Random eats

Random eats

Hi Hi everyone. I know a few weeks ago I said I’d be back to regular blogging but once again life, work and school took president, however, all of that will change next week because I’ll be done school for good!!! I am SO very excited to have a bit of a breather before I decide where I want to go with all this school stuff. In the meantime I thought I’d pop in and share some of my eats over the past few weeks.

 

Lately I’ve been obsessing over fresh berries (see last post), however, last night I took it to a new level when I purchased 20 pounds of fresh organic blueberries from one of my classmates!

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SO AMAZING. Since bringing them home last night I’ve been brainstorming ways I can slip them into every single meal- they are heavenly! i’m thinking dressings, smoothies, cocktails, salads, marinades… everything! Blueberries are one of the best super foods so why not!?

While we are chatting berries lets talk about these awesome popsicles I made to help keep cool during these crazy hot days! Not only are they super refreshing they are full of wholesome ingredients that won’t send your blood sugar sky-rocketing (aka no guilt with eating the whole batch… or is that just me).

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1 banana (frozen or fresh)

1 ½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries

1 can of full fat coconut milk

1-2 tbsp of maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want it. I omitted the sweetener all together and they were perfect)

All you do is blend everything together, pour into Popsicle molds and you’ve got the perfect healthy yummy treat to help you cool off from these crazy temperatures.

Along with the handfuls of fresh berries and popsicles my meals have been super random, no planned meals, just eating whatever we have in the fridge. A few people have asked what my normal meals look like so I thought I’d share a few.

IMG_6901 My classic weekend meal- BBQ organic steak, with BBQ veggies (yellow squash, red peppers, mushrooms and onions) and 1/2 an avocado.

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These two are fairly common post workout breakfasts. Soft boiled eggs, sautéed kale, a baked plantain and 1/2 an avocado. OR. Roasted sweet potato, some roasted chicken, fresh berries, some sprouts and 1/2 an avocado (can you see a theme- I love avocado!)

IMG_6944 And then finally a go to a classic weeknight meal. Zucchini noodles (made with this) tossed in homemade avocado pesto, topped with garlic sautéed prawns. YUM!

The avocado pesto is something I make often because it’s easy, tasty and super filling.

1 ripe avocado

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 clove of garlic minced

1 handful of fresh basil

A few glugs of good extra virgin olive oil

Salt and peper to taste.

Whirl everything together in your food processor and your done. It tastes great on your noodles of choice but is also great as a dip for cut up veggies.

There you have it. That is basically what a lot of my meals look like on a daily basis. And yes I like to place everything ‘just so’ on my plate- I can be a little particular ;)

This has been a long babbling post so i’ll leave you all for a few more days.

Next time i’m back i’ll be done school!! Can’t believe it- 2 years has gone by so fast!

I’ll leave you with these picture of Taffy because- well because she is just so cute!

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Berry season

Happy Sunday everyone. Hope you all had a nice relaxing weekend. We sure did. Lots of dog walks and naps, trips to the farmers market, lazy morning cuddles and a little work all followed up with a great family BBQ.

This time of year is definitely one of my favourites purely because of the abundant fresh berries littering the farmers market stands. I am completely obsessed with fresh berries, I could eat them all day every day (and I have been for the past few weeks!), they are perfect in salads, in smoothies, as a snack on their own, in a dressing, in a pie or crumble etc.,
The other week we went to a family BBQ and I was in charge of bringing dessert. As I did this morning, I visited the Sunday morning market to grab my bounty of fresh berries and decided my dessert MUST revolve around the fresh strawberries that were picked just that morning-HEAVEN! I love supporting local businesses but even more so when they provide produce that was picked that very same day. As i’m sure you are all aware, fruits and vegetables loose nutritional value every day once they are picked! Consuming your produce the very day they are picked ensures your are obtaining all the amazing nutrients your food has to offer. (Tangent over)
Back to the recipe… When I bought the strawberries I was originally thinking strawberry shortcake, but an afternoon nap got in the way of that plan. In the end I threw together a few random ingredients hoping I would have a winner- and it was!

