The Urban Vegetarian

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Urbanite host Desiree Nielsen transforms everyday veggies into delightful dishes and bakes up decadent desserts. A food nerd at heart, Desiree’s quirky-cool and fun loving personality makes adding more green to your meals both effortless and enjoyable.  Keeping things simple, each episode features a nutrient dense juice or smoothie, enticing ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a sweet treat with a health-conscious twist. From comfort food to quinoa, cakes to kale chips, each meal is prepared with finesse while striking an elegant balance between flavour and flair.

Episode 1

A Lot on Your Plate

Host Desiree Nielsen is all about making recipes for life on the go. She transforms leftover veggies into both a healthy green juice and an easy breakfast burrito to help kick-start her day. For lunch, Desiree loves her beets. She spiralizes them onto a bed of greens and then adds goats’ cheese and walnuts to give crunch and protein to a salad that’s anything but boring. Next, it’s time for something sweet. Desiree whips up a light flourless almond cake, showing us that baked treats can be healthy too. She ends her day with a pizza that uses cauliflower, not as a topping, but as a crust.


Episode 2 – Low Carbs, No Problems

Nothing says breakfast like pancakes. Host Desiree Nielsen shows us how to amp up the flavour while reducing the white flour in our diets with delicious buckwheat pancakes. Next up, she serves Thai-style lettuce wraps with a tangy tamari based sauce, a great option for keeping the carbs down while keeping you full. The day wouldn’t be complete without a sweet snack, so Desiree adds more plants to her plate with moist zucchini muffins. Finally it’s time for a hearty sweet potato and lentil salad. Fresh herbs, roasted veggies, creamy goats’ cheese and zesty “salad dressing” make this dish the perfect dinner.


Episode 3 – Go Green

Chocolate and pudding are what’s for breakfast in Desiree Nielsen’s kitchen. She blends up a creamy avocado and chocolate smoothie, packing it full of healthy fats to keep her energy up. She then shows us how to prepare a tasty Chia seed pudding, topped with toasted coconut. For lunch, Desiree serves up savoury, veggie-packed nori rolls, with a miso dipping sauce. Next up it’s time to bake. Desiree uses vitamin-packed coconut flour to create peanut butter brownies that will satisfy any sweet tooth. Finally, Desiree breaks out her favourite kitchen tool – the spiralizer. She serves up crunchy, sweet potato noodles topped with creamy cashew basil sauce – it’s the perfect way to add more plants to your plate.


Episode 4 – Quick Eats

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or take lots of time, just ask Desiree Nielsen. First, she blends up frozen pineapple, bananas, coconut milk, and veggie protein powder to make a pina colada smoothie that will have you singing all day. She then shows us how to save time during hectic mornings with a batch of overnight oats topped with fresh seasonal berries. Next up, Desiree bakes avocados filled with crunchy quinoa and tops it with a crowd favourite, feta. Desiree also reveals secrets for making appetizers on short time, whipping up two pastry tarts full of veggies and fresh herbs, of course. Finally, she twists up a zucchini to create “zoodles” for her favourite pad Thai dish.


Episode 5 – Energy Boost

Food nerd Desiree Nielsen shows us breakfast, lunch, dessert, and dinner options that will keep you energized all day. First up, she blends a thirst-quenching watermelon and cucumber juice. Then she makes morning porridge with millet, toasted nuts, and almond milk. For lunch, Desiree stuffs Portobello mushrooms with roasted red pepper, artichokes, and gooey cheese – because who doesn’t love cheese? The day wouldn’t be complete without baking, and Desiree has only rule: no white sugar. She makes her best ever toasted walnut bread, using walnut oil instead of olive oil for an extra burst of flavour. When dinner time rolls around, Desiree pairs aromatic chermoula with perfectly roasted eggplant and filling couscous for a meal that’s as good for supper as it is as leftovers the next day.


Episode 6 – Veggies Galore

Host Desiree Nielsen’s starts her day the best way with a refreshing juice. She blends up pear, celery, ginger, and a sprig of mint, for a flavour punch. Then she gets cracking with a protein-packed omelette stuffed with fried mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes. After all, the more veggies, the better. Next up, Desiree has some fun with a no-cook blooming wild rice recipe with crunchy Brussels sprouts. For a sweet treat, Desiree makes her favourite, chocolate cupcakes topped with delectable cream cheese icing. You’ll never guess how she makes the icing red. She then shows us a quick and easy dinner with a soba noodle bowl loaded with fresh vegetables and topped with a creamy peanut sauce.


Episode 7 – Fun and Simple

Foodie Desiree Nielsen is the master of fun and simple recipes for busy people. She shows off her technique for matcha, a special kind of Japanese tea that has 60-times more antioxidants then spinach. Take that Popeye. Then she sneaks a major energy hit into breakfast with spiced lentils, pairing them with protein-packed eggs. For lunch, she serves up a delightfully creamy mushroom bisque with a dash of fresh thyme. Got ripe bananas? Desiree shares her take on classic banana bread during her favourite time of the day, baking time. The day wouldn’t be complete without dinner, and today it’s all about king oyster mushrooms. She pairs them with a parsley sauce that’ll make your mouth water.


