Krissi Hyland

I was as green as grass, far from a whole food chef or a holistic nutritionist. In fact the first comment on some pancakes I made when I moved away from home was, “Are you pouring maple syrup on your scrambled eggs?!” At 21, I bought my first cookbook. It was called The Teens Vegetarian Cookbook. I wasn’t a vegetarian or a teen at the time, but the budget friendly and easy recipes looked tasty. At 22, I started working in a health food store – by then I had put on some good “pancake pounds.” There, I met some of the most beautiful and influential people of my life. I surrounded myself with cookbooks, good people and new foods. I was hooked. This lifestyle lured me in and held strong.

I was not a big reader at the time, so cookbooks became my kind of literature. It started slow, one recipe at a time, one new food at a time, gathering recipes and making a lot of mistakes I learned the hard way, but that’s what brought me to where I am today.

Many moons and meals later, after travelling and skiing my heart out, I yearned to learn more about food and nutrition. I lost the pancake pounds by adopting a whole food diet and lifestyle and met an amazing man, now my husband! Side note: Whole foods are foods that are unprocessed, unrefined and are free from additives or other artificial substances. They are foods found and consumed the way mother nature intended and promote wellness to you and the earth! Boom. Fact. Sold! I was hooked on this healthy lifestyle but I wanted more. A good ol’ Google search later on the world wide web and I ran into The Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. THIS was a pinnacle point for me. The click onto the metaphorical train tracks of life happened. I found my path.

I went to school, studied and became an RHN, Registered Holistic Nutritionist. I not only learned why whole foods are super awesome and how to balance and heal oneself through food, but started learning more and more ways to make healthy delish dishes. I talked to farmers, I started getting my hands dirty, I made things from scratch whenever I could. My dishes became more plant based and so mouth-watering I had to share it with the world, starting in Fernie! I moved to Fernie in the fall of 2012 and Nourish Through Nature was born.

I love everything about food, and not just eating it… smelling, touching, experimenting and learning about it. Most importantly, how I can feed every cell in my body with whole food goodness. I thrive off of food and have taken this passion and artistic expression to my cooking classes. I just love what I do. You know when you fall in love and you want to shout it from rooftops? When your soul sings? That is how I feel about preparing food and I want nothing more than to share it with everyone. Starting this June, I have that opportunity through a monthly column. Join me, one recipe at a time, to reach your goals of a healthier lifestyle and to learn the art of cooking!

This month’s theme is Green; however, it ain’t easy eating greens. Good news! Eating your “leafy greens” nowadays doesn’t mean over-boiled and under-seasoned spinach. A great variety of greens are more available to us and finding new and exciting ways to eat them is my job.

Simple Spinach & Nut Pesto
2 Cups packed spinach (or any leafy green)
¼ Cup extra virgin olive oil
2 Cloves garlic
1 Tbsp lemon juice
¼ Tsp sea salt
½ Cup raw nuts

Place everything except nuts into a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides with a spatula. Add nuts and pulse until incorporated but still chunky. If you don’t have a food processor, add everything but the nuts to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping sides if needed. Transfer green puree to a bowl. Chop nuts finely and stir in. This will last for a few days in the fridge. Spread on just about anything.