No the picture isn’t the prettiest, but I was impatient and wanted to eat it :)

Strawberry chocolate parfait (makes 4)

1 pint of fresh organic strawberries (please please only buy organic strawberries!!)-Sliced

Mousse:

2 avocados (ripe)

2-4 tablespoons maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want, I don’t like it very sweet especially because the strawberries were so sweet)

1/4 cup raw cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut or almond milk

Whip everything together in a food processor until nice and creamy

Crumble:

1/4 cup almond flour

1/2 cup coconut flakes

1/4 chopped almonds

1 tsp cinnamon

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

Spread out crumble mixture on a greased baking sheet and toast in 350 degree oven until nice and golden, stir after about 10 minutes.

Once everything is made, it’s time to start layering. I made mine in mason jars because I was taking them to a BBQ and this helped ensure they wouldn’t spill everywhere, but any clear glass would do. 

I layered strawberries, mousse and crumble 2 times through and then topped with chopped strawberries. 

These made the perfect addition to a backyard BBQ. They were super easy to assemble and really highlighted the natural sweetness of the fresh local strawberries. Please try this the next time you’re looking for something quick to whip up after dinner, you won’t be upset you did.

Hope you enjoy :) 

 

 

Hemp milk

As i’m sure everyone knows by now, cows milk is considered the devil in the health food world (unless raw).

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It’s filled with hormones, sugars and preservatives and is heavily pasteurized killing any potentially beneficial nutrients. Not only that but a large majority of the population does not have the enzyme needed to properly breakdown lactose. This leaves people with gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, weight gain, foggy head etc.,

There are TONS of alternatives out there: almond milk, soy milk (ANOTHER BIG NO- but that’s for another time), rice milk, hemp milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, sunflower seed milk… One of the problems with buying cartons of alternative milk from the grocery store is the majority of them contain carrageenan. Carrageenan isn’t going to hurt you if you consume it very rarely (unless you have any type of inflammatory bowel disease).

Carrageenan is derived from red seaweed and is added to the alternative milks (and other products) to keep the milk from separating, this alleviates the customer from needing to shake the carton before they use it. The main problem with carrageenan is it has been shown to cause inflammation, gut irritation as well as cancer! It is definitely a little confusing because carrageenan is derived from a natural source however, it has been shown to cause significant harm to the digestive system which results in inflammation as well as ulcerations and bleeding-hence why it is a NO NO for people with IBD.

So with all of that being said what can you do to get around carrageenan? Read labels! Not every brand of alternative milk contains carrageenan. OR you can follow my recipe below for the easiest creamiest hemp milk ever!

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Easy, quick, cheap, healthy hemp milk

¼ cup hemp hearts (I use Manitoba harvest- you can buy giant bags from Costco). Hemp is amazing! You want to be consuming more of it I promise! It is full of fiber, protein and good healthy fats and just tastes great. I love hemp in my smoothies, sprinkled all over my salad, as a topper to toast…

1 ½ cup of filtered water

1-2 tsp of sweetener. I use either maple syrup or I just throw a date in. But honey would be yum too.

A splash of vanilla

A pinch of sea salt

Throw everything into the blender and whip it up until all of the hemp has broken down and you are left with creamy milk. I have a vita mix which definitely makes this process easier. Once your done you can either strain off the little bits and pour the milk into a glass jar OR, like me you can just leave the added bits for texture and flavor. Just be sure to shake it up before you use it- I know, so much work!

That’s it that’s all. I use hemp milk in my smoothies, in my baking, in my hot bevvies, in my granola… in anything you would add milk to, this hemp milk is a great, healthy, cheap alternative.

Hope you enjoy!

Taffy was nose bumping me the entire time I was writing this post so I guess she wants to say hi :)

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My first guest blog post!

Hi everyone,

I’m just about to unplug for a much needed long weekend away with some girlfriends!! Before I go I wanted to share a guest post I was privileged enough to write for a good friends blog- FoodSavy! Head on over and check it out!!

Just a hint I share mine and the man friends latest snack obsession :)

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Happy longweekending everyone! hope you all get a chance to unplug and be more present! I know I don’t do it nearly enough and am really looking forward to a long weekend of ZERO phones and computers!

 

A cookie pie kinda night

Bonjour everyone.

How beautiful is this weather were having out west right now! We are so lucky. Hope everyone is able to get out and enjoy the fresh air, Taffy has sure enjoyed her extra daily walks :)

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Once again I got sucked into my busy busy life and forgot to post anything last week. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to be almost finished school!! July 24th is my last day, I can taste it! I really love school but it’s become far too much on top of work these days. Any ways enough babble from me, lets get to the goods.