Episode 8 – Veggies All Day Long

Host Desiree Nielsen has healthy cooking down to a science, but her inner foodie always amps up the taste factor. She shows us a vitamin packed smoothie, blending kale, frozen fruit, avocado, and a natural sweetener: maple water. Greek yogurt for breakfast is ho-hum, until Desiree shows us those tangy and sweet beets – yes, beets – give this boring meal a whole new life. Next up, some amazing snacks for entertaining guests: white bean and artichoke dip, tamari almonds, and kale chips. Healthy and easy. Then, it’s time for some light baking with cheese and herb puffs, satisfying little pillows of yum with delicious parmesan and pecorino. Finally, for dinner its cauliflower steak with a raisin caper sauce, a dish destined to be one of your favourites.


Episode 9 – Urban Eats

Desiree Nielsen is a nutritionist by trade and a foodie at heart. She loves to cook and has a knack for making easy-to-follow breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert recipes. First up, Desiree combines two favourites, falafel and waffles, into a dish that’s as fun to say as it is to make: “fa-waffles.” Next up, she shows us two under-rated soups that are beautiful to look at and filled with vitamins: acorn squash and broccoli and garlic. For dessert, Desiree shows us how to put a playful twist on the elegant French classic clafoutis, using fresh rhubarb and strawberry. Finally, she ditches the carbs for her pasta recipe, turning instead to the almost magical spaghetti squash and topping it with a healthy white bean and kale ragout.


Episode 10 – Lettuce Eat Lasagne

One of the freshest ways to get loads of nutrients is juicing. Our host Desiree Nielsen whips up a colourful tonic made of oranges, carrots, pomegranates, and fresh mint straight from her beautiful herb garden. She then serves up a filling and delicious sweet potato hash with edamame and bok choy, a perfect dish to fuel your morning. For lunch, Desiree shows us that not all salads are served cold. She combines warm grilled romaine with nutty barley and crispy halloumi to create a tasty main dish. Desiree then bakes traditional Jewish braided bread called Challah, perfect for French toast, croutons, or munching all on its own. For dinner, Desiree turns to her friend butternut squash to make the ultimate lasagne, with lots of gooey, melted cheese, of course.


Episode 11 – Healthy and Delicious

Fast, healthy, and delicious. Those three words are essential when it comes to cooking for Desiree Nielsen. She starts the day with a protein-packed cashew butter smoothie and a mouth-watering sage-fried tofu scramble. Next up, Desiree shows us how to make light and crunchy tempura vegetables with two wasabi inspired dips. It’s okay to eat the whole batch because the more plants in your diet, the better. Desiree then brings her ‘A’ game to baking with apple butter-pecan-gorgonzola turnovers that are melt-in-your mouth delicious. Finally, Desiree puts veggies in the spotlight for dinner, combining heirloom carrots with a rosemary balsamic demi-glace and sage-fried tofu.


Episode 12 – On Trend

Desiree Nielsen has all the trendy tips for food enthusiasts looking to add more nutrients to their meals. First up, she takes a classic smoothie and shakes it up with kefir, a fermented dairy drink that is one of the most probiotic rich foods on the planet. Next up is a warm and hearty breakfast recipe called shakshuka, a popular North African dish made with tomatoes and eggs. Looking to sneak more veggies into your diet? Desiree has just the trick. She shows us two ultimate grilled cheese sandwich recipes, combing Havarti with bad-reputation Brussels sprouts and then olive tapenade with gruyere. Next up, Desiree bakes a sweet hazelnut-walnut-fig bread that ditches white sugar in favour for light brown sugar. Last, but certainly not least, is a veggie cassoulet. Her secret ingredient? Delicate dried herbs.


Episode 13 – Treat Yourself

Food nerd Desiree Nielsen has a knack for making amazing and healthy meals. She loves to juice because it’s the perfect way to add more vegetables to your morning. Desiree blends blueberries, celery, cucumber, and oranges and then adds her secret ingredient: red cabbage. She then serves up two toasts, a simple avocado toast and a strawberry balsamic toast with ricotta. Next up is lunch. Desiree shares her tips for iron-packed veggie burgers that are filled with spinach and fresh basil from her herb garden. Life is sweet, and Desiree makes sure she has a baked treat every day. She shows us how to make a classic carrot cake with a twist, swapping out white flour for whole wheat, giving it a nutty taste that’s also healthy. Finally, Desiree serves up a hearty and delicious Swiss chard and chickpea stew for those cold winter nights.


Episode 14 – Easy Comfort Food

Our host Desiree Nielsen shows us easy-to-make healthy home cooked dishes for every meal of the day. To kick-start her day, she blends up an invigorating liquorice root tea, adding some cinnamon and orange peel for a little extra zing. Next up, Desiree cooks up a filling breakfast with eggs and beautiful spiralized fried potatoes smothered in hollandaise sauce. For lunch she serves up a protein rich fonio pilaf with grilled asparagus. Then get ready for a taste of the Mediterranean as Desiree takes on flaky spinach and feta spanakopita. Finally, Desiree cooks up the perfect comfort food, creamy mac and cheese.


Episode 15 – Meals on the Go

Desiree Nielsen cooks up scrumptious meals for any time for the day, perfect for busy people. Desiree starts with nature’s candy by making a citrusy strawberry, apple, and ginger juice to really invigorate those taste buds. Next up, she packs protein into chewy breakfast cookies to help keep you energized all morning. For lunch, she whips up a simple tabbouleh with sundried tomato hummus and a flavourful green curry vegetable potpie. And finally, Desiree shows us how to make a heavenly, aromatic Moroccan vegetable tagine.