of your choice (smoked tempeh, tofu, or even lentils or chickpeas; just ensure to get organic/GMO-free tofu)

Toppings such as fresh mint, fresh cilantro, sliced radish, sliced scallions



  1.  Begin by simmering your broth and stock with the garlic, bay leaves, allspice, star anise and salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Strain the solids and discard.
  2. Add in the fresh chile, ginger, rice vinegar, tamari, mirin, lime juice, and mushrooms.  Let this simmer for another 10 minutes.  
  3. Add in your vegetables and protein and let simmer until they are soft.  
  4. If you are using tempeh, I like to cook this separate.  Cut one package of smoked tempeh into squares and place in a skillet with a bit of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of tamari.  Saute until the outside is caramelized .  Set aside. 
  5. Divide the kelp noodles among your bowls, ladle in the soup, and top with garnishes and fresh herbs.  (Kelp noodles don’t’ require cooking, so if you choose to use rice noodles or soba, ensure they are cooked before ladling soup over!)

*Yes, I understand this is probably way off from a traditional Pho broth, but this is what worked for me!


Here is the Almond Satay dressing I made at the retreat to turn this into a salad instead of a soup!  Just place all ingredients in a food processor and buzz until smooth.

1/2 cup almond butter

1/4 cup tamari

2 Tbsp sesame oil

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 Tbsp tahini

1 Tbsp maple syrup

fresh orange juice from 1 orange

1 Tbsp fresh garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 green onion, chopped

pinch of red pepper flakes


  • Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow - Anise! These photos are stunning and this bowl of savory pho goodness has my mouth watering. I had seen photos of your retreat on social but wasn’t sure exactly what it was and how long you’d been planning so I’ve loved reading this post! What an amazing, amazing evolution of a dream come true. I could not be happier for you.

    Yoga and I have a long and very much non-linear relationship but lately it has been one of the most important things in my life, even in seasons when I’m not practicing as regularly as I’d like. I hope that one day, if ever I do become a momma-to-be, that I’ll be able to attend one of your retreats and eat all of your beautiful, soul-feeding, body-nurturing food. <3ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - Thank you as always Brooke! I am so enjoying watching your sailing and traveling adventures!! Keep it up!ReplyCancel

  • Tisha - The retreat sounds wonderful! I’m glad you found your calling. Also, this pho-looks YUM. I tried to make my own pho (sans recipe, whoops) and let me tell you, it was not the nicest thing I put in my mouth. I’m excited to give this guy a go!

    Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • Love & Garnish - Thanks Tisha! I am totally addicted to Pho lately! I even found a Pho-Flavoured bone broth at my local whole foods store!ReplyCancel




“It’s freezing!”

“Anise, what do you expect?! It’s fall!”

“NO! Fall doesn’t technically start until September 22! Summer is still here!”

I am determined to savour the last little bits of summer.  I’m not only trying to grip onto the sunshine and the warmth, but the laissez faire attitude that comes along with longer days and running around the back yard barefoot.  Its quite a confusing time in Calgary.  One minute it feels as though Calgary has completely skipped fall and went straight to winter, and you would think so if you didn’t see the beautiful yellow and orange leaves on the trees.  Other days it feels like we are right back in the thick of July, with pulsing heat that makes you want to lay around in your bathing suit with a glass of rose.    The positive side to this crazy, volatile weather, is that there are still days when I can enjoy all my summer foods on the BBQ without looking like a beach bum in Alaska.   

summer corn and greens

halibut with miso corn, shiitakes, and swiss chard

halibut with miso corn, shiitakes, and swiss chard


Summer sped by this year. Maybe it was because I was having too much fun with Knox to notice the leaves had already begun to change.  Maybe I didn’t want to notice.  Either way, I couldn’t let this season pass without sharing one of my favorite summer recipes: its quick, its easy and it highlights some of summer’s finest.  







Halibut with miso charred corn, shiitakes, and swiss chard

Serves 4



4 cobs of corn, husks on

3 Tablespoons of coconut oil, divided, plus more for rubbing corn

1/2 Tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon minced ginger

5 green onions, sliced thin – green and white parts separated 

24 oz of shiitakes mushrooms

1 Tablespoon tamari or low sodium soy sauce

3 Tablespoons white miso

1/3 cup pure water


2 large bunches of leafy greens like swiss chard, collards, rapini, kale, or collards (I used swiss chard), chopped 

4, 4 oz pieces of wild halibut

salt and pepper to taste

1 Tablespoon of lemon juice


Preheat the grill to high.  Once the grill is ready, place the corn, with the husks on, directly on the grill for 10 minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Remove the husks, rub with coconut oil, and place back on the grill until the corn is charred.  Remove from the grill and slice off the corn kernels.  Set aside.