I just wanted to pop in and share my newest yummy treat. I was feeling a little lazy but wanted cookies so I decided to try a cookie pie, it was a bit of a gamble but turned out delicious with a nice cakey texture. The man friend and I both agreed it was a winner.

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Peanut butter coconut banana cookie pie

1 cup peanut butter (or almond butter)

2 eggs beaten

1 mashed large banana

½ cup coconut sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup coconut flakes

1 large sliced banana as a topping

2 tbsp honey to drizzle on top

A sprinkle of cinnamon on top

Mix everything in a large bowl. Scoop into a coconut oil greased pie pan (a cake pan would work). Place sliced banana on top, drizzle honey all over and sprinkle cinnamon on top. Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, cut, serve and enjoy!

Taffy enjoyed her little piece as well… she licks the pavement so I know that doesn’t mean much but I promise it’s a gooder :)

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Creamy sweet potato, chickpea quinoa salad

Wow, it has been a long long time! Sorry about that, life got busy blah blah blah. Anyways i’m back and i’m excited to share some new yummy recipes as well as some new info i’ve learned over the past few months at school. 

For the past few weeks things have been extremely busy and when times are busy my creativity in the kitchen definitely goes down. I’ve been making lots of big bowls like this creamy sweet potato, chickpea quinoa salad. This salad is super easy to make and is the perfect combo of comfort and healthy.

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1 1/2 cup dried quinoa- cooked up in 3 cups of water or broth

1 small red onion diced

2 large sweet potatoes or yams diced and roasted in coconut oil

optional: diced peppers

1 bunch of parsley chopped

1 can of chickpeas drained and rinsed.

Add everything together in a giant bow.

Dressing

1/4 cup tahini 

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons miso paste (I use the darker)

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon maple syrup

1 large clove of garlic minced

Mix everything up until its nice and creamy. Add dressing to the salad and you’re good to go. I love to chop up some avocado to sprinkle over the salad as well but that’s totally optional. I love to make this dish for potlucks or as a make ahead salad to have in the fridge for the week, it only gets better with time :) Hope you enjoy!

Like I said before i’d like to get back to more frequent posting so I will be chatting with you all again soon :) 

 

 

 

The great juicing challenge!

This past week I encountered something I thought I would NEVER do. Lets rewind a bit first shall we? Sunday night the man friend and I decided to watch the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead, if you haven’t watched it- watch it now, it’s great (you can see it on Netflix). Throughout the movie we kept nodding our heads in agreement and discussing how much sense everything they were saying made (yes I know juicing is not for everyone). At the end of the movie we got into a discussion/ debate about whether either of us food lovers could ever go an extended period of time without eating. I’m normally a eat every 2-3 hours person so the idea seemed completely far-fetched. The man friend kept insisting that I could totally do it and after a little prodding I decided, why not, if those people in the movie could do it, why couldn’t I? So I didn’t lose my motivation I started bright and early Monday morning. I decided I would do 7 days of 3-4 juices per day as well as lots of herbal tea, water and home made kombucha. I decided to keep a little journal to record how I felt throughout the entire experience and I thought I’d share it with you incase anyone wanted to challenge themselves. Generally speaking I started the day on a fruitier note and shifted to more veggie juices throughout the rest of the day.  Normally I workout 5-6 days a week either crossfitting or running with the pup but I decided to give myself a break this week and just focus on nice long walks with the pup.

Day one was a breeze; I was still feeling very determined, motivated and excited. My energy levels were great throughout the day however, towards the evening I started feeling very tired and hungry- the doubtful thoughts started crawling in, why the heck was I doing this!

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Day two was a bit of a struggle. I woke up starving with a headache however, after my morning hike with Taff I was feeling much much better. It’s crazy how getting out in nature and getting some fresh air changes your mentality.

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Day three was definitely the hardest day. I had a headache on and off with very little energy as well as a nagging hunger all day long! Its was a toughie! I almost quit a few times but managed to stick it out.

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Day four was my turning point. I bounced out of bed and felt great all day long. I started feeling very grateful for this challenge and my motivation was restored.

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Day five, I slept very very well and woke up feeling great and full of energy. No real hunger or cravings just really energetic. It was definitely helpful that I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Day six was another tough day. I had minimal energy and was generally hungry all day long. I was really missing food-preparing it, smelling it, eating it, everything! I was very ready to be done with it all but there was NO WAY I was giving in when I was so close.

