In the kitchen: Tracy Higgs at Foodease 

click to enlarge PHOTO BY HEIDI BUECKING PHOTOGRAPHY - taking orders Michaela Mulhall and Tracy Higgs have created Foodease, delivering delicious home-made meals right to your front door.
  • Photo by Heidi Buecking Photography
  • taking orders Michaela Mulhall and Tracy Higgs have created Foodease, delivering delicious home-made meals right to your front door.

As a nutritionist and a parent, Tracy Higgs knows a thing or two about finding creative ways to get nutrients in the body — and make it taste good, too.

She also knows what it's like to come home from work every night and dream up new ways to feed the family, before the evening witching hour kicks off.

She, along with business partner Michaela Mulhall, have found a way to tackle both problems.

Foodease was born — one of Whistler's newest businesses —bringing healthy home-cooked meals straight to your door every week.

"I'm just hoping that I can help people out," said Higgs, of the business venture that began in October.

Their menu ranges from ever-popular bean burgers to vegetarian shepherd's pie to roast yam quesadillas with pumpkin seeds and honey chipotle. But that's just dinner.

There's homemade granola or pancake mix (made with buckwheat and quinoa flour) to start the day or sweet treats to keep you going throughout.

"We tend to do a lot of vegetarian (meals), only because a lot of people don't tend to cook a lot of vegetarian at home," said Higgs, who was once a vegetarian when she was first studying nutrition. She has been a registered holistic nutritionist for the past 15 years.

Take the homemade veggie ground at Foodease, the basis for things like their shepherd's pie. There is no soy or wheat in the ground.

"Our filler is beets, carrots, zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds. That's what it's made of," said Higgs. "So it's a totally different nutrition profile."

The pie is then topped with mashed potatoes, yams and cauliflower.

"So many people liked it, it ended up on the menu," said Higgs.

This week the pair are working on some lasagnas— smoky tomato vegetable lasagnas with cilantro pumpkin seed pesto to be precise — with an idea that people can buy them and freeze them and take them out for dinner over the holidays.

Most of the menu items can be frozen or are shelf stable. Each week, however, there is a fresh "weekly meal." How does Wednesday's dinner sound? Yam, honey chipotle quesadillas, kale, pumpkin seed, fresh Parmesan and lemon salad and cashew ginger chocolate cups. Sounds pretty delicious.

They typically don't bake with white flour, opting instead for buckwheat and quinoa and brown rice flour, though it may be more expensive.

"It's mostly because of the protein content," explained Higgs. "I like to introduce people to changing that concept. When you have a chocolate apricot pecan cookie it's actually quite healthy and it's still really delicious and enjoyable."

The idea for Foodease has been percolating for a while now. Higgs has run Beet Root Café and more recently was the nutritionist at Nesters. Mulhall moved to Whistler in 2008 and, as a mom too, knows about juggling busy schedules all while trying to keep healthy food on the table.

Foodease however was a way to flex their creative muscles in the kitchen and at the same time make life a little easier for people who are not willing to sacrifice nutrition in the quest for fast and simple dinners.

The Foodease founders are appealing to that growing audience who want fresh, homemade, nutritious food and are willing to pay for that.

"Basically I'm trying to (capture) the people who understand the value of the time that goes into the food and the quality of fresh ingredients," said Higgs.

Foodease orders must be in by Monday at midnight for a Wednesday delivery. Monday, Dec. 15 will be the last chance to stock up before the holidays as Foodease will be closed for two weeks over December. You can fill your freezer and your shelves from the Foodease menu to keep you satisfied.

Check out the menu at or find their Facebook page.

Cashew Caramel Squares with a nut crust and raw cacao ganache

Nut Layer (the base):

1 cup of nuts (almonds, pecans or walnuts)

1 cup of dates (medjool, rehydrated baking dates or paste)

Grind nuts in the food processor until course, than add dates and process until it becomes sticky ball. Press firmly into a small baking dish approximately the size of two bread or loaf pans side by side. One bread pan can be used but squares will be narrower and taller bite size pieces. Refrigerate to set and make caramel layer.

Caramel Layer (substance):

1/2 cup of cashew butter (or 3/4 of cashews blended up in vitamix to make your own butter)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup of dates (medjool, rehydrated baking dates or paste)

Mix all ingredients into the food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Spread caramel layer over nut crust. Refrigerate to set and make raw chocolate ganache.

Chocolate Ganache Layer (finishing touch):

1/3 cup of coconut oil

2 heaping tablespoons of raw cacao

1/4 of honey or maple syrup

Mix all ingredients into the food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Spread chocolate gananche over the Caramel layer, refrigerate for 1-2 hrs to let set until ready to cut into squares and enjoy!

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