While the corn is roasting, heat an iron skillet or non-stick skillet over medium-low.  Add 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil, garlic, ginger and white parts of the green onion.  Saute for 1 minute, stirring and ensuring it doesn’t burn, over medium-low until fragrant.  Add mushrooms and another tablespoon of coconut oil, stir to combine, and sauté over medium-low heat until soft, 3-4 minutes.  Add tamarin and toss to combine; sauté for another minute until the tamari has soaked into the mushrooms.  Add the corn and turn heat to low.

Boil 1/3 cup of water and dissolve miso into the water.  Add this to the corn and shiitake mixture and heat over (very) low until miso is dissolved and thoroughly combined.  Do not bring to a boil as it will destroy the enzymes in the miso.

In the same pan as you made the mushrooms in, add the swiss chard and 1 Tablespoon of coconut oil, season with salt and pepper, and warm until wilted.  Set aside.

Prepare the fish: season the fish generoulsy with salt and pepper.   Heat a grill pan to high and place the halibut filets skin side down.  Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add a bit of lemon juice to the top of the halibut.  Cover again and continue cooking for 4-5 minutes, depending on the thickness of your halibut.  

Divide the greens between each plate, top with the corn and shiitake mixture, and place a halibut filet over top.  




watermelon lime fresca


Play dates, diapers, giggles, tickle time, making meals, laundry, avoiding disasters, a mommy bootcamp here and there, more play time: my days are filled to the brim and seem to be flying by lately.  Ventures like this blog are slowly slipping between my fingers, yet I feel as though my life is shaping into what it was always meant to be.    As a stay-at-home-mom my main job is to be with Knox, like really be with him; not just physically, but mentally.  To be present and mindful with him as much as possible during the days, teaching him life lessons and new skills, and making memories in every activity we do.   The other day we took a trip to the park and as I watched him splash around in the kiddie wading pool, a huge grin over his cute little face with a loud screech every now and then, I realized this was exactly where I was meant to be.  I grew up with a mother who worked from home yet I still don’t remember any “real” time spent together.  This is something I promised myself my children would never feel.   A part of me feels guilty and sad that this blog has been pushed to the back burner, however, in a world that is so chaotic right now, spending time with my family, especially Knox, seems to be all that matters.


Watermelon Lime Fresca

watermelon lime fresca

watermelon lime fresca

As the son of a holistic nutritionist, Knox is always testing my concoctions…and he never seems to mind!  This was one of them: a refreshing watermelon, grapefruit, lime-ade with chia seeds.  I diluted his a bit with water, but non-the-less, he grabbed the sippy cup in his chubby little hands and sucked it back! I know these days at this age won’t last forever, so I’m soaking in every moment that I can, and quick recipes like this make it so much easier!  

Happy Summer everyone! 







Watermelon Lime “Fresca”

Serves 2



2 cups watermelon juice or a combination of watermelon and grapefruit

2 Tablespoon fresh lime juice

½-3/4  Tablespoon honey (optional)

2 1/2  Tablespoons of chia seeds



Place all ingredients in a large jar with a tight fitting lid and shake vigorously until combined.  Pour and enjoy 🙂

  • Brooke @ Chocolate + Marrow - I’m seriously so taken aback by these photos, Anise! The styling, the colors, it’s all so perfectly summery.

    And I love so much what you say about spending time with Knox. Blogs and work and emails will always be around. But the moments you’re spending — mindfully, not just physically — with your babe will be the ones you look back on and cherish. I’ve continued blogging regularly since you and I met and I promise, even with big ups and big downs professionally, the moments I remember the most and the ones I’d relive again and again have only to do with my husband, my dog, my mom, and my friends…no work at all.

    I have a (probably dense) question about the recipe for you, too, as I’d love to make this! Do you buy watermelon juice at the store? Or juice it somehow? Would love your help with that…xoxo, your juicing novice fellow blogger friend 😉ReplyCancel

    • Love & Garnish - AGH! Brooke! Can’t believe I missed this comment…I seriously have a huge problem with my comments on this blog!! Since there is so much water content in watermelon, you can just blend the fruit in a blender then put through a cheese cloth or small sieve. OR of course you can just juice in a juicer 🙂ReplyCancel


spring tostadas zucchini succotash radish avocado

I stumbled in the door at 730 am, a dreary baby on my shoulder and an equally tired brain, barely thinking straight. The sun had been up for an hour now, yet I had been up since midnight. My son, still half asleep, lets out a croupy cough, and gently laid his head back on my shoulder. “Its night-night time, ok?”, hoping to convince him that even though it was light out, we both needed to get some sleep.  I laid him in his crib, planted a kiss on his forehead and turned off the lights.  Finally.  A sleeping baby and a nice comfy bed for myself.  

Lately, my son has been catching everything it seems like: bronchiolitis, flu, hand-foot-mouth-disease, and now croup. His breathing had become labored in the night, so much so, that I had to take him into the local Children’s Hospital.  Thankfully my mother was visiting and I was able to catch up on sleep the next morning while Knox decided he didn’t need to.  It really does take a village, doesn’t it?! 