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Day seven, FINALLY! The end was so close I could taste it! It was a little bit of a struggle merely because I was so excited for the end but I stuck with it and put my self to bed early.

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As you can see I made it! It was a roller coaster for sure! Looking back I’m so so glad I did it. Not just for the nutritional benefits but also for the confidence it gave me in my self control, normally I can’t turn down a treatie let alone only consume juice for a whole week. It gave me confidence that if I really want to do something I can do it :). Apart from a few moments I really wasn’t that hungry. It’s funny how when you provide your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs you don’t crave crap!It was nice to be able to give my digestive system a bit of a break, especially seeing as I have so many digestion issues. Did you know the cells that line your GI tract have a 3 day turnover, that means every 3 days new cells line your GI tract. By giving my digestive system a break I was able to properly promote internal healing and I have to say I suffered ZERO digestive complaints the entire 7 days, which for anyone that knows me is a complete miracle!

On day seven I got pretty excited about eating food but knew that I really needed to ease into eating slowly. I wrote up a meal plan and went grocery shopping for lots of vegan goodies. I decided I would eat light vegan meals with at least 1 juice a day for the next 3-4 days. It is really important to not over do it after a juice cleanse. Imagine going from only juice for 7 days and then a giant steak on day 8- hello shock to the system!

To give an example of my post cleanse diet: today I ate a smoothie for breakfast (mango, strawberry, banana and spinach), roasted kobacha squash and hummus for lunch, a delicious green juice (recipe to follow) for a snack and a packed salad (kale, tomato, apple, avocado, carrot, apple and hummus) for dinner.

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Easy for the digestive system and delicious!

The man friend and I have had a few discussions on how we hope to continue juicing (although he didn’t do a strict 7 days cleanse he did incorporate 1-2 juices into his diet for the 7 days), we hope to include 1-2 fresh vegetable juices daily.  I have even been tossing around the idea of a 1-day juice day every week or every 2 weeks but we shall see how that goes. Needless to say we are both hoping to incorporate a lot more fresh juices into our diet, they really made us feel great!

Before I babble on even more I will leave you with my favorite juice recipe.

Cleansing greens (serves 2)

1 lemon

1 piece of ginger about half the size of your thumb

3 granny smith apples

4 stalks of celery

A handful of parsley

2-3 handfuls of spinach or kale

1 cucumber

One more quick note, make sure EVERYTHING you juice is organic! Because there is no fibre in the juice all the vitamins go directly to your cells. If you juice conventional produce covered in chemicals your basically allowing all of those chemicals to go directly into your body without any filter. The whole point of juicing and cleansing is to aid the body in detoxifying and proving your body with much needed nutrients. Juicing conventional produce will only make the body more toxic thus making your efforts pointless.

With all of that being said Happy Juicing! Is anyone else out there big juicers? Thoughts?

Side note: people that should stay away from juicing are:

  • Anyone with blood sugar issues
  • Juice cleanses should be avoided by pregnant or breast feeding mothers
  • Anyone with liver issues- metabolizing all the fructose in fresh juice can be very taxing on the liver.

Plantain chips

Keeping with the snacking theme from last post I wanted to quickly pop in and share one of my all time favorite snacks, especially since coming home from Mexico at Christmas. Plantain chips are so easy to make and can be flavored any way you’d like. I love tossing them with coconut oil and cinnamon, or coconut oil and course sea salt, or coconut oil, cumin and chili powder.

These chips are great on their own or even better with a big bowl of guacamole!

Plantain Chips

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1 plantain (the more yellow/brown the sweeter) thinly sliced

1 tbsp coconut oil melted

Seasoning of choice

Toss the plantain slices in coconut oil and season however you would like. Lay each slice on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet

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and bake in a pre heated 350 oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

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Hope you enjoy!

Snack Attack- Donut love

While everyone and their sister is busy trying to keep their ‘no treaty’ New Year resolution I have gone the other way. Life is all about balance and instead of completely depriving myself I have decided to allow myself the occasional indulgence.

My latest snack of choice- donuts

The other day I went out and bought a mini donut maker and have been deep in taste testing ever since… It’s a tough job but someone’s gotta do it ;)

My favorite at the moment are vegan, paleo donuts slathered in coconut butter and cinnamon or coconut butter and raw cacao, trust me- they are delicious!

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¼ cup coconut flour

¼ cup potato starch

3 tbsp coconut sugar

¼ tsp baking soda

¾ tsp baking powder

Splash of vanilla (about 2 tsp)

Sprinkle of cinnamon (1/2 tsp)

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

6 tbsp almond milk (or coconut milk)

Mix everything together until the batter is nice and smooth. It will thicken a fair bit but I promise it’ll cook up perfect. This makes about 9 mini donuts.

Once the donuts are done I simply slather coconut butter on them (coconut oil would be yum) and either eat them as is or sprinkle a little cinnamon on them. You can of course play around with whatever toppings you’d like to try, chocolate, vanilla, lemon, honey, maple bacon etc.,

Life is too short not to enjoy daily treaties! I just try to make sure they are mostly homemade so I can control the ingredients and feel good about my choices.

Also, if you haven’t tried coconut butter, get on it!

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I hope you all have had a delicious weekend :)

Taffy wanted to say hi

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Kombucha Loving

Happy weekend to everyone! I know I’m not alone in looking forward to the weekend from Monday through the week. Its not that I don’t  love my job but I love sleeping in, going for nice long walks, visiting the farmers markets, going for brunch etc. a little bit more, crazy I know.

For the past 10 days or so I’ve been doing some new kind of kitchen experimenting that I thought I’d share.

It all started with my weekly (if not daily) whole foods trip for my absolutely favorite treat-kombucha. I have always known it was good for me but I also knew that I LOVED the taste, I would easily shell out $4-5 dollars for a small bottle! (crazy I know). Then I got the man friend equally as obsessed as I was, no longer were the whole foods trips $4-5 dollars but we were going and buying 3,4,5 bottles at a time! (plus the many other wonderful delicious things only whole foods offers). One of my mini new years resolutions is to be a little more cautious with my spending (read: no more $5 kombucha everyday), enter my friend Danni from school. Danni had taken a kombucha making class a few months before and had a spare scoby to give me so I could start brewing my own. At first I was a little intimidated but it ended up being the easiest and most delicious experiment either.

So before I get going on my step by steps you probably want to know what this kombucha is. Essentially kombucha is a fermented tea known for its amazing healing properties. Kombucha is full of probiotics, enzymes, B vitamins, lots of minerals and anti-oxidants. Kombucha is great for anyone detoxifying, for anyone with digestive troubles, for anyone with joint/muscle pain and for anyone looking for a little immune boosting power! Basically kombucha is the shit! And bonus, it is SO easy to make at home.

What you need:

  • 1 scoby with kombucha started juice (if you don’t have any friends making kombucha you can buy them off craigslist, online, or shoot me a message and I’ll get one of my scoby’s to you)
  • 12 tea bags (I used jasmine green tea but black tea works well as well)
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1gallon (16 Cups) of pure clean water
  • 1 cup of freshly juiced ginger
  • A giant glass jar- enough to fit 1 gallon of water
  • A kitchen tea towel and elastic band
  • Smaller bottles for the kombucha, I use 4-1 quart mason jars per batch

First thing you do is bring the 1 gallon of water to a boil, turn off heat and allow tea bags to steep for about 20 minutes, remove tea bags. After 20 minutes stir in the sugar until dissolved.

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Once the tea has cooled to room temperature pour it in the large glass jar, pour the kombucha starter juice (roughly 2 cups of kombucha from your previous batch (or store bought)) into the jar and carefully place the scoby on top of the tea (don’t be worried if it doesn’t float).

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Cover the top of the jar with a tea towl, secure with an elastic band and put away in the pantry for roughly 7 days.

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After 7 days you can go ahead and remove the scoby (along with some tea to start another batch) and drink the tea as is or you can add a flavor and start a second fermentation process.

For Ginger Kombucha:

Juice 1 cup of ginger (While I had the juicer out I juiced another cup of ginger juice and froze it in an ice cube tray for my next batch. Next time I make ginger kombucha I will just add 2 ginger cubes to each mason jar)

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Divide the fresh ginger juice evenly between the 4 mason jars

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and pour the tea into each jar until full.

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Then secure the lids tightly as the tea will start to naturally fizz and store those jars in the pantry for another 2-5 days, depending on your preference- go ahead and taste every day until your satisfied.

As you can see it is easy peasy! Right now I have 4 jars of ginger tea fermenting along with a new batch of kombucha, the beauty is you can just keep re-using the scoby each time you finish making a batch. Now please go get yourself a scoby and start on this fun kitchen adventure, you will not regret it! The heath benefits speak for themselves.

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