When I finally awoke, I needed some quick fuel to get me through the rest of this day.  I actually already had this succotash in the fridge from last nights dinner (with grilled halibut), so in my sleepy but ravished stupor, the leftovers turned into a salsa verde succotash and it was combined with all the goodness you see below.  The high protein and healthy fat content coupled with the carbs from the veg, helped keep me going through the long afternoon. 
spring tostadas zucchini succotash radish cilantro

spring tostadas zucchini succotash radish avocado

spring tostadas zucchini succotash radish avocado

This was so delish, I ended up having it for dinner the next night. Sometimes the best things come from a mish-mash of whats in your fridge! 


Spring Salsa Verde Tostadas with Zucchini Succotash, Radish, and Avocado

Serves 4



Succotash: (this will make enough for 4-6 tostadas, depending on the size of your tortillas and the amount you prefer on each one)

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

1/4 cup minced red onion

3/4 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen, preferably fresh)

2 cups cubed zucchini

3/4 cup cooked black beans

1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered

1/3 cup salsa verde (I love Tres Maria brand)



4-6 small whole grain tortillas such as Tres Maria’s “Navy Bean and Flax” or “Brown Rice and Navy Bean”*

4-6 eggs

2 avocados, sliced

cilantro to garnish

radish slices to garnish



Preheat oven to 250F.

In a medium skillet, over medium-low heat, warm the coconut oil and add the onion and corn.  Saute over low heat until the onion is soft.  Add the zucchini and black beans and continue to sauté until the zucchini is tender; about 2-3 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, stir and allow the tomatoes to soften a bit but not break.  Remove from the heat and stir in the salsa verde.  Set aside.

In a non-stick pan or skillet, warm a bit of coconut oil over medium heat.  Warm each tortilla on both sides until brown.  Set aside.  You can transfer to the oven to keep warm.

Add a bit more coconut oil in the pan, crack an egg or two (depending on the size of your pan) and cover.  Let the egg cook to your liking (I love a runny egg!) and set aside.  

Assemble the tostadas: Place a warm tortilla on each plate, top with zucchini succotash, a fried egg, avocado slices, radish, and cilantro.  


*no this is not an ad for Tres Maria’s! I just really like their products!



chocolate chia pudding, rose water stewed strawberries and cardamom crunch

I always said I wasn’t going to post a chia parfait….why? I thought it was too easy, “overdone” in the health blog world….something most health-driven people have in their back pocket. But sometimes it’s the simple things that people forget about. There are obviously many variations of the “chia parfait” but I created this unique version for “Beach Beauty”: a local, all-natural beauty bar that offers toxin/cruelty-free manicures, pedicures, facials etc.  Allison, the owner and just an all-around rad chick, approached me about creating a healthy appie menu for the launch of their new location.  I, of course, was over the moon, as this was the perfect match for Love and Garnish.

chocolate chia pudding rose water strawberries cardamom crunch

chocolate chia pudding rose water strawberries cardamom crunch

chocolate chia pudding rose water strawberries cardamom crunch

I love chia parfaits because they are totally adaptable: don’t have rose water or time to “stew” fruit? Just crush up some berries and layer instead! No cardamom? Use cinnamon as a replacement! Play around and find something that works for you, your spice drawer, and your schedule.






Chocolate Chia Pudding with Rose-water Stewed Strawberries and Cardamom Crunch


Chia Pudding

1 cup chia seeds

2 ¼ cups nut mylk or coconut milk

½ cup maple syrup

3 Tablespoons cacao powder



3 cups chopped strawberries

¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons rose water

½ cup honey

½ teaspoon vanilla powder


Cardamom Crunch

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

3 Tablespoons maple syrup

¼ cup assorted nuts (I used walnuts and pistachios), crushed into chunks

¼ cup pumpkin seeds

½ cup buckwheat

1 teaspoon cardamom


Layers and toppings:

Yogurt of your choice (we love Yoso nondairy Coconut Yogurt or Yoso nut yogurt)

Coconut flakes, unsweetened, optional

Hemp seeds, optional

Nut butter, optional

Goji berries or goldenberries, optional

Fresh strawberries, optional



In a medium-sized bowl, combine nut mylk, maple syrup, and cacao powder and whisk to incorporate the powder. Stir in the chia seeds and let sit while you prepare the other components.


In a sauce-pan, bring rose water, honey, and vanilla powder to a low simmer. Let this boil and reduce down for approximately 12-15 minutes (you want it to be a tad syrupy). Add strawberries and cook for another 4-5 minutes until strawberries are soft and the mixture has the consistency of a chunky jam. (if you don’t cook as long, that’s ok! Play around!). Set aside and let cool.


In a skillet, over medium-low heat, warm the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add the nuts, seeds, buckwheat, and cardamom powder and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. If it gets too dry, add more coconut oil. Remove from heat and transfer to a play to let it cool. After about 15 minutes, it should be hard so you can crumble it with your hands.

Now layer the parfaits:

In a jar with a tight fitting lid, start with the chia pudding, then layer yogurt, strawberries, and cardamom crunch.   Top with any goodies you like